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FastTrack - System Information

Why FastTrack? See why right here.

Take-ups maintain tension on the conveyor chain and are located down stream of the caterpillar drive in the direction of travel. All systems that contain a chain require a take-up to compensate for chain elongation due to wear and temperature changes.


Take-ups consist of two major assemblies. The framed take-up ships with outside frame, inside frame and 180-degree horizontal curve. Tensioning can be handled with the addition of one of three tensioning kits:

  • Manual screw adjustment.
  • Coil spring adjustment.
  • Pneumatic cylinder adjustment including tubing, fittings, regulator, gage and shut-off valve.

The most common take-ups come with a 24-inch centreline radius horizontal curve X 180-degree. Other sizes are available.


Caterpillar drives provide the torque required to propel the conveyor chain. A motor and gear reducer are connected with sprockets and a roller chain to the head shaft which drives the caterpillar chain that meshes with the conveyor chain. FastTrack caterpillar drive chains contain fixed, forged dogs that engage with the conveyor chain.


Drives are commonly provided with one of two speed ranges:

  • 3 to 16 feet per minute.
  • 9 to 45 feet per minute.

Note that variable speeds are only possible when caterpillar drives are used in conjunction with a VFD (not included with the basic drive). Ask Cirrus to size your drive to determine the voltage and motor horsepower required.


Continued lubrication of the conveyor chain bearings and connection rollers is required to prevent premature wear and reduce system chain pull. The basic lubricator consists of a track mounted bottle with brush that extends down inside the track to lube the chain.


For conveyor applications that require a high degree of cleanliness, such as in paint finishing applications, a more sophisticated multipoint lubricator is required. These lubricators finely meter the application of lubricant aimed precisely at the chain bearings and rollers, depositing a minute mist of oil. These lubricators include a programmable controller that can be programmed to control lubricant cycle times and volume.




System Specifications

FastTrack chain is comprised of alternating vertical load bearings and horizontal guide bearings. Load bearings are located on 6-inch centres, thereby allowing loads to be arranged on any multiples of 6-inches.

The maximum load that can be suspended from a single load point on the chain is 75-pounds. Loads of 150-pounds can be suspended when using a load bar that connects between 2-chain load points.

Chain pull is the force required to overcome the rolling resistance of the conveyor chain. The chain pull on a given system is proportional to the individual load weights, load centres, quantity of elevation changes, quantity of horizontal curves and overall environment that the system operates in. An average system chain pull will typically range between 1.5% and 4% of the sum of the moving load. Maximum chain pull for a single caterpillar drive is 750-pounds.

Contact Cirrus for chain pull calculations that relate to your system.


Typical System Components

FastTrack conveyor chain is constructed from precision machined bearings connected with alloy steel pins and hardened rollers. A set of two vertical load bearings carry loads and roll on the bottom portion of the track. Horizontal bearings guide the chain horizontally within straight track and horizontal curved track sections.

Chain is shipped in 10-foot coils complete with connecting pin and roller.


A wide range of attachments are available that hook into the chain which allow for suspending loads. Some attachments swivel that remain perpendicular to the floor and others are ridged and hang perpendicular to the conveyor track. A variety of indexing hooks and swivel rotator bearings are available to allow loads to index at 90-degree intervals or rotate freely.


For loads that exceed the 75-pound hanging limit, a load bar can be used to distribute the load between two load bearings, raising the limit to 150-pounds.


Straight track is available in two variations - thick 7 ga (3/16") wall and thinner 11 ga. wall. The 7ga. is the most common and ships in 10-foot lengths. Track is finish painted with beige powder coat paint.


Each system will contain at least one chain installation gate which also serves as an inspection port. This straight section of track is open at the top and is protected by a cover that slides on. The overall length of an inspection section is 24-inches.


Oven expansion joints are required in long straight runs of track to compensate for thermal expansion in ovens.


Horizontal curves are formed from straight track sections and heat treated after forming. A wide range of turns are available starting at 18-inch centreline radius up to 51-inch radius. The most common are 24-inch centreline radius. Curves are typically shipped in segments of 30-degree, 45, 90 and 180-degrees.


Vertical track curves are formed from straight track sections and heat treated after forming. In order to complete a change in elevation, two types of vertical curves are required. A lower vertical curve leads the chain from level to an incline and a top vertical curve takes the chain from an incline back to a horizontal position. Straight track situated between the vertical curves can be added to increase the overall incline or decline of the elevation change.


A wide range of vertical curves are available starting at 24-inch centreline radius up to 48-inch radius. The most common are 24-inch centreline radius. Curves are typically shipped in segments of 30-degree, 45, 90 and 180-degrees.