The present invention relates to a sweeping machine of the type comprising
a main support housing, mounting by means of pivotal support arms, a rotatable
cylindrical brush operated by a drive motor, the brush being mounted adjacent a
debris skip, in turn, pivotally mounted in the main support housing and having
releasable locking means whereby release of the locking means and raising of the
machine above the ground causes the skip to pivot for discharge of any brushed
In many instances, such sweeping machines are advantageously carried
on the forks of a forklift truck or on the three-point linkage of a tractor. Unfortunately,
as the standard of cleanliness required in areas, where such sweeping machines
are used, rise, the efficiency of such sweeping machines has not risen commensurately.
Thus, many such sweeping machines are relatively inefficient in action, either
sweeping inefficiently or causing a considerable amount of dust and debris to fly
around the area. To ensure that the brush can undergo some adjustment as it wears,
it is known to mount the brushes on these pivotal arms. Unfortunately, the actual
brushing has not been heretofore sufficiently efficient and the ground contact
has not been good enough heretofore to provide efficient sweeping. A further problem
is that of safety. What must be appreciated is that when, for example, the sweeping
machine is mounted on the forks of a forklift truck or on the three-point linkage
of a tractor, when the sweeping machine is raised to empty, the pivoting of the
skip is quite violent, as it were, and accidents happen and in particular, accidents
have happened when the sweeping machine has not been correctly secured to either
the three-point linkage of the tractor or more importantly, to the forks of the
forklift. A major problem is therefore to ensure that not alone can the sweeping
machine be efficiently mounted on the forks of a forklift but further, that it
can be mounted in such a way that the forks will be securely mounted on the sweeping
machine and will not disengage therefrom during use.
A further problem with known sweeping machines is the ensure that
the bucket or skip efficiently collects all the debris and retains it within the
Accordingly, the present invention is directed towards providing a
sweeping machine which will be efficient in use, will be more safely mounted, for
example, on the forks of a forklift and will generally improve the sweeping capabilities
of such machines.
Statements of Invention
According to the invention, there is provided sweeping machine of
the type comprising a main support housing, mounting by means of pivotal support
arms, a rotatable cylindrical brush operated by a drive motor, the brush being
mounted adjacent a debris skip, in turn, pivotally mounted in the main support
housing and having a skip release mechanism whereby release of the locking means
and raising of the machine above the ground causes the skip to pivot for discharge
of any brushed debris therein, characterised in that there is provided a fork hanger
for mounting the fork of a forklift comprising an elongate socket having top, bottom
and side plates and an open mouth for reception of the fork, and a releasable locking
mechanism comprising a channel shaped hanger bracket having a fork retaining bar
and two arms, the arms being pivotally mounted on the side plates and movable
between a fork retaining position with the retaining bar across and spaced-apart
from the open mouth of the socket to a position free of the open mouth to allow
insertion of the fork and releasable securement means for mounting the hanger bracket
in the fork retaining position. This ensures that the sweeping machine will always
be firmly mounted on the forklift truck or on the back of a three point linkage
of a tractor and can be easily connected and removed therefrom in safety.
Ideally, the releasable securement means comprises an extension plate
mounted on one of the arms and projecting away from the retaining bar and movable
from a position against the arm to a position spaced-apart therefrom and an open
mouthed extension plate receiving slot formed from a pair of laterally projecting
plates on the exterior of the socket whereby movement of the extension plate (65)
away from the arm disengages it from the slot to allow pivotal movement.
In one embodiment, the extension plate is urged by a spring against
According to the invention, there is also provided a support frame
for attaching the sweeping machine to the three-point linkage of a tractor comprising
an upright frame carrying on one face thereof, a pair of forwardly projecting fork-like
members and on the other face thereof, three link sockets for mounting on the three-point
linkage of the tractor. This allows the use of the invention with the three-point
linkage of a tractor which can be very important where a forklift truck or the
like is not available.
Ideally, the skip release mechanism comprises:-
- a pivot arm pivotally mounted on the main support housing;
- a roller mounted adjacent the free end of the arm;
- a stop mounted on the exterior of the skip; and
- means for pivoting the arm into and out of engagement with the stop.
In this latter embodiment, the arm is pivotally mounted intermediate
its ends by a pivot pin and the means for pivoting the arm is a fluid operated
ram connected to the arm adjacent the end remote from the roller.
Ideally, the pivotal support arms are spring biased downwards for
In this latter embodiment, preferably, the springs are adjustable.
In one embodiment of the invention, the skip comprises a flat base
having a leading edge dose to the brush mounted in the main support housing so
as to extend substantially horizontally away from the brush in the operating position
and in which there is provided rearward of the leading edge an upwardly projecting
retaining lip for the retention of brushed liquids within the skip.
Ideally, the retaining lip comprises a transversely arranged and upwardly
inclined plate behind the leading edge.
Preferably, a further plate extends rearwardly from the uppermost
part of the plate to the base of the skip, the two plates and the base forming
a triangle in cross-section. Ideally, the leading edge of the skip incorporates
a wear plate extending rearwardly to the retaining lip.
One particular suitable construction of skip comprises a bucket-like
member including in cross section, a substantially flat base having a leading edge
positioned dose to the brush and extending rearwardly to a rear wall and then forwardly
to a top wall back across the base towards the brush and a pair of spaced-apart
side plates bridging the base, rear wall and top wall.
Ideally, the top wall extends sufficiently across the base to form
an impact plate for brush debris. In this way, irrespective of how vigorously the
brushing takes place, debris will be retained within the skip. Ideally, the rear
wall is arcuate in shape.
In another embodiment of the invention, there is provided a spray
bar assembly comprising a spray with associated water tanks and pump mounted on
the exterior of the main support housing adjacent the front thereof in the direction
of travel of the sweeping machine and in which the pump has control means linked
to the brush drive motor whereby the pump only operates when the brush is being
Preferably, an auxiliary kerb brush is provided comprising:-
in which the brush assembly comprises:-
- a brush assembly;
- a support arm carrying the brush assembly on one end thereof, its other end
being mounted on the main support frame by a pivot connector for pivotal movement
between a storage position on the machine to a position projecting laterally from
the machine with the brush assembly in the operative position; and
Detailed Description of the Invention
- a support frame;
- a drive shaft carried on the frame;
- a disc mounting a plurality of upstanding bristles on one end of the shaft;
- a drive motor mounted on the support frame; and
- a brush protector comprising a guard rail projecting laterally beyond the disc.
The invention will be more clearly understood from the following description
of an embodiment thereof, given by way of example only, with reference to the
accompanying drawings, in which:-
- Fig. 1 is a front view of a sweeping machine according to the invention,
- Fig. 2 is a plan view,
- Fig. 3 is a side view,
- Fig. 4 is a partially cut away view and diagrammatic view showing the brush
- Fig. 5 is a detail sectional view through the skip,
- Fig. 6 is a perspective view of a fork hanger according to the invention,
- Fig. 7 is a sectional view along the lines VII-VII of Fig. 6,
- Fig. 8 is a view similar to Fig. 7 showing the fork hanger in the open fork
- Fig. 9 is a side view of the sweeping machine showing the skip and brush within
- Fig. 10 is a detailed view of the circled portion of Fig. 9,
- Fig. 11 is a perspective view of a kerb brush forming part of the sweeping
- Fig. 12 is a perspective view of a mounting for use with the three-point linkage
of a tractor.
Referring to the drawings and initially to Figs. 1 to 3, there is
illustrated a sweeping machine, indicated generally by the reference numeral 1,
comprising a main support housing 2 having two fork hanger brackets, indicated
generally by the reference numeral 3, a skip release mechanism 4, and cantilevered
support arms 5 mounting jockey wheels 6. A spray bar assembly comprising water
tanks 7, pipes 8, a pump 9 and a spray nozzle 10 are also mounted in the exterior
of the main support housing 2. The pump 9 is linked to a drive for a cylindrical
sweeping brush described below. A kerb brush, indicated generally by the reference
number 15, is mounted by means of a cantilevered support arm 16 on the side of
the main support housing 2.
Referring now specifically to Figs. 4, 5, 9 and 10, there is illustrated
a cylindrical brush, indicated generally by the reference numeral 20, on a shaft
21 mounted by pivotal support arms 22 on the main support housing 2. A drive motor
23 is also shown for the shaft 21. A spring 25 is mounted by a support 26 on the
main housing 2 and is connected at its other end at 27 to the shaft 21. A skip,
indicated generally by the reference numeral 30 is illustrated in Figs. 5, 9 and
10 and comprises a flat base 31 having a leading edge 32 formed by a wear plate
33. The flat base 31 extends substantially horizontally away from the brush in
the operating position as can be seen in Fig. 9. Rearward of the leading edge,
there is provided an upwardly projecting lip, indicated generally by the reference
numeral 35. It will be noted that the lip 35 is formed from a pair of inclined
plates 36 which together with the base 31, form a triangle in cross section.
The base 31 extends into an arcuate rear wall 38 which then extends
around to a top wall 39 which projects across the base 31 towards the brush 20.
A pair of side plates 40 complete the construction of the main portion of the skip.
What is important to note is that the leading edge 41 of the top wall 39 extends
across the base 31 and is designed to project sufficiently across the base so that
any debris thrown up by the rotating brush 20 will impact onto the top wall 39
which therefore forms an impact plate for brush debris. Suitable pivots are provided
on the side plates 40 to mount the skip 30 in the main support housing but are
not shown in the drawings.
Mounted on the exterior of the rear wall 38 is a stop formed from
a piece of angle iron having a top face 43 and a front face 44. The remainder of
the skip release mechanism 4 comprises means for pivoting an arm, a ram 45 mounted
by a support 46 on the main support housing 2 and mounting on its other end, a
pivot arm 47 carrying on its free end, a roller 48 which is shown lying on the
top face 43 of the angle iron. The pivot arm 47 is mounted on a pivot pin 49 intermediate
its ends. In use, extending the ram 45 in the direction of the arrow A, will cause
the pressure to go off the roller 48 to cause the roller 48 to disengage from the
top face 43 and for the skip to pivot and empty. The support housing is in the
raised position when this happens and the debris will fall out of the skip 30.
Then, the sweeping machine is lowered to the ground, the base 31 of the skip lying
on the ground, and the skip will pivot back into its previous position, the front
face 44 of the angle iron contacting and passing under the roller 48.
Referring now to Figs. 6, 7 and 8, there is illustrated one of the
fork hanger brackets 3 in more detail. The hanger bracket 3 comprises an elongate
socket having a top plate 50, a bottom plate 51, side plates 52 and an open mouth
for reception of the fork of a forklift. There is further provided a releasable
locking mechanism comprising a channel-shaped hanger bracket having a fork retaining
bar 53 mounted by means of side plates forming arms 54 mounted by pivots 55 on
the side plates 52. A releasable securement means, indicated generally by the
reference numeral 60, is provided by a length of channel forming an extension plate
receiving slot 61 by means of two laterally projecting plates 62 on one of the
side plates 52. An extension plate 65, having a handle 66, engages the pivot 55
by means of a slot 67 and is supported on the side plate 54 by a spring loaded
bolt 68 carrying a spring 69. The extension plate 65 is movable away from the
side plate 54 and is urged back into engagement therewith by means of the spring
69. In operation, the locking mechanism 60 is pivoted into the position illustrated
in Fig. 8 by withdrawing the handle 66 so as to withdraw the retaining plate 65
out of the receiving slot and hence allows it to pivot. Then, the fork of a forklift
truck is entered into the socket and the locking mechanism is put back into the
position illustrated in Fig. 6 now with the fork of the forklift, as shown by the
interrupted lines and identified by the reference numeral 70, secured therein.
Referring now to Fig. 11, the kerb brush 15 comprises a brush assembly
comprising, by a plurality of bristles 71 and a support frame 77 mounted on a disc
72 which in turn is mounted on a vertical drive shaft 73 driven by a hydraulic
drive motor 75, A brush protector, namely, a guard rail 76, formed by an annular
rim is provided. The guard rail 76 projects beyond the disc 72. The support arm
16 is pivotally mounted by a pivot connector 77 on the main support housing 2 (see
Referring now to Fig. 12, there is illustrated an adaptor, indicated
generally by the reference numeral 80, for mounting the sweeping machine 1 on a
three-point linkage of a tractor. The adaptor 80 comprises essentially an A frame
81 having mounting sockets for the three-point linkage of the tractor, namely,
a top link socket 82 and lower link sockets 83 and carrying forwardly directed
tines 84 for insertion within the fork hanger brackets 3.
In use, the sweeping machine 1 is operated in the normal manner. However,
when the spray nozzle 10 is operated, a considerable quantity of water will be
directed over the ground in front of the sweeping machine which will be swept up
by the brush 20 and will then be swept over the lip 35 and thus will be retained
within the skip 30. Further, the particular shape of the skip will ensure that
any debris swept up by the brush 20 falls back into the skip 30 and is not delivered
out of the sweeping machine.
In the specification the terms "comprise, comprises, comprised and
comprising" or any variation thereof and the terms "include, includes, included
and including" or any variation thereof are considered to be totally interchangeable
and they should all be afforded the widest possible interpretation.
The invention is not limited to the embodiments hereinbefore described
but may be varied within the scope of the appended claims.