IS IT WORTH REPAIRING YOUR USED EXCAVATOR BUCKETJADCO • Rich F.
When you buy used excavating equipment, you don’t have many options. Typically you are limited to what came with the machine.
Many times a used excavator is traded in for a newer model after it has been abused for many years.
We frequently hear the owner of the used machine ask, “Is it worth repairing my existing bucket or am I better off buying a new bucket?”
You usually hear three different answers:
- The dealership will happily quote you a new bucket. OEM buckets are usually made from A514 steel, often called a generic version of T-1 ®. The name “T-1” is a trademark of Arcelor Mittal and is not part of an ASTM, AISI or other organization’s standard numbering system.
- Bucket fabrication shops will often quote you a replacement bucket, made from AR400 or A514.
- Many local fabrication shops have difficulty forming AR400. Often they suggest only replacing the flat section of the bucket floor. If this is your choice, ask your fabricator, “How heavy can you form mild steel the width of my bucket?” Now divide his number by 4. That is the thickness he can form QT Plus®. For example, if they can form 1.5” thick mild steel, they can only form 3/8” JADCO QT Plus ®. We keep two quantity 1,000-ton press brakes busy every day forming this industry leading wear resistant material.
Buckets are not designed to crush rocks. This bucket clearly shows it was abused far too long. When this bucket was measured last April, the sides had already separated from the bottom as shown in the above photo. The chalk line on the side in the photo, shows where the worn out side will be removed and replaced.
When measuring for a bucket liner or replacement bottom, you need to create a profile template of the existing bucket. That method was not possible with this badly damaged bucket. Using the template tool shown in the first photo, we determined where the bottom would have been originally. That was what JADCO used to create the replacement bucket bottom.
By the time the steel was installed in February, the sides were caved in badly. You can see how much material volume was lost as the bottom of bucket was flattened over time.
Below, read what this client said about this bucket and how the new QT-PLUS steel fit the bucket. Hear The Audio on Soundcloud.
“You notice the difference considerably more now that new steel in place, ready to be tacked on. You didn’t realize that at the time with the old steel on, how bad it was until you seen the new steel on. It was not as noticeable with the original bucket bottom still in place.”
“I bought this used bucket with the machine. I’m definitely thinking it was operator abuse. And then once the structure of the steel broke away, they just kept smashing and smashing.
This was no different than a punch. Once it mushrooms, it just keeps going.”
How did the QT-Plus ® steel fit?
“Perfect. It came out great especially the point that Rich gave me of going tip to tip measurements. I did my tip to tip measurements from the back side of the cutting edge on the bucket. It came out perfect to the back side of the heel of the bucket.
All in all very happy.”
Here is a diagram of the terms used when measuring a bucket liner or replacement bucket bottom.
The Tip To Tip measurement is the furthest point of the steel you plan to replace when installing your new JADCO QT Plus ® bottom. Notice how we didn’t go all the way up the heel or curved section at the back of the bucket.
The reason more of the heel was not replaced is the steel was still sound, experiencing little wear in this area. This way the replacement delivers greater value and is overall less expensive for the customer.
Here you can see how well the new replacement bottom fits at the heel. The profile matches the original. The replacement side piece has been cut to replace the damaged sides.
Smart customers don’t buy steel; they invest in results. That is a completely different mindset.
Selecting JADCO QT Plus ® to rebuild this bucket was a cost effective option that will produce thousands more hours of profitable life.
With solid QT Plus ® wear resistant material installed on the sides and bottom; this excavator bucket is ready for many more seasons of operation.
JADCO’s QT Plus ® delivers greater wear performance IN YOUR APPLICATIONS than the AR400 wear steel you have previously used.
Having the ability to create wear resistant steel having the same hardness through the entire thickness, requires precisely controlled chemistry and careful heat treating
Why Doesn’t Every Steel Company Make Their Products Last As Long As JADCO QT Plus ® ?
This attention to detail from the steel mill in Pennsylvania actually is available to anyone. Yet most steel wear plate distributors choose to limit the proper quantities of these essential elements with the goal of a lower price.
They are planning to sell you more of the same in a few months, robbing more of your profits.
For over 40 years we have focused exclusively on delivering consistent, longer life for our customers.
Now you understand why JADCO delivers better products for our customers. We think differently by only focusing on your results.