US 3779408 A
A silage tiller for mounting on the front-end loader of a tractor vehicle, in which the front-end loader has a pair of loader arms pivotally mounted on the vehicle frame and supporting a loader bucket at the front ends of the loader arms. The silage tiller includes a pair of tiller arms pivotally mounted upon the loader arms on opposite sides of and projecting forward of the bucket. A rotary tiller head is rotatably mounted between the front ends of the tiller arms, and a motor is mounted on the tiller arms for driving the tiller head. A linear motor is pivotally connected between the loader arms and the tiller arms for swinging the tiller head from a lower position in front of the bucket for tilling silage in a trench silo to a raised inoperative position above the bucket.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
lln ited States Patent [191 lvie [ Dec. M, 1973 Q 1 FRONT-MOUNTED SllLAGE TlLLlER FOR A FRONT-END LOADER  Filed: July 10, 1972  Appl. No.: 270,096
 US. Cl 214/145, 214/509, 37/1175, 241/1017 299/64  llnt. Cl. 1302i 3/70  Field of Search 24l/10l.7; 299/64; 37/3, 117.5; 214/508, 509, 145; 172/63  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,024,546 3/1962 Cramer .1 37/191 A X 3,335,888 8/1967 Kugler 214/509 2,905,346 9/1959 Park et a1. 214/508 1,332,662 3/1920 Gross 299/64 X 1,190,300 7/1916 Kuhn 299/64 X Primary ExaminerRobert E. Pulfrey Assistant ExaminerClifford D. Crowder Attorney-Harrington A. Lackey ABSTRACT A silage tiller for mounting on the front-end loader of a tractor vehicle, in which the front-end loader has a pair of loader arms pivotally mounted on the vehicle frame and supporting a loader bucket at the front ends of the loader arms. The silage tiller includes a pair of tiller arms pivotally mounted upon the loader arms on opposite sides of and projecting forward of the bucket. A rotary tiller head is rotatably mounted between the front ends of the tiller arms, and a motor is mounted on the tiller arms for driving the tiller head. A linear motor is pivotally connected between the loader arms and the tiller arms for swinging the tiller head from a lower position in front of the bucket for tilling silage in a trench silo to a raised inoperative position above the bucket.
5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures PATENTEU DEC 18 m5 SHEET 10F 2 Fig. i
FRONT-MOUNTED SILAGE TILILER FOR A FRONT-END LOADER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a silage tiller, and more particularly to a silage tiller combined with a front-end loader on a tractor vehicle.
In the art of agriculture, silage is sometimes stored in an open trench in the ground, rather than in the typical cylindrical silos above-ground. The depth of these trench silos can range from 2 to feet, and their width is great enough to permit the entry and passage of a tractor vehicle having a front-end bucket loader. One end of the trench is open and graded to permit the entry of the front-end loader. As silage is needed, it is removed from the face of the stack manually by pitchforks, which usually requires considerable time and labor. Furthermore, often the face thickness of the silage extending the full height of the trench stack is removed. Accordingly, more silage than is required or than is capable of being removed from the trench by the bucket of the front-end loader is wasted and spoils, as well as the entire height of the new exposed face of the silage stack.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a silage tiller which may be attached, and even detachably mounted, upon the front-end loader of a tractor vehicle for operating upon or tilling only a portion of the face of the silage stack in a trench silo, to separate only that amount of silage heeded or required. Moreover, the silage tiller is mounted in such a manner that it may be shifted to an inoperative position to permit full use of the loader bucket without interference of the tiller and without removing the tiller from the loader.
The silage tiller made in accordance with this invention includes a pair of tiller arms pivotally mounted upon the bucket loader arms and supporting a rotary tiller head in operative position in front of the bucket for engagement and removal of the silage. A motor, preferably a hydraulic motor, is mounted upon the tiller arms and operatively linked to the tiller head for rotating the tiller head. A linear motor means, such as a hydraulic cylinder and piston rod, is mounted upon one of the loader arms and pivotally connected to the tiller arms for swinging the tiller arms relative to the loader arms. The operating height of the rotary tiller head is controlled not only by the swinging movement of the tiller arms, but also by the conventional raising and lowering of the loader arms, if necessary.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the silage tiller made in accordance with this invention mounted on the front end of a front-end loader in operative position within a trench siloyand FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the apparatus disclosed in FIG. 1 showing the tiller in its operative and inoperative positions.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in more detail, FIGS. l and 2 disclose a tractor vehicle 10 having a vehicle frame ill supported by rear wheels 12 and front wheels by journal pins 19 are a pair of loader arms 20. Supported on the front end of the loader arms 20 is a loader bucket 22. A linear motor, such as the hydraulic ram or cylinder 24, is pivotally connected at its rear end by pin to the bottom of the standard 118. The front end of the piston rod 26 is pivotally connected by pin 27 to the loader arm 20. Hydraulic fluid is provided through the fluid lines 28 and 29 from the controls 16 in order to actuate the ram 24 to raise and lower the loader arms 20, and therefore the bucket 22, relative to the vehicle frame Ill.
The parts thus far described are known in the art, and the elements 118 29 constitute the front-end loader mechanism mounted on the tractor vehicle frame 111.
The silage tiller 30 made in accordance with this invention includes a pair of elongated tiller arms 32. The rear ends of the tiller arms 32 are journaled by shaft 33 to the respective loader arms 20 adjacent to and behind the bucket 22. Rotatably journaled by shaft 34 between the front ends of the tiller arms 32 is the rotary tiller head 35. The tiller head 35 is specifically disclosed as an auger having spiral vanes 36 from which project radially a series of teeth 37. The shaft 34 is driven through a chain and sprocket transmission 39 from hydraulic motor 40 mounted on one of the tiller arms 32. The hydraulic motor 40 is supplied with fluid under pressure through the fluid line or hose dll from the controls 16.
The rear ends of a pair of linear motors, such as the hydraulic rams 43, are hinged by pins 44 to the respective loader arms 2% above and behind the journal shaft 33 for the tiller arms 32. The piston rods 45 of the rams 43 are pivotally connected at their front ends by pins 46 to the tiller arms 32. Hydraulic fluid is supplied through the lines 43 and $9 to the rams 43 from the controls 16. When the rams 43 are actuated in one di rection, the arms 32 and tiller head 35 are swung down to a position, such as the solid-line position of FIG. 2, and when actuated in the opposite direction cause the arms 32 and tiller head 35 to be raised to a position, such as the inoperative phantom position of FIG. 2.
In the operation of the invention, the combination of the vehicle 10, including the front-end loader, and silage tiller 30 are particularly adapted for the controlled separation and removal of silage from the stack 54) in trench silo SI. As best disclosed in FIG. 31, the typical trench silo 51 has a width slightly greater than the width of the vehicle ill), and may be of any height or depth desired for adequate storage of the silage 5th. The silage 54 may be covered on top with straw, plastic sheets, or any other desired cover, or may remain uncovered so that the top layer of exposed silage provides cover for the silage beneath. The face 52 of the silage stack is the only other exposed surface, but here again, only the outer layer of silage is exposed to spoilage, and such layer provides a protective cover for the silage behind the exposed layer.
A single operator sitting in the seat 15 may drive the vehicle forward into the trench silo SI with the bucket 22 in its low position and with the tiller head 35 in its lowermost position, as disclosed in FIG. 2. When the tiller head 35 is abutting the front face 52 of the silage stack 50, the vehicle is stopped. The tiller head 35 may be depressed to its lowermost position, preferably so that it will begin tilling at the bottom of the face 52. The motor 40 is actuated to drive the tiller head 35 so that it rotatably engages and dislodges silage at the base of the face 52. By manipulating the controls 16, the hydraulic ram 43 may be actuated to gradually ele' vate the tiller head 35 to excavate or dislodge silage from the stack 50 in an upward direction until the desired amount of silage is removed.
The vehicle 10 may then be backed up slightly and the rams 43 actuated to elevate the tiller arms 32 and tiller head 35 to a raised inoperative position, such as that disclosed in phantom in FIG. 2. The vehicle 10 is then again driven forward with the bucket 22 against the floor of the trench 51 to scoop up the loose silage. When the bucket 22 is filled it may be raised by actuating the ram 24, and then the vehicle 10 is moved in reverse until it is completely withdrawn from the trench silo 51. The tractor vehicle 10 is then driven to the feeding station or trough for the animals to be fed, and the bucket 22 manipulated to discharge the silage at the feeding station. This operation is repeated until the desired amount of silage is removed from the trench silo 51 and deposited at the animal feeding station.
In this manner, only a single operator is required to carry out the entire silage removal, transportation and deposit. Moreover, the operation is concluded within a minimal time, because only the required amount of silage is removed. Furthermore, no waste silage remains in the bottom of the trench silo 51 for exposure and spoilage. Only the freshly cut swath or face remains exposed, and this cures on the surface only to provide a protective cover for the rest of the silage in stack 50.
Although from a structural standpoint, the silage tiller 30 may appear simple because of the small number of elements employed, nevertheless, the size and location of the elements, particularly with respect to the loader arms and bucket 22 is quite important to the successful function of the silage tiller 30. The tiller head 35 must be in front of the bucket 22 in its various operative positions in order to successfully excavate, till and loosen the silage face 52. Moreover, the tiller arms 32 and tiller head 35 must be so located that they may be moved to an inoperative position such as the phantom position in FIG. 2, and be slightly behind the bucket 22 so that the bucket 22 may be fully operative to scoop and receive the loose silage without interference from the tiller head 35. The tiller head 35 must not only be removed from the path of the mouth of the open bucket 22, but must also be clear of the face 52 when the bucket 22 is scooping loose silage against the base of the excavated face 52.
The tiller arms 32 must be long enough and so located that the tiller head 35 can begin its excavation from the floor of the trench silo 51 and against the base of the silage face 52. The pivotal mounting of the tiller arms 32 upon the loader arms 20 is also important because if the silage face 52 is higher than the upper reach of the tiller arms 32, then the tiller head 35 may be elevated to additional heights by actuation of the rams 24 to raise the loader arms 20. Thus, the arrangement and location of the tiller arms 32 and the loader arms 22 provides a compound swinging motion to provide an exceptional elcvational range for the tiller head 35 with a minimum length for the swinging tiller arms Moreover, the construction of the silage tiller 30 is such that by merely disconnecting the journal shaft 33 and pivot pins 44, the entire silage tiller 30 may be completely removed from the loader arms 20, should the silage tilling function no longer be necessary and should it be desired to restore the vehicle 10 solely to its front-end loader functions.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with a front-end loader on a tractor vehicle having a vehicle frame, loader arms, journal means pivotally connecting one end of the loader arms to the frame for vertical movement, a loader bucket supported between the other ends of the loader arms in front of the frame, and motive means on the frame for raising and lowering the loader arms, a silage tiller comprising:
a. a tiller arm having front and rear ends,
b. first journal means pivotally connecting the rear end of said tiller arm to one of said loader arms for vertical swinging movement of said tiller arm above the loader bucket,
c. a rotary tiller head having teeth for separating silage from a silage stack,
d. means mounting said tiller head on the front end of said tiller arm for rotary movement in front of said bucket and about a substantially horizontal axis transverse to said vehicle frame,
e. said tiller head being located substantially between the sides of said vehicle frame,
f. means for rotatably driving said tiller head,
g. linear motor means having a front end and a rear end,
h. second journal means pivotally mounting the rear end of the linear motor means on one of said loader arms for vertical swinging movement,
i. third journal means pivotally connecting the front end of the linear motor means to said tiller arm, and
j. means for actuating said linear motor means to lower said tiller arm relative to said loader arms to move said tiller head into operative position for tilling silage in front of said bucket, and to raise said tiller arm to an inoperative position above said bucket permitting said bucket to receive a load without obstruction from said tiller head or said tiller arm.
2. The invention according to claim 1 in which said tiller head substantially spans the width of said vehicle frame, said tiller arm comprises a pair of tiller arms extending along opposite sides of said bucket, said tiller head being journaled between the front ends of said tiller arms.
3. The invention according to claim 1 in which said tiller arm is longer than the front-to-rear dimension of said bucket so that said tiller head is in front of said bucket when said tiller arm projects substantially forward.
4. The invention according to claim 1 in which said second journal means is behind said first journal means on said loader arm.
5. The invention according to claim 1 in which the means for rotatably driving said tiller head comprises a motor mounted on said tiller arm and drivingly connected to said tiller head.