An idler is a mechanical device such as an idler pulley or idler sprocket that is secondary to the main transfer of power in a mechanical system. Idlers are commonly used in material handling applications. Idlers typically utilize a ball bearing to minimize friction and maximize rotation.

Idler sprockets are used to obtain proper chain tension when neither driving nor driven shaft is adjustable, and to take up slack chain developed through normal chain wear. Idlers guide chain around an obstruction, preventing a whipping action in the slack span of chain transmitting an uneven load. Idlers bring about greater chain wrap around a small sprocket, particularly if it is the lower sprocket in a vertical drive while providing for reversed direction of rotation of a sprocket in contact with the outside of the chain.

Idler pulleys reduce wear, vibration and friction on belts, thereby extending belt service life. An idler pulley is not only a tensioner, it is also a guide pulley on long stretches of belts. Idler pulleys assist in preventing belts from coming off the main pulley.

Please contact a Bearing Service representative to discuss you idler application. Idler’s can easily be customized to your specific pulley or sprocket application.

Here is a list of Manufacturers / Brands that we represent:

  • Martin Sprocket & Gear
  • Regal PTS (Browning)
  • Timken (Fafnir)
  • Brewer
  • Phoenix
  • Schaeffler (INA)
  • UST
  • Fenner

You can learn more about our Manufacturers / Brands by clicking on the following links:

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