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Publication numberUS20080173736 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/625,747
Publication dateJul 24, 2008
Filing dateJan 22, 2007
Priority dateJan 22, 2007
Also published asCA2618553A1
Publication number11625747, 625747, US 2008/0173736 A1, US 2008/173736 A1, US 20080173736 A1, US 20080173736A1, US 2008173736 A1, US 2008173736A1, US-A1-20080173736, US-A1-2008173736, US2008/0173736A1, US2008/173736A1, US20080173736 A1, US20080173736A1, US2008173736 A1, US2008173736A1
InventorsDavid Looney
Original AssigneeRexius Forest By-Products, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
High-Speed Material Conveyor Having Direct Hydraulic Drive
US 20080173736 A1
Abstract
An mobile material placer with a placer conveyor having a high-speed direct hydraulic drive mechanism. The mobile material placer includes a body, a material hopper coupled to the body and configured to receive and store material, a feeder conveyor coupled to the body, and a placer conveyor pivotally coupled to the body. The placer conveyor includes a frame, at least a drive axle and a secondary axle rotatably coupled to the frame, each axle having at least one roller mounted thereon. An endless belt extends around and frictionally engages the rollers. A direct hydraulic drive mechanism is provided and causes the drive to rotate. The rotating axle causes the rollers to rotate and thereby drive the endless belt at a high-speed. The direct hydraulic drive mechanism is configured to drive the endless belt at a linear velocity of at least 3,000 ft/min.
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Claims(14)
1. A mobile material placer comprising:
a body;
a material hopper coupled to the body and configured to receive and store material;
a feeder conveyor coupled to the body, the feeder conveyor configured to receive material stored by the material hopper; and
a placer conveyor pivotally coupled to the body and having an in-feed end and a discharge end, the in-feed end of the placer conveyor alignable with a discharge end of the feeder conveyor, the placer conveyor including
a frame,
at least a drive axle and a secondary axle rotatably coupled to the frame, each axle having at least one roller mounted thereon,
an endless belt extending around and frictionally engaged with the rollers, and
a direct hydraulic drive mechanism configured to rotate the drive axle, the rotation of the drive axle causing the rollers to rotate thereby driving the endless belt;
wherein the direct hydraulic drive mechanism is capable of driving the endless belt at a linear velocity of at least 3,000 ft/min.
2. The mobile material placer according to claim 1, wherein the drive axle is located proximate to the discharge end of the placer conveyor and the secondary axle is located proximate to the in-feed end of the placer conveyor.
3. The mobile material placer according to claim 1, wherein the drive axle is located proximate to the in-feed end of the placer conveyor and the secondary axle is located proximate to the discharge end of the placer conveyor.
4. The mobile material placer according to claim 1, comprising a plurality of additional rollers spaced along the length of the frame.
5. The mobile material placer according to claim 1, wherein the direct hydraulic drive mechanism comprises, a hydraulic drive motor coupled to the drive axle, a hydraulic pump, and a hydraulic fluid reservoir, the hydraulic drive motor and the hydraulic pump fluidly connected to the hydraulic fluid reservoir.
6. The mobile material placer according to claim 5, wherein the hydraulic motor includes an hydraulic fluid inlet port and a hydraulic fluid outlet port.
7. The mobile material placer according to claim 1, wherein the placer conveyor includes a high-speed hydraulic motor and is configured to rapidly throw material.
8. The mobile material placer according to claim 1, further comprising a remote control system configured to control at least the operation of the feeder conveyor and the placer conveyor.
9. A method of dispensing material using a mobile material placer, the method comprising:
loading material into a material hopper;
conveying the material from an in-feed end of a feeder conveyor to a discharge end of the feeder conveyor;
discharging the material from the discharge end of the feeder conveyor to an in-feed end of a placer conveyor, said placer conveyor including an endless conveyor belt frictionally driven about a plurality of rollers;
pumping hydraulic fluid through a direct drive hydraulic motor to cause rotation of an axle coupled to one of said rollers, the rotation of the axle driving the endless conveyor belt at a linear velocity of at least 3,000 ft/min;
conveying the material from the in-feed end of the placer conveyor to a discharge end of the placer conveyor; and
discharging the material from the discharge end of the placer conveyor to a worksite.
10. The method of dispensing material according to claim 9, wherein the drive axle is located proximate to the discharge end of the placer conveyor and the secondary axle is located proximate to the in-feed end of the placer conveyor.
11. The method of dispensing material according to claim 9, wherein the drive axle is located proximate to the in-feed end of the placer conveyor and the secondary axle is located proximate to the discharge end of the placer conveyor.
12. The method of dispensing material according to claim 9, wherein the direct drive hydraulic motor is coupled to the drive axle, a hydraulic pump, and a hydraulic fluid reservoir, the direct drive hydraulic motor and the hydraulic pump fluidly connected to the hydraulic fluid reservoir.
13. The method of dispensing material according to claim 12, wherein the hydraulic motor includes a hydraulic fluid inlet port and a hydraulic fluid outlet port.
14. The method of dispensing material according to claim 9, including controlling remotely at least the operation of the feeder conveyor and the placer conveyor.
Description
    BACKGROUND
  • [0001]
    It is well known that many tasks such as: the construction of driveways, roadways, and asphalt surfaces; the back filling of retaining walls; and the distribution of aggregate, mulch, soil and the like, can be extremely labor intensive. For example, delivery of aggregate to a roadway construction site typically involves: (i) loading a dump truck at an aggregate storage facility, (ii) transporting the aggregate to the construction site, (iii) dumping the aggregate in a mound, (iv) manually filling a wheelbarrow, (v) wheeling the aggregate to a selected location, and (iv) dumping the wheelbarrow load at that location. Each of these steps involves a great deal of time and labor. Furthermore, at each of these steps material may be spilled, wasted or otherwise strewn about the construction site. This waste results in an unsightly and potentially environmentally hazardous construction site and can create a potential road hazard if gravel material is picked up by the tires of passing vehicles and thrown into the air. This picked-up material can injure unprotected pedestrians or damage property such as the windshields of passing vehicles.
  • [0002]
    To address the inefficiencies inherent in these steps, a number of mobile placers have been designed. Certain of these known mobile placers include a placer or placing conveyor pivotally attached to the main body of the vehicle. Placing conveyors generally include a conveyor belt driven around a number of rollers and function to convey and direct material from a material source to a worksite.
  • [0003]
    Certain known placer conveyors use an indirect driving mechanism to drive the placer conveyor belt around the rollers. These systems having an indirect drive generally incorporate a sprocket, chain and jackshaft combination. However, when the placer conveyor belt is operated at a high velocity, the conveyed material, such as sand, rocks or dirt can bounce out of the conveyor trough and get caught or otherwise interfere with the moving parts of the drive mechanism. In particular, the material may become caught between the chain, sprocket and jackshaft. This causes excessive wear of the indirect driving mechanism, thus leading to high costs in replacement parts and increased downtime.
  • [0004]
    Also, known placer conveyors having a limited belt velocity which limits the distance that the material can be flung or thrown.
  • [0005]
    In addition, certain placer conveyors include a driving mechanism located at a discharge end of the placer conveyor. The driving mechanism drives the conveyor belt with a chain, sprocket, and jackshaft configuration, as described above. However, this adds additional weight to the output or outer end of the placing conveyor.
  • [0006]
    It would be advantageous to provide a system, apparatus and/or method that addresses these limitations and simplifies the process of constructing and/or maintaining a roadway or distributing material around a construction site.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0007]
    In one embodiment, a mobile material placer slinger is provided. The mobile material placer or slinger includes a body, a material hopper coupled to the body and configured to receive and store material, a feeder conveyor coupled to the body, and a placer conveyor pivotally coupled to the body. The feeder conveyor is configured to receive material stored by the material hopper. The placer conveyor includes an in-feed end and a discharge end, where the in-feed end is alignable with a discharge end of the feeder conveyor. The placer conveyor includes a frame, at least a drive axle and a secondary axle rotatably coupled to the frame. Each axle includes at least one roller mounted thereon. An endless belt extends around and frictionally engages the rollers. A direct hydraulic drive mechanism rotates the drive axle, and the rotation of the drive axle causes the rollers to rotate and thereby drive the endless belt. In one embodiment, the direct hydraulic drive mechanism is configured to drive the endless belt at a linear velocity of at least 3,000 ft/min. Accordingly, the mobile placer having a placer conveyor with a direct hydraulic drive allows the placer conveyor belt to be driven at a high velocity so that material can be flung further from the discharge end of the placer conveyor. Also, because the direct hydraulic drive doesn't include exposed moving parts, wear and tear of the drive mechanism due to any dislodged conveyed material can be substantially avoided.
  • [0008]
    In an embodiment, the drive axle of the mobile material placer is located proximate to the discharge end of the placer conveyor and the secondary axle is located proximate to the in-feed end of the placer conveyor. In another embodiment, the drive axle is located proximate to the in-feed end of the placer conveyor and the secondary axle is located proximate to the discharge end of the placer conveyor. In this embodiment, the placer conveyor is pivotally attached to the main body of the mobile material placer through a swing arm assembly. Therefore, the hydraulic drive motor, which is located near the in-feed end of the placer conveyor, is located closer to the pivot point of the placer conveyor. Because the hydraulic drive motor is not located near the discharge end of the placer conveyor, the amount of weight at this end can be reduced. Accordingly, because there is less weight located at a distance far away from the pivot point, less force from a pivoting motor is required to pivot the placer conveyor relative to the main body of the mobile material placer.
  • [0009]
    In an embodiment, the mobile material placer includes a plurality of additional rollers spaced along the length of the frame.
  • [0010]
    In an embodiment, the direct hydraulic drive mechanism includes, a hydraulic drive motor coupled to the drive axle, a hydraulic pump, and a hydraulic fluid reservoir. In this embodiment, the hydraulic drive motor and the hydraulic pump are fluidly connected to the hydraulic fluid reservoir.
  • [0011]
    In an embodiment, the hydraulic motor includes a hydraulic fluid inlet port and a hydraulic fluid outlet port.
  • [0012]
    In an embodiment, the hydraulic drive motor is a high-speed hydraulic motor configured to rapidly throw material.
  • [0013]
    In an embodiment, the mobile material placer further includes a remote control system configured to control at least the operation of the feeder conveyor and the placer conveyor.
  • [0014]
    In an embodiment, a method of dispensing material using a mobile material placer is provided. The method includes loading material into a material hopper, conveying the material from an in-feed end of a feeder conveyor to a discharge end of the feeder conveyor, and discharging the material from the discharge end of the feeder conveyor to an in-feed end of a placer conveyor. The placer conveyor includes an endless conveyor belt frictionally driven about a plurality of rollers. The method also includes pumping hydraulic fluid through a direct drive hydraulic motor to cause rotation of an axle coupled to one of said rollers, where the rotation of the axle drives the endless conveyor belt at a linear velocity of at least 3,000 ft/min. The method also includes conveying the material from the in-feed end of the placer conveyor to a discharge end of the placer conveyor, and discharging the material from the discharge end of the placer conveyor to a worksite.
  • [0015]
    In an embodiment, the placer conveyor includes a frame mounted to and fixed with respect to the body of the placer conveyor. The frame supports a secondary conveyor driven by a motor. The secondary conveyor includes an endless belt driven about a plurality of rollers. The secondary conveyor is positioned above the placer conveyor such that the placer conveyor belt and the secondary conveyor belt provide a pathway for the material to be dispensed through. The secondary conveyor functions, at least in part, the compact, settle, and guide the material as it is being conveyed from the in-feed end of the placer conveyor to the discharge end of the placer conveyor.
  • [0016]
    In another embodiment, the mobile placer includes a body provided on a frame, a feeder conveyor adjustably mounted to the frame and adjustable between a working position and a transport position. The mobile placer can further include a primary material hopper attached to the body and adapted to receive material from the feeder conveyor, a primary conveyor coupled to the body and adapted to receive material from the primary material hopper, and a placer conveyer coupled to the body and adjustable relative to the body to receive material from the primary conveyor.
  • [0017]
    In yet another embodiment, the mobile placer includes (a) a body provided on a frame, (b) a cab connected to the body, (c) a material hopper mounted to the body, (d) a cartridge type primary conveyor removably mounted to the body and adapted to receive material from the material hopper. The primary conveyor includes a flat conveyor belt. The placer conveyer is coupled to the body and adjustable relative to the body, wherein the placer conveyor is adapted to receive material from the primary conveyor. In other embodiments, the mobile placer is cabless placer and includes a remote control for operating the mobile placer.
  • [0018]
    Additional features and advantages are described herein, and will be apparent from, the following Detailed Description and the figures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • [0019]
    FIG. 1 is a side view of a mobile placer with a placing conveyor and a direct hydraulic drive mounted to the placing conveyor.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 2 is a top view of a mobile placer with a placing conveyor and a direct hydraulic drive mounted to the placing conveyor.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 3A is side view of an embodiment of a placer conveyor having a direct hydraulic drive mounted at the material in-feed end of the placer conveyor.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 3B is side view of an embodiment of a placer conveyor having a direct hydraulic drive mounted at the material discharge end of the placer conveyor.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 4 is a end view of one embodiment of a placer conveyor having a direct hydraulic drive.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0024]
    In general, a mobile material placer or slinger constructed according to the teachings of the present disclosure includes a body coupled to a frame, a material hopper attached to the body, a primary conveyor coupled to the body, where the primary conveyor is adapted to receive material from the material hopper. A placer conveyer is pivotally coupled to the body and adjustable side-to-side and up and down relative to the body. The placer conveyor is adapted to receive material from the primary conveyor and rapidly discharge, sling or fling material to a worksite. Accordingly, the material placers according to the present embodiments are able to rapidly direct and project material such as, for example, aggregate, across a job site to any desired location that may not be accessible to the mobile placer, while also having the ability to simultaneously operate in a mobile fashion.
  • I. Mobile Placer
  • [0025]
    Turning to the figures, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate an example of a mobile placer 100 or slinger according to one embodiment, where the mobile placer 100 is configured to operate on a truck chassis and includes an operator cab 124. The mobile placer 100, according to this embodiment, includes a body 102 coupled to and carried by a frame 104, a material hopper 106 integrally mounted to the frame 104, a primary conveyor 108, and a high-speed placing or placer conveyor 110 pivotally mounted to the frame 104. As described in further detail below, the placer conveyor 110 is driven by a high-speed direct drive hydraulic motor 162 (see, FIG. 4). It should be appreciated that in other embodiments, the mobile placer does not have a cab and must be driven remotely by an operator.
  • [0026]
    In this embodiment, the mobile placer 100 is configured to operate on a truck chassis such as, for example, a KENWORTH® T-800 premium truck chassis. It should be appreciated that any suitable chassis may be used. In this exemplary embodiment, the mobile placer 100 is mounted to a truck frame 104, which includes, for example, a SPICER® EFA twenty-thousand pound (lb) front axel and a SPICER® DSH forty-thousand pound (lb) rear axel. However, any suitable frame and axel may be used. Mounted to the rear axel is at least one set of rear tires 122, and mounted to the front axel is one set of front tires 123. The mobile placer 100 also includes a truck cab 124, an engine (not shown), and a drive train 112. In one example, the engine may be a CATERPILLAR® C-13 engine with four hundred-thirty horsepower (hp) and sixteen-hundred and fifty lb-ft of torque, or a CATERPILLAR® model 3054C 86HPTM Tier 2 compliant engine. However, it should be appreciated that the engine may be any other suitable engine. The engine enables the mobile placer 100 to move in a forward or reverse direction, and to steer the mobile placer 100 to a desired location.
  • [0027]
    In operation, the material to be conveyed or dispensed is loaded into the material hopper 102 by, for example, a back how, skid steer or an excavator, and is gravity fed onto a first end 114 of the primary conveyor 108. The material hopper 106 may be constructed of a high tensile steel such as ten gauge sheeting that rates for a load capacity of at least six cubic meters. It will be understood that the material hopper 106 could be constructed of any suitable material and may include a larger load capacity depending on the applications and requirements placed upon the equipment. The hopper 106 may further include one or more hopper extensions (not shown) that increase or extend the width of the hopper opening to facilitate loading and to increase load capacity. The hopper 106 may include a vibratory agitator with a timer to facilitate the transport of material from the hopper 106 down to the primary conveyor 108. In other exemplary embodiments, the hopper 106 may be spring mounted to the frame 104, and/or may include exterior mounted skirt adjustments (not shown).
  • [0028]
    In an embodiment, the primary conveyor 108 includes a primary conveyor belt 116 that can, for example, be driven by a hydraulic drive mechanism (not shown). The primary conveyor belt 116 travels around a primary conveyor head roller 120 and a primary conveyor tail roller 118. The primary conveyor belt 116 is further supported by several sets of troughing rollers (not shown). In one example, the primary conveyor belt 116 may be an eighteen inch wide two-ply troughing belt. In one embodiment, the primary conveyor belt 116 may have any number of cleats to help convey the material. It should be appreciated that any suitable type of primary conveyor belt 116 having any suitable width may be used.
  • [0029]
    In one embodiment, the primary conveyor 108 is a positive start cartridge type with a non-troughing conveyor belt. In this embodiment, the track of the primary conveyor 108 is at least twenty inches wide to accommodate a larger variety of materials through the bottom opening in the material hopper 106. The cartridge type primary conveyor may be manufactured as a self-contained unit and may slide into the body 102 of the mobile placer 100. The cartridge type primary conveyor may be slid out of the body 102 at any time for repair or replacement. In another embodiment, the cartridge type primary conveyor is cleated as discussed above.
  • [0030]
    In another embodiment, the primary conveyor 108 is chain driven and includes a plurality of chain links mounted around a gear and connected to form a continuous chain (not shown). In one embodiment, the primary conveyor 108 includes a conveyor mount, a drive assembly and a primary conveyor belt 116. In one example, the conveyor mount is mounted to the frame 104 of the mobile placer 100. The drive assembly is mounted to the conveyor mount. In one embodiment, the drive assembly includes a set of gears (not shown) having teeth that engage the chains links and drive the chains in a particular direction.
  • [0031]
    Referring to FIG. 1, the head roller 118, the tail roller 120, the troughing rollers, and the primary conveyor belt 116 facilitate the conveyance of material through an incline from an in-feed end 113 of the primary conveyor 108 to a discharge end 114 of the primary conveyor 108. If, for example, troughing rollers are to be used in an application, several sets of troughing rollers may be arranged along the length of the primary conveyor 108 to help support the weight of the material being conveyed. Moreover, additional sets of troughing rollers may be positioned near the in-feed end 114 of the primary conveyor 108. In this embodiment, the greater number of troughing rollers at the in-feed end 114 of the primary conveyor 108 help support the greater mass of material contained in the material hopper 106 at that position. In one embodiment, the primary conveyor 108 includes one or more skirts and one or more primary conveyor skirt supports. After the material has been conveyed to the discharge end 114 of the primary conveyor 108, the material is discharged onto the placing or placer conveyor 110, as described in further detail below.
  • [0032]
    In an embodiment, the mobile placer 100 does not include a cab and is operated entirely by a remote control, such as the HETRONIC™ radio remote control. The remote control can be configured with separate controls for operating the primary conveyor 108 and the placer conveyor 110. The remote control also includes one or more controls to enable the entire mobile placer 100 to move forward and reverse and to be steered in different directions. Additionally, the remote control includes one or more controls to enable the placer conveyor 110 to pivot from side-to-side and tilt up and down.
  • [0033]
    In another embodiment, the mobile placer 100 includes a four-wheel steering system to facilitate maneuvering in relatively confined areas. In this embodiment, the front and real axles may, for example, be twenty thousand pound crab steering axles or any other type suitable axle. The wheels may be 15″×19.5″ flotation tires. However, it should be appreciated that any suitable tires may be used that accommodate travel over relatively rough terrain. The front wheels 123 may pivot independently of the rear wheels 122, or either the front 123 or rear 122 wheels may pivot while other wheels do not.
  • [0034]
    In one embodiment, the mobile placer includes an additional feeder conveyor that feeds material from a separate feed hopper (not shown) into the main material hopper 106.
  • II. Placer Conveyor
  • [0035]
    Generally, the placer conveyor 110 functions in a similar manner does as the primary conveyor 108, discussed above with reference to FIG. 1. As mentioned above, the primary conveyor 108 conveys material that is gravity fed from the hopper 106 through an incline and then discharges the material onto an in-feed end of the placer conveyor 110. In general, the placer conveyor 110 includes at least the following elements: (a) a frame; (b) a plurality of axles rotatably mounted to the frame, each axle having at least one roller coupled to the axle; (c) an endless belt driven around the rollers; and (d) a direct hydraulic drive operatively coupled to one of the axles.
  • [0036]
    In an embodiment, the placer conveyor 110 mounts to the body 102 of the mobile placer 100 via a swing arm assembly 130. The swing arm assembly 130 includes a swing arm hinge 132 mounted to define a substantially vertical axis, a swing arm yoke 134 mounted to define a substantially horizontal axis, and a swing arm mounting bumper 136 coupled thereto. The placer conveyor 110 pivotally mounts to the swing arm yoke 134 at an in-feed end 140 of the placer conveyor 110. A conveyor lift cylinder 142 further supports a discharge end 144 of the placer conveyor 110. The placing conveyor lift cylinder 142 couples to the swing arm assembly 130 and mounts to the placer conveyor 110 via a placer conveyor upper cylinder mount 146.
  • [0037]
    The swing arm hinge 132 allows the placer conveyor 110 to rotate about the vertical axis defined by the centerline of the swing arm hinge 132. The placer conveyor 110 may therefore rotate in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, relative to the swing arm hinge 132, to convey and dispense material in an arc around the mobile placer 100. Similarly, the placer conveyor lift cylinder 142 elevates or lowers the placer conveyor 110 relative to a pivot axis defined along the swing arm yoke 134. It will be understood that alternate arrangements of pivot points, hinges, or ball joints may be employed to allow the placer conveyor 110 to move in both lateral and vertical directions.
  • [0038]
    Referring to FIG. 1, in an embodiment, the placer conveyor includes a shield 154 or secondary conveyor mounted adjacent to the in-feed end 140 of the placer conveyor 110. In an embodiment, where the shield includes a conveyor belt, the conveyor belt (not shown) drives at substantially the same velocity and in the same direction as the placer conveyor belt 104 such that the material is conveyed between a region defined by the lower surface of the shield conveyor belt and the upper surface of the placer conveyor belt 172. In an alternate embodiment, the shield 154 may be unpowered and able to freely travel around a plurality of shield rollers 170. The region defined between the shield conveyor belt and the placer conveyor belt 172, in this example, is a substantially parallel area spaced apart and arranged to partially compress, settle, and/or shape the conveyed material. The shield 154 may further be removably mounted to the placer conveyor 110 and adjustable with respect to the placer conveyor 110 to accommodate different types of material.
  • [0039]
    In an embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the placer conveyor 110 includes a drive axle 186 and drive roller 160. In addition, the placer conveyor 110 includes at least one additional axle 198 and roller 180 combination that is located at the opposite end of the placer conveyor frame 196 from the drive axle 186 and roller 160 (see, FIG. 1). The additional axle 198 and roller 180 combination is essentially a passive roller. That is, it is not driven by the direct drive hydraulic motor 166. Therefore, the two rollers 160 and 180 provide a path around which the placer conveyor belt 172 can be driven at a high velocity as the drive axle 186 is rotated by the direct drive hydraulic motor.
  • [0040]
    In an embodiment, the placer conveyor 110 includes a plurality of sets of placer conveyor rollers or troughing rollers 174 supporting the placer conveyor belt 172. The placer conveyor rollers 174 are mounted below the upper surface of the placer conveyor belt 172. At least some of the rollers 174 define axes oblique from the placer conveyor belt 172 such that the placer conveyor belt 172 forms a general trough-like or v-like shape. It should be appreciated that the rollers 174 may be of any suitable type, any suitable number, and may be oriented horizontally such that the placer conveyor belt 172 forms a flat profile. The troughing rollers 174 facilitate the conveyance of material from the in-feed end 140 of the placer conveyor 110 to the discharge end 144 of the placer conveyor 110. Several sets of troughing rollers 174 are arranged along the length of the placer conveyor 110 to help support the mass of the material. The placer conveyor belt 172 is configured to allow material to be conveyed when the placer conveyor 110 is in an inclined, horizontal, or declined position. In operation, the rollers 174 guide and facilitate the movement of material from the in-feed end 140 of the placer conveyor 110 to the discharge end 144 of the placer conveyor 110.
  • [0041]
    The placer conveyor belt 172 may be a fourteen inch wide two-ply belt, and/or may include one or more cleats (not shown) extending from and permanently mounted to the placer conveyor belt 104. However, it should be appreciated that the placer conveyor belt 172 may be any suitable dimension and made of any suitable material.
  • [0042]
    A deflector 182 may be optionally attached to the discharge end 144 of the placer conveyor 110 to further direct or deflect the conveyed material in a specific direction. In one example, the deflector 182 is arranged to deflect material projected from the discharge end 144 of the placer conveyor 110 immediately into the ground. This type of deflection would be appropriate in, for example, a roadside application where it is not necessary to project the material over a long distance. In another example, the deflector 182 is adjusted so deflect the material upward to discharge the material into the air. This may be appropriate in an application with limited access where the placing conveyor 110 may not be able to pivot vertically. It should be appreciated that the deflector 182 may be adjustable, removable, permanently fixed, and may be of any suitable type.
  • [0043]
    In one embodiment, the in-feed end 140 of the placer conveyor 110 is located substantially below the head roll 120 of the primary conveyor 108. Therefore, as the material is conveyed over the discharge edge of the primary conveyor 108, the material drops from the primary conveyor belt 116 onto the placer conveyor 110.
  • [0044]
    In one embodiment, the placer conveyor is operable to be rotated approximately one-hundred eighty degrees such that the placer conveyor is positioned adjacent to the primary hopper. In this example, the mobile placer is converted into a relatively compact unit that can be driven along a roadway.
  • III. High-Speed Direct Hydraulic Drive System for Placer Conveyor
  • [0045]
    As illustrated in FIG. 4, in one embodiment, the placer conveyor 110 includes a direct hydraulic drive system 192. The placer conveyor belt 172 is driven by, for example, the direct hydraulic drive system 192 to project or throw material such as, for example, aggregate, across a job site to any desired location that may not be accessible to the mobile placer 100. For example in one application, material may be thrown between roughly seventy and at least one-hundred fifty feet to a desired location. It should be appreciated that in other embodiments, the slinger or mobile placer 100 may be able to fling or sling or throw material at distances greater than one-hundred fifty feet, such as two-hundred feet, two-hundred fifty feet, or three-hundred feet. Also, it should be appreciated that the mobile placer 100 can be used to fling material shorter distances, such as between ten and seventy feet. In one embodiment, the direct hydraulic drive system 192 is capable of driving the placer conveyor belt 172 at belt speeds of at least 3,000 ft/min. In other embodiments, the direct hydraulic drive system 192 is capable of driving the placer conveyor belt 172 at belt speeds exceeding 3,000 ft/min. It should be appreciated that the conveyor belt 172 may also be operated at slower speeds that are less than 3,000 ft/min if it is not necessary to fling material a far distance. The belt speed is a function of, at least in part, the number of revolutions per minute of the drive shaft or axle 186 of the placer conveyor, and the outside diameter of the roller 160 that is coupled to the drive shaft. In particular, the number of revolutions per minute of the drive axle 186 required for a placer conveyor belt speed of at least 3,000 ft/min is expressed as follows, where D is the diameter of the roller 160 in feet:
  • [0000]
    RPM drive axle 3000 π D .
  • [0046]
    In one embodiment, the direct hydraulic drive system 192 includes, at least in part: (i) a hydraulic pump 166; (ii) a hydraulic fluid reservoir 190; (iii) a direct drive hydraulic motor 162; and (iv) fluid porting means (not shown). The fluid porting means may include one or more of hydraulic hoses, tubes, or any other suitable conduit that is capable of containing hydraulic fluid at required operational pressures. In general, the direct drive hydraulic motor 162 transforms fluid energy from the pressurized hydraulic fluid into rotary mechanical power, where the rotary mechanical power is applied to the shaft or drive axle 186 of the placer conveyor 110.
  • [0047]
    In operation, the hydraulic pump 166 pumps the hydraulic fluid from the fluid reservoir 190, through the fluid porting means, and into an input port 194 of the direct drive hydraulic motor 162. The force of the pressurized hydraulic fluid is transmitted to the drive axle 186 of the placer conveyor 110 as the fluid travels through the direct drive hydraulic motor 162. The hydraulic fluid then continues through the output port 196 of the hydraulic motor 162 and back to the hydraulic fluid reservoir 190 for reuse, thus completing the closed hydraulic circuit. Accordingly, the hydraulic pump 166 creates a continuous fluid flow through the direct drive hydraulic motor 162 that causes the drive axle 186 to rotate continuously at a high number or revolutions per minute. As mentioned above, in an embodiment, the direct hydraulic drive system 192 is capable of driving the placer conveyor belt 172 at speeds of at least 3,000 ft/min. The rotating axle 186 causes the drive roller 160 coupled thereto to rotate, and thus drive the placer conveyor belt 172 which is in frictional engagement with the drive roller 160.
  • [0048]
    In an embodiment, the direct drive hydraulic motor 162 includes: (i) a driving surface area or pressure surface (not shown) that is subject to a pressure differential; (ii) a means for porting pressurized hydraulic fluid 166 to the pressure surface to achieve a continuous rotation of the axle 186; and (iii) a mechanical connection between the pressure surface and the output shaft 186. In one example, the direct drive hydraulic motor is a piston pump. In another example, the direct drive hydraulic motor is a rotary vane motor including a plurality of internal vanes mounted or coupled to a rotor. In this example, the vanes of the rotary pump function as the pressure surfaces. It should be appreciated that any other suitable direct drive hydraulic motor may be used. In addition, it should be appreciated that any suitable hydraulic pump may be used.
  • [0049]
    It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present subject matter and without diminishing its intended advantages. It is therefore intended that such changes and modifications be covered by the appended claims.
Patent Citations
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Classifications
U.S. Classification239/650
International ClassificationE01C19/12
Cooperative ClassificationB60P1/58, B60P1/36
European ClassificationB60P1/58, B60P1/36
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 27, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: REXIUS FOREST BY-PRODUCTS, INC., OREGON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LOONEY, DAVID;REEL/FRAME:021738/0721
Effective date: 20070308