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Publication numberUS20080298892 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/807,823
Publication dateDec 4, 2008
Filing dateMay 30, 2007
Priority dateMay 30, 2007
Publication number11807823, 807823, US 2008/0298892 A1, US 2008/298892 A1, US 20080298892 A1, US 20080298892A1, US 2008298892 A1, US 2008298892A1, US-A1-20080298892, US-A1-2008298892, US2008/0298892A1, US2008/298892A1, US20080298892 A1, US20080298892A1, US2008298892 A1, US2008298892A1
InventorsPhillip John Megli, Joseph Wayne Bonnell
Original AssigneePhillip John Megli, Joseph Wayne Bonnell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders
US 20080298892 A1
Abstract
A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders having a work vehicle, an aggregate tiller, a screed assembly, and an attachment apparatus; the attachment apparatus being such that the screed assembly is rearward of the aggregate tiller, and such that the aggregate tiller and the screed assembly operate on the road shoulder while the work vehicle travels on the road proper. A preferred embodiment includes an assembly of the aggregate tiller, the screed assembly, the attachment apparatus, a folding apparatus whereby the assembly may be folded into a stowed position, a broom whereby the road edge may be swept clean, and adjustment mechanisms whereby the assembly may be adjusted; the adjustment mechanisms being remotely controlled.
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Claims(24)
1. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders comprising:
a work vehicle having a right side and a left side, said work vehicle adapted to receive an attachment, and said work vehicle being enabled to travel a path by employing a locomotion means, said locomotion means comprising a forward motion means and a rearward motion means, and said work vehicle having an operators console from which the locomotion means can be controlled by an operator;
a tilling means for scarifying and loosening an aggregate;
a screed means other than the tilling means,
an attachment means whereby the tilling means and the screed means are attached to the work vehicle;
the attachment means whereby the screed means is mounted rearward of the tilling means with respect to the forward motion means of the work vehicle, such that said screed means is positioned to receive the loosened aggregate created by the tilling means;
the attachment means whereby the tilling means and the screed means operate in a path separate but adjacent to the path traveled by the work vehicle;
the screed means being configured such that it conveys the loosened aggregate towards the path traveled by the work vehicle and screeds said aggregate adjacent to the path traveled by the work vehicle; and
the screed means whereby, in an event of there being an excess amount of the aggregate delivered towards the path traveled by the work vehicle, the excess amount of the aggregate is conveyed away from the path traveled by the work vehicle and deposited smoothly behind the screed means.
2. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 1 wherein the aggregate is such as is commonly found beside a road, said road being comprised of a road surface, a shoulder surface along and beside the road surface, a road edge defined as a line at which the road surface and the shoulder surface converge, said shoulder surface being comprised of said aggregate and, sometimes, an amount of vegetation growing in and amongst the aggregate;
3. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 2 further comprising
a sweeping means whereby, in an event that an excess amount of the aggregate escapes the screed means and is deposited on the road surface, the excess amount of the aggregate is swept off the road surface and onto the shoulder surface.
4. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 2 further comprising
an assembly comprised of the tilling means, the screed means and the attachment means, said assembly having a center of gravity;
a folding means whereby said assembly may be folded into a stowed position for transport; and
a plurality of adjustment means whereby the assembly may be adjusted.
5. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 4 further comprising
a control means whereby said adjustment means can be remotely controlled from the operators console.
6. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 5 wherein said control means is adapted to simultaneously control two or more of the tilling means, the screed means and the folding means.
7. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 5 wherein said control means is adapted to independently control one of the tilling means, the screed means or the folding means.
8. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 4 wherein said folding means positions the assembly in a stowed position wherein the center of gravity of the assembly is less than 48″ off of the road surface.
9. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 4 wherein said folding means positions the assembly in a stowed position wherein the center of gravity of the assembly is between an imaginary pair of planes, said planes being vertical in orientation and further defined as a right plane and a left plane respectively, said left plane being parallel to said right plane, and the left plane coinciding with the left side of the work vehicle, and the right plane coinciding with the right side of the work vehicle.
10. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 2 wherein said tilling means is configured to chop, cut, and otherwise reduce the vegetation found growing on the shoulder surface.
11. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 1 further comprising
a compacting means whereby the loosened aggregate can be compacted, said compacting means to be mounted to the work vehicle, or the assembly rearward of the screed means.
12. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 4 whereby the attachment means is adapted to attach said assembly to a snow plow mount or a snow wing mount.
13. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 1 wherein said tilling means may be further defined as an excavating means whereby the aggregate is excavated and subsequently mixed and deposited forward of the screed means.
14. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 2 and claim 13 wherein said excavating means excavates the vegetation along with the aggregate, and subsequently separates the vegetation from the aggregate, and then deposits the aggregate before the screed means while discharging the vegetation to an area other than forward of the screed means.
15. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders comprising:
a work vehicle having a right side, and a left side, said work vehicle adapted to receive an attachment, and said work vehicle being enabled to travel a path by employing a locomotion means, said locomotion means comprising a forward motion means and a rearward motion means, and said work vehicle having an operators console from which an operator can control the locomotion means of said work vehicle;
a tilling means for scarifying and loosening an aggregate, said tilling means adapted to convey the aggregate toward the path traveled by the work vehicle;
an attachment means whereby the tilling means is attached to the work vehicle;
the attachment means whereby the tilling means operates in a path separate but adjacent to the path traveled by the work vehicle;
an assembly comprising the tilling means and the attachment means, said assembly having a center of gravity; and
a folding means whereby said assembly may be folded into a stowed position for transport, said folding means positioning the assembly in a stowed position such that the center of gravity of the assembly is between an imaginary pair of planes, said planes being vertical in orientation and further defined as a right plane and a left plane respectively, said left plane being parallel to said right plane, and the left plane coinciding with the left side of the work vehicle, and the right plane coinciding with the right side of the work vehicle.
16. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 15 wherein the aggregate is such as is commonly found beside a road, said road being comprised of a road surface, a shoulder surface along and beside the road surface, a road edge defined as a line at which the road surface and the shoulder surface converge, said shoulder surface being comprised of said aggregate and, sometimes, an amount of vegetation growing in and amongst the aggregate;
17. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 16 further comprising
a sweeping means whereby, in an event that an excess amount of the aggregate is deposited on the road surface, the excess amount of the aggregate is swept off the road surface and onto the shoulder surface.
18. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 16 wherein said tilling means is configured to chop, cut, and otherwise reduce the vegetation found growing on the shoulder surface.
19. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 15 further comprising
a compacting means whereby the loosened aggregate can be compacted, said compacting means to be mounted to the work vehicle, or the assembly, rearward of the tilling means.
20. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 16 further comprising
a plurality of adjustment means whereby the assembly may be adjusted.
21. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 20 further comprising
a control means whereby said adjusting means can be controlled remotely from the operators console.
22. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 21 wherein said control means is adapted to simultaneously control both of the tilling means and the folding means.
23. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 21 wherein said control means is adapted to independently control one of the tilling means or the folding means.
24. A machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders as claimed in claim 15 whereby the attachment means is adapted to attach said assembly to a snow plow mount or a snow wing mount.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to-the field of road maintenance, and more specifically to a machine for improving the efficiency of maintenance and-conditioning of gravel road shoulders. Yet more specifically this invention relates to a machine that grooms and conditions a road shoulder in a single pass operation.

The practice of maintaining roads and road shoulders dates back many years, and the necessity of such maintenance shall continue for as long as road travel is popular. One of the particular problems that necessitates maintenance is the deterioration of the road shoulder along the road proper. This deterioration consists chiefly of erosion caused by nature, snowplows, and motor vehicles. This problem becomes especially pronounced when the road shoulder consists of a loose aggregate, such as gravel, commonly found along the side of a paved road. One specific component of the deterioration is the fact that the aggregate erodes away from the pavement edge leaving a ledge at the convergence of the road shoulder and the pavement edge. This ledge creates a hazard for vehicles and their operators in that they may inadvertently venture too close to the road shoulder and drop a wheel off the ledge thereby creating the potential for loss of control resulting in a possible accident. Additional facets of the problem include ruts, ridges, and pot holes along the road shoulder, which, if not removed, cause additional safety concerns, as well as contributing to the further deterioration of the road shoulder. Over the years many devices and methods have been developed to correct this problem, and it has been found that replacing or reclaiming the aggregate at regular time intervals provides the best overall maintenance; the object being to eliminate the ledge at the road edge and any ruts, ridges, or potholes that exist on the road shoulders.

The most relevant prior technology consists of machines that replace aggregate and machines that reclaim aggregate.

The machines that replace aggregate work by conveying bulk material from a dump truck, or other type of material transporting vehicle, to the shoulder of the road and subsequently depositing it on the road shoulder. These machines sometimes employ a box screed device to level the aggregate with the road surface.

The reclaiming machines operate by reclaiming and reusing the existing aggregate that has eroded away from the road edge. These reclaiming machines can be classified as two types. The first type of reclaiming machine is a set of screed type cutting edges which screed and convey eroded aggregate back to the road edge and screed it flush with the road surface, and also level any ridges, ruts or potholes. The second type of reclaiming machine embodies a type of tilling apparatus typically consisting of a set of cupped harrow disks, also called a disk gang, mounted to a shaft in a manner that allows them to rotate. The disk gang is pulled along on the outside of the road shoulder at an angle and the disks till or dig any aggregate that has eroded away from the road edge, throwing it back toward the road edge, thus filling in along the ledge. This machine also cuts and fills ruts and ridges, but is not proficient at leveling and grooming.

There are also machines that incorporate both disk gangs and cutting edges into one unit and, although these machines were typically used for leveling levees or maintaining unpaved roads, they could conceivably be used for the maintenance of a road shoulder along paved roads.

It is deemed worth mentioning that there also exists a class of machines that have been used for creating or cleaning ditches. These machines are mentioned because they employ some of the same components as the reclaiming machines mentioned above. Most of these machines have been made obsolete by the invention of modern excavating equipment.

The existing technologies suffer from the following significant drawbacks:

1. The machines that are employed to replace the eroded aggregate require the purchase of large amounts of replacement aggregate and the transport of the aggregate to the maintenance site. This fact necessitates the use of one or more transport vehicles, and the operators that drive them. Accordingly, this process becomes quite expensive and labor intensive. These machines are also typically slow in nature, and typically only the first 2′ of road shoulder is maintained.

2. The machines that reclaim aggregate using only screed type cutting edges are limited to use when the aggregate is in a damp and soft condition. These machines do not penetrate the aggregate when it is dry and hard and therefore cannot convey or distribute enough loose material to sufficiently fill in the ledge, ruts and potholes. They also do not sufficiently handle the vegetation that is often found growing in the aggregate. This vegetation often plugs the machine, or causes it to ride over top the aggregate, thus limiting penetration.

3. The machines that reclaim aggregate using a disk type harrow, sufficiently handle the hard and dry conditions, as well as the vegetation, but yet, because they use no leveling screed, they lack the ability to leave a groomed surface on the road shoulder, and therefore require a secondary operation is needed for grooming. They also throw the aggregate and vegetation toward the road edge, and typically much of it lands on the paved surface of the road. This results in a safety concern for motor vehicles and therefore a secondary operation is required to clean off the road surface.

4. The machines that reclaim aggregate using a combination of a disk type harrow and a leveling screed, could conceivably handle the hard dry conditions, as well as the vegetation, and could also sufficiently groom the shoulder surface. These machines, however, were typically designed for maintaining levees and unpaved roads and therefore do not adapt well to being pulled or driven on the shoulder of a paved road. This is because the shoulder of the road is sometimes narrow with somewhat steep ditches along side, and these types of machines would either become unstable or drift down the steep ditches limiting their effectiveness. Also, because they are designed for maintaining levees and unpaved roads they are limited in the ability to reclaim the aggregate and accurately deposit it along the edge of the pavement. They are also often too wide to be confined to the road shoulder alone thus subjecting the road pavement to possible damage from their components. They are also limited in the ability of keeping debris and aggregate off of the paved surface.

5. The machines that are designed for creating or cleaning ditches have many of the same components of the above mentioned machines. Although these machines may be perceived to be able to accomplish the desired maintenance on a road shoulder, yet they lack the proper orientation and function to do so. They are typically designed to dig a trench, and as a result have no ability to redistribute material in the manner required to properly groom a road shoulder. They typically leave a berm consisting of the excavated material along the side of the ditch.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of aggregate based road shoulders that fully, efficiently, and exceptionally completes the maintenance in a single pass operation.

Another object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that reclaims and reuses existing aggregate along the road.

A further object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that requires no additional aggregate be added to the road shoulder.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that operates effectively in a variety of conditions, whether wet, dry, or weedy.

Still yet another object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that leaves a clean and smooth shoulder finish and a clean and safe road surface.

Another object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that operates safely and effectively with minimal effort regardless of the width or slope of the road shoulder.

Another object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that folds into a stowed position for transport.

A further object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that maintains a low and centralized center of gravity in the stowed position.

Moreover, it is the object of the invention is to provide a machine for the maintenance of road shoulders that is adjustable in its operation to provide optimum results.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed a machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders comprising: a work vehicle adapted to receive an attachment, a tilling means for scarifying and loosening an aggregate, as is commonly found on a road shoulder, a screed means other than the tilling means, an attachment means whereby the tilling means and the screed means are attached to the work vehicle, the attachment means whereby the screed means is mounted rearward of the tilling means, such that said screed means is positioned to receive the loosened aggregate created by the tilling means, the attachment means whereby the tilling means and the screed means operate on the shoulder surface while the work vehicle travels on the road surface, the screed means being configured such that it conveys the loosened aggregate towards the work vehicle and screeds said aggregate adjacent to the road edge, and the screed means whereby, in an event of there being an excess amount of the aggregate delivered to the road edge, the excess amount of the aggregate is conveyed away from the work vehicle and deposited smoothly along the road shoulder surface.

The preferred embodiment may further include an assembly comprising the tilling means and the attachment means, said assembly having a center of gravity, and a folding means whereby said assembly may be folded into a stowed position for transport, said stowed position being such that the center of gravity of the assembly is in a low and centralized location at the front of the work vehicle, an adjustment means whereby the assembly may be adjusted, and a sweeping means whereby any aggregate or debris left on the road surface may be removed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention.

FIG. 2 a is an cross sectional view of a typical road as it appears before operated on by the invention.

FIG. 2 b is an cross sectional view of a typical road as it appears after operated on by the invention.

FIG. 3 is a rear facing perspective view showing the screed and broom portion of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view itemizing the invention in detail.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the front portion of the invention.

FIG. 6 is plan view of the invention.

FIG. 7 a is a plan view of a progressive folding of the back portion of the

FIG. 7 b is a plan view of a progressive folding of the back portion of the invention.

FIG. 7 c is a plan view of a progressive folding of the back portion of the invention.

FIG. 7 d is a plan view of a progressive folding of the back portion of the invention.

FIG. 7 e is a plan view of a progressive folding of the back portion of the invention.

FIG. 8 a is a plan view of a progressive folding of the front portion of the invention.

FIG. 8 b is a plan view of a progressive folding of the front portion of the invention.

FIG. 8 c is a plan view of a progressive folding of the front portion of the invention.

FIG. 8 d is a plan view of a progressive folding of the front portion of the invention.

FIG. 8 e is a plan view of a progressive folding of the front portion of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the control means of the invention.

FIG. 10 a is an elevation view of the invention in its folded position.

FIG. 10 b is a plan view of the invention in its folded position.

FIG. 10 c is a perspective view of the invention in its folded position.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the compacting means of the invention.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an alternative tilling device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

Turning first to FIG. 1 there is shown a machine for the maintenance and conditioning of road shoulders comprising a work vehicle 14 having a right side 15 and a left side 16, said work vehicle 14 adapted to receive an attachment, and said work vehicle 14 being enabled to travel a path 19 by employing a locomotion means such as a standard engine and transmission, and said work vehicle 14 having an operators console 17 from which the locomotion means can be controlled by an operator. This work vehicle 14 is depicted as a truck, but it is inherently understood that any vehicle, such as a tractor, a motor grader, or a bulldozer may suffice as the work vehicle 14 for the purposes of this invention. It is noted that, for the purposes of clarification in the following detailed description, the terms front, back, left, and right, shall be correspondent to the front, back, left and right of the work vehicle 14 as it is depicted in the drawings. FIG. 1 also shows a tilling means 40 for scarifying and loosening an aggregate 160, a screed means 50, a front attachment means 20 and a rear attachment means 60 whereby the tilling means 40 and the screed means 50 are attached to the work vehicle 14. For clarification FIG. 1 shows six states or conditions of aggregate 160 a, 160 b, 160 c, 160 d, 160 e, and 160 f. The aggregate may be referred to in a general sense as 160, but otherwise as one of the six conditions mentioned. The first condition of aggregate 160 a is a compact unfinished condition that may have some vegetation 161 growing in it. The second condition of the aggregate 160 b is that of being scarified and loosened by the tilling means 40. The third condition of the aggregate 160 c is that of being conveyed by the front screed 51 toward the side barrier 53. The forth condition of the aggregate 160 d is that of collecting at the side barrier 53 and being screeded adjacent to the road edge 173. The fifth condition of the aggregate 160 e is that of being screeded and conveyed away from the work vehicle 14 by the back screed 52, thus leaving the sixth condition of aggregate 160 f as a smooth and finished shoulder surface. The tilling means 40 consists of a frame 44 having front and back bearings 43, and a set of dished blades 41 mounted to a shaft 42 which is in turn rotatably attached to said bearings 43. It is noted that, though FIG. 1 illustrates a dished disc type tilling implement, the present invention could successfully employ other tilling means, such as plow shares or rotary tines. FIG. 1 further shows the attachment means 20 and 60 whereby the screed means 50 is mounted rearward of the tilling means 40 with respect to the forward motion of the work vehicle 14, such that said screed means 50 is positioned to receive the loosened aggregate 160 b created by the tilling means 40. Pursuant to the uniqueness of the invention FIG. 1 shows the attachment means 20 and 60 whereby the tilling means 40 and the screed means 50 operate in a path 18 separate but adjacent to the path 19 traveled by the work vehicle 14. This observation coupled with a more detailed description of the screed means will enable those skilled in the art to appreciate the unique and useful attributes of the invention.

Turning now to FIGS. 1 and 4 there is shown a screed means 50 which can be further defined as an assembly consisting of a front screed 51, a back screed 52, a side barrier 53, a first bar link 54, a second bar link 55, and a third bar link 56. The function of the first, second, and third bar links will be discussed along with folding and stowing hereinafter. The front screed 51 is oriented such that, when the work vehicle 14 is engaged in a forward motion, it conveys the loosened aggregate 160 c towards the work vehicle 14 and screeds said aggregate 160 d adjacent to the road edge 173 along the path 19 traveled by the work vehicle 14. It can be seen that the side barrier 53 is positioned to prevent aggregate 160 from being conveyed too far towards the left thus preventing accumulation of the aggregate 160 under the work vehicle 14. Moreover, it is seen that the back screed 52 is oriented such that, in an event of there being an excess amount of aggregate 160 d delivered towards the work vehicle 14, the excess amount of aggregate 160 e is conveyed away from the work vehicle 14 and deposited behind the back screed 52, giving the road shoulder a smooth and finished surface 160 f.

Patentably important is the combination of the tilling means 40 being mounted ahead of the screed means 50, and the screed means 50 being configured to convey the aggregate 160 as hereinbefore stated. The prior art shows no implement or invention thus configured, nor any invention that fully attempts to accomplish the desired results pertaining to the scope of shoulder maintenance. In accordance with the objectives of the present invention, the configuration hereinbefore stated provides a shoulder maintenance machine that will accomplish the effective and efficient finishing of gravel road shoulders in a one pass operation.

In keeping with the invention FIG. 2 a and 2 b clarify the intended application by depicting the cross section of a typical road 170, said road 170 being comprised of a road surface 171, a shoulder surface 172 along and beside the road surface 171, a road edge 173 defined as a line at which the road surface 171 and the shoulder surface 172 converge, said shoulder surface 172 being comprised of said aggregate 160 and, sometimes, an amount of vegetation 161 growing in and amongst the aggregate 160. FIG. 7 a shows the condition of the shoulder surface 172 before being affected by the invention. It is of note that there is a difference in elevation 176 of the road surface 170 and the shoulder surface 171. It is also of note that the shoulder surface has ridges 174 and ruts 175. FIG. 7 b shows the finished condition of the shoulder surface 172 after being affected by the invention. Comparing FIG. 7 b to FIG. 7 a it is evident that the difference in elevation 176 depicted in FIG. 7 a is eliminated by the invention as can be seen in FIG. 7 b. It is also evident that the ruts 175 and ridges 174 depicted in FIG. 7 a are likewise eliminated. Moreover, it is further noted that the vegetation depicted in FIG. 7 a is eliminated as well.

Refering now to FIG. 3. While allowing that most of the aggregate and debris will be shielded from the road surface by the side barrier 53, it is nevertheless a reality that a small portion of aggregate and debris will escape said barrier 53. Thus it is one of the features of the invention is to employ a broom to sweep said debris or aggregate off of the road surface. It is important to note that, though the preferred embodiment shows a sweeping means 70, the exclusion of said sweeping means 70 does not sufficiently diminish the effectiveness of the invention. It is therefore included here as an enhancement, and not as a necessary component of the invention. Observing FIG. 3, with reference also to FIGS. 2 a and 2 b, there is shown a sweeping means 70 whereby, in an event that an excess amount of the aggregate 160 escapes the side barrier 53, the excess amount of the aggregate 160 is swept off the road surface 171 and onto the shoulder surface 172. Further observation of FIG. 3 shows a sweeping means 70 that can be further defined as an assembly consisting of a set of broom bristles 71, a right mounting arm 72, a left mounting arm 73, a set of turnbuckles 74, and a lift chain 75. Further examination of FIGS. 3 and 6 reveal that the broom bristles 71 are attached to the back screed 52 via the mounting arms 72 and 73. These mounting arms 72 and 73 may differ in length to achieve an appropriate sweeping angle 77 (See FIG. 6). The turnbuckles 74 are used to vary the pitch 78 (See FIG. 3) of the broom bristles 71 to the ground surface, thus varying the aggressiveness of the bristles 71.

Turning now to FIG. 4 there is shown an assembly 13 comprised of the tilling means 40, the screed means 50, the front and rear attachment means 20 and 60, the folding means 30 whereby said assembly 13 may be folded into a stowed position for transport, and a plurality of adjustment means 82 whereby the assembly 13 may be adjusted. Referring now to FIGS. 4,5, and 6 there is shown a front attachment means 20 comprising a front attachment frame 21 to which a front lift beam 23 is rotatably attached at its left end to a pinned pivot 26. The front lift beam 23 is rotated about pivot 26 by a linear actuator 22, said actuator 22 secured to the lift beam 23 at pivot 25, and to the front attachment frame 21 at pivot 24. FIG. 5 shows a mounting frame 28 attached to the work vehicle 14. Also shown is an attachment bar 31 having attachment ears 137 and 138 rotatably attached to the mounting frame 28 at attachment points 140 and 139 utilizing attachment pins 142. As further illustrated by FIG. 5 the attachment bar 31 has a swivel mounting hole 136 at which point a swivel beam 32 is rotatably attached with swivel bolt 141. Further examination of FIGS. 4 and 5 show that extension beam 34 is rotatably attached to the swivel beam 32 at its left end at pivot point 134, and rotatably attached to the tilling means 40 at its right end at pivot point 48. A folding actuator 33 is mechanically joined to both of the swivel beam 32 and the extension beam 34 via linkage bars 37. The front ends of the linkage bars 37 are rotatably attached to the folding actuator 33 with bolts 133, and the back ends are rotatably attached to the extension beam 34 and the swivel beam 32 with anchor pins 131 and 132. A further description of the folding function will be forthcoming hereinafter. For clarification, the folding means 30 can be defined as an assembly consisting of the attachment bar 31, the swivel beam 32, folding actuator 33, the extension beam 34, and the linkage bars 37. FIGS. 4,5 and 6 likewise show a set of lift chains 35, each having two ends, the first ends anchored to the right end of the lift beam 23 at chain slots 27, and the second ends anchored to the right end of the swivel beam 32 at anchor holes 38. Upon further inspection of FIG. 4 it is seen that upon actuation of the linear actuator 22, the lift beam 23 will rotate about pivot point 26 and will thereby cause a lifting action of the swivel beam 32 at the location of the lift chains 35, therefore rotating said swivel beam 32 around pivot bolt 141, and thus the folding means 30 will be lifted resulting in a consequent lifting of the front portion of the tilling means 40 due to its connection 48 to the right end of the extension beam 34. This lifting feature enables the tilling means 40 to be disengaged from the ground to clear obstructions or paved driveways, as well as to facilitate folding and stowing as discussed hereinafter. It is further observed in FIG. 3 that the screed means may be lifted by using linear actuator 63, which is connected at its lower end to the fixed post 62, and at its upper end to the slide post 61. The slide post 61 is attached to the side barrier 53 using pin 67. (See FIG. 6 for illustration.) Therefore, by activating the linear actuator 63, the slide post 61 is vertically raised, thus raising the side barrier 53, and the screed means 50.

FIGS. 1, 4 and 6 depict adjustable gauge wheels 82 whereby the screed means 50 and the tilling means 40 may be adjusted, thus making it possible to till, convey, and screed more or less aggregate 160 thus varying the deposition of said aggregate to a desirable finish. The adjustable gauge wheels 82 may be adjusted up and down by the use of hydraulic or mechanical means.

Refer now to FIG. 1. As it is an important feature of the invention that the screed means 50 and the tilling means 40 operate in a path 18 that is separate but adjacent to the path 19 traveled by the work vehicle 14, it becomes evident that in order to safely transport the work vehicle 14 between work sites the assembly 13 either needs to be removed or stowed in a narrower arrangement. Removing the assembly 13 repetitiously detracts from the efficiency of the invention, and thus it is important that the invention be easily folded into a stowed position for transport. Therefore the invention is configured to fold into a stowed position using an eight bar linkage, said linkages being some of the components hereinbefore described. For further clarification FIGS. 7 a thru 7 e show plan views of the screed means of the invention as it folds in progression. It is noted that the back screed 52 rotates about a fixed pivot point 156. It is also noted that the first bar link 54 is rotatably connected at one end to the back screed 52 at pivot point 151, and is rotatably connected to the front screed 51 at its other end at pivot point 152. The second bar link 55 is rotatably connected at one end to the first bar link 54 at pivot point 153, and is rotatably connected at its other end to fixed pivot point 154. The third bar link 56 is also rotatably connected at one end to fixed pivot point 154, and rotatably connected at its other end to the front screed 51 at pivot point 155. It is evident upon examination of FIGS. 7 a thru 7 e that pivot point 151 affixed to the back screed 52 and the first bar link 54 is limited to a circular path of motion 181 around fixed pivot point 156. Likewise, pivot point 155 affixed to the front screed 51 and the third bar link 56 is limited to a circular path of motion 182 around fixed pivot point 154. Moreover, pivot point 153 affixed to the first bar link 54 and the second bar link 55 is also limited to a circular path of motion 183 around fixed pivot point 154. Thus, it becomes evident, that when a force acts upon the linkage assembly to put it in motion, the linkage elements move in a stable and predictable manner as shown by the progression in FIGS. 7 a thru 7 e respectively, and pivot point 47 follows a fixed path of motion 180. FIGS. 8 a thru 8 e show the tilling means 40 and the folding means 30 of the invention as it folds in progression. It is noted that FIGS. 8 a thru 8 e correspond directly to FIGS. 7 a thru 7 e respectively. Upon examining FIGS. 8 a thru 8 e, it is observed that the force that acts upon pivot point 47 is exerted by the tilling means 40, because it is attached to the front screed 51 at pivot point 47. It is noted that the power to achieve the force for the folding motion is created by linear actuator 33, which acts to rotate the extension beam 34 around fixed pivot point 134 through linkages 37. The tilling means 40 is rotatably attached to the extension beam 34 at pivot point 48, and therefore, when the extension beam 34 is set in motion by the linear actuator 33, it follows that the tilling means 40 is set in motion as well. As hereinbefore stated, the tilling means 40 is attached to the front screed 51 at pivot point 47, and thus pivot point 47 will be set in motion along the fixed path of motion 180. A full observation of FIG. 4 will reveal that pivot points 48 and 134 are pinned hinges and are not vertical and thus as the attachment 13 folds, the extension beam 34 and the tilling means 40 are lifted to a higher elevation. (See FIGS. 10 a thru 10 c for illustration.)

Turning now to FIG. 9 there is shown a control means 200 comprising a lever means 201, a control box 202, a plurality of adjustment means 82, a linear actuator 33, a linear actuator 22, and a linear actuator 63. The levers 201 are linked either electrically or mechanically to the control box 202, which hydraulically or electro-mechanically powers the actuators 203. In this way the adjustment means 82 and the linear actuators 33, 22, and 63 can be remotely controlled from the operators console 17 of the work vehicle 14. It is to be noted that the control means 200 is adapted to simultaneously control two or more of the tilling means 40, the screed means 50 and the folding means 30. Moreover the control means 200 is also adapted to independently control one of the tilling means 40, the screed means 50, or the folding means 30.

FIG. 10 a thru 10 c shows the assembly 13 in its stowed position, and upon examination it is seen that the tilling means 40 and the extension beam 34 stow in front of work vehicle 14. Inherent in the design of tilling implements is their tendency to be quite heavy, and the tilling means 40 of this invention is no exception. As can be seen in FIGS. 10 a the folding means 30 positions the assembly in a stowed position wherein the center of gravity 190 of the assembly is at a height 191 of less than 48″ off of the road surface 170. Upon further examination of FIG. 10 b and 10 c it can also be seen that the folding means 30 positions the assembly 13 in a stowed position wherein the center of gravity 190 of the assembly 13 is between an imaginary pair of planes 220 and 221, said planes being vertical in orientation and further defined as a right plane 220 and a left plane 221 respectively, said left plane 221 being parallel to said right plane 220, and the left plane 221 coinciding with the left side 16 of the work vehicle 14, and the right plane 220 coinciding with the right side 15 of the work vehicle 14. Stowing the assembly 13 in such a way eliminates the potentially unstable condition that would exist if the center of gravity were located high off the ground and off to the side of the work vehicle 14.

It is evident upon further examination of FIG. 1 that the tilling means 40 is adapted to reduce, by tillage, the vegetation 161 that is growing amongst the aggregate 160.

Turning now to FIG. 11 there is shown a compacting means 230 whereby the loosened aggregate 160 can be compacted, said compacting means 230 to be mounted to the work vehicle 14, or the assembly 13 rearward of the screed means 50. It is also a feature of the invention, as shown in FIG. 5 that the front attachment means 20 is adapted to attach to a snow plow mount 28. Likewise, referring to FIG. 3, the rear attachment means 60 may be adapted to use a snow wing mount in lieu of the lifting means 61 thru 63.

It is important to note that, though the tilling means 40 is illustrated as a disc gang in all of the FIGS. shown, tilling may be accomplish in a variety of ways without departing from the invention. For example, FIG. 12 shows an excavating means 300 which accomplishes the task of tilling, while also adding an additional feature of vegetation separation. Depicted is a box excavation device 300 which excavates the aggregate. Once the aggregate is within the box 301, a set of rotating tines 302 sifts through the aggregate to separate any vegetation that may be excavated along with the aggregate. The tines 302 then subsequently discharges the vegetation to the side of the box, thus clearing it from the path 18 of operation of the screed means, while leaving the aggregate to be received by the screed means. It is to be noted that the rotating tines 302 may be powered by any conceivable means, such as a ground transmission device, or an electric or hydraulic motor.

In summary, the detailed description shows the preferred embodiment of a road shoulder conditioning machine designed for the one pass conditioning of gravel road shoulders, reclaiming the existing gravel, and reconditioning it through a tillage means and a screed means; along with subsequent enhancements such as sweeping, folding, and compacting as hereinbefore described.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8099218 *Nov 30, 2007Jan 17, 2012Caterpillar Inc.Paving system and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification404/90
International ClassificationE01C23/08
Cooperative ClassificationE01H1/003
European ClassificationE01H1/00C