US 3731423 A
A toy sand or gravel digger having a chassis mounted on ground wheels with a digger wheel journaled for rotation on the chassis and having a plurality of circumferentially spaced scoop buckets thereon adapted to scoop earth from a ground surface and carry it upwardly to a point where it is dumped onto a conveyor which in turn carries the earth upwardly and discharges it into a chute which directs it into a receptacle such as a toy truck box and wherein the digger wheel is operated by a common manual control. Spring means yieldably retain the chassis in a position wherein the buckets are spaced above the ground surface.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May a, 1973  TOY ROTARY BIGGER AND CONVEYOR  Inventor: Gerald A. Cuhel, Glencoe, Minn.  Assignee: Tonka Corporation, Minneapolis,
 Filed: Mar. 15, 1972  Appl. No.: 234,903
 U.S. Cl ..46/40  Int. Cl. ..A63h 33/30  Field of Search ..46/39, 40, 41; 37/89  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 757,459 4/1904 Helm ..37/89 987,249 3/191 1 Matthies. 37/89 2,681,739 6/1954 Gokey ..46/40 Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever Attorney-Carlsen, Carlsen & Strum  ABSTRACT A toy sand or gravel digger having a chassis mounted on ground wheels with a digger wheel journalcd for rotation on the chassis and having a plurality of circumferentially spaced scoop buckets thereon adapted to scoop earth from a ground surface and carry it upwardly to a point where it is dumped onto a conveyor which in turn carries the earth upwardly and discharges it into a chute which directs it into a receptacle such as a toy truck box and wherein the digger wheel is operated by a common manual control. Spring means yieldably retain the chassis in a position wherein the buckets are spaced above the ground surface.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Patented May 8, 1973 3 Sheets-Sheet L Patented 8, 1973 3,731,423
3 Sheets-Sheet 2 f G \\\\\\\\v 1 TOY ROTARY DIGGER AND CONVEYOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to toy model digging mechanisms such as might be used by a young child while playing in a sand box or on a beach. The device more particularly concerns a crank operated digger and conveyor mechanism which carries sand or the like from the ground surface upwardly to a chute positioned to discharge the sand into the box of a toy dump truck or the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The object of the invention is to provide a new and improved device for loading sand or the like from a ground surface into a toy truck box or other receptacle in a continuous manner rather than by intermittent operations of a boom operated toy loader or bucket.
Another object is to provide a wheeled toy having rotary digger for digging sand or the like from the ground surface and transporting the sand to a place of discharge and wherein the digger mechanism is yieldably retained in spaced relation to the ground surface when not in operation.
With these and other objects in view the invention broadly comprises a toy vehicle having a chassis supported on ground wheels with spring means acting between the chassis and wheels to yieldably retain the chassis in a raised position relative to the ground surface, a rotary digger wheel mounted on thechassis for rotation on a horizontal axis and having a plurality of scoop buckets mounted about the periphery of the wheel for picking up sand or the like from the ground surface, an elongated belt conveyor mounted on the chassis beside the digger wheel to receive sand from the buckets thereon and convey it upwardly to a discharge chute, and a single crank means on the chassis having driving connection with both the digger wheel and conveyor for. simultaneous operation thereof.
In the drawings:
I FIG. 1 is a plan view of the toy rotary digger and con veyor. I v
FIG. 2 is a right side elevation of the device in traveling condition and partially broken away to show the digger wheel drive mechanism.
FIG. 3 is a front elevation.
FIG. 4 is a left side elevation.
FIG. 5 is a longitudinal vertical section through the device taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 3 and showing the chassis and digger wheel in broken lines in depressed or operating condition.
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings reference numerals will be used to denote like parts or structural features in the different views. For clarity of understanding, throughout the description the ends of the toy at the left and right in FIG. 1 will respectively be referred to as the .rear and front" ends and the sides at the top and bottom of FIG. 1 respectively as the -left" and right sides with corresponding directional references also referring to these same directions. The toy digger is denoted generally at 10 and has a flat elongated chassis 11 with side walls 12 on the rear portion thereof. Walls 12 jointly journal an axle 14 which carries a pair of rear ground wheels 15. A pair of transversely aligned vertical slots 16 (FIG. 5) are provided in the front portions of walls 12. A front axle 17 carrying front ground wheels 18 journaled in the slots 16. A U- shaped fixed spring 19 (FIGS. 5 and 6) has its bight portion fixedly mounted in the rear end wall 20 of the chassis 11 with the legs 21 thereof engaging upwardly against the chassis 22 and then extending forwardly under the chassis to rest upon the top of axle 17 and yieldably retain the axle in the bottom of slots 16. It will accordingly be understood that chassis 11 is normally in level position parallel to the ground surface G, as shown in full lines in FIG. 5, but when downward pressure is applied to the forward portion thereof the chassis will tilt forwardly, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 5, with axle 17 rising in slots 16 against the pressure of spring 19.
A simulated power unit 24 and operators station 25 are mounted on the rear portion of the chassis 11. An upright fore and aft extending shield 26 is mounted on the right front portion of the chassis l1 and has its left side open. A bracket 27 having transversely spaced side walls 28 is mounted on the chassis 11 to the left of shield 26. Walls 28 have extensions 29 which extend upwardly and rearwardly over the operators station 25.
A shaft 30 extends transversely through the shield 26 and bracket walls 28 and is journaled for rotation therein. A wheel 31 having a plurality of circumferentially spaced scoop buckets 32 mounted on one side thereof is fixed on the shaft 30 for rotation therewith with the wheel extending downwardly through an opening 33 in the chassis 11 (FIG. 6). Buckets 32 have tines 34 projecting from their forward edges to facilitate digging in the sand. Wheel 31 has an outwardly dished circular portion 35 (FIG. 6) stamped coaxially therein and this portion has a plurality of openings 36 punched around its periphery to form a gear. A shaft 37 having a crank handle 38 formed in its right end portion is journaled for rotation in shield 26 and extensions 29 above and rearwardly from shaft 30. Shaft 37 has a spur gear 39 mounted thereon with teeth 40 in meshingengagement with openings 36 in the wheel 31, as best shown in FIG. 2. It will accordingly be understood that as crank 38 is turned in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2, the wheel 31 will be turned in a counterclockwise direction with buckets 32 moving forwardly along the underside thereof.
Shaft 30 carries a sprocket 44 on the left side of wheel 31 which sprocket is longitudinally aligned with a sprocket 45 journaled on a rod or shaft 46 extending between the upper end portions of extensions 29. A flexible conveyor-belt 47 carrying slats 48 is trained around sprockets 44 and 45 and has apertures 49 suitably spaced therein to receive the teeth of the sprockets. Bracket 27 has front and right side deflector plates denoted respectively at 50 and 51 which guide sand, as it is dumped from a bucket 32, toward the lower end of conveyor'belt 47, as shown in FIG. 5. An opening 53 is provided in chassis l 1 below the sprocket 44.
Shaft 46 has an extension 54 on its right end which extends downwardly with its lower portion extending through and mounted in the unit 24 and chassis 11.
This extension 54 serves to support the upper end of the conveyor and also as a standard for carrying a discharge chute 55 which extends laterally from under the upper end of the conveyor. The chute 55 has a brace 56 extending downwardly to unit 24 and an outer chute section 57 is hinged as by rivets 58 for swinging movement between an extended position and a collapsed position within the chute.
Operation of the invention will now be described. When the digger is not in use spring 19 will yieldably retain the chassis 11 in raised position with buckets 32 spaced above the ground surface so that they will not damage a floor or carpet surface when the toy is used indoors.
When the digger is to be used in the sand the front end of chassis 11 is depressed against the tension of spring 19 by applying downward pressure on the shield 26. This lowers the swinging arc of buckets 32 into a scooping relation below the ground surface as shown in broken lines in FIG. 5. As crank 38 is turned the buckets 32 will carry sand upwardly from the ground surface and dump it upon deflector plates 50 and 51 which guide it onto the lower end of the conveyor belt 47. Any sand not caught by the conveyor will drop through opening 53 onto the ground surface. With sprocket 44 being fixed on the rotating shaft 30, the belt 47 will be driven in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 5, and the sand will be carried upwardly and rearwardly by the conveyor slats and dumped into chute 55 which directs it laterally into the truck box of a toy dump truck or the like. When downward pressure is released from shield 26, the chassis will, of course, return to its original position with buckets 32 out of contact with the ground.
Having now therefore fully illstrated and described my invention, what I claim to be new and desire to'protect by United States Letters Patent is:
1. In a toy rotary digger and conveyor for loading sand or the like from the ground surface into an elevated receptacle such as a toy truck box,
a. a chassis supported on ground wheels,
b. a digger wheel journaled on one end portion of the chassis for rotation on a horizontal axis and having scoop buckets mounted in circumferentially spaced positions thereon to dig sand from the ground as the wheel is rotated and carry it up wardly until the buckets reach a dumping position,
c. an elongated continuous conveyor mounted on the chassis beside the digger wheel to receive sand dumped from the buckets with the lower end of the conveyor trained about a sprocket fixed coaxially with the wheel and extending upwardly therefrom over the other end portion of the chassis to discharge the sand from the upper end thereof into a receptacle,
. a manual crank means having driving connection with the wheel for rotating the wheel about its axis, and
e. spring means being provided between the chassis and ground wheels to yieldably retain the chassis in a raised position with the wheel buckets spaced above the ground surface but allowing the buckets to project below the ground surface when downward pressure is applied to the chassis. 2. In a toy rotary dlgger and conveyor for loadlng sand or the like from the ground surface into an elevated receptacle such as a toy truck box,
a. a chassis mounted on ground wheels for limited vertical movement between raised and lowered positions relative to the ground surface,
. a rotary digger and conveyor mechanism mounted on the chassis and partially projecting therebelow for digging sand from the ground surface and carrying it upwardly to a point of discharge into a receptacle,
c. manually operative drive means supported on the chassis for operating the digger and conveyor mechanism, and
. spring means acting between the ground wheels and chassis to hold the chassis in raised position with the digger spaced above the ground surface but adapted to yield and allow the digger to come into engagement with the ground surface when downward pressure is applied to the chassis.
3. The subject matter of claim 2 wherein one pair of ground wheels are mounted on an axle disposed in a vertical slot on the chassis, and said spring means comprises a U-shaped spring having its bight portion fixed on the chassis with the legs thereof extending over said the slot.