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Finding excavator buckets

Discussion in 'Excavators' started by Rickyb1968, Mar 24, 2022.

  1. Rickyb1968

    Rickyb1968 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2021
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I have a kabelco sr135 and it doesn’t have a quick connect. It came with a 36” digging bucket and I would like to get a small 18” bucket and maybe a ditch bucket. Someone told me it would be a lot easier to find a bucket at a auction and have it fabricated to fit the machine. Is that good advice or would I be better off getting one specific for kobelco?
     
  2. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,726
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    If it were me, I would get a pin grabber quick coupler. Pounding pins to change buckets is PINTA. With a pin grabber you can latch on to more buckets and not necessarily confined to those pinned just for the 135.
     
  3. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
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    Location:
    washington
    If you don't want to go the whole meal deal pin grabber and the associated plumbing, you could opt for a wedge connected bucket. Same deal, you can find some more buckets that will work.
    I'd rather have a pin grabber but they are spendiy when you have to wire and plumb for it from scratch.
     
    Tags likes this.
  4. Rickyb1968

    Rickyb1968 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2021
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Can you guys give me a ballpark figure on what I’m looking at to get set up with pin grabber? I have a hydraulic thumb already plumbed so may or may not help on plumbing.
     
  5. excavator

    excavator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
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    Location:
    Pacific North West
    If you already have a thumb I would go with a wedge coupler. A pin grabber will set the bucket out another foot at least so you thumb will not match up. You also loose digging power with a pin grabber and most often the bucket will also hit the cab when you boom up and bring the stick in.
     
  6. treemuncher

    treemuncher Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    472
    Occupation:
    eatin' trees, poopin' chips
    Location:
    West TN
    The best money I ever spent on my excavator was the Hendrix hydraulic quick coupler. It runs on the low pressure control line pressure and works via electric solenoid valve. I still have a hydraulic thumb, too. Bucket to other, non-hydraulic attachment (ripper, rake, other bucket, etc) is usually about 10 seconds. Add more time if you need to clean/hook up hydraulic lines. I've changed pins before for bucket swaps but I will never do that again since I purchased my first coupler. Time is money and if you use multiple tools a lot, it will pay for itself quickly.

    Top of the line choice (for me) is my RotoTilt coupler. It takes the quick coupler to another level of efficiency yet still only takes 10 seconds or so to change out attachments.

    And for building out buckets and attachments (purchased at auction or other source), I just have a local machine shop water-jet cut some ears and I purchase pin stock at the metals place. The water jet is precise so all I have to do is custom cut any contours on the base, measure my widths carefully and weld the tabs in place - then the pins. I must have built/modified at least 6 or more attachments already with this method. Fast and easy. Welder and plasma cutter suggested.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
  7. StumpyWally

    StumpyWally Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    516
    Occupation:
    PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
    Location:
    Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Ballston, NY
    Absolutely do NOT buy any buckets until you decide on what quick coupler you're going to get/use.
    Some years ago for my Kobelco SK80, I chose a manual quick coupler called a Klac from Werk-Brau. The advantages were/are: no plumbing, very close mount so no reduction in breakout, to change buckets only have to leave cab once to unlock coupler with simple lever, hookup is done from the cab.
    Disadvantages were/are can't reverse the bucket to dig forward.
    I then got all my buckets from Werk-Brau with the Klac mount plate installed. It works great.

    If I had it to do all over again, I would opt for a hydraulic coupler that would mate with the nordic standard pin bucket system, & buy all my buckets accordingly. And I would seriously consider incorporating a tilt-roto system for maximum versatility. Roto-Tilt & EngCon are 2 brands that come to mine. Yes, it would be more expensive, but you need to think about your tilt-rotor system as a long-term investment that can be switched from your current machine to the one that will replace it. The tilt-roto gives you all the tools to actually do the work, virtually eliminating any hand work. Your excavator is just the power unit to run the tools.
     
    treemuncher likes this.
  8. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,726
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    Having a thumb would mean you would need to cut it off the stick and reweld it once your pin grabber is installed. That is not a huge deal, but it is something to deal with. All of this comes down to how much you want to put into the machine. If your putting an Engcon or something similar then you have to pull your thumb anyway. It all depends on how much you want to put into the machine. The EngCon attachments for a machine that size I would assume to be around $25K. Great attachment, and if I didn't have to lose my prolink thumb I would have one on my Taki, but not everyone needs one.

    If you just want the ability to swap buckets quickly, and run a thumb. The money spent on a quality QC pays for itself, both when your using it and when you go to sell your machine. I personally like pin grabbers, my CX160 had a hyd wedge coupler, it worked, but I would prefer pins. Either way you go, its worth the investment. Its one of those things that you say "why didn't I do that sooner" after running it. The other thing is your more likely to use the correct bucket when it takes 3 min to change it out.
     
    StumpyWally likes this.