Broken Welds on L344 loader

NCL4701

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I suspect that the issue started about 3 weeks ago when I was speeding along with the bucket curled down, and accidentally hit the drop lever, meaning the bucket lip hit the ground quite hard at speed. That would have bent the failure point in the opposite direction, but it could well have initiated a crack, and I suspect subsequent use of the bucket has bent the mounting spot as shown.

Thank you all for your advice regarding repair. Such work is beyond my welding skills, but it gives me great information to start the discussions with the workshop. Hope they are open between Xmas and new year - my compost needs turning :)
T
Causation makes a lot more sense now. Looks like you’re fortunate the failure point was a relatively cheap fix compared to some of the alternatives.
 

SidecarFlip

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Interestingly, the last Kubota bucket I added an SSQA plate to had a lamination in the back sheet just below the second brake bend and I found it when I was removing the OEM pivot brackets (was a made in USA, I presume Georgia assembly bucket). I had to fill the lamination with gas welding rod, no way I could have filled the lamination hole any other way. That tells me that whomever Kubota USA sources their hot rolled sheet from is selling them substandard material. As a rule laminations don't occur in higher quality sheet steel or rarely do.

The lamination ran the entire length of the sheet and showed up under both the right side and left side pivot brackets (weldments) when I cut them off and ground down the proud weld beads.

First time I ever had that happen. The bucket was from a BX I believe. Never saw the tractor, customer dropped the bucket off and I added the ATI SSQA plate I ordered in. I explained the issue to the customer and showed him where I filled it in. Don't hide stuff like that. Don't need the customer getting mad at something that was out of my control. The ATI QD plate I added really increased the strength of the bucket sheet anyway. The ATI plate was about 1/16th inch thicker than the back sheet was and I perimeter welded it on with a root pass and 2 stringers as well. Ran the root pass at lower amps so I didn't burn through and then cranked up the amps and spray welded the stringers on top of the root pass.

The tear in the OP's bucket, the horizontal one is in the exact place the lamination was in, on the one I repaired. Coincidence maybe.

I'd say the hot rolled steel sheet Kubota uses is low carbon sheet which is pretty ductile material (and not that expensive). it's certainly not AKDQ sheet which is much more expensive. Nothing on the bucket requires a deep draw anyway.
 
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SidecarFlip

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(And Flip, I do not plan on playing with the mini ex until spring 😀)
maybe I need to make a road trip this next year and give you a hand playing with it..,.... I love new toys.
 

lugbolt

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can't say without seeing the rest of the bucket. do you have a pic of the cutting edge? bottom front edge of bucket?

Warranty. I know you said 150 hours. How many years has it been since you purchased it new? If over a year, forget warranty. Loaders have 1 year warranty if I remember correctly. Tractors have more but loaders and back ho's are almost all 1 year (12 mo).

Having dealt with kubota warranty (a bunch!) I can tell you real quick the chances of Kubota buying that bucket, if you can provide a picture of the front/bottom edge.

lastly welding, all welding, is going to weaken the material a little. This is normal. I hear the terms 'should have been reinforced' thrown around and while I agree, I also know that kubota did NOT reinforce it, thus attempting to tell them how they should have built it is not going to get you any warranty "help", period (experience speaking....). It is not a factory defect, it could be a defect in manufacturing and/or workmanship but you will have to prove that in order to get them to buy a bucket (and the shipping to get it to the dealership). Proving it, is the hard part. The guys in the warranty department are jerks. Everything is by the book now. If it is one minute past midnight of the last day of warranty coverage time, it is out of warranty. They used to do goodwill but that's gone too. It's gone because now, "goodwill" is a shared expense meaning the dealer, kubota, and the owner share the expense of repair and on a mult-thousand dollar repair, it just isn't fair to a customer to have to pay anything for something that really should be purchased by the manufacturer. Don't even consider goodwill anymore, it is an absolute joke. Either it IS warranty or it isn't.

Lastly I seen where someone said take the bucket to the dealer. No. Take the whole tractor with the bucket still on it. They don't warranty parts that don't have serial numbers (Kubota does not record any bucket numbers matched to tractors or loaders). So without a loader serial number there's nothing to file a claim on other than a bucket that has no proof of being theirs or even if it was purchased new, used, whatever. If you show up with a bucket asking them to file warranty on it? You're outta luck. They'll likely send you home to get the rest of the tractor.
 
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armylifer

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Thank you Lugbolt for that very useful information. Even though I am not the OP, I find this very informative.
 

OrangeKrush

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Thank you Lugbolt for that very useful information. Even though I am not the OP, I find this very informative.
Yeah things I did not know.. like the bucket warranty only being a year.
 

Orange man

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I don't when It changed but my warranty paperwork says 2 years for loader. Mine was bought in 2019.
 
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pjoh784350

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In one of Messicks vids they mention to order through equipment sales for such items vs the parts counter if you need a new one. He also mentioned that a new bucket is relatively cheap, I think he mentioned around $350.
 

SidecarFlip

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Materials and manufacturing defects are very hard to prove anyway. Now, when it comes to emissions, the government sets the warranty mandate (5 years) but anything else is a crap-shoot at best. As a rule, Kubota builds quality equipment just like all the rest do and as far is the laminated sheet 9on the one I added the SSQA plate to) one has no idea of the origin of the material used nor who purchased it initially.

The steel business is a funny business to be in. most consumers think that steel comes from a steel mill somewhere and it does initially but what mill and where is conjecture.

The steel that Kubota uses in the manufacture of their implements could have originated anywhere in the world and been rolled a decade ago or more. Kubota is not big enough to buy mill direct, they buy their steel from a supplier processor that does buy from a mill and then warehouses and processes it and then Kubota buys from them with price being the prime consideration, always.

Consequently, the steel that Kubota uses to fabricate their buckets could be Chinese steel, or Soviet steel or Ukrainian steel or Serbian steel or American steel, you have no way of knowing and it could be remelt (scrap origination) steel or virgin material, again, no way of knowing.

So long as the material meets the ASTM spec for the intended use, it's all good, even if the steel has substandard defects in it. I've seen certifications dummied too. I retired from the steel business (worked for a major supplier of flat rolled material). I know how the game is played really well.

With steel, what you see isn't always what you get.
 
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Henro

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Materials and manufacturing defects are very hard to prove anyway. Now, when it comes to emissions, the government sets the warranty mandate (5 years) but anything else is a crap-shoot at best. As a rule, Kubota builds quality equipment just like all the rest do and as far is the laminated sheet 9on the one I added the SSQA plate to) one has no idea of the origin of the material used nor who purchased it initially.

The steel business is a funny business to be in. most consumers think that steel comes from a steel mill somewhere and it does initially but what mill and where is conjecture.

The steel that Kubota uses in the manufacture of their implements could have originated anywhere in the world and been rolled a decade ago or more. Kubota is not big enough to buy mill direct, they buy their steel from a supplier processor that does buy from a mill and then warehouses and processes it and then Kubota buys from them with price being the prime consideration, always.

Consequently, the steel that Kubota uses to fabricate their buckets could be Chinese steel, or Soviet steel or Ukrainian steel or Serbian steel or American steel, you have no way of knowing and it could be remelt (scrap origination) steel or virgin material, again, no way of knowing.

So long as the material meets the ASTM spec for the intended use, it's all good, even if the steel has substandard defects in it. I've seen certifications dummied too. I retired from the steel business (worked for a major supplier of flat rolled material). I know how the game is played really well.

With steel, what you see isn't always what you get.

Flip, good post.

But, as someone who also has worked in the steel industry for decades, before retiring, I do not think there is much difference (if any) between steel made from remelted scrap, and that which originated from Iron ore processed through a blast furnace. It is all about chemistry, and the ability of the producer to hit the target for the material he is producing. AND to process it correctly afterwards.

Other than that, HAPPY NEW Year everyone!
 

whitetiger

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Just noticed this morning the welds mounting the central hydraulic ram on the back of my L344 Kubota loader bucket have broken around three sides of the mount. About 150 hours old.
So,
1. what am i doing wrong, or is this a construction fault?
Where you are in Australia, you should contact your dealer. Your warranty may be different than in North America. This bucket just looks different than what we have here, and I am quite sure was made somewhere nearer you.
 
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SidecarFlip

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Flip, good post.

But, as someone who also has worked in the steel industry for decades, before retiring, I do not think there is much difference (if any) between steel made from remelted scrap, and that which originated from Iron ore processed through a blast furnace. It is all about chemistry, and the ability of the producer to hit the target for the material he is producing. AND to process it correctly afterwards.

Other than that, HAPPY NEW Year everyone!
Actually, remelt scrap in a carbon/graphite arc electric furnace is easier to control the chemistry of the final product because the addition of various minerals and other items during the process is easier than in a BOF or a blast furnace. Remember who I worked for as well. They had a trio of remelt electric furnaces themselves and they produced high alloy steel like stainless and AKDQ 100X material all the time for automotive applications, but then they purchased boat iron as well from offshore mills in Russia and elsewhere and when it was all said and one you would be hard pressed to tell the cheap off grade steel sheet from the other unless it was stainless or you had the chems in hand. Today, the only on shore mill that makes stainless that I know of is Carpenter Technologies in eastern Pennsylvania.

I carefully worded that. On shore don't mean domestic owned mills today. The on shore mills are mostly owned by off shore entities now.
 

GeoHorn

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That is a “light materials bucket”... NOT a construction bucket. It is designed to scoop up loose gravel, soil, brush, etc. and move it to another location. It is NOT intended to dig, bulldoze, or trench. Weld it back into place...but FIRST add a doubler on the inside of the bucket So that the ram attach is stuck to the doubler. If you first weld it back in place and only add a doubler on top (in front of) it... you’ll rip it out again when you insist on using it like that. You‘ll need to spread that load out over a larger area and that can only happen if you weld the ram-bracket/patch to a much larger, heavier-guage plate. Be forewarned.... if you do indeed beef that area up and continue to abuse the bucket.... the next repair will be even more costly.
 
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SidecarFlip

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That is a “light materials bucket”... NOT a construction bucket. It is designed to scoop up loose gravel, soil, brush, etc. and move it to another location. It is NOT intended to dig, bulldoze, or trench. Weld it back into place...but FIRST add a doubler on the inside of the bucket So that the ram attach is stuck to the doubler. If you first weld it back in place and only add a doubler on top (in front of) it... you’ll rip it out again when you insist on using it like that. You‘ll need to spread that load out over a larger area and that can only happen if you weld the ram-bracket/patch to a much larger, heavier-guage plate. Be forewarned.... if you do indeed beef that area up and continue to abuse the bucket.... the next repair will be even more costly.
Doubler huh....lol. It's called fish plating

Not gonna get into the light duty material buckets versus the excavation buckets because I was told on here I was FOS and that Kubota only offers ONE bucket. Interestingly, I have both so the one I have must have come from the Kubota tooth fairy.

I quit arguing with those that know it all. No point.

Agai8n, the easiest way to tell a heavy duty bucket from a light duty Kubota bucket is y looking at the top of the back sheet. A light duty bucket will have a metal braked top where as the HD bucket will have a welded on pipe across the top, welded on 'gussets on the bottom, behind the cutting edge bolster running to the first rear sheet brake and a double floor plate. But what do I know anyway... I just repair buckets for a hobby for people, not just Kubota buckets either.
 

SidecarFlip

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On the internet, everyone becomes an expert and everyone is right.... (y)
 
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GeoHorn

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On the internet, everyone becomes an expert and everyone is right.... (y)
If you’re going to correct my vocabulary you’re gonna have to explain WHY my term is incorrect.

Defn: DOUBLER -
What is a doubler in aircraft?
A laminated structural member used to reinforce areas of a model aircraft. Generally doublers are used to strengthen the forward fuselage, wing saddle and horizontal stabilizer.
In shipbuilding THIS is a “Doubler” welded to the hull:
08CD432A-3E8E-4CA6-8360-233A1387A2F9.gif


Defn: FISH PLATE-
a metal or wooden plate or slab, bolted to each of two members that have been butted or lapped together.

SINCE WE are not “bolting”.... I felt my word was sufficiently useful.

THIS is a “Fish Plate”

A12BBEE4-1EAB-4181-BCD1-EE0965A016AF.jpeg

HERE is a “fish plate” in welding:
5D53491B-6161-4D49-BB19-C1045FEF282D.jpeg

At least, THOSE are the useage of those words where I come from.
 

armylifer

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If you’re going to correct my vocabulary you’re gonna have to explain WHY my term is incorrect.

Defn: DOUBLER -
What is a doubler in aircraft?
A laminated structural member used to reinforce areas of a model aircraft. Generally doublers are used to strengthen the forward fuselage, wing saddle and horizontal stabilizer.
In shipbuilding THIS is a “Doubler” welded to the hull:
View attachment 52854


Defn: FISH PLATE-
a metal or wooden plate or slab, bolted to each of two members that have been butted or lapped together.

SINCE WE are not “bolting”.... I felt my word was sufficiently useful.

THIS is a “Fish Plate”

View attachment 52853

HERE is a “fish plate” in welding:
View attachment 52855

At least, THOSE are the useage of those words where I come from.
I think the difference is we are talking about tractor repairs and you are referring to aircraft repair.
 
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SidecarFlip

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I don't give two shilts about aircraft, I'm taking about general welding practice and nomenclature used to describe welding another section of metal over a fatigued part.

As usual you are 100% Mr. Horn, as usual.... :rolleyes:
Hate to correct you again but the second picture is a rail tie plate, used to join 2 sections on non continuous welded rail.

On second thought if you want my bulbs they will cost you now...

When you have any doubt, just read my comment number 35 and carry on.
 
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GeoHorn

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Actually, my definitions above were obtained on-line about DOUBLERS and FISH PLATES from aviation, shipbuilidng, and WELDING sites... In other words from fairly universal widespread useage of the terms.

I suspect Flips definitions come from his own unique corner of the welding/metals-working areas. We ALL bring our own expertises and experiences to this forum and that’s what makes us ALL contributors.

Flip... the only reason I came back so “hard” on you was your comment which blatantly attacked / laughed at my use of the term “doubler” as if to ridicule my comment. In MY world it’s the common term to describe laying another sheet on top of a weakened or cracked surface to strengthen it.

I don’t want your old bulbs. I want your NEW ones. :ROFLMAO: