A bucket (also called a scoop to qualify shallower designs of tools) is a specialized container attached to a machine, as compared to a
bucket A bucket is typically a watertight, vertical cylinder or truncated cone or square, with an open top and a flat bottom, attached to a semicircular carrying handle called the ''bail''. A bucket is usually an open-top container. In contrast, a pail ...
adapted for manual use by a human being. It is a
bulk material handling Image:Silosi u Čakovcu - jugoistok.jpg, Concrete grain storage silos Bulk material handling is an engineering field that is centered on the design of equipment used for the handling of dry materials. Bulk materials are those dry materials which are ...
component. The bucket has an inner volume as compared to other types of machine attachments like blades or shovels. The bucket could be attached to the
lifting hook A lifting hook is a device for grabbing and lifting loads by means of a device such as a hoist or crane. A lifting hook is usually equipped with a safety latch to prevent the disengagement of the lifting wire rope sling, chain or rope to which the ...
of a crane, at the end of the arm of an excavating machine, to the wires of a
dragline excavator A dragline excavator is a piece of heavy equipment used in civil engineering and surface mining. Draglines fall into two broad categories: those that are based on standard, lifting cranes, and the heavy units which have to be built on-site. Most ...

dragline excavator
, to the arms of a
power shovel A power shovel (also stripping shovel or front shovel or electric mining shovel or electric rope shovel) is a bucket-equipped machine, usually electrically powered, used for digging and loading earth or fragmented rock and for mineral extraction. Po ...
or a
tractor A tractor is an engineering vehicle specifically designed to deliver a high tractive effort (or torque) at slow speeds, for the purposes of hauling a trailer or machinery such as that used in agriculture, mining or construction. Most commonly ...
equipped with a
backhoe loader A backhoe loader, also called a loader backhoe, digger in layman's terms, or colloquially shortened to backhoe within the industry, is a heavy equipment vehicle that consists of a tractor-like unit fitted with a loader-style shovel/bucket on the f ...
or to a
loader Loader can refer to: * Loader (equipment) * Loader (computing) ** LOADER.EXE, an auto-start program loader optionally used in the startup process of Microsoft Windows ME * Loader (surname) * Fast loader * Speedloader * Boot loader ** LOADER.COM (ak ...
, or to a Dredging, dredge. The name "bucket" may have been coined from buckets used in water wheels, or used in water turbines or in similar-looking devices.


Buckets in mechanical engineering can have a distinct quality from the traditional bucket (pail) whose purpose is to contain things. Larger versions of this type of bucket equip bucket trucks to contain human beings, buckets in water-hauling systems in mines or, for instance, in helicopter buckets to hold water to combat fires. Two other types of mechanical buckets can be distinguished according to the final destination of the device they equip: energy-consumer systems like excavators or energy-capturer systems like water bucket wheels or turbines.

Size and shape

Buckets exist in a variety of sizes or shapes. They can be quite large like those equipping Hulett cranes, used to discharge ore out of cargo ships in harbours or very small such as those used by deep-sea exploration vehicles. The shape of the bucket can vary from the truncated conical shape of an actual bucket to more scoop-like or spoon-like shapes akin to water turbines. The cross section can be round or square.


Simple design

This is the same shape of a domestic form, the one-piece-standing single element, but often with an augmented size.


In early developments of mining, a large simple bucket allowed easy insertion of both miners and construction materials such as pit props, and later extraction of miners and ore. Common terms used in various parts of the world include: Bowk; Kibble; Hoppit; Hoppet. Latterly they have been called sinking buckets, as they are now only used when sinking new mine shafts before insertion of the cage, or for emergency rescue.

Concrete bucket

A concrete bucket delivers concrete by means of a tower crane. It has a bottom opening to allow concrete to flow out when in-place. See also tremie.

Boom truck bucket

A Aerial work platform , boom truck (or “bucket truck” bucket is an aerial work platform placed at the end of an excavator-like arm which allows a man to be hoisted to do construction work, such as tree pruning and electrical line maintenance. When necessary the bucket is made out of a non-conductive material for safety. A construction site man lift is a similar apparatus. There may be a door on the side of the bucket in either.

Excavator bucket

Excavator buckets are made of solid steel and generally present teeth protruding from the cutting edge, to disrupt hard material and avoid wear-and-tear of the bucket. Subsets of the excavator bucket are: the ditching bucket, trenching bucket, A ditching bucket is a wider bucket with no teeth, used for excavating larger excavations and grading stone. A trenching excavator bucket is normally wide and with protruding teeth.

Bucket crusher

A bucket crusher or crusher bucket is a type of jaw crusher. It's an attached tool for excavators for built-in crushing construction waste and demolition materials.

Screening Bucket

The screening bucket is an attachment for the excavators, loaders, skid steers and backhoe loaders that helps the selection of natural material for different purposes at the jobsite.

Clamshell bucket

The clamshell bucket is a more sophisticated articulated several-piece device, including two elementary buckets associated on a hinged structure forming a claws-like appendage with an internal volume.


In mining

The design is used in bucket-wheel excavators. The buckets in the wheel have to be made of solid material to withstand the resistance of the material it cuts through.

In water hoisting

In energy production

The bucket wheel design is also used to capture the water energy in water-wheels or water turbines like Pelton wheels. The buckets also have to be made of solid material to withstand the force of the water flow. Their shape is optimized according to their purpose. Other designs include vertical shaft wind turbines designs like on the Savonius wind turbine. In this case, the buckets have to be made of a light material.

Buckets-ladders (buckets-chains)

The buckets-ladders are used in bucket elevators or in the dredge design of some dredgers.


Image:AFlex-Monsoon-Bucket.jpg, Helicopter bucket made of canvas Image:Excavator bucket.JPG, An excavator bucket Image:Hulett-bucket.jpg, Hulett crane bucket Image:Bucket wheel excavator in Ferropolis.jpg, Bucket wheel on a bucket-wheel excavator image:Schoepfrad Ebermannstadt.jpg, Bucket wheel detail showing actual buckets use Image:TurbinaPelton.jpg, Pelton wheel Image:Savonius turbine.svg, Savonius wind turbine with two scoops Image:Dredging technique schematic.png, Bucket ladder on a dredge File:Aa truck with clamshell grab 01.jpg, Truck with clamshell grab on arm, south Manchester, England, 27 July 2009


{{DEFAULTSORT:Bucket (Machine Part) Construction equipment Hardware (mechanical) Excavating equipment