A magnetic conveyor system for transporting test samples in tubes disposed in a sample rack having a magnetic or magnetically attractive region is described. The magnetic conveyor system includes a drive system, a magnet coupled to the drive system and movable in response to the drive system and a tray having a first surface adapted to receive the sample rack. The magnet is spaced a predetermined distance from the first surface of the tray such that the magnet provides a magnetic force at the surface of the tray. The magnetic force engages the magnetically attractive region of the sample rack disposed on the tray to thereby move the sample rack along the first surface of the tray in response to movement of the drive system. When the tray reaches the end of the rack it is moved onto a processing queue tray where it is available for test purposes. A barcode reader reads a bar code on each test sample as it is placed on the process queue to identify one or more tests to perform. When all samples have received the individual tests the rack exits to an output queue for disposal. When a test must be made on an immediate basis out of normal processing order a sample rack can be inserted into the process queue via a priority rack feed. In the indicated manner, testing can continue without interruption as new racks are added and completed racks removed.
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