US 3406424 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1968 R. c. RUSH 3,406,424
LAWN AND PARKING LOT CLEANER Filed Aug. 1, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 ROY C. RUS H By INVENTOI? BUG/(HORN, BLORE, KLAROU/ST 8 SPAR/(MAN ATTORNEYS Oct. 22, 1968 R. c. RUSH 3,406,424
LAWN AND PARKING LOT CLEANER v Filed Aug. 1, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 ROY C. RUSH lNVE/VTOR BY BUCKHORN, BLORE, KLAROU/ST a SPAR/(MAN AT T ORA/E Y5 Oct 22, R, Q RUSH LAWN AND PARKING LOT CLEANER Filed Aug. 1, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. 5 1
FIG-8 ROY C. RUSH JIVVENTOR BUCKfi/OEW, BLORE, KLAROU/ST 8 SPAR/(MAN ATTORNEYS Oct. 22, R c RUSH LAWN AND PARKING LOT CLEANER 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Aug. 1, 1966 FIG.9
ROY C. RUSH INVENTOR BUCKHORN, BL ORE, KLAROU/ST 8 SPAR/(MAN arromvsm United States Patent 3,406,424 LAWN AND PARKING LOT CLEANER Roy C. Rush, 6129 NE. Skidmore, Portland, Oreg. 97218 Filed Aug. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 569,254 3 Claims. (Cl. --340) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A lawn and parking lot cleaner having a propelling or driving vehicle and a cleaning vehicle, which latter includes beating and suction equipment. The driving vehicle and the cleaning vehicle are joined together by a universal joint which permits the suction and beating vehicle to move independently in the vertical and transverse directions or float with respect to the driving vehicle. The method of attachment disclosed wherein the cleaning vehicle is articulated to the driving vehicle permits the cleaning vehicle to adjust to a continuously varying ground contour as the apparatus is driven along.
This invention relates to machinery for cleaning large areas and, more particularly, to apparatus for cleaning such areas as parking lots, cemeteries, parks and golf courses.
Many different kinds of apparatus have been developed in the past to clean large surface areas, such as parking lots, cemeteries, golf courses, parks and athletic fields. These have not been fully satisfactory, however, especially for those areas having varying surface contours, because the sweeping or suction portion of the apparatus has failed to adapt and adjust itself to the ground, thereby imperfectly to clean the same. Furthermore, the presently existing apparatus has not been able efficiently to clean large lawn areas having numerous obstructions, such as shrubs, trees, or cemetery markers, since it has not been possible to exert maximum cleaning power while driving the appartus slowly around the impediments.
It is thus the primary object of the present invention to provide a lawn and parking lot cleaner that will be able to clean efiiciently large areas characterized by a continuously varying ground contour.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a cleaning apparatus of the class described that will make it possible to clean efliciently and at full power around obstructions in lawn areas such as trees, shrubs and cemetery markers, around which the apparatus, of course must be driven very slowly.
The apparatus of the present invention achieves these and other objects and advantages by providing separate cleaning and propelling or driving units which are universally mounted together, thereby to accommodate continuous variations in ground contour. The cleaning and driving units are joined together by a universal ball joint which permits the cleaning unit to rotate, pitch and yaw, or float, with respect to the driving unit, thereby to permit the cleaner to adjust to variations in terrain as the apparatus is driven along. Each of the cleaning and driving units is separately housed and powered, while universally joined together as above described, so that even if the apparatus is driven very slowly as, for example, around trees or shrubs, the cleaning unit can still function at full power.
The invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description thereof and from the drawings, wherein FIG. 1 is a side elevational View of a lawn and parking lot cleaner constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the cleaner shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view-taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 77 o FIG. 3;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a plan view of a cleaner constructed in accordance with a different embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 10 is a side elevational view of the cleaner shown in FIG. 9.
Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, my lawn and parking lot cleaner 12 consists of two main parts: a propelling or driving vehicle 14 and a cleaning vehicle 16, which latter includes beating and suction equipment. The driving vehicle 14 and the cleaning vehicle 16 are joined together by a universal joint 18 which permits the suction and beating vehicle 16 to move independently in the vertical and transverse directions or float with respect to the driving vehicle 14. This method of attachment, wherein the cleaning vehicle 16 is articulated to the driving vehicle 14, permits the cleaner to adjust to a continuously varying ground contour as the apparatus is driven along.
Considering first the driving vehicle 14, it is seen to comprise a main chassis 19 formed of longitudinally-extending channels 20, from which are journaled front driving wheels 22, one on either side of the vehicle. 'A cross beam 23 joins the channels 20 at the front of the vehicle. A rear wheel 24 for steering the vehicle is journaled from a fork 26 which rotates in a bearing 28 welded to a bracket 30 supported from the chassis 19, as shown in FIG. 3. Rotation of the rear wheel 24 in the bearing 28 is accom plished by means of a steering wheel 32 which is joined by conventional means to a control rod 34 attached to a lever 36 which is pivotally attached to the chassis 19 at 38. The lever 36 actuates a connecting rod 40 which is attached to the fork 26, thereby to rotate the wheel 24.
A housing 42 with vertical supports 43 and mounted on the chassis 19 contains a motor 44 having a drive shaft 46 attached to a pulley 48 for transmitting power to a transmission shaft 50 by means of belts 52. The shaft 50 in turn fumishes power through a conventional transmission and differential 54 to the wheels 22, thereby to drive the vehicle 14. A clutch lever 56, forward and reverse gear shift levers 57 and 58, brake pedal 59 and engine controls 60 are provided as shown.
Considering next the cleaning vehicle 16, it is seen to comprise a main chassis 62 formed of longitudinally extending steel channels 64 welded to transversely extending channel-section cross beams 65, 66, 68 and 70, the latter two serving as supports for a motor 72 for supplying 3 power for the suction and heating means. (See FIGS. 3, 7 and 8.) A housing 74 (for the motor 72) having vertical and horizontal supports 76 and 78, respectively, is mounted on the chassis 62 as shown. A drive shaft 80 attached to a pulley 82 furnishes power for a fan 84 and beater 86 by means of belts 88 and 90, respectively. (See FIG. 3.)
The fan 84 is enclosed in a housing 92 and is supported on a shaft 94 which is rotated in a bearing 95 by a pulley 96 driven by the belt 88 operated from a clutch (not shown) and actuated by a clutch lever 97. The beater 86 is enclosed in a housing 98 which is in communication with the housing 92 and is attached thereto by means of a tie rod 100 and nut 102. The beater 86 is rotated by a belt 104 supported on pulleys 106 and 108, power being furnished through a gear box 110 by a pulley 111 driven by the belt 90. (See FIGS. 1 and 5.)
The chassis 62 for the cleaning vehicle 16 is attached to the chassis 19 of the driving vehicle 14 by a universal ball joint 112 attached to the cross beam 66 at the rear of the cleaning vehicle. The ball joint 112 is received in a socket 113 attached to a horizontal support 109 attached to the vertical supports 43 at the front of the driving vehicle chassis 19 and is retained in position by a lever (not shown) tightened by a knurled set screw 114. The front of the cleaning vehicle is supported on two outrigger wheels 115 which rotate in forks 116 attached to outrigger bars 117 welded to plates 118 which slide within channels 119 welded to the sides of the housing 98, the plates 118 being retained in position within the channels 119 by set screws 120. (See FIGS. 1, 2, and 6.)
Means are also provided to adjust the height of the front of the cleaning vehicle 16 with respect to the driving vehicle 14. A crank 122 is attached to the top of an internally threaded sleeve 124, which is attached to a vertical support 76 by a flange 126 attached to a cross beam 128. Rotation of a nut (not shown) within the sleeve 124 moves the cleaning vehicle chassis 62 vertically upon a threaded shaft 130, the lower end 131 of which is welded to a stabilizing angle 132 supported on a plate 134 on the driving vehicle chassis cross beam 23. (See FIGS. 3, 7 and 8.) The plate 134 serves to reduce the friction between the angle 132 and the cross beam 23. The angle 132 limits the amount of rotation of the cleaning vehicle chassis 62 about the lower end 131 of the shaft 130 which would otherwise occur due to the point support provided.
A guide plate 136 is welded to each of the channels 64 to limit the amount of sidewise movement of the cleaning vehicle chassis 62 about the universal joint 18 by their contact with the channels of the driving vehicle chassis 19.
The fan 84 is adapted to draw air through the opening 99 of the beater housing 98, thereby to reduce the air pressure in the region of the opening 99. The fan 84 exhausts the air through a duct 140 into a flexible conduit 142 and thence into a screen-covered receptacle 144 for rubbish mounted on the rear of the driving vehicle 14. (See FIGS. 1 and 2.) A bypass 146 controlled by a flap 148 and control rod 150 permits the fan 84 to exhaust directly to the atmosphere bypassing the receptacle 144, should this be desired. (See FIGS. 1 and 4.)
The beater 86 consists of a central shaft 152 to which are attached cylinders or fingers 154 of flexible rubber as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5. The shaft 152 rotates in a bearing 156 attached to a support angle 158, the height of which is vertically adjustable with respect to the housing 98 by being adjustably attached to a guide plate 160 by bolts 162. (See FIGS. 5 and 6.) The bottom of the housing 98 is provided with a skirt 164, the front piece 166 of which is also vertically adjustable. A linkage 168 consisting of an actuating rod 170 supported by brackets 172, 173 attached to the housings 98 and 74, respectively, rotates a bell crank 174 about a pivot point 176 to lift a horizontal cross member 177 attached to rods 178 dis posed within cylindrical guides 180. The rods 178 are attached to a channel 182 aflixed to the front skirt 166, thereby to permit adjustments in height as desired.
FIGS. 9 and 10 show a cleaner constructed in accordance with a different embodiment of the present invention. Where the cleaner is to be used to clean flat level areas exclusively, such as parking lots, the outrigger wheels and their supports can be eliminated entirely. FIGS. 9 and 10 shOW the height of the front of the cleaning 'vehicle 16 adjusted by the crank 122 to a position such that the opening 99 of the housing 98 clears the surface S by a fixed amount. The opening 99 is then maintained in this fixed position with respect to the driving vehicle 14, which position will be adequate for completely level areas. The embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 is also provided with a cyclone type of receptacle 184. Debris drawn through the opening 99 by the fan 84 is transmitted through the duct into the conduit 142, through a duct 186 and thence under a perforated cone 188 disposed within the cyclone receptacle 184. Rubbish, leaves and other debris remain in the bottom of the receptacle, the air exhausting through the perforations 190 into the atmosphere.
In the foregoing description, the invention has been de scribed with reference to certain particular preferred embodiments, although it is to be understood that the specific details shown are merely illustrative and that the invention may be carried out in other ways without departing from the true spirit and scope of the following appended claims.
1. A cleaning apparatus, comprising a driving vehicle; a beam extending longitudinally of said driving vehicle; a cross beam attached to said longitudinally extending beam, said longitudinally extending beam and said cross beam forming a chassis for said driving vehicle; a pair of driving wheels journaled one one each side of said driving vehicle chassis at the front thereof; a bracket attached to said driving vehicle chassis at the rear thereof; a fork rotatably attached to said bracket; a wheel journaled in said fork for steering said driving vehicle; a housing mounted on said driving vehicle chassis; a motor mounted on said driving vehicle chassis within said driving vehicle housing and connected to drive at least one of said driving wheels; means attached to said driving vehicle chassis connected to said fork for rotating the same to steer said driving vehicle; a cleaning vehicle positioned in front of said driving vehicle, said cleaning vehicle having a chassis separate from said driving vehicle chassis; a ball attached to the rear of said cleaning vehicle chassis; a socket attached to the front of said driving vehicle chassis; means to retain said ball rotat-ably within said socket to articulate said cleaning vehicle chassis to said driving vehicle chassis to permit said cleaning vehicle to rotate, pitch and yaw with respect to said driving vehicle; a housing mounted on said cleaning vehicle chassis having a lower opening therein disposed substantially parallel to the surface to be cleaned;a fan disposed in said cleaning vehicle housing for reducing the air pressure in the region of said lower opening; a rotatable shaft mounted Within said cleaning vehicle housing, the axis of said shaft being parallel to said lower opening, said shaft being vertically adjustable with respect to said lower opening;-a plurality of flexible fingers attached to said shaft and adapted to contact said surface to be cleaned; a motor mounted on said cleaning vehicle chassis within said cleaning vehicle housing and connected to drive said fan and rot-ate said shaft; a pair of outrigger wheels journaled one on each side of said cleaning vehicle chassis at the front thereof for supporting the same above said surface to be cleaned, said outrigger wheels being vertically adjustable with respect to said surface; -a skirt disposed about said lower opening in said cleaning vehicle housing, said skirt having a front piece, said front piece being vertically adjustable with respect to said lower opening; a receptacle for rubbish mounted on said driving vehicle; and a flexible conduit connecting said receptacle with the interior of said cleaning vehicle housing, whereby rubbish agitated by said flexible fingers and drawn into said cleaning vehicle housing by said reduced air pressure caused by said fan is transferred to said receptacle.
2. A cleaning apparatus as described in claim 1, further comprising a bypass duct in communication with said cleaning vehicle housing, and means to close off said flexible conduit to permit said fan to exhaust directly to the atmosphere.
3. A cleaning apparatus as described in claim 1 in which said flexible fingers are rubber fingers.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Phillips.
Elliotte 15340 Etem.
Boissonnault 15340 XR Hank et al. 15340 Krier et a1 15-340 ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner.