US 3244299 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1966 A. L. GIRARDI 3,244,299
EXTENSIBLE BOOM AND BELT FOR ORCHARD APPARATUS Filed March 25, 1964' 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. iwrow/a Z, /eiea/ A. L. GIRARDI April 5, 1966 EXTENSIBLE BOOM AND BELT FOR ORCHARD APPARATUS S Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 25, 1964 v INVENTOR. lA raA/m Z. 6/i4ifl/ WA A. L. GIRARDI April 5, 1966 EXTENSIBLE BOOM AND BELT FOR GRCHARD APPARATUS Filed March 25, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 m 2 V W m N m n United States Patent Ofifice 3,244,299 Patented Apr. 5, 1966 7 Claims. (Cl. 214-83.26)
This invention relates to orchard apparatus of the general character shown in my prior Patents No. 2,798,623, dated July 9, 1957, and No. 2,927,705, dated March 8, 1960. More particularly, this invention relates to improvements in extensible boom and conveyor structure of the general character shown in the above mentioned patents.
It is among the objects of my present invention to provide an extensible boom provided with an extensible conveyor of improved construction, afiording increased ruggedness, efiiciency and durability.
It is also an object of this invention to provide an extensib-le boom and conveyor construction provided with improved means for taking in and paying out loops of the conveyor in conformity with the retraction and extension of the boom, respectively.
Another object is to provide a conveyor structure, and an arrangement of pulleys therefor, whereby the conveyor is supported and guided along its entire course by pulleys engaging only edge portions of the conveyor, thereby simplifying the operation of the conveyor through its take-up loops, permitting the use of relatively rigid conveyor cleats, and providing increased space for mounting the operating and take-up mechanism.
It is a further object to provide an improved extensible boom and conveyor structure provided with a housing covering the delivery reach of the conveyor, and which comprises a plurality of telescoping sections mounted up on and actuated by the boom for extension and retraction therewith.
I accomplish these and other objects, some of which, with the foregoing, will be more fully explained in the following specification, by means of the device shown in the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. The invention, of course, is not limited to the illustrative embodiment of the device shown in the drawings, as the invention may be otherwise embodied within the scope of the appended claims.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a fragmental side elevational view of a portion of a mobile orchard apparatus showing an illustrative embodiment of the extensible boom and conveyor structure of the present invention mounted thereon;
FIG. 2 is a fragmental side elevational view of an extensible boom and conveyor embodying the improve ments of the present invention, parts being broken away to more clearly show other portions of the structure;
FIG. 3 is a fragmental plan view of a portion of a boom equipped with the improved conveyor take-up mechanism of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view of a portion of the boom, conveyor and take-up structure, the plane of the section being indicated by the line 4--4 of FIG. 3;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are transverse vertical sectional views of a portion of the boom, conveyor, take-up mechanism and conveyor housing structure, the planes of the sections being indicated by the lines 5-5 respectively;
FIG. 7 is a fragmental longitudinal horizontal sectional view illustrating the manner in which telescoping housing sections are mounted upon the extensible boom;
FIG. 8 is a fragmental longitudinal vertical sectional view showing the structure illustrated in FIG. 7 as viewed from the side;
FIG. 9 is a fragmental detail view showing a preferred means for mounting the take-up member for movement along the take-up frame;
FIG. 10 is a transverse sectional belt;
FIG. 11 is a longitudinal sectional view of a portion of the conveyor belt;
FIG. 12 is a sectional detail view illustrating one manner in which the take-up frame may be attached to the boom, the section being in the plane indicated by the line 12-12 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 13 is a sectional detail view illustrating one manner of mounting pulleys for the take-up control cables.
In terms of broad inclusion, the device of my present invention comprises an extensible boom, preferably of the lazy tong type disclosed in my prior Patent No. 2,927,705, dated March 8, 1960 above referred to, upon which is mounted an extensible conveyor arranged to be extended and retracted by and with the boom, the conveyor being made of rugged fiat belting material having flanged edges arranged to engage pulleys mounted at opposite sides of the boom for supporting and guiding the conveyor by engagement with its flanged edges only, with out interfering with the movement of rigid conveyor cleats along the take-up loops by which the conveyor may be extended and retracted with the boom. The invention also contemplates an improved means for controlling the lengthening and shortening of the take-up loops, and the mounting of a plurality of telescoping housing members upon the boom to substantially cover the delivery reach of the conveyor.
In terms of greater detail, the device of the present invention comprises an extensible boom designated in general by the numeral 16, pivotally mounted upon the upper portion of a supporting base 17 for movement about a horizontal axis 18. The base 17 is mounted for rotative movement about a vertical axis upon a mobile carriage designated in general by the numeral 19. Two of the booms 16 are mounted upon the rear portion of the carriage, preferably upon an extensible frame sec tion 21 movable between extended and retracted positions upon the rearward end of a main carraige frame 22, as indicated in FIG. 1 of the drawings. Two similar booms 16 are preferably mounted in similar manner at the forward end of the carriage, not shown in FIG. 1, but as clearly indicated in my Patent No. 2,- 927,705, above referred to. The carriagfe. frame is supported upon wheels 23 or other supporting and driving means, such as tractor tracks, and is powered by a suitable internal combustion engine 24 or other suitable prime mover. Since the detailed structure and operation of the carriage and drive mechanism are not material to the present invention, a more detailed description thereof is herein unnecessary.
The boom 16 is arranged to be extended and retracted by hydraulic rain 25, as taught by my copending application, Serial No. 570,165. The boom is shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings in a partially extended position at a horizontal level. An extensible endless belt, desigand 66 of FIG. 3,
view of the conveyor nated by the numeral 26, is mounted upon the boom 16 for movement over pulleys 27 mounted in pairs in inwardly extending positions upon opposite sides of the boom and its mounting structure, as indicated in FIG. 2 of the drawings. The pulleys 27 of each pair are positioned in axial alinernent, and face each other from opposite sides of the boom assembly. The conveyor 26 is formed by joining the ends of a strip of flat, flexible belting material of any suitable character, such as the rubberized belting material commonly used in making belt conveyors, to form an endless ban-d. Flanges 28 are formed along the edges of the band to extend in opposite directions from both surfaces thereof at substantially right angles relative thereto, as best shown in FIG.
1O of the drawings. Preferably, the flanges are tapered toward their outer ends to approximate the cross-sectional shape of an ordinary V-belt for engaging grooves 29 of similar shape formed in the faces of the pulleys 27. The fiat band portion of the conveyor spans the space between the pulleys of each pair, the conveyor being supported, guided and driven entirely by the engagement of the flanges 28 with the pulley grooves 29. Driving power for each conveyor 26 is applied in conventional manner, preferably through pulleys 27 mounted upon arms 30 which project inwardly, respectively, over the supporting bases 18 upon which the booms 16 are mounted.
The load carrying or delivery reach 31 of each conveyor is moved along a path extending from the outer end of the boom to the base thereof. At the outer end, each conveyor is carried over pulleys 27 spaced above the boom 16 near the guard rail 32 of a platform 33 the platform being suspended upon the outer end of its boom to support a workman in working proximity to a desired portion of an adjacent tree. At the base end, the delivery reach extends over a receiving table 34 mounted in any convenient manner over the boom supporting bases of the two booms, as best indicated in FIG. 1 of the drawings.
The return reach 36 of each conveyor 26 follows a course from the base to the outer end of the boom 16 on which it is mounted through the lower half of the boom structure, as shown in FIG. 2. At the outer end of the boom, the conveyor is passed over two pairs of guide pulleys 27, mounted upon a platform supporting frame 37, and two pairs of movable take-up pulleys Z for forming take-up loops 38. The length of conveyor necessary to reach the outer end of the boom 15, when it is moved to its fully extended position, is taken up in the loops 38, the length of the loops being progressively increased by movement of the take-up pulleys 27" as the boom is retracted.
The take-up pulleys 27" are mounted upon the inner sides of a U-shaped take-up member 39 mounted for movement along a track unit ill secured at its outer end to the outer end portion of the corresponding boom 16. In the preferred embodiment shown in the drawings, the track unit 41 comprises a pair of rails 42 formed of appropriate lengths of channel iron outwardly faced along the sides of the unit and joined at their ends by cross pieces 43. A shaft 44 extends longitudinally from one of the cross pieces 43 to the other, substantially midway between the side rails 4-2. A sleeve 46 is welded or otherwise secured to the shaft 44, and is secured to the outermost cross brace 47 of the boom by a clamp 48, or other securing means, for anchoring the unit to the boom, as best shown in FIG. 12. The shaft 44 is slidably movable through a sleeve 49, which is secured to another cross brace 47' by a clamp 59 for guiding and supporting the unit within the boom.
The take-up member 39 is provided with flanges 51 which extend downwardly past the outwardly faced channel rails 42. Roller bearings 52 and 53, mounted upon the flanges 51, extend into the channels in engagement with the upper and lower flanges of the channels, respectively, as best shown in FIG. 9. The roller bearings provide a stable support for the take-up member 39 upon the rails 42 and permit the member to be moved along the rails without binding.
Movement of the take-up member 39 to take in and pay out the conveyor take-up loops 38 is regulated by a pair of cables 54 and 54, each having one end secured to the member 39, as at 5656' and the other to the boom, as at 5757'. Between the ends of the cables, so attached to the take-up member and to the boom, the cables 54 and 54' extend in loops over pulleys 58 and 58' adjacent the ends of the track units and over pulleys 59 and 59 mounted upon a fitting which is secured to the shaft 4-4 intermediate the ends of the unit. As illustrated, the pulleys 59 are mounted upon a shaft 61 extending through a bearing 62, which, in turn, is secured to the shaft 44 by a suitable clamp 63, as shown in FIG. 13. The clamp 63 permits the shaft 61 and pulleys 59 to be positioned at a desired point along the shaft 44 for regulating tension and permitting the take-up member to be moved through a desired range along the unit 41.
One of the cables 54 extends from its point of attachment 56 to one of the pulleys 58 at the outer end of the unit, thence over a center pulley 59, then back over the second pulley 5S, and finally to the attachment 57. The other cable 5 extends from its attachment 56 to a pulley 58 at the other end of the unit, and thence over the center pulley 59, then the second pulley 58', and finally to the attachment 57'. Because the take-up unit is secured to the boom only at its outer end, movement ofthe boom causes the take-up frame to be moved bodily toward the base as the boom is retracted, and away from the base as the boom is extended. This movement of the frame causes one of the cables 54-54 to be slackened and the other to be tensioned for moving the take-up member 39 along the frame 41. This movement of the member 39 causes the loops 3% of the conveyor to be lengthened as the boom is retracted, and to be shortened as the boom is extended. The cables 5454' and pulleys SEE-5% and 59459 operate in the manner of a block and tackle to move the take-up member 39 at a rate and through a distance sufficient to pay out and take in the loops 3% of the conveyor in conformity with the lengthening and shortening of the boom 16 as it is extended and retracted.
The delivery reach 31 of each conveyor 26 is substantially covered by a housing, designated in general by the numeral .65. T he housing comprises a plurality of telescoping sections 66, 67 and 68, mounted upon each boom for extension and retraction therewith. The housing sections for each boom are mounted upon bars secured to the sides of the boom for relative movement through guides arranged to permit the end sections to move in opposite directions past a center section supported therebetween.
As best illustrated in FEGS. 7 and 8, the section 66 nearest the base of each boom is secured to flange portions 69 carried by fittings '70, which are secured to the innermost cross brace 71 of the boom 16. Bars '72 are secured to the fittings at opposite sides of each boom, and are arranged to extend outwardly, substantially parallel to the sides of the boom. The bars '72 extend through guides 73 secured to cross braces 74, and are provided with flanged members 75 to which the forward end of the housing section tie is secured.
The section 68 is similarly secured to fittings 76 secured to the outermost cross bracing shaft 47 of each boom 16, the fittings being provided with flanges 77 to which the housing section is riveted or otherwise fastened. Bars 78, secured to the fittings 76, extend longitudinally along the sides of the boom through guid fittings 79 secured to cross bracing shafts 80. The bars 78 are freely movable through the guide fittings 79, and are provided with flanged members 81 to which the housing section 63 is secured.
The section 67 is engaged between the sections 66 and 68. The section 67 is secured to flanged members 82 and 83 at opposite ends of the section, said fittings being provided with guide portions 84 slidably movable along the bars 72 at one end of the section and along the bars 78 at the other end of the section.
As each boom is extended, the housing member 68 is carried outwardly away from the housing member 66, which is anchored to the base of the boom. The center housing members 67, being slidably supported by the rods 72 and 78, span the space between the housing members 66 and 68. The housing member 67 remains substantially centered, and may be moved in either direction as the guide members 73 or 79 carried by the cross brace members 74 and 80 of the boom are moved to engage one or the other of the adjacent flanged members 82 and 83. When the boom is retracted, the housing member 66 is moved toward the housing member 68, and move the housing member 67 into a position telescoped between the members 66 and 68. The housing members substantially enclose the delivery reach 31 of the conveyor 26, and prevent fruit from rolling ofi from the sides of the conveyor.
The conveyor 26 is provided with cleats 86 secured to the belt at appropriate intervals. Because the conveyor is supported and driven only by pulleys engaging the flanged edges of the conveyor, the cleats may be of rigid structure, the cleats being movable between the guide pulleys 27 and take-up pulleys 28" as they advance along the take-up loops 38, as best indicated in FIG. 4 of the drawings.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In an orchard apparatus of the character described, the combination with a longitudinally extensible boom and a conveyor mounted upon the boom for extension and retraction therewith of take-up mechanism mounted upon the boom arranged to take up and pay out loops of the conveyor .in conformity with extension and retraction of the boom, said take-up mechanism comprising a take-up frame secured at its outer end to the boom adjacent the outer end of the boom, guide means extending longitudinally of the frame, a take-up yoke mounted upon the guides for movement longitudinally of the frame, loop-forming pulleys mounted upon the yoke for movement therewith to vary the length of loops of the conveyor extending thereover, and means for actuating the yoke along the frame comprising a pair of cables operating in opposing'directions over a plurality of pulleys to move the yoke at reduced rate proportionate to the movement of the boom along its extending and retracting movements.
2. In an orchard apparatus of the character described, the combination with a longitudinally extensible boom and a conveyor mounted upon the boom for extension and retraction therewith of take-up mechanism mounted upon the boom arranged to take up and pay out loops of the conveyor in conformity with extension and retraction of the boom, said take up mechanism comprising a take-up frame secured at its outer end to the boom adjacent the outer end of the boom, a take-up yoke mounted for movement longitudinally of the frame, loop forming pulleys mounted upon the yoke for movement therewith to vary the length of loops of the conveyor extending thereover, and means for actuating the yoke along the frame comprising a pair of cables operating over a plurality of pulleys in opposing directions, one end of each cable being connected to the yoke and the other being connected to the boom, one cable being slackened and the other tension to cause movement of the yoke along the take-up frame in directions corresponding to the extending and retracting movements of the boom at a reduced rate of movement.
3. Apparatus as defined by claim 2 provided with an extensible housing substantially enclosing the conveyor along its reach from the outer end of the boom to its base.
4. In an orchard apparatus of the character described, the combination with a longitudinally extensible boom and an extensible conveyor mounted upon the boom for extension and retraction by and with the boom, said conveyors being mounted over pulleys journalled at the base end of the boom and pulleys journalled upon the outer end of the boom for movement with said outer end as the boom is extended and retracted and having a delivery reach extending from the pulleys at said outer end of the boom to the pulleys at the base end thereof and having loops extending over pulleys mounted for movement longitudinally of the boom to shorten and lengthen the loops and thereby take up and pay out conveyor length in conformity with retraction and extension movements of the boom, of a telescoping housing mounted upon the boom and actuated thereby to substantially cover the de livery reach along substantially its entire length throughout its range of extension and retraction, said housing comprising a plurality of telescoping sections mounted upon the boom, one end section being anchored at a point near the base of the boom, another end section being anchored to the boom near its outer end, and an intermediate section being supported by the boom to span the space between the end sections, said end sections being arranged to separate as the boom is extended and to telescope with the intermediate section when the boom is retracted.
5. Apparatus as defined by claim 4 wherein the housing comprises outer end and intermediate housing sections movable to and from telescoped relation to a base section, said sections being mounted upon bars extending longitudinally of the boom in pairs corresponding to the sections, the pair of said bars corresponding to the base section being anchored adjacent the base of the boom and being slidable through guides secured to the boom at points spaced from the base, a pair of bars corresponding to the outer end section being anchored to the boom adjacent its outer end and being slidable through guides secured to the boom at points spaced inwardly from the outer end of the boom, and the pair of bars corresponding to the intermediate section being slidably connected to the aforementioned pairs of bars at points between the respective guides therefor and the points at which they are anchored to the boom.
6. Orchard apparatus comprising a mobile carriage, a plurality of longitudinally extensible booms each mounted for pivotal movement about a horizontal pivot axis carried by a base supporting member mounted upon the carriage and pivotally movable relative thereto about a vertical axis whereby each boom may be independently moved through desired degrees of vertical and horizontal angular adjustment, a plurality of conveyor belt-engaging pulleys mounted adjacent the end portions of each boom, said pulleys being positioned in pairs in spaced relation in vertical planes adjacent to opposite sides of the boom, a take-up member mounted in association with each boom for movement longitudinally thereof, take-up pulleys mounted in pairs upon the take-up member, said take-up pulleys being positioned in the spaced vertical planes defined by the belt-engaging pulleys, an endless belt conveyor extending over the pulleys, said belt conveyor being provided with flanges extending along its edges and projecting from the upper and lower faces thereof into engagement with grooves formed in the pulleys, loops of said belt conveyor being extended over the take-up pulleys on the take-up member, and means upon each boom operating in response to retraction and extension thereof for moving the take-up member to shorten and lengthen the loops in conformity with the extension and retraction of the boom.
7. Orchard apparatus as defined by claim 5 wherein each boom is provided with a take-up guide frame secured at its outer end to the outer end of the boom, and ex tending longitudinally of the boom between its sides, a pair of grooved pulleys rotatably mounted adjacent each end of the guide, a pair of pulleys mounted upon the guide frame intermediate its ends, means connecting the take-up member to the guide frame for movement longitudinally thereof, a control cable looped over the pulleys at one end of the guide frame and one of the intermediate puI- leys and having one end secured to the take-up member and the other to the boom, and a second control cable looped over the pulleys at the other end of the guide frame and the other intermediate pulley and having its ends connected to the take-up member and to the boom in opposition to the first cable, axial extension and retraction of the boom causing one cable to be tightened and the other to be paid out for moving the take-up mem ser to lengthen and shorten the loops in proportion, respectively, to the degree of retraction and extension of the boom.
References Qited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,038,471 4/1936 Benatar 198-204 2,732,930 1/1956 Thomson 198201 2,927,705 3/1960 Girardi l98201 GERALD M. FORLENZA, Primary Examiner.