I spent many years working landscape construction specializing in steep slope installations and other sites with difficult or delicate access. Sites where an excavator or other heavy equipment could not/should not go, Some places where even a wheel barrow would be too cumbersome. On a couple jobs we used a military surplus medic stretcher to haul stone up a hillside, but ever present and ever useful was the 5 gallon bucket.
Such a simple tool that holds gravel, water, soil, feed, and even, more tools. When loaded bilaterally (think “farmer carry” in exercise-land, or just a farmer carrying stuff on farmland), you can move a ton of material. Literally. If a gallon of wet concrete weighs ~ 20 lbs, then one ten gallon load is 200 lbs. You’d only need to make ten trips to move said ton. Perhaps with a couple breaks!
Inevitably, however, one piece of the overall elegant design fails. And that would be the cheap white plastic handle that gets brittle and breaks off until you are left with only one or two fingers protected from the skin-gouging wire underneath.
Our crew used to install irrigation systems and at the emitter end, we would use a tail of “funny pipe” (flexible 1/2 inch pipe) that allowed us to bypass any funny angles required by rigid pipe. Turns out this makes a perfect handle replacement when coupled with electrical tape. You can also use old garden hose, although you may wish to apply extra tape to stiffen it up.
The steps are simple:
- Gather tools and materials.
- Snip off remaining ring of old handle, or just move it aside.
- Cut a piece of pipe/hose the length of the flat part of wire handle.
- Take a new utility blade or sharp knife and slit the length.
- Work it onto the wire.
- Wrap with electrical tape.
Voilá! Better than new. The new handle is more comfortable/ergonomic and will easily outlast the bucket itself. Now keep your eye out for buckets along the side of the road like I always do and increase your collection. Farm on!
9 thoughts on “Upgrading the mighty 5 gallon bucket”
LOVE this tip!!!
Thanks, yea it works really well!
You can never go wrong with a good bucket.
So true 😊
Great Idea! I’m sure we will use this. 🙂
We can usually undo one end of the wire from the bucket and slide a piece of hose over it, rather than splitting the length. Great tip!