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Publication numberUS3301348 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 31, 1967
Filing dateSep 21, 1964
Priority dateSep 21, 1964
Publication numberUS 3301348 A, US 3301348A, US-A-3301348, US3301348 A, US3301348A
InventorsKazuo Hiyama
Original AssigneeKazuo Hiyama
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of performing work on orchard trees and combination of workmen support platforms for the purpose
US 3301348 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 31, 1967- KAZUO HIYAMA 3,301,348

METHOD OF PERFORMING WORK ON ORCHARD TREES AND COMBINATION OF WORKMEN SUPPORT PLATFORMS FOR THE PURPOSE Filed Sept. 21, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 KAZUO H/YAMA IN VE N 70/? o o O /3'; 4 y

A TTORNEYS 1967 KAZUO HIYAMA 3,301,348

METHOD OF PERFORMING WORK ON ORCHARD TREES AND COMBINATION OF WORKMEN SUPPORT PLATFORMS FOR THE PURPOSE Filed Sept. 21, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 KAZUO H/VAMA */3-O INVENTOR AT 7' OPNE VS Jan. 31, 1967 P KAZUO HlYAMA I 3,301,348

METHOD OF PERFORMING WORK ON ORCHARD TREES AND COMBINATION OF WORKMEN SUPPORT PLATFORMS 3 Sheets-Sheet. 5 l7 FOR THE PURPOSE Filed Sept. 21 1964 r "3 I kn x [K 9 40 i ,ee 1 x WHY/NW? il 3; il 3 j \ZC J 76 v: a a? P 37 v I F I a 5g 3 4 5 United States Patent 3,301,348 METHOD OF PERFORMING WORK ON ORCHARD TREES AND COMBINATION OF WORKIVIEN SUPPORT PLATFORMS FOR THE PURPOSE Kazuo Hiyama, 8184 E. Adams, Fowler, Calif. 93625 Filed Sept. 21, 1964, Ser. No. 397,709 8 Claims. (Cl. 182-131) This invention relates to a method of performing work on orchard trees and more particularly to a method of combining a plurality of mobile elevated workmen-support platforms so as methodically to maintain a plurality of workers in continuous elevation while progressively allowing the elevated workmen convenient access to all elevated portions of the trees and combination of elevated workmen support platforms for the purpose.

In conducting work on a plurality of trees arranged in rows it has been known to utilize mobile scaffolds for supporting workers in elevated positions along the rows progressively adjacent to successive groups of the trees. Such a scaffold is described in my United States Patent No. 3,063,514, issued November 13, 1962, and provides an elevated platform which may be folded into a narrowed travel position for unobstructed movement along the rows between the trees. During such movement with the platform folded, it is not practicable for the workers to remain aboard so as to expedite the overall work process and thus to render it more efiicient. The workers using the scaffold are required to descend from the support platform before it is folded and transported to a new location. After repositioning in the new locations, the workers must again ascend to the subsequently reflattened platform.

Although such a scaffold as described above may be modified to provide a fixed nonfolding portion adapted to support workers during movement of the scaffold with the platform in a folded position, as is described in my prior copending U.S. patent application No. 215,687, filed August 8, 1962, now Patent No. 3,191,717, granted June 29, 1965, such a modification proves advantageous primarily when a relatively small group of workers is involved, such as a group of a size which could work together effectively on a single platform along a single row. Further-more, such a scaffold, although modified as described, does not make possible the cooperative action between workers stationed along adjacent rows. In addition, during movement of such a modified scaffold to a new work position the workers on board are necessarily nonproductive, with the result that a corresponding amount of time is wasted.

A method embodying the principles of the present invention through use of a combination of elevated platforms of the type above discussed or any other suitable form thereof obviates time consuming descents and ascents by the workers, as well as allowing continuous uninterrupted work and cooperative action between workers working concurrently in adjacent rows.

While the combination and method of the present invention were designed specifically for use in connection with the care and maintenance of orchards, the invention is also adapted to other types of elevated work on upright or tall objects. For convenience, the description refers only to an orchard as an illustrative operational environment.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a systematic method of performing work on rows of elevated work objects.

Another object is to provide a method of combining a plurality of mobile elevated workmen support platforms so as methodically to maintain a plurality of workers in in FIG. 1.

continuous elevation while progressively allowing the elevated workmen convenient access to all portions of a plurality of elevated work objects arranged in rows.

Another object is to provide an improved method of top-working trees arranged in rows in an orchard.

Another object is to provide a method of combining a plurality of mobile elevated workmen support platforms so that a plurality of workmen supported thereon may progressively top-work all the trees in an orchard without having to descend from the platforms.

Another object is to provide such a combination which allows the workmen conveniently to transfer from platform-to-platform and effectively to cooperate with the other workmen.

Another object is to provide such a combination which supports a plurality of workmen and allows them progressively to top-work all the trees in an orchard without having to make descents.

Another object is to provide a combination of such platforms which affords workmen a continuous extended support surface accessibly adjacent to a plurality of trees disposed across an orchard.

Another object is to provide a method of maneuvering a plurality of mobile elevated foldable workmen support platforms so that substantially a continuous support surface extending across a plurality of tree rows is movable through an orchard in progressive stages while providing convenient access successively to all the trees in the orchard.

These, together with other objects, will become more fully apparent upon reference to the following description and accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary schematic plan view of a plurality of workmen support platforms supporting a group of workmen and combined initially for commencement of work on orchard trees using the method and platform combination of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic plan view of a typical pair of the platforms of FIG. 1 shown in preparation incident to implementation of the second methodical stage of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view of the platforms of FIG. 2 with one platform folded and advanced incident to entering the second methodical stage.

FIG. 4 is a schematic plan view of the platforms of FIG. 3 shown in the second stage of the present invention with both platforms flattened and combined to support workmen engaged in top-working the adjacent trees.

FIG. 5 is a schematic plan view of the platforms of FIG. 4 with one platform folded, preparatory to implementation of the third methodical stage of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a schematic plan view of the platforms of FIG. 5 with the folded platform advanced incident to entering the third methodical stage.

FIG. 7 is a schematic plan view of the platforms of FIG. 6 shown in the third methodical stage with both platforms flattened and combined while supporting workmen top-working the adjacent trees.

FIG. 8 is a schematic end elevation of the two workmen support platforms of FIG. 2 disposed in the combination of the present invention and showing schematically in dashed lines the characteristic folded position of one of the platforms, in which the platform is moved along the row of trees incident to implementing the method of the present invention.

Referring more particularly to the drawings, the basic apparatus of the present invention consists preferably of a type of elevated worker support platform similar to that shown schematically and representattively at 10 For the performance of orchard work in accordance with the method of the present invention a plurality of such platforms are interspersed in methodically maneuverable combination between adjacent rows of trees in an orchard. The trees are arranged in equispaced relation in parallel equispaced rows 11, 12 and 13 and provide lanes of travel 14 and 15 between each row, shown fragmentarily in FIGS. 1 through 7. For ease of reference to the individual trees along a row the orchard is divided into cross rows running perpendicularly to the rows and numbered 16, 17, 18, 19 and 2t) sequentially from right to left in FIGS. 1 through 7.

The preferable length of the elongated platform is equal to the distance along a tree row corresponding to the center-to-center distance between alternately spaced trees in the rows, or longer if the tree spacing is such as to make it practical. The platform is segmented longitudinally along its central axis 25 and forms laterally opposite half portions which are interconnected by a common hinge 26 for elevational pivotal movement. This allows folding and unfolding of the platform. The size of the platform is such that its outer lateral edges, when the platform is flattened, extend to a position adjacent to the respective lines of centers of the neighboring tree rows, as shown at 27 in FIGS. 1 and 8. Arcuate portions 30 are provided in the platform side edges and are sized and spaced individually to conform simultaneously and respectively to the peripheral portions of three successive trees. Thus, when the platform is flattened between the trees, the respective arcuate portions fit around the corresponding trees, while intermediate, bridging portions 31 extendbetween the trees laterally of the platform.

A suitable bridging member is provided at each point of juxtaposition between adjacent platforms. Such a bridging member may be, for instance, a hinged bridge plate such as that shown in bridging position at 32 in FIGS. 7 and 8, and in an unoperative position at 33.

The platform is supported on a mobile scaffold 34 by extensible strut members 35 allowing the fol-ding and unfolding of the platform. A suitable structure for this purpose is described in my prior patent, mentioned above, and is shown schematically in FIG. 8.

Each platform is provided with an elongated tow bar 36 which is pivotally mountable at either end of the platform and adapted to be connected to a suitable prime mover, such as a tractor 37.

In the initial stage of the present invention the platforms 10 are disposed along one side of the orchard to be worked, one platform in each lane and all the platforms in side-'by-side relationship. The number of platforms to be used depends upon the number of lanes as well as on the number of available workmen and the extent of the work to be accomplished. Any plurality is adequate and there is no practical limit in the number of platforms which may be used other than that suggested by the capital investment required. However, in order that the full benefit of the present invention may be enjoyed, there should be at least one pair of adjacent platforms, as shown diagrammatically in FIGS. 2 through 8. For illustration, FIG. 1 fragmentarily shows two such pairs disposed in initial side-by-side combination. Workmen on the platforms are shown in symbolic representation at 40.

With the platforms 10 in this initial combination the workmen 40 aboard the platforms engage in top-working the accesible trees in cross rows 16, 17 and 18. The trees in rows 16 and at least the rear quadrant of trees 17 are finished first. Next, the workmen on each alternate platform transfer to an adjacent platform where they continue work in cooperation with the workers thereon. The platforms which they left are thereupon folded into a narrowed condition as shown at 45 in FIG. 2, preparatory to movement along the lanes between the tree rows. This movement is then accomplished, preferably by use of the vehicular prime movers 37, so that the alternate platforms are positioned one tree in advance of the platforms remaining stationary, as is shown in FIG. 3. The advanced platforms are unfolded and flattened so that their arcuate side edges 30 fit around the adjacent trees and their bridging portions 31 match With the adjacent platforms as at 46 in FIG. 4, to provide free access therebetween. The bridge plates are swung into position to provide secure walkways from platform-toplatform, as shown at 32 in FIG. 7. The workmen 40 return to the reflattene-d advanced platforms and engage in work on the newly accessible trees in crossrow 19 as Well as those on crossrows 1'7 and 18.

Although in this second methodical stage of the orchard work every alternate platform 10 is advanced, it is not necessary that they be so moved simultaneously. Thus, a single tractor can be adequate for the job. The progress of the Work along any one row determines the time for advancement of the corresponding platform. In fact, one pair of adjacent platforms may be even advanced into a third or fourth stage while another may still be in first stage, depending upon the number of platforms which are participating but with appropriate periodic overlap to permit Workmen passage between platforms.

Wit-h the alternate platforms 1t) advanced and work on trees in crossrows 16 and 17 complete the third methodical stage may be entered. The platforms remaining are folded, advanced and reflattened in a manner similar to that of the second stage, as shown in FIGS. 5 through 7. The newly advanced platforms provided access to quadrantal portions of trees situated as far along the row as crossrow 26. At the same time, their rear arcuate portions 30 provide access to the quadrantal portions of the trees in crossrow 18 yet to be top-Worked.

In the fourth methodical stage the process is repeated, by again moving the alternate platforms 10 which were first advanced during the second stage. Although in each odd-numbered stage the platforms may be disposed in side-by-side aligned relationship, as shown in FIG. 1, it is preferable to move the platforms into individually advanced positions, as shown for the third stage in FIG. 7, so as to allow a faster rate of progress along the respective rows. Depending upon the number of trees contained in each row, the work will progress across the orchard through a predetermined number of successive stages each similar to the methodical stages already outlined, until the entire orchard has been covered.

During the entire methodical process the workmen 40 may remain aboard the platforms 10 without having to descend periodically as would be necessary were only a single platform being used. The configuration of the combined flattened platforms is such that an extended elevated surface is provided allowing the workmen to move freely between the platforms as the Work requires. Convenient access to all of the trees is progressively afforded in a continuous uninterrupted sequence so that the most eflicient cooperation among the entire group of workmen is possible and so that the orchard work may be effectively completed in a minimum of time. Due to the relative ease of maneuvering by the Workers on the platforms and the possibility of remaining aboard throughout the entire process, men, women and children can engage in the work with comfort, convenience and efficiency.

From the foregoing it is readily apparent that a method of top-working trees arranged in rows in an orchard has been provided. A combination of a plurality of elevated Work platforms has been provided affording an extended elevated support surface accessibly adjacent to a plurality of trees disposed across the orchard. In progressive stages the platforms are moved methodically across the orchard to allow the supported workmen conveniently and expeditiously to perform the Work without having to descend to the ground.

Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom with the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A method of conducting work on elevated objects arranged in spaced relation in rows comprising disposing a plurality of elevated workmen-support platforms in sideby-side relation individually between adjacent rows of the objects and moving the platforms in alternate increments of stepped progression along their respective rows to successive stationary work positions so that the platforms overlap adjacent platforms longitudinally of the rows in all stationary positions and so that the workmen can remain on the platforms throughout the conduct of the work and can pass from platform-to-platform transversely of the rows.

2. A method of top-working trees arranged in rows comprising disposing a plurality of elevated elongated workmen-support platforms in side-by-side relation individually between adjacent rows of the trees and moving the platforms progressively along their respective rows in alternate increments of stepped progression to successive static work positions so that the platforms overlap longitudinally of the rows in all static positions and so that the workmen can pass from platform-to-platform transversely of the rows and such workmen can remain on the platforms throughout the conduct of the work.

3. A method of top-working trees arranged in substantially equally spaced relation in substantially parallel rows comprising disposing a plurality of elevated workmen-support platforms in side-by-side relation individually between adjacent rows of the trees with said platforms extending longitudinally of their respective rows distances suflicient to overlap adjacent trees in the rows, and moving the platforms individually along their respective rows in alternate increments of stepped progression such that the platforms continuously longitudinally overlap and so that during intervals between their respective increments of movement workmen can pass from platform-to-platform transversely of the rows between the trees thereof so that such workmen need not remain on a platform as it is moved and need not descend from the platforms to permit their movement.

4. A method of top-working trees arranged in substantially equally spaced relation in substantially parallel rows and having individual peripheries comprising disposing a plurality of elongated transversely foldable workmen support platforms in side-by-side relation individually in ad-' jacent spaces between adjacent rows of the trees, said platforms being transversely foldable to a narrowed condition to pass longitudinally between the trees, being disposable in elevated substantially planar relation, having arcuate side edges adapted to conform generally to the peripheries of the trees and intermediate portions extended between the trees, the intermediate portions of adjacent platforms when extended between the trees being in adjacent juxtaposition; alternately transversely folding adjacent platforms; moving the folded platforms progressively along their respective rows in alternate increments of stepped progression to successive stationary work positions so that adjacent platforms continuously overlap; and flattening the platforms to extend the side edges thereof between the trees in each of their stationary work positions.

5. A method of top-working trees arranged in substantially equally spaced relation in substantially parallel rows comprising disposing a plurality of elongated transversely foldable workmen-support platforms in side-by-side relation individually in adjacent spaces between adjacent rows of the trees, said platforms being transversely foldable to a narrowed condition to pass longitudinally between the trees, being disposable in elevated substantially planar relation, having arcuate side edges adapted to conform generally to the peripheries of the trees and intermediate portions extended between the trees, the intermediate side edges of adjacent platforms when extended between the trees being in adjacent juxtaposition; alternately transversely folding adjacent platforms; moving the folded platforms along their respective rows in alternat increments of stepped progression to successive stationary position; and flattening the platforms for extension of the side edges thereof between the trees, said platforms extending longitudinally of their respective rows distances sufficient to overlap adjacent trees in the rows, thus providing a substantially continuous bridge between the platforms in their stationary positions.

6. A method of top-working trees arranged in substantially equally spaced relation in substantially parallel rows comprising disposing a plurality of elongated transversely foldable workmen-support platforms in side-by-side relation individually in adjacent spaces between adjacent rows of the trees, said platforms being transversely foldable to a narrowed condition to pass longitudinally between the trees, being disposable in elevated substantially planar relation, having arcuate side edges adapted to conform genorally to the peripheries of the trees and intermediate portions extended between the trees, said intermediate portions also having side edges, the intermediate side edges of adjacent platforms when extended between the trees being in adjacent juxtaposition and providing a substantially continuous bridge between the platform; said disposition of the platforms comprising a first methodical stage in which supported workmen engage in top-working the accessibly adjacent trees; in a second methodical stage transversely folding alternate platforms while leaving the remaining platforms standing in an elevated flattened condition, said alternate platforms being folded after workmen thereon have transferred to the platforms remaining in a flattened condition by crossing the respective bridges provided by the juxtaposed side edges of adjacent platforms, moving each folded platform along the space between the corresponding rows of trees until at least one of its arcuate side edges is disposed in opposed facing relation to a tree yet to be top-worked and at least one of its intermediate side portions is disposed in opposed facing relation to an intermediate side portion of an adjacent flattened platform, and flattening each folded platform so that its arcuate side edges conform to the peripheries of adjacent trees and its intermediate side portions and edges are extended between the trees and in juxtaposition with the side edges of adjacent platforms, said adjacent juxtaposed side edges providing a substantially continuous bridge between the adjacent platforms, at least one of said workmen returning to each reflattened platform in said second methodical stage to conduct top-work on newly accessible trees; in a third methodical stage transversely folding the platforms which remained flattened in the second stage, the workmen on said folded platforms having previously transferred to adjacent platforms, moving each folded platform along between the corresponding rows of trees until it is positioned with at least one of its arcuate side edges disposed in opposed facing relation to a tree yet to be top-worked and at least one of its intermediate side portions disposed in opposed facing relation to an intermediate side portion of an adjacent flattened platform, and flattening each folded platform so that its arcuate side edges conform to the peripheries of adjacent trees and its intermediate side portions and edges are extended between the trees and in juxtaposition with the side edges of adjacent platforms, said adjacent juxtaposed side edges providing a substantially continuous bridge between the adjacent platforms, at least one of said workmen returning to each reflattened platform in said sec-0nd methodical stage to conduct top-work on newly acessible trees; and in each of a series of successive methodical stages following after the first three stages, folding, moving, positioning and reflattening alternate platforms similarly to said operations in the preceding stages so that the platforms continuously longitudinally overlap and pro? vide a continuous extended integrated support surface are cessibly adjacent to a plurality of the trees to be topworked, said integrated support surface being moved in progressive stages across an orchard so as to provide access ultimately to all the trees in said orchard while a1- lowing the supported workmen to remain continuously in their elevated positions and freely to move about from platform-to-platform while conducting the continuous progressive work on said trees.

7. A method for providing access to elevated work objects arranged in spaced relation in rows comprising the steps of disposing a plurality of elevationally pivotal workmen support platforms in side-by-side relation individually between adjacent rows of work objects with said platforms extending longitudinally of their respective rows distances sufficiently to overlap adjacent work objects in the rows and being collapsible for passage along the rows, motivating said platforms along their respective rows in alternate increments of stepped progression such that the platforms continuously longitudinally overlap, and stopping the platforms for predetermined intervals between their respective increments of movement and alternately sucessively pivoting the platforms to a substantially horizontal planar work position with the platform extending through their respective rows to permit workmen to pass from platform to platform transversely of the rows between the work objects so that such workmen need not 8 remain on a particular platform as it is moved and need not descend from the platforms to permit their movement.

8. A method for providing access to elevated work objects arranged in spaced relation in rows comprising the steps of disposing a plurality of elongated elevationally pivotal workmen support platforms having recessed edges in side-by-side relation individually between adjacent rows of work objects for movement in a plane passing closely adjacent to their respective rows and alternately successively pivoting the platforms to a substantially horizontal planar Work position with the recessed edges of the platforms receiving the adjacent work objects and extending between the work objects to provide a substantially continuous bridge between the platforms, alternately individually pivoting the platforms to a narrowed condition outwardly spaced from the work objects so as to be able to pass along the rows in alternate increments of stepped progression, and subsequently again pivoting the platforms to their planar work positions to reestablish said bridge between the platforms.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,063,514 11/1962 Hiyama 18263 REINALDO P. MACHADO, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3063514 *Mar 13, 1961Nov 13, 1962Kazuo HiyamaRetractable scaffold
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3880259 *Feb 12, 1973Apr 29, 1975Autoquip CorpPower apparatus for truck loading elevator
US4690246 *Jul 11, 1985Sep 1, 1987Simon Aerials, Inc.Articulated work platform with scissors motion
US4773506 *Sep 19, 1985Sep 27, 1988Preston John CScaffolding module and method of erecting same
US4858726 *Sep 26, 1988Aug 22, 1989Preston John CScaffolding module and method erecting same
US6152264 *Jul 15, 1999Nov 28, 2000Fork Mate L.L.C.Lift truck work platform with pivoting wings
US9114967 *Nov 29, 2014Aug 25, 2015Donald F. LombardiMason's adjustable chimney-platform arrangement
US20150075904 *Nov 29, 2014Mar 19, 2015Donald F. LombardiMason's adjustable chimney-platform arrangement
US20160069094 *Aug 25, 2015Mar 10, 2016Donald F. LombardiMason's adjustable chimney-platform arrangement
USRE29542 *Jul 12, 1976Feb 21, 1978Autoquip CorporationPower apparatus for truck loading elevator
Classifications
U.S. Classification182/131, 182/63.1, 182/69.4
International ClassificationA01D46/20, A01D46/00
Cooperative ClassificationA01D46/20
European ClassificationA01D46/20