It’s design, not the price

It would be easy to conclude that a bucket is just a 3D piece of metal with one side open, and the magical piece of equipment is the loader or excavator to which it is attached.One person who believes that bucket design is important to the operation of a piece of equipment is Tom Boss, manager of Sunshine Coast Quarries. Boss says efficient bucket design affects cycle time, fuel usage and ultimately the wear and tear on the machine. He has worked with Weldco’s Norm Smith for nearly 20 years on the design of loader buckets for the quarry, most recently for a Komatsu WA480. The requirement was for a bucket that was fast to fill, retained its load while the loader walked to the tipper and dog, and discharged quickly. Achieving this was a combination of getting the right floor length and taper for loading and discharge, and having a good rollback angle and back profile for retaining the load in the bucket.The good rollback angle keeps the centre of gravity of the load close to the loader posts even though the average bucket load is higher than for a standard bucket. As a consequence the loader rides well when travelling with a full bucket, with minimal spillage. The end result is that the WA480 with the new Weldco bucket fills the bucket faster but without wheel spin (prolonging transmission life), retains the load better (which prolongs tyre life), rides well and can often load a truck and dog with one fewer pass, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption. Smith paid tribute to the information received from Komatsu’s North Coast branch, which simplified setting the design parameters for the bucket, and to the benefits of using a new solid modelling computer package in optimising the design.This bucket design is now fitted to six WA480 and two WA500 loaders at the quarry.

Send this to a friend