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Publication numberUS3641662 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 15, 1972
Filing dateApr 9, 1970
Priority dateApr 9, 1970
Publication numberUS 3641662 A, US 3641662A, US-A-3641662, US3641662 A, US3641662A
InventorsEastman Richard D, Garman James A, Watson Thomas A
Original AssigneeCaterpillar Tractor Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of installing a track chain
US 3641662 A
Abstract
A method of installing a track chain on a track-type vehicle utilizes a series of temporary interconnections between portions of the chain and various vehicle components together with the driving power of the vehicle to permit as few as two operators to quickly and safely install the chain on the vehicle.
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United States Patent Garman et al.

[ Feb. 15, 1972 METHOD OF INSTALLING A TRACK CHAIN Inventors: James A. Garman; Richard D. Eastman, both of Eureka; Thomas A. Watson,

Peoria, all of III. Assignee: Caterpillar Tractor Co., Peoria, Ill.

Filed: Apr. 9, 1970 Appl. No.: 26,837

US. Cl ..29/428, 29/432, 305/60, 305/39 Int. Cl ..B23p 19/00 Field oi Search ..29/428, 423, 421, 432; 305/60, 305/39 [56] References Cited FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 659,949 3/1963 Canada ..305/60 Primary Examiner-John F. Campbell Assistant Examiner-Donald P. Rooney AttorneyFryer, Tjensvold, Feix, Phillips and Lempio [57] ABSTRACT A method of installing a track chain on a track-type vehicle utilizes a series of temporary interconnections between portions of the chain and various vehicle components together with the driving power of the vehicle to permit as few as two operators to quickly and safely install the chain on the vehicle.

7 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 15 I972 SHEET 1 BF 4 INVENTORS JAMES A. GARMAN R|CHARD D. EASTMAN THOMAS A. WATSON ATTO EYS PAIENTEDFEB 15 I972 SHEET 2 BF 4 INVENTORS JAMES A. GARMAN RICHARD D. EASTMAN THOMAS A. WATSON 14,2 74a,- wfi z ATTORN YS PAiENTEDFEB 15 972 SHEET 3 or 4 INVENTORS JAMES A. GARMAN RICH ASTMAN THO ARD D. E MA 5 WATSON I fly 91 71/ r'r zEYs PATENIEmms m2 3.641.662

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INVENTORS' JAMES A. GARMAN RICHARD D. EASTMAN THOMAS A. WATSON METHOD OF INSTALLING A TRACK CHAIN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a method of installing a track chain on a track-type vehicle such as a crawler tractor. More particularly the invention relates to a method of installing a track chain at a field or job location wherein limited personnel and equipment are available.

Installing a track chain at a field location is often a difficult, time consuming as well as hazardous operation. Certain devices such as portable presses have been developed to facilitate such an operation but the procedures currently used are still difficult and present hazards to personnel who are often injured when trying to lift the heavy track onto the sprocket or idler wheel of the vehicle. Present procedures for installing a track chain also do not utilize efficient and safe techniques for temporarily connecting the chain to the sprocket wheel and for moving the chain from the sprocket wheel to the idler wheel. Furthermore, present day techniques render the bringing together and joining of the two track ends a difficult and sometimes quite hazardous operation.

The principal object of the present invention is the provision of a safe, simple and efficient method for installing a track chain on a track-type vehicle.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a safe and efficient method for installing a track chain on a tracktype vehicle wherein as few as two operators can install the chain in a very short period of time and without subjecting themselves to any unusual risks.

Other and furtherobjects and advantages of the present in- -vention will be apparent from the following description and claims and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings which, by way of illustration, show preferred embodiments of the present invention and the principles thereof and what are now considered to be the best modes contemplated for applying these principles. Other embodiments of the invention embodying the same or equivalent principles may be used and structural changes may be made as desired by those skilled in the art without departing from the present invention and the purview of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the manner in which a temporary connection is made between a first end of a track chain and the sprocket wheel of a tracktype vehicle;

FIG. 2 is an end view illustrating the manner in which the track chain is wrapped around the sprocket of the vehicle as the sprocket is rotated in a forward direction;

FIG. 3 is a side view illustrating the track chain after it has been moved to an overcenter position with respect to the sprocket wheel and wherein the temporary connection between the first end of the track chain and the sprocket wheel has been released;

FIG. 4 is a side view illustrating the operational step of guiding and supporting the first end of the track chain from the sprocket wheel to the idler wheel of the vehicle;

FIG. 5 is a side view illustrating the first end of the track chain after it has been moved about the idler wheel to a juxtaposed position with respect to the second end of the track chain;

FIG. 6 is a side view illustrating the operational step of forming a temporary connection between the first and second ends of the track chain;

FIG. 7 is a side view illustrating the temporarily joined track chain ends after the track chain has been rotated to a position on the rearward side of the sprocket wheel;

FIG. 8 is a side view illustrating the first and second ends of the track chain after the first end of the track chain has been fixedly secured against movement with respect to the sprocket wheel and wherein the temporary connection between the track chain ends has been released;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the operational step of inserting and holding seal elements in aligned pin bores formed in the links at the first end of the track chain;

FIG. 10 is a side view illustrating the manner in which the first and second ends of the track chains are brought into alignment with each other preparatory to permanently joining the track chain ends to each other;

FIG. 11 is a side view illustrating the operational step of permanently joining the track chain ends to each other by driving a pin element through the aligned pin openings formed in the links comprising each end of the track chain;

FIG. 12 is a perspective viewofa two-bar tool which is utilized to form a temporary connection between the sprocket wheel and one end of the track chain and which is also used at a later stage in the operation to form a temporary connection between the two ends of the track chain;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a drive-holding bar which may be used during the track chain installation procedure to prevent slippage of the track chain with respect to the sprocket wheel;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a guide and support tool which is utilized to facilitate travel of the first end of the track chain from the sprocket wheel to the idler wheel;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a wedge block which is utilized to hold one end of the track chain against movement prior to permanently joining the two ends of the track chain to each other; and

FIG. 16 is a top view of an expander tool which is utilized to hold annular seal elements in proper position in aligned holes formed in the ends of each of the track links.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 illustrates a rear portion of the frame 20 of a tracktype vehicle, such as a crawler tractor, which has been driven onto a conventional track chain shown generally at 22. Preferably, the track-type vehicle is jacked upwardly off of the ground and the track 22 positioned thereunder.

In the preferred form of the method, the track 22 is placed beneath the track-type vehicle in a manner such that a driven sprocket wheel 24 having a plurality of notches 26 and sprocket teeth 28 engages one or more track pin connections 30 so that the track may slide beneath the sprocket wheel when the latter is rotated. The track pins 30 form articulated joints between a series of track link elements 32 which have track shoes 34 connected to the bottoms thereof.

Although not shown in FIG. I, the track-type vehicle also comprises an idler wheel 92 (see FIGS. 4 and 5) located on the track frame 20 forwardly of the sprocket wheel 24. The idler wheel 92 also rests upon the upper portion of the track 22 preparatory to installing the track on the vehicle. After the track 22 has been placed beneath the sprocket wheel 24 and the idler wheel 92 an operator uses a two-bar tool" shown generally at 36 to form a temporary connection between a first end 38 of the track 22 and the sprocket wheel 24.

The structural details of the two-bar tool will now be described with reference to FIG. 12. The tool 36 comprises a first bar element 40 which is preferably of circular configuration. One end of the bar element 40 is provided with an eye 42.

A two part link assembly 44 has a first portion 46 connected to the eye 42 and a second portion 48 connected through a hole formed in a hook member 50. The two portions 46 and 48 of the link 44 are pivotally joined to each other by means of a pin shown at 52.

The two-bar tool 36 further comprises a second bar element 54. The bar element 54 is provided with a groove 56 which receives one portion 58 of a two part link assembly 60 which is substantially identical to the link assembly 44. A second portion 62 of the link assembly 60 is connected to a flexible link chain 64.

It may be observed from FIG. 12 that the distance between the bar elements 40 and 54 may be adjusted by engaging the hook 50 with various ones of the link elements comprising the chain 64. At this point in the description it should be understood that various forms of adjustable flexible connections could be used to connect the bar elements 40 and 54 to each other. For example, a flexible chain or cable having a turnbuckle, or other suitable adjuster element incorporated therewith, could be used to connect the bar elements 40 and 54 to each other.

The second bar element 54 is further provided at one end with a generally perpendicularly extending catch 66. The outer end of the catch 66 is provided with a finger element 68 for a purpose which will be better understood at a later point in the description. It should also be noted that the longitudinal distance between the catch 66 and the point of attachment of the chain 64 to the bar element 54 should preferably be at least equal to the width of the sprocket 24. Referring REferring back to FIG. 1, the two-bar tool 36 is used to form a temporary connection between a first end 38 of the track 22 and the sprocket wheel 24 by passing the first bar element 40 through aligned track pin bores formed in each of a pair of track links 32 located at the first end of the chain. The second bar element 54 is then engaged with the sprocket wheel 24 in a manner such that the bar 54 extends through a sprocket notch 26 and the finger 68 of the catch 66 engages a flanged portion 72 of the sprocket. The hook 50 is then adjusted with respect to the chain 64 so that the chain is taut when the bar elements 40 and 54 are in their engaged positions and substantially parallel to each other.

After the two-bar tool 36 has been properly positioned, an operator holds the second bar element 54 in the position shown in FIG. 1 and the sprocket wheel 24 is driven in the direction of arrow 74 which causes the first end 38 of the track to wrap around the sprocket 24 as shown in FIG. 2. At this stage of the operation, the operator may release the bar element 54 since the weight of the track 22 will act through the flexible chain 64 to tightly hold the bar element 54 in the sprocket notch 26.

Continued driving of the sprocket wheel 24 moves the first end 38 of the track chain to a location which is somewhat beyond an overcenter position with respect to the sprocket wheel as is shown in FIG. 3. Once the first end 38 of the track chain reaches the position shown in FIG. 3, the two-bar tool 36 may be removed since the weight of the chain will be sufficient to cause proper engagement of the sprocket teeth and notches with the pin connections 30 which pivotally connect the chain links 32 to each other. However, in the event of any slippage between the chain 22 and the sprocket 24, a driveholding bar 78 may be used at any time after the two-bar tool 36 has been removed to ensure that the sprocket properly engages the chain.

As shown in FIG. 13, the drive-holding bar 78 is provided at one end with a pair of prongs 80 and 82. The prong 80 is somewhat longer than the offset prong 82 and as shown in FIG. 3 the prong 80 may be passed through a track link window opening 84 for engagement with a notched portion of the sprocket. The tool 78 is then manipulated so that the offset prong 82 engages beneath the sprocket flange 72 to thereby securely hold the track chain in engagement with the sprocket. As previously noted, it is normally not necessary to use the drive-holding bar 78 since the chain 22 will usually engage the sprocket 24 without any slippage problem.

After the first end 38 of the track chain 22 has been moved to the position shown in FIG. 3, a guide and support tool 88 is utilized to facilitate travel of the first end 38 of the track chain from the sprocket wheel 24 across one or more idler rollers 90 (FIG. 4) located at spaced positions along the track frame and finally to a position where the first end of the track is fully engaged with the idler wheel 92 as shown in FIG. 5.

Referring now to FIG. 4 in conjunction with FIG. 14, it may be observed that the guide and support tool 88 is provided with a flat end 94. As shown in FIG. 4 the tool 88 is manipulated so that the flat end 94 is wedged between one of the track pins 30 at the first end 38 of the chain and the inner surface of the track shoe 34. The rounded bar portion of the tool 88 is then positioned in a groove formed in the idler roller 90.

The sprocket wheel 24 is then driven in the direction of the arrow which causes both the first end of the track 38 and the tool 88 to move toward the idler wheel 92. Continued movement of the sprocket wheel 24 causes the leading end of the tool 88 to engage the idler wheel 92 and move across the top thereof. As the sprocket wheel 24 continues to rotate, the leading end 38 of the track chain will engage the idler wheel 92 and assume the position shown in FIG. 5 after the guide and support tool 88 has been removed. As shown in FIG. 5, the first end 38 of the track chain has been moved to a position which is adjacent the second end 98 ofthe track chain.

FIG. 6 illustrates the manner in which the two-bar tool 36 may again be utilized to form a temporary connection between the first end 38 and the second end 98 of the track chain. In order to form this temporary connection, the first bar element 40 is passed through a pair of aligned track link pin bores with the eye 42 thereof extending on the outer side of the track as shown. Similarly, the bar element 54 is passed through a pair of aligned track link pin openings on the other end of the chain with the catch portion 66 thereof extending from the outer side of the chain as shown. The sprocket wheel 24 is then driven until the end portions 38 and 98 of the track are engaged upon the sprocket wheel in the position shown in FIG. 7.

Prior to removing the two-bar tool 36, a wedge block 100 having an offset extension 102 (see FIG. 15) is positioned underneath the first end 38 of the track chain so that the offset extension 102 engages a grouser 104 formed on the track shoe 34 (See FIG. 8). As shown in FIG. 8 the wedge block 100 ensures that the first end 38 of the track will remain engaged with the sprocket wheel 24 after the two-bar tool 36 is removed.

After the wedge block 100 has been placed beneath the first end 38 of the track chain and the two-bar tool 36 has been removed, seal elements 108 are installed in the track pin bores formed in the link 32 comprising the first end 38 of the track chain as shown in FIG. 9. The seals 108 are held in position by means ofan expander tool 110 shown in FIGS. 9 and 16.

The expander tool 110 comprises a pair of arms 112 and 114 which are pivotally joined at 116 to form a scissorslike connection therebetween. A coil spring 118 is adapted to preload the tool and functions to bias the seal engaging ends 120 and 122 of the arms outwardly away from each other. Consequently, an operator may position the expander tool 110 as shown in FIG. 9 and then release the tool and the seals 108 will be held in proper position.

With the seals 108 held in position and the wedge block 100 preventing movement of the first end 38 of the chain, the sprocket wheel 24 is driven in a reverse direction as shown in FIG. 10 to move the second end 98 of the chain into an aligned position with respect to the first end of the chain. As the leading ends of the links 32 of the second end 98 of the chain move inside the leading ends of the links 32 of the first end 38 of the chain the seals 108 will be held in proper position and the expander tool 110 may be removed. After the expander tool 110 has been removed, the sprocket wheel 24 may be further driven in a reverse direction until the track pin bores formed in the links 32 on both ends of the track chain are in exact aligned position.

FIG. 11 illustrates a track pin 30 which is being driven through the aligned bores of the track links 32 to form a permanent connection between the two ends 38 and 98 of the track chain. With the track chain 22 now installed on the track type vehicle, the sprocket 24 is driven in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 11 so that the wedge block 100 may be removed. After the wedge block is removed, the jack is released to lower the tractor into full ground engagement.

It should be understood that if the tractor is not originally jacked off of the ground, it is possible, though somewhat more difficult, to form a permanent track pin connection between the two ends 38 and 98 of the track chain at the position shown in FIG. 5.

While we have illustrated and described preferred embodiments of our invention, it is to be understood that these are capable of variation and modification, and we therefore do not wish to be limited to the precise details set forth, but desire to avail ourselves of such changes and alterations as fall within the purview of the following claims.

What is claimed is:

I. A method of installing a ground engaging, elongated, flexible track chain on a vehicle which has a motor driven, notched sprocket wheel and an idler wheel laterally spaced from the sprocket wheel, said method comprising:

a. positioning the chain beneath the vehicle in a manner so that both the sprocket wheel and idler wheel are positioned above the chain;

b. establishing a temporary connection between a first end of the chain and the sprocket wheel;

. driving the sprocket wheel in a first direction until the first end of the track'chain is approximately overcenter with respect to the sprocket wheel;

. releasing the temporary connection between the first end of the chain and the sprocket wheel;

. establishing a guide and support means between the sprocket wheel and the idler wheel for guiding and supporting the track chain;

. driving the sprocket wheel in said first direction to move the chain on the guide means until the first end of the track chain moves around the idler wheel to ajuxtaposed position with respect to a second end of the track chain; and

g. connecting the first end of the track chain to a second end of the track chain to form an endless chain which is received about the sprocket and idler wheels.

2. A method as set forth in claim 1 wherein the vehicle is elevated above the ground to a height which permits the chain to slide beneath the sprocket wheel.

3. A method as set forth in claim 2 and further comprising:

a. establishing a temporary connection between the first and second ends of the chain after the first end of the chain has been moved around the idler wheel to a juxtaposed position with respect to the second end of the chain;

b. driving the sprocket wheel in said first direction until the connected ends of the track chain are engaged upon the driving sprocket;

c. disconnecting the temporary connection between the first and second ends of the track chain in a manner such that the first end of the track chain becomes disengaged from the sprocket wheel;

. holding the first end of the track chain against movement;

e. driving the sprocket wheel in a second direction until the second end of the track chain establishes contact with the first end of the track chain; and,

f. fixedly securing the first end of the track chain to the second end of the track chain.

4. A method as set forth in claim I wherein said track chain comprises a plurality of links which are provided with holes at each end for receiving a pin element which is used to pivotally secure the links to each other and wherein the connection between the first and second ends of the chain is established by inserting a pin through aligned holes in the links comprising the first and second ends of the chain.

5. A method as set forth in claim 4 wherein seal elements are placed in the aligned track link pin holes prior to inserting the pin therethroug 6. A method as set forth in claim 2 wherein said track chain comprises a plurality oflinks which are provided with holes at each end for receiving a pin element which is used to pivotally secure the links to each other, and wherein the links at the first and second ends of the track chain are fixedly secured to each other by driving a pin through aligned holes in the respective links.

7. A method as set forth in claim 6 wherein seal elements are placed in the aligned track link pin holes prior to inserting the pin therethroug

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
CA659949A *Mar 26, 1963James B SlaughterTool for applying crawler treads
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4258463 *Feb 5, 1979Mar 31, 1981Caterpillar Tractor Co.Track mounting tool and method
US5685620 *Apr 3, 1995Nov 11, 1997Berco, S.P.A.Link for a crawler track applicable in particular to low-capacity tracked machines
US8033347Apr 24, 2008Oct 11, 2011Komatsu Ltd.Final drive unit, construction machine equipped with the same, and method of winding crawler belt
US8104846 *Feb 9, 2009Jan 31, 2012Manitowoc Crane Companies, LlcTrack connection system for mobile vehicles, including lift cranes
US8414091Feb 9, 2009Apr 9, 2013Manitowoc Crane Companies, LlcTrack tensioning system for mobile vehicles, including lift cranes
EP0714337A1 *Jun 9, 1995Jun 5, 1996Amr A. Abdel-AzeemA tool and method for lifting tracks on track-and-wheel systems
WO2009001613A1 *Apr 24, 2008Dec 31, 2008Komatsu Mfg Co LtdFinal reduction gear, construction machine equipped with the same, and method of winding crawler belt
Classifications
U.S. Classification29/428, 29/432, 305/60, 305/185
International ClassificationB25B27/14, B62D55/32, B62D55/00, B25B27/22
Cooperative ClassificationB62D55/32, B25B27/22
European ClassificationB62D55/32, B25B27/22
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 12, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: CATERPILLAR INC., 100 N.E. ADAMS STREET, PEORIA, I
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO., A CORP. OF CALIF.;REEL/FRAME:004669/0905
Effective date: 19860515
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO., A CORP. OF CALIF.;REEL/FRAME:004669/0905
Owner name: CATERPILLAR INC., A CORP. OF DE.,ILLINOIS