Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm William C. Perry
  • Patent number: 6402177
    Abstract: In many types of construction machines, the frame assembly comprises a rear frame that supports the engine and drive train components and a front frame that supports the work implement. In this type of machine, the two frames are normally pinned together and the front frame is articulated with respect to the rear frame by a pair of steering cylinders to provide steering for the machine. In the area in which the two frames are pinned together it is necessary to provide structural support, especially in the hitch area of the front frame. The present invention provides a front frame assembly (12) that has an upper and lower hitch plate (118, 120) that are positioned between and secured to the rear portion of a pair of side plates (62, 64) defined by the front frame assembly (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Eliseo J. Carmona, Yon C. Chong, Timothy S. Conroy, James K. Mathieu, Daniel R. Neitzel, Craig W. Riediger, Charles F. Sieck, Richard C. Zielie
  • Patent number: 6213471
    Abstract: Metal-to-metal face seals are commonly used between relatively rotating components to maintain a quantity of lubricating fluid within one component while keeping dirt and abrasives from entering. The positioning of the sealing faces of the seal rings is critical to their function and, for any number of reasons, the interface between the seal rings has been known to become angled with respect to the axis about which they are positioned. The present invention provides a seal assembly that have a pair of seal rings that are maintained in engaging contact with one another by a pair of load rings. Each load ring has a first end portion that engages the respective seal ring and a second end portion that engages a recess in an adjacent housing. The recess defines an angled surface that is adapted for engagement with an annular surface of the load ring to stabilize the seal assembly to maintain proper positioning of the seal rings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2001
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Anderson, Billy R. Bedford
  • Patent number: 6186511
    Abstract: A face seal assembly comprises a pair of confronting seal rings having mutually-engaging seal faces. The seal faces are maintained in sealing engagement by a pair of resilient load rings that are positioned between the seal rings and a pair of housings that are positioned on opposing sides of the seal rings. The load rings are received within a recess defined by the respective housings and are adapted to interfit with one another to thereby resist relative rotation therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Anderson, Aaron L. Smith
  • Patent number: 6168368
    Abstract: In many types of construction machines, the frame assembly comprises a rear frame that supports the engine and the majority of the drive train components and a front frame that supports the work implement and related structure. In this type of machine, the two frames are normally pinned together and the front frame is articulated with respect to the rear frame by a pair of steering cylinders to provide steering for the machine. In order to provide the required structural support for the components of the work implement and to accommodate the steering forces, the front frame is necessarily quite large. The present invention provides a front frame (12) structure that includes a pair of main side plates (62, 64) that are positioned a preselected distance (W) from one another and mount a lift arm assembly (30) therebetween to minimize the overall width of the frame assembly. The forward end portion of the front frame assembly (12) has a preselected height (H) that permits the front frame to have a low profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Curtis W. Apgar, Yon C. Chong, Timothy S. Conroy, James K. Mathieu, Craig W. Riediger, Charles F. Sieck
  • Patent number: 6158544
    Abstract: In articulated machines it has long been a desire to provide a steering system that will permit the incorporation of machine controls into a steering wheel assembly and yet provide the operator with mechanical feedback through the steering wheel. The present invention accomplishes this goal by providing a steering wheel assembly on a first frame of the machine and a control valve on the second frame that articulates with respect to the first. The steering wheel assembly and control valve are connected by a shaft assembly that includes a pair of constant velocity U-joints interposed along the length thereof. The shaft assembly translates substantially equal amounts of rotation between the steering wheel assembly and the control valve. The control valve is operable in a first and second condition, depending upon the amount of rotation of the steering wheel assembly, to provide different modes of steering that compliment the operation of the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Paul A. Dvorak, Paul E. Jantz, Bryan A. Vogt, Steven R. Wells
  • Patent number: 6145610
    Abstract: For machinery it is often desirable to change the gauge of the track or wheels. Variation of gauge is commonly accomplished by hydraulic cylinders which act through telescopic cross beams (3) to, for example, move tracks (2) of the machinery apart. Apparatus is disclosed to guide movement of the structure to change gauge and to lock the structure in place to prevent relative movement while the machinery is operated. Remote control (30) may be used to control these operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Luigi Gallignani
  • Patent number: 6145401
    Abstract: In the operation of construction machines it is quite common to provide a myriad of control levers for the various machine functions. Since the requirements for the implements controlled by the various levers are different, the control levers themselves are different, in operation as well as in physical configuration. The present invention comprehends a modular control handle having a grip assembly that is adaptable to accommodate one of a plurality of different control modules mountable therein. The control modules may be varied to accommodate various machine operations but the size and shape of the grip assembly may remain the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey A. Brush, Julien J. Schrenk
  • Patent number: 6109706
    Abstract: In the operation of track-type machines, the pin and bushing assemblies incorporated in the track assemblies are typically lubricated to accommodate wear that occurs as they rotate relative to one another. Since the relative rotation occurs over a relatively small area, there are instances wherein portions of the interface between the pin and bushing never are exposed to the lubricating fluid, thus causing premature wear. The present invention provides a track assembly that has a track bushing that defines a bore that is defined by a plurality of wall segments. The wall segments join one another to define a plurality of cusps that form axially extending channels that extend the axial length of the bushing. The channels maintain a quantity of lubricant during relative rotation of the track pin and bushing to prevent premature wear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas E. Oertley
  • Patent number: 6106217
    Abstract: Conventional lift arm arrangements for construction machines include a pair of lift arms that are welded fabrications forming box-beams. The lift arms are typically connected by a cross tube that is welded to the inner walls of each lift arm. This type of construction creates an extremely heavy arrangement that requires several very labor intensive welding operations to manufacture. The present invention provides a lift arm arrangement that includes lift arms that are made of one-piece, cast members. Each lift arm includes an integral abutment portion that defines a surface that is adapted for welding to a cross tube assembly. The surface is configured to be spaced laterally from the inner side surfaces of each lift arm. Being so positioned, the stress concentrations created by the welded joint are moved to a location that is removed from the juncture between the cross tube assembly and the side surfaces of the lift arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Harvey A. Knell
  • Patent number: 6105969
    Abstract: A track seal assembly (174) adapted to seal a track joint (172) includes a track link and a ceramic seal member (186). The track seal further includes an elastomeric member (176) positioned between the track link and the ceramic seal member (186). The track seal (174) further includes a bushing (184) having a ceramic end face (187). The end face (87) of the bushing defines a ceramic bushing face (187) that interfaces with the ceramic seal member (186) so as to form a seal interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Peter W. Anderton, Michael H. Haselkorn, William A. Holt, Jerry A. Metz, Daniel L. Mikrut, Kenneth R. Watts, Harry M. Yousefnia
  • Patent number: 6076843
    Abstract: In the operation of machines of the type that are typically designed to traverse terrain having deposits of debris, it is a common problem to have the debris become attached to the wheels of the machine and rotate therewith. In many instances this causes material to become entrained around the axles of the machine requiring continual maintenance and occasionally causing damage to the axle components. The present invention provides a guard member that is positioned about the axle assemblies to reduced the chance of material falling from the wheels onto the axle assemblies. The guard member defines a plurality of angled plates that are positioned in closely adjacent, parallel proximity to a plurality of wear strips that are positioned equidistantly about the wheel. The angled plates are positioned at angles that are offset from the each other and the wear strips and react in a scissoring manner with respect to one another to shear any material that may become lodged therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: John P. Sewell
  • Patent number: 6071033
    Abstract: In many pinned connections between the frames of a machine such as an articulated construction machine, the forces passing through the pin connection caused flexing of the various bolted connections which ultimately could cause the loosening or failure of the bolts. The present invention provides a retainer member for a pin member that has a groove positioned in an engagement surface to divide the engagement surface into radial inner and outer portions. A plurality of fasteners are positioned in the radially inner engagement surface to secure the retainer member to the pin member. The radially outer engagement surface, having a reduced cross-section and no fasteners, is allowed to flex to accommodate the forces passing from one frame to the other, thus maintaining the integrity of the bolted connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Neitzel, Rajesh M. Krishnan
  • Patent number: 6048417
    Abstract: Conventional methods for heat treating cylindrical components such as track bushings involve multiple steps. For example, many such methods consist of carburizing, cooling, induction-hardening, quenching, and tempering. The conventional methods have proved to be costly because different heat treating apparatus are required. This causes duplicate handling and wasted manufacturing time. The present invention provides a method and apparatus 30 for heat treating a bushing 10 simultaneously from an outer peripheral surface and the pair of inner circumferential surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis C. Pond
  • Patent number: 6045201
    Abstract: In the operation of machines such as landfill compactors it is common to provide a shear assembly that is mounted between the axle assembly and a wheel that is rotatably mounted thereon to sever material that would otherwise become entrained about the axle assembly. Material of relatively large gauge may become lodged within the shear assembly and create large loading forces between the wheel and the axle components that have been known to damage various drive train components. The present invention provides a cutting apparatus that has a first (34) and second shear blade (40) mounted to the axle assembly (10) and wheel (12) respectively. The second shear blade (40) is bolted (66,68,70) to the wheel (12) in a manner wherein selected ones of the mounting bolts (66,68,70) are sized in a manner in which forces of a preselected magnitude will shear the bolts (68,70) thus limiting the amount of force transmitted to the drive train components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Charles J. Chappell, William H. Godfrey, John E. Puchosic, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6017103
    Abstract: In the operation of a track type machine in highly abrasive material, premature wear of the track shoes has been a common occurrence. The present invention provides a track shoe that has a grouser that defines a plurality of grooves that extend in a direction that is substantially the same as that of the grouser. The grooves are formed on both the leading and trailing sides of the grouser and are filled with an abrasion resistant material. The grooves are arranged such that the strips of abrasion resistant material on the first side are aligned with the spaces between the strips on the opposite side and vice versa.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Jean F. Villard
  • Patent number: 6012535
    Abstract: This invention provides a mounting arrangement for a ripper shank that is mounted in a channel defined in a ripper frame. A pair of piston members are mounted in the frame on opposite sides of the ripper shank. The piston members are urged into engagement with the ripper shank by a biasing mechanism that is positioned between the frame and the piston members. An actuating mechanism is mounted between the frame and the piston members to disengage the biasing mechanism to allow the adjustment of the ripper shank with respect to the frame in one of an infinite number of positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Michael R. Theobald, William H. Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 6010363
    Abstract: During the performance of service on many machines, it is often necessary to remove one component from another necessitating the removal of any wiring clips or harnesses that may be attached thereto. In many instances, removal of these wiring clips creates a laborious and/or an unduly complicated task. The present invention provides a connector assembly that includes a mounting portion that has a groove defined therein that receives a tapered abutment member defined by a clip assembly. The groove has tapered end portions on each end thereof that interact with the tapered abutment member to allow easy and selective removal and assembly of the clip assembly and mounting portion depending on the type of service required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Paul W. Dobrich, Philippe J. Hennaux
  • Patent number: 5988309
    Abstract: In many types of construction machines, the frame assembly comprises a rear frame that supports the engine and the majority of the drive train components and a front frame that supports the work implement and related structure. In this type of machine, the two frames are normally pinned together and the front frame is articulated with respect to the rear frame by a pair of steering cylinders to provide steering for the machine. In order to provide the required structural support for the components of the work implement and to accommodate the steering forces, the front frame is necessarily quite large. The present invention provides a front frame (12) structure that includes a pair of main side plates (62, 64) and a substantially planar support plate (74) that is mounted to a first end portion of the side plates (62, 64). The support plate (74) mounts an axle assembly directly thereto and defines a pair of mounting bores (84) that are positioned, on a rearmost portion of the support plate (74).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Yon C. Chong, Craig W. Riediger, Daniel R. Neitzel, Timothy S. Conroy, Richard C. Zielie, Charles F. Sieck, James K. Mathieu
  • Patent number: 5988013
    Abstract: In the operation of construction machines having multiple functions it has been a problem to provide a mounting arrangement for the levers that incorporates low lever effort operational detents without experiencing undue wear within the components. The present invention provides a mounting arrangement for a control lever that has a plurality of upraised ribs defined thereon in a preselected array. A plurality of grooves are positioned on an adjacent bearing member that are positioned to engage the upraised ribs in a first condition of the control lever. The control lever may be rotated out of engagement with the ribs to operate in a second condition while at the same time being engageable with a plurality of operational detents to provided feedback to an operator as to impending operational conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Charles W. Carr, Jr., Max D. Fryrear, Derek D. Greving, Mary A. Kuhn
  • Patent number: 5967630
    Abstract: In the operation of machines of the type that are typically designed to traverse terrain having deposits of debris, it is a common problem to have the debris become attached to the wheels of the machine and rotate therewith. In many instances this causes material to become entrained around the axles of the machine requiring continual maintenance and occasionally causing damage to the axle components. In the present invention a guard assembly is provided that defines a scraping member that is positioned in radially inner and laterally overlapping relation to an outer cylindrical surface defined by each wheel. The scraping member function to remove material that may become attached to the wheels during their movement over the terrain. Functioning as such, material is prevented from becoming entrained about the respective axle assemblies of the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: John P. Sewell