Moving floor is a hydraulically-driven moving-floor conveyance system for moving bulk material or palletized product, which can be used in a warehouse, loading dock or semi-trailer. It automates and facilitates loading and unloading of palletized goods by eliminating the need for a forklift to enter the trailer. In a truck-based application, the system can quickly unload loose material without having to tip the trailer or tilt the floor as with other dumping systems. In a bulk material application such as a waste facility, these systems can reduce double handling by allowing any vehicle to deliver material to the conveying floor and move heavy bulk materials to subsequent stages of a process. For bagged waste, the system can also be combined with bag openers.
The moving floor is divided into three sets of narrow floor slats, with every third slat connected together, hydraulically powered to move forward and backward either in unison, or alternately. When all three sets move in unison, the load is moved upon them in the direction the operator wishes. Slat retraction (during which the load does not move) is accomplished by moving only one set of slats at a time. (The friction of the load on the two stationary sets of slats keeps the load from moving while a single set of slats alternately slides past.)
Optionally, the semi-trailer may include a movable front wall with a rubber flap at the bottom extending onto the floor, or simply a movable flap or tarp at the front of the trailer bed on which the material was loaded. During unloading of loose material, either of these will ensure that nothing is left behind, almost or completely eliminating having to sweep the floor.
It takes about 5 to 15 minutes to unload a full 13.6-metre trailer, taking less manpower, equipment and time than without the system. The operator can enter a narrow low gate and dump the load inside a building. With a conventional tipper (or dump truck), that is often not possible. It is also possible to handle a full-width or full-length pallets, without opening the sides of the trailer.