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Publication numberUS3157099 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 17, 1964
Filing dateSep 6, 1960
Priority dateSep 6, 1960
Also published asDE1484798A1
Publication numberUS 3157099 A, US 3157099A, US-A-3157099, US3157099 A, US3157099A
InventorsUlrich Raymond M
Original AssigneeUlrich Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Earth materials handling apparatus
US 3157099 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS 8 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 6, 1960v m m. m w.

Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH 3,157,099

EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS Filed Sept. 6. 1960 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 BY v flaw/ I Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS 8 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Sept. 6, 1960 WM W Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH 3,157,099

EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS Filed Sept. 6, 1960 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH 3,157,099

EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS Filed Sept. 6, 1960 a Sheets-Sheet 5 Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH 3,157,099

' EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS Filed Sept. 6,1960

8 Sheets-Sheet 6 IN VEN TOR.

Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed Sept. 6, 1960 Nov. 17, 1964 R. M. ULRICH 3,157,099

EARTH MATERIALS HANDLING APPARATUS Filed Sept. 6, 1960 a Sheets-Sheet 8 I z 143 a 1 Y j72 {5y i2 113 8 F L\\\52 69- 7 5 i I it! Filed Sept. a, 19m, Set. No. sense 12 (Ilairns. or. 94- 36) The present invention relates to earth materials handling equipment; and particularly, to a new and novel materials handling blade structure applicable, for example, to bulldozers; to a new and novel combination of such blade and a spreading attachment for use in spreading road base materials and the like; to a new and novel spreading attachment per se; and to new and improved elements of blades, spreaders and the like.

Bulldozers are, of course, well-known in the art, the same comprising by definition a tractor, a vertically movable transverse moldboard blade ahead of the tractor and push arms connected to the blade and movably mounted on the tractor. In the simplest form, the blade is rigidly secured to the push arms and is disposed at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the tractor. In an amplification, the push arms are pivoted to the'blade and adjustable struts are provided between the push arms and the blade for varying the pitch of the blade, i.e., the anglc of the plane of the blade to horizontal, and for tilting the blade, i.e., raising or lowering one end of the blade relative to the other to dispose the lower or cutting edge of the blade at an angle to horizontal. In one commercial device constructed essentially as above described, the blade is of generally U-shape, i.e., a rigid blade having a center portion and forwardly angled side wing portions, and variations in the pitch of the blade cause the wings to tilt down or up relative to the center section. Another form of bulldozer substitutes a C-frame, a frame comprised of a pair of side arms like the aforesaid push arms and a transverse portion between the arms ahead of the tractor, for said push arms. One primary advantage of the 'C-frame is that the blade may be pivotally mounted on an upright axis at its center on the transverse forward portion of the frame and be connected at its ends to the side arms by selectively positionable struts, so that the blade may be disposed straight, i.e., at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the tractor, or may be angled in either direction, that is, disposed at an angle to said axis. It has also been proposed heretofore, although I am not aware of any commercial use of such proposal, to employ a sectionalized blade comprised of a plurality of blade sections pivotally connected to one another on vertical axes, to mount the center section or the center pivot pin of the blade on a C-frame or the like, and to provide selectively positionable supporting struts between the ends of the blade and the C-frarne so that the outboard blade sections may selectively be disposed straight, at an angle, in a forward V like a snowplcw or a rearward V, or with one straight and the other angled. Each of these several blade structures has its own particular advantages and uses, and the blades for the most part are purchased and installed on tractors on the basis of the use for which they are primarily intended.

The object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved blade structure, especially adapted but not exclusively applicable for bulldozer use, having all of the advantages and serving all of the uses of the prior blade structures, providing further advantages and new uses, and facilitating broader application of bulldozers and markedly greater utilization of the power of the propelling vehicle or tractor.

It is in particular the object of this invention to provide 39.51%? Patented Nov. 1?, 11954 an improved blade structure which, in its preferred embodiment, comprises a sectionalized blade comprising a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected to one another on generally upright axes, a universal mounting assembly on the blade substantially centrally of its length for mounting the blade for universal movement on a C- frame, a pair of selectively operable extensible and retractable push arms universally connected respectively to the outer end portions of the blade and the tractor for selectively winging each outer section of the blade forward and backward, and a pair of selectively operable extensible and retractable struts pivotally mounted respectively on the push arms and universally connected to the respective outer end portions of the blade for tilting the blade, varying the pitch of the blade, or both tilting and varying the pitch of the blade.

As a consequence of the defined structure, the blade is capable of achieving an almost unlimited range of controlled positions. It may be disposed straight, angled, Vd forward or Vd back; it may be disposed with one end section straight and the other angled in either direction at a variety of angles, or with both sections angled at diiferent angles; it may be tilted and/or its pitch may be varied through a wide range in any of its described formations; its lower edge may be disposed horizontal in any of its formations; the lower edge may be disposed to define a crown or to cut a trench with either or both sections angled at diverse angles; and the lower edge may be disposed with one portion horizontal and the other tilted either up or down, with either or both sections angled at diverse angles, to form a shouldento pull material from a shoulder onto grade surface, and so on.

The utility of such structure has been established by extensive testing of the same on a Caterpillar D-6 tractor wherein the combination included a C-frame on which the universal assembly was centrally mounted, hydraulic jack means for raising and lowering the C-frame, and hydraulically actuated struts and push arms. The resultant structure, while readily performing all of the functions of conventional blades, provided the bulldozer operator with facilities heretofore unavailable. These facilities are too numerous to be mentioned here, but as an example thereof it is to be observed that my improved blade particularly facilitates complete control over a load. Heretofore, with a standard blade, if the load commenced to spill 01? in one direction or another, or spilled at a faster rate than intended, the operator could do nothing about it, other than to back the bulldozer off the loadand maneuver the tractor in an attempt to regain the load. With the blade structure of the present invention, should the load start to spill in one direction, the operator wings the respective end section of the blade forward to confine the load and draw it back toward the center, all without even slowing the tractor. In intentionally spilling off to one side, the rate of spill is readily controlled by the operator by adjusting the one end section of the blade to an appropriate angle. Also, the operator may simultaneously spill off to both sides at individually controlled rates. If spilling is to one side and the material does not flow toward the spilling side from the opposite side, the material is readily impelled to the spilling side simply by advancing or winging forward the opposite end section of the blade. In addition, the operator is not compelled simply to push a load from one place to another as was the practice heretofore. He may selectively deposit portions of a load where and as desired, and if in moving a load he notes a hollow to be filled, he may readily spill material as desired into the hollow. Moreover, the blade greatly facilitates the gathering and moving of a load. For example, a load can readily be gathered from the side of a bank by angling the digging end section of the blade forward to cause the material to be moved from the end to the center portion of the blade, and the two end sections can be angled forward to confine the load during movement. By then pitching the blade rearwardly, a considerable proportion of the load can be supported from beneath, i.e., horizontally, so that the load is in part carried and only in part pushed, thereby permitting the movement of larger loads by a tractor of given capacity, or permitting movement of a conventional size load with greater speed and without expending as much power as the tractor. By Ving the blade rearwardly (providing a forwardly open V) and pitching the blade rearwardly, material can readily be gathered from a limited ground area and confined in the center portion of the blade. By then raising the blade as a whole, the above stated advantages of carrying a proportion of the load can be achieved.

As a further example of the capabilities of my improved blade and the manner in which it facilitates broader application of bulldozers and greater utilization of the power of the tractor, I will describe the manner in which the above combination was used to remove a tree stump considered by experts to be larger than could be removed with a 13-6 tractor. The blade was first disposed substantially straight and tilted to approximately one extreme position. The down end of the blade was forced into the ground by the raise-lower jacks and the tractor maneuvered to circumscribe the stump and thereby sever the laterals of the root system. The blade was then \fd back or rearwardly and engaged at the bottom of the V about the upper end portion of the stump and the tractor was rocked back and forth to cause the blade to bump the stump and further loosen its root system. Because of the V of the blade, the blade and the tractor were maintained centered on the stump and did not slide off to one side as would have been the case with straight or angled blades. The blade was then partially straightened, pitched back and forced partially under the roots in the trench or crevice formed by the initial operation. The blade was oscillated back and forth under the roots by the pitch adjusting means as the raise-lower jacks continued to force the blade down, further to sever the roots, advance the blade to rout out the stump and loosen the entire root structure and stump. The stump bumping operation was repeated briefly, and the stump and its roots were then quickly and easily removed by repetition of the routing operation. As the stump was removed, the blade was Vd back to confine the stump and its roots therein, and the bulldozer then readily rolled the stump to a point of disposal.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention is constructed as above stated, it is possible to achieve the advantages of the invention with other mounting and pitch adjusting elements than the described struts and push arms. Also, some of the advantages of the invention may be achieved by simplified apparatus. It is therefore an object of the invention to provide as a minimum an improved blade structure comprising horizontal pivot axis means for the sectionalized blade, the axis extending transversely of the tractor, pitch adjusting means for the blade, and means for causing the sections of the blade to at least V forward and back.

Another object of the invention is to provide, either in the simplified or preferred embodiment, means for extending and retracting the center mounting means for the blade thereby to cause, or assist in causing, Ving of the blade.

It may therefore be stated that an overall object of the invention is to provide an improved blade structure comprising a blade including a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected together on generally upright axes, first monuting means for the blade substantially centrally of its length, second mounting means for the blade comprising a mounting element adjacent each outer end of i the blade, at least one of the first and second mounting means being movable transversely of the blade, and pitch adjusting means for the blade.

It is additionally an object to provide in the preferred embodiment of the invention a complete hydraulic actuating and control system for the blade including operating handles at the operators station for selectively operating each of the hydraulic actuating means.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved hydraulic beam structure employed particularly as the push arm means for the blade structure above described.

Because of the facility of my improved blade for directing and leveling earth materials, I have conceived the combination therewith of an improved spreading attachment to facilitate the spreading of base materials for roads and the like to exacting tolerances and substantially any specification. The combination broadly of a base spreading attachment and a bulldozer is known from the copcnding application of Raymore D. MacDonald, Serial No. 789,764, filed January 9, 1959 (since issued on December 6, 1960, as Patent No. 2,962,947), and my copending application, Serial No. 10,637, filed February 24, 1960. As shown in those applications, the base spreading apparatus comprises, in combination, a bulidozer comprising a tractor, a vertically movable transverse moldboard blade ahead of the tractor and pusher arms connected to said blade and movably mounted on said tractor, and a spreading attachment comprising a pair of side assemblies extending forwardly of said blade from adjacent the opposite ends thereof, mounting means on the rearward ends of said side assemblies and pivotally mounted on the bulldozer for mounting the spreading attachment at its rearward end on said bulldozer, groundengaging wheels adjacent the forward ends of said side assemblies supporting the forward end of said spreading attachment on the roadbed, said side assemblies and said blade defining a forwardly-open three-sided hopper rearwardly of the forward end portions of said side assemblies and said wheels for reception therein of material to be spread, said side assemblies comprising means for laterally confining the material to a strip of predetermined width and said blade constituting the rear wall of said hopper and comprising means for pushing before it a substantial load of the material and for striking-off the material at a predetermined level, and support means extending between said blade and said side assemblies supporting said moidboard blade on said side assemblies.

The object of this invention, in distinction, is to provide in combination with the improved sectionalized blade structure above described a pair of side assemblies extending forwardly from the opposite ends of the blade, each of said side assemblies comprising a longitudinally extensible and contractable beam, transversely extensible and contractable means on the forward end portions of said beams and extending therebetween for maintaining the side assemblies in parallel coextensive relation, groundengaging means adjacent the forward end of each beam, mounting means mounting the rearward end of each beam on the blade, and adjustable support means between the beams and the blade supporting the blade on said beams, said extensible and contractable beams and means and said adjustable support means accommodating the above described variations in the horizontal angulation, tilt and pitch of the blade sections thereby to accommodate sup port of the blade sections on the side assemblies in whatever position may be best suited for spreading the material to given specifications.

Another object of the invention is to provide, as the transversely extensible and contractable means defined in the foregoing paragraph, a linkage assembly comprising a pair of transverse links pivotally connected respectively to the forward end portions of the side assemblies, and a longitudinal link pivotally connected to the center L the blade, the three links intersecting substantially in a common point and being pivotally interconnected at said point.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved extensible and contractable beam especially suited for use as said transversely extensible and contractable means.

A further object of the invention isthe provision, in

combination in a spreading attachment, of a cross beam, such as the extensible and contractable beam above defined, disposed adjacent the lower extremities of the attachment, ground-engaging means adjacent the forward end of each side assembly, and adjustable means mounting the ground-engaging means on the side assemblies for vertical adjustment, thereby to vary the position of the beam relative to ground level and to constitute the same a primary strike-01f for materials deposited in a windrow ahead of the spreading apparatus.

A. still further object of the invention is the provision of improved mounting and adjustable support means between the blade and the side assembly beams, said means comprising, at the rearward end of each beam, a generally upright post having clamping elements thereon adapted to be clampingly engaged with the blade, a collar slidably mounted on the post, locking means on the post including adjustable elements engaging the collar and adjustably locking the same against up and down movement on the post, the collar being pivotally connected on the horizontal transverse axis to the rearward end of the respective beam and including a portion extending longitudinally adjacent a portion of the beam, and adjustable support elements operatively connected to the said portions of the collar and the beam adjust-ably supporting the portion of the collar on the beam.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent in the following detailed description.

Now, the manner of making and using my improved blade structure, my improved spreading apparatus and my improved beam elements, I shall describe, in connection with the accompanying drawings, a preferred embodiment of the blade, a preferred embodiment of the spreading apparatus, and preferred embodiments of two beam constructions.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a tractor equipped with the improved blade structure of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary plan view of the blade structure;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary vertical section of the blade structure, the view being taken substantially on line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a side elevation of the blade structure;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary back view of the blade, the view being taken substantially on line 55 of FIG- URE 2;

FIGURE 6 is a vertical section of my improved hydraulic push beam, the view being taken substantially on line 66 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 7 is a vertical section of the hydraulic strut construction of the blade structure, the view being taken substantially on line 7-7 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURES 8 through 21 are schematic representations of the blade of the present invention, the several views depicting exemplary ones of the controlled positions of the blade;

FIGURE 22 is a perspective view of the base spreading apparatus of the invention;

FIGURE 23 is a side elevation of the spreading apparatus, omitting for the sake of clarity the tractor;

FIGURE 24 is a plan view, partly in section and partly in elevation, of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 23, the view being taken substantially on line 2i-24 of FIG- URE 23;

FIGURE 25 is a perspective view on an enlarged scale, of the improved mounting and support means provided in order to acquaint those skilled in the art with fit according to the invention between the blade and the side beams of the spreading apparatus;

FIGURE 26 is a vertical section of said mounting .eans, the view being taken substantially on line 26-26 of FIGURE 23;

FIGURE 27 is a sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a transversely extensible and retractable beam structure for the spreading apparatus; and

FIGURES 28 and 29 are schematic representations of the spreading apparatus depicting exemplary positions of the elements thereof.

Referring now to FIGURE 1, I have shown the preferred embodiment of my new blade structure mounted on a conventional tractor of the track-laying type, the tractor comprising a body 46 having a frame 41, a track supporting frame 42 carried by the frame 41 outwardly of each side of the body, and a ground-engaging track 43 movably mounted on each frame 42. As is conventional, the tractor includes an engine, a transmission and the necessary drive elements selectively to drive the tracks and propel the vehicle, the engine also driving a hydraulic pump (not shown) for providing fluid under pressure for operation of attachments to the tractor. As will become apparent as the description proceeds, tractors of the wheel type may be employed with equal facility in conjunction with my blade structure.

As shown in FIGURES l and 2, the improved blade structure of the present invention includes a C-frame 44 which is of different construction than conventional in the art. Specifically, the frame includes side arms 45 which are spaced fromv one another a distance only slightly in excess of the width of the tractor frame 4i and are disposed between the opposite sides of the tractor and the track supporting frames 42, the arms being universally mounted on the tractor frame at their rearward ends by means of ball and socket connections 46 which pivotally mount the arms on a common transverse horizontal axis. Also, to prevent side sway of the arms, a reinforced wear plate 47 is mounted on each side of the body frame adjacent the forward end thereof, against which plates the side arms slidably bear. The two side arms 45 are rigidly interconnected at their forward ends by a transverse portion 43 extending between the arms forwardly of the tractor body. For pivotally moving the C-frame relative to the body, a pair of hydraulically interconnected jacks 49 are pivotally mounted on the opposite sides of the tractor and pivotally connected at their lower forward ends to lateral extensions of the transverse portion 48 of the C-frame.

The improved blade per se is indicated generally at 5@, the same comprising in its preferred embodiment an upright pintie pin 51 and a pair of blade sections 52 and 53, of identical structure but opposite hands, hingedly mounted on said pin and extending laterally outward in opposite directions therefrom. The substantially upright hinge axis defined by the pintle pin 51 for the right and left hand blade sections 52 and 53 is indicated by the dash-dot line X-X in FIGS. 3 and 5. It would also be entirely feasible to form the blade of more than two sections, with adjacent sections being hingedly connected together on upright axes. For example, a three section blade could well be provided the same comprising a center section and a pair of outboard sections hingedly connected to the opposite sides of the center section. Consequently, I shall refer herein to the blade as comprising a plurality of sections hingedly connected together on upright axes, which definition is intended to include both the two-section blade illustrated herein and blades comprised of more than two sections.

As shown particularly in FIGURE 3, the hinge or pintle pin 51 comprises an upright rigid post that is reinforced and rigidified by a bracing structure comprising a conical shoe 54 mounted on the lower end of the post a and having an upwardly and rearwardly inclined mounting arm 55, an upright plate or flange 56 paralleling the post to the rear thereof and secured, as by welding, to the shoe 54 and its arm 55, and at least a pair of vertically spaced collars 57 secured to the flange 56 and encircling the post, preferably at approximately the middle and the top thereof. Each blade section is of generally conventional construction and comprises a moldboard face, a reinforced box-type backing for the face and a lower cutting edge of hardened steel. At its inner end, the box portion of each section is angled forwardly and merges with the face into a plurality of vertically spaced hinge leaves, the leaves of the section 52 being indicated at 58 and the leaves of the section 53 being indicated at 59, respectively. In assembling the blade, the hinge leaves 58 and 59 are interleaved and axially aligned with one another and the collars 57, and the pintle pin or post 51 is slid axially through the aligned leaves, collars and shoe and is pinned at its lower end to the shoe.

To mount the blade on the tractor, three mounting and/or adjusting means are provided. The first, indicated generally at 60, is located substantially centrally of the blade, preferably adjacent its lower edge, and in the illustrated embodiment of the blade it is defined in part by the arm 55 of the composite pintle pin structure. The object of this mounting is to mount the blade on the C-frame with freedom for pivotal movement about a first axis Y-Y extending longitudinally of the tractor and about a second axis ZZ extending transversely of the tractor. The axis YY, best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, constitutes the fore and aft tilting axis around which the blade can be tilted to raise or lower either end; and the axis Z-Z, best illustrated in FIG. 2 constitutes the transversely extending pitch axis around which the pitch angle of the blade can be tipped forwardly or backwardly. It is apparent, of course, that any known universal connection, such as a ball and socket, could be employed for this purpose of providing such centrally located multiple axis mounting device 69. I prefer to employ the simplest form of structure, namely a first pivot pin 61 extending longitudinally of the tractor and journalled in the center of the forward transverse portion 4-8 of the C-frame, and a second pivot pin 62 extending transversely of the tractor and journalled in the forward end portion of the pin 61 and in the rearward end portion of the arm 55. Specifically, the arm 55 is bifurcated at its upper rearward end for reception between its bifurcations of the forward end of the pin 61. The pin and the bifurcations are suitably bored and the pin 62 is passed transversely therethrough. The pivot pin 61 rearwardly of its forward end comprises a cylindrical stud that is extended through a tubular bearing 63 journalled in the C-franie, the stud being slidably mounted in the bearing for fore and aft adjustment relative to the C-frame. While a hydraulic jack or the like could be employed for adjusting this pin, and for thereby extending and retracting the center mounting means 6t) for a purpose to be described, I again prefer a simple arrangement achieved by threading the stud portion of the pin 61 and threading self-locking nuts 64 thereon to opposite sides of the forward transverse portion of the C-frame.

The second mounting means for the blade is provided adjacent each end of the blade, i.e., the outer end portion of each blade section, and is comprised, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, of a pair of extensible and retractable push arms 65. Each push arm comprises an extensible and retractable beam or ram comprised, as shown in its preferred embodiment in FIGURE 6, of a hydraulic cylinder 66 having a closed rearward end 67, a piston 68 reciprocably mounted in the cylinder and sealing against the wall thereof, a piston rod 69 see red to the piston and extending axially through the forward end of the cylinder, an annular sealing collar 70 secured in the forward end of the cylinder and carrying sealing elements sealing against the cylinder wall and about the piston rod, a protective sleeve '71 substantially coextensive with the rod encircling the rod and the cylinder and slidably mounted on the cylinder, dry seals, such as nylon or Teflon annuluses, sealing between the cylinder and the sleeve, and connecting means, indicated generally at 72, between the forward end portions of the sleeve and the rod. The purpose of the connection '72 is to couple the rod and sleeve for conjoint axial movement, and to accommodate relative lateral movement therebetween, whereby transverse stresses imposed upon the sleeve will not be transmitted to the piston and cylinder, so that the life of the hydraulic jack defined thereby will be prolonged. The connection is comprised of a radial flange 73 on the forward end of the piston rod, a complementary but radially enlarged socket 74 defined within the forward end of the sleeve by an annular member 75 and a disc 76, and a pair of Washers '77 disposed to opposite sides of the flange 73 and having spherical forward and rearward surfaces cooperating with complemental surfaces on the members 75 and 76 to form therewith a spherical bearing. Thus, the rod is secured to the sleeve in the axial direction but is free to have relative radial and swiveling movement with respect to the sleeve. To supply hydraulic fluid to the jack defined by the piston and cylinder, a radial bore '73 is provided in the cylinder 67 adjacent its rearward end 63, the piston rod 69 is provided with an axial bore '79, radial bores 89 adjacent its rearward end and opening into the space between the piston and the collar 7%, and a radial bore 81 adjacent its forward end, and the sleeve '71 and socket defining members '75 and 76 are provided with an enlarged radial bore 82 communicating with the bore 81. As illustrated in FIG- URE 6, the portion of the flange 73 defining the bore 81 is tapped for reception of a pipe or other hydraulic conduit fitting so that the hydraulic line may be passed through the enlarged bore 82 in the sleeve and the socket defining members and be directly coupled to the piston rod. At the forward and rearward ends thereof, each beam or ram is provided with conventional mounting blocks 83 and 84, respectively, by means of which it may be mounted on the blade and the tractor. The hydraulic fluid conduits thereby particularly facilitate supply of fluid to the jack or ram, even by pipes and only short lengths of flexible hose, since the beam has essentially only pivotal movement relative to the tractor and the blade as will presently be described. Also, a bleeder is preferably provided in the forward end portion of the sleeve 71 to vent the space between the forward end of the sleeve and the forward end of the cylinder defining members.

At its rearward end, each beam or push arm 65 is movably mounted on the tractor, specifically on the respective track frame 42 outwardly of the respective track 4-3, in essentially the same manner as the frame side arms 45 are mounted, and on a transverse axis as close to being coincident with the frame pivot axis as is conveniently practicable. As illustrated, I have provided mounting blocks 84 of a socket type mounted on complemental balls 86, which balls are secured to the track frames on a common transverse axis spaced a short distance directly below the axis of the C-frame mounting balls 46, whereby the beams or arms 65 are pivotally mounted on the tractor. By disposing the C-frame side arms 45 inwardly of the ground-engaging means 43 of the tractor, adequate space is provided exteriorly of the means 43 for the beams 65 without increasing the width of the bulldozer over that conventional in the art. However, it is to be noted that a conventional C-frame could be employed and that the beams 65 could be pivotally mounted on the C-frame rather than directly on the tractor. Also, the push beams could extend diagonally from the illustrated C-frame to the blade ends, although I prefer the arrangement illustrated.

To accommodate attachment of each beam to the blade, the blade is provided on its back wall adjacent each of its ends with a plurality of vertically spaced rearwardly extending bars or brackets 87, preferably arranged in respective pairs adjacent the upper and lower edges of the blade. Each set of brackets is adapted for passage there- U through of an upright post or pin 88, which is suitably attached to the brackets by nuts at its upper and lower ends. Each pair of the brackets is adapted for reception therebetween of a clevis 8% which is pivotally mounted thereon by means of the post 88, each clevis having rear- Wardly extending transversely apertured ears. To the lower ones of the clevises 89 on each end of the blade I pivotally attach the forward mounting block 83 of the respective beam 65, a transverse horizontal pin 9%) being employed for the purpose, whereby the beam is universally connected, in effect, to the blade. Preferably, these latter universals are disposed at substantially the same level at the axis of the pin 62 of the first or central mounting means to define a transverse pivot axis for each blade section.

The third mounting and/or adjusting means for the blade comprises means for varying the pitch, or both the pitch and the tilt, of the blade, and in the preferred embodiment illustrated herein is comprised of a pair of extensible and retractable struts 91 pivotally connected respectively to the push beams or arms 65 and universally connected to the respective outer end portions of the blade in vertically spaced relation to the connection thereto of the respective push arm. Each strut, as shown in a preferred embodiment in FIGURE 7, comprises a double-acting hydraulic jack including a forwardly disposed cylinder 92 having a forward end closure 93, a piston 94 reciprocably mounted in the cylinder, a piston rod 95 secured to the piston and extending through the,

rearward end of the cylinder, and an annular collar 96 secured in the rearward end of the cylinder and sealing about the piston rod. Hydraulic connections to the opposite ends of the cylinder are efiected by suitable bores 97 in the end block or closure 93 and a pipe and elbow, indicated at 95, extending from the rearward end portion of the cylinder to adjacent the bores 97. At its rearward end, the piston rod carries a mounting block 99 'by means of which it is pivotally mounted on a horizontal transverse axis between a pair of upstanding ears on the respective push arm 65. At its forward end, the cylinder carries a mounting block 100 by means of which it is pivotally connected, with a pin 191, to the upper clevis 89 at the respective end of the blade, whereby the strut, in elfect, is universally connected to the blade. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the alt, simultaneous extension or retraction of the struts ill will cause the blade to pivot about the pins 62 and 90, thereby to vary the pitch of the blade. If only one of the struts 91 is extended, or the one is extended while the other is being retracted, the blade will be caused to tilt about the axis of the pin at to dispose one end of the blade lower than the other with the cutting edge of the blade disposed at an angle to the horizontal.

Each of the struts 91 and the push beams 65 is adapted for selective individual operation, the struts being operable for the purposes above stated and the beams being operable selectively to advance and retract the respective ends of the blade. The two jacks 49 are simultaneously operable to raise or lower the blade, or to force the blade downwardly; more specifically, to raise and lower and retain in a predetermined position the central mounting means 60 for the blade. This central mounting means may also be extended and retracted to shift the center portion of the blade forwardly and rearwardly, and this may if desired be effected hydraulically. Herein, however, I have shown mechanical shifting means for the center mounting, and therefore will not describe a hydraulic actuator therefor. It will be appreciated that such hydraulic actuator may be added to the below described control means if desired. Thus, for the disclosed structure, I provide live separate controls which I locate at the operators station for convenient access. Each control is comprised of a manually operated valve, and a valve actuating lever. The control for the raise-lower jacks 49 is mounted in the manner conventional and accepted in the art, the same including a'hand lever I92 projecting forwardly from adjacent the back of the operators seat to a position that will be adjacent the operators right arm, at about elbow level, when the operator is in his seat. The other four controls are mounted immediately below and to the operators right of the lever 162, the four control valves being mounted in a common box or receptacle 1% on the tractor and each having a hand lever 104, 165, l liti, 197, respectively, whereby the operator may readily effect individual control of the struts and push beams. Preferably, each of the control levers has a normal, spring biased, central position in which the respective hydraulic valve is closed and opposite end positions for supplying hydraulic fluid under pressure selectively to the opposite ends of the respective hydraulic piston and cylinder assemblies, thereby to effect extension and retraction of the respective strut or beam.

To minimize the possibility of oil leaks and hose ruptures in the abusive service to which the blade is subject, I effect the hydraulic interconnection of the pump, the controls and the respective jacks principally by pipes, utilizing flexible hose only where necessary to accommodate relative movement. Specifically, all of the hydraulic elements on the tractor body are connected by pipes, and a pipe is provided from the tractor frame 41 to each track frame 42 along the axis of interconnection of the frames. These latter pipes provide for fluid supply to the rearward ends of the push beams, the connection between the respective pipe and the port 78 of the respective cylinder being effected by a short length of flexible hose to accommodate swiveling movement of the beam on its mounting ball 36. Pipes are similarly conducted from the controls for the respective struts and from the control ports for the forward ends of the respective push beams to a point above the pivot axis of each side arm of the C-frame. On each arm ofthe Gframe, complemental pipes are extended from adjacent the pivot to the central part of the transverse portion 48 of the C-frame, and further complemental pipes are mounted on the back of each blade section to extend from adjacent the pintle pin 51 to adjacent the outer end of the respective section. Short lengths of flexible hose are then employed to couple the framecarried pipes to the pipes on the C-frame, the latter pipes to the blade-carried pipes, and the blade-carried pipes respectively to the ports 81-82 at the forward ends of the beams, the ports 97 at the forward ends of the struts and the forward ends of the pipes 98 on the struts. The jacks 49 are, of course, similarly supplied with hydraulic fluid. The short lengths of flexible hose are preferably standard to facilitate ready repair or replacement should a hose be broken or torn during use of the bulldozer.

Referring now to FIGURES 8 to 21, I have shown exemplary ones of the almost unlimited range of positions that can be achieved with my blade structure. In FIG- URE 8, which is a schematic plan view, I have depicted the two blade sections straight in solid lines and have shown by dotted lines the range of positions that may be achieved simply by extension and retraction of the push beams 65; in FIGURE 9, also a plan view, I have shown the range of positions achieved simply by extension and retraction of the center mounting means 69; and in the plan view of FIGURE 10 I have depicted the range of positions achieved by extension and contraction of both the mounting means 60 and the two push beams. As will be appreciated from these several views, the blade may readily be disposed straight or may be Vd forward or back, and with individually adjustable push beams as depicted in FIGURES 8 and 10, may also be angled, or be disposed with its two sections at diverse angles, or with one section straight and the other angled. Also, as shown in front elevation in FIGURE 11, the blade may be tilted through an exceptionally great range due to the extensibility and retractability of the strutsdl. lIn addition, the struts 91 by simultaneous adjustment serve to vary the pitch of the blade.

Adjustment of the pitch and/or tilt of the blade in correlation with the relative disposition of the two blade sections facilitates achievement of a great number of serviceable blade positions. For example, with reference to FIGURES 12 to 15, if the blade is ld back as shown in solid lines in the plan view (FIGURE 12), the lower edge of the blade may be disposed horizontal as viewed in front elevation in FIGURE 13; it can be disposed in a convex or V shape as depicted in front elevation in FIG- URE 14 by pitching the blade back; or it can be disposed in an inverted V or concave shape as illustrated in FIG- URE 15 by pitching the blade forward. Conversely, with the blade Vd forward as shown in dotted lines, the lower edge of the blade may be disposed horizontal as viewed in front elevation in FIGURE 13; it can be disposed in a concave or inverted V shape as depicted in front elevation in FIGURE 14 by pitching the blade back; or it can be disposed in a V or convex shape as illustrated in FIGURE 15 by pitching the blade forward. While these blade formations have many uses, as will readily be appreciated by those skilled in the art, it can quickly be noted here that surfaces can be crowned with the solid line arrangement of FIGURE 15 or the dotted line arrangement of FIG- URE 14, the dirt being drawn to the center or apex of the crown with the solid line arrangement and being forced to the sides with the dotted line arrangement. Conversely, ditching can be performed with either the solid line arrangement of FIGURE 14, whereby earth would be forced to the lower extremity of the ditch, or the dotted line arrangement of FIGURE 15, whereby earth would be forced from the center of the ditch up both sloping sides. As a further facility, the blade, even when \id, can be tilted to dispose the lower edge of one section horizontal while the lower edge of the other section is inclined, there being represented in FIGURE 16 by way of example the front elevational configuration achieved by pitching the blade forward and tilting the same to dispose the lower edge of one section horizontal, the solid lines representing the blade Vd back and the dotted lines representing the blade Vd forward, as in FIGURES 12 to 15 In a quite similar manner, the blade can be disposed at various lower edge angulations with one side straight and the other angled. Referring to FIGURES 17 to 20,

I have depicted various blade configurations corresponding 7 respectively to the illustrations of FIGURES 12 to 15 with the exception that one blade section is straight and the other is angled, the forward winged position of the angled section being depicted in solid lines and the rearward winged position being depicted in dotted lines, as shown in the plan view afforded by FIGURE 17; the blade being horizontal in the front elevation of FIGURE 18, pitched backward in FIGURE 19 and pitched forward in FIG- URE 20. Here also by tilting the blade other edge positions can be achieved, for example that shown in front elevation in FIGURE 21 wherein the blade is pitched forward and tilted to dispose the winged section horizontal.

With the blade sections at diverse angles, variations in pitch and tilt will result in a variety of lower edge and material conveying configurations of the blade. Also, with the blade angled, accurate control of its degree of tilt can be achieved by varying the pitch of the blade, as will be appreciated from a consideration of one dotted line section and one solid line section in either of FIG- URES 14 and 15. It is thus to be appreciated that the blade structure of the invention has an almost unlimited range of extremely useful positions, positions heretofore unavailable to a bulldozer operator. The consequence is practically to provide the bulldozer operator with a pair of extremely strong hands at the front of the tractor with which he can gather, manipulate and discharge his load as he desires with a minimum of tractor manuevering and while deriving from the tractor useful work beyond the heretofore accepted standard of the work capability of the tractor.

Also, because of my improved blade structure, the bull- 2 dozer is now extremely well suited to grading operations, for example, to crown roadbeds, to draw material from a shoulder area onto a roadbed area, to discharge excess material from a roadbed onto a shoulder and to distribute it uniformly on the shoulder, whether the shoulder slope up or down, and so on.

Further because of the material directing and leveling capabilities of my improved blade structure, I have conceived new and novel apparatus for the spreading of base materials for roads and the like to the most exacting specifications and even to compound configurations. As is well-known, material such as earth, sand, gravel, crushed stone and rock, mixtures of sand, gravel and dry cement and so on are employed as the base for formation of roads, airport runways, and the like. It is usually required that selected materials be spread in one or more layers to an exact predetermined thickness over a precise area. For this reason, spreading devices have been proposed which in general comprise a forwardly-open three-sided box or hopper, the sides of which laterally confine the material to the designated area and the rear wall of which includes a vertically adjustable plate for striking the material off at the predetermined level. In the previously identified copending applications, the spreader sides are defined by a spreading attachment secured to a bulldozer blade and the blade itself forms the rear wall of the hopper and the vertically adjustable strike-oif. In use, materials are dumped from trucks into the hopper and the hopper is moved forwardly to eiliect spreading of the materials. Heretofore, the strikeorf configuration has been limited to a straight edge, or a crown could be achieved by welding or otherwise adding to the blade special lower edge plates. Also, it has been extremely difficult with the equipment heretofore available to spread wet and/or heavy materials, especially sand-cement mixtures, because of their inherent tendency to cohere, and to stay in the area in which dumped without flowing across the full width of the lade or strike-off. The present invention solves these problems and provides apparatus for spreading substantially any material to substantially any desired configuration.

As shown in FIGURE 22, I provide in accordance with my present invention road base spreading apparatus comprising the combination of a tractor, the improved blade structure of this invention, and an improved spreading attachment having novel cooperation with the blade and tractor. In FIGURE 22, because of space limitations, I have schematically represented the tractor by dotted lines. The blade is indicated generally at 50, and the various components thereof are indicated in FIGURES 22 to 29 by the same reference numerals as employed in the preceding specific description of the blade structure. The spreading attachment per se is indicated generally at 119 and comprises a pair of side assemblies 111 extending forwardly from adjacent the opposite ends of the blade 5%, a ground-engaging wheel 112 supporting each side assembly at its forward end and a mounting assembly 113 on the rearward end of each side assembly mounting the respective side assembly at its rearward end on the adjacent end portion of the blade. Due to their relative dispositions, the side assemblies 111 and the moldboard blade 50 define a three-sided hopper for reception of base material to be spread, the side assemblies comprising means for laterally confining the base material and the blade comprising the rear wall of the hopper and means for striking-off the base material at a predetermined depth or thickness.

In customary use, a dump truck containing base material to be spread is backed into the space between the wheels 112 and the forward end portions of the side assemblies 111 of the spreading attachment, and its load is dumped, gradually or all-at-once depending upon relative capacities, into the hopper defined rearwardly of the wheels. The bulldozer is then advanced forwardly, caus ing conjoint forward movement therewith of the spread- 13 ing attachment. Preferably, the spreading attachment includes a front cross beam 114 having rollers 115 thereon engageable with the wheels of the truck to push the truck forwardly of it, so that the described apparatus advances simultaneously along the roadway. During this movement, the side assemblies 111 laterally confine the base material to be spread to a strip of predetermined Width, and the blade 51) is adjusted vertically to strike-off the material at a predetermined depth or thickness, thereby to restrict the material to the desired area and the desired depth. The wheels 112 of the attachment 11d ride on theroadbed forwardly of the hopper area and thus serve as a bench or guide mark for the spreading operation. When the truck is empty, it is driven away and another truck loaded with base material is backed into dumping position relative to the spreading attachment to maintain a supply of base material for the spreading operation. Spreading thus continues, continuously or intermittently depending upon the continuity of supply, to cause a layer of base material of uniform width and thickness to be spread along the desired portion of the roadway.

The front cross beam 114 is disposed between the forward end portions of the side assemblies 111 rearwardly of the Wheels 112 at a sufiiciently low level to accommodate passage thereover of the body of the dump truck. The side assemblies thus define a forwardly open space between the forward end portions thereof for entry of the truck, so that the material from the truck is dumped rearwardly of the wheels 112 whereby the wheels may ride on the roadbed and serve as a bench mark for the spreading operation.

In addition to the above described operation wherein conventional dump trucks having rearwardly tiltable beds are employed, the art has recently proposed adoption of bottom-dump carriers, i.e., motor carriers having a material receiving body with dump doors in its bottom. With such carriers, the material is deposited in a relatively narrow windrow centrally forward of the spreading attachment. To assist in the uniform spreading of base materials deposited in a wiudrow from such carriers, or accumulated in a Windrow ahead of the spreading apparatus by a motor grader or the like, it is one object of this invention to constitute the cross beam 114 a primary material strike-off and spreader. Specifically, I provide side assemblies comprised of elongate longitudinal beams 116 (which will be described in greater detail hereinafter) and a depending forward end portion 117. The cross beam 114 (which will also be described in greater detail) is mounted adjacent the lower ends of the depending portions 117, whereby the same is disposed slightly above ground level. To accommodate vertical adjustment of the level of this beam to perform an ac curate preliminary strike-off function, each of the wheels 112 is adjustably mounted on the respective side assembly by means of an arm 118 which is adjustably mounted at its rearward end on the respective side assembly and which at its forward end pivotally mounts the fork 119 v ithin which the respective Wheel is journalled. The adjustable mounting means for each arm is comprised of a modified box formation 120 which is pivotally mounted on the forward end of the respective side beam 116 by an upright pivot pin 121, the box 12% including a rearward segmental extension 122 which overlies the beam and is provided adjacent its rearward arcuate edge with a plurality of holes selectively alignable with a hole in the beam whereby the box may be disposed at a variety of angles in a horizontal plane relative to the longitudinal axis of the beam, the box being locked in selected position by a locking pin 123 which is passed through the hole in the extension that is then aligned with the hole in the beam. At its forward end, the box receives the rearward end portion of the arm 118, and the arm is pivoted to the box by a transverse horizontal pivot pin 124, whereby the arm is horizontally adjustable with the box about the pivot 121 and also vertically about the pivot 124. To

eifect vertical adjustment of the arm, and thus the wheel, 1

a threaded adjusting stud 125 is pivoted to the box 126 on a transverse horizontal am's beneath the arm and is passed slidably through a transverse bearing 126 journalled in a bracket 127 secured to the lower surface of the arm, the stud carrying self-locking nuts 128 to opposite sides of the bearing 126 whereby the adjustment may be effected. Thus, each of the wheel supporting arms 113 is adjustably mounted on the respective side beam 116 to accommodate variable horizontal disposition of the wheels to locate the wheels for riding on the prepared subgrade or roadbed, and to vary the relative vertical disposition of the wheels and thereby to adjust the elevation of the cross beam 114 above the roadbed to constitute the same a preliminary strike-off and spreading instrumentality.

The final striking-cit is, of course, performed by the blade 50 and to achieve an accurate strike-elf level it is necessary to support the blade on the spreading attachmerit so that the blade may derive its position from thewheels 112, which as aforesaid comprise a bench mark for the spreading operation. Also, the spreading attachment itself must be supported on the bulldozer, and at such position thereon that the blade in use will be suspended substantially centrally between widely separated points of support, preferably the points of support atforded by the Wheels 112 on the one hand and the pivot axis of the bulldozer C-frame or push arms on the, other hand. To this end, the mounting assemblies 113 comprise means for mounting the rearward end of the spreading attachment on the blade structure and for supporting or suspending the blade from the spreading attachment. In a preferred embodiment, each assembly 113 includes an upright post 13% adapted to be clamped to the adjacent or respective outer end portion of the blade 511. Each post preferably comprises, as best shown in FIGURE 26, a lower outer cylindrical sleeve 131 having an upwardly open hook or clamp 132 secured to its lower end and extending rearwardly therefrom for engagement with the lower edge of the blade, a threaded stud mounted coaxially in the sleeve 131 and secured thereto at its lower end, an upper cylindrical tube 134 rotatably and slidably mounted in the sleeve 131 and extending upwardly there from, a nut 135 secured in the lower end of the tube 134 and threaded on the stud 133, a rigid cylindrical stem 136 secured in the upper end of the tube 134 and extending upwardly therefrom, a downwardly open hook or clamp rotatably mounted on the stem 136 and held thereon against relative vertical movement, and a handle or wing nut 138 secured on the upper end of said stem. As a consequence of the defined construction, the post is extensible and contractable to adapt the same to blades of various heights. In use, the post is extended by turning the handle and thus the tube 134 and nut 135 relative to the sleeve 131 and stud 133. The lower hook 132 is then engaged with the lower edge of the blade, the upper hook is disposed over the upper edge of the blade and the handle is turned to thread the nut down on the stud thereby to move the upper hook down into firm engagement with the blade and clamp the post to the blade.

Each post 13!} slidably and rotatably mounts a collar 139 on the sleeve 131 thereof. The collar in turn is provided with a pair of vertically spaced flanges 14% between Which a laterally extending plate 141 is rotatably mounted on the collar. A similar plate 142 is secured to the lower end of the sleeve 131 and carries an upwardly extending threaded stud or shaft 143 which ex e ds through the plate 141. Self-locking adjusting nut 144 are threaded on this stud to opposite sides of the plate 141, thereby to provide means accommodating vertical adjustment of the collar on the sleeve and for locking the collar in vertically adjusted position on the post. The collar 139 also includes a forwardly projecting extension 145 in the form generally of a bell crank which is pivotally mounted at substantially the juncture of its two legs by means of a transverse horizontal pivot pin 14.6 on the rearward end portion of the beam 116 of the respective side assembly. The extension 145 includes a portion projecting forwardly from the pivot pin 146 within the interior of the respective beam, and this portion is adjustably connected with the beam by a threaded stud 147 pivoted to the forward end of the extension and projecting upwardly therefrom through the upper surface of the beam, and an adjusting nut 14$ threaded on the stud and engaging the upper surface of the beam.

In use, the bulldozer is combined with the spreading attachment by setting up the spreading attachment to the selected width and supporting the same on the ground by means of the wheels 112 and the posts 130 with the side beams 116 substantially horizontal. The bulldozer is then driven into alignment with the spreading attachment with the blade slightly elevated, and the blade is then lowered to engage its lower edge in the upwardly open hooks 132. The upper hooks or clamps 137 are then engaged with the upper edge of the blade and the nuts 133 are tightened to clamp the posts 159 to the blade in upright position on the outer end portions of the blade. Since the collars 139 accommodate relative pivotal movement between the posts and the side assemblies, the posts may be clamped even to the angular end portions of blades that are constructed with such portions. The lower ones of the nuts 14 3 are then loosened to unlock the collars 39 from the posts, and the blade may then be raised by the blade raising jacks 49 to the desired strike-oil level, i.e., the desired depth or thickness of spread, relative to the side assemblies. The nuts 144 are then tightened against the opposite sides of the collar adjusting plates 141, whereafter the jacks 49 may be de-energized to cause the blade to float relative to the tractor. At this time, the blade is physically interconnected with the rearward end of the spreading attachment so that the spreading attachment is effectively mounted at its rearward end on the blade and the blade is suspended in free floating condition at its adjusted elevation above ground level substantially centrally between the C-frame pivot axis and the spreading attachment wheels. Any slight deviation occurring in the elevation of the blade from the specified depth of spread may be compensated for by suitable adjustment of the nuts 14S on the studs 14-7 to suspend the blade in accurate position from the rearward ends of the side beams. Also, as described in my aforesaid copending application, the pitch of the blade 51 may be varied to vary the adjusted elevation of the lower edge of the blade.

To accommodate variation in and control the width of spread, each side assembly includes a wing member 149 pivotally mounted on an upright axis on the rearward edge of the depending portion 117 of the respective assembly. Each wing member adjustably mounts thereon one or more side plates 159 which together with the member 149 comprise a wing gate adapted to be aligned with or swung inwardly or outwardly with respect to the respective beam 116. Preferably, the plates 159 are adjustably connected to one another and the member 149 by bolts extending through slots, as depicted, so that the lower edge of the wing gate may be disposed just slightly above ground level after the blade has been adjusted.

When it is desired to spread materials to a width greater than the width of the blade, the wing gates may be swung outwardly, as illustrated in FIGURE 22, to permit the material to spread outwardly from the hopper over a large predetermined area. With the wing gates so spread, it is necessary to close-oil the space between the wing gates and the ends of the blade and to define a strike-off edge across such space. For this purpose, each of the mounting posts 130 is provided with a hinge pin 151 disposed parallel to the post forwardly of the depth adjusting stud 143 and mounted on lower extension member 142 and upper extension member 152 secured to the post and projecting laterally therefrom. Each pin 151 hingedly mounts thereon a first blade extension plate 153, which is iii adapted for adjustable connection thereto of additional extension plates 54 of sufficient number to span the space between the hinge pin and the adjacent wing gate. To hold the wing gates and extension plates in position suitable chains 155 are provided as stop members therefor. Also, to close the space between the blade 50 and each post 13%, a deflector plate 156 is mounted on each hinge pin E5 the plate 156 extending around the post forwardly thereof and then diagonally inward into engagement with the face of the blade 50, thereby to protect the post and its associated elements from damage. For spreading of strips of material to a width less than that of the blade, the wing gates may be swung inwardly and maintained in position in the manner described in the aforesaid co-pending application of Raymore D. Mac- Donald, now Patent No. 2,962,947.

When constructed as thus far described, the spreading apparatus of this invention is adapted to perform the same base spreading functions as the apparatus of the previously identified co-pending applications, and in addition provides for preliminary striking-0H of material deposited in a windrow ahead of the apparatus. It is, however, the particular object of this invention to go beyond such capabilities and to provide spreading apparatus that will direct, spread and level base materials to substantially any specifications substantially irrespective of the coherent nature of the material being spread. To this end, the blade 59 is to be substantially completely maneuverable in the manner previously described to facilitate the directing of material uniformly across the face of the blade and the strike-oft extensions, and to facilitate striking-oft of the material to a desired contour or to given specifications. For this purpose, it is first necessary to accommodate Ving of the blade, and to do so, I provide transversely extensible and contractable means between the side assemblies for retaining the side assemblies in spaced parallel substantially coextensive relation while accommodating increase and decrease in the distance therebetween. Such means may take the form of either or both of a cross beam 114 constructed as best shown in FIGURE 27, or a linkage assembly 157 constructed as shown in FIGURES 28 and 29.

The cross beam 114- shown in its preferred embodiment in FIGURE 27 comprises a pair of stationary sections 153 secured respectively, as by welding, to the inner surfaces of the depending portions 117 of the side assemblies 111, the sections 158 extending horizontally inward toward one another in axially aligned relation. The sections each comprise a hollow member of rectangular box form adapted for slidable, but non-rotatable reception therein of a central telescopic section 159 of a smaller but complementary rectangular box form. At a point axially aligned with the beam sections, each portion 117 of the side assemblies 111 is provided with a tubular bearing 16% within which an elongate adjusting screw 161 is journalled, each screw including a head 162 to the outer side of the respective side portion 117, a collar 163 to the inner side of the bearing by means of which the screw is rendered captive on the side assembly, and a threaded portion substantially coextensive with the respective stationary section 158. At each of its ends, the telescopic section 159 is provided with an axially apertured end wall structure 164 carrying thereon in captive relation a nut 165 through which the adjacent or respective screw 161 is threaded. Consequently, by manipulation of the screw heads 162, the operator may readily expand and contract the spreading apparatus in the transverse direction, thereby to correlate the attachment to the blade whether it be Vd or straight, and also to correlate the attachment to blades of different widths. In addition, this structure facilitates contraction of the attachment to minimum dimensions for convenience and economy in shipment. While the screws 161 themselves may hold the side assemblies in adjusted relation, clamping bolts 17 166 may also be provided between the beam end sections 158 and the central beam section 159.

The transversely extensible and retractable linkage assembly 157 comprises a pair of generally transverse links 168 each pivotally connected on an upright axis adjacent its outer end to a respective one of the side assemblies 111 or the side carried beam sections 153, and a central longitudinally extending link 169 pivotally connected on an upri ht axis at its rearward end on the blade substantially centrally of the blade, the three links intersecting at substantially a point centrally of the spreading attachment and being pivotally interconnected at such point, as by an upright pivot pin 170. Preferably, the link 1659 is connected to the blade by a bracket which is pivoted on the central pintle pin 51 of the blade and connected by a horizontal transverse pivot pin to the link, thereby to define a universal connection that will not in any way interfere with manipulation of the blade. The described linkage, alone or in combination with the cross beam 114, affords the particular advantage of automatically correlating the width of the spreading attachment to the effective width of the blade irrespective of the blade configuration, and at the same time maintains the wheels 112 in transversely aligned relation so both will ride on the prepared subgrade to serve to provide an accurate bench mark for the blade.

As a consequence of the defined structure, the blade 50 may be disposed straight or may be Vd back and forth, as indicated in the extreme positions in FIGURE 28, to afford the previously described advantages of a Vd configuration of the blade. Specifically, the blade may be Vd back as shown in solid lines to draw more material toward the center of the blade, which is especially beneficial when the base material is being crowned by virtue of a forward pitch to the rearwardly Vd blade, or the blade may be V d forward as indicated in dotted lines to force material toward the sides, which is especially beneficial when spreading a wide course of base materials, when spreading coherent materials that do not tend to flow outwardly, and when spreading to a concave configuration as achieved by a forward pitch to the forwardly Vd blade.

In addition to the foregoing, it is the object of this invention to accommodate spreading of base materials in accordance with the capabilities of the blade 50 when only one section thereof is angled, and also to accommodate forward Ving of the blade without decreasing the capacity of the hopper. To this end, I make the beam elements 116 of the side assemblies 111 extensible and contractable by forming each from a pair of telescopically associated members, namely, a relatively enlarged rectangular box section front member 171 to which the respective portion 117 is secured, to which the respective transverse beam section 158 is secured, to which the respective transverse link 168 is pivoted, and on which the respective wheel supporting arm 118 is mounted. Telescopically associated with the front member 171 is a complementary rear member 1'72 of a relatively reduced rectangular box section, the rear member 172 carrying at its rearward end the respective mount'mg assembly 113. As a consequence of this construction, the blade may, in conjunction with the spreading attachment, be disposed in the extreme positions depicted in FIGURE 29 and any positions intermediate those depicted. Since the mounting collars 139 are rotatable on the posts 13% all of the described positions are readily accommodated. Also, since each collar is individually adjustable on its post, different angulations of the blade are readily ac commodated, and in all of its adjusted positions the blade can be supported on the spreading attachment to derive its support and guidance from the spreading attachment wheels.

In view of the foregoing, it is believed that I have now rendered apparent to those skilled in the art the manner of making and using the improved blade structure, beams, and spreading apparatus of this invention, and that I 18 have clearly shown all of the objects of the invention to be achieved in a convenient, economical and practical manner.

While I have shown and described what I regard to be the preferred embodiments of the present invention, it is apparent that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a bulldozer including a tractor, a C-frame pivotally mounted on the tractor and a blade mounted on the C-frame ahead of the tractor, the improvement comprising a blade including a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected together on generally upright axes, first mounting cans mounting said blade substantially centrally or its length on the center portion of the C- frame ahead of the tractor, said first mounting means comprising a multiple axis mounting device including means establishing a substantially upright hinge axis, a fore and aft tilting axis, and a transverse pitch axis, second mounting means comprising a pair of hydraulically extensible and contractable push arms connected at their opposite ends respectively to the outer end portions of said blade and adjacent respective portions of the bulldozer so as to be operative to V said blade sections forwardly or rearwardly around said hinge axis while said blade is traveling forwardly in a material moving operation, and third mounting means comprising a pair of hydraulically extensible and contractable struts connected respectively to said push arms and the respective outer end portions of the blade in vertically spaced relation to the connection thereto of the respective push arm so as to be operative to change the tilt angle of the blade about said tilting axis and the pitch angle of the blade about said pitch axis while the blade is traveling forwardly in a material moving operation, at least two of said first, second and third mounting means being extensible and retractable transversely of said blade, and means operatively connected to the tractor and said C- frame for raising and lowering said center portion thereof together with said multiple axis mounting device.

2. In combination, a tractor having a body and groundengaging means spaced outwardly from the opposite sides of said body, a C-frame having a transverse portion disposed ahead of said tractor and a pair of side arms extending rearwardly along the opposite sides of said body inwardly of said ground engaging means and pivotally mounted at their rearward ends on the tractor on a transverse pivot axis, a blade comprising a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected together at a hinged joint defined by generally upright hinge pin means whereby to enable the blade sections to be Vd forwardly or Vd rearwardly or inclined diagonally during and relatively to the line of forward travel of said blade, first mounting means connected to said blade substantially centrally of its length on the center of said transverse portion of said frame ahead of said tractor, second mounting means comprising a pair of push arms connected respectively to the outer end portions of said blade and extending rearwardly therefrom outwardly of the respective groundengaging means and universally mounted at its rearward end on said tractor, third mounting means comprising a pair of struts connected respectively to said push arms and the respective outer end portions of the blade in vertically spaced relation to the connection thereto of the respective push arm, at least two of said mounting means. being extensible and retractable longitudinally of said tractor, and oblique end walls at the adjacent hinged ends of said blade sections projecting diagonally forwardly and terminating in vertically spaced hinging leaves which are assembled in interleaved relation to have said hinge pin means pass thercthrough, whereby said hinged joint permits the blade sections to be Vd forwardly or Vd rearwardly while still presenting a substantially solid 18 front surface to the material being moved by said blade.

3. The combination defined in claim 1, wherein there is included therewith a spreading attachment mounted on said bulldozer and supporting said blade, said spreading attachment comprising a pair of side assemblies extending forwardly respectively from adjacent the outer end portions of said blade, transversely extending bracing means between said side assemblies, connecting means between said side assemblies and said bracing means permitting relative articulation therebetween; said side assemblies each comprising a longitudinally extensible and contractable beam, ground-engaging support means on the forward end of each beam, fourth mounting means adjustably mounting each support means on the respective beam for vertical and horizontal adjustment thereon, and fifth mounting means on the rearward end portion of each beam, each of said fifth mounting means comprising a pair of relatively movable members connected to one another and mounted respectively on the beam and said blade, the connection said members being substantially rigid in the direction longitudinally of the tractor and accommodating relative movement of said members in a vertical plane, thereby to connect said bulldozer and said spreading attachment for conjoint longitudinal movement and to accommodate vertical movement of said blade relative to said ground-engaging support means, and adjustable support means operatively connected to said realtively movable members and said beams and supporting said blade and relatively movable members on said beams, said side assemblies and said blade defining a forwardly-open three-sided hopper rearwardly of said forward end portions of said side assemblies and said ground-engaging support means for reception therein of material to be spread, said side assemblies comprising means for laterally confining the material to a strip of predetermined width and said blade constituting the rear wall of said hopper and comprising means for pushing a substantial load of the material and for striking-off the material at a predetermined level, said blade being manipulatable upon extension and retraction of the extensible and retractable ones of said first, second and third mounting means to vary t e horizontal angulation and the pitch of said blade sections thereby to facilitate directing and striking-off of the material in the hopper.

4. The combination defined in claim 2 wherein there is included therewith a spreading attachment mounted on said tractor and supporting said blade, said spreading attachment comprising a pair of side assemblies extending forwardly respectively from adjacent the outer end portions of said blade, transversely extensible and contractable bracing means between said side assemblies, connecting means connecting said bracing means and said side assemblies permitting relative movement therebetween, ground-engaging means on the forward end of each side assembly, and additional mounting means on the rearward end portion of each side assembly, each of said additional mounting means comprising a pair of relatively movable members connected to one another and mounted respectively on the side assembly and said blade, the connection of said members being substantially rigid in the direction longitudinally of the tractor and accommodating relative movement of said members in their vertical plane, thereby to connect said bulldozer and said spreading attachment for conjoint longitudinal movement and to accommodate vertical movement of said blade relative to said ground-engaging means, and adjustable support means operatively connected to said relatively movable members and said side assemblies and supporting said blade and relatively movable members on said side assemblies, said side assemblies and said blade defining a forwardly-open three-sided hopper rearwardly of the forward end portions of said side assemblies and said ground-engaging means for reception therein of material to be spread, said side assemblies comprising means for laterally confining the material to a strip of predetermined width and said blade constituting the rear wall of said hopper and comprising means for pushing a substantial load of the material and for striking-off the material at a predetermined level, said blade being manipulatable upon extension and retraction of the extensible and retractable ones of said first, second and third mounting means, and by virtue of the extensibility and contractability of said bracing means, selectively to dispose said blade sections straight and to V the same and to vary the pitch of said blade sections thereby to facilitate directing and striking-off of the material in the hopper.

5. In apparatus for spreading road base materials and the like wherein a forwardly-open three-sided hopper is defined by a pair of side assemblies and a transverse strike-off blade, the improvement comprising a blade including a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected together on generally upright axes, central mounting means for the blade substantially centrally of its length, outer mounting means for the blade comprising a mounting element adjacent each outer end of the blade, at least one of said central and outer mounting means being extensible and retractable transversely of the blade, pitch adjusting means for the blade, a pair of side assemblies each comprising an extensible and contractable beam operatively connected adjacent its rearward end to the adjacent end portion of said blade, and a linkage in said hopper comprising a pair of generally transverse links connected to said side assemblies adjacent the forward ends thereof and a link generally paralleling said side assemblies and connected to said blade substantially centrally of its length, the three links intersecting in a point and being pivotally interconnected at said point.

6. A spreading attachment for use in combination with a moldboard blade carried ahead of the propelling vehicle, comprising a pair of side assemblies adapted to be extended forwardly respectively from the outer end portions of the blade, ground-engaging support means on the forward end of each side assembly, mounting means on the rearward end portion of each side assembly, each of said mounting means comprising a pair of relatively movable members connected to one another, one being mounted on the respective side assembly and the other being adapted to be mounted on the blade, means embodied in each of said mounting means for making the connection of said members substantially rigid in the direction longitudinally of the propelling vehicle and for accommodating relative movement of said members in a vertical plane, thereby to connect the blade and said spreading attachment for conjoint longitudinal movement and to accommodate vertical movement of the blade relative to said ground-engaging support means, and a linkage comprising a pair of generally transverse links with one connected to each of said side assemblies adjacent the forward end thereof and a link generally paralleling said side assemblies and adapted to be connected at its rearward end to substantially the center of the blade, the three links intersecting in a point and being pivotally interconnected at said point.

7. A spreading attachment for use in combination with a moldboard blade carried ahead of a propelling vehicle, comprising a pair of side assemblies adapted to be extended forwardly respectively from the outer end portions of the blade, said side assemblies each comprising a longitudinally extensible and contractable beam, an extensible and contractable cross member between said beams adjacent the forward ends thereof, said cross member being disposed adjacent but above the lower extremities of said spreading attachment, ground-engaging support means on the forward end of each beam, front mounting means adjustably mounting each support means on the respective beam for vertical and horizontal adjustment thereon, and rear mounting means on the rearward end portion of each beam, said rear mounting means each comprising a generally upright post having clamping elements thereon adapted to be clampingly engaged with the blade, a collar slidably mounted on said post, locking means on said post including adjustable elements engaging said collar and adjustably locking the same against up and down movement on said post, a lever pivotally connecting said collar on a horizontal transverse axis to the rearward end of the respective beam and including a portion extending longitudinally adjacent a portion of said beam, and adjustable support elements operatively connected to said portion of said collar and said beam adjustably supporting said portion of said collar on said beam.

8. A blade structure adapted for mounting on a propelling vehicle comprising a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected together for relative fore and aft hinging movement, multiple axis mounting means on which the central portion of said blade is mounted, hydraulically operated lifting and lowering means operative to lift and lower said mounting means and said blade during the forward travel of said blade, said multiple axis mounting means comprising pintle means defining a substantially vertical hinge axis XX for hinging said blade sections around which the blade sections can be Vd forwardly or rearwardly during the forward travel of the blade or can be angled relatively to such travel, said multiple axis mounting means also comprising means defining a centrally located fore and aft extending tilting axis YY relatively to which said hinge axis XX and blade can be tilted to right or left for raising or lowering either the right or left hand end of the blade during the forward travel of the blade, said multiple axis mounting means further comprising means defining a substantially horizontal transversely extending pitch axis ZZ relatively to which said hinge axis X-X and blade can be pitched forwardly or rearwardly to change the pitch angle of the blade during the forward travel of the blade, a pair of hydraulically extensible and retractable push arms extending generally rearwardly from said blade sections, universal joint connections between the front ends of said push arms and the back sides of said blade sections enabling said push arms to V the blade sections forwardly or rearwardly, or to angle the blade diagonally relatively to its line of forward travel as aforesaid, said universal joint connections comprising substantially horizontal transversely extending pivot means having pitch axes in approximate alignment with said transverse pitch axis Z -Z, and hydraulically extensible and retractable struts having their rear ends pivotally connected with said push arms and having their front ends pivotally connected with said blade sections in vertically spaced relation above said pitch axis ZZ, whereby said struts are operative to change the pitch angle of said blade around said pitch axis Z-Z and are also operative to change the tilt angle of the blade around the tilt axis YY.

9. A blade structure adapted for mounting on a propelling vehicle comprising a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected together for relative fore and aft hinging movement, multiple axis mounting means on which the central portion of said blade is mounted, hydraulically operated lifting and lowering means operative to lift and lower said mounting means and said blade during the forward travel of said blade, said multiple axis mounting means comprising pintle means defining a substantially vertical hinge axis XX for hinging said blade sections and around which the blade sections can be Vd forwardly or rearwardly during the forward travel of the blade, or can be angled relatively to such travel, said multiple axis mounting means also comprising means defining a substantially horizontal transversely extending pitch axis ZZ relatively to which said hinge axis XX and blade can be pitched forwardly or rearwardlyv to change the pitch angle of the blade during the forward travel of the blade, a pair of hydraulically extensible and retractable push arms extending generally rearwardly from said blade sections, universal joint connections be- 22 tween the front ends of said push arms and the back sides of said blade sections enabling said push arms to V the blade sections forwardly or rearwardly, or to angle the blade diagonally relatively to its line of forward travel as aforesaid, said universal joint connections comprising substantially horizontal transversely extending pivot means having pitch'axes in approximate alignment with said transverse pitch axis ZZ, and hydraulically extensible and retractable strut means pivotally connected with said blade in vertically spaced relation above said pitch axis ZZ, whereby said strut means is operative to change the pitch angle of said blade around said pitch axis Z-Z during the forward travel of the blade.

10. A blade structure adapted for mounting on a propelling vehicle comprising a plurality of blade sections hingedly connected together on generally upright axes, mounting means on which the inner ends of said blade sections are hingedly mounted, said mounting means comprising substantially vertically extending hinge pin means defining a hinge axis XX around which said blade sections have fore and aft hinging movement, hydraulically extensible and contractable push arms connected with said blade sections and operative to V the blade sections forwardly or rearwardly around said X-X axis during the forward travel of the blade, mechanism comprising hydraulically extensible and retractable strut means for inclining said hinge pin means and XX axis in a fore and aft direction and operative to change the pitch angle of said blade during the forward travel of the blade, and mechanism comprising hydraulically extensible and retractable cylinder means for tilting said hinge pin means and XX axis to right or left and operative to tilt the outer ends of said blade upwardly or downwardly during the forward travel of the blade.

11. In combination, a tractor comprising a body, ground engaging propelling devices spaced outwardly from the sides of said body to provide lateral spaces therebetween, a C-frame having a transversely extending front crossbar extending across the front of the tractor and side arms extending longitudinally rearwardly from said crossbar into said lateral spaces between said tractor body and said propelling devices, pivot means pivotally connecting the rear ends of said side arms with the tractor, a multiple axis mounting head carried by the central portion of said crossbar, said mounting head comprising pintle means defining a substantially vertical hinge axis XX an earth working blade comprising right and left hinged blade sections, said blade sections having their inner ends hingedly mounted on said substantially vertical hinge axis X-X to enable said blade sections to be Vd forwardly or rearwardly during the forward travel of the tractor, said mounting head comprising mounting means defining a substantially horizontal transversely extending pitch axis ZZ relatively to which said hinge axis XX and blade can be pitched forwardly or rearwardly to change the pitch angle of the blade during the forward travel of the blade, a pair of hydraulically extensible and contractable push arms having their forward end-s connected with said right and left blade sections and having their rearward portions extending backwardly along the outer sides of said propelling means, and pivot means pivotally mounting the rear ends of said push arms on the tractor for vertical swinging movement of the forward ends, whereby said right and left blade sections extend outwardly in cantilever from said vertical hinge axis XX and can be Vd forwardly or rearwardly by said push arms while the tractor is in motion.

12. The combination defined in claim 8 wherein the fore and aft tilting axis YY normally has a downwardly and forwardly sloping inclination relatively to the hinge axis X-X when therlatter is disposed substantially vertically. 7

(References on following page) References Cied in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Matthies July 28, 1936 Thorpe Mar. 30, 1937 5 Flynn et a1 Oct. 22, 1940 Hawes Oct. 2, 1945 Celenza Nov. 15, 1949 Merz June 30, 1953 Mork Sept. 15, 1953 10 Troop Iune 22, 1954 Cassidy Jan. 17, 1956 24 Nave June 12, 1956 Wood Oct. 7, 1958 Mentes Feb. 24, 1959 Plas June 2, 1959 MacDonald Dec. 6, 1960 Hunnebeck Mar. 14, 1961 Cunningham Apr. 3, 1962 Bero May 1, 1962 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Jan. 12, 1955

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Classifications
U.S. Classification172/815, 37/273, 172/200, 172/821
International ClassificationE02F3/80, E02F3/76
Cooperative ClassificationE02F3/7613, E02F3/80
European ClassificationE02F3/76B2, E02F3/80