US 3419095 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 31, 1968 c. E. HOOD VEHICLE PROPULSION MEANS FOR USE OVER SNOW Filed Nov. 8. 1966 United States Patent 6 3,419,095 VEHICLE PROPULSION MEANS FOR USE OVER SNOW Carl E. Hood, Paonia, Colo. (P.O. Box 7, Darrouzett, Tex. 79024) Filed Nov. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 592,779 Claims. (Cl. 180-6) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Vehicle propulsion means, including a relatively cylindrical reel-like rotor for driving travel upon a vehiclesupporting surface, such, for example, as a surface covered with snow, ice or other compactible material, such rotor having as operative parts thereof a plurality of radially-offstanding annularly spaced driving blades each carrying an individually yieldable cushioning element extending axially of the rotor and so dimensioned as to substantially fill the spaces between the blades, these cushioning elements serving, due to their constant flexing, to free the rotor of any material having a tendency to impact therein, to add buoyancy and to improve traction and mobility.
This invention relates to vehicle propulsion means, and it has particular reference to such means primarily for the propulsion of vehicles over snow-covered surfaces, and especially of vehicles for travel upon such surfaces, such as sleds, sledges and toboggans; and it may also be employed, preferably in adjunctive form, in the propulsion of skis, and in such form comprising a tractor-type member which may be attached to the skis or be handled by the person wearing the skis, in either case being controlled by such person.
One, and the primary, object of the invention is to provide a propulsion device of this type which, in operation, witl not become clogged by impacted snow or ice.
Another object is to provide such a device which may be driven by mechanical means including a driving motor.
A further object is to provide such a device the operation of which will be dependable, and which will function properly and effectively in the propulsion of vehicles over dry snow, wet snow, deep snow, shallow snow, ice and other compactible vehicle-supporting surface coverings.
Another object is to provide a device of this character which may be employed to either push or pull a vehicle.
Wih these and other objects in view, as will be apparent from the following description, the invention comprises vehicle propulsion means including a relatively cylindrical reel-like rotor for driving travel upon the vehicle-supporting surface, such rotor having a plurality of radially-olfstanding driving blades each of which is provided, interiorly of the rotor, with a yieldable cushioning element, and the offstanding edges of the blades being either plain or serrated for gripping contact or engagement with the supporting surface (the snow, ice or other compactible material), and the yielding cushioning elements serving, due to their constant flexing, to free the rotor of any snow and ice having a tendency to impact therein adjacent to the blades, and serving also to add buoyancy to the device and hence prevent its digging down into the surface covering, while at the same time the cushioning elements have a tendency to wedge therein, thus improving traction and mobility, all as will be explained hereinafter more fully and finally claimed.
In the accompanying drawing illustrating the invention, in the several figures of which like parts are similarly designated,
FIG. 1 is a side elevation, with parts in section and broken away, of the device of the invention embodied in a motor-driven tractor flexibly coupled to a tobogganlike sled,
FIG. 2 is an end view, upon a larger scale, of the rotor device, with parts broken away and in section,
FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the rotor as viewed from the right of FIG. 2, and
FIG. 4 illustrates, in a reduced scale, a modification in which the device is embodied in a self-contained tractor independently operable over a snow-covered surface or the like and subject to control by a walking attendant.
Having reference to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the tractor device of the invention therein shown includes a frame 1 having an axle 2 on which the rotor 3 is mounted and driven through chain and sprocket, or belt, gearing 4 by a suitable motor 5. A housing 6 protects the moving parts of the device from the weather, and a partition 7 in such housing divides the motor compartment therein from the compartment overlying the rotor.
The tractor device is preferably connected with the vehicle 8 to be propelled by a flexible coupling, such as hinge means or a universal joint 9, and steering may be accomplished by a steering wheel 10 adjacent to the drivers seat 11 connected by cables 12 and 13 with the opposite sides of the rear end frame member 14 of the frame 1.
Having reference particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that the rotor 3 comprises a plurality, preferably three, of circular discs 15 rigidly axially connected with the axle 2 and having their peripheries provided with a plurality of aligned radial slots 16 in which are fixedly seated a corresponding plurality of blades 17 the outer edges of which extend beyond the peripheries of the discs 15 and may be serrated, as indicated at 18, or may be plain. Thus, the rotor is of skeleton form.
On the inner edge of each of the blades 17 is carried a yieldable, preferably cylindrical, cushioning, or buoying, element 19 which preferably comprises a sheathing member 20, such as a sheet of belting material, cylindrically enclosing a filling member of yieldable, resilient material 21, such as foam rubber either molded to the desired cylindrical form, or in sheet form rolled into a cylinder, the sheathing member being riveted, as indicated at 22, or otherwise appropriately attached to those portions of the blades 17 that extend radially interiorly of the rotor discs 15. It will be noted that the peripheries of the several elements 19 are slightly spacedapart in order to afford them space for distortion in the presence of snow or ice tending to enter the rotor between them and, as hereinbefore indicated, their yieldable resiliency will serve to expel from between them any such snow or ice, thus maintaining the blades 17 clear for proper gripping engagement with the surface that is being travelled over.
Alternatively, the yieldable members or elements 19 may be in the form of pneumatic units, either inflatable or having air, or other fluid, trapped within them.
It will be noted, having reference particularly to FIG. 1, that the fact that the tractor unit follows in the wake of the toboggan results in the snow over which the tractor unit proceeds being somewhat packed down, thus making for better traction. Also, the tractor unit will not have a tendency to bury itself in the snow.
Referring to FIG. 4, it will be seen that in the embodiment therein shown the tractor device is similar in relation to its frame ;1, axle 2', rotor 3, and housing 6' to the equivalent parts illustrated in FIG. 1. Also, it is provided with a driving motor 5" and chain and sprocket, or belt, driving means 4' equivalent to those shown in FIG. 1.
However, in the FIG. 4 embodiment the frame 1, at its end beneath the motor compartment, is provided with a vertically supported, rotatable shaft 23 having at its upper end a proper pivot bearing 24 on the frame 1' and carrying at its lower end a surface contacting ski member or runner 25. At the opposite end of the frame a steering and control member, or tow bar, 26 is connected by a pivotal joint 27, and this control member carries proper control means (not shown) for the driving motor and steering cables (not shown) operable by a steering wheel 28 and extending to the shaft 23 of the ski member or runner 25, for control by a walking attendant, such as a skier.
Various changes and modifications are considered to be within the principle of the invention and the scope of the following claims.
What I claim is:
1. Vehicle propulsion means particularly adapted for operation upon snow, ice and other compactible surface coverings, including a rotor having a plurality of radially extending annularly spaced blades, and a yieldable member attached to each of said blades radially inwardly of its outer edge, the members of adjacent blades serving jointly to substantially fill the spaces between said blades.
2. Vehicle propulsion means as defined in claim 1, in which said rotor includes a drive shaft and a plurality of circular discs attached thereto for rotation therewith, said radially extending blades being secured to said discs and having their edges radially otfstanding from the peripheries of said discs and the axial ends of said yieldable members substantially abutting the opposed faces of said discs.
3. Vehicle propulsion means as defined in claim 1, in
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,110,160 9/1914 Tanner -6 X 1,156,069 10/1915 Erickson 1806 X 2,256,379 9/1941 Chaffin 301-51 X 2,706,528 4/1955 Kallio 1806 X 2,714,042 7/1955 Kelly 30147 3,193,038 7/1965 Cronkright 180-6 X FOREIGN PATENTS 499,819 2/ 1954 Canada. 1,250,497 11/ 1959 France.
584,886 1/ 1947 Great Britain.
LEO FRIAGLIA, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 301-43