How To Choose The Right Skid Steer Bucket?
Posted by Lee Padgett on 2nd Jan 2023
Skid steer buckets are the most versatile attachments you can get for your loader. They have an incredibly wide variety of uses so they can get you out of almost any kind of situation or start making you money the minute you attach them to your skid steer.
However, when we don't have the money, or storage space, to afford a dozen attachments, we are forced to choose our first, or third, skid steer bucket carefully.
So, let's go over some of the factors you should consider when choosing your next bucket.
How wide should your skid steer bucket be?
While skid steer couplers theoretically allow us to attach all kinds of buckets, both appropriate and inappropriate, it does not mean you should. Picking the wrong skid steer bucket will make a job harder than it should be. Thinking you just need a big oversized bucket because you are planning on doing a lot of work and you want to get it all done fast is usually the wrong approach.
In general, your bucket width should be wider than the tracking width of your skid. Then, make sure your machine will be able to carry the projected weight without tipping forward. If you´re not sure, you need to understand bucket capacity, which is measured in two ways, struck and heaped.
Struck capacity refers to the amount of material that sits flush inside the bucket. Heap capacity is that little bit of material that extends outside of the bucket when you roll it back. A good way to know what bucket size you need is to take the heap capacity number, then find the cubic foot weight of the materials you will be carrying. This will give you an idea of the total weight of the material you will fit inside the bucket. Don´t forget to also add the weight of your bucket and compare the total against the lift capacity of your machine.
What Skid Steer Bucket Is Best For Me?
Buckets come in every shape, size, and a surprising amount of features that maximize their efficiency for specific tasks:
The traditional skid steer dirt bucket is usually the best choice for most applications. They help you dig, grade, level, move material around, and much more. Dirt buckets are usually low-profile, which is a plus when doing dirt work as they allow the operator to see the bucket edge and make proper calculations on the fly. A grading bend is desirable as well.
Before choosing a dirt bucket, you need to consider whether your pick will be able to handle the material you will likely be moving with it. The roll-back range is great for granular material as it minimizes spillage, while industrial-type buckets with bracings and wear bars, like our professional bucket attachments, allow you to have more confidence if you plan to use them for harsher applications.
If you need to haul more material or an increased penetration strength, consider our professional line of dirt buckets made with high-strength steel equipped with side cutters that protect your corners when you are going against hard and compact soils. These are the high-capacity assault-grade dirt buckets you want in your arsenal.
Dirt buckets either come with a flat cutting edge or strong teeth at the front. Cutting edges work best for having a smooth finished product when using your bucket for grading. But that's not the only function of your cutting edge. They also help stiffen your bucket, providing reinforcement to your tool´s tensile strength. These are especially vital on wider buckets as they prevent your attachment from developing a “smiley face” across the bottom. On the other hand, tooth bars help you break into hard materials or when you come into piles of dirt they loosen things up so you can have your bucket filled in no time. Just make sure your teeth are all flush with the grade, so your edge does not touch the ground before your teeth do. Even a half an inch off can give you a hard time when grading.
Once you find your ideal dirt bucket, you will later want to get something else that gives you additional flexibility. Many attachments cover a wider range of applications with astounding degrees of efficiency without requiring time-consuming tool changes.
Snow & Litter Buckets
If you plan on moving a lot of mulch, wood chips, or snow, you will want a skid steer bucket that allows you to carry more volume without adding weight to your loader. Snow & litter buckets with a higher struck capacity are ideal for carrying large quantities of loose material in less time. While they can be sturdy, it is better to respect their intended use and leave the cutting and digging to your heavy-duty dirt buckets.
These are sometimes called multi-purpose or 4-in-1 buckets because they can be used to dig, load, carry, and dump. They not only operate as regular dirt buckets when closed but can also increase dump height by opening the bottom to spill the material right on feed mixers and dump trucks.
They also operate like a grapple to pick up materials or even can be used for sifting non-homogeneous dirt. Our combination buckets come in various sizes and options and are built using top-quality steel.
If you´re looking for a skid steer bucket attachment that is made to last, check out our vast catalog of heavy-duty attachments that Never Surrender.