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Cold Weather Conveyor Maintenance

Posted by ELRUS Aggregate Systems on Thu,Jan 10,2013 @ 10:39 AM

The winter freeze hit Western Canada at the end of October – a month earlier than the previous two years. This means that your gear has been subjected to an additional month of wear and tear while operating at the extremes of winter.

Winter Maintenance

Over the next couple of weeks the Pit Boss Blog will be highlighting various pieces of equipment, maintenance checks that should be done, as well as some product solutions that should be considered improve productivity and/or durability.

The first piece of equipment we will be discussing is conveyors. Conveyors are  possibly the most neglected pieces of equipment on crushing spread. Oddly enough, when totaled up, conveyor belting is probably the single biggest parts bill on a crushing spread. Spending the time, and in some cases money, now will mean that your conveyor lines will be better equipped to withstand another season of neglect and abuse.

There should be three main goals when performing any conveyor maintenance:

1. Keeping the belt turning

2. Keeping the belt in one piece

3. Keeping the material on the belt when carrying and off the belt when returning

Let’s look a little closer at each of these:

1. Keeping the belt turning

Your Power Transmission components are the focus when trying to accomplish this.

Pulleys - The biggest key to prolonging pulley life is maintaining the lagging

  • Weld on slide lagging is a quick and relatively easy replacement method
  • If you are re-vulcanizing your head pulley, it needs to be stripped and sandblasted
  • Consider wing lagging options for tail pulleys
  • Many pulleys can be used on multiple locations, replacing a well used pulley with new and rebuilding the old one creates a critical spare (Replace and Rebuild).

Bearings - Ensure your bearings are in good operating condition and verify that the proper bearing is being used for the application

  • Do an audit of all the bearings on your conveyors and check with your supplier to know which ones are readily available and which ones have an extended lead time. Plan your stock and critical spares accordingly

Sheaves and V-Belts – Some operators change all of their sheaves and v-belts out at once to ensure a full season without having to do it in the field during the crushing season

Gearboxes 2000+ hours? Consider changing your oil

  • Remove and clean all of the breathers to prolong seal life
  • Leaking oil? Replace and rebuild

2. Keeping the belt in one piece

  • Splice or patch any areas of concern on the conveyor belt itself
  • Inspect every roller frame and bracket for damage; turn each idler by hand to check for seized rollers. Plan your on-hand idler inventory accordingly
  • Consider adding a self-aligning trough-set or return roller to aid in tracking, especially on belts that are 60 feet or longer
  • Install v-plows wherever possible to keep debris out of the tail pulleys, replace any worn wear rubber on existing v-plows

3. Keeping the material on the belt when carrying and off the belt when returning

  • Consider lining any chutes and hoppers with wear rubber
  • Check and replace all the flashing

Finally, check the structure of the conveyor frame itself as previous year or more of neglect and abuse might require some welding to repair and strengthen for more of the same.

If your inspection and maintenance turns up any areas of concern deal with it now before production deadlines are in jeopardy. For more tips on beating the cold winter view our blog post: 10 Cold Weather Tips To Keep You Running This Winter.


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Topics: Radial Stacker, Aggregate Equipment Maintenance, Winter Maintenance, Conveyor Maintenance, crushing and screening maintenance

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