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Publication numberUS3104406 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1963
Filing dateJul 2, 1962
Priority dateJul 2, 1962
Publication numberUS 3104406 A, US 3104406A, US-A-3104406, US3104406 A, US3104406A
InventorsRhodes Henry J
Original AssigneeRhodes Henry J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for washing trucks and the like
US 3104406 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 24, 1963 H. J. RHODES 3,104,406 APPARATUS FOR WASHING TRUCKS AND THE LIKE Filed July 2, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Sept. 24, 1963 H. J. RHODES APPARATUS FOR WASHING TRUCKS AND THE LIKE Filed July 2, 1962 3 Sheets-$heet 2 INVENTOR. #MA) J P6695;

Sept. 24, 1953 H. J. RHODES 3,104,406

APPARATUS FOR WASHING TRUCKS AND THE LIKE Filed July 2, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 United States Patent 3,194,406 APPARATUS FOR WASHING TRUCKS AND THE LIKE Henry J. Rhodes, Nashua, NH. (R0. Box 46, Lebanon, NH.) Filed .luly 2, 1962, Ser. No. 206,596 19 Claims. (Ci. -21) The present invention relates to apparatus for cleaning large objects such as trucks, and particularly such objects having irregular outer surfaces, for example, cement transporting and mixing trucks, and particularly those provided with rotary drums.

While machines exist for mechanically cleaning the exterior surfaces on fiat-sided trucks, and while fixed installations exist which are more or less capable of mechanically cleaning the irregular or non-planar surfaces of passenger automobiles, the cleaning of large trucks having irregular or oddly shaped external surfaces is still carried out by laborious and time-consuming manual operation. For example, the cleaning of cement mixing trucks, and particularly those of the rotary drum type, usually involves the manual labor of two men working continuously for several hours. The cost involved in keeping clean a fleet of such trucks is therefore quite appreciable, particularly in view of the difliculty in removing caked cement dust from the external surfaces of such trucks.

It is the prime object of the present invention to devise an apparatus which will mechanically and efiectively clean the exposed surfaces of trucks or other large objects, particularly but not necessarily when those exposed surfaces are irregular or non-planar, and which will perform the cleaning operation in a mechanically power-driven manner capable of being controlled by a single operator.

In accordance with the present invention, a movable base or platform is provided which can be positioned adjacent the truck or other device to be'cleaned and which can be readily moved from place to place as desired. Preferably power drive means are employed for moving it. Articulately mounted on the platform is a boom, the boom itself being articulately constructed, and suitable means, preferably power-actuated, are provided under the control of the operator for moving the boom over desired locations on the surface of the object to be cleaned. The boom carries one or more arms, articulately mounted thereon and preferably freely movable relative thereto within limits, which arms carry rotary brushes. Means are provided for driving the brushes in rotation, that means preferably comprising a motor carried by the boom and drivingly connected to the brushes by means of flexible operative connections which permit the aforementioned articulate movement of the arms, and the brushes carried thereby, relative to the boom. Hence as the boom is moved relative to the surface of the object being cleaned, the brushes are caused to engage the surfaces to be cleaned and to conform to the configuration of these surfaces without interfering with the cleaning action of the brushes produced by their rotation. Means are also preferably provided for supplying cleaning fluid to the brushes while they are rotated so as to facilitate the cleaning operation. Because of the nature of the structure ddhd dhfi Patented Sept. 24, 1963 which mounts the cleaning brushes relative to the platform, the brushes will move overeven irregular or nonplanar surfaces to be cleaned and will eflectively clean all the areas of these surfaces which are exposed. The arrangement is such that a single operator, positioned where he can observe the cleaning operation of the apparatus, can readily control all requisite movements of the apparatus, i.e., shifting the position of the platform together with the brushes and shifting the position of the brushes relative to the platform.

The apparatus of the present invention will, in a matter of minutes, perform a cleaning operation which would formerly take two or more workmen several hours to accomplish, thus resulting in a very appreciable saving in upkeep and maintenance expense. Moreover, the apparatus is of relatively small size, so that it may be readily transported and stored, thus greatly facilitating the use thereof in a variety of different specific applications.

To the accomplishment of the above, and to such other objects as may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates to the construction of an apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like as defined in the appended claims, and as described in this specification, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a three-quarter perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention, illustrating it in use in the cleaning of certain surfaces of a rotary drum cement mixing truck;

FIG. 2 is a semi-schematic view of the platform of the apparatus, showing the mechanism employed for moving it from place to place;

FIG. 3 is a three-quarter perspective detailed view of one embodiment of the boom, showing the manner in which it is rendered movable relative to the platform, and the manner in which various portions of the boom are rendered articulate;

FIG. 4 is a three-quarter perspective view of the end of the boom, showing one way in which the brushes may be mounted thereon and connected to the brush-driving motor;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing a specifically different embodiment; and

FIG. 6 is a detailed front elevation view of the embodiment of FIG. 5, showing the manner in which the brush is mounted and driven.

The invention is here specifically disclosed in FIG. 1 as it may be used in cleaning the external surfaces of a rotary drum type cement mixing truck generally designated 2, that truck having external surfaces to be cleaned which are irregularly arranged relative to one another. For example, having reference to the rotary cement mixing drum generally designated 4, that drum is provided with a generally cylindrical body wall 6' at the ends of which conically tapered body Walls 8 and 10 are provided. It is because of the non-planar nature of the walls 6, 8 and 10, and their angular relation one to another, that oleaning presents particular problems, particularly insofar as automated or mechanical equipment is concerned.

The cleaning apparatus of the present invention comprises a base or platform 12 of any suitable structural material. In order to facilitate movement of the apparatus to the best location for performing this cleaning function, the platform 12 may be provided with a pair of front wheels 14 and a pair of rear wheels 16. The rear wheels 16 may be mounted in brackets 17 fixed tothe platform 12, and a motor 18 may be drivingly connected to at least one of the rear wheels 16, as by sprocket wheel 19 driven by the motor 18, sprocket chain 2%, sprocket wheel 22 fast on shaft 24 journaled in brackets 25, sprocket wheel 26 fast on the shaft 24, and chain drive 23 connected to sprocket wheel 3% fixedly secured to the rear wheel 16. The front wheels 14 may be mounted in brackets 32 which are pivotally connected to the platform 12, as by shafts 3 1-, a linkage generally designated 36 being connected between the brackets 32 and a steering column 38 adapted to be actuated by steering Wheel ill. Thus, when the motor 18 is energized the rear wheel 16 drivingly connected thereto will be rotated, the platform 12 will be moved over the floor or ground on which it rests, and its movement may be steered by means of the steering wheel 40.

Mounted on the platform 12 is a bracket 42 from which fixed strut 44 extends vertically. A boom section 46 is pivotally connected to the bracket 42 so as to pivot about a horizontal axis defined by the shaft 48, and may be rigidified and supported by side arms 50 which are similarly pivotally mounted. The position of the boom section 46 relative to the fixed strut 44 is controlled in any appropriate manner, as by the pressure cylinder 52, pivotally connected at 54 to the upper end of the strut 44,

that cylinder 52 having a piston rod 56 extending therefrom which is pivotally connected, at 58, to a bracket 60 secured to the boom section 46. Conduits 62 communicats with the power cylinder 52 so as to convey pressure fluid thereto. A second boom section 64 is pivotally connected to the end of the boom section 46 at 66, and its angular position relative to the first boom section 46 is mechanically controlled in any appropriate manner, as by means of the pressure cylinder 68 pivotally connected at 76 to bracket 72 depending from the first boom section 46, the pressure cylinder 68 having a piston rod '74 extending therefrom which is pivotally connected at 76 to bracket 78 fixed to and extending down from the boom section 64. Conduits 80 communicate with the pressure cylinder 68 and convey pressure fluid thereto. A third boom section 32 is longitudinally slidably mounted relative to the second boom section 64, and is here disclosed as being telescopable thereinto. The degree to which the third boom section 82 extends out from the second boom section 64 is mechanically controlled in any appropriate manner, as by the use of pressure cylinder 84 fixed to the second boom section 64 at 86 and having a piston rod 88 extending out therefrom and fixed to the third boom section 82 at 90. Conduits 92 communicate with the pressure cylinder 84 and convey pressure fluid thereto.

In the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 1 and 4, the third boom section 82 carries at its ends a bracket 94 which extends to either side thereof, and arms 96 are pivotally mounted in the bracket 94 so as to pivot about horizontal shafts 98. The bracket 94 includes bottom lips 160 which function as stops limiting the degree to which the arms 26 may pivot downwardly, the location of the lips 164} being such as to permit the arms 96 an appreciable degree of freedom of movement, e.g. 45.

A pair of rotary cleaning brushes-102 are provided, each having cleaning bristles 104-, which may be formed of wire, and each being fixed to a shaft 106 which is rotatably mounted in bearings 168 carried at the ends of arms 96. The upper ends of the shafts 106 extend up beyond the arms 96 into housings 11d, and are there provided with gears 112.

Mounted on the third boom section 22, as by means of the bracket 114, is an electric motor 116 the output shaft 118 of which extends down therefrom into gear housing 129, where it is provided with a gear 122. The gear 122 meshes with a pair of gears 124 each fast on a d shaft 126, said shafts 126 extending out from the housing 126 in opposite directions and substantially in line with the respective arms 96. Universal joints 128 connect the shafts 126 to variable length mechanical connectors comprising parts 136 and 132 which are connected for simultaneous rotation but for free relative longitudinal sliding movement, as by means of a sliding spline. The parts 132 are connected by universal joints 134 to shafts 136 i which enter the housings and carry the gears 138 which mesh with the gears 112.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6, the third boom section 82 carries support bracket 141 which is pivotally mounted thereon at 142 and which is pivotally connected, at 144, to piston rod 146 extending from power cylinder 148, that cylinder being pivot-ally connected at 150 to bracket 152 extending up from the third boom section 82. Conduits 154 communicate with the pressure cylinder 148 and convey pressure fluid thereto. An electric motor 1-16 is fixedly mounted on the support bracket 140 and has output shafts 118' extending out from both ends thereof substantially in line with the arms 96. The arms 96' are pivotally connected to the support bracket 140 at 98'. The ends of the arms 96' carry tubular elements 156, pivotally mounted thereon at 158, the brush shafts 166' being mounted and journaled in the parts 156 and extending up therefrom into the housings 110, there being provided with gears 112'. Driving connection is made between each output shaft 1-18 of the motor 116" and the corresponding gears 112 of a brush 102' by means of a flexible and rotation-transmitting linkage essentially similar to that disclosed in FIG. 4, the parts of the lin'kage'of FIGS. 5 and 6 corresponding (to the construction of FIG. 4 being provided with similar reference numerals, differentiated, however, by being primed.

In order to :assist in the cleaning operation of the brushes 102 or 10 2, it is preferred that means be provided for supplying those brushes with a continuous flow of cleaning fluid, such as Water, with or without detergent or abrasive cleaning particles. To that end the platform 12 is provided with a fluid storage tank 160, and

a motor driven pump 162 is provided which pumps fluid from the tank through a tube or pipe 164 whichextends up along the boom sections 46, 67 and 82, and which then divides into branches 166 having ends open adjacent each of the brushes 102 or 102. The fluid pumped through the tubes may be directed against the surfaces being cleaned in any desired manner, as is conventional in connection with rotary cleaning brushes of various designs. of fluid to the upper surfaces of the brush 102, from which it will be expelled to the surfaces being cleaned (see FIG. 4). of fluid to the center of the brush, as by utilizing a hollow driving shaft and causing the fluid to flow downwardly therefrom to the interior of the brush (see FIG. 6).

Suitable motor driven pumps, generally designated 168,

are mounted on the platform 12 in order to supply the various power cylinders 52, 68, 84 (and 148 if employed) with pressure fluid, either liquid or gas, the supply of pressure fluid to each :of the pressure motors being controlled in conventional manner by valving (the details of which are not here specifically shown since they are believed to be conventional and since the specific nature of the hydraulic system and controls does not form a part of the present invention). A pedestal 170 is mounted on the platform 12, and is provided with control levers 172 and switches 174. The switches 174 penmit the operator of the apparatus to turn on or off the motors 18 and 116 and the pumps 162 and 168, thereby to control respectively movement of the platform 12, rotation of the brushes 102, and supply of cleaning fluid and pressure fluid. The control levers 172 permit the operator to control the location of the brushes 102 by causing relative movement of the various boom sections 46, 64 and 82,

One alternative is to direct the flow 7 Another alternative is to direct the flow and, in the embodiment of FIG. 5, by causing angular movement of the support bracket 140, and with it the brushes 162'.

When the device is in use, as the boom is manipulated to move the brushes 102 over the surface to be cleaned, the angular orientation of those brushes relative to the boom will vary in accordance with the shape, orientation or inclination of the particular surfaces when they engage at any given moment, this self-adjustment feature being accomplished by means of the articulate connection between the arms 96 or 96' and the boom. The embodiment of FIG. 5 has the additional features that the brushes 102 may be controllably tilted about the horizontal axis 142 through actuation of the pressure cylinder 148, the brushes 2 also being tiltable in a self-adjusting manner about the axes 158 relative to the arms 96', in addition to having the self-adjusting characteristic derived from the tilting of the arms 96 about the axes 98' in a manner comparable to that disclosed in the embodiment of FIG. 4.

Because of the construction and arrangement of parts of the apparatus here disclosed, that apparatus can, under the fingertip control of a single operator, move the cleaning brushes 102 over surfaces of widely varying shapes and inclination, it being incumbent upon the operator only to control gross positioning of the cleaning brushes 192 or 102', those brushes thereafter positioning themselves in accordance with the nature of the surfaces being cleaned, all without interruption of the rotational driving of the brushes in order to produce an effective cleaning action.

The apparatus is comparatively small and compact, taking into consideration the type of operations which it is capable of performing. It may be stored in an area five feet by six feet, may readily move itself from place to place within a relatively circumscribed area, and may readily be transported from one remote location to another. A given apparatus may be used for cleaning slabsided surfaces as well as irregularly shaped surfaces, and therefore is capable of great flexibility of use.

While but a limited number of embodiments of the present invention have been here disclosed, it will be apparent that many variations may be made therein, all within the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms md spaced from said boom, and means on said apparatus operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

2. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted for relative movement, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced trom said b oom, and means on said apparatus operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

3. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted for relative movement angula rly, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said b oom, and means on said apparatus eperatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

4. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a b oom articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted for relative movement longitudinally, a pair of substantially 0ppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said 6 boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said boom, and means on said apparatus operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation. I

5. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted for relative movement angularly and longitudinally, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said boom, and means on said apparatus operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

6. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said boom, and means 'on said boom operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

7. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted for relative movement, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced trom said boom, and means on said boom operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

8. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted for relative movement angularly, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said boom, and means on said boom operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

9. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted tfior relative movement longitudinally, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said boom, and means on said boom operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

10. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like comprising a base, a boom. articulately mounted thereon, said boom having sections articulately mounted for relative movement angularly and longitudinally, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said boom, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said boom, and means on said boom operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

11. In the apparatus of claim 1, conduit means on said boom and arms, said conduit means extending to points adjacent said brushes for feeding a. supply of fluid to said brushes.

12. In the apparatus of claim 1, conduit means on said boom and arms, said conduit means extending to points adjacent said brushes and said base respectively for feeding a supply of fluid to said brushes.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said arms are mounted on said boom for pivotal movement relative thereto.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said means for rotating said brushes comprises a motor mounted on said boom, and flexible rotation-transmitting means operatively connected between said motor and said brushes.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said means for rotating said brushes comprises a motor mounted on said boom and having drive shaft ends extending out beyond said motor in opposite directions, and flexible rotationtransmitting means operatively connected between each of said ends and the brush corresponding thereto.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said means for rotating said brushes comprises 'a motor mounted on said boom and having a drive shaft extending therefrom, a gear transmission unit fixed relative to said motor, operatively connected to said drive shaft, and having a pair of output shafts, and flexible rotation-transmitting means operatively connected between each of said drive shafts and the brush corresponding thereto.

17. In the apparatus of claim 1, wheels on said base, and a motor carried by said base and operatively connected to at least one of said wheels for causing said base to move over the surface on which it is supported.

18. Apparatus for cleaning trucks and the like cornpiising a base, a boom articulately mounted thereon, a support articulately mounted on said boom, a pair of substantially oppositely extending arms articulately mounted on said support, brushes rotatably mounted on said arms and spaced from said boom, and means on said apparatus operatively connected to said brushes for driving them in rotation.

19. In the apparatus of claim 18, power means operatively connected to said support for moving it relative to said boom.

2,238,757 Stevason Apr. 15, 1s41 Grosscnbacher July 3, 1951 p

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2238757 *Apr 24, 1939Apr 15, 1941Wendell G NewsomWall cleaner
US2559295 *Apr 3, 1947Jul 3, 1951Frank E GrossenbacherAirplane washer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3196472 *Feb 12, 1964Jul 27, 1965Ventrella Angelo DMobile washing apparatus for automobiles and the like
US3268935 *Feb 8, 1965Aug 30, 1966William Ungeheuer CarlAdjustable support for a power device
US3439372 *Jul 10, 1967Apr 22, 1969Rucker CoAirplane washing device
US3648316 *Aug 25, 1969Mar 14, 1972Garsite Products IncSurface-treating apparatus
US3783819 *Nov 12, 1970Jan 8, 1974Hammelman PMovement of a working station with reference to a substantially vertical surface
US3922745 *Feb 14, 1974Dec 2, 1975Elgin Sweeping Services IncBroom device
US5092012 *Jan 16, 1990Mar 3, 1992Rabourn William BApparatus for buffing and otherwise treating aircraft bodies
US5115531 *Jun 21, 1990May 26, 1992Suzuki Mechanical Engineering Co., Ltd.Aircraft washing equipment
US5133100 *Apr 12, 1991Jul 28, 1992Hill James DPortable truck washer
US5769954 *Aug 9, 1994Jun 23, 1998Putzmeister AktiengesellschaftA cleaning tool arranged on a truck comprising a rotary brush bearing head with several extension arms and a multiple joints; computerized controller
US5794298 *Jul 30, 1994Aug 18, 1998Putzmeister AktiengesellschaftDevice for handling a brush head for cleaning the surface of large objects
US5802654 *Aug 11, 1997Sep 8, 1998Yeaglin; William E.Snow and ice remover for vehicle roofs
US6453500Dec 8, 2000Sep 24, 2002Frank SchmittVehicle roof snow removal system
US7861347 *Jun 1, 2007Jan 4, 20113Rd Millennium Solutions Ltd.Device for cleaning snow and debris from around elevated obstacles
US8857451Aug 31, 2009Oct 14, 2014David OpdykeDevice to remove snow from large vehicles
US20140115814 *Dec 10, 2012May 1, 2014Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Cleaning vehicle and cantilever system of the cleaning vehicle
EP1808346A1 *Jan 16, 2007Jul 18, 2007Otto Christ AGBrush assembly and treating method for vehicle treatment systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/53.1
International ClassificationB60S3/06
Cooperative ClassificationB60S3/06
European ClassificationB60S3/06