Wheel Steering By Articulative Movement Patents (Class 280/442)
  • Patent number: 10065677
    Abstract: The present invention is a guidance computing system used by the driver of a vehicle towing a trailer while backing-up that rapidly calculates and predicts the direction in which the tow vehicle and trailer will become generally in-line for a given position of the steering wheel, thereby enabling the use of slower, lower cost microcomputers. This is accomplished by using a predetermined table, based on a baseline trailer of known length, having a measure of turning as one of its axes; such an axis is necessary to facilitate ratiometric scaling to convert table values to correspond to any length trailer. In a specially equipped vehicle incorporating servomechanisms to enable the vehicle to steer itself, the driver indicates the direction desired for the trailer to travel. The present invention also predicts left and right path limits for controlling the direction of the trailer when maneuvering complex paths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Inventor: Daniel Robert Shepard
  • Patent number: 9987965
    Abstract: An intermediate towing device is provided for use between a tow vehicle and a towed vehicle. The towing device provides for a transfer of weight between the towed vehicle to the towing device to provide for a smoother ride while pulling or towing a towed vehicle. A steering assembly of the intermediate towing device provides for the transfer from a change in direction from the tow vehicle to the towing device via linkages and swiveling devices. Therefore, as the tow vehicle changes direction, this will be transferred to the wheels of the towing device to provide for greater control in both a forward and rear ward direction. Furthermore, a hitch connecter may be positioned between the tow vehicle and the towing device to provide for even greater control and auto steering of the intermediate towing device via the change in direction of the towed vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Inventor: Don G. Flathers
  • Patent number: 9642306
    Abstract: An offset header for attachment to a grain harvester includes a body having a back and a bottom which form a collection trough extending the length of the body. The back further defines at a first proximal and an opening for receiving and for attachment to a grain conveyor of a grain harvester. A mechanism is located at the bottom for removing and collecting a crop from an agricultural field, and a transfer mechanism is operationally positioned in the collection trough to transf's er the collected crop toward the opening. A drive unit at a second distal end of the body supports and propels the second distal end of the body in cooperation with a grain harvester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Inventor: Lon Owen Crosby
  • Patent number: 9340150
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a towed implement proximity system, the system comprising: a first device comprising a transceiver, the first device configured to: transmit a signal; receive a first signal at a first angle and a second signal at a second angle responsive to the transmitted signal, the first and second signals comprising first information and second information, respectively, the first and second information each corresponding to respective positional information; and a controller coupled to the first device, the controller configured to determine a relative position in three axes between a first machine and a second machine based on the first and second information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: AGCO Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick Kendrick, Lawrence Retzlaff, Gerald Johnson, Quentin Guhr
  • Patent number: 9192529
    Abstract: A four-wheeled rescue litter (FWRL) comprised of an elongated upper rail that is vertically spaced from an elongated lower rail by a plurality of vertical posts. Attached to the elongated lower rail is a litter base that can be permanently attached or removably attached which allows the litter base to be removed for maintenance, or to replace a damaged litter base. Near the front end of the elongated lower rail is attached a pair of swivel wheels that allow the FWRL to be easily steered, and near the rear end of the elongated lower rail is a pair of fixed wheels that stabilize the FWRL when been moved. Near the front end of the elongated upper rail is located a yoke having an attached handle that is used to pull or push the FWRL. When the handle is not in use, it can be rotated and placed against the upper rail. Extending from the front of the FWRL is a vehicle interface attachment structure that facilitates the attachment of the FWRL to a vehicle by use of a ball hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Inventor: Michael L. Schlags
  • Patent number: 9096263
    Abstract: A method of controlling the sideways motion of a trailer forming part of a combination vehicle, such as a road train, for road transport of heavy goods. The vehicle has a trailer including a semi-trailer body and a dolly mounted beneath the front of the semi-trailer body. The method includes steering at least some of the wheels on said axle sets relative to the dolly frame such that at high speeds, as the vehicle turns towards one side, steering the dolly wheels to induce the dolly to move towards that side and, at low speeds, as said vehicle turns towards that side, steering the dolly wheels to induce the dolly to move towards the opposite side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: Mechanical System Dynamics Pty Ltd
    Inventors: Hans Prem, Kinh-Luan Viet Mai
  • Patent number: 9085322
    Abstract: Improvements in a trailer hitching and tracking steering system are disclosed include a new style RV or wagon style RV that includes an extendable, variable position tow bar that accommodates misalignment of a tow vehicle. The tow bar can be rotated for storage within the RV wagon. Further improvements include a wheel steering mechanism to improve tracking of a towed vehicle using a bi-directional caster front suspension for steering a wagon style RV in both a forward and reverse direction. The caster of the front wheels is automatically re-directed depending upon the direction of travel of the RV. The suspension system includes a steerable rear suspension that minimizes the amount the back wheels will cut the corner when turning. The improvements also include the use of visible light beams to guide a tow vehicle backing up to an RV to be correctly positioned for hitching without assistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Inventor: Gary E Olsen
  • Patent number: 9051048
    Abstract: A bias steered landing gear system comprises a bogie beam, a first landing gear axle pivotally mounted to the bogie beam, and a steering actuator assembly. The first landing gear axle is pivotable through an axle steering range which includes a maximum inboard steering angle and a maximum outboard steering angle. The steering actuator assembly is operable to apply a steering force to steer the first landing gear axle through the axle steering range between the maximum inboard steering angle and the maximum outboard steering angle. The maximum inboard steering angle is substantially larger than the maximum outboard steering angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Goodrich Corporation
    Inventors: Dennis W. Martin, James Acks
  • Patent number: 9022409
    Abstract: A steerable caddy trailer is provided that has an improved structure including a main frame assembly, spindle assemblies attached to each end of the main frame for attachment of a wheel, a pair of swinging arms forwardly extending from the main frame and pivotally attached to the main frame, and tie rods connecting the swinging arms with the spindle assembly such that pivoting of the swinging arms steers the wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Inventor: Roger A. Montag
  • Patent number: 9004519
    Abstract: A switchable mechanism for steering a trailer when towing and backing is disclosed. A turntable having a rotatable upper portion is attached to a front of a trailer, with a slide mounted to the turntable with a center of the slide mounted generally over an axis of rotation of the turntable. A carriage is mounted to the slide, the carriage being movable between a first position and a second position. At least one steering controller is coupled between the carriage and steerable wheels of the trailer. A towbar is coupled to the turntable, with sideways displacement of the towbar steering the steerable wheels in both forward and backward directions. The towbar is connectable to any conventional hitch, meaning that no modifications are needed to the tow vehicle, and any tow vehicle with a conventional hitch can tow a trailer of the instant invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Inventor: Geoffrey S. Beech
  • Publication number: 20150091274
    Abstract: A trailer for transporting a harvester header comprises a chassis, a rear axle assembly and a front axle assembly. A steering force transfer mechanism is arranged to transfer a steering force hydraulically from a first one steerable wheel supported on the front axle assembly to a second one steerable wheel supported on the rear axle assembly. A steering movement of the first one steerable wheel to one side effects a steering movement of the second one steerable wheel to the opposite side.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2014
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Inventor: Thomas Mygind Bojsen
  • Patent number: 8955865
    Abstract: A hitch apparatus for connecting a self-propelled trailing vehicle to a self-propelled leading vehicle and for measuring their relative positions is described. The hitch apparatus includes: a first hitch assembly for connecting a rear end of the leading vehicle to a front end of the trailing vehicle; a first angle sensor operatively connected to a pivot shaft and capable of measuring a horizontal angle between a centerline of a swivel base extending through a pivot shaft and a longitudinal centerline of the leading vehicle; a second hitch assembly for mounting on the front end of the trailing vehicle, the second hitch assembly including a connecting device mounted on the front end of the trailing vehicle and connectable to the swivel base of the leading vehicle; and a distance sensor for measuring a variable distance between a preselected point at the front end of said trailing vehicle and the swivel base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Prairie Machine & Parts Mfg. (1978) Ltd.
    Inventors: Adam Fortin, Ashley Debnam, Sterling Parson
  • Patent number: 8950774
    Abstract: A frame locking bar is supported pivotably with respect to a rear body. The frame locking bar is constructed to be able to lock an articulated structure by fixing a front body and the rear body to each other to thereby prevent swing thereof. A fixing mechanism is constructed to be able to position this frame locking bar at a prescribed pivoted position in a cantilevered state. At the positioned prescribed pivoted position, when viewed from above, a foot mount is located outside a side surface of a driver's compartment. Thus, a wheel loader capable of locking an articulated mechanism and allowing easy and highly safe services at a high position is obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: Komatsu Ltd.
    Inventors: Nobuo Ushikubo, Nobumasa Takamatsu, Yasuhiro Yamane
  • Patent number: 8919803
    Abstract: The invention disclosed herein is a new steering control mechanism attached to a truck frame extension which permits trucks towing goose neck trailers to have more maneuverability while towing the trailer. Specifically, a steering control plate rests between two metal stops located on a tie rod connecting the two wheels of the truck frame extension. When the operator of the truck signals a turn the steering control plate is lifted off of the tie rod to a level above the metal stops which permits the tie rod to move in connection with the movement of the towing truck. After the truck completes the turn the steering control plate returns to rest on the tie rod between the two metal blocks locking the tie rod in place. This arrangement permits the trailer to faithfully follow the truck in straight line traffic. The invention disclosed herein permits the goose neck trailer to make sharper turns without putting stress on the tires and frame of the truck or trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Inventor: Joseph P. Jamieson
  • Patent number: 8917170
    Abstract: Apparatus for measuring the articulation angle between a tractor and trailer connected by a kingpin and fifth wheel include a transfer assembly associated with the kingpin and interacting with the fifth wheel such that the transfer assembly is rotationally moved relative to the kingpin by relative rotational movement between the kingpin and the fifth wheel. This rotational movement is read by an articulation sensing mechanism having one of a reader element and output element mounted to the transfer assembly and the other of the reader element and the output element operatively mounted to the trailer such that the reader element and the output element interact to provide a signal corresponding to the articulation angle between the tractor and trailer. This signal can be analyzed by a processor for any beneficial use, for example, outputting to a counter steering mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: Santo A. Padula
  • Patent number: 8870210
    Abstract: A steering system for a towed farm implement or wagon, such as a header transport, is provided that allows the tongue of the header transport to pivot approximately 90 degrees to the right or the left (i.e., 180 degrees in total) and translates the movement of the tongue to all of the wheels of the header transport. Front steering linkages are coupled to the tongue, and are configured to oscillate front wheels in response to rotation of the tongue. Rear steering linkages are coupled to the front steering linkages by front-to-rear linkages, and the rear steering linkages are configured to oscillate rear wheels in response to rotation of the tongue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Unverferth Manufacturing Company, Inc.
    Inventor: David R. Smith
  • Publication number: 20140306426
    Abstract: A front frame is disclosed for an articulated machine. The front frame may have a central tilt structure with parallel plates, a web member disposed between and connecting the parallel plates, and a hinge component connected to the web member. The front frame may also have mounting lugs connected to the web member opposite the base, the mounting lugs being configured to receive a pivot pin of a tilt cylinder. The front frame may further have two substantially identical lift structures located at sides of the central tilt structure, the lift structures being configured to receive spaced apart lift arms. The front frame may additionally have an axle mounting pad connected at a base of each of the lift structures and configured to engage a front axle of the articulated machine, and a bearing bore located adjacent the axle mounting pad and configured to receive a pivot pin of a steering cylinder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 12, 2013
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Applicant: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Marcus John GUETHLE, Steven Denis SPRINGER, Joel Patrick BUSKER
  • Publication number: 20140151977
    Abstract: An elongated trailer has a frame with longitudinally extending frame members connected by front and rear cross frame members, and a pair of wheels are pivotally connected to opposite ends of each of the front and rear cross frame members. A steering system includes a front steering crank member connected to a tow bar and supported by the front cross frame member for pivotal movement on a vertical axis, and a rear steering crank member is supported by the rear cross frame member for pivotal movement on a vertical axis. A set of tie rods pivotally connect the front and rear crank members to the corresponding front and rear wheels. An elongated link member or rod connects the front and rear crank members and extends longitudinally of the frame substantially above the bottom surfaces of the frame members to protect the steering system from projecting objects on the ground.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2012
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Applicant: J. & M. MANUFACTURING CO., INC.
    Inventors: Joshua P. Gaerke, James E. Wood, Andrew A. Gartin
  • Patent number: 8688331
    Abstract: In an example embodiment, a system for providing a height change command for an implement, comprises a height control module configured to interact with a computer, and configured to receive topographical data, provide a virtual field map based on said topographical data, provide a forward view polygon for an implement based on said virtual field map, and provide a height change command for said implement based on said forward view polygon and an implement control unit configured to receive said height change command and control movement of said implement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: AGCO Corporation
    Inventors: John Peterson, Quentin Guhr
  • Publication number: 20130300072
    Abstract: A convertible trailer assembly is provided that can be pushed or pulled. The trailer assembly can be converted between pushed or pulled operation or provided as a retrofit assembly for a stroller that allows its conversion between pushed or pulled operation. The Assembly includes a linkage assembly to provide a smoother towing experience for the user. The linkage uniquely takes up the constant jarring motion that is incompatible as between the user and the trailer and dissipates it in a toggle that consists of a lever extending upwardly from a tow point on the trailer. When accelerating or going uphill the toggle pulls forward, at equilibrium the toggle motion absorbs the incremental differences in acceleration/deceleration and at the rear limit of its range of motion, the toggle pushes a brake actuator to slow the trailer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2012
    Publication date: November 14, 2013
    Inventors: Gary Piaget, Herbert Walter Bentz
  • Publication number: 20130264785
    Abstract: The vehicle is narrow such that it can pass through narrow space. The overall vehicle is approximately the same width as a seated worker. Stabilization is provided by wheel rigidity of a front and a rear wheel set that is configured to give a stable vehicle stance, even though it is exceptionally narrow. Energy efficient operation is achieved with wheels having approximately continuous ground contact from edge to edge of a wheel, thus maximizing ground contact area. The narrow vehicle is an articulated configuration that enables agile turning. This articulated turning capability is especially suited for load carrying situations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2012
    Publication date: October 10, 2013
    Inventor: James K. Bullis
  • Publication number: 20130257016
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a mechanically steered articulating dolly transport system for transporting large structures such as a drilling mast over the federal highway system. Generally, the invention relates to an articulating dolly system that utilizes a unique mechanical system for steering a first dolly with a path generated by the movement of the load held by the second dolly. More particularly, the invention provides a front dolly steered by a non-rotatable front steering frame, a rear dolly having a pivotally mounted turntable and a pair of steering links connected between the respective sides of the front steering frame and the turntable. The left steering link and the right steering link are located in a first plane. One or both of the turntable and the steering frame being located on a second plane that is not the first plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Publication date: October 3, 2013
    Applicant: T&T ENGINEERING SERVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Keith J. Orgeron
  • Patent number: 8548680
    Abstract: An articulated machine and method of operation, the articulated machine having a first frame with a first traction device and a steering apparatus that controls a steering angle thereof, the first frame pivotally coupled to a second frame at an articulation joint, the second frame having a second traction device, a steering sensor configured to provide a steering signal indicative of the steering angle, and an electronic controller configured to automatically control an articulation angle based on the steering signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Cody J. Ryerson, Phillip A. Newberry, Yongliang Zhu, Bruce Wiewel, Vivek Bhaskar
  • Patent number: 8505656
    Abstract: The present invention features an automobile hauling system for improved maneuverability and hauling capacity for a tractor and trailer combination used to transport automobiles. The system features a cab-over automobile hauling tractor having an extended wheelbase frame with first and second side notches. The tractor features a first steering axle assembly, a second steering axle assembly, and an h-link. A pitman arm first end is located on a steering box and a pitman arm second end is pivotally located on a first drag link. The tractor features a supplemental axle assembly and a drive axle assembly located on the frame bottom. The system features an automobile hauling trailer pivotally located on the frame top side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Inventor: Jesus Gonzalez
  • Publication number: 20130187361
    Abstract: A hitch apparatus for connecting a self-propelled trailing vehicle to a self-propelled leading vehicle and for measuring their relative positions is described. The hitch apparatus includes: a first hitch assembly for connecting a rear end of the leading vehicle to a front end of the trailing vehicle; a first angle sensor operatively connected to a pivot shaft and capable of measuring a horizontal angle between a centerline of a swivel base extending through a pivot shaft and a longitudinal centerline of the leading vehicle; a second hitch assembly for mounting on the front end of the trailing vehicle, the second hitch assembly including a connecting device mounted on the front end of the trailing vehicle and connectible to the swivel base of the leading vehicle; and a distance sensor for measuring a variable distance between a preselected point at the front end of said trailing vehicle and the swivel base.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2013
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Applicant: PRAIRIE MACHINE & PARTS MFG. (1978) LTD.
    Inventor: PRAIRIE MACHINE & PARTS MFG. (1978) LTD.
  • Publication number: 20130093151
    Abstract: A wheeled riding device has a body with an elongate front arm, a turning tail, and a joint part pivotally connecting the turning tail and front arm relative to one another. A front wheel is carried by a forward end of the front arm. Rear wheels are carried by a rear end of the turning tail. A standing platform is supported over the front arm and turning tail. The rear wheels and turning tail can pivot laterally side to side relative to the front arm. The front wheel and front arm can pivot vertically up and down relative to the standing platform. The front wheel, during a turn, is cambered inward into the turn. The device is controlled by the rider using body movements and skills required to ride a snowboard.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2011
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: No Snow Ventures, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Falanga, Andres J. Salas-Acosta
  • Patent number: 8419032
    Abstract: A suspension system for a steerable trailer includes a strut which is mounted to the frame of the trailer, an axle which is connected to the strut, and far and near suspension cylinders which connect the axle to the frame. The far and near suspension cylinders connect to opposite side of the axle. Steering rods connect adjacent axles together, the steering rod connection alternating between the left and right side of the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Inventors: James R. McGhie, Robb I. McGhie
  • Patent number: 8387998
    Abstract: A steering mechanism for a sugarcane harvester having pivotable forward frame sections and a pivotal topper assembly for maneuverability. The steering mechanism includes arms extending from the respective frame sections and topper assembly. Steering links pivotally interconnect the arms in a way that the topper steering arm is sandwiched between a pair of links. An eccentric pivotal connection between the topper steering arm and the links is provided to accommodate the change in radius. Actuators connect to the links to provide movement of the steering arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Michael L. Hinds
  • Patent number: 8317452
    Abstract: A converter dolly is disclosed for use with a tandem trailer arrangement. In accordance with an important aspect of the invention, the converter dolly is multi-functional and is user configurable. In particular, the converter dolly in accordance with the present invention includes an adjustable saddle can be adjusted to fit any conventional trailer. The saddle is carried by a wheeled cart, which includes a fifth wheel assembly for coupling to a tandem trailer. The saddle is configured to seat a tandem trailer. The height of the saddle relative to the underside of the tandem trailer is user configurable. In an extended position, the tandem trailer is seated in the saddle which prevents rotation of the tandem trailer with respect to the converter dolly thus eliminating one of the three pivot points in a conventional tandem trailer arrangement. In order to provide steering for the tandem trailer, the wheels on the wheeled cart are carried by self steering axles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Lundin Recovery Equipment LLC
    Inventor: Richard E. Lundin
  • Patent number: 8286984
    Abstract: An articulated harvester is composed of a forward bogey having an operator's cab, an engine, a grain harvesting assembly, a grain transfer assembly, but being devoid of an on-board grain bin. A rearward bogey is attached by a joint to the forward bogey and has a powered wheel assembly, an on-board grain bin for receiving grain from the forward bogey grain transfer assembly, and a grain off-loading assembly. The improvement includes the rearward bogey having a powered wheel assembly of a powered stiff axle wheel assembly pivotable for steering the articulated harvester when the joint has articulated by a defined number of degrees. The joint may be connected to the rearward bogey powered stiff axle wheel assembly by a beam that has a second joint disposed ahead of the stiff axle and actuatable to crab the articulated harvester for grain unloading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Inventor: Ben N. Dillon
  • Patent number: 8165770
    Abstract: A system and method of controlling a vehicle with a trailer comprises determining the presence of a trailer, generating an oscillation signal indicative of trailer swaying relative to the vehicle, generating an initial weighted dynamic control signal for a vehicle dynamic control system in response to the oscillation signal, operating at least one vehicle dynamic system according to the dynamic control signal, and thereafter, iteratively generating a penalty function for the weighted dynamic control signal as a function of the oscillation signal response. A neural network with an associated trainer modifies the dynamic control signal as a function of trailer sway response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies
    Inventors: Anya Lynn Getman, Perry Robinson Macneille, Aric David Shaffer
  • Publication number: 20120045281
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an apparatus for the articulated connection of two vehicle frames, a front and a rear frame, of a construction machine, especially a vibration roller. The apparatus comprises a pivot joint with a vertical pivot axis and a crab-steering joint with a vertical rotational axis. It further comprises a connection support which connects the pivot joint and the crab-steering joint with one another, and a connecting rod which is linked on one side to the vehicle frame and on the other side to the connection support. It further comprises a steering drive for relative pivoting of the front and rear frame about the pivot axis, the steering drive being linked on the one side to one of the vehicle frames and on the other side to the connection support, and a crab-steering drive for setting a lateral offset between the front and the rear frame, the crab-steering drive being linked on one side to one of the vehicle frames and on the other to the connection support.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2011
    Publication date: February 23, 2012
    Applicant: BOMAG GMBH
    Inventor: Jens Wagner
  • Patent number: 8070177
    Abstract: An improved steer axle assembly for a trailer is provided in which a tapered roller thrust bearing extends between each lower kingpin yoke thrust face and each lower kingpin sleeve thrust face to transfer load between the lower yoke sleeve and the kingpin sleeve while allowing the yokes to swivel about the kingpins. Upper and lower needle bearing assemblies extend respectively between the upper and lower yoke sleeves and the kingpins to guide the swivelable movement of the yokes about the kingpins. Upper and lower kingpin caps are secured across the upper and lower yoke sleeves respectively above and below the kingpins to seal the opposite ends of the kingpins within the yoke sleeves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Eveley Alignment
    Inventor: Nicholas Eveley
  • Patent number: 8036792
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for determining a set steering angle ?o of steered wheels of a vehicle comprising a tractor and a trailer that is articulated with regard to the tractor. This method makes it possible to produce a set value that can be used for various purposes. This set value can thus be used for controlling an actuator acting upon the steering angle or for being communicated in order to inform the driver. According to the invention, during reversing maneuvers: based on a target point C via which the driver would like the path of the vehicle to pass, an angle set value ?c between the axes of the trailer and of the tractor is determined according to said target point C and to the dimensions of the vehicle, and; the set steering angle ? of the steered wheels is determined according to a servo-system causing the measured angle ? between the axis of the trailer and the tractor to tend toward said angle set value ?c.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Renault Trucks
    Inventor: Francois Dechamp
  • Patent number: 8011684
    Abstract: The invention relates to a trailer towing-control apparatus comprising a towing means connectable between a trailer and a towing vehicle; the towing means having a first connection means at its operative forward end pivotably connectable to a towing vehicle and a second connection means pivotably connectable to the trailer on the other side of the axis of the trailer relative to the first connection means; and a restraint means to selectively allow for articulation of the first connection means relative to the towing vehicle or to prevent articulation of the towing means relative to the towing vehicle in a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Inventor: John Walton Abel
  • Patent number: 8010252
    Abstract: A system and method of controlling a vehicle with a trailer comprises determining the presence of a trailer, generating an oscillation signal indicative of trailer swaying relative to the vehicle, generating an initial weighted dynamic control signal for a vehicle dynamic control system in response to the oscillation signal, operating at least one vehicle dynamic system according to the dynamic control signal, and thereafter, iteratively generating a penalty function for the weighted dynamic control signal as a function of the oscillation signal response. A neural network with an associated trainer modifies the dynamic control signal as a function of trailer sway response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies
    Inventors: Anya Lynn Getman, Perry Robinson Macneille, Aric David Shaffer
  • Patent number: 8006796
    Abstract: A personal vehicle has a fore section and an aft section. The fore and aft sections each have a frame, a transaxle mounted to the frame, and a wheels attached to the transaxle. The wheels of the aft section are vertically articulated relative to the frame of the aft section. A seat is disposed on the frame of the fore section. A joystick and interface are mounted to the fore section. A motor is mounted to the frame of the aft section. A hydraulic system is operatively connected to the motor. A shaft is operatively connected to the motor. A fender assembly is mounted to the fore and aft sections. A rollover structure is mounted to the fore and aft sections. The hydraulic systems controls the directional movement of the personal vehicle and includes a hydraulic pump, rotovalves, a null valve, a drive cylinder, and a steering cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Inventor: Roger F. Fontaine
  • Publication number: 20110175322
    Abstract: A steerable axle assembly for a grain cart or manure tank unit designed to be pulled in a forward direction over and agricultural field by a farm tractor is disclosed. The invention involves a steering axle assembly that is easily guided to improve the maneuverability and safety of the unit and reduce field compaction. The steering system design features angled kingpins that transfers some of the unit weight to assist in turns. Thus, the steering system reduces the resistance of the unit steering system to turning and minimizes ground compaction during turns. The steering system is particularly designed for rear-steering grain carts and manure tank units and larger versions of such units with multiple alternating steering and non-steering axles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 19, 2010
    Publication date: July 21, 2011
    Applicant: BALZER, INC.
    Inventors: Randy M. McMahon, Frank D. Bazzoli, Devon G. Ysker, Scott R. Veenker
  • Patent number: 7976052
    Abstract: A lock assembly for selectively latching the pivoting tongue of a steerable trailed vehicle includes an actuator assembly on the vehicle connected by a cable to latch bolt for spring biasing in discrete positions into aligned apertures for enabling and preventing tongue pivoting. The tongue is provided with a winch assembly having a cable attached to the trailed vehicle and operable for raising and lowering the tongue. The tongue includes a hitch assembly having an extendable and pivotable lunette for connection with a proximately located towing vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: Williams Innovations, LLC
    Inventor: Thomas M. Williams, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7949447
    Abstract: A steering system and method are capable of steering a plurality of vehicles arranged in a train with adjacent vehicles pivotally connected to each other for movement about a vertical axis. Each vehicle has a pair of steerable wheels with one pair at one end of the train being a selected leading pair having its steering angle determined by an operator. An electrical control system automatically steers all of the wheels trailing behind the leading pair. Vehicle angle sensors measure intercar angles between adjacent vehicles and provide this information to the control system. An indicator provides the controller with the current distance traveled by the train. Wheel angle sensors provide signals indicative of the current steering angle for each wheel pair. The controller adjusts the actual steering angle for each trailing pair to a desired angle by calculating adjustments based on the measurement inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignee: Prairie Machine & Parts Mfg. (1978) Ltd.
    Inventors: Maurice DeMong, Ashley Debnam
  • Publication number: 20110100657
    Abstract: An agricultural implement is provided that includes a hitch assembly configured to couple the agricultural implement to a tow vehicle, and a carrier frame pivotally coupled to the hitch assembly. The agricultural implement also includes a pair of wheel assemblies each rotatably coupled to the carrier frame by a respective pivot joint. The agricultural implement further includes an actuator assembly configured to rotate each wheel assembly about the respective pivot joint in a first direction by applying a first torque, and to rotate each wheel assembly about the respective pivot joint in a second direction, opposite the first direction, by applying a second torque. A magnitude of the first torque and a magnitude of the second torque are substantially equal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2009
    Publication date: May 5, 2011
    Applicant: CNH AMERICA LLC
    Inventors: Michael J. Connors, Brian Anderson, Marvin A. Prickel, Leonard A. Bettin
  • Patent number: 7926833
    Abstract: An all-wheel steer trailer is disclosed which includes front and rear axle beams which are pivotally mounted, above vertical axes, to the forward and rearward ends of a frame. In normal operation, the front and rear axle beams are interconnected so that the rear axle beam will pivot in an opposite direction to pivotal movement of the front axle beams so that the rear wheels of the trailer will track the front wheels of the trailer as the trailer is being turned. The trailer includes a convenient locking assembly which may be quickly utilized to prevent pivotal movement of the rear axle beam with respect to the frame when it is desired to pull the trailer on a highway or roadway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Inventor: James A. Hellbusch
  • Publication number: 20110062680
    Abstract: An all-wheel steer trailer is disclosed which includes front and rear axle beams which are pivotally mounted, above vertical axes, to the forward and rearward ends of a frame. In normal operation, the front and rear axle beams are interconnected so that the rear axle beam will pivot in an opposite direction to pivotal movement of the front axle beams so that the rear wheels of the trailer will track the front wheels of the trailer as the trailer is being turned. The trailer includes a convenient locking assembly which may be quickly utilized to prevent pivotal movement of the rear axle beam with respect to the frame when it is desired to pull the trailer on a highway or roadway.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2009
    Publication date: March 17, 2011
    Inventor: James A. Hellbusch
  • Patent number: 7882925
    Abstract: A vehicle steering apparatus utilizing SBW capable of downsizing an expensive turning-power motor, in which a steering mechanism 20 provided with a steering wheel 21 maneuvered by a driver is mechanically separated from a turning mechanism 30 for turning road wheels 35, 35. A turning-power motor 45 of the turning mechanism 30 turns the road wheels 35, 35 based on a turning angle-steering angle ratio determined by a control portion 66 of a controller 61 in accordance with a vehicle speed of the vehicle. The turning angle-steering angle ratio increases with increasing vehicle speed until the vehicle speed reaches a predetermined value from zero; while when the vehicle speed is higher than the predetermined value, the turning angle-steering angle ratio decreases with increasing vehicle speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kunio Shirakawa, Shunsuke Watanabe
  • Patent number: 7874570
    Abstract: A steerable caddy trailer is provided that has an improved structure including a main frame assembly, spindle assemblies attached to each end of the main frame for attachment of a wheel, a pair of swinging arms forwardly extending from the main frame and pivotally attached to the main frame, and tie rods connecting the swinging arms with the spindle assembly such that pivoting of the swinging arms steers the wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Inventor: Roger A. Montag
  • Patent number: 7874571
    Abstract: A trailer having a frame extending along a longitudinal axis and having a front end and a rear end, a steering linkage coupled to the frame, a pair of front wheel assemblies coupled to the front end of the frame, and a pair of rear wheel assemblies coupled to the rear end of the frame. Each wheel assembly includes a wheel carrier having a pivot member pivotally coupled to the frame along a steering axis, the wheel carrier being coupled to the steering linkage so that actuation of the steering linkage pivots the wheel carrier about the steering axis, and a wheel rotatably coupled to the wheel carrier along a wheel axis. The wheel axis is oriented approximately perpendicular to the steering axis, and the wheel axis is offset from the steering axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: 1708828 Ontario Ltd.
    Inventors: Oscar Frey, Ryan Frey
  • Patent number: 7810823
    Abstract: An oscillating in-line steering system for a pulled agricultural implement includes first and second in-line axles pivotably coupled with a frame. The system also includes at least first and second in-line wheel arrangements pivotably coupled with the first and second axles respectively. Each wheel arrangement has a plurality of pivotable wheel assemblies arranged in-line and wheel linkages coupling the in-line wheel assemblies such that in-line wheel assemblies oscillate together. A right-to-left linkage couples the wheel linkage of the first in-line wheel arrangement to the wheel linkage of the second in-line wheel arrangement so that the first in-line wheel arrangement oscillates at a steering angle proportional to that of the second in-line wheel arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Assignee: Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Van Mill, Ron Schlimgen, John Walvatne
  • Patent number: 7810832
    Abstract: A steerable caddy trailer is provided that has an improved structure including a main frame assembly, spindle assemblies attached to each end of the main frame for attachment of a wheel, a pair of swinging arms forwardly extending from the main frame and pivotally attached to the main frame, and tie rods connecting the swinging arms with the spindle assembly such that pivoting of the swinging arms steers the wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Inventor: Roger A. Montag
  • Patent number: 7793965
    Abstract: A tractor/trailer combination wherein a trailer is connected to a tractor through the connection of a kingpin with a fifth wheel is provided with a trailer steering system. Using given dimensions of the tractor/trailer combination and a measured articulation angle between the tractor and trailer during a turn, the wheels of the rear axles of the trailer are turned so that they turn approximately about the instant center established for the tractor. In this way, the trailer turns around approximately the same point as does the tractor, thus significantly eliminating off tracking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Inventor: Santo A. Padula
  • Publication number: 20100181743
    Abstract: The trailer steering mechanism automatically steers the trailer wheels in accordance with the tow vehicle steering and articulation between the tow vehicle and trailer during backing maneuvers to facilitate backing maneuvers and to prevent or greatly reduce the possibility of jackknifing between tow vehicle and trailer. The mechanism includes a pivotally attached steering frame connected between the steerable wheels of the trailer and one or more hydraulic cylinders that, when locked, create a very strong link between the tow vehicle and the trailer and its steering system. An alternative embodiment employs two non-powered hydraulic cylinders in tandem. The cylinders are able to withstand great loads, and more importantly, are able to disengage while under great load without jamming. The cylinders provide links that exert lateral force to the trailer to push or pull the trailer into a turn while backing, in addition to controlling the steering mechanism of the trailer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2010
    Publication date: July 22, 2010
    Inventor: Ronald G. Timmons, JR.