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Publication numberUS3292379 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1966
Filing dateMar 5, 1962
Priority dateMar 5, 1962
Publication numberUS 3292379 A, US 3292379A, US-A-3292379, US3292379 A, US3292379A
InventorsJames L Mcelvany
Original AssigneeJames L Mcelvany
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pipe laying apparatus
US 3292379 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 20, 1966 McELVANY 3,292,379

PIPE LAYING APPARATUS Filed March 5, 1962 2 Sheets-Shee t 1 77/2 WESSUZE JQMES 4. 44662. l/flA/ INVENTOR.

1554/08/66 6 STOLZV Ira. J.

,UTTOQ/VEVS United States Patent 3,292,379 PIPE LAYING APPARATUS James L. McElvany, P.O. Box 818, El Centro, Calif. 92243 Filed Mar. 5, 1962, Ser. No. 177,281 9 Claims. (Cl. 61-725) This invention relates to devices for laying underground pipe lines, and more particularly to equipment for laying pipe to grade, i.e. accurately along a prescribed grade line.

In the past, the laying of pipe to grade, e.g. to within a fraction of an inch, has been diflicult if not impossible to achieve under many different sets of conditions.

The apparatus of the present invention overcomes this and other disadvantages of the prior art by providing means to orient the pipe or the pipe laying apparatus itself, or both of them. Thus, rapid and accurate corrections may be made and pipe thereby laid to grade.

In accordance with a feature of the present invention, a construction is provided in pipe laying apparatus including a trench digging machine or trencher and a pipe laying crib to follow in the trench dug by the machine. [0 enable the crib to follow the machine within a close tolerance of grade, adjustment of the angular position of the crib is made by a pivotal connection of the crib with the trenching machine. The position of the crib is determined by the use of sight bars mounted at each end of the crib, which bars are aligned with stationary sights set to project the prescribed grade line. Thus, the floor of the crib is held parallel to a prescribed grade.

Notwithstanding that such sight bars may be employed, a difliculty in laying pipe to grade may still be encountered because dirt from the earth moving parts or bucket line of the trencher will feed under the crib when the front end thereof is tilted upwardly in an attitude at an angle relative to a prescribed grade line. In such a case, a simple angular adjustment of the crib position will not compensate for any error in the average vertical height of the crib unless the dirt collected under the front end of the crib is removed therefrom. That is, the entire crib will ride up on this dirt to a height well above the prescribed grade line since the crib can only follow the trencher in and rest on the bottom of the excavated ditch even if the ditch effectively bottoms on top of the mound of dirt under the front end of the crib.

In order to overcome the problem of the crib riding up over the top of the dirt mound dropped by the bucket line and in order to hold the crib otherwise parallel to a prescribed grade line during cave-ins and operations in materials having other irregularities, in accordance with the present invention a plow blade mounted on the crib at the forward lower end thereof may be employed to overcome this difiiculty. In such a case, the lower end of the blade may be located in a position projecting eX- teriorly of the crib. Means for adjusting the vertical position of the blade may also be provided. Such means, in turn, can thereby control the position of the crib in the trench within narrow vertical limits. In this case, the crib may be adjusted to a position parallel to a grade line by plowing the bottom of the trench, as required.

In accordance with a feature of the present invention, another construction may be provided in addition to or in lieu of that described above including reciprocable means in the crib for engaging the end of a pipeline to maintain the same longitudinal compression, and elevator means in the crib for adjusting the vertical position of the reciprocable means in the crib. Thus, the position of the pipe in the crib may be adjusted to within narrow limits in a manner similar to that in which the pipe may be laid to grade within narrow limits by adjusting the vertical position of the blade as the crib follows the trench digging machine in the trench.

The above described and other advantages of the present invention will be better understood from the following description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings, which are to be regarded as merely illustrative FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of pipe laying apparatus constructed in accordance With the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of a pipe laying crib;

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional View of the rearward portion of the crib shown in FIG. 3 at the left end thereof as viewed in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional View of the crib shown in FIG. 3 looking rearwardly therein; and

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of air and hydraulic systems which may be employed with the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5 inclusive.

In the drawings in FIG. 1, a trench digging machine is indicated generally at 10 connected to which is a pipe laying crib 11, crib 11 being pivoted at a horizontal pin 12 from a set of beams 13 which forms a part of the machine 10. Crib 11 is pivoted about pin 12 by a pair of hydraulic rams 14 extending from the set of beams 13 to the top of the crib 11. Except for the pivotal connection at 12 and the hydraulic rams 14 and one at 14' to move a linkage L, trench digging machine 10 may be conventional.

Machine 10 digs a trench by the use of buckets 15 which are carried by a chain and sprocket drive assembly 16 to a position overlying a transverse conveyor belt 17. Conveyor belt 17 transfers earth at 18 to a longitudinal conveyor belt, not shown, in an assembly 19 supported by a boom 20 on machine 10. Earth 18 is then eventually dumped into the trench behind crib 11 as at 21, from the left end of assembly 19 as viewed in FIG. 1.

Beams 13 may be provided at each side of crib 11 and welded together. Cross beams, not shown, may connect each identical set 13 at any point of intersection with any one of the beams with another.

The apparatus contained in crib 11 other than the improvements of the present invention operates in a manner similar to that disclosed in US. Patent No. 2,830,548. Some of the apparatus exterior of crib 11, shown in FIG. 1, also may be similar to and have a similar function to that disclosed in the said patent. In particular, a hopper 22 is shown in FIG. 1 which may perform the same function as hopper 41 shown in FIG. 1 of said patent. A cable assembly may be provided as indicated at 23 above crib 11 to lower pipe sections such as pipe section 24 shown in FIG. 1 downwardly inside crib 11.

To lay pipe to grade, a trench is excavated by machine 10 by using a digging sight S1. The trench, as nearly as it is possible to do so, is excavated parallel to a prescribed grade line. Sight S1 which is shown in FIG. 1, is aligned with grade projected by stationary sights S2 and S3. The crib 11 follows machine closely in the trench with sights S and S aligned with sights S2 and S3. With this method, it is possible to lay pipe to grade and with an error not exceeding :.05 foot. In order to lay pipe to grade, a comparison of a marker fixed to crib 11 is also made to the position of a string 26 on stakes 27, which string is pulled tightly parallel to a prescribed grade line as indicated at 28. The function of marker 25 is likewise illustrated in FIG. 2.

Further, accurate indication of the height of pipe line and the trench excavated by machine 10 is made by connection of a linkage 44 shown in FIG. 3 connected to an arm 70 to be described hereinafter. The upper end of linkage 44 is shown in FIG. 2. A cross arm 70 is connected to linkage 44 at a universal joint 71. Cross arm 70 is provided with a counterweight 73 at its left end. Cross arm 70 is provided with a vertical bar 74 and a horizontal bar 75 fixedly connected thereto, plumb bob 25 being suspended from horizontal bar 75 on a string 76. Their use of universal joint 71 makes the indication of the height of lower end of plumb bob 25 above string 26 accurate within a few hundredths of a foot, even though crib 11 may be inclined to the left or to the right as viewed in FIG. 2. Linkage 44 is vertically slidable in a tube 75' that, in turn, is pivoted about a horizontal axis 76 through cn'b 11.

As gravel is located at 21 in FIG. 1 of said patent, so gravel 29 is located around pipeline 30 as shown in FIG. 1, gravel being deposited in hopper 22 and falling through conduits 31 therefrom as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to a position overlying the pipeline 30. I

As has been explained, the invention includes the alternative or simultaneous use of a plow blade and a vertical adjustment of pipeline compression sustaining means. Both of these functions are performed by apparatus actuable through the operation of valves 32 and 33 shown in FIGS. 1 and 6.

The plow blade of the present invention is illustrated at 34 in FIG. 3 slidably supported between plates 35 and 36 fixed with crib 11. The vertical position of plow blade 34 is adjusted by a ram 37 operated by means of valve 32. Ram 37 is pivoted at its lower end 38 to crib 11 and at its upper end to an ear 39 fixed with blade 34. It can be seen that the level of the earth in the trench dug by machine 10 and 40 is determined by the vertical adjustment of blade 34 in conjunction with the angular position of the crib.

As shown in FIG. 3, a linkage 85 is connected from the upper end of blade 34 and is guided for movement in a vertical plane parallel to the front of crib 11 by pins 86 extending therethrough and into slots 87 in a bracket 88 fixed to a side wall of crib 11. The upper end of linkage 85 is shown in FIG. 1 having an index at 89 thereon for comparison with indicia 90 on a strip 91 fixed to crib 11 in order for an operator seated at 92 on machine 10 to determine the position of blade 34 relative to crib 11.

When crib 11 follows machine 10 in the trench, pipeline 30 is maintained continuously in compression. This is done by a centrally located ram 41 and by a pair of rams 42, each of the rams 42 being positioned adjacent the longitudinal walls of the crib 11. Ram 41 is supported at 43 in a substantially fixed position relative to crib 11, ram 41 including a cylinder 45 containing a piston, not shown, and a piston rod 46 connected to the piston, a plate 47, in turn, being connected to piston rod 46 to bear against the end of the pipeline 30.

A section of pipe is placed at approximately the right end of the pipeline 30 in FIG. 3 when the crib 11 is in approximately the position shown therein relative to the section of pipe at the right end of the line 30. Crib 11 then moves to the right relative to ground level and when crib 11 moves to the right a distance approximately equal to the length of the section of the pipe. A pair of arms indicated at 48 and 49 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 are actuattinuously in compression by forcing arms 48 and 49 against the exterior of the pipe wall adjacent thereto.

Arms 48 and 49 are fixed with support means 50 that are moved rearwardly in a framework 51 by means of rams 42.

Pipeline 30 is supported in crib 11 by a beam 52 which is pivoted at 53 to the bottom of crib 11. Beam 53 is arcuate in shape as indicated in FIG. 5. The rearward end of beam 52 is supported by a hydraulic ram 54. Ram 54 lifts beam 52 by connection with a pair of rear posts 55 through which cylindrical shaft 56 projects. is connected to crib 11 at 57 and to shaft 56 at 58. Framework 51 is not only provided with rear posts 55, but also with a pair of forward posts 59 shown in both FIGS. 3 and 4, each of which posts has an L-shaped cross section. Framework 51 also includes two rods 60 and 61 of circular cross section above and below which two pairs of upper and lower rollers 62 and 63 respectively fit to guide longitudinal movement of support means 50 in framework 51. Rods 60 and 61 and rollers 62 and 63 are perhaps best shown in FIG. 5. Framework 51 is further rigidly held together by a pair of horizontal angle irons 51' connected from front posts 59 to rear posts 55.

Support means 50 includes end plates 93 and 94 of a front elevational shape indicated at 94 shown in FIG. 5. In particular, end plates 93 and 94 have an arcuate slot cut therethrough to receive the bell end of a section of pipe. A top plate 96 is fixed relative to end plates 93 and 94. A pair of side plates 97 are fixed relative to end plates 1 9'3 and 94 and top plate 96. The same is true of a pair of side plates 98. Support means 50 is provided with a pair of bearings 99. A shaft 64 is rotatable in these bearings 99. Bearings 99 are preferably welded in between side plates 97. A similar pair of bearings are fixed relative to and in between side plates 98, bearings 100 1 being provided for a vertical cylindrical shaft 65.

Rollers 62 and 63 are respectively supported on steel plates 101 and 102 welded to end plates 93 and 94. It is a feature of the present invention that the rollers 62 and 63 have a concave curvature, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5,

' to fit the cylindrical surface of rods 60 and 61. In particular, such an arrangement prevents rollers 62 and 63 from binding upon rods 60 and 61, should framework 51 twist to the left or to the right as viewed from the right end thereof in FIG. 3 when pipeline 30 is being held in compression.

Arms 48 and 49 are rotatable by shafts 64 and 65 respectively to which crank arms 66 and 67 respectively are connected. Crank arms 67 and 69 are fixed relative to each other. Crank arms 66 and 67 are connected by a linkage 68 as shown in FIG. 4. A ram 72 is connected from crank arm 66 to crank arm 69.

A pair of spring biased rollers 77 carried by an arm 78 ride on top of the pipeline 30, arm 78 being pivoted at 79 as shown in FIG. 3 and biased in a counterclockwise direction by a spring 80. Support means 50 is forced rearwardly in crib 11 by the operation of rams 42 including piston rods 81 fixed to pistons, not shown, in cylinders 82 of rams 42. Rams 42 are connected at. their forward ends 83 to crib 11.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that support 43 for ram 41 need not be fixed to crib 11 but may be fixed to beam 52.

The operation of rams 37, 41, 42, 54 and 72 is perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 6.

All the rams may be operated by single control indicated at 84 in both FIGS. 3 and 6 with the exception of rams 37 and 54. Control 84 may be a multiposition control similar to that disclosed in said patent. In general, control 84 operates rams 41, 42 and 72 in a manner such Ram 54 i that pipeline 30 is placed in compression by the force of plate 47 'thereagainst. After crib 11 has moved a distance from that shown in FIG. 3, rams 42 and 72 are operated to cause arms 48 and 49 to bear against the exterior surface of a pipe section adjacent thereto and to force support means 50 rearwardly in crib 11. Next, piston rod 46 is withdrawn to the position shown in FIG. 3 or to a position farther to the right as viewed in FIG. 3, and a pipe section is placed between the end of pipeline 30 and plate 47 Ram 41 is'again actuated to place pipeline 30 in compression by pressure of plate 47 thereagainst. After pipeline 30 is placed in compression by actuation of ram 41, rams 42 and 72 then may be operated to release arms 48 and 49 from thepipeline and to withdraw support' means 50 to its forward limit of travel within framework 51. The operation just described is then repeated until the pipeline is completed.

While the trench digging machine and the pipe laying apparatus in crib 11 are operated, valves 32 and 33 may be operated, whereby pipeline 30 may be layed to grade. I In particular, note will be taken that the operation of rams 14 and the operation of ram 37 may be employed to control the orientation of crib 11. In addition, the orientation of pipeline 30 in crib 11 may be controlled by adjustment of valve 33. Rapid and accurate corrections to an erroneous pipe or crib position may thus be made. Although it is not necessarily the case, both rams 37 and 54 may be hydraulically rather than pneumatically operated.

Only one specific embodiment of the invention has been shown and described. However, many changes and modifications thereof will of course suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. The invention is thus not to be limited to the embodiment disclosed herein, since the embodiment selected for disclosure has been only for the purpose of illustration, the true scope of the invention being defined only in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

I. In pipe laying apparatus including a trench digging machine, the combination comprising: a pipe laying crib; a substantially fiat rectangular blade mounted on said crib at the forward lower end thereof in a position such that the lower end of said blade projects exteriorly of said crib; and a fluid pressure actuable ram for adjusting the vertical position of said blade to control the posi tion of said crib in the trench within narrow vertical limits.

2. Pipe laying apparatus comprising: a trench digging machine; a pipe laying crib pivoted to the rearward end of said machine; means to adjust the angular position of said crib about said pivot; a substantially flat rectangular blade mounted on said crib at the forward lower end thereof in a position such that the lower end of said blade projects exteriorly of said crib; and a fluid pressure actuable ram for adjusting the vertical position of said blade to control the position of said crib in the trench within narrow vertical limits.

3. In pipe laying apparatus including a trench digging machine, the combination comprising: a pipe laying crib; a beam positioned longitudinally along the bottom of said crib to support pipe sections, said beam being pivoted about a horizontal axis at its forward end; a framework fixed to the rearward end of said beam in a position thereover; support means movable rearwardly on said framework; selectively actuable means fixed with said support means for engaging a section of pipe; power means for moving said support means rearwardly in said crib to force a section of pipe against the end of an established pipeline to maintain the same in longitudinal compression; and means to adjust the Vertical position of said framework relative to the crib.

4. In pipe laying apparatus including a trench digging machine, the combination comprising: pipe laying crib; reciprocable means in said crib for engaging the end of a pipeline to maintain the same longitudinal compression; a plow blade mounted on said crib at the forward lower end thereof in a position such that the lower end of said plate projects exteriorly of said crib; and means for adjusting the vertical position of said blade to control the position of said crib in the trench within narrow vertical limits.

5. In pipe laying apparatus, the combination comprising: a trench digging machine; a pipe laying crib pivoted to the rearward end of said machine; reciprocable means in said crib for engaging the end of a pipeline to maintain the same longitudinal compression; elevator means in said crib for adjusting the vertical position of said reciprocable means in said crib; means to adjust the angular position of said crib about said pivot; a plow blade mounted on said crib at the forward lower end thereof in a position such that the lower end of said plate projects exteriorly of said crib; and means for adjusting the vertical position of said blade to control the position of said crib in the trench within narrow vertical limits.

6. In pipe laying apparatus including a trench digging machine, the combination comprising: a pipe laying crib; a framework in said crib; a set of guides fixed with said framework; support means movable rearwardly on said guides; selectively actuable means fixed with said support means for engaging a section of pipe; a pair of fluid pressure operable rams pivoted at their forward ends to said crib and connected at their rearward ends to said support means; a third ram to engage the end of a pipe to hold the pipeline in compression; a pair of arms rotatable on said support means from a position spaced from to a position engaging the sides of a pipe section; a fourth ram on said support means to move said arms; a plow blade mounted on said crib at the forward lower end thereof in a position such that the lower end of said plate projects exteriorly of said crib; and means for ad justing the vertical position of said blade to control the position of said crib in the trench within narrow vertical limits.

7. Pipe laying apparatus comprising: a trench digging machine; a pipe laying crib pivoted to the rearward end of said machine; means to adjust the angular position of said crib about said pivot; a plow blade mounted on said crib at the forward lower end thereof in a position such that the lower end of said plate projects exteriorly of said crib; means for adjusting the vertical position of said blade to control the position of said crib in the trench within narrow vertical limits; a framework in said crib; a set of guides fixed with said framework; support means movable rearwardly on said guides; selectively actuable means fixed with said support means for engaging a section of pipe; a pair of fluid pressure operable rams pivoted at their forward ends to said crib and connected at their rearward ends to said support means; a third rain to engage the end of a pipeline to hold the pipeline in compression; a pair of arms rotatable on said support means from a position spaced from to a position engaging the sides of a pipe section; and a fourth ram on said support means to move said arms from either of said positions to the other.

8. In pipe laying apparatus including a trench digging machine, the combination comprising: pipe laying crib; reciprocable means in said crib for engaging the end of a pipeline to maintain the same longitudinal compression; and elevator means in said crib for adjusting the vertical position of said reciprocable means in said crib, said reciprocable means including support means carried slidably on horizontal cylindrical rods fixed with said elevator means.

9. In pipe laying apparatus including a trench digging machine, the combination comprising: pipe laying crib; reciprocable means in said crib for engaging the end of a pipeline to maintain the same longitudinal compression; and elevator means in said crib for adjusting the vertical position of said reciprocable means in said crib, said reciprocable means including support means carried 7 8 slidably on horizontal cylindrical rods fixed with said 2,656,800 10/1953 Rel-sing 61 --72.1 elevator means, said support means having wheels there- 2,73 8,745 3/ 1956 Harpold 61-721 on of a concave cross section to engage the cylindrical 30 5 4 1953 McElvany 61 72 1 surface of said cylindrical rods. 2898637 8/1959 Broecker 5 5 References Cited by the Examiner EARL J. WITMER, Primal) Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 915,963 3/1909 Hovland JACOB NACKENOFF, Examiner.

1,817,367 8/1931 Greiman 61--72.1 T. W. FLYNN, Assistant Examiner. 2,384,466 9/1945 Hickey 33 1ss 10

Patent Citations
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US915963 *Mar 25, 1908Mar 23, 1909Anton I HovlandDitching-machine.
US1817367 *Sep 6, 1928Aug 4, 1931Greiman George HTrench tractor
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US2656800 *May 2, 1946Oct 27, 1953Francis M ReisingPipe laying apparatus
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3381478 *Aug 18, 1966May 7, 1968Louis F. WellsControl system for pipe-laying apparatus
US3583168 *Apr 16, 1969Jun 8, 1971Preston HortonBackfill and pipe laying attachment for side discharge trencher
US3706125 *Aug 10, 1970Dec 19, 1972John P Hopkins CoPipe line construction method
US3874182 *Nov 22, 1972Apr 1, 1975Sykes Ltd HenryMethod of laying drainage tubing
US4068488 *Apr 30, 1975Jan 17, 1978Rader Companies, Inc.Method of backfilling pipeline trenches
US4159630 *Aug 2, 1977Jul 3, 1979The Charles Machine Works, Inc.Assembly such as for a tile chute tool for use with a ditching or trenching machine
US4343573 *Aug 18, 1980Aug 10, 1982Breitfuss Thomas KMethod and apparatus for making an underground pipeline
US4362435 *Jul 10, 1979Dec 7, 1982Henry John TApparatus for laying pipe
US4597693 *Jul 31, 1985Jul 1, 1986Monsanto CompanyMethod and apparatus for installing highway drainage mat
US4647252 *Feb 4, 1985Mar 3, 1987Melco Co., Inc.Underground pipe and tile laying apparatus
US4714381 *May 2, 1985Dec 22, 1987G. Brent HatchMachine for laying conduit and methods for use thereof
US4741646 *Jun 20, 1986May 3, 1988Hatch G BrentFor laying a conduit within a trench
US6280119Jun 18, 1999Aug 28, 2001Ryan Incorporated EasternApparatus and method for placing and engaging elongate workpieces
US8899877Sep 3, 2009Dec 2, 2014Saipem S.P.A.Method and system for laying underground a continuous elongated member in a bed of a body of water
DE2550735A1 *Nov 12, 1975May 18, 1977Hoes Fa Klaus GerdDraenfraese zum ausheben von graeben und zum verlegen von be- und entwaesserungsrohren
WO1983000060A1 *Jun 24, 1982Jan 6, 1983Carl Peter SkroederMethod and machine for the laying down of underwater pipes and cables
WO2010026468A1 *Sep 3, 2009Mar 11, 2010Saipem S.P.A.Method and system for laying underground a continous elongated member in a bed of a body of water.
Classifications
U.S. Classification405/179
International ClassificationE02F5/14, E02B11/02, E02F5/10, E02F5/02, F16L1/028, E02F5/12, F16L1/036, E02B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationE02F5/12, F16L1/036, E02F5/145, E02F7/02, E02F5/10
European ClassificationE02F5/10, F16L1/036, E02F5/12, E02F5/14B, E02F7/02