Cat performance series buckets represent a loading system that balances the shape of the bucket with the wheel loader’s linkage design, operating weight and lift/tilt capabilities. The net result is optimum machine performance in production-oriented applications, whether truck loading, stockpiling, or load-and-carry, according to the manufacturer. Performance series buckets, which incorporate a more-efficient design than that of conventional buckets, are available in a number of styles and application-specific configurations that ensure high production and long-term durability in even the most severe applications. Performance series buckets, compared with conventional buckets, have a number of design elements that account for their enhanced loading characteristics:• wider throat opening (more space between the cutting edge and the spill guard)• longer floor (more surface for entering material before encountering the radius at the back of the bucket)• curved side bars (adding surface area to the side of the bucket to contain more material)• modified strike plane (a geometric aspect of the bucket in its carry position that improves load retention)• increased bucket rack-back (further increases material retention)• redesigned spill guard (increases capacity; protects linkage components, hydraulic cylinders, and sensors; enhances sight lines to the loading area)The tangible results of these design elements include: easier, faster loading — even by less-experienced operators; increased fill factors (on the order of 10 percent greater than conventional buckets, resulting in fewer passes per truck and more truck loads per day); increased containment of material during transport; and enhanced sight lines to the pile and into the bucket (allowing operators to easily determine when the bucket is full, a feature that eliminates the time and fuel wasted in attempting to load an already-full bucket). In an evaluation using the Cat 972H and 980H wheel loaders to compare performance series buckets with conventional buckets, the machines, when equipped with performance series buckets, averaged 5 to 7 percent better fuel efficiency, a 3- to 5-second reduction in per-cycle loading time, and a 0.5- to 1.5-ton increase in per-pass payload, according to the manufacturer.Bucket Styles/ConfigurationsThe performance series buckets range includes a number of bucket styles — for example, general-purpose, light-material, sand/gravel, and material-handling — as well as a number of specific-application configurations, including rock, heavy-duty rock and heavy-duty granite.General-Purpose: Among the most popular styles is the general-purpose, which provides overall performance in stockpiling, material-handling, excavating and bank-loading applications. These buckets are designed for standard breakout forces and moderately abrasive conditions. The base edge accepts either a bolt-on cutting edge or adapters that accommodate K-Series tips. Side wear plates are available.Rock: Rock buckets are designed for use in moderately abrasive face-loading applications, such as limestone and unprocessed rock, as well as in truck- or hopper-loading operations with a wide range of quarry materials. A specially contoured spill guard enhances visibility to the bucket corners and slots in the spill guard improve visibility to the material. An optional wear kit includes floor liner, radius liner, upper/lower outer side plates. A selection of ground-engaging systems is available.Heavy-duty rock: Heavy-duty rock buckets are intended for use in extremely aggressive applications, such as face-loading tightly compacted pit materials, in which materials are moderately abrasive and high impact is frequently encountered. Protective features include those for rock buckets, but add rock-deflecting wings, base-edge end protectors, half-arrow segments between adapters, bottom skis, bottom and base-edge wear plates, and mechanically attached wear plates beneath the boom-pin areas.Heavy-duty granite: This bucket is used in extremely aggressive applications, such as face loading granite, and is intended for use in materials and applications in which high abrasion and high impact is encountered. The bucket interior is completely lined, shear blocks are installed to restrict side-bar-protector movement, a full complement of bottom protection is used, and base-edge protection includes top-mounted wear plates, half-arrow segments and adapter covers.For more information, visit www.cat.com.
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