Not sure where to begin with choosing Cat® buckets for your excavator? Selecting the right bucket for the job can boost your productivity, save on fuel costs and reduce wear on your machine. Making the wrong choice, meanwhile, can increase costs by up to 20% and drag productivity down. When choosing Cat buckets see below for several considerations.

1. Start with the bucket, not the machine.

Though it might seem intuitive to begin your bucket selection already knowing the machine you’ll be using, experts recommend determining which bucket you’ll need first. To do this, identify the material your machine will need to handle. How many loads of this material will you need to move every day? What is your machine’s capacity? What size bucket can give you the ideal pass match? Answer these questions to properly select the right bucket — then choose the machine that can accommodate it.


2. Know the bucket basics.

Your Cat dealer has a large variety of buckets to choose from. But keep in mind a few general bucket types when choosing. General duty buckets are a great option for lighter materials like dirt, loam or gravel. Heavy duty buckets are built for loading denser materials like hard-packed stone or clay. Severe duty buckets are designed for tough jobs like sandstone and gypsum. And extreme duty buckets are designed for aggressive digging and loading jobs like limestone, hematite and iron ore.

Caterpillar also offers a number of specialty buckets for specific applications. Choose a Ditch Cleaning or Ditch Cleaning Tilt bucket for cleaning, sloping, grading or other finishing work. Or use the Clean-up bucket, which combines the straight edge and width options of a Ditch Cleaning bucket with the capacity and durability of a General Duty bucket.

Want to get the most out of your bucket? Identify the right one for your job and consider the following traits when choosing Cat buckets:

  • Harder and thicker plate material will last longer, and finding a bucket with high-quality edges, side cutters and teeth will save money in the long run.
  • A quick coupler can boost productivity, helping operators switch buckets in seconds without leaving the cab.
  • Add-on options like bolt-on teeth and cutting edges can make your bucket versatile moving from job to job.

3. Don’t forget your bucket tips.

When choosing bucket tips for your Cat bucket, keep in mind the tips’ strength, penetration and wear life. Caterpillar offers a variety of Advansys™ bucket tips that can best suit your specific needs, from general purpose tips to penetration and penetration plus tips, which self-sharpen as they wear. Fit your bucket with spike, double spike or wide tips for more specialized needs. And Cat heavy duty tips are made with Abrasion Resistant Material, a welding process that doubles wear life.


4. Bigger is not always better.

A bigger bucket means higher productivity, right? Not always. When choosing Cat buckets, keep your machine’s capacity limit in mind. Overloading your excavator can result in maintenance-related downtime or machine failure. Furthermore, larger buckets may not be as adept at digging through dense or heavy material as a smaller bucket.


5. Consider wear component options.

Additional wear components can help extend the life of your bucket. Side bar protectors save your side bars and bucket corners from wear. Liners can provide extra protection from abrasive materials for the inside of your bucket. Horizontal bottom, mechanically attached, and side wear plates offer extra protection to the exterior of your bucket. Dig into materials more easily with a side bar cutter or spade edge for your bucket’s base edge.


6. Gather data before making your selection.

Provide your Cat dealer with some of the following types of information when shopping for buckets:

  • Your production and cost objectives
  • The density and characteristics of the material you’ll be moving
  • The principal application of your bucket
  • Your transport distance
  • The condition of the machine that will use the new bucket
  • The match-up of your haul trucks and your excavator
  • Operators’ skill levels

With this information, your expert Cat dealer can help you avoid mistakes and send you to work with the best bucket for the job. Download bucket technical specifications for North America.


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