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Publication numberUS3392464 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 16, 1968
Filing dateJun 25, 1965
Priority dateJun 25, 1965
Publication numberUS 3392464 A, US 3392464A, US-A-3392464, US3392464 A, US3392464A
InventorsMacdonald Raymore D
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Air Brake Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Road widening trencher-loader unit
US 3392464 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J ly 1963 R. o. M DONALD ROAD WIDENING TRENCHER-LOADER UNIT Filed June 25, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 AT ORNEY July 16, 1968 R. D. M DONALD ROAD WIDENING TRENCHER-LOADER UNIT 5 Sheets-Sheet 5;

Filed June 25, 1965 INVENTOR. BEHYMORE D. NMDoNALo 1 ATTORNEY INVENTOR.

y 1968 R. o. M DONALD ROAD WIPENING TRENCHEH-LOADER UNIT 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed June 25, 1965 Qavnom: D. Mac 00mm ATTORNEY July 16, 1968 R. D. M DONALD ROAD WIDENING TRENCHER-LOADER UNIT 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed June 25, 1965 INVENTOR. QHYMOIZE. D. NAcDoNnLo ATTORNEY July 16, 1968 R. D. M DONALD ROAD WIDENING TRENCHER-LOADER UNIT 5 Sheets-Sheet Filed June 25, 1965 INVENTOR. Qnvnoze D. Nan Douaw ATTORNEY United States Patent Oflice 3,392,464 Patented July 16, 1968 3,392,464 ROAD WIDENING TRENCHER-LOADER UNIT Raymore D. MacDonald, Eureka, Ill., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Westinghouse Air Brake Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed June 25, 1965, Ser. No. 466,945 8 Claims. (Cl. 37-101) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved road windening trencher-loader unit having a cutter frame assembly pivotably attached to a main supporting frame for movement about a horizontal axis and the elevating conveyor assembly pivotably and rotatably attached to the cutter frame assembly for up, down and side to side movement independently of the cutter frame assembly. A single power source is provided along with an extensible linkage to enable the power source to drive the elevating conveyor assembly and a feeder-conveyor carried by the cutter frame assembly.

The present invention pertains generally to a trencherloader apparatus comprising an attachment unit that may be mounted on a conventional, self-propelled road building or maintenance machine for use in road windening operations.

More particularly, this invention relates to shoulder grading, road windening, trencher-loader apparatus which can prepare the subgrade for an additional or new strip of pavement, it being independently powered and readily adaptable to use as an attachment unit for conventional road building and maintenance machines such as motor graders, front end loaders, and the like.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a trencher-loader apparatus especially adapted to dig a trench along the edge of an existing pavement or roadway.

Another object is to provide a trencher-loader unit that is independently powered, and constructed and arranged so as to be adjustably operatively associated with, or connected sidewardly of, road forming equipment, and effective to remove, load, and feed excess earth material rearwardly thereof.

Yet another object is to provide a trencher-loader unit having a shaped, leading, cutting box or scoop which is adjustable to vary its position and width, thereby enabling it to gather and contain the trenched material and direct it to a collecting zone.

A further object is to provide a trencher-loader unit having a feeding assembly effective to continuously chop, cut and remove trenched and collected material from a collecting zone and transfer it to a disposing zone.

A still further object is to provide a trencher-loader unit having a conveying assembly for continuously discharging trenched and collected material from a disposing zone to off-road, shoulder, back-fill areas or, alternatively at the selection of the operator, to on-road truck loading.

An additional object is to provide a trencher-loader unit having a conveying assembly that is tiltable up and down independently of the excavating assembly, enabling the conveying assembly to be adjusted vertically without changing the depth adjustment of the excavating assembly.

Another object is to provide a trencher-loader unit having a conveying assembly that is swingable from side to side about an axis near the front end thereof, enabling the conveyor to be swung off the road for shoulder filling or on the road for truck filling.

Furthermore, it is an object of this invention to provide a trencher-loader unit having rotatable structure such as a gauge wheel which can rigidly support a cutting box with respect to a road surface while being effective to gauge and adjust the depth of the excavation at a predetermined level below the road surface.

A still further object is to provide a trencher-loader unit having an adjustable structure for adjusting the slope, or yaw attitude, of a cutting box with respect to the plane of a road surface.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a trencher-loader unit having a controllable load wheel particularly adapted to be disposed in load bearing relationship with a pavement or road surface at the rear of the unit, and effective to relieve a primary motorized vehicle to which it is connected of loads imposed on the vehicle by the weight of the unit, the load wheel being adjustable to compensate for the weight of the unit throughout a range of tilted positions.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent from a study of the following specification when taken with the appended drawings in which like reference characters indicate similar parts throughout the several views, which together show, illustrate, describe and disclose a preferred embodiment or modification of the invention, and what is now considered to be the best mode of practicing the principles thereof. Other embodiments or modifications may be suggested to those having the benefit of the teachings herein, and such other embodiments or modifications are intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the spirit and scope of the subjoined claims.

In the accompanying drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a left side portion of a conventional motor grader, and illustrating a trencher-loader unit constructed in accordance with the present invention operatively associated with it;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the trencher-loader unit of FIG. 1, showing in broken lines a different position of a conveyor assembly, and again showing the excavating device or apparatus operatively associated with the motor grader (shown in phantom);

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a left side portion of a conventional front end loader, and illustrating a trencher-loader unit constructed in accordance with the present invention operatively associated with it;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side view of the trencherloader unit of FIG. 3, with a fragmentary side view of the front end loader superimposed on it in phantom;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side view of the rear end portion of the conveyor assembly of the trencher-loader unit of FIG. 4, drawn to a like scale, and showing in phantom a portion of a following truck adapted to be loaded by the conveyor;

FIG. 6 is a substantially enlarged, fragmentary plan view of the trencher-loader unit of FIG. 3 with parts broken away to illustrate certain components and with a rear portion of the front end loader being shown in phantom;

FIG. 7 is a substantially enlarged fragmentary rear elevational view of the load wheel and associated component parts of the trencher-loader unit of FIG. 3 with certain connecting portions of the front end loader being shown in phantom;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary, enlarged, cross-sectional view of a component of the trencher-loader unit as viewed along line 88 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary top view taken substantially along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8.

With reference now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, a preferred form of the invention comprises an independently powered trencher-loader unit 10 particularly adapted for use as an attachment to a prime mover fdr road building equipment; for example, a selfpropelled motor grader 12. Accordingly, the trencherloader unit will be able to excavate a trench 14 in the earth or other road shoulder material 16 immediately adjacent the edge 18 of a roadway 98.

The motor grader 12 may be of any suitable and conventional construction enabling the trencher-loader unit 10 to be attached to it. While a motor grader in and of itself is well known to those persons skilled in the art to which the present invention pertains, a short description of the motor grader 12 will be set forth for a complete understanding of this invention.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the motor grader 12 has a suitable frame 22 supported at its front end on front steering wheels 24, and at its rear end on rear driving wheels 26, the latter being generally but not necessarily disposed in tandem pairs. A power source comprising an internal combustion engine 28 powers the rear driving wheels 26, and also certain accessories such as the oil pump of the hydraulic control system. In the case of a sixwheel-drive motor grader, the engine 28 will also drive the front steering wheels 24. A conventional scraper blade 30 is disposed under the frame 22, between the front wheels 24 and the rear wheels 26, and is operatively associated with or mounted upon the frame 22 so as to be capable of a wide variety of positioning adjustments.

The blade 30 is mounted upon a circle 32 rotatable about an upright axis. This enables the scraper blade to be rotated with respect to and underneath the frame 22. The horizontal rotation of the blade 30 about the axis of the circle 32 generally is performed by an engine drive through a suitable gear reduction assembly, in a well known manner. The blade 30 and the circle 32 also are capable of a lateral or side-shifting adjustment, this adjustment generally being performed by hydraulic rams or mechanical linkages. This may be done in any suitable manner, enabling either end of the scraper blade 30 to be extended outwardly of the frame 22 to a greater or lesser extent. Additionally, the circle 32 can be tilted about a fore and aft axis. In this manner, either side of the circle can be tilted upwardly or downwardly, enabling the corresponding end of the scraper blade 30 to be tilted upwardly or downwardly. Moreover, the entire assembly of the circle 32 and the blade 30 can be raised and lowered to vary the cutting depth of the blade, by the operation of well known hydraulic rams or mechanical linkages.

The lifting, tilting, and side-shifting blade positioning adjustments, just described, may be effected by control levers 34 at an operators position 36 on the motor grader 12.

The trencher-loader unit 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 9 as an attachment for a conventional selfpropelled front end loader 48. The front end loader comprises, generally, a 4-wheel, powered vehicle having a main frame 49 and a forwardly extending pair of shovel or bucket arms 52 interconnected by a horizontal brace 53. As shown in FIG. 4, the arms 52 are pivoted for up and down tilting movement about horizontal pins 54 on the main frame. A double-ended lever 55 (FIG. 4) is pivoted (by pivot means not shown) about the brace 53 and is connected at its lower end 57 through a link 59 to a pivot pin 61 on the back of a bucket 56, the latter being pivoted at the forward end of the arms 52 about a horizontal axis defined by pins 58. Normally, in the practice of the present invention, the cylinder 50 will be adjusted to hold the bucket 56 against its backward tilted limit to provide a stable carriage for the gauge wheel means 134.

The arms 52 may be lifted and lowered under the control of an operator by actuation of hydraulic jack means 51 having a piston rod 47 pivotally connected to the arms at a horizontal axis 45.

The bucket 56 in FIGS. 3-9, and the motor-grader scraper blade 30 in FIGS. 1-2, have in common the function of supporting the gauge wheel 134 or 310 which runs along the pavement and determines the operating depth of the trencher-loader unit. This will be described in greater detail.

With particular reference now to FIGS. 6 and 7, the trencher-loader unit 10 comprises a main support assembly 60 having a hollow main supporting frame 62. This, in plan view, is substantially diamond-shaped. It underhangs the rear portion of the front-end loader 48.

Frame 62 consists of two major portions: a horizontal flat portion 64 comprising an outer frame 100 and an inner frame 65, bolted together at flange connection 67 by bolts 71, and a central upstanding portion 66. Frame 62 is of suitable thickness to provide structural integrity, and to provide oil storage and cooling capacity for the hydraulic system. The portion 66, generally triangular shaped in FIG. 7, is preferably cast or welded integral with portion 64. The main supporting frame 62 is pivotally mounted on the side of the vehicle frame 49 by a long pin 68, extending through the frame upper portion 66, along an axis 69 lengthwise of the vehicle, and pivoted between brackets 70, 72 which are fixed, as by welding, to the left rear side of vehicle frame 49.

A bracket 74 (FIG. 7) is secured to the central upstanding portion 66 of the main supporting frame 62. Bracket 74 carries a top plate 80 to which the baseplate 76 of engine 78 is fastened as by bolts 82.

A load bearing wheel 86 (FIGS. 6 and 7) trails the supporting frame 62, preferably of the caster type, effective to support the rear portion of the trencher-loader unit 10. It is pivotable about an offset, upright, caster axis 87 on a supporting bracket 88 which, in turn, is tiltable up and down about a horizontal transverse axis 84 through a pin 90. The up and down movement of the bracket 88 may be accomplished in any suitable manner, as, for example, by an elevating hydraulic power cylinder 92. The pin 90 is supported between a pair of brackets 94 and 96 fixed on the back side of frame 62 in any suitable manner, as by welding. A fuel tank (not shown) for the engine 28 may be carried by the main supporting frame 62.

By adjusting the pressure fluid within the hydraulic cylinder 92, the weight of the trencher-loader unit 10 may be taken from the prime mover (12 or 48) and applied to the roadway directly through the load bearing wheel 86. This enables the prime mover to maintain a level condition while operating on a roadway 98.

A horizontal transverse axis 103 defined by a pin 102, is disposed along the leading edge of the outer end portion 100 of the horizontal flat portion 64, where it juts out beyond the left rear wheel of the prime mover 12 or 48. This horizontal transverse axis 103 is the pivot point for the back end of a cutter frame assembly 104 which comprises side plates 106 and 108 having upper flanged portions 110 and 112, respectively, and an inclined, chutelike, bottom floor 114. The cutter frame assembly 104 further includes an upstanding mast or A-shaped frame 116 supported upon and suitably operatively associated with the flanged portions 110 and 112 of the side plates 106 and 108, as best shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6. The A-shaped frame 116 terminates at its upper apex in a dual pivot universal joint or universal clevis 118 which enables motion to occur about a plurality of axes, that is, a generally horizontal transverse axis through a pin 120, and a generally vertical axis through a pin 122.

It is desirable that the width of the cutter frame assembly 104 be adjustable, enabling the trencher-loader unit 10 to dig trenches of different widths. To this end, a forward side plate 124 of the cutter frame assembly 104 is offset from the side plate 108 by a curved rear plate 126, which can readily be replaced with narrower or wider curved plates, enabling the overall width of the cutter box to be varied. Removable side cutting edges comprising beveled blades 128 and 130, and a bottom beveled blade 132 are respectively operatively associated in any suitable manner with the side plates 106 and 124, and the bottom floor 114, enabling them to be readily removed for sharpening, replacement, and the like. They constitute a U-shaped cutter box defining the shape and size of the trench.

The depth of the bottom cutting blade 132 is gauged from the roadway pavement 98 by a gauge wheel-linkage arrangement operatively associated with a gauge wheel 310 or 134 in the FIG. 1 or 3 embodiments respectively.

With particular reference now to FIGS. 3 and 4, a gauge wheel 134, preferably a solid rubber tire on a steel wheel, similar to the rear load bearing wheel 86, is mounted on the underside of the bucket 56. The gauge wheel 134 is preferably longitudinally aligned with loader wheels 136 and 138 adjacent the pavement edge.

As shown in FIG. 3, a brace or stiffening bar 140* is secured across the bucket arms 52, and has a stabilizing strut extension 142 beyond the left side of the front end loader. A power cylinder 144 comprises a power-adjustable link between a bracket 146 fastened to the side plate 106, and the extension 142. The cylinder 144 can be adjusted to vary the depth of the bottom cutting blade 132 relative to the gauge wheel 134. This sets the depth of the trench.

One of the significant aspects of this particular assembly for gauging the depth of a trench 14 is that the cutter frame assembly 104 can be lifted completely out of contact with the ground 16. This is especially useful when passing an intersecting highway, or a driveway, or any other location where it is desired that the trencher-loader unit be disposed in an inoperative position, but yet can be replaced in exactly the same cutting position, at the requisite depth, by simply lifting and lowering bucket 56 by activation of cylinder 51, see FIGURE 4.

A floating, spring-loaded feeder conveyor assembly 152 digs, feeds, removes and drags trenched earth material 198 upwardly along the inclined bottom floor 114. It is positioned within and over the U-shaped cutter frame assembly 104. The feeder conveyor assembly 152 extends upwardly, over and beyond the receiving end of an endless conveyor belt 154 of an elevating conveyor assembly 156, and comprises an endless chain 166 with a plurality of flights, digging members or scraper blades 168; and anger paddles 194. The feeding conveyor assembly includes: a forward, driven shaft 158; a rear, driving shaft 160; and sprocket wheels 162 and 164, respectively, mounted thereupon. The chain linkage 166 is trained about the sprockets. The scraper blades 168 are preferably equally spaced along the outside of the chain linkage 166.

With particular reference now to FIGS. 4 and 6, the shaft 158 may be rotatably journaled in bearing housings or trunnions 170 and 172 which are fastened to the forward underside of a pair of forwardly extending feeder conveyor arms 174 and 176. The latter are joined and made rigid by a cross-tube 178 and are pivotally mounted for up and down tilting movement about the rear shaft 160. The forward end of the feeder conveyor arms 174 and 176, and the feeder conveyor assembly 152, are urged downwardly by a suitable biasing means, such as compression spring 180 held between the forward upper side of the feeder arm 174, and a heavy duty flat washer 182 and nut 186 on the upper end of a rod 184. The bottom of rod 184 is pivotably mounted to the bracket 146 by a pin 188, bracket 146 being carried by side plate 106.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, a chain guide roller 190 is carried by a bracket 191 fastened on the bottom side of a cross tube 193 which extends between the arms 174 and 176. The roller 190 trains the lower run of the feeder conveyor chain 166 and keeps it parallel with the drag plate 114. This improves conveyor efficiency by maintaining uniform, close spacing between the plate 114 and the flights 168. In FIG. 6, an auger shaft 192 (which may be integral with the shaft 158) comprises an axial extension of the shaft 158. It overhangs and extends beyond the side plate 124. The shaft 192 has positioned on it as many diametrically opposed auger paddles 194 as is necessary, depending upon the width of the cutter frame assembly 104 which, as hereinbefore pointed out, is adjustable by selecting the proper width of the rear plate 126 corresponding to the width of trench being made. The auger paddles 194 function to move the excavated material 198 inwardly toward the feeder conveyor scraper blades 168. Suitable gears (not shown), such as spiroid gears, or right angle beveled gears, are disposed within a gear head or box 196, and are suitably driven, in a manner hereinafter to be described, so as to power the drive sprocket wheel 164. It, in turn, drives the other sprocket wheel 162, and the corresponding shafts 160 and 158, 192, through the chain linkage 166. The gear box 196 is bolted on the flanged portion 110 of the side plate 106.

As hereinbefore pointed out, the elevating conveyor assembly 156 is mutually cooperatively associated with the feeder conveyor assembly 1 52, enabling the feeder conveyor assembly to receive the trenched material 198 which is to be removed, and dispose of it rearwardly to back-fill off-road shoulders, or to load a dump truck 200 on-road as illustrated in phantom in FIGS. 2 and 5. As shown in FIG. 3, the elevating conveyor assembly 156 is supported and maintained at a predetermined inclination by a yoke 202 suitably pivoted on pins 204 on a main conveyor framework 206, and comprises a fork 207 reinforced by a brace 208. An adjustable power cylinder 210 is connected at one end, through the universal clevis 118, to the A-shaped frame 116. At the other end, it is connected through the center block 214 and piston rod 212 to yoke 202.

As particularly illustrated in FIGS. 4, 8 and 9, the elevating conveyor assembly 156 is supported at its front end on a clevis or yoke 218, which, in turn, is pivoted for horizontal swinging movement about the axis 221 of a vertical pin 220 extending from the bottom of the yoke through an aperture in the top plate of the main cutter assembly 104. The pin is threaded at the bottom end and held in place by the nut and washer shown. This arrangement enables the elevating conveyor 156 to be swung horizontally independently of the feeder conveyor assembly 152.

It is desirable that the elevating conveyor assembly 156 also be capable of up and down tilting movement independent of the feeder conveyor assembly in any swung position thereof. To that end, the conveyor assembly 156 is pivotably mounted for up and down tilting movement about a generally horizontal axis 237 defined 'by a pair of 'bearing retainers 236, 238 rotatable about that axis. Retainers 2-36, 238 are rotatable respectively within the bores 239 and 241 of the upstanding forks 226 and 228 of the clevis 218. The bearing retainers 236, 238, in the shape of grooved, flanged, round tubes, are mounted onto the side plates 248, 250 of the elevating conveyor assembly by clamp rings 249 and 251. Thus, as the elevating conveyor is tilted 'up and down by cylinder 210, the members 236, 238 will turn within the bores 239 and 241.

The retainers 236, 238 also support bearings 232, 234 which journal the supporting shaft 222 for the forward, driven elevating conveyor roller 256.

The horizontal swinging of the elevating conveyor assembly 156 is limited by stop pins 240, 242 which are carried by the yoke 218 and which extend from the bottom thereof into arcuate slots 244, 246 formed within the upper plate 105 of the cutter frame assembly 104. These stop pins 240, 242 are threaded at the bottom ends and are provided with nuts and washers, as shown, to lock the elevating conveyor assembly in any preferred swung position.

An important feature of the trencher-loader uni-t 10 is that the cutter frame assembly 104 can be adjusted, that is, raised or lowered, to a desired depth relative to the gauge wheel 164, by the hydraulic cylinder 144. Another important feature is that the adjustment for the depth of the cutter frame assembly 104 is substantially completely independent of the adjustment for the height of the elevating conveyor assembly 156. Still further, the conveyor assembly 156, in addition to its independent adjustment for height, is laterally swingable independently of and with respect to the cutter frame assembly 104. An excavating device or apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention will therefore be seen to comprise an assemblage of pivot locations enabling the various component elements or parts thereof to be translated along similar or different planes of movement substantially completely independently of one another.

The elevating conveyor assembly 156 has reinforced longitudinal side plates 248 and 250 of generally chan neled-shaped configuration, which side plates are suitably disposed in fixed, substantially parallel, or at least spacedapart, relationship with respect to one another, and may be fabricated of any suitable material, such as steel plate. A plurality of guide and support rollers 252 for the material-carrying run are disposed at substantially equal space intervals between the driving pulley 254 at the upper, discharge end, and the driven pulley 256 at the lower, receiving end. The endless conveyor belt 154, preferably of rubber-like material, has its material-carrying run supported on the rollers 252 and its return nun supported on a return idler 260. The rollers and pulleys are supported by and between side plates 248 and 250. If desired, the belt 154 may be provided with ribs (not shown), of any suitable and conventional configuration, such as V-shaped, for aiding in holding the trenched material 198 on the belt 154, particularly in those applications where the conveyor assembly is elevated at a steep angle.

The engine 78 provides a convenient, integral, selfcontained power source for the mechanical and hydraulic actuated components. A hydraulic system and transmission and gear reduction assembly is generally designated 262.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the engine 78 drives a main power shaft 264, through assembly 262 and U-joint 266.

The main power shaft 264 extends from the U-joint 266 to the U-joint 268. The latter drives a short shaft 267 which is journaled in a bearing housing 269 fastened to the conveyor side plate 248.

The shaft 267 carries a power take-off sprocket 272 (for a purpose to be described later) and is connected through U-joint 284, shaft 282, and U-joint 286, into a conveyor drive gear box 287 fastened to side plate 248. Any suitable gearing arrangement may be used in the box 287 to enable the shaft 282 to rotate the shaft 290 for the drive pulley 254. Shaft 282 comprises a pair of splined, telescopical sections 282a and 282k.

Sprocket 272 (FIG. 5) drives a sprocket 276 through a chain 280. Sprocket 276 drives a forwardly extending shaft 292 which is journaled along the side plate 248 by bearing housing 278 and 294 (FIGS. 5 and 4). Bearing housing 294 is carried upon a brace 296 fastened to the side plate 248.

As shown in FIG. 4, the forward end of shaft 292 is connected through U-joint 300, shaft 298, and U-joint 302 into the gear box 196 already described for the feeder conveyor assembly 152.

The main power shaft 264 extends between the fixed gear box 262 and the bearing housing 269 which swings and tilts with the conveyor. Likewise, the feeder conveyor power shaft 298 extends between the fixed gear box 196 and the bearing housing 294 which swings and tilts with the conveyor. To accommodate this swinging and tilting movement, and to drive at any swung or tilted position of the elevating conveyor, each of these shafts is Z-piece, telescopical, and splined. Shaft 264 comprises two splined sections 264a and 26412. Shaft 298 similarly comprises the two sections 298a and 298b. This enables the feeder conveyor to discharge trenched material onto the elevating conveyor at all swung and elevated positions.

Top plate 80 (FIGS. 2, 4 and 6), to which the engine 78 is bolted, preferably has provision to rotatably adjust the position of the engine relative to the drive shaft 264. Arcuate slots 81, formed in the plate 80, permit the engine 78 to be generally aligned with the drive shaft 264 and thereby reducing the strain on U-joints 266 and 268.

The power train can be summarized as follows: the engine 78 powers the elevating conveyor drive pulley 254, through shafts 264 and 282. The power take-off at the sprocket 272 drives the feeder conveyor 152 through the shafts 292 and 298. Shafts 264 and 298 are splined and extensible to drive at any swung position of the conveyor. Suitable hydraulic pressure generating means, comprising a pump in the assembly 262, may be powered by the engine 78.

In FIGS. 4 and 5, the flow of power through shafts 264, 282, 292, and 298 is shown by the direction of the arrows on those shafts. In certain other figures, reference arrows are employed to show direction of movement of the parts themselves.

FIG. 7 shows the slope control and adjustment. This comprises an adjusting jack screw 304 threadcdly engaged within a supporting bracket 306 suitably fixed on the right rear side of the main frame 49 of the front end loader 48. The jack screw 304 is vertically aligned with and bears against a pressure pad 307 on a supporting bracket 308 at the far right edge of the main supporting frame 62. With this adjustment control, the cutter frame assembly 104 and the U-shaped cutter on its forward end may be tilted sidewise about axis 69 to, for example, compensate for the crown of the roadway 98. Thus, even with a substantial crown in the road, the trenche'r-loader unit can produce a uniformly level trench.

With the understanding that gauge wheels 134 and 310 function alike, gauge wheel 310 (FIGS. 1 and 2) will not be described. Preferably it is the caster type and serves the same function as the gauge wheel 134 described in connection with the attachment unit for the front end loader shown in FIGS. 3-9.

Structually, the gauge wheels resemble the load wheel 86. As shown in FIG. 1, the gauge wheel 310 is mounted upon the scraper blade 30 by a series of bolts 312, nuts 314 and washers 316, only one set of which is shown. By releasing the bolts, the gauge wheel 310 can readily be removed to allow the motor grader 12 to be utilized for other work. To stabilize the attachment of unit 10 to the motor grader, an upstanding bracket 318 is fixed, removably as by bolts not shown, to the upper portion of the scraper blade 30. The bracket 318 has an upstanding extension 320 to which the piston rod 325 of cylinder 144 is connected, as for example on the pin 326.

To rigidity the stabilizing arrangement just described, a stabilizing strut 322 is fixed to the top of the extension 320 and extends in a generally forward direction (FIG. 2) to a forward anchor on the frame 22, just above the front wheels 24, at a point 327.

The cylinder 144 comprises an adjustable link between the cutter frame 104 and the gauge wheel 310 which rolls on the pavement surface 98. The adjustment of cylinder 144 determines the depth of cut, that is, the level of the trench below the pavement surface. When passing a driveway or other obstruction which must not be cut through, the operator lifts the scraper blade 30 by means of the normal controls for that purpose on the motor grader. This lifts the gauge wheel, the cylinder 144, and the cutter frame 104, taking the latter out of digging contact with the ground until the unit gets past the obstruction at which time trench-cutting can be resumed by lowering the blade 30 until the gauge wheel 310 is again on the pavement surface. Since this is done without changing the adjustment of the cylinder 144, trenching will be resumed at exactly the same depth as before.

The operation of the trencher-loade'r unit 10, whether used on a motor grader, front end loader, or other suitable prime mover, is believed readily apparent from the foregoing description. Such a unit, although designed to be used as an attachment to a prime mover, is particularly adapted to be controlled and operated from a control panel (not shown) installed in, or within easy reach of, an operators position on the prime mover. For example, in FIG. 1, the motor grader 12 has a cab 323; and in FIG. 3, the front end loader has a cab 324. The engine 78 of the trencher-loader unit may be started from the prime mover cab and all other control functions for the operation of the trencher-loader unit may be manipulated from the cab.

For example, the depth of the U-shaped cutter box at the front of the cutting frame assembly 104 of FIG. 1 may be adjusted, remotely, by the cylinder 144. Likewise the inclination of the elevating conveyor 156 can be varied at the operators will by adjusting the cylinder 2110. And, as previously described, the cutter frame 104' can be taken completely up, out of contact with the shoulder, by lifting either the motor grader blade 30 or the bucket 56 when it is desired to cross over a driveway, intersecting highway, or the like. These adjustments often need to be made quite frequently, therefore it is desirable that they be readily made from the operators cab.

Other adjustments, which need not be made so frequently, but are more in the nature of set-up for the job, will 'be to swing the elevating conveyor 156 for truck loading, or for windrowing along the shoulder; the slope control by the adjustment of screw 304; and setting the width of the trench by use of the requisite width cutter box back plate 126 and corresponding number of anger paddles 194.

Digging is commenced simply by actuating the controls at the operators position to tram the prime mover and at the same time engaging the clutch to start the main power shaft 264 to thereby simultaneously actuate the feeding and elevating conveyors, and adjust cylinder 144 for the proper trenching depth.

One important feature of the trencher-loader unit 10 is that it is primarily intended to be an attachment unit and can readily be assembled and disassembled with respect to the motor-grader 12, the front end loader 48, or any other similar prime mover, with a minimum amount of time and effort.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the trencher-loader unit may be disassembled from the motor grader simply by releasing bolts 312 to remove the gauge wheel 310; releasing the pin 326 to disconnect the cylinder 144; and releasing the longitudinal pin 68 to disconnect the main frame 62.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, the trencher-loader unit may be removed from the front end loader by unbolting the gauge wheel 134; releasing the pin 326 to disconnect the cylinder 144; and releasing the pin 68.

In effect, it can be said the apparatus 10 is removably, operatively associated with respect to the prime mover as through the medium of a plurality of pin assemblies, one such assembly being located at each end of the unit 10.

-In some instances it may be desirable to remove the trencher-loader from the prime mover exclusive of the engine 78 and the load bearing Wheel 86. This is accomplished by first blocking up the trencher-loader. The pin 326 is then disconnected to free cylinder 144. The outer end frame 100 is unbolted from the inner frame 65. The prime mover is then driven ahead, separating the two sections of the telescopic drive shaft 264. Drive shaft section 264b remains fastened to the engine unit and section 264a comes free with the trencher-loader.

In summary, the trencher-loader unit of the present invention comprises: a main support assembly 60 pivotable (for slope adjustment) about the longitudinal axis 69 on the prime mover frame 22 or 49; a cutter frame assembly 104 pivotable up and down on assembly 60 about transverse axis 103-, to vary the trenching depth; a feeder conveyor assembly 152 pivotable on assembly 104, about a horizontal transverse axis through its rear driving shaft and an elevating conveyor assembly 156 swingable from side to side on assembly 104, about an upright axis 221, and tiltable up and down on yoke 218, about a horizontal transverse axis 237.

While the invention has been shown, illustrated, described and disclosed in terms of embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention should not be deemed to be limited by the precise embodiments or modifications herein shown, illustrated, described or disclosed, such other embodiments or modifications intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and spirit of the claims here appended.

What is claimed is:

1. A trencher-loader unit for widening a road bed, comprising:

a cutter frame assembly for defining the width of the trench;

a main supporting frame;

the cutter frame assembly being pivotally mounted on the main supporting frame for up-down tilting movement about a substantially horizontal axis;

a feeder conveyor assembly disposed on the cutter frame assembly;

an elevating conveyor assembly being pivotally mounted on the cutter frame assembly for up and down tilting movement about a second substantially horizontal axis independent of the cutter frame assembly, said elevating conveyor assembly being disposed upon the cutter frame assembly in materialreceiving relationship with the feeder conveyor assembly;

a first telescoping splined drive shaft universally connected between a power source and .a first sprocket wheel which is rotatably supported by the elevating conveyor assembly;

a first reach shaft disposed on the elevating conveyor assembly between the first sprocket wheel and drive gearing for the elevating conveyor assembly;

a second reach shaft operatively positioned upon the elevating conveyor assembly;

a second sprocket wheel positioned upon one end portion of the second reach shaft in driving relationship with the first sprocket Wheel;

a second telescoping splined drive shaft universally connected to the other end portion of the second reach shaft; and

gear means operatively associated with the feeder conveyor assembly enabling the first telescoping splined drive shaft to simultaneously drive both conveyor assemblies at all positions of the elevating conveyor assembly.

2. A road widening trencher-loader unit for attachment to a road vehicle for use in cutting a trench along the edge of a roadway as a step in the process of widening the roadway, said trencher unit including, in combination,

a main supporting frame adapted to be removably connected to said road vehicle,

means for cutting said trench including a trough-like cutter frame assembly privotally mounted to said main supporting frame for up and down tilting movement about a first generally horizontal axis,

first conveying means carried by said cutter frame assembly for conveying the trenched material along and rearwardly of said cutter frame,

second conveying means for receipt and transport of the trenched material upon discharge from said cutter assembly,

means for attaching said second conveying means to said cutter frame assembly for rotation about a substantially upright axis and for up and down tilting about a second generally horizontal axis to thereby enable independent adjustment of said second conveying means relative to said cutter frame assembly,

a bracket pivotally mounted to said main supporting frame,

a load bearing wheel carried by said bracket, and

means secured between said bracket and said main supporting frame for pivoting said load bearing wheel into and out of load supporting engagement with the roadway.

3. A road widening trencher-loader unit for attachment to a road vehicle for use in cutting a trench along the edge of a roadway as a step in the process of widening the roadway, said trencher-loader unit including, in combination,

a main supporting frame assembly adapted to be removably connected to said road vehicle in a position extending laterally outwardly of said road vehicle,

means for cutting said trench carried by said main supporting frame assembly in a position laterally spaced from said road vehicle, said trench cutting means including a trough-like cutter frame assembly mounted for pivotal movements with said main supporting frame assembly about a first generally horizontal axis,

means for digging and conveying the trenched material along and rearwardly of said cutter frame assembly, and

second conveying means for receipt and transport of the trenched material upon discharge from said cutter frame assembly,

said second conveying means being pivotally mounted for movement about a second generally horizontal axis directly on the main supporting frame assembly,

said second conveying means being further mounted for pivotal movement about a generally vertical axis on the main supporting frame assembly to thereby provide independent adjustment of said second conveying means relative to said cutter frame assembly.

4. The structure of claim 2 further characterized by and including a drive motor carried by said main supporting frame assembly and means establishing a driving connection between,

firstly, said drive motor and said means for digging and conveying the trenched material along and rearwardly of said cutter frame assembly, and between Y secondly, said drive motor and said second conveying-means throughout all relative positions thereof.

-5. The structure of claim 3 further characterized by and including,

a bracket pivotally mounted to said main supporting frame assembly, a load bearing wheel carried by said bracket, and

means secured between said bracket and said main supporting frame assembly for pivoting said load bearing wheel into and out of load supporting engagement with the roadway.

6. The structure of claim 3 further characterized in that the second conveying means is so mounted on the main supporting frame assembly that the axes about which said second conveying means is pivotally mounted substantially intersect one another.

7. The structure of claim 3 further including means for valying the depth of cut of the cutter frame assembly,

and depth of cut variation means being operatively connected to the cutter frame assembly and having connecting means connected to lifting means associated with the road vehicle whereby the cutter frame as sembly may be elevated above, and returned to, an established trench cutting position without operating the depth of cut variation means.

8. The structure of claim 7 further characterized in that the means for varying the depth of cut of the cutter frame assembly includes an adjustable link which is pivotally connected to the cutter frame assembly.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 771,746 10/1904 Peters l9898 2,564,486 8/1951 MacDonald 198-8 X 2,696,289 12/1954 Lehman l9899 X 2,981,012 4/1961 Meyer.

3,245,159 4/1966 MacDonald 37-8 X 3,308,563 3/1967 Danek 378 X FOREIGN PATENTS 143,584 9/1951 Australia.

ABRAHAM G. STONE, Primary Examiner.

A. E. KOPECKI, Assistant Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent N0. 3 ,392 ,464 July 16 1968 Raymore D. MacDonald It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 8, line 35, after "is" insert of Column 11, line 41, claim reference numeral "2" should read 3 Column 12, line 20, "and" should read said Signed and sealed this 30th day of December 1969.

(SEAL) Attest:

Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.

Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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AU143584B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3590927 *Sep 29, 1969Jul 6, 1971Ryan Equipment Co TheMounting for sod-cutting machine
US3680233 *Mar 17, 1970Aug 1, 1972Int Harvester CoContinuous excavating loader with pivotal discharge conveyor
US4353175 *Jun 2, 1980Oct 12, 1982Resonant Technology CompanyResonantly driven trenching tool
US4821808 *Feb 4, 1988Apr 18, 1989Resonant Technology CompanyResonantly driven earth moving blade
US7071776 *Mar 22, 2004Jul 4, 2006Kyocera Wireless Corp.Systems and methods for controlling output power in a communication device
US7326020Apr 1, 2005Feb 5, 2008Mudhen, LlcMulti-purpose vessel and method for recovering, storing and/or offloading material in a dredging operation
US7793443Feb 5, 2009Sep 14, 2010Galbreath Guy RandallSoil fracturing tool
WO2006138617A2 *Jun 16, 2006Dec 28, 2006Michael D PlattTop loading wedge with adjustably engageable bottom apparatus and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification37/375, 198/511
International ClassificationE02F3/76
Cooperative ClassificationE02F3/7695
European ClassificationE02F3/76R
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 15, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: CONTINENTAL ILLINOIS NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GOODMAN EQUIPMENT CORPORATION A DE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004315/0673
Effective date: 19840801