What Is a Construction Conveyor?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

A construction conveyor is a system used to move materials on a construction site. The structure of the construction conveyor can vary by manufacturer and intended application, but generally, most systems used for construction purposes will feature a long belt wrapped around a series of cylinders called rollers. Some of these rollers will be powered by a motor, which will turn the cylinders and, in turn, the belt. Materials such as soil or rock can be transported using the conveyor system, and some portable models can be moved into position to lift materials upward and into a dump truck or other hauling vehicle.

Sometimes the construction conveyor will feature high walls on either side of the belt to prevent materials from spilling off the sides of the unit. This is especially useful if the conveyor is tilted upward or downward to allow materials to be lifted high off the ground. Loading and unloading materials is made more efficient by the use of such walls, which must be durable and resistant to damage from impacts or moisture. The construction conveyor belt is raised or lowered using hydraulic cylinders that can push one end of the belt upward or downward as necessary.

Portable models are most often used on construction sites, since most sites are temporary and the construction conveyor will need to be removed along with other construction machinery. The conveyor may therefore be mounted on wheels so it can be towed behind a truck or other towing vehicle. It may also feature a fixed base that would then need to be lifted onto a flatbed trailer when it is transported. Some very large conveyors may be mounted on tracks instead of wheels for added stability and durability. The construction conveyor may also feature outriggers, which are arms that extend outward away from the machine to add even more stability when the conveyor is in position. These outriggers are retractable and operated with hydraulic cylinders.

Some conveyor systems used for construction applications are screw conveyors, which work differently from belt conveyors. Screw conveyors are useful for transporting finer materials such as soil; a large screw with wide, corkscrewed blades is contained within a metal chute, and when the screw is rotated, the materials loaded within the system will move forward. This system is not especially useful for larger materials that can get caught within the screw, or for exceptionally coarse materials that can damage the system.

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