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Publication numberUS2919505 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1960
Filing dateJan 16, 1958
Priority dateJan 16, 1958
Publication numberUS 2919505 A, US 2919505A, US-A-2919505, US2919505 A, US2919505A
InventorsBethany Alex
Original AssigneeBethany Alex
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ditcher gauge
US 2919505 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 5, 1960 A. BETHANY 2,919,505

DITCHERQGAUGE Filed Jan. 1G. 1958 l INVENTOR ALEX BETHANY ATTORNEY 2,919,505 DrrcHER GAUGE v Alex Bethany, Sheffield, Ala. Application January 16, 19'ss,sern1 No. 709,286 4 claims. (cl. 37-86) This invention relates to Vimprovements inl gauges for fuse on excavating machines and more particularly it involves a device for enabl-ing the operator `of 'an excavator machine to easily ascertain the instant and amount of changes in inclination to permit himtocom- "pensate to vmaintain an even grade line.

In many excavating operations and particularly' 4in `the digging 4of trenches for drainage, pipelaying and the `ylike, "it is desirable that the grade line of the `trench dug '=by -the excavating machine be as ynear as possible to the iinished grade line to eliminate costly hand linishing YIn most trenching -type excavators the position 'of the digging xmember must be constantly adjusted to compensate for the changerof depth of cut resulting from lsudden changes of inclination of the machine -as it moves over uneven surface `terrain in an attempt -to maintain the desired even grade line.

In the past the means for indicating to `'the machine operator the present depth of cut setting, the present `inclination of his machine and the instant and 'amount -of any change of inclination has involved divers and i cumbersome pieces of equipment located in `various posivtions -'about the digging machine These devices have been difficult to use and generally involved the setting ofrsorne guiding means such as a line orstakes exterior to f `the excavating machine. Yobject of this invention is to provide a simply vconstructed unitary indicating Vdevice for excavating machines which renders convenient and readily readable indications of .the depth of cut setting ofy the machine, the present 'inclination of the machine .and any changes in rsaid inclination. f Another object yof this invention is to provide Va multipurpose unitary indicator for excavating machines which is wholly mounted on the excavating machine.

Aifurther` object of this invention is to provide a 'fnnitarya easily* readable indicator for excavating ma- @Und Safes Pater chnes which serves also as an automatic compensating f ,'indicator.

yfthe {inter-:relation ofthe various values .may readily be apparent and appropriate,compensations indicated. ,.1 Itisvyet another `object-of this invention to provide an excavating machine indicator ofthe aforegoing types which isof-t-he circular .dial type.

These .and other objects and advantages of this invenltionwill ll'ieafpparent from VVthefollowing description andl v claims.

In Y the accompanying drawings which illustrate by offexample 4the variousernbodirnents of .this invenmounting shaft adjacent the support 21.

V`Katented Jan. 5, 1960 ice ' of the indicator.

The adaptation of this invention .to one type of trenching machine is illustrated in Fig. 1- where 10 indicates `generally a trenching machine,illustrated schematically, which has a frame 11, a digging member 12, an arm 13 which is rigidly secured to the digging member 12 and to the frame 11, supporting and transporting means 16, an indicator 17, a cable drum 18 and a depth positioning cable 19.

The indicator comprises a housing or shell 20 provided With an intermediate partition or support web member 21 in which is fixed a bearing support 22 which rotatably supports a mounting shaft 30. The mounting shaft 30 carries a drive drum 3'5 and suitable indicating hands 40, 41 and 42.. The entire unit is secured to vthe frame 11 by any suitable means and in a location wherein it is readily visible to the operator of the ditchin g machine.

The housing 20 may be of any suitable shape such as rectangular or cylindrical, the present disclosure being of the cylindrical type. The member 21 may be a complete wall dividing the housing into two compartments or it may be simply strut members for supporting the bearing mounting means 22. The outer end ofthe housing 20 has an inturned lip or flange 23 or other suitable means for holding a transparent cover member 24 in position at this outer end.

The mounting shaft 3i) is rotatably mounted in the bearing support member 22 and has an inner end projecting toward .the mounting side of said housing yand an outer end disposed on the opposite side of the bearing support. The outer end of the mounting shaft is suitably formed to receive the various indicating hands as well as being screw threaded on said outer end at 31 to receive a lock nut 32. This outer end of .the mountingshaft extends through the cover plate 24 tov present the lock nut on I.the outer side of the cover 24.

A drive drum or pulley 35 is suitably mounted on and keyed to the inner end of the mounting shaft 30.

A pendulum type inclinometer indicator 40 is freely rotatably mounted upon the outer end portion of said A depth indicating hand 41 is suitably mounted on and keyed to the mounting shaft 30 to rotate therewith. Adjustable or reset pointer 42 is rigidly secured to a sleeve or collar 43 which is in turn rotatably mounted upon mounting shaft 3d adjacent the hand 41. The sleeve 43 is of sufficient length to abut the depth pointer 41 and extend outwardly through the cover plate 24. The outer end of the collar 43 is formed with a larger diameter portion 44 which may be knurled to make gripping and turning of this collar more convenient. Nut 32 abuts the outer end of the collar 43 to selectively engage this collar with the mounting shaft by pressing the collar against the depth pointer 41. This frictional engagement turns the adjustable pointer with the depth pointer 41 and hence with the shaft 30.

Imprinted upon the support 21, or imprinted upon a separate dial face which may in turn be mounted to the supports in the event the supports 21 are only struts, are the several calibrations appropriate to this indicator.

Across a suitable arc of the upper portion ofthe indicator face are suitable inclination indicia 24 to permit reading angles of inclination and declination of the machine from the position of the inclinometer hand. Suitably displayed on the remainder of the dialface are depth calibrated indicia for reading the depth of cut of the digging member by the position of the depth indicating hand.y These latter indicia are indicated generally at 25. It is to be noted that it may be found desirable to calibrate the depth indicating portion of this device to permit finer readings by spreading the depth indicating indicia over more than a full reading circle. In this event the various numerals may be disposed along a spiral line as indicated in Fig. 2. y

The preferred drive means for driving the depth indicating hand 41 is shown in Fig. 4. Stub shaft 51 is welded to one end of the cable drum 1S in coaxial alignment therewith. Running from end to end of the stub shaft 51 is a helical groove 52. A exible drive member or instrument cable 54 has its respective ends secured within the groove 52 at the inner and outer ends of the groove respectively. The flexible drive member 54 is wrapped around this stub shaft in conformity to the grooves 52 and is of suicient length that some intermediate portion extends around the drive drum 35 one or more times. The instrument cable 54 thus frictionally engages the drum 35. Thus, as the cable drum 18 rotates the stub shaft 51 rotates simultaneous therewith and the flexible drive member 54 unwinds from the stub shaft 51 in one direction, passes around the drive drum 35 rotating the drive drum and is simultaneously being rewound on said stub shaft on the opposite side.

Figure 5 discloses an alternative form of construction of the portion of this device relating to the mounting of the various indicating hands. Shown in Fig. 5 is the left hand portion of the housing 20 including a face plate 24 and the supporting member 21 on which is printed or attached an indicating face. In this version mounting shaft 30a terminates short of the face plate 24. The depth indicating hand 41 is rigidly secured to the outer or terminal end of the mounting shaft. The supporting means for shaft 30a is provided with an outwardly extending collar 22a upon which is freely rotatably mounted the inclinometer hand 4t). Mounted in the faceplate 24 is a mounting collar 60 which is located in axial alignment with the mounting shaft 30a. Rotatably mounted within the mounting collar 60 is a second mounting shaft 61 which has a pointer 42a secured to the inner end thereof. This pointer serves the same function as the adjustable pointer in the embodiment shown in Fig. 3. The outer end of this secondary mounting shaft 61 is threaded to receive a nut 62 as well as knob member 63. The knob 63 is suitably secured against relative rotation with respect to the secondary shaft. The hand 42a may be adjusted to any desired position by loosening nut 62 and thence turning the shaft 61 by application of force to the knob 63. To hold the shaft in any given location it is only necessary to tighten nut 62 against the collar 60 thus, in effect, clamping the shaft 61 and pointer 42a to collar 60.

Operation The function of cable drum 18 is to raise or lower the boom 12 by means of cable 19. The linear travel of instrument cable 54 is in direct ratio to that of the boom cable 19 as determined by the difference in diameter between shaft 51 and cable drum 18. The difference in the diameter of the stub shaft 51 as compared to a diameter of the drive drum 35 affords a further reduction ratio between the lineal distance travelled by the boom cable 19 and the angular displacement of the depth pointer 41 as governed by the rotation of the drum 35 and the shaft 30. The zero position of the depth pointer 41 on the dial face is referred to the position of the digging boom with the buckets just touching ground on level terrain. The scaling of the members on the dial face, the position of zero and the direction of rotation with increasing depth will, of course, be governed by the exact drive arrangement and ratios utilized in a specific structure.

The graduations for the inclinometer readings through the use of hand 40 will of necessity be located at the top of the dial face. These numbers will, of course, represent slope angle of the terrain being traversed by the ditcher machine. The primary purpose of reset pointer 42 is to indicate to the operator of the ditcher machine when and to what extent a change in grade occurs. This is accomplished by setting the reset pointer 42 in line with inclinometer indicator 40. So long as the ditcher machine traverses ground of uniform slope there will be no change in the relative position of the various pointers; however, as soon as a change in grade occurs reset pointer 42, being locked in position relative to depth pointer 41 or to the dial face, will no longer coincide with the inclinometer pointer 40 and the operator will know at a glance that an adjustment in cutting depth is necessary. When the embodiment shown in Fig. 3 is being utilized, an estimation of the adjustment necessary may be obtained merely by changing the depth of cut and thus the angular position of` shaft 30 and adjustable pointer 42 until the adjustable or reset pointer 42 again coincides with inclinometer pointer 40. For instance, assuming a digging boom length of about l5 feet and a normal positioning of the boom at a declination of around 45, a change of 5 in the slope angle of the ground being traversed would result in a change of depth of cut of approximately one foot, thus, if the ratios of the drive mechanism and the dial face are properly calibrated so that the depth of one foot equals about the same angular movement on the dial face as 5 elevation a rough correction by merely realigning the pointers would be possible. As soon as the depth of cut setting has been finally adjusted and the ditcher is again cutting the proper depth of ditch, the operator loosens the lock nut 31 or 62 and adjusts the reset or adjustable pointer 42 to once more coincide with the inclinometer 40.

Thus is provided a unitary compact and novel indicator and compensation device which readily indicates the various necessary values as well as change of digger position required due to sudden changes in terrain slope.

This indicator may also be utilized in other type excavators simply by utilizing a different drive system between the digging member and the mounting shaft such as gear trains, belts and pulleys or a worm gear arrangement. Alternatively, the present structure may be utilized on machines not requiring a cable drum for digger positioning purposes by providing a lightweight cable and drum arrangement of the present type but wherein the cable take up drum is biased in one direction by a wound spring.

While the invention has been described in connection With different embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses or adaptations of the invention, following, in general, the principles of the invention including such departures in the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains, and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth and as fall within the scope of the invention or the limits of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention what I claim is:

1. A depth and inclination compensation gauge for use on an excavating machine having a digging member comprising a gauge housing, a dial face secured within said housing, a depth indicating hand disposed within said housing and mounted for rotative positioning, means for driving said depth indicating hand in proportion to the positioning of the digging member of said excavating machine, a pendulum type inclinometer mounted to rotate S about the axis ot` yrotation of said depth indicating hand, an adjustable pointer mounted to rotate about said axis of rotation and means for selectively rotatively positioning saidadjustable pointer.

2. A depth and inclination compensation gauge for use 'on an excavating machine comprising a gauge housing mounted on said machine, a rst mounting shaft rotatably mounted in said gauge, a depth indicating hand secured lt said rst mounting shaft, a pendulum type inclinometer mounted to rotate about the `axis of rotation of said depth indicating hand, a second mounting shaft mounted in said gauge in axial alignment with said rst mounting shaft, a r'eset pointer secured to said second mounting shaft and means for selectively positioning said reset pointer relative to said inclinometer.

3. A depth and inclination compensation gauge as in claim 2 and including means for rotating said first mounting shaft comprising a drive drum rigidly mounted on said iirst mounting shaft and means for driving said drum in direct proportion to the positioning of a digging member of said excavating machine.

4. A depth and inclination compensation gauge for us on an excavating machine of the type utilizing a rotating member to regulate the depth setting of a digging member comprising a gauge housing, a mounting shaft rotatably mounted in said gauge housing, a depth indicating hand rigidly mounted on said mounting shaft, means for rotating said mounting shaft in proportion to the rotation of said rotating member, a pendulum type inclinometer mounted to rotate about the axis of said mounting shaft, an adjustable indicating hand rotatably mounted adjacent said depth indicating hand to rotate about the axis of said mounting shaft and means for selectively positioning said adjustable pointer relative to said depth -indicating hand.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 279,141 Eatherton June 12, 1883 20 1,237,260 Bentson Aug. 14, 1917 1,300,371 French Apr. 15, 1919

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US279141 *Mar 24, 1883Jun 12, 1883F Okbeatheetof
US1237260 *Jul 26, 1915Aug 14, 1917Frederick C AustinGrading device.
US1300371 *Sep 24, 1917Apr 15, 1919Frederick C AustinGrade-line indicator.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4034490 *Nov 3, 1975Jul 12, 1977Laserplane CorporationAutomatic depth control for endless chain type trencher
US5559725 *Oct 7, 1994Sep 24, 1996Laser Alignment, Inc.Automatic depth control for trencher
U.S. Classification37/352, 37/413, 192/41.00R, 37/906
International ClassificationE02F3/10, E02F5/14, E02F5/02, E02B11/02
Cooperative ClassificationE02F5/145, E02F3/10, Y10S37/906
European ClassificationE02F3/10, E02F5/14B