The most common wheel conveyors are basically similar to unpowered roller conveyors but incorporate wheels mounted on shafts rather than rollers. Wheels may be steel or plastic, with ball, roller or plain bearings.
As they can be set in a staggered pattern, wheels form a closer configuration than rollers, reducing the need for flat undersides on the goods transported. Wheel conveyors can thus be used for smaller and more irregular items than roller conveyors.
This type of wheel conveyor is suitably mainly for lightweight items (less than 50kg) such as card board boxes and bins of various kinds with fairly even bottoms. However, wheel conveyors cannot stand point loads as well as roller conveyors because rollers distribute loads more satisfactorily. Wheel conveyors are mostly un-powered and function as gravity lines, with the items weight determining travel speed.
Applications basically coincide with those described for un-powered roller conveyors, except that wheel conveyors are applicable for lightweight goods only.