FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to reel type mowers and, more particularly,
relates to reel type mowers having a positionable discharge safety guard.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Reel type mowers are well known in the art and provide many distinct
cutting advantages over conventional rotary type mowers. In particular, the mechanical
cooperation between the spinning reel blade assembly and the fixed blade serves
to promote a desirable cut. The spinning reel blade assembly generally includes
a plurality of blade members fixedly mounted on a horizontal axis for rotation therewith.
In operation, the grass, or other vegetation, is drawn between one
of the plurality of blade members and the fixed blade to produce a cutting action.
The cut grass is then discharged to the ground surface for decomposition (i.e. mulching
mode) or to a catch basket for disposal (i.e. bagging mode). Traditionally, reel
type mowers are configurable to operate in both mulching mode or bagging mode.
Although many reel type mowers have proven themselves safe and reliable
over many years of service, recently there has been a renewed interest to provide
additional safety features to ensure their continued safe operation.
Accordingly, there exists a need in the relevant art to provide a
safety guard to prevent operator error from leading to an accident or injury when
using a reel type mower. Furthermore, there exists a need in the relevant art to
provide a safety guard for a reel type mower that may be easily configurable for
use in a bagging mode and mulching mode. Still further, there exists a need to overcome
the disadvantages of the prior art.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to the principle of the present invention, a reel type mower
having an advantageous construction is provided. In one aspect the invention provides
a powered reel-type mower having a guard device moveable between a first position
in which it conceals the cutting reel and an open position revealing the cutting
reel. In another aspect, the reel type mower includes a mobile structure and a ground
engaging traction member rotatably coupled to the mobile structure. The ground engaging
traction member imparts traction movement to the mobile structure for movement on
the ground at a ground speed. A power device is supported on the mobile structure
and outputs a driving force to the ground engaging traction member. A bed knife
is supported by the mobile structure having a cutting edge that cooperates with
a grass cutting reel rotatably supported on the mobile structure. A collection apparatus
is engagable with the mobile structure or removable from the mobile structure for
collecting the grass clippings. A guard device is pivotally coupled to the mobile
structure and is positionable in a closed position concealing the grass cutting
reel and an opened position revealing the grass cutting reel. An actuation system
may drive the guard device into the closed position when the collection apparatus
is removed from the mobile structure and may drive the guard device into the opened
position when the collection apparatus is engaged with the mobile structure.
This invention involves the realisation that such a mower provides
additional protection, when operating in the bagging mode, as operators empty the
bagging component numerous times during mowing. During this emptying procedure,
the engine may continue to run and, additionally, in some cases the plurality of
blade members may continue to turn. Although the operator's hands are not typically
near the plurality of blade members, it is desired to have additional protection
to prevent operator error and accident.
Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become
apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood
that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred
embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and
are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed
description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
- FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a reel type mower according to the
principles of the present invention; and
- FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view illustrating the mowing unit of the present
The following description of the preferred embodiment is merely exemplary
in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or
With reference to the figures, FIG. 1 illustrates a greens mower 10
incorporating the principles of the present invention. Greens mower 10 is a reel-type
mower having a base portion 12 and a floating or articulating mowing unit 14. Mowing
unit 14 is articulately coupled to base portion 12 through a pivoting mechanism
Mowing unit 14 includes a rotatable greens mower reel 18 having spiraled
blades 20 equally spaced around a reel shaft 22. As best seen in FIG. 2, reel shaft
22 is generally elongated and defines a rotation axis 24 extending along the length
of reel shaft 22. A conventional fixed bed knife (not shown) is operably mounted
to mowing unit 14. Blades 20 orbit relative to shaft 22 and move past the fixed
bed knife for the usual and well-known function of cutting the grass. Mowing unit
14 further includes a pair of ground engaging rollers 26 (FIG. 1) rotatably mounted
along a forward and rearward portion of mowing unit 14. The pair of ground engaging
rollers 26 serve to support mowing unit 14 for movement on the ground. The pair
of ground engaging rollers 26 are preferably adjustable to define a cutting height.
Base portion 12 generally includes an internal combustion engine 32,
a frame 34, a lawn roller 36, a drive system 38, and a handle assembly 40. Internal
combustion engine 32 is of conventional design and is mounted on frame 34.
Lawn roller 36 is rotatably mounted to frame 34 through a roller axle
46. Lawn roller 36 supports base portion 12 on the ground and serves as the traction
drive for greens mower 10. Other ground-supporting traction members could be substituted.
Drive system 38 is operably coupled between an output shaft 48 and lawn roller 36.
Drive system 38 generally includes a drive pulley (not shown) mounted to output
shaft 48 for rotation therewith and an idler pulley (not shown) mounted to lawn
roller 36 for rotation therewith. A drive belt (not shown) extends between the drive
pulley and the idler pulley to transfer drive force from internal combustion engine
32 to lawn roller 36. Thus, there exists a traction drive train from internal combustion
engine 32 to the ground-engaging lawn roller 36 capable of driving greens mower
10 in at least a forward direction.
Still referring to FIG. 2, a safety guard device 50 is illustrated
incorporated with mowing unit 14. Safety guard device 50 includes a flap device
52 that is hingedly mounted between side members 54 along an axis 56. Flap device
52 is positionable between a raised open position (see FIG. 2) and a lowered closed
position. In the raised open position, flap device 52 pivots upward about hinge
axis 56 to reveal a discharge opening 58. Discharge opening 58 permits the free
discharge of grass clippings into a collection bag 60 (shown in phantom in FIG.
1). In the lowered closed position, a distal end 62 of flap device 52 contacts a
support bar 64 extending between side members 54. In this lowered closed position,
distal end 62 may rest upon support bar 64. In this lowered closed position, grass
clippings will continue to be mulched and discharged out the bottom of mowing unit
Still referring to FIG. 2, safety guard device 50 further includes
an actuation system 66 is coupled between flap device 52 and, preferably, side member
54. Actuation system 66 is operable to position flap device 52 between the raised
open position and the lowered closed position. Actuation system 66 may be any one
of a number of different systems, including a hydraulic system wherein a hydraulic
fluid actuates a hydraulic piston capable of extending and retracting so as to open
and close flap device 52. Alternatively, actuation system 66 may be an electric
solenoid system wherein a solenoid device is energized to open and close flap device
52. Still further, actuation system 66 may be a biasing member, such as a spring,
that biases flap device 52 to a opened or closed position such that when collection
bag 60 is removed, flap device 52 moves into the lowered closed position.
A switch 70 is further provided coupled to side member 54 of mowing
unit 14. Switch 70 cooperates with collection bag 60 to provide a signal to activate
actuation system 66. In the case of actuation system 66 having an electronic solenoid,
switch 70 may simply be an electronic switch member that provides or cuts-off electrical
power to the solenoid when triggered by the removal of collection bag 60, thereby
moving flap device 52 into the lowered closed position. In the case of actuation
system 66 being a hydraulic system, switch 70 may be an electrical or hydraulic
switch capable of either establishing or preventing fluid communication with hydraulic
piston, thereby moving flap device 52 into the lowered closed position.
The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and,
thus variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to
be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as
a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Each feature disclosed in this specification (which term includes
the claims) and/or shown in the drawings may be incorporated in the invention independently
of other disclosed and/or illustrated features.
Statements in this specification of the "objects of the invention"
relate to preferred embodiments of the invention, but not necessarily to all embodiments
of the invention falling within the claims. The description of the invention with
reference to the drawings is by way of example only.
The text of the abstract filed herewith is repeated here as part of
A reel type mower having a mobile structure and a ground engaging
traction member rotatably coupled to the mobile structure. The ground engaging traction
member imparts traction movement to the mobile structure for movement on the ground
at a ground speed. A power device is supported on the mobile structure and outputs
a driving force to the ground engaging traction member. A bed knife is supported
by the mobile structure having a cutting edge that cooperates with a grass cutting
reel rotatably supported on the mobile structure. A collection apparatus is engagable
with the mobile structure or removable from the mobile structure for collecting
the grass clippings. A guard device is pivotally coupled to the mobile structure
and is positionable in a closed position concealing the grass cutting reel and an
opened position revealing the grass cutting reel. An actuation system drives the
guard device into the closed position when the collection apparatus is removed from
the mobile structure and drives the guard device into the opened position when the
collection apparatus is engaged with the mobile structure.