Just curious how you leave your loader positioned when not in use, and whether inside or outside? If covered, answer as "inside". This should be interesting!
Yep those buckets will rust through quick with standing water in them all it takes is one knick in the paint for the moisture to get into the metal. I always try to level the bucket flat out, and boom down to keep the water from standing in the bucket.It depends....
I don't have inside storage, so I park the tractor outside. In the winter, I either have to leave the arms down, and curl the bucket into dump position, or set blocks under the bucket so it doesn't freeze to the ground. Also, during "rain" season, the bucket needs to be in the dump position so it doesn't fill with water. . One way or another, those rams are gonna be exposed. I've found out over the years, though, that the rams can take a LOT of weather related abuse, where as the bucket can't.
Run you bucket into piles of gravel a couple of seasons and you won't worry about won't worry about paint flaking off your bucket...After seeing several big "flakes" of green-painted steel peel off the inside of my loader bucket, I NEVER leave it parked outside without curling the bucket down. Once on the ground, you can relieve the pressure in the lines by moving the joystick in all four directions repeatedly until it stops moving. Its been outside for nearly 4 years, and the only rust I see is on the bucket, not the hydraulic rams.