Types of Buckets for Excavators and Heavy Plant 1

Types of Buckets for Excavators and Heavy Plant

29 January 2018

Modern Plant Machinery and Excavator buckets are built to dig. The environments where excavators we hire are used are not always the same nor is the task they are hired to achieve. Depending on the site or the task in hand can depict on what attachments are supplied with the machine. Across the sizes of machinery available (from mini diggers, 1.5 Tonne Excavator, 3 Tonne Excavator, 5 Tonne Excavator up to larger 20 and 30 tonne excavators). Our excavators for hire normally come with three digging buckets and a grading bucket. For additional requirements for attachments for plant, machinery hire please speak to our hire team or use this link to complete a simple quick form.

Digging Bucket

Digging Bucket is the most common excavator attachment. This also the standard bucket that comes with every excavator, so unless you specify what attachment you require at point of hire then yours will come equipped with a digging bucket. Digging buckets are well designed “all-purpose” buckets and are used to plough through hard soil, rocks or even frost covered soil. Available in various sizes they come with short blunt teeth which are perfect for classic top soil excavations

Rock Bucket

The right tool for the job, gets the job done quicker and often saves time and money. Nothing is more appropriate that the selection of the right bucket for your tasks and when you are working in an environment which contains rock then you need a rock bucket. They are similar in design to digging buckets but have reinforced structural parts. They also have longer, sharper teeth, narrow V-shaped cutting edge, and can push with more power. They can break through hard rock while maintaining their structural integrity.

V Bucket

V buckets is are a special excavator bucket. Its V shaped structure makes it easy to dig v shaped long trenches, useful for utility cables and similar appropriate applications. Ideal for laying pipes (subject to building controls).

Clean-up? Grading Bucket

The clue is in the title of the clean-up bucket. With no teeth and a larger capacity, they are used for scooping applications primarily with soft materials and soil. Their solid build and handling of soft materials, keeps maintenance cost low. Clean-up excavator buckets are ideal for back-filling, ditching, sloping, and levelling.

Hard-pan Bucket

Like the rock bucket, hard pan excavator buckets are built for maximum strength and durability. The difference is, they come with ripper teeth attached to the back of the bucket. The ripper teeth loosen compacted earth during digging.

Riddle Bucket

A riddle bucket is a different type of digging bucket. The bucket is formed of heavy plate that have gaps in between, whilst digging smaller particles fall through. This enables the separation of coarser soil with finer particles.

Augers & Drive Units

Versatility is the key behind modern excavators. Digging, scraping and clearing are great labour-saving tasks, but where an excavator can shine is when it has a specialist ability. An auger attachment can assist in the preparation phase of a site for footings and foundations. With the correct machine it can save time and be safer to use than the manual equivalents.

Quick Coupler

Heavy Plant machinery took over from manual labour, adding productivity to construction at another level. Whilst one operator can do the work of several labourers, changing tools on the excavator has always been a manual task. The amount of stress and exposure to forces during operation, require excavator attachments to be heavy duty pins. Which until recently took quite a bit of physical effort to install and replace attachments. Innovation has lead to the inception of quick couplers. Which with moderate modification, can mean that modern machines can change attachments with ease as long as the attachment is within reach of the machine.


The aptly named ripper tool does exactly that. Rips through compacted surfaces and whilst it is not the best treatment for tarmac or concrete surfaces, rippers can assist with minimal treatment of such area.

Excavator Bucket Sizes

Normally Rated for the size of the machine. Ranging from small 750KG excavators up to 48 to 55 ton massive machines. Sometimes the hire of excavators from PAL Hire is a trade-off between access and the size of machine necessary to carry out the task. If you have a large open building side with multiple access, then ground clearance ready for construction to begin can be made easier with larger machines and appropriate buckets. However, if access is limited then you will have to make do with a machine which can access the site. In this circumstance you will need to ensure the machine is fit for task.

Construction of Excavator Buckets

There are many manufacturers of buckets and excavator accessories in the UK, due to the versatility of coupling types the business end of excavators is well catered for. If you have an excavator on short term hire you will need to specify what the purpose of the job is, or the excavator will be delivered with a standard bucket. Which would be ideal for most tasks. If you are looking for replacement or specific bucket types for your excavator, other than buckets provided by the manufacture you can purchase specialist buckets. Look for buckets that are constructed using the highest grade, British Standard steel and abrasion resistant place. A well-designed bucket will have extra bracing and high stress areas are reinforced to enable the tool to cope with a high stress environment.

For a better idea about what to hire from PAL Hire, call our team on 0844 288 7265