|Publication number||US3844425 A|
|Publication date||Oct 29, 1974|
|Filing date||Mar 29, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 29, 1972|
|Also published as||CA968754A, CA968754A1|
|Publication number||US 3844425 A, US 3844425A, US-A-3844425, US3844425 A, US3844425A|
|Original Assignee||Case Co J I|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (15), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Bailey  US. Cl 214/131 A, 172/274, 214/620  Int. Cl B66f 9/00  Field of Search... 214/145, 766, 138 R, 138 C,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Knutson 37/1 17.5
3,528,685 9/1970 Eastman 172/272 1 Oct. 29, 1974 Primary Examiner-Robert J. Spar Assistant Examiner-John Mannix Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Dressler, Goldsmith, Clement & Gordon, Ltd.
 ABSTRACT This invention relates to a quick-release coupling between a material handling unit and a vehicle. The vehicle includes first and second transversely extending vertically spaced support members which cooperate with a recess and an inclined camming surface on the unit. The recess and inclined camming surface are positioned on the unit so that the unit may be coupled to the vehicle by initially placing the recess over the first member and lowering the unit to locate the first mem ber within the recess and subsequently pivoting the entire unit about the first member to produce engagement between the inclined camming surface and the second member. The unit and the vehicle are then connected to each other by releasable lock means.
11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEBncrzs 4 FIG. 3
w 3 m an 8 FIG. 5
flawi I BACKHOE MOUNTING ARRANGEMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to material handling implements and more specifically to a releasable coupling between a material handling unit and the supporting vehicle.
In recent years, tractor-mounted implements have become very common and, because of the large amount of investment for the tractor, it has become customary to design the tractor for use with more than one implement. One type of dual implement vehicle consists of a bucket loader or other type of earth handling implement on the front end of the tractor while another type of earth working implement, such as a backhoe, is mounted on the opposite end of the tractor.
In many instances, it becomes desirable to remove the backhoe from the tractor, as when the vehicle is being utilized as a loader. For this purpose, it has been proposed to provide quick-release couplings between the earth working unit or backhoe and the vehicle so that the unit can readily be detached from the vehicle whenever desired. Detachable units of this general type are disclosed in Przybylski U.S. Pat. No. 3,081,891 and Pilch U.S. Pat. No. 3,220,487. Thus, in instances where the rear-end attachment on the vehicle is both unnecessary and impractical, the attachment or unit may be separated from the vehicle and stored at a suitable location.
Both structures disclosed in the respective patents have one rather serious drawback. In both instances, the coupling means consists of some type of releasable connector above the upper end of the interconnected frames that are respectively on the tractor and the unit. In arrangement such as this, it is extremely important that the connection between the tractor and the unit is rather rigid and that this connection be capable of sustaining not only the substantial implement unit weight but also resisting reaction forces imposed upon the tractor during implement actuation.
With the coupling shown in the Pilch patent, the recess on the lower end of the tractor frame acts as a pivot axis for the entire unit while the bolts are at the upper end of the unit. With this arrangement, the bolts are required to absorb all of the forces developed between the unit and tractor.
Other complicated attaching arrangements have been proposed in the prior art but most of them are extremely expensive and are rather complex, adding to the service requirements for the vehicle.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The quick-release coupling of the present invention connects an implement unit to a vehicle in such a manner that the weight of the implement and the forces developed during working of the implement unit will tend to rigidify the connection. This is accomplished by producing a wedging action between the interconnected portion of the vehicle and implement unit.
In one embodiment of the invention, the wedging action is produced by utilizing the weight of the unit as well as the forces that are developed during the working of the unit. In this embodiment, the implement unit is connected to the frame of the tractor or support so that the connecting portions of the unit and the tractor LII absorb all of the weight and any additional forces that are developed during the operation of the unit. With this arrangement, the releasable lock means need only hold the connecting portions together. The releasable lock means or connectors thus need only be of sufficient strength to hold the connectilng portions in an assembled position and need not absorb any forces produced by the weight and operation of the machine.
In the second embodiment of the invention, the releasable lock means cooperate with the weight of the implement and the forces developed during working of the implement unit to produce the wedging action.
In both embodiments, the releasable coupling means consists of a pair of transversely extending upper and lower tubular support members on the tractor or support. The unit frame has upper and lower elements with one element having downwardly directed recess for receiving one of the tubular members while the other element has an inclined camming surface that engages the other tubular member so that the weight of the unit and forces developed during operation, will wedge the tubular member into the recess to rigidify the connection. In addition, the camming surface is located to assist in producing the wedging action.
The method of assembling the material handling unit to the vehicle includes the initial step of pivoting the unit frame to a position where the area below the recess is completely open and the position of the recess is higher than the frame member on the vehicle frame that it is to receive. The vehicle is then moved relative to the unit to locate the downwardly directed recess in generally vertical alignment with the member and the unit is lowered to engage the recess with the upper member. The entire unit can then be pivoted about the member to produce engagement of the inclined camming surface on the element of the unit with a second member on the vehicle frame. This can be accomplished by proper manipulation of fluid rams that normally form part of the digging attachment. The last step in the attachment of the unit to the vehicle includes innerconnecting the two frames with releasable lock means.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF DRAWINGS FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side elevation of the unit and tractor with a slightly modified quick-release coupling; and
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the elements shown in FIG.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail several embodiments, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
FIG. 1 of the drawings shows a tractor having a material handling unit 12 supported on one end thereof. The opposite end of the tractor normally has another type of material handling unit, such as a bucket loader (not shown) supported thereon.
The material handling unit 12, which is illustrated as a backhoe, consists of a frame 14 secured to the tractor adjacent the rear end thereof and supports a swing tower 16 for pivotal movement about a vertical axis through a fluid ram 17 (FIG. 2). The frame 14 has a pair of outriggers 18 (one being shown) that stabilize the unit during a digging operation.
A boom 19 is pivoted about a horizontal pivot at one end on the swing tower while the opposite end of the boom has a dipper stick assembly 20 pivoted thereon. The pivoting of the boom on the swing tower is accomplished by a pair of fluid rams 22 (only one being shown) extending on opposite sides of the boom and connected to the swing tower. The dipper stick assembly 20 is pivoted on the boom through a fluid ram 24, which is interposed between the boom and dipper stick assembly.
One embodiment of the quick-release coupling of the present invention is shown in FIG. 2 and includes upper and lower support members 26 and 28 that are fixedly secured to the rear end of the tractor and extend transversely of the longitudinal axis of the tractor and vehicle. The upper and lower support members are illustrated as being tubular in cross-section and are connected to side members 29 (only one being shown in FIG. 4). The spaced side members 29 have tapered guide surfaces 29a on inwardly directed portions of the side members 29, adjacent the upper member 26. The side and cross members may be termed a frame on the vehicle.
The quick-release coupling also includes upper and lower elements 30 and 32 (FIG. 2) on the frame 14 that extend away from the swing tower 16. The upper element 30 has a downwardly opening recess 34 while the lower element has an inclined camming surface 36. The recess 34 has opposed inclined walls 37 and 38 that are spaced from each other a distance substantially greater than the cross-sectional dimension of the upper member 26 on the vehicle and taper towards each other to have a spacing at the base of the recess that is substantially less than the cross-sectional dimension of the member or tube 26.
An inclined abutment 39 extends forward and downward from the lower end of the wall 38, which guides the tubular member toward the recess during relative movement of the unit and vehicle.
The spacing between the lower edge 40 on the outer free end of the upper element and the free edge 42 of the inclined camming surface is less than the spacing between the remote surfaces of the upper and lower members on the vehicle. These spacings are identified by the references X and Y.
The quick-release coupling shown in FIG. 2 also includes releasable lock or connecting means 58 between the lower element 32 and lower member 28. The releasable connecting means consists of a bolt 52 extending through aligned openings 54 on the lower element and also through openings 56 in the transversely extending lower member 28. A lug 60 having an arcuate surface 62 corresponding to the curvature of the tubular member 28 is received over the free end of the bolt and the member and element are held together by a nut 64 threaded on the bolt. While one releasable connecting means has been described, its preferable to use two such connectors on opposite sides of the unit. Also, the openings 56 are made slightly larger than the openings 54, for a purpose that will be described later.
The method of attaching the material handling unit 12 to the vehicle 10 consists of initially positioning the frame 14 in a pivoted position shown by the dotted line of FIG. 2 and at an elevation so that the lower edge 40 on the upper element 30 is slightly higher than the upper surface of the upper member 26 on the frame of the tractor. Relative longitudinal movement is then produced between the unit and the tractor or vehicle 10, by moving the tractor towards the unit until the tubular member 26 engages the inclined abutment 39, which guides the upper member 26 toward the recess 34. During such movement, the inclined guide surfaces 29a will compensate for any transverse misalignment between the two frames to insure that the frame 14 enters between the two side members 29. The vehicle is then stopped and the hydraulic fluid to the various rams is connected to the source on the vehicle so that the frame 14 may be lowered to place the walls of the recess in engagement with the upper member.
The frame 14 is subsequently pivoted clockwise as viewed in FIG. 2 from the dotted line position to the solid line thereof so the inclined camming surface 36 is positioned in engagement with the lower surface with the lower member 26. This may be accomplished by proper manipulation of the fluid rams 22 and 24. After the frame 14 has been positioned in a solid line position of FIG. 2, the bolt 52 is inserted through the openings 54 and 56, the lug 60 is placed over the bolt and the nut is threaded thereon to securely interlock the unit to the vehicle. The enlarged opening 56 allows the bolt to be inserted even though the axes of the respective openings may not be in direct alignment with each other.
In the assembled condition, the weight of the unit and forces developed during use of the unit will wedge the upper member 26 between the walls of the recess 34 and will tend to force the camming surface 36 into engagement with the lower member 28. This interaction will increase the rigidity of the coupling between the tractor and the unit.
Furthermore, the weight of the unit will maintain the unit coupled to the tractor even without the bolts. This comes about because of the spacing and dimensioning of the elements and the members as well as the relationship of the recess 34 and camming surface 36. Since the dimension X is less than the dimension Y and the base of the recess is above the upper member while the camming surface is below the lower member, the unit cannot be separated from the tractor until the camming surface 36 is moved away from the lower member and the weight of the unit maintains the camming surface in engagement with the lower member 28.
A slightly modified form of the invention is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The modified form of releasable coupling means contains the same components as the coupling means described above except the various parts are rearranged.
In the modified form of the invention shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the frame 14a for the unit (not shown) has a downwardly directed recess 34a adjacent the lower portion of a member 70 while the inclined camming surface 360 is defined adjacent the upper end of the member 70. The upper and lower ends of the member 70 are considered to be the upper and lower elements of the releasable coupling means.
The recess 34a again has spaced tapered sidewalls 347a and 38a that engage the lower tubular member 280, adjacent the upper portion thereof while the inclined camming surface 360 engages the lower portion of the upper tubular member 26a and produces a wedging action that will be described later.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the upper and lower tubular members 26a and 28a consist of short inwardly directed tubular members secured to side plates 72 that form a frame on the tractor.
The releasable lock means in the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 includes a pair of bolts 80 that are inserted through openings in brackets 82 and 84 respectively secured to the tractor frame and the unit frame. As can be seen from an inspection of FIG. 6, the brackets 82 and 84 are located on the outside of the respective frames so that the bolts can easily be inserted and the two frames are held together by nuts 86 received on the ends of the bolts.
The unit is attached to the tractor in a similar manner described in connection with the previous embodiment. The frame 14a is initially pivoted to a clockwise position with the lower edge of the recess 34a above the lower frame member. The tractor is then moved relative to the frame 14a to locate the recess 34a in vertical alignment with the lower member. The frame can then be lowered to cause the side walls of the recess to engage the lower tubular member and, thereafter, the frame is pivoted to force the upper flat inclined camming surface 36a into engagement with the lower portion of the upper tubular member. The two frames are then connected, utilizing the bolts 80 and the nuts 86.
As was true in the previous embodiment, the weight of the unit and the relationship of the recess and cam ming surface will tend to wedge the lower member between the side walls of the recess. in addition, any forces developed by the use of the implement attached to the frame, which would tend to pivot the frame 140 in a clockwise direction, will cause the camming surface to slide along the upper tubular member and force the sidewalls downwardly into further engagement with the lower tubular members.
A pivotal movement of the frame in a counterclockwise direction about the lower member will stress the bolts 80 and, when this pivotal force is released, the stressed bolts returning to an unstressed condition will also tend to slide the camming surface along the upper tubular member, to wedge the lower member between the sidewalls of the recess.
in both embodiments of the invention, a single operator may readily connect and disconnect the implement unit from the tractor without any special equipment. In both instances, the coupling means is of rigid construction and does not require close tolerances in the manufacture of the various parts that are incorporated into the coupling.
What is claimed is:
1. In a vehicle having a material handling unit supported thereon, a quick-release coupling between said vehicle and said unit including vertically spaced upper and lower members on said vehicle, said members extending transversely of the longitudinal axis of said vehicle at one rear end; upper and lower elements on said unit, one of said elements having a downwardly directed recess receiving one of said members and the other of said elements having a flat inclined camming surface engaging the other of said members, so that said unit may be coupled to said vehicle by initially placing said recess over said one of said members and pivoting said unit about one of said members to have said flat camming surface engage and slide along the other member, said camming surface being located to force said recess into engagement with said support; and releasable lock means interconnecting said unit and said vehicle at a location below said upper member.
2. The combination as define in claim 1, in which said downwardly directed recess has a width adjacent its lower end that is substantially greater than the crosssectional dimension of said one of said members and said recess has inclined walls extending from said lower end and tapering towards each other, said walls having a spacing at the base of said recess which is less than the cross-sectional dimension of said one of said members.
3. The combination as defined in claim 1, in which said recess is located on said upper element and said camming surface is on the lower element so that the weight of said unit may be used to pivot said unit about said one of said members.
4. The combination as defined in claim 3, in which said upper element has a lower edge on a free end thereof and said inclined camming surface has a free edge and in which the vertical spacing between said free edges is less than the vertical spacing of surfaces on said upper and lower members that cooperate with said recess and said camming surface.
5. The combination as defined in claim 1, in which said members are circular and said recess has flat walls tapering towards each other with the spacing between said walls being greater than the diameter of said other member at the other end of said recess and less than the diameter of said other member adjacent the inner end of said recess so that said other member is wedged between said walls during attachment of the unit to the vehicle.
6. The combination as defined in claim 5, in which said downwardly directed recess is on the lower element and said camming surface is on said upper element and in which said camming surface engages a lower portion of said other member and said releasable lock means are located between said upper and lower members.
7. A vehicle as defined in claim I, in which said recess is on said upper element and said camming surface is on said lower element and in which said lower member and lower element have aligned openings with said releasable locking means including connecting means extending through said aligned openings.
8. A method of attaching a material handling unit to a vehicle, comprising the steps of producing relative longitudinal movement between the unit and vehicle to vertically align a downwardly directed recess with an upper support member; guiding said unit on said vehicle during the relative longitudinal movement to transversely align openings in the lower portion of the unit and a lower member on the vehicle; lowering said unit to engage the wall of said recess with said upper memhicle at one rear end; upper and lower elements on said unit, said upper element having a downwardly directed recess receiving said upper member and said lower element having a camming surface engaging said lower member, so that said unit may be coupled to said vehicle by initially placing said recess over said upper member and pivoting said unit about said upper member to produce engagement between said camming surface and said lower member, said upper element-having a lower edge on a free end thereof and said inclined camming surface having a free edge with the vertical spacing of said free edges being less than the vertical spacing of surfaces on said upper and lower members, said lower element and lower member having aligned openings; and connecting means extending through said openings.
10. The combination as defined in claim 9, further including cooperating means on said vehicle and said unit to transversely align said openings when said vehicle and unit are moved relative to each other to place said recess over said upper member.
11. The combination as defined in claim 10, further including abutment means adjacent said recess for guiding said member toward said recess during relative movement between said vehicle and unit.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No, ,425 Dated October 29, 1974 Inventor(s) Leonard R. Bailey It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, line 37, "In arrangement" should be -In arrangements-.
Column 4, line 4, "its" should be --it is-.
Column 5, line 7, "347a" should be -37a-.
Column 6, line 12, "support" should be -one of said members- Column 6, line 16, "define" should be -defined.
Column 6, line 41 "other end" should be outer end--.
Signed and Sealed this twenty-ninth Of July 1975 [SEAL] A ttest:
RUTH- C. M A"SON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting ()fjzcer (rmzmissioncr uj'Parents and Tradwnarks "ORM PO-105O (10-69) USCOMM-DC 6O376-P69 u s, covumuzm rmmmc OFFICE' I969 355 331 M
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|U.S. Classification||414/686, 172/274|