WALKWAY ASSEMBLY FOR PAVING MACHINES

A walkway assembly for a paving machine is disclosed herein. The walkway assembly includes a main walkway, an extender walkway, and a wheel assembly. The extender walkway telescopically extends and retracts relative to the main walkway. The wheel assembly includes a guard, a pin, and a wheel. The guard includes six surfaces mutually perpendicular to each other. The guard includes a cavity which defines a first opening in the first surface and a second opening in the third surface. The guard also includes an insert hole longitudinally extending from the second surface to the cavity. The wheel having a through hole is positioned inside the cavity and extends partially outwards from the guard through the second opening in rolling contact with extender walkway.

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Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to paving machines. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to a walkway assembly for a paving machine.

BACKGROUND

Paving machines are used for laying concrete and/or asphalt on various surfaces such as, a road surface, a bridge, a parking area, and the like. The concrete and/or asphalt laid on the surfaces is given an initial compaction using a screed coupled to the paving machine. The paving machine generally includes a walkway at a rear end of the screed. The walkway enables an operator to observe the paving operation. Additionally, the operator is able to control screed functionalities from the walkway since an operator control station is generally located in the vicinity of the walkway.

The width of extendable screeds can be varied depending on a given paving job. The walkway needs to be adjustable along with the screed width to allow an operator standing on the walkway to properly monitor the paving operation and control the paving operation.

There are several known ways to extend and retract the walkway. The extender walkway may slide relative to a main walkway to vary the width of the walkway on a roller which is mounted beneath the main walkway. However, during paving operation, asphalt debris and other obstacles may prevent or limit walkway movement, making it difficult to extend or retract when desired.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

One aspect of the present disclosure is directed to a walkway assembly for a paving machine. The walkway assembly includes a main walkway, an extender walkway, and a wheel assembly. The extender walkway is configured to telescopically extend and retract relative to the main walkway. The wheel assembly includes a guard, a wheel, and a pin. The guard includes a first surface, a second surface, and a third surface. The second surface is substantially parallel to the first surface. The third surface extends between the first surface and the second surface. The third surface is substantially perpendicular to the first surface. The guard further includes a cavity extending from the first surface towards the second surface. The cavity includes a first opening in the first surface and a second opening in the third surface. The guard also includes an insert hole longitudinally extending from the second surface to the cavity. The wheel having a through hole is positioned inside the cavity of the guard. The wheel extends partially outwards from the guard through the second opening and is in a rolling contact with the extender walkway. The pin passes through the insert hole and the through hole to couple the guard and the wheel. The pin includes a first end and a second end. The wheel assembly is coupled to the main walkway by coupling the first end of the pin with the main walkway.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of an exemplary paving machine, in accordance with the concepts of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 illustrates a bottom perspective view of a walkway assembly, in an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of a portion of the walkway assembly, in an alternative embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of the walkway assembly, in accordance with the alternative embodiment of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 5 illustrates an exploded view of a wheel assembly, in accordance with the concepts of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of an exemplary paving machine 100, in accordance with the concepts of the present disclosure. In reference to FIG. 1, the paving machine 100 may include a pair of hoppers 102, a conveyor, an auger 104, a screed 106, and a walkway assembly 108.

The pair of hoppers 102 of the paving machine 100 may receive asphalt and/or concrete material from a dump truck or similar transport means. The pair of hoppers 102 transfers the asphalt and/or concrete material to the auger 104 via a conveyer (not shown in FIGs). The auger 104 may be a rotating screw mechanism and transfers asphalt and/or concrete on a paving surface. Examples of paving surfaces may be a road surface, a parking area, a highway, and the like. The auger 104 may transfer the asphalt and/or concrete material on the paving surface in form of stockpiles in front of the screed 106. The asphalt and/or concrete material transferred on the ground is given an initial compaction by the screed 106.

The screed 106 is coupled at a rear end of the paving machine 100. In an embodiment, the screed 106 includes a main screed and at least one extender. In a preferred embodiment, the screed 106 includes two extender slideably coupled on each side of the main screed. The at least one extender may be extended or retracted relative to the main screed for different pavement requirements. The at least one extender may be extended and retracted by any mechanism such as, but not limited to, a hydraulic actuating mechanism, a pneumatic actuating mechanism, an electric actuating mechanism, a mechanical mechanism and the equivalents thereof. The at least one extender is extended and positioned adjacent to the main screed to increase the width of the asphalt and/or concrete mat being laid on the paving surface. The screed 106 provides a uniformly paved surface as the paving machine 100 moves forwardly.

Furthermore, the screed 106 is coupled to the walkway assembly 108. The walkway assembly 108 enables an operator to observe the paving operation. Additionally, the operator may control functionalities of the screed 106 from the walkway assembly 108 since an operator control station is generally located in the vicinity of the walkway assembly 108.

FIG. 2 illustrates a bottom perspective view of the walkway assembly 108, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The walkway assembly 108 includes a main walkway 202, an extender walkway 204, and a wheel assembly 206. The extender walkway 204 is telescopically extendable and retractable relative to the main walkway 202. In an embodiment, the walkway assembly 108 includes two extender walkways such that one extender walkway 204 may extend and retract relative to one end of the main walkway 202 and other extender walkway 204 may extend and retract relative to other end of the main walkway 202. The extender walkway 204 may be coupled to the at least one extender of the screed 106 using a support bracket 208. Therefore, the extender walkway 204 may extend and retract relative to the main walkway 202 as the at least one extender extends and retracts. It may be understood to a person ordinarily skilled in the art that, the extender walkway 204 may extend or retract relative to the main walkway 202 independently of the movement of the at least one extender of the screed 106.

Further, the main walkway 202 is coupled to the wheel assembly 206. In the present embodiment, there is a single wheel assembly 206 coupled to each end of the main walkway 202. In this embodiment, the wheel assembly 206 may be coupled to the main walkway 202, such that the extender walkway 204 slides under the wheel assembly 206. In other words, the extender walkway 204 is positioned between the main walkway 202 and the wheel assembly 206. Alternatively, the wheel assembly 206 may be positioned between the main walkway 202 and the extender walkway 204. In other words, the extender walkway 204 may slide over the wheel assembly 206.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of a portion of the walkway assembly 108, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present disclosure. In this embodiment (as shown in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4), there are two wheel assemblies 206 coupled to each end of the main walkway 202. Further, the extender walkway 204 includes a first side 302 and a second side 304. The first side 302 and the second side 304 of the extender walkway 204 may be of L shape, a C shape or equivalent thereof. In this embodiment (as shown in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4), one wheel assembly 206 is positioned between a first side 210 of the main walkway 202 and the first side 302 of the extender walkway 204 and the other wheel assembly 206 is positioned between a second side 212 of the main walkway 202 and the second side 304 the extender walkway 204. Therefore, the first side 302 and the second side 304 of the extender walkway 204 may act as rails for the wheel assembly 206. Therefore, the extender walkway 204 may slide relative to the main walkway 202 over the wheel assembly 206.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exploded view of the wheel assembly 206 associated with the present disclosure. The wheel assembly 206 includes a guard 502, a wheel 504, and a pin 506. The guard 502 is a solid guard of shape, such as but not limited to, a cuboidal guard, a trapezoidal guard and the equivalents thereof. The guard 502 includes a first surface 508, a second surface 510, and a third surface 512. The second surface 510 is substantially parallel to the first surface 508. In an embodiment, the first surface 508 and the second surface 510 are a front surface and a rear surface of the guard 502, respectively. The third surface 512 extends between the first surface 508 and the second surface 510. The third surface 512 being substantially perpendicular to the first surface 508 and the second surface 510.

In the present embodiment, the guard 502 shown is a cuboidal guard having the first surface 508, the second surface 510, the third surface 512, a fourth surface 514, a fifth surface 516, and a sixth surface 518.

Further, the guard 502 includes a cavity 520 extending from the first surface 508 towards the second surface 510. The cavity 520 may be in form of a blind hole. The cavity 520 includes a first opening 522 in the first surface 508 and a second opening 524 in the third surface 512. The guard 502 also includes an insert hole 526 longitudinally extending from the second surface 510 to the cavity 520.

The wheel 504 having a through hole 528 is positioned inside the cavity 520 of the guard 502. The wheel 504 extends partially outwards from the guard 502 through the second opening 524 such that the wheel 504 is in a rolling contact with the extender walkway 204. The wheel 504 may extend partially above and/or below the guard 502 through the second opening 524.

Further, the pin 506 passes through the insert hole 526 and the through hole 528 to couple the guard 502 and the wheel 504. The pin 506 includes a first end 530 and a second end 532. The first end 530 of the pin 506 is coupled with the first side 210 of the main walkway 202 (as shown in FIG. 2, FIG. 3, and FIG. 4). The first end 530 of the pin 506 may be coupled with the first side 210 of the main walkway 202 by a method such as, but limited to, welding, fastening and the like. In an embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, the second end 532 of the pin 506 is coupled with the second side 212 of the main walkway 202. Therefore, the wheel assembly 206 is coupled with the main walkway 202 by coupling the first end 530 and the second end 532 of the pin 506 to the main walkway 202. In the alternative embodiment, when the wheel assembly 206 is positioned between the sides of the main walkway 202 and the extender walkway 204, only the first end 530 of the pin 506 is coupled to the side of the main walkway 202 as best shown in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The present disclosure relates to the paving machine 100. The paving machine 100 includes the pair of hopper 102, the conveyor, the auger 104, the screed 106, and the walkway assembly 108. The paving machine 100 receives asphalt and/or concrete material in the pair of hoppers 102. The paving machine 100 dumps the asphalt and/or concrete material on a paving surface via the conveyor (not shown) and the auger 104 in front of the screed 106. The screed 106 gives initial compaction to the asphalt and/or concrete as the paving machine 100 moves forward. The width of the screed 106 may be adjusted for different pavement requirements. The width of the screed 106 may be varied by extending and retracting the at least one extender of the screed 106 relative to the main screed. Since, the at least one extender of the screed 106 is coupled to the extender walkway 204 of the walkway assembly 108, the extension of the at least one extender of the screed 106 causes extension of the extender walkway 204. Therefore, the width of the walkway assembly 108 is varied by extending and retracting the extender walkway 204 relative to the main walkway 202.

The extender walkway 204 extends and retracts by sliding over the wheel 504 of the wheel assembly 206. The wheel 504 is positioned inside the cavity 520 of the guard 502. During the paving operation, the guard 502 prevents the entry of asphalt material or debris between the wheel 504 and the extender walkway 204. Further, the guard 502 may also prevent the entry of asphalt material or debris between the extender walkway 204 and the main walkway 202. Thereby, the guard 502 prevents jamming of the extender walkway 204. Therefore, the wheel assembly 206 assists in easy extension and retraction of the extender walkway 204.

Claims

1. A walkway assembly for a paving machine, the walkway assembly comprising:

a main walkway;
an extender walkway configured to telescopically extend and retract relative to the main walkway;
a wheel assembly, the wheel assembly includes: a guard, the guard including: a first surface; a second surface substantially parallel to the first surface; a third surface extending between the first surface and the second surface, the third surface being substantially perpendicular to the first surface; a cavity extending from the first surface towards the second surface, wherein the cavity includes a first opening in the first surface and a second opening in the third surface, and an insert hole longitudinally extending from the second surface to the cavity; a wheel having a through hole, wherein the wheel is positioned inside the cavity of the guard, wherein the wheel extends partially outwards from the guard through the second opening and in rolling contact with the extender walkway; a pin having a first end and a second end, the pin passes through the insert hole and the through hole to couple the guard and the wheel; and wherein the wheel assembly is coupled to the main walkway by coupling the first end of the pin with the main walkway.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140219721
Type: Application
Filed: Apr 9, 2014
Publication Date: Aug 7, 2014
Applicant: Caterpillar Paving Products Inc. (Brooklyn Park, MN)
Inventor: Jacob R. Ellwein (Oak Grove, WI)
Application Number: 14/248,469

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Apparatus (404/83)
International Classification: E01C 19/00 (20060101);