US 2684542 A
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July 27, 1954 A. J. LARSON ETAL DEFLECTOR AND SUPPORT FOR ENDLESS CHAIN 'DITCHING MACHINES Filed Jan. 20, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet l ROBERT D- LHESON ALBERT J- LHESON fi/YTON F-ER/C/f 0/V ATTORNEY y 7, 1954 A. J. LARSON ET AL 5 DEFLECTOR AND SUPPORT FOR ENDLESS CHAIN DITCHING MACHINES Filed Jan. 20, l950 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented July 27, 1954 DEFLECTOR AND SUPPORT FOR ENDLESS CHAIN DITCHING MACHINES Albert J. Larson and Robert D. Larson, Morrisdale, Pa., and Anton F. Erickson, Dayton, Ohio Application January 20, 1950, Serial No. 139,582
This invention relates to improvements in ditch digging, excavating machines.
It is among the objects of the present invention to provide a ditch digging machine which may be controlled from the vehicle supporting it for maintaining the ditch at substantially constant depth and along a predetermined line.
More particularly, it is among the objects of the present invention to provide a ditch digging mechanism which is mounted upon a self propelled vehicle in such a manner that the mechanism may be raised and lowered to control the depth of the ditch being dug. The digging mechanism may also be moved laterally relatively to the vehicle in either direction so that the digging mechanism may follow a varying line without necessitating repeated deviations by the carrier vehicle.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a ditch digging machine which is operative not only to excavate ordinary ground but is capable also of cutting a ditch through rock and other harder obstacles encountered while digging the ditch. This eliminates the necessity of discarding the ditch digging machine and resorting to blasting when such impediments are met.
The aforegoing object is accomplished by providing the ditch digging machine of the present invention with hardened steel cutter bars carried by an endless chain circulating about a sturdy and comparatively heavy frame.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide the excavator frame of the machine with a drag or sled which slide over the surface of the ground on each side of the ditch being dug and supports the frame so that the ditch is of substantially constant depth. This drag is wedge shaped, and acts as a deflector, pushing the excavated ground, rock and the like to either side of the ditch.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary side view of a vehicle equipped with a ditch digging machine in accordance with the present invention, the ex cavator mechanism being shown lowered and in ditch digging position.
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary detail view of the lateral adjusting mechanism on the vehicle.
Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line and in the direction of the arrows 33 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 4 is a rear View of the mechanism shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary view of the excavator with the guide plate attached said guide plate being used where a ditch, wider than the ditch dug by the mechanism in a single operation, is to be dug.
Fig. 6 is a detail plan view of the drag or sled carrier on the excavator.
Fig. '7 is a fragmentary side view of the endless chain on a portion of the frame with one side removed, alternate links of the chain carrying cutter bars.
Fig. 8 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line $4? of Fig. '7 and showing a central, outwardly extending cutter bar.
Figs. 9 and 10 respectively are similar to Fig. 8 but show cutter bars extending to the left and right, both cooperating to limit the width of the ditch they cut.
Referring to the drawings and more particularly to Figs. 1 and 2, the vehicle, in the form of an engine driven truck, is designated by the numeral 29, only the rear end being shown. The frame 2.! of the truck is supported on an axle 22 in any suitable manner, the axle being provided with wheels 23. Inasmuch as any standard automobile truck may be used, no particular method of springing between the frame and axle of the vehicle has been shown.
The vehicle frame 2! has two spaced beams it anchored thereto so that said beams are transverse of the vehicle frame. These beams 24 support the platform 25. A slide plate 26, secured-to the bottom of the platform, engages the beams 24 so that the platform is irremovably but slidably attached to said beams, the platform being slidable on the beams 26 transversely of the vehicle frame. An upright plate 2'! is anchored to each side frame member 2 I, said plates having the screw shaft 28 journalled therein. The screw shaft 28 threadedly engages lugs 29 secured to the platform 25 as shown in Fig. 2. A hand wheel 39 is secured to the screw shaft 23 said wheel, when turned, rotating the screw shaft and thereby moving the lugs 23 and the platform 25 attached thereto, longitudinally of the screw shaft and transversely of the vehicle frame. Thus the platform may be moved transversely of the vehicle frame by the turning of the hand wheel 36, said platform being held by the screw shaft in any selected position of lateral adjustment.
Platform 25 supports the entire excavating mechanism including its driving unit. This driving unit may be any suitable power device, as for instance an internal combustion engine 32 anchored upon the platform, said engine havign a drive shaft upon which the driver pulley or sprocket 33 is mounted. Any suitable speed reducing gearing 313 may be applied to the engine so that the pulley or sprocket 33 is rotated at the desired speed.
The excavator utilized in the present invention is of the cutter-bar type similar to that used for cutting coal in mines. The excavator as illustrated consists of a comparatively heavy frame having two spaced but parallel arms Eli and Lil joined at one end by an integral, semicircularly shaped portion 42. Side plates t3 are attached to the respective sides of the excavator frame each side plate extending beyond the outer edge of the frame and having an inwardly extending flange dd. These facing flanges cooperate to form a retaining slide-way for an endless chain s circulating about the excavator frame, see Fig. 3. These side plates provide aligned openings at the end of the frame opposite its closed end 12, in which opening shaft 5 is journalled. Shaft id has a sprocket 4%? attached thereto said sprocket acting as a driving member meshing with and around which the endless chain es zirculates. Shaft 48 is also journalled in bearing brackets ti; which are anchored to and carried by the platform 25. A pulley or sprocket it is attached to shaft and is operatively connected to the driver pulley or sprocket 33 by a belt or chain 58 so that the shaft it is driven by the engine 32.
The endless chain it comprises alternate linlrs 55 which the teeth of the sprocket d? for causing the chain to circulate the frame of the excavator, the other alternate links 5% being solid and falling between said sprocket teeth. Links iii; are each apertured to receive a hardened steel cutting bar. One link 58 has the central or straight cutting bar 5?, the next following link 53 has a cutting bar 51L angling to the left as shown in Figs. 4 and 9, and the next following link 52% has the cutting bar disposed to the right. These cutting bars are securely but removably anchored in their respective links in any suitable manner. The outer cutting edges of the angular bars 57L and t'lR are predeterminately spaced and at least are further apart than the overall width of the excavator fit me including its side members so that said cutters will dig into the ground and form a ditch wider than the excavator frame as shown in Fig. i.
The or sled se is attached to the excavator frame and sliding along the top surface of the ground in which the ditch is being dug, supports said excavator frame so that the ditch being dug thereby is maintained at a substantially constant depth. Fig. 1 clearly illustrates this idea. a block 5: is slidably supported within the space between the parallel, spaced frame portions ll) and ii, see Figs. 1, 3 and 6. This block has a transverse opening in which a pin 62 is supported said pin extending beyond both sides of the block. Links 53 are attached to said pin, the other ends of said links being secured to a cross bar The in 62 also has attached thereto, two oppositely disposed plates 55 and 35, plates 55 having its one end edge in close proximity to one side of the excavator frame and extending angularly away from the said frame so that its opposite end edge is spaced from the frame. The plate 55 likewise extends angularly from the opposite side of the frame and is pivotally attached to the pin 52 as is plate Thus both plates 65 and es form a wedge-shaped drag or sled the lower longitudinal edges of said plates being slidable along the upper surface of the ground as shown in Figs. 1 and 3, to support the excavator frame.
The block 6! upon which said drag is mounted ivotally, is slidable in the frame for purposes of changing the angularity of the excavator frame relatively to the surface of the ground and thus regulating the depth of the ditch dug by said excavator. If the angularity of the excavator, pivotally carried by the vehicle, is increased relatively to the ground then a deeper ditch will be dug by the excavator than if the angularity of the excavator relatively to the ground is decreased. Therefore as the block is slid toward the upper, pivotal end of the excavator frame its ground angularity is increased while movement of the block in the opposite direction will cause a decrease in ground angularity and thus a shallower ditch will be dug. The drag or sled Fit moves with the block El and thus it will support the excavator frame in any adjusted position of ditch digging. In the present drawing a cylinder it is secured within the excavator frame, said cylinder having a piston actuated rod H which is operatively attached to the block El. The cylinder may be energized hydraulically, its operations being controlled by an operator on the vehicle by any suitable standard control mechanism. Other forms of well known power control for block iii may be utilized without departing from the scope of the present invention.
An arcuate slot 6 in each plate 55 6'5 has a pin 59 on block ti extending thereinto for limiting the pivotal movement of the drag about its supporting pin 62. Thus said is always permitted to assume a position of rest flatly upon the ground when lowered by the derrick "it. This derrick is carried by platform and is operatlvely connected to the drag pin 62 by links cross bar 5% and any suitable block and tackle or raising and lowering device carried by the derrick. This is used for raising the excavator mechanism completely above the ground and out or" contact therewith or for lowering it preparatory to ditch digging.
The or sled not only performs the single -1 of supporting the excavator mechanism in predetermined relation with the surface of the ground in which the ditch is being dug, but it also serves as a loose ground deflector. The loose round excavated by the circulating cutter bars fil -52% and 57B and discharged by them to the surface of the ground ahead of the wedge shaped drag will be engaged thereby and pushed to either side of the ditch as shown in Fig, 4. This keeps the du ditch clean and free from loosened dirt which may drop into the excavation if not properly removed.
To keep the dug ditch comparatively free of any loosened ground or particles of stone cut by the cutter bars but not completely ejected to the surface of the ground as said bars move upwardly, a scraper 86 is provided, said scraper being slightly less in width than the dug ditch and sliding along the bottom thereof so that the loosened. ground is gathered and accumulated near the cutter bars as they pass over the lower, rounded end of the excavator frame (see Fig. 1). The moving bars wi scoop up portions of the ground accumulated by the scraper 8t and convey the ground upwardly, discharging it at the surface of the ground being dug. This scraper Si! is carried by a chute 8! which in turn is supported by a bracket 82 attached to the excavator frame adjacent its upper end. This chute 8i not only supports scraper but it also acts as a conveyor for tile or cable or any other article which is to be placed in the ditch. Such articles may be inserted into the upper end of the chute, which is accessible from the vehicle, and slide down the chute and be ejected from its lower end which moves through the ditch adjacent the bottom thereof. Thus tile. cables and the like may readil be placed in position concurrently with the digging of the ditch.
The machine of the present invention is operative to dig a ditch of predetermined width and of a depth within certain limits. If, however, a wider ditch is desired, the machine may be used for that purpose by traversing the same path as originally followed in cutting the first ditch, but adjusting the machine sidewise relatively to the vehicle so that it will out another, communicating ditch of the same original width thus having a double width ditch on the second trip. To hold the excavating mechanism in proper alignment with the previously cut ditch, a spacer slide frame 99 is secured to the excavator frame adjacent its free, rounded end, said frame 99, as shown in Fig. 5, sliding along the excavated wall 9| and thus holding the cutter bars and frame 494| in constant proper alignment With the ditch previously dug. A still wider ditch requires repeated trips by the vehicle and spacer slide frames of proper dimensions to hold the excavator in proper spaced relation with the one wall of the originally dug ditch must be applied.
From the aforegoing description it may be seen that the excavating or ditch digging machine of the present invention has for its features; an excavating mechanism carried by a self-propelled vehicle and being adjustable relatively to said vehicle and by an operator on the vehicle to vary the depth of the ditch being dug,
to move the excavator transversely of the vehicle for shifting the excavating mechanism within certain limits without necessitating manipulation of the vehicle itself to one side or the other, to raise and lower the excavator, to support the excavator on the surface of the ground for depth control and by the same means push excavated ground aside as it reaches the surface of the ground, to scrape loosened ground from the dug ditch and place it in the path of the ground cutting and ejecting elements of the machine and to provide a means of support for the member that does the scraping, said means providing a chute through which tile or cable may be lowered into position in the ditch as the machine progresses in the cuttin of the ditch,
While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed, constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. In a machine for digging ditches, the combination with a vehicle; of a platform supported on said vehicle so as to be movable transversely thereof; an excavator mechanism comprising an elongated frame one end of which is pivotally anchored to the platform and an endless chain provided with a plurality of outwardly extending cutter bars, said chain circulating longitudinally of the frame; a power device on the platform, operatively connected to the endless chain for driving it; a derrick carried by the platform and connected to the excavator mechanism for raising and lowering it; a wedge-shaped drag attached to the excavator frame so as to be movable longitudinally thereof, said drag resting upon the surface of the ground and providing the sole supporting means for the excavator mechanism to control the depth of the ditch being dug and also extending over the ditch and acting as a deflector for pushing aside the excavated ground; and power actuated means carried by the frame of the excavator and connected to the drag, said power actuated mean being operative to move the drag longitudinally of said frame and hold the drag in the selected adjusted position for maintaining the depth of the ditch constant.
2. In an excavating machine the combination with a vehicle; a platform carried by the vehicle so as to be movable transversely thereof; a power device on said platform; an excavator comprising an elongated frame one end of which is pivotally anchored to the platform, said frame supporting an endless chain circulating longitudinally of the frame, the chain having a plurality of outwardly extending cutter bars; means operatively connecting the chain with the power device so as to be driven thereby; a derrick on the platform, attached to the said frame for raising and lowering the excavator; a block slidable longitudinally in said frame; a plate attached to each side of said blockand extending angularly therefrom so that said plates form a wedgeshaped drag adapted to glide along the surface of the ground traversed by the vehicle, said drag supporting the excavator and also pushing the excavated ground aside; and a power actuated unit secured in the frame and connected to the said block and being operative to adjust the block longitudinally of the frame for determining and maintaining the depth of the. ditch being dug.
3. In an excavating machine, the combination with a power driven vehicle; a platform supported upon said vehicle so as to be slidable transversely thereof; a screw rotatably supported upon the vehicle body and threadedly engaging the platform for sliding it into any desired posi; tion transversely of the vehicle and holding said platform in said position; a power device mounted upon the platform; an excavator comprising an elongated frame one end of which is pivotally attached to the platform, said frame providing a track for an endless chain which carries a plurality of outwardly extending cutting bars; means operatively connecting the chain with the power device for moving said chain about the frame to dig a ditch of constant width; a derrick supported on the platform and connected to the excavator for raising and lowering it about its pivotal support; a block slidably supported by the frame; a plate secured to each side of the block and extending angularly therefrom to form a wedge-shaped drag slidable along the surface of the ground traversed by the vehicle, said drag supporting the excavator to control the depth of the ditch being dug thereby and also acting as a scraper pushing aside the loose ground excavated; and means on the excavator for adjusting the block longitudinally of the frame and holding said block in the adjusted position whereby the depth of the ditch is determined and held substantially constant.
4. An excavating machine in accordance with claim 3, in which a slide gauge is removably attachable to the side of the excavator, said slide gauge being operative to slide along the one side wall of a previously dug ditch and guide the excavator as it digs a second, communicating ditch alongside the ditch already dug.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 333,114 Dougine Dec. 29, 1885 494,368 Decker Mar. 28, 1893 1,210,453 French Jan. 2, 1917 1,609,293 George Dec. 7, 1926 1,762,568 Barber June 10, 1930 2,231,983 Zuckerman Feb. 18, 1941