Title:
Method and apparatus for winding barbed wire onto a reel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and apparatus for winding up barbed wire from a field by utilizing a prime mover with a reel operatively rotatably attached to a forward portion thereof. A motor is operably attached to the reel for selectively controlling the rotation of the reel. A funnel-shaped guide member is attached to the prime mover in front of the reel for guiding the barbed wire onto the reel, whereby the prime mover may be driven forwardly as the motor rotates the wheel to wind the barbed wire onto the reel while at the same time the prime mover may be steered to the left or right as needed to cause level winding of the barbed wire onto the reel.



Inventors:
Potts, Michael Dean (Leon, IA, US)
Application Number:
09/681495
Publication Date:
10/17/2002
Filing Date:
04/17/2001
Assignee:
POTTS MICHAEL DEAN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
242/403, 242/407.1, 242/397.1
International Classes:
B65H54/58; B65H54/74; B65H57/12; B65H75/20; B65H75/22; B65H75/40; B65H75/42; B65H75/44; (IPC1-7): B65H75/22; B65H57/12; B65H75/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RIVERA, WILLIAM ARAUZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STURM & FIX LLP (Des Moines, IA, US)
Claims:
1. Apparatus comprising: a prime mover having at least one pair of ground engaging wheels rotatable about a horizontal axis; a reel operatively rotatably attached about an axis substantially parallel to said horizontal axis to a forward portion of said prime mover, said reel being for receiving barbed wire thereon; a motor operatively attached to said reel for selectively rotating said reel in at least one rotary direction; and a guide member operatively attached to said prime mover in front of said reel for guiding said barbed wire therethrough to said reel whereby said prime mover may be driven forward as said motor rotates said reel to wind the barbed wire onto the reel.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said motor is a hydraulic motor.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 including an inlet and an outlet hydraulic line operatively attached to said hydraulic motor; a by-pass line operatively attached to said inlet and outlet hydraulic lines and a control valve disposed in said bypass line for use in controlling the rotation of the hydraulic motor, whereby a closing of the valve increases the force of rotation of said hydraulic motor and opening the valve reduces or stops the rotation of the hydraulic motor.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said reel has an inner side an outer side and a hub section connecting said first and second sides together; and, means for permitting said outer side of said reel to be removed for facilitating easy removal of said barbed wire when rolled into a coil on said reel.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said motor is operatively attached to said reel by a belt and pulley system which permits said belt to slip on said pulley system when the force of pull on said barbed wire exceeds the driving force of the motor, pulley and belt system.

6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said valve is positioned within reach of an operator driving said prime mover.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for winding barbed wire onto a reel and more particularly to such an invention using a side or front mounted motor-driven reel on a prime mover such as a tractor to wind the wire onto the reel as the tractor is driven forwardly.

[0002] There have been many devices designed for rolling wire onto a reel. This problem is made more difficult when the wire to be rolled up is barbed wire of the type used for fencing in cattle or the like. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,227,392 to Misegadis and 4,473,1 96 to Sammann et al. are examples of rear-mounted wire rollers. In order to operate these rear mounted wire rollers, they either need to back up as the wire is rolled on the reel or they need to pull the wire along the ground with the tractor being stopped. Backing up is very difficult because of the problem of steering while looking in a mirror or looking back over one's should while trying to move at the right speed and to keep the wire tight as the wire is wound onto the reel. If the tractor is stopped and the wire is pulled along the ground, another major problem is created. When winding up barbed wire, grass, corn stalks and other trash from a field or pasture catches on the barbed wire, dragging such debris on the ground and rolling the trash, grass or the like onto the spool of wire being formed, causing the spool to be uneven and laden with unwanted materials.

[0003] The prior art focuses on ways to mechanically cause the level winding of wire onto a wire reel attached to the rear of tractors or on sleds or trailers. However, because of the aforementioned problems there is a need for a barbed wire winding apparatus which is mountable on a prime mover, such as a tractor, so that the operator can steer the prime mover forwardly toward the wire to be wound, while at the same time adjusting the speed of the wire reel to keep the wire tight while it is being wound onto the wheel. At the same time, there is a need for being able to cause level winding of the wire onto the reel by a very simple adjustment of steering the prime mover, rather than by complex level winding devices.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0004] The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for winding up barbed wire from a field by having a prime mover with a reel operatively rotatably attached to a forward portion of the prime mover. A motor is operably attached to the reel for selectively controlling the rotation of the reel. A funnel-shaped guide member is attached to the prime mover in front of the reel for guiding the barbed wire onto the reel, whereby the prime mover may be driven forwardly as the motor rotates the reel to wind the barbed wire onto the reel while at the same time the prime mover may be steered to the left or to the right as needed to cause level winding of the barbed wire onto the reel.

[0005] An object of the present invention is to provide an improved method and apparatus for winding up barbed wire onto a reel.

[0006] Another object of the present invention is to provide a side or front mounted barbed wire rolling apparatus so that the wire can be rolled up while a prime mover to which it is attached is driven forwardly.

[0007] A still further object of the present invention is to be able to steer the prime mover to cause level winding of the wire instead of using complex level winding devices for this purpose.

[0008] Other objects, advantages, and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention showing it attached to a tractor and in the process of using the wire winding device of the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a side elevational view showing the present invention with the tractor shown in dashed lines;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a perspective exploded view of the reel of the present invention showing how it fits on a spindle and has an outside portion that can be separated from an inside portion to facilitate easy removal of a spool of wound wire therefrom;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 2 but showing in solid lines the frame and hydraulic motor which is biased to one position and showing in dashed lines the pulley and belt system, reel and wire guide funnel;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a partial top view of the hydraulic lines connected to a hydraulic motor and having a control valve disposed in a bypass line therebetween; and

[0014] FIG. 6 shows how a coil of barbed wire can be removed from the reel once it is wound onto the reel by removing the outside portion of the reel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0015] Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows an apparatus (10) constructed in accordance with the present invention and mounted to the front side of a prime mover or tractor (11).

[0016] Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4, a frame for the wire winder (10) includes frame member (12) which is bolted to the tractor (11) by bolts (13) and (14). The frame member (12) also has upwardly extending frame members (16) and (17) and a top frame member (18). Bolt (19) pivotally attaches an elongated member (21) to upstanding frame member (17) and a tension spring (22) is attached at the lower end to a pin (23) and at the upper end to a hook (24) on hydraulic motor (26). The hydraulic motor (26) is mounted to the end (27) of the pivoting member (21). The hydraulic motor (26) has a inlet hose (28) and an outlet hydraulic hose (29) extending therefrom.

[0017] Looking to FIGS. 2 and 4, it can be seen that the reel (31), shown in dashed lines in FIG. 4, has a pulley (32) rigidly attached thereto and the hydraulic motor (26) has a pulley (33) rigidly, but removably, attached thereto so that when the hydraulic motor (26) rotates, the pulley (33), the pulley (32) and reel (31) will be rotated due to friction with the belt (34) which extends around pulleys (32) and (33). The reel (31) is of a type that was manufactured by General Machine Products Company of Trevose, Pa. as part number 183570. Other reels can be used, instead of the one (31) shown and described.

[0018] FIG. 3 shows the reel (31) as being in two parts with an inner side (36) and an outer side (37). The inner side (36) has the pulley (32) attached thereto so that it rotates with the inner side (36) on hub (38). The outer side (37) of the reel (31) also has a hub (39). Spindle (41) welded to member (17), is provided so that the pulley (32), inner side (36) and outer side (37) can rotate around hubs (38) and (39). When the reel (31) is on the spindle (41) and it can be secured by bolt (42) onto the threads (43) of the spindle (41). But when it is desired to move a roll of wire (44) such as shown in FIG. 6, the nut (42) can be taken off of threads (43) and outer portion (37) of the reel can be removed as shown in FIG. 6.

[0019] A funnel-like wire guide device (46), shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 6, is provided for guiding barbed wire (47) onto the reel (31) as can best be seen in FIG. 1. The wire guiding mechanism (46) has approximately the same width at the smaller rear end thereof as the width of the reel (31) so that even if the tractor's forward direction is not aligned exactly with the longitudinal axis of the stretched wire (47), it will nevertheless be guided to the reel (31).

[0020] Referring to FIG. 5, it is noted that a bypass pipe (25) extends across from inlet line (28) to outlet line (29) which go to the hydraulic motor (26). When the handle (35) of the valve (30) is aligned with the pipe (25), that means that the valve (30) is fully opened and all of the hydraulic fluid from the tractor (11) would be bypassed through the valve (30) and bypass connector (25) so that no flow would be going through the inlet and outlet lines (28) and (29). At that time, the reel (31) would not be rotated by the hydraulic motor (26). Any closing of the valve (30) will cause flow through the lines (28) and (29), thereby causing the hydraulic motor to turn the pulley and belt system (32), (33) and (34) and thereby turn the reel (31).

[0021] In operation, the wire (47) could be attached at the left end thereof as shown in FIG. 1 to the fence or to anything heavy enough to keep it tight and then connected to the spool along platform portions (45) of the spool reel (31) as shown in FIG. 3, for example. After the wire (47) is extended through the guide member (46) and is attached to the reel (31), the reel (31) is rotated in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 2 by closing to some degree the valve (30), which is done by moving the handle (35), for example to the one position shown in FIG. 5. This causes flow into inlet line (28), through the hydraulic motor (26) and out the outlet (29).

[0022] At the same time that the spool or reel (31) is rotated to wind up the wire (47), the tractor operator steers the tractor (11) forwardly so as to keep the wire (47) tight. The combination of the forward speed of the tractor (11) and the speed of rotation of the reel (31) can be adjusted to keep the wire (47) tight before it is onto the reel (31), either by moving the tractor faster or slower or rotating the reel faster or slower, or any combination thereof. This is easily done by the tractor operator because the valve (30) is within reach of the tractor seat.

[0023] If, for any reason, the force on the wire (47) is greater than the driving force of the reel (31) through pulleys (32), (33) and belt (34), then the belt (34) will slip on one or both of the pulleys (32) and (33) to prevent damage which would otherwise occur if a positive driving system were used for the reel (31).

[0024] In order to make the reel (31) go faster by providing more power thereto, the valve (30) is closed more; or, if it is desired to have less rotating power to the reel (31), the valve (30) is opened more.

[0025] As the operator is driving the tractor (11) forwardly and rotating the reel (31) to collect the barbed wire (47), the operator may see that the wire is collecting on the inside of the reel (31) more than on the outside of the reel, in which case the operator will steer the tractor to the right to cause more wire to collect on the outside of the reel (31). Conversely, if more wire is collecting on the coil in reel (31) on the outside thereof, then the operator would steer the tractor (11) slightly to the left and that will cause the wire to collect more on the inside of the reel (31). This is a very simple, easy and inexpensive way to cause a level winding of the wire onto the reel (31) as compared to many complex mechanisms that have been devised for this purpose in the prior art.

[0026] Once the spool (31) is full of barbed wire, the outer portion (37) of the spool, as shown in FIG. 3, is removed by removing the nut (42). Then the coil (44), as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 6, is taken off of the inside portion (36) of the reel (31) as shown in FIG. 6. To utilize the device again, it would be set up again as explained above and as shown in FIG. 1.

[0027] An important aspect of the invention is to mount the wire winder on a front portion of a prime mover so it can be used while driving the prime mover forwardly. It can be attached to the front bumper of a pickup truck, for example, or to the front of a “four wheeler”, sometimes referred to as an all-terrain vehicle or ATV, instead of to a tractor.

[0028] Accordingly, it will be appreciated that the preferred embodiment shown herein does indeed accomplish the aforementioned objects. It is noted that the hydraulic motor (26) is only a preferred embodiment and that it could be an electric motor or other type of motor instead. Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.