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How To Track a Belt

Being able to accurately and efficiently track a belt is an integral part to belt maintenance and operation. CBT Belting and Sanitation Specialist Larry Hecker breaks down the basics of belt tracking to help you keep your belts running.


How to Track a Belt on a Two-Pulley System:

  1. Move the tail pulley and the take-ups all the way in to give you some slack in the belt.
  2. Begin to tighten the belt.
  3. Using a tape measure and a consistent spot across your conveyor (normally just above the take-up is a great place to start) and measure from that point down to the shaft. Ideally, this measurement will be the same on both sides.
  4. Start the conveyor and observe how the belt is running. You’ll want to let the belt pass through a few times to make sure it is running properly.
  5. If the belt is running towards one side, you will need to track it.
  6. If the belt is running to the right and you want to push it back to the center, you will need to take the right section of the pulley out, so you are pushing the belt across the conveyor in a sense. Turn your nut or bolt just a few times to see how the belt is running at this point, you want to avoid pushing the belt out too far. This part may require some trial and error to find the sweet spot.
  7. Complete the same process, but on the left side of the conveyor if your belt is running to the left.


If the belt still won't track, here are some additional troubleshooting tips:

  1. Make sure your bearings on your head, tail, and support rollers are turning freely. If any of these are frozen or hard to turn, it will affect the tracking of the belt.
  2. Ensure your conveyor is horizontally level. This can be done by placing a level across the conveyor at the head pulley, the tail pulley, and a few other spots along the machine.
  3. If the conveyor is lower in one section this will affect the belt tracking as a whole – you can simply adjust the legs on the conveyor square to solve this problem.
  4. Make sure your conveyor is square from your head pulley to your tail pulley with two measurements
    1. Measure from the center of the tail pulley to the center of the head pulley on each side and make sure those measurements are equal.
    2. Measure the conveyor in a ‘X’ motion from the center of the left tail pulley to the center of the right head pulley and vice versa. These measurements should also be the same
    3. If these numbers aren’t consistent generally the first troubleshooting step is to adjust the head pulley to square up your conveyor.
  5. Ensure all guide rollers are square.
  6. Idlers can function similarly to bike handlebars – if you are wanting the conveyor to go in a specific direction, push the opposite side of the idler forward.

If you need additional guidance tracking your belts, please reach out to our Belting Services team at any time.

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