This Is How Big is an Excavator Bucket Is | Not What You Think

May 5, 2021

The Excavator Bucket

That’s a great question! The truth is, there isn’t one universal size. In fact, excavator buckets come in a massive range of sizes from a compact 8-inch-wide bucket, to the workhorse 24-inch bucket, all the way to the 6,600-litre buckets of the Bagger 288 – the world’s largest mining excavator!

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For this piece, we’re going to look at the 24-inch bucket, seen on excavators all over the world.

Whether they are digging out soil for sewer line repair, moving stone on a job site, or pulling pieces of the old road off the ground, the 24-inch bucket is one of the most versatile and useful tools of the excavator.

Depending on the type of 24-inch bucket you are using, it should be able to handle between 500lbs to 1000lbs of material.

Buckets come in a range of different styles including different teeth, thicknesses, optional protective pieces, and other elements that affect the maximum weight a bucket can handle.

For our examples, we are going to use a maximum weight of 750lbs.

50 Full-sized Bowling Balls

With an average weight of 15 pounds taken into account, the average excavator bucket could, in theory, carry 50 bowling balls.

If you think you can fit 50 regulation 15-pound bowling balls into a 24-inch excavator bucket, give us a call.

Between 38 and 40 Hams

We aren’t talking about the tiny little half hams you pick up at the supermarket. If that were the case, the bucket could hold North of 150.

We are talking about the 18-to-20-pound full hams that require steel-toed boots to move around.

Roughly 250 Human Brains

At an average weight of 3 pounds, the human brain is no match for a 2-foot excavator bucket. In fact, it could theoretically carry 250 of them, though there isn’t a situation where that should ever occur.  

Roughly 380 Litres of Water

If we take an average capacity of 0.5 yds (cubed), we get a volume of 382.77 litres. 382 litres of water weigh roughly 842 pounds.

We did say we were considering a 2-foot bucket could handle an average of 750 pounds of weight, but let’s be honest, water doesn’t exactly sit still in a moving bucket and isn’t likely to all stay in there at a perfect 380 litres.

545 Basketballs

If you could fit them all (possible if you deflated them), you could lift 545 basketballs with a 24-inch excavator bucket.

And while deflating them might make the most sense, leaving them inflated is bound to make things more interesting.

950 Cans of Soup

Almost 1000 cans of soup will fit in the average excavator bucket. That’s a lot of soup. You’ll likely need a much bigger kitchen if you’re working with that many chicken noodles.

For Interest’s Sake

We mentioned at the beginning of this piece that the world’s largest excavator bucket sits on the Bagger 288 – the world’s largest excavator (used in mining). At a bucket size of 6,600 litres, that’s an equivalent of 14,550 pounds of water.

What’s even more interesting is the Bagger 288 has 22 of these buckets operating on a wheel non-stop.

That means one full wheel’s worth can yield 320,936 pounds of water on a single rotation. Keep in mind it is an earthmover, and we are using water as an example.

Imagine the size!

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