Homemade Root and Ditch Bucket

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500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
I just finished building a V-shaped bucket for digging up stumps, digging ditches, digging/planting trees, etc... I posted pictures in the Media/Photos section http://www.bobcatforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=52&gallerypage=0&path=Root%20and%20Ditch%20Bucket
I designed it similar to “The Rooter” made by Kasko, but made some changes that fit my machine and application better. I made it out of 3/8” plate steel which I cut myself. I bought a new Milwaukee metal cutting saw (8” circular saw) for this project and some up coming ones. The cuts were very clean, ready to weld without grinding and fairly fast. See the picture “Top Corner 2“ for a look at the cut. I was just learning to use the saw and ending up ruining one blade before completing all the cuts. I was able to get all plate steel needed out of just over 6'x4' of steel (purchased a 7'x4' piece of 3/8” plate for $234). See the picture “Layout Dimensions“ for the measurements is used. Please note there is a slight error in my measurements (my geometry must be a little rusty). When I fitted the plates up, the side pieces where about 1/2“ too high (see picture Top Corner 1 for a view). I plan on just trimming it off with the cutting torch before painting. I used some 1-1/2” x 1/4” flat bar for the top and sides and 3” angle for the mounting hardware. I also bought 4 bolt-on shanks with teeth from my Bobcat dealer. All in all, I have about $350 in materials invested.
I built the bucket with a 70° mounting plate like any of the Bobcat buckets. I did this to allow the root bucket to be tilted back further and hold material in the bucket better. I elected for bolt on shanks rather than weld on tooth shanks because I drilled the front edge of the bucket to utilize either 3 or 4 teeth. I first started welding (root passes) the bucket with 7018 stick, but bought a new MillerMatic 251 wire feed machine (for another project) that can weld 1/2” in a single pass. The new wire feed made short work of the welding. I probably have 8 hours into cutting, welding, and drilling this bucket. Next time, I would just have the fabrication shop shear the steel for me (about $7 per shear), have them punch the holes, and weld it completely with the wire feed. I could punch one out in 4-5 hours now. The back plate warped while welding the side to it (see picture Warped Backplate). I fitted everything up with the plate still warped and will heat up, pull the plate back into alignment, and weld in a couple of gussets. After I saw the warpage, I began “stich” welding the long runs.
The mounting system was thrown together real fast with materials I had on hand. Amazingly it fit up and securely mounted on the very first try. I am going to have some mounting plates made (about a dozen or so) at the fabrication shop with their press and punch. That way they are ready to weld on to any attachment I want to build. I have seen these mounting plates for sale on eBay for about $100.
After I bolted the teeth on, I immediately had to test it. First I dug a ditch. It easily cut through the dirt and I was able to dig a 16” wide by about 1.5' deep ditch. I could have dig it deeper if I angled the bucket more, but I was just going to a quick test. I simple drove forward until the bucket was full. It's amazing what the bucket can hold. The lower piece extends 4' in front of the machine and I think I calculated the volume at just over 0.5 yd3. Next, I pushed over an 8” diameter aspen tree and dug out the root ball. No problem again. Enough of the small stuff. I had some stumps to remove from a neighbors property. There were some spruce and birch tree stumps (24” in diameter) which had been cut down with a chainsaw. I was afraid my new bucket may not be able to remove them. I first cut the roots on one side of the tree. Some of these roots were about 10” in diameter, but the teeth sheared them right off. I then was able to lift the root ball and tip it over. It was pretty impressive. A couple of the root balls were nearly as big as my skid steer and must have weighed about 1500 pounds. I'll bring a camera tomorrow and get some pictures of my machine next to them.
I know it's a long post, but I wanted to share this with everyone. Please feel free to ask any questions if you want to build your own.
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
I'm very impressed with that design! Jur curious, though; is there any reason Bobcat's own attachment wouldn't have worked? Their "digger" attachment?
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
I'm very impressed with that design! Jur curious, though; is there any reason Bobcat's own attachment wouldn't have worked? Their "digger" attachment?
I was considering the Digger attachment. It looked great for digging / replanting trees and light ditching, but probably not heavy duty enough for the stump removal I was planning. I am talking SERIOUS stump removal. I was thinking I would have had to rent a 337 or 435 excavator to remove the stumps I was pulling yesterday. My new bucket worked great, but I was totally impressed by the overall 773 and new bucket combo. I dug up 3 large stumps (24" diameter trees) and about a dozen smaller ones in about a quarter acre area in only about 30 minutes.
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
I was considering the Digger attachment. It looked great for digging / replanting trees and light ditching, but probably not heavy duty enough for the stump removal I was planning. I am talking SERIOUS stump removal. I was thinking I would have had to rent a 337 or 435 excavator to remove the stumps I was pulling yesterday. My new bucket worked great, but I was totally impressed by the overall 773 and new bucket combo. I dug up 3 large stumps (24" diameter trees) and about a dozen smaller ones in about a quarter acre area in only about 30 minutes.
I see. Makes perfect sense to me. Keep us posted on its performance!
 
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