The Basics of Gravity Conveyors

Gravity conveyors can be installed horizontally or on a decline. Horizontal styles are great for order picking, assembly operations, or inventory tracking. Decline conveyors are used as a gravity flow system. For a great selection of conveyor products visit or call 1-800-338-1382 for friendly customer service.

To calculate the degree of pitch needed keep in mind several factors.

1. Is the conveyor roller or skatewheel?
2. Does the conveyor have grease packed or clean bearings?
3. What is the weight of the package?
4. Is the package you will be moving in good condition?

Incline Conveyors
Below is a table of typical inclines for various products. Be sure to test products before using your conveyor system.



Weight Slope (inches per 10 ft.)
Baskets 5″
Barrels 5″
Wood Boxes 15-25 lbs. 6 1/4″
Wood Boxes 25-50 lbs. 5″
Wood Boxes 100-250 lbs. 3 1/8″
Brick 5″
Cartons 3-6 lbs. 6 1/4″
Cartons 6-12 lbs. 8 3/4″
Cartons 12-25 lbs. 7 1/2″
Cartons 25-30 lbs. 6 1/4″
Crates 5″ – 6 1/4″
Drums 150-300 lbs. 2 1/2″-3 3/4″
Lumber 5″
Pans, Tote 2 1/2″-5″

By slowly changing the amount of incline over a period it can keep products from moving too fast. Remember that products move faster as a spinning roller or wheel increases the speed.

Items to Move on Wheel Conveyors
-Items with a flat, smooth bottom edge work well with wheel conveyors.

Items to Move on Roller Conveyors
-Items with uneven or open bottoms work well on roller conveyors.

More Tips…
-Boxes must have space between them so they stay properly oriented when going around curves.

-Y switches and diverters allow packages to switch lanes.

-Gravity conveyors can be used in conjunction with powered conveyors.

Material Flow & Conveyor Systems, Inc. carries and sells an excellent selection of conveyors!