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  1. #1
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    Default Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    We've probably all heard that it's never worth it to hit the pile a 2nd time to get that FEL bucket all the way full. As I was using it a lot recently, my mind turned to that old saw.

    Hmmmm.

    Here's an excel data set that I created. I set the assumption that the bucket was 10 cuft, the time to strike the pile and fill that bucket 5 seconds, and the time to dump 3 seconds. So, in the table, the first column is the time to hit the pile the first time and fill the bucket. The next column is the time spent on a second attempt to get it really full. Next the time to traverse to the dump location AND 3 seconds to dump out the bucket. Then time to return. Then the filled bucket capacity. For the calculation, I chose to show a single strike on the pile would give 80% fill and a 2nd strike on the pile would get it up to 95% full. The last 2 columns are calculation of how many round trips can be made per hour and how many cubic feet of material get moved. I ran it from a 10 second time from pile to dump out to 60 seconds thinking that only at the longer times would it show a positive. Well.... at 10 seconds, it is indeed more productive to just keep moving, even if you only have an 80% full bucket. But at 15 seconds, it pulls about equal with the 2nd strike actually slightly in the lead!

    So if you are ever wondering if you should spend more time to really fill the bucket or if you should just take what you have and scoot, it depends on your travel time ! If you are spending more than 12-15 seconds traveling, it's probably better to get it topped off.



    time to strike pile 2nd strike time to dump time to return Bucket capacity cuft Trips per hour Material moved
    5 0 10 7 8 164 1309
    5 5 10 7 9.5 133 1267
    5 0 15 12 8 113 900
    5 5 15 12 9.5 97 924
    5 0 20 17 8 86 686
    5 5 20 17 9.5 77 728
    5 0 25 22 8 69 554
    5 5 25 22 9.5 63 600
    5 0 30 27 8 58 465
    5 5 30 27 9.5 54 510
    5 0 35 32 8 50 400
    5 5 35 32 9.5 47 444
    5 0 40 37 8 44 351
    5 5 40 37 9.5 41 393
    5 0 45 42 8 39 313
    5 5 45 42 9.5 37 353
    5 0 50 47 8 35 282
    5 5 50 47 9.5 34 320
    5 0 55 52 8 32 257
    5 5 55 52 9.5 31 292
    5 0 60 57 8 30 236
    5 5 60 57 9.5 28 269


    By the way. My times to fill in the table are conservative. It's closer to 3 seconds by my watch using a HST machine. But it's very close to the 5 seconds using a manual trans machine.



    Yeah, this stuff ^ isn't earth shattering, but my mind wanders when I spend 16-20 hours moving dirt...

  2. #2
    Platinum Member woodchuckie's Avatar
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    Moundville,AL
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    KUBOTA L 2800

    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    Wow!!

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
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    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    Thanks - Thats good data - I usually have a lot of travel time so always try to fill to the max.

    When I was leveling out 120 yards of soil I did the single scoop approach.
    Kubota B21TLB, Ferris IS2000, Cub Cadet 1811

  4. #4
    Veteran Member troutsqueezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    You need another column that factors in fun factor and tractor driving satisfaction. Efficiency is good if you're in business, striving for the fullest bucket in the least amount of passes is just fun when time and money are not on the line.
    - Dennis

    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
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  5. #5
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    I always try for the fullest bucket possible. Travel time is dead time when it comes to moving dirt. Even my closest dump site is more than 10 seconds away so a full bucket is essential. Getting a full bucket is more detail in getting the angle right at the pile, not too much tilt that it digs so deep that it stalls the tractor, but enough angle to dig in and fill with a tilt at the right time to load it heaping high. With my tractor which has a huge bucket, you have to go slow with a full load at is gets super top heavy. I use either my 8 foot disc that is about 1000 pounds or my 7 foot bush hog at over 1500 pounds for counter weight. Both work pretty good. My box blade with 200 # of concrete blocks strapped to the top is not nearly heavy enough.
    Glad to see your calculations confirmed my thoughts that I needed to haul as much as possible with each trip.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    Quote Originally Posted by troutsqueezer View Post
    You need another column that factors in fun factor and tractor driving satisfaction. Efficiency is good if you're in business, striving for the fullest bucket in the least amount of passes is just fun when time and money are not on the line.

    True.... but (and there's always a "but"!) if you have to move 4-500 yards of soil 80-100 yards away, it's sort of good to do it with the least amount of time, cost, wear & tear on the equipment as possible. Not to mention that after the first 16 hour day, you sort of are less excited about the next 16 hour day in the dust under the baking sun!


    Gary Fowler said;
    I always try for the fullest bucket possible. Travel time is dead time when it comes to moving dirt. Even my closest dump site is more than 10 seconds away so a full bucket is essential. Getting a full bucket is more detail in getting the angle right at the pile, not too much tilt that it digs so deep that it stalls the tractor, but enough angle to dig in and fill with a tilt at the right time to load it heaping high. With my tractor which has a huge bucket, you have to go slow with a full load at is gets super top heavy. I use either my 8 foot disc that is about 1000 pounds or my 7 foot bush hog at over 1500 pounds for counter weight. Both work pretty good. My box blade with 200 # of concrete blocks strapped to the top is not nearly heavy enough.
    Glad to see your calculations confirmed my thoughts that I needed to haul as much as possible with each trip.
    You are exactly right on the method. I have filled tires and a 1000# box blade on the back. Anything else blocks the ability to turn around.


    A second point; where do you go from digging with the FEL to digging with the BH? I have 2 machines so the choice is simple as jumping off one and onto the other, but still... I've found that the fill time for the FEL bucket is about that 3-5 second when loading from a spoils pile. But it's considerably longer at 7-10 seconds when digging into the virgin earth. Especially when rocks are in the mix! Interestingly, the time ratio is about 6:1 betweed FEL and BH. If I dig with the BH for 30 minutes, it takes about 3 hours to get the spoils moved out. The BH bucket actually holds more than the FEL bucket and as it's only a 10-15 second cycle....

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    John Bud,

    Good chart and good information to have.

    Since you brought up two tractors and I have to often move piles around here is what I do to save time. I park my boxblade and tractor against the pile opposite the side I am loading from. This allows me to use the tlb and get a full bucket almost all the time. Really helps to have something to push up against when bunching up the dirt.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member RDrancher's Avatar
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    Sanger, Texas
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    New Holland TC35D, Case TR320 CTL

    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    Interesting data and thanks for taking the time to create the chart!
    John

    My Work & Stuff Photo Thread: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...to-thread.html

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    Then again, you don't have to worry if you work this fast...

    http://s28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...n_bud/digging/

  10. #10
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    Trent Hills, ON
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    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Is it really never a good idea to spend extra time to get a full bucket?

    Neat chart! I had a big pile of dirt to spread around my pond that the excavator left, and I decided to use the box blade to move most of it. Took a couple hours of FEL work to be able to get on top and off the pile but then it was pulling downhill with the box blade. I tried loading the FEL and the BB at the same time but it was too tricky to shave 2" off evenly with the FEL so I just ran the BB with longest pull being about 40 yards.
    I think it was faster than the FEL but I didn't do any time trials.
    2011 DK40SE HST

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