US 3693890 A
Disclosed is a material spreader attachment for mounting on the bed of a conventional truck. Particulate material retained in a hopper is moved by a conveyor onto a rotating distributor disc and discharged therefrom by centrifugal force. The distribution disc is driven by a friction wheel in turn rotated by a constant speed engine also used to drive the material conveyor. Longitudinal adjustment of the friction wheel along its rotational axis alters the speed transmission ratio to the distribution disc and thereby controls the material discharge pattern. By utilizing an independent constant speed engine to drive both the conveyor and the adjustable friction wheel, a selective material discharge pattern can be maintained regardless of the speed at which the supporting vehicle moves.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Torrey 154] MATERIAL SPREADER ATTACHMENT FOR TRUCKS  Inventor: Anthony J. Torrey, 874 Edgell Road, Framingham Center, Mass. 01701 22 Filed: July 2,1970
21 App1.No.: 51,994
 US. Cl. ..239/668, 239/672, 239/684  Int. Cl ..A01c 17/00, AOlc 19/00  Field of Search ..239/667, 668, 672, 673, 674,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,625,439 12/1971 Gisler ..239/684 2,946,597 7/1960 Simonsen ..239/684 X 2,532,518 12/1950 Scott ..239/684 X 748,750 1/1904 Knapp ..74/197 X 2,187,448 1/1940 Currivan et al ..239/684 718,531 1/1903 Sandell ..74/197 X 1,259,563 3/1918 Swanson ..74/197 X 2,956,810 l0/l960 Voich et a1. ..239/666 2,942,487 6/1960 Claus ..74/197 3,473,622 10/1969 Orr ..74/197 X [451 Sept. 26, 1972 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 532,588 2/1922 France ..74/197 858,907 10/1952 Germany ..74/197 Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Edwin D. Grant Attorney-John E. Toupal ABSTRACT Disclosed is a material spreader attachment for mounting on the bed of a conventional truck. Particulate material retained in a hopper is moved by a conveyor onto a rotating distributor disc and discharged therefrom by centrifugal force. The distribution disc is driven by a friction wheel in turn rotated by a constant speed engine also used to drive the material conveyor. Longitudinal adjustment of the friction wheel along its rotational axis alters the speed transmission ratio to the distribution disc and thereby controls the material discharge pattern. By utilizing an independent constant speed engine to drive both the conveyor and the adjustable friction wheel, a selective material discharge pattern can be maintained regardless of the speed at which the supporting vehicle moves.
12 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEU B 2 5 SHEET 2 BF 2 MATERIAL SPREADER ATTACHMENT FOR TRUCKS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a material spreader for distributing particulate materials and is particularly suited for mounting on the bed of a conventional truck.
Spreader devices are used for distributing particulate materials such as sand, salt, fertilizer, seed, etc. in a wide variety of industrial, commercial and highway applications. Many spreading techniques are utilized by the devices which for the most part are relatively large, cumbersome and expensive. One rather simple and efficient technique for material distribution employs a rotating disc that discharges the material by centrifugal force. Discriptions of this type of spreader device appear, for example, in US. Pat. Nos. 2,967,056 and 3,37l,870. Although rotating discs are extremely simple and efficient, the primary problem with prior centrifugal spreaders involve the maintenance of a particular sized discharge pattern. Most previous centrifugal spreaders are either driven by power takeofi's from the vehicle itself so as to be variably affected by vehicle speed or require rather costly and unreliable drive mechanisms employing, for example, hydraulic valves, motors, etc. for hydraulically actuating the distribution disc.
The object of this invention, therefore, is to provide a relatively simple and inexpensive material spreader that can be mounted on conventional vehicles particularly of the pickup truck variety so as to perit its efficient use in highly periodic material spreading applications.
CHARACTERIZATION OF THE INVENTION The invention is characterized by the provision of a material spreading machine including a distribution disc mounted for rotary motion on a frame adapted for attachment to a suitable supporting vehicle such as a conventional pickup truck. A gasoline engine driven friction wheel is operatively coupled to the distribution disc and adapted for longitudinal movement along its rotational axis in such a way as to vary the rotational speed transmission ratio between the friction wheel and the distribution disc. Particulate material is fed onto the distribution disc and is centrifugally discharged in a distribution pattern determined by its rotational speed. This speed is determined by adjustment of a manual regulator that produces longitudinal movement of the friction wheel. The combination of elements provide selective and accurately controlled material distribution patterns with high reliability and minimal equipment cost.
In a featured embodiment of the invention, the spreader includes a hopper adapted for mounting on a suitable truck bed in such a way that the integrally attached distribution disc extends beyond the rear edge of the truck bed. The hopper possesses side walls converging downwardly onto an endless conveyor that dumps material onto the distribution disc. A material feed coupling operatively connects the endless conveyor to the engine so as to establish a constant material delivery rate. This embodiment is easily mounted on conventional truck bodies for use during periods of need and readily dismounted permitting other uses of the vehicles during periods in which material spreading is not required.
According to one feature of the invention, a coupling assembly between the friction wheel and the distribution disc comprises a coupling disc connected for rotation with the distribution disc by a shaft. The peripheral edge of the friction wheel engages the top surface of the coupling disc and is moved radially thereof by the adjustable regulator. In this way the transmission ratio between the motor driven friction wheel and both the coupling and distribution discs is selectively controlled. To facilitate both the ease with which the regulator adjustment is made and an unimpeded flow of material, the coupling disc is located between the distribution disc and the friction wheel and the material feed conveyor discharges material onto the distribution disc from a position below the coupling disc.
According to another feature of the invention, the distribution disc speed regulator includes a guide bearing mounted for axial movement on a guide shaft mounted parallel to a drive shaft keyed for rotation with the friction wheel. The guide bearing and friction wheel are connected and adapted for simultaneous axial movement on, respectively, the guide shaft and the drive shaft in response to movement of a lever actuating mechanism. The guide bearing maintains axial alignment of the friction wheel so as to prevent binding thereof and facilitate its transmission ratio modifying longitudinal adjustments.
Still other features of the inventioninclude discharge shields mounted adjacent the outer periphery of the distribution disc and a manually operated clutch for activating the coupling between the friction wheel and the distribution disc. The shields both establish a desired distribution pattern and prevent inadvertent discharge of material in a potentially dangerous upward direction while the clutch mechanism permits disengagement of the distribution disc without deenergization of the drive motor.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects and features of the invention will become more apparent upon a perusal of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a material spreader according to the invention mounted on the bed of a partially shown truck;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the material spreader shown in P10. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 3-3 in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the material spreader shown in FIGS. [-3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to P10. 1, the illustrated material spreader embodiment includes a material storage and feed mechanism 11 and a material distribution mechanism 12 both mounted on a frame 13. As shown, the spreader is supported on a partially shown, conventional pickup truck 14 such that the feed mechanism 11 substantially fills the truck's bed while the distribution mechanism 12 extends beyond the rear end thereof.
The distribution mechanism 12 includes a drive shaft 15 driven by a gasoline engine 16 via belts 17 accommodated by belt pulleys 18. Supporting the engine 16 and the drive shaft 15 are, respectively, a top plate 19 and side plates 20 and 21 that form a housing supported by the frame 13. A friction wheel 22 is mounted for rotation with the drive shaft 15 and is adapted for longitudinal movement thereon under the control of a speed regulator 23 described in greater detail below. Operatively connecting the friction wheel 22 to a ribbed distribution disc 24 is a coupling mechanism 25 also described in greater detail below.
As shown in FIGS. 2-4, the coupling 25 includes a friction disc 26 connected for rotation with the distribution disc 24 by a coupling shaft 27. Supporting the shaft 27 is a collar bearing 28 fixed to the frame 13. The peripheral edge of the friction wheel 22 engages the upper surface 29 of the friction disc 26 and is diametrically disposed with respect thereto as shown in FIG. 2.
The regulator 23 includes a hollow cylindrical guide bearing 31 mounted for axial movement on a guide shaft 32. Supporting the guide shaft 32 in a position parallel to the drive shaft 15, as shown in FIG. 2, are the side plates 20 and 21. A rod 33 is pivotally connected between a lever arm 34 and a bracket assembly 35 rigidly connecting the guide bearing 32 to collar bearings 36 fixed to opposite faces of the friction wheel 22. As shown in FIG. 4, lever arm 34 is also pivotally connected to the side plate 20 and to a connecting rod 37 having an opposite end connected to an intermediate position of an actuating lever 38. One end of the actuating lever 38 is pivotally connected to the side plate 20 by a pin 39 (FIG. 2). The actuating lever 38 can be fixed in a number of predetermined positions by selective engagement of an attached pin 41 with adjustment holes 42 in a bar mounted on the side plate 20 (FIG. I).
The material feed mechanism 11 includes an open hopper 51 that substantially covers the bed of the truck 14. The hopper 51 is formed by a rear perpendicular wall 52, a similar front wall (not shown) and side walls 53 that converge downwardly toward a bottom wall 54 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. The bottom wall 54 includes an extended portion 55 that projects through an opening 56 in the rear wall 52 and terminates in a downwardly curved terminal section 57. Riding on the bottom wall 54 is the upper portion of an endless conveyor 61 formed by a plurality of parallel bands 62 extending transversely between a pair of parallel chains 63. Positioned over the opening 56 is a gate 65 operated by a lever handle 66 pivotally attached to the rear wall 52 by a pivot pin 67.
A material feed coupling mechanism 71 (FIGS. 1 and 2) operatively couples the conveyor 61 to the drive shaft 15. The coupling mechanism 71 includes a pair of sprockets 72 that are engaged by the conveyor chains 63 and fixed for rotation with a shaft 73 supported between the side plates 20 and 21. Also included in the coupling assembly 71 are small and large sprocket wheels 74 and 75 fixed, respectively, to the drive shaft 15 and to the coupling shaft 73. Power transmission between the shafts I and 73 is provided by a chain 76 coupling the sprocket wheel to the larger member 78 of a stepped sprocket wheel on a shaft 79 and a drive chain 77 coupling a smaller member 81 of the stepped sprocket wheel to the sprocket wheel 75.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a plurality of shield members 83 are positioned about the periphery of the distribution disc 24. The shield members 83 are attached by pivot arms 84 to a skirt 85 itself supported from the frame 13 by brackets 86. Selective orientation of the shield members 83 with respect to the distribution plate 24 can either obstruct material discharge in predetermined horizontal directions or obstruct upward and outward material discharge. In this way a desired distribution pattern is obtained and the potential hazard to personnel and equipment from propelled stones inadvertently included in a load of sand or salt is eliminated.
To use the invention, the hopper 51 is filled with a desired particulate material 89 and the truck 14 is driven to an area of intended use. An operator then starts the engine 16 initiating power transmission to the drive shaft 15 via the belts 17. Rotation of the friction wheel 22 with the drive shaft 15 induces rotation of the engaged friction disc 26 which in turn produces rotation of the distribution disc 24 on the connecting shaft 27. Rotation of the drive shaft 15 also induces rotation of the sprocket wheels 72 (FIG. 2) via the coupling mechanism 71. This in turn drives the endless conveyor 61 in a clockwise direction as shown in FIG. 3. The operator next actuates the lever handle 66 to open the gate 65 thereby permitting the conveyor bands 62 to move the particulate material 89 toward the distribution mechanism 12. Upon reaching the terminal section 57, the conveyed material drops onto the top surface of the rotating distribution disc 24 and is centrifugally discharged therefrom. Thus, as the truck 14 is driven along a desired path, the material 89 is continuously distributed by the distribution mechanism 12 until the hopper 51 has been emptied. At that time, the truck 14 can be returned to a supply point and the hopper 51 refilled. In the event that no further spreading operations are required, the entire spreader device can be easily removed from the truck bed with a conventional hoist (not shown) thereby readying the truck for other uses.
An operator can selectively control the width of the material distribution pattern by adjusting the rotational speed of the distribution disc 24. This adjustment is made by manipulation of the regulator assembly 23. Movement of the actuator lever 38 in a downward direction induces clockwise rotation of the lever arm 34 (as viewed in FIG. 4) forcing the connecting rod 33 inward. The connected bracket assembly 35 moves the friction wheel 22 nearer the center of the friction disc 26. Consequently, the speed transmitted by the friction wheel 22 to the friction disc 26 and accordingly to the distribution disc 24 is increased resulting in a larger diameter of material discharge. In an analogous manner, movement of the manual lever 38 in an upward direction moves the friction wheel 22 radially outwardly on the friction disc 26 thereby decreasing rotational speed of the distribution disc 24 and the diameter of material discharge. An operator can also adjust the rate of material discharge by adjusting the gate 65 to provide a desired opening in the rear wall 52.
Thus, with relatively simple manual adjustments of the gate 65, the speed regulator assembly 23 and the shield members 83, a user is able to control both the rate and pattern of material distribution produced. Furthermore, since both the conveyor 61 and the friction wheel 22 are driven by the independently operated engine 16, a preselected material distribution rate and pattern can be maintained regardless of the speed at which the vehicle 14 moves.
It will be appreciated that the relative positions of the different components provide a compact arrangement wherein the friction disc 26 and the friction wheel 22 are shielded from the elements by the housing 19, and 21. These critical parts are also protected from the particulate material 89 which is dumped onto the distribution disc 24 from a discharge position below the friction disc 29. in addition, location of the friction wheel 22 above the free upper surface 29 of the friction disc 26 facilitates relative movement between these components thereby simplifying speed regulation by the regulator 23. To facilitate speed adjustments, a decoupling mechanism is provided for the distribution disc 24. As shown most clearly in FIGS. 3 and 4, the decoupling mechanism includes an annular bearing 92 fixed below the friction disc 26 on one end of a lever arm 91. A support bracket 94 is pivotally attached to a mid-portion of the lever arm 91, the opposite end of which engages a cam 93. Rotary motion of the cam 93 is effected by manual operation of a handle 95. In response to movement of the handle 95, the cam 93 forcibly engages the lever arm 91 producing clockwise rotation thereof as viewed in FIG. 3. Resultant upward movement of the bearing 92 forces the disc 26 into positive engagement with the friction wheel 22. Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. it is to be understood, therefore, that the invention can be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is:
1. Material spreading apparatus comprising:
a frame adapted for attachment to a supporting vehicle,
a rotatable distribution disc means mounted on said frame,
a friction wheel means rotatably mounted on said frame and operatively coupled to said distribution disc means so as to produce rotation thereof in response to rotation of said friction wheel means, said friction wheel means being adapted for longitudinal movement along its rotational axis, and wherein said longitudinal movement varies the rotational speed transmission ratio between said friction wheel means and said distribution disc means,
a drive means coupled to said friction wheel means and adapted to produce rotation thereof;
a material feed means adapted to discharge material onto said distribution disc means, said material feed means comprising a hopper means mounted on said frame and adapted for mounting on a truck bed;
material feed coupling means operatively coupling said feed means to said drive means;
and adjustable regulator means for producing said longitudinal movement of said friction wheel means.
2. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said distribution disc means is laterally spaced from said hopper means on said frame means so as to extend beyond the rear edge of the truck bed, and said drive means produces rotation of said friction wheel means at a substantially constant speed.
3. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said hopper means comprises downwardly converging side walls substantially parallel to the lateral spacing between said distribution disc means and said hopper means, and said material feed means further comprises a conveyor means for conveying material from said hopper means onto said distribution disc means.
4. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said conveyor means comprises an endless conveyor mechanism having a material feed portion disposed at the bottom of said hopper means and adapted for movement in a direction substantially parallel to said converging side walls.
5. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said friction wheel means is mounted on a drive shaft driven by said drive means, and is adapted for rotation with said shaft and for longitudinal movement thereon in response to said adjustable regulator means.
6. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 5 wherein said adjustable regulator means comprises a guide shaft parallel to said drive shaft, a guide bearing mounted on said guide shaft and movable axially thereon, connector means connecting said friction wheel means and said guide bearing, and actuating means for producing simultaneous axial movement of both said friction wheel means on said drive shaft and said guide bearing on said guide shaft.
7. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said friction wheel means and said distribution disc means are operatively coupled by a coupling means comprising a coupling disc connected for rotation with said distribution disc means by a coupling shaft, the peripheral edge of said friction wheel means engages a flat surface of said coupling disc so as to produce rotation thereof in response to rotation of said friction wheel means, and said longitudinal movement of said friction wheel means is directed radially of said coupling disc surface.
8. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said coupling disc is disposed above said distribution disc means.
9. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said friction wheel means engages the top surface of said coupling disc.
10. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 9 wherein said material feed means discharges material onto said distribution disc means from a position below said coupling disc.
11. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 10 including shield means mounted adjacent said distribution disc and adapted to prevent centrifugal material discharge from said distribution disc in an upward direction.
12. A material spreading apparatus according to claim 1 1 including manually operated clutch means for deactivating said coupling means between said friction wheel means and said distribution disc means.