Gravity Conveyors: Down to the Basics

Gravity conveyors are an excellent material handling solution. They are non-powered and utilize gravity or other external force to move products. These conveyors are one of the most economical solutions to use because they do not have motorized parts, and their versatility and ease results in gravity conveyors becoming the most common conveyor used in the world.

With so many varieties of gravity conveyors available, which one is the best fit for your system?


The average person most likely comes into contact with gravity roller conveyors. They are used at airport security checkpoints and for loading/unloading delivery trucks, among other applications. The conveyors are used on a decline or parallel to the ground and are a good solution for sideloading/unloading or packages with uneven or open bottoms. Bulked up roller conveyors can be used in heavy-duty applications to transport pallets or other heavy loads.

Ball Transfer Table

Ball transfer tables are used to manually rotate products or when conveyors converge and the products need to be moved to another line. The packages must have a hard, flat bottom and be large enough to evenly pass over the roller balls on the table.


Chute conveyors are very similar to the playground slides we enjoyed as children. They are constructed as straight or spirals and can be used to connect conveyors to other levels. Their design does not allow spillage or blockage that might cause jamming. Chutes are also utilized in transporting loose products (grains, coals, etc.) or liquids.


Skatewheel gravity conveyors are comparable to roller conveyors but have small rollers (wheels) evenly spaced along a shaft instead of a roller. The wheels are constructed of stainless steel or aluminum and convey lightweight items. They can be constructed as a straight, curve, or spur conveyor and as fixed or accordion style.

Now that you know about the different types of gravity conveyors, you can find ways to incorporate these economic solutions into your material handling system. They are money-savers on installation and maintenance and do a great job.

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