Title:
Single core broom system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a system and method for constructing a vehicle-mounted single core broom system for use in clearing snow or debris from airport runways. The rotatable broom system utilizes a single piece hollow tubular core which is attached to the front of the vehicle. A low speed/high torque radial piston hydraulic motor is mounted inside one end of the broom core. The motor case rotates as the motor operates. Because the motor case is directly connected to the broom core, this rotation causes the broom core to rotate. A rotatable mounting is attached to the opposite end of the broom core. The broom core is 46 inches in diameter and dynamically balanced. These features enable higher broom tip speed and improved sweeping efficiency. Linear bristle cassettes are slid horizontally into the broom core sections, facilitating easy removal and replacement of the bristles as they become worn.



Inventors:
Lewis, Scott (Lakewood, CO, US)
Weege, Mike (Evergreen, CO, US)
Noah, Greg (Denver, CO, US)
Application Number:
09/839178
Publication Date:
12/20/2001
Filing Date:
04/19/2001
Assignee:
LEWIS SCOTT
WEEGE MIKE
NOAH GREG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/183
International Classes:
A46B13/00; E01H1/05; E01H5/10; (IPC1-7): E01H1/05
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alan R. Thiele (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A vehicle mounted, rotatable broom system comprising: a one piece hollow tubular core; a plurality of bristle cassettes, each of said bristle cassettes constructed and arranged to hold at least one tuft of bristles; means for removably mounting said plurality of bristle cassettes to said one piece hollow tubular core; means for turning said one piece hollow tubular core and said plurality of bristle cassettes, said means for turning being contained within one end of said hollow tubular core; wherein said rotatable broom provides a gapless swept path.

2. The vehicle mounted rotatable broom assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein a rotatable mounting is included in the end of said one piece hollow tubular core opposite from the end in which said means for turning is mounted.

3. The vehicle mounted rotatable broom assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for turning is a radial piston hydraulic motor in which the motor housing rotates as the motor operates.

4. A method for constructing a vehicle mounted, rotatable broom system, said method comprising: mounting at least one tuft of bristles in a cassette; mounting a plurality of said cassettes on a one piece tubular core; inserting a drive motor in one end of said tubular core; inserting a rotatable mounting in the opposite end of said tubular core from said drive motor; mounting the combination of said tubular core, said bristles, said drive motor and said rotatable mounting to a vehicle and providing power to said drive motor.

5. A system for removing snow or debris from runways or roads, said system comprising: a vehicle; a rotatable broom assembly attached to said vehicle, said rotatable broom assembly including: a one piece hollow tubular core; a plurality of bristle cassettes, each of said bristle cassettes being constructed and arranged to hold at least one tuft of bristles; a plurality of channels affixed to said one piece hollow tubular core for removably mounting said bristle cassettes to said one piece hollow tubular core; a source of rotating power constructed and arranged to transform energy from said vehicle into rotational motion of said one piece hollow tubular core and said bristle cassettes.

6. The system as defined in claim 5 wherein said source of rotating power is a radial piston hydraulic motor.

7. The system as defined in claim 5 wherein said one piece hollow tubular core and said plurality of bristle cassettes are dynamically balanced.

8. The system as defined in claim 5 further including means for positioning said one piece hollow tubular core and said plurality of bristle cassettes in an angular relationship with respect to the travel path of said vehicle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This application claims the benefit under Title 35 United States Code §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/199,053, filed Apr. 22, 2000.

[0002] 1. Technical Field

[0003] The present invention pertains to vehicle-mounted sweeping systems; more particularly, the present invention pertains to a vehicle-mounted single core broom system for use in clearing snow and debris from airport runways.

[0004] 2. History of Related Art

[0005] Truck-mounted systems for removing snow and debris from airport runways typically include a spinning broom system mounted to the front of the vehicle. As the truck moves down the runway, the spinning broom contacts the snow or debris on the runway and brushes the snow or debris both to the front and to one side. Upon reaching the end of the runway, the operator must reposition the broom so that the snow or debris is brushed to the same side of the runway as in the prior path.

[0006] When the truck turns around at the end of the runway, the angular orientation of the broom with respect to the truck must be switched by picking up the broom so that the bristles are out of contact with the ground and then changing the angular orientation of the broom head with respect to the truck. In prior art trucks, the control of this repositioning of the broom is hydraulically controlled by the operation of a plurality of hydraulic sequence valves controlled by a complex set of relays. After each pass down the runway, the operator must again change the direction of the truck, and reconfigure the broom system.

[0007] Brooms typically found on the front of a truck include a plurality of wafer-style bristle rings. These wafer-style bristle rings are composed of steel wire bristles which are attached to a ring-shaped base which engages a rotating broom core. The brooms typically have an operational life of 60 hours, at which time each individual bristle is effectively worn down to its mounting.

[0008] These wafer-style bristle rings are mounted on a two-piece core assembly which is driven from the center. Typically, the length of both core sections together is about 18 feet. The broom core is divided into two pieces to enable its center drive and to facilitate a replacement of the bristle rings when one of the broom core sections is turned on its end. A bevel gear center drive is located between the two broom core sections.

[0009] Because of the difficulty in changing the bristle rings on the broom cores, it is not uncommon for users to purchase a spare broom core and install new bristle rings on it. Typically, it takes about two hours to re-bristle a broom core using wafer-style bristle rings. Thus, when the bristles become worn, the entire broom core and bristle ring assembly is replaced.

[0010] While the truck-mounted snow brooms found in the prior art and described above have received wide acceptance, they are not without their problems. The two-piece broom core design in the front of the truck does not remove all the snow or debris on the runway. Specifically, a strip of snow or debris is left on the runway where a gap exists between the two rotating brooms. Truck turnaround and reconfiguration time is also a problem.

[0011] It is also well known that an improvement in the amount of snow or debris that can be removed from a runway can be obtained by increasing the tip speed of the bristles against the runway surface. The faster the tip speed of the bristle, the faster the truck can travel down the runway. This increased speed can save valuable time for planes which are waiting to land.

[0012] What is needed is a vehicle-attached broom system for the removal of snow or debris from airport runways which permits easy maneuverability of the broom system when the vehicle reaches the end of the runway and which sweeps a gapless path. More particularly, the system should allow the operator to quickly and easily switch out the worn bristle heads. Such a system should permit increased broom tip speed for improved efficiency of the snow or debris removal process.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The present invention is a system and method for constructing a vehicle-mounted broom system which uses a single piece hollow tubular core with an internally-mounted drive motor. The single piece broom core eliminates the gap found in prior art broom systems. The elimination of the gap results in a completely swept broom path.

[0014] Moreover, the single piece broom core is dynamically balanced. Dynamic balancing allows the broom system to be rotated at higher revolutions per minute than prior art two piece core brooms. The higher rpm translates into a higher broom tip speed. The higher broom tip speed allows the truck to travel at a higher speed (25-30 mph) while still effectively sweeping the traveled surface.

[0015] In the present invention, the broom system does not use wafer bristle rings, but rather uses a linear cassette of bristles. These linear cassettes are simply slid horizontally along the broom core sections, thus permitting easier removal and replacement of the bristles when they become worn. Using this system, the broom core can be re-bristled in as little as 45 minutes.

[0016] The truck-mountable broom head includes a low speed/high torque radial piston hydraulic motor mounted inside one end of the broom core. The mounting of the motor inside the broom core decreases the overall width of the broom head and protects the motor from impact damage. On the opposite end of the core is a rotatable mounting for the hollow 46-inch diameter core.

[0017] The motor case rotates as the motor operates. This rotation of the motor case rotates the broom core as the motor case is connected directly to the broom core. The use of a low speed/high torque motor also eliminates the need for a gear reduction planetary drive between the drive motor and the broom core.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

[0018] A more complete understanding of the structure and operation of the present invention may be had by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0019] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the broom system of the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bristle ring of a prior art broom system;

[0021] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a bristle cassette used with the present invention;

[0022] FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the broom core of the present invention;

[0023] FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a bristle cassette mounted on the broom core of the present invention;

[0024] FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the drive motor on the broom core of the present invention; and

[0025] FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the rotatable mounting on the broom core of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT

[0026] A still better understanding of the system and method for constructing a vehicle-mounted broom system of the present invention may be had by reference to the drawing figures. FIG. 1 illustrates an anterior view of the broom system of the present invention. The rotating broom assembly 20 is mounted to the front of the snow or debris removing vehicle 10. A cover assembly 30 is mounted to the broom assembly 20 such that the cover assembly 30 extends across the top of the rotating broom assembly 20.

[0027] The broom assembly 20 has an 18 foot long single piece tubular bristle core 50 which is 46 inches in diameter. At an angle of 30°-35° with respect to the front of the truck 10, the 18 foot tubular bristle core 50 provides a sweep path 40 that is about 14 feet wide. The bristle cassettes 60 are attached to the tubular bristle core 50 by sliding the cassettes 60 horizontally along the broom core sections 130 as shown in FIG. 4.

[0028] Returning to FIG. 1, the truck-mountable broom assembly 20 includes a drive motor 70 that is mounted inside the end of the tubular bristle core 50. The drive motor 70 is a low speed/high torque radial piston hydraulic motor. The mounting of the drive motor 70 inside the tubular bristle core 50 decreases the overall width of the broom assembly 20 and protects the drive motor 70 from impact damage. The motor housing 140 rotates as the drive motor 70 operates. This rotation of the motor housing 140 rotates the tubular bristle core 50 as the motor housing 140 is connected directly to the tubular bristle core 50. The use of a low speed/high torque drive motor 70 also eliminates the need for a gear reduction planetary drive between the drive motor 70 and the tubular bristle core 50, as was required by the broom assemblies of the prior art.

[0029] FIG. 2 illustrates the wafer style bristle ring 80 typically found in a broom assembly in the prior art. A plurality of wafer style bristle rings 80 engage the rotating broom core. These brooms typically have an operational life of about 60 hours, at which time the entire steel wire bristle is effectively worn down to its mounting. The broom assembly 20 of the present invention does not use wafer bristle rings 80, but rather uses a linear bristle cassette 60 as shown in FIG. 3. The bristles 90 are secured to the bristle cassette 60 by the bristle holders 100 which are attached to the cassette base 110. FIG. 5 illustrates a bristle cassette 60 mounted on the tubular bristle core 50 of the present invention. The cassette base 110 of the bristle cassette 60 is slid horizontally onto a broom core section 130 of the broom assembly 20.

[0030] FIG. 4 illustrates the tubular broom core 50 of the present invention. The drive motor 70 is mounted inside one end of the broom core 50. A rotatable core shaft mounting 120 is located inside the opposite end of the broom core 50. As shown in FIG. 4, the broom core 50 is divided into broom core sections 130 upon which the bristle cassettes are slid horizontally for attachment to the broom assembly 20. The broom core 50 is dynamically balanced, permitting higher revolutions per minute than prior art broom cores. The higher rpm translates to a higher broom tip speed. The higher broom tip speed allows the truck 10 to travel at a higher speed (25-30 mph) while still effectively sweeping the traveled surface. The single piece tubular bristle core 50 eliminates the gap found in prior art brooms, resulting in a completely swept broom path 40.

[0031] FIG. 6 illustrates the drive motor 70 on the tubular bristle core 50 of the present invention. The drive motor 70 and motor housing 140 are located inside one end of the tubular bristle core 50 on the broom assembly 20. FIG. 7 illustrates opposite end of the tubular bristle core 50 from the drive motor 70 which shows the rotatable core shaft mounting 120 for the bristle core 50.

[0032] Although the invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiment, this description is not meant to be construed in a limited sense. Various modifications of the preferred embodiment, as well as alternative embodiments of the invention, will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to the description of the invention. It is, therefore, contemplated that the appended claims will cover such modifications that fall within the scope of the invention, or their equivalents.