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Publication numberUS3653193 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1972
Filing dateDec 12, 1969
Priority dateDec 12, 1969
Publication numberUS 3653193 A, US 3653193A, US-A-3653193, US3653193 A, US3653193A
InventorsCoughran Samuel J Jr
Original AssigneeRome Industries
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary cutter mechanism
US 3653193 A
Abstract
Apparatus for use in cutting vegetation located remotely from the path of travel of a support vehicle, such as vegetation located along the banks and shoulders adjacent a highway. The apparatus includes a base support housing having attachment means for permitting easy attachment of the apparatus to a support vehicle. A yoke is supported on the housing for pivotal movement about a substantially vertical axis and provides a support for a boom which is mounted for pivotal movement about a substantially horizontal axis. Hydraulic control means is operatively associated with the yoke and boom means for effecting movement of the yoke and boom means about their respective support axis. A cutter head having a rotary cutting blade is pivotally mounted for universal movement on the extended end of the boom and includes hydraulic control means for effecting pivotal movement of the cutter head about the universal mounting and for effecting operation of the cutting blade. The boom and cutter heads are supported for pivotal movement relative to the housing whereby the cutter head can be selectively positioned adjacent opposite lateral sides of the housing substantially 180 DEG displaced relative to each other.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

iluited States Patet Coughran, Jr.

451 Apr. .1972

[54] ROTARY CUTTER MECHANISM [72] Inventor:

[73] Assignee:

Samuel J. Coughran, Jr., Cedartown, Ga.

Rome Industries, Incorporated, Cedartown, Ga.

[22] Filed: Dec. 12, 1969 [21] AppLNo; 884,547

Primary ExaminerRussell R. Kinsey Attorney-Newton, Hopkins & Ormsby Apparatus for use in cutting vegetation located remotely from the path of travel of a support vehicle, such as vegetation located along the banks and shoulders adjacent a highway. The apparatus includes a base support housing having attachment means for permitting easy attachment of the apparatus to a support vehicle. A yoke is supported on the housing for pivotal movement about a substantially vertical axis and provides a support for a boom which is mounted for pivotal movement about a substantially horizontal axis, Hydraulic control means is operatively associated with the yoke and boom means for effecting movement of the yoke and boom means about their respective support axis. A cutter head having a rotary cutting blade is pivotally mounted for universal movement on the extended end of the boom and includes hydraulic control means for effecting pivotal movement of the cutter head about the universal mounting and for effecting operation of the cutting blade. The boom and cutter heads are supported for pivotal movement relative to the housing whereby the cutter head can be selectively positioned adjacent opposite lateral sides of the housing substantially 180 displaced relative to each other.

10 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATEHTEQAPR 4 i972 SHE OlUF 11 PATENTEDAPR 4 1972 SHEET C [1F 11 PATENTEBAFR 4 I972 SHEET USDF 11 PATENTEBAPR 4 1972 SHEET USOF 11 PATENTEDAPR 4 m2 SHEET lUUF .1

FIG i ROTARY CUTTER MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION With the tremendous amount of highway networks now in existence for the American public to enjoy, the problem of grooming or cutting the vegetation along the shoulders and banks adjacent the highways have become a very time consuming job. In the construction of the highways, the terrain associated therewith often presents large areas of fill construc tion which will in effect present a great amount of sloping shoulder portions. Further, the highway construction often presents long areas of cuts through the hillsides which will in turn present large areas of elevated banks along the highway. To prevent these shoulder portions and banks from becoming eroded, it is necessary to establish a good growth of vegetation thereon. After the vegetation has been established, then comes the problem of cutting or grooming the shoulder portions and the sloping banks to maintain them in an attractive condition for the public to enjoy as they are utilizing the highway system.

Due to the tremendous angle and distance of the sloping shoulders and elevated banks of the highway system, the conventional cutter mechanism which is located for cutting directly adjacent the support vehicle is not capable of performing the cutting jobs necessary. Numerous attempts have been made to design a special cutter mechanism for use in cutting the vegetation along the sloping shoulders and elevated banks of a highway. However, most of these devices were complicated in construction, expensive to manufacture and unreliable in operation.

In the construction of a rotary cutting mechanism for cutting vegetations at a remote distance from a support vehicle, it is important to provide a control mechanism whereby the cutter head can be controlled effectively during all the angles and lateral positions of operation. Often in the operation of a rotary cutter mechanism at a laterally extending remote position, the cutter mechanism may strike or contact stationary objects which will damage the support structure of the mechanism. Further, in the operation of a rotary cutter mechanism at various angular disposed remote positions, the problem of maintaining safety in operating the cutter mechanism is a problem, since the characteristics of a rotary cutter is to impale by centrifugal force any objects contacted by the rotary cutter blade.

One problem with the prior art cutter mechanism designed for cutting vegetation along the sloping shoulders and elevated banks of a highway was that the cutter was only operable on one lateral side of the support vehicle and it was necessary to reverse the direction of the vehicle to cut vegetation along the opposite side of the highway. Some attempts have been made to provide cutter mechanisms which could be moved from one lateral position to a second lateral position. However, most of these mechanisms utilized complicated control mechanisms which were unreliable in operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide a rotary cutter mechanism which is capable of cutting vegetation along the sloping shoulders and elevated banks adjacent a highway and at a remote distance from a support vehicle.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a support assembly for a remote cutter head whereby the cutter head can be moved for operation in two opposite laterally extending positions substantially 180 displaced relative to each other.

Another object of this invention is to provide a cutter mechanism capable of cutting vegetations at a remote distance from support vehicle which includes safety means for releasing the cutter assembly from a lateral support position in response to a predetermined amount of pressure against the cutter head.

A still further object of this invention is to provide control means for moving a laterally supported cutter head from one laterally extending position to an opposite laterally extending position.

Another object of this invention is to provide a cutter mechanism which includes means to facilitate easily attachment of the cutter and support assembly to a support vehicle.

A further object of this invention is to provide a cutter mechanism including a support housing which is provided with operable power means for delivering power to the control mechanisms of the cutter assembly.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a support mechanism for a laterally displaced cutter head which is yieldably in a vertical plane to prevent damage of the support mechanism.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a support mechanism for a laterally displaced cutter head which includes control means for effecting movement of the cutter head in a vertical plane.

A further object of this invention is to provide a cutter head having a shielding flange means which is detail for operation in two opposite directions.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a housing for a cutter mechanism which includes two movable shielding flange sections.

Another object of this invention is to provide a cutter mechanism for cutting vegetation along the sloping shoulders and elevated banks of a highway which is safe in operation.

An additional object of this invention is to provide a rotary cutter mechanism which is simple in construction, economical to manufacture and reliable in operation.

Still other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent after reading the description of one illustrative embodiment of the invention, with reference to the attached drawings, wherein like reference characters have been used to refer to like parts throughout the several figures of drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF DRAWING FIG. I is a fragmentary perspective view looking at the support vehicle and rotary cutter attachment from the right rear corner thereof.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the boom and cutter head mechanism with certain parts being broken away and shown in section for purposes of clarity and with certain parts omitted.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevational view of the boom support structure drawn on a larger scale with certain parts omitted and with certain parts being broken away and shown in sections for purposes of clarity.

FIG. 3A is a fragmentary elevational view similar to FIG. 3 showing an extended end of the boom support structure.

FIG. 3B is a fragmentary plan view of a inner-end connecting portion the boom structure with certain parts being omitted and certain parts broken away and shown in sections for purposes of clarity.

FIG. 4 is a left rear perspective view of the main support housing with certain parts being omitted for purposes of clarity.

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially longitudinally through the center of the main support housing shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of the main support housing, yoke support assembly and boom structure with control means.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken substantially along lines 8 8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 8A is a sectional view similar to FIG. 8 showing the yoke assembly adjusted to a trailing position.

FIG. 8B is a sectional view similar to FIG. 8A showing the yokes support assembly adjusted to a opposite laterally extending position.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged top plan view of the cutter head assembly with certain parts omitted for purposes of clarity.

FIG. is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along lines 10-10 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the cutter head assembly as seen from the right of the FIG. 9 and drawn on a reduced schedule.

FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the cutter head assembly as seen from the left of FIG. 9, and drawn on a reduced scale.

FIG. 13 is a sectional plan view similar to FIG. 8 showing a modification of the yoke control mechanism.

FIG. 14 is a schematic diagram showing the hydraulic pump, valve assembly, reservoir and electrical connector therefor.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION The cutter mechanism of the present invention is shown attached to the trailing or rear edge of a prime mover support vehicle 1 and is generally illustrated in FIG. 1. The cutter mechanism includes a base support housing 10 having an operable self-contained power supply means for delivering power to the cutter control mechanisms. A yoke assembly 100 is pivotally supported on the base support housing for pivotal movement about a vertical axis from one laterally extended position to a second opposite laterally extended position substantially 180 displaced relative to the first position. A boom means 200 is connected to the yoke assembly 100 for adjustment about a first horizontal axis and includes control means for effecting adjustment of the boom about the horizontal axis. A cutter head assembly 300 is pivotally connected to the extended end of the boom support means 200 for adjustment about a horizontal axis and includes control means for effecting the adjustment of the cutter head assembly. The cutter head assembly includes conventional hydraulic motor means operatively associated with a cutting blade. The control means for effecting adjustment of the yoke mechanism 100, the boom mechanism 200, and the cutter head assembly 300 includes conventional hydraulic control means which are detailed to receive a supply of hydraulic power from the operable power supply means located on the main support housing 10. A detailed description of the main support housing 10, the yoke assembly 100, the boom means 200, and the cutter head assembly 300 will be described hereinbelow.

BASE SUPPORT HOUSING Referring now particularly to FIGS. 1, 4 and 5, the cutter support mechanism includes a base support housing 10. The base support housing 10 is detailed for attachment to the prime mover supporting vehicle 1 by means of a series of forwardly projecting arms 11, l2, l3, and 14. The forward projecting ends of each of the support arms ll-14 includes an opening 15 which is detailed to receive a conventional connecting pin (not shown) for attachment of the base support housing to the main support vehicle 1. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the base support housing includes a box like construction which is constructed of sheet metal material and includes a top supporting surface 16, two side plates 17, 18, a rear plate 19 and a forward plate 20. Contained within the base support housing 10 is a conventional hydraulic pump means 21 which is adapted to be connected to a power take off drive of the main support vehicle 1, by conventional means, not shown. The hydraulic pump means 21 includes power supply lines 22, 23, which are detailed for delivering a supply of hydraulic power under pressure to a valve control assembly 25. A plurality of fluid pressure supply lines 26 are detailed for providing a supply of fluid pressure to the relative control mechanisms as will be described hereinbelow.

As shown in FIG. 14, the valve control assembly includes an electrical connector element 28 which is adapted to receiver electrical signals from a control panel 2 located on the prime mover vehicle.

The valve mechanism 25 of the operable power supply means 21 is controlled by conventional solenoid means operated from the control panel 2 located on the vehicle. The

details of the solenoid operated valve and the remote control panel are not shown herein since the details form no part of the present invention.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 5, the base support housing 10, includes a vertically oriented sleeve 29 which is connected to the top support plate 16 of the housing 10 and to a base support plate 30 of the support housing. The sleeve 29 is detailed to provide a vertically oriented bearing support for receiving a pivot shaft 108 of the yoke assembly which will be described hereinbelow. As shown in FIG. 4, the base support housing 10 includes a bracket 31 detailed to provide a pair of spaced journal members 32, 33, which includes aligned openings 34 for receiving a connecting pin 114 to connect a control cylinder thereto for operation of the yoke assembly.

YOKE MEANS The function of the yoke means is to provide a support assembly whereby the boom 200 and cutter head assembly 300 can be connected to the base support housing 10 for adjustment about a vertical axis so that the cutter head assembly 300 can be moved from one laterally extended position through an arc of substantially 180 to an opposite laterally extended position.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 6, the yoke mechanism 100 includes a main vertically extending leg portion 101 having a projecting first arm 102 located adjacent the top edge thereof and having a second arm 103 located adjacent the bottom end thereof. The two arms 102, 103, are detailed to be substantially coplanar and disposed parallel relative to each other. The arms 102, 103, are provided with spaced and aligned support members 104, 105, which are provided with coaxial openings 106, 107. The openings 106, 107, are detailed for receiving a support shaft 108. The shaft 108 is detailed to be inserted through the sleeve 29 of the base support housing. The shaft 108 is held in position within the members 104, 105, by means of a threaded connecting bolt 109 extending through openings in members 104, 105, and shaft 108 and having a locking nut 110 threaded thereon (only one of the bolts 109 is shown in FIG. 6.)

Adjustment of the yoke means 100 about the support shaft 108 is effected by means of a pair of hydraulic control cylinders 112, 113. The hydraulic control cylinder 112 includes a first end which is pivotally connected by a connecting pin 114 to the bracket mechanism 31 of the base support housing 10. The hydraulic control cylinder 112 includes a conventional piston rod which has an extended end connected by a pin 116 to a pair of plate members 117, 118. The plate member 117, 1 18, are rotatably supported on the support shaft 108 between the top of sleeve 29 and yoke arm member 102 as shown in FIG. 7. The hydraulic control cylinder 113 includes a first end which is pivotally connected by a pin 119 to a support bracket 120 which is provided beneath the arm 102 of the yoke assembly 100. The bracket 120 is fixed to the base vertical support leg 101 of the yoke assembly and projects rearwardly therefrom in substantial alignment with the top leg members 102 and bottom leg member 103. The hydraulic cylinders 113 include a conventional piston rod having an extended end which is connected by a pin 122 to the pair of rotatable plate members 117, 118.

The above described adjustment control means of the yoke assembly is detailed for adjusting the yoke from one laterally extending position adjacent one side of the base support housing through an arc of substantially to a second laterally extending position adjacent an opposite side of the base support housing. To accomplish the 180 adjustment of the yoke, the first hydraulic control cylinder 112 which is connected to the base support housing 10 is detailed for effecting movement of the yoke assembly through a first 90 portion and operation of the second hydraulic cylinder 113 which is connected between the rotatable plates 117, 118 and de-energized yoke bracket member 120 is detailed for effecting adjustment of the yoke assembly through a second substantially 90 portion. Thus, it can be seen by maintaining both of the hydraulic control cylinders 112, 113, in a de-energized position, the yoke means will be moved and maintained in a position whereby the yoke assembly is disposed adjacent the right side of the base support housing or adjacent the side plate 18. Operation of one of the hydraulic control cylinders 112, 113, will effect movement of the yoke assembly from the position adjacent side plate 18 to a trailing position substantially as shown in FIG. 1. Further, operation of a second one of the hydraulic control cylinders 112, 113, will effect movement of the yoke means 100 to a second laterally extending position whereby the yoke assembly will be positioned adjacent the left side plate 17 of the base support housing.

Referring again to FIG. 6, the yoke mechanism 100 includes a series of bracket members 125. The bracket members 125 are fixed to the yoke assembly adjacent the upper edge of the main leg portion 101. The bracket members 125 are detailed substantially parallel relative to each other and include a series of openings 126, which are coaxially arranged relative to each other. The brackets 125 with openings 126 are detailed for receiving a pivot pin 127 which will attach the boom mechanism 200 to the yoke assembly as will be described hereinbelow.

As shown in FIG. 6, the top leg member 102 of the yoke assembly includes a support bracket 128 adjacent the extended end thereof. The bracket 128 includes a pair of spaced and aligned sleeve elements 129 which include coaxial arranged openings 130 which are detailed to receive a connecting pin 131 for attachment of a hydraulic control cylinder 206 thereto for effecting operation of the boom about a horizontal axis as will be described hereinbelow.

MODIFICATION OF YOKE CONTROL MECHANISM Referring now particularly to FIG. 13, a modification for controlling the yoke assembly 100 is shown herein which includes a conventional hydraulic rotary actuator mechanism 140 which is operatively associated with the support shaft 108. The rotary actuator mechanism 140 includes conventional input lines 141 for supplying fluid under pressure to the rotary actuator for effecting movement of the yoke assembly 100 from a position shown adjacent the right support plate 18 of the support housing 10 to a position 180 displaced therefrom adjacent the support plate 17. The modification of the yoke control mechanism illustrated in FIG. 13 includes a releasable latch mechanism 142 which is operatively associated with the hydraulic rotary actuator 140 and the yoke assembly 100 to hole the yoke assembly 100 in either of the two laterally displaced positions.

The releasable latch mechanism 142 includes a pair of links 143, 144, which are pivotally connected adjacent one end to the rotary actuating mechanism 140. Each of the links 143, 144, includes a telescoping rod element 145, 146, respectively, which is slidably received by the link elements 143, 144. The extending end of the rods 145, 146 are pivotally connected to a movable latch element 147, 148, respectively. Latch elements 147, 148, are pivotally supported by a support bracket 149, 150, respectively, as shown in FIG. 13. Supported on each of the rods 145, 146, between the link 143, 144, and the pivotal latch element 147, 148, is a compression spring element 151, 152, respectively which provides a yieldable connection between the links 143, 144, and the releasable latch means 147, 148, As shown in FIG. 13, the latch elements 147, 148, include an end portion which is detailed to be inserted in a recessed notch portion 155 formed on the vertically extending leg 101 of the yoke assembly 100. The above described releasable latch mechanism is detailed such that the latch elements 147, 148, will release from the yoke latch portion 155 in response to a predetermined amount of pressure being applied against the cutter head assembly 300 which is supported on the extended and of the boom structure 200. The latch mechanism 142 is operatively associated with the rotary actuator 140 and the yoke assembly 100 such that as the yoke assembly is moved to a first laterally extending position, one of the latch elements 147 as shown in FIG. 13, will be inserted in the recessed notch portion 155 and the second latch element 148 will be retracted to a non-effective position. However, operation of the rotary actuating mechanism to move the yoke support assembly from the position shown in FIG. 13 to an opposite laterally supported position will effect movement of the latch 147 from a latching position to a releasable position and will effect movement of the latch element 148 into a latching position with the recess notch portion 155.

The yoke control mechanism illustrated in FIG. 8 which includes the pair of hydraulic control cylinders 212, 213, includes conventional pressure responsive valve mechanism (not shown) within the control lines which would allow the yoke assembly to be moved from a laterally extended position to a trailing position in response to a predetermined amount of pressure applied to the cutter head assembly. The modification shown in FIG. 13 is detailed for effecting operation of the yoke assembly in a similar matter as illustrated in FIGS. 8-8A, 8, and 8B. The releasable latch means illustrated in FIG. 13 could be either operatively associated with the rotary actuator mechanism of FIG. 13 of could be associated with the yoke control means including the pair of hydraulic control cylinders 212, 213 as shown in FIG. 8.

BOOM ASSEMBLY The function of the boom 200 is to provide a connection between the yoke assembly 100 and the cutter head assembly 300 whereby the cutter head assembly can be moved to various laterally extending positions and the cutter head assembly can be held in various angular disposed positions for cutting the vegetation on varying degrees of sloping shoulders and elevated banks.

Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, the boom 200 includes an inner boom section 201 and an outer boom section 202.

The inner end of the inner boom section 201 is pivotally connected to the yoke assembly 100 for adjustment about a first horizontal axis. The inner and outer boom sections 201, 202 are pivotally connected to each other for adjustment about a second horizontal axis. The extended end of the outer boom section 202 is pivotally connected to the cutter head assembly 300 for adjustment of the cutter head assembly 300 about a third horizontal axis. The inner and outer boom sections 201, 202 are constructed of plates of heavy gauge sheet metal to form a tubular or box-like structures and are detailed for containing the hydraulic supply control lines and the hydraulic control cylinders for adjusting the cutter head assembly 300 relative to the outer boom section 202 and for adjusting the outer boom section 202 relative to the inner boom section 201.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 3B, the inner boom section 201 includes a pair of spaced sleeve elements 203, 204 which includes aligned openings 205 for receiving a pivot pin 127 for attaching the boom assembly 200 to the yoke mechanism 100.

Adjustment of the boom assembly 200 about the first horizontal axis is effected by means of a hydraulic power control cylinder 206. The hydraulic power control cylinder 206 is connected adjacent one end by a support pin 131 which is inserted through the pair of spaced sleeve members 129 mounted on the yoke support bracket 128. The hydraulic cylinder 206 includes a conventional piston rod 207 which is pivotally connected by a pin 208 to a bell crank assembly 209. The bellcrank assembly 209 includes two laterally projecting arms 210, 211. Connected to bell crank arm 210 is a sleeve member 212 which includes an opening detailed for receiving the pivot connecting pin 127. The above described pivotal connection between the bell crank assembly 209 and the pivot pin 127 permits the bell crank assembly and the boom assembly to be coaxially mounted. The second arm 211 of the bell crank assembly 209 includes a pair of spaced sleeves 210a which is adapted to receive a collar attachment means 213. The collar attachment means 213 is received on a support bolt 213A which is a part of a spring biasing assembly 214. The spring biasing assembly 214 includes a collar mechanism 215 which is provided with a connecting means 216 for attaching the collar assembly 215 to the boom housing at a position displaced from the first horizontal axis. A compression spring 217 is supported on the bolt 213A below the collar assembly 215 and is held thereon by a retaining member 218. The bell crank collar member 213 is received on the upper end of the bolt 213A and is maintained thereon by means of a threaded connecting bolt 219. A second spring 220 is held on the bolt 213 between the collar 212 and collar 215.

The above described bell crank assembly 209 and spring biasing mechanism 214 provide a yieldable connection between the boom 200 and control cylinder 206.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the outer end of the inner boom section 201 includes a support bracket 221 which includes a plurality of spaced sleeve bearing members 222. The inner end of the outer boom section 202 also includes a support bracket 223 having a plurality of spaced and aligned sleeve bearing members 224. The sleeve members 224 of the outer boom section 202 are detailed to be inserted in the space between the sleeve members 222 of the inner boom sections 201. A pivot pin 225 is inserted through a plurality of aligned openings of the sleeve members 222, 224, for pivotally connecting the outer boom section 202, to the inner boom section 201 for pivotally adjusting about a second horizontal axis.

Adjustment of the outer boom section 202 about the second horizontal axis is effected by a hydraulic control cylinder 230. The hydraulic control cylinder 230 is connected by a connecting pin 231 to the housing of the inner boom section 201. The hydraulic control cylinder 230 includes a piston rod 232 which is connected by a pin 233 to a linkage mechanism 234. The linkage mechanism 234 includes a first link 235 connected by pin 233 to the piston rod 232 and connected adjacent its opposite end to the outer boom section 202 by a pin 235A. The linkage mechanism 234 also includes a stabilizing link 237 which is pivotally connected to the inner boom section by a connecting pin 238. The other end of the stabilizing link 237 is pivotally connected to the first link 235 by a connecting pin 239.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the extended outer end of the outer boom section 202 includes a support bracket 240 which is provided with a sleeve bearing element 241 detailed to be inserted between the aligned openings 312, 313, of the vertically extending plates 310, 311, for receiving a connecting pin 242 which will connect the cutter head assembly 300 to the outer boom section 202 for pivotal adjustment about a third horizontal axis.

Adjustment of the cutter head assembly 300 about the third horizontal axis is effected by a hydraulic control cylinder 245 which is pivotally connected adjacent one end by a pin 246 to the outer boom section 202. The hydraulic control cylinder 245 includes a conventional piston rod 247 which has an extended end connected by a pin 248 to a linkage assembly 250. The linkage assembly 250 includes a first link 251 which is pivotally connected to piston rod 247 by pin 248 and is pivotally connected to the cutter head assembly 300 by means of a pin 252 inserted through an opening 253 in the two vertically extended plates 310, 311. The linkage assembly 250 also includes a stabilizing link 253A which has a first end pivotally connected to bracket 240 by a pin 254 and has a second end pivotally connected to the first link 251 by a second connecting pin 255.

From the above description of the boom mechanism, it is apparent that the inner boom section 201 can be adjusted about the first horizontal axis by operation of the hydraulic control cylinder 206 which will effect movement of the bell crank assembly 209. Further, the inner boom section 201 and outer boom section 202 can be adjusted relative to each other about the second horizontal axis by operation of the hydraulic control cylinder 230 to effect movement of the linkage assembly 234. Further, the cutter head assembly 300 can be adjusted about the third horizontal axis by operating the hydrau lic control cylinder 245 to effect operation of the linkage as sembly 250.

The pivotal connection of the inner boom section 201 to the yoke mechanism 100 and the hydraulic control mechanism 206, 209 are detailed to permit the inner boom section 201 to be adjusted through an arc of substantially greater than The pivotal connection of the inner boom section 201 to the outer boom section 202 and the controls therefore are detailed to permit the inner and outer boom section to be adjusted through an arc of substantially greater than 90. Also, the pivotal connection between the outer boom section 202, the cutter head assembly 300, and the control means therefore are detailed to permit the adjustment of the cutter head assembly 300 relative to the outer boom section 202, through an are substantially greater than 90.

CUTTER HEAD ASSEMBLY The function of the cutter head assembly 300 is to contain a rotary cutting blade which will effect cutting of vegetation. The cutter assembly 300 also includes control means for effecting operation of the cutting blade and for effecting pivotal movement of the cutter assembly 300 to various angular disposed positions.

Referring now particularly to FIGS. 1, 2, and 9-12, the cutter head assembly 300 includes a main housing 301 as shown in FIG. 2. The housing 301 includes a top surface 302 with two oppositely disposed depending flange members 303, 304. A series of ribbed reinforcing portions 305 are provided on the top surface 302 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 10 for increasing the rigidity of the top surface 302. An angular reinforcing member 306 is provided along the edge of the top surface 302 and along the edge of the flanges 303, 304, to provide still further rigidity to the support housing 301. As shown in FIG. 2, the main support housing 301 includes a transverse attachment housing 307 which is fixed to the main support housing 301 adjacent and intermediate portion thereof and is arranged to extend laterally of the main support housing. The transverse attachment housing 307 includes two oppositely extending reinforcing portions 308, 309, which extend from a central area to a position adjacent the depending flange members 303, 304. Connected to the transverse attachment housing 307 adjacent the center of the main support housing are a pair of vertically extending support plates 310, 311. The support plates 310, 311 are fixed to the transverse attachment housing in substantially a parallel relationship, The upper extended end of each of the support plates 310, 311, includes a pair of openings 312, 313, which are coaxially aligned and adapted to receive a pivot pin 242 for pivotally attaching the cutter head assembly 300 to the extended end of the outer boom section 202. Extending from adjacent the top of the support plates 310, 311, are a pair of arcuate reinforcing and guide members 316, 317 which terminate adjacent the transverse attachment housing and the top surface 302 of the main support housing 301. A vertically oriented mounting plate 318 is connected between the arcuate reinforcing guide members 316, 317, as shown in FIG. 2. A cross connecting frame element 319 is also connected between arcuate reinforcing members 316, 317 at a position inwardly spaced from the mounting plate 318.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 10, the transverse attachment housing 307 includes a horizontally disposed plate member 320 which is designed for supporting a conventional hydraulic motor 321. The hydraulic motor 321 is connected to the mounting plate 320 by a series of threading connecting bolts 323, only two of which are shown in FIG. 10. Control of the hydraulic motor 321 is effected through a conventional hydraulic supply line 322 as shown in H6. 9. A second support plate 324 is connected to the transverse attachment housing 307 in downwardly displaced relationship relative to the mounting plate 318. As shown in FIG. 10, the mounting plate 324 is substantially coplanar with the top surface 302 of the main support housing. The mounting plate 324 is detailed for supporting a bearing element 325. The bearing element 325 is connected to the support plate 324 by a series of connecting bolts 326, only two of which are shown in FIG. 10. The hydraulic motor 321 includes a drive shaft 327 as shown in FIG. 10 and is connected by means of an adapter 328 to a cutter mechanism drive shaft 329.

Referring to FIG. 10, the cutter mechanism includes a circular support plate 330 which is fixed to the cutter drive shaft 329 by conventional means not shown. The cutter mechanism includes a pair of cutter knives 331, 332, pivotally connected adjacent the edge of the circular support plate 330. The cutter knives 331, 332, are connected to the support plate 330 in such a manner that each of the knives are angularly displaced substantially 180 relative to each other. The cutter knives 331, 332, are pivotally connected to the circular plate 330 by means of a support lug 333. The support lug 333 includes an enlarged head 334 and a shoulder portion 335 for rotatably receiving the cutter knife 331, 332. The support lug 333 includes a body portion which extends through the support plate 330 and is held in position thereon by means ofa threaded nut 336 and a cotter pin 337. An additional locking means in the form of a set screw 338 is provided for securely locking the support lug 333 to the support plate 330, as shown in FIG. 10.

Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2, 9, 11, cutter head assembly includes a pair of movable flange members 340, 341. Each of the movable flange members 340,341, includes an arcuate shaped top surface portion 342 and a depending curved flange portion 344. A reinforcing border member 343 is provided along one edge of the arcuate shaped top surface 342 and a reinforcing border member 345 is provided along depending edges of a curved flange 344, as shown in FIG. 2. Each of the movable flange members 340, 341, is provided with three vertically projecting support brackets 346, 347, 348. Each of the support brackets 346 348 includes a pivot receiving opening 349. The pivot receiving openings 349 in each of the support brackets are detailed to be in coaxial alignment relative to each other. The two outer vertically projecting brackets 346,348, are detailed to be connected to support brackets 350 and 351 which are provided on the top surface 302 of the main support housing 301. The support brackets 346, 348, and brackets 350, 351, are detailed to receive pivot support pins 352. The center vertically projecting bracket 347 is pivotally connected to a third center support bracket 353 by means ofa pivot connecting pin 354. The center support brackets 353 are also provided on the top surface 302 of the main cutter housing 301. The center support bracket 353 includes a pair of vertically extending members 355. Connected between an upper end of a vertically extended members 355 is a hydraulic control member 356 which is connected thereto by means of a pivot pin 357. The control cylinder 356 includes a conventional piston rod 358 which has its extended end connected by means of a pivot pin 359 to an opening 360 provided in the center vertically projected bracket 347. Operation of the control cylinder 356 is provided by means of a pair of hydraulic control lines 361, 362, from control valve 363. The control valve 363 further includes control lines 364, 365, which are hydraulically connected to the fluid supply line 322 detailed for providing power to the hydraulic motor 321.

The operation of the cutter head assembly, in so far as the positioning of the two movable flange members and the other control members of the control head assembly will be described hcreinbelow in the operation of the mechanism.

OPERATIONS To begin an operation of the rotary cutter mechanism of the present invention, the rotary cutter mechanism is mounted on a prime mover vehicle 1, by inserting conventional connecting pins through the openings in each of the forward projection arms 11 14. A conventional rotary drive connection is made between the power take off of the prime mover vehicle and the drive shaft of the hydraulic pump mechanism 21. The control panel 2 on the prime mover vehicle is then operatively connected to the valve assembly 25 by making an electrical connection to the electrical connector 28. As shown in the schematic diagram of FIG. 14, the operable power supply means contained on the basic support housing 10 includes a conventional hydraulic pump 21 which is driven by conventional power take off means from the prime mover vehicle. The hydraulic pump 21 includes a high pressure power supply line 22 for delivering fluid under pressure to a valve assembly mechanism 25. The valve assembly 25 is a conventional solenoid control valve mechanism which receives electrical signals from the control panel 2 of the prime mover vehicle through the electrical connector element 28. The valve assembly 25 includes a plurality of supply lines 26 for delivering fluid power under pressure to each of the control mechanisms of the cutter mechanism. The return supply of fluid under pressure is delivered to a reservoir mechanism 35 which has connection 23 to the hydraulic pump 21. The hydraulic pump 21 and reservoir 35 are contained within the base support housing 10 and the valve assembly 25 is supported on housing 10 and the valve assembly 25 is supported adjacent the top plate 16 of the support housing, as illustrated in FIG. 1.

After the cutter mechanism has been mounted on the prime mover vehicle as outlined above, the controls are operated to effect operation of either of the hydraulic cylinders 112, 113 to position the yoke support assembly and boom 200 in the desired laterally extending position for effecting a cutting operation at a remote position laterally along one side of the prime moving vehicle 1. It is pointed out that the hydraulic control cylinders 112, 113, includes conditional pressure release means which will allow the yoke support assembly 100 and boom support structure 200 to be released from a laterally extending position to a trailing position in response to a predetermined amount of pressure being applied to the rotary cutter head. As stated hereinabove the operation of one of the hydraulic cylinders 112, 113 will effect movement from a first laterally extending position illustrated in FIG. 8 to a trailing position illustrated in FIG. 8A and operation of a second one of the hydraulic cylinders 112, 113 will effect movement of the yoke support assembly 100 from a trailing position shown in FIG. 8A to a second laterally extending position shown in FIG. 8B which is angularly displaced relative to the first position by substantially The above described operation of the yoke control mechanism will allow the cutter head to be positioned on either of the two laterally extending sides of the support housing whereby the vegetation can be cut on either side of the prime mover vehicle as it is moved along in a first direction.

Operation of the hydraulic control cylinders 206, 230, and 245 is effected to position the rotary cutter head 300 at a desired laterally spaced position and at a desired angularly oriented position whereby vegetations can be cut on varying degrees of sloping shoulders and elevated banks.

It is pointed out that the above described linkage mechanism 235, 250 associated with the hydraulic control cylinders 230, 245, respectively are detailed to allow the control cylinders 230, 245, to effect movement of the outer boom section 202 and rotary cutter head 300 through various angular positions substantially greater than 90. Further, the linkage mechanism 235, 250 provide a mechanical advantage for the hydraulic control cylinders 230, 245, and allows the hydraulic control cylinders to be operated through their extended length without interference with the housing structure of the two boom sections 201, 202.

It now becomes apparent that the above described illustrated embodiment of the rotary cutter mechanism is capable of obtaining the above stated objects and advantages. Further it is obvious that those skilled in the art may make modifications in the details of construction without departing from the spirit of the invention which is to be limited only by the scope of the depending claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A cutter mechanism for use in cutting vegetation and designed for attachment to a vehicle, comprising in combination; a base support housing including means for easy attachment of the housing to a vehicle and also including operable power means for delivering power to cutter control mechanisms, yoke means mounted on said base support housing for pivotal movement about a substantially vertical axis, control means operatively associated with said yoke means, said base support housing and said operable power means for effecting pivotal movement of said yoke means about said vertical axis, boom means pivotally mounted adjacent one end on said yoke means for pivotal movement about a substantially horizontal axis, control means operatively associated with said boom means, yoke means and operable power means for effecting pivotal movement of said boom means about said horizontal axis, said boom means including an inner portion and an extended end portion pivotally mounted at its inner end on the outer end of said inner portion, a cutter head mounted at the outer end of said extended portion for pivotal movement about a substantially horizontal axis, said cutter head including a cutting blade having control means operatively associated with said operable power means for effecting operation of said cutter blade, and control means operatively associated with said cutter head, said boom means and said operable power means for effecting pivotal movement of said cutter head about said last mentioned horizontal axis.

2. A cutter mechanism as described in claim 1 further characterized in that said yoke means is pivotally mounted on said base support housing for pivotal movement through an arc of substantially 180 whereby said yoke means can be positioned laterally on either of two opposite sides of said housing, and in that said yoke means includes releasable holding means for holding it selectively in either of such lateral positions.

3. A cutter mechanism as in claim 2 further characterized in that said releasable holding means includes a latch receiving notch portion defined on said yoke means and wherein a pair ofspring biased and movable latch elements are provided, one such element being located on each of two opposite sides of the base support housing, said movable latch elements being adapted to engage said latch receiving notch portion selectively as the yoke means is positioned laterally at one side of said base support housing or the other, said spring biased and movable latch elements being detailed to be released from said latch receiving notch element in response to a predetermined pressure being applied to said boom means.

4. A cutter mechanism as described in claim 3 further characterized in that said pair of latch elements are operatively associated with said yoke control means and wherein alternate ones of said latch elements are rendered effective in response to said yoke control means moving said yoke to a laterally extending position adjacent a lateral side of said housing and adjacent said one of said latch elements.

5 A cutter mechanism as defined in claim 1 further characterized in that said yoke control means includes hydraulic power means for moving said yoke means about said vertical axis whereby said yoke with said boom and cutter head can be positioned adjacent one lateral side edge of said support housing and can be moved to an opposite lateral side edge of said support housing and wherein said hydraulic power means includes releasable means operatively associated with said control means for releasing said yoke means from said laterally extending position in response to a predetermined amount of pressure being applied to said boom and cutter head.

6. A cutter mechanism as described in claim I further characterized in that said yoke control means includes a pair of hydraulic control cylinders and a pivotally mounted control plate and wherein one of said control cylinders is supported between said housing and said control plate and said other hydraulic cylinder is supported between said yoke and said control plate, whereby operation of one of said hydraulic cylinders will effect movement of said yoke and said boom through an arc of substantially and operation of said second hydraulic cylinder will effect movement of said yoke and boom through a second arc of 90'} I A cutter mechanism as described in claim 1 further characterized in that said boom control means includes a bell crank assembly having one end coaxially mounted relative to said horizontal pivot axis of said boom, said bell crank including spring biasing connecting means connected to an opposite end of said bell crank and to said boom at a position spaced from said horizontal axis and wherein said control means includes a hydraulic cylinder operatively connected to said bell crank and said yoke support means.

8. A cutter mechanism as described in claim 1 further characterized in that said cutter head includes a pair of pivotally mounted flange means supported for pivotal move ment between a retracted inoperative position and an extended position wherein said flanges are angularly disposed in the plane of said cutter blade for providing a shield for debris being cut by said cutter blade and wherein control means is operatively associated with each of said flange means and said operable power means for effecting movement of said flange means from said extended operable position to said retracted inoperable position.

9. A cutter mechanism for use in cutting vegetation, detailed for attachment to a prime mover vehicle and comprising a base support housing including means for attachment of said housing to said vehicle, and wherein said housing includes a self-contained hydraulic control system, said attachment means including a power take off connection and a plug-in electrical control means, a cutter head including a cutting blade having control means operatively associated with said hydraulic control system for effecting operation of said cutting blade, and means for supporting said cutter head on said base support housing, said cutter head including a depending flange for providing a lateral shield against objects thrown outwardly by said cutting blade, said flange including two movable sections, each section being mounted for movement to and from an extended shielding position and means operatively associated with each of said sections for effecting such move ment of said sections.

10. A cutter mechanism as described in claim 9 further characterized in that said means for supporting the cutter head may be moved about a vertical axis through an arc of substantially with respect to said vehicle.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4502269 *Sep 10, 1982Mar 5, 1985Cartner Jack OHydraulic mower head orienting apparatus for boom mowers
US4506464 *Feb 6, 1984Mar 26, 1985Cartner Jack OHydraulic breakaway system for mobile cutting apparatus
US4700534 *Aug 7, 1986Oct 20, 1987Deere & CompanyBlower attachment
US5341629 *Feb 9, 1993Aug 30, 1994Penner Erich RHinged-blade roadside mower
US5647722 *Mar 15, 1996Jul 15, 1997Cartner; Jack O.Dual cylinder actuated boom arm
US5832706 *Oct 24, 1995Nov 10, 1998Advanced Contracting And Hedging, Inc.Hedger/cutting unit with blade coupling unit and method for cutting vegetation profiles
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US20040026350 *Jul 10, 2001Feb 12, 2004Jean-Marc YerlyArticulated jib crane
US20050098524 *Aug 20, 2004May 12, 2005Michael IrschMobile crane boom having an autarchic hydraulic power unit mounted thereon
US20070246436 *Apr 25, 2006Oct 25, 2007Richard PicardHoist for retrieving and lifting loads
DE102005018987B4 *Apr 22, 2005Oct 15, 2015Gerhard Dücker GmbH & Co. KG LandmaschinenfabrikMäh- und/oder Schneidgerät
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Classifications
U.S. Classification56/10.7
International ClassificationA01D34/00, A01D34/86
Cooperative ClassificationA01D34/866
European ClassificationA01D34/86B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 26, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: ROME INDUSTRIES, INC., A IN CORP., GEORGIA
Free format text: TO CORRECT NAME OF ASSIGNOR IN ASSIGNMENT RECORDED JULY 25, 1988, REEL 4923 FRAME 1039;ASSIGNOR:ROME INDUSTRIES, INC., A GA CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005012/0181
Effective date: 19890103
Jan 26, 1989AS99Other assignments
Free format text: ROME INDUSTRIES, INC., HIGHWAY 278 WEST, CEDARTOWN, GA 30125, A IN CORP. * ROME INDUSTRIES, INC., AGA CORP. : 19890103 OTHER CASES: NONE; TO CORRECT NAME OF ASSIGNOR IN ASSIGNMENT RECORDED JULY 25,
Jul 25, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: ROME INDUSTRIES, INC., 600 FIRST SOURCE BANK CENTE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ROME INDUSTRIES OF GEORGIA;REEL/FRAME:004923/0039
Effective date: 19880330
Owner name: ROME INDUSTRIES, INC., A INDIANA CORP.,INDIANA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROME INDUSTRIES OF GEORGIA;REEL/FRAME:4923/39
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROME INDUSTRIES OF GEORGIA;REEL/FRAME:004923/0039
Jul 25, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: ROME INDUSTRIES OF GEORGIA
Effective date: 19880330
Owner name: ROME INDUSTRIES, INC., 600 FIRST SOURCE BANK CENTE