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Publication numberUS3772723 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 20, 1973
Filing dateOct 27, 1971
Priority dateOct 27, 1971
Also published asDE2247128A1
Publication numberUS 3772723 A, US 3772723A, US-A-3772723, US3772723 A, US3772723A
InventorsJ Krimm
Original AssigneeKrimm Enterprises Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mobile washing unit
US 3772723 A
Abstract
Apparatus that is movable between various locations for washing vehicles includes a movable frame having a passageway therethrough for receiving a vehicle. Rotatable brushes are mounted on the frame at the passageway for cleaning the vehicle as it is driven through the passageway and, the position of the brushes is adjustable for receiving vehicles of various sizes.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

l Umted States Patent 11 1 1111 3,772,723

Krimm Nov. 20, 1973 MOBILE WASHING UNIT 3,543,319 12/1970 Posner 15/21 E In n John H. Krim v mlw. FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS [73] Assignee: Krimm Enterprises, Inc,, Houston, 1,185,331 3/1970 Great Britain 15/DIG. 2

Tex.

[22] Filed: Oct. 27 1971 Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts AttorneyPravel, Wilson et a1. [21] Appl. No.: 193,103

[57] ABSTRACT [52] US. Cl. 15/21 D, 15/DIG. 2, 15/179 [51] Int. Cl. B60s 3/06 Apparatus that movable between vanous locanons [58] Field of Search 15 [DIG 2 21 R for washing vehicles includes a movable frame having D 21 a passageway therethrough for receiving a vehicle. R0- tatable brushesare mounted on the frame at the pas- [56] References Cited sageway for cleaning the vehicle as it is driven through the passageway and, the position of the brushes is ad- UNITED STATES PATENTS justable for receiving vehicles of various sizes. 2,865,034 12/1958 Petite 15/53 3,258,019 6/1966 Bellas et a1. 134/123 24 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDnuvzo I913 JOHN H KR/MM I 5 INVENTOR 1 MOBILE WASHING UNIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The field of this invention is apparatus for washing vehicles.

2. Description of the Prior Art One of the difficult problems in maintaining any type of vehicles including automobiles, trucks and trailers is keeping them clean. It is desirable to clean such vehicles at the pant or office site when not in use since it is not economical to drive the automobile or trucks or pull the trailers to permanent vehicle washing installations off the plant site. However, since known permanent vehicle washing units are expensive, it is difficult to justify installation of such a permanent washing unit unless a rather large fleet is being maintained.

Mobile vehicle washing units offer much more flexibility than permanent vehicle washing units since the mobile units are movable from one plant site to another plant site, for washing one vehicle or a fleet of vehicles at various locations. Various types of mobile car washing units are known in the art, for example, US. Pat. No. 2,981,266 issued to Tamburri, discloses a mobile unit in which a car is pulled along a raised ramp and washed by a sprinkler system. One disadvantage to the unit disclosed in Tamburri is that a sprinkler system is generally not as effective as a brush system for removing dirt and grime from a vehicle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention solves the problems of the prior art by providing a mobile vehicle wash unit which is movable between locations such as plant sites and effectively washes not only automobiles but also trucks and trailers of various sizes. The mobile wash unit of this invention includes a frame mounted on a vehicle for movement between various locations. In one embodiment of this invention, the frame includes a movable frame section which, in cooperation with a fixed frame section, defines a passageway through which vehicles may be driven or pulled. The height of the passageway is adjustable such that various sizes of vehicles may be driven through the passageway.

Side brushes are mounted on the side walls of the passageway for rotation and a top brush is mounted on the side walls for rotation and for vertical movement with respect to both the fixed and movable frame sections whereby vehicles having a varying roof contour are washed as the vehicles are driven or pulled through the passageway.

In one aspect of this invention, a collapsible side brush is provided so that the effective washing length of the brush is adjustable by adjusting the position of the movable frame section.

In an alternate embodiment of this invention, a mobile washing apparatus is provided which includes a first frame section which is movable to various locations and a second frame section pivotally mounted on the first frame section. The second frame section is movable between a travel or storage position and a wash position and has a passageway adapted to receive a vehicle which may be driven or pulled therethrough.

Rotatable side brushes and a top brush are mounted on the side walls of the second frame section which de fine the passageway. The position of the top brush is adjustable so that vehicles of various sizes and contours are washable as they are driven or pulled through the passageway. I

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The preferred embodiment of this invention will be described hereinafter, together with other features thereof, and additional objects will become evident from such description.

The invention will be more readily understood from a reading of the following specification and by reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof wherein an example of the invention is shown and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the mobile vehicle washing apparatus of the preferred embodiment of this invention which is actually a truck unit;

FIG. 2 is a view in elevation of the mobile vehicle washing unit of FIG. 1 illustrating the rotatable brushes in position to receive a vehicle;

FIG. 3 is a view of the mobile vehicle washing apparatus of the preferred embodiment of this invention in which the apparatus is a truck-trailer unit;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the mobile vehicle washing unit of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a partly sectional, schematic view of the top brush of this invention mounted for vertical movement;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a view in elevation of a collapsible side brush of this invention; and

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an elevational view of a mobile car washing apparatus which is an alternate embodiment of this invention with the second frame section positioned to receive a vehicle for washing;

FIG. 10 is a top view of the alternate embodiment of the mobile car washing-apparatus;

FIG. 11 is a side view taken along line 11-11 of FIG.

FIG. 12 is an exploded view partially in schematic illustrating the top brush positioning means; and

FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along line 13-l3 of FIG. 11 illustrating the top brush positioning means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings the letter A generally designates a mobile vehicle washing unit according to the preferred embodiment of this invention in which the mobile unit A includes a truck cab B so that the unit may be driven from one location to another for washing vehicles. In FIG. 3, another form A-l of the preferred embodiment of this invention is identical in all aspects except that the mobile unit of FIG. 3 is actually a trailer which is attached to a truck cab C for moving from one location to another. Since the mobile units A and A-1 are identical except for the mode of travel between locations, like numbers and letters will be used to describe like elements.

The mobile wash units A and A-1 basically comprise a frame designated generally as 10 which includes a fixed or lower section 10a and a movable or upper section 10b. The upper section 10b is mounted within the lower section 10a for movement with respect thereto. The lower section 10a actually is composed of two separate portions and 10d. The lower portion 100 includes wheels 11 that render the entire mobile unit A or A-l mobile. The frame portion 10d has an inside wall Me which is positioned opposite to an inside wall 10f of the frame portion 10c.

The upper frame section 10b comprises a frame portion 10g which is integral with a frame portion 10h by a connecting portion 101'. The upper frame portions 10g and 10h are riibhhted'fifiiidwa frame portions le and f, respectively, for vertical movement with respect to the lower section 10a.

The upper frame section 10b includes inside walls l0j and 10k which are positioned within and are moved vertically with respect to the inside walls 102 and 10f, respectively, of the lower frame section 10a.

The inside walls 10e and 10f of the lower frame section 10a cooperate with the inside walls l0j and 10k of the upper frame section 10b to define a passageway C which is adapted to receive a vehicle for washing. As will be described hereinafter, the vehicle, which is not shown, may be a car, a truck or trailer such as a van or enclosed trailer, and the mobile wash units A and A-1 are adapted to receive through the passageway C for washing various sizes of each of these types of vehicles.

The distance between the inside walls 10c and 10f of the passageway C are constant; but, the height of the passageway C is defined by the integral connecting member 101' of the upper frame section 10b, which is movable. Thus the height of the passageway C may be adjusted by moving the upper frame section 10b with respect to the lower frame section 10a. Hydrauliccylinders are attached to the bottom 101 of the lower frame section 1011 by any suitable means such as welding and are attached to frame members 16 and 17 of the upper frame section 10b. The frame member 16 is attached by any suitable means such as welding to wall 16a of the upper frame section 10b and to inside wall l0j. In a similar manner the frame member 17 is connected to the inside wall 10k and to wall 17a of the upper frame section 10b. The hydraulic cylinders 15 include a piston (not shown) and a piston rod 15a which is actually attached to the frame members 16 and 17 and the hydraulic cylinder is double acting sot that the upper section 10b may be raised and lowered by the proper application of hydraulic fluid under pressure to the hydraulic cylinders 15 as is well known to any person skilled in the art. In this manner, the height of the passageway C may be adjusted by raising and lowering the upper section 10b with respect to the lower section 10a whereby the integral connecting member 101' is raised and lowered to receive vehicles of varying heights.

A plurality of brushes designated generally as 20 are mounted on the inside walls l0e and 10f of the lower frame section 10a and on the inside walls l0j and 10k of the upper frame section 10b for cleaning the sides and top of a vehicle as it is driven through the passageway C. A side brush 21 includes a shaft 21a, which is shown in broken lines in FIG. 2, and a plurality of brush strands 21b which are mounted onto the shaft 210. The brush strands 21b are illustrated only schematically in the drawings, the brush strands 21b actually may be a flexible, fluted thermoplastic material such that the plurality of strands are collapsed when the brush 21 is stationary and extend outwardly for engagement with the side of a vehicle when the brush 21 is rotated. One of the purposes of using brush strands such as 21b is that the flexible strands will conform to variations in contour in the vehicle side as it is driven through the passageway C. The side brush 21 is mounted onto the inside wall 10e of the lower frame section 10a by arms 22 and 23 which are mounted onto the shaft 21a, such that the shaft 21a is free to rotate, and are mounted onto the lower frame section 10a for pivotal movement with respect thereto by any suitable means such as a simple bolt connection (not shown). It is noted that the arms 22 and 23 can be mounted directly on inside wall 106 or may be mounted on supporting structure inside the wall 10e and extend through a slot such as slot 24 so that the pivotal movement of the brush 21 with the arms 22 and 23 may be limited by the size of the slot 24. The brush 21 may be rotated by any suitable means such as hydraulic, air or electric motor 25. Of course, the fluid electrical circuitry necessary to power such an electric motor as 25 is not illustrated because it is within the skill of the art to provide such a circuit. A single-acting hydraulic or air cylinder 26 is mounted on the inside wall 102 and includes a piston rod 26a which extends into pivotal engagement with the arm 23. The application of hydraulic fluid or air pressure in the cylinder 26b urges the brush 21 outwardly into engagement with the side of a vehicle as it is driven through the passageway C; and, such hydraulic fluid or air under pressure is provided at a predesignated pressure so that the brush 21 is urged outwardly but may yield inwardly under the force of engagement with a vehicle as such a vehicle is driven through the passageway C.

Another side brush 27, which includes a shaft 27a and a plurality of brush strands 27b mounted on the shaft, is driven by motor 28. Arms 28a and 29 are mounted onto the shaft 27a such that the shaft 27a is free to rotate and, the arms 28 and 29 are mounted for pivotal movement on the inside wall 10f of the lower frame section 10a in a manner similar to the mounting of the brush 21. The brush 27 is urged outwardly by means of hydraulic or air cylinder 30 such that the brush 27 is mounted for yieldable movement in response to engagement with a vehicle as it is driven through the passageway C.

The movable frame section 10b includes a side brush 31 mounted for pivotal movement by arms 32 and 33 on the inside wall l0j of the upper frame portion 10g. The brush 31 is mounted for rotation on the arms 32 and 33 and is driven by motor 34. The brush 31 is urged inwardly by the hydraulic cylinder 35.

In a similar manner a side brush 36 is mounted for rotation on an upper arm 37 and a lower arm (not shown), the upper arm 37 and the lower arm being pivotally mounted in the upper frame portion 10h. The side brush 36 is rotated by a motor 38 which is drivingly connected to brush shaft 36a and the side brush 36 is urged outwardly by the hydraulic or air cylinder 39.

The inside wall 10e of the lower frame section 10a includes a slot 40 which is positioned such that the arms 32 and 33 pivotally mounting the brush 31 are free to move within the slot. Another slot, which is not shown, is provided in the inside wall 10f of the lower frame section 10a so that the upper arm 37 and the lower arm (not shown) which mounted the brush 36 are free to move in the slot as the upper frame section 10b is raised and lowered. In this manner, the upper frame section 10b is raised and lowered. In this manner, the upper frame section 10b may be raised and lowered by the hydraulic cylinders 15 and at the same time the effective washing or cleaning area for the combined brushes 21 and 31 on one side of the passageway C and the brushes 27 and 36 on the other side of the passageway C may be adjusted. For instance, if the vehicle to be washed is of a smaller size such as an automobile, the upper frame section b may be in the position shown in FIG. 1. In this position the upper frame section 10b is disposed substantially within the lower frame section 10a and the side brushes 21 and 31 substantially overlap in that both brushes will clean a common section of the side of the vehicle driven through the passageway C. However, if the vehicle to be washed is extremely large such as a van truck or trailer, the upper frame section 10b is raised to a position such as illustrated in FIG. 2, or in broken lines in FIG. 3 by the hydrauic cylinders so that the combined washing area of the brushes 21 and 31 is substantially increased.

A rotatable top brush 45 comprises a shaft 45a having mounted thereon a plurality of flexible, fluted, thermoplastic strands 45b. The brush shaft 45a extends through an opening 43a in a vertically disposed track 46 which is mounted in the movable side wall 10k and through an opening 43b in a vertically positioned track 47 which is mounted in the side wall 10f of the fixed frame section 10a. The tracks 46 and 47 are aligned suchthat the openings 43a and 43b are aligned so that the shaft 45a is movable from the lower or fixed section 10a upwardly into the movable section 1012. The shaft 45a is mounted for rotation on a trolley or carriage 44 by bearings 49; and, a motor such as hydraulic motor 50 is mounted for vertical movement by the winch assembly 51 and includes a motor shaft 50a which is drivingly connected to the top brush shaft 45a by a coupling 52.

The winch assembly 51 includes an electric or hydraulic motor 53 which is schematically illustrated in FIG. 5 as being mounted onto the movable frame 10b. The hydraulic motor 53 is drivingly connected to a spool 54 which winds and unwinds a cable 55 extending over a pulley 56 mounted onto the movable frame 10b, the cable 55 being attached to the hydraulic motor 50 such that operation of the motor 53 causes the spool 54 to wind or unwind the cable 55 thereon and thus raise or lower the motor 50 and the top brush shaft 45a and thus the top brush 45.

The track 46 mounted on the movable wall 10k of the movable frame section 10b comprises side walls 460 and 46b which are integral with front walls 46c and 46d. The track 46 further includes the L-shaped interlocking members 46e and 46f. The track 47 which is mounted on the lower wall 10fis aligned with the track 46 and includes side walls 47a and 47b and front walls 47c and 47d. The track 47 further includes L-shaped interlocking members 47e and 47f which are slidably mounted in corresponding slots in the members 46e and 46f mounted onto the track 46 such that the track 46 mounted on the movable wall 10f is mounted for vertical slidable movement with respect to the track 47 mounted on the lower wall 10f. In this manner the tracks 46 and 47 remain in a very exact alignment in spite of the raising and lowering of the upper frame section 10b.

The trolley 44 includes a rolling portion 60 which is mounted with the ball bearings 49 on the shaft 45a and includes rollers 61 and 62 which are mounted for rolling engagement with the sidewalls 46a and 46b, respectively, of the vertical track 46. Rollers 63 and 64 are mounted onto the trolley portion 60 for rotation with respect thereto and are resiliently urged by the springs 65 into engagement with the front walls 460 and 46d of the track 46 in the upper movable section 10b when the top brush shaft 45 is disposed within the opening 43c in the track 46 as illustrated in FIG. 6. Due to the resilient urging of the spring 65, the rollers 63 and 64 rollingly engage the outside walls 63a of the track 47 mounted in the lower frame 10a whenever top brush shaft 45a is positioned within the opening 43b in the track 47. In this manner, the rollers 63 and 64 are continually urged into engagement with the walls of either the track 46 in the upper frame section 10b or the track 47 in the lower frame section 10a thereby mounting the shaft 45a for vertical movement within the aligned tracks 46 and 47 so that the top brush 45 may be movable from the lower frame section 10a into the upper frame section 10b.

The trolley 44 further includes a trolley portion 66 which includes rollers 67 which are mounted onto the trolley portion 66 for rolling engagement with the front walls 470 and 47d of the lower track 47. Rollers 68 are mounted onto the trolley portion 66 for rotation with respect thereto and rollingly engage the side walls 47a and 47b of the lower track 47 as the top brush shaft is moved within the track 47 in the lower frame section A trolley or carriage member (not shown) is mounted onto the portion of the shaft 45a which extends into aligned openings designated generally by the number 73 in FIG. 1 and mount the other side of the top brush shaft 45a for movement from the lower frame section to the upper frame section in a manner identical with the trolley or carriage member 44.

In operation and use of the mobile car wash apparatus A, the apparatus A is driven by means of the attached truck cab B to whatever location is desirable for the purpose of washing any type of vehicle such as a van truck. After reaching the desired location, supporting members such as 70, which are mounted in brackets a and 70b on the lower frame portions and 10d, are removed such that the passageway C is prepared for receiving the van truck. Then, the washing or spray apparatus, which has not been described herein because it is well within the skill of persons having ordinary skill in the art to provide such spray apparatus, is turned on so that water will be continually sprayed either into the brushes 21, 27, 31, 36 and 45 or directly onto the van truck as it is driven through the passageway C. Thereafter, the upper movable frame section 10b is positioned by means of the hydraulic cylinders 15 such that the integral connecting member l0i is of sufficient height that it will not interfere with the driving of the vehicle through the passageway C.

After the motors 25, 28, 34, 38 and 50 have been activated (by whatever power sources necessary such as either electricity or hydraulic fluid under pressure, depending upon the type of motor), the brushes 21, 27, 31, 36 and 45 are rotating and are thus prepared to wash the van truck as it is driven through the passageway C.

The van truck is driven to a position such that it may be driven through the passageway C in the direction of the arrow 71. Then, the top brush 45 is lowered from the position illustrated in FIG. 2. The top brush 45 is lowered by activating the motor 53 which rotates the reel 54 thus unwinding cable 55 from the reel 54 and allowing the trolley assembly 44 to rollably move downwardly from the upper track 46 into the lower track 47 by means of the rollers 61, 63, 67 and 68. The top brush 45 is lowered to a position such that it will engage the front bumper of the van truck.

The van truck is then driven into the passageway C such that the upper side brushes 31 and 36 rotatingly engage the upper portion of the sides of the cab which may be similar to the truck cab B, assuming,of course, that the cab is of such a height that the upper side brushes 31 and 36 engage the cab. The van truck is driven further into the passageway C to a position just in front of the top brush 45 which has been lowered to a position such that it will rotatingly engage the bumper of the van truck. The motor 53 is again activated and rotates the reel 54 such that the cable 55 is wound onto the reel thereby raising the motor 50, trolley assembly 44 and the top brush 45 even as the motor 50 continues to rotate the top brush 45 such that the front of the van truck cab is clean as the top brush is moved upwardly. The top brush 45 is moved upwardly to a position such that the van truck can be driven further into the passageway C while the top brush 45 rotatingly engages and cleans the top surface of the truck cab of the van truck. The van truck is stopped when the top brush is positioned to engage the front surface of the enclosed van itself, thereafter the top brush 45 is raised by activating the motor 53 upwardly from the track 47 into the track 46 such that the front surface of the van is rotatingly cleaned as the top brush is moved upwardly to a position just above the roof of the van. Thereafter, the van truck is driven further into the passageay C so that the upper side brushes 31 and 36 and the lower side brushes 21 and 27 engage the sides of the van truck cab and the sides of the van itself. As the truck is driven through the passageway C the side brushes 31, 36, 21 and 27 rotatingly engage the sides of the van and are yieldably urged into engagement with the van such that the brushes such as brush 31 will pivot on mounting arms 32 and 33, and continually engage the sides of the van in spite of variations in the configuration of the van as it is driven through the passageway C. Of course,at the same time that the side brushes 31, 36, 21 and 27 are rotatingly engaging and cleaning the sides of the van, the top brush 45 rotatingly engages and cleans the top surface of the van. After the van truck has been driven almost completely through the passageway C and the top brush has rotatingly engaged the entire top surface of the van, the top brush 45 is moved downwardly along the rear end surface of the van portion of the van truck thereby rotating and cleaning the'rear end surface. In this manner, a vehicle such'as a van truck is washed as it is driven through the passageway C. Of course, immediately after the van truck described in this example has been driven through the passageway C, the upper movable section b may be adjusted to a different height so as to receive any other shape or type of vehicle and clean such a vehicle in a similar manner as the vehicle is driven through the passageway C.

The mobile wash unit A-l is operated in a manner similar to the mobile wash unit A except that the mobile wash unit A-l of FIG. 3 is pulled by means of a truck C to a desired location instead of being driven.

After the mobile wash unit A-l is in position for receivground to provide support for the front frame portions 100 and 10h. The mobile wash unit A-l is otherwise identical to the mobile wash unit A so that the actual operation and use of the mobile wash unit A-1 has heretofore been described.

In another aspect of this invention, a collapsible, rotatable brush assembly is mounted onto the mobile wash units A or A-1 to clean the sides of a vehicle driven through the passageway C. The collapsible brush assembly 80 includes a first section 81 which comprises an externally splined shaft 82 mounted for rotation on mounting arm 83 by a bearing assembly 84. The mounting arm 83 is mounted onto a stud 85 which is welded or otherwise attached to the inside wall 10j of the upper frame section 10b. The pivotal mounting of the arm 83 is accomplished by any suitable means such as a nut and bolt combination 86. An air motor 87 drives a gear reduction box 87a which is drivingly connected to the externally splined shaft 82 whereby, upon activation, the splined shaft 82 is rotated. A collar 88 is mounted onto the upper end of the externally splined shaft 82 and a hollow cylinder 88a is mounted onto the perimeter of the collar 88 in order to provide a hollow drum through which the externally splined shaft 82 extends. A plurality of flexible, fluted brush strands 89 are attached to the hollow cylinder 88a in a manner that is well known in the art for the purposes of engaging and cleaning the surface of a vehicle.

The collapsible rotatable brush assembly 80 further includes a lower section 90 comprising a hollow cylinder or shaft 91 which is mounted for rotation on arm 91a by shaft portion 91b. The arm 91a is pivotally mounted onto the inside wall 10f of the lower frame section 10a in a manner similar to the mounting of the arm 83 onto the upper frame section 10b. A plurality of fluted, flexible brush strands 90a are mounted onto the hollow cylinder 91. A mounting collar 92 is fixedly attached to the inside of the hollow cylinder 91 and includes an outwardly extending collar portion 92a which is slidably mounted within inside wall 88b of the hollow cylinder 88a of the first section 81. A vertically disposed internally splined hole 92b extends through the mounting collar and the externally splined shaft 82 is slidably mounted in the hole 92b.

In this manner the externally splined shaft 82 slidably moves vertically with respect to the mounting collar 92a as the movable section 10b of the frame 10 is raised and lowered with respect to the lower, immovable or fixed frame section 10a.

With the collapsible brush sections 81 and 90 in the extended position of FIG. 7, in which the collar portion 92a is seated against the limiting lip 880 of the hollow cylinder 88a, the effective cleaning area of the brush strands 89 and 90a is the greatest. Now, as the upper section is moved downwardly and thus the shaft 82a is moved downwardly into the mounting block 92, some portion of the brush strands 90a mounted on the hollow cylinder 91 of the lower section 90 is contained within the hollow cylinder 88a of the upper section 81. In this manner, the effective brushing area, which is a function of the combined length of the brush strands 89 and the brush strands 90a which are not contained within the hollow cylinder 88a, is reduced by moving the upper section 81 downwardly into the lower section 90. With collapsible brush assemblies 80 positioned both on walls 10f and 10k on one side of the passageway C and on walls l0e and 10j on the other side of the passageway C, the collapsible brushes 80 are used to rotatingly engage and clean the sides of a vehicle that is driven through the passageway C.

It is within the scope of this invention to use other types of brush assemblies than the brush assemblies that have been described herein, just as it is within the scope of the invention to use not only a sprinkling system of simply water but also to include within the sprinkling system various kinds of soap or detergents which may assist the brushes is rotatingly cleaning a vehicle. Further, it should be understood that the location of the passageway C within the vehicle frame may be adjusted and may even be at one end or the other of the mobile units A or A-l such that sides brushes are mounted only on one side wall of the passageway and a top brush extends outwardly from the side wall. By the use of such a passageway at one end of the frame 10, the mobile wash unit may be used in a similar manner except that the vehicle must be driven by or in the passageway in two directions so that both sides of the vehicle are washed. It is further within the scope of this invention to utilize the brush assemblies described herein in conjunction with a passageway such as the passageway C with a frame that does not have a movable upper section such as 10b described herein. Such a mobile wash unit with an entirely fixed frame may be utilized in situations, for example, where all the vehicles to be washed are of only one size.

Referring to FIGS. 9-13, an alternate embodiment D is also a mobile wash unit which is pulled between locations in order to wash various types of vehicles. The alternate mobile wash unit D includes a frame 110 which comprises a first frame section 110a and a second frame section 11%. The first frame section 110a has two elongated beams 1111c and 110d which support wheel and axle combinations 110e and l10f so that the entire apparatus is movable to any desired location. The elongated beams 110C and 110d further include braces such as 110g which support a utility house 111 which provides a storage area for the various types of apparatus such as air motors and hydraulic motors and pumps used to operate the sprinkling and rinsing systems which are used to support the rotatable brush mechanism of the apparatus D, which will be described in more detail hereinafter.

The second frame section 11% includes opposing side walls 11% and 110i and a top wall 110] which define a passageway E through which various types of vehicles may be driven for washing. A side portion 112 which includes the inside wall llOh, of the second frame section l10b pivotally mounts the second frame section 1l0b for pivotal movement with respect to the first frame section 110a by a horizontally extending shaft 113 which is attached to the frame side portion 112 and extends through corresponding holes 113a in the elongated beams 1100 and 110d (not shown). A combination double-acting hydraulic cylinder assembly 114 includes a large double-acting hydraulic cylinder 115 and a smaller double-acting hydraulic cylinder 116. The larger double-acting hydraulic cylinder 115 includes a cylinder section 115a which is mounted by a shaft 117 onto a yoke 118 which extends through and is supported by the elongated beams 1100 and 110d of the first section. A cylinder section 116a for the smaller double-acting hydraulic cylinder 116 is actually the piston and rod combination for the larger hydraulic cylinder 115, and thus is sealably, slidably mounted on the cylinder section a, such that the entry of hydraulic fluid under pressure into the lower portion of the cylinder section 1 15a moves the piston and rod combination 116a outwardly from the cylinder section 115a. A piston and rod combination ll6b is mounted for scalable, slidable movement in the hydraulic cylinder 116a of the smaller double-acting hydraulic cylinder 116 and is pivotally attached to the side portion 112 of the frame section l10b by means of a shaft 119 which extends through the support 120. In this manner, the entry of hydraulic fluid under pressure into the lower portion of the cylinder section 116a causes the pistonand rod combination 116b to move outwardly of the hydraulic cylinder 116a. Whenever both piston and rod combinations 116a and 1161) are moved outwardly, the second frame section l10b is moved to the substantially vertical position illustrated in FIG. 9 wherein the second frame section is supported on the ground F. Whenver it is desirable to move the car wash apparatus D to another location, the piston and rod combinations 116a and 116b are withdrawn by the proper application of hydraulic fluid under pressure to the hydraulic cylinders, in a manner that is well known to those skilled in the art, such that the piston and rod combinations 11Gb and 116a are moved inwardly into the cylinder sections, 116a and 115a, respectively, causing the second frame section 110b to pivot about the shaft 113 and to be lowered to a position in which the second frame section 110b rests upon the elongated beams 110a and 110d of the first frame section 110a.

The second frame section l10b further includes another side portion 121, which includes the inside wall 110i which cooperates with the inside wall 110): of the side frame portion 112 to define the passageway E. A rotatable side brush is mounted on the side frame portion 121 and includes a vertically extending shaft portion 125a and a plurality of fluted, flexible members schematically represented at 12512; the brush members or elements l25b are mounted onto the shaft 125a in a manner well known to those having ordinary skill in the art. The rotatable side brush 125 is mounted for rotation on support arms 126 and 127 which are mounted onto the side frame portion 121. The support arm 126 actually includes a first portion 126a which is pivotally mounted to a stud 128 which is welded or otherwise attached to the side frame portion 121. A second portion or member 126b of the support arm 126 is pivotally attached to the first support member 126a and mounts the shaft 125a for rotation. In a similar manner the support arm 127 is attached to the side frame portion 121 and is constructed identically to the support arm 126 such that the side brush 125 is mounted for rotation. Further, the pivotally mounted portions 126a and 12612 of the support arm 126 provides for the moving of the side brush 125 inwardly into the region between the inside walls 1101 and 110k in order to protect the side brush 125 whenever the mobile wash apparatus D is being moved from one location to another. Of course, the support arm 127, being identical to the support arm 126, supports the bottom portion of the side brush 125 when it is in the collapsed position or as in the extended position illustrated in FIG. 10. The hydraulic cylinder combination 129 is mounted onto the support arm 126 and onto the side frame portion 121 in order to continually urge the side brush 125 inwardly into engagement with a vehicle that is being driven or pulled through the passageway E so that the side of such a vehicle is engaged in spite of variations in the contour thereof.

In a similar manner, a side brush 130 which includes a shaft 130a and a plurality o fluted, flexible brush members 130b, is mounted for rotation by the support arms 131 and 132. The support arm 131 is identical to the support arms such as support arm 126 and includes a first portion 131a which is pivotally mounted to the side frame portion 112 and a portion 13117 which is pivotally mounted to the support arm 131a. The support arm 131, in cooperation with the support arm 132, thereby mounts the side brush 130 for rotation. Further, the support arms 131 and 132 may be moved inwardly into the region between the inside walls 110): and 110i to move the side brush 130 into a collapsed position in which it will be at least somewhat protected when the second frame section 11012 is moved to its traveling position, which has heretofore been described.

The frame side portions 121 and 112 of the second frame section 110a each have an opening 121a and 112a, respectively, disposed therein. A steel channel 135 is vertically mounted in the opening 121a of the frame side portion 121 by welding or otherwise attaching the channel 135 to an upper portion 121b and a lower portion 1210 of the side portion 121. A rotatable top brush 136 is mounted for vertical movement on the track 135 by the trolley or carriage assembly 137.

The rotatable top brush 136 includes a shaft 136a on which a plurality of fluted, flexible brush members 136b are mounted in a manner previously described with respect to the other rotatable brushes utilized in this invention. The top brush shaft 136a extends through side plates 137a and 137b of the trolley 137 and is mounted for rotation with respect to the side plates 137a and 137b by bearings 138. A motor 139 and gear assembly 140 are mounted onto the side plate 137b and drivingly engage the shaft 136a of the rotatable top brush 136 in order to rotate the brush 136. The trolley sides 137a and 137b are attached or connected by the long bolts 141 and 142 which extend through the sides 137a and l37b and connect the plates by the nuts 141a and 142a, respectively. A roller 143 is mounted for rotation on the bolt 141 and includes a groove or V-shape portion 143a which is adapted to roll vertically and be maintained in a track provided by a vertically extending angle iron member 144 which is welded or otherwise attached to side 135a of the channel 135. Similarly, a roller 145 is mounted on the bolt 142 for rotation with respect thereto and includes a groove 1450 which is maintained in a track provided by an angle iron member 146 welded or otherwise attached to side 135b of the channel 135.

Thus, using the rollers 143 and 145 of the trolley assembly 137, the rotatable top brush 136 is mounted for rotation and for movement vertically upwardly and downwardly with respect to the channel 135 along the angle iron members 144 and 146. In a similar manner, the top brush shaft 1360 is mounted for vertical movement in a channel (not shown) vertically positioned in the opening 112a in the frame side portion 112 so that the rotatable top brush is movable vertically within the passageway E.

To position the rotatable top brush 136 in the passageway E, a positioning means generally designated as 150 and illustrated schematically in FIG. 12, is mounted onto the side frame portion 121 of the second frame section 1l0b. A motor 151 is mounted onto the frame side portion 121 and drives a pulley 152. The trolley 137 has a cable 153 attached thereto by a hook 154. The cable extends over an idler pulley 155 and about the driving pulley 152 and is attached to a counterweight 156 such that the motor 151 moves the trolley assembly 137 and thus the rotatable brush 136 vertically upwardly and downwardly on the channel 135 without requiring an undue amount of torque.

In operation or use of the mobile wash unit D of the alternate embodiment of this invention, after the apparatus D has been pulled to a desired location, the second frame section b is pivoted to the upstanding position illustrated in FIG. 9 by actuating the hydraulic cylinders and 116 such that the second frame section 110b is positioned to receive a vehicle within the passageway E in a manner similar to the mobile wash unit A. The side brushes and are moved inwardly or towards each other by actuating the hydraulic cylinders such as 129 so that the support arm such as the support arm 126 for the side brush 125 is moved to the L-shaped position illustrated in FIG. 10 so that the side brushes 125 and 130 are positioned within the region of the passageway E to rotatingly engage and clean the sides of a vehicle driven therethrough. In a manner similar to the positioning of the rotatable top brush 45 of the mobile wash unit A, the rotatable top brush 136 of the mobile wash unit D is positioned by activating the motor 151, which may be a hydraulic or an air motor, thereby moving the top brush 136 through the trolley 137 along the channels such as channel 135.

After the rotatable top brush 136 has been positioned, the vehicle to be washed is simply driven through the passageway E in a manner similar to the operation of the mobile wash unit A and the rotatable side brushes 125 and 130 rotatingly engage the sides of the vehicle to spite variations in the contour thereof. Also, in a manner which has been described in connection with the operation of the mobile wash unit A, the rotatable top brush 136 may be positioned to rotatingly engage and thus wash (of course, in conjunction with the sprinkler, soap and rinse systems known to those having skill in the art) the front and rear walls as well as the top of the vehicle.

The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof, and various changes in the size, shape and materials as well as in the details of the illustrated construction may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

1. A mobile vehicle washing apparatus for washing vehicles at various locations comprising:

a frame having a passageway therethrough adapted to receive a vehicle, said frame being mobile for movement to various locations;

rotatable brush means mounted on said frame at said passageway for washing a vehicle positioned in said passageway whereby said apparatus is movable to various locations for washing vehicles driven or pulled through said passageway;

said frame including a first frame section and a second frame section; and

mounting means mounting said second frame section for movement with respect to said first frame section to thereby vary the cleaning area of said rotatable brush means in said passageway.

2. The structure set forth in claim 1 in which said rotatable brush means comprises:

a rotatable side brush mounted on said frame at said passageway for washing the side of a vehicle positioned in said passageway.

3. The structure set forth in claim 1 in which said rotatable brush means further includes:

a rotatable top brush mounted on said frame at said passageway for washing a vehicle positioned in said passageway.

4. The structure set forth in claim 3, including:

top brush mounting means mounting said top brush for substantially vertical movement; and

positioning means for moving said top brush in a substantially vertical direction whereby the position of said top brush is vertically adjustable for washing vehicles of various sizes.

5. The structure set forth in claim 1 in which said frame includes:

said first frame section and said second frame section including means for forming said passageway for receiving vehicles; and

said mounting means includes adjustment means for adjusting the position of said second frame section with respect to said first frame section to thereby adjust the height of said passageway whereby said passageway is adapted to receive vehicles of various sizes.

6. The structure set forth in claim 1 in which said frame includes:

wheel means for moving said frame between various locations.

7. The structure set forth in claim 1, including:

truck means mounted with said first frame section whereby said apparatus is self-propelled.

8. The structure set forth in claim 1, including:

said first frame section having first opposing side walls;

said second frame section including second opposing side walls movable with respect to said first side walls, wherein said first and second walls cooperate to define said passageway;

said rotatable brush means including a top rotatable brush having a shaft;

said first and second side walls include substantially vertically disposed tracks which are aligned;

roller means mounted in'said tracks and attached to said shaft for mounting said shaft for movement in aligned tracks; and

positioning means attached to said movable section and to said shaft for moving said top brush in said tracks whereby said top brush is movable from said first frame section to said second frame section in order to wash vehicles of various sizes.

9. The structure set forth in claim 1 in which said rotatable brush means include a collapsible, rotatable brush mounted in said frame for rotation, comprising:

a first brush section including a first shaft, attached with said first frame section; and

a second brush section including a second shaft attached with said second frame section, said second shaft being slidably mounted with said first shaft for slidable movement with respect thereto in response to-relative movement between said first section and said second section.

10. The structure set forth in claim 9 includes:

said first shaft is splined; and

said second shaft is slidably mounted on said first shaft whereby said second shaft is mounted for rotation with said first shaft and for slidable movement along the longitudinal axis of said first shaft.

11. The structure set forth in claim 1 in which said rotatable brush means includes:

a first side brush mounted on said first frame section at said passageway for washing a portion of the side of a vehicle positioned in said passageway; and

a second side brush mounted on said second frame section at said passageway for washing another portion of the side of a vehicle positioned in said passageway, said second side brush moving with said second frame section with respect to said first frame section whereby the washing area for said first and second side brush is adjustable such that vehicles of various sizes are washable.

12. The structure set forth in claim 11 including:

said mounting means mounting said second frame within said first frame for movement to various operating positions; and

a slot positioned in said first frame section to receive said second side brush whereby said second frame section is freely movable to a position in which said second frame section is positioned substantially within said first frame section.

13. The structure set forth in claim 1 including:

a rotatable top brush mounted on said second frame section at said passageway for washing the top of a vehicle positioned in said passageway;

top brush mounting means on said first and second frame sections mounting said top brush for movement in a substantially vertical direction; and

positioning means for moving said top brush in a substantially vertical direction whereby the position of said top brush is adjustable.

14. The structure set forth in claim 1 including:

said first frame section including first side walls and said second frame section including second side walls which cooperate to provide said passageway;

said rotatable brush means comprising side brushes mounted on said first and second side walls for washing sides of the vehicle positioned in said passageway; and

urging means for urging said side brushes into engagement with the sides of the vehicle positioned in said passageway whereby said brushes engage the sides of the vehicle in said passageway in spite of variations in contour of the vehicle sides.

15. The structure as set forth in claim 1, in which said rotatable brush means includes a collapsible side brush, comprising:

a first shaft mounted on said first frame section for rotation with respect thereto;

a second shaft mounted on said second frame section for rotation with respect thereto, said second shaft being mounted with said first shaft for slidable movement with respect thereto; and

brush members mounted on said first and second shafts for engagement with said vehicle whereby rotation of said first and second shafts causes said brush members to wash said vehicle and whereby movement of said second frame section adjusts the effective washing length of said collapsible side brush.

16. A mobile vehicle washing apparatus for washing vehicles at various locations comprising:

a frame having a passageway therethrough adapted to receive a vehicle,said frame being mobile for movement to various locations and said frame including a first frame section and a second frame section;

rotatable brush means mounted on said frame at said passageway for washing a vehicle positioned in said passageway;

said second frame section having said passageway at which said rotatable brush means is mounted; and

said mounting means including pivotal means mounting said second frame section on said first frame section for pivotal movement between a travel position, in which said second frame section is positioned with said first frame section for movement between various locations, and an operating position in which said second frame section is positioned to receive vehicles in said passageway.

17. The structure set forth in claim 16, including:

said second frame section including opposing side portions which include opposing side walls defining said passageway; and

said rotatable brush means includes rotatable side brushes mounted on said opposing side portions of said second frame section to rotatingly clean a vehicle positioned at said passageway.

18. The structure set forth in claim 17, including:

said rotatable side brushes include means mounting said rotatable side brushes for pivotal movement with respect to said opposing side portions;

urging means attached to said rotatable side brushes and to said opposing side portions for urging said side brushes into engagement with the sides ofa vehicle positioned at said passageway in spite of variations in the contour of said vehicle sides.

19. The structure set forth in claim 17, including:

brush support arms mounted on and extending from said opposing side portions, said brush support arms being pivotally attached to said side brushes and to opposing side portions. 20. The structure set forth in claim 16 in which said pivotal means includes:

hydraulic means pivotally mounted on said first and second frame sections for moving said second frame section between said travel position and said operating position.

21. The structure set forth in claim 16, including:

a rotatable top brush mounted on said second frame section at said passageway for washing a vehicle positioned at said passageway.

22. The structure set forth in claim 16 in which said first frame section includes:

wheel means for moving said first and second frame sections between various locations.

23. The structure set forth in claim 16, including:

said rotatable brush means includes a rotatable top brush mounted on said second frame section at said passageway for washing a vehicle positioned in said passageway;

top brush mounting means mounting said top brush on said second frame section at said passageway for movement in a substantially vertical direction; and

positioning means for moving said top brush in a substantially vertical direction whereby the position of said top brush is adjustable whereby vehicles of various sizes and contours are washable.

24. The structure set forth in claim 23, including:

said rotatable top brush includes a shaft;

said second frame section includes first and second opposing side walls having substantially vertical tracks mounted therein;

said mounting means includes roller means mounted on said track and attached to said shaft thereby mounting said shaft and said top brush for movemnt on said track; and

said positioning means attached to said mounting means and to said second frame section for moving said top brush substantially vertically on said track.

* m In n:

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/53.3, 15/DIG.200, 15/179
International ClassificationB60S3/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S15/02, B60S3/06
European ClassificationB60S3/06