Endless Flexible Track Patents (Class 180/6.7)
  • Patent number: 11161546
    Abstract: When left and right steering levers are both operated and the operation amount of the left lever is larger than that of the right lever, a controller calculates a correction left operation amount of the left lever according to the operation amount of the right lever, and controls a left steering clutch so as to cause a vehicle body to turn toward the left in accordance with the correction left operation amount. When left and right steering levers are both operated and the operation amount of the right lever is larger than that of the left lever, the controller calculates a correction right operation amount of the right lever according to the operation amount of the left lever, and controls a right steering clutch so as to cause the vehicle body to turn toward the right in accordance with the correction right operation amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2021
    Assignee: KOMATSU LTD.
    Inventors: Kei Nakano, Hiroki Yamamoto, Kazuki Kure, Souichi Tsumura
  • Patent number: 11148065
    Abstract: A Radio Controlled vehicle manual gearbox transmission system is presented. A system whereby a user can integrate this standalone manual transmission emulation module into their vehicle, which would increase their enjoyment/engagement in driving said vehicle (by switching to manual throttle range control versus the previous single gear automatic throttle control system). Thus emulating real world racing complexity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2021
    Inventor: Locksley A. Christian
  • Patent number: 10759397
    Abstract: A drive train arrangement for a tracked or two-wheel drive utility vehicle including a transmission and differential axle. The transmission has on a first side a rotatably driven input adapted to couple to the output of a motive power unit of the vehicle, and on a second side opposed to the first, an output shaft. The differential axle unit, which may be a steering differential, has an input coupled with the transmission unit output shaft and a pair of output shafts operationally coupled with the input via a plurality of planetary gear sets. The transmission unit output shaft extends outwardly of the unit also on the first side, and has a vehicle brake assembly mounted to the output shaft on the first side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: AGCO International GmbH
    Inventors: Richard Heindl, Sven Krieger
  • Patent number: 10724623
    Abstract: The lubrication loop 5 includes a first lubrication flow path L4, a release flow path L6, a low pressure fluid discharge valve 13, a return flow path L7, and a discharge flow path L8. In the low pressure fluid discharge valve 13, an accumulator piston 22 is biased to the other end side of a piston housing chamber 21 by a spring 26 when a pressure of the fluid applied to a piston position control chamber 27 is less than a predetermined pressure so that a supply port 24 and a discharge port 25 communicate with each other via a spool groove 32.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuki Ono, Tomoaki Mukai, Kota Inoue, Shunsuke Yoshida
  • Patent number: 10618506
    Abstract: A method of controlling a vehicle during a braking operation includes providing a first and a second brake actuator, a brake input device, a steer input device, and a cross-drive transmission having two outputs and a controller. The method includes detecting a first output speed at the first output and a second output speed at the second output, and receiving a brake input request and a steer input request. The method also includes determining a differential output speed based on the first output speed and the second output speed, and comparing the differential output speed to a first threshold, the brake input request to a second threshold, and the steer input request to a third threshold. The method includes determining the first or the second output is locked during the braking operation, and controlling the first or the second brake actuator based on which output is determined to be locked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2020
    Inventors: Michael York, Bruce E. Crum
  • Patent number: 10384714
    Abstract: A method of controlling a transmission includes providing an input, an output, a controller, a control system, a hydrostatic unit, and a geartrain. The geartrain includes a direct drive pivot clutch and a steer drive geartrain. The method also includes receiving a pivot command by the controller from a shift selector, where the command indicates the shift selector is in a pivot position. The method further includes engaging the direct drive pivot clutch, decoupling the hydrostatic unit from a torque path defined between the input and the output, and coupling the input and the output to one another via a second torque path. The second torque path is defined through the direct drive pivot clutch and the steer drive geartrain. The transmission is controllable in a direct drive steer operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Inventors: Robert C. Hood, Kelly L. Jones
  • Patent number: 10093302
    Abstract: A supplemental hydraulic motor is provided that is coupled to an output of a continuously variable transmission in order to increase transmission output torque. The supplemental hydraulic motor is powered by a hydraulic steering pump and is also operational as a ground-driven, secondary hydraulic steering pump. In addition, the supplemental hydraulic motor may be used to retard the transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Glen P. Calvert, Gaurav Vasudeva, Daniel G. Wear
  • Patent number: 9866164
    Abstract: Systems and methods for controlling the operating speed and the torque of an electric motor using an operational model are described. An operational model for the electric motor, including a plot of engine performance parameters, is used for reference, and a most efficient output path, which may pass through an optimal operation region in the operational model, is selected. The most efficient output path may be determined, for example, according to locations of a current output state and a to-be-reached target state in the operational model, enabling the operating state of the motor to reach the target state from the current operating state. By selecting a more efficient output path, the operating efficiency of the motor may be optimized, the life of a battery improved and/or the operating mileage of the vehicle may be increased, without significantly reducing the driving experience.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Inventor: Sheng-Fu Lai
  • Patent number: 9862386
    Abstract: A control method of a tracked vehicle having a track belt and configured to advance the tracked vehicle provides for acquiring the driving speed of the tracked vehicle; acquiring the speeds of the tracks with respect to the tracked vehicle; calculating a range of expected values of traveling speed as a function of speed of the track; and varying the speed of the track when the traveling speed of the tracked vehicle is outside the range of expected values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: PRINOTH S.P.A.
    Inventor: Martin Pelletier
  • Patent number: 9815494
    Abstract: Vehicle drive control systems, such as those, for example, configured to permit a vehicle to direct power to at least one drivable element (such as, for example, via a drive shaft, a supplemental drive, or a battery) to assist the vehicle in making a low-radius turn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: MTD Products Inc
    Inventors: Derek Kaesgen, Paul Crawford, David M. Kelly
  • Patent number: 9766610
    Abstract: An illustrative application control system is provided having an entity and an electronic device with a display. The control system includes software operating instructions to direct movement of the entity and to direct display operation to interact with the entity. The entity may have the capability to move when positioned on the display and to detect pixels and pixel arrangements on the display. The electronic device may include the capability to generate and display the pixels and pixel arrangements in subsequent locations on the display to trigger entity responses. The software operating instructions may include content such as audio output and/or performance instructions to facilitate interaction between the entity and electronic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: Rehco, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Rehkemper, Steven Rehkemper, Michael Kadile, John Peach
  • Patent number: 9656703
    Abstract: An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) equippable with a plurality of ground-engaging wheels or a plurality of ground-engaging track assemblies providing traction on the ground. The ATV is designed to facilitate its use whether it is equipped with the ground-engaging wheels or the ground-engaging track assemblies. A powertrain, a steering system, a suspension, a braking system, a body, and/or other components of the ATV have features which take into account that the ATV can be equipped with either the ground-engaging wheels or the ground-engaging track assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Camso Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremie Zuchoski, Jean Bernard
  • Patent number: 9567005
    Abstract: A method includes operating a wheeled vehicle including an articulated suspension system; and articulating the suspension system to skid steer the vehicle. A wheeled vehicle having an articulated suspension system includes a skid steering controller capable of articulating the suspension system to skid steer the vehicle. The skid steering controller may be implemented in software and may, but does not necessarily, include three stages for applying a differential torque, varying the traction of at least one wheel, and finely adjusting the wheel's suspension to approach a critical damped response of the vehicle turning rate with respect to its commanded rate, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph H. Kaloust, Wendell H. Chun
  • Patent number: 9193066
    Abstract: Configurations are provided for vehicular robots or other vehicles to provide shifting of their centers of gravity for enhanced obstacle navigation. Various head and neck morphologies are provided to allow positioning for various poses such as a stowed pose, observation poses, and inspection poses. Neck extension and actuator module designs are provided to implement various head and neck morphologies. Robot control network circuitry is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: iRobot Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy R. Ohm, Michael Bassett
  • Patent number: 9127434
    Abstract: An electrical swivel working machine includes a lower-part traveling body; an upper-part swivelling body mounted on the lower-part traveling body so as to be rotatable relative to the lower-part traveling body; a swivel mechanism supporting the upper-part swivelling body so that the upper-part swivelling body is rotatable relative to the lower-part traveling body; a motor for sniveling the upper-part swivelling body relative to the lower-part traveling body as a drive source of the swivel mechanism; and a swivel control part generating a drive command for driving the motor, wherein the swivel control part performs a slip prevention mode where a swivel operation of the upper-part swivelling body is mild relative to an ordinary swivel mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Inventors: Ryuji Shiratani, Kiminori Sano, Ryota Kurosawa
  • Patent number: 9096281
    Abstract: A dual mode mobile robot includes a platform and a pair of track wheel driving modules. The pair of track wheel driving modules are attached to opposing sides of the platform. Each of the track wheel driving modules has a track assembly; and a wheel assembly. Each of the track wheel drive modules is moveable from a track position to a wheel position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Inventors: Yi Li, Andrew A. Goldenberg
  • Publication number: 20150136505
    Abstract: The invention concerns a portable power supply system (30) intended to supply a remotely controlled, electrically driven work machine (1) with electrical power, where the work machine is of the type that demonstrates a propulsion means that includes continuous tracks (8b) and is equipped with a manoeuvrable arm (10) intended to carry a tool at its free end, and electric motor (19) that is connected to a hydraulic pump (20) and is intended to supply the operating means (8c, 10a) of the machine with a hydraulic medium, whereby the work machine is intended to be connected under normal operation to a primary source of power (30a) via an electrical cable (2?), which primary source of power includes a fixed alternating current electricity distribution grid at the location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2013
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventor: Gunnar Bystedt
  • Publication number: 20150122557
    Abstract: A driver pulley assembly for a continuously variable transmission (CVT) includes a roller weight guide, having an inner and outer periphery, adapted to be mounted on the main shaft of the CVT. A plurality of ramp windows extend radially along the roller weight guide. A pair of guide rails extend along opposite edges of each ramp window. A plurality of roller weights, mounted on the pair of guide rails, is adapted to move along the pair of guide rails in a radial direction of the roller weight guide. A ramp structure, coinciding with the ramp window, extends in the radial direction of the roller weight guide and abuts the plurality of roller weights. The roller weighs are adapted to move radially outwards along the ramp structure with increasing rotational speed of the roller weight guide. The ramp structures have ramp profiles. CVT systems and vehicles including the driver pulley assembly are also included.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2013
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventors: Ryan James Fairhead, Steve Micacchi
  • Patent number: 9004200
    Abstract: A robot has a track assembly having tracks configured to move the robot in a first direction and a wheel assembly having wheels configured to move the robot in a second direction orthogonal to the first direction. A toggling assembly switches between the track assembly and the wheel assembly. The robot modules can mate with each other. The robot module has an elongated shaft with a head and a narrow neck. The shaft extends outward from the side of the robot module. A mating robot module has a clamping mechanism with opposing clamps which in an opened position receive the shaft. In a closed position, the clamps define an opening which matches and engages the cross-section of the neck of the elongated shaft. The clamping mechanism has a drive mode to drive the module, a clamping mode for docking, and neutral mode for alignment prior to clamping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Inventors: Pinhas Ben-Tzvi, Paul Marie Moubarak
  • Publication number: 20150040442
    Abstract: A vehicle having a long track or wheel-trail wheel combination on one side and a smaller ground engaging member, such as a short track or wheel on the other. The vehicle has a work attachment on one end of its frame, which is provided clearance on the side of the vehicle with the short track or wheel. A control system is provided to allow an operator to properly control a direction of the vehicle despite the fact that different forces may be required to operate the long track and the short track or wheel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2014
    Publication date: February 12, 2015
    Inventors: Cody L. Sewell, Brant Douglas Kukuk
  • Patent number: 8869921
    Abstract: An occurrence of steering clutch slippage is reliably determined in order to protect the steering clutch. A crawler work vehicle includes left and right steering clutches, left and right steering brakes, a rotation speed detecting difference device, a clutch hydraulic pressure obtaining device, and a clutch protecting device. The rotation speed difference detecting device detects a rotation speed difference between the input and output of each of the steering clutches. The clutch hydraulic pressure obtaining device obtains a clutch hydraulic pressure supplied to each steering clutch. The clutch protecting device refers to the rotation speed difference and the clutch hydraulic pressure, computes a steering clutch heat rate, and compares the computed heat rate with a preset first threshold to execute a steering clutch protection process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Komatsu Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Yoshikawa, Taneaki Fujino
  • Publication number: 20140299391
    Abstract: Embodiments of a patient trans- port device comprise a rigid structural member; a patient support member coupled to the rigid structural member, a propulsion assembly coupled to the rigid structural member, wherein the rigid structural member comprises a motor operable to oscillate between frontward rotation and backward rotation, first and second continuous tracks responsive to the motor and rotatably coupled to the rigid structural member, and a power source configured to energize the motor and exchange electrical energy with the motor, and at least one controller communicatively coupled with the power source and programmed to execute machine readable instructions to oscillate the motor between frontward rotation and backward rotation, the oscillation of the motor being operable to cause the first continuous track and the second continuous track to stop.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2012
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Inventor: Enrico Carletti
  • Publication number: 20140263244
    Abstract: A transporter for an electrical welding machine having an auxiliary electrical power output includes: a chassis, the chassis being adapted to removably carry the welding machine; a propulsion mechanism mounted to the chassis; an electrical motor operable to drive the propulsion mechanism to propel the transporter on land; and an interface unit on the transporter, the interface unit being operable to receive electrical power output from the welding machine. The transporter is operable to transport the welding machine using electrical power from the welding machine auxiliary electrical power output.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: LINCOLN GLOBAL, INC.
    Inventor: Carmen DeLisio
  • Publication number: 20140083781
    Abstract: A hydraulic excavator includes an undercarriage having a crawler and a rotating superstructure. The rotating superstructure includes a plate-shaped rotating frame, an engine, a fuel tank a counterweight and a fuel line. The engine is mounted inside the rotating frame. The fuel tank is disposed on one side of the engine. The counterweight is supported on the rotating frame to the rear of the engine, and disposed so that a bottom end portion faces a rear end surface of the rotating frame with a gap interposed therebetween and the gap is open to the atmosphere. The fuel line is connected to the fuel tank and disposed in the gap between the rear end surface of the rotating frame and the bottom end portion of the counterweight.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Publication date: March 27, 2014
    Applicant: KOMATSU LTD.
    Inventors: Youichirou Kimura, Jun Yonehara, Risa Yamamoto
  • Publication number: 20140048342
    Abstract: An improved aircraft towing vehicle includes a base plate, a controller and two drive motors supported by two track assemblies. A pivoting wheel constraint mechanism rests on the base plate and includes a front roller mount, a rear roller mount and a linkage connecting the front roller mount and the rear roller mount. When the rear roller mount is pushed or otherwise urged backward, the linkage causes the front roller mount to pivot upward to confine an aircraft wheel on the base plate. A latch keep is also connected to the base plate for holding the rear roller mount in the backward position and locking the wheel constraining mechanism for moving an aircraft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2013
    Publication date: February 20, 2014
    Inventors: Anthony Y. Chan, Tracy J. Haeggstrom, Grant D. Garfield, Nashatar A. Gill
  • Patent number: 8627907
    Abstract: A steering drive system includes a drive arrangement having a first drive and a second drive, a summing gear unit for summing driving torques of the drives on an output shaft of the summing gear unit, a first drive connection device by which the first drive is drivingly connected to a first input shaft of the summing gear unit, and a second drive connection device by which the second drive is drivingly connected to a second input shaft of the summing gear unit. The two drive connection devices are arranged in each instance such that no driving torque directed to the drives from the summing gear unit can be transmitted to the drives during a continuously produced drive connection between the drives and the summing gear unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Renk Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Jörg-Peter Karrie, Nikolaus Müller, Dieter Schwarz
  • Publication number: 20130333958
    Abstract: A crawler vehicle having a first and second track driven by a first and second drive wheel respectively; an internal combustion engine; a mechanical power transmission assembly extending from the internal combustion engine to the first and second drive wheel; an electric power transmission assembly; a mechanical power connection configured to transfer energy between the mechanical power transmission assembly and the electric power transmission assembly; and at least one mechanical power transmission configured to transfer energy between the electric power transmission assembly and the mechanical power transmission assembly; the electric power transmission assembly extending from the mechanical power connection to the mechanical power transmission.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2011
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventors: Klaus Kalmbach, Mathias Lutz, Gianluca Milan, Alberto Giacometti, Martin Runggaldier
  • Patent number: 8517157
    Abstract: A drive control system of a crawler vehicle has a lever, a hydraulic distributor for feeding pressurized oil over a feed line to a hydraulic actuator. The hydraulic actuator can engage and release a central clutch. A cable has a first end fixed to a rod of the hydraulic actuator, and a second end connected to the hydraulic distributor. The cable activates and deactivates the hydraulic distributor, depending on the position of the rod. A main pulley is integral with the lever about which the cable is wound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: CNH America, LLC
    Inventors: Lorenzo Sghedoni, Franco Pertusi
  • Publication number: 20130192905
    Abstract: A tractor configuration includes a mainframe structure, a control station having a means of controlling the tractor, an undercarriage system having one left side and one right side track assembly, a wheel mechanism containing one or more wheels located forward of the track assemblies, a power train for forcing both track assemblies to travel at the same or different speeds, a controller responsible for exerting force to transfer vertical load back and forth between the front portion of the track assemblies and the wheel mechanism and controlling the amount of weight carried by the wheel mechanism. The controller causes or allows the wheel or wheels of the wheel mechanism to follow the tractor's curved path caused by track speed difference.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: August 1, 2013
    Applicant: CLAAS Industrietechnik GmbH
    Inventor: CLAAS Industrietechnik GmbH
  • Patent number: 8485286
    Abstract: A drive configuration for a skid steered vehicle comprises a pair of electric motors for propulsion of the vehicle, one each coupled to drive a respective track on a respective side of the vehicle, and one or more electric steer motors coupled through a differential gear mechanism to impose a speed difference between the tracks. An associated control system controls the current to each motor so that substantial contributions to the differential torque to turn the vehicle are made both by the steer motors and by the propulsion motors, in variable proportions preferably as a function of the vehicle speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Qinetiq Limited
    Inventor: Robert William Thompson
  • Publication number: 20130153308
    Abstract: A tracked mobility device includes: a) a frame supporting a seat; b) a pair of track drives connected to the frame, with each track drive including a powered center drive wheel, a front roller, a rear roller, and a flexible track, with the center drive wheel having a diameter that is at least 50% greater than the diameter of either the front roller or the rear roller, and c) a rear wheel assembly connected to the frame, with the rear wheel assembly having three wheels sharing a common axle, with the diameter of the center rear wheel being at least 10% larger than the diameter of the two outer rear wheels; d) a source of power to power said center drive wheels; and e) a controller effective for controlling the speed and direction of rotation of each of the track drives.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2013
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Inventor: Travis Underwood
  • Publication number: 20130092458
    Abstract: The invention is a tracked vehicle comprising a platform having a right and left side and a central axis pivotally mounted on a housing. The platform is pivotally movable between a first position wherein the right side is below the left side and a second position wherein the left side is below the right side. The vehicle includes a pair of parallel right and left tracks mounted to the housing below the platform, the right track and the left track coupled to a right track drive and a left track drive, respectively, the right and left track drives operatively coupled to the platform. When pivoted towards the first position, the left track is driven faster than the right track. When pivoted towards the second position, the right track is driven faster than the left track. In a central platform position the left and right drives operate at the same speed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2012
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Inventor: Ryan FAIRHEAD
  • Patent number: 8333256
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed, for construction and operation of an all terrain polymorphic tracked vehicle. The invention improves on the prior art by providing a mechanism whereby it is possible to vary the shapes of the tracks during operation of the vehicle. This capability facilitates negotiating obstacles and rough terrain, enables such vehicles to climb stairs or similar obstacles, and also enables self leveling of the vehicle on inclined terrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Inventors: Rustam Stolkin, Kirk Deligiannis, Colin Finley Harrier, Mathew Hochberger
  • Patent number: 8146689
    Abstract: An all-terrain vehicle having a unique suspension system for enabling handicapped individuals or invalids to easily access the vehicle and be self-transportable over ground or an ice surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Inventor: Daryl Hertema
  • Patent number: 8061459
    Abstract: The present invention provides a traction control method for a tracked vehicle such as a military tank. The method includes calculating a track proportionality factor and a vehicle proportionality factor based on predefined attributes of the tracked vehicle. A minimum turn radius of the tracked vehicle is calculated based on the velocity of the tracked vehicle, the maximum coefficient of friction between the tracks of the tracked vehicle and the ground (0.7), and gravitational acceleration (9.80665 m/s2). A sprocket rotational speed is calculated based on the pitch diameter of the tracked vehicle sprockets and the velocity of the tracked vehicle. Based on the preceding calculations, the method of the present invention calculates a required track speed differential configured to turn the tracked vehicle at the minimum turn radius.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2011
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventor: Clifford H. Oehme
  • Patent number: 8051687
    Abstract: A system, method, and computer program product for detecting and compensating for a traction steer event is provided. A first wheel speed of a first driven wheel is compared with a second wheel speed of a second driven wheel to determine whether a wheel slip condition has occurred. If a wheel slip condition is determined to have occurred, a current operating state of a vehicle is compared to an expected operating state of the vehicle to determine if a traction steer event has occurred. If a traction steer event is determined to have occurred, brake pressure is selectively applied to the first or second driven wheel to compensate for the traction steer event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: David T. De Carteret, Larry G. Gepfrey, Gregory K. Peterson, Mark S. Hogle
  • Publication number: 20110108332
    Abstract: A drive for a tracked vehicle supported by a pair of sprocket-driven tracks that receive divided drive torque from the vehicle engine includes a pair of track differentials that are each associated, respectively, with one of the tracks. Each track includes two separate drive sprockets located, preferably, at the front and rear of the track, and the divided torque delivered to each track differential is further divided between the respective front and rear drive sprockets of each track. The track differentials maintain track wrap about the drive sprockets so that drive torque and spike-like forces generated by the momentary loosening and tightening of the track in response to variations in the terrain are shared between an optimal number of drive sprocket teeth at all times. Drive and shock loads borne by the track lugs are significantly reduced and track life is significantly increased.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2010
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Applicant: TORVEC, INC.
    Inventor: Keith E. Gleasman
  • Publication number: 20110079451
    Abstract: An improved strength track bushing (150) is disclosed. The bushing (150) may be used as a bearing around a track pin (144) interconnecting shoes (132) of a track (120) on a track-type tractor (100). The bushing (150) may include a hollow cylindrical wall (163) having an inner diameter (166), an outer diameter (176), and an annular lubrication cavity (164) circumnavigating the inner diameter (166) of the hollow cylindrical wall (163). The bushing (150) includes specific dimensional ratios between the width (174) of the cylindrical wall (163), the size of the inner diameter (166), the size of the outer diameter (176), the width (170) of the annular cavity (164), and the depth (172) of the annular cavity (164). By appropriately sizing such dimensions, the strength of the bushing and thus its ability to avoid cracking in use is greatly improved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2009
    Publication date: April 7, 2011
    Applicant: CATERPILLAR, INC.
    Inventors: Donovan S. Clarke, Kevin L. Steiner
  • Patent number: 7900722
    Abstract: A shovel loader (1) has a vehicle body frame (9), a travel device (5), a loader device (20), and a drive power generation section for generating drive power for making the travel device (5) travel. The vehicle body frame (9) has a pair of side frames (9a, 9a) arranged on both the left and right sides of the shovel loader (1). The loader device (20) is made up of a pair of lift arms (21,21) vertically swingably attached to the pair of side frames (9a, 9a) and of a bucket (29) vertically swingably attached to the forward end of the pair of lift arms (21,21). The drive power generation section has a pair of electric motors (71,71) for individually transmitting drive power to the pair of travel devices (5,5) and capable of being controlled independent of each other so that a vehicle (10) can be made to travel in a manner the left and right are independent of each other, and also has a battery (50) for supplying electric power to the electric motors (71,71).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: Takeuchi Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshihide Shimada, Masao Yoshioka, Yutaka Yamazaki
  • Publication number: 20110048814
    Abstract: A final drive assembly, particularly for a skid steered vehicle, comprises a planetary gear reduction mechanism of which the input is through the sun gear 38 and the output is through the planet carrier 43. The sun gear is formed on a hollow shaft 26 which is driven by a coupling shaft 18a extending coaxially within it. These shafts are coupled through a coupling member 31 splined to each shaft, the larger diameter coupling 32 with the hollow shaft 26 being a crowned spline coupling to accommodate angular misalignment between the shafts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Inventor: Robert William Thompson
  • Patent number: 7836982
    Abstract: A compact crawler type tractor having an excellent turning feeling is provided. A hydraulic speed change mechanism for turning includes a hydrostatic transmission pump for turning and a hydrostatic transmission motor for turning, and is characterized in that the hydrostatic transmission pump for turning is a variable displacement pump, and an output of the hydrostatic transmission motor for turning is input into a differential mechanism. By combining the hydrostatic transmission pump for turning and the hydrostatic transmission motor for turning and the differential mechanism, an excellent turning feeling can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Yanmar Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masafumi Tsujita, Kozo Kitayama, Kazuhisa Yokoyama, Yumiko Yamashita
  • Patent number: 7798260
    Abstract: A track vehicle includes a cab operable to support an operator. Left and right motors each rotate an output shaft at a first speed, and a speed reduction system is operably coupled to each output shaft. Left and right drive shafts are driven by the speed reduction system at a second speed that is slower than the first speed. Left and right drive sprockets are mounted for rotation with the respective first and second drive shafts. Left and right track carriages support the cab and left and right tracks are mounted for rotation about the track carriages in response to rotation of the respective left and right drive shafts, such that the left and right tracks are driven by the left and right drive sprockets to move the track vehicle along a ground surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Clark Equipment Company
    Inventors: Larry E. Albright, Gary J. Homola, Maria C Homola, legal representative, Rodney Koch, Lance Tuhy, Thomas J. Roan
  • Patent number: 7789253
    Abstract: A combination crane A is formed by connecting two crawler cranes 1L and 1R. Each crawler crane is provided with at least a lower propelling body 3 which can be propelled by crawlers 2, an upper revolving body 5 rotatably mounted on the lower propelling body 3 by a swing unit 4 provided between them, a boom 6 whose base section is tiltably supported on the upper revolving body, a tilting mechanism 10 that raises and lowers the boom and a hoist mechanism that hoists and lowers the lifting members 12 hung by a hoist rope 11 from the top of the boom. Both upper swing bodies of two cranes are connected together with a connecting beam 20. Swing motion is performed by driving the one crawler crane to move around the other crawler crane which is free to rotate and is locked against propulsion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Kobelco Cranes Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hirotsugu Sawai, Mamoru Uejima, Satoshi Mimura
  • Patent number: 7784568
    Abstract: Apparatus for controlling a track on a tracked vehicle may comprise a drive system, a clutch, a brake, and a track control system to operate the clutch and the brake. A control signal generator operatively associated with the track control system produces control signals that vary at a first rate to cause the track control system to transition the clutch from an engaged state to a disengaged state and produces control signals that vary at a second rate to cause the track control system to transition the brake from an initial application state to a full application state, the second rate being less than the first rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
    Inventors: John Petersen, Eric Poulson
  • Patent number: 7762360
    Abstract: A method and system are described for calibrating speed controls for a vehicle having a pair of drive means on opposite sides of the vehicle driven by independent speed controls and where relative speed of the drive means is used to direct the vehicle. In one aspect, angular motion of the vehicle is detected using at least one of a gyroscopic angular sensor and a pair of accelerometers to determine a rate of yaw; a speed control output for controlling the relative speed is adjusted so that the rate of yaw is lower than a threshold when speed control inputs for controlling the relative speed are equal; and one or more speed control adjustment parameters are determined and stored for use during operation for controlling the relative speed of the drive means. A microcontroller may be used to receive sensor outputs (e.g. from the gyroscope and/or accelerometers) and speed control inputs and to determine the speed control adjustment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Inventor: Fabio Saposnik
  • Publication number: 20100170728
    Abstract: A steering system for tracked vehicles having two brake circuits which is activated after a failure of the primary steering mechanism. The steering system includes a steering switch (L) that can be controlled by a steering axle which, in the event of primary steering system failure, acts upon the brakes of the vehicle in such a manner that rotation of the steering axle results in a braking action upon a track on the inside of a curve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2007
    Publication date: July 8, 2010
    Applicant: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Johannes Sorg, Bruno Walter, Notker Amann, Robert Januschevski
  • Publication number: 20100139993
    Abstract: A lobed bushing is provided for a track assembly of a track-type machine. The track assembly includes a first chain and a second chain coupled together with a track pin. A bushing, defining a longitudinal axis, includes a central bore oriented along the longitudinal axis and extending from a first end of the bushing to a second end of the bushing for receiving the track pin. The bushing includes a first lobe positioned at a first location about the longitudinal axis and a second lobe positioned at a second location about the longitudinal axis that is less than about 180° from the first location. The first end of the bushing has a substantially cylindrical shape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Applicant: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Jason L. Sebright, Mark S. Diekevers, Benoit Abello, Steven Williamson
  • Patent number: 7690734
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for brake steering a tracked vehicle such as, for example, a military tank. More precisely, the present invention provides independent control of a left brake and a right brake to create a track speed differential and thereby turn the vehicle. The apparatus of the present invention preferably includes a controller, a plurality of circuit selector actuators operatively connected to the controller, and a plurality of brake apply actuators operatively connected to the controller. A plurality of valves are disposed in fluid communication with the plurality of circuit selector actuators. The left brake is in fluid communication with one of the plurality of brake apply actuators, and the right brake is in fluid communication with another of the plurality of brake apply actuators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations, Inc.
    Inventor: Clifford H. Oehme
  • Publication number: 20100065345
    Abstract: Apparatus for controlling a track on a tracked vehicle may comprise a drive system, a clutch, a brake, and a track control system to operate the clutch and the brake. A control signal generator operatively associated with the track control system produces control signals that vary at a first rate to cause the track control system to transition the clutch from an engaged state to a disengaged state and produces control signals that vary at a second rate to cause the track control system to transition the brake from an initial application state to a full application state, the second rate being less than the first rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2008
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Applicant: Autonomous Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: John Petersen, Eric Poulson
  • Publication number: 20100059297
    Abstract: A flexible, non-resilient strap of the tandem wheel suspension interconnects the vehicle frame and one of the rocker arms of an endless track vehicle, limiting the motion of the rocker arm in the direction of the terrain but permitting freedom of motion in an upward direction away from the terrain. The rocker arms share a support axle mounted to the vehicle frame, and each rocker arm is independently movable about the support axle. A shock-absorbing element, located in the vicinity of the strap, is preferably similarly attached between the frame and the same rocker arm to dampen the motion of the rocker arm in the direction of the terrain while permitting freedom of motion in an upward direction away from the terrain. In one embodiment, a small idler roller is positioned slightly above the endless track at a location between the two tandem wheel suspensions supporting the endless track.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2009
    Publication date: March 11, 2010
    Applicant: TORVEC, INC.
    Inventors: Steve Urbanik, Keith E. Gleasman