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Title:
A LIGHTING TOWER ATTACHMENT FOR AN EXCAVATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/084619
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A lighting tower attachment for attachment to an excavator or similar machinery has a telescopic boom having a distal pivot joint pivotally coupling a lighting array thereto and a proximal pivot joint that couples a proximal end of the telescopic boom to an excavator attachment. A boom tilting hydraulic ram acts across the proximal pivot joint to tilt the telescopic boom in use, at least one boom extending hydraulic ram connected to a hydraulic circuit of the excavator acts across telescopic members of the telescopic boom to extend the boom and a lighting array tilting hydraulic ram connected to another hydraulic circuit of the excavator acts across the distal pivot joint to tilt the lighting array to various angles with respect to the boom to direct the light emanating therefrom.

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Inventors:
FLEMING, Rowan (33 Victory Street, West Wyalong, New South Wales 2671, 2671, AU)
HOCKING, Clint (49 Slattery Place, Thurgoona, New South Wales 2640, 2640, AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/051185
Publication Date:
May 09, 2019
Filing Date:
November 02, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FLEMING, Rowan (33 Victory Street, West Wyalong, New South Wales 2671, 2671, AU)
HOCKING, Clint (49 Slattery Place, Thurgoona, New South Wales 2640, 2640, AU)
International Classes:
E02F9/00; B60Q1/24; E02F3/04; F21V21/14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTEC PATENT ATTORNEYS (L11 65 York St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, 2000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A lighting tower attachment for an excavator, lighting tower attachment comprising:

a telescopic boom;

a lighting array;

a distal pivot joint pivotally coupling the lighting array to a distal end of the telescopic boom; an excavator attachment;

a proximal pivot joint pivotally coupling a proximal end of the telescopic boom to the excavator attachment such that a boom tilting hydraulic ram can act across the proximal pivot to tilt the telescopic boom in use;

at least one boom extending hydraulic ram acting across telescopic members of the telescopic boom and at least one hydraulic connection for connecting the at least one boom extending hydraulic ram to at least one respective hydraulic circuit of the excavator in use; and a lighting array tilting hydraulic ram acting across the distal pivot joint and a hydraulic connection for connecting the light array tilting hydraulic ram to a further hydraulic circuit of the excavator in use to pivot the lighting array with respect to the boom.

2. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a hydraulic electric generator electrically connected to the lighting array and a hydraulic connection for connecting the hydraulic electric generator to a yet further hydraulic circuit of the excavator in use.

3. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 1, wherein the distal pivot joint and the boom tilting hydraulic ram are configured for tilting the lighting array between substantially rearward horizontal and forward inclined orientations.

4. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 3, wherein the distal pivot joint and the boom tilting hydraulic ram are configured for tilting the lighting array through greater than 100°.

5. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 1, wherein the telescopic members comprise proximal, intermediate and distal telescopic members and wherein the at least one boom extending hydraulic ram comprises a primary boom extending hydraulic ram acting between the proximal and the intermediate telescopic members and a secondary boom extending hydraulic ram acting between the intermediate and distal telescopic members.

6. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 5, wherein the primary boom extending hydraulic ram is located outside the boom.

7. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 6, wherein the primary boom extending hydraulic ram is located rear of the boom between the boom and the excavator in use.

8. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 5, wherein the secondary boom extending hydraulic ram is located within the boom.

9. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 1, wherein the boom is configured for extending more than 5 m.

10. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 1, wherein the boom is configured for extending more than 8 m.

11. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 1, wherein the proximal end of the boom comprises at least one lateral linear track for engaging the boom tilting hydraulic ram at various locations therealong in use.

12. A lighting tower attachment as claimed in claim 11, further comprising a safety interlock system comprising a rotation sensing transducer to sense the rotation extent of the proximal pivot joint and an extension transducer sensor to sense the extent of extension of the boom and wherein the safety interlock system is configured with rotation and related extension extremity settings and wherein the system is configured for detecting when the proximal pivot joint is rotated beyond a rotation extremity and the boom is extended beyond a related extension extremity.

Description:
A lighting tower attachment for an excavator

Field of the Invention

[1] This invention relates generally to lighting towers more particularly, this invention relates to a lighting tower attachment for an excavator. It should be noted that whereas the present embodiments have been described with reference for attachment to excavators and, in embodiments mini excavators, mini loaders, skid steers and the like, other compatible tractor machinery and the like is envisaged within the scope of the embodiments described herein.

Background of the Invention

[2] Lighting towers are conventionally utilised for constructions and the light for night time illumination. Such lighting towers are typically trailer-borne so as to be able to be towed to appropriate locations for deployment. Once the trailer is parked at an appropriate location, the lighting tower is extended therefrom, illuminated and pointed in the appropriate location for the illumination of a desirous region.

[3] However, trailer born lighting towers are often times inconvenient in terms of site accessibility. Furthermore, the ability to make operational adjustments of the lighting array leaves much to be desired. As such, a need therefore exists for a lighting tower arrangement which will overcome or substantially ameliorate at least some of the deficiencies of the prior art, or to at least provide an alternative.

[4] It is to be understood that, if any prior art information is referred to herein, such reference does not constitute an admission that the information forms part of the common general knowledge in the art, in Australia or any other country.

Summary of the Disclosure

[5] There is provided herein a lighting tower attachment for attachment to an excavator or similar machinery. The attachment comprises a telescopic boom having a distal pivot joint pivotally coupling a lighting array thereto. A proximal pivot joint couples a proximal end of the telescopic boom to an excavator attachment.

[6] A boom tilting hydraulic ram acts across the proximal pivot joint to tilt the telescopic boom in use. Furthermore, at least one boom extending hydraulic ram connected to a hydraulic circuit of the excavator acts across telescopic members of the telescopic boom to extend the boom, up to a height of approximately 8 m in embodiments. Furthermore, a lighting array tilting hydraulic ram connected to another hydraulic circuit of the excavator can act across the distal pivot joint to tilt the lighting array to various angles with respect to the boom to direct the light emanating therefrom and, in embodiments, to a rearward horizontal orientation for stowage atop the canopy of the excavator when not in use.

[7] As such, the present attachment allows for smaller, more portable and less expensive lighting equipment as compared to conventional arrangements. Furthermore, the present attachment can use the existing hydraulic circuits of the excavator to control the extension of the boom, light angle emanating from the lighting array and stowage of the lighting array. Furthermore, the excavator may be manoeuvred to control the position and sideways direction of illumination.

[8] In contradistinction to the prior art, US 5207747 A (GO DIN et al) 04 May 1993 [hereinafter referred to as Dl], GB 1206815 A (POLYMA MASCHINENBAU DR APPELHANNS GMBH) 30 September 1970 [hereinafter referred to as D2] AND CN 103625350 A (OCEANS KING LIGHTING SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CO LTD et al) 12 March 2014 [hereinafter referred to as D3] are typical examples of prior art mobile hydraulically operated lighting towers.

[9] Dl relates to a truck comprising a lighting array coupled to a distal end of an articulating and telescoping boom. Dl has hydraulic rams acting across pivot joints of the boom as well as a lighting array tilting hydraulic ram. Dl does not have an excavator attachment and a proximal pivot joint pivotally coupling the boom to the excavator attachment however.

[10] D2 and D3 relate to trailers comprising a lighting array coupled to a distal end of a telescopic boom. D2 has a hydraulically operated telescopic mast. D3 has a telescopic mast with a proximal pivot joint operated by a hydraulic ram acting across the pivot joint. D2 and D3 do not however have an excavator attachment and a proximal pivot joint pivotally coupling the boom to the excavator attachment.

[11] US 2010/0172132 Al (KO) 08 July 2010 [hereinafter referred to as D4] and JP 2000-129722 A (SHIN CATERPILLAR MITSUBISHI LTD) 09 May 2000 [hereinafter referred to as D5] are examples of the prior art lighting arrangements which are typically mounted to excavators. D4 has lighting mounted to the cabin and D5 has lighting mounted to the boom. D2 and D3 do not however have a lighting tower attachment comprising a telescopic boom with a proximal pivot joint pivotally coupling the telescopic boom to the excavator.

[12] US 2002/0043409 Al (PARKERT et al) 18 April 2002 [hereinafter referred to as D6] relates to a power source attachment that runs off the auxiliary hydraulics of an excavator. D6 comprises a frame with adjustable ground support means. The frame has a telescopic light tower with lighting array. D6 does not however have a proximal pivot joint pivotally coupling the telescopic boom to an excavator attachment at a proximal end of the telescopic boom nor does it disclose hydraulic rams.

[13] In accordance with one aspect, the lighting tower attachment comprises a telescopic boom; a lighting array; a distal pivot joint pivotally coupling the lighting array to a distal end of the telescopic boom; an excavator attachment; a proximal pivot joint pivotally coupling a proximal end of the telescopic boom to the excavator attachment such that a boom tilting hydraulic ram can act across the proximal pivot to tilt the telescopic boom in use; at least one boom extending hydraulic ram acting across telescopic members of the telescopic boom and at least one hydraulic connection for connecting the at least one boom extending hydraulic ram to at least one respective hydraulic circuit of the excavator in use; and a lighting array tilting hydraulic ram acting across the distal pivot joint and a hydraulic connection for connecting the light array tilting hydraulic ram to a further hydraulic circuit of the excavator in use to pivot the lighting array with respect to the boom.

[14] The lighting tower attachment may further comprise a hydraulic electric generator electrically connected to the lighting array and a hydraulic connection for connecting the hydraulic electric generator to a yet further hydraulic circuit of the excavator in use.

[15] The distal pivot joint and the boom tilting hydraulic ram may be configured for tilting the lighting array between substantially rearward horizontal and forward inclined orientations.

[16] The distal pivot joint and the boom tilting hydraulic ram may be configured for tilting the lighting array through greater than 100°.

[17] The telescopic members comprise proximal, intermediate and distal telescopic members and wherein the at least one boom extending hydraulic ram comprises a primary boom extending hydraulic ram acting between the proximal and the intermediate telescopic members and a secondary boom extending hydraulic ram acting between the intermediate and distal telescopic members.

[18] The primary boom extending hydraulic ram may be located outside the boom.

[19] The primary boom extending hydraulic ram may be located rear of the boom between the boom and the excavator in use.

[20] The secondary boom extending hydraulic ram may be located within the boom.

[21] The boom may be configured for extending more than 5 m.

[22] The boom may be configured for extending more than 8 m.

[23] The proximal end of the boom may comprise at least one lateral linear track for engaging the boom tilting hydraulic ram at various locations therealong in use.

[24] The lighting tower attachment may further comprise a safety interlock system comprising a rotation sensing transducer to sense the rotation extent of the proximal pivot joint and an extension transducer sensor to sense the extent of extension of the boom and wherein the safety interlock system may be configured with rotation and related extension extremity settings and wherein the system may be configured for detecting when the proximal pivot joint may be rotated beyond a rotation extremity and the boom may be extended beyond a related extension extremity.

[25] Other aspects of the invention are also disclosed. Brief Description of the Drawings

[26] Notwithstanding any other forms which may fall within the scope of the present invention, preferred embodiments of the disclosure will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

[27] Figure 1 shows a side elevation view of a lighting tower attachment attached to an excavator in accordance with an embodiment;

[28] Figure 2 shows a perspective view of the lighting tower attachment and excavator of Figure 1;

[29] Figure 3 shows a schematic representation of the hydraulic connections between various hydraulic rams and hydraulic componentry of the lighting tower attachment and the auxiliary and primary hydraulic circuits of the excavator in accordance with an embodiment;

[30] Figure 4 shows a side elevation view of the lighting tower attachment and excavator of Figure 1; and

[31] Figures 5 and 6 show the lighting tower attachment in various stages of extension in accordance with an embodiment.

Description of Embodiments

[32] A lighting tower attachment 1 for an excavator 2 comprises a telescopic boom 3 and a lighting array 17.

[33] The lighting tower attachment 1 comprises a distal pivot joint 4 pivotally coupling the lighting array 17 to a distal end of the telescopic boom 3. As can be appreciated from Figure 2, the distal pivot joint 4 may have an axle supported by a spaced apart flanges for lateral stability.

[34] Furthermore, the lighting tower attachment 1 comprises an excavator attachment 14 for releasable attachment to the excavator 2 in use. A proximal pivot joint 8 pivotally couples the telescopic boom 3 to the excavator attachment 14 at a proximal end of the telescopic boom 3.

[35] Figure 3 shows schematic representation of a hydraulic interface 11 of the excavator 2 interfacing with various hydraulic rams and other hydraulic componentry of the lighting tower attachment 1. The hydraulic interface 11 may comprise three primary hydraulic circuits 11 and an auxiliary hydraulic circuit 12 in an embodiment.

[36] A first primary hydraulic circuit 13 may interface the boom tilting hydraulic ram 9 acting across the telescopic boom 3 to tilt the boom 3 as shown in Figure 4. The boom tilting hydraulic ram 9 may be part of the excavator 2 equipment.

[37] The attachment 1 may comprise a hydraulic connection for connecting a boom extending ram 5 to a second primary hydraulic circuit 13 of the hydraulic interface 11. [38] As shown in Figure 5, the boom 3 may comprise three telescopic members and, as is substantially shown in Figure 1, a pair of boom extending hydraulic rams 5A and 5B may be utilised comprising a primary boom extension ram 5A acting between the proximal and intermediate telescopic members of the boom and an secondary boom extension ram 5B acting between the intermediate and distal telescopic members of the boom 3.

[39] In embodiments, the primary boom extension ram 5A may be external and located rearward of the boom 3 to be more shielded from striking objects in front. Furthermore, the secondary boom extension ram 5B may be located within the boom 3 as is partially shown through the cutout in the boom 3 in Figure 1 for illustrative purposes.

[40] In embodiments, the boom extension rams 5A and 5B may be pressurised by the same second primary hydraulic circuit 13 to reduce the number of hydraulic connections required. Alternatively, the rams 5A and 5B may be pressurised by separate hydraulic circuits.

[41] Furthermore, the lighting tower attachment 1 may comprise a lighting tower tilting hydraulic ram 6 acting across the distal pivot joint 4 and a hydraulic connection for connecting the light array tilting hydraulic ram 6 to a third primary hydraulic circuit 13 of the hydraulic interface 11 of the excavator 2 in use.

[42] The lighting tower attachment 1 may comprise a hydraulic electric generator 7 electrically connected to the lighting array 17 and a hydraulic connection for connecting the hydraulic electric generator 7 to an auxiliary hydraulic circuit 12 of the excavator 2 in use. The auxiliary hydraulic circuit 12 may drive the hydraulic electric generator 7 to generate electricity to power the lighting array 17. In alternative embodiments, a conventional diesel or petrol electric generator may be supported at the base of the lighting tower to generate electrical power for the lighting array 17 independent of the hydraulic circuitry 11.

[43] As such, utilising the aforedescribed hydraulic connections, the lighting tower attachment 1 may be mechanically coupled to the excavator 2 and hydraulically connected to the available primary and auxiliary hydraulic circuits of the excavator 2 so as to allow the various control of the lighting tower attachment 1 including boom tilting, boom extension, light array tilting and light illumination control. It is noted that the auxiliary circuit 12 may be controlled to control the level of illumination of the lighting array 17.

[44] Figures 5a - d and 6a - d show examples of the lighting tower attachment in various stages of boom extension and light array tilting.

[45] As can be seen, the hydraulic boom 3 may comprise three telescopic portions 3a-3b and may allow for extension of up to approximately 8 m in the embodiment shown. [46] Furthermore, the lighting array tilting hydraulic ram 6 is able to tilt the lighting array 17 through approximately 110° or more from a rearward horizontal angle suitable for storage, especially atop the canopy of the excavator 2 as a substantially shown in Figure 5a to a forward inclined angle as a substantially shown in figure 5d. The hydraulic ram 6 may be controlled to various degrees to control the direction of the light from the array 17.

[47] As shown in Figure 4, in an embodiment, the lighting tower attachment 1 may comprise side plates 15 having a linear track 16 therealong within which the distal end of the boom tilting hydraulic ram 9 engages to allow the hydraulic ram 9 to connect to various points therealong despite differences in the location of variations in the type of excavator 2.

[48] In embodiments, a safety interlock system may limit the movement extremities of the attachment 1 whilst in operation to ensure stability of the excavator 2. Specifically, for the specific load capacity rating of the excavator 2, rotation transducers may act across the proximal and distal pivots 8, 4 and/or monitor the extension of the boom 3 so as to, for example, prevent the boom 3 from being tilted too far forward while being extended to far. The system may comprise a microcontroller configurable with various operational settings in which receives inputs from these various position sensing transducers. As such, and for example, the microcontroller may be configured according to a particular excavator 2 or similar machinery to limit the control thereof such that the boom should not be extended more than 6 m beyond more than 45° from the vertical. The safety interlock system may emit an audible alarm if the recommended parameters are exceeded in use.

[49] In one embodiment, the safety interlock system may comprise a rotation sensing transducer to sense the rotation extent of the proximal pivot joint and an extension transducer sensor to sense the extent of extension of the boom and wherein the safety interlock system is configured with rotation and related extension extremity settings such that the system is able to detect when the proximal pivot joint is rotated beyond a rotation extremity and the boom is extended beyond a related extension extremity.

[50] The foregoing description, for purposes of explanation, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that specific details are not required in order to practice the invention. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the invention are presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed; obviously, many modifications and variations are possible in view of the above teachings. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications, they thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the following claims and their equivalents define the scope of the invention.