What is a Chain Driven Live Roller Conveyor?

CDLR conveyor systems are the workhorse of the conveyor range, and one of the most common floor-supported styles in use. Chain driven live roller conveyor systems (CDLR) are ideal for transporting medium to heavy loads at controlled speeds for many industries. Typical loads that CDLR conveyor moves include loaded pallets, tires, drums and totes. When used to transport pallets, they are frequently known as pallet roller conveyor systems.

They are easy to maintain, and can take a lot of abuse without damage. Rollers may be mild steel, galvanized or stainless steel for special applications. Where impact loads are possible, thicker gauge roller material and upgraded bearings will be specified.

CDLR Conveyor enables accumulation of product

One of the advantage of Chain Driven Live Roller Conveyor systems is that the allow the product being moved on them to accumulate (i.e. nest alongside each other while the line continues running). This creates a buffer system, where the line can be maintained in a full state. Where it is necessary to singulate the loads again, a device known as an escapement meters the products out from the flow on the conveyor to release them one at a time. Delivery systems inside assembly plants are therefore a very common application for products like seats, wheels and tires, pallets and other products that ride on containers with smooth surfaces underneath.

Where CDLR conveyors are used as pallet roller conveyors, it’s common to use loosely fitting plastic “slip sleeves” over the rollers. These let the pallets on the pallet conveyor accumulate against each other in a stationary position while the rollers of the pallet roller conveyor continue turning underneath.

Why Use CDLR / Pallet Roller Conveyors?

The sprocketed rollers and roll to roll chain system provide positive driving power to the product. Multiple lengths and configurations make the CDLR a versatile conveyor. The chain driven live roller conveyor design also makes this conveyor suitable for oily conditions which other conveyors may not be suitable for. CDLR systems include straights, curves and square 90 degree corners. Pop-up transfer systems allow loads to move off the main conveyor at a 90 degree angle, for example where one wheel goes to one side of the line and the next wheel goes to the other side.

Technical Specifications:

Depending upon the product weight and the product being conveyed, different roller capacities will be utilized to handle the load. Pallet roller conveyor systems are typically using 2.5″ or 3.5″ diameter rollers. Product weights typically ranges from 80 lbs. up to 25,000 lbs. Some typical configurations of chain driven live roller conveyor are:

  • Positive Drive
  • Rollers Diameters: 1.9”, 2.5”, 3.5”, 4” and 5”
  • Effective widths from 3” -120” in any increment
  • Lengths from 1 ft. – 12 ft.
  • Reversible with speeds ranging from 5 -150 FPM fixed or variable
  • Built to order – modifications easily made

Ultimation designs, builds and installs CDLR conveyor systems

When you buy a turnkey chain driven live roller conveyor system from Ultimation, we design, build and install your system according to your requirements. You can be confident that our engineers have checked your requirements fully, and that we understand the necessary mechanical and electrical requirements. Where overhead platforms are required, we design and fabricate those support structures as well. Registered Professional Engineers analyze and check that the support structures are suitable for the system static and live load. All our product design for pallet roller conveyors is completed in 3D CAD software, enabling you to view the product at the approval stage.

CDLR Conveyor design

Need help learning about other conveyor types, which types to use and how to specify them? This step by step guide will help.


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“Ultimation’s strongest trait was the ability to complete the installation on time, within budget and with no safety incidents to personal or collateral damage to equipment during the installation.  They were instrumental in keeping the crew motivated during the arduous installation and they worked second shift in order to meet SWRMC’s production schedule.

I enjoyed working with the Ultimation installation Crew and am happy to be able to provide this recommendation. I have great respect for Ultimation as a Company and as professionals and am confident that Ultimation will continue to exhibit positive performance in the business Industry.”

Felisa A. ParquetUnited States Navy

“You guys have really delivered for me on this project. I will be sure to include you for any future work that we do.”

Kulwinder GillJohnson Controls Inc.

“I have worked with Ultimation’s executives from the 1970’s until I retired from GM. I’ve always considered them incredibly knowledgeable in the Tire/wheel and conveyor business.”

Will KortrykGeneral Motors

“You’re a great team to work with. We really appreciate your good work!”

James Gacek, ManagerVolvo Heavy Truck (retired)

“We’ve worked through tough times together in the past, and we intend to work through them again. Your support has helped make us highly respected in the industry today.”

Wes Paisley, PresidentDearborn Mid-West Conveyor Co.