Obstruction Sensing Type (includes Plant Sensing) Patents (Class 172/5)
  • Patent number: 10455755
    Abstract: An agricultural system includes a frame, one or more row units coupled to the frame, one or more imaging devices coupled to the frame, and a controller. The one or more imaging devices are configured to capture images of a field beneath the agricultural system as the agricultural system traverses the field. The controller includes a processor and a memory, and processes the images captured by the one or more imaging devices. Processing the captured images includes determining a location of an implement line aligned with a first row unit of the one or more row units, determining a location of a center line of a first strip of a plurality of strips of the field, wherein the plurality of strips are separated by a plurality of rows of untilled land, determining a location of a tracking line, and determining whether the implement line and the tracking line are aligned with one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: CNH Industrial America LLC
    Inventor: Trevor Philip Stanhope
  • Patent number: 10206323
    Abstract: A plant by plant harvester is provided. The harvester may harvest and analyze single or double rows of crops. The single row harvester may have a first and a second guide unit which surrounds a single row of a crop and directs the single row of the crop into a sheller, picker, or grain/fruit separation unit. In an alternative embodiment of the device, the device may harvest two rows of crops. A GPS or any other location positioning device having an antenna is secured to the top of the main frame and allows the harvester to be remotely controlled. A hopper, container or holding bin may, in real-time, calculate the weight of the separated products. A plurality of sensors may be located on or near the first and/or second guide unit which allows the harvester to, for example, capture data related to the crop at the single plant level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: MEMES ASSOCIATES, LTD
    Inventors: Pinakin Desai, Stephen M. Faivre, Peter Joseph Zerillo, Lee C. Prunty, William M. Hoeg
  • Patent number: 9619573
    Abstract: Method for calculating tolerance zones for utility assets includes: receiving data about a point, a line, or an area related to a location of an utility asset in a region; receiving information about said utility asset in the region from one or more databases, wherein the received information includes two or more of a type of the utility asset, a location of the utility asset, an accuracy of the location of the utility asset, accuracy requirements for the utility asset, accuracy requirements for the region, and a map tile accuracy; calculating a tolerance zone for said utility asset in the region based on the accuracy requirements for the utility asset and one or more of said accuracy of the location of the utility asset, accuracy requirements for the region, and the map tile accuracy; and transmitting the tolerance zone to a remote device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: PROSTAR GEOCORP, INC.
    Inventors: Nelson Page Tucker, Daniel Edward Colby, Peter James Lynch Forster, William Steven Slusarenko
  • Patent number: 9565802
    Abstract: An agricultural machine includes a crop row sensor which has a movable paddle which interacts with plants in the crop row, and which periodically generates a sensor signal representing a position of the paddle. A signal processing system includes a memory which stores a plurality of sensor signals. The system determines a minimum magnitude of the stored sensor signals, and generates a drop rate signal representing a change in the sensor signal in a period of time. A gap detection unit generates the gap signal if the minimum signal is less than a threshold and if the drop rate is greater than a drop rate threshold. Thus, the system generates a gap signal when the paddle encounters a gap in the crop row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: DEERE & COMPANY
    Inventor: Tyler D. Schleicher
  • Patent number: 9439341
    Abstract: A steering system and method is described for a vehicle having steerable front and rear wheels, and a steering input device for receiving manual steering input. Front and rear hydraulic steering devices may be coupled, respectively, to the front and rear wheels. Front and rear valve assemblies may be configured, respectively, to steer the front and rear wheels. In a manual steering mode, the front valve assembly may be disabled with respect to the front steering device, and the front hydraulic steering device may steer the front wheels based upon the manual steering input. In a rear steering assist mode, a rear steering command may be determined based upon the manual steering input, and the rear wheels steered based upon the rear steering command. In an automated steering mode, the front and rear wheels may be automatically steered based upon a target path of travel for the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Thomas D. Bebernes, Thomas A. Nichols, David V. Rotole, Walter C. Wright
  • Patent number: 9292813
    Abstract: A method and system for collecting information related to utility assets include determining a position of an underground utility asset by a location determining device; integrating location data from a Global positioning system (GPS) receiver with the determined position of the underground utility asset to provide information about coordinates of the position of the underground utility asset; adding characteristics of the underground utility asset including a size of the underground utility asset, to the integrated data to generate one or more data records including the information about coordinates of the position of the underground utility asset; integrating landbase data with the data records for the underground utility asset; and displaying a scrolling map including the data records and a portion of the landbase data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2016
    Assignee: GLOBAL PRECISION SOLUTIONS, LLP.
    Inventors: Page Tucker, Lee Adrian Whitney, III
  • Patent number: 8924152
    Abstract: A system is provided for monitoring system and operational parameters on one or more pieces of machinery or equipment. The system can monitor the pieces of machinery or equipment in real time, i.e., the time delay between the taking of a measurement on a piece of equipment and its subsequent display in the system is within accepted standards, e.g., from about 1 second to about 1 minute depending on the type of measurement or data set being monitored. The system can also permit the tracking of the pieces of machinery or equipment and can enable the transfer, i.e., the sending and/or receiving, of information between the system and the pieces of machinery or equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: AgJunction LLC
    Inventors: Aaron Dale Hunt, Jeffrey Allen Dearborn
  • Patent number: 8635011
    Abstract: A system and method for controlling a vehicle in response to the presence of one or more vehicle boundary. According to various embodiments, a system is provided that automates end-turns and sequence execution in real-time based on approaching boundaries. In various embodiments, no pre-planning is required once boundaries and a turn pattern have been defined. Once these items are defined, the system creates end-turns based on what type of boundary is approaching and the turn path prescribed. The system determines what vehicle functions to execute based on pre-recorded sequences and executes the turns and the sequences automatically based on the location and speed of the vehicle and its relationship to various boundaries.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Aaron Matthew Senneff, Timothy J. Roszhart
  • Publication number: 20130146318
    Abstract: An agricultural row unit includes a linkage assembly that is pivotably coupled to an attachment frame. A hydraulic cylinder is coupled to the linkage assembly and applies pressure to the linkage assembly. A controller is mounted in the row unit such that is coupled to the hydraulic cylinder for controlling the pressure applied by the hydraulic cylinder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2013
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Applicant: DAWN EQUIPMENT COMPANY
    Inventor: DAWN EQUIPMENT COMPANY
  • Patent number: 8401743
    Abstract: A ground engaging vehicle having a tool connected to the vehicle, at least one actuator coupled to the tool and an electronic controller. The electronic controller is controllably coupled to the at least one actuator. The controller includes an operator interface. The controller is configured for issuing a plurality of commands, recording the commands, positioning the tool and replaying at least some of the commands. The issuing step includes issuing a plurality of commands to the at least one actuator using the operator interface to place the tool in a position relative to the vehicle. The recording step records the commands issued in the issuing step. The positioning step includes positioning the tool in another position different from the position. The replaying step includes replaying at least some of the commands recorded in the recording step, thereby repositioning the tool substantially in the original position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Neil V. Harber, Richard A. Valenzuela, Jed D. Polzin, James L. Montgomery, David J. Klas
  • Publication number: 20120305274
    Abstract: An agricultural row unit includes an attachment frame adapted to be rigidly connected to a towing frame, and a linkage assembly pivotably coupled to the attachment frame to permit vertical pivoting movement of the linkage assembly relative to the attachment frame. A hydraulic cylinder is coupled to the linkage assembly for urging the linkage assembly downwardly toward the soil, and an accumulator is mounted to the hydraulic cylinder for supplying pressurized gas to the hydraulic cylinder urging the linkage assembly upwardly away from the soil. A manifold is removably mounted to the hydraulic cylinder via a mounting interface, the manifold being selected from a group of different types of modular manifolds in which each manifold is removably mountable to the hydraulic cylinder, one at a time, via the same mounting interface, the manifold having two hydraulic-fluid ports including an inlet port and an outlet port.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2012
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Applicant: DAWN EQUIPMENT COMPANY
    Inventor: Joseph D. Bassett
  • Patent number: 8170785
    Abstract: For creating a route plan for a group of agricultural working machine systems for working a territory, the machine systems include route planning data determination devices and they exchange data with each other and, based on exchanged route planning data, one shared route plan is created for the particular territory. For controlling a group of agricultural working machine systems while it works a territory, one shared route plan—which has been created accordingly—is used, and a route planning system is provided for creating a route plan for a group of agricultural working machine systems to be used to work a territory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: CLAAS Selbstfahrende Erntemaschinen GmbH
    Inventors: Norbert Diekhans, Jochen Huster, Andreas Brunnert, Lars-Peter Meyer Zu Helligen
  • Patent number: 8028506
    Abstract: A compact row unit positioning structure includes a gear and mating toothed surface to positively position agricultural row units on an implement. An electric or hydraulic motor may be used to drive the gear and move row units individually or in groups to change row spacings, follow rows or move row units to a maintenance position. In one embodiment, position sensing structure such a row finder or GPS device connected to a controller operates the positioning structure. Automatic on-the-go row alignment may be implemented, and various row spacings, skip-row patterns or repair access positions may be provided either manually or automatically.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Robert T. Casper, Timothy A. Deutsch
  • Patent number: 7246456
    Abstract: A tool control system includes actuators to move the tool, a controller to permit either manual or automatic tool operation, and an output configured to display information pertaining to a position of the tool. In addition, the tool can be moved in either an independent or linked mode, the latter such that during tool operation, both sides of the tool can move substantially in unison with one another, or during system setup, detectors used to ensure coordination with of the tool to a known benchmark can move substantially in unison with one another. The controller can display either single or multiple numbers related to the tool position, and can accept either single or multiple user inputs to move the tool by a user-determined or system-determined amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignee: Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies LLC
    Inventor: Albert Wray
  • Patent number: 7133757
    Abstract: An assembly for performing an agricultural operation, in particular crop processing. The assembly is provided with an autonomous agricultural machine that is movable over a parcel for performing the agricultural operation and with a control unit for controlling the functioning of the autonomous agricultural machine. The control unit is provided with a memory containing sound-standard data. The control unit controls the functioning of the autonomous agricultural machine with the aid of the sound-standard data. An autonomous agricultural machine for performing the agricultural operation. The autonomous agricultural machine is provided with a control unit for controlling the functioning of the autonomous agricultural machine, with a position-determining system for determining the momentary position of the agricultural machine in the parcel, and with a sound meter. The control unit is provided with a memory containing sound-standard data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: Lely Enterprises AG
    Inventor: Theo Jan Miedema
  • Patent number: 7032682
    Abstract: An unmanned vehicle for displacing manure in a stable or field which comprises a steering unit for steering the vehicle and a frame. Two wheels and a manure displacing blade which depend from the frame provide the entire support for the vehicle, the vehicle's center of gravity being in an axis which falls between the wheels and the blade. A freely turnable circular bumper is also carried by the frame and prevents the vehicle from colliding with obstacles in the area wherein it operates. The vehicle also includes orientation and steering components as well as sensors for controlling the course of travel of the vehicle within the area and, such as the circular bumper, to prevent it from colliding with obstacles in the area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: Lely Research Holding AG
    Inventor: Karel van den Berg
  • Patent number: 6945019
    Abstract: A compact three-bar linkage steering probe assembly, particularly useful with ultra-narrow row cotton harvester units, includes two vertical rocker arms pivotally connected to a harvester row unit at mid-point locations and upper ends connected by a cross link to generally constrain the arms for rocking in unison. Crop guides connected to the lower ends of the rocker arms follow the bases of the plant stalks as the row of plants enter the unit. The vertical arms are maintained within spacer tubes which prevent interference with adjacent rows of plants and which assure the arms are not disturbed by the adjacent rows. A sensor responsive to rotation of the rocker arms is located at the central pivotal connection. Arm leaf springs or a spring biased adjustable upper cross link provides probe flexibility for accommodating different plant stalk sizes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Tom Foster Sonnek, Mark Samuel Philips, Daniel John Johannsen, Scott Francis Stueck
  • Patent number: 6679338
    Abstract: A locating system and method for determining the location of an article relative to a crop row. The system comprises a plurality of marker means substantially linearly disposed at intervals substantially parallel to the crop row. A sensor means is provided to generate a sensor signal indicative of the location of the sensor means and hence the article in relation to the crop row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: Agriculture Guide Implement Systems Pty Ltd.
    Inventor: Robert Manning Tucker
  • Patent number: 6553925
    Abstract: The invention provides a method of reducing plugging of a no-till seeder with crop residue by guiding the furrow openers of the seeder between the standing stubble rows of the previous crop. A guidance system is provided comprising sensing means to sense the standing stubble rows from the previous crop and to send a steering signal in response to changes in the relative position of the seeder to the standing stubble rows; and adjusting means to adjust the travel path of the seeder in response to the steering signals. The sensing means can sense the location of the standing stubble rows by contact therewith or by sensing the furrow from which the standing stubble rows extend. The position of the seeder relative to the towing vehicle is adjusted in response to steering signals sent by the sensing means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Straw Track Mfg., Inc.
    Inventor: Norbert Beaujot
  • Patent number: 6553299
    Abstract: Real time kinematic (RTK) global positioning system (GPS) technology is integrated with precision farming methodologies to provide highly accurate seeding, cultivating, planting and/or harvesting operations. RTK GPS systems are used to control fully or semi-autonomous vehicles in these operations and may allow for precision planting of seeds (e.g., from a seeder equipped with an RTK GPS receiver and related equipment) and/or precision weed removal (e.g., using a vehicle fitted with weed eradication mechanisms such as augers and/or herbicide sprayers). Crop specific fertilizer/pesticide application is also enabled through the use of centimeter-level accurate positioning techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Trimble Navigation Ltd.
    Inventors: Russell J. Keller, Mark E. Nichols, Arthur F. Lange
  • Patent number: 6336066
    Abstract: A process for using localized agricultural data to optimize the cultivation of perennial plants, the process including: passage through a parcel of perennial plants by a farm machine; automatic production of positioning signals at several points in the parcel, by means of an absolute positioning sensor, for example, of the differential GPS type installed on board the farm machine; automatic measurement by means of appropriate sensors of one or more pieces of agricultural data at each of these points; recording of the positioning signals and the data measured at these points by a data processing unit; processing of the positioning signals by means of a computer and an appropriate algorithm so as to organize them according to the rows of the parcel, so that the same row can be found again unambiguously during different passes; real-time or deferred representation of the positions passed through and/or the agricultural data in the form of a computer-generated map.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: Pellenc S.A.
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Antoine Bourely
  • Patent number: 6313755
    Abstract: A downhole buried utility sensing and data transmission system for connection at the lower end of a drill string has sensors capable of detecting the existence of various different types of buried utilities and objects and making calculations as to the radial separation distance between the detected utilities and the drill head and transmitting data between the down hole drill head to the surface. The sensors respond to material properties used to construct the utility lines or the energy fields created by the operation of these lines (pipes and cables) or from the energy associated with transmission of the particular utility service, including sound energy resulting from fluid flow and electromagnetic energy from electric currents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Maurer Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: J. Christopher Hetmaniak, William J. McDonald, Gerard T. Pittard
  • Patent number: 6169948
    Abstract: A setting device for a front control system for a construction machine includes a direct setting switch for instructing a direct teaching setting, a numeral input key consisting of up- and down-keys for instructing a numeral input setting, a setting changeover switch for changing over a setting mode from the direct teaching setting to the numeral input setting, an LED lighting up when the setting changeover switch is pushed, an area limiting switch for starting an area limiting excavation control, an LED lighting up when the area limiting switch is pushed, and a display screen for indicating the position of a bucket end of a front device in terms of a numeral value when the setting changeover switch is not pushed, and indicating the numeral value input with the numeral input with the numeral input setting when the setting changeover switch is pushed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2001
    Assignee: Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuo Fujishima, Hiroshi Watanabe, Masakazu Haga, Takashi Nakagawa
  • Patent number: 6095254
    Abstract: A device and method is disclosed for detection of cultivation boundaries or guide variables which are evaluated for an automatic steering system on agricultural machines. Electromagnetic waves emitted by a transmitter in the working direction of the machine are used. Several boundary-specific variables are determined from the reflection of the electromagnetic wave and from them is derived a control difference for a steering regulator.The device is mounted on the individual implements in the vicinity of the cultivation boundary and arranged in such a way that the cultivation boundary is detected before cultivation. Using a device, in the embodiment of a scanner, which works with electromagnetic waves, and evaluating several cultivation boundary-specific guide variables contained in the reflection, results in the successful contactless detection all cultivation boundaries or guide variables existing in agriculture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Claas Selbstfahrende Erntemaschinen GmbH
    Inventor: Helmut Homburg
  • Patent number: 6082466
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is shown for determining the position of a rowcrop in a field being traversed by a mobile machine. The apparatus and method includes a ground penetrating radar (GPR) assembly located on the mobile machine, a processor for receiving a GPR receive signal from the GPR assembly and determining the position of the rowcrop, and a work implement attached to the mobile machine and adapted to move in a direction transverse the longitudinal direction of the mobile machine in response to the location of the rowcrop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Adam J. Gudat
  • Patent number: 6079192
    Abstract: A row alignment system includes a plurality of row units mounted on the lift frame at the front of a harvester. One or more of the row units are transversely adjustable on the frame for alignment with the guess rows. One of the adjustable row units includes a mechanical feeler which moves in response to changes in alignment between the plant passage on the row unit and the row of crop being harvested by that row unit. A linkage connects the feeler directly to the spool of a three-position, four-way valve supported on the row unit closely adjacent the feeler. Movement of the feeler in response to row misalignment operates the valve to selectively extend or retract a cylinder to move the units to maintain the desired crop row/plant passage alignment. A manually operated valve assembly facilitates easy manual operation of the row units and permits the row units to be locked in a preselected position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: James Joseph Rasmussen
  • Patent number: 6073068
    Abstract: A site database structure for storing elevation data for access by an application program being executed on a control system on a work machine. The data is stored in a Triangular Irregular Network (TIN). The elevation of a point on the work site based on the three points forming the triangle containing the point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventor: Craig L. Koehrsen
  • Patent number: 6028524
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring the position of a motor grader blade relative to a motor grader frame. The method includes the steps of: providing an electronic controller, blade controls having position sensors, and frame controls having position sensors; monitoring the output of the position sensors to ascertain the position of the blade controls and the frame controls; receiving an input signal requesting a repositioning of the blade or the frame; determining the present blade position and the present frame position; calculating a future blade position and a future frame position based on the repositioning request; predicting an intersection of the future blade position and the future frame position; and producing an action to prevent the intersection of the future blade position and the future frame position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew A. Hartman, Xiaojun Zhang, Mark D. Shane, Daniel E. Shearer
  • Patent number: 5704142
    Abstract: A data acquisition system for acquiring geological information from a subsurface includes a geologic imaging system that is used to survey the subsurface of a site or route. A geologic characterization unit may also be employed to enhance the geologic imaging data obtained by the geologic imaging system. The acquired data are processed to provide detailed geologic information for the subsurface. In one embodiment, a memory stores geologic filter data including geologic profile data for numerous types of known geology. A processor, cooperating with the memory and data acquisition unit, uses the geologic filter data to remove content from the acquired geologic imaging data corresponding to known geology, thereby providing for immediate recognition of unknown and suspect subsurface characteristics. In another embodiment, the memory stores excavation difficulty data associated with known types of geology.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: Vermeer Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Greg Stump
  • Patent number: 5509486
    Abstract: The invention described herein uses the periodicity of the relative height of the surface of a crop or soil surface that is measured over a large area to control the position of a farm vehicle as it passes between rows of crops. The range and angle of return wave energy that are caused by a scanning beam of energy that sweeps across the crop canopy are measured. Signal processing techniques are employed to utilize the range and angle information to derive steering correction signals to control the farm vehicle. There is no contact with the crop and, therefore, there is no entangling with the crop or weeds with the invention. In addition, a plurality of heights are simultaneously determined across the path of the vehicle which are averaged by signal processing techniques. In this manner local anomalies due to weeds, clumps of soil, damaged or missing plants and erosion will not confuse the device or decrease its accuracy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1996
    Assignee: Loral Corporation
    Inventor: David P. Anderson
  • Patent number: 5246077
    Abstract: A horizontal guidance control system for a standard three point tractor hitch is disclosed. The system employs the use of a manual control element which actuates a pair of hydraulic cylinders contained in a pair of hydraulic adjusters. The control element causes the extension of one cylinder and the retraction of the other cylinder, thereby causing controlled horizontal movement of a pair of pull links of the tractor hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1993
    Inventors: Larry E. Tjaden, Leonard E. Tjaden
  • Patent number: 5207739
    Abstract: A guide rod assembly is mounted on the front end of a tractor with the guide rods closely adjacent the front wheels and the crop rows to transmit steering signals to a steering guidance system. The pair of guide rods pivot from a downwardly extending parallel position upwardly toward a raised closed collapsed transport position. When the guide rods reach a horizontal position, continued upward movement by the lift arms cause the guide rods to pivot inwardly toward each other to a collapsed transport position eliminating interference with the steerable tractor front wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1993
    Assignee: Orthman Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Henry K. Orthman
  • Patent number: 5203148
    Abstract: In a cotton harvester row unit, feelers on lower ends of a pendulum-type of row finder are provided with extensions which project generally at right angles to the forward direction through apertures in the row unit throat sidewall area. The conventional stalk lifters are removed to reduce debris accumulation, and the extensions are located directly above the areas where the stalk lifters are normally positioned to function as lifters. The feeler structure also prevents trash from feeding into and collecting between the throat wall and the end of a feeler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1993
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Joel M. Schreiner, Jeffrey S. Wigdahl
  • Patent number: 5181572
    Abstract: An improved apparatus (62) for on-the-go lateral adjusting of a field implement (10) is provided, and is especially useful for a pull-behind, tractor-mounted implement (10) designed to operate on or between rows (30) of a crop (32). The apparatus (62) includes a sensing assembly (64) having lowermost feelers (70, 72) designed to detect the position of the implement (10) relative to generally parallel crop rows (30), along with implement adjusting structure (66) and a hydraulic control assembly (68). The adjusting structure (66) is preferably in the form of a piston and cylinder assembly (104) pivotally coupled between the draw bar (14) of a tractor (12) and one of the three point hitch arms (16) thereof. The control assembly (68) is in the form of a solenoid-operated hydraulic valve (128) interposed between the hydraulic system of the tractor (12) and the cylinder (106) of piston/cylinder assembly (104).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1993
    Inventors: Eugene C. Andersen, Gary W. Balk
  • Patent number: 5156219
    Abstract: Apparatus for guiding a drawn agricultural implement of the type which has a transverse tool bar and a pull hitch. The apparatus controls the horizontal angular orientation of the tool bar relative to the pull hitch to guide the implement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1992
    Assignee: A.I.L., Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene H. Schmidt, Lee F. Nikkel
  • Patent number: 5148873
    Abstract: A sensor used to sense a path in a cultivated field is attached to a tractor. The sensor is stabilized to prevent the sensor from bouncing. The stabilizer may take the form of a coulter. In other cases the sensor and the stabilizer may be combined in the form of a heavy, massive sensor. The preferred form of the stabilizer is a flexible drag strip behind the sensor. A roller chain forms a suitable drag strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1992
    Assignee: Gar-Bar Corporation
    Inventors: Ronny L. Barnes, Jimmy C. Ray
  • Patent number: 5094300
    Abstract: An attachment accessory for an angularly adjustable agricultural implement guidance system that allows guidance of a pull-type implement thereby. A plurality of rotatable coulters which engage the ground are attached to a rigid frame which is connected to the guidance mechanism and tows a pull-type implement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1992
    Assignee: Sukup Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Larry F. Jurgena
  • Patent number: 5088561
    Abstract: An agricultural implement guidance system having a sensing apparatus and sensing apparatus brackets. The sensing apparatus brackets have an offset configuration so that the brackets form a V-shape when the brackets are attached to the support rod. The sensing apparatus is attached to the lower portion of the brackets and is a flexible material which will follow the valley between the ridges or a furrow created by a row marker on a planter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1992
    Assignee: Sukup Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Larry F. Jurgena
  • Patent number: 5040613
    Abstract: An agricultural implement guidance control system has a counterbalanced sensing wand assembly. The wand position sensing assembly is designed to compensate for the adverse effects of operations on a field which has a side slope, i.e., slopes to the left or right of the implement as it travels in the field. Without the counterbalanced wand position sensing assembly, the wands would pivot toward the downhill side of the implement as a result of gravity acting upon the wands. Specifically, the wand position sensing assembly is designed so that the weight of the wand bracket assembly counterbalances the weight of the wands on the pivot point which is established by the rotating shaft. The wand position sensing assembly can also include a variable compensation assembly which permits the operator to adjust the counterbalance effect. The variable compensation assembly includes a shaft, a counterweight and a retention unit. The shaft is attached to the center of the U-shaped rod support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 20, 1991
    Assignee: Sukup Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Dale R. Dodd, Michael L. Moore
  • Patent number: 5029650
    Abstract: A vertical angle adjustable quick-attaching coupler for attaching an implement to the three point hitch of a vehicle. The coupler comprises a coupler frame, attachment means for pivotally mounting the coupler to the three point hitch of the vehicle, hook members for attaching the coupler to the implement, and angle adjustment means which includes a lever arm and a hydraulic cylinder for adjusting the vertical angle of the plane defined by the three attachment points of the three point hitch relative to the plane defined by the hook members of the coupler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1991
    Assignee: Sukup Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Edward H. Smit
  • Patent number: 5025866
    Abstract: A row following drawn implement includes a transversely extended implement frame and an elongated hitch arm having a forward end adapted for connection to a towing vehicle and a rearward end connected to the frame for pivotal movement about an upright pivotal axis adjacent the rearward end of the hitch arm. A power source interconnects the frame and hitch arm for pivoting the hitch arm about its pivot axis. The power source is housed substantially within the confines of the frame to avoid interference with the mounting of tools and other equipment on the frame. A row follower senses transverse movement of the implement relative to a ground row being followed and is operatively associated with the power source to cause corrective steering movement of the implement frame relative to the hitch arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 25, 1991
    Assignee: New Tek Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene H. Schmidt, Lee F. Nikkel
  • Patent number: 4936390
    Abstract: A three-point hitch mounted in-row tiller has a conventional three-point hitch mounted frame member with an outrigger arm pivotally mounted to the frame member in a manner that accommodates pivotal movement of the outrigger in relation to the frame member about two orthogonal axes. Pivotal movement about one of the axes causes tilting of a working tool mounted on the outrigger arm, and pivotal movement about the other axis causes vertical lifting and depth control of the working tool. Various working tool embodiments, including several with flexible teeth, and a mechanical/hydraulic sensor apparatus are also included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1986
    Date of Patent: June 26, 1990
    Assignee: Town & Country Research & Development, Inc.
    Inventors: Jack F. Anderson, Jeffrey N. Anderson
  • Patent number: 4802787
    Abstract: A control apparatus for a pavement breaker which includes a carriage, a lifting means for raising and lowering an impact arm which impact arm includes a tool for impacting a surface, mounted on one end and an oscillating member mounted on the other end. The control apparatus basically includes electrical apparatus for measuring the total weight being applied through the lifting means to the tool when it is in contact with the surface to be impacted and apparatus for limiting the amount of horizontal force that can be applied to the impact arm during the process of impacting the surface of the earth. A processor receives an electrical signal from the electrical apparatus which is applied to the lift control apparatus in a manner to stabilize the lifting force. A signal output is generated by the horizontal force limiting apparatus when a predetermined amount of horizontal force is received by the electrical device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1989
    Assignee: Mertz, Inc.
    Inventor: Marvin G. Bays
  • Patent number: 4726175
    Abstract: A guidance control system for a harvester or like machinery includes a steering linkage operatively connected to at least one ground engaging wheel. Harvester steering is controlled through the linkage by either an operator controlled steering wheel or a sensor responsive self-steering mechanism. The sensor responsive self-steering mechanism includes a guide assembly pivotally mounted to the harvester. The guide assembly includes a pair of laterally spaced, cooperating tines that define a path therebetween for plants being harvested. A sensor positioned on each tine senses the position of plants as they are harvested. A control circuit is responsive to the sensors to selectively impart movement to the steering linkage to self-steer the harvester. The control circuit includes a main valve controlled by the operator controlled steering wheel and a secondary valve controlled by the sensors. An auxiliary feed line leads from the main valve to the secondary valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1988
    Assignee: University of Kentucky Research Foundation
    Inventors: George B. Day, V, Timothy D. Smith
  • Patent number: 4531589
    Abstract: A tiller for installation at one side of a tractor, having a retractable tiller frame movable by a power mechanism which is normally actuated by a horizontal sensor arm through a linkage system. Here, there is manual override enabling the tractor driver to actuate the power mechanism regardless of the position of the sensor arm. There is also a manual disengagement member to place operation of the actuator entirely under manual control. Also, the tiller frame carries a rotary head having a series of depending tines, and a sharp cutting blade depends from the tiller frame closely adjacent to the head for cutting off weeds that tend to wind around the tines. The power mechanism preferably comprises hydraulic structure for holding the tines down in the soil at a predetermined vertical position, while a manually controlled valve when actuated, enables a predetermined obstacle force to push the head upwardly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1983
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1985
    Inventor: Abbott R. Williams
  • Patent number: 4491183
    Abstract: A retractable in-row tiller device is adapted for mounting on a movable vehicle and for tilling the ground around and between objects in a row. An outrigger arm with a rotary tiller mounted on its distal end is retracted inwardly and extended outwardly by a trapeze-type control arm which amplifies the velocity and magnitude of reciprocal motion produced by a hydraulic ram to move around and avoid objects encountered in the row. Both manually and automatically operable controls are included respectively to allow an operator to retract and extend the tiller out of and into the row as desired and to cause the tiller to be retracted and extended out of and into the row automatically upon encountering an object in the row. Manual control is also provided for the operator to override the automatic retraction control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1981
    Date of Patent: January 1, 1985
    Assignee: Jack F. Anderson
    Inventors: Jack F. Anderson, Clayton Melrose
  • Patent number: 4414903
    Abstract: An improvement in furrow followers of a type adapted for connection to an automatic steering mechanism for causing a vehicle to selectively follow a furrow is disclosed. The improvement provides a first and a second probe unit which are adapted to lie in a field furrow. The first probe unit is pivotally connected to a horizontal displacement arm. The second probe unit is pivotally connected to the first probe unit and is disposed in spaced trail position behind the first probe unit. A spacing bend is also provided in the second probe unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1982
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1983
    Assignee: Pathfinder Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark E. Fasse, Herbert C. Glesmann
  • Patent number: 4384618
    Abstract: An automatically retracting tiller for installation at one or both sides of a tractor. A stationary frame is adapted to be secured to a side frame attachment of the tractor. A gimbal frame is pivoted to the stationary frame by a stationary horizontal pivot rod and carries first and second vertical pivot rods. A double-acting vertical hydraulic apparatus has a cylinder secured to the stationary frame and a piston rod secured to the gimbal frame, for tilting the gimbal frame about the horizontal pivot rod. A tiller frame is pivoted to the first vertical pivot rod and carries the tilling apparatus. A double-acting horizontal hydraulic apparatus has a cylinder secured to the stationary frame and a piston rod secured to the tiller frame for swinging the tiller frame about the first vertical pivot bar. A control valve for the horizontal hydraulic apparatus is mounted on the tiller frame and has a control lever.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 24, 1983
    Inventor: Abbott R. Williams
  • Patent number: RE32405
    Abstract: A farming implement, particularly for row cultivation, wherein the operator device comprises a mill or harrow having substantially vertical axes or slightly inclined to the vertical, and connected to the tractor by the interposition of an automatic device for transverse movement relative to the tractor, transversely displacing the implement and securing it at any intermediate position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1980
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1987
    Assignee: Maschio S.p.A.
    Inventor: Paolo Barato
  • Patent number: RE34080
    Abstract: A row following guidance device connecting the right and left ends of the forward portion of a row crop implement to a tractor will adjust the length of each left and right connection as the tractor deviates laterally from alignment with the crop rows to correctively guide the implement in alignment with the crop rows. A row following wheel signals a steering valve upon any lateral deviation of the implement from crop row alignment, the steering valve correcting the deviation by lengthening one connection between the tractor and the implement and shortening the other. The row following wheel is mounted for movement independent of the implement so that the implement may be raised or lowered without affecting the operation of the wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1992
    Assignee: New Tek Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Eugene H. Schmidt