Written by: Bobcat Australia
Posted on: 2 Sep 2019
Topic: General News
4 Tips To Select The Right Bucket For Your Compact Loader
Buckets are one of the most commonly used compact equipment attachments, particularly for compact track loaders and skid-steer loaders. While loader buckets may seem like a one-size-fits-all attachment, there are many bucket types to choose from depending on your application. Before selecting a loader bucket, evaluate its weight and capacity. Then, consider the application the bucket will be used in, the density of your heaviest material, any needed bucket accessories and coupling system options for easy attachment changes. Choosing the right bucket can go a long way toward meeting your daily production goals.
Evaluate Material Density
Before performing tasks like loading, carrying and stockpiling, determine the best bucket size, weight and capacity for the job. Calculate the average density of the material you’ll be moving, and then compare that figure to the loaders’ tipping load and lifting capacity to ensure you can properly move the material. If you are working with different types of materials, specify the bucket based on the heaviest material it will handle. Pushing a machine beyond these limits can accelerate wear, affect machine durability and significantly lower your return on investment.
Match Loader Bucket To Material
Bucket choices for compact track loaders and skid-steer loaders are numerous, so it’s important that you understand the different loader bucket styles to best meet your needs.
Standard Buckets - The most common bucket is a standard-duty bucket for maximum filling and material retention. Standard-duty buckets are ideal for light-duty tasks, such as grading, leveling and day-to-day material handling. They offer good breakout force, especially when working on general aggregates in construction and municipal applications.
Light-Material Buckets - If you are looking to move larger loads with smaller densities, a light-material bucket may be an economical solution. Light-material buckets offer higher capacities than standard-duty buckets, making them ideal for lifting snow, mulch, fertilizer or other light materials.
Combination / 4:1 Buckets - are versatile attachments with multiple functions, including loading, grappling, dozing, leveling and digging.
Use Ground Engaging Tools
Cut through material more easily with ground engaging tools, such as bucket teeth. Many manufacturers offer a vast number of interchangeable bolt-on teeth options for specific buckets. Heavier-duty buckets, such as rock buckets, typically feature weld-on teeth to reduce wear. Replaceable cutting edges and extra guarding, such as shanks, can be added to buckets to protect and promote overall productivity.
Quickly Change Buckets
There are times when an application calls for more than one bucket. Most manufacturers provide an attachment quick-change mechanism for easily changing loader buckets and other attachments. While these systems can save you time, consider opting for a powered quick-attach mechanism for your loaders. These mechanisms provide many more efficiencies by allowing operators to rapidly change buckets or other non-hydraulic attachments from the comfort and security of a cab.
Selecting the right loader bucket can increase your productivity and reduce operating costs. Evaluate the bucket weight and capacity first, then select the bucket design that best matches your application. If you are unsure about material weights or which bucket may be the best choice for your application, contact your local dealer for assistance.