What is bulk goods haulage? Bulk goods refers to unpackaged materials in particulate form, either as fine grain or in small pieces, which can be poured. Bulk goods hauliers are those that have specialised in transporting this type of goods.
Such cargoes differ in terms of grain size and distribution, temperature and moisture content of the bulk material. Other factors to be considered are dumping angle and bulk density.
A general distinction is made between bulk goods that flow freely and those that are relatively cohesive. Poured goods include sand, gravel and cement; in the raw materials industry, they include coal, ore and road salt. Bulk goods in the food industry include sugar and table salt, flour, coffee and various types of grain. These are in turn distinguished into different material forms such as pellets, granulates and fillers. The most important parameter to consider when storing and transporting bulk goods is its ease of flow. Where rotary feeders and pushers no longer work, an oscillating beam floor must be used. Goods that are insensitive to weathering can be safely stored outdoors instead of in a silo or bunker.
Relatively undemanding goods can be moved with the help of hoses or pipes, or using conveyor belts, oscillating conveyor belts or bucket conveyors. The courser the bulk material is, the more likely a double dump valve will have to be used. The continuity of conveyance breaks down when silos have to be filled or ships have to be loaded. In such cases, it is not uncommon to refer to bulk goods as pourable goods. Transporting by road and by rail requires dumper vehicles or high-side trailers. When the going gets tough, special silo trucks or other silo vehicles must be used, and in extreme cases a semi-trailer equipped with a moving floor.
Bulk goods can also be packaged into sacks or so-called big bags for transporting. For a silo to function without problems, one must avoid disruptions in discharge, the formation of bridges or hollow shafts, and the possibility of decomposition of the bulk goods.
To guarantee all of these things, the special properties of the bulk material are characterised in several test series. Decisive factors are cohesiveness and density, effective angle of repose and angle of wall friction.