Two Types of Conveyor Belts

  • Slider Bed: If you lift the belt and look under it, you will see a steel bed the belt just slides on: slider bed. These are popular because they are inexpensive and easy to service. Their downside is they cannot carry a lot of weight. This is not because the frame can’t handle the weight. It’s due to the friction created between the belt and the bed when there is a load on the belt. Each configuration (length, width, belt type, horsepower and anticipated accumulated load) will determine if a slider bed is the right choice for your application.

Slider Bed Belt Conveyor 

  • Roller Bed: If you look under the edge of a roller bed belt conveyor, you will see the belt rides on top of a set of unpowered rollers: roller bed. These conveyor cost a bit more than the slider beds and they require a bit more maintenance, but their advantage is they can carry many times the weight accumulated over the length of the conveyor. That’s because the rollers significantly reduce the friction of the belt moving over the bed surface vs a slider bed.

Roller Bed Belt Conveyor

A couple of things to consider with a belt conveyor: 

  • Belt Tracking: The price you pay for using belt conveyors is tracking them. Meaning, keeping them running in the center of the frame. If they get off center, they can cause all kinds of issues such as belt or frame damage or a jamb that cause everything to stop altogether. Don’t worry though- CPM Conveyor has trained service techs that can track your belts and if you are interested, we will train your personnel to track your own belts. It isn’t that hard, but it is a learned skill.

  • Roller Conveyor vs Roller Bed Belt: In some cases if you need the weight capacity that a roller bed belt conveyor offers, you may want to consider using a powered roller conveyor without the belt. This eliminates the need for the belt and its maintenance issues. The key thing to consider is the size and shape of the items you need to move. This is an easy decision if what you need to move is always boxes or totes whose smallest bottom dimension spans at least 3 roller centers. Items smaller than that might either fall through the rollers or “motorboat” over the rollers. If the item is irregular in shape and will sit on 3 points and not a smooth surface, it may not do well on a belt conveyor. In these cases you are better off to stick with the belt conveyor that will not let the smaller items fall through.

Powered Roller Conveyor

Choosing the right conveyor for your application can be daunting especially when you start to consider speed, height, curves, inclines, transfers, side guards, power distribution and controls.

At CPM Conveyor, it is our mission to guide you in the right direction.


Call us anytime to talk over your needs. We always have time for you.

(317) 875-1919  or  e-mail us: