Operating in muddy, mucky conditions

Case Studies
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Nearly every equipment operator has operated in muddy, mucky conditions, whether working on ditches, drainage fields, ponds or other waterlogged environments. Experienced operators know these harsh conditions can cause wear and tear on excavator attachments, shortening the equipment’s life and resulting in costly downtime.

For the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR), Helac’s PowerGrip is just the tool to overcome these jobsite obstacles. The versatile, durable multi-purpose bucket consistently delivers outstanding performance without suffering the downtime and maintenance issues common with cylinder-style buckets.

A Safe, Reliable and Durable Alternative

Bill Ryan, operations team supervisor at the Wisconsin DNR, has witnessed the durability and reliability of the bucket in the field. His skilled team restores miles of fragile trout stream habitat in Wisconsin, which involves bringing back the natural features of the stream—riffles, pools, meanders and woody debris—that are critical to trout viability. The habitat around the stream must be restored often, requiring difficult bank sloping and vegetation removal and replacement.


More than a year ago, the Wisconsin DNR replaced a cylinder-style jaw bucket on a Cat 320C with the PowerGrip to alleviate the service and maintenance issues. The department found the new bucket to be a safer solution because there are fewer external moving parts that must be dealt with, resulting in greater productivity.

The bucket has been engineered with the flexibility to function as a trenching, grading or clamshell bucket and for gripping and loading. This flexibility allows the Wisconsin DNR to keep the bucket on the machine 80% to 85% of the time, year round. “[The bucket’s] versatility allows our operators to accomplish a wide variety of tasks without having to change machines or attachments, unless we decide to use a regular digging bucket on occasion. We purchased a second bucket last year because of its versatility and minimal maintenance requirements,” Ryan said.

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