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Bucket Elevators

Bucket elevators are used to vertically lift bulk materials. They consist of a series of buckets attached to a belt or chain, which runs over a pulley or sprocket at the top and bottom of the unit. The buckets scoop up material at the bottom and then lift it to a higher point, where the material is discharged.

When to use

Bucket elevators are commonly used in a variety of industries including agriculture, mining, and manufacturing. They are particularly useful for handling large volumes of bulk material, such as grains, fertilizers, and minerals. They can also be used to lift and convey materials with different densities and particle sizes, making them a versatile option for many types of operations. They are particularly desirable elevating materials for gravity-fed processes without taking much floorspace.

When not to use

They are not recommended for handling materials that are particularly abrasive, corrosive, or sticky, as these materials can cause damage to the elevator’s components over time. Additionally, bucket elevators are not well suited for handling materials that are easily damaged, such as fragile items or products with irregular shapes.


When it comes to maintaining bucket elevators, there are a few key things to keep in mind. One important aspect of maintenance is keeping the equipment clean. This includes cleaning the buckets, belt or chain, and other components on a regular basis to prevent buildup of materials that can cause damage or reduce efficiency. Additionally, it is important to regularly inspect the equipment for wear and tear, and replace any components that show signs of wear. This inspection doesn’t have to be frequent, just regular. Like most equipment, we offer service contracts you can set and forget about, and we’ll coordinate maintenance visits with your staff on a set schedule.

Another important aspect of maintaining bucket elevators is ensuring that the equipment is properly lubricated and the pulleys have maintained alignment. Regularly checking and replacing worn bearings, chains or belts and pulleys can also extend the life of the elevator.

Overall, bucket elevators remain a useful and versatile material handling option but we have found tubular drag systems to be preferable in several applications that bucket elevators used to dominate. To find out what is best for your process give us a call or fill out the form below. We provide design, sales, integration, and 24/7 service for most types of bulk handling equipment.