US 3059789 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 23, 1962 S. V. BOWLES REFUSE COLLECTION APPARATUS Filed Dec. 7. 1959 JNVENTOIL h n "nil United States Patent O 3,059,789 REFUSE COLLECTION APPARATUS Samuel V. Bowles, 12039 Branford St., Sun Valley, Calif. Filed Dee. 7, 1959, Ser. No. 857,672 2 Claims. (Cl. 214-41) This invention relates generally to apparatus for handling refuse and more particularly relates to a refuse col leetion system wherein refuse is initially transported in a plurality of relatively small pick-up vehicles to one or more loading stations where it is compacted and reloaded into a larger vehicle to be hauled to the point of ultimate disposal.
The necessity for a clean, ellicient, economical and sanitary refuse disposal method has led, particularly in the larger metropolitan areas, to an increasing number of problems. Generally, the greater the propulation of a given metropolitan area, the greater the quantity of refuse which has to be disposed of and the longer the distances such refuse has to be hauled to a suitable final dumping or burning point.
The type of truck or other vehicle which is best suited for the initial refuse pick-up operation from homes, stores or like user points is not necessarily the same type of vehicle which is best suited for long distance hauling of the refuse. The iriitial pick-up vehicle normally operates at relatively slow speeds in crowded city or residential areas and should be easily maneuverable and readily loaded by a normal crew in such areas.
The long distance hauling vehicle, on the other hand, should be adapted to carry the maximum possible volume of cargo at the highest feasible speed with a crew of the minimum possible number. Ideally, the hauling vehicle should be a large semi-trailer which can be operated by a single driver whereas the initial pickup trucks should be smaller, more maneuverable vehicles intended to be staifed by two or more men. Quite apparently, there is a considerable inefficiency both from the point of view of wear and tear and equipment and from the point of view of utilization of man-hours, if the initial pick-up vehicles are also required to haul the trash over long distance open road runs to a remote dumping point. These small maneuverable trucks are not efficient volume cargo carriers and all but one of their two or three man crews are idle during the open road hauling.
Furthermore, many communities and many private trash collection companies have existing open truck equipment which was intended for and is primarily suitable for the initial pick-up operation where the truck is normally moving at slow speeds and can be carefully packed by a multiple man crew. When such open topped vehicles are loaded with refuse and driven at high speeds along open or main highways, a very definite traic safety hazard is created by the possibility of refuse blowing or falling from the truck into the path of tl'ailic. At best` such a mode of refuse transportation is unsightly and unsanitaryr It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide apparatus for refuse collection which overcomes the above noted ditliculties in the prior art.
It is a further object of this invention to provide apparatus for collecting refuse by using a relatively small vehicle to initially transport the refuse to a loading station where it is packed and compacted into a larger closed vehicle for transportation to the ultimate point of disposal.
It is another object of this invention to provide a closed refuse hauling truck having an opening therein through which refuse may be loaded by an externally mounted packer blade which compacts the refuse against a pusher blade mounted'inside said truck to yieldingly resist the action of the packer blade.
It is still another object of this invention to provide refuse handling apparatus including a hopper mounted adjacent a dock from which refuse may be loaded into the hopper from a plurality of relatively small pick-up trucks to be reloaded from the hopper into one or more relatively large transport vehicles.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be more fully apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout and wherein:
FIGURE l is a longitudinal View, partly in section and partly in elevation, showing a semi-trailer truck body attached in position to receive refuse from a hopper into which the refuse has been deposited from a truck on a dock adjacent the hopper.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary sectional view on an enlarged scale showing the rear of the semi-trailer truck body with its rear door shown in solid line in the closed position and in phantom lines in the open position.
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view, partly in elevation, taken on the line 3--3 in FIGURE l.
FIGURE 4 is a plan view, partly broken away, showing the loading dock, the hopper, and the rear end ofthe semi-trailer shown in FIGURE l together with the chain means for attaching the trailer to the hopper.
FIGURE 5 is a detailed perspective view of the ear means through which the chain is attached to the semitrailer.
T urning now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG- URE l thereof, there is shown a hopper 1t) and packing mechanism 11, both of which are integrally attached to and built into a loading dock 12 upon which a conventional pick-up truck 13 may be driven for unloading into the hopper 10., It will be understood that the loading dock is normally a re-inforced concrete structure having a ramp up which the pick-up truck 13 may be driven to the position shown in FIGURE l, if desired. Alternatively, the truck 13 may unload its refuse upon the surface of the dock 12 rather than directly into the hopper 10 as shown so that the refuse may be sorted for any salvageable items before being loaded into the hopper. In this latter mode of operation, the sorted refuse is then pushed from the dock 12 into the hopper 10 by a bulldozer or the like or, alternatively, the top surface of the doek 12 may be provided with a conveyor belt upon which the refuse is unloaded to the carried into the hopper 10. t
ln any event, refuse which has been initially 'collected from various user points, such as homes, stores, or the like, by any conventional relatively small vehicle such as the truck 13 is transported to the loading station comprised of the dock 12, hopper 10, and the hydraulically actuated packer 11. The refuse is then loaded either directly from the truck 13 or by any of the indirect means suggested above into the inlet opening 14 of the hopper l0. As may be best seen in FIGURE 3, the hopper 10 has a generally funnel shaped top portion 15 flaring upwardly to the inlet opening 14 and communicating at the bottom thereof with a packing chamber 16 in one side of which is formed the outlet opening 17 of the hopper 10. The outlet opening 17 is preferably at right angles to the inlet opening 14 ofthe hopper` since it is desired to receive the packer blade 18 of thc hydraulic packer 11 in the outlet opening 17 and since this blade has a line of travel which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the top surface of the loading dock 12. Both inlet opening 14 and outlet opening 17 comprise elongated passages which are in communication with a packing chamber 16.
The packer blade 18 is shaped and dimensioned to be received within the outlet opening 17 and. operates to force refuse from the packing chamber 16 out through the outlct opening 17 when blade 18 moves from right to left from the solid line to the phantom line position shown in FIGURE l. The hopper is supported by any convenient supporting frame work 19 such as steel legs which position the hopper immediately adjacent to the doel; 12.
The outlet opening i7 of the hopper 10 is generally rectangular and is defined by a plurality of wall members 2t) which extend outwardly away from the packing chamber 16 in hopper 10. As noted above, the walls 2t) define an outlet opening 17 which is of substantially the same size and shape as the packer blade 18 so that when the blade 18 is driven by a piston 21 in an hydraulic cylinder 22, it will be received in the limit of its travel in the opening 17.
The packer blade 18 is rigidly attached to the piston 21 which is mounted in hydraulic cylinder 22 for actuation thereby. This assembly is received within a chamber 23 in the loading dock 12 which opens outwardly into the packing chamber 16 of hopper 10.
The hydraulic cylinder 22 is supplied with hydraulic uid from a pump 24 through a solenoid operated valve 25 and the usual hydraulic fluid lines. The pump 24 is driven by an electric motor 26. Both the motor 26 and the solenoid operated valve 25 are controlled by switches mounted on a control panel (not shown) positioned adjacent to the doek 12 in any known convenient manner.
The packer blade 18 is integrally attached to a solid plate housing having side walls 27- a top wall or follower plate 28 and n rear wall 29. The solid plate housing has an exterior shape and dimension which is substantially congruent to the interior shape and dimension of the outlet opening I7 of hopper l0 so that it may be tclescopically received therein when the hydraulic cylinder actuates the packer blade 18 to move to the left. The solid plate housing moves integrally with the packer blade 18 and thereby closes or occupies the entire volume of the pacl-:ing chamber 16 when the material previously deposited therein is being forced out through the outlet opening 17 by the assembly of the packer blade 18.
This integrally attached plate wall housing and inparticular the top wall 28 prevents refuse from falling from the top of the hopper down in back of the packer blade A 13 during its cycle of operation and thereby permits continuous operation of the apparatus. That is to say, by virtue of the housing which prevents refuse from falling in back ofthe packer blade. it is possible to be continuons- Iy loading refuse into the hopper 10 while the hydraulically actuated packer blade assembly 18-272829 is also in continuous reciprocal motion without jamming the mechanism by the accumulation of refuse in back of the packer bla-de as would be the case if the housing were not provided. With the apparatus as shown` an operator may actuatc the motor 26 and solenoid valve 25 either for continuous reciprocal motion or for a single cycle of operation in accordance with the need at any particular instant.
In practice, as may be best in FIGURE 3, it is preferrcd to use a pair of hydraulic cylinders 22 in housing 23 to drive the packer blade assembly in order to equalize the load thereon.
Refuse from the outlet opening 17 of hopper 10 is discharged by the packer blade assembly into the body of the long distance hauling vehicle which in the present illustration is a large generally enclosed semi-trailer 30. The body of the trailer 30 is'provided with a pusher blade 31 movably mounted therein and connected by a cable 32 toa hydraulically driven winch 33. The pusher blade 31 is shown in solid lines in FIGURE 1 in the position it occupies at the beginning of the loading operation. The hydraulically actuated winch 33 is provided with any conventional adjustable-load braking mechanism such that as refuse is packed through the outlet opening 17 of the hopper 10 into the trailer 30 by the packer blade 18, it will be compacted against the pusher blade 31. The above mentioned braking mechanism is adjusted so that as more and more refuse is forced into the trailer 30 against the yielding resistance of the pusher blade 3l, the pusher blade 3l is moved from right to left, as seen in FIGURE l, that is, from the back to the front of the trailer 30 in order to accommodate the additional refuse being loaded into the truck and being simultaneously compacted therein.
It has been found that the continuous compaction of the refuse against the yielding resistance of the pusher blade 31 affords a more eilicicnt compaction and permits a greater volume of refuse to be loaded into a truck body of a given volume than can otherwise be achieved. During the loading operation described above, the pusher blade 31 is moved from thc solid line position shown in FIGURE l (wherein it is near the rear of the truck which is backed up to the hopper) to the phantom line position wherein it is resting against the front of the trailer 30 when the same is fully loaded. This motion from the solid line to the phantom line position is produced by the compaction of the refuse forced against the pusher blade by the hydraulically actuated packer blade. The pusher blade 31 yieldingly resists the loading of refuse into the truck so as to compact the refuse while the pusher blade 31 is gradually moved from the back to the front of the truck.
When the trailer 30 has been hauled to the point at which it is desired to unload the refuse for final burning or other disposition thereof, the hydraulically actuated winch 33 reels in the cable 32 and thereby pulls the blade 31 from the front to the back of the trailer to discharge oiempty the load of refuse rearwardly out of the trailer.
Structurally, the semi-trailer 30 comprises a conventional bed 34 having rear wheel assemblies 3S and a front supporting wheel assembly 36. Front wall 37, top wall 38, and stlc walls 39 are fised in position so that the truck body is permanently closed at the top and bottom. on each side and at the front. The pusher blade 31 is substantially co-extensive with the interior cross section of the trailer 30 and is mounted on a wheeled base or carriage mechanism 40 to which the cable 32 is attached to produce the desired resistance to motion from the rear to the front of the body during loading and to produce the desired motion from the front to the rear during unloading.
The single opening in the body as noted above constitutes the entire end or rear wall of the truck. This single rearward opening is entirely closed by a large rear door 41 which is hinged as at 42 and 43 so as to swing open laterally about one vertical edge of the rear opening as an axis. This large rear door 41 is shown in solid lines in its closed position in FIGURE 2 and is shown in phantom lines in its open position. The large rear door 41 is opened to the phantom line position of FIG- URI?. 2 only during the tinal unloading of the trailer 30 at the point of ultimate disposition of the refuse.
The loading of the trailer 30, as may best be seen in FIGURES l and 2. is accomplished through an opening in the large door t1 in which is hingedly mounted a smaller door 44. The opening of smaller door 44 is positioned, shaped and dimensioned to mate with and receive the outlet 17 of the hopper 10 when the trailer 30 is positioncd and secured adjacent to the hopper. Thus, during the loading operation. the large main door 41 at the rear of the trailer 30 is left closed and the smaller door 44 is opened to afford an opening positioned to receive the outlet spout or opening 17 of the hopper 10. A pair of spring biased flaps or metal sheets such as the swinging doors 45 and 46 is mounted within the body of the trailer 30 in order to retain the refuse already packed into the body in position during the loading operation. The swinging doors 45 and 46 are conveniently mounted on frame members such as the member 47 surrounding the interior of the opening of the smaller door 44.
The swinging doors 45 and 46 are spring biased to a normal position in which they are vertically disposed in a plane parallel to the plane of the smaller door 44 or, equivalently. of thc large door 4l. When the small door 44 is opened and its opening is aligned with the outlet spout 17 of' the hopper l0, the action of the hydraulic packer blade forces refuse into the truck body and thereby deflects the spring biased swinging doors sufliciently to permit entry of the refuse into the truck and possibly out as far as the position shown in phantom line in FIG URE 2 in which the doors are in the horizontal plane. When the packer blade 18 and housing is retracted by the hydraulic cylinder, the swinging doors 45 and 46 are urged toward their normal vertical position by the action of their biasing springs. These doors thus tend to retain the refuse originally deposited in the truck therein and prevent it from feeding back into the hopper. ln practice, the swinging doors will tend to assume the diagonal or nearly diagonal position shown in FIGURE 1 once the loading operation has been started, since a certain amount of refuse will be caught between the doors and prevent -them from fully closing. ln fact, this action accomplishes the intended purpose of the doors, since the pieces of refuse caught between them act to complete the closing of the opening of the smaller door 44 and thereby prevent the unwanted escape of refuse being loaded into the trailer 30. In this manner, by repeated action of the hydraulically1 actuated packer blade more and more refuse is forced into the trailer 30 against the yielding resistance of the pusher blade 31.
In order to assure that the hydraulic packer in fact compacts the refuse rather than simply moving the trailer 30 away from the hopper 10, it is preferred to attach the trailer 3) to the base supporting structure of the hopper 10 by a chain t) as best seen in FIGURES l and 4. The chain 50 is attached to the trailer 30 by being dropped through the key hole shaped slot 51 in each of a pair of ears 52 fastened to be the base 34 on opposite sides of the trailer 30 adjacent the rear thereof. The chain 50 is then passed over rollers 53 and 54 mounted in the upright vertical steel supports 19 of the hopper 10.
By this arrangement, the trailer 30 is securely positioned adjacent to the hopper with the outlet of the hopper opening into the body through the opening of the smaller door 44 for the normal loading operation. As refuse is supplied to the hopper, the hydraulic packer blade forces it out of the outlet opening 17 and into the trailer 30 where it is compacted against the yielding resistance of the pusher blade 31 and wherein it is retained by the action of the spring biased swing doors 45 and 46. After the trailer is fully loaded, the chain 50 is disengaged, the trailer 30 is drawn away from the hopper and the small door 44 is closed to fully close the body for high speed transportation by a single tractor driver to the point of final disposition of the refuse.
At the final disposition point, the unloading operation is accomplished simply by opening the large rear door 41 carrying with it the smaller door 44 and the interior swinging door 45 and 46 so as to leave the entire rear end of the trailer 30 open. The hydraulically driven winch 33 is then actuated to reel in the cable 33 and move the pusher blade 31 from the front to the rear of the body to fully unload the refuse compacted therein. It is thus seen that the long distance hauling and nal unloading can readily be accomplished by a single driver in a clean, efficient, sanitary and safe manner which affords a considerable increase in the efiieiency and effectiveness of refuse collection and disposal.
While a particular exemplary preferred embodiment of this invention has been described in detail above, it will be understood that modifications and variations therein may be effected without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the present invention, as defined by the following claims.
1. Refuse handling apparatus comprising: a hopper having inlet means adapted to receive refuse and outlet means adapted to discharge refuse; dock means from which refuse may be loaded into said inlet means of said hopper; a vehicle body having a loading opening in the back thereof adjacent the floor of the body and positioned to mate with said outlet means of said hopper; hydraulically actuated packer blade means reciprocable in said hopper for loading refuse from said hopper through said opening in said body; following plate means attached to said packer blade means to prevent refuse from falling behind said blade during reciprocation thereof; chain means to secure said body to said hopper with said operiing in said body adjacent said outlet from said hopper; movably mounted pusher blade means in said body; a hydraulically actuated winch; a cable connected between said winch and said pusher blade means to control the position of said blade; said winch and cable yieldably positioning said blade in said body to afford a predetermined resistance to the loading of refuse into said body; said packing blade in said hopper urging refuse against said movably mounted packer blade lin said body during the loading thereof to overcome said resistance and thereby continuously compact said refuse and move said body mounted pusher blade away from said opening as compacted refuse is loaded into said body; a discharge opening in said body; said truck mounted pusher blade being movable by said cable and winch through a path in which it unloads said body by forcing said compacted refuse out of said discharge opening.
2. Refuse handling apparatus comprising: a hopper having inlet means adapted to receive refuse and outlet means adapted to discharge refuse, doek means from which refuse may be loaded into said inlet means of said hopper; a vehicle body having a loading opening in the back thereof positioned to mate with said outlet means of said hopper, said vehicle body having a larger internal cross sectional area than the cross sectional area of said loading opening; hydraulically actuated packer blade means reciprocable in said hopper for loading refuse from said hopper through said opening in said body; following plate means attached to said packer blade means to prevent refuse from falling behind said blade during reciprocation thereof; chain means to secure said body to said hopper with said opening in said body adjacent said outlet from said hopper; movable mounted pusher blade means in said body; `a hydraulically actuated winch; a cable connected between said winch and said pusher blade means to control the position of said blade; said winch and cable yieldably positioning said blade in said body to afford a predetermined resistance to the loading of refuse into said body; said packing blade in said hopper urging refuse against said movable mounted packer blade in said body during the loading thereof to overcome said resistance and thereby continuously compact said refuse and move said body mounted pusher blade away from said opening as compacted refuse is loaded into said body; a discharge opening in said body; said truck mounted pusher blade being movable by said cable and winch through a path in which it tunloads said body by forcing said compacted refuse out of said discharge opening.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,552,644 Perin Sept. 8, 1925 2,076,504 Ochsner Apr. 6, 1937 2,622,748 Feidert Dec. 23. 1952 2,934,198 Schonrock Apr. 26, 1960