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Publication numberUS3787916 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 29, 1974
Filing dateAug 7, 1972
Priority dateAug 13, 1971
Publication numberUS 3787916 A, US 3787916A, US-A-3787916, US3787916 A, US3787916A
InventorsAkagi K, Tanaka K
Original AssigneeDaihatsu Motor Co Ltd, Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floor surface cleaning and dressing apparatus
US 3787916 A
Abstract
An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface which comprises a battery operated, manned vehicle and a floor maintenance unit telescopically movably supported by the vehicle at the front thereof to enable the floor maintenance unit to enter, when projected, a narrow space where the vehicle cannot enter. The floor maintenance unit includes a rotatable brush, a rotatable polisher, a web of disposable sheet material and a liquid dressing applicator, a mode of operation of the floor maintenance unit being selected as desired.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Akagi et al.

[ FLOOR SURFACE CLEANING AND DRESSING APPARATUS [75] Inventors: Kaoru Akagi, Osaka; Katushi Tanaka, Nishinomiya, both of Japan [73] Assignees: Daihatsu Kogyo Co., Ltd., Osaka;

Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo Co., Ltd., Nishinomiya-shi, l-lyogo-ken, both of, Japan 22 Filed: Aug. 7, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 278,382

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Aug. 13, 1971 Japan 46-61891 52 0.8.01. 15/4, 15/1035 51 1m. (:1. A471 11/282, A6311 5/10 [58] Field of Search..... 15/4, 103.5, 49 C, 50 C, 51, 15/98, 340, 320, 319

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,639,936 2/1972 Ashton 15/4 1451 Jan. 29, 1 74 3,604,037 Vamer 15/4 3,678,533 7/1972 Cravits 15 320 3,701,177 10/1972 Meyer et al.... 15/320 x 3,197,798 8/1965 Brown Ciill. 15 320 3,376,597. 4/1968 Boyd 15/320 3,150,407 9/1964. Mitchell.....

3,321,331 5/1967 McNeely 15/50 C Primary Examiner-Leon G. Machlin Attorney, Agent, or Firn 1Pierce, Scheffler & Parker [57 ABSTRACT An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface which comprises a battery operated,

'manned vehicle and a floor maintenance unit telescopically movably supported by the vehicle" at the front thereof to enable the floor maintenance unit to enter, when projected, a narrow space where the vehicle cannot enter. The floor maintenance unit includes a rotatable brush, a rotatable polisher, a web of disposable sheet material and a liquid dressing applicator, a mode of operation of the floor maintenance unit being selected as desired.

16'Claims, 8 Drawing Figures FLOOR SURFACE CLEANING AND DRESSING APPARATUS The present invention relates to an apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to floor surfaces and, more particularly, to a battery operated, steerable vehicle having a floor maintenance unit extensibly mounted thereon for selectively or concurrently effecting brushing, wiping, polishing and applying liquid dressing subject to any suitable surface.

The cleaner apparatus according to the present invention has various fields of application, for example, effectively utilizable in hotels, indoor meeting places and like establishments. However, the cleaner apparatus herein disclosed as preferred embodiments thereof is particularly advantageous for use in bowling lanes. In view of this, description of the present invention will be made in connection with the cleaner apparatus applied in a bowling lane.

A self-propelled apparatus designed to initially wipe clean and then to apply dressing to the surface of a bowling lane is heretofore known. According to this self-propelled cleaner apparatus, it includes a floor maintenance unit, composed of a rotary'brush and a web of disposable sheet material, which is designed so as to be self-propelled by means of front and rear pairs of auxiliary wheels or rollers when the unit is on the surface of the bowling lane. This conventional cleaner apparatus further includes a handle and a pair of freely rotatable wheels on both sides of the floor maintenance unit so that the apparatus can be moved like a handcart when on the approach surface which is flush with the surface of the bowling lane. Of course, this pair of the freely rotatable wheels are guided by and overhangt'he gutters on the both sides of the bowling lane when the floor maintenance unit is self-propelled on the lane surface by one of the pairs of the auxiliary wheels or rollers. Application of liquid dressing on the lane surface can be automatically stopped as the apparatus approach'es to the approach surface from the lane surface. This is possible because it is designed such that an electrical circuit of a motor for driving the auxiliary wheels or rollers of one pair and for operating a liquid dressing applicator is interrupted as the freely rotatable wheels rides over inclined end surfaces of the gutters with the floor maintenance unit and the auxiliary wheels or rollers all clear of the lane surface.

Furthermore, the conventional self-propelledcleaner appratus is not of a battery operated type and, therefore, it must receive an electrical power supplied from a power source through a length of wiring which loosely extends from a power outlet provided in the establishment to the apparatus. 1

In view of the foregoing, the conventional cleaner-apparatus has found as having the following disadvantages:

l. The approach surface, which is flush with the bowling lane area along which the hall released by a player or bowler is advanced, cannot be cleaned. In the case where the approach surface is to be cleaned as well as the surface of the bowling lane area, extra brush and wiper are required.

2. The operator must push the handle of the cleaner apparatus to transport the latter from one place to another. Since the bowling alley is generally large and has a plurality of bowling lanes, the operator is compelled whole number of the lanes.

3. The wiring for supplying an electrical power from the power source to the cleaner apparatus often extends across the neighbour approach surfaces, which constitutes an obstacle to bowlers playing on the neighbour approach surfaces. In other words, during the cleaning operation, the bowlers occupying the neighbour bowling lanes are, compelled to intermit playing the bowling.

4. Since the rotary brush and the liquid dressing applicator are concurrently operated, the pin spot where a plurality of pins are placed and where no application of liquid dressing is usually required can not be satisfactorily cleaned.

Accordingly, an essential object of the present invention is to provide an improved apparatus for cleaning and applyingidressing on the floor surface which comprises a batteryoperated, manned vahicle and a floor maintenance unit including a rotary brush, a rotary polisher, a liquid dressing applicator and a wiper which can be selectively operated as desired, with substantial elimination of the abovementioned disadvantages inherent in the conventional cleaner apparatus of similar kind.

Another object of the present invention is to provide the improved apparatus of the type above referred to wherein the floor maintenance unit is extensibly mounted on the battery operated, manned vehicle whereby, when said unit is in the extended position, any surface with an obstacle overhanging to an extent that the vehicle proper can not enter can be advantageously cleaned.

A further object of the present invention is to provide the improved apparatus of the type above referred to wherein means is-provided for maintaining the floor maintenance unit in an inoperative position during a period when the cleaner apparatus is not in use so that various rotatable elements can be advantageously protected from possibly deforming in contact with the floor surface. g

A still further object of the present invention is to provide the improved apparatus of the type above referred to wherein the floor maintenance unit can be easily manufactured in simple construction and at reasonably reduced costs.

According to the present invention, a battery operated vehicle which can be steered by a driver is used with the floor maintenance unit extensibly mounted thereon, the floor maintenance unit can be moved anywhere without effort to clear the floor surface. The vehicle which may be used in. the present invention may be of any known'typehavinga steering handle operated by the driver seating on the vehicle.

The floor maintenance unit according to the present invention comprises a rotary brush, a wiper and a rotary polisher arranged in the prescribed order with respect to the direction of forward movement of the vehicle, with a liquid dressing applicator or a pair of sprayer nozzles positioned between the wiper and the rotary brush.

The mode of operation of the cleaner vehicle according to the present invention may vary depending upon where to be cleaned. However, so far as the cleaner vehicle is utilized in the bowling alley, the following mode of operation is recommended:

During the forward movement of the vehicle toward .the pin spot where the pins are placed while running on the surface of the bowling lane area between the approach surface and the pin spot, brushing, wiping and polishing are concurrently effected. Upon arrival of the vehicle in front of the pin spot, the floor maintenance unit must be projected forwardly of the vehicle thereby permitting said unit to enter in a space between the surface of the spot and a masking board overhanging said spot without intermitting the abovementioned cleaning operation. After the pin spot has been thus cleaned, the floor maintenance unit is backwardly retracted and the rotary brush is brought to an inoperative position.

During the backward movement of the vehicle that has been advanced toward the pin spot, application of liquid dressingon the lane surface must be effected. The liquid dressing that has been sprayed on the lane surface can be uniformly spread over the whole width of said lane surface by the web of disposable sheet material positioned between the rotary polisher and the rotary brush and backwardly of the dressing applicator.

The above mode of operation of the cleaner vehicle can be easily performed only by operating one or some of operating members of various valves hydraulically associated with cylinder means for handling the rotary brush, the rotary polisher, the wiper and the dressing applicator.

It is to be noted that the various cylinder means employed are independently operable by the driver of the vehicle whereby a desired mode of operation of the floor maintenance unit can be performed to suit to the surface to be cleaned.

These and other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which;

FIG. I is a schematic top plan view of a bowling lane,

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of the cleaner vehicle with the floor maintenance unit projected and supported above the surface of the pin spot,

FIG. 3 is a schematic side sectional view of the floor maintenance unit shown in FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a similar view to FIG. 3, but showing another preferred embodiment of the present invention,

FIG. 5 is a hydraulic circuit diagram used in the embodiment of FIG. 3,

FIG. 6 is a schematic top sectional view of a roller arrangement for supporting the vehicle on the surface of the bowling lane, I

FIG. 7 is a side sectional view of a portion of FIG. 6 and FIG. 8 is a. schematic diagram depicting a power transmission system for the roller arrangement of FIG. 6.

Before the description ofthe present invention proceeds, it is to be noted that like parts are designated by like reference numerals throughout the accompanying drawings. It is further to be noted that, for the purpose of facilitating a better understanding of the present inball is advanced while encountering sufficient frictional resistance to permit the bowler to control its run, a pin spot C which is continuous'to and flush with the lane area B and where a plurality of pins, usually ten, are placed in a specific arrangement, and a pair of gutters D extending parallelly on both sides of the lane area B and the pin spot C. The pin spot C is, as shown in FIG. 2, situated below a rigid structural projection having its front surface provided with a masking board E where the number of the pins not struck down is visually displayed either electrically or mechanically. Usually, the size of the space between the surface of the pin spot C and the lower-most edge of the rigid structural projection or the masking board E is limited to a little more than the height of each one of the pins, for example, cm.

Furthermore, the bowling lane is provided with a foul line F drawn across the bowling lane to make a distinction between the approach surface A and the lane area B. The gutters D of semicircular cross section have an end portion adjacent to the foul line F usually downwardly inclined. v

In the above arrangement of the bowling lane, only dusting or cleaning is usually subjected to the approach surface A and the pin spot C while the lane area B must be not only dusted or cleaned, but also subsequently applied with a suitable lane dressing to permit the running ball to encounter. the sufficient frictional resistance as hereinabove described.

The following embodiments of the present invention are each shown in the form of a battery operated, manned vehicle having a. forwardly extensible floor maintenance unit for cleaning and applying dressing uniformly on any smooth surface and particularly on the surface of the bowling lane. In view of the fact that the floor maintenance unit is adjustably extended from the body of the vehicle proper, any surface area where an obstacle overlies with a limited space or height left therebetween, such as the pin spot C where the masking board E overlies, can besatisfactorily cleaned. Nevertheless, the vehicle has front and rear pairs of wheels adapted to be guided along the gutters D with or without the peripheral surface of each one of the wheels in contact with the semicircular surfaces of the gutters D.

Tliedetails of the floor clearner vehicle according to the present invention will be now described with refer-' ence to the accompanying drawings.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, a battery operated vehicle is generally indicated by 1. Since the present invention is not exclusively directed to the battery operated vehicle 1, neither the details of the vehicle proper nor the electrical circuit including a drive motor for driving the vehicle are herein omitted. These may be of any conventional type and, therefore, reference is only made to a framework provided in the vehicle proper for supporting a floor maintenance unit of the construction as herein disclosed.

The vehicle I in FIG. 2 is shown as driven by a driver G on the bowling lane toward the masking board E. This vehicle 1 includes a chassis 2 of any known arrangement supported above the ground level or the surface of the bowling'lane'by means of ,front and rear pairs of wheels 3 and 4. The rear pair of wheels 4 is preferably driven by the drive motor (not shown). The t'read of each pair of the wheels 3 and 4, i.e., the distance between the left-hand and right-hand wheels of each pair, is substantially equal to the distance between the gutters DQIt is to be noted that, even though the tread is fixed as such, no limitation will be imposed on the cleaner vehicle according to the present invention as to the field of application thereof other than the bowling lane.

Preferably, the chassis 2 is rigidly or integrally provided with an upright plate 5'upwardly extending therefrom for the purpose as will be mentioned later. An upper free end portion of this upright plate 5 may be utilized either to serve as an instrument panel or to rigidly support the instrument panel.

The floor maintenance unit generally indicated by l is clearly shown in FIG. 3. While the floor maintenance unit is, in FIG. 2, shown as extended forwardly of the body of the vehicle 1, the same unit 10 is, in FIG.

the surface of the bowling lane, each of which is of a channel-shaped cross section and, hence, has a groove lla. In addition to a plurality of spacer bars (not shown) transversely interposed between the rails 11 of one pair, the rails 11 have their left-hand end portions rigidly fitted with rein-forcement plates 12, respectively, downwardly extending therefrom, which are in turn pivotally supported as at 13 by means of brackets 14 secured to the upright plate 5. A rigid plate 15 is fitted to the reinforcement plates 12 with the plane of its surface in intersected relation with respect to that of the surface of each one of the reinforcement plates 12.

The upright plate 5 and the rigid plate 15 are respectively formed with openings in alignment with each other, through which a bolt member 16 isloosely extended as having one end or head portion integrally formed with a handle 17 and the other end situated within a space defined by the reinforcement plates 12 and the rigid plate 15 and tapped into a nut member 17 rigidly secured to the rigid plate 15. In the arrangement so far described, it is clear that, as the handle 17 is rotated in either direction, the rails 11 can be pivoted about the shaft 13 in the corresponding direction. In order to facilitate the operation of handle 17, spring 20 is provided to partially support the weight of the floor maintenance unit. Instead of the use of the handle 17, the employment of either the cylinder operated system or the motor drive system may be contemplated.

The pair of the rails l I carry respective frame structures l9,'each of which is of the shape substantially as shown and provided with a plurality of guide rollers 20 rotatably accommodated in the groove 11a of the corresponding rail 11 so that said frame structures 19 can be moved between a retracted position as shown in FIG. 3 and the extended position as shown in FIG. 2. For effecting this movement either to the retracted position or to the extended position, a hydraulic'allyoperated cylinder 21 is provided as extending below the level of the rails and between said rails. This cylinder 21 comprises a cylinder housing 21a pivotally connected with the rigid plate 15 and a plunger 21b having one end extending slidably through the other end of the cylinder housing 21a and pivotally connected with a substantially intermediate portion of a rod 23, the both end extremities of said rod 23 being rigidly supported by the respective frame structures 19. The other end of said plunger 21b is, as schematically shown in FIG. 5, formed with a land slidably accommodated within the interior of the cylinder housing 21a and dividing said interior of said housing 210 into two working chambers 24a and 24b, either of which is in position to receive fluid medium under pressure from a fluid source when the other is communicated with the atmosphere as will be mentioned later.

The floor maintenance unit 10 further comprises a rotary polisher 25 of a width substantially equal to the width of the bowling lane having a shaft 25a outwardly projecting from the both ends thereof, one end of said shaft 25a being rotatably journ'alled by one of the frame structures 19 and the other end thereof rotatably extending through the other frame structure 19 and rigidly mounted with a gear wheel 26. This rotary polisher 25 may be fabricated with rubbing material such as cloth with a rough nap or densely radially extending yarns or any suitable material utilizable to polish or rub the surface of the bowling lane-and is driven by a motor 27 supported by the frame structure 19. Naturally, the motor 27 includes a drive shaft (not shown) rigidly mounted with a drive gear 27a and, between said drive gear 27a and the gear wheel 26, an endless chain 28 is operatively suspended. As will be mentioned later, the gear wheel 26 is preferably of the type having two parallely extending groups of gear teeth, one for engagement with the endless chain 28 and the other for engagement with another endless chain 29 which will be mentioned later.

A rotary brush 30 is disposed substantially below the other free ends of the rails 11 and has a shaft 300 rotatably supported on both ends thereof by connect: ing plates 31. Each of said connecting plates 31 is of the shape substantially as shown and formed with a substantially horizontal portion31a and a substantially vertical portion 31b integrally upwardly extending from said horizontal portion 31a. The horizontal portion 31a of each one of the connecting plates 31 has its both ends loosely mounted on the shafts 25a and 300, respectively, with at least one spacer bar (not shown) interposed between the horizontal portions 31a of the plates 31 for maintaining the latter in constantly parallel relation to each other. The shaft 30a of the rotary brush 30 has one end rotatably journalled by one horizontal portion 31a of the corresponding connecting plate 31 and the other end extending rotatably through the other horizontal portion 31a and rigidly mounted with a gear wheel 32. Forrotating the rotary brush 30, the chain 29 is operatively suspended between the gear wheel 26 and said gear wheel 32.

For enabling the rotary brush 30 to be clear of the surface of the bowling lane, a'hydraulically operated cylinder 33 is provided as comprising a cylinder housing 33a pivotally connected with an upper free end of one of the vertical portions 31b of the connecting plates 31 and a normally retracted plunger 33b pivotally connected. with the corresponding frame structure 19 so that, as the cylinder 33 is operated so as to extend the plunger 33b out of the cylinder housing 33a, the connecting plates 31 can be pivoted about the axis of the shaft 25a in the counterclockwise direction as viewed from FIG. 3 thereby permitting the rotary brush 30 to be upwardly shifted away from the surface of the bowling lane.

I Provided between the polisher and the brush is a pair of spider plates 34 for rotatably carrying a roll of disposable sheet material such as paper. This roll of disposable sheet material is designated by 38 and in the form of a core rod wound with a reasonable length of sheet material of a width substantially equal to the width of the bowling lane, said core rod serving as a shaft which is rotatably carried on both ends thereof by the corresponding spider plates 34. Since the sheet material is subjected to a frictional engagement with the surface of the bowling lane as will be understood later, it must have a sufficient physical strength and, in addition thereto, it is preferred to have a liquid absorptive property.

Each one of said spider plates 34 has three radially outwardly extending arms 34a, 34b and 340 formed in tegrally therewith. The spider plates 34 are respectively pivotally supported by the corresponding frame structures 19 in such a manner that each free end portion of the arms 34ais rigidly mounted on a common pin member 35 with its both ends rotatably journalled to the frame structures 19. For restricting the pivotal movement of the spider plates 34 within a predetermined stroke, a pair of stopper pins 36a and 36b are spacedly secured to one of the frame structures 19 on both sides of the corresponding arm 34a. The arms 34b rotatably carry a roller 37 fabricated or lined with synthetic rubber of sufficient elasticity having an oil resisting property.

The arms 340 are respectively bent with their free end portions situating substantially above the rotary brush 30, the bent portions of said arms 34c being adapted to rotatably carry a take-up drum 38 intermittently rotatable. by the operation of a hydraulically operated cylinder as will be described later.

While in the arrangement, it is to be noted that the roll of the disposable sheet material 39 is supported such as to be easily detachable from the spider plates 34 for facilitating a replacement thereof with a fresh one as the sheet material has been consumed. In addition, this roll of the disposable sheet material 39 is sup ported such as to frictionally rotate in any known manner so that'a web of the disposable sheet material fed therefrom will not flutter, said web of the disposable sheet materialextending from the roll 39 to the take-up drum38, which is also detachable from the arms 340, round the rubber roller 37.

For intermittently transferring a continuous web of the disposable sheet material from the roll 39 on to the take-up drum 38 round the roller 37, the cylinder 40 is provided as having a cylinder housing 40a pivotally supported by the free end extremity of one of the arms 34c and a normally retracted plunger 40b operatively associated with the rotary drum 38 by means of clutch mechanism (not shown) of, for example, pawl and ratchet type. Alternatively, instead of the clutch mechanism, a rack and pinion mechanism may be used to cause the rotary drum 38 to rotate in response to each cycle of movement of the plunger 40b of the cylinder 40. This cylinder 40 is operable in such a manner that each reciprocal movement of the plunger 40b causes rotation of the rotary drum 38 through an angle of rotation which corresponds to the length of the continuous web of disposable sheet material desired to be intermittentlytransferred thereby.

The arrangement so fardescribed is designed such that, when the approach surface A is to be clearned,

what is necessary is to loosen the handle 17 thereby permitting the floor maintenance unit 10 to be brought to an operative position substantially as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. In this case, the rotary polisher 25, the rotary brush 30 and the rubber roller 37 all rest on the same surface with pressure of a proper value exerted therebetween. It is to be noted that the handle 17 acts not only to-bring the floor maintenance unit 10 to the operative position, but also to adjust the pressure exerted between any one of the polisher 25, brush 30, and roller 37 once the floor maintenance unit 10 has been brought to the operative position. This is possible by finely turning the handle 17 in either direction while the floor maintenance unit 10 is in the operative position. It is further to be noted that the spider plates 34 are normally pivoted about the pin member 35 by its own gravitysuch as to cause the roller 37 to contact the surface through the disposable sheet material.

After the floor maintenance unit 10 has assumed the position as hereinbefore described, the vehicle 1 is then driven and at the same time the motor 27 is rotated to cause the polisher 25 and then the brush 30 to rotate in the same direction so that the approach surface A can be cleaned. The cleaning process takes place in such a manner that, as the vehicle 1 runs forwards, brushing, wiping and polishing are sequentially effected in the prescribed order.

Subsequently, as the vehicle 1 approaches to the foul line F with its wheels 3 and 4 running down the inclined surfaces of the gutters D, the floor maintenance unit 10 can be automatically upwardly shifted about the shaft 13 through a prescribed angle which corresponds to the difference between the level of the lane surface and the depth of any one of the gutters D. Even in this case, the rotary.polisher'25,'the rotary brush 30 and the rubber roller 37 all rest on the same surface of the lane area B.

When the vehicle 1 approaches to-the masking board E and the spot C is desired to be cleaned, what is necessary is to operate the cylinder 21 causing the plunger 21b to extend therefrom sothat the floor maintenance unit 10 can be forwardly projected without intermitting the motor 27.

For applying liquid dressing on the surface of the lane area B, a tank 41 for containing therein a suitable amount of liquid dressing is'suitably carried by the pair of the guide rails 11 as shown. The liquid dressing contained in the tank 41 can be sprayed on the surface of the lane area B through a pair of sprayer nozzles 42 spacedly suspended by the frame structures, as shown, so as to spray the liquid dressing over the whole width of said lane area. The sprayernozzles 42 are connected with the tank 41 in a manner as will be described with reference to FIG. 5. However, it is to be noted that application of the liquid dressing on the lane area surface is preferably efi'ected during the backward movement of the vehicle away from the'masking board E. At this time, the portion of the web of disposable sheet material round the rubber roller 37 which contacts the lane surface actsto uniformly spread the liquid dressing that has been applied on the Iane'surface. Transferrence of the disposable sheet material maybe effected at any desired time and, reasonably, when the vehicle 1 commences its backward movement. In this case, the cylinder 40 should be operated.

Furthermore, it is to be noted that, when the vehicle commences its backward movement awayfrom the masking board E andwhen the application of the liquid dressing is to be desired, the cylinder 33 should be operated. to cause the connecting plates 31 to upwardly pivot about the shaft 250 thereby to permit the rotary brush 30 to be upwardly shifted clear of the lane surface.

When the vehicle 1 or the floor maintenance unit 10 is out of use, the handle 17 is preferably fastened to cause the floor maintenance unit 10 to be upwardly shifted to position in an inoperative position.

Reference numeral 43 indicates at least one compression spring suspended between the upright plate and one of the spacer bars between the guide rails 11 for reducing the burden of operating the handle l7.-

This may, be practically omitted if the floor maintenance unit is used to be upwardly shifted to the inoperative position while it is in the retracted position.

With reference to FIG. 5, the hydraulic circuit associated not only with the liquid tanks 41, but also with the various cylinders such as indicated by 21 22 and 40 will be now described.

Referring now to FIG. 5, the cylinders 33 and 40 have their respective working chambers communicated with a common passage 60 through passages 61 and 62, said passage 60 being in turn communicated with an air tank 63. Switching valves 64 and 65 are respectively interposed on the passages 61 and 62 so that supply of fluid medium, that is, air under pressure, from the -air tank 63 can be selectively continued and intermitted depending upon operating states of these switching valves 64 and 65.

The first and second working chambers 24a and 24b nication is made by a passage 68 having one end con-.

nected with the liquid tank 41 and the other end branchedinto a pair of passages 68a. This passage 68 is provided thereon with a switching valve for selectively opening and closing the passage 68. The liquid tank 41 is in turn communicated with thepassage 60 through a passage 70 having thereon a pressure control valve 75 for. maintaining the pressure within the liquid tank 41 at a predetermined value.

The air tank 63 is arranged such as to receive a compressed air fed from a compressor 71 through a check valve 72 disposed on a passage-.73 communicating therebetween. The compressor 71 is adapted to be driven by a motor 74, which may be the same as used to drive the vehicle 1. It is to be noted that operating members of these various switching valves 64, 65, 67 and 69 must be arranged on the instrument panel accessible to the driver of the vehicle 1.

Another embodiment shown in FIG. 4 is designed such that the rotary polisher 25 can be upwardly shifted clear of the surface of the bowling lane independent of the rotary brush 30. This is particularly useful where the handle 17 and its associated parts ,16 and 18 are omitted. the omission of these parts 16 and 19 together p the polisher 25 to be upwardly shifted clear of the surwith the handle 17 eliminating the burden the driver G must suffer from in operating the handle 17. Nevertheless, instead of the handle 17 and its associated parts are omitted, the guide rails 11 must be rigidly secured to the upright plate 5 in any suitable manner so as to extend forwards at right angles to the plane of the up right plate 5.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the rotary polisher 25 that has been described as rotatably carried by the substantially horizontal portions 31a of the connecting plates 31 in the foregoing embodiment shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 is rotatably carried by a pair of supporter bars 50 having corresponding ends thereof rotatably mounted on respective bearing members 51 secured to the plate frames 1%, said bearing members 51 concurrently rotatably carrying the corresponding connecting plates 31, and the other ends thereof rotatably carrying the shaft 25a of the rotary polisher 25.

An additional cylinder 52 having a cylinder housing 52a and a normally extended plunger 52b is provided for effecting the upward shift of the rotary polisher 25 upon retraction of said plunger 52b. Before description is to be made in connection with a method of supporting the cylinder 52, it is to be noted-that, though the frame structures 19 employed in theforegoing embodiment is of one-piece construction, the same employed in the embodiment of FIG. 4 is formed with beam portions 19a telescopically movably supported by the guide rails 11 in a similar manner as in the foregoing embodiment and plate frames 19b downwardly suspended from said beam portions 19a. Nevertheless, the downwardly suspended plate frames 19b correspond to the respective portionsofthe frame structures 19 of FIG. 3 where the'various essential components of the floor maintenance unit 10 are operatively carried.

One of the bearing members 51 secured to the plate frames 19b and rotatably carrying the connecting plates 31 and the supporter bars 50 is in the form of a sleeve adapted to permit the drive shaft of the motor 27 to be extended therethrough to the outside. Although not shown in FIG. 4, the rotary polisher 25 and the rotary brush 30 in this embodiment of FIG. 4 are independently connected with the drive shaft of the motor 27- through a pair of chains (not shown) so that rotation of the drive shaft of the motor 27 can be transmitted to said polisher 25 and said brush 30 thereby permitting said polisher and said brush to individually rotate in the same direction.

The cylinder 52 is supported in such a manner that the cylinder housing 52a is pivotally supported by one of the beam portions 19a and the plunger 52b is pivotally supported by a substantially intermediate portion of the corresponding supporter bar 50 so that, as the plunger 52b is retracted, the supporterbars 50 can be pivoted about the bearing members 51 so as to cause face even when the vehicle 1 runs guided by the gutters From the foregoing, it has now become clear that,

while on the foregoing embodiment the polisher 25 and the brush 30 can be shifted clear of any surface only when the maintenance unit 10 itself is brought to the inoperative position, the polisher 25 and the brush 30 in this emboidment can be individually brought to the inoperative position as desired if the cylinders 52 and 33 are respectively operated.

In either of the foregoing embodiments shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 and FIG. 4, the vehicle 1 is designed such that the wheels 3 and 4, each of which is an tire whee], run in the corresponding gutters D with the tread of each one of these wheels 3 and 4 contacting the semicircularly curved surfaces of the gutters, when the lane area B and the pin spot C are to be cleaned. In the event that this proves to be disadvantageous for any reason, auxiliary roller wheels of suitable plastic material may be provided one for each wheel of the pairs 3 and 4. The arrangement of these auxiliary roller wheels will be now described with reference to FIGS. 6 to 8, wherein only one of said auxiliary roller wheels associated with corresponding one of the drive wheels 4 is shown as indicated by 80.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 to 8, the drive shaft of a motor 90 rotatably extends through the chassis 2 and rigidly mounted with a drive gear 91. A shaft 92 has both ends rotatably extended through the opposed chassis 2 and rigidly mounted with the wheels 4. A portion of said shaft 92 which situates between the wheel 4 and the chassis 2 is rigidlymounted with a driven gear 93. It is to be noted that the shaft 92 is located, as shown in FIG. 8 below the drive shaft of the motor 90.

A spindle 94 rotatably extends through the chassis 2 and has both ends rigidly mounted with outer and inner gears 95 and 96, said outer gear 96 laying in the same plane as the drive gear 91 and the driven gear 93 exist. For transmitting a rotational force of the motor shaft to the spindle 94, an endless chain 97 is suspended between the drive gear 91 and the outer gear 95 round the driven'gear 93 as shown in FIG. 8. Reference numeral 98 indicates an idle geared wheel suitably carried'by the chasssis 2 sofas to depress the endless chain 97 as shown.

A rigid rod 99 havingboth ends rotatably journalled to the opposed chassis 2 is rigidly mounted with a' pair of rear roller wheels 80 within the space between and adjacent to the opposed chassis 2. Between the roller wheel 80 and the chassis 2and adjacent to the geared wheel 96, another. geared wheel 81 is rigidly mounted and another endless chain 82 is suspended between said geared wheels 81 and 96 for transmitting the rotation of the spindle 94 to the roller wheel 80.

As to the front pair of roller wheels (not shown), they may be carried by the opposed chassis 2 adjacent to the front pair of wheels 3 in a similar manner as the rear pair of roller wheels 80 are carried.

While in the above arrangement, care must be taken that the radius of each one of the wheels 3. and 4 should be smaller than the sum of the radius of the roller Wheels 80 and the depth of the gutters D if the roller wheels 80 are assumed tobe in contact with the surface of the lane area B, More specifically, as shown in FIG. 7, the arrangement is such that, when the vehicle 1 runs on the surface of the lane area B, .two couples of front and rear roller whfifilfi are incontact with theopposed edges of the bowling lane while the wheels3 and 4 overhang the corresponding gutters D in such a way that the inside edge of each one of the wheels 3 and 4 contacts a side surface D of the corresponding one of the gutters D. Of course, when the vehicle is located in the lane area B, it is supported by the front and rear .pairs of the rollerwheels 80 while the wheels 3 and 4 overhanging the respective gutters D prevents the vehicle from moving in a zigzag manner. Since the rear pair of the roller wheels are adapted to be driven by the motor 90 through the above-mentioned chain transmission system, the vehicle 1 can beselectively moved backwards and forwards above the surface of the lane area B while supported by the front and rear pairs of the roller wheels 80.

From the foregoing description of the present invention, it is clear that, so long as the cleaner vehicle according to the present invention is utilized in the bowl ing area and, particularly, on the surface of the lane area B, the driver G need not handle the steering wheels.- Handling the steering wheel is only required only when the vehicle running direction is desired to be turned thereby to permit the floor maintenance unit 10 to be utilized at any place other than the bowling lane area B.

Furthermore, it is needless to say that, although the vehicle 1 has been described of the rear drive type, it may be of the front drive type. In this case, the front pair of the roller wheels must be provided with the chain transmission system since it proves to be convenient in designing the vehicle.

Although the present invention has been fully described by way of example, it is to be noted that various changes and modifications areapparent to those skilled in the art concerned. Therefore, the present invention is not to be limited by the foregoing embodiments, but such changes and modifications are to be construed as included within the scope of the present invention unless otherwise they departs therefrom.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface which comprises a power driven vehicle adapted to be handled by a driver and having at least two pairs of wheels rotatable on the floor'surface while supporting the body of said vehicle, a floor maintenance unit comprising aframe structure, means connectively supporting said floor maintenance unit from the front of said vehicle comprising a bracket attached to the front end of said vehicle, a pivot joint having a horizontal axis and permitting rotary motion in a perpendicular plane in the direction of said vehicle, a plate supported by and capable of limited rotary motion about said pivot, means controlling the rotary position of said plate, a rail integral with said plate and extending forward of said vehicle and in a direction coaxial therewith, a carriage member riding on said rail and supporting said floor maintenance unit, means for selectively controlling the position of said floor maintenance unit along said rail, whereby said means for controlling the rotary position of said plate controls the elevation of the floormaintenance unit with respect to the floor and the means for controlling the position of said floor maintenance unit along said rail determines the forwardposition of said floor maintenance unit with respect to the front of. said vehicle, said floor maintenance unit including a rotatable brush, a web of sheet material intermittently transferrable for wiping the floor surface over which the vehicle is moved, said web of sheet material being removable from said frame structure, a rotatable polisher, a common drive means for said brush and said polisher and means for intermittently transferring said web of sheet material.

2. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a. floor surface as. claimed in claim 1, wherein said power driven vehicle is a battery operated vehicle and one of said pairs of wheels is adapted to receive a power from a battery driven motor.

3. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 1, wherein said rotatable brush, said web of sheet material and said rotatable polisher are arranged in the prescribed order with respect to the direction of forward movement of said vehicle so that the floor surface can be first brushed, then wiped and finally polished as the vehicle is advanced.

4. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface which comprises in combination:

a power driven vehicle adapted to be driven by a driver and having at least two pairs of wheels rotatable on the surface while supporting the body of said vehicle; I

a support structure frontwardly extending from and pivotally carried by the body of the vehicle, said support structure being capable of pivoting between first and second angular positions, said support structure when in said first angular position being in substantially parallel relation to the floor surface;

means for shifting said support structure selectively between said first and second angular positions;

a frame structure carried by said support structure for telescopical movement between extended and retracted positions in parallel relation to said support structure;

means for selectively driving said frame structure be tween said extended and retracted positions; and

a floor maintenance unit operatively carried by said frame structure at a posi'tion between said support structure and said floor surface and including a rotatablebrush, a web of sheet material intermittently transferable for wiping the floor surface over which the vehicle is moved, a rotatable polisher, a common drive means for said brush and said polisher and means for intermittently transferring said web of sheet material, said floor maintenance unit being in position to treat said floor surface when said support structure is in said first angular position irrespective of the position of said frame structure and in position away from thefloor surface when said support structure is in said second angular position irrespective of the position of said frame structure.

5. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 4, further comprising a liquid tank rigidly carried by the support structure without interferring the telescopical movement of the frame structure, said tankv being for containing therein a suitable amount of liquid dressing, and at least one sprayernozzle through which liquid dressing fed from said tank under pressure can beapplied on the floor surface over which said vehicle ismoved, said sprayer nozzle being carried by the frame structure and positioned between said web of sheetmaterial and said polisher.

6. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 4, wherein said floor maintenance unit further includes means for bringing said rotatable brush to an inoperative position in which condition said rotatable brush is upwardly shifted clear of the floor surface irrespective of the angular position of said support structure.

7. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 4,-wherein said floor maintenance unit further includes separate means for individually bringing said rotatable brush and said rotatable polisher to respective inoperative positions in which condition they are upwardly shifted clear of the floor'surface irrespective of the angular position of said support structure.

8. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 4, wherein said support structure comprises a pair of spaced guide rails .each being of channel shaped cross section having a guide groove and each having a support arm one end of which is rigidly secured to the corresponding guide rail adjacent to the body of the vehicle and the other end thereof being pivotally supported by said body of said vehicle.

9. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 8, wherein said frame structure comprises a pair of spaced frames of the same configuration, each of which has one end portion carrying a suitable number of rollers rotatably engaged in the guide groove of the corresponidng one of the guide rails.

10. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 8, further comprising a rigid plate member rigidly bridging between said support arms in the plane transversely of the plane of the guide rails and wherein said means for shifting said support structure selectively between said first and second positions comprises a threaded member having one end tapped into said rigid plate member and the other end provided with an operating handle accessible to the driver whereby, by turning said handle, said arms and hence said guide rails can be pivoted about the common pivot at both ends of .said support arms.

11. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface which comprises in combination:

a power driven vehicle adapted to be driven by a driver and having at least two pairs of wheels rotatable on the surface while supporting the body of said vehicle; support structure frontwardly extending from and pivotally carried by 'the body of the vehicle, said support structure being capable of pivoting between first and second angular positions, said support structure when in said first angular position being in substantially parallel-relation to the floor surface; means for shifting said support structure selectively between said first and second angular positions; I a frame structure carried by said support structure for telescopical movement between extended andretracted positions in parallel relation to said support structure;

cylinder means for selectively driving said frame structure between said extended and retracted positions;

a floor maintenance unit operatively carried by said frame structure at a position between said support structure and saidfloor surface'and including a rotatable brush, a web of sheet material intermittently transferrable for wiping the floor surface over which the vehicle is moved, said web of sheet material being removable from said frame structure, a rotatable polisher, a common drive means for said brush and said polisher, means for intermittently transferring said web of sheet material, said rotatable brush, said web of sheet material and said rotatable polisher being arranged in the prescribed order with respect to the direction of forward movement of said vehicle so that the floor surface can be first brushed, then wiped and finally polished as the vehicle is advanced, means for bringing said rotatable brush to an inoperative position clear of the floor surface irrespective of the position of said support structure, said floor maintenance unit being in position to treat said floor surface when said support structure is in said first angular position and in position away from the floor surface when said support structure is in said second angular position irrespective of the position of said frame structure and irrespective of operation of said bringing means;

a liguid tank rigidly carried by the support structure without interferring the telescopical movement of the frame structure, said tank being for containing therein a suitable amount of liquid dressing to be applied on the floor surface; and

at least one sprayer nozzle through which liquid dressing fed from said tank under pressure can be applied on the floor surface over which said vehicle is moved, said sprayer nozzle being carried by the frame structure and positioned between said web of sheet material and said polisher.

12. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 11, wherein said support structure comprises a pair of spaced guide rails each being of channel shaped cross section having a guide groove and each having a support arm one end of which is rigidly secured to the corresponding guide rail adjacent to the body of the vehicle and the other end thereof being pivotally supported by said body of said vehicle.

13. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 11, wherein said frame structure comprises a pair. of spaced frames of the same configuration, each of which has one end portion carrying a suitable number of rollers rotatably engaged in the guide groove of the corresponding one of the guide rails.

14. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 11, further comprising a rigid plate member ridigly bridging between said support arms in the plane transversely of the plane of the guide rails and wherein said means for shifting said support structure selectivelybetween said first and second positions comprises a threaded member having one end tapped into said rigid plate member and the other end provided with an operating handle accessible to the driver whereby, by turning said handle, said arms and hence said guide rails can be pivoted about the common pivot at both ends of said support arms.

15. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 11, wherein said cylinder means, said transferring means and said means for bringing said rotatable brush to the inoperative position comprises hydraulically operated cylinders, respectively, and further comprising a hydraulic circuit including an air source, an air tank having an inlet port communicated with said air source and an outlet port, separate switching valves disposed between said outlet port of said air tank and saidindividual cylinders for operating each one of said cylinders upon actuation of the associated switching valves, said liquid tank having an air chamber therein which is communicated with said outlet port of said air tank through a pressure control valve, and a switching valve disposed between said liquid tank and said nozzle.

16. An apparatus for cleaning and applying dressing to a floor surface as claimed in claim 15, wherein said air source is a compressor driven by an electrically operated motor to produce compressed air to be fed to said air tank.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3868738 *Aug 27, 1973Mar 4, 1975Western Sales & Supply CoSelf-propelled automatic bowling lane maintenance machine
US4959884 *Apr 16, 1990Oct 2, 1990Century International CorporationCombination bowling lane stripper and dressing apparatus
US6090203 *May 6, 1998Jul 18, 2000U.S. Polychemical CorporationBowling lane oil application device and method
US7014714Sep 2, 2004Mar 21, 2006Brunswick Bowling & Billiards CorporationApparatus and method for conditioning a bowling lane using precision delivery injectors
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US7784147Mar 23, 2006Aug 31, 2010Brunswick Bowling & Billiards CorporationBowling lane conditioning machine
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/4, 15/103.5
International ClassificationA63D5/00, A47L11/00, A47L11/18, A63D5/10, A47L11/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47L11/4047, A47L11/4072, A47L11/4055, A47L11/4061, A47L11/4066, A47L11/10, A47L11/4088, A47L11/4041, A47L11/4075
European ClassificationA47L11/40N6, A47L11/40F4, A47L11/40L, A47L11/40J2, A47L11/40G2, A47L11/40K, A47L11/40F8, A47L11/40H, A47L11/10