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Title:
DATA UNIT FOR A BIN LIFTING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/020894
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention discloses a data unit for use with a bin lifting device that is attached to a refuse container on a refuse truck. The data unit includes sensing means for determining a raised or a lowered position of the bin lifting device and timing means for recording the durations that the bin lifting device is in the raised or lowered position. These durations are compared to pre-programmed constants and a valid operation cycle is counted if the durations exceed the pre¬ programmed constants.

More Like This:
WO/2002/088002TWIN GRAB HEAD
Inventors:
DORRINGTON, Gerald (84 Mobile Road, Pty7490 Airport Industria, ZA)
Application Number:
IB2009/053166
Publication Date:
February 25, 2010
Filing Date:
July 22, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MECHLIFT INVESTMENTS (PTY) LTD (84 Mobile Road, 7490 Airport Industria, ZA)
DORRINGTON, Gerald (84 Mobile Road, Pty7490 Airport Industria, ZA)
International Classes:
B65F3/02; G07C1/00; G07C3/10
Foreign References:
US5014206A
JP2006124120A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GERNTHOLTZ, Richard, Otto, Paul et al. (Dr Gerntholtz Inc, P.O. Box 8, 8000 Cape Town, ZA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A data unit for use with a bin lifting device that is attached to a refuse container on a refuse truck, the data unit including sensing means being adapted to determine if a bin lifting device is in a raised or a lowered position; timing means being adapted to determine a first duration that the sensing means indicates the bin lifting device is in the raised position and a second duration that the sensing means indicates the bin lifting device is in the lowered position; a processing unit being adapted to compare the first and second durations with pre-programmed constants; and counting means being adapted to count a valid operation cycle if the first and second durations exceed the pre-programmed constants.

2. A data unit as claimed in claim 1, in which the sensing means includes a single sensor being adapted to be activated when the bin lifting device is in the lowered position.

3. A data unit as claimed in claim 1, in which the sensing means includes a single sensor being adapted to be activated when the bin lifting device is in the raised position.

4. A data unit as claimed in claim 1, in which the sensing means includes a first sensor being adapted to determine if the bin lifting device is in a raised position and a second sensor being adapted to determine if the bin lifting device is in a lowered position.

5. A data unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the counting means is adapted to count an invalid operation cycle if the first and second durations do not exceed the pre-programmed constants.

6. A data unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the preprogrammed constants include a time of equal to or greater than IVi seconds for comparison with the first duration.

7. A data unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the preprogrammed constants include a time of equal to or greater than 51Z. seconds for comparison with the second duration.

8. A data unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which includes a tilt sensor being adapted to determine an orientation of a bin lifting device with respect to the vertical or horizontal.

9. A data unit as claimed in claim 8, which is adapted to record a discharge of a refuse container if the tilt sensor senses a change in orientation through an angle of between 40° - 60°.

10. A data unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which is attached to a bin lifting device provided on a refuse truck.

11. A data unit as claimed in any one claims 1 to 9, which is attached to a tailgate of a refuse truck on which the bin lifting device provided.

12. A data unit as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which includes a GPS locator being adapted to record a location at which a valid operation cycle, an invalid operational cycle or a discharge of a refuse container is counted.

13. A data unit substantially as hereinbefore described and illustrated with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings.

14. A bin lifting device for a refuse truck including a data unit as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13.

15. A refuse truck including a data unit as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13.

Description:
DATA UNIT FOR A BIN LIFTING DEVICE

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a data unit for a bin lifting device.

More particularly, the present invention relates to a data unit for a bin lifting device being adapted to capture logistical data relating to the operation of the bin lifting device.

BACKGROUND TO INVENTION

Various bin lifting devices are known for use in the emptying of refuse bins into a refuse truck. Often municipalities or companies operating the refuse truck require logistical data relating to the operation of the bin lifting device so as to determine the work done by operators of the bin lifting device, namely the refuse truck personnel. This data assists the municipalities in confirming the likelihood that all refuse bins in an area (e.g. a suburb) have been emptied and also in determining the amount of time taken to complete the task.

In first world countries, many refuse trucks have electronically controlled refuse bin lifting devices, wherein the electronic signals are monitored and reported by data loggers already fitted to the truck. These electronic signals count the number of refuse bins that are lifted per day. In such systems it is also common to record the precise GPS location at which a lifting operation took place.

However, in many third world countries the bin lifting devices are mostly manually controlled by the personnel by moving a control lever. Simple incremental counters are often fitted to these bin lifting devices to count the number of times that they have been properly operated per day. Due to fraudulent behaviour and laziness on the part of some refuse truck personnel, they occasionally attempt to increase the readings on the counters by simulating the lifting and emptying of a refuse bin without actually emptying consecutive bins. When performing a simulated lifting operation, the personnel repetitively and continuously raise and lower the same refuse bin leading to an incorrect count being recorded. It is an object of the invention to suggest a data unit for a bin lifting device, which will assist in overcoming these problems.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

According to the invention, a data unit for use with a bin lifting device that is attached to a refuse container on a refuse truck, includes sensing means being adapted to determine if a bin lifting device is in a raised or a lowered position; timing means being adapted to determine a first duration that the sensing means indicates the bin lifting device is in the raised position and a second duration that the sensing means indicates the bin lifting device is in the lowered position; a processing unit being adapted to compare the first and second durations with pre-programmed constants; and counting means being adapted to count a valid operation cycle if the first and second durations exceed the pre-programmed constants.

The sensing means may include a single sensor being adapted to be activated when the bin lifting device is in the lowered position.

The sensing means may include a single sensor being adapted to be activated when the bin lifting device is in the raised position.

The sensing means may include a first sensor being adapted to determine if the bin lifting device is in a raised position and a second sensor being adapted to determine if the bin lifting device is in a lowered position.

The counting means may be adapted to count an invalid operation cycle if the first and second durations do not exceed the pre-programmed constants.

The pre-programmed constants may include a time of equal to or greater than IV2 seconds for comparison with the first duration.

The pre-programmed constants may include a time of equal to or greater than 5V2 seconds for comparison with the second duration.

The data unit may include a tilt sensor being adapted to determine an orientation of a bin lifting device with respect to the vertical or horizontal. The data unit may be adapted to record a discharge of a refuse container if the tilt sensor senses a change in orientation through an angle of between 40° - 60°.

The data unit may be attached to a bin lifting device provided on a refuse truck.

The data unit may be attached to a tailgate of a refuse truck on which the bin lifting device provided.

The data unit may include a GPS locator being adapted to record a location at which a valid operation cycle, an invalid operational cycle or a discharge of a refuse container is counted.

The invention extends to a refuse truck or to a bin lifting device provided with a data unit as set out herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING

The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying schematic drawing.

In the drawing there is shown a perspective view of refuse truck provided with a data unit according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING

Referring to the drawing, a refuse truck is shown being generally indicated by reference numeral 10. The refuse truck 10 includes a refuse container 12 having a tailgate 14 to which is attached a bin lifting device 16. The tailgate 14 is pivotally attached to the container 12 along its upper edge by one or more suitable hinges 20. A data unit 18 in accordance with the invention is operatively joined to the bin lifting device 16 and is preferably either mounted on the bin lifting device 16 or on the tailgate 14.

The data unit 18 is an electronic monitoring device with one or more position sensors that are able to determine if the bin lifting device 16 is in a raised or lowered position and further being able to record the duration that the bin lifting device 16 is in such raised or lowered position. In one first embodiment a single sensor, e.g. such as a button to be pressed, is provided to be activated when the bin lifting device 16 is in the lowered position. Alternatively, the single sensor can be provided to be activated when the bin lifting device 16 is in the raised position. In a further second embodiment two sensors are provided, one each being located to be activated when the bin lifting device 16 is respectively in the lowered position and in the raised position.

The data unit 18 has additional tilt sensors being adapted to determine the tilt orientation of the data unit 18 with respect to the vertical or horizontal.

As stated above, when a simulated lifting operation is performed, the same refuse bin is left located on the bin lifting device 16 and is then repetitively and continuously raised and lowered to cause an incorrect count to be recorded by the conventional incremental counter. However, it has been statistically determined that for a refuse bin to be properly emptied, it should be in the raised inverted position for a certain period of time, being at least Wi seconds, to allow the refuse therein to be emptied into the container 12. Thereafter, once the bin lifting device 16 is lowered, it again takes a certain period of time, being at least 5Vi seconds, for the now empty refuse bin to be exchanged for a new full refuse bin.

The data unit 18 includes a processing unit, which is programmed with a mathematical algorithm, that calculates the likelihood of whether or not a valid operational cycle has been performed being dependent on the period of time that the bin lifting device 16 is in the raised and lowered positions.

If the bin lifting device 16 is in the raised position for less than Wi seconds, then the data unit 18 will not record the operational cycle as a proper cycle but may record it as a potentially false operational cycle. The data unit 18 will only record the operational cycle as being proper if the bin lifting device 16 is in the raised position for more than IVi seconds.

Alternatively, if the bin lifting device 16 is in the lowered position for less than 5Vi seconds, then the data unit 18 will also not record the operational cycle as a proper cycle but again may record it as a potentially false operational cycle. The data unit 18 will only record the operational cycle as being proper if the bin lifting device 16 is in the lowered position for more than 5Vi seconds. These two calculations can be combined, wherein if the bin lifting device 16 is in the raised position for less than Vh seconds or is subsequently in the lowered position for less than 5 1 Z. seconds, then the data unit 18 will not record the operational cycle as a proper cycle but may record it as a potentially false operational cycle. The data unit 18 will only record the operational cycle as being proper if the bin lifting device 16 is in the raised position for more than IV2 seconds and is subsequently in the lowered position for more than 5 1 /. seconds.

Once the refuse container 12 is full or if all the required refuse bins have been emptied, the refuse truck 10 will travel to and discharge its load at a suitable landfill, incinerator, transfer point, etc. Again, the municipalities often require data relating to the place and time where the refuse load was discharged.

Normally in order to empty the refuse container 12, the container 12 is opened by raising and pivoting the tailgate 14 around hinge 20 through an angle of more than 40° - 60°. Since the data unit 18 is mounted either to the tailgate 14 or to the bin lifting device 16, which is in turn mounted to the tailgate 14, the data unit 18 will itself also be rotated through the 40° - 60 degree angle. This enables the data unit to record the time at which the container 12 was opened to be emptied.

Optionally the data unit 18 can include a GPS locator for recording the location at which a valid bin lifting operation is performed or also the position at which the refuse load was discharged from the refuse container 12.

The data unit 18 can be retrofitted to any existing refuse truck 10.