US 3156313 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
VEHICLE HAVING LATERALLY ADJUSTABLE DRIVING UNITS Filed June 11, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
FLoYo J. PETERSON ATTYS.
Nov. 10, 1964 F. J. PETERSON 3,156,313
VEHICLE HAVING LATERALLY ADJUSTABLE DRIVING UNITS Filed June 11, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
FLOYD J. PETERSON BY I ATTYS.
Nov. 10, 1964 F. J. PETERSON 3,156,313
VEHICLE HAVING LATERALLY ADJUSTABLE DRIVING UNITS Filed June 11. 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. How I. Pcwznsou RTTYS.
Nov. 10, 1964 F. J. PETERSON VEHICLE HAVING LATERALLY ADJUSTABLE DRIVING UNITS Filed June 11, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR. FLOYD l PETERSON "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII/ Nov. 10, 1964 F. J. PETERSON VEHICLE HAVING LATERALLY ADJUSTABLE DRIVING UNITS Filed June 11, 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 51 INVENTOR.
How I Pa'cansou al [5%flg) United States Patent 3,156,313 VEHICLE HAVING LATERALLY ADJUSTABLE DRIVING UNITS Floyd J. Peterson, Box 76, Manson, Wash. Filed June 11, 1962, Ser. No. 201,368 6 Claims. (Cl. 180-648) This application relates to a novel drive apparatus for an orchard platform of the type used for pruning orchard trees and for harvesting purposes.
In the last few years many machines have been proposed to mechanize orchard tasks by utilizing a mobile boom unit for pruning trees and harvesting fruit. These units have been designed primarily to replace the ladders still commonly used in many situations. One problem encountered when using such a boom under orchard conditions is the lack of stability of the raised boom unit on sloping or uneven ground. This condition varies, depending upon the individual orchard terrain.
The present invention contemplates a drive apparatus for such a platform which can be adjusted to provide the stability desired in each orchard. This is accomplished by providing driving and supporting wheel units which may be adjustably positioned laterally relative to the vehicular frame.
It is a first object of this invention to provide such a drive apparatus which is simple in construction and which requires little skill to manitain on repair it when necessary. The main adjustable features of this invention are quite obvious from a study of their components and can be readily repaired in the field by any competent workman.
Another object of this invention is to provide individual drive units for each of the main supporting wheels in order to eliminate complicated gearing and controls while providing the necessary maneuverability and accurate positioning required in this situation.
Another object of this invention is to provide such a drive apparatus which can be readily adapted to existing orchard platforms when desired.
These and further objects will be evident from a study of the accompanying drawings taken in conjunction with the following specification which describes in detail one form of my invention. It is to be understood that this form is merely exemplary and is not intended to limit or restrict the scope of my invention except as the in vention is defined in the following claims.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a plan View of an orchard platform constructed according to this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a top view of the apparatus seen in FIGURE 1; 7
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged top view of the forward section of the platform drive apparatus with the wheels extended outwardly in a transverse position;
FIGURE 4 is' a sectional view taken along line 4-4 in FIGURE 3;
. FIGURE Sis a sectional view taken along line 5-5' in FIGURE 2:
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 in FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged view taken along line 88 in FIGURE 1 with the boom and cylinder removed from this structure; and
FIGURE 9 is a diagrammatic view of the hydraulic control assembly.
Referring now to the drawings and to the views of FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 in particular, the orchard platform constructed according to this invention includes a particular frame generally designated in the drawings by the 39 in the conventional manner.
3,156,313 Patented Nov. 10, 1964 numeral 10. The frame 10 is a rigid framework com prising side channels 11, a front channel 12, and a rear transverse channel 13 which is located intermediate the ends of the frame 19. The channels 11, 12 and 13 bound the main rectangular portion of the frame 10. The frame 10 further includes a triangular rear portion 14 which extends upwardly and rearwardly from the channel 13.
As is conventional in such orchard platforms the frame 19 is carried by three wheels. At the rear end of frame 14) and carried under the triangular portion 14, is a caster wheel assembly 15. At the front end of frame 10 adjacent the channel 12 are two wheels 16 which will be described in detail below.
Mounted above the triangular portion 14 of the frame 10 is an angular frame generally designated at 17 which extends upward and rearwardly from the rear channel 13. This frame 1'7 is supported by a pair of upright braces 18 to complete a rigid triangular framework. Mounted at the top of the frame 17 and braces 18 are a pair of supports 21? for the boom pivot shaft 21.
Pivotally carried by the shaft 21 and extending rearwardly therefrom is a tubular boom 22, having an operators cage 23 mounted at the forward end thereof. The boom 22 is carried on the shaft 21 by means of supporting ears 24. The angular position of boom 22 relative to frame 10 is controlled by a cylinder 25 and piston rod 26 which are respectively pivotally connected to the frame 10 and the boom 22. Also connected between the cage 23 and the supports 2% is a stabilizing rod 27 which completes a parallelogram structure operable to maintain the cage 23 in its vertical position irrespective of the angular position of boom 22.
Mounted on the frame 16 is a suitable engine 23 which may be an internal combustion engine, or any other type suitable to this application. The engine 28 drives a compressor 30 connected to an air tank 31. The air tank 31' is used for spraying and other purposes in the orchard work for which this unit is primarily designed. Also mounted on the frame 10 is an oil reservoir 32 for the hydraulic systems to be described below. The reservoir 32 provides a constant source of oil to a pump 33, driven by the engine 2%.
The front wheels 16 are mounted on individual axles 34. Since the mounting assemblies for each wheel 16 are identical, only one side of the wheel assembly will be described. However, the numerals utilized in this description apply equally to both sides of the unit and are utilized in this manner on the accompanying drawings.
Each axle 34 is rotatably carried within an axle casing The casing 39 is provided with a bracket 35, shown in detail in FIGURES 5, 6 and 7. The bracket 35 includes outwardly extending flanges 35;: which are adapted to be held by a clamp 36 mounted on the side channel 11 adjacent the wheel unit.
a The clamp 36 is secured by means of bolts 37.
. The casing bracket 35 is preferably provided with a plurality of spaced apertures 35b located along its length and spaced so as to accommodate axle extensions which will be described below. Thus the axle casings 39 are positionable along the channels 11 in increments neces sary to accommodate the spacing members utilized ac: cording to this invention.
At the inward end of each axle casing 39 is mounted a transmission casing 38. As shown in the drawings, the transmission casings 38 are manufactured from standard differential casings such as those used'in automobiles and trucks. The, gearing within the transmission casing 38 may be any suitable right angle drive having a gear' reduction ratio necessary to provide effective control of the frame 10. One economical and practical transmission may be manufactured by welding the pinions and side gears of a common automobile differential and utilizing the large ring gear as the driven member for the axle 34.
Fixed to the transmission casing 355 and depending forwardly therefrom is motor bracket 49 which is shown in detail in FIGURE 4. The bracket extends rearwardly to an intermediate channel 42 of frame It), which is provided with an angular guide 41. The bracket 40 includes a lip 43 which fits over the guide 41 so as to provide a sliding relationship between the bracket 4% and the channel 42. Thus the entire motor bracket 40 is freely slidably relative to the frame 10 in a transverse position along with the transmission casing 38 and axle casing 39 associated therewith.
Each axle 34 is independently driven by means of a hydraulic motor 44 mounted on the bracket 4%. The motor 44 is conventional and need not be modified for this particular application. The motor 44 is connected to the transmission within the casing 38 by means of a flexible chain coupling 45 which allows better pick-up of the guiding elements used to operate the wheel 16.
In order to provide a rigid transverse casing for the support of wheels 16 the two transmission casings 38 may be joined to one another directly by means of bolts 46. When so joined the wheels 16 will be inwardly spaced toward one another at their minimum separation. When more lateral spacing is desirable for use of the unit on a hillside or on uneven terrain, one need only to connect a rigid extension 47 (see FIGURE 3) directly between the two transmission casings 38. Individual orchard platforms may be provided with several such extensions 47 so as to allow for varying spacing of the wheels 16.
The hydraulic controls by which the wheels 16 and the cylinder 25 are operated are illustrated in FIGURES 8 and 9. The control valves are perferably located on the triangular frame 17 which is shown in an enlarged View in FIGURE 8. The reservoir 32 and pump 33 have previously been described and, as shown in FIG- URE 9, are connected to another through a throttle valve or gate valve 48. A suitable pressure gauge 50 is provided on the output side of the pump 33, which is preferably a rotary sliding vane pump assembly of common manufacture. Fluid under pressure from the pump 33 is provided to a how dividing valve 51 which separates the fluid into two paths 52 and 54. The fluid in path 52 is provided to the cylinder 25 through a suitable valve 53. The valve 53 is positionable so as to block flow to either side of the cylinder 25, to provide flow from line 52 to the bottom side of the cylinder 25, or to reverse the flow from line 52 to the opposite side of the cylinder 25 so as to provide double action of the piston rod 26 to selectively raise or lower the boom 22. The return line from the cylinder 25 is provided with a needle valve utilized to control the maximum upward speed of the boom 22. Also provided in this line is a check valve 49 that prevents fluid from being supplied to the cylinder 25 from the remaining line 54 of valve 51.
Fluid from line 54 is supplied to a second dividing valve 55 which equally divides the fluid supply between two output lines 56. The lines 56 go through a valve 58 in each section of the drive control. Valves 53 are identical to the valve 53 and are connected to the individual fluid motors 24. Thus each motor 24 is independently controllable by means of the respective valves 58. The return lines 57 from each motor 54 are connected through a pressure relief valve 60 and a needle valve 61 to the reservoir 32.
This hydraulic system is therefore a very simple and fully enclosed system wherein the fluid under pressure from pump 33 is divided first to supply the necessary pressure to the cylinder 25 and the return from the cylinder 25 is diverted to the controls for the motors 44 which are completely independent of one another. The controls are operable by means of bellcranks 64 and 65 on the shaft 21. The cranks 64 and 65 control the valves 53 and 53 respectively. The cranks 64 and 65 are respectively connected to the three control valves by means of links 62 and 63. Each crank 64 is operated from the cage 23 by means of a foot pedal 66 pivoted at its center, and connected to the crank 64 by means of a linkage 68 (see FIGURE 2). Then central crank 65 is controlled by the operator by means of a lever 67 connected through a linkage 69. The linkages 68 and 69 extend through the tubular boom 22 to the vicinity of the pivot shaft 21. By pressing either pedal 66 forwardly or rearwardly the operator may selectively drive the respective wheel 16 in a forward or rearward direction as desired. This same action is used to drive the wheels 16 conjointly for forward or rearward motion and is also used to turn and steer the frame 10. The handle 67 is used to raise or lower the boom 22. The boom 22 and frame 10 may also be controlled by a person sitting on the rear end of the triangular frame portion 14 who may operate the bellcranks 6 and 65 directly. This is most important where the boom 22 is modified for use as a portable crane.
Thus I have described an orchard platform with a vertically adjustable boom that is capable of effective use under all orchard conditions regardless of the terrain. The drive apparatus which I have developed provides simple and quick adjustment of the wheel separation so as to insure proper stability of the elevated cage 23. The boom 22 as described in the specification is not rotatable about a vertical axis. Since the boom 22 always remains between the wheels 15 the highest degree of stability is insured.
Various minor modifications may appear obvious to one skilled in this field and therefore the description just given is not intended to limit or restrict this invention which is defined in the claims which follow.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A wheeled drive apparatus for an orchard platform comprising:
a rigid vehicular frame;
wheel means mounted on said frame, including two outside wheels located respectively at opposite sides of the frame in coaxial positions, said wheels being fixed to axles supported by casings slidably mounted on the frame for motion parallel to the axis of the axles;
means mounted on the frame operatively engaged with the axle casings adapted to selectively fix the positions of said casings relative to the frame;
individual motor means operatively connected to said axles at their respective inner ends, said motor means being fixed to the respective axle casings and being slidably mounted on said frame for motion in a direction parallel to the axis of said axles.
2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said motor means comprises a pair of hydraulic motors each having a driven shaft operatively connected to the axle driven thereby, the axis of said driven shaft being in a plane perpendicular to the axis of said axles.
3. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 further comprising a replaceable extension fixed to the inner ends of said axle casings.
4. A wheeled drive apparatus for an orchard platform comprising:
a rigid vehicular frame;
a ground engaging central caster wheel assembly mounted at one end of the frame;
a pair of ground engaging wheels mounted outside of said frame at the remaining end thereof, each of said wheels being carried on individual coaxial axles extending through casings slidably mounted on the frame for motion parallel to the axis of said axles;
right angle transmission means mounted on the inner ends of said axles;
independent transmission casings fixed to said axles casings at the inner ends thereof and enclosing said transmission means;
motor brackets fixed to said transmission casings and slidably mounted on said frame for motion relative thereto parallel to said axle axis;
motor means on said brackets connected to said transmission means;
replaceable means connecting said transmission casings to one another;
and locking means connecting said axle casings to said frame adapted to selectively fix the transverse position of each axle relative to the frame.
5. An apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein said motor means are connected to said transmission means 15 by flexible couplings.
6. An apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein said motor means comprises two hydraulic motors independently driving the respective axles;
and hydraulic control means operatively connected to said hydraulic motors.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,758,584 Rarig May 13, 1930 1,877,556 Clark Sept. 13, 1932 1,937,839 Parrett Dec. 5, 1933 2,400,505 Hedglen May 21, 1946 2,681,231 Kondracki June 15, 1954 2,933,142 Whaley Apr. 19, 1960 3,044,318 Hardman July 17, 1962