US 3849043 A
Lawn and parking lot sweepers of the rotary brush type in which sweepings are discharged into bags are known. However, in such sweepers the debris generally is not compressed sufficiently prior to entering the bag. As a result, bags must be changed too frequently. The apparatus herein is provided with a single compression roller having mechanically actuated retractable fins for force filling a compression chamber. Debris from the compression chamber outlet is forced into the bag. Conveying means transport debris from a cylindrical brush or mower outlet to the compression roller.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Doering ROTARY BRUSH SWEEPER AND BAGGER  Inventor: Charles W. Doering, Louisville, Ky.
 Assignee: Brinly-Hardy Co., Inc., Louisville,
 Filed: June 30, 1972  Appl. No.: 268,064
'  US. Cl 15/79, 56/344, 56/364, 100/177  Int. Cl E0lh l/04  Field of Search 100/177, 229 A; 56/364,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,644,292 7/l953 Oberholtz et al. 56/364 2,895,590 7/1959 Snow 56/364 X 3,222,853 l2/l965 Michael 100/299 A X Nov. 19, 1974 l0/1966 l0/l967 Farmer l00/l77 Fenster et al l00/l77 Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Frank C. Leach, Jr.
[5 7] ABSTRACT Lawn and parking lot sweepers of the rotary brush type in which sweepings are discharged into bags are known. However, in such sweepers the debris generally is not compressed sufficiently prior to entering the bag. As a result, bags must be changed too frequently.
The apparatus herein is provided with a single compression roller having mechanically actuated retractable fins for force filling a compression chamber. Debris from the compression chamber outlet is forced into the bag. Conveying means transport debris from a cylindrical brush or mower outlet to the compression roller.
10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures Pmm xiv 1 9 w 3.849.043
- SHEET 2 0F 2 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention in one of its aspects relates to a sweeping apparatus of the cylindrical rotary brush type, capable of collecting grass cuttings, leaves and the like from lawns and grass fields. In another aspect the invention pertains to a debris bagger adapted to receive debris directly from mowers and the like.
In still another of its aspects the invention provides a means for driving rollers, drums and the like in such equipment.
The apparatus herein can also be converted for thatching by interchanging the horizontal cylindrical brush with a reel provided with projecting wire fingers, or a combination of fingers and brush elements.
In a more important aspect the invention pertains to a sweeping apparatus wherein it is unnecessary for the operator of the apparatus to empty a collecting hopper or bin. Sweepings are urged in compacted form into a disposable or reusable bag.
Lawn sweepers are known in which sweepings are discharged into bags. Such an apparatus is described in U. S. Pat. No. 3,229,320. In the collecting apparatus shown in 3,229,320 the debris is conveyed by helical blades to a side outlet having a bagopening pulled over it, the bag being squeezed up in bellows-like fashion. The compressed bag rests on an apron having a circular end plate integral with it at its outside end. The apronplate arrangement is slidable toward and away from the helical conveyor. To resist lateral movement of the apron away from the helical blades a spring pressed tooth carried thereby rides in a plurality of inclined teeth. This keeps the bag compressed and offers some resistance as it is filling. t The sweeper described in US. Pat. No. 3,229,320
overcomes the problem of having to empty a hopper.
It is, however, subject to certaindisadvantages. Thus, the cylindrical sweeping element must rotate quite rapidly in order to throw debris up into the helix. In addition, even though the tension of the bag filling resistance element attached to the apron can be varied, debris compression is still not as great as is desirable.
In accordance with this invention a sweepenbagger is provided, affording a much greater degree of compression of debris than has been obtainable in existing apparatus. The brush also need not revolve as rapidly in the apparatus herein. In addition, whereas a power unit can be incorporated in the machine, it operateseffectively without such a unit when pushed by an operator or pulled by a small yard tractor.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus provided herein is a debriscollector for use with a mower or a sweeper or thatcher of the rotary brush type. An important feature of the appara compression roller. A series of compacting fins is provided to move in and out of the roller surface. Each fin has one end slidably retained within an orifice and the other end pivotally journaled to the crankshaft. The fins move in and out through the orifices on rotation of the compression roller. Means are provided at the axis of the compression roller for immovably supporting the crankshaft in an off-center position within the compression roller for maximal outward fin movement through orifices in the are along the debris conveying means to the base of the debris confining chamber, and for maximal inward fin movement in the are from the upper portion of the debris confining chamber back to the debris conveying means. Means are also included for rotating the compression roller to drive the fins in their orifices. A debris confining chamber is postioned to receive debris forced into it by the compression roller fins.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The invention thus provides a debris collector wherein each increment of debris fed into it is conveyed in compact form to a mesh. or film plastic bag of the type usually used for trash and leaf disposal. The brush operates equally well whether pulled by a tractor or pushed by hand. However, if desired, a unit can be fitted with its own auxiliary power unit. The cylindrical brush or broom can be the type normally used for this purpose, having a plurality of discrete brush elements mounted across a cylindrical sleeve. A modification of this brush will also be described. This and other features of the invention will be more fully understood by reference to the accompanying drawings showing several forms of the invention.
FIG. I is a side elevational view showing the external features of one form of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a partial section showing the operation of the compression unit.
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation showing the operation of the invention.
FIG. 4 is a partial view showing the compression roller and fins.
FIG. 5 is a view showing a pickup finger arrangement for the rotary sweeping unit.
FIG. 6 is a partial section showing a compression roller drive means.
FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic representation of the drive means of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic representation of a different embodiment of the invention.
Referring now further to the drawings, a machine 2 shown in FIG. 1 is provided with side panels 4 having generally arcuate' top edges supported on opposite sides of the sweeper by suitable braces (not shown). A curved sheet 6 forms a cover or cage enclosing the front end of the machine. Side panels 4, cover 6, top section 8, and back section 9 form the housing for the sweeper. Supporting the housing atits base is a frame or chassis 10. Generally, the chassisis in the form of a rectangle lying in a horizontal plane. The rectangle is wider in the direction of travel.
Since the brush, the compression roller, and the drive means are all anchored to the chassis, this chassis 10, through wheels 12, supports the entire machine. Transversely across the front end of the chassis 10 a cylindrical brush or thatching element 14 is mounted on a shaft 16. The shaft 16 is journaled in suitable bearings mounted on the chassis 10. One end of the shaft 16 extends beyond the chassis in order to carry driven pulley wheel 20, to be described shortly. To afford interchangeability from brushing to thatching and ice versa it is preferred that the brush, brushing element 14 be mounted on a sleeve 15 which looks onto the shaft 16.
It will be appreciated that means must be provided for conveying debris from the cylindrical sweeper which includes the brush or thatching element 14, to the compression unit. Thus a conveyor belt can pass over a roller positioned adjacent the cylindrical sweeper and carried by the chassis. This belt can pass around a second roller positioned near the compression unit at 23. Desirably a chute 22 can be used for this purpose. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the chute 22 is interposed between the sweeper 14 and bottom of a compression roller 30.
Turning now to the compression unit, leaves and other debris are swept up and deposited on the chute 22. Chute 22 is inclined downwardly from its forward end adjacent the sweeping brush 14 toward the compression roller 30. Below the compression roller 30 from 24 to 25 the debris conveying chute becomes a debris confing chute, spaced from the bottom of the compression roller 30, as shown in FIG. 3. By this arrangement, a debris confining channel 25 is formed between the compression roller 30 and the chute 22.
In apparatus such as that described in Ser. No. 195,607, filed Nov. 4, 1971, now abandoned debris is compressed between rollers or a roller and a belt. Compression in the apparatus of this invention is accomplished by compression fins 26, best seen in FIG. 4. A stationary crankshaft 28 is rigidly mounted the to chassis 10 to lie eccentrically within the compression roller 30 as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. Since the compression roller hollow drive shaft, slidably surrounds this crankshaft 28 as it passes through sides of the chassis 10, the crankshaft 28 cannot be locked in the sides of the chassis 10. Accordingly, it is locked in an anchor bar 13 by means of a hub 11 being integral with the bar 13. Suitably journaled on the crankshaft 28 through sleeve bearings 31 are the fins 26. The fins 26 are thus capable of rotation about the stationary crankshaft 28. Compression roller 30 is provided with a plurality of orifices adapted to receive the free ends of the compression fins 26. Preferably, seated in the orifices will be bearings 32, inserted in the orifices to prevent wearing of orifice and fin surfaces as a result of the coefficient of friction therebetween.
Crankshaft 28 is immovably supported in an offcenter position within the compression roller 30 so that in their travel in the are along the debris confining channel, i.e. from 22 to 24, the fins 26 extend through the bearings 32 the maximum distance at the start of the debris confining channel 25 and then move inwardly in their travel along the debris confining channel 25. As the fins 26 pass through a debris confining chamber 34, and especially under on adjustable forward wall 39 thereof, they are flush with the outside cylindrical wall of the compression roller 30, that is they have moved inwardly the maximum distance as shown in FIG. 3. FIG. 4 is a view looking down into the compression chamber. These various fin positions are readily seen in this view.
Compression roller 30 is locked on a tubular drive axle 36. The tubular compression roller drive axle 36 also carries the wheels 12. Becuase of positive one directional clutch means 40, the wheels 12 on rotation drive the compression roller axle 36 and rotate the compression drive roller 30. One clutch means shown as 40 in FIG. 2 includes drive dogs or similar slip pawl means affected by gravity so that the roller does not rotate when the rotation of the wheels 12 is reversed. Compression roller drive axle 36 is carried in suitable bearings 37 mounted on the chassis 10. A particularly desirable drive means is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. A ratchet wheel is rigidly secured to the tubular compression roller drive axle 36, and is thus integral with the compression roller 30, the compression roller 30, being rotated the when ratchet wheel 50 is rotated. A pawl spindle 51 has one of its ends mounted on one of the wheel 12 as shown in FIG. 6 for planetary movement about the ratchet wheel 50. The free end of the pawl spindle 51 is provided with cam surfaces 52, 53 and 54. A pawl element 55 pivotally surrounds the cam end of the spindle 51. As can be seen in FIG. 7 the pawl element 55 includes a detent 56 and a ring 57 surrounding the spindle 51. A ball 58 is urged against one of the cam surfaces by a spring 59 to frictionally lock the detent 56 in one of its three positions. It is apparent from FIG. 7 that when the detent 56 is disposed with the ball 58 engaging the cam surface 52 the compression roller 30 will be driven counterclockwise with the counterclockwise orbital movement of the pawl spindle 51. However, by rotating the detent 56 clockwise so that the detent 56 is disposed with the ball 58 engaging the cam surface 54, the compression roller 30 can be rotated in a clockwise direction if debris should become wedged in the channel 25. This clears the obstruction. If desired to tow the unit, the detent 56 can be disengaged from the ratchet wheel 50 so that the compression roller 30 is not driven in either direction. This is accomplished by placing the ball 58 against the cam surface 53.
The brush element driving means will now be described. This element is driven by the wheels 12. As seen in FIG. 2, the axle 36 also carries a drive pulley wheel 42 provided with a sheave 44. The axle or shaft 16 of the brush element 14 has the driven pulley wheel 20 affixed to its end outside of the side panel 4 of the housing (FIG. 1). A brush drive belt 46 passes around and engages the aligned pulley wheels 20 and 42. Belt tensioning is controlled and maintained by a wheel 48 slid able in an eye 50' of a plate 52. Tensioning wheel 48 is held by an axle bolt 54. It is to be noted that the belt 46 is crossed to reverse the direction of rotation of the brush or thatching element 14 relative to the rotation of the wheels l2.
Various clamping means are available for holding a bag over the housing opening and for suspending its closed end. As described in Ser. No. l95,607, now abandoned bag supporting member 72 desirably will be in the form of a U-frame having substantially parallel side members or legs 83 joined together by a crossbar 85 across the top. Linking means such as the ends of the anchor bars 13 extend upwardly, and the bottom ends of the side members 83 are pivotally secured to these by suitable pins so that the bag supporting frame extends upwardly away from an opening 70. The bag is held in place over the opening by a rigid band 88 carried by the bag supporting frame legs 83 by means of brackets 89. Rigid band 88 extends outwardly from, and is almost perpendicular to, the bag supporting frame legs 83. The band 88 is either rectangular or round, being the exact shape of the opening 70 so that it is slidable thereover. When the legs or members 83 of the bag supporting frame are urged forward toward the opening 70, the band 88 is lowered over a lip 80 seating on a rubber collar. Band 88 is unseated when the bag supporting frame is lowered away from the opening 70.
Clamping plate 93 holds the other end of a bag 92. A clamping frame extends upwardly and outwardly from the back of the bag supporting frame at an upwardly directed angle thereto as shown in FIG. 1. Clamping plate 93 is carried by the clamping frame by means of bolts 101 passing through the legs 83 of the bag carrying frame to the front side. Behind and adjacent the clamping plate 93 are bag retaining members orrods 82 integral with legs 83 of a bag supporting frame. Coil spring 103 and a similar one not shown surrounding the clamp bolts 101 urge a clamping frame crossbar 100 away from the bag supporting frame crossbar 85. This securely holds the clamping plate 93 in its normal position against the bag supporting frame member 72.
It will be apparent that locking braces or similar means must be used to hold the bag supporting frame in position when the band 88 is seated over the opening 70. A preferred means for accomplishing this is to employ a retaining rod 106. By means of a tab 107 on the housing, the rod 106 is connected to the housing to pivot so that its free upper end swings over and engages the crossbar 85 of the bag supporting frame. Any releasable latching means 108 can be used to hold the retaining rod 106 and the supporting frame together. Desirably a roll holder will be installed across arms 98 of the clamping frame below the crossbar 100 to hold a roll 109 of plastic bags.
In operation, the bag 92 is looked over the opening 70 as described in conjunction with FIGS. 1 and 3, and the machine is ready for use. As will be seen, a small model can be made to be pushed by the operator. However, generally a braced tongue 74 is attached to the frame at the front of the housing. A latch type of hitch will be provided on the tongue so that the machine can be connected to a small tractor or other vehicle. The sweeper unit which includes the brush or thatching elernent 14, is set to the desired height by a lever 77. Tongue 74 is jointed at the base 79 of the lever 77. This and a pivotal tractor connection permit the unit to be bent upwardly at 79 relative to the wheels 12 and the tractor hitch to raise the brush element 14. The height is adjusted by a lever 78.
When the machine is pulled forward, the wheels 12 through the one-way clutch means 40 bring about a counterclockwise rotation of the pulley wheel 42. This wheel frictionally drives belt 46, and thereby rotates the brush element 14 in a clockwise direction.
It can be seen that clockwise rotation of the brush element 14 lifts debris at the front end of the machine (FIG. 3), and discharges the debris down the chute 22. Debris sliding down the chute 22 passes into the debris channel 25 under the compression roller 30. Debris is forced through the chute 25 by the fins 26 as the compression roller 30 is driven by the rotation of the wheels 12.
As the sweeper continues to operate, the debris compression chamber 34 fills up. It has been found that the fins 26, operating as-shown in FIG. 4, impart a rolling action to the debris as shown in FIG. 8. As a result of this action, the debris is tumbled into numerous tight rolls as seen at 114. Due to gravitational forces, these rolls lie side by side and the debris is extremely well compacted in the compression chamber 34. The rolls of debris continue accumulating in the debris confining chamber 34 as debris is forced in by the fins 26. The rolls of debris are ultimately force through the opening by increments of debris entering the compression chamber 34 beneath it. In compacted form, the debris is gradually lifted insuccessive layers into the bag 92 until the bag is crammed full.
This invention thus provides a sweeper which makes possible a high degree of compaction of debris. The debris bags do not have to be changed frequently, and compression of debris is achieved with very little power input. It will be appreciated that various embodiments of this invention are possible within the spirit thereof. In its most important variation the invention contemplates a debris collector and compressor operating without a brush. For instance a collector of the type with a chute but no brush as shown in FIG. 4 can be positioned to receive grass cuttings from a lawn mower. It can be used to bale hay. In addition one or more lawn mowers can be provided with tubes 112 feeding grass cuttings and leaves to the chute 22 of the apparatus as shown in FIG. 8. The debris collector can be placed directly behind a tractor or riding mower with a curved tube leading to the debris collector, or the debris collector can be positioned directly behind the mowing unit. In another embodiment of the invention, sprockets, a drive chain, and an idler gear can be employed in lieu of the pulleys and belt as the brush element drive means. As another example, instead of the cover 6, upwardly extending shields or deflecting plates can be used, leaving the conveying means exposed from the top.
As another of its embodiments, the invention contemplates that the fins 26 and the compression roller 30 can be made of any rigid material such as metal, plastic or wood, or combinations of these materials. Likewise the tin bearings 32 can be roller bearings, plastic sleeve bearings, etc. It will also be obvious that variously shaped fins can be used. Instead of the fins 26 being plates, rods or strips can be used. The fins 26 are now arranged in rows spaced around the periphery of compression roller 30 as seen in FIG. 4. If the fins 26 are in the form of fingers or strips, they can, be closer together. Arcuate plates, curved inwardly away from the directon of travel, can also be employed. Another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 5. In this view arcuately arranged sweeping and thatching elements are shown. Sweeping elements which are arranged in an arc across the surface of the cylindrical sleeve on which they are mounted direct debris toward the center of the brush element and hence to the center of the chute 22. In addition, a thatching unit can be used instead of a sweeping unit or alternate straight or arcuate rows of each can be employed. However it will generally not be necessary to do so. These and other variations will occur to those skilled in the art. Such ramifications are deemed to be within the scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for collecting debris including:
a frame having wheels to support said frame;
a housing supported by said frame;
said housing having means to receive debris; means disposed within said housing to compress debris received by said receiving means; said compression means includes:
means cooperating with said housing to form a debris confining channel and a debris confining chamber within said housing, said debris confining channel being between said receiving means and said debris confining chamber and communieating with each; and rotatable means including angularly spaced elements advancing the debris from said receiving means to said debris confining chamber and from said debris confining chamber to said debris confining chamber by each of said elements advancing from said receiving means to said debris confining chamber, from said debris confining chamber to said debris confining chamber, and from said debris confining chamber to said receiving means; each of said elements cooperating with said cooperating means when each of said elements advances from said debris confining chamber to said debris confining chamber to reduce the extension of each of said elements in said debris confining chamber as each of said elements advances through said debris confining chamber; means to operate said rotatable means;
said debris confining chamber having an outlet adapted to receive a debris containing device; and said debris confining chamber having an increasing and fixed cross sectional area toward said outlet. 2. The apparatus according to claim 1 including: means to pick-up debris, said pick-up means being supported by said frame; and said pick-up means being driven by said operating means when said rotatable means is operated.
3. An apparatus for collecting debris including:
a chassis, two wheels journaled in said chassis on opposite sides thereof and mounted with their axes across the line of travel;
a compression unit including:
a hollow cylindrical compression roller mounted on said chassis for rotation about a horizontal axis, sad roller having a series of circumferentially spaced orifices through the cylindrical surface thereof;
a debris confining chute spaced from the bottom of the compression roller and forming a debris confining channel therebetween to receive debris for compression therein when the debris passes therethrough;
a series of compacting fins, each fin having one end slidably retained within one of said orifices;
and means cooperating with said fins to move said fins in and out through said orifices on rotation of said compression roller;
a debris confining chamber positioned to receive debris forced into it from said debris confining channel by said compression roller fins;
said cooperating means of said compression unit causing maximum outward fin movement through said orifices adjacent the entrance of said debris confining channel and then inward movement of each of said fins during its movement along said debris confining channel and into said debris confining chamber, said cooperating means of said compression unit causing maximum inward movement of each of said fins in said debris confining chamber and then outward movement of each of said fins as it leaves said debris confining chamber;
means for rotating said compression roller to drive said fins in their orifices and to move said fins through said debris confining channel and said debris confining chamber;
and said debris confining chamber having an outlet adapted to receive a debris containing device.
4. The apparatus according to claim 3 in which: said cooperating means of said compression unit includes: a
a stationary crankshaft rigidly mounted on said chassis to lie eccentrically within said compression roller;
and means disposed at the axis of rotation of said compression roller for immovably supporting said cranksahft within said compression roller in an off-center position to produce the maximum outward fin movement through said orifices.
5. The apparatus according to claim 4 in which: said means for rotating said compression roller comprises at least one ratchet wheel means connected to said compression roller, said ratchet wheel means being capable of rotating said compression roller;
and three-position spring pawl means connected to at least one of said wheels and carried thereby for planetary movement about said ratchet wheel means, said pawl means including a pawl capable of engaging and driving said ratchet wheel means, the three pawl positions of said pawl means being a forward drive, a reverse drive, and a neutral position.
6. The apparatus according to claim 3 including means for attaching a disposal bag to the debris outlet of said debris confining chamber, and means for carrying the bag in a position to be force filled from said outlet.
7. The apparatus according to claim 3 including a rotary sweeping element and said sweeping element and said compression roller are driven by the rotation of said wheels.
8. The apparatus according to claim 3 in which said cooperating means of said compression unit includes means to cause the maximum outward movement of each of said fins to be from the maximum inward movement of each of said fins.
debris confining chamber has an increasing and fixed cross sectional area toward said outlet.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Patent No.
Dat November 19, 1974 Inventor(s) Charles W. Doering Page 1 0f 2 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In the title of invention, cancel "ROTARY BRUSH SWEEPER AND BAGGER" and Substitute DEBRIS COLLECTING APPARATUS Column 2, line Column 3, line line line
Column 4, line line line
Column 6, line 21, "The" should read This 4, "ice" should read vice 5, after "versa" insert a comma 24, after "'25" insert a comma 25, "confing" should read confining 30, after "abandoned" insert a comma 34, "the to" should read to the 37, cancel the "comma" 55 "22" should read 25 13, cancel the "comma", last occurrence 14, "the when" should read when the 16, "wheel" should read wheels cancel the *"comma", second occurrence UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent N Dated November 19,
Charles W. Doering Page 2 of 2 Inventor-(s) It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 7, lines 29 and 30 should be indented the same as lines 31 and 32, respectively line 47, "sad" should read said Column 8, line 22 "cranksahft" should read crankshaft Signed and Scaled this twenty-seventh Day Of April1976 [SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting ()llf'icer (mmnissimu'r uj'larenls and Trademarks