Published on: Mar 08, 2017

In a recent test of excavator buckets where improved bucket from EI engineering was pitted against a generic bucket, for work performance, the result was amazing - the bucket produced 25% more work using 32% less fuel in the same duration of time! It was a straightforward test that required the buckets to dig a trench for which both were provided identical conditions – Kobalco excavator machines for both buckets, same quantity of fuel, same surface (ground), same duration of time and same depth requirement for the trenches (1,150 mm).

The result amazed everyone not because the redesigned bucket won the contest but because of the difference in performance of the two buckets. The trench dug by the generic bucket was 12 metres long using 3.1 litres of fuel while the trench dug by the EI engineering’s bucket was 15.6 metres long for which it used just 2.1 litres of fuel - one full litre less!

These are amazing results for any construction or mining industry professional because when these percentages are scaled up to cover hundreds of buckets the savings would be simply mind-boggling. However, there’s something even more amazing with regard to the difference in performance between the improved and the generic buckets – the market hardly knows about it!

The reason - most excavator buckets in the market haven’t changed in the last half a century even as the machines, on which they are fitted, have experienced huge advancements in technology especially engine power, hydraulics and even the wheels. Fuel usage, efficiency costs and operating costs haven’t reflected the great advancements in technology and innovation because excavator and machine technology has almost bypassed bucket technology.

As a result, buckets are poorly designed and seriously undermine the excavator machine’s capabilities. The buckets that most manufacturers produce dig poorly and inefficiently because the manufacturers are clueless about bucket geometry or design and don’t approach the matter with the seriousness it deserves. They are also not aware of how their buckets perform as there is no measurable data nor do they have any interest in testing them. These manufacturers don’t take responsibility for the performance of their buckets.

The redesigned and improved  buckets are made from extra strong steel, conforming to manufacturer specifications and complementing to the latest in machine technology, and are designed to optimise the performance of the machine. The company has been putting its bucket technology to test since the last three years, using machine sizes of between 1.7 and 22 tonnes producing similar results over different machines. It showed increase in digging performance, reduction in cost of operation, servicing and spare parts as well greenhouse emissions by 30%.