BH77 Bucket size, is one better than other 16" vs 12"

ArtinAz

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L3901
Oct 24, 2019
101
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16
Snowflake
After my shed is built for my L3901, I intend on getting a BH77. My land has few trees (42+ acres), will be adding hydrants and needing dirt to relocate in low lying areas.

My question is would a 16" bucket be a better tool than a 12"? The distributor selling the backhoe said the 12" is standard for the bh77 but will give me a 16" in lieu of the 12" since there is minimal price difference. I figured I wanted the 16" since it can work more volume and will be less work in the long run.
My ground is very hard when dry (clay), like quicksand when wet.

Can anyone tell me what they use & opinions of the different sizes based on what I'll be using the bh77 for?
 

Freeheeler

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b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
591
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Knoxville, TN
Obviously the 16" will move more material faster and the 12" will dig better in hard dirt. I went with the 12" knowing I'm mostly hard clay which can be like concrete at times. My thought was that the 12" can do anything the 16" can (although maybe slower in soft dirt), but the 16" can't do everything the 12" can. I also got the BXpanded ripper and quick changer because when the clay is dry and compacted or rooted, even the 12 won't break thru. My other theory was that if it's really wet, I'm not out digging anyway.
Good luck with the BH, you'll love it.
 

ArtinAz

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L3901
Oct 24, 2019
101
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16
Snowflake
Obviously the 16" will move more material faster and the 12" will dig better in hard dirt. I went with the 12" knowing I'm mostly hard clay which can be like concrete at times. My thought was that the 12" can do anything the 16" can (although maybe slower in soft dirt), but the 16" can't do everything the 12" can. I also got the BXpanded ripper and quick changer because when the clay is dry and compacted or rooted, even the 12 won't break thru. My other theory was that if it's really wet, I'm not out digging anyway.
Good luck with the BH, you'll love it.
My dirt is pretty hard as well & didn't know if it would be beneficial to have the 16" or not. I have until end of November to make up my mind. Guess I was thinking about the better value since it costs more & they were willing to give this to me at no add'l cost (well nothing is really free, right?)
What's the BXpaded ripper? I think the bh77 already has the qa from what I was told, is this what you're referring to on the "quick changer"?
 

D2Cat

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I agree with Freeheeler. The 12" bucket will work all the time, it just may take a bit longer if it is ideal conditions for the 16" bucket. However, the 16" bucket could be too much to dig in the harder material. Have a bucket that will work all the time!

Don't buy something because you think you're getting more for your money. That's the recipe for buyer's remorse.
 

dirtydeed

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B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
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Wind Gap, PA
The 16" bucket is much more common on the BH77 than the 12" bucket. I have the 16" on mine and it will dig through clay with ease.

There are times I wish I had a spare 12" for trenching, but in all honesty the 16" is the way to go. Additionally, you'll find that the clay is less likely to stick in the larger bucket. If the 12" were a high capacity bucket it'd be a different story.

I had a 12" bucket on my BX23. It will only hold about a cubic foot (heaped). It was great for that size machine but for larger jobs it was like digging with a spoon.

Your L with BH77 will have plenty of weight and grunt to handle a larger bucket. Get the 16".
 
Last edited:

ArtinAz

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L3901
Oct 24, 2019
101
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16
Snowflake
The 16" bucket is much more common on the BH77 than the 12" bucket. I have the 16" on mine and it will dig through clay with ease.

There are times I wish I had a spare 12" for trenching, but in all honesty the 16" is the way to go. Additionally, you'll find that the clay is less likely to stick in the larger bucket. If the 12" were a high capacity bucket it'd be a different story.

I had a 12" bucket on my BX23. It will only hold about a cubic foot (heaped). It was great for that size machine but for larger jobs it was like digging with a spoon.

Your L with BH77 will have plenty of weight and grunt to handle a larger bucket. Get the 16".
That helps, thanks!
Do you keep the bh77 attached most of the time? It seems, with the extra weight with the tractor, it would help with the fel if needed.
 

Fordtech86

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I agree with dirtydeeds as well. I too have very hard clay and the 16 inch bucket has no issues with it. I have been looking at the 6 inch trenching bucket from bxpanded for drainage and running some utilities.
 

dirtydeed

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That helps, thanks!
Do you keep the bh77 attached most of the time? It seems, with the extra weight with the tractor, it would help with the fel if needed.
Yes, I keep the BH most of the time unless its weed mowing season. The BH77 with bucket is darn close to 1000lbs of rear ballast. It helps out the front end quite a bit.

It does, however, throw the back end of the B2650 quite a bit when digging. Essentially, that hoe easily overcomes the weight of the B series tractor. The 12" bucket on the BH77 (behind a B2650) would likely not pull the tractor towards the hole so easily. Plenty of decent youtube videos that can guide you if you don't have much experience with a hoe. Just be careful with the outriggers, mine flex pretty hard if I'm not careful.

Your L probably weighs an additional 1000lbs to begin with, so I don't think you'll have the same issue.
 

Freeheeler

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b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
591
334
63
Knoxville, TN
It does, however, throw the back end of the B2650 quite a bit when digging. Essentially, that hoe easily overcomes the weight of the B series tractor. The 12" bucket on the BH77 (behind a B2650) would likely not pull the tractor towards the hole so easily.
The 12" will throw the tractor around if you let it. My clay must be a lot harder than everyone else's ;( I borrowed a 16" from a friend and it took longer to dig because I had to chip away at it before I could scoop a full load.

I don't know the volume specs on them, but the 12" bucket on my big B has a substantially larger volume than the 12" on my dad's BX, but it's much older and may even be an after market bucket. I'm sure someone on here will know the volume specs on those.

I tried to link the BXexpanded quick changer here but my computer isn't having it today.
 

Fordtech86

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Its not the weight of the bucket that throws the tractor around its the strength of the hydraulics pulling the tractor when digging. Only time I had issues with that was when digging stumps.

Here is a little stump I dug out.



And like dirtydeed mentioned watch the stabilizers.
 

ArtinAz

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L3901
Oct 24, 2019
101
0
16
Snowflake
Its not the weight of the bucket that throws the tractor around its the strength of the hydraulics pulling the tractor when digging. Only time I had issues with that was when digging stumps.

Here is a little stump I dug out.



And like dirtydeed mentioned watch the stabilizers.
LOL, holy crap, a little stump? How long did it take you to dig that thing out? Your tractor looks like a toy next to that stump.
 

Fordtech86

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Maybe 4-5 hours in it. Would work on it here and there after work when I had a little free time.
 

Nicfin36

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L2501 HST, BH77 Backhoe, SSQA Loader ZD1011 Mower
Jun 19, 2019
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Decatur, AL
I have the 16" bucket as well using it on a L2501. Yeah, it will pull my tractor around as well if not careful. I have not had any issue digging with the 16" bucket, but don't have much backhoe time yet.

I went with the 16" because I simply thought it was the appropriate size. Also, like Fordtech, I do plan to go with the BXpanded system at some point, and will have a 6" trencher bucket when I do.
 

PA452

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B2650
Nov 8, 2015
287
20
18
Western PA
I got the 16" on my B2650. When I first got it, coming from a BX23 that bucket looked huge and I questioned if it was the right call. But I've had it almost two months now, about 40 hours of backhoe time on it, and I'm very happy with that 16" bucket choice.

On the flexing of the stabilizers, that always worries me. I try to be very careful about that. Is that a known weak point?