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Knowing the basics of belt conveyor maintenance can go a long way toward preventing costly breakdowns. In addition, a good preventive maintenance program can reduce plant operating costs by ensuring that belt conveyors have a long, trouble-free service life. This article discusses several important areas of belt maintenance. Daily inspections of conveyor belt equipment can keep minor, easily corrected problems from turning into major--and costly--headaches. Check all components of the conveyor belt system for wear or damage, and make sure everything is operating safely. Ensure that material loaded onto the belt loads uniformly and centrally with low impact. Load the belt in the direction of belt travel, and at the same speed as the belt is traveling. Provide proper spacing between the skirtboard and belt to ensure proper sealing by the sealing strips. Cuts and tears in the belt can be repaired by mechanical splices or by vulcanizing the belt. Be careful not to over grease the belt hardware. Too much grease can damage bearings. Always ensure that the belt runs straight and even. Allowing a belt to run to one side can wear it badly. Make sure the belt has some sort of device to take up slack, but do not allow it to run too tightly.