Bucket Elevator

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Product handling equipment

Bucket elevator systems are a simple and reliable method of transferring bulk product from one production process to another.

Gough’s elevator systems use a continuous line of swinging pendulum buckets to transfer large volumes of product.

The systems can be arranged in many different layouts to deliver product where it is needed.

Flexible Bucket Elevator Layouts

J, Z, and C shaped bucket elevator layouts

Bucket elevators provide a flexible solution to the problem of transferring product from one production process to another.

The modular design of the Swinglink® bucket elevator allows infinite layout possibilities.

Variable length sections allow any distance of vertical or horizontal movement.

Specially designed corner sections can be manufactured to allow inclined conveying at any angle between 0 and 90 degrees.


Multiple Inlet & Discharges

Multiple inlet and multiple discharge points can be incorporated into one system, joining or splitting product streams as needed.

Pendulum Buckets

Gough bucket elevators use pendulum buckets that swing freely during travel.

The product rests safely in the bottom of the buckets, ideal for handling friable products gently.

Buckets can be easily removed and replaced by hand without tools, for fast cleaning change over operations. 100 buckets can be replaced in less than 20 minutes.

Buckets are available in:

  • Food Grade Polypropylene
  • Metal Detectable Polymer
  • Stainless or Carbon Steel

Elevator Chains

The chains are a patented design fitted with roller arms to carry the elevator buckets.

The chains are connected by shafts and sprockets, which synchronise the movement of the chains, keeping the buckets inline, horizontal, and parallel.

Chain material options include:

  • Carbon Steel
  • Zinc Plated Carbon Steel
  • Grade 304L Stainless Steel
  • Glass filled Nylon (for abrasive applications)
  • Acetal Plastic (FDA Approved)

Heavy duty chain, suitable for conveying high-density products, and extra high (up to 70 metre) elevations.

Construction Materials

Gough’s bucket elevator systems are available in a range of material specifications and finishes.

Standard elevator construction uses folded side panels, joined by cross pieces to form an external chassis. Adding removable covers encloses the system where needed.

The external chassis is available manufactured from:

  • Powder-coated carbon steel
  • Grade 304L or 316L Stainless Steel

The removable covers that enclose the system can be supplied in:

  • Powder-coated carbon steel
  • Grade 304L or 316L Stainless Steel
  • Clear Polycarbonate
  • Stainless steel open mesh

Special open structures, made from hollow square section or tubes, have been developed for specific project requirements. Removable covers can then be fitted to all sides.

Motor Specification

Gough bucket elevators are driven by a shaft mounted motor gearbox with a torque arm.

Motor power is determined by the application requirements.

Motors are supplied with a control panel mounted inverter, which can allow variable speed and variable torque safety control.

The inverter is supplied pre-programmed with the torque setting suitable for normal operations. Should an overload condition arise, the excess torque requirement will stop the motor, protecting personnel, and minimising system damage.

ATEX rated drive systems can be supplied.

C type bucket elevator

C-shaped Swinglink bucket elevator loop system used to join up a product sizing process.

View More Product Conveying Schemes


We supply Bucket Elevators to some of the world’s biggest brands.

Stainless steel bucket elevator and cross conveying system.

System Features & Options

  1. Access & Inspection – Hinged and safety interlocked maintenance doors, covers and windows can be included as required.
  2. Extraction – Dust extraction spigots can be incorporated at the inlet and discharge points where there could be potential for pluming of powdered product when entering or leaving the buckets.
  3. Discharge Chutes & Transfers – Chutes at the inlet and discharge points channel product during transfer, preventing spillage and product loss. These can be custom designed and manufactured to meet the customers’ requirements.
  4. Connectors – Special connections, such as BFM fittings can be included as needed and matching connectors supplied.
  5. Automatic Chain Tensioning – The automatic chain tensioning device comprises two gas struts that apply a constant force to the tensioning shaft at the bottom of the elevator, maintaining the required chain tension and reducing the risk of failure from poor maintenance.
  6. Controls – Bucket elevators can be incorporated into existing control systems, or appropriate control panels can be supplied.

Installation, Commissioning & After Sales Support

Gough Engineering provide full installation and commissioning services.

All systems are fully supported by a complete range of spare parts manufactured in the UK.

Service engineers are available for annual service, and to respond to unforeseen events, to keep production lines running.

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Bucket Model Maximum Throughput Capacity (cubic metres per hour) Individual Bucket Volume (litres)
9M 10.6 3.7
18M 14.5 7.8
24M 22.3 10.6
36M 30.1 15.7

Gough Bucket Elevator Systems

Bucket elevator systems offer a reliable and effective method of conveying a wide range of products around a manufacturing environment.

Pendulum type bucket elevators are generally considered to be one of the most gentle and controlled methods of transferring products, offering real flexibility when considering layouts and throughputs.

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Bucket elevators work by carrying product from an inlet point to a discharge point in an open bucket. Product is static in the bottom of the bucket throughout the process, eliminating the possibility of damage during travel.

A continuous line of open, overlapping buckets move past the inlet, where a controlled and consistent stream of product is fed, partially filling each bucket.

The buckets are moved through the bucket circuit on two chains. Apart from being stabilised at the inlet, the buckets swing freely between the chains, remaining upright through the circuit until tipped.

To activate the tip and empty product at the discharge, the buckets are fitted with a cam. The buckets tip as the cam rides up a tipping ramp, inverting the bucket. The ramps can be raised and lowered by pneumatic rams, enabling selective tipping, so product can be discharged at multiple positions.

The system provides advantages against other conveying methods including:

  • vertical conveying provides space saving vs. inclined belt conveyor systems
  • product is moved at up to 18 m / minute, giving high throughputs vs. spiral elevators
  • product mixtures are maintained, vs. vibrating conveyor which separate product into layers
  • moving buckets provide safer product handling vs. screw conveying and blowing methods.


Read our case studies to find out how our Bucket Elevators are put to use.

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Heavy Chemical Conveying and Elevating System

The Task: A chemicals company in Cheshire required a conveyor to move bentonite from a ground floor production area to...

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Call our team of highly skilled engineers to discuss your requirements on +44 (0)1782 567770 or fill out our online enquiry form.