US 3901394 A
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United States Patent [1 1 Bowles Aug. 26, 1975 PACKING RAM FOR A SELF-CONTAINED REFUSE HANDLING AND TRANSPORTING APPARATUS  Inventor: Samuel Vincen Bowles, 12039 Branford St., Sun Valley, Calif. 91352  Filed: Jan. 2, 1973  Appl. No.: 320,480
 US. Cl 214/82; 2l4/83.3  Int. Cl B65f 1/12  Field of Search 214/82, 83.3; 280/80 B  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,589,678 3/1952 Dc Lay 280/80 B X 2,711,836 6/1955 West 1 214/82 2,712,388 7/1955 Skrommc ct a1... 214/82 2,714,968 8/1955 Babcock 214/82 2,835,504 5/1958 Acker 280/80 B X 2,934,226 4/1960 Dcmpster et al. 214/82 2,951,600 9/1960 Dempstcr et a1. 214/82 AZ DUMPl/SE Primary Examiner-Robert J. Spar Assistant Examiner-L. J. Paperner Attorney, Agent, or FirmFulwider, Patton, Rieber, Lee & Utecht 57 I ABSTRACT A self-contained refuse handling and transporting apparatus comprising a truck mounted refuse receptacle having a refuse loading opening in the front and 21 normally closed discharge opening in the rear, and a packing ram inside the receptacle for compacting rcfuse during loading toward the rear of the receptacle, and for pushing refuse out of the discharge opening during dumping. The packing ram includes a packing blade movable through the receptacle from the front to the rear, and an extensible packing cylinder for operating the blade and including a movable anchorage for attaching the packing cylinder to the receptacle, the packing cylinder being disposed diagonally in the receptacle to project from the anchorage attached adjacent the top downwardly and rearwardly toward the bottom of the receptacle, thereby to conserve space and improve operation of the ram.
7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures nlzliz BACKGROUND or THE lNVENTlON This invention relates generally to self-contained refuse handling and transporting apparatus and more particularly, to a new and improved packing ram for use in such apparatus.
In most large metropolitan areas, refuse is collected from numerous local points and transported to a remote disposal site located some substantial distance from the collection points. Typically, the refuse initially is collected in small containers which are then periodically dumped into a larger receptacle mounted on the bed of a truck for transportation from one collection point to another, and to and from the remote disposal site.
Since the distance between successive collection points is usually relatively short, and the distance between the points of collection and the disposal site is usually relatively large, it is desirable to pack as much refuse as possible into the receptacle before making a trip to the disposal site. One approach to maximizing the amount of refuse which can be picked up is to employ a packing ram inside the receptacle and which compresses the refuse as it is collected. Examples of such devices can be found in my US. Pat. Nos. 3,252,602, issued May 24, 1966 and 3,062,394, issued Nov. 6, 1962.
While the use of packing rams generally has met with considerable success, packing rams tend to be quite expensive and occupy a relatively large space in the receptacle, thus substantially reducing the amount of available refuse storage space. Further, such rams have heretofore been relatively slow in operation, thereby resulting in substantial loss of time during the collection of refuse.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a packing ram which occupies a minimum amount of space in a refuse storage receptacle, and which is relatively inexpensive to make and operates in a reliable manner to quickly and effectively compress refuse as it is dumped into the receptacle.
More specifically, the packing ram includes a packing blade movable longitudinally through the receptacle between a fully extended position at the rear of the receptacle and a fully retracted position adjacent the front wall of the receptacle, and a fluid operated cylinder disposed diagonally in the receptacle and operating to extend and retract the blade. The arrangement whereby the cylinder projects diagonally minimizes the amount of usable space in the receptacle lost. due to the ram, and also extends the blade in a manner such that during extension the blade initially translates with high speed and then gradually slows speed and increases in applied packing force until the cylinder approaches the fully extended condition during which the blade exerts the maximum packing force on the refuse.
Additionally, the cylinder is couple dto an anchorage attached to the receptacle adjacent the top, and is of relatively short total length yet is capable of translating 3 the blade completely through the receptacle, regardless of the length of the receptacle. The anchorage for attaching the cylinder to the receptacle comprises a casing releasably anchored to the receptacle and which can be moved from a first position adjacent the front of the receptacle to another position spaced longitudinally toward the rear, thereby to permit the cylinder to move the blade completely through the receptacle.
In one embodiment, the anchorage employs a fluid cylinder to retract axially projecting plungers mounted in the end portions of the casing and which anchor the casing in the selected position, and a spring inside the casing which biases the plungers toward the extended positions. In another embodiment, a fluid cylinder arrangement is employed for both extension and retraction of the plungers.
Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings which disclose, by way of example, the principles of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in crosssection showing a refuse handling and transporting apparatus having a packing ram embodying the novel features of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged end sectional view taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view in reducedscale similar to part of FIG. 1, and illustrating the operation of the packing ram; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an anchorage for the packing ram shown in FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As shown in the exemplary drawings, the invention is embodied in a new and improved packing ram 10 for a self-contained refuse handling and transporting apparatus 12. In this instance, the ram 10 is mounted inside of an elongated and box-shaped receptacle 14 secured to a bed 16 of a conventional frontloading refuse truck, the truck being shown by broken lines in FIG. 1, and including a cab l8, a chassis 19 supported by wheels 20, and an arm assembly 21 for lifting and dumping refuse into the receptacle from small collection containers (not shown).
The ram includes an extensible, fluid operated packingcylinder 22 having an anchorage 23 at one end at tached to the receptacle l4 and pivotally attached at the opposite end to a vertically disposed packing blade 24 supported for longitudinal movement inside the receptacle 14 between a retracted position adjacent the front of the receptacle, and an extended position toward the rear of the receptacle. The receptacle 14 has a rectangular cross-section formed by vertical sides 26, a horizontal bottom 28, and a generally horizontal top 30, a forward portion of the topbeing open and defining a loading opening 32 through which refuse is dumped into the receptacle.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the rear of the receptacle 14 is normally closed by a door 34 which can be opened to provide a discharge opening through which refuse in the receptacle can be emptied. Herein, the top edge of the door 34 is pivotally attached to the top 30 of the receptacle 14 by a hinge 36, and hooks 38 attached to each of the sides 26 releasably engage laterally projecting pins 40 on the side edges of the door to lock the door in the closed position, the hooks being disengagable from the pins through manual actuation of a handle 41 on one side of the receptacle and coupled by a linkage to each hook.
To operate the door 34, a fluid cylinder 42 is pivotally attached at one end to a bracket 44 upstanding from the top 30, and at the other end to a bracket 46 secured to the door. The door 34 is opened by releasing the hooks 38 from engagement with the pins 40 to unlock the door, and then retracting the cylinder 42, to pivot the door upwardly and rearwardly about the hinges 36 to the position shown in FIG. 4. Refuse can then be emptied through the discharge opening by extending the ram to push the refuse from the receptacle 14 thus eliminating the necessity of having a lifting mechanism for the bed 16 to dump the refuse.
The front of the receptacle l4 herein is closed by an upstanding front wall 48 which projects vertically from the bottom 28 to a point approximately halfway up the sides 26, and then is inclined upwardly and forwardly toward the front edge of the top 30. The top extends upwardly and rearwardly from its front edge 50 to a short vertical front wall 52 secured to the front edges of a pair of vertical side plates 54 upstanding from the sides 26 and cooperating with a vertical back wall 56 projecting from the top 30 to define the loading opening 32.
In its fully retracted position, the blade 24 is forward of the loading opening 32 in the receptacle 14 so that refuse dumped into the receptacle will not fall behind the, blade in the front of the receptacle. When a selected amount of'refuse has been collected in the receptacle 14, the packing cylinder 22 is actuated to extend the blade 24 and compact the refuse toward the rear of the receptacle, typically by admitting hydraulic fluidat a constant rate to the packing cylinder from a hydraulic fluid supply system (not shown) carried by the truck. After compacting, the packing cylinder 22 is retracted to return the blade 24 to the front of the receptacle l4 preparatory to collecting additional refuse. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 the blade 24 has a generally rectangular shape as viewed from the end of the receptacle 14, and is dimensioned to substantially .fill the cross-sectional area defined by' the sides 26, top
30, and bottom 28 of the receptacle. A pair 'of wheels 58 on each side of the lower portion of the blade 24 .support the blade for movement through the receptacle .14 on longitudinal tracks 62 extending the full length the blade between the upper and lower walls 64 and 66,
and alsotodeflect refuse laterally during compacting to prevent the refuse from building up in the center of the receptacle l4. v
Inaccordance with a primary aspect of the invention,
increase the available refuse storage space and the amount of refuse which can be compacted therein, and operates to move the blade 24 quickly, and in a manner to provide maximum packing force in the extended position. Further, the packing cylinder 22 is of relatively short length yet is capable of moving the blade 24 from the fully-retracted position completely through the receptacle l4, regardless of the length of the receptacle.
Toward the foregoing ends, the packing cylinder 22 is disposed diagonally to project from its anchorage 23 adjacent the top 30 of the receptacle 14 rearwardly and downwardly towards the bottom 28 where it is pivotally attached to the lower portion of the blade 24. With this arrangement, the packing cylinder 22 takes up very little of the refuse storage space in the receptacle 14, and when the cylinder extends, it initially moves the blade 24 with relatively high speed and low force and gradually reduces the speed of movement and increases the packing force applied by the blade as the angle of the cylinder with respect to the horizontal direction of extension becomes smaller.
As can best be seen in FIG. 4, to move the blade 24 the full length of the receptacle 14, the anchorage 23 of the packing cylinder 22 is movable between a first position adjacent the front wall 48 of the receptacle, and another position longitudinally spaced rearwardly therefrom. In this instance, the full extension of the packing cylinder 22 when anchored in the first position is sufficient to move the blade 24 approximately two thirds the length of the receptacle 14. To complete extension of the blade 24, the packing cylinder 22 is retracted and the anchorage 23 moved rearwardly to the second position, herein designated 2 in FIG. 4, from which the cylinder can be extended to push the blade the additional distance necessary to reach the fully extended position at the discharge opening.
Referring primarily to FIGS. 2 and 3, the anchorage 23 for the packing cylinder 22 includes a tubular casing attached to the upper end of the cylinder and projecting laterally between the sides 26 of the receptacle 14. End portions 72 of the casing-70 rest on longitudinally extending horizontal rails 74, each herein formed by one leg of a C-shaped channel 76 secured to the side 26 of the receptacle 14 below the top 30 and extending from the front wall 48 rearwardly to a position below the backwall 56 forming the rear of the loading opening 32.
The packing cylinder 22 is attached to the casing 70 by a cylindrical sleeve 78 secured to the upper end of the cylinder and surrounding the central portion of the casing, the sleeve and easing being pivotable relative to each other. Projecting from the ends 80 of the casing 70 are cylindrical shaped plungers 82 which are biased outwardly by a compressed spring 84 disposed axially in the casing between the opposing inner ends 86 of the plungers. Each plunger 82, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, extends through a hole 88 in the side 26 of the receptacle l4, herein the side of the channel 76, to anchor the casing 70, and hence the upper end of the packing cylinder 22, in the first position adjacent the front wall 48. Similar holes 90 are provided through the channel 76 at the second position to anchor the packing cylinder 22 in that position when the anchorage 23 is moved thereto.
To release the anchorage 23 for movement to the second position shown in FIG. 4, a fluid cylinder 92 is coupled with the casing 70 and connected to the plungers 82 to extract the plungers from the holes 88 by retracting the plungers into the ends 80 of the casing.- As shown in FIG. 2, the cylinder 92 operating the plungers 82 has secured to its ends plates 94 which are each'secured along one edge 96 to the side of a cylindrical sleeve 98 slidably engaged around a portion of the easing 70 between the end 80 and middle.
Each of the sleeves 98 surrounds an axially directed slot 100 in the casing 70 and through which projects an arm 102 attached to the end of the plate 94. The arm 102 projects into a groove 104 in the side of the plunger 82 adjacent its inner end 86 such that when fluid pressure is supplied to the cylinder 92 of the anchorage 23, the cylinder retracts thereby moving the sleeves 98 and arms 102 axially along the casing 70 toward each other and retracting the plungers 82. When fluid pressure is bled from the cylinder 92 of the anchorage 23, the compressed spring 84 extends the plungers 82 to anchor the casing 70 in the selected first or second positions, tubular stops 106 being secured inside the end portions 72 of the casing 70 and cooperating with circumferential flanges 108 on the plungers to limit the extension of the plungers from the ends 80 of the casing.
To move the anchorage 23 from the first position to the second position, for-example to push refuse from the receptacle 14 through the discharge opening during dumping, the packing cylinder 22 is fully extended to move the blade 24 as far as possible toward the rear of the receptacle. Subsequently, fluid pressure is supplied to the cylinder 92 of the anchorage 23 to retract the plungers 82 from the holes 88. The packing cylinder 22 then is retracted and, due to friction of the relatively heavy blade 24, only the anchorage 23 will move.
As the packing cylinder 22 is retracted and moves the anchorage 23 rearwardly, the fluid pressure in the cylinder 92 operating the plungers 82 is bled and the spring 84 biases the plungers outwardly. When the easing 70 reaches the second position, and the plungers 82 come into register with the holes 90, the spring 84 biasing the plungers will snap the plungers into the holes and anchor the casing. The packing cylinder 22 can then be reversed to again extend the blade 24 toward its final position at the discharge opening of the receptacle 14.
To return the ram to the fully retracted position at the front of receptacle 14, the packing cylinder 22 initially is retracted fully to move the blade 24 forwardly as far as possible. The anchorage 23 is then moved back to the first position by retracting the plungers 82 and extending the packing cylinder 22 to move the casing 70 forwardly until the plungers are in register with the holes 88 at the first position. Once the casing 70 has been anchored in the first position, the packing cylinder 22 is again retracted to move the blade 24 to the fully retracted position adjacent the front wall 48, as shown by the solid lines of FIG. 1.
As an alternative to the presently preferred embodiment having a spring 84 for extending the plungers 82 shown in FIG. 2, the casing 70 can be used to house a double acting fluid pressure operated plunger system 110, as shown in FIG. 5. In this embodiment, the casing 70 serves as a cylinder with piston elements 1 12 formed on the inner ends 86 of the plungers 82. Fluid pressure applied to the center of the casing 70 through a conduit 114 acts against the opposing inner faces 1 16 of the pistons 112 to extend the plungers 82. To retract the plungers 82, fluid is bled from the center of the casing and supplied under pressure through conduits 118 to chambers between the pistons 112 and the inner ends of the stops 106 in the casing, and acts on the large surface areas of the outer piston faces 112 to move the plungers axially toward each other.
With either embodiment of the anchorage 23 shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, the blade 24 can be quickly and easily operated to compress refuse as it is collected, or to push refuse from the receptacle 14 during dumping at the disposal site. Further, while the particular embodiment of the receptacle 14 and packing cylinder 22 described above requires that the anchorage 23 only be moved once between two selected end positions for the blade, it should be appreciated that for a longer receptacle, or a shorter packing cylinder, or both, the an-' chorage may be required to be moved more than once between the ultimate end positions to permit the blade to be extendedthe full length of the receptacle.
It should be apparent that the packing ram 10 of the present invention results in a substantial savings in both time and moneysince the packing cylinder 22 occupies very little space in the receptacle 14, thus enabling an operator to collect more refuse for a given size receptacle than was heretofore possible, and also allows a relatively short and inexpensive packing cylinder to be used. Moreover, the packing cylinder 22 moves the blade'24 quickly through the receptacle 14, both during extension and retraction, to conserve time between refuse collection and compacting operations.
While a particular form of the invention has been illustrated and described, it also will be apparent that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. In a self-contained refuse handling and transporting apparatus of the type comprising a truck chassis on which is mounted an elongated box-shaped refuse receptacle having a refuse loading opening near the front and a normally closed refuse discharge opening at the back, and a packing ram disposed inside the receptacle including an extensible fluid operated packing cylinder and a packing blade supported adjacent the bottom of the receptacle and atttached at its lower portion to one end of the packing cylinder, the blade being longitudinally movable inside the receptacle between a retracted position adjacent the front of the receptacle and an extended position toward the rear of the receptacle, the improvement comprising:
a pair of longitudinally disposed tracks along the sides of the receptacle near the top and extending a selected distance rearwardly from a point near the front of the receptacle; an anchorage coupled to the end of the packing cylinder remote from the blade and including a laterally projecting tubular casing supported by said tracks whereby the packing cylinder is disposed diagonally to project from said casing downwardly and rearwardly toward the bottom of the receptacle; anchoring means for securing said casing to said tracks at selected positions along said tracks; and
means for selectably releasing said anchoring means whereby said casing may be moved between said selected positions.
2. The improvement as defined in claim 1 in which said anchoring means includes extendable plungers mounted in said casing and projecting from the ends thereof, and openings in the sides of the receptacle at said selected positions for receiving said plungers to anchor said casing.
3. The improvement as defined in claim 2 including means biasing said plungers toward the extended position, and wherein said means for releasing said anchoring means includes a fluid operated cylinder engaged with said plungers and operable to retract said plungers against said biasing means.
4. The improvement as defined in claim 2 wherein said means for releasing said anchoring means includes fluid pressure means for extending and retracting said plungers from the ends of said casing.
5. In a self-contained refuse handling and transporting apparatus of the type comprising a truck chassis on which is mounted an elongated box-shaped refuse receptacle having a refuse loading opening near the front and a normally closed refuse discharge opening at the back, and a packing ram disposed inside the receptacle including an extensible fluid operated packing cylinder and a packing blade supported adjacent the bottom of the receptacle and attached at its lower portion to one end of the packing cylinder, the blade being longitudinally movable inside the receptacle between a retracted position adjacent the front of the receptacle and an extended position toward the rear of the receptacle, the improvement comprising:
track means extending longitudinally rearwardly along the sides and near the top of the receptacle from a point near the front thereof;
a selectively movable anchorage coupled to the end of the packing cylinder remote from the blade, said anchorage comprising a tubular casing having end portions projecting laterally across the receptacle and supported by said track means whereby the packing cylinder is disposed diagonally and projects from said anchorage downwardly and rearwardly toward the bottom of the receptacle, said anchorage being movable longitudinally of said receptacle along said track means between a first position adjacent the front of the receptacle and another position toward the rear of the receptacle;
releasable anchoring means including extensible plungers mounted in the end portions of said casing and openings in said track means for receiving said plungers for anchoring said anchorage to said receptacle in one of said positions; and
a fluid operated cylinder for retracting said plungers from said openings to release said casing for movement along said track means.
6. The improvement as defined in claim 5 including a spring axially mounted in said casing and biasing said plungers toward the extended positions and a stop in each of said end portions for limiting extension of said plungers.
7. The improvement as defined in claim 5 wherein said track means comprises a pair of tracks extending along the sides of the receptacle, said fluid operated cylinder comprising means in said casing for extending and retracting said plunger to anchor and release, re-
spectively, said casing.