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Types and Uses of Used Excavator Buckets and How to Inspect Them.

An excavator refers to a type of heavy construction equipment normally used to dig holes, handle materials, demolish houses, used in mining and forestry mulching among others. Today, majority of excavators tend to be hydraulic, especially those that are used in mining and construction industry. Typically, an excavator consists of cabin that is mounted on rotating platform, a boom, hydraulic platform, stick and, most importantly, a bucket. Excavator buckets are available in different shapes, sizes and forms. In this article, we discuss the things that you need to look for when inspecting a used excavator bucket to avoid buying something that will cost you more in repairs for future. We also discuss the different types of excavator buckets so you know which one to choose for your specific job type.

How to inspect a used excavator bucket

1. Play or movement

Damaged slew ring is often the costliest items to replace or repair in a used hydraulic excavator. This is why you need to ensure that you rotate excavator housing to 90 degrees turn. Also, check for movement or play in slew ring.
2. Cracks, bends and dents
Checkout for cracks, dents and bends especially those occurring in main connection point welds like between the stick and bucket or boom and stick. A significant number of bends or cracks could imply that the overall structural integrity of the excavator has been affected negatively and will need replacing. If the undercarriage of a used excavator has large dents, it means that the machine may have been used by its operator without proper care.

3. Leaks

Check for any signs of leaks by opening hydraulic pump compartment. Inspect all cylinders, hoses and lines. Also, inspect leaks in the swing bearing or slew ring. This could indicate excessive play or movement. It is important that any leak be repaired for the bucket excavator to be used safely and continuously.

4. Scalloping

Check between excavator bucket teeth to see if there are any scalloping signs. However, scalloping does not obviously indicate that the bucket will need to be replaced although it does indicate reduced cutting force.
5. Inaccurate or broken hours meter

In case the hour isn’t operating, or where the reading is in question, you need to inspect control pedals for any wear. In most cases, excessive wear is indicative of the fact that the used excavator has operated for more hours than has been indicated.
Types and uses of used excavator bucket

Digging Bucket

Majority of models of excavator buckets come together with digging buckets. Since most excavators contain a digging bucket, it is a standard requirement. There are a few digging buckets: the first one is for soft soils and this tends to have short blunt teeth. The other one is for frost or rock and tends to be usually longer and offers better force concentration. Digging excavator widths normally vary, and so is the distance from tooth tips and stick bucket. This type used excavator bucket tends to be a very efficient as well as durable tool for various digging jobs.

V Bucket

While it has similarities with digging buckets, V bucket has unique designs that offer extraordinary energy savings as well as improves excavator efficiency. Contrary to a typical digging bucket, a used V-shaped excavator bucket provides better results. Its bottom edge increases the depth. On the other hand, the two-sided edges are responsible for shaping slopes for excavation. Thanks to its angled sides, operators are able to efficiently slope ditch profile as they operate the excavator. This type of an excavator bucket is used mainly for the pipe laying excavation.

Cleanup Bucket

A type of excavator that contains cleanup bucket is the perfect machine to be used for scooping applications. This is also a kind of digging bucket that has no digging teeth. It offers large capacity and tends to be most suitable for soft materials. It contains hard steel blade and a bolt at its bottom end. The excavators containing cleanup buckets are mainly used for ditching, sloping, backfilling as well as leveling applications.

Rock Bucket

The rock bucket type is yet another of excavator bucket. Not only does it contains a specific design but also may be used for only special applications. In order to be used for ripping the rock loose effectively, the bucket must be strong as well as have long and sharp teeth. This type of excavator bucket is famed for having long teeth as well as its heavy-duty structure. These features make the bucket very efficient for these applications.

Skeleton Bucket

In reality, this is just a specialized digging bucket that has been modified to act as a grizzly that has been mounted on an excavator. Thanks to the width bars, only a certain size of aggregate will be allowed to fall through. This means that the larger-sized aggregate will be left behind in the bucket. This kind of excavator buckets allows for portable and versatile technique of separating finer and coarser materials.

Frost or hardpan bucket

Frost or hardpan buckets represent another type of digging bucket which use some of rock bucket design concepts although they have an added feature: the inclusion of ripper teeth that have been mounted on the back side of the bucket. Also, frost buckets are heavily built with sharp and aggressive teeth mounted on V-shaped or straight cutting edge. The purpose of the ripper teeth included at the bucket’s back are meant to loosen compacted soil as bucket is curled through dig or load cycle. Next, the material that is loosened by ripper teeth is pried out after which it is scooped up.


Before you go out to buy any type of used excavator buckets, it is important to know the specific type as well as application of the bucket that you want. Also important is the need to know the inspection tips of used excavator buckets. You do not want to buy something that will again cost you lots of money in repairing. With the above tips, this should be much easier.You will be able to find the specific bucket type for your job and also ensure that you get the best bang for your buck.

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