Grain buckets are large steel mechanical devices designed to handle grain. They are similar in design to mechanical steel buckets used in quarries to load rock aggregate on to trucks. However, grain buckets are of a lighter design as they do not need to be so strongly constructed, not being subjected to the general wear and tear that quarry loading buckets have to endure.
The buckets are usually available in a range of capacities, depending on the needs of the farmer. The leading edges of the bucket are usually reinforced for durability, and there are also wearing strips on the underneath part of the bucket. To prevent any buckling of the bucket, there are also bracing strips inside the bucket. This allows grain buckets to be used in a rigorous manner without undue damage.
At the back of the bucket there is a fixing bracket, usually adjustable in order to fit a range of mechanical loaders and hydraulically telescopic handlers. Grain buckets are usually made from mild steel plate about 5 millimetres thick. The reinforcing and wearing straps, and the internal bracing parts are welded in place.
Various types of grain buckets are available. Apart from the standard type, it is possible to have a bucket that can tip at a high height. This is very useful for loading high trucks as the discharge height can be elevated beyond the normal range. To achieve this, the bucket has a separate plate under the bucket that can pivot by means of a double acting hydraulic ram.
It is also possible to have a bucket that can be fitted to a standard fork lift. The pallet forks of the lift need to be removed and the bucket can then be attached directly to the fork carriage. The bucket has a built in hydraulic tipping mechanism that can then be activated by the fork lift. This type is especially useful where there is no external tipping mechanism available.