The Ultimate Guide To Bucket Elevators

Bucket Elevators

A bucket elevator is a type of machinery ideal for moving heavy materials in bulk. We see its use in a variety of industries, such as commercial agriculture and mining. We mainly use elevators when we need to handle materials at a large scale due to their ability to move a significant volume of materials quickly. 

Types of Bucket Elevators

So, now that you know what is a bucket elevator let’s discuss its types. A bucket elevator is basically a conveyor belt with buckets attached. Industries use to transport materials vertically or even at an angle. The buckets are designed in a way that they stay upright to prevent spilling. Manufacturers design their configurations according to the application, elevator height, power, and material. Configuration options include centrifugal, continuous, or positive discharge bucket elevators. 

Centrifugal Bucket Elevators

A centrifugal bucket elevator uses centrifugal force to deposit material at the top of the lift. It moves at a quicker speed (around 4.3 to 11.5 feet per second) with the buckets spaced further apart than continuous bucket elevators. It results in an improved material fill speed and reduced interference between buckets. This type of bucket elevator works great with gritty material, as it is too fast for uneven, lumpy material.

Continuous Bucket Elevators

Continuous bucket elevators work at much lower speeds (3.3 to 4.3 feet per second), and the buckets remain closer than what we find in centrifugal elevators. It prevents materials from spilling out and assists in discharge. The extended sides of the buckets guide the material into the discharge spout, making it the ideal type to transport sluggish and fragile materials. Continuous bucket elevators are obtrainable with a belt, single chain, or double chain. 

Positive Discharge Bucket Elevators

This type of elevator is similar to centrifugal bucket elevators. It operates at a slow speed (about 2.7 feet per second), but the large buckets compensate for this slow speed. It works best on materials that stick to the side of the bucket and do not discharge properly. Buckets are passed over an extra sprocket, giving them a jolt to dislodging stuck material.

Bucket Elevator Materials

The type of materials will determine if a bucket elevator is an ideal choice. While these machines can transport various materials, we should only transport free-flowing materials. Materials that are wet, sticky, or have sludgy consistency tend to stick to the side of the buckets and create discharge issues. Some materials we can transport via bucket elevators include:

  • Animal Feed
  • Fertilizer
  • Coal
  • Woodchips

Factors To Consider While Buying A Bucket Elevator

Every Bucket elevator has distinct properties, which you can customize according to your needs. To find the best elevator for your business, you should consider the following factors.

Load Capacity

Before deciding on a bucket elevator, you should know your desired capacity and mass flow of materials through the elevator. This calculation will help you find an elevator with the maximum load and speed your application requires. 

Elevator Design

Bucket elevators are available in various designs, shapes, and sizes. If you already have an elevator, choose the next one similar to what is already in use for a smoother transfer of materials. Furthermore, determine the elevator height according to your application, making sure it is not undersized or oversized. 

Special Consideration

Bucket elevators mainly offer automatic control but if you require manual control, make sure your supplier is aware. You can control both manual and automatic elevators by modifying their speeds. Additionally, consider a bucket elevator with minimal power usage to save energy. You should also discuss special considerations such as safety features or environmental hazards with your supplier.


A bucket elevator is an ideal machinery for transporting heavy and bulky materials on a large scale. They are available in different types, including centrifugal, continuous, and positive discharge elevators. They work excellently for transporting free-flowing materials such as animal feed. Sticky and dense materials can cause discharge problems in the elevator by sticking to the sides of the buckets. Before buying a bucket elevator, ensure you know all your requirements and the machine’s specifications. Discuss your needs with the supplier to find the most suitable bucket elevator for your industrial needs.