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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1820386 04.10.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001820386
Titel Verbundkopfrahmen
Anmelder Deere & Company, Moline, Ill., US
Erfinder Mossman, Michael Wayne, Silvis, IL 61282, US;
Downey, Michael B, Hampton, 61256, US;
Stone, Eric H, Port Byron, 61275, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 09.02.2007
EP-Aktenzeichen 071020432
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 22.08.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 04.10.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse A01D 41/14(2006.01)A, F, I, 20070725, B, H, EP

Beschreibung[en]

This invention relates to a combine head frame, comprising a laterally-extending upper beam; a laterally-extending lower beam; a left lateral beam having a first end and a second end; and a right lateral beam having a third end and a fourth end.

A combine head is the structure mounted on the front of a combine harvester vehicle to gather crop materials, separate them from the ground, and convey them to a separating section typically disposed inside the vehicle itself.

A combine head frame according to the preamble of claim 1 is described in WO 02/102138 A . The frame comprises a laterally-extending upper beam; a laterally-extending lower beam; a left lateral beam having a first end and a second end; and a right lateral beam having a third end and a fourth end. The left lateral beam extends from its upper end mounted to the center of the left half of the upper beam downwards and inwards to the lower beam to which it is mounted close to the aperture for the feederhouse of the combine. The right lateral beam extends from its upper end mounted to the center of the right half of the upper beam downwards and inwards to the lower beam to which it is mounted close to the aperture for the feederhouse of the combine.

Combine heads typically extend laterally across in front of the combine harvester vehicle itself a distance of 3 to 12 m. Combine heads are typically supported on a 0.9 to 1.8 m wide feeder house that extends forward from the front of the vehicle. 1.5 to 4.5 m of the combine head is cantilevered outward from each side of the feeder house.

Supporting this width of combine head on a narrow 0.9 - 1.5 m width of feeder house requires that the frame of the combine head be extremely strong and stiff. Unfortunately, the stronger and stiffer the combine head is, the heavier it is, and the more force it applies against the ground. Impacts by the ground due to the inertial resistance of this large mass can damage the combine head or structures mounted on it that harvest crops.

Farm equipment manufacturers are under continuous pressure to increase the efficiency of their vehicles. Regarding combines, there is continuous pressure to increase the width of the combine head so it is able to harvest more rows of crop in a single pass. As the combine head is increased in width, however, all of the beams and other members that comprise its frame must be increased in size to handle the increased weight.

What is needed is an improved combine head frame that distributes forces in a manner that permits the frame members and the combine head generally to be reduced in weight.

This object is achieved with the subject matter of claim 1. The dependent claims recite advantageous embodiments of the invention.

The invention is directed to a combine head frame for a combine head. The combine head frame includes a laterally-extending upper beam adjacent to the top of the combine head and a laterally-extending lower beam adjacent to the bottom of the combine head. A left lateral beam has first and second ends, wherein the first end is coupled to a left central portion of the upper beam and the second end is coupled to a left end portion of the lower beam. A right lateral beam has third and fourth ends, wherein the third end is coupled to a right central portion of the upper beam and the fourth end is coupled to a right end portion of the lower beam.

An embodiment of the invention is shown in the drawings, in which:

  • Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a combine and a combine head, with the combine head being configured in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Fig. 2 is a bottom perspective view of a portion of the combine head of Fig. 1.
  • Figs. 3-6 are various perspective views of the combine head frame of the combine head of Fig. 1.
  • Fig. 7 is a perspective view of the upper beam of the combine head frame of Figs. 3-6.
  • Figs. 8-12 are enlarged perspective views of respective portions of the combine head frame of the combine head of Fig. 1.
  • Figs. 13 and 14 are perspective views of another embodiment of a combine head having a lateral extent, i.e., width, shorter than the combine head of Fig. 1.
  • Fig. 15 is a bottom perspective view illustrating the gussets that extend between the lower back beam and the row unit beam in embodiments of the combine heads.

Each of the attached FIGURES is a different view of a combine head and combine head frame taken from different vantage points around the structure. Each FIGURE is oriented with respect to a common orthogonal coordinate system in which the X-axis extends from the origin toward the rear of the vehicle, combine head, and/or combine head frame in a longitudinal direction, the Z-axis extends from the origin vertically, and the Y- axis extends from the origin laterally, e.g., rightwardly, or orthogonal to the other two axes, across the combine vehicle, combine head, and/or combine head frame. The orientation of each picture with respect to the coordinate system is provided on the FIGURES.

Referring now to the FIGURES, and particularly Fig. 1, there is shown a combine vehicle 10 and a combine head 12. Combine vehicle 10 includes a feeder house 14. Combine head 12 is supported on a front end 16 of feeder house 14 in a manner known in the art.

Combine head 12, such as a corn head in the embodiment shown in Fig. 1, includes a plurality of crop gathering units 18, e.g., corn head units. Referring also to Fig. 2, in an embodiment wherein the plurality of crop gathering units 18 are corn head units, each crop gathering unit of the plurality of crop gathering units 18 includes a sub-frame 20 to which harvesting components 22, such as for example a pair of stalk rolls, associated with each individual crop gathering unit are attached.

Combine head 12 includes a combine head frame 100 to which the plurality of crop gathering units 18 is attached. For example, each sub-frame 20 of the plurality of crop gathering units 18 is coupled to combine head frame 100, e.g., by bolts and brackets.

Referring also to Figs. 3-12, combine head frame 100 includes a laterally-extending upper beam 102, a laterally-extending lower beam 104, left and right diagonal descending beams 106, 108, left and right vertical descending beams 110, 112, laterally-extending row unit beam 114, and a plurality of fore-and-aft extending brackets or gussets 116. Upper beam 102 is adjacent to the top of combine head 12, and lower beam 104 is adjacent to the bottom of combine head 12. As shown in the Figs., in the present embodiment upper beam 102 and lower beam 104 are substantially equal in length. Also as shown in the Figs., laterally-extending upper beam 102, laterally-extending lower beam 104, and laterally-extending row unit beam 114 extend in the direction of the Y-axis. Frame 100 also includes a rear wall 118 that is fixed to beams 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, and 112.

Figs. 13 and 14 show a combine head frame 200 with the left and right diagonal descending beams 106, 108 omitted, and relying primarily on the trapezoidal shaped left and right vertical descending beams 110, 112 for the required support.

Referring again to the embodiment of Figs. 1-12, frame 100 defines a rectangular aperture or opening 120 that receives the front end 16 of feeder house 14 that extends from the front of combine vehicle 10. In particular, the combine head 12 is supported by a central portion 122 of upper beam 102. It is this central portion 122 that supports the weight of combine head 12 and transfers it to feeder house 14 and thence to combine vehicle 10 itself.

In traditional prior art construction, upper beam 102 is a single elongate rectangular (or circular) beam that extends from one side of the combine head to the other. Prior art upper beams are made of standard rectangular or circular steel tube stock and have a constant cross-section over their entire lateral length. In the present embodiment illustrated herein, upper beam 102 (see, e.g., Fig. 7) is not made of a single elongated rectangular or round tube, but is constructed from at least three different components that are welded together. The first of these components is a first elongate central member 124 that extends across the top of the aperture 120. Central member 124 forms the central section of the upper beam 102 and is preferably made of rectangular or circular steel tube stock. Upper beam 102 also includes two additional members, a left extension member 126 and a right extension member 128 that are welded to central member 124 to form a single elongate upper beam 102.

Left and right members 126, 128 are not as strong as central member 124. In addition, they weigh less per unit of length than central member 124. Left and right members 126, 128 are preferably inverted U-shaped members having an open bottom, left and right sides (as viewed end-on), and a top surface joined to the left and right sides.

This inhomogeneous beam construction of a stronger and thicker central portion 122 from which weaker and lighter wing portions extend provides a substantial reduction in weight. It also transfers an additional load to lower beam 104 since the left and right members 126, 128 do not support as much weight.

To help offset the additional load applied to lower back beam 104, left and right diagonal descending beams 106, 108 are provided. Left beam 106 is welded at its upper end 106-1 to the upper portions of frame 100, and preferably to upper beam 102 adjacent to the junction of central member 124 to left member 126. Left beam 106 descends downward and leftward and is welded at its bottom end 106-2 to lower portions of frame 100 adjacent to the left end of lower beam 104, and preferably to lower beam 104 itself. In a similar fashion, right beam 108 is welded at its upper end 108-1 to the upper portions of frame 100, and preferably to upper beam 102 adjacent to the junction of central member 124 to right member 128 . Right beam 108 descends downward and rightward and is welded at its bottom end 108-2 to lower portions of frame 100 adjacent to the right end of lower beam 104, and preferably to lower beam 104 itself. As shown, for example, in Figs. 9 and 10, lower beam 104 may have a cross-sectional shape that is polygonal, e.g., rectangular.

Left and right diagonally descending beams 106, 108 are preferably steel tubes, preferably rectangular or alternatively circular. In an alternative embodiment, beams 106, 108 are preferably U-shaped beams that open forward, with their open sides facing the backside of rear wall 118, or downward with their open sides facing the ground.

Frame 100 also includes left and right vertical descending beams 110, 112. Beams 110, 112 are welded to the upper portions of frame 100 at their upper ends adjacent to the left and right junctions of central member 124 and left and right members 126, 128, respectively. Beams 110, 112 extend vertically downward and are welded at their lower ends to lower portions of frame 100, and preferably to lower beam 104 adjacent to the aperture. Beams 110, 112 are preferably U-shaped, having an open side that faces rear wall 118 and two sidewalls that are spaced in increasingly wider distance apart as one descends along each beam 110, 112.

Referring also to Fig. 15, the plurality of gussets 116 extend fore-and-aft (e.g., generally in a direction of the X-axis) between each of row unit beam 114 and lower back beam 104. Each gusset of the plurality of gussets 116 has a proximal end 130 coupled to lower back beam 104 and has a distal end 132 coupled to row unit beam 114. With respect to the plurality of gussets 116, the coupling may be in the form of a welded attachment.

The plurality of gussets 116 are spaced along a lateral extent of lower beam 104 and a lateral extent of row unit beam 114. Referring again to Fig. 2, the plurality of crop gathering units 18 are spaced along the lateral extent of the row unit beam 114, with each crop gathering unit of the plurality of crop gathering units 18 being coupled to the row unit beam 114 of combine head frame 100. The spacing of the plurality of gussets 116 along the lateral extent of the row unit beam 114 is predetermined to accommodate a spacing of the plurality of crop gathering units 18. For example, the spacing of the plurality of gussets 116 may be designed to be applied uniformly to various combine heads of various lengths such that, for example, the spacing of the plurality of gussets 116 of combine head frame 100 of combine head 12 is the same as the spacing of the plurality of gussets 116 of combine head frame 200, even though the lateral extent ,e.g., in the direction of the Y-axis, of combine head frame 100, and in turn combine head 12, is longer than the lateral extent of combine head frame 200.


Anspruch[en]
A combine head frame (100), comprising: a laterally-extending upper beam (102); a laterally-extending lower beam (104); a left lateral beam (106) having a first end (106-1) and a second end (106-2); and a right lateral beam (108) having a third end (108-1) and a fourth end (108-2), characterized in that the first end (106-1) of the left lateral beam (106) is coupled to a left central portion of the upper beam (102) and the second end (106-2) is coupled to a left end portion of the lower beam (104), and that the third end (108-1) of the right lateral beam (108) is coupled to a right central portion of the upper beam (102) and the fourth end (108-2) is coupled to a right end portion of the lower beam (104). The combine head frame (100) of claim 1, wherein the upper beam (102) further comprises a left portion, a central portion and a right portion welded together to form a single elongate member. The combine head frame (100) of claim 2, wherein the left portion and the right portion are lighter per unit length than the central portion. The combine head frame (100) of claim 2 or 3, wherein the central portion is tubular in longitudinal cross-section and the left and right portions are not tubular. The combine head frame (100) of claim 2 or 3, wherein the central portion comprises a rectangular tube and the left and right portions comprise U-shaped members. The combine head frame (100) of one of claims 1 to 5, further comprising left and right vertical beams (110, 112) having upper and lower ends, wherein the upper ends of the left and right vertical beams (110, 112) are coupled to the upper beam (102) on left and right sides, respectively, of a central aperture (120) in the frame (100) for receiving a feeder house, and further wherein the lower ends of the left and right vertical beams (110, 112) are coupled to the lower beam (104) on left and right sides, respectively, of the central aperture (120). The combine head frame (100) of claim 6, wherein the left and right vertical beams (110, 112) are U-shaped in cross-section. The combine head frame of one of claims 1 to 7, further comprising: a laterally extending row unit beam (114); and a plurality of gussets (116) extending fore-and-aft between the row unit beam (114) and the lower beam (104), each gusset (116) of the plurality of gussets (116) having a proximal end coupled to the lower beam (104) and having a distal end coupled to the row unit beam (114). The combine head frame (100) of claim 8, wherein the plurality of gussets (116) are spaced along a lateral extent of the lower beam (104) and a lateral extent of the row unit beam (114). The combine head frame (100) of claim 9, wherein the spacing of the plurality of gussets (116) is designed to be applied uniformly to various combine heads (100) of various lengths. A combine head (12) comprising a combine head frame (100) according to one of the preceding claims and a plurality of crop gathering units (18) coupled to the combine head frame (100). A combine (10) with a combine head (12) according to claim 11 configured for support by the combine (10).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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