Title:
Wheel loader front mounted ditch cleaning attachment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wheel loader attachment that once attached is designed to clean ditches; this apparatus has a bucket on one end that extends outward to allow the ditch, using the hydraulic system found on all wheel loaders, to be cleaned while the wheel loader stays safely on the roadway, the operator of the wheel loader can clean ditches buy lowering the bucket into the ditch and driving forward slowly, parallel to the ditch until the bucket fills; then lifting the bucket from the ditch, emptying the debris and returning to the ditch to continue to clean the ditch until the entire length of ditch is cleaned, an efficient and effective way to make consistent well functioning roadside ditches.



Inventors:
Van Camp, Gordon Lyle (Rio Rico, AZ, US)
Application Number:
12/426942
Publication Date:
12/03/2009
Filing Date:
04/20/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02F3/40; E02F3/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILL, THOMAS B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GORDON L. VAN CAMP (RIO RICO, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus that can be attached to a wheel loader used to clean ditches; this apparatus will have a bucket attached with two arms that extend and retract the bucket to allow for adjustment to reach the ditch running along the side of the loader; this will allow the operator to clean ditches while operating the wheel loader buy lowering the bucket into the ditch and driving forward slowly, parallel to the ditch until the bucket fills; then lifting the bucket from the ditch, emptying the debris and returning to the ditch to continue to clean the ditch until the entire length of ditch is cleaned; this apparatus has a bucket that can be extended or retracted from the cab of the loader using existing hydraulics on the loader.

Description:

CROSS -REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This Application claims benefit of Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/057038 filed on May 29, 2008.

TECHNICAL FIELD AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY OF THE INVENTION

This Apparatus relates to a Wheel Loader Front Mounted Ditch Cleaning Attachment. The device has a rigid frame to attach to the front of the wheel loader, a bucket shaped like the ditch to be cleaned, a hydraulic arm for extending and retracting the bucket, and sufficient counter weight to balance the loaded bucket.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Ditches are cleaned to allow them to continue to do what they were designed to do, divert fluid to a designated area or provide an area for debris to collect that may otherwise enter the roadway or the area protected by the ditch. The current methods used to clean ditches are either very expensive or very labor intensive. This apparatus will allow the cleaning of the ditch and make a uniform ditch every time.

Roadways are designed with v-shaped areas along the sides of the roadway, called ditches, which collect fluid run off and debris. They require periodic maintenance to maintain their ability to perform the task of protecting the roadway from debris and erosion. It is important that these roadside ditches be maintained in an efficient and effective manner. The less labor and time needed to perform the task the more likely that the ditch will be properly maintained. This device will allow for a lower cost cleaning method and more uniform ditch thus improving the maintenance procedure.

Typically ditches are cleaned using a ditch bucket on the wheel loader and the loader must approach the ditch in a 90 degree angle and lower the bucket into the ditch taking care not to cause the edge of the ditch to be compressed or even destroyed. It takes a great deal of maneuvering of the wheel loader forward and backward to accomplish the cleaning and dumping of the debris using the conventional method. With this Apparatus the Front end loader will drive parallel to the ditch and extend the bucket to the desired distance, and lowered to the desired level, will allow a ditch to be easily cleaned without fear of damage to the area between the edge of the road and the ditch itself.

Once the apparatus is lowered to the desired level, the Wheel loader operator simply drives forward slowly until the bucket is full. The round viewing hole in the top of the bucket allows the operator to easily see when the bucket is full. When full, the bucket is simply lifted out of the ditch and the debris is deposited in a dump truck, or in a predetermined location.

Other ditch cleaning devices are available but most are either very expensive, have a great deal of moving parts, require a dedicated vehicle or a specialized vehicle, or are difficult to use. This apparatus can be mounted on any wheel loader by simply removing the existing attachment (most commonly a large scoop, plow, brushes or bucket) and attaching this device. Wheel loaders are very commonly used in companies doing road maintenance, and therefore makes this device a preferred method of cleaning roadside ditches.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This apparatus is constructed of heavy gage steel. Four large steel tubes allow the bucket to extend and retract, two smaller tubes sliding in and out of the two larger fixed tubes using a hydraulic cylinder. The bucket is attached to one end of the smaller tubes and the other ends of the tubes extend into the larger tubes. The two larger tubes form the fixed main portion of the apparatus. This fixed portion will be where the wheel loader attachment arms will be affixed near the center of the apparatus, an optional set of attachment arms cam be mounted on the counter weighted end to facilitate movement of the apparatus. A counter weight is attached to the fixed portion of the end of the apparatus, opposite the bucket end, to balance the load when the bucket is filled and dumped. The bucket can be extended and retracted only, the raising and lowering of the bucket in an out of the ditch is facilitated by the existing hydraulic system on the wheel loader. The hydraulic cylinder us operated by lines attached to the wheel loaders existing hydraulic system and is controlled by the wheel loader operator from the cab of the wheel loader.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In FIG. 1 is a perspective from the Front of the apparatus. This is the side facing away from the Wheel Loader and where the Hydraulic Cylinder 4 is located and the structural Upper Support Beam 3 and the Lower Support Beam 7 are clearly visible. The open end of the Bucket 9 used to remove the debris from the ditch is on one end, and the counter balance 10 and optional attachment arms 11 are on the opposite end and can be used to load or transport the apparatus. Hydraulic Hoses 6 will attach the Hydraulic Cylinder to the Wheel Loader hydraulic system. The Upper Control Beam 2 and the Lower Control Beam 8 are slightly smaller than the Upper Support beam 3 and the Lower Support beam 7 allowing them to slide into and out of the larger Beams 3 &7 adjusting the extension of the Bucket 9 using the Hydraulic Cylinder 4. The bucket opening 9 is where the debris enters the bucket.

In FIG. 2 is a perspective from the rear of the apparatus. The rigid frame consisting of the Upper Support Beam 3 and Lower Support Beam 7 has the Attachment Arms 5 mounted to a metal plate are used to attach the apparatus to the Wheel Loader. The rear of the bucket 12 is enclosed to allow the debris to collect in the bucket 12. A circular hole 1 in the bucket 12 allows the Wheel Loader operator to see when the Bucket 12 is full and needs to be emptied. The hydraulic hoses 6 extend through the opening near the attachment arms 5 to allow connection to the wheel loader hydraulic system. The upper 2 and lower 8 control beams are visible from the rear, as well as the hydraulic cylinder 4. The counter balance 11 and the attachment arms 10 used to load or transport the Apparatus are also visible.