Operating an Excavator GP Bucket – Points of Attention

When using a general-purpose bucket on an excavator, there are several important techniques and precautions operators should follow. Paying attention to the following points will improve productivity, reduce wear, and prevent damage when working with a GP bucket:

Adjust Bucket Angle

• Tilt the bucket to the optimal angle for the material and task. Angle forward to improve penetration when digging. Angle backward for grading with the bucket flat.

• Adjust the angle using the joystick controls in the cab. Set the angle before starting work.

• The proper angle provides the best orientation of the bucket for the job.


Control Digging Force

• Match the hydraulic force settings to the soil conditions. Use less force in soft material to avoid over-curling the bucket. Increase force for hard digging.

• Reduce the swing speed and sensitivity settings for precision control when needed.

• Adjust settings for smooth bucket operation to prevent jerking and banging during digging. 

Use Proper Penetration Technique

• Approach the pile square on and penetrate the bucket fully into the material. Take small bites to utilize the full capacity.

• Penetrate at a slight angle to utilize the side teeth for slicing.

• Lift and dump the excavator GP bucket completely before penetrating for the next scoop. 

Lift and Carry Loads Correctly

• Keep the boom tucked close to the cab and avoid lifting loads higher than needed for stability.

• Swing the boom slowly and smoothly with a loaded bucket to prevent shifting the load.

• Do not start or stop a swing suddenly with a suspended load.


Dump Material Properly

• Position the bucket directly over the truck or pile with adequate clearance.

• Completely open the jaws to dump the load without spilling from the sides.

• Close the jaws quickly after dumping to prevent material dripping. 

Use Caution When Grading

• Angle the GP bucket level to the ground. Take small shallow passes when grading.

• Avoid digging the cutting edge into the soil which will gouge the surface. 

Prevent Bucket Damage

• Never use the GP bucket for prying objects, hammering, or scraping on rough terrain.

• Avoid severe impacts that can bend the bucket shape or damage teeth.

• Store buckets securely using retention devices when not in use. 

Perform Regular Maintenance

• Inspect the bucket for cracks, missing teeth, and leaking cylinders regularly.

• Lubricate all bucket pivot points as specified.

• Sharpen or replace worn bucket teeth for optimal penetration. 

By following these points of attention when operating a General Duty Work bucket, excavator operators can work more efficiently, safely, and prevent unnecessary wear or damage. Paying attention to proper technique goes a long way toward productivity and reducing operating costs.

Post time: Aug-21-2023