How to Determine Conveyor Slope

Often times the question arises; How do I determine the slope of a conveyor so packages flow? There is rarely an exact answer to this question.  All cartons, bags, totes, pallets, etc. can vary substantially. How smooth the package bottom is, the material it's made of, how rigid the load is, the weight of the load, and the conveyor model all affect how it will flow and the slope required.

Conveyor Flow

Gravity Conveyor Flow Depends Upon:

1. Load bottom surface
2. Load material
3. Load rigidity
4. Load weight
5. Conveyor model

However, there are some general guidelines that provide a good starting point from which the slope can be fine-tuned.

Gravity Conveyor General Slope Guidlines

Item

Weight
(Lbs.)

Slope Required to Start and Move Item
Inches per Foot Inches per 10'
Firm Cartons 5 7/8" 9"
10 3/4" 7-1/2"
50 1/2" 5"
100 3/8" 3-3/4"
Steel Drums 150 3/8" 3-3/4"
300 1/4" 2-1/2"
Totes 10 1/2" 5"
25 3/8" 3-3/4"
50 5/16" 3-1/8"
100 1/4" 2-1/2"
Pallet with
Runners
50 1/2" 5"
100 7/16" 4-3/8"
250 3/8" 3-3/4"
500 5/16" 3-1/8"

We always recommend testing the slope before putting the conveyor system into operation. There are times when heavy loads flowing down longer runs of conveyor will required special braking devices to keep the load from slamming into an end-stop device. These applications need to reviewed individually.