Largest bucket on a 331 Bobcat mini-x?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by TerraFirma Excavating, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. TerraFirma Excavating

    TerraFirma Excavating LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    I am looking at purchasing a used Bobcat 331 compact excavator. It is currently equipped with a 24" bucket. What's the largest size grading bucket I can use on this? Looking at grading ditches and sloped areas or hillsides. Don't want to get crazy big and have the machine get tippy.
     
  2. vntgrcr

    vntgrcr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I have a 2000 331 and was talking to another contr. who has one with a 30 or 36" grading bucket. They also call it a ditch cleaning bucket. It is set up for quick x-change and everything. Just sit down when they give you the price. I bought a "ripper" for mine and it was $600! Good luck.
    David
     
  3. DKinWA

    DKinWA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    If you're just grading, a piece of I-beam works perfect. Find a scrap piece and cut it to whatever length you need and can handle. It's cheaper than buying a bucket and will actually work better in many cases. When I don't have a piece of I-beam, I just use a log or whatever is laying around that can be held with the bucket and thumb of the excavator. I can grade and move a lot of dirt with my 10,000 pound excavator and two small logs 8 or 10 feet long.
     
  4. TerraFirma Excavating

    TerraFirma Excavating LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    I guess I meant the ditch cleaning buckets. The wide, shallow buckets that can actually hold some material in them.

    DKinWA, I have tried something like you are talking about. We used to have a 690 JD excavator which I welded an old loader cutting edge to two of the the teeth. I could then put the grading edge on as easy as change the two teeth. Simple remove and install two teeth for normal digging.

    The excavator I'm looking at doesn't have the X-change system, but it is something I could probably add pretty easy. I could then make a X-change mount on an I-beam for grading large areas.

    I understand pricing on buckets. I have a bucket from the 690 JD excavator which we're going to sell for $3,000 - $4,000!
     
  5. DKinWA

    DKinWA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    The bobcat site shows they offer clean up buckets from 39-50", so you could probably use anything they offer. If it were me, I'd go with the biggest you can get within reason. Obviously a 1,000# bucket wouldn't work, but if the difference between the 39 and 50 isn't much I'd go for the 50.
     
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Hey DK, I priced our 304CR with a 24" bucket and the 53", maybe I should do as you are saying and use I-beam in place of the 53" bucket and invest in a 30" digging bucket for loading sandy soils that we do have consistently for loading trucks? Just a thought, so many options to think of, I can't mentally analyze it all! Also, do you have a rough idea of how much weight your 304 will lift about 5 feet off the ground 5 feet in front with the blade up and traveling? We'll be placing rocks, I wish I had a better idea of how much the machine can physically lift. Thanks!
     
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,131

    I have a 50" clean out bucket for my TB53. The machine is in the 12-13K class. It handles the load very well. The bucket has no teeth and leaves a nice finished look. If the soil is loose I can dig just fine with the clean out bucket. If the material is real wet it starts to get a little tippy. I probably wouldn't go 50" on a machine that weighs any less than I do. That is unless you strictly graded with it. The problem is when you see how fast you can move material with it, you will want to use it wherever ground conditions will allow. That can be a problem if you find yourself with more bucket than you have excavator. I don't think an I beam will take the place of a clean out bucket. Skag48, just an idea but you may want to demo one before you spec. a new one out. Even if you had to rent one for a week, the options become much clearer when you spend a significant amount of time in one. A small example is the design of the thumb. Some designs are much easier to do rock work with than others. Just a thought, Good Luck.
     
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I see what you're saying ksss. We only have 2 options here for brands, Deere or Cat and I've run a Deere 27CZTS, not the same size a 50D or anything but I kind of get an idea of what the controls and hydraulics are like, and some other specific features. From what I have seen with the Cat thumbs is that they are, in looks, easier to work with rocks. We will be trying the demo machine on everything we will ever need it to do, rock work, heavy trenching, etc. I'm still debating on which bucket to get in addition to the 24". Any ideas would be awesome, I'm completely blown away, I just don't know what to get. Ideally, we'd have a 12", 24", 30" and the 50", but that's too many buckets, no more than 2 right now dad says. The only thing that the I-beam worries me is that if you need to physically pick up dirt it won't quite do it like a grading bucket will.
     
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,131

    I would get a 12" and 24" to start. The 24" will do anything a 30" will do, just takes longer. Sometimes (utility installs) the trench or footing (monolithic) spec 12" so nothing else will do. I picked my 50" at the Ritchie Bros. auction in Olympia. I go to the sale 1-2 a year and there are always a large bucket selection. You may have to change the pin spacings but the prices aren't too bad. There are more clean out buckets for mini's than there are digging buckets. That maybe an option for other buckets besides the ones your getting with the machine.
     
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Sounds good, we can always buy a cleanup bucket later on. I just figured it might be cheaper to buy the buckets we might need when we buy the machine because I figure it'll be cheaper that way, but maybe we'll just buy a used one later down the road.
     

Share This Page