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Tapco Inc Elevator Buckets for agricultural grain elevators, industrial use elevator buckets, plus Elevator bolts and parts. moncler uk sale outlet

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As Published in Grain Journal, May/June 2000 issue.

True Blue Buckets Users, dealers comment on their experience with industry's leading brand

They may be one of the most popular products sold to grain elevators — those bright blue plastic buckets mounted on the leg belting from Tapco Inc., St. Louis, MO. Since the company's signature product debuted in the mid-1970s, Tapco has been the consistent industry leader in bucket sales.

Tapco buckets intended for grain service are available in 41 sizes ranging from 3x2 to 20x8 in standard (full-size) and low-profile configurations. Buckets can be made from polyethylene, urethane, or nylon. Depending on the specific project, the person signing the purchase order for elevator buckets may be a facility manager, a grain handling equipment distributor, or a leg manufacturer.

Grain Journal approached all three to discuss their experiences with Tapco buckets.

Material Resources Inc . Jerry Behimer , president of Material Resources Inc., a feed ingredients handler and contract packaging operation six miles east of St. Louis, MO, in Washington Park, IL (618-274-3150), has had plenty of experience with Tapco buckets. Formerly president and owner of Behimer & Kissner, he operated 13 grain elevators across southern Illinois. "I've known Tapco for many years and did quite a bit of elevating with their buckets," he says. "The thing I liked best about them were the on-time delivery and the good service we've always gotten from the company."

Over the years, he adds, he replaced very few of the buckets because they rarely wear out. The Washington Park facility has nearly a dozen bucket elevators ranging in capacity from 50 to 150 tph, with a variety of bucket brands. Since taking over the facility in 1998, Behimer has added two legs, both outfitted with 10x6 Tapco standard profile buckets. "We mount them on close centers to maximize volume," Behimer says. As he continues to upgrade legs or repair them as needed, Behimer says he plans to continue his relationship with Tapco.

Mill & Elevator Supply Co. Since the Tapco bucket was introduced in the mid-1970s, Kansas City, MO-based Mill & Elevator Supply Co. (800-821-5578/ has consistently remained among the top three Tapco distributors in the United States. President Steve Cunneen has a theory as to the popularity of the bright blue plastic buckets. "Up until about 30 years ago, there were no plastic buckets in elevators," he says. "Dating back to the 1800s, you had five different shapes for steel elevator buckets. Four of those were for various industrial applications, and only the 'CC' or 'close center' bucket was intended for use in a grain elevator.

"When Tapco came along around 1975, of all the various plastic bucket manufacturers, they designed their mold to most closely resemble the old CC design," Cunneen continues. "Whenever elevator managers converted from steel to plastic, the Tapco design most closely duplicated the capacity and centrifugal discharge characteristics of the CC steel bucket, which had wide acceptance in the industry."

He offers one maintenance tip for getting maximum life out of Tapco or any other plastic bucket ­ check the tightness of the fastener as part of regular, routine maintenance. Fasteners loosen more easily with plastic buckets than with steel, he says.

"One question that has been posed to me hundreds of times is which type of bucket should I use, steel or plastic?" Cunneen adds. "If they have older steel buckets, this is the rule of thumb. If when you replace the steel cups, it's because of long-term abrasion, you'll get better value from steel. If you're replacing them because they're fractured, broken, or traumatized, it's better to replace them with plastic."

EBM Mill & Elevator Supply Co. Norfolk, NE-based EBM (800-356-9782/ supplies parts and equipment to grain elevators. Its staff also does design work on bucket elevator upgrades. Most of the knowledge for this design work goes back to when President Clayton Ellsworth began recommending and installing plastic buckets in the 1970s.

"A number of factors go into bucket selection," says Sales Manager Dean Wedekind . "For replacement, the customer already may have a preference for a specific brand of bucket. If they haven't any preference, we'll look at the capacity and durability they require as well as discharge characteristics. "Clayton has shown us that most of the time, when there are problems in an elevator leg, it is not the fault of the buckets. For that reason, we may ask the customer some more in-depth questions. Price could enter the discussion at some point, but it's not as important as other factors."

Based on those factors, Wedekind comments that plastic buckets have been very important to the grain industry, and the performance of Tapco buckets has held up well. "It's a very good product," he says. "Our customers have mostly been happy with them, and Tapco's staff has been excellent to work with in the event of a customer complaint."

- Ed Zdrojewski, editor




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