Methods Patents (Class 56/DIG2)
  • Patent number: 6109171
    Abstract: The invention is an air permeable screen that extends upward from a leeward wall of a cotton module maker. The screen is used to prevent cotton being dumped into said module maker from being blown away by wind.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Leo J. Ruzicka
    Inventor: James H. Jennings
  • Patent number: 6052975
    Abstract: Self propelled harvesting apparatus for processing plant material. The apparatus comprises a pair of cylindrical crushing rolls for crushing plant material and a rotor with radial fins operably associated with the rolls for impacting the crushed plant material. A hood is associated with the impact rotor for redirecting impacted plant material back to the rotor for reimpacting the plant material and to provide severely conditioned plant material. A press assembly presses the severely conditioned plant material and subsequently discharges a cohesive mat of compressed plant material from the harvesting apparatus onto the stubble in the field over which the apparatus is being operated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: New Holland North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy J. Kraus, Peter P. Haldeman, Kevin J. Shinners
  • Patent number: 6003387
    Abstract: An improved flow sensor is disclosed for use with a crop harvesting device to determine flow volume of a crop yield product. The improved flow sensor is of the type which uses a strain gauge and includes an improved probe coupled to the strain gauge and adapted to cooperate with the strain gauge to produce a signal indicative of pressure being applied to the probe by the crop yield product. The improved probe includes first and second connection members adapted to couple the probe to the strain gauge. A probe middle portion is coupled to each of the first and second connection members and extends from a location between the first and second connection members into a middle portion of the flow path of the crop yield product. First and second probe legs are coupled to and extend from first and second sides of the probe middle portion into first and second sides of the flow of crop yield product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Assignee: Rockwell International Corporation
    Inventors: Tad D. Larson, Kent D. Barnard
  • Patent number: 5953891
    Abstract: For cleaning a sugarcane harvester, a main blower is provided in a lower region of a cleaning chamber and has a vertical blowing out pipe, the blowing out pipe of the main blower faces both chopper rollers of a comminuting device, and a deviating blower is located above the chopper rollers for deviating a main cleaning air stream exiting the vertical blowing out pipe by substantially to direct the same to a discharge hood.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Claas KGaA
    Inventors: Gunter Leigers, Frank Groger, Hillrich Otten
  • Patent number: 5860273
    Abstract: A compliant engagement member for use with tree-shaking apparatus that resists deformation along the axis of vibration, thereby avoiding dissipation of vibrational energy, yet allows sufficient off-axis deformation to prevent slippage and consequent abrasion of the tree. The engagement member includes a pouch for containing a variable amount of a liquid lubricant; means for conducting a liquid lubricant to and from the pouch; and means for flexibly coupling the pouch to the tree-shaking apparatus. The invention preferably also includes a blanket surrounding at least part of the pouch and frictionally engaging both the pouch and the tree, adding further resistance to slippage against (and consequent injury to) the tree. Lateral inward movement of the shaking device compresses the lubricant pouch against the interior of the contact blanket. The pouch either releases lubricant or is packed sufficiently tightly with lubricant to resist deformation as a result of this compression.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Eitan Zehavi
    Inventors: Matti Laserson, Eitan Zehavi
  • Patent number: 5782072
    Abstract: On an automatically-steered cotton harvester, a sensor follows a crop row of cotton plants and sends a signal to a computer controller when the crop row changes its position relative to a row unit on the harvester. The computer controller calculates the amount of deviation between the crop row and the center of the row unit, and sends a control signal to a solenoid valve to actuate a hydraulic cylinder, or to a relay to actuate an electric motor, to laterally move the row unit along a tool bar on which it is mounted to more closely align the row unit with the crop row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1998
    Inventor: H. Wayne Matthews
  • Patent number: 5768866
    Abstract: A system for aqua farming comprises at least one land mass; typically a plurality of approximately rectangular land masses with their sides typically at least about an order of magnitude longer than their ends and defining approximately parallel channels between them in an adjacent body of water. The water moves into the channels and, in a substantial region of each land mass, also moves through it from the channel on one side to the channel on the other side thereof. Filtering means such as sand, gravel, or a mixture of sand and gravel, block the movement through the land masses of most of the pieces of solid matter that may be present in the water, whose smallest cross section is larger than a predetermined size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Inventor: Walter W. Minnich
  • Patent number: 5758479
    Abstract: A method and device for harvesting hay are disclosed. The method includes injecting steam into hay as it is being processed by a baler. Typically, the hay will be subjected to steam as it is lifted into the baler, and then subjected to steam as it passes through a feed chamber of the baler. Preferentially, the hay will be saturated with steam less than two seconds before it is formed into a bale of hay. The device includes a conventional baler having one or more steam manifolds disposed so as to emit steam into the hay between the point it is picked up by a pick-up mechanism, and the point at which it is ultimately formed into a bale of hay. By saturating the hay with steam, dew moisturization is simulated and less loss occurs. However, the moisture content reading in the resulting bale of hay decreases much more rapidly than dew moistened hay, thus decreasing spoilage and increasing the amount which may be sold to the most lucrative markets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: David Staheli
    Inventor: David H. Staheli
  • Patent number: 5749209
    Abstract: A single lever height adjustment mechanism for adjusting the height of an associated mower has an adjustment bracket fixedly attached to the mower body, front and back pivot assemblies operatively connected to the axles of the mower, a control rod connecting the front and back pivot assemblies, an adjustment lever, and a lift assisting torsion spring. To adjust the position of the mower blade relative to the lawn, the operator moves the adjustment lever causing the back pivot assembly to raise or lower the back wheels relative to the mower body and causing the front pivot assembly to raise or lower the front wheels relative to the mower body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: MTD Products Inc
    Inventor: Scott Thomason
  • Patent number: 5704199
    Abstract: A method for moving a shearbar (102) towards a fixed stop (109), wherein the method comprises the steps of; energizing a bidirectional motor (110/112) for driving a guide screw (106/108) to move the shearbar towards the fixed stop (109), monitoring a variable indicative of the torque or force output of the motor (110/112), limiting the torque or force output to a first maximum value, moving the shearbar (102) against the fixed stop (109) and stalling the motor (110/112) thereby, deenergizing the motor (110/112), when the resulting torque or force output reaches or exceeds the first maximum value; and energizing the motor (110/112) for moving the shearbar (102) in the opposite direction, away from the stop (109), while not limiting the torque or force output or while limiting the same to a second maximum value, which is substantially larger than the first maximum value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: New Holland North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Bert Juul Frans Paquet, Dirk Cyriel Andre Ameye
  • Patent number: 5666796
    Abstract: A beater rod assembly for a crop harvesting machine where the beater rods rotate into and out of a crop row as the harvesting machine moves along the crop row. Each beater rod comprises an elongate fiberglass core surrounded by polyethylene sheath that exerts compressive forces radially inwardly around the fiberglass core. This arrangement alleviates damage to the fiberglass core that would otherwise occur by the tip end of the rod engaging posts or possibly engaging the tip end of another rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: Korvan Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald L. Korthuis
  • Patent number: 5560190
    Abstract: Method for the automated harvesting of headed row crops, including lettuce, optionally leaving at least the crop root in the ground, and an apparatus to practice the method. The present invention provides a methodology to locate crop stems, separate the outer leaves from the head, grip the stem and harvest the head. Gripping the stem is accomplished with at least one pneumatic gripping bladder. Substantially simultaneous to gripping the head, the head is separated from the core and stem. One method to accomplish this separation is by means of a pair of differential pneumatic bladders which frees the head from the core at the center of the head, leaving the core and the outer leaves attached to the stem and root. Alternatively, a second separation method taught herein is the application of a downward force applied to the top of the head by a pneumatic bladder. The two separation schemes may be used conjointly or in the alternative.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Inventor: James N. Ottaway
  • Patent number: 5540143
    Abstract: A hay baler or bale compressor capable of producing aerated bales of hay which can be effectively stored and shipped. Specifically, the baler includes a packer mechanism which operates to retrieve and compress individual capsules of hay and a plunger or piston that compresses the individual precompressed capsules into a large bale while simultaneously cutting and removing portions of the capsules. The plunger includes at least one tubular cutter which extends through the plunger and projects a desired distance from the face of the plunger. In operation, each time the plunger compresses the plunger load, plugs of hay are cut from capsules making up the load and passed through the tubular cutter to the throat of the baler. If a plurality of holes are formed, proper spacing of the holes allows the hay to breathe and, thus, permits shipment of large and small bales of hay without fear of premature spoiling or fire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1996
    Assignee: Quality Hay of Iowa, Co.
    Inventors: Velere D. Stromer, Harold R. Winston
  • Patent number: 5499490
    Abstract: A method of farming in which plants are grown on a land mass adjacent to a body of water so that separated plant parts such as apples fall into the water and are harvested from the water. The land mass is sloped so that the plant parts are encouraged to enter the water. The body of water is contained in uniform canals and can be used for raising aquatic food products such as fish. Locks or a flow tube are used to interconnect water at different levels. Food products are harvested from the water using a boat, a conveyor or a water elevator which has a tube for receiving food product from the water and lifting it to a fluid displacement container using a pressurized fluid. The fluid displacement container reduces the length of fall of food product by providing a liquid surface near the top of the container. As the liquid is displaced by the food product, it leaves the container through a drain located near the top of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1996
    Inventor: Walter W. Minnich
  • Patent number: 5495708
    Abstract: A harvester for harvesting grapes or other fruits from plants. The harvester uses a force balanced shaker head, which rotationally oscillates around a vertical axis. A yoke extends down from the force balanced shaker. The arms of the yoke are attached to a plurality of rods, which shake the plant to harvest the fruit. Two rows of enclosures are provided below the shaker head to catch the fruit. A low profile conveyor transports the collected fruit to storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1996
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventors: Phillip R. Scott, Franklin P. Orlando, Richard K. Warren, Larry L. Slates
  • Patent number: 5423166
    Abstract: A single head grape and raisin harvester is disclosed having a single driven oscillating shaker head mounted on a sub-frame enabling the shaker head to center itself on the row of grape vines being harvested. The single row harvester is also provided with a stretchable conveyor belt mounted on interconnected plastic chain links for reliably transporting grapes or raisins to an elongated discharge conveyor which is positioned transversely when collecting and discharging grapes from the harvester into trucks or boxes and is pivoted parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle,when moving along roadways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1995
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventor: Phillip R. Scott
  • Patent number: 5421148
    Abstract: Tree crops such as citrus fruit is harvested by a mechanical picker by advancing a series of rotating disks into the tree where the disks engage the fruit and pull it from the tree. The picker includes a housing having wheels for movement between rows of trees with a drive gearing assembly in the housing powered from a tractor. Two disk assemblies, each comprising a pair of longitudinally spaced elongated support arms having inside ends supported on the housing, have outside ends supporting a shaft extending longitudinally between the support arms. The disks are arranged in pairs at longitudinally spaced intervals along the shaft with adjacent disks of each pair having oppositely facing surfaces. The arms can be raised and lowered to force the disks into the tree canopies from top to bottom of the trees.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Inventor: John P. Caraway
  • Patent number: 5419253
    Abstract: A method of forming a cylindrical bale of crop material having a generally round cross section. The method is carried out in a round baler performing the steps of picking up crop material as it travels across a field and feeding the picked up crop material into a bale forming chamber in the baler. The crop material is formed into a cylindrical package having a generally round cross section, and then wrapped with at least two separate strips of self adhering tape around the outer periphery to encompass such package and form a bale having a generally round cross section, conforming substantially to the cross section of the cylindrical package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Assignee: New Holland North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Willis R. Campbell
  • Patent number: 5408817
    Abstract: A method of forming bales in a round baler having a crop pickup and a bale forming chamber which is either fixed or expandable during bale formation. In one baler in which the method is readily carried out, the chamber is defined by a flexible apron comprising a plurality of side by side elongated belts trained about a plurality of rolls, a series of transverse crop engaging rolls and a floor roll. The method includes the steps of positioning the round baler to pick up crop material with the pickup, feeding the picked up crop material into the expandable bale forming chamber, sensing the compaction of the crop material in one or more regions during its formation in the bale forming chamber, generating a signal indicative of the level of compaction of the crop material in the region or regions, and repositioning the round baler in response to variations in the signal during expansion of the chamber to maintain the compaction at a predetermined level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Assignee: New Holland North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert A. Wagstaff
  • Patent number: 5394678
    Abstract: The present invention provides for an automated clip control device for maintaining a predetermined clip at varying ground speeds, heights of cut, and other changed conditions. The reel speed of the mower 10 is controlled based upon a feed-back control loop, using as input the ground speed of the mower 10, the actual speed of the reel 48, 50, and 52, the number of blades on the reel, and height of cut, among other factors. A microprocessor 102 uses control process equations to determine the duration of an output pulse width modulated signal which is provided to a valve 702, 706 controlling hydraulic fluid flow to the reel motor 71-75. The target value of the reel speed is determined by reading the desired height of cut value and the number of blades per reel, and then going to a look-up table which contains optimized "linear distance traveled per time grass is cut" values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: The Toro Company
    Inventors: Dana R. Lonn, Fredrick D. Wucherpfennig, William M. Dunford
  • Patent number: 5379577
    Abstract: An improved two-row, four-wheel cane harvester includes first and second front carrier assemblies for carrying cut cane rearward in first and second passageways each passing between the pair of front wheels and then outwardly between the respective front and rear wheels. First and second rear piler assemblies are provided for receiving cane from the respective first and second carrier assemblies and moving the cane transversely before releasing the cut cane across a cut cane row spaced between the first and second rows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1995
    Assignee: LaCane Manufacturing , Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth G. Caillouet
  • Patent number: 5369944
    Abstract: An apparatus for harvesting berries on low plants, such as wild blueberries, is adapted for mounting on the 3-point hitch of a farm tractor. The apparatus has a drum which rotates in a direction such that the lower segments thereof move in a direction against a direction of travel. A plurality of combs having a plurality of fingers generally pointing in a direction of rotation, are mounted at regular angular intervals on this drum. As the apparatus moves over a crop, plants are raked in an ascending movement, retaining thereby the fruits to be harvested. The berries are carried by respective combs atop the drum where emptying of each comb is done by gravity. The rotation of the drum and the corresponding advance of the combs being slower than the free rolling of the berries on the backward face of the drum, the fruits gain speed rapidly to rebound on the back surface of a preceding comb, to thereby jump from the surface of the drum and leap over a gap, reaching into an accept chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Inventor: Ora Robichaud
  • Patent number: 5351468
    Abstract: A mower attachment for selectable side delivery of cut forage crops using a conveyor belt system incorporated in the attachment that is mounted behind the mower in a straddle fashion with at least one shock absorber interconnecting the attachment with the mower to limit vertical separation when traveling over rough ground. The attachment also including a hinged baffle to direct cuttings to the conveyor belt. With the baffle in an open position a portion of the cuttings fall on the conveyor belt and the remainder fall on the ground. Closing the baffle against the conveyor belt causes all cuttings to fall on the baffle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1994
    Inventor: Joel Pominville
  • Patent number: 5343677
    Abstract: A system for mounting row units on an agricultural implement suited for movement across a field. The mounting system comprises a row unit support frame connected to the agricultural implement. The row unit support frame includes a generally horizontal elongated bar on which the row units are individually mounted in laterally adjacent relation relative to each other and such that the row units are prevented from moving fore-and-aft relative to the frame. At least one of the row units is mounted for lateral movement along the bar and relative to the adjacent row unit. An actuator is provided for effecting powered lateral movement of the row unit along the length of the bar. Each actuator is operated under the influence of a sensor which monitors the lateral position of the respective row unit relative to a desirable path on the field and controls operation of the respective actuator to generally align the movable row unit relative to the desirable path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1994
    Assignee: Case Corporation
    Inventors: Michael J. Covington, George H. Hale
  • Patent number: 5339612
    Abstract: A self-adjustable mobile force balanced grape and raisin harvester is disclosed having a pair of driven oscillating shaker heads mounted on sub-frames enabling each shaker head to center itself on the row of grape vines being harvested even when the foliage of the vines are not aligned in a linear path. The harvester is also provided with a pair of stretchable belts mounted on interconnected plastic chain links for reliably transporting grapes or raisins to an elongated discharge conveyor which is positioned transversely when collecting and discharging grapes from the harvester and is pivoted parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle when moving along roadways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1994
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventor: Phillip R. Scott
  • Patent number: 5327708
    Abstract: The crop testing and evaluation system includes a plurality of measuring and testing devices that measure the weight, moisture content, and test weight of a crop. Other measuring devices that test the crop for characteristics such as protein content, sugar content, oil content and color may also be included. Mounting accessories are included in the system for attaching the measuring devices to the crop gathering compartment of a harvesting vehicle. As the crop is harvested and fed to the compartment, periodic readings of the measuring devices are taken by a microprocessor and supplied to a computer for analysis and evaluation. Preferably, the microprocessor and computer are positioned in the cab of the harvesting vehicle within reach of the harvest operator. The present invention also provides an efficient method of evaluating research products, such as plant hybrids and varieties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Inventor: Steven R. Gerrish
  • Patent number: 5325656
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the invention, a speed changing device located between the drum and spindle drives of a cotton picker row unit provides a variable ratio spindle-to-drum speed so that ground and spindle speed can be optimized to match field conditions. An automatic transmission with one or more shift points provides a plurality of gear ratio combinations to optimize spindle speed while ideal harvester ground speed for the prevailing crop conditions is maintained. Shift point selection provides downshifting when the spindle speed begins to exceed the desired maximum RPM and upshifting when the speed drops below a minimum RPM. Alternatively, a compact idler gear arrangement located between the drum and spindle drives on the row unit is shiftable to change the ratio of spindle speed to drum speed without affecting drum speed to ground speed synchronization. In another embodiment of the invention, variable ratio between the drum and spindle drives is provided by introducing an independent spindle drive train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1994
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Joel M. Schreiner, Donald K. Davenport
  • Patent number: 5303533
    Abstract: An improved two-row, four-wheel cane harvester includes first and second front carrier assemblies for carrying cut cane rearward in first and second passageways each passing between the pair of front wheels and then outwardly between the respective front and rear wheels. First and second rear piler assemblies are provided for receiving cane from the respective first and second carrier assemblies and moving the cane transversely before releasing the cut cane across a cut cane row spaced between the first and second rows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 19, 1994
    Assignee: LaCane Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth G. Caillouet
  • Patent number: 5287687
    Abstract: Apparatus is disclosed for picking or harvesting agricultural products from plants on which they were grown. The apparatus is especially useful for harvesting peppers of various types (e.g., chili, bell, etc.). The apparatus includes fingers carried on elongated bars. Opposing bars are inclined relative to the ground and are moved through a circular path such that opposing fingers engage and lift the products and separate them from the plants. The apparatus is very efficient in harvesting agricultural products and does not crush or damage fragile products or the plants on which the products are grown.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 22, 1994
    Assignee: Colorado Harvester, Inc.
    Inventors: Oren D. Urich, Gary L. Urich, Randy L. Urich
  • Patent number: 5282389
    Abstract: An improvement in an apparatus for processing an agricultural crop, which processing apparatus has structure for separating waste from a crop to provide a clean yield product and an elevator for raising and delivering clean yield product to a point of use such as a bin, or the like. The improvement is a structure including an actuating arm for producing a signal indicative of a pressure being applied to the actuating arm. The signal producing structure is mounted to the crop processing apparatus so that the actuating arm intercepts clean yield product discharging from the elevator. This pressure value can be correlated with other data, i.e. combine width, elevator speed, forward speed of the crop processing apparatus, material density (lbs/bundle) to generate a flow rate value that can be continuously plotted to generate a yield map for a field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 1, 1994
    Assignee: Dawn Equipment Company
    Inventors: Stephen M. Faivre, David W. Larson, James H. Bassett
  • Patent number: 5280696
    Abstract: In a method of conditioning crop which is continuously processed by means of movable tools of at least one driven tool carrier, the components of the crop are introduced into spaces between the movable tools of the same tool carrier before at least the stalks are squeezed by the tools by narrowing the interspaces, and the components are subsequently discharged by increasing the interspaces again. In the apparatus for carrying out the method, tools (W) are elongated and shaped in the form of rods, fingers or bristles and are arranged on tool carrier (T) with interspaces (Z) approximately in parallel with each other and at a predetermined adjusted density (G1) at which transverse distances (a1) of at least stalk thickness (d) exist between adjacent tools (W).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 25, 1994
    Assignee: Greenland Geldrop B.V.
    Inventors: Petrus-Maria Quataert, Seerp Venhuizen
  • Patent number: 5253467
    Abstract: The blades on the drum in composting apparatus are arranged obliquely relative to the direction of the helical spiral and also obliquely to the axis of the drum and to the direction of travel of the chassis of the vehicle for moving material toward the center of the drum. Blades adjacent the center of the drum attack the face of a pile of compost material first and create a void, which is then filled by material moved by the following blade, while it is creating another void to be filled by material moved by the next blade and so on to the end of the spiral and the outer ends of the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1993
    Inventor: Fletcher Sims, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5235798
    Abstract: Wholestalk sugar cane loading apparatus includes a movable carriage having fore and aft wheel bases and a basket supported by the carriage generally between the wheel bases and along the longitudinal central axis of the carriage, the basket defining a load carrying surface for holding harvested wholestalk cane in a generally parallel bundle fashion and at an elevational position spaced vertically above the underlying cane field surface.An inclined transfer device is positioned forward of the basket for movement the during gathering of windrowed wholestalk cane for lifting individual wholestalks of cut cane from a resting position upon the cane field ground surface to an elevated discharge position generally above the load carrying surface of the basket, so that cane stalks discharged by the transfer device can fall into the basket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Cameco Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Jacob Giardina, Kenneth Rodrigue
  • Patent number: 5161354
    Abstract: A harvester for harvesting aquatic plants includes a rotatable gate. The rotatable gate subdivides a containment area which is used to hold harvested aquatic plants. The rotatable gate acts to compress harvested aquatic plants and increases harvest capacity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1992
    Assignee: The Lemna Corporation
    Inventors: Victor V. Sygen, David M. Anderson, Lawrence J. DeVore
  • Patent number: 5113644
    Abstract: A blueberry picking machine having a supporting frame from which two brush-like bush contacting members depend. The brush-like bush contacting members rotate freely when they contact a bush. Each bush contacting member is reciprocated vertically by an end driver unit containing counter-rotating weights rotating in a vertical plane to enable each brush-like member to dislodge ripened fruit from each branch contacted. The ripened fruit falls onto a plurality of movable catcher pans from which the fruit can travel to a continuous conveyor belt on each side which carry the fruit to the rear of the machine. A source of air supplies a large volume of air under the catcher pans and also blows air through the conveyor belts to clean the picked fruit. Secondary air sources are provided for blowing additional air through the conveyor belts to further clean the picked fruit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Inventors: Donald Windemuller, Wayne A. Vogel
  • Patent number: 5106339
    Abstract: A system and method of monitoring the moisture of grain as it is being harvested by a combine. The moisture of the grain is continuously measured as the grain is traveling through a clean grain auger of the combine. These moisture measurements are displayed to the combine operator in the cab of the combine. A multiprocessor is provided to sample and store the moisture measurements. The multiprocessor also averages the stored measurements so that the operator can obtain the average moisture content of grain harvested from operator-defined areas of a field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1992
    Assignee: David Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Keith Braun, Larry Stille
  • Patent number: 5101618
    Abstract: A pivoting counterforce brush for use with an underslung grapevine comber for cleaning and positioning shoots of a grapevine overhanging the guide wires of a divided canopy is mounted on the frame of the comber in a position to provide a counterforce against a primary brush of the comber which grooms above the roof portion of the canopy as the comber moves along a path of travel parallel to the guide wires. A spindle is mounted on the comber frame at a level below the roof portion of the canopy. The axis of the spindle is substantially transverse to the path of travel of the comber. A bracket is journalled on the spindle. A rotating brush is mounted on the trailing side of the bracket with the axis about which the brush rotates extending rearwardly from the bracket. A brush driver is mounted on the leading side of the bracket and is coupled to the rotating brush to drive the brush about its axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1992
    Inventor: Tommy L. Oldridge
  • Patent number: 5090307
    Abstract: A shear bolt coupling incorporated in a drive transmission of an agricultural baler comprises a first rotatable member, a second rotatable member disposed coaxial with the first rotatable member, and a shear bolt operatively interconnecting the first and second rotatable members for transmitting power therebetween during normal operation. The shear bolt is arranged to shear off under excessive load conditions in order to interrupt power transmission between the rotatable members and thereby permit the rotatable members to move relative to each other. A shear bolt introducing lever is operatively associated with either the first or the second rotatable member for urging the shear bolt into a drive coupling position wherein the rotatable members are drivingly coupled together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 25, 1992
    Assignee: Ford New Holland, Inc.
    Inventors: Christiaan A. C. Lippens, Victor C. D. Demaecker
  • Patent number: 5083976
    Abstract: In a forage harvester, a microphone is used to detect air-borne sounds waves generated by impacts of a rotating cutterhead on a shear bar during adjustment of the shear bar relative to the cutterhead. In response to the detected sound waves, the microphone produces electrical output signals which are applied to a control circuit, the control circuit producing output signals to selectively drive first and second motors to move one end or the other of the shear bar. The microphone may be mounted in positions remote from the shear bar, such as on side sheets defining lateral limits of the crop feed path, or in the interior of a crop feed roll. A vibration absorbing pad is provided between the microphone and its support to isolate the microphone from mechanical vibrations of the support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 28, 1992
    Assignee: Ford New Holland, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. McClure, John G. Berger
  • Patent number: 5077961
    Abstract: The invention relates to a cutter blade for mowers of harvesting machines the cutter bevel of which comprises two zones of different inclination relative to the blade leaf plane wherein between the zone molded to the cutting edge and the zone extending to the upper blade plane a gradation is provided. It relates furtheron to a method for the production of said cutter bevels on cutting blades of mowers which comprise two zones having different blade angles relative to the blade leaf plane wherein in a first embossing process the zone of the cutter bevel extending to the upper blade plane is pressed into the blade blank in parallel to the cutting edge provided and in a subsequent embossing process, the zone extending to the cutting edge is molded on and the embosssing portion extending beyond the lower blade leaf plane is ground away.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1992
    Inventors: Gustav Schumacher, II, Gunter Schumacher
  • Patent number: 5070682
    Abstract: In a forage harvester having an acoustic detector for sensing air-borne sounds produced by the impact of hard foreign objects on the crop feed mechanism of the harvester, a start-up control is provided for inhibiting the detector output during the intervals when the crop feed mechanism is stopped or being brought up to running speed. In forage harvesters having metal detectors for sensing the presence of metal in the crop material, the electromagnetic sensor in the metal detector inherently produces a noise output signal which is dependent on the speed of the crop feed mechanism, and this signal is used to control the inhibiting of the acoustic detector output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1991
    Assignee: Ford New Holland, Inc.
    Inventor: Carl E. Bohman
  • Patent number: 5048274
    Abstract: Apparatus for controlling multiple functions of an agricultural implement such as a baler or a harvester includes first, second and third hydraulic cylinders which are operated to control first, second and third functions, respectively, of the implement. A shuttle valve is mechanically coupled to the first hydraulic cylinder by a rock shaft so that when the first hydraulic cylinder is retracted and extended, the shuttle valve selectively connects either the second or the third hydraulic cylinder to an independent source of hydraulic fluid. The first hydraulic cylinder is connected to another independent source of hydraulic fluid. In a baler having a bale case, a pickup, a tongue and a bale thrower, the first hydraulic cylinder raises and lowers the pickup, the second hydraulic cylinder moves the tongue between a transport position and an operating position, and the third hydraulic cylinder adjusts the bale thrower relative to the bale case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1991
    Assignee: Ford New Holland, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard E. Jennings
  • Patent number: 5031390
    Abstract: A semi-submersible flotsam harvesting vessel is provided which has gunwale floats and a hinged bow section and which cooperates with a floating receptacle to unload the harvest. The method of harvesting includes swamping the vessel by lifting the bow section to float the flotsam into the hold, closing the bow and energizing the motor to put the hull on plane to drain the water from the flotsam for high speed travel to the floating receptacle where the vessel is again swamped to float the flotsam into the container as the vessel withdraws with bow open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 16, 1991
    Inventor: Charles B. Bryant
  • Patent number: 5007234
    Abstract: An automatic self-guiding lawn mower includes a carriage having first and second sets of electric motors mounted thereon. A blade is operatively connected to and driven by each one of the first set of electric motors for cutting grass, and a wheel is operatively connected to and driven by each one of the second set of motors for moving the carriage. A relay device having at least one trip point is electrically connected to each of the first motors and to the second set of motors. The method of mowing a lawn with the improved lawn mower includes the steps of actuating the first set of motors and attached blades and manually cutting a border around the lawn with the mower. The mower then is positioned adjacent to a peripheral edge of an uncut area of the lawn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1991
    Inventors: Darlene M. Shurman, Gerald L. Shurman, Louis W. Shurman
  • Patent number: 5005345
    Abstract: Improved agricultural technology has increased yields of cereal crops to a level wherein the crop residues left on the land are of such volume as to interfere with the following crop. Historically, these residues have been incinerated and the practice continues to this day, polluting the air, causing health problems, destroying valuable natural plant foods and soil humus. It is the nature of cereal crop residues to degrade slowly because of their low nitrogen content and complex polysaccharide chemical moieties. This application teaches that by crushing and shredding the crop residue and applying a liquid nutrient enrichment medium for the growth of the native soil microflora decay can be accelerated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1991
    Inventors: Joseph A. Pinckard, Paul E. Gill
  • Patent number: 4981011
    Abstract: A lawnmower engine cutoff system interrupts the electrical flow to the ignition system of an engine when a predetermined weight of clippings is contained within the catch bag for grass clippings. Mechanical movement is generated by the weight of the grass clippings contained in the catch bag. This movement is then sent to a switch in the ignition system of the engine. When the movement reaches a predetermined level, the switch in the electrical system of the engine is opened and the engine ceases operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 1, 1991
    Inventor: Ingo Olejak
  • Patent number: 4965993
    Abstract: A mobile plant harvester for harvesting plants having foliage or vines such as cucumbers, includes an inclined main conveyor having an upper run and an inclined gripping conveyor supported by a vertically adjustable sub-frame and having an arcuate lower and upper end portions and parallel upper and lower runs. The foliage gripping conveyor includes a plurality of foliage gripping bars which open when moving around the lower arcuate end portion to gently gather the foliage and crop and then close to grip the foliage and transport the foliage and crop upwardly for release onto the main conveyor with a minimum of crop loss. The harvester also includes means for cutting the foliage horizontally, and means for maintaining the foliage gripping conveyor and foliage cutters at the desired height when moving over rough ground are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 30, 1990
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventors: Lee D. Butler, Franklin P. Orlando, Don H. Lenker
  • Patent number: 4932195
    Abstract: A generally closed circulatory system of tubing between a first heat exchanger built into the shaker head, and a second heat exchanger positioned remote of the first heat exchanger. The closed circulatory system contains a coolant which is coursed through the first heat exchanger whereat heat is pulled from the shaker head into the coolant. The heated coolant is then coursed through the second heat exchanger where the increased heat of the coolant is expelled. The coursing of the coolant through the two heat exchangers is a generally continuous cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 1989
    Date of Patent: June 12, 1990
    Assignee: Ira Compton
    Inventor: Ira Compton
  • Patent number: 4927440
    Abstract: A thrashing system for a vegetable harvester including a plurality of tines on an oscillating shaker head which engage vines and shake the fruit such as cucumbers, from the vines. The fruit is collected on a cross conveyor and the vines are pulled through at least one pair of pinch rolls for discharge on the ground. A full width blower directs high pressure air across the cross conveyor to lift and spread the vines allowing disconnected fruit to fall therethrough onto the cross conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 22, 1990
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventors: Lee D. Butler, Franklin P. Orlando, Don H. Lenker
  • Patent number: RE35917
    Abstract: A mobile harvester of leafy produce has two harvesting sections with a cutter located forwardly for severing the produce from the ground. A continuous belt having a large number of openings moves in a closed path presenting an upwardly facing surface. A low pressure plenum underneath the belt provides a vacuum attraction to the belt upwardly facing for picking up severed produce. An enclosure over the belt protects against wind removal of produce leaves from the belt. The two harvesting sections are individually adjustable for proper height above the ground. .Iadd.A method for harvesting leafy produce using the mobile harvester is also disclosed..Iaddend.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Fresh Choice Produce, Inc.
    Inventors: Rich Fischer, Michael T. Jones