Title:
Ground engaging system for a machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A machine, such as a compactor, includes at least one ground-engaging member having a plurality of teeth. Often, debris or dirt builds up on the ground-engaging member between the teeth and must be removed for improved compaction. The teeth may have base and a tip with a width of the tip being greater than a width of the base. A scraper is provided having a second end configured adjacent a surface of the ground-engaging member. As the ground-engaging member rotates, the relatively stationary scrapers remove material, which would otherwise cause build-up beneath tips of the teeth.



Inventors:
Stern, Jeff L. (Big Lake, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/899923
Publication Date:
03/27/2008
Filing Date:
12/20/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
37/452
International Classes:
E01C19/26; E02F9/28
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ADDIE, RAYMOND W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Caterpillar Inc. (PEORIA, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A machine, comprising: a frame defined by a longitudinal axis; a mounting bar connected to the frame transverse to the longitudinal axis; a ground engaging member rotatably connected to the frame; a plurality of teeth located at predetermined intervals in adjacent rows on a surface of the ground engaging member, each tooth having a base portion attached to the surface and a tip portion extending outwardly from the surface, the base portion being narrower than the tip portion; and a plurality of scrapers, each scraper having a first end connected to the mounting bar and a second end located adjacent the surface, the second end having a width greater than a distance between adjacent tip portions and less than a distance between adjacent base portions.

2. The machine of claim 1, each tooth further comprising: the base portion having opposed first and second base sides and opposed first and second base ends; and the tip portion having opposed first and second tip sides and opposed first and second tip ends; wherein a distance between the first and second base ends is greater than a distance between the first and second tip ends and a distance between the first and second base sides is less than a distance between the first and second tip sides.

3. The machine of claim 2, the teeth further including: a first arcuate portion 60 connecting the first base side 46 to the first tip side 56; and a second arcuate portion 63 connecting the second base side 48 to the second tip side 58.

4. The machine of claim 2, further including: a first sloped portion 65 connecting the first base end 42 to the first tip end 52; and a second sloped portion 67 connecting the second base end 44 to the second tip end 54.

5. The machine of claim 2, wherein the distance between base sides in adjacent rows defines a first space, and the distance between tip sides in adjacent rows defines a second space.

6. The machine of claim 5, wherein the first space is greater in width than the second space.

7. The machine of claim 6, wherein the second end of each scraper is further positioned in a portion of each respective first space.

8. The machine of claim 7, wherein the first end of each scraper is connected to the second end of each scraper by a connecting portion, the connecting portion positioned in a corresponding second space.

9. The machine of claim 2, each scraper second end further including opposed first and second sides.

10. The machine of claim 9, wherein at least one of the scraper first and second sides are adjacent to at least one of the first and second base sides.

11. The machine of claim 9, wherein at least one of the scraper first and second sides are adjacent to at least one of the first base sides of a plurality of teeth in a first row and the second base sides of a plurality of teeth in a second row.

12. A tooth for a ground engaging member of a machine, comprising: a base portion having opposed first and second base sides and opposed first and second base ends; and a tip portion having opposed first and second tip sides and opposed first and second tip ends; wherein: a distance between the first and second base ends is greater than a distance between the first and second tip ends; a distance between the first and second base sides is less than a distance between the first and second tip sides; and the base portion is configured to attach to a surface of the ground engaging member, the tip portion extending outwardly from the surface.

13. The tooth of claim 12, wherein the base portion is configured to be attached to the surface such that at least one of a first and second side of a scraper is located in a portion of a space adjacent at least one of the first and second base sides and beneath the corresponding first and second tip sides.

14. A ground engaging system for a machine, comprising: a ground engaging member rotatably connected to a frame of the machine; a plurality of teeth located at predetermined intervals in rows on a surface of the ground engaging member, each tooth having a base portion attached to the surface and a tip portion extending outwardly from the surface, the base portion being narrower than the tip portion; and a scraper having a first end configured to be connected to the frame and a second end configured to be located adjacent the surface, the second end having a width greater than a distance between adjacent tip portions and less than a distance between adjacent base portions.

Description:

RELATION TO OTHER PATENT

This application is a continuation-in-part of patent application Ser. No. 29/228,895, filed on Apr. 29, 2005.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a tooth for compacting material and a scraper that cleans between adjacent teeth disposed on compacting drum on a machine and, more specifically, to the structure of the respective teeth and scraper for a compactor drum.

BACKGROUND

Work machines known as compactors are commonly used to compress and spread material, such as dirt at a building site. Compactors often have drum-type metal wheels with a plurality of rows of replaceable teeth attached to the outside surfaces of the wheels. The teeth provide traction to the compactor, as well as concentrating the weight of the machine on a small area to increase compression force on the underlying material.

Dirt and debris can become stuck to the wheel between the teeth, particularly in damp conditions or if the soil has high clay content. If such debris builds up sufficiently to clog the spaces of the wheel surface between, and roughly to the height of, the teeth, the teeth cannot dig into the ground, and may result in loss of traction and/or poor compaction.

The generally accepted practice for avoiding build-up includes mounting stationary scrapers or cleaner finger on a portion of the work machine such that, as the wheels rotate, the cleaner fingers scrape or deflect debris from between the rows of teeth. An example of this type of cleaner finger arrangement is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,360,288, issued Nov. 1, 1994 to William N. O'Neill et al. (hereafter referenced as '288). The '288 cleaner finger assembly includes a replaceable cleaner tooth having an arcuate upper surface, a trailing lower surface, and a fastening portion. Although the '288 arrangement is effective in cleaning between the rows of teeth, dirt may have a chance to accumulate in front of and behind the entire width of the teeth in each row.

The present invention is directed to overcoming one or more of the problems as set forth above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, a machine, including a frame, a mounting bar, a ground-engaging member, a plurality of teeth and a plurality of scrapers, is disclosed. The frame may be defined by a longitudinal axis with the mounting bar connected to and transverse the frame. The ground-engaging member may be rotatably connected to the frame. The teeth may be located at predetermined intervals on a surface of the ground-engaging member. Each tooth may have a base portion attached to the surface and a tip portion extending outward from the surface, the base portion being narrower than the tip portion. Each scraper may include a first end connected to the mounting bar and a second end located adjacent the surface, the second end being wider than a distance between adjacent tip portions and narrower than a distance between adjacent base portions.

In another aspect of the present invention, a tooth for a ground-engaging member, comprising a base portion and a tip portion is disclosed. The base portion may have opposed first and second base sides and opposed first and second base ends. The tip portion may have opposed first and second tip sides and opposed first and second tip ends, is disclosed. The distance between the first and second base ends may be greater than a distance between the first and second tip ends. The distance between the first and second base sides may be less than a distance between the first and second tip sides. The base portion may be configured to attach to a surface of the ground-engaging member with the tip portion extending outwardly from the surface.

In another aspect of the present invention, a ground engaging system for a machine, comprising a ground-engaging member, a plurality of teeth, and a scraper, is disclosed. The ground-engaging member may be rotatably connected to a frame of the machine. The plurality of teeth may be located at predetermined intervals in rows on a surface of the ground-engaging member. Each tooth may have a base portion attached to the surface and a tip portion extending outwardly from the surface, the base portion being narrower than the tip portion. The scraper may have a first end configured to be connected to the frame and a second end configured to be located adjacent a surface of the ground-engaging member. The second end may have a width greater than a distance between adjacent tip portions and less than a distance between adjacent base portions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate several exemplary embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of a machine where one embodiment of the present disclosure may be employed;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a ground engaging member showing a plurality of teeth and a plurality of scrapers according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of a ground engaging member showing a plurality of teeth and a plurality of scrapers according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a scraper according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a front plan view of a tooth according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a side plan view of a tooth according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Whenever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

FIG. 1 shows a diagrammatic illustration of a machine 100 where one embodiment of the present disclosure may be employed. Although the machine 100 is shown as a single drum compactor, the machine 100 may be any kind of machine that generally has a need for performing compaction or the removal of material from a ground-engaging member 132.

The machine 100 displayed in FIG. 1 is shown to include a frame 102 defined by a longitudinal axis 120, a mounting bar 116, and a ground-engaging system (shown generally at 130). Although the machine 100 is shown having a single ground engaging system 130 and a rear tire 106, the machine 100 may have one, two, or more ground engaging systems 130 and may have no tires 106.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a ground-engaging member showing a plurality of teeth and a plurality of scrapers according to an embodiment of the present invention. Referring to both FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the ground-engaging system 130 may include at least one ground-engaging member 132, a plurality of teeth 140, and a plurality of scrapers 180. The ground-engaging member 132 may be connected to the frame 102 in a number of ways including, but not limited to, rotatably attached between first and second mounting plates 108,112, or rotatably mounted on an axle (not shown).

In the embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the mounting bar 116 may generally be configured transverse the longitudinal axis 120 of the machine 100 and may be connected to the frame 102 via the first and second mounting plates 108,110. The first and second mounting plates 108,112 may have first ends 109,113 connected to respective mounting bar first and second ends 117,118 and second ends 110,114 connected to the frame 102. The ground-engaging member 132 may be located between first and second mounting plates 108,112 and may be rotatably connected to a portion of the first and second mounting plates 108,112. Even though the mounting bar 116 is shown to have first and second ends 117,118 attached to first and second mounting plates 110,112, the mounting bar 116 may also be connected directly to the frame 102 at a single end or any mid portion of the mounting bar 116. This configuration may be more prevalent on machines 100 having ground-engaging systems 130 on the sides of the machine 100 rather than in front of or behind the machine 100.

A plurality of teeth 140 are attached to a surface 134 of the ground-engaging member 132. Preferably, the plurality of teeth 140 are arranged at predetermined intervals in longitudinal rows in a known manner on the ground-engaging surface 134. For example, FIG. 2 shows a first row 200 located next to the mounting bar second end 118 and a second row 210 located two rows in from the mounting bar second end 118. Although the first and second rows 200,210 may be located adjacent one another, the teeth 140 may be configured in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, immediately adjacent one another and offset from one another. A plurality of scrapers 180 may be removably attached to the mounting bar 116. At least one of the scrapers 180 may be positioned in the space between the first and second rows 200,210. Additional scrapers 180 may be positioned in the space between additional adjacent rows of teeth 140. The plurality of scrapers 180 are shown in FIG. 2 as being identical, but may be formed or mounted differently from one another along the length of the mounting bar 116 as needed. The plurality of scrapers 180 may generally be positioned in a row transverse the rows of teeth 140 as shown in FIG. 2. Although FIG. 2 only shows one transverse row of scrapers 180, additional rows of scrapers 180 may be positioned for added cleaning or positioned to clean if the ground-engaging member 132 rotates in a forward and a reverse direction. These additional rows of scrapers 180 may be mounted to the mounting bar 116 or to an additional mounting bar (not shown) or other portions of the machine 100 (not shown).

FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of a ground-engaging member 132 showing a plurality of teeth 140 and a plurality of scrapers 180 according to an embodiment of the present invention. Each tooth 140 as shown in the first and second rows 200,210 may have a base portion 150 and a tip portion 160. The base portion 150 may be attached to the ground-engaging member surface 134 and the tip portion 160 may extend outwardly from the surface 134. Each scraper 180 may have a first end 185 mounted to the mounting bar 116 and a second end 190 located adjacent the surface 134 and between the base portions 150 of teeth in a first and second rows 200, 210. The scraper first and second ends 185,190 may be connected by a connecting portion 187. The plurality of scrapers 180 may be mounted to the mounting bar 116 as shown. Alternatively, the plurality of scrapers 180 may be mounted to any portion of the frame 102 or other attached structure to allow each scraper second end 190 to maintain its respective assembled position adjacent the surface 134 and in the space between adjacent rows of tooth base portions 150. Furthermore, the scraper first end 185 may be attached to the mounting bar 116 or other portion of the machine 100 in a number of ways, such as, but not limited to, using fasteners, welding, and the like, as may be known in the art. The scraper second end 190 may also have first and second sides 192,194 wherein a distance between first and second sides 192,194 is greater than a distance between adjacent tooth tip portions 160 in first and second rows 200,210 and less than a distance between adjacent tooth base portions 150 in first and second rows 200,210.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the scraper 180 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The scraper second end 190 may have a forward end 196, a rear end 197 and a base 198. The scraper second end 190 may be configured to do work in a single direction. Alternatively, the scraper rear end 197 may be structured similar to the scraper forward end 196 such that only a single row of scrapers are required to clean the ground engaging member 132 as it rotates in alternate directions. The base 198 may preferably be arcuate similar to the curvature of the ground-engaging surface 134. The base 198 may alternatively be dissimilar to the curvature of the surface 134, such as, but not limited to, being closer to the surface 134 at the forward and rear ends 196,197. The base 198 may have a predetermined offset from the surface 134 and the scraper first and second sides 192,194 may have a predetermined offset from the adjacent rows of teeth 140 to allow for the ground-engaging member 132 to oscillate normally without bringing the scraper second end 190 into contact with the surface 134 or the plurality of tooth base and tip portions 150,160 in the adjacent rows. Additionally, the scraper first end 185 may be adjustable such that the predetermined offset between the base 198 and the surface 134 may be maintained as the scraper second end 190 wears. Alternatively, the scraper first end 185 may be adjustable such that the offset between the base 198 and the surface 134 may be varied based upon user or application preference.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are front plan and side plan views of a tooth 140 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The tooth base portion 150 may have a first and second base side 152,154 and a first and second base end 156,158. The tooth tip portion 160 may have a first and second tip side 162,164 and a first and second tip end 166,168. A distance between the first base side 152 and the second base side 154 is shown to be less than a distance between the first tip side 162 and the second tip side 164. A distance between the first base end 156 and the second base end 158 is shown to be greater than a distance between the first tip end 166 and the second tip end 168. The plurality of teeth 140 may also be configured such that each tooth 140 may be solid or such that a portion of each tooth 140 may contain a hollow cavity (not shown)

FIG. 5 shows a first arcuate portion 170 connecting the first base side 152 to the first tip side 162 and a second arcuate portion 172 connecting the second base side 154 to the second tip side 164. Although this portion of the tooth 140 is shown as being arcuate, configurations may include, but are not limited to, arcuate, stepped, sloped and angled configurations connecting the first and second base sides 152,154 to the respective first and second tip sides 162,164. FIG. 6 shows a first sloped portion 175 connecting the first base end 156 to the first tip end 166 and a second sloped portion 177 connecting the second base end 158 to the second tip end 168. Although this portion of the tooth 140 is shown being sloped, configurations may include, but are not limited to, sloped, arcuate, stepped, and angled configurations connecting first and second base ends 156,158 to the respective first and second tip ends 166,168.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

As the machine 100 traverses at a work site, the scraper 180 remains stationary relative to the machine 100 while the ground-engaging member 132 rotates, moving the teeth 140 past the scrapers 180 which perform the cleaning function. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the plurality of teeth 140 may be located in first and second rows 200,210 such that the teeth 140 are offset from one another. As the teeth 140 in the first row 200 moves past the scrapers 180, the scraper first side 192 may be adjacent to a portion of the second base side 154 of the teeth in the first row 200 and beneath a portion of the second tip side 164. As the teeth in the second row 210 move past the scrapers 180, the scraper second side 194 may be adjacent to a portion of the first base side 152 of the teeth in the second row 210 and beneath a portion of the second tip side 162.

The scraper 180 may be positioned with respect to the ground-engaging member surface 134 and the plurality of teeth base portions 150 such that only a small space is permitted between the forward end 196 and the surface 134 and between the scraper first and second sides 192,194 and the teeth base portions 150. The scraper forward end 196 may then effectively remove dirt or debris from the space between the teeth base portions 150 and beneath the teeth tip portions 160, thus allowing for improved compaction ability of the ground engaging system 130.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the present invention without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope and spirit of the invention being indicated by the following claims and their equivalents.