4 questions to ask before you hire a conveyor

In large open spaces, site plant are definitely the best option for moving large volumes of loose material. But when the site is awkward and constrained, conventional site plant aren’t a good choice.

When a challenge like this arises, a temporary belt conveyor is a good option and many rental outlets offer some form of conveyor equipment.

But it’s not that straightforward.

Belt conveyors  are specialist pieces of equipment with unusual characteristics. To avoid a frustrating, costly and unproductive experience you need to ensure that your conveyor is fit for purpose and your supplier can meet your needs.

If you're looking for a new conveyor supplier, the following questions will give you all the information you need to make your decision.

1. How many types of conveyor do you have available?

Does the supplier have a  comprehensive range of conveyor systems or a “one size fits all” conveyor that they offer to all customers regardless of the application?

Conveyors are an excellent solution to many different problems. They are also  application-specific . No conveyor suits every application. A conveyor that will suit a job moving 10 tons of sand from a residential property is not going to perform well moving 1000 tons of rock and broken concrete from a large demolition site.

If your supplier has only one or two conveyors in their fleet, there's a high risk that the conveyor they send you will be wrong for the job. Either it will be too small for your application and unable to do the job, or too big and you're probably spending more than you need to. You might be lucky and find the conveyor they have is fine but make sure you check the specification carefully to avoid wasting time and money.

2. Who will spec' the conveyor?

If you're a conveyor expert, you'll probably be happy to spec' your own equipment. If not, make sure your supplier is an expert because one of you needs to be.

Specifying a conveyor involves...

  • Visiting site before quoting to measure up and assess your needs.
  • Checking your power supply to ensure the solution conforms.
  • Checking your site can provide the necessary support for the conveyor and coming up with an alternative proposal if you cannot.
  • Discussing your anticipated loading method and how to make it work well.
  • Identifying a clearly safe method of installing or positioning the conveyor and providing supporting methods statements and risk assessments as appropriate.

Here at Coveya, we provide a  written guarantee that the equipment will work or we will not charge. If you're not a conveyor expert, ask your supplier for a similar guarantee.

3. What will you do if the conveyor breaks down?

I'm sure I don't need to mention how debilitating site downtime is. Our 30 years of experience tells us that, invariably, when a site has a conveyor on it, the site revolves around that conveyor. More often than not, if material cannot be shifted away from the work area, then work cannot progress. If the conveyor breaks down the result is often large numbers of people and machinery standing idle and costing money.

So what will the supplier do if the conveyor fails? What’s their breakdown response time? How can they prove to you that the quoted response time is achievable?

4. How often do you service and maintain your conveyors?

It is worth remembering that conveyors, by their very nature are constructed mainly of wear parts (the belt, bearings, motor, controls and rollers are all wearing parts).

If downtime will be costly for you, choose a supplier that fully services its equipment between every job. It might mean paying a slightly higher rate but skipping on maintenance is always a false economy.

Need more help?

We hope this checklist helps you find a good conveyor supplier. If you'd like to save it, share it or print it, you can  download it in pdf format here .

If you'd like to talk to us about a job you need a conveyor for, or arrange a free site visit, please  contact us on 0808 278 5220 or email  hello@coveya.co.uk .

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