US 3484963 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 23, 1969 s. c. HETH ET AL SNOW THROWER OF THE POWERED AUGER TYPE Filed April 1.7, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet l lNl/E N 70/25 I VERNON R. KAUFMAN SHERMAN C. HETH LYLE G. MUNSON A T TO/QNE) Dec. '23, 1969 5, c, HETH ET AL 3,484,963
SNOW THROWER OF THE POWERED AUGER TYPE Filed April 1.7, 1968 4 Sheets-$heet 2 VZNIKENTOR$= VERNON R. "KAUFMAN SHERMAN c. HE TH LYLE G. MUNSON A 7' YO/P/VE Y 3. 1969 s. c. HETH ET Al.-
SNOW THROWER OF THE POWERED AUGER TYPE Filed April 17, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 A TTORNEV Dec. 23, 1969 5 c, HETH ET AL snow THROWER OF THE POWERED AUGER TYPE Filed April 1,7, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS: MR. KAUFMAN 5. C. HETH 7 TO/QNEK United States Patent US. C]. 37-43 16 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A snow thrower has a frame supporting a prime mover and rotatably supporting an auger. A housing encloses the auger and has a chute for directing the discharge of the auger away from the snow thrower. The auger, and other parts including the auger housing and the chute, are formed of a lightweight and high-strength and durable plastic material. The auger is formed with a large cylindrical base portion and with auger flights extending from the base portion, and with the auger being of two identical halves longitudinally of the auger. The auger includes end walls extending radially beyond the base portion, and it includes two diametrically oppositely dis posed impeler portions, with auger flights extending between the end walls and the impellers. A handle is provided for steering and lifting the snow thrower, and wheels are attached for moving the snow thrower over the ground.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a powered snow thrower, and, more particularly, it relates to a small type snow thrower which can be easily maneuvered and which can even be easily lifted for operating on porch steps, porches, elevated places and places which are usually inaccessible to large and heavy snow throwers. This application is a continuation-in-part of US. patent application Ser. No. 666,114, filed Sept. 7, 1967.
Snow throwers known heretofore are generally large and heavy, if they are provided with a pick-up auger and a discharger chute for directing the snow away from the thrower. Generally, these prior art throwers are difficult to maneuver in operation, and they are clumsy and difficult to store. It will of course be appreciated that it is desirable to have a snow thrower which can be moved into small spaces, and which can be placed on porch steps or the like even while the thrower is operating, without endangering the operator or the snow thrower.
The aforementioned features are accomplished by means of making the snow thrower anger of a length greater than one foot, so the thrower is of a substantial capacity. Also, the entire snow thrower is lightweight, and it is compact and balanced. These features are achieved by making many of the snow thrower parts, including the auger, of a plastic material. To construct a snow thrower of plastic material and have it operate efliciently and to also have it durable, was commonly deemed to be an unlikely and an unobvious feat. However, the snow thrower made according to the disclosure of this invention has been found to be highly successful both from an operational standpoint and from a commercialization standpoint.
Therefore, according to prior knowledge of snow thrower construction, sno'w throwers have been made of heavy and bulky metal parts. Also, they commonly have a small diameter base cylinder with a number of flight convolutions extending along the base cylinder and occasionally to an impeller on the auger for discharging the See p snow into a chute. In those prior art throwers where the auger base portion is of a large diameter so that its radius is greater than the extent of the flights on the base portion, then there are the great number of flight convolutions to extend from one end of the auger to a centrally located impeler, In all these instances, the auger is required to rotate at a high speed, is subjected to great force exerted by the snow and the speed of rotation, and the entire unit is bulky and heavy so that it is not portable in the sense of being able to conveniently and easily lift it to porch steps and the like as can be done with the snow thrower described herein.
Further, the plastic material used in the snow thrower parts, will not rust, dent, chip or shatter, as many metal parts will do, particularly when the metal parts are exposed to the moisture conditions of working in snow. Also, moisture, gas, and oil, will not damage the plastic parts which are inert to these foreign subsances. Also, because of the plastic parts and housings, the parts will not conduct electricity, and this is significant for both the gasoline powered and the electric motor powered snow thrower.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a snow thrower embodying this invention.
FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the snow thrower.
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the snow thrower, and showing it on a reduced scale and with certain parts not shown.
FIG. 4 is a view of the internal parts of the snow thrower, with parts thereof broken away.
FIG. 5 is a right-side elevational view of FIG. 4, with parts added thereto and broken away.
FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the auger and the auger trough or housing, with parts broken away and partly shown in section.
FIG. 7 is a longitudinal plan view of one-half of the auger.
FIG. 8 is an end elevational view of FIG. 7, on a reduced scale.
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of FIG. 8, with a part broken away.
Detailed description of the preferred embodiments The snow thrower is of the power type, and it includes handles 10 and 11, a rotatably mounted auger 12, and an auger housing 13, a discharge chute 14, and covers or housings generally designated 16. FIG. 4 shows the gasoline engine 17, which is a prime mover, in driving relation with the auger 12 by means of the chain 18. Thus the engine crank shaft 19 carries a sprocket 21, and the auger 12 has a sprocket 22 secured to the bearing housing 23 by conventional and suitable means, such as bolts indicated at 24. Therefore the sprocket 22 and anger 12 rotate in unison, as they are driven by the prime mover 17 through the chain 18.
The auger 12 includes the base cylinder 26 and the auger flights 27. Thus rotation of the auger 12 will cause pick-up of snow, and it will also cause the impelling of the snow out of the housing 13 and through the chute 14, and this impelling is by means of the paddles 28 included in the auger flights. FIG. 5 shows the auger housing 13 includes the rearwardly disposed cylindrical portion 29 spaced immediately adjacent the tips of the auger flight 27 An outlet portion 31 of the housing 13 is in snowflow communication with the auger portion 29, so snow is impelled up the cylindrical outlet 31 as desired. Finally, the chute 14 is in flow communication with the portion 31, and is swivelable on the portion 31 so that the chute 14 will direct the. snow away from the thrower and prefera bly either forwardly or to the left or right side. A control 3 handle or the like 32 on the chute 14 permits the operator to rotate the chute 14 on the outlet portion 31 for throw direction desired.
The housing 13 also has side or end pieces 33 and 34. It also has a lip 36 which may be detachable and separately provided for extending along the curved piece 29 and for engaging the ground or being disposed at least near the ground in the operation of the snow thrower. In actual manufacture, it is desirable to make the housing parts described, and to even make the auger 12, of a plastic material so that its both durable and light weight, as well as having other advantages. Thus the piece 36 can be made of a metal material appropriate for serving as the forward lip in the advance of the snow thrower along the ground. Also, two wheels 37 are rotatably mounted on the housing ends 33 and 34, respectively, for mobilizing the snow thrower during operation.
It will therefore be noticed that the handle portion 11 has hand-grip means 38 for pushing and steering the snow thrower in operation thereof. Also, the handle portion 10 has hand-grip means 39 which are available for lifting the snow thrower either for transporting it or for controlling it during operation such as when the operator has one hand on the grip 38 and another hand on the grip 39 and is standing to the side of the snow thrower. This may be when the snow thrower is being used on a step or small porch or any other similar structure.
FIGS. 4 and show a cross frame piece 41 extending between the prime mover 17 and the auger 12 and providing the mounting and support for these two parts. That is, a bracket 42 and a bracket 43 are suitably secured to the frame 41 by means of bolts, such as the bolt 44, and the brackets 42 and 43 extend to the prime mover 17 and are bolted thereto for supporting the prime mover 17 in a fixed position with respect to the frame piece 41. Also, brackets 46 and 43 are shown bolted to the opposite ends of the frame piece 41, and these brackets 46 and 43 extend upwardly and provide a means for mounting the handles, such as the handle portion 10, which are secured by the bolts 48 and the like.
Finally, brackets 49 and 51 are also bolted to the opposite ends of the frame piece 41 and extend forwardly thereof and provide the rotatable mounting for the auger 12. That is, a shaft 52 extends between the brackets 49 and 51 and through the auger 12, as an auger shaft but being fixed or nonrotatable in the arrangement shown. Bearings 53 are piloted on the dead shaft 52 and the bearings are shown bolted to the auger ends 54 and 56, by means of bolts 57 so that the bearing outer housing shown will rotate with the auger body 26, as desired.
Thus the shaft 52 provides the desired spacing between the brackets 49 and 51 at the forwardly extending portion of these brackets, and screws 60 secure the shaft 52 to the brackets 49 and 51. This arrangement presents only a minimum of strain on the auger proper, and it permits the auger 12 to be made of a plastic material and light weight so that it can be maneuvered and operated for the purposes mentioned herein.
Thus the frame means, including the brackets described, provided the desired spacing and relative location of the prime mover 17 and the auger 12. FIG. 5 shows that the axis of the auger 12, and designated X in FIG. 5, lies along a plane defined by line B, which plane also lies along the handle means 10. The axis or center of gravity of the prime mover 17, and the axis or center of gravity being designated Y, lies on the line defined by the length direction of the brackets 43 and 51. This line is designated A, and it is close to, if not on, being coincident with the line or plane B. Thus the handle portion extends on a plane on which the prime mover 17 is also located. Also, the grip portion 39 of the handle portion 10 is adjacent the prime mover 17. This is all for the purpose of providing an easily lifted and maneuvered snow thrower.
FIG. 5 also shows, along with FIGS. 1 and 2, that the auger housing ends 33 and 34 have a fiat supporting edge 59 which is disposed on a plane designated F, and this plane may be referring to the floor. That is, the edges 59 would rest along a floor or the plane F, and the entire thrower would be balanced and can stand in that position. This is true since the plane F is transverse to the plane A which defines the plane extending through the center of gravity of at least the bulk of the snow thrower, as mentioned.
Of course with this elongated arrangements of parts described, that is with the engine and the auger extending substantially straight off from the handle means, the snow thrower could also be hung in a vertical position and occupy only a minimum of space against a wall or the like on which it may be hung.
It is further significant to notice that the wheels 37 have their axes designated Z imposed on a plane designated C which is shown upright in FIG. 2 and which therefore extends between the auger axis X and the center of gravity designated Y with regard to the prime mover 17. Therefore, the wheels 37 are only two in number, but they are arranged for optimum balancing of the thrower with a portion of the thrower extending forwardly of the wheels and with a portion of the thrower extending rearwardly of the wheels, both with respect to the vertical plane C extending through the axes of the wheels 37. Of course the lower edges of the wheels extend below the auger lowest housing edge 61, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, so the wheels 37 will support the entire snow thrower on the ground in a mobile position, when the snow thrower is disposed at the operative positions shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
An important feature of the frame, including the rearwardly and forwardly extending brackets, is both to provide and maintain the mounting and relationships of spacing and stability between the prime mover and the auger. A fixed spacing between the prime mover and auger, as assured by this frame means, provides proper tensioning and adjustment of the drive from the prime mover to the auger, for both normal and shock conditions. Of course the prime mover may also be an electric motor powered by a source remote from the unit itself and having an extension cord extending thereto, much in the manner of running electric motors to mobile implements, such as lawn mowers. The electric motor shaft would be in a position of the engine shaft 19, and it would also be mounted on the brackets 42 and 43.
Auger 12 is shown to have its end walls 54 and 56 extend both radially inwardly and radially outwardly with respect to the cylindrical base portion 26. Further, there are actually only four flights 27, and each flight extends from the radially outer extent of the respective end wall 54 or 56, to the respective one of the two paddles or impellers 28, which are diametrically oppositely disposed on the base portion 26. Further, the radius of the base portion 26 is greater than the radial extent of the flights 27 from the base portion 26. This entire arrangement provides for an eflicient auger which can engage the snow for the entire length of the auger 12, that length being the swath of the auger 12, and impel the snow around the auger trough or housing 29 and through the opening 63 in the auger housing 13. Of course the opening 63 is aligned with the paddles or impellers 28 which therefore discharge directly into the chute 31, and no additional blower or impeller is required. The principle wherein each flight 27 extends to the respective end of the auger base portion 26, and where the flights extend only halfway around the base portion 26 between the radial extent of the respective end walls 54 or 56 and the impeller 28, results in the efficiency of the auger since it does not require more than one-half auger revolution to place the snow in position for discharge through the opening 63.
The auger 12, auger trough or housing 13, chute or deflector 14, and housings 16, and even the wheels 37, can all be made of a durable, high-strength, plastic material. Such material is a high density linear polyethylene, to have a medium tensile strength and a high impact strength with good resilience. By the use of the plastic, the entire snow thrower can be made to weigh only twenty-eight pounds.
FIG. '4 shows the bearing housing 23 to be a side plate extending from the shaft 52, or from the bearing 53, t the radially outer location on the auger base portion 26 at the point of the rivets or bolts 57. Thus the auger end walls 54 and 56 provide strength on the ends of the base portion 26 as they are integral with the base portion 26, and the side plates 23 are arranged to provide additional strength for the ends of the auger 12.
FIG. further shows that the wheels 37 will be disposed slightly in advance of the scraper bar 36, which is of metal preferably, and the wheels therefore negotiate ground bumps before the scraper bar 36 gets to them, which is as desired.
FIG. 6 shows that the auger housing 13 has openings 64 through which the brackets 49 and 51 project for connecting the dead shaft 52, by means of the screws 60 on each end of the shaft 52, as shown in FIG. 4. The housing 13 is then secured to the brackets 49 and 51 by means of bolts 66 and 67. The bolts 67 also carry spacer pins or members 68, which serve as bolt nuts, and which are preferably made of a low friction material such as plastic nylon, and the pins '68 and the pin 69 on the left side in FIG. 6, project toward the side plates 70 and 71, which plates are the bearing housing or members 23, as previously described. The pins 68 and 69 therefore serve as axial spacers for the auger 12 with respect to the frame frame brackets 4-9 and 51.
FIGS. 6 through 9 show an embodiment of the auger 12 wherein the auger is made in two longitudinal halves 73 and 74. Thus it will be seen and understood that the auger halves 73 and 74 are identical, and they can be readily molded of the plastic desired, and they therefore present a hollow interior, with a cylindrical base portion 76 and with the two auger flights 77 and 78, on each of the two halves. Connecting means, such as rivets 79, extend between the two halves for securing them together in the desired cylindrical form. Also, connecting means, such as rivets or bolts 81 extend between mating portions of the auger halves and axially thereof for securing the auger halves together at the location of their end plates 82 and 83. FIGS. 7, 8, and 9 show how the auger halves are mated together at their end walls 82 and 83, and it will be seen that each auger half has a projection 84 which is received in an opening 86 in the other auger half. Holes 87 and 88 extend through the pieces 84 and the projecting auger wall 83, and these holes align and receive the rivet or bolt 81.
Additional mating projections and holes are provided on the auger halves, for aligning the halves and securing them together. Thus projections or plugs 89 are received in holes on the corresponding portion of the opposite half, such as the hole 91 shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. Certain of the rivets 79 then extend through the openings 92 in the plugs 89, for securing the auger halves together. Likewise, plugs 93 extend on the respective auger halves in the area of the paddle or impeller 28, and these plugs are made with holes 94 on the opposite auger half. Again, rivets 79 extend through holes 96 in the plugs 93 for securing the auger halves together in the area of the impellers 28.
FIG. 8 shows that the impellers 28 extend radially of the auger longitudinal axis, rather than tangetially thereto, so the angers are readily made in the identical halves described, and the impellers 28 are most efficient in moving the snow around the auger trough or housing portion 29 and up the opening 63. FIGS. 8 and 9 further show the auger end wall 54 extending radially inwardly, as well as it extends radially outwardly to the limit of the radially outer extent of the auger flight 77, Which is integrally merged therewith. The wall 54 has an inner opening 97, through which the shaft 52 will pass, and FIG. 8 shows the end wall extending portion 82 projecting to the radial limit of the auger flight 27, as mentioned.
FIG. 8 also shows holes 98 in the auger end walls, and' these holes receive the screws or fasteners 57 connecting the end plates 23, which are also identified as plates 71. FIG. 6 shows a U-shaped spring clip 99 extending over the inner edge of the auger wall 56, and the clip relates to the screw fastener 57 by means of the common tinnerman screw connection.
FIG. 9 shows the interior of each auger half 73 and 74 may be provided with bearing walls 101 and 102 which are integral on the interior cylindrical surface of the respective halves. and are spaced therealong, as shown. The walls have openings 103 for snugly receiving the shaft '52, and they thereby provide a support for the auger assembly 12 on the shaft '52, in addition to the support provided by the auger end walls and support plates described. Thus the openings 103 snugly receive the shaft to pilot the :auger 12 on the shaft 52, along the axial length of the shaft 52 and the auger 12.
It will thus be seen that the longitudinal plane along the auger 12 extends between the impeller sections 28 on each diametrically opposite side of the auger 12, so that each impeller 28 is divided into two sections which can be bolted together to form one impeller 28 on each diametrically opposite side of the auger 12.
Also, it will be appreciated that the auger arcuate housing portion 29 extends forwardly of the snow thrower, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, while the chain 18 extends through an opening in the portion 29 such as the opening 64 which receives the frame bracket 51.
The linear polyethylene is a Marlex 5012 plastic, characterized by: a tensile strength of 3800 p.s.i. (ASTM D638-58T); a 40 percent elongation in 20 minutes (ASTM D638-58T); an impact strength of one footpound per inch on a /2 x A bar at the notch (ASTM D25 6-56); and 55 hours cracking resistance with a brittleness temperature of degrees below.
What is claimed is:
1. In a powered snow thrower, including a prime mover, a rotatably mounted snow pick-up auger being axially horizontally disposed, drive means operatively connected between said prime mover and said auger for rotating the latter, an auger trough extending along and arcuately around a portion of said auger and terminating therebelow in a horizontally disposed edge, a snow discharge chute in snow-flow communication with said auger, a handle for control of the snow thrower, a frame providing an interconnection for at least some of the aforesaid elements, the improvement comprising said entire snow thrower being of minimum weight for easy maneuverability and for easy manual lifting by the operator, and accomplished by the features of: said auger being of a light-weight and durable plastic material and including flights for axially moving the snow and including an impeller centrally disposed on said auger for throwing the snow into and through said chute, said auger including end walls integrally disposed transverse to the axis of said anger on axially opposite ends of said auger, bearing means including an extended outer support plate attached to each of said end walls for rotatably mounting said auger, support bracket means included in said frame and extending adjacent each said support plate, mounting means operatively connected between said support bracket means and said bearing means for rotatably supporting said auger, a rotation drive member affixed to one said support plate, and said drive means being operatively connected to said rotation drive member for the rotation of said auger.
2. The subject matter of claim 1, wherein said auger includes a cylindrical base portion and auger flights extending radially outwardly on said base portion, said cylindrical base portion being of a radius greater than the 7 radial extent of said flights from said cylindrical base portion.
3. The subject matter of claim 2, wherein said end walls extend radially outwardly and radially inwardly from said cylindrical base portion and with the outward extent being disposed to form a continuation of said auger flights, and with the inward extent being disposed to terminate adjacent said axis of said auger for strength of said auger and for mounting of each said support plate.
4. The subject matter of claim 1, wherein said mounting means includes a shaft stationarily mounted on said support bracket means for rotatably supporting said auger, the rotation bearing portion of said bearing means being interposed between said shaft and each said support plate.
5. The subject matter of claim 4, wherein said auger includes a cylindrical base portion and anger flights extending radially outwardly on said base portion, said end wall extending radially inwardly from said cylindrical base portion and into the cross-sectional area of said cylindrical base portion to a location adjacent said shaft.
6. The subject matter of claim 5, wherein said auger consists of two longitudinal halves secured together to present a single cylindrical auger, additional walls integrally extending on said auger and radially inwardly along the axial length of said auger and adjacent said shaft for piloting said auger with respect to said shaft.
7. The subject matter of claim 1, wherein said auger consists of two longitudinal halves secured together to present a single cylindrical auger, each said support plate being metal and extending across the juncture between said halves and being afiixed to each of said halves for reinforcing and securing said halves together.
8. The subject matter of claim 1, wherein said auger trough and said discharge chute are both constructed of a light-weight and durable plastic material, and said chute is aflixed to said auger trough.
9. The subject matter of claim 8, including a metal scraper bar afiixed to said horizontally disposed edge of said plastic trough and extending therefrom for sliding over the surface on which said snow thrower is being operated.
10. The subject matter of claim 9, including a pair of ground wheels rotatably operatively supported on said trough at opposite ends thereof and on a common axis disposed on a vertical plane in advance of said scraper bar when said scraper bar is closest to the surface on which said snow thrower is operating.
11. The subject matter of claim 8 wherein said support bracket means is elongated and extends from adjacent said prime mover to a respective axial end of said auger, said auger trough includes a semi-cylindrically shaped body portion and an end wall on each end of said body portion and extending across the respective end of said auger to partly enclose the latter and with each said end wall of said auger trough being attached to said support bracket means, said body portion of said auger trough having an opening therein adjacent each said end wall of said auger trough for the extension of said support bracket means through said openings.
12. The subject matter of claim 1, wherein said rotation drive member is a sprocket, and including a drive sprocket on said prime mover, and wherein said drive means is a drive chain trained on both said sprockets for rotating said auger.
13. The subject matter of claim 12, wherein said auger trough extends across the plane extending from said prime mover to said auger, and said auger trough having openings therein for the extension of said drive chain between said sprockets.
14. The subject matter of claim 1, including a spacer pin attached to said support bracket means and extending toward said auger for spacing said auger with respect to said support bracket means.
15. The subject matter of claim 1, wherein said auger is of an axial length greater than one foot, and the entire said snow thrower weighs less than fifty pounds.
16. In a powered snow thrower of the type including an anger and an anger housing and a snow discharge chute, said auger including a base portion of a cylindrical shape, a plurality of spiral auger flights aflixed to the circumference of said base portion and extending radially therefrom and along the length of said base portion from the ends thereof to the center of the length of said base portion, two snow impellers affixed to diametrically opposite sides of said base portion intermediate said flights at said center and extending radially from said base portion for impelling snow into said chute and subsequently away from said snow thrower, upon rotation of said auger, and end walls on each end of said auger and extending transverse to the longitudinal axis of said auger and radially beyond said base portion and defining the snow-cutting swath of said auger, the improvement comprising each of said end walls having two radially extending portions on diametrically opposite sides of said base portion and aligned with said impellers longitudinally of said base portion, said flights being four in total number and each respectively extending along and only halfway around said base portion from a respective end of said impellers to respective ones of said portions of said end walls at locations diametrically opposite the respective ones of said impellers, all said flights and all said impellers having their radially inner ends in full contact with the circumference of said base portion, and all said flights and all said impellers and all said end walls all having their radially outer ends extending to and terminating at the same common distance from said circumference, said auger includes two identical halves on opposite sides of the longitudinal plane of said auger, connecting means on said halves for securing them together, the longitudinal plane between said auger halves being coplanar with the radial plane of said impellers and dividing each of said impellers into two parts, and said connecting means extending between said impeller parts for securing said auger halves together.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,233,395 2/1966 Dahl et al. 198217 2,642,680 6/1953 Curtis et al. 3753 2,735,199 2/1956 Wanner et al 3743 2,768,453 10/1956 Adams 3753 D. 190,433 5/1961 Williamson 37-43 3,253,356 5/1966 Haban 3743 3,359,661 12/1967 Speiser et al. 3743 ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner EUGENE H. EICKHOLT, Assistant Examiner US. 01. X.R.