How much does a Cable Drag Conveyor cost?

A cable drag conveyor can be the perfect fit for your process, but how much does cable drag conveyor cost? Our sales team hears this question every day. The price of a tubular drag conveyor varies depending on the selected options, materials, and layout, as well as your desired capacity and conveying rate.

Here at Spiroflow, we’ve been in the bulk material handling industry for more than four decades. We want to share our years of experience through this blog. This article will describe all of the factors that go into determining the cost of a cable drag conveyor. Hopefully, this article will help you find the best conveyor for your process.

What is a Tubular Cable Drag Conveyor?

A tubular cable drag conveyor is a mechanically driven conveyor that drags material along the inside of a totally enclosed tube. It uses a cable and disc assembly to drag a variety of material. The conveyor can have multiple in-feed points and discharge points. These types of conveyors have been used throughout a range of industries for more than 50 years.

How a Cable Drag Conveyor Is Constructed

It’s the goal of any conveyor manufacturer to design and build a piece of machinery exactly for your needs. How the conveyor works will roughly stay the same. How they are built is what separates them. This is where the variation on cost comes in.

For instance, Spiroflow cable drag conveyors can have a total circuit length of 400 ft (120 m) and multiple conveyors can be linked to cover longer distances.

Cable Drag Speed & Capacity

Manufacturers typically construct cable drag conveyors with different tube sizes. At Spiroflow, we offer three models based on tube diameter. Check out the capacity chart below to get an idea of what conveyors of different sizes can do.


Standard Construction & Components

  • Tubes: 304 stainless steel
  • Cable: 304 stainless steel
  • Discs: UHMWPE
  • Drive assembly
  • Automatic cable tensioner
  • Sweeps at standard angles of 90˚

Optional Features

This is where the final price of a cable drag conveyor can really be impacted. Cable drag conveyors can be designed with several options to increase the production of your process. The options range from construction materials to cleanability choices. A full list of possible add-ons, from a Spiroflow perspective, is below.

  • Tubes: 316 SS
  • Chain: 316 SS
  • Sanitary finish
  • Inlet support base
  • Corner sprockets (90° Idler Housing)
  • Hinged access covers
  • Hinged inlet chute access covers
  • Inlet vibration
  • Tube mounted inlets & outlets
  • Tube valve with chute (Pneumatically actuated inline discharge valve)
  • Extended capacity chute (dust hood, splash guard, lid)
  • Manual or pneumatic inlet baffle
  • Rotation sensor
  • Air purge
  • Chain vibrator
  • Level probes – NEMA 4 or 7
  • Mobile base
  • Controls (with or without VFD)
  • Wash gate & drain
  • Sight glass
  • XP Switch
  • Static grounding
  • 90° sweeps
  • Sweeps at custom angles

Additional Costs with Cable Drag Conveyors

I would consider installation and maintenance costs for cable drag conveyors as moderate. The cable must be tensioned periodically and replaced every 2,000 to 6,000 hours of operation. Making sure the cable is tensioned properly is absolutely critical. Over tensioning the cable will cause a failure. Using an auto-tensioning system will make an operator’s life much easier and will save you money.

The work to install a cable drag conveyor can greatly vary depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers supply the conveyor components which must be completely assembled on site by the customer. At Spiroflow, we complete partial assembly in our factory before it is shipped out. This can save you a lot of time and money. Be sure to understand the work involved to install your conveyor and consider any on-site assembly costs into the total cost of the conveyor.

A cable drag conveyor’s energy consumption is low compared to other mechanical conveyors. Its motor doesn’t require the same power draw compared to more heavy-duty conveyors.

Cable Drag Conveyor Cost

It’s time to answer the question we hear the most. A base unit with a short run is about $20,000 (£16,600). A more sophisticated model with all of the features and options can cost about $90,000 (£75,000).

Do you have more questions?

Like I mentioned at the top of the article, we’ve been in the bulk material handling industry for more than 45 years. Our team members have seen it all and are happy to help with any questions you might have. If you’re interested in more than just cable drag conveyors, feel free to viewour entire line of conveying solutions. Spiroflow is also an industry leader in control systems integration.