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United States Patent 3,771,299
Gradwohl ,   et al. November 13, 1973

HARVESTING REEL

Abstract

A plurality of identical spiders are removably secured to an elongated, lightweight, thin walled center tube having good resistance to bending. Each spider comprises a hub member having short arm stubs and elongated arm section secured to the stubs. The arm stubs and the arm sections are of channel form in cross section, and each includes radially disposed web and gusset portions providing resistance to bending angularly of the reel and flanges of substantial depth providing resistance to bending axially of the reel. Bat support shafts are secured to the outer ends of the arms and tine carrying bats are secured to these shafts. The radial inner space between the shafts and bats and the center tube is devoid of any truss structure which would interfere with the operation of the pick-up reel.


Inventors: Gradwohl; Donald R. (Garfield, WA), Neal; Archie E. (Garfield, WA)
Appl. No.: 05/259,792
Filed: June 5, 1972


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent NumberIssue Date
77132Oct., 19703703060Nov., 1972

Current U.S. Class: 56/220
Current International Class: A01D 57/00 (20060101); A01D 57/03 (20060101); A01d 057/02 ()
Field of Search: 56/219-227

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
3584445 June 1971 Hubbard
3550366 December 1970 Gibson
Primary Examiner: Mancene; Louis G.
Assistant Examiner: Oliff; J. A.

Parent Case Text



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This is a division of my copending application, Ser. No. 77,132, filed Oct. 1, 1970, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,703,060, Nov. 21, 1972, and entitled Harvesting Reel.
Claims



What is claimed is:

1. In a harvester reel:

an elongated thin walled center tube of substantial diameter having a good resistance to bending;

a plurality of spiders secured to said center tube at locations spaced axially along its length, each spider being characterized by a plurality of circumferentially spaced apart radial arms, each said radial arm being of channel shape in cross section and comprising a pair of relatively deep flanges extending generally axially of the reel and an interconnecting radial web, said arms having substantial sectional depth in their extent both axially and angularly of the tube, enabling such arms to resist bending, with the arms of each spider being axially aligned with the arms of the other spiders;

a plurality of elongated bat support rods equal in number to the radial arms, each bat support rod extending axially of the center tube at the ends of said radial arms;

means securing each bat support rod to the outer ends of an aligned axial row of radial arms;

an elongated bat secured to each support, each said bat carrying a plurality of spaced apart generally vertically oriented pick-up tines; and

with the radial space between the bat support rods and the center tube being open.

2. The invention of claim 1, wherein each spider comprises a hub member having a plurality of relatively short arm stubs, and an elongated arm section secured to each arm stub, with the arm sections and the arm stubs together forming the said radial support arms.

3. The invention of claim 2, wherein each arm stub comprises a pair of angularly spaced apart radial gussets in coplanar parallelism, a radial web spaced axially from said gussets, and a pair of generally axially extending flanges interconnected between the web and the gussets, and wherein at least the inner end portion of each arm section also includes gussets, a web and flanges, and sized to snugly nest against its stub arm, and wherein fasteners extend axially of the reel through the gussets of the arm stubs and the gussets of the arm sections, for firmly securing said arm sections and said arm stubs together.

4. In a harvester reel of a type having an axial center tube portion, an elongated bat support arm of channel form in cross section, said arm comprising a pair of angularly spaced apart gussets which are in coplanar parallelism and in use extend generally radially of the reel, a web which in use is spaced axially of the reel from said gussets, and a pair of substantially deep flanges which in use extend axially of the reel and are rigidly interconnected between the web and the gussets, and means for firmly securing said gussets to an axial center tube portion of the reel, said flanges providing substantial sectional depth axially of the reel and said gussets and said web providing substantial sectional depth angularly of the reel so that the arms are capable of resisting bending; and

bat rod bearing means at the outer end of said arm, said bearing means comprising a bearing base having a shank portion snugly fittable into the channel space between said flanges and an outer end portion carrying a radially outwardly directed semi-cylindrical recess which in use extends axially of the reel, a bearing cap outwardly of said outer end portion including a complementary semi-cylindrical recess, a generally U-shaped clamp having a bight portion resting against said bearing cap and a pair of tines resting against the arm flanges, and fastener members extending transversely through said clamp tines, and said arm flanges and the shank portion of the bearing base.

5. In a harvester reel, a composite spider which in use is located in a plane extending transversely of the harvester reel axis, such spider comprising:

a hub member having a plurality of relatively short arm stubs, each said arm stub being of channel shape in cross section and comprising a pair of angularly spaced apart gussets which are in coplanar parallelism and in use extend generally radially of the reel, a web which in use is spaced axially of the reel from said gussets, and a pair of flanges which in use extend generally axially of the reel and are rigidly interconnected between the web and the gussets, said hub member further comprising a polygonal pattern of cross flanges which are interconnected between the base portions of the arm stub flanges, and a central web portion which is substantially a continuation of the webs of the arm stubs;

an elongated arm section of channel shape in cross section secured to each arm stub, with at least the inner end portion of each arm section also including gussets, a web and flanges, arranged and sized to snugly nest against the gussets, web and flanges of its stub arm; and

fasteners extending through the gussets of the arm stubs and the gussets of the arm sections and firmly securing said arm sections and arm stubs together.

6. The invention of claim 5, wherein the gussets are integrally connected to said cross flanges at their bases.

7. The invention of claim 5, further comprising means for removably securing the hub member to a radially extending polygonal mounting plate fixed to an axial center tube part of the pick-up reel, said means comprising a central polygonal aperture in the hub member, complementary to and adapted to receive said polygonal plate, and fastener receiving openings in the hub member alignable with similar fastener receiving openings in the plate when the polygonal aperture is positioned out of alignment with the polygonal plate, and fastener means insertable through the aligned openings for securing the hub member to the mounting plate.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to improvements in harvester pick-up reels, and in particular to a simplified reel construction in which many of the brace members of conventional reels which during use interfere with harvesting have been eliminated, and to an improved eccentric device for driving the pick-up bats.

2. Description of the Prior Art

U.S. Pat. No. 2,823,511, granted Feb. 18, 1958 to Clarence E. Beaty, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,145,520 , granted Aug. 25, 1964 to James D. Hume and Earl L. Scheidenhelm show a type of harvester pick-up reel which has been in common use for a long time. This style of reel is characterized by a relatively small diameter center shaft, a plurality of spiders comprised of support arms radiating from said shaft for supporting tine carrying bats, a polygonal pattern of cross brace members interconnected between the outer ends of the radial arms of each spider, and an internal truss structure composed of a plurality of truss rods surrounding the center shaft and functioning to reinforce the shaft against bending. Although functionally adequate, pick-up reels of this type are time consuming to make, require considerable inventory of different parts which the manufacturer must keep on hand in order to furnish a selection of sizes of harvester reel, and the truss rods and other brace members require frequent adjustment and maintenance while in the field. Also, the truss rods and other brace members to some extent interfere with harvesting.

It is known to eliminate the truss rods by substituting a large diameter thin walled tube for the center shaft, which tube is capable of withstanding substantial bending, and to eliminate the cross braces between the outer ends of the bat support arms by providing relatively strong spider structures. An example of this type of reel is the "Profiteer M'3" pick-up reel manufactured by the Universal Harvester Company of Stockton, California.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to improvements in pick-up reels of the type which are free of truss rods and cross braces. Pick-up reels according to this invention are characterized by a composite spider which includes a preferably cast aluminum hub member which is removably secured to a large diameter, lightweight, thin walled center tube, and formed steel arm sections which are secured to arm stub portions of the hub member. The arm stubs and the arm sections together provide the spider with support arms of channel form in cross section which utilize a minimum amount of material but which possesses sufficient strength for resisting bending both angularly and axially of the pick-up reel. The invention also relates to an improved eccentric drive mechanism for the bats. The eccentric drive mechanism of the invention is simple in construction and is characterized by a circular pattern of support bearings which travel on the outside of a cylindrical track.

A particularly advantageous feature of the pick-up reel construction of this invention is that it enables the manufacturer to provide a large number of reel sizes with a relatively small inventory of differing parts since most parts of the reel are common to all sizes and some of the remaining parts differ only in terms of length.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

In the drawing like letters and numerals refer to like parts, and:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of one embodiment of the pick-up reel of this invention, looking toward one end and the front of the reel, such reel being shown completely separated from the harvesting machine of which it is a part;

FIG. 2 is an exploded isometric view of the pickup reel, with some parts being broken away and some being omitted for clarity of illustration of other parts;

FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of one of the spider assemblies, with some parts broken away, others omitted, and some parts shown exploded, for clarity of illustration;

FIG. 4 is an axial sectional view taken substantially along line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along line 5--5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but in the region of the eccentric mechanism at one end of the pickup reel, with some parts shown in side elevation; and

FIG. 7 is a detailed view in the region of the drive crank region between the radial arms of the eccentric mechanism and the radial bat support arms of the reel.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The pick-up reel 10 is shown to comprise an elongated center tube 12 which replaces the small diameter shaft and truss rods of conventional pick-up reels such as disclosed by the aforementioned U.S. Pats. Nos. 2,823,511 and 3,145,520. By way of typical example, the center tube 12 may be a length of thin wall metal tubing about 6 inches in diameter. A plurality of triangular hub plates 14 are rigidly secured to the tube 12 at axially spaced apart locations. Of course, the number of plates 14 and their spacing depends on the size of pick-up reel involved. A single piece cast (e.g. aluminum) hub member 16 is associated with each plate 14. As best shown by FIGS. 3 and 4, each hub member 16 includes a generally triangular shaped center opening 18 which is sized to be only slightly larger than the hub plate 14. The hub members 16 are assembled on the tube 12 by sliding them individually endwise relatively over the tube 12. The opening 18 in a given hub member 16 is aligned with a given hub plate 14 and is then moved relatively past the plate 14, with the plate 14 moving relatively through the opening 18. When a hub member 16 is adjacent the hub plate 14 to which it is to be secured, it is rotated 60.degree. to place apertures formed in the corners of the hub plate 14 into alignment with related apertures formed in the hub member 16. The bolts of nut and bolt fasteners 20 are inserted through the apertures and then the nuts are installed and tightened to make a firm connection. As shown by FIG. 4, when a hub member 16 is installed it is tight against its hub plate 14.

Each hub member 16 includes a plurality of short raidal arm stubs 22 which are channel shape in cross section (see FIG. 5). An arm section 24 which is also of channel shape in cross section, is mated with and is securely fastened to each arm stub 22. The stubs 22 and the sections 24 together define radial support arms 22, 24, and the sections 24 and the hub members 16 together form "spiders."

The number of support arms 22, 24 formed by the stubs 22 and the sections 24 may vary. The illustrated embodiment of pick-up reel 10 is shown to have five support arms 22, 24, i.e. it is a five bat mode. Another popular model comprises six bats with each spider having six support arms.

The arms 22, 24 of each spider are in axial alignment with the arms 22, 24 of the other spiders. Lightweight tubular steel bat shafts 26 extend lengthwsie of the pick-up reel in parallelism with the tube 12 and are secured to the outer ends of the support arms 22, 24. A sturdy hardwood reel bat 28 is secured to each bat shaft 26 and each reel bat 28 carries a plurality of axially spaced apart spring steel pick-up tines 30.

In preferred form the hub members 16 are of cast aluminum construction and the arm sections 24 are made from formed sheet steel. As shown by FIG. 5, each arm stub 22 includes side gussets 32 which are in coplanar parallelism, a web 36 is spaced parallelism from the gussets 32 and a pair of spaced apart, dihedrally related, side flanges 38 which are rigidly interconnected between opposite edge portions of the web 36 and the inner edge portions of the gussets 32. The arm sections 24 are of similar construction and each includes a web 40, flanges 42, and gussets 44.

As best shown by FIG. 5, the lower end portions of the arm sections 24 snugly fit within the arm stubs 22 and nut and bolt type fasteners 46 firmly secure each mated pair of gussets 32, 44 together. Sectional thickness is provided in the regions of the hub members 16 which are radially inwardly of the arms stubs 22 and which during use of the pick-up reel 10 must carry substantial forces. Cross flanges 47 interconnect between the buses of flanges 38. These flanges 47 extend laterally from a plate section 49 which is in co-planar parallelism with the webs 36.

This provision of sectional depth axially of the pick-up reel 10 through the arm stubs 22 and the arm sections 24 and through the central portion of the hub member 16 gives the pick-up reel axial strength and stability. During working of the pick-up reel, particularly on a laterally sloping section aground, the pick-up reel tends to bend. The relatively large diameter yet thin walled and lightweight center tube 12, and the axially deep hub and arm portions of the spiders, interconnected only by bat support rods, provide a structure which adequately resists unwanted bending without the necessity of using truss rods. As earlier explained, truss rods interfere with the crop during harvesting and also make the manufacturing of the pick-up reel more costly and involved.

Another advantageous feature of the pick-up reel of this invention is that the arm section length and the tube length are the only parts which must differ from one size reel to another of a particular bat style. For example, five bat reels according to the invention may differ in length between eight feet and twenty feet. Within this range of sizes the only changes which must be made are in the length of the center tube 12, in the number and spacing of the spiders, in the length of the bats and their support shafts, and in the length of the arm sections 24. All other parts of the five bat reel are common to all sizes of reel. The same is true with respect to a family of varying size six bat reels. This characteristic of the pick-up reel materially reduces the inventory of parts which the manufacturer must have in order to build pick-up reels of a large number of different sizes.

An end clamp assembly 48 is secured to the outer ends of each arm section 24. Each end clamp assembly comprises a bearing base 50 (FIG. 3) having a shank portion 52 snugly fittable in the channel formed between the flanges 42 of the arm section 24. Base 50 also includes an outer end portion having an outwardly directed semi-cylindrical recess 54. A half ring section 56 carrying a complementary semi-cylindrical recess is relatable with the base 50 to define an axially extending circular opening. Base 50 and member 56 may be made from nylon, for example. A U-shaped metal clamp member 58 fits over member 56 and includes paired openings 60 in its side portions which are alignable with passageways 62 formed in the shank portion 52 of base 50. These passageways 62 are also alignable with paired openings 64 formed in the outer end portions of the arm sections 24. Bolt members 66 of a pair of nut and bolt fastener assemblies extend through the openings and passageways 60, 62, 64 when the block 50, the member 56, and the clamp 58 are assembled on arm section 24.

An improved eccentric mechanism for driving the bats 28 will now be described, particularly in reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 6 and 7.

It is the purpose of the eccentric mechanism 68, through a system of parallelogram linkages constituted by its hub assembly 70, the radiating arms 24' and 22, 24, and cranks 72, to maintain bats 28 and tines 30 in proper vertical position at all times in the rotative movement of reel 10. To this end, hub assembly 70 rotates, about an axis eccentric of reel shaft 12, on a coacting eccentric track roller assembly which will now be described. Firstly, hub assembly 70 comrpises a pair of side plates 74, 76 which are held coaxially in a parallel, spaced apart relationship, and between which a circular arranged series of track follower rollers 78 are journaled. As shown by FIGS. 2 and 6, rollers 78 are located between the plate 74, 76 and they are relatively loosely received on annular bushings 80 which in turn are loosely fitted on spacer bolts 82. Bushings 80 have a slightly greater axial length than the rollers 78 (FIG. 6) and therefore act as spacers between the plate 74, 76. The rollers 78 rotate freely about their journals constituted by the bushings 80.

A main reel shaft 84 is rigidly attached to a plate 85 which in turn is rigidly attached to the end of center tube 12. This reel shaft 84 extends endwise outwardly from the tube 12 and is received in a suitable bearing 86 carried by a mounting socket 88. The mounting sockets 88, of which there is one at each end of reel 10, are suitably connected to the harvester (not shown) with which reel 10 is associated. An annular track member 90 is located axially between plate 85 and bearing 86. Track member 90 loosely fits through center openings 92, 93 in plates 74, 76. A mounting plate or strap 94 extends diametrically across the outer end of annular track member 90 and at its respective ends is rigidly secured to the track member 90. Another mounting plate 96 extends vertically upwardly from socket member 88 and contains an arcuate pattern of bolt receiving openings 98. A similar plurality of openings 100 are provided in the strap 94. Selective positioning of lock bolts 102 in aligned pairs of the openings 98, 100 permits track member 90 to be adjustably positioned angularly in relation to reel shaft 84. This provides a way of adjusting the eccentric device and bat control elements as a whole to regulate the angularity of the bats 28.

During reel operation, the center tube 12 rotates about its center axis. The rotary motion is transmitted by the end hub 16 and the radial arms 24 carried thereby to the bearing assembly 54, 56. The links 72 structurally connect the upper ends of the arms 24 with the upper ends of the arms 24'. Thus, orbiting movement of the arms 24 results in an orbiting movement of the arms 25'. The arms 24' move about the axis of hub assembly 70 which is offset from the axis of tube 12. The crank arms 72 are rigidly secured to the ends of the bat shafts 26 (FIG. 2). Rotation of hub assemblies 70 and its arms 24' about the eccentric axis causes the links 72, and thus in turn the bats 28, to maintain a substantially constant attitude throughout all phases of reel rotation. This arrangement, which by itself is conventional in bat type reels, causes the bats 28 to assume a generally vertical attitude during rotation.

* * * * *

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