|Publication number||US3891264 A|
|Publication date||Jun 24, 1975|
|Filing date||May 6, 1974|
|Priority date||May 6, 1974|
|Publication number||US 3891264 A, US 3891264A, US-A-3891264, US3891264 A, US3891264A|
|Inventors||Hunter Ii Charles A, Morrow Sr James G, Pech David J|
|Original Assignee||Manitowoc Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (28), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Hunter, II et a1.
SELECTIVELY POSITIONABLE OPERATORS CAB Inventors: Charles A. Hunter, 11; David J.
Pech; James G. Morrow, Sr., all of Manitowoc, Wis.
Assignee: The Manitowoc Company, Inc.,
Filed: May 6, 1974 Appl. No.: 467,196
 US. Cl 296/28 C; 180/89 R; 182/2  Int. Cl.. B62d 27/00  Field of Search 296/28 C; 180/89 R; 182/2  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2.815.243 12/1957 Campbell 296/28 C 2.815.250 12/1957 Thornton-Trump 182/2 3252.542 5/1966 Thornton-Trump 182/2 3,398,984 8/1968 Ajero 180/89 R 3,721,077 3/1973 Lcly 296/28 C FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 243,837 3/1963 Australia 182/2 971,789 10/1964 United Kingdom ..182/2 Primary Examiner-Robert J. Spar Assistant ExaminerD0nald W. Underwood Attorney, Agent, or FirmWolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.
 ABSTRACT A support mechanism for a selectively positionable control module for a load handling device such as a crane is provided. The support includes articulated inner and outerrnembers and a parallelogram linkage. The control module may be raised, lowered, extended and retracted With respect to the crane body by manipulation ofappropriate controls in the control module. The support mechanism is carried on a sub-frame which is pivotally mounted on the crane frame so that the control module may also be rotated with respect to the crane body. The control module may be lowered to the ground or onto a transport mechanism and can be quickly detached from the support mechanism.
7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures SELECTIVELY POSITIONABLE OPERATORS CAB BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to load handling devices generally, and more particularly concerns a selectively posi tionable operators control module for cranes and the like.
In recent years, load handling devices such as cranes and the like have grown in both size and versatility. Typically, mobile cranes include crawler supported lower works and a load handling boom mounted on a rotatable upper works which also carries the power plant, main winch drum and boom hoist mechanism. An operators cab is normally mounted adjacent the front of the upper works of the crane and contains the controls by which the operator regulates the cranes functions. While such cranes are quite versatile in handling loads, they frequently must be positioned at a site in such a way that the operators view of the load to be picked up or lowered into place is partially or completely obstructed. In these instances it is necessary, therefore, for the operator to rely on signals or other communications from observers who have an adequate view of the operations.
It is the primary aim of the present invention to provide a selectively positionable control module for a load handling device such as a crane so that the operators view may be changed to improve direct observation of the operations.
A more detailed object of the invention is to provide a support mechanism for such a control module which permits the control module to be selectively raised and lowered and extended or retracted with respect to the crane body.
Another object is to provide a support mechanism for such a control module which permits the control module to be rotated relative to the crane body when this is desired to improve the operators view.
It is also an object to provide a support mechanism of the above type which includes provision for maintaining the control module substantially level as it is raised and lowered or extended and retracted.
Finally, it is an object to provide such a support mechanism which is rugged, yet compact, and which incorporates means for housing and shielding the control conduits which extend from the various actuators to the control console in the operators module.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates in solid lines a partial perspective view of a load handling crane including a selectively positionable operator's control module pursuant to the present invention which is also shown in broken lines in an elevated position and in dash lines in a position rotated with respect to the crane body;
FIGS. 2 and 3 are enlarged fragmentary side views of the support mechanism for the operators module shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view of the support mechanism as viewed from the plane indicated by line 4-4 in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial section of the support mechanism as viewed from the plane indicated by line 55 in FIG. 2.
While the invention will be described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular embodiment shown. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Turning now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a load handling device in the form of a crane assembly 10 with which the present invention is associated. The crane assembly 10 includes lower works 12 and upper works 14. The lower works includes a central car body mounted between a pair of transverse beams 16 the ends of which are supported by a pair of traction assemblies 18. Each traction assembly includes side frames 20 which support the drive and idler sprockets (not shown) around which the crawler treads 22 run. However, it should be understood that the lower works may be of any conventional crawler or wheel supported design without departing from the present invention. Moreover, while the illustrated crane is self-propelled, this is not essential to the present invention, which could also be used to advantage with certain stationary devices.
The upper works 14 of the crane assembly 10 is rotatably supported on the lower works 12 by a ring gear and roller path 24. The upper works carries a boom 26, only a portion of which is shown, and preferably is provided with automatic boom stops 28, also shown in part. The upper works also carries a boom hoist arrangement including the masts 30 and gantry assembly 32 which are shown in part and which may be of conventional or specialized design. A power plant such as diesel or gasoline engine (not shown) is located within the body 34 of the upper works and a counter weight is mounted on the opposite end of the body 34 from the boom 26.
Located adjacent the right front corner of the upper works 14 is an operators control module 40 including a cab 42 enclosing a seat 44 and control console 46. For reference purposes the cab 42 has a front 48, a rear 50 and a left side 52 provided with windows and a right side 54 provided with windows and an access door. The illustrated module 40 also includes a catwalk assembly 56 along the right side 54 and rear 50 of the cab 42.
In accordance with the present invention, the control module 40 may be selectively positioned by the operator for greatest visibility for each working situation. To this end, the module 40 is attached to the upper works 14 by a novel support mechanism 60 so that the module may be raised, lowered, extended, retracted and/or rotated with respect to the upper works simply by manipulation of appropriate controls on the control console 46.
As shown by solid lines in FIG. 1, the control module 40 is disposed in a nominal working position adjacent the right front corner of the upper works 14 and slightly elevated with respect to the body 34. In this position the front 48 of the cab 42 faces the same direction as the boom 26 and the windows on the left side52 permit good visibility over the body 34. This location, of course, is similar to some conventional fixed-position operators cabs.
In keeping with the present invention, the control module 40 may be lowered from the solid line position of FIG. 1 to adjacent ground level or raised to the upper position shown by dot-dash lines as indicated by the vertical arrows. (See also FIGS. 2 and 3). Additionally, the control module 40 may be rotated counterclockwise from the solid line position shown in FIG. 1 to a transverse position, for example, as indicated by the arcuate arrows and the dash line illustration in FIG. 1 (see also FIGS. 4 and 5).
Referring more particularly to FIGS. 2-5, it will be seen that the support mechanism 60 is mounted on the upper works 14 of the crane by means of a frame member 61 secured, for example by welding, to the crane body 34. The frame member 61 is provided with a pair of vertically spaced projecting cars 62 having a suitably machined opening to receive a large pivot pin 63. A sub-frame assembly 64 is pivotally mounted on the frame member 61 by the pin 63.
For swinging the sub-frame 64 about the pivot pin 63 a linear actuator, preferably in the form of a hydraulic cylinder 65 is provided. One end of the cylinder 65 is pinned to a bracket 66 secured to the crane body 34 and the other end is pinned to the sub-frame 64. It will be understood that a pump (not shown) driven by the power plant of the crane supplies hydraulic fluid to the cylinder 65 as regulated by a suitable control on the control console 46. When the cylinder 65 is retracted the sub-frame 64 and the control module 40 are positioned along the side of the crane body 34 as shown in the solid line illustrations of FIGS. 1, 4 and 5. When the cylinder is extended, the sub-frame 64 and control module 40 are pivoted around the pin 63 and are positioned in front of the crane body as shown in the upper right dash line illustration of FIG. 1 and in the dash line illustrations of FIGS. 4 and 5.
Pursuant to another feature of the invention the support mechanism 60 includes means for raising and lowering and extending and retracting the control module 40 with respect to the crane body 34. For this purpose an articulated support 70 is provided having inner and outer members 71, 72 pivotally connected at their remote ends to the sub-frame 64 and a carrier frame 73 for the control module 40. The inner end of the outer member 72 is pivotally mounted on a pin 74 joumalled in a bracket 75 secured to the outer end of the inner member 71. It will be understood, of course, that suitable bushings or bearings (not shown) are incorporated in each of the pinned connections at the ends of the inner and outer members 71, 72. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the inner and outer members 71, 72 each include a pair of laterally spaced I-beams interconnected by X-type cross braces 76 and it will be understood that there is a pivot pin 74 at the inner end of each I-beam of the outer member 72. Additionally, in the preferred embodiment, there are four brackets 75, one on each side of each I-beam of the inner member 71.
To raise and lower the articulated support 70 and the control module 40 as a unit, a pair of hydraulic cylinders 77 are provided. One end of each cylinder 77 is pinned to an extension 78 of the sub-frame 64 and the other end is pinned between a pair of the plate like brackets 75 on each side of the inner I-beams. Hydraulic fluid from a pump (not shown) is supplied to the cylinders 77 as regulated by a control on the control console 46. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 the cylinders 77 are substantially fully extended. When the cylinders 77 are retracted, the articulated linkage 70 and the control module 40 are lowered as a unit from the positions shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.
For folding the outer member 72 and the control module 40 in and out with respect to the inner member 71 articulating means including another pair of hydraulic cylinders 81 are provided. One end of each cylinder 81 is pinned to a mounting plate 82 secured to the inner end of each I-beam of the inner member 71. The other end of each cylinder 81 is pinned between the ends of a rocker or lever arm 83 pivotally mounted at one end between a pair of the plates 75. The other end of each rocker arm 83 is pinned to a link 84 which is connected to a mounting plate 85 secured to the remote end of each I-beam of the outer member 72. Hydraulic fluid is selectively supplied to the cylinders 81 when the operator manipulates a suitable control on the control console 46.
In FIG. 2 the cylinders 81 are shown substantially fully extended and the outer member 72 and control module 40 are folded in toward the inner member 71. When the cylinders are retracted, the rocker arms 83 are pivoted rearwardly and the links 84 draw the outer member 72 and the operators module 40 out and up about the pivot pins 74 as shown in FIG. 3.
To maintain the control module 40 substantially horizon'tally disposed as the support 70 is raised, lowered and articulated, means including a parallelogram linkage is provided. An inner member 91 of the linkage 90 is pinned at one end to an upper extension 92 of the sub-frame 64 and at the other end to a spacing link 93 by a pivot pin 94. An outer member 95 is also pivotally mounted at one end on the spacing link 93 by the pin 94 and at the other end is pinned to an ear 96 on the upper portion of carrier frame 73 for the control module 40, The lower end of the spacing link 93 is mounted on the pins 74 which pivotally connect the inner and outer members 71, 72 of the articulated support 70.
As the inner and outer members 71, 72 of the articulated support 70 are raised or lowered, the corresponding inner and outer members 91, 95 of the parallelogram linkage 90 are likewise raised and lowered in generally parallel fashion. In this way, the linkage 90 maintains the control module 40 substantially horizontal throughout the range of movement of the articulated support 70.
To communicate control signals from the control module to the hydraulic cylinders 65, 77 and 81 a plurality of control conduits 97, 98 and 99, only a portion of which are shown, are respectively provided. In the preferred embodiment, the inner and outer members 91, 95 of the linkage 90 are of generally channelshaped cross-section adapted to house and shield the control conduits 97, 98 and 99. A plurality of rollers 100 joumalled between the legs of the channel-shaped members 91, 95 are provided to support the control conduits 97, 98 and 99 and to permit limited and substantially frictionless movement therein.
In keeping with a further aspect of the invention, the control module 40 may be lowered to the ground or onto a transport mechanism and can be quickly detached from the support mechanism 70. To this end, the carrier frame 73 is provided with upper and lower connecting elements 102 and 103, respectively. In the illustrated embodiment, the upper connecting element 102 is in the form of a pair of pins adapted to be received in downwardly opening recesses 105 formed in vertical frame members 106 secured to the control module 40. The lower element 103 is in the form of a forwardly opening channel adapted to receive and retain a bottom frame member 107 of the control module. When the control module is suitably supported on the ground or some other object, the channel 103 may be released and withdrawn from engagement with the bottom frame 107 and the pins 104 retracted from the notched recesses 105. The control conduits 97, 98 and 99, of course, are also disconnected from the control module 40.
From the foregoing description it will be appreciated that the present invention provides a very versatile, selectively positionable operator's control module 40 for a load handling device such as a crane. Simply by manipulation of appropriate controls on the control console 46, the operator may raise or lower and extend or retract the control module 40 with respect to the crane body 34. The control module may also be rotated relative to the crane body when this is desired to improve the operators view of the cranes operations.
We claim as our invention:
1. A support mechanism for a selectively positionable control module for a load handling device having a frame on which a movable, load handling boom is mounted comprising, in combination:
a subframe attached to the frame independent of the boom;
an articulated support having inner and outer members pivotally connected at their remote ends to said subframe and the control module, respectively;
means including a parallelogram linkage pivotally connected at its ends to said subframe and the control module, respectively, for maintaining said module substantially horizontally disposed as said support is raised, lowered and articulated;
means including a first linear actuator pivotally connected at one end to said subframe and at the other end to said inner member for raising and lowering said articulated support and control module as a unit; and,
means including a second linear actuator, a rocker arm and a link interconnecting said remote ends of said articulated support for folding said outer member and control module in and out with respect to said inner member, said rocker arm being interposed between said second actuator and said link and pivotally mounted on said inner member; whereby movement of said load handling boom may be controlled by a person operating controls in said control module.
2. A support mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein said subframe is mounted on a vertical pivot carried by the frame and means interconnecting the frame and said subframe is provided for swinging said articulated support, parallelogram linkage and control module as a unit about said vertical pivot.
3. A support mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein said inner and outer articulated support members each include a pair of laterally spaced beams interconnected by cross-braces and said first and second actuators each include a pair of hydraulic cylinders.
4. A support mechanism as defined in claim 1 including a plurality of control conduits extending from the control module to said first and second actuators, and wherein said parallelogram linkage includes inner and outer channel-shaped members adapted to house and shield said control conduits.
5. A support mechanism as defined in claim 4 wherein a plurality of rollers are journalled within said channel-shaped members for supporting said control conduits.
6. A support mechanism as defined in claim 4 wherein said inner and outer channel-shaped members are pivotally interconnected to one end of a spacing link the other end of which is pivotally connected to said articulated support at the articulation point thereof.
7. A support mechanism as defined in claim 1 wherein said articulated support and parallelogram linkage are connected to said control module by a carrier frame and said carrier frame is detachably connected to said control module.
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|U.S. Classification||296/190.4, 182/2.9, 37/466, 182/2.7, 180/89.12, 180/89.13|
|International Classification||B66C13/00, B66C13/54|