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Comparing Clay Buckets, Two-Petal Buckets, Belling Buckets, and Cleaning Buckets: Differences in Usage and Advantages

June 24,2024

Tags: #Construction #FoundationDrilling #BoredPiling #ClayBuckets #TwoPetalBuckets #BellingBuckets #CleaningBuckets #ConstructionEquipment #PileFoundations #GeotechnicalEngineering

In foundation drilling and bored piling, different types of buckets are used for various purposes. This article compares clay buckets, two-petal buckets, belling buckets, and cleaning buckets, highlighting their similarities, differences, usage, and advantages.

Similar Parts

All these buckets share some common components:

- Bucket Body: The main structure that holds the soil or debris.

- Cutting Edge: Sharp edges or teeth at the bottom for cutting through soil or rock.

- Lifting Mechanism: A mechanism to attach the bucket to the  drilling rig  for lifting and lowering.

Differences in Usage and Advantages

Clay Buckets


- Initial Drilling and Excavation: Used primarily for the initial excavation of boreholes in cohesive soils like clay.


- Effective in Clay Soils: Specifically designed to handle sticky, cohesive soils.

- Simple Design: Easy to operate and maintain, with a straightforward mechanism for scooping and lifting soil.

- Cost-Effective: Generally less expensive than more specialised buckets.

Two-Petal Buckets (Clamshell Buckets)


- Versatile Soil Handling: Suitable for a variety of soil types, including clay, sand, and loose rock.

- Initial Drilling Phase: Used during the initial stages of drilling to excavate and remove soil efficiently.


- High Efficiency: Clamshell design allows for quick and efficient soil removal.

- Versatility: Can handle different soil conditions, making it suitable for diverse geotechnical environments.

- Compact Design: Ideal for use in urban or confined spaces where larger equipment may be impractical.

Belling Buckets


- Creating Enlarged Bases: Used to form an enlarged, bell-shaped base at the bottom of a pile borehole to increase load-bearing capacity.


- Increased Load Capacity: Enhances the stability and load-bearing capacity of the pile foundation.

- Precision: Designed to create a precise bell shape, which is crucial for specific foundation requirements.

- Environmental Benefit: Less soil displacement compared to other methods, reducing environmental impact.

Cleaning Buckets


- Borehole Cleaning and Maintenance: Used to clean out debris and loose soil from boreholes, ensuring they are ready for further construction processes.


- Ensures Clean Boreholes: Essential for maintaining the integrity of the borehole and preparing it for reinforcement and concreting.

- Efficient Debris Removal: Specifically designed for thorough cleaning, removing all loose materials effectively.

- Versatile Application: Can be used at various stages of the  drilling  process to ensure the borehole remains clean.

Summary of Differences



Each type of drilling bucket serves a specific purpose and offers unique advantages depending on the requirements of the construction project.

- Clay Buckets are best for initial excavation in cohesive soils.

- Two-Petal Buckets provide versatility and efficiency for various soil conditions.

- Belling Buckets are essential for creating load-bearing bases in pile foundations.

- Cleaning Buckets ensure boreholes are clean and ready for further construction.

Understanding the differences and appropriate usage of each bucket type can help construction professionals optimise their drilling operations and achieve better results in their foundation projects.