|Publication number||US3336623 A|
|Publication date||Aug 22, 1967|
|Filing date||Sep 7, 1965|
|Priority date||Sep 7, 1965|
|Publication number||US 3336623 A, US 3336623A, US-A-3336623, US3336623 A, US3336623A|
|Inventors||Coates Neligh C, Harclerode John R|
|Original Assignee||Clipper Mfg Company Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (4), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Aug. 1967 v N. c. COATE S ETAL WHEEL ASSEMBLY FOR VACUUM CLEANER Filed Sept. 7, 1965 llll/ w ll I INVENTORS. Nellgh C. Coofes J0 hn R. Hare/erode United States Patent WHEEL ASSEMBLY FOR VACUUM CLEANER Neligh C. Coates, Mission Hills, and John R. Harclerode,
Prairie Village, Kans., assignors to Clipper Manufacturing Company, Inc., Grandview, Mo., a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Sept. 7, 1965, Ser. No. 485,309 4 Claims. (Cl. 354) .This invention relates to the provision of structure for permitting coupling of the forward support wheels of a vacuum cleaner so that they may be positioned forwardly, rearwardly or laterally of the nozzle structure of the vacuum.
It is the primary object of the instant invention to provide a wheel assembly for a vacuum cleaner wherein the positions of the wheel units thereof supporting the nozzle portion of the vacuum may be easily changed to enhance the versatility and utility of the vacuum cleaner.
It is another important object of this invention to provide support structure capable of adapting an industrial vacuum cleaner to inside uses where mobility is relatively restricted due to machinery and the like while also providing for optimum outside use over relatively rough surfaces.
An important object of our present invention is to incorporate the aforesaid advantages in a wheel assembly for a vacuum cleaner, while at the same time providing mechanism for height adjustment of the Vacuum with respect to the surface to be cleaned for picking up various types of material and protecting the nozzle structure from damage on rough surfaces.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a wheel assembly of the aforementioned character which includes readily releasable structure for easily shifting the wheel units to their various operative positions and for positively locking the same against rotation when the units are in predetermined positions.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary, front elevational view of a vacuum cleaner showing a wheel assembly made pursuant to our present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, top plan view of the vacuum cleaner showing the forward and rearward operating positions of a wheel unit in dashed lines;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, side elevational view of the vacuum cleaner showing the forward position of a wheel unit in full lines and the rearward position thereof in dashed lines; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2.
The present invention is primarily designed for use with a heavy-duty, industrial vacuum cleaner broadly designated by the reference numeral 10 and shown fragmentarily in the drawing. Vacuum cleaner 10 includes a frame 12 having a fan housing 14 at its forward end, fan housing 14 terminating in a downwardly and forwardly extending, transversely elongated nozzle 16, Support means for vacuum cleaner 10 includes a pair of rear wheel and axle assemblies 18 mounted on frame 12, and a pair of caster unit assemblies 20 embodying the principles of this invention. Assemblies 20 are mounted on nozzle 16 adjacent each outermost and forwardmost end respectively of the nozzle.
Each caster unit 20 includes an upstanding square post 22 rigidly secured to nozzle 16 at a point near the respective outer edge of the nozzle. A projection 24 extends outwardly from the upright surface and intermediate the ends of post 22. A transversely extending cotter key opening 26 is provided near the uppermost end of post 22.
A generally Z-shaped arm 28 extends laterally from post 22 and is attached thereto by releasable structure in 3,336,623 Patented Aug. 22, 1967 the form of a square sleeve 30 rigidly secured to one end 32 of arm 28. The inner surfaces of sleeve 30 complementally engage the outer surfaces of post 22 as sleeve 30 is telescoped over post 22. The longitudinal length of sleeve 30 is substantially equal to the distance between projection 24 and cotter key opening 26 whereby sleeve 30 may be locked on post 22 by telescoping the same downwardly thereon until the lower edge of sleeve 30 abuts projection 24. A cotter key 34 is then installed through opening 26.
An upstanding, screw-threaded standard 36 is secured to the outermost end 38 of arm 28 by releasable mechanism, generally designated by the numeral 40. Mechanism 40 includes a primary nut 42 rigidly secured to arm 28 at its outermost end '38 and threadably engaging standard 36. Releasable mechanism 40 further includes a locknut 44 threaded on standard 36 above primary nut 42 and a locking O-ring 46 received on standard 36 between locknut 44 and primary nut 42. A finger 48 is rigidly secured to locknut 44 and extends laterally there from to provide means for manually releasing nut 44 without the need for auxiliary tools.
A caster wheel 50 is attached to the lowermost end of standard 36 by swivel means 52 which permits free rotation of wheel 50 about the vertical axis of standard 36.
In use, the caster wheel units 20 will be disposed in one of the three positions shown in FIG. 2. For example, wheel 50 may be disposed laterally of nozzle 16 as shown in the full-line position of FIG. 2, and if it is. desired to move wheel 50 to either of the dashed-line positions of FIG. 2, cotter key 34 is removed from opening 26 and arm 28 lifted upwardly to release sleeve 30 from post 22 whereby it may then be rotated in either direction to be re-telescoped onto post 22 and locked thereon by re-insertion of cotter key 34. Therefore, it will be appreciated that wheel 50 has three preselected positions corresponding to the possible fittings of square sleeve 30 on square post 22. Wheel 50 may be positioned rearwardly of nozzle 16 since the latterextends outwardly and downwardly from fan housing 14 as shown best in FIG. 2, leaving a space for receiving wheel 50 and its corresponding arm 28.
Since wheels 50 may be quickly and easily placed in preselected positions with respect to the nozzle by our novel mechanism, vacuum cleaner 10 is adapted for a variety of uses. By positioning wheel 50 rearwardly or forwardly of nozzle 16, the over-all width of vacuum cleaner 10 will be minimized to allow accessibility of vacuum cleaner 10 to relatively narrow spaces such as presented by aisles and passages around crates and the like in industrial plants.
If wheels 50 are positioned rearwardly or laterally of nozzle 16, vacuum cleaner 10 is then also well adapted for vacuuming surfaces adjacent walls or the like since the forward edge of nozzle 16 can then be moved into close proximity to a wall. This would be impossible if wheels 50 were positioned forwardly of nozzle 16. Thus, when the vacuum cleaner is being used for inside work over relatively smooth surfaces positioning of the front wheels rearwardly of the nozzle obtains both of the foregoing advantages and obtains the best possible cleaning results.
It is, however, often desired to use the industrial vacuum cleaner outside of a building such as in streets, alleys, and on lawns or other unpaved areas for collecting cans, leaves and other debris. For such operations, the vacuum cleaner must move over relatively rough surfaces and often irregular terrain. In such case, if the front wheels were positioned rearwardly of the nozzle, the latter would not be supported from hitting raised portions of the surface or digging into the surface or the ground when the vacuum cleaner is moved over a depression, hole or the like. Our assembly obviates this disadvantage by allowing shifting of each of the wheels 50 forwardly or laterally of nozzle 16 as desired, whereby the latter will then be better supported for movement upwardly or downwardly with the wheels as they encounter such depressions or raised pOrtiOns in the surface over which the cleaner must operate. Again, if it is desired to move the forward edge of nozzle 16 in close proximity to a wall, yet the roughness of the terrain requires support for the nozzle further forward than is provided when the wheels 50 are in their rearmost positions, wheels 50 should be positioned laterally rather than forwardly of nozzle 16. This permits operation of nozzle 16 up against and near to obstructions, yet supports the nozzle to prevent it from digging into the ground.
Thus, it will be appreciated that a vacuum cleaner with our wheel assembly is a highly versatile machine, easily and quickly adapted for use either inside or outside of buildings, as well as for cleaning surfaces in close proximity to walls or other obstructions. Wheels 50 may be positively locked in any one of three preselected positions, each required for certain operational conditions, due to the novel square sleeve and post design which precludes rotational slipping of the sleeve on the post as the vacuum cleaner is used.
Releasable mechanism 40 is provided so that nozzle 16 of vacuum cleaner may be adjusted in height with respect to the surface being cleaned whereby the vacuum cleaner will be adapted to clean surfaces covered with various types and sizes of material and also to compensate for the relative roughness of the surface being cleaned.
To operate mechanism 40, locknut 44 is loosened from primary nut 42 by manually applying pressure to finger 48 to rotate locknut 40 on standard 36. If it is desired to lower nozzle 16 of vacuum cleaner 10 with respect to the surface therebeneath, locknut 44 must be rotated to move upwardly by an increment substantially equal to the desired lowering of nozzle 16. The exact increment of movement of locknut 44 will vary slightly, depending upon the particular position of wheel 50. Standard 36 is then rotated within primary nut 42 until the latter is tightened against locknut 40 with O-ring 46 clamped therebetween. A knob 54 may be provided at the uppermost end of standard 36 for conveniently rotating the same.
The importance of O-ring 46 to the high degree of flexibility of operational characteristics of the vacuum cleaner should not be overlooked. The compressibility of the O-ring between nut 42 and locknut 44 provides the frictional engagement which secures the nuts against relative rotation and against rotation on standard 36. Yet, this tight frictional lock can be achieved manually by the operator of cleaner 10 without any need whatsoever for wrenches or other hand tools. This permits the operator to change, during cleaning operations, the vertical adjustment of wheels 50 with respect to the nozzle to adapt the cleaner to the terrain and to achieve the best possible cleaning results. Further, such frictional engagement, because of the compressibility of O-ring 46, is easily disengaged by the operator for re-adjustment, again with no necessity for tools.
To raise nozzle 16 of vacuum cleaner 10, locknut 44 is loosened from primary nut 42 and standard 36 is then rotated to cause primary nut 42 to move downwardly thereon. Locknut 44 is then rotated to move the same downwardly until it clamps against primary nut 42 with the O-ring therebetween, the O-ring frictionally engaging both nuts and also possibly being squeezed to engage the standard 36. It will be appreciated that locknut 44 cannot inadvertently work loose during use of the vacuum cleaner because of this frictional engagement.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. In a vacuum cleaner provided with a number of wheel and axle assemblies supporting the same and having a fan housing terminating in a downwardly and forwardly extending, transversely elongated nozzle, said assemblies including a caster wheel unit adjacent each outermost and forwardmost end respectively of said nozzle, each unit including: a
an upstanding post rigid to the nozzle;
an arm extending laterally from the post;
an upstanding standard secured to the outermost end of the arm;
a caster wheel at the lowermost end of the standard;
means attaching the wheel to the standard for swiveling movement about the vertical axis of the standard; and
releasable structure attaching the arm to the post in a number of positions therearound whereby the caster wheel may be selectively positioned forwardly, rear wardly or laterally of the nozzle.
2. The invention of claim 1, said structure including:
a sleeve on the post,
said sleeve and said post having complemental interengaging polygonal surfaces.
3. In a vacuum cleaner provided with a number of wheel and axle assemblies supporting the same and having a fan housing terminating in a downwardly and forwardly extending, transversely elongated nozzle, said assemblies including a caster wheel unit adjacent each outermost and forwardmost end respectively of said nozzle, each unit including:
an upstanding post rigid to the nozzle;
an arm extending laterally from the post;
an upstanding standard at the outermost end of the arm;
a caster wheel at the lowermost end of the standard;
means attaching the wheel to the standard for swiveling movement about the vertical axis of the standard;
releasable mechanism for securing the arm to the standard in any number of preselected positions along the vertical length of the standard; and
releasable structure attaching the arm to the post in a number of positions therearound whereby the caster wheel may be selectively positioned forwardly, rearwardly or laterally of the nozzle.
4. The invention of claim 3, said mechanism including:
a primary nut rigid to the arm;
said standard being screw-threaded into the unit;
a locknut on the standard; and
a locking ring on the standard clamped between the nuts.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,193,784 3/1940 Smith l5340 2,824,335 2/1958 Motfat 15-354 X 3,184,777 5/1965 Norden 15354 X FOREIGN PATENTS 767,420 2/1957 Great Britain.
ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2193784 *||Nov 18, 1936||Mar 12, 1940||Spencer Turbine Company||Vacuum cleaner|
|US2824335 *||Feb 17, 1955||Feb 25, 1958||Handling Devices Co Inc||Mobile suction floor cleaner|
|US3184777 *||Mar 7, 1963||May 25, 1965||Walter E Norden||Lawn sweeper|
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3971594 *||Jul 9, 1974||Jul 27, 1976||Reinhard Wirtgen||Apparatus for milling road surfaces|
|US6431319||Feb 29, 2000||Aug 13, 2002||Ferno-Washington, Inc.||Height-adjustable equipment cart with detachable table|
|US6979373 *||Apr 1, 2003||Dec 27, 2005||Rogers John S||Vacuum inlet nozzle wheel support frame|
|EP1495706A2 *||Jul 9, 2004||Jan 12, 2005||BLACK & DECKER INC.||Vacuum cleaner|
|U.S. Classification||15/354, 280/638|