Cveykus adds, "In this case, if you had a pin grabber quick coupler and you wanted to dig in heavy shale or hard ground, you might want to go with a lower capacity, shorter bucket. It can regain some of that lost tip radius, and therefore regain some of that lost breakout force."
In the end, there are a lot of factors to consider when selecting a bucket for a particular task. "Don't be tempted to save a few dollars in the cost of your bucket," advises Yoresen. "It may end up costing you more money in downtime and repair costs."
Tips to Match the Right GET
GET are designed in a variety of styles (forked, spade, pointed, flat paddle, etc.) to work in a variety of conditions. Selection typically boils down to identifying whether you need more wear metal or penetration.
Teeth strengthened with a lot of wear metal won't penetrate tough ground conditions as easily as high-penetrating, sharp teeth, which have a smaller amount of steel but wear more quickly. "It becomes a balancing act and a trade-off between wear metal and penetration," says Kirk Yoresen, ESCO.
Tooth spacing is another consideration. A high number of wide teeth spaced closer together act as a primary edge and hold more material, while those that are narrower and spaced farther apart can chip away at abrasive material.
Also pay attention to tooth size. "When applying a tooth on a given bucket in general-purpose to heavy-duty conditions, you may be able to use a smaller tooth," says Yoresen. "With a smaller tooth size, replacement is cheaper, you use less fuel and it's easier to get teeth to go through material. But if you're going to be in rough conditions, you will want a bigger system (tooth and holder) to withstand more power. That does require a bit more machine power to go through material, but you don't have to worry about breakage."
Although teeth bear the initial brunt when digging, the adapter (also referred to as shank, keeper, etc.) must also be able to withstand a particular application. Some adapters are welded onto the bucket, while others are bolted on.
"You will want to select one that can withstand the force that it sees," says Tony Freidhoff, Kenco.
"A machine that weighs many tons that is pulling at full machine power has constant forces that work against the teeth," explains Yoresen. "Make sure you have a really strong adapter that is strong enough to withstand the machine power."