CONSTRUCTION MACHINE WITH OFFSET HOPPER REAR WALLS

- JOSEPH VOEGELE AG

A construction machine according to the disclosure comprises a material hopper for receiving bulk material. The material hopper comprises a first sub-hopper that is pivotable about a first axis and a second sub-hopper that is pivotable about a second axis, wherein the first and second axes extend parallel to each other. The first and second sub-hoppers each comprise a rear wall, and the rear walls are shifted with respect to each other in a direction parallel to the axes, whereby a collision of the rear walls is prevented when pivoting the first and/or the second sub-hopper.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 14/839,221 filed Aug. 28, 2015, which claims foreign priority benefits under 35 U.S.C. § 119(a)-(d) to German patent application number DE 20 2014 007 084.9, filed Aug. 29, 2014, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The disclosure relates to a construction machine with a material hopper for receiving bulk material.

BACKGROUND

Construction machines with material hoppers for receiving bulk material are known from practice. For example, road pavers and also feeders are often used in road construction and at the front side have a material hopper for receiving asphalt. DE 200 20 945 U1 and EP 2 711 460 A1 are presently mentioned by way of example. These material hoppers are often divided into several sub-hoppers by conveying devices. In most cases, a conveyor belt is used, also known as a scraper belt, which runs parallel to the direction of travel of the road paver through the center of the hopper. This creates two sub-hoppers. They are commonly pivotable about an axis which runs substantially parallel to the direction of travel of the road paver, so that the asphalt in the respective sub-hopper can be dumped onto the scraper belt.

Rear walls are usually attached at the—when viewed in the direction of travel—rear side of the hopper or the sub-hoppers and limit the intake volume of the material hopper. It can during the above-mentioned pivotal motion in conventional hoppers occur that these rear walls collide. This problem occurs especially in smaller models. Such is disclosed for example in DE 92 04 628 U1. For this reason, rear walls being reduced in height are used in such smaller models. This entails the drawback that the storage volume of the material hopper decreases.

SUMMARY

An object of the disclosure is to provide a construction machine which is improved in a manner structurally as simple as possible to reduce or eliminate the drawbacks of prior art. This object is satisfied by a construction machine according to the disclosure.

In order to avoid a collision of the rear walls without reducing the storage volume of the material hopper, an improved construction machine is proposed. Such a construction machine comprises a material hopper for receiving bulk material. The material hopper comprises a first sub-hopper being pivotable about a first axis and a second sub-hopper being pivotable about a second axis, wherein the first and the second axes extend parallel to each other. Furthermore, the first and the second sub-hopper each comprise a rear wall. The proposed construction machine is characterized in that the rear walls are shifted with respect to each other in a direction parallel to the axes whereby a collision of the rear walls is prevented when pivoting the first and/or the second sub-hopper. Rear walls are here to be understood as structures of the construction machine or the material hopper which limit the storage volume of the material hopper or the respective sub-hopper towards the rear—when viewed in the direction of travel.

In the event that the material hopper is provided in a region that is in the direction of travel located in the rear of the construction machine, then rear walls can also be understood to be structures that limit the storage volume of the sub-hopper or the entire material hopper, respectively, towards the front—when viewed in the direction of travel. Generally, those structures which are provided on a side of the respective sub-hopper that is located opposite from a side from which the material hopper is loaded are to be understood as rear walls. Such rear walls are generally provided perpendicular to a base area of the respective sub-hopper. However, it is also conceivable that a different angle is provided between the rear wall and the base area. The same applies similarly to the angle between the respective rear wall and the respective axis. Here as well, the angle is generally 90°, but can also assume any other value.

The shifting of the walls can be realized in various ways. For example, one rear wall can be shifted within the respective sub-hopper. It is also conceivable that modified hinges are used for pivoting the sub-hopper. It is there generally sufficient if the hinge or hinges of one of the sub-hoppers are modified. However, also the hinges of several sub-hoppers can be modified. It is as a modification of the hinges conceivable to modify their geometry as well as to use geometrically identical hinges which are only mounted in a shifted way. The modified mounting position of the hinges can there—like the geometric modification—be provided on one of the sub-hoppers as well as on the construction machine. If the modification of the hinge is provided on a sub-hopper itself, it may then be possible to retrofit conventional construction machines with a modified sub-hopper or a set of modified sub-hoppers without any modifications to the machine-side hinges being necessary.

The configuration described above has the advantage that no consideration needs to be given to the pivot angle of the sub-hoppers when designing the height of the rear walls. This means that the intake volume of the material hopper can be increased by enlarging the rear walls without there being any risk of collision of the rear walls which would reduce the setting angle of the sub-hopper.

It is advantageous to have the first and the second axis extend in a direction of travel of the construction machine.

However, it is also conceivable that the first and the second axis extend at an angle to the direction of travel of the construction machine. The first and the second axis can there at said angle—when viewed in the direction of travel—slope down towards the front or towards the rear.

The construction machine can in a variant comprise a machine wall which extends substantially parallel to the rear walls. A first distance between the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper can there be greater than a second distance between the machine wall and the rear wall of the second sub-hopper. Such a configuration can arise in particular when the machine wall is substantially planar. Due to the greater distance between the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper, it is possible that bulk material unintentionally enters in particular this region.

To prevent this and still achieve the advantages stated above, it can be advantageous to have a stripper be disposed between the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper which prevents bulk material from entering a gap between the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper. This can prevent numerous adverse consequences, such as the loss of bulk material which can sometimes escape through the gap to the surroundings of the construction machine, whereby significant amounts of bulk material can very well be lost, or the impairment of movement of the first sub-hopper due to bulk material being located in the gap. The stripper can have any geometry reliably preventing or at least reducing the bulk material entering the gap between the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper without impairing the movement of the first sub-hopper. This also depends on where the stripper is provided.

It is conceivable that the stripper is attached to the machine wall.

The stripper can in a variant comprise a resilient lip which can bear against the first wall. In this case, the resilient lip can adapt to the contour of the first wall, whereby the sealing effect of the stripper is yet increased.

In a further variant, the machine wall can comprise a first and a second portion, wherein the first portion of the machine wall extends substantially parallel to the rear wall of the first sub-hopper and the second portion of the machine wall extends substantially parallel to the rear wall of the second sub-hopper, and wherein the portions of the machine wall are along the axes offset relative to one another. The offset between the two portions of the machine wall can be achieved, for example, by a step-shaped shoulder. This can then at least in part satisfy a scraping function. However, a smooth transition between the two portions of the machine wall is also conceivable. A resilient lip at the first portion of the machine wall is likewise conceivable.

In a further variant, a first distance between the first portion of the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper and a second distance between the second portion of the machine wall and the rear wall of the second sub-hopper are equal in size. It can thereby be achieved that only a very small gap is formed on either side and no additional stripper is therefore needed.

It is advantageous to have the first sub-hopper comprise a first edge at a side located across from the rear wall of the first sub-hopper, and the second sub-hopper comprise a second edge at a side located across from the rear wall of the second sub-hopper, wherein the first and the second edge are in a plan view from above aligned flush with each other. This can be advantageous when loading the material hopper.

In a further advantageous variant, the construction machine is a road paver or a feeder.

The disclosure relates to a construction machine of the kind described above, for example, a road paver or a feeder. Embodiments according to the present disclosure are described in detail with reference to the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a construction machine, in this case a road paver, in a perspective front view;

FIG. 2 schematically shows the arrangement of two hoppers rear walls and a machine wall of a conventional construction machine in a plan view from above;

FIG. 3 schematically shows the arrangement according to the disclosure of two hoppers rear walls in relation to two pivot axes and the direction of travel of a construction machine also in a plan view from above;

FIG. 4 shows two possible alignments of the pivot axes relative to the direction of travel of the construction machine in a schematic side view;

FIG. 5 shows the arrangement according to the disclosure of the hopper rear walls and a machine wall according to a first embodiment in a schematic plan view from above;

FIG. 6 shows a schematic plan view from above of an arrangement according to the disclosure of hopper rear walls and a machine wall according to a further embodiment in which a stripper is used;

FIG. 7 shows a further embodiment in a schematic plan view from above in which a stripper with a resilient lip is used;

FIG. 8A shows a perspective front view of a material hopper of a construction machine, of which only the machine wall is shown, according to the second embodiment in which a stripper is used;

FIG. 8B shows the view from FIG. 8A, wherein one of the sub-hoppers is shown in a position pivoted upwardly;

FIG. 9A shows the configuration illustrated in FIG. 8A in a plan view from above;

FIG. 9B shows the configuration illustrated in FIG. 8B in a plan view from above;

FIG. 10 shows a schematic plan view from above of an arrangement according to the disclosure of two sub-hopper rear walls and a machine wall according to a further embodiment; and

FIG. 11 shows a schematic plan view from above of the arrangement according to the disclosure of two sub-hopper rear walls and a machine wall according to a further embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As required, detailed embodiments are disclosed herein. It is to be understood, however, that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary and that various and alternative forms are possible. The figures are not necessarily to scale; some features may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 by way of example shows a road paver 1 as a construction machine 1. It moves in the direction of travel R. Road paver 1 comprises a material hopper 2 which in the present embodiment comprises a first and a second sub-hopper 3, 4. However, further additional sub-hoppers are also conceivable. First sub-hopper 3 comprises a first base area 5 and a first rear wall 6. Similarly, second sub-hopper 4 comprises a second base area 7 and a second rear wall 8.

A conveyor device 9, in the present case conveying bulk material (e.g., asphalt) in a direction opposite to the direction of travel of road paver 1, extends between first sub-hopper 3 and second sub-hopper 4. First sub-hopper 3 is pivotable about a first axis 10 to pour bulk material located in first sub-hopper 3 onto conveyor device 9. Similarly, second sub-hopper 4 is pivotable about a second axis 11 to pour bulk material located in second sub-hopper 4 onto conveyor device 9.

Road paver 1 comprises a machine wall 12 which is in the direction of travel R disposed behind material hopper 2. This machine wall 12 can be a wall that covers machine components located behind material hopper 2, such as a primary drive or motor. However, it is also conceivable that machine wall 12, as shown in FIG. 1, is configured as a wall provided in addition to a machine cover.

FIG. 2 shows a conventional arrangement of a machine wall 12′ and two sub-hopper rear walls 6′ and 8′ in a schematic plan view. As can be seen, sub-hopper rear walls 6′, 8′ are disposed along pivot axes 10′ and 11′ exactly across from each other so that collisions can occur when hopper rear walls 6′ and 8′ are pivoted about axes 10′, 11′. In contrast, in the configuration according to the disclosure as illustrated in FIG. 3, sub-hopper rear walls 6, 8 are shifted in a direction parallel to axes 10, 11 by an offset 21 so that such collisions can no longer occur.

It is also apparent from FIG. 3 that axes 10, 11 extend parallel to the direction of travel R of road paver 1. However, it is also possible that axes 10, 11, as shown in FIG. 4, can extend at an angle to the direction of travel R. FIG. 4 shows the course of axes 10, 11 in a schematic side view. For illustration purposes, sub-hopper rear walls 6, 8 and machine wall 12 are also illustrated in a schematic sectional view. The angle drawn by the directional vector of the direction of travel R and axes 10, 11 respectively is in practice often 0°, this means that axes 10, 11 extend parallel to the direction of travel R. However, it can just as well assume any value between +and −45°. The angle also visible in FIG. 4 between each of the axes 10, 11 and the respectively associated sub-hopper rear wall 6, 8 can be selected as suitable. In practice, it often assumes 90°. However, it is also conceivable that it assumes a value in the range between 45° and 135°.

Various embodiments of the disclosure are illustrated In FIGS. 5 to 7 in which machine wall 12 has a planar surface in the direction of sub-hopper rear walls 6, 8. Due to shifted sub-hopper rear walls 6, 8, a first distance 13 between first sub-hopper rear wall 6 and machine wall 12 arises that is greater than a second distance 14 between second sub-hopper rear wall 8 and machine wall 12. While second distance 14 can be maintained constant with respect to the conventional configuration and thereby only a negligibly small amount of bulk material can enter into a second gap 23 thus arising, distance 13 for a planar machine wall 12 must necessarily be greater, whereby bulk material can enter in a not negligible amount between first sub-hopper rear wall 6 and machine wall 12. This can be remedied by the embodiment shown in FIG. 6. There, a stripper 15 is provided which can reduce the amount of bulk material that can enter in a gap 22 between first rear wall 6 and machine wall 12. In the present embodiment, stripper 15 is attached to machine wall 12, for example, by welding, gluing, or threaded fasteners. However, it is also conceivable that stripper 15 is attached to first rear wall 6. For further reduction of the amount of bulk material that can enter gap 22 between first rear wall 6 and machine wall 12, a resilient lip 16 can be provided on stripper 15, as illustrated in FIG. 7. It can further increase the sealing effect of stripper 15 as it can adapt to the contour of first rear wall 6.

FIGS. 8A and 8B show a perspective front view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6. Stripper 15 there has a shape narrowing towards the top. However, it should be understood that any other suitable shape is also conceivable. As can be seen from FIG. 8B, stripper 15 is attached to machine wall 12 and remains in its position when first sub-hopper 3 pivots. Should bulk material of first and or second sub-hopper 3, 4 enter gap 22 between first rear wall 6 and machine wall 12, then it is again pushed out of gap 22 when first sub-hopper 3 pivots back to the starting position.

FIG. 9A shows the configuration illustrated in FIG. 8A in a plan view from above. It can be seen in this view that first sub-hopper 6 comprises a first edge 17 which is provided on a side of base area 5 that is located opposite from first rear wall 6. Similarly, a second edge 18 is provided on second sub-hopper 4 and arranged on a side of base area 7 disposed opposite from second rear wall 8. It is visible in FIG. 9A that first and second edges 17, 18 are in the illustrated plan view from the top aligned flush to each other. This applies both for the state in which sub-hoppers 3, 4 are arranged in the lower starting position as well as a state in which one or both sub-hoppers 3, 4 were moved to the upwardly pivoted position. FIG. 9B by way of example for the latter state illustrates first sub-hopper 3 pivoted upwardly.

As an alternative to the use of stripper 15, as shown in FIG. 10, machine wall 12 can also be adapted to the shifted arrangement of sub-hopper rear walls 6, 8. Machine wall 12 can, for example, comprise a first portion 12a and a second portion 12b, wherein first portion 12a of machine wall 12 extends substantially parallel to first rear wall 6 of first sub-hopper 3, and second portion 12b of machine wall 12 extends substantially parallel to second rear wall 8 of second sub-hopper 4. Similarly to the shifted arrangement of first and second rear walls 6, 8, also first and second portions 12a, 12b can be shifted with respect to each other. For example, they can be shifted by the same value as first and the second rear walls 6, 8, so that a distance between first portion 12a and first rear wall 6 and a distance between second portion 12b and second rear wall 8 are equal. However, any other suitable value for the shift between the two portions 12a, 12b is also conceivable. As a transition between portions 12a, 12b, as shown in FIG. 10, a stepped transition 19 can be provided. However, a smooth transition 20 is also conceivable as shown in FIG. 11. Both types of transition can—like the stripper—be combined with a resilient lip 16.

While exemplary embodiments are described above, it is not intended that these embodiments describe all possible forms of the disclosure. The words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure. Additionally, the features of various implementing embodiments may be combined to form further embodiments according to the disclosure.

Claims

1. A construction machine comprising:

a material hopper for receiving bulk material, the material hopper comprising a first sub-hopper that is pivotable about a first axis and a second sub-hopper that is pivotable about a second axis, wherein the first axis and the second axis extend parallel to each other, and wherein the first and second sub-hoppers each comprise a rear wall, the rear walls being shifted with respect to each other in a direction parallel to the axes, whereby a collision of the rear walls is prevented when pivoting the first sub-hopper and/or the second sub-hopper.

2. The construction machine according to claim 1 wherein the first axis and the second axis extend in the direction of travel of the construction machine.

3. The construction machine according to claim 1 wherein the first and second axes extend at an angle to the to a direction of travel of the construction machine.

4. The construction machine according to claim 1 further comprising a machine wall extending substantially parallel to the rear walls.

5. The construction machine according to claim 4 wherein a first distance between the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper is greater than a second distance between the machine wall and the rear wall of the second sub-hopper.

6. The construction machine according to claim 4 further comprising a stripper that extends between the machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper when the first sub-hopper is pivoted with respect to the machine wall, the stripper being configured to remove bulk material from the machine wall or the rear wall of the first sub-hopper when the first sub-hopper is pivoted with respect to the machine wall.

7. The construction machine according to claim 6 wherein the stripper is attached to the machine wall.

8. The construction machine according to claim 6 wherein the stripper comprises a resilient lip.

9. (canceled)

10. The construction machine according to claim 8 wherein the resilient lip bears against the rear wall of the first sub-hopper.

11. The construction machine according to claim 1 further comprising a machine wall having first and second portions, wherein the first portion of the machine wall extends substantially parallel to the rear wall of the first sub-hopper and the second portion of the machine wall extends substantially parallel to the rear wall of the second partial hopper, and wherein the portions of the machine wall are shifted with respect to each other in a direction parallel to the axes.

12. The construction machine according to claim 11 wherein a first distance between the first portion of machine wall and the rear wall of the first sub-hopper and a second distance between the second portion of the machine wall and the rear wall of the second sub-hopper are equal in size.

13. The construction machine according to claim 1 wherein the first sub-hopper comprises a first edge at a side located opposite from the rear wall of the first sub-hopper, and the second sub-hopper comprises a second edge at a side located opposite from the rear wall of the second sub-hopper, wherein the first and second edges are in a plan view from above aligned flush with each other.

14. The construction machine according to claim 1 wherein the construction machine is a road paver or a feeder.

15. The construction machine according to claim 6 wherein the stripper has a tapered shape that narrows toward a top of the stripper.

16. The construction machine according to claim 6 wherein the stripper extends laterally inwardly of the rear wall of the first sub-hopper when the first sub-hopper is positioned in a starting position.

17. The construction machine according to claim 13 further comprising first and second hinges attached to the first and second sub-hoppers, respectively, wherein the first hinge is shifted with respect to the second hinge so that the rear walls are shifted with respect to each other in the direction parallel to the axes when the first and second sub-hoppers are mounted on a body of the construction machine.

18. The construction machine according to claim 13 further comprising first and second hinges attached to the first and second sub-hoppers, respectively, wherein the hinges have different geometries so that the rear walls are shifted with respect to each other in the direction parallel to the axes.

19. A construction machine comprising:

a machine wall; and
a material hopper for receiving bulk material, the material hopper including a first sub-hopper that is pivotable relative to the machine wall about a first axis, and a second sub-hopper that is pivotable relative to the machine wall about a second axis that extends parallel to the first axis, wherein the first and second sub-hoppers each include a rear wall, the rear walls being located on one side of the machine wall and being shifted with respect to each other in a direction parallel to the axes, whereby a collision of the rear walls is prevented when pivoting the first sub-hopper and/or the second sub-hopper, and wherein the first sub-hopper further includes a first edge at a side located opposite from the rear wall of the first sub-hopper, and the second sub-hopper includes a second edge at a side located opposite from the rear wall of the second sub-hopper, and wherein the first and second edges are in a plan view from above aligned flush with each other.

20. A construction machine comprising:

a material hopper for receiving bulk material, the material hopper including first and second sub-hoppers and first and second hinges attached to the first and second sub-hoppers, respectively, for allowing the first sub-hopper to pivot about a first axis and the second sub-hopper to pivot about a second axis that extends parallel to the first axis, wherein the first and second sub-hoppers each comprise a rear wall, and the first hinge is modified with respect to the second hinge so that the rear walls are shifted with respect to each other in a direction parallel to the axes, whereby a collision of the rear walls is prevented when pivoting the first sub-hopper and/or the second sub-hopper.

21. The construction machine according to claim 20 wherein the hinges have different geometries or are shifted with respect to each other.

Patent History

Publication number: 20190093292
Type: Application
Filed: Nov 21, 2018
Publication Date: Mar 28, 2019
Applicant: JOSEPH VOEGELE AG (Ludwigshafen/Rhein)
Inventors: Bernhard ERDTMANN (Mannheim), Stefan WEBER (Gronau)
Application Number: 16/197,583

Classifications

International Classification: E01C 19/48 (20060101);