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Publication numberUS3863850 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 4, 1975
Filing dateFeb 25, 1974
Priority dateFeb 25, 1974
Publication numberUS 3863850 A, US 3863850A, US-A-3863850, US3863850 A, US3863850A
InventorsFreeman Percy F
Original AssigneeFreeman Percy F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bale shredder and discharger
US 3863850 A
A device mounted on a trailer or self-powered vehicle having a bin for receiving a supply of bales. A plurality of lateral, driven shafts adjacent the front of the bin carry knife assemblies for cutting and shredding baled hay or the like. A longitudinal conveyor on the bottom of the bin carries the bales into the knife assemblies. A plurality of leveling wheels are provided at the top and rearward of the knife assemblies for holding the hay in the knife assemblies as it is being shredded.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

llnited States Patent [191 Freeman [4 1 Feb. 4, 1975 1 BALE SHREDDER AND DISCHARGER [76] Inventor: Percy F. Freeman, 2034 N.W. 27th Ave., Portland, Oreg. 97210 [22] Filed: Feb. 25, 1974 [21] Appl. N0.1445,494

[52] US. Cl 241/186 R, 241/10l.7, 241/186.4

[51] Int. Cl. A011 29/00 [58] Field of Search 241/186 R, 186.9, 101 A, 241/101 M [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,681,090 6/1954 Hicks et al 241/101.7 X

3.129,?39 4/1964 Wenger 241/186 X 3,208,491 9/1965 Buss 241/186 3,530,912 9/1970 Freeman 24l/l0l.7

Primary Examiner-Granville Y. Custer, Jr.

Assistant ExaminerE. F. Desmond Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Eugene M. Eckclman [57] ABSTRACT A device mounted on a trailer or self powered vehicle having a bin for receiving a supply of bales. A plurality of lateral, driven shafts adjacent the front of the bin carry knife assemblies for cutting and shredding baled hay or the like. A longitudinal conveyor on the bottom of the bin carries the bales into the knife assemblies. A plurality of leveling wheels are provided at the top and rearward of the knife assemblies for holding the hay in the knife assemblies as it is being shredded.

7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB saw NF 3 3'863'85O BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to new and useful improvements in bale shredders and dischargers.

Vehicles have heretofore been employed which carry baled materials, such as hay, to a location for consumption by livestock. Such devices employ a longitudinally operating conveyor which carries the bales into laterally extending knife assemblies, and these knife assemblies shred the baled material and deposit it in loose condition off to one side of the vehicle. In my U.S. Pat. No. 3,530,912, I provide a bale shredder and discharger which utilizes a longitudinally extending conveyor and which also utilizes laterally extending knife assemblies for shredding the baled material. A plurality of knife assemblies are provided from top to bottom of the bin, with each upper assembly being disposed rearwardly from the assembly thereunder. It has been found that since the knives rotate forwardly relative to the bin the baled material will climb up over the knife assemblies rather than being efficiently shredded, even though the upright alignment of the knife assemblies is inclined rearwardly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention and forming an important objective thereof, there is provided a bale shredder and discharger mechanism having an arrangement of knife assemblies and leveling wheels which accomplishes a faster andmore efficient shredding of baled material than devices heretofore employed.

More particular objects of the present invention are to provide a bale shredder and discharger mechanism which in addition to employing a plurality of shaft mounted knife assemblies employs top leveling wheels disposed rearwardly of the uppermost knife assembly and driven at a slower speed than the knife assemblies so as to hold the bales in the wheels to provide a fast and efficient shredding; to provide novel cutting and shredding teeth on the knife assemblies; and to provide an upper flexible cross link that causes a re-working of partially shredded material.

The invention will be better understood and additional objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view showing a trailer device having the present bale shredder and discharger mechanism incorporated therein;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical foreshortened sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a foreshortened fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view, partly broken away, of a knife unit, taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 2; and

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

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The apparatus of the invention may be mounted on any suitable vehicle such as for example a trailer 10 which may be transported by a suitable vehicle such as a tractor 12 having a power take-off shaft 14. The trailer has a suitable chassis frame supported on the usual pair of rear wheels 16 and forward steering wheels 18. The vehicle 10 could as well comprise a truck having a power take-off shaft from the truck transmission.

The body of the trailer 10 comprises a rectangular bin 19 capable of holding a considerable number of bales. The bin 19 has side walls 20, a front wall 22, a bottom wall 24, and a top wall 26, the rear of the trailer being open and adapted to receive bales. If the bales are tied by twine no prior treatment is required. However, if they are tied by wire the wire on each bale should be clipped first before the bale is dumped into the bin.

A plurality of horizontal, transversely mounted rotating knife assemblies, FIGS. 2 and 3, extend across the inside of the bin near the front. In the particular arrangement illustrated, there are four knife assemblies one above the other and designated generally from top to bottom by the numerals 30, 32, 34 and 36. Each knife assembly consists of a cross shaft 38 the ends of which are mounted in bearings 40 supported on opposite side walls 20 of the bin. As best seen in FIG. 3, and also FIG. 1, the shafts 38 above the lower shaft are spaced progressively rearwardly so that an upright line through the shafts is inclined to the rear.

Each shaft 38 has a plurality of main knives thereon comprising a non-round bracket plate 42 secured integrally to the shaft. A preferred shape of such plates is octagonal with a knife blade 44 secured to each point or peak of the plates. The structure of the knife blades is shown in detail in FIGS. 7 and 8. Such blades have a pair of side cutting edges 46 leading to a blunt outer edge 48.

The knife assemblies also include auxiliary knife blades between the main knives, and these auxiliary blades include a radial arm 50 supporting a knife blade 52 thereon of the same structure as the knife blades 44. The bracket plates 42 are spaced laterally on their shafts 38 as shown in FIG. 2, and the auxiliary arms 50 are spaced therebetween-to provide a reduced spacing between the knife blades and thus provide a good shredding function. The knife blades overlap vertically a short distance as apparent in FIG. 2 and are arranged to break up the bales. The number of auxiliary knives on the shafts increases progressively from bottom to top since the greater shredding action occurs at the upper portion of the bin. While the knives perform mainly a shredding operation, some actual cutting will take place if the material offers resistance to shredding for one reason or another.

The knife assemblies 30, 32, 34 and 36, as indicated in FIG. 3 and as also apparent in FIG. 1, are all rotated in the same direction, namely, clockwise as viewed in these figures. The assemblies are driven by sprocket and chain connections from a bottom cross shaft 54 which is driven through suitable gearing from a centrally located and longitudinally extending main shaft 56 which is connected with the power take-off 14 on the tractor through the medium of a connecting assembly 58 comprising splined telescoping elements and universal joint connections which are well known in the art and which need to be described since they do not constitute part of the present invention. The trailer is attached to the tractor by a conventional tongue assembly 60 in a well known manner.

A sprocket 62, secured on one outer end of shaft 54, is connected by a sprocket chain 64 with a sprocket 68 secured on the end of shaft 38 of the knife assembly 34. This shaft end has a second sprocket 70, FIG. 2, connected by a sprocket chain 72 to a sprocket 74 on a projecting end of the shaft 38 of the knife assembly 30. This arrangement provides a drive for the shafts 38 of knife assemblies 34 and 30. Shafts 38 of knife assemblies 34 and 36 project from the other side of the bin from the sprocket 62 and a drive connection between these two shafts is accomplished by sprockets 76 on such projecting ends connected by a sprocket chain 78. A similar connection is established between the shafts 38 of knife assemblies 30 and 32 by sprockets 80 connected by a sprocket chain 82.

The sprocket and sprocket chain connections between the shafts of all four knife assemblies is such that the shafts rotate at the same speed.

A shaft 84, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, projects laterally across the bin above the uppermost knife assembly30 and rearwardly thereof. This shaft is journaled in the side walls of the bin and one end thereof projects on the drive side of the knife assembly and has a sprocket 86 connected by means of a sprocket chain 88 to a sprocket 90 on the shaft 38 of knife assembly 30. The arrangement between sprockets 86 and 90 is such that the shaft 84 will rotate slower than the knife assembly shafts, for example, about one-third, and in the same direction. Integrally carried on the shaft 84 is a plurality of non-round wheels 92 such as octagonal shape. These wheels are evenly spaced across the shaft 84 and thread between the knife blades 44 and 52 in the knife assembly 30. Adjacent wheels 92 have a staggered rotated position on the shaft 84 as shown in full and phantom lines in FIG. 3. The operation of the wheels 92 will be explained in greater detail hereinafter.

The top wall 26 of the bin has a raised portion 94 which extends the full width of the bin and longitudinally extends a short distance forward and rearward of the wheels 92. The front wall 96 of the raised portion 94 is angled downwardly toward the front and consists ofa heavy plate structure capable of withstanding pressure exerted by shredded material which may move off the wheels 92.

Connected between the inner sides of the bin side walls 20 is a flexible line or link 100 such as a chain. This line is located selectively in the bin, namely, 2 or 3 feet rearwardly of the wheels 92 and a short distance, namely, about 1 foot, below the top of the bin. The specific location of the line 100 is not critical except that it be close to but rearwardly of the knife assemblies and located toward the top of the bin. The function thereof will be described hereinafter.

An endless conveyor assembly 102 is mounted at the bottom of the bin and operates to move bales supported thereon forwardly to the knife assemblies. This conveyor assembly includes three identical endless sprocket chains 104, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, operating over end sprockets 105 on shafts 106. Sprocket chains 104 are connected at regular intervals by transverse channel bars 107. The upper course of the conveyor assembly moves along a supporting platform 108 spaced a slight distance above the bottom 24 of the bin (shown best in FIG. 3) and which in effect constitutes an inner floor of the bin up to the front but terminating about at the forward end of the endless conveyor, the conveyor assembly extending from the rear of the bin to a position short of the front wall 22 but fully under the knife assemblies. The conveyor assembly 102 is driven at adjustable speed with respect to the rotating knife assemblies through means which will now be briefly described.

A link 110, FIGS. 1 and 2, has one end pivotally connected to an outer or eccentric point on sprocket 68 and has its other end pivotally connected to a rod 112 pivotally connected to one end of a compound forked lever arm 114, FIGS. 4 and 5, the inner forked ends 114a of which are rotatably supported on a projecting end portion of front shaft 106. The projecting end portion of the shaft 106 is rotatably supported in a journal 116 supported on a side wall 20 of the bin and in an outer journal 118 in a bracket 120 welded to the bin wall. A ratchet wheel 122 is keyed on the shaft 106 inside the bracket 120 and is positioned between the forks 114a of the compound forked lever arm 114.

A pawl 126, carried on a pivot shaft 127 supported in the forks 114a, is so arranged as to engage teeth on the ratchet wheel 122. The pawl 126 is spring pressed by a coil spring 128 supported against a lug 130 mounted on the lever arm 114. The pawl 126 carries a cam roller 132 which rides on the cam periphery of a disc 134 rotatably supported on the shaft 106. The cam disc 134 has an arm 136 to which an adjusting bar 138 is connected. This bar is slidably mounted on a bracket 140, FIG. 1, on the side of the bin, and the bottom edge thereof adjacent its free end is provided with a series of notches so arranged as to engage the bottom of the bracket and thereby hold the adjusting bar 138 and therewith the cam disc 134 in a desired position. The cam disc 134, through the intermediary of the cam roller 132 controlling the pawl 126, determines the number of ratchet teeth which the pawl will engage with each upward movement of the lever arm 114. It therefore determines the speed of rotation of the ratchet wheel 122 and therewith of the shaft 106 and conveyor assembly 102 with each rotation of the shaft 38 of the knife assembly 34.

The bottom wall 24 of the bin is discontinued beyond the lower knife assembly 36 and at the front termination of the conveyor assembly 102. Below this open bottom area is a cross conveyor 142, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, consisting of an endless belt 144 passing around end rollers 146 and 148 supported in suitable bearings mounted below the bottom of the bin at the opposite sides respectively. A sprocket 150 is secured to the shaft on which the end roller 148 is secured, and an endless sprocket chain 152, FIG. 6, connects the sprocket 150 with a sprocket 154 secured on the central main drive shaft 56 which is connected with the power take-off shaft from the tractor. The upper course of the cross conveyor 142 slides along a support platform 156 which is mounted beneath the bin in any suitable manner (not shown). The shredded material delivered onto the cross conveyor belt 144 is thereby discharged from the side of the trailer at the front.

Thus, the rotating knife assemblies 30, 32, 34, and 36, the conveyor assembly 102 by which the bales in the bin are moved into contact with the knife assemblies, and the cross conveyor 142 which receives the material discharged from the knife assemblies and from the conveyor 102, are all driven through the intermediary of various means connected with the central main drive shaft 56 as herein described.

In the operation of the device, the bales which are dumped into the rearward end of the bin are moved forwardly at a predetermined rate of speed until they encounter the rotating knife assembly. With the device operating at substantially full capacity, namely, with about three layers of bales moving into engagement with the knife assemblies, the knives will break up the bales with the result that some of the loosened and shredded material is thrown upwardly and forwardly causing it to drop down and fall onto the front cross conveyor 142. However, some of the material from the upper bales will require further loosening and shredding and it will drop down on and become mixed in with the bales in the next layer as these latter encounter the knives in the next lower knife assembly 32. The knives in the knife assembly 32 act similarly on the bales in the second layer and so on down whereby the shredded or loosened material is deposited on the cross conveyor 142.

As stated, it is preferred that the knife assemblies be positioned in a slightly forwardly sloping line, and this will act partly to keep the material from walking upwardly. However, some of such material tends to work upwardly and when it does it encounters wheels 92. These wheels, being disposed rearwardly of the top knife assembly 30 and rotating at a slower speed than the knife assemblies, provide a resistance to the material from going over the top so that a good shredding is accomplished. Some ofthe material may be shredded between the wheels 92 and the uppermost knife assembly 30 and will pass therebetween so as to fall on the cross conveyor 142. Raised portion 94 of the bin allows shredded material to go over the top of the wheels.

As the material is being shredded by the knife assemblies and by the wheels 92 and as it bunches rearwardly at the top, it will be supported on the flexible line 100 as the center thereof and rotate therearound to provide a better and faster shredding.

The speed of the conveyor 102 is preselected by a setting of the adjusting bar 138. Such adjustment is made to accomplish the most efficient feeding of the bales to the knives. That is, if it is found that the material is accumulating at the knives and is bunching up too much, the conveyor can be slowed down. The shape of the knife blades 44 and the supporting bracket plates 42 therefor as well as the use of the leveling wheels 92 provides for a preferred shredding of the material. Although the invention is described as being used with baled material, it can of course be used with unbaled material where it is desired that such unbaled material be loosened even more, or simply to provide a dispensing vehicle for material.

It is to be understood that the form of my invention herein shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of my invention, or the scope of the subjoined claims.

Having thus described my invention, 1 claim:

1. A device for shredding baled material comprising:

a. a bin for receiving bales to be shredded,

b. a plurality of power driven rotating knife assemblies in said bin disposed one above the other and each including a cross shaft and radially extending knife blades projecting therefrom,

c. conveyor means arranged to feed bales into said knife,

d. a power driven cross shaft above the uppermost shaft of the knife assemblies,

e. and a plurality of wheels on said last mentioned shaft,

f. said wheels projecting radially beyond the uppermost knife blades with relation to the side from which the bales are fed by said conveyor means,

g. said wheels being non-round so that their peripheral edges provide abutment for material which has worked up on the knife assemblies in a shredding operation whereby the material is held down for efficient shredding.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said wheels rotate in the same direction as the uppermost knife blades.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said wheels rotate in the same direction as the uppermost knife blades and at a slower speed.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein upper ones of said cross shafts have a greater number of knife blades than lower ones of said cross shafts.

5. The device ofclaim 1 wherein said wheels have adjacent flat edge portions with peaks therebetween to form said non-round shape.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein said wheels are hexagonal to form said non-round shape.

7. The device of claim 1 including a flexible cross link secured across said bin rearwardly adjacent to said wheels and at an upper portion of the bin to provide a support for material being shredded in the area of said wheels.

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US3972484 *Aug 8, 1975Aug 3, 1976Blair Manufacturing CompanyHay stack disintegrating apparatus
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U.S. Classification241/186.35, 241/236, 241/190, 241/186.4, 241/101.762, 241/223
International ClassificationA01D90/10, A01D90/00, A01F29/00, B60P1/38, B60P1/36
Cooperative ClassificationA01D90/105, B60P1/38, A01F29/005, A01D90/10
European ClassificationA01F29/00B, A01D90/10, A01D90/10B, B60P1/38