TRY THESE TIPS TO GET THE BIGGEST RETURN FROM YOUR BUCKET CHOICE
According to some equipment manufacturers, the wrong bucket could cost you as much as 10–20% in increased operating, maintenance and repair costs. And that doesn’t even factor in losses in productivity. Today, every incremental improvement or efficiency gain matters. So, whether you’re buying or renting, it’s important to your profitability to spend some time selecting the right bucket.
What do you choose first—bucket or machine?
Experts on wheel loaders, backhoe loaders and excavators all agree that the traditional selection process often includes machine selection ahead of bucket selection. Some suggest that you reverse your thinking and conduct your evaluation in this order:
1. What is the density range of the material you’ll be handling? What are the characteristics?
2. What are you loading? What is the capacity? How many loads will result in the desired production per day?
3. What size bucket will give you the ideal pass match?
4. Now that you know what size bucket you need, match that up to the right machine for the bucket.
Run some numbers.
You may find that you have multiple bucket options in the right size range for the machine. If you have data available for other machines and buckets, you may want to run some numbers to see where the optimal configurations are working.
More is not always more.
Be careful about the true limitations of bucket size relative to material density and loader capacity. Some operations try to gain a production advantage by using a larger bucket—always pushing just over the recommended capacity limit. The problem is that overloading a machine accelerates wear. If you consistently ask a machine to handle even 10% above capacity, there will likely be a corresponding increase in wear and cost.
Talk to your equipment dealer.
New buckets, work tools and ground engaging tools are being developed to more specifically match machines, applications and budgets. Be sure to talk with your dealer about what could work best for your operation.