Bucket vs dipper breakout: Which matters most?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Boondox, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    A Kubota mini-ex I'm checking out has 1800# more bucket breakout force than a Volvo EC35. But the Volvo has 1600# more dipper arm breakout force than the Kubota. In thinking about the math it occurs to me the Kubota would be better at breaking stones and roots free, while the Volvo would be a better trencher, ditch cleaner, and boulder carrier...and would also have more power to pull itself out of muck. So it comes down to figuring out how the excavator will be used, right?

    Did I get that right?
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The extra dipper power doesn't do any good if the machine just slides when your pulling the dipper in. The break out force does count because its what gives you the power to scoop. So if your working in hard ground the machine with less breakout force you have to take smaller bites or the machine powers out.

    Not sure if I would buy a Volvo excavator the price might be a little cheaper but the parts are sure not.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I think what it comes to is that some machines are bucket diggers and some are arm diggers. It is an interesting point because when someone gets in a machine and is used to using the arm force of a machine to fill the bucket will be dissapoointed when he gets into machine with high bucket breakout but not such impressive arm force. I don't know that one is better than the other. Certainly certain tasks would appeal to each type of machine. The important thing is that the operator knows where the strength of his machine lies. This was the reason when searching for a new excavator that I wanted a machine that speced close to the one I have. I am used to these abilities and really don't want to take the time to learn a different excavator. There were only a couple machines that on paper were close. It was of course another Takeuchi, CAT or Kubota and IHI. I ended up pursuing only the CAT and Takeuchi. It is something that guys should be aware of when searching for an excavator. If it is your first machine it might actually be easier as you could adapt to any machine. Once you have worked a certain excavator it maybe more difficult change to another one that does not have the same strengths as the one you are used to.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I never thought of it that way or never noticed but I do notice when the machine can't take a good scoop in hard ground curling the bucket so your working the bucket as your pulling in the dipper.
  5. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I heard folks say that in other threads so when I was shopping around I also got the prices of fuel, oil, air and hydro filters, plus replacement tracks, bushings, buckets etc. What I found in my area was there was very little difference between Volvo and Kubota prices. Kubota was generally less expensive, but by only a buck or two in most cases. In the end it was so insignificant it didn't even factor into the decision.

  6. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    Indeed. Kaiser makes a good point in saying that some machines are better arm diggers than bucket diggers. (Cat is an example, especially in mini-excavators.) I personally believe it makes more technical sense to dig with the arm, but technical stuff doesn't always work in practice.
  7. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    A mini with allot of bucket breakout is better for thumb type work because the bucket has to overpower the thumb,so a bucket with a lower breakout force will have less "bite"(between the bucket and the thumb) than a bucket with a higher breakout force. Just some thing to think about.


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