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What is a Clamshell Bucket?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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A clamshell bucket is seen frequently near construction sites. Just as the name suggests, it is made up of two sides that open and close like the shell of a clam. It is technically two buckets held together with a hinge, and is typically used to pick up small items. It can be attached to a range of machines.

The traditional clamshell bucket is often used for digging, even below ground level. It is typically attached to a crane, backhoe, or other type of excavation equipment. This product can range in type from light to heavy duty, often depending on the weight of the materials that it will be handling. In most cases, even a clamshell bucket that is meant for heavy loads can still be lightweight while maintaining durability, particularly if it is made of alloy steel.

This type of bucket can also be used for placing objects up high, which is often necessary in the construction industry. Additionally, another use in this line of work is to move bulk materials from one point to another. Transporting materials from stockpiles to conveyors is just one way that a clamshell bucket can help in such an industry. The claw-like shape of the bucket can ensure that nearly any matter can be picked up and moved, as long as the correct bucket size is used.

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Some clamshell buckets are hydraulic, which means that they can be used wherever hydraulic circuits are in use. This usually includes the typical machinery used in excavating, and this upgrade allows the buckets to do well under both high and low pressure. This type is in contrast to the more typical mechanical bucket, which is operated using a cable.

A clamshell bucket can be used to carry a myriad of materials, which may include heavy loads of lumber, scrap metal, and rocks. It can also usually handle small materials that some buckets cannot hold onto, such as gravel, pebbles, and soil. The same clamshell bucket can typically handle all these substances in one day, but some processes require a special type of bucket, or at least an accessory. For example, buckets that are slated to dig in hard soil can be outfitted with a detachable set of teeth to make the job easier. Other buckets have special features that make them great for digging underwater.

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