The density of the material you’re working with plays perhaps the biggest role in bucket selection. It’s a good idea to make your choice based on the heaviest material you handle most of the time — keeping in mind that with very heavy, hard-to-get-through material, you might not be able to load a large bucket to full capacity. In those conditions, a smaller bucket may out-dig a larger one by allowing your machine to cycle faster.
Here are a few common bucket options matched to material types. This is just a small sampling of what’s available, so be sure to talk to your equipment dealer about specialty options available that may be better suited for your jobs.
A bigger bucket means more production, right? Not necessarily. Any short-term gains likely will get wiped out by repairs and downtime. That’s because using a bucket that pushes your machine over the recommended capacity limit — even by just a few percentage points — accelerates wear, reduces component life and risks unplanned failure.
The key to maximizing productivity is this: First, consider the capacity of the machine you’re loading. Next, determine how many loads you need to move each day. Then, select the bucket size that gives you the ideal pass match. In fact, it may make sense to determine your bucket size first, then select the machine that can accommodate it — not the other way around.
You pay close attention to features and options when you buy a machine — be sure to do the same when you choose a bucket. (It’s doing the hard work on the job, after all.) A bucket with qualities like these will help you get more done in less time for less cost:
More choices mean more questions.
Equipment manufacturers are developing new buckets and bucket options all the time to increase productivity and life in every application, so consider these three questions the first of many you’ll want to ask your dealer before you make a final bucket selection. Still, you can’t go wrong if you start with these basics. Looking for more guidance? Check out these tips for matching bucket type and material.
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