from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of bucketwheel.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The mining originally was done with bucketwheels, gouging machines that weighed up to 850 tons.
In the mid-1990s, bucketwheels were replaced by trucks and shovels, which can do much of the separation on the spot - sending oil sands to processing plants and soils without oil to holding grounds until it can be used for other purposes, like reclamation or building dikes for settling ponds.