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Homemade snow bucket?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by mponcelet, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. mponcelet

    mponcelet Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    So i want to try out my fabrication skills to make a snow bucket for either my s175 or my s250. So I got a list of questions for you guys...answer what you can.

    First off, is it worthwhile to make one or should I just buy a new one?

    Second, what size should it be? My s175 is 46 hp but I still want to run it on my s250 sometimes.

    Do I need to make a really deep and tall one because all I really use it for is driveways (mostly back dragging) and pushing back piles.

    Do I need to make a "screen" in the back made of expanded material or is that not necessary?

    Next, I think I should use one piece and have it professionally bent to a certain angle for the back and bottom. Is this how you would do it??
    And finally, how thick should all this be? I have heard 3/16 for the bottom and back and 5/16 for the side plates. Is that alright?

    thanks for your help
  2. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    just buy one. you will spend 60-80% of cost on steel and hours of welding later you will likely end up with a warped unsquare mess
  3. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    You take a old bucket and add taller sides screen helps for viewing the edge I say I never owned one and wont own one I run a bucket on my sidewalk skid and a bucket sucks
    I have a skid with a plow and thats a lot easy and my face doesnt get smash on the door either when I hit a crack.
  4. lawnboy2121

    lawnboy2121 Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Unless u have a lot of time to spare cheaper to buy one I priced out the material to do it and after it was all said and done it would have been $350 less to build it then I bought one for not worth my time to build
  5. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    In my opinion, its not worth it to build one. A quick search of craigslist usually turns up a few used ones and a few small shops trying to sell them. For the price it usually isnt worth your time in my opinion (especially if you will have to pay to get parts bent/cut).

    Size is not an easy one to answer. A smaller machine like that will handle a bigger bucket on lighter snows, but may struggle when its wet and heavy. I run a 96" Berlon on my S250 and most days I wish it were bigger, but when it gets deep, it seems to be the right size. I couple local guys here are running 80-88" buckets on s185s. You could run a 8 footer on your smaller machine on light snows, then bring out the big dog on heavy snows? On the other hand, if you went smaller (80-88") that is still much bigger/higher capacity than the dirt bucket normally found on an S250 should you choose to run it on that.

    It would not need to be excessively tall or long, but you do want it taller and longer than a dirt bucket. My experience with my Berlon is that it is not tall enough. Lots of snow comes over the top on longer pushes. That may not be a concern for you though in your situation. One guy I know had one build to be longer than tall so you could see the edge. Very handy on driveways where you want to get close to garage doors.

    As for a screen, I have thought about building a bolt-on one for mine. Its not necessary in my mind, but would be nice on some of the longer pushes we do. If you do opt for one, I would keep in removable.

    As for bending it out of one piece, maybe look at some premade ones for ideas. It would save a bit of welding, would be worth looking into especially if your steel supplier is able to do the bending.

    For material thickness, why not go 1/4 or 5/16 for the whole thing? I would worry that the bottom would bend/bow too much with the thinner material. A guy I used to push for bought a cheaper bucket when he got his new skid steer years ago (S185). Worked good for scraping, but after 10 hours of use, the bucket was bent badly in the middle from lifting snow and the cutting edge half wore down and broken in a couple places. He had it reinforced and a better edge put on but it still bent. Got to the point you could not clean the pavement in one pass with it. The better ones I have seen seem to have "wear bars" running front to rear on the bottom, usually made of some higher grade steel (harder material=less wear). A bolt on edge is a must. The cutting edge, especially for snow work, is a wear item and being able to flip/replace it quick and easy is worth it. Lastly, some of the bigger ones I have seen have a couple braces running from the top/rear of the bucket down to the front near the cutting edge for support in the middle. This reduces the unsupported length of the cutting edge, which should lead to more even edge wear. My bucket does not have this, but I can see how this would be good. On the other hand, I am not sure if this would have an effect on your ability to scoop into a snow pile that has been sitting a while, or if it would cause more snow to stick inside the bucket. This is a concern for us, as we haul out a fair amount of snow.

    One other thing to note- the front corners see a good bit of wear. On mine, I weld along the front edge of the corner and I also lay a few beads in a "tic-tac-toe" pattern on the front outside corners. I go about an inch to an inch and a half apart horizontal and vertical. Seems to help give it a little more material to wear, and is an easy way to monitor how fast this area is wearing down.

    Personally, I would buy one. You seem like the type that prefers spending time to build something than spending money to buy it. I am usually the same way, but I am learning that sometimes its better to spend the money on something like this and use your time on something else.

    It would be worth a call or email to these guys:


    Their products look good from what I can tell, and their pricing seems to be very reasonable. Even their shipping to you isnt bad, at least in my area.

    Good luck!