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Publication numberUS3354661 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 28, 1967
Filing dateJan 16, 1964
Priority dateJan 16, 1964
Publication numberUS 3354661 A, US 3354661A, US-A-3354661, US3354661 A, US3354661A
InventorsRussell James C
Original AssigneeRussell James C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pipe laying apparatus
US 3354661 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 28, 1967- .1. c. RUSSELL PIPE LAYING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 16, 1964 Fig.1

INVENTOR Nov. 28, 1967 J. c. RUSSELL PIPE LAYING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 16, 1964 Fig.3 I

a. fiwzz INVENTOR United States Patent 3,354,661 PIPE LAYING APPARATUS James C. Russell, Rte. 2, Box 742,

Yakima, Wash. 98902 Filed Jan. 16, 1964, Ser. No. 338,069 2 Claims. (Cl. 61-72.5)

This invention relates to apparatus for use with trenching machinery to install pipe for drainage and sewer work and more particularly in deep tiling work and severe mud and water situations.

A distinct problem, as pointed out in prior art, is that pipe tends, due to certain trench conditions, to separate longitudinally and thus permit entry of earth. In addition, I would point out that the characteristics of the material being used to surround the installed pipes, such as soil or sand, tend to vary according to the amounts of water present in a trench and according to how compact the bedding is and so a prior method that works fine where no flowing water is encountered may not be depended upon at all when trench conditions change.

Thus, in the course of time, the art has progressed from pipe-laying aids for manually placing pipes to mechanical pipe-laying apparatus wherein a digger had to be stopped during placement of each additional pipe; and thence to apparatus capable, through application of a plurality of overlapping longitudinal force means, of laying pipes while allowing the digger to proceed digging uninterruptedly.

I have found that by using bedding material, which is used very extensively anyway, and by also compacting the bedding material, the pipes could be placed reliably, continuously and by much simpler apparatus thereby achieving a quality installation with lower costs. In addition, it will be seen, I have invented further means of placing and holding pipes in a simple but efiicient manner.

I have found that by using compacted bedding material, instead of allowing the material to just flow under the pipe by gravity, at least two things can be gained over present machinery. When proper bedding material is placed and packed it produces a stabilized zone in the bottom of the trench upon which the pipe will be more firmly held when surrounded by additional material. It supports the pipe reliably at the elevation where placed and when applied to the trench bottom in one manner illustrated, it also creates a stabilized zone over which to drag the housing, which is an especial benefit when in mud or quicksand.

Whereas bedding that has been gravitally placed under the pipe will shift and settle a good deal when other support is removed from the pipe and thus provide a definite tendency to allow the laid pipe to become disrupted, I have found that when bedding is packed under the pipe it will stay in place reliably and when this packing is done in combination with certain other methods, various combinations of which are demonstrated in the following drawings, a simplified solution is provided to solve a complicated task.

Primarily, the object of this invention is to provide a tile-placing mechanism of simple manufacture, high placement accuracy, reliability in a broad range of working conditions, compact proportions and requiring a minimum of man-power to tend.

Another, more specific object is to provide an apparatus wherein a pusher and a support, working together in conjunction with a method of preparing a stabilized trench bed for the pipe, serve in combination as a relatively inexpensive, reliable, continuous, pipe-laying method.

A still further object in a method for laying pipe is to provide additional novel means for preventing pipe sections, once they have been installed in a trench, from ice being separated longitudinally by effectively tying the sections, one to another as laid, to prevent longitudinal movement.

Another object is to provide a pipe-laying apparatus that will operate within a very short span of trench, so as to minimize the length of a housing needed to trail through a trench and, in conjunction therewith, an efficient pipe grab that may be used for a variety of pipe sizes, used in cramped spaces and designed to release automatically.

To demonstrate the invention, reference is made to the following drawings.

FIGURE 1 is a side view showing the housing in vertical cross-section.

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken at line E-E of FIG. 1.

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken at line GG of FIG. 1.

FIGURE 4 is a detail of a pipe grab which may be used to place pipe into housing.

Like numbers denote like parts in all drawings.

In the present form, this invention consists of a housing formed by sidewalls 1, front wall 1A, rear wall 1B and floor 14. Rear wall 1B and floor 14 are each shown in the drawings extending between the two sidewalls 1. The housing 100 may be attached by suitable framework 1F to a trenching machine so as to be drawn along within a trench by the trench digger.

Power for use in placing pipe is derived from the digger as for instance by a pulley on a shaft of the digger (not shown) from which a belt 50 carries power to drive another pulley and shaft 55-56 journaled upon the framework in some suitable place. The use of this power will be explained later.

In FIG. 1 the movable housing 100 is fitted with a hopper 2 for stockpiling of bedding material 25. In certain cases more than one hopper 2 may be desired which would not be considered additional invention. From the hopper 2 a chute 3 is formed to convey bedding material 25 to a chamber formed by Wall sections 10. Another chute 4 is formed to convey bedding material 25 from the hopper 2 to be spread around the pipe 29 at the rear of the housing 100. The rear wall chute 4 is fitted with a movable plate 5 to determine the depth of the material 25 to be spread over the installed pipe 29. The front wall of the chute 4 has an opening at its lower extreme large enough to pass over the largest pipe that may be put through the apparatus. Over this opening, various insert plates 7 with smaller holes may be fitted by insertion into guides 9 so as to restrict the size of the aperture and prevent too much bedding material 25 from spilling forward onto the floor 14.

Within the housing 100 a track or rail 15 may be movably bracketed to the wall as by brackets 16 and bolts 17 so as to be adjustable up or down for different pipe sizes. Near each end of rail 15 may be mounted shafts 35 carrying free pulleys 33 and 64.

A carriage 20 supported on the rail by roller wheels 21 and carrying arm 22 is fitted to travel upon the rail 15. Cables 32 and 63 are anchored to the carriage 20 at their respective lugs 65. These cables 32 and 63 are trained around pulleys 33 and 64 respectively to pull the carriage 20 from end to end on the rail 15. Cable 32 is attached to a suitable force means as for instance a spring 34. Tension of the spring 34 may be changed by a Windlass 38 and cable 36. Cable 63 is attached to another windlass 61 which in present form is a power winch. A belt 50 is trained from a drive pulley on the digger frame, described earlier, to pulley 55 keyed to shaft 56 which is journalled to bracket 49. Also keyed to shaft 56 is. a sprocket 57 which drives a chain 58 to rotate another sprocket and shaft 59 and 60. Shaft 60 is journaled upon bracket 62 and carries winch drum 61 upon which cable 63 may be wound to haul the carriage 20 to the forward position on the rail 15, thereby stretching the spring 34 through connection with the carriage 20 by the cable 32.

Power may be applied to the winch drum 61 to perform the aforesaid stretching of the spring by the attendant manually pressing the belt tightening idler 51 against the belt 50 by means of the idler bracket and arm 52 which is mounted upon a stationary shaft 53. It can readily be seen that when the attendant exerts enough pressure on the idler handle 52 the friction of the moving belt 50 upon the pulley 55 will be great enough to set the winch drum 61 into motion and draw the carriage 20 toward the right in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIGURE 1, a sheet or ribbon of material 86 may be provided in combination with the force applying mechanism. The sheet of material 86 passes from a spindle 87 to glide freely between the floor 14 and a guard plate 84 which is supported just above the floor 14 by brackets 85 until, at a point where the guard plate 24 terminates, the pipes contact the material 86, which I shall term a bond strip.

At this point the bond strip 86, itself being frictionally anchored or caught between previously installed pipes and their bedding 25, serves to frictionally support the pipe section 29 which bears upon it. Thus, it may be seen that I have fulfilled an established need for a means of overcoming the tendencies of pipes, when laid in soft surroundings, and more especially in the presence of only a single or alternating longitudinal force means, to drift apart and thus allow material to enter between the pipes and disrupt the continuity of the installed pipeline.

In practice the invention, as shown in FIG. 1, would work as follows. A trench would be opened and the housing and digger brought into position for laying pipe. A slide gate 6 on chute 4 would be closed to prevent bedding material from spilling into the rear chamber until ready. Bedding material would be loaded into the hopper 2 which would fill the chute 4 and flow down chute 3 to fill it and the chamber 10. A scraper shoe 12 which may be fixedly moved up or down on the front wall 1A of the housing will clean the trench bottom as the housing is dragged forward, will prevent bedding material from spilling forward and will determine what depth of bedding 25 will be deposited under the floor 14. As the housing is carried forward by the digger a continuous supply of bedding may travel down the chute 3 to keep the chamber loaded, from which bedding will be gravitally spread for the floor 14 to slide over. It may be said that the floor 14 of housing 100 will ski along over the bedding 25 thus pressing it before exposing it at the rearward opening of the floor 14 where the pipes 2930 will be deposited upon it. The thickness of the floor 14 will be such that there would be a negligible drop as the pipe passes from the floor 14 to the bedding 25.

To continue; as the housing 100 is carried forward to the point where bedding is appearing from beneath the rearward edge of the floor 14, a pipe 30 may be lowered into the housing 100 by any suitable means but preferably by a pipe grab device 70' and a line 71 as in FIG. 5. When the pipe reaches the floor 14 the grab 70 may be allowed to release in a manner to be explained later and the grab 70 withdrawn from the housing 100. The handle 52 may be actuated to engage the winch drum 61 and draw the carriage toward the extreme forward end of the rail 15. A push plate 24 rotatably mounted on the arm 22 by means of a sleeve 23 will be dragged across the top of the pipe 30 and will in a manner which is apparent, be free to drop to a vertical position when carried beyond the forward end of the pipe 30. A stop, which is not shown, may be utilized to prevent the push plate from tilting beyond the vertical position shown in FIG. 1 so that when the winch power is disengaged the spring 34 acting upon the carriage 20 through the cable 32 may draw the appended push plate 24 against the forward end of the pipe 30. The force applied by the spring 34 may then slide the pipe 39 rearwardly along the floor 14 through the opening in the insert plate 7 and onto the bedding 25 to the position of the pipe 29.. As soon as the forward progress of the housing has permitted the pipe 30 to move to the position 29 the attendant may place another section of pipe on the floor in the aforesaid manner. By this time in the sequence of action it may be seen that the greater part of the pipe 29 is without the housing and resting upon the bedding: 25. A slide gate 6 in chute 4 may now be opened and left open for normal operation so that the bedding 25 may fiow down and engulf that part of the pipe that has passed beyond the insert plate 7 so as to secure it from lateral or longitudinal movement on the base and to spread a layer over it if desired.

At or near the point where pipe 29 has passed beyond. the rearward edge of the floor 14 and without stopping. the forward progress of the housing, the attendant may engage the winch to swiftly withdraw the push plate 24" from engagement against the pipe 29. The push plate will rotate to a substantially horizontal position as it bumps along the top of additional pipe 30 and drop to a substantially vertical position when pulled into the clear at a point forward 'of the additional pipe 30 at which time theattendant may release the winch so that it may freely unwind cable. The force of the spring 34 will immediately engage the push plate 24 against the pipe 30 and push the pipe 30 into engagement with pipe 29 and so resume: maintaining the pipe sections in proper abutting position: while the housing is continuously advanced by the digger- Thus it may be seen by those familiar in the art that what I have invented in part is; simple and novel means: for processing the bedding of a trench in combination with other means, to alternately push and hold or to bind and: support pipes in a mechanized, continuous, pipe-laying operation.

The pipe grab 70 as shown in FIG. 5 is included in the specifications and claimed as a specific aid in the pipelaying method in combination with certain push-means. Since mechanized pipe-laying is a very complicated task and one of the criteria being the space required in which to house the needed equipment, it is desirable to be able to place additional pipe sections and release them quickly without sacrificing space either lengthwise or sidewise of the pipes. I have observed common use of grapples or hooks for handling pipes in which the device is in the nature of either a tong-like device which grips a pipe around its middle, but which may be difiicult to release in narrow confines and by remote means, or a long hairpin sort of hook which is inserted from one end of a pipe section but which requires additional lengthwise space for withdrawal and also additional remote means to withdraw. In lieu of the aforementioned devices I have chosen to design a grapple such as 70 consisting of a strongback 70, extensible in length to accommodate different lengths. of pipe and provided with a lifting ring or shackle 71. The strongback may be of two parts joined by bolts so as. to be readily changed in length for adapting to different lengths of pipes. One end of the strongback 70 may be shaped to hook or engage the pipe section 30 while the other end is provided with engaging means such as a dog 74 hingedly pinned to strongback 70 by a pin 75. A trip arm 72, also hingedly pinned to the strongback by pin 73, serves to engage a surface of the dog 74 for retainment of a pipe in the grab 70. A pipe 30 may be released by allowing the end 76 of the trip arm 72 to come into forceable contact with an object and thereby disengage the trip arm 72 from the dog 74 and gain immediate release of the pipe 30, in a manner evident in FIG. 5.

What I claim as new is:

1. In an apparatus for laying pipe along the bottom of a trench:

a longitudinally movable housing located within the trench for motion in a forward direction, said housing having a pair of laterally spaced upright side walls and transversely oriented upright front and rear walls connected to and extend across said side walls in longitudinally spaced positions, said rear wall being provided with an opening formed therethrough at the lower portion thereof to permit forward passage of said rear wall relative to pipe extending through the opening;

a longitudinal strip of flexible material stationarily anchored within said trench at a location rearward of said housing extending through the housing rear wall opening and along the interior bottom portion of the housing;

pipe positioning means within the housing to position individual sections of pipe on the strip of flexible material in frictional surface to surface contact therewith in a horizontal position along the interior bottom portion of the housing with each section of pipe so positioned being in coaxial longitudinal abutment with previously placed pipe in the trench;

a bedding material placement chute on said housing having an outlet at the lower portion of the housing to direct bedding material beneath said strip of flexible material;

backfilling means on said housing rearwardly adjacent to said rear Wall to fill any remaining space about the pipe as the housing rear wall passes along the trench;

and reciprocating force applying means within said housing to intermittently exert a rearward force on each section of pipe after it is positioned on the strip of material;

said reciprocating force means comprising:

a transverse pushing element located between said side walls at the lower portion of said housing, said pushing element being movably mounted on said housing for horizontal longitudinal motion relative thereto and being movable to a first position projecting across the pipe cross sectional area forward of a section of pipe positioned on said sheet of material by said pipe positioning means;

and selectively operable power means on said housing 5 operatively connected to said pushing element to selectively move said element to said first position and to subsequently move said pusher element hon'zontally rearward relative to the housing.

2. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein said 10 power means comprises:

a length of cable including a horizontal longitudinal flight guided on said housing adjacent to the pipe sections positioned on the strip of material by said pipe positioning means, said transverse pushing element being fixed to the flight intermediate the ends thereof; and a selectively operable power mechanism on said housing connected to said cable to selectively reciprocate said cable along said flight.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 123,479 2/ 1872 Hooton 6172.5 332,126 12/1885 White 61-725 536,340 3/1895 Hanneborg 6172.5 1,214,417 1/1917 Bishop 294104 1,790,032 1/ 1931 Visser 61-72.7 1,991,919 2/1935 Bruins 61-72.5 2,123,243 7/1938 Janert 61-72.7 2,738,745 3/1956 Harpold 61--72.1 2,742,003 4/ 1956 Crawford 6172.5 2,830,548 4/ 1958 McElvany 6l72.1 3,011,821 12/1961 Doty 294104 3,203,188 8/1965 Evans 61---72.6

DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US123479 *Feb 6, 1872 Improvement in ditchimg and tile-laying machines
US332126 *Apr 17, 1885Dec 8, 1885 Ditching and tile-laying machine
US536340 *Aug 31, 1894Mar 26, 1895 And tile laying machine
US1214417 *Nov 10, 1915Jan 30, 1917Thomas Gifford Jamieson BishopGripping device for use in raising and lowering pipes and the like.
US1790032 *Dec 11, 1928Jan 27, 1931Frans Visser MauritsMole plow
US1991919 *Jan 25, 1933Feb 19, 1935Jan BruinsProcess and machine for laying a drain conduit
US2123243 *Jul 24, 1936Jul 12, 1938Heinz JanertApparatus for manufacturing drain pipes in the earth
US2738745 *Jan 29, 1951Mar 20, 1956Bolsa Tile CoApparatus for laying tile
US2742003 *Jun 17, 1953Apr 17, 1956Crawford AlbertTile laying apparatus
US2830548 *Mar 8, 1954Apr 15, 1958Mcelvany James LeonPipe-laying method
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US3203188 *Oct 23, 1961Aug 31, 1965Jetco IncMethod and apparatus for preparing a trench for a subsurface conduit line and for laying such a line
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3831388 *Jun 4, 1971Aug 27, 1974Terteling J & Sons IncMethod for laying pipe
US3874182 *Nov 22, 1972Apr 1, 1975Sykes Ltd HenryMethod of laying drainage tubing
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
DE2533904A1 *Jul 29, 1975Feb 3, 1977Gewerk Eisenhuette WestfaliaSchildvortriebseinrichtung zum vortrieb eines grabens im offenen verbau und zum verlegen eines rohrstranges im graben
DE2560276C2 *May 27, 1975Oct 11, 1984Gewerkschaft Eisenhuette Westfalia, 4670 Luenen, DeTitle not available
U.S. Classification405/179, 111/200, 294/104
International ClassificationF16L1/036, F16L1/09, F16L1/06, E02B11/02, F16L1/028, E02B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16L1/09, F16L1/036
European ClassificationF16L1/036, F16L1/09