Title:
Snow pusher
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A snow pushing assembly includes a pair of spaced-apart side plates. Front skid shoes are affixed to or integral with a bottom of the side plates. Mold boards and mold board cross supports interconnect the pair of side plates. The mold boards and mold board cross supports define an open front. Spaced-apart rear skid supports extend from one of the mold boards and the mold board cross supports and in a direction away from the open front. Rear skid shoes are affixed to and/or integral with the rear skid supports. A support plate is disposed between the rear skid supports, and is either affixed to or integral with one of the mold boards and mold board cross supports. Respective cross support tubes extending between and are attached to corresponding bottom box supports and respective sides of the support plate.



Inventors:
Hosmer, Ted E. (Webster, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/373399
Publication Date:
10/05/2006
Filing Date:
03/10/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
37/270
International Classes:
E01H5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HARTMANN, GARY S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Barclay Damon, LLP (Syracuse, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A snow pushing assembly configured for being affixed to a vehicle, said snow pushing assembly comprising: a pusher box having an open front and being configured for pushing snow; one or more front skid shoes that are affixed to or integral with a bottom of said pusher box; one or more rear skid supports extending from said pusher box in a direction away from the open front; and a rear skid shoe that is affixed to or integral with each of said rear skid supports.

2. The snow pushing assembly of claim 1, said pusher box comprising a pair of spaced-apart side plates and a mold board therebetween.

3. The snow pushing assembly of claim 2, each of said front skids being affixed to the bottom of one of the side plates.

4. The snow pushing assembly of claim 2, the mold board being reinforced by mold board cross supports extending between the pair of side plates.

5. The snow pushing assembly of claim 1, the snow pushing assembly comprising a plurality of rear skid supports and further comprising a support plate disposed between said rear skid supports and being affixed to or integral with one of said mold board and mold board cross supports; and respective cross support tubes extending between and attached to corresponding rear skid supports and respective sides of said support plate.

6. The snow pushing assembly of claim 5, said support plate being substantially centered on said pusher box and said rear skid supports being substantially equidistant from said support plate.

7. The snow pushing assembly of claim 1, said rear skid supports each comprising a rearward extending support bar and a connecting plate between the support bar and said rear skid shoe.

8. The snow pushing assembly of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of box supports affixed to said pusher box and being configured for connection to a vehicle whereby forces may be applied to said pusher box.

9. The snow pushing assembly of claim 8, the box supports each comprising one or more gussets for reinforcing the box supports.

10. The snow pushing assembly of claim 1, the one or more rear skid supports being reinforced against said pusher box by one or more gussets.

11. A snow pusher for connecting to a vehicle, comprising: a pusher box having an open front and being configured for pushing snow; a plurality of spaced-apart rear skid supports extending from said pusher box in a direction away from the open front; a rear skid shoe that is affixed to or integral with each of said rear skid supports; a support plate situated between said rear skid supports and affixed to said pusher box; and a cross support tube extending between each of said rear skid supports and said support plate.

12. The snow pusher of claim 11, said pusher box comprising a pair of spaced-apart side plates and a mold board therebetween.

13. The snow pusher of claim 12, further comprising a front skid shoe affixed to each of the side plates.

14. The snow pusher of claim 11, further comprising a plurality of box supports affixed to said pusher box and being configured for connection to a vehicle whereby forces may be applied to said pusher box.

15. The snow pusher of claim 11, further comprising one or more front skid shoes affixed to a bottom of said pusher box.

16. The snow pusher of claim 11, the pusher box being part of a pre-existing snow pusher and said rear skid supports and said support plate being retrofitted to said pusher box.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/660,267, filed Mar. 10, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to devices used for snow removal. More particularly, the present invention relates to a snow pusher with a self-leveling scraper blade.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Snow pushers are large plow-like devices that are used to clear or remove snow from relatively large areas, such as parking lots. A snow pusher is different from a snow plow in that a plow is designed to direct snow and thus has mechanisms to turn the plow blade. A pusher is simply pushed by a vehicle to collect snow and push it to the desired location. A snow pusher is typically attached to the front of a vehicle, such as a truck or tractor. Snow pushers are scaleable, however, and they may be used with any vehicle, small or large. For example, a small pusher may be used with a bobcat or an all terrain vehicle and a large pusher may be used with a large loader or a truck. The vehicle pushes the snow pusher across the snow-covered surface thereby removing snow from the surface. Snow is collected in or in front of the pusher, and the pusher is used to push the snow to a desired location. It is desirable to keep the lower edge or blade of the snow pusher in close proximity to the surface from which snow is being cleared in order to remove as much snow as possible from that surface and thereby create a surface that is safer for walking and driving.

However, if the surface being cleared of snow is uneven or has irregularities the lower edge of a conventional snow pusher is likely to scrape against or gouge that surface or to miss areas of snow on that surface. In such situations, the lower edge and any skid shoes of the snow pusher are also likely to incur substantial wear and tear. Some snow removal devices, such as snow blowers and snow plows, incorporate wear shoes or skid plates to reduce wear and tear upon the lower snow-removing surface or blade. However, the function of such devices is to ensure that the lower edge or blade of the snow removing member is spaced apart from the surface being cleared of snow by a desired distance. Thus, such skid plate devices preclude any engagement between the surface from which snow is being removed and the lower edge or blade of the snow pusher. Accordingly, a significant amount of snow can remain on the ground after the snow pusher has passed over the surface.

There exists a number of U.S. patents directed to snow-handling devices including U.S. Pat. No. 5,121,562 issued to Feller on Jun. 16, 1992. Feller teaches a plow assembly having one pair of skids located behind the plow blade. These skids are attached to the frame that connects the plow assembly to a vehicle in order to support that frame. Feller does not teach a snow pusher assembly having skids attached to the bottom of the blade or box and skids located behind the blade or box that are also affixed to the blade or box. Further, Feller does not teach a support plate and cross support tubes between the support plate and the skid supports for reinforcing the skids.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,707,936 issued to Steinhoff on Nov. 24, 1987 teaches a side plate attachment for a snow plow with a brace and an edge protection skid affixed to the bottom of the side plate. Steinhoff does not teach a snow pusher assembly having skids located behind the blade or box. Further Steinhoff does not teach a support plate and cross support tubes between the support plate and the skid supports for reinforcing the skids.

Therefore, what is needed is a self-leveling snow pusher that levels itself relative to and engages the surface from which snow is being removed without incurring increased wear and tear on the lower or blade edge of the snow pusher blade.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides, in one form thereof, a snow pusher that includes rear skid shoes and cross support tubes between and interconnecting the rear skid shoes. The snow pusher includes two spaced-apart side plates connected by alternating mold boards and mold board cross supports. The boards and cross supports form an open and concave front side. Front skid shoes are attached to the lower edge of the side plates and move over the surface from which snow is being removed. The box supports affix to the mold boards and mold board cross supports on the back side of the assembly. The rear skid supports are located below the box supports proximate the blade of the snow pusher. A center cross support plate is affixed to the back side of the snow pusher between the rear skid supports. Cross support tubes are affixed to the rear skid supports and the center cross support plate. Rear skid shoes are affixed to the rear skid supports. The rear skid shoes enable the pusher to self level and move evenly over surfaces, and enable the blade edge of the pusher to optimally engage the surface. The rear skid shoes also help to reduce wear on the front skid shoes and cutting or blade edge of the scraper blade.

More particularly, the invention includes a snow pushing assembly configured for being affixed to a vehicle. The snow pushing assembly comprises a pusher box that has an open front and is configured for pushing snow; one or more front skid shoes that are affixed to or integral with a bottom of the pusher box; one or more rear skid supports extending from the pusher box in a direction away from the open front; and a rear skid shoe that is affixed to or integral with each of the rear skid supports. The pusher box comprises a pair of spaced-apart side plates and a mold board therebetween; each of the front skids is affixed to the bottom of one of the side plates. The mold board may be reinforced by mold board cross supports extending between the pair of side plates. A support plate is disposed between the rear skid supports and is affixed to or integral with one of the mold board and mold board cross supports. Respective cross support tubes extend between and attach to corresponding rear skid supports and respective sides of the support plate. The support plate may be substantially centered on the pusher box and the rear skid supports may be substantially equidistant from said support plate. The rear skid supports each comprise a rearward extending support bar and a connecting plate between the support bar and the rear skid shoe. A plurality of box supports are attached to or integral with the pusher box and are configured for connection to a vehicle whereby forces may be applied to the pusher box. The box supports may each include one or more gussets for reinforcing the box supports. The rear skid supports may alternatively be reinforced against the pusher box with gussets.

In another form, the invention includes a snow pusher for connecting to a vehicle, comprising a pusher box having an open front and being configured for pushing snow; a plurality of spaced-apart rear skid supports extending from the pusher box in a direction away from the open front; a rear skid shoe that is affixed to or integral with each of the rear skid supports; a support plate situated between the rear skid supports and affixed to the pusher box; and a cross support tube extending between each of the rear skid supports and the support plate. The pusher box comprises a pair of spaced-apart side plates, a mold board therebetween, and a front skid shoe affixed to each of the side plates. A plurality of box supports are affixed to or integral with the pusher box and configured for connection to a vehicle whereby forces may be applied to the pusher box. The pusher box may be part of a pre-existing snow pusher and the rear skid supports and the support plate may be retrofitted to the pusher box.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The preferred embodiments of this invention are illustrated in the figure described below. The drawing depicts a preferred snow pusher assembly for illustrative purposes only.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the snow pushing assembly.

The figure represents one preferred embodiment of the invention. Such examples are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of one embodiment of a snow pusher of the present invention. Snow pusher assembly 10 is configured for being movably coupled or otherwise movably affixed to the front end of a vehicle (not shown), such as, for example, a truck or other suitable vehicle. Snow pusher assembly 10 can be raised when not in use or lowered to the ground or other surface for use. When snow pusher assembly 10 is lowered to the use position, a blade or lower edge 12 of snow pusher 10 is placed into close proximity with and/or contacts the surface from which snow is being removed. The parts of the snow pusher assembly 10 are generally made of a substantially rigid material such as hardened steel; however, other materials may also be used. Many of the parts of the assembly 10 are either integrally molded with the assembly or welded to the assembly, though other attachment methods such as fasteners and adhesives may also be used.

The assembly 10 includes opposing side plates 20 that are attached to and spaced apart by one or more mold boards 30 and mold board cross supports 40. The boards 30 and cross supports 40 run in a generally-horizontal direction from one side plate 20 to the opposite side plate 20, thereby connecting and spacing apart the side plates 20. Snow enters the open front (not referenced) of assembly 10 as assembly 10 is moved in direction F along a surface from which snow is desired to be removed, such as, for example, pavement or a parking lot. The mold boards 30 and mold board cross supports 40 form the pusher box 14 of snow pusher assembly 10. The lower edge or blade 12 which, in use, is disposed nearest and/or engages the surface from which snow is being removed, is attached to or integral with the lower most mold board 30 or cross support 40. Skid shoes 50 are affixed to the bottom sides of side plates 20.

The box supports 60 are affixed, such as, for example, by respective gussets 64, to a common mold board 30 or mold board cross support 40. Spaced-apart rear skid supports 68 are affixed to and/or integral with a common mold board 30 or mold board cross support 40 below box supports 60, i.e., closer to the surface from which snow is being removed. Each rear skid support 68 is a predetermined distance from a corresponding side plate 20 and/or a predetermined distance from the center of the body of snow pusher 10. Further, the rear skid supports 68 each comprise a support bar 70 that extends from the pusher box 14 and a connecting plate 72 below the support bar 70 for supporting a rear skid shoe 94. Support plate 80 is disposed between rear skid supports 68. Preferably, support plate 80 is disposed at approximately the center of the body or back side of pusher 10 and approximately equidistant from each of rear skid supports 68. Respective cross support tubes 90 are affixed at a first end thereof to corresponding rear skid supports 68 and at a second end thereof to support plate 80. Preferably, rear skid supports 68 and support plate 80 are disposed proximate bottom side or blade 12.

More particularly, a first cross support tube 90 extends from a first rear skid support 68, which is affixed to the back of pusher 10 proximate a first side plate 20, to a first side (not referenced) of the center cross support plate 80. A second cross support tube 90 extends from a second rear skid support 68, which is affixed to the back of pusher 10 proximate a second side plate 20, to a second side (not referenced) of the center cross support plate 80.

Rear skid shoes 94 are affixed to and/or integral with the rear skid supports 68. The rear skid shoes 94 together with the front skid shoes 50 cause assembly 10 to move evenly over and self-level with respect to the surface from which snow is to be removed. Pusher 10 can thus be operated in a “float” mode whereby the skid shoes 50 and 94 engage and ride upon the surface from which snow is being removed. The downward force is provided by the weight of the assembly in float mode to allow easier turning and general maneuverability. The rear skid shoes 94 relieve pressure on the front skid shoes 50, and thus reduce scraping of the front scrapper blade (not shown) on the surface from which snow is being removed and thereby reduce wear on the front scrapper blade. While the rear skid shoes 94 relieve pressure on the front skid shoes 50, they also prevent the pusher box 14 from lifting up off the snow removal surface. Both front 50 and rear shoes 94 are able to withstand the amount of downward pressure necessary for improved snow removal and thereby enable removal of snow closer to the surface. The downward pressure may be applied by the vehicle via the box supports 60 or onto the rear skid supports 68. However, the pusher assembly 10 works best in float mode where, in the case that the vehicle is a loader, the loader's bucket rests on the rear skid supports 68 and pushes against the pusher box 14 without applying additional pressure to the assembly. Though, if excessive pressure is applied to the assembly, the pressure is evenly distributed through the skids.

In a particular embodiment, the pusher assembly 10 is configured for engaging a bucket, such as those on the front end of a loader or a bobcat. The bottom wall of the bucket passes between the box supports 60 and the rear skid supports 68 to push against the pusher box 14. The assembly 10 is secured to the bucket by chains or other suitable means. The bucket is lifted to engage the box supports 60 and lift the assembly 10. The bucket is lowered to rest against the rear skid supports 68 or to apply pressure to the supports 68. Driving the vehicle forward pushes the assembly 10 in the forward direction.

Skid shoes 50, 94 and the stabilizing means including box supports 60 and rear skid supports 68, respectively, cross support tubes 90, and support plate 80, can be applied to or retrofitted onto snow pushers of virtually any size and/or dimensions that may already be in use and/or available.

It should be noted that alternative bracing may be used to reinforce the rear skid supports 68. For example, the cross support tubes 90 may be angled so they may be affixed to the pusher box 14. Thus, the cross support tubes 90 buttress the rear skid supports 68 against the pusher box 14 rather than the support plate 80. In another example, the rear skid supports 68 include gussets that buttress the rear skid supports 68 against the pusher box 14.

It should also be noted that the pusher assembly of the present invention is highly scaleable. The pusher assembly 10 may be scaled down to a small size to be used with a small vehicle, such as a bobcat. Further, the pusher assembly 10 may be scaled up to be used with large vehicles, such as large loaders. The number of rear skid shoes 94 and rear skid supports 68 depends on the scale of the pusher assembly 10. A small assembly may require only one or two rear skids, while a large assembly may require many more than two rear skids in order to distribute the load.

While the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof to adapt to particular situations without departing from the scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiments disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.