Over the years, machine manufacturers have spent billions of dollars improving excavator technology (but none on bucket technology) and creating new ways to develop more powerful, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly engines. Our machines are becoming more advanced all the time, so why aren’t we seeing those benefits?
Have you ever wondered why fuel usage, efficiency costs and operating costs haven’t reflected these huge advancements in technology?
Excavator bucket technology
Unfortunately, excavator and machine technology has far exceeded bucket technology, and the majority of excavator buckets on the market haven’t changed over the last 50 years! They’re poorly designed and actively undermine the manufacturer’s researched and engineered design as well as the machine’s capabilities.
The reality is that the majority of bucket manufacturers have no idea about bucket geometry or design – they draw an image on the workshop floor and that becomes their design. They have no idea how their buckets perform, they have no measurable data, they have no interest in testing them, and they don’t take any responsibility for their performance. Consequently, most manufacturers produce buckets that dig poorly and inefficiently.
Without an appreciation of good bucket design and no intention to improve their product, most bucket manufacturers look for ways to make their buckets cheaper. That usually involves:
- Reducing material thickness, quality and strength
- Fitting cheaper teeth and adaptors
- Making bucket profiles smaller
Basically, they’re giving you less.
How bucket technology affects performance
Every excavator bucket, regardless of machine size, has exactly the same design issues:
- Ground penetration
- Digging power
- Fuel costs
- Running costs
- Operator costs
The bucket is on the business-end of the machine so the machine is only as good as the bucket allows it to be. If the bucket is too small, it can only dig to that capacity. If the bucket is too big, you’ll lose power into the ground. If the bucket drags on the sides or the back plate, it sucks more power from the machine as it tries to pull the bucket through the material. All of these design faults result in reduced productivity and increased costs.
How much is that poor performance costing you? The difference in performance between a good digging bucket and a poor digging bucket can be as high as 30%. That’s 30% less fuel, 30% greater productivity, 30% less operator costs, 30% less service costs and 30% less greenhouse emissions.
Advanced excavator bucket technology
eiengineering produces buckets designed and built to optimise the performance of the machine. Our buckets are manufactured from high-strength steel, perform with manufacturer specifications and complement the latest in machine technology.
We’ve put our bucket technology to the test over the past three years and the results are on our YouTube channel for all to see. Our tests include machine sizes of between 1.7 tonnes and 22 tonnes and all indicate a similar result over many different machines and bucket manufacturers:
- Increased digging performance by 30%
- Reduced operator costs by 30%
- Reduced servicing and spare parts costs by 30%
- Reduced greenhouse emissions by 30%
This means that an eiengineering bucket will save you money.
Education is key
The biggest challenge facing the industry right now is educating both dealers and contractors about how a well-designed excavator bucket will improve productivity. Unfortunately, the tendency right now is to purchase buckets based on price rather than digging ability.
The important thing is to realise that better buckets may have bigger upfront costs but they quickly prove themselves worth the investment. Cheaper buckets mean that contractors end up with a product that doesn’t dig well and costs a fortune in lost productivity and costs.
Many operators think that a good bucket is a bucket that lasts the longest or has the cheapest purchase price. That isn’t right. The cheapest bucket is the bucket that digs the most efficiently and gets the job done the quickest – it’s all about performance!