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Publication numberUS3277511 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 11, 1966
Filing dateApr 15, 1964
Priority dateApr 15, 1964
Publication numberUS 3277511 A, US 3277511A, US-A-3277511, US3277511 A, US3277511A
InventorsBevington John F, Bowden Benjamin G, Fuller Stanley E, Greenen Charles D, Little John M, Meeker Paul C, Roeck Erich F, Rosenberg Edward N, Spencer Jr Albert T
Original AssigneeNat Super Service Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable width floor treating machine
US 3277511 A
Images(9)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 11, 1966 J. M. LITTLE ETAL ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE 9 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 15, 1964 INVENTORS Oct. 11, 1966 J. M. LITTLE ETAL 3,277,511

ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE Filed April 15, 1964 9 Sheets-Sheet 2 JUHN MLITTLB, Emu. FIE-Q- Oct. 11, 1966 .1. M. LITTLE ETAL 3,277,511

ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE Filed April 15, 1964 9 Sheets-$heet L I/6/| I E Im in I 28/ (25/ INVENTORS.

JDHN M.LITTL.E, ET AL.

Oct. 11, 1966 J. M. LITTLE ETAL 3,277,511

ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE Filed April 15, 1964 9 Sheets-Sheet 5 lllll 247 2Z0 2 27 IIE'ILU' \\Y INVENTOPSI Jam M.LITTLE, ETAL.

1966 J. M. LITTLE ETAL 3,277,511

ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE Filed April 15, 1964 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 'IHIIII Hun mun INVENTORS.

JUHN M LIT TLB, ETAL.

Oct. 11, 1966 J. M. LITTLE ETAL 3,277,511

ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE Filed April 15, 1964 9 Sheets-Sheet 7 FIE-17- INVENTORS. Jamar Minna, E TAB ATTY.

Oct. 11, 1966 J. M. LITTLE ETAL 3,277,511

ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE Filed April 15, 1964 9 Sheets-Sheet 8 KI: 1 I 1' m n? 0 o l i 'rm|H .1, 420 4-36 XXIII m 4 0 INVENTORS: Igal 71118!Jl/IILITTLE,.ETAL. 436

Oct. 11, 1966 J. M. LITTLE ETAL 3,277,511

ADJUSTABLE WIDTH FLOOR TREATING MACHINE Filed April 15, 1964 9 Sheets-Sheet 9 [j 2 E INVENTORS:

JOHN M. LIT TIE, ET AL.

United States Patent 3,277,511 ADJUSTABLE WIIATCH FLOOR TREATING This invention relates to a floor maintenance machine having an adjustable width swath. More particularly, it deals with a machine for scrubbing, polishing, washing, cleaning, mopping, and/or finishing floors in which the width of the swath of the fioor treating head on the machine may be adjusted relative to the path of the machine to take variable width swaths along the path of movement of the machine. For example, this width may be varied from twenty to twenty-six inches, so that the machine may be used both for treating narrow aisles of floor as well as wide halls with fewer passes over the floor neces sary for their complete cleaning than would be possible with a single width machine that was also narrow enough to clean the narrow aisles.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to produce a simple, sturdy, neat, powerful, economic, efficient, effective, quiet and easily serviced floor maintenance machine having an adjustable width swath.

Another object is to provide such a machine which puts down a measured or metered amount of cleaning solution, scrubs the floor upon which the solution is placed, and then picks up the dirty solution to leave the floor clean and dry.

Another object is to provide such a machine which is adaptable for dry buffing and/or suction cleaning of a fioor, as well as wet scrubbing and cleaning of a floor.

Another object of this invention is to produce such a machine composed of four separate easily serviced units, namely; (I) a power and chassis unit, (II) a removable scrubbing head, (III) a battery and tank assembly, and (IV) a control panel; each of which units may be separately removed from the machine and serviced.

Another object is to produce such a machine wherein the driving motors are easily accessible in its power unit, and may be readily replaced with a minimum of connecting and disconnecting of leads and shafts thereto.

Another object is to produce such a machine having an elongated, angularly adjustable, low, retractable, easily removable, and relatively light weight (i.e. about 35 pounds) floor contacting or scrubbing head having a pair of easily replaceable rotating brushes therein.

Another object is to provide such a floor scrubbing head for this machine which: does not require lubrication and therefore avoids any possible oil leaks; is free from problems caused by water or solution in its gearing; and fits under low channels, along counters, and in the corners.

Another object is -to provide such a floor treating machine with a projecting scrubbing head which enables the machine to avoid obstacles hanging on walls, and to provide a head which will snap back out of its projecting position into a more protected position to avoid collision damage to the head and/ or so that the resilient bumper on the machine chassis or body will receive any shock.

Another object is to provide such a machine which has not only adjustable swath width scrubbing head but also a correspondingly adjustable width swath and retractable squeegee, as well as an adjustable pressure means for the scrubbing brushes in said head.

Another object is to provide such a machine wherein the floor rotating and contacting means or brushes are "ice mounted to float on their axes so as to follow any irregularities in the contour of the floor.

Another object is to provide such a machine which is self-powered, such as by batteries, is versatile, is able to make short radius turns, and will run for a relatively long time (i.e. 4 to 9 hours) or clean many square feet of floor (i.e. 100,000-225,000 square feet) without having to be serviced or its batteries re-charged.

Still another object is to provide such a machine which is adaptable to be driven by either four or six batteries which may easily be installed or removed, and are readily agcessible for re-charging without removal from the mac me.

A further object is to provide such a machine with infinitely variable speed control, variable means for the flow of cleaning liquid to the floor scrubbing head, and translucent liquid tanks so the amount of liquid therein can readily be viewed, which tanks are of such a configuration to have narrow neck portions that avoid sloshmg.

Still a further object is to provide such a machine containing liquid tanks which are readily removable, and which are easily filled from the top of the machine through a filter, and easily drained while in the machine.

Generally speaking, the floor maintenance machine of this invention comprises four essential and separate assemblies or parts, namely: (I) A power and pump assembly or vehicle chassis part having a pair of centrally located wheels therein which preferably may be driven by the power unit located in said assembly. (II) An elongated scrubbing head removably attached and angularly adjustable with respect to the power and pump assembly or vehicle chassis; the angular adjustability of said head providing different width swaths for the scrubbing head as it is moved along a path. (III) Abattery and tank assembly on a frame mounted on the chassis part above the power and pump assembly, which frame supports a pair of translucent L-shaped tanks, one for clean liquid to be supplied for the scrubbing, and the other for dirty liquid collected after the scrubbing. The rectangular space bordered on two sides by the L-shaped tanks contains two or more electric batteries for powering the driving mechanism in the power and pump assembly. (IV A control panel is mounted on the rear of the battery and tank as sembly or frame for easy access by the operator of the machine, which panel is provided with levers and switches for controlling the operation of the machine.

Specifically, the power and pump assembly or vehicle chassis part (I) comprises a pair of driving wheels located relatively centrally of the device so as to provide a narrow turning radius for the machine, which wheels may be driven through a manually adjustable infinitely variable speed mechanism, a reduction gear mechanism and a clutch. At one end of the chassis is provided a platform vertically adjustable by means of a lever and spring, and to which platform a flexible and/or telescopic drive shaft and gearing is connected from the driving motor for driving the floor scrubbing head. A suction fan or pump, which may be driven by a separate motor, may be mounted on the same plate as the driving motor, which plate may be releasably pivotally mounted for easy access to the motors and pump without dismantling the whole power and pump assembly.

The elongated scrubbing head (II) is removably attached to the underside of the vertically adjustable platform mounted on the power and pump assembly or vehicle chassis part, such as by means of a bayonet type joint around a vertically pivotal axis. This head also is angularly adjustable about this vertically pivotal axis so as to vary the angularity of the elongated head relative to the path of the vehicle to produce the different width swaths. In the elongated head may be provided at least two rotating brushes or floor contacting means, which may be driven by plastic gears, one of which gears is mounted axially of the vertically pivotal axis and driven 'therethrough. The head is also easily removable in order 'less of the angular or vertical position of the head. Since a spring pressed detent maintains the angular projecting position of the scrubbing head, a bump on the forwardly and/or outwardly projecting head which has more force than the spring pressure on the detent will cause the head to move or rotate under the front end of the vehicle frame,

'so that the bumper on the vehicle will absorb the major portion of the shock and the scrubbing head will not be damaged.

Above or on the vehicle chassis or power and pump assembly, there is provided a frame (III) into which may be slid two parallel L-shaped tanks, in the angle of which tanks are located supports for two to six batteries, de pending upon whether a 24 or 36 volt motor is employed. Around the whole tank and battery assembly may be provided a housing having a cantilever mounted cover or hood, which can be readily raised for access to the batteries. The inlets to the two L-shaped tanks are at their 'tops outside the housing, and may include filters, with a float valve in the dirty tank to prevent contamination of the suction pump. The outlets of the tanks are in or near their bottoms for easy draining. If desired, the suction fan or pump, and/ or a removable filter bag may be placed at or around the dirty tanks inlet so that the machine may be employed as a dry vacuum cleaning machine.

The control panel (IV) which is provided at the rear of the machine adjacent the guiding handles thereof, is also provided with several levers, one of which vertically retracts and extends a squeegee following the scrubbing head and vehicle driving wheels to wipe any liquid and streaks from the floor. The width of the squeegee may be varied in accordance with the angularity or width of the swath of the scrubbing head. On the control panel there are also provided switches for starting the motors for driving the unit and the rotary scrubbing brushes and for the vacuum or suction pump, a lever to vary the flow of liquid from the clean tank onto the scrubbing brushes, a lock for adjusting the pressure of the scrubbing head against the floor after it has been set by a foot pedal, a lever for engaging and releasing the clutch between the driving motor and the vehicle, and handles for guiding the machine. The control panel also may contain a plaque stating the directions for operating the machine and in what sequence to operate the levers and switches.

The above mentioned and other features and objects of the invention and the manner of attaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be understood best by reference to the following description of embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the right side and rear of a machine according to .this invention, with the head and squeegee in its narrowest swath adjusted position and showing the levers on the control panel at the rear of the machine; 7

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the lower half of the right side and front of the machine shown in FIG. 1, with other of the angular positions of the head and squeegee being shown in dashed lines;

FIG. 3 is another perspective view as shown in FIG. 2, but of the whole machine with its housing removed and'its hood raised and mostly broken away, and the head and squeegee in their widest swath positions;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the under side of the machine shown in FIG. 1 with the scrubbing head and squeegee removed, showing primarily the power, pump and wheel driving mechanisms;

FIG. 5 is a slightly enlarged longitudinal vertical sectional view of the unhoused machine shown in FIG. 3 as though it were taken along line V-V of FIG. 6, showing the chassis and power unit, the scrubbing unit, and the tank and battery assembly and its supporting frame;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of [the chassis and power unit taken along line VI-VI of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged plan view of the forward end of the power and driving unit shown in FIG. 6 with parts broken away and different angular positions of the driving head being shown in dashed lines;

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view taken along line VII1VIII of FIG. 7 showing two brushes in the scrubbing head;

FIG. 9 is a further enlarge-d plan view of the platform at the front end of the power unit as shown in FIG. 7, showing the detent means for vangularly adjusting and removing the scrubbing head from said platform and chassis of the machine; various angular positions of the head being shown in dashed lines;

FIG. 10 is a still further enlarged vertical sectional view taken along line XX of FIG. 9 with parts broken away and showing the connection for suspending .the scrubbing head from the underside of the vertically movable platform;

FIG. ll is an enlarged sectional view taken along line XIXI of FIG. 10 with parts broken away and showing the gears for driving the rotating brushes;

FIG. 12 is a vertical section similar to FIG. 10 but taken along line XIIXII of FIG. 11 with parts broken away and showing the removable pivotal connection of the scrubbing head to the platform, the driving means and floating mounting for the brushes, and the removable connection for the scrubbing brushes;

FIG. 13 is the bottom view of FIG. 12 showing the bayonet connection between the brush driving means and the brush plate, and the leaf spring means for holding them together;

FIG. 14 is flattened out arcu-ate side view taken along arc-ualte line XIV-XIV in FIG. 13 showing part of the leaf spring means for releasably maintaining the brush plate connected with its driving means;

FIG. 15 is a bottom view, with parts broken away, of

the brush driving means as seen looking from the bottom of FIG. 12 with the brush removed, showing the flanges for bayonet connection with the notched plate shown in perspective in FIG. 16;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of only the brush mounting plate, showing its bayonet connection slots or notches for cooperation with the flanged brush driving. means shown in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is an enlarged vertical section of the rear end of the L-shaped clean liquid tank, showing its top inlet FIG. 21 is a rear view of the lower portion of the machine shown in FIG. 20, with parts broken away, showing the squeegee and its mounting means;

FIG. 22 is a vertical sectional view taken along line XXIIXXII of FIG. 21 showing the squeegee mounting means;

FIG. 23 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line XXIII-XXIII of FIG. 21 showing the suction nozzle;

FIG. 24 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line XXIVXXIV of FIG. 21, showing the adjustable pivot and locking pin for varying the swath width of the squee- FIG. 25 is an enlarged vertical section through the control panel with parts broken away, showing the lever and its latching mechanism for retracting and extending the squeegee;

FIG. 26 is an enlarged vertical section through another part of the control panel with parts broken away, showing the locking mechanism for the pedal operated lever for adjusting the vertical height of the scrubbing head against the action of a spring; and

FIG. 27 is a vertical section taken along line XXVII XXVII of FIG. 26.

In order to clarify the following detailed description of the machine 50 of this invention as disclosed in the drawings, said description is divided into sections according to the following outline:

I. Chassis, power, and pump assembly (FIGS. 4, 5, 6

and 7):

A. Chassis. B. Motors. II. Scrubbing head (FIGS. 2, 3, 5 and 7 through 16):

A. Angular adjustment and connection of the scrubbing head (FIGS. 7, 8 and 9). B. Floating rotating brush driving means (FIGS.

11 and 12). C. Housing and trough (FIGS. 2, 3, 7 and 8). D. Removal brushes (FIGS. 13 through 16). III. Tank and battery assembly (FIGS. 1, 3, 5, 17, 18

and 19):

A. Frame (FIGS. 3 and 5).

B. Clean liquid tank (FIGS. 3, 5 and 17).

C. Dirty liquid tank (FIGS. 3, 5, 18 and 19).

D. Batteries (FIGS. 3 and 5).

E. Housing and hood (FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 5).

IV. Control panel (FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 20 through 27):

A. Guiding handles.

B. Retractable and adjustable squeegee (FIGS. 1,

2, 3 and 20 through 25).

C. Latch for brush pressure platform (FIGS. 26 and D. Clutch and liquid flow lever (FIGS. 1 through 8).

E. Switches (FIG. 1).

Furthermore, the four major parts I, II, III and IV according to the foregoing outline have reference characters given to their respective elements in the hundreds corresponding thereto. Thus all of the chassis, power and pump assembly parts have reference characters between 100 and 199; all of the elements of the scrubbing head have reference characters between 200 and 299; all of the elements in the tank and battery assembly have reference characters between 300 and 399; and all of the elements in the control panel have reference characters between 400 and 499.

I. CHASSIS, POWER AND PUMP ASSEMBLY A. Chassis Referring first to FIGS. 1 through 8 inclusive, the vehicle chassis or base 100 upon which the machine 50 of this invention is constructed and in which is incorporated the motors and their moving and driving parts, comprises in the specific example disclosed, a substantially rectangular frame having parallel side members 101 and 102 spaced by front, center and rear cross-members 103, 104, 105, respectively (see FIGS. 5 and 6).

Connected between the lower edges of the side panels 101 and 102 is mounted a motor mounting plate which may be fastened by ears or flanges at its corners, such as by axially aligned pairs of bolts 111 and 112 (see FIG. 4) so that by loosening one pair of bolts the plate may be pivoted around the axis of the other pair of bolts for outwardly swinging the motors mounted on the plate without completely removing the plate, for quick and easy repair and/or replacement of these motors when required.

Also between the side members 101 and 102 about centrally of the machine as a whole, and slightly forward of the center of the chassis 100, there are mounted bearings for the main support and driven shafts 121 to which the two wheels 122 are keyed. If desired, the adjacent ends of the shafts 121 may be attached through a differential mechanism 123 and/or an over-riding clutch mounted in the hubs of the wheels 122.

Below the cross-member 105 between the rear end of the plates 101 and 102 there may be provided an additional plate or member 125 (see FIGS. 5 and 6) to the under side of which may be attached, such as by bolts, a pair of casters 126 to stabilize the machine and prevent its rocking about the axles 121. These free wheeling casters 126, which follow the motion of the machine, also permit the sharp turning of the machine about one or the other of the driving wheels 122 as directed by the operator of the machine.

Forward of the chassis 100 is suspended a vertically mounted platform 130 which may have a pair of supporting pivots 131 on opposite sides thereof, which pivots 131 are connected to a pair of levers 132 pivoted at 133 to the upper forward end of the side members 101 and 102, respectively, of the chassis 100. The opposite ends of these levers 132, on the other side of the pivot 133 from the plate connecting pivots 131, are connected to a second pair of levers 135, which may be pivoted to the upper central portion of the side members 101 and 102 at 136, and may be connected together at their rear ends by a cross-member 137 from the central portion of which extends a foot pedal 138, so that downward pressure on the foot pedal 138 will cause downward movement of the platform 130 to increase the pressure on the floor of the scrubbing brushes in the scrubbing head which is mounted under the plate 130 as will be described later. The adjacent ends of the levers 132 and are connected to a pivot and slot connection 134 for transferring their respective arcuate movements about the pivots 133 and 136, respectively. In order to counter-balance the weight of the platform 130 and the head 200 attached thereto, there is provided a strong compression spring 139 (see FIG. 5 and also FIGS. 26 and 27) between the pedal 138 and the cross-member 125 at the rear of the chassis 100.

I.-B. Motors Referring to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 there is shown mounted on the motor supporting plate a main electric, preferably direct current, driving motor having a driving shaft 151 projecting from at least one end thereof, to the end of which shaft 151 may be keyed a flexible shaft which may comprise a universal joint 152 attached to square telescoping shaft sections 153 at the opposite end of which is another universal joint 154 connected to shaft 155 extending from a worm gear reduction box mounted on the platform 130. The flexible shaft 153 and universal joints 152 and 154, which joints may be jacketed in flexible boots, permit positive drive of the gear box 160 regardless of the vertical position of the platform 130 to which it is attached. Extending vertically from the bottom of the box 160 and through an aperture in the plate 130 is a releasable rotating brush driving connection comprising a bevelled edge rotating key or pin 161 (see FIGS. 4, 9, 10 and 12) concentrically of which is mounted a bayonet type ring 165 with notches 166 to which the scrubbing head 200 (described below) is removably at- 7 tached (see also FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 10). Also mounted on the under side of the plate 130 is an arcuate member 167 with V notches 168 therein, concentric of the axis of the shaft 161 and the bayonet ring 165, for the angular adjustment of the head 200 as will be described in Section II.A. below.

Also mounted on the motor shaft 151 may be a pulley 170 which may be connected by means of a flexible belt 171 to a variable diameter spreadable plate pulley 172 driving a gear reduction device 173. The speed is varied in this specific variable speed mechanism by changing the diameter of contact of the belt 171 with pulley 172 by axially moving the conical sides of the pulley 172 by varying the tension in the belt 171 through an idler pulley 174 (see FIG. 4) mounted on a lever arm 175, which idler 174 may be manually controlled by a rotatable knob 176 extending through the side member 101 of the chassis to move the lever 175 through a screw or other type of mechanical arrangement in box 177 mounted on the inside of the member 101.

Horizontally from the side of the speed reduction box 173 is shown herein a shaft 178 (see FIG. 6) upon which is mounted a clutch 180 which releases and engages sprocket gear 181 with the shaft 178 by operation of the clutch control lever 182 pivoted to supporting bracket 183 which may be connected to the supporting plate 184 connected between transverse chassis members 103 and 104. The speed reduction device or box 173 also may be mounted on this plate 184. The operation of the lever 182 may be connected by link 185, lever 186, rod 187 (see FIGS. and 6) to the rear end of the chassis 100 for connection with a manual lever 480 on the control panel as will be described later in Section 1V.D. below. The control rod 187 has a lever 188 at its rearward end and may be journalled in bearings attached near the upper edge of the side member 101.

Around the sprocket wheel 181 may be fed a sprocket chain 190 which drives sprocket wheel 191 attached to the differential 123 on the shafts 121 between said wheels 122.

There also may be mounted on the plate 110 a suction or vacuum pump 195 which may be driven, either by the motor 150 or the separate motor 196 shown. If this pump or fan is mounted on this plate 110, the suction intake 197 therefor may be connected by flexible duct 198 to the suction inlet 324 of the dirty liquid tank 320 as will be described later in Section III.B.

II. SCRUBBING HEAD A. Angular adjustment and connection of scrubbing head Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3, and 7 through 16, there is shownattached to the under side of the platform 130, a scrubbing head 200 which is both removable and angularly adjustable with respect to said platform 130 and the vehicle 100 or machine 50 of this invention. In FIGS. 9 and 10, and specifically FIG. 9, the angular adjustment of the head and its removal from the platform 130 is illustrated in the combination of connections mounted on the top of the supporting plate 201 of the elongated scrubbing head 200. Near one end of this plate 201, in this embodiment, is provided an aperture 202 (see FIGS. and 12) into which may be clamped a roller bearing 203, such as by means of bolts 204. This bearing 203 journals a stub shaft 205 having a socket 206 in its upper end with diametrically opposite ridges 207, between which the key or pin 161 of the driving mechanism 160 may easily be inserted, so that the shaft 205 is positively driven through the mechanisms previously described by the motor 150.

Concentric with the aperture 202, in the plate 201 is attached an anchoring ring 210 having three equally spaced outwardly projecting ears 211 which only axially fit into the notches 166 in the ring 165 attached to the bottom of the platform 130 when the whole scrubbing head assembly is in its directly forward position 201' shown in dashed lines in FIG. 9. In this position the arcuate member 215, which has overhanging flange 216 that engages above the flange on the arcuate member 167 mounted under the platform 130, is beyond the end of and free from the arcuate member 167 so it may be easily vertically or axially dropped or removed from or attached to the platform or machine 50. Radially outwardly from the arcuate member 215 and sliding in a slot provided in member 215 is a radially movable detent 218 which is normally urged into the notches 168 by a spring 219 around its manually operating rod 220. Thus by pulling outwardly on the rod 220 the detent 218 is removed from one of its notches 168, so that the head 200* may be angularly moved around the are 167 to fit in other detents 168 in other angular positions 201" and 201" as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 9. Thus as the vehicle or machine 50 is moved longitudinally of the position 201', different and lesser width swaths or paths are scrubbed by the head 200 in each of the different angular positions, 201, 201", and 201", respectively.

The easy removal of the scrubbing head 200, not only enables easy replacement of the floor treating means or brushes 260 described later, but also permits the machine to be pushed up steep ramps which could be prevented solely by the forward extending scrubbing head 200.

IL-B. Floating rotating brush driving means Keyed to the lower part of the stub shaft 205, which portion of the shaft may be of reduced diameter, is a plastic spur gear 225 which may be spaced from the bearing 203 by a washer 226 (see FIG. 12). Below the gear 225, the shaft 205 may be threaded at 227 for attachment of a clamping diso 228 threaded thereon and fixed to the spur gear 225 by means of three equally spaced bolts 229, which also may attach below the disc 228 a flexible annulus or ring 230, which ring 230 in turn supports by three additionally equally spaced bolts 231, a brush connecting means or disc 235, having three lower outwardly projecting ears 236 (see FIG. 15) to which the removable brushes or floor treating means 260 are connected. The flexible ring 230 thus permits the floor treating means 260 to wobble as it is rotated so as to follow any irregularities in the contour of the floor, thus the ring 230 forms a universal type joint between the driving shaft 205 and the brush or rotating floor treating means 260.

According to the embodiment of this invention illustrated herein, there are provided two of these floor treating means or rotating brushes 260 in the head 200 mounted under the plate 201, the other one of which is mounted on a stub shaft 245 (see FIG. 8) extending through a second aperture 246 in plate 201, and mounted in bearing 247 on the top of said plate. Through the support of this bearing 247 may be provided a transverse hole 248 for guiding the pull rod 220 of the detent 218. Similarly as for stub shaft 205, the stub shaft 245 has attached thereto a plastic spur gear 250 which is geared through two additional intermediate plastic idler gears 251 and 252 along a line connecting the axes of the two shafts 205 and 245, mounted to rotate freely on correspondingly fixed stub shafts 253 and 254, respectively, which may be screwed into the plate 201. Since these gears 225, 250, 251 and 252 are all of the same size and are all of plastic, no lubrication for them is required and they are not affected by any solution or water which may be splashed on them during the scrubbing operation of the machine. Furthermore, since they do not require any lubrication, no oil leaks or spots will be dropped from them upon the floor. The lower end of the shaft 245 is similarly provided with a universal joint comprising a disc 228, connecting means 235, and an intermediate flexible ring 230, as previously described for the shaft 205, so that a similar rotating treating means or scrubbing brush 260 may be readily removably mounted thereon. This second floor treating means or brush 260 is correspondingly positively driven by the driving mechanism from gear box 160 on top of the platform 130 through means of the plastic gears 225, 252, 251 and 250 in sequence, and also is driven in the opposite direction to the brush 260 mounted axially below the shaft 205.

II.C. Housing and trough Over the top of the head 200 and extending out around over the edges of the brushes 260 may be a reinforced fiber glass plastic cover or housing 255, having a peripheral skirt 256 of flexible material surrounding the edges of the rotating treating means or brushes 260 to prevent splash therefrom. Provided in the top of the housing 255 is a trough 257 which extends arcuately partly around the axis of the shaft 205 and then longitudinally of the head 200 a little over half the length of its rear side soas to connect with a central downwardly extending drain or duct 258 shown in FIG. 8, from which two spouts 259 extend towards and over each of the brushes 260. This trough 257 may be filled with a cleaning solution or liquid from a controlled outlet duct 319 from the clean tank 310 as will be described below in Section III.B. By locating the outlet of this duct 310 sufliciently above the arc portion of the trough 257, the head 200 may be raised and lowered with the platform 130 and rotated with respect thereto without requiring a flexible hose toconnect with the head 200, which would have to be disconnected each time the head 200 was removed. Furthermore since the duct 319 discharges into the arcuate portion of the trough 257, it can continuously supply liquid to the duct 258 and nozzles 259 regardless of the angular position of the head 200.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 7 the outer foremost corner of the housing 255 of the scrubbing head may be provided with a bumper 290 as shown in FIG. 1 and/or a contact roller 291 as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 7. Thus when the extending brush head 200 is bumped too hard against a wall, the detent 218 will release from its notch 168 against the action of spring 219, and permit the head 200 to move rearwardly underneath the forward end of the machine, so that a bumper 370 on or mounted on the front end thereof will absorb the shock of any collision and prevent damage to the head 200.

II.-D. Removable brushes Referring now more specifically to FIGS. 12 through 16, each of the rotating floor treating means or brushes 260 is provided with a connecting plate member 265 shown in perspective in FIG. 16, which is annular in shape and has projecting below it three stops or lugs 266, 267 and 268. Spaced 60 from each of these lugs are notches 269 through which the flanges 236 on the driving plate 235 axially fit for easy removing and attaching and/or replacing of the brushes 260. When the brushes 260 are attached, they are rotated until its flanges 236 contact the lugs 266, 267 and 268, respectively. One of the lugs 268 herein may be of slightly lesser width and have attached thereto a brush maintaining leaf spring 270, such as by means of a screw 271 threaded into the lug 267, which spring 270 may have bent ends 272 for snapping in and retaining the other side of the one flange 236 adjacent the lug 268. Thus a positive rotating force is necessary in order to release the brush from its driving means 235, and the spring 270 maintains it in connection with the driving means 235 for all normal operations of the machine and the brushes. Attached to the outwardly extending flange 275 of the connecting plate 265, such as by means of screws 276, may be the body portion 280 of the brush which holds the floor treating means, such as the brush bristles 281 shown in FIGS. 8 and 10.

Instead of the leaf spring 270 shown in FIGS. 12, 13 and 14, there may be provided an arcuate or ring type spring 290 as shown in FIG. 10 attached to the ends of .10 the lugs 266, 267 and 268, such as by means of screws 291, which spring 290 has upwardly extending ridges 292 for maintaining the lugs 236 adjacent the lugs 266, 267 and 268 of the driving means 235.

III. TANK AND BATTERY ASSEMBLY A. Frame Referring first to FIGS. 3 and 5 there is shown tank and battery assembly frame 300 comprising a bottom rectangular frame 301 which extends out beyond the rectangular top of the chassis formed by the side mem bers 101 and 102. The frame 300 is provided with corner upright members 302 at its forward end, and upright members 303 at its rearward end which herein extend about twice as high as the forward members 302 and are connected to the top of the forward members 302 through two pairs of horizontal angles or slide rails 305. Between the rectangular frame 301 and the rails 305 there is provided a longitudinal space into which the longer side of a pair of similar L-shaped tanks 310 and 320, may be slid from the rear of the machine. These tanks 310 and 320 are preferably made of translucent reinforced plastic, such as high impact polystyrene. The rear ends of these tanks 310 and 320 are more clearly shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, respectively.

III.B. Clean liquid tank The tank 310 is herein the clean liquid tank, which should be filled with liquid up into its upper L-shaped end 311 as shown by liquid level 312 in FIG. 17, so as to reduce sloshing of the liquid in the tank. The inlet for this tank 310 is provided in the top of this L-shaped portion 311, such as by a funnel member 312, which may have a screen or filter 313 in its bottom. This funnel member 312 fits up under the top outer housing portion 314 shown in FIG. 5 so that the tank 310 may be filled with liquid from the outside and top of the machine 50.

In the rear side of the tank 310 at its bottom is provided an outwardly projecting neck portion 315 into which is located a plug 316 which may be removed for draining and/or cleaning the tank 310. Into the end of this plug 316 is provided an outlet duct 317 which extends to valve 318 (see FIGS. 1 and 2) and thence to duct 319 to discharge into the trough 257 as shown in FIG. 8 of the head 200 for supplying liquid cleaning solution to the treating or brushing members 260 as described above in Section II.C.

III.C. Dirty liquid tank The other or dirty liquid tank 320, of similar shape and construction to tank 310, has on its upper L-shaped section 321 as shown in FIGS. 18 and 19, a removable cover 322 which may be fastened by thumb screws 323. This cover 322 may contain an L-shaped suction inlet duct 324 connected to the flexible hose 198 to the suction pump 195. However, the suction pump or fan and its separate motor may be mounted in this cover 322 instead and thereby eliminate the necessity of the hose 198, without departing from the scope of this invention. Thus this tank is maintained under vacuum or reduced pressure so that it will suck up dirty liquid from the floor as it is collected by the squeegee 410 to be described later in Section IV.-B. To this squeegee 410 is connected a flexible suction duct 325 from a dirty fluid inlet connection 326, located also in the upper section 321 of this tank 320 above the normal liquid level 327 therein. Depending from the cover 322 there may be provided a cylindrical filter screen 330 inside of which may be mounted a suction cut-off valve 331 controlled by a float 332 suspended from the valve by a rod 333 (see FIG. 18). Thus if the liquid in the dirty tank comes above a certain level so that it might be drawn into the pump 195, the float 332 will be raised by the liquid level to close the valve 331 against the suction inlet 324 to prevent contamination of the pump by the dirty liquid. This stops the drawing up of liquid from 1 l the floor so the operator will know the dirty tank 320 is full and should be drained.

Similarly as for tank 310, tank 320 has an outwardly projecting portion 335 from the rear of the tank near its bottom, into which may be provided a pull-out type plug or drain valve 336, as shown in FIG. 18, for the ready draining of the dirty liquid from the tank 320 outside the rear of the machine 50 into any container, sump or sewer.

If the machine is to be used as a dry vacuum cleaning machine, the filter screen 330 around the liquid level cutofif valve 331 may be surrounded with a fabric or other vacuum type air filter sack or bag 340, as shown in FIG. 18, and when the drain valve plug 336 is closed, dirt sucked in by the vacuum pump 195 Will accumulate in the bottom of the tank 320 and around the outside of the filter screen 330. When the tank 320 becomes full of dirt, it may be cleaned out by loosening of the thumb screw 323 to remove the filter sack 340 from the top of the tank, and .the bottom of the tank may be cleaned out by completely removing the drain plug valve 336.

III.D. Batteries Referring back to FIGS. 3 and 5, there are shown located in the angle portion of the L-shaped tanks 310 and 320, along and supported by the pairs of rails 305, electric accumulators or batteries 350, for which there is sufii-' cient room for as many as six. These batteries supply power for the motors 150 and 196 and are connected through electrical switches mounted in the control panel 400 which will be described later in Section IV.E.

III.E. Housing and hood Over the top of the tank and battery assembly frame 300 there may be provided a smooth and decorative housing 360 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the upper forward portion of which may be removable therefrom as a hood or cover 361, which separates from the lower part of the housing along the line 362 shown in FIG. 1. The forward end of the hood 361 may be pivoted to the center rails 305 by a lever 365 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, and the center of the hood may be pivoted near the upper end of the rear frame portion 303, such as to members 366, by a pair of side levers 367, in such a manner that when the hood 361 is raised it will be moved rearwardly over the upper rear portion of the assembly 300 to expose the top of all the batteries 350 for easy access, removal, replacement and/or servicing. If desired, the instructions for connecting of the batteries 350 may be provided on a flag (not shown) that is connected to the forward lever 365 and is easily visible when the hood 361 is in its raised position. The upper portion of the housing 360 may be provided with a removable plate 380 (see FIGS. 1 and 5) which contains the funnel shaped member 314 and which may also have a handle 381 for the removal of this plate for easy access to the thumb screws 323 for removal of the filter bag 340 in the dirty liquid tank 320, without having to remove the rear panel and slide out the L- shaped tank 320 from the rear end of the machine 50.

IV. CONTROL PANEL A. Guiding handles Referring first again to FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, there is shown attached to the rear upright frame members 303 at their upper end a control panel 400 and extending further rearwardly and outwardly therefrom a pair of operator steering and guiding handles 401 which may be rigidly attached to the frame members 303.

IV.B. Retractable and adjustable squeegee Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 20 through 25, there are shown details of the adjustable and retractable squeegee 410 which comprises a transverse member 411 (see FIGS. 20 and 21) having a rearwardly depending flange 412 extending at an obtuse angle from its apex 413 which is offset from the center of the machine. Above this apex 413 is provided the outlet for the suction nozzle 414 (see FIG. 23) having an elongated opening 415 which extends along most of the forward side of the flange 412. The outlet 414 is connected by means of flexible duct 325 extending to the suction inlet of the dirty tank 320. Depending from the rearward side of the flange 412 is a flexible squeegee or floor wiping strip420, such as of rubber, which is releasably or replaceably attached to said flange 412, such as by means of rivets or screws 421. At the shorter end of the member 411 from its obtuse angle apex 413, may be provided an arcuate portion 425 having a pivot 426 at its center, and a radially spaced hole 427 through which is mounted a spring urged detent or pin 430 manually retractable by a handle into a series of holes 431 located in an are equally radially spaced from the pivot 426 in a pivoted extension 435 of the squeegee 411. This extension 435 has attached thereto a similar flexible strip or squeegee wiper 436 to that of the squeegee strip 420. This extension 435 is adapted to be set by detent 430 into dash-lined position 435' and 435" as shown in FIG. 10 which correspond to the different width of the swaths provided by the angular adjustment of the scrubbing head 200 as shown in FIG. 9.

Centrally of the member 411 there may be provided a pair of parallel upstanding flanges 440 (see FIG. 21) between which may be provided a pivot pin 441 which is connected to a rocker plate 442 urged in a position parallel to the member 411 by a pair of springs 443 between the top of the member 411 and the ends of the plate 442. Connected to the ends of this rocker plate 442 is a pair of vertical connecting rods 444 each of which may extend through a pair of apertured guiding flanges 445 mounted on a cover plate attached to the rear of the chassis 100. The rocker plate 442 is maintained in equilibrium between the lower apertured flanges 445 by means of an additional pair of springs 446. The upper ends of this pair of guide rods 444 may be connected to a cross-member 447, to the center of which is connected a pull rod 448 to an operating lever 450 shown in FIG. 25 extending from the top of the control panel 400, or, if desired, the pull rod 448 may be extended downwardly and connected directly to the rocker plate 442, eliminating the necessity for the cross-member 447.

The handle 450 is connected to a lever 451 which may be pivoted at either one of its ends, such as at 452, to

a bracket attached to the rear frame upright member 303, and at its other end 449 to the pull rod 448. This handle 450 herein is shown to have a locking sleeve 453 slidable there along which cooperates with a forked member 454, also mounted on the frame member 303. Thus when the handle 450 is pulled rearwardly so that the'sleeve 453 may be raised as shown in the dashed lines in position 450' in FIG. 25, the lever and handle 450 can then rock forwardly and be straddled by the fork 454 with the sleeve 453 resting on the top of the fork to maintain the squeegee 410 in its raised position spaced from the floor. On the other hand when the squeegee 420 is to be lowered, the handle 450 is placed in its full line position shown in FIG. 25, and it is maintained there by abutment of the ends of the fork 454 against the lower end of the sleeve 453. The springs 446 and 443 at the lower end of the squeegee supporting means, through the pivot 441 connected to the squeegee mounting member 411, permit the squeegee 410 to rock to compensate for any irregularities in the floor over which it and the machine travels.

IV.C. Latch for brush pressure platform As previously described the rear foot lever or pedal 138, acting against the spring 139 mounted on the plate 125 as described in Section I.-A. above, may be retained in any of ts pressure setting positions by means of the different teeth on the pivoted locking cam 460 shown in FIGS. 26 and 27. This cam 460 may be fixedly pivoted at 461 to the rear cross-member 105 of the chassis and operated through pivoted connection 462 in the slot 463 provided in arm 464 connected to the end of rod 465 which extends to lever 466 of the manual lever 470 on the control panel 400. This lever 466 may be pivoted at either one of its ends, such as at 467, to a bracket on the member 303 and, at its other end 468 to rod 465. Thus as foot pressure is applied to the pedal or foot lever 138, it may be locked in position by the adjustment of the handle 470 into one of the dotted line positions 470, 470 and 470" as shown in FIG. 26, thus maintaining different vertical distances of the head 200 from the front end of the machine to apply diflerent pressures of the floor treating equipment to the floor over which the machine travels.

lV.-D. Clutch and liquid flow levers Another manual lever 475 on the control panel 400 (see FIGS. 1, 2 and may be pivoted to a lever 476 mounted to the frame member 303, and connected by means of a push and pull rod 477 to operate the valve 318 which controls the amount of liquid that can flow from the clean tank onto the brushes through the ducts 317 and 319, trough 257, duct 258, and nozzles 259.

Still another manual lever 480 is located on the control panel 400 which also may be connected through a pivoted lever 481 to pull rod 484 which connects to lever 188 for operating the clutch 180. This control extends through shaft 187, lever 186, rod 185, and lever 182 to engage and disengage the drive for the wheels 122 for the movement of the machine 50 over the floor.

IV.E. The switches As shown in FIG. 1, the control panel 400 is also provided with one or more electrical switches 490, 491 and 492, which may be employed, respectively, for turning on the motors 150, 196 and re-setting the circuit breaker for the electric power from the batteries 350.

The control panel also may, if desired, contain a battery generator indicator dial 495, as well as a plate 496 which contains instructions as to the operation of the device and sequence in which to operate the manual levers and switches; all in plain and easy view of the operator of the vehicle who guides the machine 50 by holding onto the guiding handles 401 adjacent to the control panel 400.

While there is described above the principles of this invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A floor treatment machine comprising:

(1) a wheeled vehicle,

(2) an angularly adjustable elongated floor treating head mounted on said vehicle,

(3) at least two rotating floor treating means mounted along said head,

(4) means on said vehicle for driving said rotating treating means, and

(5) a pivotal connection between said head and said vehicle comprising:

(a) key and socket means for connecting said driving means to said rotating and treating means, and

(b) arcuate means coaxial with and around said key and socket means for angularly adjusting and supporting said head relative to the path of movement of said vehicle for varying the width of the swath made by said treating head as said vehicle is moved along a path.

2. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said wheeled vehicle comprises a pair of wheels relatively centrally located of said vehicle, whereby turns of relatively short radius of said vehicle can be made.

3. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said head is mounted beneath one end of said vehicle and is angularly projectable beyond the borders of said vehicle.

4. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said vehicle includes a platform mounted forwardly of said wheels, and means for adjusting said platform vertically with respect to said vehicle.

5. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said floor treating means includes means for flexibly mounting said rotating treating means whereby they follow the irregularities of the floor.

6. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said floor treating means include means for separately removing them from said head.

7. A machine according to claim 1 including plastic gears for driving said rotating treating means.

8. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said means for rotating said treating means includes electric batteries and an electric motor driven thereby.

9. A machine according to claim 8 wherein said motor means is mounted on a plate pivotally mounted to said vehicle.

10. A floor treating machine according to claim 1 wherein said vehicle includes a vertically movable platform attached thereto for mounting said head, and wherein said means for rotating said scrubbers includes a flexible shaft connection to said platform.

11. A machine according to claim 10 wherein said flexible connection includes a telescopic shaft.

12. A machine according to claim 1 including means on said vehicle connected to said head for adjusting the pressure of said head on said floor.

13. A machine according to claim 12 including locking means on said vehicle for locking said head in its adjusted position relative to said vehicle and said floor.

14. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said vehicle includes (a) a platform pivotally connected thereto,

(b) means on said vehicle for adjusting said platform vertically with respect to said floor and said vehicle,

(0) resilient means for applying downward pressure on said platform connected to said adjustment means,

(d) means associated with said arcuate means for removably attaching said head to said platform, said pivotal connection for angularly adjusting said head being between said platform and said head.

15. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said wheeled vehicle comprises a vehicle driving wheel, and wherein said driving means for rotating said treating means includes means for driving said driving wheel.

16. A machine according to claim 15 wherein said driving means comprises a motor means and a clutch means between said driving wheel and said motor means.

17. A machine according to claim 16 wherein said driving means includes means for reducing the speed of said motor means.

18. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said pivotal connection includes spring pressed detent means for angularly adjusting said head from said vehicle.

19. A machine according to claim 1 wherein said socket in said pivotal connection has two inwardly tapered ridges and said key is bevelled and is engageable with said ridges.

20. A machine according to claim 1 including an adjustable width floor squeegee mounted on said vehicle.

21. A machine according to claim 20 wherein said vehicle includes means for retracting said squeegee vertically relative to the floor.

22. A machine according to claim 1 including means for applying liquid to said treating means regardless of the angular position of said head.

23. A machine according to claim 22 wherein said liquid applying means comprises a trough in said head extending along said head and arcuate of said pivot-a1 connection thereof.

tion means, means for attaching said suction means to one of said two tanks and a float valve in said one tank adjacent said suction connection thereto.

28. A machine according to claim 24 including a squeegee mounted on said vehicle, and wherein said suction tank includes an intake duct extending to the forward side of said squeegee.

29. A machine according to claim 24 including means for varying the flow of liquid from said tank means.

30. A machine according to' claim 1 wherein said arcuate means includes means for separating said head from said vehicle.

31. A floor treating machine comprising:

(1) a power unit comprising (a) a base frame,

(b) two supporting wheels mounted between the ends of said frame,

(c) a driving means,

(d) a platform connected to said unit movable vertically relative to said unit, and

(e) a flexible driving connection between said driving means and said platform;

(2) a removable floor treating head comprising:

(a) at least two rotating floor treating means,

(b) an arcuate means pivotally connecting said head to said platform for angularly adjusting and supporting said head relative to said platform, and

(c) a separable socket means axial of said arcuate means for connecting said driving means to said treating means;

(3) an upper frame mounted on said unit comprising:

(a) electric power source for said driving means,

and (b) a hinged cover for said power source; and

(4) a control assembly connected on said upper frame comprising:

ing means, and the position of said platformrelative to said unit, and (b) handles for guiding said machine. 7

32. A machine according to claim 31 wherein said power unit includes variable speed control means connected between said driving means and said flexible driven connection to said platform.

33. A machine according to claim 31 wherein said power unit includes a vacuum pump and power means for driving said pump.

34. A machine according to claim 31 wherein said arcuate means includes spring actuated detent means for adjusting the angularity of said head with respect to said platform.

35. A machine according to claim 31 including a squeegee means attached to said machine.

36. A machine according to claim 35 including lever means on said control panel for retracting said squeegee means.

37. A machine according to claim 31 wherein said upper frame includes a pair of L-shaped tanks, and said power source comprise batteries located in the angle of said tanks.

38. A machine according to claim 37 including a suction means attached to one of said tanks, a squeegee means mounted on said frame following said treating means, and means for connecting said one tank to the forward side of said squeegee means.

39. A machine according to claim 38 wherein said control panel includes means for varying the flow of liquid from the other of said tanks to said floor treating head.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,579,509 4/ 1926 Brown 1582 2,876,484 3/ 1959 Wells 15-401 X 2,969,557 1/1961 Peterson 15-320 X 3,082,465 3/1963 Wood 15353 X FOREIGN PATENTS 609,427 11/ 1960 Canada.

24,821 10/1909 Great Britain.

ROBERT w. MICHELL, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/320, 15/353, 15/340.3, 15/50.1, 37/3
International ClassificationA47L11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47L11/4044, A47L11/4005, A47L11/4083, A47L11/4088, A47L11/00, A47L11/4038, A47L11/4061
European ClassificationA47L11/40F2, A47L11/40B2, A47L11/40N2, A47L11/40N6, A47L11/40F6, A47L11/40H, A47L11/00