Belt Conveyors Troubleshooting

This easy to use guide can help you find the solution to common problems with robotic palletizers, belt conveyors, bagging scales, and more. Once you find the problem, refer to the cause/solution numbers next to them. Then scroll down to find the answer and get advice to solve the issue.


  1. Belt improperly spliced or wrong fasteners. Use correct fasteners. Re-tighten after running for a short while. If improperly spliced, remove and make new splice.
  2. Belt strained on one side - Allow time for new belt to "break in." If belt does not break in properly, remove strained section and splice in a new piece.
  3. Counterweight too heavy - Recalculate weight required and adjust counterweight accordingly. Reduce takeup tension to point of slip, then tighten slightly.
  4. Counterweight too light - Recalculate weight required and adjust counterweight or screw takeup accordingly.
  5. Damage by abrasive, acid, chemicals, heat, mildew, oil - Use belt designed for specific condition. For abrasive materials working into cuts and between plies, make spot repairs with cold patch or with permanent repair patch, seal metal fasteners or replace with vulcanized step splice. Enclose belt line for protection against rain, snow, or sun. Don't over lubricate idlers.
  6. Drive underbelted - Recalculate maximum belt tensions and select correct belt.
  7. Edge worn or broken - Repair belt edge. Remove badly worn or out-of- square section and splice in a new piece.
  8. Excessive impact of material on belt or fasteners - Use correctly designed chutes and baffles. Install impact idlers.
  9. Excessive tension - Recalculate and adjust tension. Use vulcanized splice within recommended limits.
  10. Frozen idlers - Free or replace idlers. Lubricate. Improve maintenance. (Don't over-lubricate.)
  11. Idlers or pulleys out-of-square with center line of conveyor - Realign. Install limit switches to prevent damage.
  12. Idlers improperly placed - Relocate idlers or insert additional idlers spaced to support belt.
  13. Improper loading, spillage - Feed should be in direction of belt travel and at belt speed, centered on the belt. Control flow.
  14. Insufficient traction between belt and pulley - Increase wrap with snub pulleys. In wet conditions, use grooved lagging. Install cleaning devices. Tighten takeup.
  15. Material between belt and pulley. Use skirtboards. Remove accumulation. Install cleaners. Improve maintenance.
  16. Material build-up - Remove accumulation. Install cleaning devices. Improve housekeeping.
  17. Pulley lagging worn - Replace worn pulley lagging. Use grooved lagging for wet conditions.
  18. Pulleys too small - Use larger diameter pulleys.
  19. Relative loading velocity too high or too low - Adjust feed rate or correct belt speed. Consider use of impact idlers.
  20. Side loading - Load in direction of belt travel, in center of conveyor.
  21. Skirts improperly placed - Install skirtboards so that they do not rub against belt.