|Publication number||US3183804 A|
|Publication date||May 18, 1965|
|Filing date||Apr 19, 1961|
|Priority date||Apr 19, 1961|
|Publication number||US 3183804 A, US 3183804A, US-A-3183804, US3183804 A, US3183804A|
|Inventors||Letourneau Robert G|
|Original Assignee||Letourneau Robert G|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (21), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
May 18, 1965 R. G. LEl TOURNEAU 3,183,804
EARTH COMPACTING MACHINE Filed April 19, 1961 2 Sheets-sheet 1 May 18, 1965 R. G. LE TOURNEAU EARTH COMPACTING MACHINE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 19. 1961 United States Patent C) 3,183,894 EARTH CGMPACTWG MACHINE Robert G. Le'lourneau, i330. Box 2307, Longview, Tex. Filed Apr. 19, 1961, Ser. No. 104,099 4 Claims. (Cl. 94-50) My invention relates to earth compacting machines, and more particularly to` such machines of the type utilizing so-called sheepsfoo compacting elements.
Earth compacting machines in the prior art of which I am aware, and of the type utilizing sheepsfoot compacting elements, have been commonly called sheepsfoot rollers. This designation is derived from the fact that the compacting is done by one or more roller units wherein each unit is a large heavy drum having sheepsfoot-like projecting elements arrayed on its outer surface. Each drum is journalled on a shaft or shafts which in turn are fixed to yokes or draft elements. Such sheepsfoot rollers are always towed, often by a tracklaying type prime mover, and usually in groups of twoor more. Also, these sheepsfoot roller units are usually filled with a ballast material, such as water, to give them sufficient weight for effective compacting action. Such prior art sheepsfoot rollers are subject to a number of disadvantages. Because they are towed, they can compact only in the forward, or towing, direction and must turn around at the end of each pass. They cannot work effectively in the region of the end of a pass, or in corners and close places, because of their very poor maneuverability. They cannot Work effectively on a narrow fill because of insufficient turning room. Since they are towed by track layers, they must be comparatively slow. The prime mover weight is not effective for compacting and, in fact, is simply dead weight, requiring additional over-all power.
The broad object of my invention, accordingly, is to provide an earth compacting machine which will obviate the disadvantages above mentioned.
Another object of my invention is to provide an improved and effective selfropelled earth compacting machine.
Another object of my invention is to provide a selfpropelled earth compacting machine which can operate effectively in either direction, with no necessity for turning around.
Another object of my invention is to provide a selfpropelled earth compacting machine which can work effectively on any part of any ll.
Another object of my invention is to provide a selfpropelled earth compacting machine which requires no ballast material and has no wasted dead weight.
Another object of my invention is to provide a selfpropelled earth compacting machine wherein all of the power and weight is effectively utilized for compacting.
Another object of my invention is to provide a selfpropelled earth compacting machine which incorporates effective means for keeping the compacting elements clean.
Another object of my invention is to provide a self-propelled earth compacting machine which incorporates improved design and structural arrangements.
Another object of my invention is to provide a self-propelled earth compacting machine which may be readily assembled and disassembled for convenient shipping and servicing and repair.
These and other objects are effected by my invention as will be apparent from the following description taken in accordance with the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this application, in which:
FIGURE l is a schematic perspective view showing a self-propelled earth compacting machine in accordance with a preferred embodiment of my invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view, partly in section, showing details of a typical roller compacting unit associated with the rear frame assembly and a compactor unit pivot and support assembly;
FIGURE 3 is an end elevational View, partly in section showing a typical roller compacting unit and associated structure, including compacting element cleaner mechanism;
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of the rear main frame assembly;
FIGURE 5 is a side elevational view, partly in section, showing a modified form of compacting element cleaner arrangement;
FIGURE 6 is a rear end elevational view showing details of the compacting element cleaner arrangement of FIGURE 5; and
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary plan view showing details of the compacting element cleaner arrangement of FIGURE 5.
In the drawings there is shown a self-propelled earth compacting machine having four sheep-stoot roller compacting units 11 supporting an articulated main frame 13 through respective compactor unit pivot and support assemblies 15. The articulated main frame is made up of a front main frame assembly 17 and a rear main frame assembly 19. The rear main frame assembly 19 (see FIGURES 2 and 4) is made up of a main beam 21 in the form of a heavy longitudinally extending box beam and front and rear transverse `beam-s 23, 25 which are rigidly fixed to the main beam 21 respectively at its front and rear portions and extending laterally of said main beam on both sides thereof. The ends of the transverse beams 23, 25 terminate in ball sockets Z7 which are rigidly fixed thereto. The pair of ball sockets 27 on each side of the main beam 21 has its centers aligned on an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of the main beam, for a purpose to be hereinafter Iset forth.
A respective brace member 29 extends from each end portion of each transverse beam 23, 25 inwardly to said main beam 21. A motion limiting pad 31 is rigidly fixed to and extends outwardly from the center portion of each said brace 29 for a purpose to be hereinafter explained. A pedestal structure 33 is fixed atop the forward end portion of said main beam 21 and extends upwardly therefrom. A tubular main brace member 35 is fixed to the upper rear center portion of said pedestal structure 33 and extends rearwardly and downwardly to merge with the upper surface of said main beam 21 adjacent the rear end portion of same, to which it is rigidly fixed. A steering pivot structure 37 is rigidly fixed to the front side of the pedestal structure 33 and extends forwardly therefrom, mounting vertically aligned oppositely disposed steering pivot balls 39. Rigidly fixed atop the said pedestal structure 33` is an electric steering drive motor 41 and a gear reduction 43 having an output pinion 45.
The front frame assembly 17 is similar to the rear frame assembly in that it has a main beam 47 plus a pair of suitably braced transverse beams 49 terminating in ball sockets (not shown), pairs of which are aligned on a respective axis parallel to the main beam longitudinal axis. The front frame assembly 1'7 also has a tubular bracing member 51 similar to that of the rear frame assembly. The main beam 47 of the front frame assembly, however, extends rearwardly beyond the rearward transverse beam to provide support for a cradle 53 which mounts an internal combustion engine driven electric generator power unit 55. The cradle 53 of the power unit 55 also supports an operator station 57, including the operators seat 59 and control panel 61.
Rigidly fixed to the rear end portion of the front frame assembly main beam 47 is an upstanding steering 3 yoke Structure 63, with the arms 65 of the yoke mounting a pair -of vertically aligned ball sockets 67 which are adapted for cooperating with the steering pivot balls 39 of the rear frame assembly steering pivot Astructure 37. Rigidly fixed atop the steering yoke structure is a horizontallyV disposed steering sector gear 69 having teeth disposed and adapted for meshing with the output pinion 45 of the electric motor driven steering gear reduction Each of the four sheepsfoot roller compacting units 11 and compactor unit pivot and support assemblies 15 is identical, so that a description of one will suffice. Each compacting unit 11 comprises a heavy open-ended cylindrical drum 71 having a dished heavy metal web 73 disposed in its interior intermediate its ends and integrally fixed to the drum interior and co-axial with the drum 71. The web diameter is Vthe same as the drum interior diameter. The web 73 has a central circular opening 75, with a plurality of bolt holes 77 disposed in the web 73 about the circular opening circumference, for a purpose to be hereinafter explained. A rectangular box-like housing 79 made of heavy metal plate material forms a hollow stub axle-like support structure. The housing is open at its outer end and is closed at its inner end by a heavy plate member 31 having a circular opening S3 with bolt holes 85 disposed in the said plate member 81 about the circumference of the opening S3 for a purpose that will be presently explained. Disposed on either side of the said housing and spaced a short distance from its outer end are a pair of laterally outwardly extendingflange members 87. Disposed integral with the end of said housing 79 is a picture frame like flange 89 made of heavy metal plate material which extends laterally outwardly from the end margins of the housing 79.V 'The pair of flange members S7 are strengthened by suitable gussets 91. YThe roller drum 71 is powered by'a selfcontained electric drive unit made up of a primary gear reduction 93, a secondary gear reduction 95, and an electric traction motor 97. The electric motor 97 bolts onto the secondary gear reduction 95 which in turn bolts onto the holes 85 about the circular opening 83. The primary gear reduction carries an integral peripheral bolt flange, which is bolted onto the holes 77 about the circular opening 75 of the web 73. The primary and secondary gear reductions V93, 95 are interrelated such that the primary 93 can rotate relative to the secondary 95.
Each compactor unit pivot and support assembly is made up of a pair of L shaped box beam structures,
each having a support leg portion 99 and a pivot leg portion 101. Each pivot leg portion 101 has aV pivot ball'Y 103 integrally fixed to and extending transversely outwardly from the free end thereof. The L structures are oppositely disposed so that the support leg portions 99 lie spaced apart on a common axis, With their free ends facing each other, while the pivot leg portions 101 are parallel and said pivot balls 103 are aligned on a common axis. The pivot balls 103 are adapted for cooperation with the respective ball sockets 27 on the main frame transverse beams 23, 25. The free end portion of each support leg 99 is provided with a pair of integral bolt pads rigidly fixed to the sides of said leg 99 and forming a pair of spaced parallel flanges l105 which extend out- Wardly beyond the free end of said support leg 99. These support leg flanges 105 mate with the respective flanges 07, S9 carried by the box housing structure 79 and are Y provided with four sets of corner pin holes which mate Y with corresponding sets of aligned pin holes in thebox'V housing flanges 87, S9. Each set of said pin'holes re? ceives a large support pin 107. Thus, the pivot and support structure V15 is made la demountable rigid Ystructure with said box housing `79. The open or outer end of the Ybox housing may be covered with a heavy mesh screen 108.
Each Vcompactor unit drum 71 carries a multiplicity of compactor elements 109 which are arrayed in stagc gered ring groups on the drum outer surface. Each com pactor element has a generally frusto-conical base portion 111 having an end cavity (not shown) for receiving the shank of a cylindrical cap 113 in forced fit relation. A transverse opening 114 in each ba-se portion 111 allows removal of the respective cap 113 by means of a drift pin tool. The capv diameter is larger than that of the base tip, to give the sheepsfoot compacting effect.
A pair of drum cleaner assemblies 115 are provided for each compactor unit 11. A first form of cleaner assembly is illustrated in FIGURES 1, 2, and 3, while an alternative or second form of cleaner assembly is shown by FGURES 5, 6 and 7. In the first form, a plurality or set of parallel spaced wedge-shaped teeth 117 are rigidly mounted on a tubular beam 119 and extending transversely thereof. Two of said Yteeth 117 have rearward projections which are pivotally fixed to respective pivot supports 121 which in turn are rigidly fixed and extend upwardly and inwardly from the pivot leg portion 101 of the compactor unit pivot and support structure 15. Each tooth extends downwardly and inwardly into wiping contact with the drum surface below the drum centerline and between respective adjacent rows or groups or" compactor elements. The entire set of teeth 117 is forced into engagement with the surface of the druml 71 by means of a single heavy compression spring 123 which is located within a housing 125 which is carried by the pivot leg 101. The compression spring 123 acts on a thrust rod 127 which is fixed at its outer The alternative form of cleaner assembly 129 comprises `a plurality or set of parallel spaced tooth holder members 131 rigidly fixed to a tubular member 133 and extending transversely'thereof. The tubular member 133 is pivoted at its ends on ball joints 135 depending from a support structure 137 which in turn is supported by the compactor unit Ypivot and support assembly 15 in such manner that said tubular member 133 extends parallel to the axis of rotation of the drum 71 beneath and inwardly of the pivot leg 101.'` Each said tooth support member 131 carries a removable tooth 139 in the form of a rectangular plate having a beveled outer or working edge. Each set of teeth is disposed so that. one tooth contacts the drum surface between each group or row of compactor elements 109. The entire tooth set is forced into contact with the drum surface by a heavy compression spring 141 working on a thrust rod 143 the outer end Vof which is pivotally fixed to an outwardly extending extension portion 145 of one of said tooth support members 131. The compression spring 141 is carried within a housing 147 which extends vertically through the pivot leg 101. The compression spring force may be adjusted by adjusting the length of the thrust rod 143 within the spring 141, by means of a nut 149 threaded onto the end of the thrust rod 143 remote from the pivoted end and bearing on the upper end of the spring housing 147. Y In the alternative form just described, the teeth 139 contact the drum surface further below the drum center line and at a greater angle than in the case of the first form. Also, in the second form the vcompression springs 141 are all vertically dis- 1 posed. The second form has the advantages of removable teeth that can be readily removed, sharpened, repaired, or replaced; a .structural arrangement with is more compact Vand more convenientlyV disposed, a better working angle for the teeth, and more effective action for the compression spring. Since there is a cleaner assembly 115, 129 on each side of each Ydrum 71, one set of teeth (in both forms) will have the drum surface approaching for effective scraping action for either direction of drum rotation.
VFrom'the description foregoing, it will be apparent that each compactor' drum 71 is supported by said box housing 79 or stub axle via the associated drive assembly 93, 95,
Y97, the box housing 79 being demountably rigid with a said pivot and support assembly 15. Power is supplied to each electric drive motor 97 and the steering motor 41 via suitable wiring and controls from the engine driven generator power unit 55. The operator has a commanding view, and his seat 59 and control panel 61 swivel together so that he may face either to the front or rear. The machine operates in the same identical manner in either direction and with the same speed and power. The machine is highly maneuverable because it is short coupled and can steer through a very substantial turning angle. Also, since the steering pivot is between the front and rear roller sets, substantial leverage is available for a hinge-type steering eliect which requires a minimum of steering power. Each electric drive motor 97 is provided with an electromagnetic multiple disc friction brake 98, which is automatically set when the motor is de-energized, for emergency stopping and for parking. Regenerative braking is also provided.
It should be noticed that manner of pivoting the compactor units 11 through the pivot and support assemblies 15 to the main frame 17, 19 not only allows the rollers 71 to swing up or down about the pivots 103 to accommodate the terrain, but also provides a special counterbalance suspension eliect, with the weight of the electric drive motor 97 and portions of the gear reductions 93, 95 counter-balancing the weight of the main frame 17, 19 and its load. This Weight distribution and counterbalancing ettect makes for very even compaction action. Stop pads 31 are provided to' limit the free pivot motion of the rollers 71 relative to the main frame 17, 19.
The compactor unit 11 and pivot and support assembly 15 may be quickly disassembled or assembled. To disassemble, the balls 103 may be removed fromV their sockets 27 to free an entire compactor unit 11 and pivot and support assembly 15 from the main frame 17, 19. Then the four support pins 107 may be removed to free the pivot and support assembly 15 from the compactor unit 11. Then the primary gear reduction 93 may be unbolted from the web 73 to free the drive assembly 93, 95, 97 and box housing 79. Then the bolts may be removed from the box housing opening 83 to free the box housing from the drive assembly.
It should be apparent from the foregoing that the selfpropelled earth compacting machine in accordance with my invention can operate as well running in either forward or reverse direction and consequently need never turn around at the end of a pass; it is highly maneuverable, and can work in close places and on any part of any till; it requires no ballast material, but utilizes all of the machine power and weight for compacting; and it can travel at relatively high speeds. Also, because each roller is driven, full traction power is always available. Also, the main frame to compactor unit counterbalance arrangement makes for even compacting action. Effective cleaner assemblies keep the compacting elements clear so as to be always fully exposed. Major components of the machine may be readily disassembled for convenient shipping and servicing and repair.
The foregoing disclosure and the showings made in the drawings are merely illustrative of the principles of this invention and are not to be interpreted in a limiting sense.
l. A self-propelled earth compacting machine comprising a front and a rear main frame assembly, means coupling said main frame assemblies in articulated steerable relation, a compactor roller unit disposed laterally on each side of each main frame assembly with the central axes of the roller unit pair associated with each main frame assembly being normally aligned and transverse to the respective main frame assembly longitudinal axis, an electric motor and gear reduction carried within each said roller unit, means supporting said gear reduction for rotation with said roller unit, a pivot and support assembly associated with each said roller unit and comprising pivot leg portions pivoted to said respective main frame on a pivot axis parallel to and laterally spaced from said respective main frame, and support leg portions extending along a common axis parallel to said respective main frame, a stub axle housing fixed to said support leg portions and extending inwardly into the interior of said respective compactor unit, and means fixing said respective electric motor within the respective housing, with said main frames and their loads disposed a distance on the inner side of said pivot axes and said electric motor and gear reduction disposed on the outer side of said respective pivot axes such that the main frames and their loads are substantially counterbalanced by said electric motors and gear reductions.
2. A self-propelled earth compacting machine cornprising a front and a rear main frame assembly, means coupling said main frame assemblies in articulated steera-ble relation, a compactor roller unit disposed laterally on each side of each main frame assembly with the central axes of the roller unit pair associated with each main frame assembly being normally aligned and transverse to the respective main frame assembly longitudinal axis, an electric motor and gear reduction carried within each said roller unit, means supporting said gear reduction for rotation with said roller unit, a pivot and support assembly associated with each said roller unit and comprising pivot leg portions pivoted to said respective main frame on a pivot axis parallel to and laterally spaced from said respective main frame, and support leg portions eX- tending along a common axis parallel to said respective main frame, a stub axle housing removably iixed at its outer end portion to said support leg portions and extending inwardly into the interior of said respective compactor unit, and means fixing said respective electric motor within the respective housing, with said main frames and their loads disposed a distance on the inner side of said pivot axes and said electric motor and gear reduction disposed on the outer side of said respective pivot axes such that the main frames and their loads are substantially counterbalanced by said electric motors and gear reductions.
3. A self-propelled earth compacting machine cornprising a front and a rear main frame assembly, means coupling said main frame assemblies in articulated steerable relation, a compactor roller unit disposed laterally on each side of each main frame assembly with the central axes of the roller unit pair associated with each main frame assembly being normally aligned and transverse to the respective main frame assembly longitudinal axis, an electric motor and gear reduction carried within each said roller unit, means supporting said gear reduction for rotation with said roller unit, a pivot and support assembly associated with each said roller unit and comprising pivot leg portions pivoted to said respective main frame on a pivot axis parallel to and laterally spaced from said respective main trame, and support leg portions extending along a common axis parallel to said respective main frame, a stub axle housing lixed by removable pins to said respective support leg portions and extending inwardly into the interior of said respective compactor unit, and means iixing said respective electric motor Within the respective housing, with said main frames and their loads disposed a distance on the inner side of said pivot axes and said electric motor and gear reduction disposed "on the outer side of said respective pivot axes such that the main frames and their loads are substantially counterbalanced by said electric motors and gear reductions.
4. A self-propelled earth compacting machine comprising a main frame, a plurality of compactor roller units, each of which is disposed to one side of said main frame with its central axis being substantially normal to the main frame longitudinal axis, an electric motor driving each said roller unit through a gear reduction, a stub axle means for each said roller unit, means including a respective said stub axle means for pivotally supporing said main frame on said roller units with each pivot axis parallel to and spaced laterally from said main frame, With the weight `of said main frame and its load on theV inner side of said pivot axes counterbalanced by the Weight of said electric motors and gear reductions on the puter side of said pivot axes.
References Cited bythe Examiner UNTTED STATES PATENTS 1,875,252 8/32 Meyer 280-158 #3 Nicewander 280--158 Ross 94-50 Harrison 94-50 Greiner 94-50 Hawkins ISO-10 Le Tourneau 180-10 Speicher 180-10 Hillis 94-50 kl0 JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Primary Examiner.
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|International Classification||E02D3/026, E02D3/00|