Scraper Attachment and Methods of Use

A scraper attachment for mobile vehicles is provided with a resiliently deformable blade. In one embodiment, the blade is formed from a portion of a vehicle tire. A mounting bracket allows the scraper attachment to be used on a wide range of bucket-style loaders. In various embodiments, a user engages and disengages a portion of a bucket, extending forwardly from the mobile vehicle, with open mounting jaws that extend rearwardly from the mounting bracket by moving the bucket loader forward and backward with respect to the scraper attachment. An optional securement leash may couple the mounting frame with the mobile vehicle.

Skip to: Description  ·  Claims  · Patent History  ·  Patent History

Description

BACKGROUND

Mobile vehicles, such as bucket loaders, are commonly used in industries such as the construction and agricultural industries. Such vehicles are typically provided with one of various styles of buckets, or similar attachments, mounted to the front of the vehicle. The buckets can be used to lift and transport different objects and various materials. However, their use is nevertheless limited. For example, the rigid nature of buckets can be awkward, if not damaging to the surrounding environment, when the operator needs to simply scrape surface debris from one area to another. The design and materials typically used to construct the buckets can easily scar most operating surfaces, including concrete, asphalt or natural ground cover.

Other plows and specialty scraping machines that might be used to scrape debris from one area to another are typically complex in design and may require several manual adjustments by the user, outside of the mobile vehicle, in order to be used correctly. The failing in their design resides in the fact that they often require rigid securement to the mobile vehicle. This may require more than one user in many instances. In the end, such attachments cannot he simply picked up and dropped by a single user who is operating a loader-style mobile vehicle “on the fly.”

Used tires present a serious threat to the environment when they are not properly disposed of or “retasked” as another product. To be sure, finding alternate uses for the used tires has become an important aspect of the tire and recycling industries. Large, off-the-road tires can be placed on playgrounds and filled with sand to form novel sandboxes. They have even been converted into watering troughs for livestock. However, more uses for the used tires are needed, in particular, there is an urgent need to turn the used tire material into a “primary use” material for new products. hi this mariner, other valuable and more traditional “primary use” materials, such as natural and synthetic rubbers may be conserved. The inexpensive, resiliently deformable, nature of used tire material Should be leveraged in other industries to better use available resources and protect the environment.

SUMMARY

This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary, and the foregoing Background, is not intended to identify key aspects or essential aspects of the claimed subject matter. Moreover, this Summary is not intended for use as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

The scraper attachment for mobile vehicles of the present invention is provided with a blade, formed substantially from a rubber material to have a top wall and a curved blade extending downwardly from a rearward edge of the top wall. In one preferred embodiment, the blade is formed from a section of a vehicle tire, wherein the top wall is formed by the sidewall of the tire and the blade wall is formed by the tread of the tire. A simple frame is coupled to the blade and is quickly and easily secured to and removed from a mobile vehicle, such as a bucket style loader. Embodiments of the mounting bracket include a pair of horizontally spaced-apart mounting jaws that extend rearwardly from the mounting bracket. Jaw members of the mounting jaws are positioned to be spaced-apart from one another to define open receiving gaps. In some embodiments, the mounting bracket includes a pair of mounting ears that extend outwardly from opposite end portions of the rear wall of the mounting bracket. In this manner, the rear wall and mounting ears of the mounting bracket generally follow a curved shape of the blade wall 8.

Embodiments of the scraper attachment are assembled by positioning the top wall of the mounting bracket closely adjacent the top wall of the blade so that the rear wall of the mounting bracket is positioned closely adjacent the blade wall of the blade. Mechanical fasteners may be used to penetrate portions of the blade and the mounting bracket to secure the structures with one another. In some embodiments, the scraper attachment includes a securement leash that extends between the mounting bracket and the mobile vehicle. In such embodiments, the scraper attachment will not become unintentionally uncoupled from the mobile vehicle.

In use, the user may not have to leave the controls of the mobile vehicle at any time during engagement or disengagement of the scraper attachment from the mobile vehicle. The user need only to operate the loader to slidably dispose a leading edge portion of a front wall of the bucket within the receiving gaps of the mounting jaws. In this position, the scraper attachment may be lifted by a lifting movement of the bucket and the scraper attachment may be advanced forward in a scraping motion by moving the bucket in a forward direction. Once the scraping operation has been performed, the user may simply return the mobile vehicle to the area where the scraper attachment is to be stored. The scraper attachment will be lowered into a storage position and the user may simply operate the mobile vehicle in a generally rearward direction to withdraw the leading edge portion of a front wall of the bucket from the receiving gaps in order to disengage the scraper attachment from the mobile vehicle.

These and other aspects of the present system and method will be apparent after consideration of the Detailed Description and Figures herein.

DRAWINGS

Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the present invention, including the preferred embodiment, are described with reference to the following figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various views unless otherwise specified.

FIG. 1 depicts a top plan view of one embodiment of the scraper attachment of the present technology.

FIG. 2 depicts a side elevation view of one embodiment of a mounting bracket that may be used as a part of the scraper attachment of the present technology.

FIG. 3 depicts a front elevation view of the scraper attachment depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 depicts a side elevation view of the scraper attachment depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 depicts a rear elevation view of the scraper attachment depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of the scraper attachment depicted in FIG. 1 and demonstrates one manner in which the scraper attachment could be coupled with the bucket of a bucket loader.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments are described more fully below with reference to the accompanying figures, which form a part hereof and show, by way of illustration, specific exemplary embodiments. These embodiments are disclosed in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. However, embodiments may he implemented in many different to ins and should not be construed as being limited to the embodiments set forth herein. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

The scraper attachment 10 of the present invention is generally depicted in one preferred embodiment in FIGS. 1 and 3-5. In various embodiments, the scraper attachment 10 is provided with a blade 12 that is comprised of a generally top wall 14, having a rearward peripheral edge 16, and a blade wall 18 that extends in a generally vertical and downward direction from the rearward peripheral edge 16. While it is contemplated that the blade 12 could be formed from various different materials, several embodiments of the scraper attachment are formed of a resilient material, such as rubber or a synthetic version thereof, to avoid damage or marring of the surface that is being scraped. The material should, however, be durable and compatible with a wide temperature range as well as dry and wet environments. These traits are ideally found within vehicle tires, such as an off-the-road tire. In such embodiments, a vehicle tire may be first divided in half along a line approximating its diameter and then removing at least one of the sidewalls, and frequently a portion of the tread, from the tire-half to be used. In this manner, the remaining sidewall of the tire-half will generally form the upper wall 14; whereas, the blade wall 18 will be formed from the remaining tire tread. In some such embodiments, the resulting blade 12 will have a width, at its open forward end portion, of approximately 135 inches, a height of approximately 16 inches, and a depth, from the open forward end to the rearward end of the blade 12, of approximately 67.5 inches. Off-the-road tires used in the construction of the blade 12 have ranged in sizes and configuration. Specifically, it is contemplated that various embodiments of the blade 12 may be formed from off-the-road tires having an original diameter ranging from 96-162 inches and a width of 26-40 inches. However, other sizes and styles of tires are contemplated, depending on the desired blade 12 shave and configuration. Similarly, the dimensions of the blade 12 may be varied by cutting the tire such that the blade 12 is formed from a portion of the tire greater or less than half of the original dimensions.

While it is contemplated that the scraper attachment 10 of the present invention could be permanently secured to a mobile vehicle, the use of mobile vehicles, such as bucket loaders and the like, requires versatility. Accordingly, embodiments of the scraper attachment 10 are provided to be removably coupled with the mobile vehicle. A mounting means to accomplish this objective is provided, in one preferred embodiment, by the mounting bracket 20 depicted in FIGS. 1-5. In various embodiments, the mounting bracket 20 includes a top wall 22, having a rearward edge portion 24, and a rear wall 26 that depends from the rearward edge portion 24 of the top wall 22. In some embodiments, the top wall 22 and rear wail 26 are provided in generally planar orientations and can be formed from a variety of sturdy materials. In at least one embodiment, the top wall 22 and rear wall 26 are formed from plate steel. The dimensions of the top wall 22 and rear wall 26 may vary from application to application and be determined in part according to the type and size of blade 12. In embodiments using off-the-road tire sections, the top wall 22 will have a length of approximately 71.5 inches and a width of approximately 40 inches. Similarly, the rear wall 26 will have a length of approximately 71.5 inches and a width of approximately 18 inches.

With reference to FIGS. 1, 2, and 5, embodiments of the mounting bracket 20 include a pair of horizontally spaced-apart mounting jaws 28 that extend rearwardly from the mounting bracket 20 and the blade 12. Each of the mounting jaws 28 include a first jaw member 30 and second jaw member 32 that have lengths extending from the mounting bracket 20 to free distal end portions. The jaw members 30 and 32 are positioned to be spaced-apart from one another to define an open receiving gap 34 between the first jaw member 30 and second jaw member 32. The receiving gaps 34 extend along the lengths of the jaw members and, in some embodiments, are provided with lengths of approximately 15 inches and widths of approximately 3 inches. Various embodiments of the mounting jaws 28 will include one or more gussets 36 that extend between the rear wall 26 and the first and second jaw members 30 and 32.

With reference to FIGS. 1, 4, and 5, embodiments of the scraper attachment are assembled by positioning the top wall 22 of the mounting bracket 20 closely adjacent the top wall 14 of the blade 12 so that the rear wall 24 of the mounting bracket 20 is positioned closely adjacent the blade wall 18 of the blade 12. In various embodiments, mechanical fasteners, such as nut and bolt assemblies 38 penetrate portions of the blade 12 and the mounting bracket 20 to secure the structures with one another. In this manner, the structures may be easily separated for later replacement or servicing of one or more component parts of the scraper attachment 10. It is contemplated, however, that other mechanical fastening means, such as industrial strength adhesives and the like, could be used for certain applications.

In some embodiments, such as depicted in FIGS. 1 2, and 4, the mounting bracket 20 of the scraper attachment 10 includes a pair of mounting ears 40 that extend outwardly, laterally and forwardly, from opposite end portions of the rear wall 26 of the mounting bracket 20, such that the rear wall 26 and mounting ears 40 of the mounting bracket 40 generally follow a curved shape of the blade wall 18. Mechanical fasteners, such as the nut and bolt fasteners 38, may penetrate portions of the blade wall 18 and the mounting ears 40 to secure the structures with one another.

With reference to FIG. 6, some embodiments of the scraper attachment 10 include a securement leash 42. In such embodiments, a first end portion 44 of the securement leash 42 is secured with an anchor point 46 on the mounting bracket 20, such as the mounting eye positioned at the rearward end portion of the top wail 22. A second end portion 48 of the securement line 42 is coupled with a corresponding anchor point 46 associated with a portion of the mobile vehicle to which the scraper attachment 10 is being secured. With the securement leash in place, the scraper attachment will not become unintentionally uncoupled from the mobile vehicle.

In use, the operator will assume the controls of a mobile vehicle 50, such as the bucket-style loader depicted in FIG. 6, and position the loader 50 so that a bucket 52 that extends forwardly from the mobile vehicle 50 is closely adjacent the rearward end of the scraper attachment 10. In many methods of use, it is contemplated that the user may not have to leave the controls of the mobile vehicle 50 at any time during engagement or disengagement of the scraper attachment 10 from the mobile vehicle 50. The user need only to operate the loader 50 to slidably dispose a leading edge portion of a front wall 54 of the bucket 52 into the receiving gaps 34 of the mounting, jaws 28. In this position, the scraper attachment 10 may be lifted by a lifting movement of the bucket 52 and the scraper attachment may be advanced forward in a scraping motion by moving the bucket 52 in a forward direction. In various embodiments, no additional structures are required to secure the front wall 54 of the bucket 52 within the receiving gaps 34. The blade 12 may then he lowered into an engaged position with respect to an operating surface, such as nearly any ground cover, and the loader may be moved forward and in generally lateral directions without unintentionally disengaging the scraper attachment 10 from the loader bucket 52.

Once the scraper attachment 10 is secured to the mobile vehicle 50, the user may simply position the bucket 52 adjacent an area of ground to be scraped and operate the controls of the mobile vehicle to engage the blade wall 18 with the ground. The scraper attachment 10 then provides a highly effective means for the scraping of ground debris, such as manure, dirt, snow, rocks, and even water from the ground surface. Just as important, however, the blade 12 of the scraper attachment 10 will not mar or otherwise damage the area of ground being scraped.

Once the scraping operation has been performed, the user may simply return the mobile vehicle 50 to the area where the scraper attachment 10 is to be stored. The scraper attachment 10 will be lowered into a storage position and the user may simply operate the mobile vehicle 50 in a generally rearward direction to withdraw the leading edge portion of a front wall 54 of the bucket 52 from the receiving gaps 34 in order to disengage the scraper attachment 10 from the mobile vehicle 50.

The curved shape of the blade wall 18 and the generally planar orientation of the upper wall 14 define a scraper cavity 40 that will receive a large volume of debris during a scraping operation, with little worry of the debris spilling out from around the sides of the blade wall 18 or the upper wall 14. It is contemplated that, where vehicle tires are used to construct the blade 12, various different sizes of vehicle tires could be coupled with the mounting bracket 20 to provide a scraper attachment 10, having a desired height and or width, resulting in an optimal volume of the scraper cavity 40 for any particular application. The use of recycled tires provide a much needed benefit to the environment and further provides a relatively inexpensive source of manufacturing materials. The design of the scraper attachment 10, and more particularly the mounting bracket 20, render the scraper attachment 10 simple and inexpensive to manufacture as well as easy to use.

Although the technology has been described in language that is specific to certain structures, materials, and methodological steps, it is to be understood that the invention defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific structures, materials, and/or steps described. Rather, the specific aspects and steps are described as forms of implementing the claimed invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be practiced without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended. Unless otherwise indicated, all numbers or expressions, such as those expressing dimensions, physical characteristics, etc. used in the specification (other than the claims) are understood as modified in all instances by the term “approximately.” At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the claims, each numerical parameter recited in the specification or claims which is modified by the term “approximately” should at least be construed in light of the number of recited significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques. Moreover, all ranges disclosed herein are to be understood to encompass and provide support for claims that recite any and all subranges or any and all individual values subsumed therein. For example, a stated range of 1 to 10 should be considered to include and provide support for claims that recite any and all subranges or individual values that are between and/or inclusive of the minimum value of 1 and the maximum value of 10; that is, all subranges beginning with a minimum value of 1 or more and ending with a maximum value of 10 or less (e.g., 5.5 to 10, 2.34 to 3.56, and so forth) or any values from 1 to 10 (e.g., 3, 5.8, 9.9994, and so forth).

Claims

1. A scraper attachment for a mobile vehicle, comprising:

a resiliently deformable blade, having a top wall with a rearward peripheral edge and a generally vertical blade wall extending downwardly from the rearward peripheral edge of the top wall; and
a mounting bracket operatively coupled with the blade, the mounting bracket having a pair of horizontally spaced-apart mounting jaws that extend rearwardly from the mounting bracket and the, blade;
each of the mounting jaws including first and second jaw members that have lengths extending from the mounting bracket to free distal end portions; the jaw members positioned to be spaced-apart from one another to define an open receiving gap between the first and second jaw members; the receiving gap extending along the length of the jaw members; the mounting bracket being positioned so that the receiving dap opens away from the blade wall, along a plane that is vertically spaced from and below a plane on which the top wall of the blade resides.

2. The scraper attachment of claim 1 wherein the rearward peripheral edge of the top wall is curved, disposing the blade wall in an orientation that curves forwardly, away from the bracket.

3. The scraper attachment of claim 1 wherein the blade is formed from a portion of a tire; the top wall of the blade being formed from at least a portion of a tire sidewall and the blade wall being formed from at least a portion of a tire tread wall.

4. The scraper attachment of claim 3 wherein the blade is formed from a portion of an off-the-road tire.

5. The scraper attachment of claim 1 wherein the mounting bracket includes a top wall, having a rearward edge portion, and a rear wall that depends from the rearward edge portion of the top wall; the top wall of the mounting bracket positioned closely adjacent and along the top wall of the blade and the rear wall of the mounting bracket positioned closely adjacent and along the blade wall of the blade; the mounting jaws extending outwardly from the rear wall.

6. The scraper attachment of claim 5 wherein the top wall and rear wall of the mounting bracket are secured to the blade using a plurality of mechanical fasteners.

7. The scraper attachment of claim 1 wherein a pair of mounting ears extend outwardly, laterally and forwardly, from opposite end portions of the rear wall of the mounting bracket, such that the rear wall and mounting ears of the mounting bracket generally follow a curved shape of the blade wall.

8. The scraper attachment of claim 1 further comprising:

a securement leash, having first and second opposite end portions; the first end portion being secured with the mounting bracket and the second end portion being operatively coupled with the mobile vehicle.

9. In combination:

a mobile vehicle having a bucket extending forwardly from the mobile vehicle; the bucket being capable of selective, automatic manipulation by controls associated with the mobile vehicle; and
a scraper attachment comprising; a resiliently deformable blade, having a top wall with a rearward peripheral edge and a generally vertical blade wall extending downwardly from the rearward peripheral edge of the top wall; and a mounting bracket operatively coupled with the blade, the mounting bracket having a pair of horizontally spaced-apart mounting jaws that extend rearwardly from the mounting bracket and the blade; each of the mounting jaws including first and second jaw members that have lengths extending from the mounting bracket to free distal end portions; the jaw members positioned to be spaced-apart from one another to define an open receiving gap between the first and second jaw members; the receiving gap extending along the length of the jaw members; the mounting bracket being positioned so that the receiving gap opens away from the blade wall, along a plane that is vertically spaced from and below a plane on which the top wall of the blade resides;
a leading edge portion of a front wall of the bucket positioned within the receiving gaps of the mounting jaws such that the scraper attachment may be lifted by a lifting movement of the bucket and the scraper attachment may be advanced forward in a scraping motion by moving the bucket in a forward direction.

10. The combination of claim 9 wherein the blade is formed from a portion of a tire; the top wall of the blade being formed from at least a portion of a tire sidewall and the blade wall being formed from at least a portion of a tire tread wall.

11. The combination of claim 9 wherein the mounting bracket includes a top wall, having a rearward edge portion, and a rear wall that depends from the rearward edge portion of the top wall; the top wall of the mounting bracket positioned closely adjacent the top wall of the blade and the rear wall of the mounting bracket positioned closely adjacent the blade wall of the blade; the mounting jaws extending outwardly from the rear wall.

12. The combination of claim 9 wherein a pair of mounting ears extend outwardly, laterally and forwardly, from opposite end portions of the rear wall of the mounting bracket, such that the rear wall and mounting ears of the mounting bracket generally follow a curved shape of the blade wall.

13. The combination of claim 9 further comprising:

a securement leash, having first and second opposite end portions; the first end portion being secured with the mounting bracket and the second end portion being operatively coupled with the mobile vehicle.

14. A method of scraping an operating surface, the method comprising the steps of:

positioning a mobile vehicle, having a bucket extending forwardly from the mobile vehicle, adjacent a scraper attachment having: a resiliently deformable blade, having a top wall with a rearward peripheral edge and a generally vertical blade wall extending downwardly from the rearward peripheral edge of the top wall; and a mounting bracket operatively coupled with the blade, the mounting bracket having a pair of horizontally spaced-apart mounting jaws that extend rearwardly from the mounting bracket and the blade; each of the mounting jaws including first and second jaw members that have lengths extending from the mounting bracket to free distal end portions; the jaw members positioned to be spaced-apart from one another to define an open receiving gap between the first and second jaw members; the receiving gap extending along the length of the jaw members; the mounting bracket being positioned so that the receiving gap opens away from the blade wall, along a plane that is vertically spaced from and below a plane on which the top wall of the blade resides;
operating the mobile vehicle to dispose a leading edge portion of a front wall of the bucket within the receiving gaps of the mounting jaws;
operating the mobile vehicle to position the mobile vehicle adjacent the operating surface;
operating mobile vehicle to engage the blade wall of the blade with the operating surface; and
operating the mobile vehicle in at least a forward direction such that the blade scrapes the operating surface.

15. The method of claim 14 further comprising the steps of:

coupling a first end portion of a securement leash with the mounting bracket of the scraper attachment and coupling a second end portion of the securement leash with the mobile vehicle.

16. The method of claim 14 further comprising the steps of:

operating the mobile vehicle to lift the bucket away from the operating surface, such that the scraper attachment disengages the operating surface;
operating the mobile vehicle to relocate the mobile vehicle to a different area of the operating surface;
operating the mobile vehicle to engage the blade wall of the blade with the operating surface; and
operating the mobile vehicle in at least a forward direction such that the blade scrapes the operating surface.

17. The method of claim 14 further comprising the steps of:

operating the mobile vehicle to lift the bucket away from the operating surface, such that the scraper attachment disengages the operating surface;
operating the mobile vehicle to relocate the mobile vehicle to an area where the scraper attachment is to be at least temporarily stored;
operating the mobile vehicle to engage the blade wall of the scraper attachment with an operating surface within the area where the scraper attachment is to be at least temporarily stored; and
operating the mobile vehicle in a generally rearward direction to withdraw the leading edge portion of a front wall of the bucket from within the receiving gaps of the mounting jaws.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140138108
Type: Application
Filed: Nov 21, 2012
Publication Date: May 22, 2014
Applicant: USA TIRE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, INC. (Dakota Dunes, SD)
Inventor: Les Pederson (Dakota Dunes, SD)
Application Number: 13/683,929

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Processes (172/1); Tool Is Transversely Elongated Blade (e.g., Bulldozer) (172/701.1); With Scraper (37/407)
International Classification: E02F 3/815 (20060101); E02F 3/96 (20060101);