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Publication numberUS3662427 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1972
Filing dateJul 1, 1970
Priority dateJul 1, 1970
Publication numberUS 3662427 A, US 3662427A, US-A-3662427, US3662427 A, US3662427A
InventorsHanna Bruce
Original AssigneeColeman Co American
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum-pressure apparatus for sweeping exterior areas
US 3662427 A
An apparatus using a high-pressure air stream in an open-ended chamber to dislodge dust, pebbles and other debris from large planar surfaces such as parking lots, roads, streets, alleys, etc., and the "swept" material is collected by vacuum and carried to a collector compartment where the swept material settles out of the air and a portion of the air is recycled.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent 1151 3,662,427 Hanna [4 1 May 16, 1972 VACUUM-PRESSURE APPARATUS FOR 1,124,603 1/1915 Furnas 15/346 x SWEEPING EXTERIOR AREAS 759,452 /19 2,131,398 9/1938 [721 Invent Bruce Hanna, Llmeton, Colo- 3,512,206 5 1970 Young ..l5/346 73 Assi nee: American Coleman Com an L'ttl t 1 2 C010. p y, l e on Primary ExaminerWalter A. Scheel Assistant Examiner-C. K. Moore [22] Filed: July 1, 19 Attorney-Richard D. Law [21] App]. No.: 51,518 ABSTRACT An apparatus using a high-pressure air stream in an open- (gl ..l5/346, 15/340 ended chamber to dislodge dust pebbles and other debris 58] Fieid 's 15/340 345 346 from large planar surfaces such as parking lots, roads, streets, alleys, etc., and the swept" material is collected by vacuum [56] References Cited and carried to a collector compartment where the swept material settles out of the air and a portion of the air is recy- UNITED STATES PATENTS cled' 564,013 7/1896 Furnas 1 5/346 X 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAY 16 I972 SHEET 1 OF 2 Fl G.

F I G. 2


sum 2 OF 2 FIG.4


ATTORNEY VACUUM-PRESSURE APPARATUS FOR SWEEPIN G EXTERIOR AREAS Growth of the suburban areas invariably includes business and industrial complexes. These may be retail establishments which group into large suburban shopping centers and shopping plazas, or manufacturing and research business which locate in suburban industrial parks. For either type of business, retail or manufacturing, automobile parking lots are associated with the suburban locations. These parking lots may be small, holding only a dozen or so automobiles, or large, comprising many acres of land. Whether the parking lot is large or small, the maintenance of the parking lot including the collection of litter and debris from the parking lot is the responsibility of the individual businesses who privately own or use the lots. As the cost of manual labor increases, it becomes uneconomical to have the lots manually cleaned or cleaned with small equipment. On the other hand, large slow moving equipment requires a substantial capital outlay particularly when a lot requires cleaning only once or twice a week the equipment becomes uneconomical. A further shortcoming of conventional parking lot sweeping equipment is that the equipment stirs up large clouds of dust and dirt which soil nearby fixtures, windows, signs, etc.

The present invention relates to a heavy-duty, pressurevacuum system for cleaning parking lots, streets, roads and alleys. The pressure-vacuum system may be conveniently mounted on the bed of a conventional open-bed truck; a typical pickup truck has been successfully used for smaller units, and larger trucks may be used for larger units. The apparatus has a large sweeping area for sweeping and picking up dust, debris, litter, and rocks or pebbles. The truck-mounted apparatus may be quickly and conveniently transported from one parking lot to a second parking lot a few miles away in about the time an ordinary automobile would take to drive the same distance. Thus, the apparatus may be conveniently used to clean several widely separated parking lots in a single evening or night. Since the apparatus collects heavy material such as rocks and stones as well as lighter material such as paper and dust, there is virtually no need for further manual maintenance of the parking areas. The apparatus of the invention also traps and collects nearly all the dust and dirt it dislodges from the parking lot surface and thus eliminates the dust clouds usually caused in such cleaning operations.

Among the objects and advantages of the present invention is to provide a large, high capacity cleaning system for vehicular parking lots, streets, roads and alleys.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an above-described cleaning system which may be conveniently and quickly transported from one area to another.

A further object and advantage of the present invention is to provide a cleaning system to pick up heavy, dense debris as well as light, loose debris.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning system which efficiently collects and settles dust and loose dirt.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning system which may be conveniently mounted on conventional, commercially available vehicles.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention may be readily ascertained by referring to the following description and appended illustrations in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of the apparatus of the invention mounted upon a vehicle;

FIG. 2 is a bottom plan detail of the vacuum-pressure head of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation cross-section detail of the vacuumpressure head taken along section 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational detail of the vacuum-pressure head according to the invention; and

FIG. 5 is a further side elevational detail of the vacuumpressure head according to the invention.

In FIG. 1, the apparatus of the invention is shown mounted upon a truck 10. In general, the apparatus comprises a vacuum-pressure head 11 suspended under truck 10 by a pair of support members 15, one on each side. Vacuum duct or hose 12 connects the vacuum pressure-head 11 to collector compartment 13 mounted on the bed of the truck. Adjoining compartment 13 is a machinery compartment 16 containing a blower 20 creating pressure means and vacuum means, and a water supply tank 22. The blower may be rotated by a gasoline engine 21 or other convenient engine. The water supply tank is connected via pipe 14 to a nozzle 17 (FIG. 5) in vacuum duct or tubing 12. The vacuum hose 12 carries the dust and debris collected in head 11, and the water consolidates the dust so that it settles upon entering compartment 13. The blower in compartment 16 communicates with and creates a suction in compartment 13 thereby drawing air and debris into the compartment 13 through vacuum tubing 12. Pressurized air is directed from the outlet side of the blower through high pressure duct or hose 51 on the opposed side of the vehicle down into head 11. This pressurized air dislodges dust and debris from the surfaces being swept, e.g., a parking lot surface, and the dust and debris is then drawn into the vacuum tubing 12 for deposit in collector compartment 13.

The blower for creating pressure and vacuum and the driving engine are conventional commercially available equipment. The air flow through the vacuum system of a small, pickup truck mounted unit is normally about 5400 cubic feet of air per minute, and may reach nearly 6000 cubic feet per minute. The air flow nominally represents a per cent recycling of air, or between 3,200 and 3,600 cubic feet per minute. Larger units, of course, will have greater air flows and smaller units have decreased air flows. Recycling is accomplished in part through screens 18 in the top of the collector compartment and through pipe 19 in the blower in compartment 16. The screening 18 may be conveniently suspended from the compartments roof. Placing the screening near the roof of the collector compartment assures that only relatively clean air will be directed back into the blower for recycling. During operation of the apparatus dust and other air-borne debris is dropped from the air and is deposited on the floor of the compartment. Both compartment 13 and compartment 16 must have entry doors for access into the compartments. The door into compartment 13 is conveniently at the rear and should be large enough to allow convenient removal of the matter collected in that compartment. The access door into compartment 16 should be large enough to allow convenient maintenance of the equipment in that compartment. The walls of the compartments may be formed from a number of lightweight, strong materials; sheet metal or fiberglass are acceptable. Also, a light-weight chain or belt conveyor on the floor of the compartment aids in the discharge of debris.

Aiding in the settling of dust and other lightweight material is the aforementioned water spray. A conventional 20 to 60 gallon or more capacity water tank is located in compartment 16. The water flows by gravity through line 14 and into vacuum tubing 12. Vacuum duct or tubing 12 extends only a few inches into collector compartment 13. Experience has shown that best results are achieved when the water is introduced a few inches upstream from the pick-up head 11 into the vacuum tubing 12. The velocity of air in the vacuum tube distributes the water and wets the dust so that it consolidates and quickly settles in the compartment 13. The water may be introduced anywhere along the vacuum line; however, less water is consumed in achieving effective consolidation and settling when water is introduced into the pipe near the pickup head 11. In practice, the system normally consumes 8 to 20 gallons of water per hour with satisfactory settling.

The vacuum-pressure head is shown in FIGS. 2-5. The head, denoted in general by numeral 11, consists of a forward vacuum chamber 31 and a rear vacuum chamber 32 connected at each end, and a central pressure blowing chamber 33 therebetween. The aforementioned vacuum hose 12 connects into the vacuum chambers and draws dirt and other debris from the surfaces covered by these compartments. A high-pressure stream of air originating from the previously discussed blower is directed into pressure chamber 33. This stream of air dislodges even relatively heavy particles from the swept surface so that the particles are entrained with dust and smaller particles in the air around the head 11, and can, therefore, be drawn into the vacuum tubing 12 and then on into the collector compartment 13. The head includes a top 34 and end walls 39a and 39b, formed of metal. Lateral walls 35, 36, 37, and 38 in the head, that is walls running lateral to the chassis of the vehicle, are made of flexible material, usually rubber, rubberized canvas or like resilient material. When the vehicle is on a generally level surface, walls 35, 36 and 37 are in contact with the surface and wall 38 is about one-half inch above the surface. Flanges or brackets 35a, 36a, 37a, and 38a depend downwardly from the top for attachment of the walls 35-38 respectively. Forward wall 37 is canted slightly towards the rear of the head so that light, large debris pass under the wall and may be easily trapped under the head. The other walls 35, 36, and 38 are generally vertical to keep debris trapped under the head until such debris is sucked into the vacuum inlet. Skids 39 around the edge of the end walls provide wear surfaces for the head. These skids run longitudinally with the chassis of the vehicle and are replaceable.

Walls 36 and 38 are joined at one end of the central pressure blowing chamber by arcuate wall 36a to form a chamber with a single open end opening into vacuum outlet 43. A continuous piece of flexible material may be used to form a continuous wall comprising walls 36, 36a, and 38. Aperture 41 provides an inlet for the air from the blower into chamber 33. A plurality of slanted deflector plates, of which 42a and 42b are representative, depend from top wall 34 over aperture 41. These plates deflect and direct the stream of air from outlet 41 downwardly and towards the open end of chamber 33. Vacuum opening 43 is adjacent the open end of pressure blowing chamber 33 and, also, communicates with chambers 31 and 32. The generally circular outlet 43 intersects head top wall 34 at an angle thereby forming the elliptical opening through the top. As shown, the vacuum outlet elliptical opening has an area large enough to serve both the forward and rear vacuum chambers as well as the central pressure chamber.

Vacuum hose connector 47 may be a circular steel sleeve welded to head top wall 34 and arranged to cover the aperture 43. Flexible vacuum tubing 12 may then be slip-fitted over connector 47 and secured by conventional ring clamps or like means. Similarly, flexible high pressure tubing 51 may be secured to a pressure outlet sleeve 48 which is welded or otherwise secured to the vacuum-pressure head. FIG. 4 also shows deflector plate 42a and 42b. These plates span pressure outlet opening 41 and may be secured by bolts, welding, etc., to top wall 34 a short distance'away from pressure outlet opening 41. As FIG. shows, the bottom portion of sleeve 47 may extend a distance down into the head as a matter of structural strength. The continuous wall of the pressure chamber 33 is also seen in FIG. 5 as comprising walls 36, 36a, and 38. Closed end wall 36a is shown as notched to provide the short flap 38.

The vacuum outlet end of wall 36 is curved inwardly towards vacuum inlet opening 43 to aid in directing the air from pressure blowing chamber 33 into vacuum inlet opening 43. Of course, a portion of the air from pressure outlet 41 escapes under flap wall 38 into forward vacuum chamber 31. This escaping air, and the dust and debris swept up by the air, is drawn into vacuum inlet 43. Experience has shown that as the stream of air exits from the head into the vacuum outlet (i.e., the left end as shown in FIG. 2), a vortex is formed. The vortex motion not only delays the time in which the vacuum inlet 43 picks up the particles, but the vortex can have a damaging effect upon the head. During experimentation, the vortex action has shot large stones and pebbles under the forward wall 37. Spoiler plate 44, shown in FIG. 2, eliminates or reduces the vortex action. Spoiler plate 44 is a tough, relative ly inflexible flat plate suspended from the top 34 of the vacuum-pressure head, and is angled from forward flap 37 toward vacuum inlet 43. An angle of about 60 counterclockwise from forward flap 37 is suggested.

In summary as to the vacuum-pressure head operation, a stream of air is directed downward from the blower through pipe 51 into tapered chamber from its closed end towards its open end. At the open end of the chamber, air and air-borne debris is exhausted through the outlet 43. The vacuum inlet has an elliptical aperture of sufficient size to serve both the forward and rear vacuum chamber as well as the open end of the pressure chamber. The rear vacuum chamber is isolated in the head by the rear flap wall of the pressure chamber which extends from the top of the head to the swept surface. The rear chamber channels dust to the vacuum outlet. The forward vacuum chamber, however, communicates with the pressure blowing chamber both through open end of the pressure blowing chamber and under the forward wall of the pressure chamber. Air passing under the wall entrains dust and debris which is then withdrawn from the chamber through the vacuum outlet. Thus the front and rear chambers reduce dusting from the head to a minimum.

The unit is easily and quickly mountable on the truck, and is, also, easily and quickly removed. This permits use of the truck when not needed for cleaning, particularly when cleaning is required only once a week. Further, by using a gasoline engine to run the blower, the unit is readily interchanged from truck to truck. Further, the head may be mounted in front of the vehicle or any desired position and the ducts extend to the head. However, by having the head mounted under the vehicle, it may be supported by the unit rather than the vehicle making installation simple.

I claim:

1. In a vacuum cleaning system for mounting on a truck or the like:

a. an elongated enclosed head having an open bottom including mounting means for mounting said head on a truck in the proximity of the ground;

b. said head including a forward vacuum chamber and a rear vacuum chamber connected at least at one end and a middle pressure chamber communicating with said at least one connected end of said vacuum chambers;

c. the longitudinal walls of said chambers being flexible and the wall between said pressure chamber and said forward vacuum chamber being shorter than the other said walls;

d. a debris collection compartment arranged to be mounted on the bed of a truck;

e. a blower mounted adjacent said debris collection compartment;

f. means for running said blower;

g. pressure duct means extending from the outlet side of said blower into said pressure chamber;

h. vacuum duct means extending from said head communicating said at least one connected end of said vacuum chambers to said debris collection compartment; and

i. duct means connecting said debris collection compartment to the intake of said blower.

2. In a vacuum cleaning system according to claim 1 wherein said pressure chamber is formed from a continuous flexible wall extending around said pressure chamber and opening adjacent said vacuum duct means.

3. In a vacuum cleaning system according to claim 1 wherein said forward and rear vacuum chambers are connected at both ends.

4. In a vacuum cleaning system according to claim 1 wherein baffle means are mounted adjacent said at least one connected end of said vacuum chambers for preventing vortex action of air entering said vacuum duct.

5. In a vacuum cleaning system according to claim 1 wherein water supply means are provided adjacent said debris collection compartment, and a line is extended from said water supply means to a point in said vacuum duct means spaced from said debris collection compartment for introducing water into the stream of air and debris passing through said duct means.

6. In a vacuum cleaning system according to claim 1 8. In a vacuum cleaning system according to claim 1 wherem sa1d Shqrter wall 15 arranged to be PPSitioned {*PP wherein said plurality of deflector plates depend across said mately one-halfmch above groundlevel duringoperatlon. pressure duct Outlet deflecting the air Stream emitted 7. In a vacuum cleani s st ac i t ng cord ng claim 1 therefrom at an angle away from vertical towards said at least wherein said pressure chamber m sa1d head converges from 5 one communicating end of said pressure chamber.

the pressure duct outlet to the vacuum duct inlet at the opposed end thereof adjacent said vacuum outlet.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US564013 *Nov 8, 1894Jul 14, 1896 furnas
US759452 *Jan 28, 1903May 10, 1904Sanitary Compressed Air And Suction Dust Removing CoPneumatic carpet-renovator.
US1124603 *Jul 23, 1912Jan 12, 1915Furnas Pneumatic Sweeper CompanyGathering-hood for pneumatic street-sweepers.
US2131398 *Jan 2, 1937Sep 27, 1938Hubbart James EApparatus for cleaning grounds
US3512206 *Aug 30, 1966May 19, 1970Young Bernard WAir flow surface cleaning apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3977039 *Feb 5, 1975Aug 31, 1976Clarke-Gravely CorporationAir blast sweeper with dust control system
US4109341 *Aug 4, 1977Aug 29, 1978Fmc CorporationUnidirectional flow pickup hood for street sweepers
US4193159 *May 9, 1979Mar 18, 1980Beard Benjamin F IiiMobile cleaning apparatus for removing debris from the surface of parking lots and the like
US4359801 *May 4, 1981Nov 23, 1982Tate Jimmy WPick-up head for surface cleaning apparatus
US4453286 *Apr 21, 1983Jun 12, 1984Wieland Clarence WVacuum induced trash collection system
US4466156 *Jan 19, 1983Aug 21, 1984Tennant CompanyAir velocity control mechanism for selective debris pickup
US4580314 *Nov 23, 1984Apr 8, 1986Michael J. GalanisSuction cleaning device
US4773121 *Feb 27, 1987Sep 27, 1988Tymco, Inc.High speed pick-up head
US7191485Apr 5, 2004Mar 20, 2007Harper Industries, Inc.Lawn waste sweeper with recirculating airstream
US7272869Oct 14, 2003Sep 25, 2007Kaivac, Inc.Ergonomic multi-functional cleaning machine
US20040003481 *Mar 11, 2003Jan 8, 2004Tarrant John W.Apparatus and method for collection of debris
US20040177470 *Jun 2, 2003Sep 16, 2004Tarrant John W.Apparatus and method for collection of debris
DE2857873C2 *Sep 26, 1978Dec 18, 1986Fmc Corp., Chicago, Ill., UsTitle not available
DE3805162A1 *Feb 19, 1988Sep 8, 1988Tymco IncSchnell-aufnahmekopf
DE3805162C2 *Feb 19, 1988Oct 5, 2000Tymco IncSaugreiniger
WO2012171098A1 *Jun 13, 2012Dec 20, 2012Roger VanderlindenPick-up head system
U.S. Classification15/346, 15/340.1
International ClassificationE01H1/08, E01H1/00
Cooperative ClassificationE01H1/0863
European ClassificationE01H1/08D