Jason Boerger is a marketing manager for Bobcat Company, where he has spent 5 years. During his time at Bobcat, he has held positions in the product training and marketing departments. Visit bobcat.com.
Buckets are one of the most commonly used attachments for compact equipment, specifically compact track loaders and skid-steer loaders. And while a bucket may seem like a one-size-fits-all attachment, there are many types to choose from, depending on your application. Working with the right bucket not only goes a long way toward meeting your daily production goals, but also eases the frustrations of your operators.
With the right loader bucket, your operators and field teams can increase project productivity and reduce operating costs. To improve the way your business works and, in turn, improve your bottom line, look for a bucket that meets your organization’s needs in the following areas.
Prior to performing tasks like loading, carrying and stockpiling, determine the bucket weight and capacity. Calculate the average density of the material to be moved and compare that to the tipping load and lifting capacity of the loader to ensure the material can be moved safely.
If you are working with different types of materials, identify the heaviest material the bucket will handle. Pushing a machine beyond these limits can accelerate wear, affect machine durability and significantly lower your return on investment.
Bucket choices for compact track loaders and skid-steer loaders are numerous, so it’s important that you understand the differences to choose a style that best meets your needs. Consider the following:
Cutting through material is often easier with ground-engaging tools. Many manufacturers offer a vast number of interchangeable bolt-on teeth options for specific buckets. For example, weld-on teeth are offered for heavy-duty buckets, such as rock buckets, to reduce wear. Additionally, replaceable cutting edges and extra guarding can be added to buckets, protecting the equipment and promoting overall productivity.
There are times when more than one bucket is necessary for your application. On most manufacturers’ machines, an attachment quick-change mechanism is standard, allowing for the easy change of buckets. While these systems can save you time, construction business owners should consider adding a powered quick-attach mechanism to their loaders as well. These mechanisms provide extra efficiency by allowing the rapid change of buckets and other non-hydraulic attachments from the comfort and security of a cab.
With the right loader bucket, your operators and field teams can increase productivity and reduce operating costs. Before selecting a bucket, consider the weight/capacity, application(s), accessories and couplers that can be used in tandem with ease.