Excavator Parts - Types of Bucket


Buckets, one of the most popular excavator parts, dig and carry dirt, rock, or building materials on construction projects, demolition sites and at recycling centers. Bucket selection affects the return a contractor gets on his six-figure investment in the excavator. Contractors choose buckets according to soil conditions and the material encountered on site. The bucket determines how well the excavator's digging and lifting power complete the job.

The following are some types of excavator buckets that you may use in a construction project. Understand these buckets well, and you will do your work better.

General Purpose: Generally, buckets come with bucket teeth or in a no-teeth, smooth edge style. General purpose buckets excel at digging and trenching soft to medium materials such as gravel and dirt. The largest general purpose bucket for a standard, 20- to 22-metric ton unit, has a 1.5 cubic-yard capacity.

Heavy-duty: The thicker steel used on heavy-duty buckets makes them a better choice than general purpose buckets for soils consisting of dense dirt, rock and clay mixtures. They have straight sides to reduce packing and speed up the load-dump cycle. The teeth on heavy-duty buckets must stand up to abrasive conditions.

Rock Buckets: Rock presents the toughest digging condition and holds the greatest potential for causing equipment failure, including cracked buckets and broken bucket teeth. Rock buckets feature the thickest reinforcing wear plates and wear strips available to extend bucket life. Some have ripper shanks and staggered teeth to cut through rock and dig simultaneously.

Ditch Buckets: Ditch maintenance requires a special bucket that clears, rather than cuts, the ground surface. Ditch buckets are shallow and compact for work in confined space. They feature drainage holes and a no-teeth, flat front. One type of ditch bucket, the trapezoid bucket, slopes a ditch to a specific depth in one pass. Another, the hydraulic tilt bucket, provides automatic adjustment to slope angles.

Application-specific: Attachment manufacturers offer excavator buckets designed for specific applications. Examples include screening buckets to sort rock sizes, marine buckets for dredging, slab buckets to lift concrete slabs, coral buckets that perform the peeling needed to excavate coral rock, sharp-edged grading buckets with drainage holes and coal buckets for strip mining. Clamshell buckets used for clean-up on demolition and general excavation sites feature a hinge for clam-like opening and closing.