Title:
Apparatus, system and method for moving a scraping device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus, system and method for moving a scraping device are provided. The scraping device has a frame, a blade attached to the bottom of the frame, a tongue attached to a front end of the frame and a beam attached to a back end of the frame. Tires are connected to the beam. The scraping device has a front lift mechanism at the front end of the frame and/or a rear lift mechanism at the back end of the frame. The front lift mechanism has a front cylinder connected to the tongue and the front end of the frame. The rear lift mechanism has a rear cylinder attached to the back end of the frame. Movement of the front cylinder and the rear cylinder results in raising and/or lowering of the corresponding ends of the frame of the scraping device. Raising and/or lowering of the front end and/or the back end of the frame adjusts the angle of the frame relative to the ground, adjusts the angle of the blade relative to the ground and/or adjusts the ground clearance of the scraping device.



Inventors:
Moyna, John P. (Elkader, IA, US)
Application Number:
11/726462
Publication Date:
09/25/2008
Filing Date:
03/21/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
172/259, 172/396, 172/828
International Classes:
E02F3/76
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080000656Disk Blade Scrapers for Tillage ApparatusJanuary, 2008Cooper et al.
20070137872Attachment for road grader blade for grading shouldersJune, 2007Ziebell
20090194303Height and Gradient adjustment systemAugust, 2009Moe
20080314605LAND ROLLERDecember, 2008Degelman et al.
20080302546Multi-purpose tool for attachment to a lawnmowerDecember, 2008Bundy
20080245539Soil Tilling DeviceOctober, 2008Di Girolamo
20070102171Device For Soil CultivationMay, 2007Huuhka
20030217852Hitch for a work vehicleNovember, 2003Bernhardt et al.
20170034988Surface Conditioning SystemFebruary, 2017Meredith
20050133230Hand held garden tool and method for making the sameJune, 2005Sheehan et al.



Primary Examiner:
TROUTMAN, MATTHEW D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CATERPILLAR/FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, L.L.P. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A scraping device for scraping an area of soil, the scraping device comprising: a frame having a length defined between a front end and a back end wherein the front end is in a first vertical position relative to the back end wherein the back end is in a first vertical position relative to the front end; a tongue extending from the front end of the frame; first plates attached to a back end of the tongue; second plates attached to the front end of the frame wherein bottom ends of the second plates are pivotally connected to bottom ends of the first plates wherein top ends of the second plates are a first distance from top ends of the second plates; a front cylinder pivotally connected to the top ends of the first plates and pivotally connected to the top ends of the second plates wherein the front cylinder moves to adjust the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the first plates wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the second plates moves the front end from the first vertical position relative to the back end to a second vertical position relative to the back end; third plates attached to the back end of the frame; a beam pivotally connected to bottom ends of the third plates wherein the beam has a top surface wherein the top surface of the beam is a distance from the top ends of the third plates; and a rear cylinder pivotally connected to top ends of the third plates and pivotally connected to the beam wherein movement of the rear cylinder adjusts the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the top surface of the beam wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the top surface of the beam moves the back end from a first vertical position relative to the front end to a second vertical position relative to the front end.

2. The scraping device of claim 1 further comprising: a blade attached to the frame wherein the blade projects from a bottom of the frame.

3. The scraping device of claim 1 wherein the first end of the tongue is attached to a hitch.

4. The scraping device of claim 1 further comprising: at least one tire connected to the beam.

5. The scraping device of claim 1 wherein the front cylinder and the rear cylinder are hydraulic cylinders wherein movement of the hydraulic cylinders is caused by hydraulic fluid within the cylinders.

6. The scraping device of claim 1 further comprising: an ejector plate at the back end of the frame wherein moving the ejector plate toward the front end of the frame pushes the material from the frame.

7. The scraping device of claim 1 further comprising: a lip connected to the front end of the frame and extending above the frame wherein the lip is raised to allow material to be pushed from the frame.

8. The scraping device of claim 1 further comprising: a pivot on the top surface of the beam connected to the rear cylinder.

9. The scraping device of claim 1 further comprising: hoses connected to the scraping device wherein the hoses move the front cylinder and the rear cylinder by controlling hydraulic fluid within the front cylinder and the rear cylinder.

10. The scraping device of claim 1 further comprising: a second front cylinder pivotally attached to the top ends of the first plates and the top ends of the second plates.

11. A method for adjusting a cutting angle of a scraping device for breaking apart an area of material, the method comprising the steps of: providing a scraping device having a frame having walls defining an interior wherein the frame has a length defined between a front end and a back end wherein the scraping device has a tongue attached to the front end of the frame by a front cylinder wherein the scraping device has a beam attached to the back end of the frame by a rear cylinder and further wherein the scraping device has a blade attached to the frame wherein the blade is angled toward an area having the material; moving the front cylinder; moving the front end from a first position relative to the back end to a second position of the front end relative to the back end wherein moving the front end is caused by moving the front cylinder; moving the rear cylinder; moving the back end from a first position relative to the front end to a second position of the back end relative to the front end wherein moving the back end is caused by moving the back cylinder; adjusting an angle of the blade relative to the tongue wherein moving the first position of the front end relative to the back end to the second position of the front end relative to the back end and moving the first position of the back end relative to the front end to the second position of the back end relative to the front end adjusts the angle of the blade relative to the tongue; and moving the scraping device across the area of material.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of: moving an ejector plate that resides within the interior from the back end of the frame toward the front end of the frame to force the material from the frame.

13. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of: raising a lip connected to the front end of the frame and extending above the frame wherein the lip is raised to allow material to be pushed from the frame.

14. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of: moving the front end from the second position relative to the back end to a third position of the front end relative to the back end wherein moving the front end is caused by moving the front cylinder.

15. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of: moving the back end from the second position relative to the front end to a third position of the back end relative to the front end wherein moving the back end is caused by moving the back cylinder.

16. A scraping device for scraping an area of soil, the scraping device comprising: a frame having a length defined between a front end and a back end wherein the back end is in a position opposite to the front end; a tongue extending from the front end of the frame wherein the tongue has a length defined between a first end and a second end wherein the frame is at a first angle relative to the tongue; first plates attached to the second end of the tongue wherein the plates are connected adjacent to the top surface of the tongue and connected adjacent to the bottom surface of the tongue wherein the first plates have top ends and bottom ends in a position opposite to the top ends; second plates attached to the front end of the frame wherein the second plates have top ends and bottom ends in a position opposite to the top ends wherein the bottom ends of the second plates are pivotally connected to the bottom ends of the first plates wherein the top ends of the second plates are a first distance from the top ends of the first plates; a front cylinder pivotally attached to the top ends of the first plates and the top ends of the second plates wherein the front cylinder moves to adjust the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the first plates wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the second plates moves the frame from the first angle relative to the tongue to a second angle relative to the tongue wherein moving the frame to a second angle relative to the tongue raises or lowers the front end of the frame; third plates attached to the back end of the frame wherein the third plates have top ends and bottom ends in a position opposite to the top ends; a beam pivotally connected to the bottom ends of the third plates wherein the beam has a top surface wherein the frame is at a first angle relative to the beam; and a rear cylinder pivotally connected to the beam at a pivot and pivotally connected to the top ends of the third plates wherein movement of the rear cylinder adjusts the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the pivot wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the pivot moves the frame from the first angle relative to the beam to a second angle relative to the beam wherein moving the frame to a second angle relative to the beam raises or lowers the back end of the frame.

17. The scraping device of claim 17 wherein the front cylinder and the rear cylinder are hydraulic cylinders wherein movement of the hydraulic cylinders is caused by hydraulic fluid within the cylinders.

18. The scraping device of claim 17 further comprising: at least one tire connected to the beam.

19. The scraping device of claim 17 further comprising: hoses connected to the scraping device wherein the control hoses move the front cylinder and the rear cylinder by moving hydraulic fluid within the front cylinder and the rear cylinder.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device. The scraping device may have a frame in which material is collected. The scraping device may also have a blade attached to the frame. As the scraping device is moved across an area of soil to be broken apart, the blade may press into the soil, and the soil may be collected within the frame. A front lift mechanism may be associated with a front end of the frame. A rear lift mechanism may be associated with a back end of the frame. The front lift mechanism and the rear lift mechanism may raise or may lower the front end and the back end of the frame, respectively. The front lift mechanism may include a front cylinder, and the rear lift mechanism may include a rear cylinder. Extension or retraction of the front cylinder and/or the rear cylinder may move the frame wherein moving the frame adjusts an angle of the blade relative to the soil.

Earthmoving generally involves breaking apart the soil of the construction area. The soil may be used in the existing project and/or hauled away to a remote site. Like other construction projects, highway construction often requires breaking apart the soil of the construction area. Soil must be broken apart and removed before paving of a roadway. An area must be pre-treated to create a surface that is suitable for paving. If the area to be paved has soil, the soil may be broken prior to compaction or other processes. The soil may also be collected and moved to a different location.

Highways allow goods to be transported and provide economic stimulus to areas through which card, trucks and other vehicles travel. Given such importance, building roads and/or maintaining existing roads is undertaken by national governments and/or local municipalities.

Removal of earth materials is performed by several different machines. The use of specific machinery is determined by the type of project. Several factors to be considered are the type of material to be removed, the distance the material is to be transported and/or the plans for the use of the material. Choosing the machine factors significantly into the costs of the project. Using the wrong equipment for a project results in delays that lead to significant expenditure of labor and/or money. As a result, the process of removing earth materials may result in an economic burden to the cost of the project. Therefore, construction projects require use of the proper equipment as well as efficient and successful performance of the equipment.

Typically, earthmoving equipment, such as scrapers, may carry large volumes of materials. Scrapers may be towed or self-propelled. One such scraper has a frame shaped like a bowl and a lip that serves as a wall to prevent soil or other materials from leaving the bowl. To aid in removal and containment of materials, the lip may be attached to a cylinder which raises or lowers the lip. A blade is attached near the bottom of the bowl and below the lip. As the scraper is moved across an area of soil to be broken apart, the blade of the scraper may press into the area of soil, and the soil may be collected within the frame. The lip may prevent the material from exiting the frame during transport of the frame to another area. After the frame is transported to a desired location, the collected material may be deposited by raising the lip to provide an open area to allow removal of the material from the scraper.

In the past, many different types of scrapers have been built, including pull-scrapers, motor scrapers, twin-engine scrapers, paddle wheel scrapers, and auger scrapers. Breaking apart the soil has always been subject to delays because many models have the blade angle relative to the soil that cannot be adjusted. For different densities of soil, i.e. moist, rough, and/or rocky terrain, different blade angles may be more efficient at breaking apart the soil. Furthermore, the soil surface may not be at a consistent level, especially if, for example, bumps and/or holes are in the soil surface. For bumps and/or holes in the soil surface, the inconsistent level of the soil surface may result in delays if the blade does not contact the surface at an angle to provide efficient breaking apart the soil. Thus, scraping with a blade angle that is less than optimal in breaking apart the soil may result in slowed work that may increase the likelihood of cost overruns. As a result, a need exists for a scraper that allows adjustment of the angle of the frame relative to the soil to correspondingly adjust a blade angle relative to the soil to provide more efficient scraper operation.

A need, therefore, exists for an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device that allows earthmoving equipment to function in a reliable and efficient manner in collection and/or removal of materials.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a scraping device and a system and a method for collecting a material, such as, for example, soil, stone, sand, or the like. The scraping device may have a frame having a front end and a back end. A lip may be positioned at the front end and may cover an opening at the front end. In addition, the scraping device may have a tongue connected to the frame. A first end of the tongue may be connected to, for example, a tractor. A second end that is opposite in position to the first end may be connected to the front end of the frame.

A front lift mechanism may be associated with the front end of the frame. A rear lift mechanism may be associated with the back end of the frame. The front lift mechanism may have a front cylinder, and the rear lift mechanism may have a rear cylinder. Extension or retraction of the front cylinder and/or the rear cylinder may move the front end of the frame and/or the back end of the frame, respectively, wherein moving the frame adjusts an angle of the blade relative to the soil. The front cylinder and/or the rear cylinder may be positioned such that a full potential of the cylinder is used to raise or to lower the frame. The front cylinder and/or the rear cylinder may be directly mounted on a bowl portion of the frame.

To this end, in an embodiment of the present invention, a scraping device is provided. The scraping device has a frame having walls defining an interior wherein the walls have an interior surface and further wherein the frame has a length defined between a first end and a second end. In addition, the scraper may have a rear lift mechanism and a front lift mechanism. The rear lift mechanism may have a rear cylinder attached to the back end of the frame, allowing a cutting edge of the blade to be raised or lowered. The front lift mechanism may have a front cylinder attached to the front end of the frame. The rear and/or front lift mechanisms may allow for greater ground clearance. The rear lift mechanism may lower the back end of the frame to allow loading to be easier relative to a scraping device with a back end not in a lowered position. Use of the rear lift to lower the frame may create a better cutting angle. Furthermore, the combination rear lift mechanism and front lift mechanism creates a better cutting angle.

In an embodiment of the present invention, a scraping device for scraping an area of soil is provided. The scraping device has a frame having a length defined between a front end and a back end wherein the front end is in a first vertical position relative to the back end wherein the back end is in a first vertical position relative to the front end; a tongue extending from the front end of the frame; first plates attached to a back end of the tongue; and second plates attached to the front end of the frame wherein bottom ends of the second plates are pivotally connected to bottom ends of the first plates wherein top ends of the second plates are a first distance from top ends of the second plates. The scraping device has a front cylinder pivotally connected to the top ends of the first plates and pivotally connected to the top ends of the second plates wherein the front cylinder moves to adjust the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the first plates wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the second plates moves the front end from the first vertical position relative to the back end to a second vertical position relative to the back end. The scraping device has third plates attached to the back end of the frame; a beam pivotally connected to bottom ends of the third plates wherein the beam has a top surface wherein the top surface of the beam is a distance from the top ends of the third plates; and a rear cylinder pivotally connected to top ends of the third plates and pivotally connected to the beam wherein movement of the rear cylinder adjusts the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the top surface of the beam wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the top surface of the beam moves the back end from a first vertical position relative to the front end to a second vertical position relative to the front end.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has a blade attached to the frame wherein the blade projects from a bottom of the frame.

In an embodiment, the first end of the tongue is attached to a hitch.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has at least one tire connected to the beam.

In an embodiment, the front cylinder and the rear cylinder are hydraulic cylinders wherein movement of the hydraulic cylinders is caused by hydraulic fluid within the cylinders.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has an ejector plate at the back end of the frame wherein moving the ejector plate toward the front end of the frame pushes the material from the frame.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has a lip connected to the front end of the frame and extending above the frame wherein the lip is raised to allow material to be pushed from the frame.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has a pivot on the top surface of the beam connected to the rear cylinder.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has hoses connected to the scraping device wherein the hoses move the front cylinder and the rear cylinder by moving hydraulic fluid within the front cylinder and the rear cylinder.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has a second front cylinder pivotally attached to the top ends of the first plates and the top ends of the second plates.

In another embodiment, a method for adjusting a cutting angle of a scraping device for breaking apart an area of material is provided, the method comprising the steps of: providing a scraping device having a frame having walls defining an interior wherein the frame has a length defined between a front end and a back end wherein the scraping device has a tongue attached to the front end of the frame by a front cylinder wherein the scraping device has a beam attached to the back end of the frame by a rear cylinder and further wherein the scraping device has a blade attached to the frame wherein the blade is angled toward an area having the material; moving the front cylinder; moving the front end from a first position relative to the back end to a second position of the front end relative to the back end wherein moving the front end is caused by moving the front cylinder; moving the rear cylinder; moving the back end from a first position relative to the front end to a second position of the back end relative to the front end wherein moving the back end is caused by moving the back cylinder; adjusting an angle of the blade relative to the tongue wherein moving the first position of the front end relative to the back end to the second position of the front end relative to the back end and moving the first position of the back end relative to the front end to the second position of the back end relative to the front end adjusts the angle of the blade relative to the tongue; and moving the scraping device across the area of material.

In an embodiment, a method for adjusting a cutting angle of a scraping device for breaking apart an area of material is provided further comprising the step of: moving an ejector plate that resides within the interior from the back end of the frame toward the front end of the frame to force the material from the frame.

In an embodiment, a method for adjusting a cutting angle of a scraping device for breaking apart an area of material is provided further comprising the step of: raising a lip connected to the front end of the frame and extending above the frame wherein the lip is raised to allow material to be pushed from the frame.

In an embodiment, a method for adjusting a cutting angle of a scraping device for breaking apart an area of material is provided further comprising the step of: moving the front end from the second position relative to the back end to a third position of the front end relative to the back end wherein moving the front end is caused by moving the front cylinder.

In an embodiment, a method for adjusting a cutting angle of a scraping device for breaking apart an area of material is provided further comprising the step of: moving the back end from the second position relative to the front end to a third position of the back end relative to the front end wherein moving the back end is caused by moving the back cylinder.

In another embodiment, a scraping device for scraping an area of soil is provided. The scraping device has a frame having a length defined between a front end and a back end wherein the back end is in a position opposite to the front end; a tongue extending from the front end of the frame wherein the tongue has a length defined between a first end and a second end wherein the frame is at a first angle relative to the tongue; first plates attached to the second end of the tongue wherein the plates are connected adjacent to the top surface of the tongue and connected adjacent to the bottom surface of the tongue wherein the first plates have top ends and bottom ends in a position opposite to the top ends; second plates attached to the front end of the frame wherein the second plates have top ends and bottom ends in a position opposite to the top ends wherein the bottom ends of the second plates are pivotally connected to the bottom ends of the first plates wherein the top ends of the second plates are a first distance from the top ends of the first plates; and a front cylinder pivotally attached to the top ends of the first plates and the top ends of the second plates wherein the front cylinder moves to adjust the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the first plates wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the second plates from the top ends of the second plates moves the frame from the first angle relative to the tongue to a second angle relative to the tongue wherein moving the frame to a second angle relative to the tongue raises or lowers the front end of the frame. The scraping device has third plates attached to the back end of the frame wherein the third plates have top ends and bottom ends in a position opposite to the top ends; a beam pivotally connected to the bottom ends of the third plates wherein the beam has a top surface wherein the frame is at a first angle relative to the beam; and a rear cylinder pivotally connected to the beam at a pivot and pivotally connected to the top ends of the third plates wherein movement of the rear cylinder adjusts the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the pivot wherein adjustment of the distance of the top ends of the third plates from the pivot moves the frame from the first angle relative to the beam to a second angle relative to the beam wherein moving the frame to a second angle relative to the beam raises or lowers the back end of the frame.

In an embodiment, the front cylinder and the rear cylinder are hydraulic cylinders wherein movement of the hydraulic cylinders is caused by hydraulic fluid within the cylinders.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has at least one tire connected to the beam.

In an embodiment, the scraping device has hoses connected to the scraping device wherein the control hoses move the front cylinder and the rear cylinder by moving hydraulic fluid within the front cylinder and the rear cylinder.

It is, therefore, an advantage of the present invention to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide a scraping device, a system and a method for collecting a material which enables breaking of an area to be constructed prior to compaction or other related process.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which may provide an earthmoving device with efficient scraping of various topographies, including topographies that have irregularities in the ground surface, that reduces the risk of delays associated with breaking apart of the soil.

A further advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which may provide an earthmoving device with the blade angle relative to the ground that increases the speed of the scraping device in breaking apart soil.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which may provide an earthmoving device allowing the user to maintain the frame level while achieving the desired angle of the blade relative to the ground.

A still further advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which may provide an earthmoving device allowing the blade angle relative to the ground to be adjusted for breaking apart of soil that shortens a time required to use the scraping device for a project.

Another further advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which may allow the frame of the device to be raised or lowered while maintaining the frame relative to the ground.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which may allow an end of the frame of the device to be raised or lowered for removal and/or collection of materials relative to a device that does not have an end that may be raised or lowered.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which may allow the device to have a desired distance from the ground.

Another advantage of the present invention is to provide an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device which provides a user with control of the ground clearance of the device.

Additional features and advantages of the present invention are described in, and will be apparent from, the detailed description of the presently preferred embodiments and from the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of the earth moving scraping device in an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the earth moving scraping device in an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the earth moving scraping device in an embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 4a-4c illustrate side views of the earth moving scraping device in an embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 5a-5c illustrate side views of the earth moving scraping device in an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention generally relates to an apparatus, a system and a method for moving a scraping device for collecting a material, such as, for example, soil, stone, sand, or the like.

Referring now to the drawings wherein like numerals refer to like parts, FIG. 1 illustrates a scraping device 1 which may have a front lift mechanism 60 and/or a rear lift mechanism 61. The scraping device 1 may have a bowl-shaped frame 2 having walls 13 defining an interior 3 into which materials may be collected and/or transported. A blade 10, which may allow soil to be broken apart by the scraping device 1, may be attached to the frame 2 at a front end 22 of the frame 2. Adjacent to the blade 10 may be a router bit 82 which may assist in breaking apart soil and may prevent the soil from causing wear to the scraping device 1.

FIG. 2 generally illustrates an elevated view of the frame 2. A lip 20 may be attached to the frame 2 at the front end 22 of the frame 2. The lip 20 may be sized wherein a height 21 of the lip 20 is substantially the same or greater than a height 23 of the frame 2. A width 25 of the lip 20 may be substantially the same or less than a width 27 of the frame 2. The size of the lip 20 may prevent materials within the frame 2 from falling from an opening (not shown) at the front end 22 of the frame 2. The lip 20 may be pivotally connected to the frame 2 at points 29a, 29b on sides 28, 30, respectively, of the lip 20. The lip 20 may be pivotally connected to the frame 2 at points 29a, 29b on sides 28, 30, respectively, of the lip 20. The lip cylinders 24, 26 may be partially shielded by flaps 55 that may be attached to the lip 20. In an embodiment, the lip 20 may be pivotally attached to the sides 28, 30 of the bowl 2 by, for example, pins (not shown) inserted at points 29a, 29b. The cylinders may be attached to the bowl 2 at the end 22 of the bowl 2. Movement of the lip cylinders 24, 26 may cause the lip 20 to raise or to lower with respect to the frame 2.

An ejector plate 36 may be positioned at a back end 38 of the frame 2. In addition, a guard 7 may be attached to, or integrally formed with, the ejector plate 36. The ejector plate 36 may be sized wherein a height 61 of the ejector plate 36 is substantially the same or greater than the height 23 of the bowl 2. A width 65 of the ejector plate 36 may be substantially the same or less than the width 27 of the bowl 2. The guard 7 may be a planar wall and may extend vertically from the ejector plate 36. The ejector plate 36 may move toward, or away from, the lip 20. As the ejector plate 36 moves forward, the materials within the frame 2 may be pushed by the ejector plate 36 through the opening within the frame 2.

The frame 2 may be connected to a hitch 4 by a tongue 57. The tongue may have a front end 58, a back end 59 and a bottom surface 81. The hitch 4 may be connected to the tongue 57 at the front end 58 of the tongue 57. The hitch 4 may allow the scraping device 1 to be connected to a tractor (not shown) or other vehicle. The tractor may pull the scraping device 1 along an area, such as, for example, an area of grass or soil to be broken and/or collected. Tires 80 may be associated with the scraping device 1 to enable the scraping device 1 to be transported.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, a front lift mechanism 60 may be associated with the front end 22 of the frame 2. The front lift mechanism 60, generally illustrated in FIG. 2, may have two front cylinders 12a, 12b. Alternatively, the front lift mechanism 60 may have one front cylinder. The front cylinders 12a, 12b may be above the tongue 57. The front cylinders 12a, 12b may be pivotally connected to first plates 14a at top ends 15a of the first plates 14a. The first plates 14a may be fixedly connected to the back end 59 of the tongue 57 so that movement of the first plates 14a causes corresponding movement of the back end 59 of the tongue 57. The second plates 14b may be fixedly connected to the front end 22 of the frame 2 so that movement of the second plates 14b causes corresponding movement of the front end 22 of the frame 2. In a preferred embodiment, the second plates 14b may be fixedly attached to a front tube 91 on the front end 22 of the frame 2. The front cylinders 12a, 12b may be connected to the second plates 14b at top ends 15b of the second plates 14b. Accordingly, the first plates 14a, second plates 14b and front cylinders 12a, 12b may provide a triangular shape.

Furthermore, the first plates 14a, the second plates 14b and the front cylinders 12a, 12b may associate the tongue 57 with the front end 22 of the frame 2. Bottom ends 16b of the second plates 14b may be in a position opposite to the top ends 15b of the second plates 14b, and/or bottom ends 16a of the first plates 14a may be in a position opposite to that of the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a so that the bottom ends 16a of the first plates 14a may be pivotally connected to the bottom ends 16b of the second plates 14b. The bottom ends 16a of the first plates 14a may be pivotally connected to the bottom ends 16b of the second plates 14b at a pivot 71 below the tongue 57. Pivotal association of the first plates 14a with the second plates 14b may allow the tongue 57 to be pivotally associated with the front end 22 of the frame 2 because the first plates 14a may be fixedly associated with the tongue 57 and/or the second plates 14b may be fixedly associated with the front end 22 as described above.

As generally shown in FIGS. 4a, 4b and 4c, the front end 22 of the frame 2 may be a vertical distance 200 from the area to be scraped. The blade 10 may be at a blade angle 210 relative to the area to be scraped. The top ends 15a of the first plates 14a and the top ends 15b of the second plates 14b (hereinafter “top ends 15a, 15b”) may be a distance 220 from each other. The front end 22 may be in a first vertical position relative to the back end 38, such as, for example, equal in height to the back end 38, higher than the back end 38, or lower than the back end 38. The front end 22 of the frame 2 may form an angle relative to the bottom surface 81 of the tongue 57.

As generally shown in FIG. 4c, retraction of the front cylinders 12a, 12b may cause the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a to move closer to the top ends 15b of the second plates 14b. In addition, the movement of the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a closer to the top ends 15b of the second plates 14b may cause a pivoting, at the pivot 71, of the first plates 14a and the second plates 14b toward each other. In a preferred embodiment, an axis of rotation at the pivot 71 may be perpendicular to a direction of travel and/or parallel to the area to be scraped.

The decrease in the distance 220 between the top ends 15a, 15b and/or pivoting of the frame 2 toward the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a may increase the angle of the front end 22 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 81 of the tongue 57. The association of the tractor to the hitch 4 at the front end 58 of the tongue 57 may maintain a consistent height of the front end 58 of the tongue 57 so that the increase of the angle of the front end 22 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 81 of the tongue 57 may lower the back end 59 of the tongue 57. Lowering the back end 59 of the tongue 57 may lower the front end 22 of the frame 2 via the association of the front end 22 of the frame 2 with the back end 59 of the tongue 57. Therefore, the decrease in the distance 220 between the top ends 15a, 15b and/or the pivoting of the front end 22 of the frame 2 toward the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a may lower the front end 22 of the frame. Furthermore, retraction of the front cylinders 12a, 12b may lower the front end 22 of the frame 2, as generally shown in FIG. 4c.

Lowering the front end 22 of the frame 2 may decrease the vertical distance 200 of the front end 22 of the frame 2 from the area to be scraped. Lowering the front end 22 may move the front end 22 to a second vertical position relative to the back end 38 that is lower than the first vertical position of the front end 22 relative to the back end 38. Movement of the front end 22 of the frame 2 to the decreased vertical distance 200 from the area to be scraped may increase an angle of the frame 2 relative to the area to be scraped. The increased angle of the frame 2 may position the blade 10 at an increased blade angle 210 relative to the area to be scraped.

As generally shown in FIG. 4b, extension of the front cylinders 12a, 12b may cause the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a to move farther from the top ends 15b of the second plates 14b. In addition, movement of the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a farther from the top ends 15b of the second plates 14b may cause a pivoting, at the pivot 71, of the first plates 14a and the second plates 14b away from each other. In a preferred embodiment, the axis of rotation at the pivot 71 may be perpendicular to a direction of travel and/or parallel to the area to be scraped.

The increase in the distance 220 between the top ends 15a, 15b and/or pivoting of the frame 2 away from the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a may decrease the angle of the front end 22 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 81 of the tongue 57. The association of the tractor to the hitch 4 at the front end 58 of the tongue 57 may maintain a consistent height of the front end 58 of the tongue 57 so that the decrease of the angle of the front end 22 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 81 of the tongue 57 may raise the back end 59 of the tongue 57. Raising the back end 59 of the tongue 57 may raise the front end 22 of the frame 2 via the association of the front end 22 of the frame 2 with the back end 59 of the tongue 57. Therefore, the increase in the distance 220 of the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a from the top ends 15b of the second plates 14b and/or the pivoting of the front end 22 of the frame 2 away from the top ends 15a of the first plates 14a may raise the front end 22 of the frame 2. Furthermore, extension of the front cylinders 12a, 12b may lower the front end 22 of the frame 2, as generally shown in FIG. 4b.

Raising the front end 22 of the frame 2 may increase the vertical distance 200 of the front end 22 of the frame 2 from the area to be scraped. Raising the front end 22 may move the front end 22 to a second vertical position relative to the back end 38 that is higher than the first vertical position of the front end 22 relative to the back end 38. Movement of the front end 22 of the frame 2 to the increased vertical distance from the area to be scraped may decrease an angle of the frame 2 relative to the area to be scraped. The decreased angle of the frame 2 may position the blade 10 at a decreased blade angle 210 relative to the area to be scraped.

A rear lift mechanism 61 may be associated with the back end 38 of the frame 2. The rear lift mechanism 61 may have a rear cylinder 63. Alternatively, the rear lift mechanism may have more than one rear cylinder. As generally shown in FIG. 3, the rear lift mechanism 61 may have third plates 66 attached to the back end of the frame. The third plates 66 may be fixedly connected to the back end 38 of the frame 2 so that movement of the third plates 66 causes corresponding movement of the back end 38 of the frame 2. In a preferred embodiment, the third plates 66 may be fixedly attached to a rear tube 92 on the back end 38 of the frame 2. The third plates 66 may have top ends 70 and/or bottom ends 72 in a position opposite to the top ends 70. The third plates may have a top pivot 68 at the top ends 70 and/or a bottom pivot 69 at the bottom ends 72. The rear lift mechanism 61 may have a beam 102 with at least one tire 80 attached to the beam 102. The beam 102 may have a front end 105 pivotally attached to the bottom pivot 69 of the third plates. The rear cylinder 63 may be pivotally attached to the top pivot 68 of the third plates and/or pivotally attached to the beam 102. Accordingly, the third plates 66, beam 102 and rear cylinder 63 may provide a triangular shape. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the rear cylinder 63 may be attached to a top surface 103 of the beam 102 by a third rear pivot 110.

As generally shown in FIGS. 5a, 5b and 5c, the back end 38 of the frame 2 may be a vertical distance 230 from the area to be scraped. The blade 10 may be at the blade angle 210 relative to the area to be scraped. The top ends 70 of the third plates 66 and the third rear pivot 110 may be a distance 240 apart from each other. The back end 38 may be in a first vertical position relative to the front end 22, such as, for example, equal in height to the front end 22, higher than the front end 22, or lower than the front end 22. The back end 38 of the frame 2 may form an angle relative to a bottom surface 104 of the beam 102.

As generally shown in FIG. 5c, retraction of the rear cylinder 63 may cause the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 to move closer to the third rear pivot 110. In addition, the movement of the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 closer to the third rear pivot 110 may cause a pivoting, at the bottom pivot 69, of the third plates 66 and the beam 102 relative to each other. In a preferred embodiment, an axis of rotation at the bottom pivot 69 of the third plates 66 is perpendicular to a direction of travel and/or parallel to the area to be scraped.

The association of the beam 102 to the tire 80 at a back end 106 of the beam 102 may maintain a consistent height of the back end 106 of the beam 102 so that the decrease in the distance 240 between the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 and the third rear pivot 110 of the beam 102 and/or the pivoting of the frame 2 toward the top surface 103 of the beam 102 may increase the angle of the back end 38 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 104 of the beam 102. The increase of the angle of the back end 38 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 104 of the beam 102 may lower the front end 105 of the beam 102. Lowering the front end 105 of the beam 102 may lower the back end 38 of the frame 2 via the association of the back end 38 of the frame 2 with the front end 105 of the beam 102. Therefore, the decrease in the distance 230 of the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 from the third rear pivot 110 and/or the pivoting of the back end 38 of the frame 102 toward the top surface 103 of the beam 102 may lower the back end 38 of the frame 2. Furthermore, retraction of the rear cylinder 63 may lower the back end 38 of the frame 2, as generally shown in FIG. 5c.

Lowering the back end 38 may decrease the vertical distance 230 of the back end 38 from the area to be scraped. Lowering the back end 38 may move the back end 38 to a second vertical position relative to the front end 22 that is lower than the first vertical position of the back end 38 relative to the front end 22. Movement of the back end 38 of the frame 2 to the decreased vertical distance 230 from the area to be scraped may decrease an angle of the frame 2 relative to the area to be scraped. The decreased angle of the frame 2 may position the blade 10 at a decreased blade angle 210 relative to the area to be scraped.

As generally shown in FIG. 5b, extension of the rear cylinder 63 may cause the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 to move farther from the third rear pivot 110. In addition, movement of the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 farther from the third rear pivot 110 may cause a pivoting, at the bottom pivot 69 of the third plates 66, of the third plates 66 and the beam 102 relative to each other. In a preferred embodiment, the axis of rotation at bottom pivot 69 of the third plates 66 is perpendicular to a direction of travel and/or parallel to the area to be scraped.

The association of the beam 102 to the tire 80 at a back end 106 of the beam 102 may maintain a consistent height of the back end 106 of the beam 102 so that the increase in the distance 230 between the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 and the third rear pivot 110 of the beam 102 and/or the pivoting of the frame 2 toward the top surface 103 of the beam 102 may decrease the angle of the back end 38 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 104 of the beam 102. The decrease of the angle of the back end 38 of the frame 2 relative to the bottom surface 104 of the beam 102 may raise the front end 105 of the beam 102. Raising the front end 105 of the beam 102 may raise the back end 38 of the frame 2 via the association of the back end 38 of the frame 2 with the front end 105 of the beam 102. Therefore, the increase in the distance 240 of the top ends 70 of the third plates 66 from the third rear pivot 110 of the beam 102 and/or the pivoting of the back end 38 of the frame 102 away from the top surface 102 of the beam 102 may raise the back end 38 of the frame 2. Furthermore, extension of the rear cylinder 63 may raise the back end 38 of the frame 2, as generally shown in FIG. 5b.

Raising the back end 38 may increase the vertical distance 230 of the back end 38 from the area to be scraped. Raising the back end 38 may move the back end 38 to a second vertical position relative to the front end 22 that is higher than the first vertical position of the back end 38 relative to the front end 22. Movement of the back end 38 of the frame 2 to the increased vertical distance 220 from the area to be scraped may increase an angle of the frame 2 relative to the area to be scraped. The increased angle of the frame 2 may position the blade 10 at an increased blade angle 210 relative to the area to be scraped.

The front cylinders 12a, 12b and/or the rear cylinder 63 may be hydraulic cylinders. The front cylinders 12a, 12b and/or the rear cylinder 63 may be hydraulic cylinders such as those generally known in the art wherein pressurized hydraulic fluid may be supplied and/or discharged in conjunction with a piston within the cylinder to cause extension and/or to cause retraction of the cylinder. Control of the supply and/or discharge of the pressurized hydraulic fluid by the user may allow the front cylinders 12a, 12b and/or the rear cylinder 63.to move the front end 22 and the back end 38 of the scraping device 1, respectively.

The scraping device 1 may have hoses 75 attached to the device 1 that may allow a user to control the movement of the front cylinders 12a, 12b and/or the rear cylinder 63. The hoses 75 may allow the user to control the supply and/or discharge of pressurized hydraulic fluid to the front cylinders 12a, 12b and/or the rear cylinder 63. The hoses 75 may be attached to the tongue 57. If the user is in the vehicle attached to the scraping device 1, such as the tractor (not shown), the hoses 75 may allow the user to move the front cylinders 12a, 12b and/or the rear cylinder 63 as the user drives the vehicle pulling and/or pushing the scraping device 1.

Both the front end 22 and the back end 38 may be raised to increase clearance underneath the frame 2 of the scraping device 1 and/or to maintain the angle of the blade 10 relative to the area to be scraped. Both the front end 22 and the back end 38 of the scraping device 1 may be lowered to decrease the clearance underneath the frame 2 so that the blade 10 may be closer to the area to be scraped. The position of the front end 22 relative to the position of the back end 38 may be lowered to increase the angle of the blade 10 relative to the area to be scraped. The position of the front end 22 relative to the position of the back end 38 may be raised to decrease the angle of the blade 10 relative to the area to be scraped. Furthermore, the position of the front end 22 relative to the position of the back end 38 may be lowered to expedite removal of collected materials as the ejector plate 36 moves toward the front end 22 to push materials within the frame 2 through the opening within the frame 2.

It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages.