Compactor wheel

A compaction wheel for a vehicle includes a rigid cylinder forming a single layer rim. A plurality of cleats are mounted on the outer surface of the rim. A wheel disk mounted within the drum defines a central opening for receiving an axle of the vehicle. The cleats may be removably mounted on the rim. For this purpose, the cylinder may include a plurality of cleat-mounting apertures extending between its inner and outer surfaces. The cleats include features matable with the cleat-mounting apertures. In one embodiment, threaded members carried by the cleats are sized for through the cleat-mounting apertures. Nuts thread onto the threaded members for securing the cleats to the rim. In another embodiment, bolts extend through the cleat-mounting apertures in the rim and thread into a threaded openings in the cleats for securing the cleats to the rim. In another embodiment, the cleats include tongues sized for insertion through the cleat-mounting apertures. Caps mount onto the inner ends of the tongue and bolts pass through the caps and the tongues to secure the cleats to the rim. The compaction wheel may also include an annular axle shield secured to the inner face of the wheel disk for preventing debris from accumulating around the outer end of the axle.

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Description

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority of provisional application serial number 60/265,752, which was filed on Feb. 1, 2001. The '752 application is hereby incorporated by reference in it entirety.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] [Not Applicable]

MICROFICHE/COPYRIGHT REFERENCE

[0003] [Not Applicable]

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention generally relates to compaction wheels. More particularly the present invention relates to a compaction wheel having (1) a single drum construction, (2) readily replaceable cleats and/or (3) a wheel jam prevention system.

[0005] Compaction wheels are typically used in landfill operations to grind, crush, or compact refuse material in order to reduce the size and bulk of the refuse material. Once the refuse material is compacted, it is typically covered with a layer of soil. In order to effectively compact the refuse material, the compaction wheels need to have good grinding characteristics and be heavy enough to effectively penetrate and crush the refuse material. The compaction wheels should also provide good traction characteristics so the compaction vehicle can maneuver through the dump site with minimal slippage. Various types of arrangements have been used to provide both good compaction characteristics and traction characteristics to compaction wheels.

[0006] Prior compaction wheels have typically utilized a dual drum design consisting of an inner drum and an outer drum which defines a hollow space therebetween. The hollow space between the drums defines a compartment, which can be filled with liquid or other material in order to increase the weight of the compaction wheel. The increased weight of the compaction wheel provides the compaction wheel with good crushing characteristics as it passes over refuse material.

[0007] While the dual drum design may provide for good crushing characteristics due to its heavy weight, this design has some drawbacks. For example, the dual hollow drum design has numerous components, and, as a result it is relatively costly and complex to manufacture.

[0008] In order to provide good grinding and traction characteristics, compaction wheels used in landfill operations typically employ blades, spokes, or cleats along the outer surface of the wheel. In the past, compaction wheels have typically been built utilizing either a one-piece cleat design or a two-piece cleat design. In the one-piece cleat design, the one-piece cleats are welded or otherwise fixedly attached to the outer surface of the compaction wheel. In the two-piece cleat design, a base cleat is typically welded to the outer surface of the compaction wheel and a replaceable cap is in turn welded, bolted, or pinned over the base cleat. U.S. Pat. No. 4,919,566 entitled “Fill and Compaction Roller Using Readily Replaceable Cleat Assemblies” illustrates an example of a two-piece cleat design.

[0009] With use, the cleat become worn and, as a result, the grinding and traction capabilities of the compaction wheel may be significantly reduced. As a result, it is desirable that the cleats can be replaced as they become worn down. However, prior cleat designs suffer from several drawbacks related to replacement of the worn cleats. For example, because one-piece cleats are welded to the outer surface of the compaction wheel, they are not readily replaceable. Therefore, the effective useful life of compaction wheels utilizing non-replaceable one-piece cleats is severely limited. Moreover, prior art designs typically require an operator to first dig the mud and refuse material off the compaction wheel in order to remove and replace the worn cleats. This cleaning process may often be difficult and time consuming when cleats need to be regularly replaced. Traditional two-piece cleat designs may also suffer significant drawbacks. During the course of regular use, the pins or bolts used to fasten the outer cap of the two-piece cleat to the base cleat may be exposed to corrosive materials. The exposure to corrosive materials may cause the pins or bolts to corrode and deform making the outer cap of the two-piece cleat very difficult to remove. Consequentially, field replacement of prior art cleats may require the use of expensive and complex machinery such as air compressors, air hammers, sledge hammers, torches, or welding equipment.

[0010] Some of the above problems are addressed by U.S. Pat. No. 6,095,717 which issued on Aug. 1, 2000 and is entitled “Compaction Wheel Having Replaceable Cleats,” the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. The '717 patent discloses a compaction wheel which includes a rigid cylinder forming an outer rim. Cleats are removable mounted in cleat receiving apertures formed on the outer rim. Each cleat has a tongue which extends from the inner surface of the cleat and is configured to extend through the tongue receiving apertures formed in the outer rim. Connection rods extend through apertures in the tongue to secure the cleats to the outer rim. For this purpose, the wheel includes guide tubes that are mounted radially inwardly of the outer rim. Each guide tube is associated with a different one of the cleat receiving apertures and extends laterally between the lateral outer face of the wheel and a location adjacent to the outer edge of an associated cleat receiving aperture. While the '717 patent represents an improvement over prior compaction wheels, it requires numerous components. As a result, it is relatively costly and difficult to manufacture.

[0011] Another drawback to typical compaction wheel designs is that often, certain types of refuse materials such as fishing lines or thin cords or ropes may get behind the compaction wheel and become entangled in the vehicle's axle during operation. Removing refuse materials from a jammed axle is a very time and labor intensive process and may result in significant downtime for the landfill vehicle. Moreover, in some instances, the debris actually damages the axle seal, resulting in the loss of lubricating fluid in the axle, significant damage to the vehicle.

[0012] Thus, a need exists for a compaction wheel that reduces the likelihood that debris becoming entangled about the vehicle's axle. Additionally, a need exists for a compaction wheel that is easier and more economical to manufacture and maintain than the prior art designs. A need further exists for a compaction wheel that provides for easy replacement of worn cleats.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] According to certain aspects of an embodiment of the present invention, a compaction wheel for a vehicle includes a rigid cylinder forming a single layer rim. The cylinder has an outer surface and an inner surface. A plurality of cleats are mounted on the outer surface of the rim. A wheel disk is mounted within the drum and defines a central opening for receiving the axle of a vehicle.

[0014] The cleats may be removably mounted on the rim. For this purpose, the cylinder may include a plurality of cleat-mounting apertures extending between its inner and outer surfaces. Each cleat includes a mounting feature configured to mate one of the cleat-mounting apertures.

[0015] According to one embodiment, the mounting feature includes a threaded member carried by the cleat and sized for insertion through the cleat mounting aperture. A nut threads onto the threaded member for securing the cleat to the rim.

[0016] According to another embodiment, the mounting feature includes a bolt which extends through the cleat-mounting aperture and threads into a threaded operative in the cleat for securing the cleats to the rim. The cleat may include a boss which defines the threaded aperture, and which is sized for insertion into an outer portion of the cleat-mounting aperture.

[0017] According to yet another embodiment, the mounting feature includes a tongue sized for insertion through the cleat-mounting aperture. A cap mounts onto the inner end of the tongue and a bolt passes through the cap and the tongue to secure the cleat to the rim.

[0018] The compaction wheel may also include an annular axle shield secured to the inner face of the wheel disk for preventing debris from accumulating around the outer end of the axle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 illustrates a typical prior art dual drum compaction wheel attached to the axle of a compaction vehicle.

[0020] FIG. 2 illustrates a compaction wheel illustrating certain aspects of a specific embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 3 illustrates the compaction wheel of FIG. 2 in combination with an axle shield according to certain aspects of a specific embodiment of the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 4 illustrates the compaction wheel of FIG. 3 incorporating a replaceable cleat assembly according to certain aspects of a specific embodiment of the present invention.

[0023] FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate alternative embodiments of a replaceable cleat assembly.

[0024] FIG. 6 illustrates another alternative embodiment of a replaceable cleat assembly.

[0025] FIG. 7 illustrates yet another alternative embodiment of a replaceable cleat assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0026] FIG. 1 illustrates a typical prior art dual drum (or two-layer) compaction wheel 100. The compaction wheel 100 includes an inner rim 110, an outer rim 120, and side walls 130, which define a hollow compartment 135. The outer rim 120 is formed by a first, outer cylinder or drum, whereas the inner rim 110 is formed by a second, inner rigid cylinder. The inner rim 110 is connected to the outer rim 120 by the side walls 130. A wheel disk 140 in the form of an annular ring is mounted within the inner rim 120. The wheel disk 140 defines a central opening for receiving the axle 150 of a vehicle such as a wheel loader (not shown). A plurality of lug bolt openings are spaced around the axle opening and are positioned to align with and receive lug bolts carried by the axle. Lug nuts are threaded onto the lug bolts to secure the wheel to the axle. Typically, the hollow center 135 of the two-layer drum 100, is filled with liquid or other material to increase the weight of the two-layer drum. Cleats (not shown) may be affixed to the outer rim 120 in a manner as described above.

[0027] FIG. 2 illustrates a first embodiment of a single drum compaction wheel 200 according to certain aspects of an embodiment of the present invention. The single drum compaction wheel 200 includes rim 210 formed by a hollow drum or cylinder and a wheel disk 215 in the form of an annular ring. The wheel disk 215 is centrally mounted within the rim 210 and is fixedly secured thereto, e.g., by welding. The wheel disk 215 includes a central opening 220 configured to receive the axle 230 of a compaction vehicle. A plurality of lug bolt openings 235 are spaced around the central opening 220 and are positioned to align with and receive lug bolts 240 carried by the axle 230. Lug nuts (not shown) are threaded onto the bolts 240 to secure the wheel 200 to the axle 230.

[0028] The rim 210 and the wheel disk 215 are formed from a suitable material such as a heavy gage plate steel. The rim may be rolled from hot rolled steel plate and has a thickness on the order of 1 to 2.5 inches. The wheel disk may be formed from hot rolled steel plate and have a thickness on the order of 2.5 to 3 inches. The wheel may have a diameter on the order of 58″-70″. It will be appreciated, however, that other materials and other dimensions may be used without departing from the scope of the invention. The wheel 200 is designed to function as a rolled I-beam, which results in a design that is rigid yet economical to manufacture. The single drum wheel 200 has all of the compaction benefits of the prior art dual drum wheel, but requires less material than the two-layer drum and is easier to manufacture.

[0029] FIG. 3 illustrates an alternative embodiment of single drum compaction wheel 200b according to a certain aspects of an embodiment of the present invention. This second embodiment is identical to that shown in FIG. 2, except that it also includes an axle shield 250. Hence, the same reference numerals have been used to identify like components in FIGS. 2 and 3. The axle shield 250 is secured to the inner face of the wheel disk 215, e.g., by welding. The axle shield 250 extends about the outer portion of the axle 230 and functions to shield the outer portion of the axle from debris. The axle shield 250 forms a close fit with a portion 260 of the axle to prevent debris from entering the annular space between the axle 230 and the shield 250. The axle shield 250 reduces the amount of refuse or debris that may get entangled about the axle 230 by shielding the outer end of the axle 230 at its connection with the wheel 200b. Reducing the amount of refuse or debris entangled in the axle 230 reduces the amount of downtime of the landfill vehicle, which results in greater efficiency and less cost.

[0030] FIG. 4 illustrates a replaceable cleat assembly 300 for use with the single drum compaction wheels 200, 200b shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The cleats are designed to be secured to the exterior face of the drum 210. Although only one cleat is shown in FIG. 5, it will be appreciated that a plurality of the cleats are mounted on the wheel 200. The cleats may be arranged in transverse rows or may be offset from one another as described in the aforementioned '717 patent.

[0031] Each cleat 310 has an inner face 315, which is configured to engage with the outer face of the rim 210. The inner face of the cleat 310 may be arced to form a close fit with the curved outer surface of the rim 210. The inner face of the cleat presents at least one threaded aperture 320 which is configured to align with a reciprocal aperture 325 formed in the rim 210. Preferably, each cleat has two such apertures 320. Bosses 330 may extend from the cleat about the threaded apertures 320. The bosses 330 are configured to align with and be inserted into the outer portions of the reciprocal apertures 325 in the rim 210.

[0032] Bolts 340 are inserted through washers 350 and then through the apertures 325 in the rim 210. The bolts 340 are then screwed into the threaded apertures 320 in the cleat 310 to secure the cleat to the rim 210. This process is repeated for each of the one-piece cleats 310 attached to the outer surface of the single-layer drum 210.

[0033] FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate alternative embodiments of a replaceable cleat assembly. Each of these embodiments is secured to the wheel in generally the same manner as the cleat described and shown in FIG. 3. The three embodiments include a four-prong cleat embodiment (FIG. 5A), a four-bolt cleat embodiment (FIG. 5B), and a rectangular boss cleat embodiment (FIG. 5C).

[0034] The four-prong cleat 400 of FIG. 5A is fastened to the outer surface of the rim 210 by at least one bolt in substantially the same manner as described above in connection with FIG. 3. In addition, the cleat 400 includes four prongs or bosses 410 extending from its inner face. The prongs 410 are configured to align with and be inserted into reciprocal dimples (not shown) that are formed in the outer surface of the rim 210. The interface between the dimples and the prongs 410 helps secure the cleat 410 in place during operation.

[0035] The four-bolt cleat 430 shown in FIG. 5B differs from the cleat of FIG. 4, in that four bolts 340 are used to secure it to the rim 210 instead of two. As will be appreciated, four fastening apertures 325 per cleat are formed in the rim 210. The four bolts 340 are screwed into each of the four threaded apertures 320 of the cleat 430 in substantially the same fashion described in FIG. 4. Bosses (not shown) similar to the bosses 330 may be formed around the threaded apertures 320 of the cleat 430.

[0036] The cleat 450 of FIG. 5C includes a rectangular boss extending from its inner face about the threaded aperture 320. The boss 450 is configured to fit into a reciprocal recess that is formed in the outer face of the rim 210 around the fastening aperture 325. The interface between the boss 455 and the recess in the rim 210 helps secure the cleat 450 in place during operation of the vehicle. A backing plate 460 may be interposed between the bolt 340 and the inner face of the rim 210, in place of the washer 350. It will be appreciated that a backing plate may be used instead of a washer in any of the above embodiments.

[0037] FIG. 6 illustrates another alternative embodiment of a replaceable cleat assembly. In this embodiment, a threaded member 470 extends from the inner face of the cleat 465. The cleat 465 is secured to the rim by inserting the threaded member through one of the apertures in the rim. A nut 475 threads onto the end of the threaded member 470 to secure the cleat 465 to the rim. As will be appreciated, a washer or plate 460 may be interposed between the nut and the inner surface of the rim. The inner face of the cleat may include a boss 480 disposed around the threaded member. The boss 480 functions in the same manner as the bosses described above in connection with FIGS. 4 and 5C. The inner face of the cleat 465 may alternatively include one or more prongs (not shown), similar to the prongs 410 discussed above in connection with FIG. 5A.

[0038] FIG. 7 illustrates still another alternative embodiment of a replaceable cleat assembly. The cleat 485 includes a tongue 490 configured for insertion through a reciprocal cleat mounting aperture 495 formed on the rim. A cap 500 includes a slot 505 sized to slide over the tongue 490. The cleat is secured to the wheel by inserting the tongue 490 through the aperture 495 in the rim. The cap 500 is then slid over the end of the tongue 490, such that the rim is sandwiched between the cleat 485 and the cap 500. The tongue 490 presents an aperture 510 that aligns with a reciprocal passage 515 formed in the cap 500. A bolt 520 is inserted into one side of the passage and through the opening in the tongue to secure the cap to the tongue. The bolt can be sized to extend completely through the cap, in which case a nut (not shown) is threaded onto the end of the bolt to secure it in the passage. Alternatively, one side of the passage can be threaded, so that the bolt threads directly into the cap. As will be appreciated one or more washers (not shown) may be interposed between the bolt's head and the cap, and also between the nut and the cap.

[0039] While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its scope. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims

1. A compaction wheel mountable for a vehicle, comprising:

a rigid cylinder forming a single layer rim, the cylinder having an outer surface and an inner surface;
a plurality of cleats mounted on the outer surface of the rim; and
a wheel disk mounted within the drum and defining a central opening for receiving the axle of a vehicle.

2. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 1, wherein the cleats are removably mounted on the rim.

3. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 2, wherein the cylinder includes a plurality of cleat-mounting apertures extending between its inner and outer surfaces; and wherein each cleat includes a mounting feature configured to mate one of the cleat-mounting apertures.

4. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 3, wherein the mounting feature comprises a threaded member carried by the cleat and sized for insertion through the cleat mounting aperture and a nut threadable onto the threaded member for securing the cleats to the rim.

5. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 3, wherein the mounting feature comprises a bolt which extends through the cleat-mounting aperture and threads into a threaded opening in the cleat for securing the cleats to the rim.

6. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 5, wherein two bolts are used to fasten each cleat to the rim.

7. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 5, further comprising a boss which defines the threaded opening in the cleat, the boss being sized for insertion into the outer portion of the cleat-mounting aperture.

8. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 7, wherein the boss has a generally circular cross section.

9. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 7, wherein the boss has a generally rectangular cross section.

10. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 1, wherein the rim has a wall thickness of between 1 inch and 2.5 inches.

11. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 1, further comprising an axle shield secured to the inner face of the wheel disk.

12. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 2, further comprising protrusions formed on the cleat which are configured to mate with reciprocal dimples in the outer surface of the rim.

13. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 3, wherein the mounting feature comprises a tongue sized for insertion through the cleat-mounting aperture and a connection matable with the distal end of the tongue.

14. A compaction wheel for a vehicle, comprising:

a rigid metallic cylinder forming a single layer rim, the cylinder having an outer surface, an inner surface, and a plurality of cleat-mounting apertures extending between its inner and outer surfaces;
a plurality of cleats removably mounted on the outer surface of the rim, each cleat including a mounting feature configured to mate with the cleat receiving apertures for securing the cleat to the rim; and
a metallic wheel disk mounted within the drum and defining a central opening for receiving the axle of a vehicle; and

15. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 14, wherein the mounting feature comprises a threaded member carried by the cleat and sized for insertion through the cleat mounting aperture and a nut threadable onto the threaded member for securing the cleat to the rim.

16. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 14, wherein the mounting feature comprises a bolt which extends through the cleat-mounting aperture and threads into a threaded opening in the cleat for securing the cleats to the rim.

17. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 16, further comprising a boss which defines the threaded opening in the cleat, the boss being sized for insertion into the outer portion of the cleat-mounting aperture.

18. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 17, wherein the boss has a generally circular cross section.

19. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 17, wherein the boss has a generally rectangular cross section.

20. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 14, wherein the rim has a wall thickness of between 1 inch and 2.5 inches.

21. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 14, further comprising an axel shield secured to the inner face of the wheel disk.

22. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 14, further comprising protrusions formed on the cleat which are configured to mate with reciprocal dimples in the outer surface of the rim.

23. A compaction wheel as set forth in claim 14, wherein the mounting feature comprises a tongue sized for insertion through the cleat-mounting aperture and a connector matable with the distal end of the tongue.

24. A compaction wheel for a vehicle, comprising:

a rigid metallic cylinder forming a single layer rim, the cylinder having an outer surface, an inner surface, and a plurality of cleat-mounting apertures extending between its inner and outer surfaces;
a plurality of cleats removably mounted on the outer surface of the rim, each cleat including a threaded aperture alignable with one of the cleat-mounting apertures in the rim;
a plurality of bolts which are configured to extend through the cleat-mounting apertures and thread into the threaded apertures in the cleats for securing the cleats to the rim;
a metallic wheel disk mounted within the drum and defining a central opening for receiving the axle of a vehicle; and
an annular axle shield secured to the inner face of the wheel disk, the axle shield being sized and positioned to extend around the outer portion of the vehicle axle when the wheel is mounted on the axle.

Patent History

Publication number: 20020114667
Type: Application
Filed: Jan 30, 2002
Publication Date: Aug 22, 2002
Inventors: James A. Kaldenberg (Albia, IA), Kenneth H. Pratt (Ottumwa, IA)
Application Number: 10062878

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Roller Periphery Characteristics (404/124)
International Classification: E01C019/26;