Title:
Mini earth scraper
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mini earth scraper comprised of a bucket which is open at its front end with a scraping edge at the bottom of its open front end, and an open frame having wheels at its back end, wherein the bucket is pivotally attached within the frame. In addition the mini earth scraper has two lifting arms, one of which is attached at one of its ends to one side of the bucket and at its other end to the frame adjacent that side of the bucket; and the other of the lifting arms is attached at one of its ends to the other side of the bucket and at its other end to the frame adjacent that other side of the bucket. In preferred operation the front of the frame is attached to a standard tractor three point hitch. The lifting arms are used to adjust the angle of the bucket relative to the frame, and the three point hitch raises or lowers the frame. When the frame is lowered to just above ground level, and the bucket is inclined at the correct angle by the lifting arms, the scraping edge will engage the ground, and as the frame is pulled forward (by the vehicle to which it is attached) the scraping edge will cut away protrusions not level with the ground's surface, and they will be scooped into the bucket by the forward motion of the bucket. Later the frame can be raised, and the bucket tilted forward to dump out the bucket's load.



Inventors:
Cornelsen, Gilbert (Rosenort, CA)
Application Number:
11/108550
Publication Date:
10/19/2006
Filing Date:
04/19/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02F3/64
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HARTMANN, GARY S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gilbert Cornelsen (Rosenort, MB, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A mini earth scraper comprised of: a.) a bucket having an open front end, a floor, a back wall, a first side wall called side wall A, a second side wall called side wall B, and a scraping means which is part of the outward facing front bottom edge of the floor; and b.) an open frame within which the bucket can be pivotally attached, which open frame has a front end that is attachable to a standard tractor three point hitch, and which open frame has support wheels at its back by means of which it may be rolled when its front end is above the surface along which the frame is to be rolled; and c.) wherein the bucket is pivotally attached within the open frame; and d.) a first lifting arm called lifting arm A, and a second lifting arm called lifting arm B; and e.) wherein when the bucket is pivotally held within the open frame, one end of lifting arm A is attached to the portion of the open frame adjacent side wall A, and the other end of lifting arm A is attached to side wall A, and one end of lifting arm B is attached to the portion of the open frame adjacent side wall B, and the other end of lifting arm B is attached to side wall B.

2. A mini earth scraper comprised of: a.) a bucket having an open front end, a floor, a back wall, a first side wall called side wall A, and a second side wall called side wall B; and b.) a scraping edge which is attachable to the front bottom edge of the floor of the bucket; and c.) an open frame within which the bucket can be pivotally attached, which open frame has a front end that is attachable to a standard tractor three point hitch, and which open frame has support wheels at its back by means of which it may be rolled when its front end is above the surface along which the frame is to be rolled; and d.) wherein the bucket is pivotally attached within the open frame; and e.) a first lifting arm called lifting arm A, and a second lifting arm called lifting arm B; and f.) wherein when the bucket is pivotally held within the open frame, one end of lifting arm A is attached to the portion of the open frame adjacent side wall A, and the other end of lifting arm A is attached to side wall A, and one end of lifting arm B is attached to the portion of the open frame adjacent side wall B, and the other end of lifting arm B is attached to side wall B.

3. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 1 in which the scraping means is a toothed scraping edge.

4. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 2 in which the scraping edge is a toothed scraping edge.

5. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 1 which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

6. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 2 which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

7. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 1 in which the scraping means is a toothed scraping edge; and which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

8. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 2 in which the scraping edge is a toothed scraping edge; and which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

9. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 1 in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit.

10. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 2 in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit.

11. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 1 in which the scraping means is a toothed scraping edge; and in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit.

12. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 2 in which the scraping edge is a toothed scraping edge; and in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit.

13. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 1 in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit; and which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

14. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 2 in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit; and which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

15. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 1 in which the scraping means is a toothed scraping edge; and in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit; and which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

16. A mini earth scraper as described in claim 2 in which the scraping edge is a toothed scraping edge; and in which the first lifting arm and the second lifting arm are both hydraulic lifting arms, able to be controlled by a standard tractor's standard hydraulic control unit; and which is further comprised of a gate which in its closed position closes to the desired extent, the open front end of the bucket and in its open position leaves the open front end of the bucket sufficiently open to dump its load, and which gate is able to be placed in intermediate positions between its closed position and its open position.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to devices for scraping the ground, and more specifically the invention relates to small devices which can be pulled behind a tractor for the removal of bumps of earth and objects that are protruding up from the level surface of the ground

BACKGROUND ART

Independent motorized machines such as bulldozers and graders are often used to level areas of land. Other independent self propelled equipment, such as back hoes and front end loaders can also be used to remove lumps and bumps from the earth and level out a field or portion of a field. However, those are all relatively expensive pieces of equipment and many small to medium farm operations may not own any of those machines. In the prior art many less expensive dependent devices, designed to be pulled by a tractor or truck, have been invented for the purpose of scraping the ground to dislodge and remove protrusions of all kinds.

The dependent prior art devices of which the inventor is aware all have in common that they are pulled behind a tractor (or other suitable motorized vehicle), and that they have a front ground engaging portion designed to separate any protrusions from the level surface of the ground. Of those prior art devices, many also have a bucket like container into which the separated matter is collected. The differences between the various prior art devices are in how they are built, for while they all seek to accomplish the same or similar ultimate objectives, many of them use different components and/or they assembled the components in differently.

Most of the dependent prior art devices of which the inventor is aware also have in common a relative complexity of construction, and therefore an associated relative higher cost of production. Some of the dependent prior art devices of which the inventor is aware operate in a relatively complex manner, sometimes thereby making them more susceptible to breakage and sometimes less able to remove heavier or more strongly attached protrusions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention was to design a mini earth scraper that would be strong enough to remove most anticipated intended bumps, rocks, and other protrusions on or connected to the ground.

A second object of the present invention was to design a mini earth scraper that would be of a simple construction to keep production costs down.

A third object of the present invention was to design a mini earth scraper that could be fully operated by a tractor having a standard category 1 three point hitch and a standard hydraulic control unit.

A forth object of the invention was to design a mini earth scraper that accomplished the first three objects and was easily operable by a single person.

The objects of the invention are accomplished by constructing a mini earth scraper comprised of: a bucket which is open at its front end, and which has a bottom, a back wall, two opposing side walls, side wall A and side wall B, and a scraping edge at the front outer end of its bottom; and a frame having wheels at its back end; and wherein the bucket is pivotally attached within the frame; and two lifting arms, lifting arm A and lifting arm B; and wherein one end of lifting arm A is attached to the portion of the frame adjacent side wall A, and the other end of lifting arm A is attached to side wall A; and wherein one end of lifting arm B is attached to the portion of the frame adjacent side wall B, and the other end of lifting arm B is attached to side wall B; and wherein the front portion of the frame can be attached to a standard three point hitch of a tractor.

The open front bucket and the frame can each be made out of any desired thickness of metal, and therefore the mini earth scraper of the present invention can be built as strongly as its anticipated uses would require. It is of simple construction, thereby keeping production costs down. In addition, the present invention's mini earth scraper can be fully operated by a standard tractor having a category 1 three point hitch and a hydraulic control unit. The set up and operation of the invention is simple and can easily be done by a single person. If the lifting arms were mechanical and the invention was going to be pulled behind a vehicle without a tractor type standard three point hitch, then the User would simply lift and attach the front of the mini earth scraper's frame to the back of the intended pulling vehicle, setting it at the correct height for scraping the intended surface. The User would then adjust the bucket to its scraping position using the lifting arms. The User would then simply get into the vehicle and drive forward along the area to be scraped. When the bucket was filled to the desired level with that which had been scraped from the ground's surface, the User would stop the vehicle, adjust the mechanical lifting arms so that the bucket would not dump out its load when the pulling vehicle was next driven; then get back into the pulling vehicle, drive to the dumping area, and again using the lifting arms, dump the bucket's load.

In the invention's preferred embodiments the lifting arms are hydraulic. In its preferred manner of use, the front of the mini earth scraper's frame is attached to a standard category 1 three point hitch of a tractor, and the invention's lifting arms, which as stated are preferably hydraulic, are operated by the tractor's standard hydraulic control unit. The User again simply lifts the front of the mini earth scraper's frame and attaches it to the standard three point hitch of the tractor, and then connects the hydraulic lines of the lifting arms to the tractor's hydraulic control unit. The User then gets in the tractor and using the tractor's three point hitch controls, easily adjusts the height of the frame as often and as exactingly as desired, and using the tractor's hydraulic control unit easily adjusts the angle of the bucket relative to the frame, as often and as exactingly as desired. The User can then as often as desired readjust the height of the frame and the angle of the bucket relative to the frame, to achieve any desired level of closeness and pressure of earth scraping, through the use of the tractor's three point hitch controls and hydraulic control unit's controls, which in a standard modern tractor are quickly and easily accessible to the driver while he is driving. Then when the bucket is filled to the desired level, the driver (using the three point hitch controls and the hydraulic control unit's controls) adjusts the height of its frame and the angle of the bucket so that its load will not spill out. The driver then drives to the dumping area, and adjusts the bucket frame's height, and the bucket's angle to dump its load.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mini earth scraper of the present invention, which also has a front gate, and which mini earth scraper is attached to a standard tractor three point hitch, and is in earth scraping position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the mini earth scraper shown in FIG. 1, which has been raised to a dumping position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a different embodiment of a mini earth scraper of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a mini earth scraper of the present invention, which has a fixed position front gate, and which mini earth scraper is attached to a standard tractor three point hitch, and is in dumping position;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A preferred embodiment of a mini earth scraper of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is made out of metal, which is the preferred material for construction of the invention. However, metal is not the only material out of which the invention can be made. The invention may also be construct out of suitable plastic, suitable fiberglass, suitable PVCs, or other suitable materials, or out of combinations of suitable materials, as will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

The FIGS. 1 and 2 embodiment is made up of a bucket 10, which has an open front end 11, a floor (not shown), a back wall 12, a first side wall 13, a second side wall 14, an attached toothed scraping edge 23, which has a row of scraping teeth 24, an open frame 15 within which the bucket 10 is pivotally attached as at 16, two lifting arms 17, one on each side of the bucket 10, a bucket strengthening member 20, a front gate 21, and a means 25 by which the frame 15 can be attached to a standard tractor three point hitch 28.

A bucket strengthening member of any type, including of the type shown at 20, is not an essential feature of the invention. However, it is a recommended feature, especially when designed and installed as at 20, because in addition to being a bucket strengthening member, it can have equipment mounted on it that allows the person using the invention to determine the degree of flatness of the ground. It may also be used for the mounting of other equipment, as determined by the person using the invention.

The lifting arms in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 are hydraulic. Each of the lifting arms is attached to the bucket 10, as at 19, and also attached to the frame 15, as at 29. The lifting arms need not be hydraulic, they can be mechanical, or of any other workable type; however, it is recommended to use hydraulic lifting arms, as they are cost effective and in most cases the mini earth scraper will be used behind a modern tractor that comes with a hydraulic control unit, thereby giving the User a quick, effective, and very easy way to power and control the lifting arms. In operation the hydraulic control lines 18 of the lifting arms would be connected to the tractor's hydraulic control unit's lines 30 through suitable couplings and extension lines, as will be obvious to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains.

A toothed scraping edge like the one shown at 23 is recommended, however, a flat scraping edge, as shown at 26 in FIG. 3 may also be used. Other scraping edges, as will be obvious to those skilled in the art, may also be used. Even when the bucket and/or frame is made out of a suitable plastic, suitable PVC, or other suitable material, it is recommended that the scraping edge be made out of metal. An advantage of an attachable (and therefore removable) scraping edge as shown at 23, is that it is the scrapping edge which is most likely to become damaged, broken or worn out, therefore if it is easily removable it can be more easily and less expensively repaired or replaced.

The wheels 27 can be attached at the back of frame 15 in different ways, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3; how the wheels are attached at the back of the frame, is not relevant, as long as they serve the purpose of allowing the frame, and bucket, when it is fully loaded, to be pulled behind the desired pulling vehicle. The number of wheels and the size and type of wheels is also not relevant to the invention, as long as they serve the purpose of allowing the frame, and bucket, when it is fully loaded, to be pulled behind the desired pulling vehicle.

The preferred embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 also has a front gate 21, which is not fixed to the bucket. The front gate 21 is hinged, by hinges 31, to the front of the frame 15. In addition, the front gate 21 has rotateable cylindrical sleeves 22, which can roll up and down along a channel (not shown) in the top edges of side walls 13 and 14. In operation, as the front of frame 15 is moved up, relative to the bottom of the bucket, the bottom of front gate 21, which is hinged to the front of frame 15, will move up with the front of frame 15, and the top of front gate 21, by means of the rotateable cylindrical sleeves 22, will move towards the back wall 12, of the bucket, thereby uncovering more of the open front end 11 of the bucket.

Another preferred embodiment of the invention, shown in FIG. 4, has a front gate 32, which is fixedly and rigidly attached to the front of frame 15. In operation, as the front of frame 15 is moved up, relative to the bottom of the bucket, the front gate 32, which is fixedly and rigidly attached to frame 15, will move up with the front of frame 15, and the top of front gate 32, because gate 32 is rigidly attached to the front of frame 15, will maintain the same position relative to the front of frame 15. Consequently, as the bottom front of bucket 10 and the front of frame 15 are moved farther apart, the front gate 32 will also move farther apart from the bottom front of bucket 10, thereby uncovering more of the open front end 11 of the bucket.

The front gate is not an essential feature of the invention, however, it is a recommended feature. How the gate acts when it is opened or closed is also not relevant, as long as the gate can remain opened sufficiently to allow for the scrapped up bumps, rocks, and other protrusions to be scooped up in the bucket as it is pulled forward, when the invention is being used for earth scrapping; and as long as the gate can remain opened sufficiently for emptying the bucket's load, when the operator wants to dump out the bucket's load.

FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 show a preferred embodiment being used with a standard modern tractor. To attach the invention to the tractor, the person lifts the front of the mini earth scraper's frame and using means 25 attaches the frame to a standard three point hitch 28 of the tractor. The person then connects the hydraulic lines 18 of the lifting arms 17 to the tractor's hydraulic control unit's lines 30. The person then gets in the tractor and using the tractor's three point hitch controls, easily adjusts the height of the frame as often and as exactingly as desired, and using the tractor's hydraulic control unit easily adjusts the angle of the bucket relative to the frame, as often and as exactingly as desired. The User can then as often as desired readjust the height of the frame and the angle of the bucket relative to the frame, to achieve any desired level of closeness and pressure of earth scraping, by using the tractor's three point hitch controls and hydraulic control unit's controls, which in a standard modern tractor are quickly and easily accessible to the driver while he is driving. With the bucket in scraping position, driving forward the vehicle that is pulling the mini earth scraper causes the mini earth scraper to scrap the earth's surface, removing bumps and protrusions, which are then scooped up by the bucket as it moves forward. When the bucket is filled to the desired level, the driver adjusts the height of the frame and the angle of the bucket so that its load will not spill out. The driver then drives to the dumping area, and adjusts the bucket frame's height, and the bucket's angle to dump its load.

Variations to the invention can be made, as shown by way of example in the embodiments illustrated in the figures and as explained in the disclosure; in addition, other variations will be obvious to those skilled in the art, and they are covered by the appended claims, as they are within the scope of the invention.