Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
STABILIZER PAD FOR VEHICLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/026070
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention is directed to rotational stabilizer pads (140) for stabilizer arms (14) of vehicles. The stabilizer pads (140) include first and second ground contact faces for contacting respectively a smooth ground surface and a rough or gravel ground surface. In embodiments of the present invention, the stabilizer pads (140) include a reversible resilient pad (140) coupled to a first flange (124) and a second flange (126). The first (124) and second (126) flanges may include grouser points (130) and (131) for engaging the rough ground surface. In embodiments of the present invention, the stabilizer pads (140) are rotated about 135 degrees to change the ground contact face of the stabilizer pad (140) from one of the first and second ground contact faces to the other.

More Like This:
Inventors:
LAGSDIN ANDRY (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US1999/025381
Publication Date:
May 11, 2000
Filing Date:
October 28, 1999
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LAGSDIN ANDRY (US)
International Classes:
B60S9/02; E02F9/08; (IPC1-7): B60S9/02; A47B91/00; F16M1/00; F16M13/00
Foreign References:
US4023828A1977-05-17
US2277939A1942-03-31
US4039206A1977-08-02
US5992883A1999-11-30
US3219362A1965-11-23
US5054812A1991-10-08
US4889362A1989-12-26
US5054812A1991-10-08
US5466004A1995-11-14
US5547220A1996-08-20
US5667245A1997-09-16
US4761021A1988-08-02
US90952497A1997-08-12
Other References:
See also references of EP 1124713A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Driscoll, David M. (Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks P.C. 600 Atlantic Avenue Boston, MA, 02210, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, the stabilizer pad comprising: a frame having a base plate and first and second flanges extending from a first surface of the base plate, each of the first flange and the second flange having at least one grouser point to engage a ground surface, wherein the frame, including the base plate, the first flange and the second flange, is formed using a continuous, substantially Ushaped piece of material ; and a resilient pad mounted to a second surface of the base plate, opposite the first surface of the base plate.
2. The stabilizer pad of claim 1, wherein the resilient pad is constructed and arranged such that it covers substantially all of the second surface of the base plate.
3. The stabilizer pad of claim 2, wherein the resilient pad includes a plurality of rubber strips.
4. The stabilizer pad of claim 3, wherein the stabilizer arm includes a pin for rotatably mounting the stabilizer pad to the stabilizer arm, and wherein each of the first and second flanges includes a mounting hole to receive the pin.
5. The stabilizer pad of claim 4, wherein the resilient pad is a reversible resilient pad having a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface, and wherein the stabilizer pad further includes a mounting bracket that is constructed and arranged to mount the resilient pad to the frame such that either the first surface of the resilient pad or the second surface of the resilient pad is in contact with the second surface of the base plate.
6. The stabilizer pad of claim 5, wherein each of the flanges has a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and wherein for each pair of grouser points, a first grouser point of the pair extends a greater distance from the base plate than a second grouser point of the pair.
7. The stabilizer pad of claim 6, further comprising means for preventing inadvertent rotation of the stabilizer pad about the pin.
8. The stabilizer pad of claim 1, wherein the resilient pad includes a plurality of rubber strips.
9. The stabilizer pad of claim 1, wherein the stabilizer arm includes a pin for rotatably mounting the stabilizer pad to the stabilizer arm, and wherein each of the first and second flanges includes a mounting hole to receive the pin.
10. The stabilizer pad of claim 1, wherein the resilient pad has a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface, and wherein the stabilizer pad further includes a mounting bracket that is constructed and arranged to mount the resilient pad to the frame to allow either the first surface of the resilient pad or the second surface of the resilient pad to be in contact with the second surface of the base plate.
11. The stabilizer pad of claim 1, wherein each of the flanges has a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and wherein for each pair of grouser points, a first grouser point of the pair extends a greater distance from the base plate than a second grouser point of the pair.
12. The stabilizer pad of claim 9, further comprising: a first bushing mounted to the first flange at the mounting hole to receive the pin; a second bushing mounted to the second flange at the mounting hole to receive the pin; a cam mounted to one of the first and second bushings and constructed and arranged to contact a part of the arm upon rotation of the stabilizer pad with respect to the pin.
13. A stabilizer pad for pivotally coupling to a stabilizer arm of a vehicle such that the stabilizer pad can rotate about a rotation axis to allow either a first ground contact face of the stabilizer pad or a second ground contact face of the stabilizer pad to engage a ground surface, the stabilizer pad comprising: a frame having a base plate, a first flange and a second flange, the base plate having a first surface and a second surface, the first and second flanges being coupled to the base plate and extending in a direction substantially orthogonal from the first surface of the base plate; and a resilient pad mounted to the base plate, the resilient pad extending over substantially all of the second surface of the base plate.
14. The stabilizer pad of claim 13, wherein the resilient pad includes a plurality of rubber strips.
15. The stabilizer pad of claim 13, wherein the stabilizer arm includes a pin for mounting the stabilizer pad to the stabilizer arm, the rotation axis extending through the pin, and wherein each of the first and second flanges includes a mounting hole to receive the pin.
16. The stabilizer pad of claim 13, wherein the resilient pad is reversible and has a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage the ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface, and wherein the stabilizer pad further includes a mounting bracket that is constructed and arranged to mount the resilient pad to the frame such that either the first surface of the resilient pad or the second surface of the resilient pad is in contact with the second surface of the base plate.
17. The stabilizer pad of claim 13, wherein each of the flanges has a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and wherein for each pair of grouser points, a first grouser point of the pair extends a greater distance from the base plate than a second grouser point of the pair.
18. The stabilizer pad of claim 15, further comprising means for preventing inadvertent rotation of the stabilizer pad about the pin.
19. The stabilizer pad of claim 13, wherein the resilient pad is formed using at least one rubber strip having a slot formed therein, and wherein the base plate extends through the slot in the rubber strip.
20. The stabilizer pad of claim 19, wherein the resilient pad is reversible and has a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage the ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface.
21. The stabilizer pad of claim 17, wherein the resilient pad has a substantially smooth surface for engaging the ground surface, the substantially smooth surface acting as the first ground contact face, wherein the grouser points form the second ground contact face, and wherein the stabilizer pad is constructed and arranged such that the stabilizer pad is rotated about the rotation axis approximately 135 degrees to switch from the first ground contact face to the second ground contact face.
22. A rotatable stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, the rotatable stabilizer pad comprising: a base plate having a first surface and a second surface, the second surface being substantially parallel to the first surface; first and second flanges, coupled to the base plate and extending from one surface of the base plate, wherein each of the flanges has a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and wherein for each pair of grouser points, a first grouser point of the pair extends a greater distance from the base plate than a second grouser point of the pair.
23. The rotatable stabilizer pad of claim 22, further comprising a resilient pad mounted to the base plate, the resilient pad having an engaging surface to engage a ground surface, the engaging surface being substantially parallel to the second surface of the base plate.
24. A reversible resilient pad for a stabilizer pad of a stabilizer arm, the resilient pad comprising: a resilient body portion having a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface; means for coupling the resilient body portion to the stabilizer pad such that either the first surface or the second surface can be selected as a contact surface and be positioned to contact the ground surface.
25. The reversible resilient pad of claim 24, wherein the resilient body portion includes a plurality of rubber strips.
26. A reversible resilient pad for a stabilizer pad of a stabilizer arm, the reversible resilient pad comprising: a resilient body portion having a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface; at least one mounting bracket coupled to the resilient body portion for coupling the resilient body portion to the stabilizer pad.
27. The reversible resilient pad of claim 26, wherein the at least one mounting bracket includes a first bracket mounted to a first side of the body portion between the first surface and the second surface, and a second bracket mounted to a second side of the body portion between the first surface and the second surface.
28. The reversible resilient pad of claim 26, wherein the first bracket and the second bracket are constructed and arranged to provide reversible mounting of the resilient pad to the stabilizer arm to allow either the first substantially smooth surface or the second substantially smooth surface to contact a ground surface.
29. A stabilizer pad for a stabilizer arm of a vehicle, the stabilizer pad comprising: means for pivotally coupling the stabilizer pad to the stabilizer arm of a vehicle such that the stabilizer pad can rotate about a rotation axis to allow either a first ground contact face of the stabilizer pad or a second ground contact face of the stabilizer pad to engage a ground surface; a first flange and a second flange, each of which is coupled to the means for pivotally coupling; a resilient pad; and means for coupling the resilient pad to the first flange and the second flange.
30. The stabilizer pad of claim 29, wherein the resilient pad is a reversible resilient pad having a first substantially smooth surface to engage the ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage the ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface, and wherein the means for coupling include means for arranging the reversible resilient pad such that either the first surface of the resilient pad or the second surface of the resilient pad is positioned to contact the ground surface.
31. The stabilizer pad of claim 30, wherein each of the flanges has a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and wherein the means for pivotally coupling allows rotation of the stabilizer pad such that either the grouser points or the resilient pad is positioned to engage the ground surface.
32. The stabilizer pad of claim 31, further comprising means for preventing inadvertent rotation of the stabilizer pad about the axis of rotation.
33. A stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, the stabilizer pad comprising: a frame formed of multiple members including a first member defining a first ground contact surface extending generally along a first plane, and a second member having a surface extending generally along a second plane; said first and second planes being arranged in a nonparallel relative position; and a resilient pad mounted to said second member surface and defining a second ground contact surface different than said first ground contact surface; said first and second ground contact surfaces also being arranged in a non parallel relative position.
34. The stabilizer pad of claim 33 wherein said first member comprises at least a first flange and said second member comprises a base plate.
35. The stabilizer pad of claim 33 wherein said resilient pad has a first substantially flat surface to engage a ground surface and a second substantially flat surface to engage a ground surface.
36. The stabilizer pad of claim 35 wherein said first substantially flat surface is substantially parallel to said second substantially flat surface.
37. The stabilizer pad of claim 35 including means for coupling the resilient pad to the frame so that either the first surface or the second surface can be selected as a contact surface and be positioned to contact the ground surface.
38. In a stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, an improved resilient pad member comprising; a resilient body portion having a first ground engageable surface extending generally along a first plane, and a second ground engageable surface extending generally along a second plane, said first and second planes being spaced from each other and disposed substantially in parallel relative position, and means for coupling the resilient body portion to the stabilizer pad such that one of said first and second ground engageable surfaces can be selected and be positioned to contact the ground surface while the other of said first and second engageable surfaces is disposed spaced above and substantially in parallel to the ground surface.
39. The stabilizer pad of claim 38 wherein said means for coupling enables either, but only one at a time, of the ground engageable surfaces to be in contact with the ground surface.
40. The stabilizer pad of claim 39 wherein the resilient body portion includes a plurality of rubber strips.
41. A stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, the stabilizer pad comprising; a support piece; means for pivotally retaining said support piece from said stabilizer arm; a resilient pad having an upstanding portion engageable with a slot in said support piece; and retaining means for securing said resilient pad to said support piece.
42. The stabilizer pad of claim 41 wherein the support piece comprises a pair of flanges and corresponding base pieces.
43. The stabilizer pad of claim 42 wherein said base piece has a plurality of slots and said resilient pad has corresponding plurality of upstanding portions.
44. The stabilizer pad of claim 43 wherein said resilient pad comprises a plurality of parallel disposed resilient pad strips.
45. The stabilizer pad of claim 44 wherein said retaining means comprises at least one support rod extending through said upstanding portion and disposed over the top of said base piece.
46. The stabilizer pad of claim 45 wherein the pair of flanges are disposed, one on each side of said arm, and said base pieces extend at substantially right angles from said flange and away from said arm.
47. A stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, the stabilizer pad comprising: a support piece; means for pivotally retaining said support piece from said stabilizer arm; a resilient pad having at least one slot therethrough and defining first and second opposed ground engaging surfaces; said support piece having at least one base support member engaging said slot for support of said resilient pad from said support piece with one of said ground engaging surfaces disposed in a ground engaging position.
48. The stabilizer pad of claim 47 while the other of said first and second opposed ground engaging surfaces is disposed spaced above and substantially in parallel to the ground surface.
49. The stabilizer pad of claim 48 wherein said support piece comprises a plurality of flanges each carrying a pair of base support members.
50. The stabilizer pad of claim 49 wherein said resilient pad has a pair of slots for receiving said two base pieces.
51. The stabilizer pad of claim 50 wherein said resilient pad is reversible and said opposed ground engaging surfaces are substantially in parallel to each other.
52. The stabilizer pad of claim 51 further including retaining means for securing said resilient pad to said flange.
53. The stabilizer pad of claim 52 wherein said retaining means comprises a bolt and associated fastener.
54. A stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, the stabilizer pad comprising: a support piece; a resilient pad supported from said support piece; said support piece having a cam; and a releasable latch supported from said stabilizer arm and adapted to engage said cam to hold said latch in a locked position; said latch constructed of a resilient material and manually operable so as to move to an unlocked position, disengaged from said cam to permit rotation of said pad.
55. The stabilizer pad of claim 54 further including a stop supported from said stabilizer arm.
56. The stabilizer pad of claim 55 wherein said releaseable latch has a slot for engaging with said stop.
57. The stabilizer pad of claim 54 wherein said support piece has a pair of legs, each for supporting a corresponding resilient pad.
58. The stabilizer pad of claim 57 wherein one leg is longer than the other.
59. The stabilizer pad of claim 58 wherein the support piece is supported by a pivot pin and the resilient pads are disposed symmetric regarding the pivot pin.
Description:
STABILIZER PAD FOR VEHICLES 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates generally to stabilizer pads for vehicles, and more specifically to pivotally mounted, reversible stabilizer pads having a generally flanged first surface for engagement with a soft irregular ground surface such as gravel and having a resilient second surface for engagement with a smooth ground surface concrete or asphalt.

2. Background of the Invention Fig. 1 is a fragmentary view of a typical loader/backhoe 10 having a shovel mechanism 12, stabilizer arms 14 and 16, and associated stabilizer pads 18 and 20, respectfully. Hydraulic pistons 15 are used to operate each of the stabilizer arms 14 and 16 independently. In Fig. 1, the stabilizer arms are in an operational, extended position with the stabilizer pads 18 and 20 in engagement with the ground surface to prevent movement of the backhoe during operation of the shovel mechanism 12. When the backhoe 10 is to be moved, the pistons associated with each cylinder are withdrawn so that the stabilizer arms 14 and 16 pivot and raise the stabilizer pads above ground level.

The stabilizer pad 18 of Fig. 1 is shown in greater detail in Figs. 2 and 3.

Stabilizer pad 20 is substantially identical to stabilizer pad 18. The stabilizer pad 18 and similar stabilizer pads are further described in U. S. Patent Nos. 4,889,362,5,054,812, 5,466,004,5,547,220 and 5,667,245, each of which is issued to the inventor of the present application and incorporated herein by reference. The stabilizer pad 18 includes a flat plate 22 having flanges 24 and 26, both extending from one surface of plate 22.

The stabilizer pad 18 is also provided with supporting webs or ribs 25, one associated with each flange. The ribs 25 provide additional support for the flanges 24 and 26. The plate 22 is notched at 30 between flanges 24 and 26 as illustrated in Fig. 1. The plate is notched to accommodate the arm 14 and to enable reversible rotation of the stabilizer pad.

The stabilizer arm 14 includes a journal end for accommodating pin 34. Pin 34 also fits within holes of flanges 24 and 26. The pin is used to secure the stabilizer pad to the arm using, for example, a cotter pin as illustrated in Fig. 3.

On the side of the flat plate 22 opposite that containing the flanges 24 and 26 are disposed three laminated rubber pads 40. Each of the rubber pads 40 includes laminated rubber sections supported between angle irons 44 and 48. The angle irons 44 and 48 have a base leg and an upright leg. Each of the upright legs has holes therein for receiving elongated securing pins 50 for containing the laminated rubber sections between the angle irons. The laminated pads 40 are secured to the plate 22 using bolts 53 and nuts 55.

The stabilizer pads 18 and 20 are rotatable about pin 34 when the stabilizer arms are in the raised position to place either the rubber pads 40 downward for engagement with the ground or to place the flanges 24 and 26 downward for engagement with the ground.

In typical operation, the rubber pad side of the stabilizer pad 18 is positioned to engage the ground, as shown in Fig. 1, when the ground surface is a relatively flat hard surface such as concrete or pavement. The flange side of the stabilizer pad 18, as shown in Fig. 2, is positioned to engage the ground when the ground surface is an unfinished ground surface, such as gravel or dirt. The flanges are designed to dig into the unfinished ground surface to anchor and stabilize the backhoe.

Although the prior art, reversible stabilizer pads described above provide reliable operation, it is desirable to provide a simplified stabilizer pad with improved operational performance over the stabilizer pads described above.

Summary of the Invention In one general aspect, the invention features a stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm. The stabilizer pad includes a frame having a base plate and first and second flanges extending from a first surface of the base plate. Each of the first flange and the second flange has at least one grouser point to engage a ground surface. The frame, including the base plate, the first flange and the second flange, is formed using a continuous, substantially U-shaped piece of material. The stabilizer pad further includes a resilient pad mounted to a second surface of the base plate, opposite the first surface of the base plate.

The resilient pad can be constructed and arranged such that it covers substantially all of the second surface of the base plate, and the resilient pad can include a plurality of rubber strips. The stabilizer arm can include a pin for rotatably mounting the stabilizer

pad to the stabilizer arm, and each of the first and second flanges can include a mounting hole to receive the pin. The resilient pad can be a reversible resilient pad having a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface. The stabilizer pad can further include a mounting bracket that is constructed and arranged to mount the resilient pad to the frame such that either the first surface of the resilient pad or the second surface of the resilient pad is in contact with the second surface of the base plate. Each of the flanges can have a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and for each pair of grouser points, a first grouser point of the pair can extend a greater distance from the base plate than a second grouser point of the pair. The stabilizer pad can further include means for preventing inadvertent rotation of the stabilizer pad about the pin.

In another general aspect, the invention features a stabilizer pad for pivotally coupling to a stabilizer arm of a vehicle such that the stabilizer pad can rotate about a rotation axis to allow either a first ground contact face of the stabilizer pad or a second ground contact face of the stabilizer pad to engage a ground surface. The stabilizer pad includes a frame having a base plate, a first flange and a second flange, the base plate having a first surface and a second surface, the first and second flanges being coupled to the base plate and extending in a direction substantially perpendicular to the first surface of the base plate. The stabilizer pad further includes a resilient pad mounted to the base plate, the resilient pad extending over substantially all of the second surface of the base plate.

The resilient pad can include a plurality of rubber strips. The stabilizer arm can include a pin for mounting the stabilizer pad to the stabilizer arm, and each of the first and second flanges can include a mounting hole to receive the pin. The resilient pad can be reversible and have a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage the ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface. The stabilizer pad can further include a mounting bracket that is constructed and arranged to mount the resilient pad to the frame such that either the first surface of the resilient pad or the second surface of the resilient pad is in contact with the second surface of the base plate. Each of the flanges of the stabilizer pad can have a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and for each pair of grouser points, a first grouser point of the pair can extend a greater distance

from the base plate than a second grouser point of the pair. The stabilizer pad can further include means for preventing inadvertent rotation of the stabilizer pad about the pin. The resilient pad can be formed using at least one rubber strip having a slot formed therein, and the base plate can extend through the slot in the rubber strip.

In yet another general aspect, the present invention features a rotatable stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm. The rotatable stabilizer pad includes a base plate having a first surface and a second surface, the second surface being substantially parallel to the first surface, and first and second flanges, coupled to the base plate and extending from one surface of the base plate. Each of the flanges has a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface, and for each pair of grouser points, a first grouser point of the pair extends a greater distance from the base plate than a second grouser point of the pair. The stabilizer pad can further include a resilient pad mounted to the base plate, and the resilient pad can have an engaging surface to engage a ground surface, the engaging surface being substantially parallel to the second surface of the base plate.

In another general aspect, the invention features a reversible resilient pad for a stabilizer pad of a stabilizer arm. The resilient pad includes a resilient body portion having a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and means for coupling the resilient body portion to the stabilizer pad such that either the first surface or the second surface can be selected as a contact surface and be positioned to contact the ground surface. The resilient body portion can include a plurality of rubber strips.

In another general aspect, the invention features a reversible resilient pad for a stabilizer pad of a stabilizer arm. The reversible resilient pad includes a resilient body portion having a first substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage a ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface. The reversible resilient pad further includes at least one mounting bracket coupled to the resilient body portion for coupling the resilient body portion to the stabilizer pad.

The at least one mounting bracket can include a first bracket mounted to a first side of the body portion between the first surface and the second surface, and a second bracket mounted to a second side of the body portion between the first surface and the second surface. The first bracket and the second bracket can be constructed and arranged

to provide reversible mounting of the resilient pad to the stabilizer arm to allow either the first substantially smooth surface or the second substantially smooth surface to contact a ground surface.

In another general aspect, the invention features a stabilizer pad for a stabilizer arm of a vehicle. The stabilizer pad includes means for pivotally coupling the stabilizer pad to the stabilizer arm of the vehicle such that the stabilizer pad can rotate about a rotation axis to allow either a first ground contact face of the stabilizer pad or a second ground contact face of the stabilizer pad to engage a ground surface, a first flange and a second flange, each of which is coupled to the means for pivotally coupling, a resilient pad, and means for coupling the resilient pad to the first flange and the second flange.

The resilient pad can be a reversible resilient pad having a first substantially smooth surface to engage the ground surface, and a second substantially smooth surface to engage the ground surface, the first surface being substantially parallel to the second surface. The means for coupling can include means for arranging the reversible resilient pad such that either the first surface of the resilient pad or the second surface of the resilient pad is positioned to contact the ground surface. Each of the flanges can have a pair of grouser points to engage a ground surface. The means for pivotally coupling can allow rotation of the stabilizer pad such that either the grouser points or the resilient pad is positioned to engage the ground surface. The stabilizer pad can further include means for preventing inadvertent rotation of the stabilizer pad about the axis of rotation.

In another aspect of the present invention there is provided a stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm. The stabilizer pad comprises a frame of multiple members including a first member defining a first ground contact surface extending generally along a first plane, and a second member having a surface extending generally along a second plane. The first and second planes are arranged in a non-parallel relative position. A resilient pad is provided and mounted to the second member surface and defines a second ground contact surface different than said first ground contact surface.

The first and second ground contact surfaces are also arranged in a non-parallel relative position. The first member comprises at least a first flange and the second member comprises a base plate. The resilient pad has a first substantially flat surface to engage a ground surface and a second substantially flat surface to engage a ground surface. The first substantially flat surface is substantially parallel to the second flat surface. The pad also includes means for coupling the resilient pad to the frame so that either the first

surface or the second surface can be selected as a contact surface and be positioned to contact the ground surface.

In accordance with still a further aspect of the present invention there is provided, in a stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm, an improved resilient pad member that is comprised of a resilient body portion having a first ground engageable surface extending generally along a first plane, and a second ground engageable surface extending generally along a second plane. The first and second planes are spaced from each other and disposed substantially in parallel relative position. Means are provided for coupling the resilient body portion to the stabilizer pad such that one of the first and second ground engageable surfaces can be selected and be positioned to contact the ground surface while the other of the first and second ground engageable surfaces is disposed spaced above and substantially in parallel to the ground surface. The means for coupling enables either, but only one at a time, of the ground engageable surfaces to be in contact with the ground surface. The resilient body portion may include a plurality of rubber strips.

In accordance with still a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm. The pad comprises a support piece and means for pivotally retaining the support piece from the stabilizer arm. The resilient pad has at least one upstanding portion engageable with a slot in the support piece. Retaining means are provided for securing the resilient pad to the support piece. The support piece may include an upright flange and a base piece having multiple slots for receiving multiple upstanding portions of the resilient pad.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a stabilizer pad for use with a stabilizer arm. The pad comprises a support piece and means for pivotally retaining the support piece from the stabilizer arm. A resilient pad is provided having at least one slot therethrough and defining first and second opposed ground engaging surfaces. The support piece has at least one base support member engaging the slot for support of the resilient pad from the support piece with one of said ground engaging surfaces disposed in a ground engaging position. The support piece may actually comprise a pair of base support pieces engaging with a corresponding pair of slots in the resilient pad. In this particular aspect of the invention the resilient pad is reversible by removing retaining means and reversing the pad through a 180° rotation. A

circular or hexagonal shape could be revolved in smaller degrees of rotation such as 30°, 45° etc and then secured also.

In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a stabilizer pad that comprises a support piece and a resilient pad supported from the support piece. The support piece has a cam and there is also provide a releasable resilient latch supported from the stabilizer arm and adapted to engage the cam to hold the latch in a locked position. The latch is constructed of a resilient material and manually operable so as to move to an unlocked position, disengaging from the cam to permit rotation of the pad. The releasable latch is preferably held in a locked position while grouser points of the pad are in engagement with a ground surface.

Brief Description of the Drawings For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the drawings which are incorporated herein by reference and in which: Fig. 1 is a fragmentary view of a typical loader/backhoe having a stabilizer arm with stabilizer pads of the prior art secured thereto; Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the stabilizer pad and arm of Fig. 1 in a gravel or dirt engaging position; Fig. 3 is a side elevational view of the stabilizer pad and arm construction in the position of Fig. 2; Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a stabilizer pad of the present invention in a position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the embodiment of Fig. 4 with the stabilizer pad in a position for engaging a gravel or dirt ground surface; Fig. 6 is a side view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 4 with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 7 is a side view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 4 with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a gravel or dirt ground surface; Fig. 8 is a top view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 4 with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 9 is a front view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 4 with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface;

Fig. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 4 in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 11 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a stabilizer pad with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 12 is a side view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 11; Fig. 13 is a cross-sectional side view taken along line 13-13 of Fig 11 with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a dirt or gravel surface; Fig. 14 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a stabilizer pad with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 15 is a front view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 14 as taken along line 15-15 of Fig. 14; Fig. 16 is an exploded perspective view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 14; Fig. 17 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of a stabilizer pad with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 18 is an exploded perspective view of the stabilizer pad shown in Fig. 17; Fig. 19 is a perspective view of a fifth embodiment of a stabilizer pad with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 20 is an exploded perspective view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 19; Fig. 21 is a perspective view of a sixth embodiment of a stabilizer pad with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 22 is an exploded perspective view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 21; and Fig. 23 is an exploded perspective view of a sixth embodiment of a stabilizer pad with the stabilizer pad in the position for engaging a smooth surface.

Fig. 24 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the present invention with the stabilizer pad in a position for engaging a smooth surface; Fig. 25 is an exploded view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 24; Fig. 26 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the present invention employing a reversible resilient pad; Figs. 27 is an exploded view of the stabilizer pad of Fig. 26; Fig. 28 is an illustration of a backhoe embodying an offset pad construction; Fig. 29 is a perspective view of the offset pad construction also employing a releaseable latch; Fig. 30 is a plan view of the embodiment of Fig. 29;

Fig. 31 is a side view of the embodiment of Fig. 29 with the latch in a locked position; Fig. 32 is a side view with the latch in a released position; and Fig. 33 is a side view of the stabilizer pad with the pad rotated through 180°.

Detailed Description A preferred embodiment of a stabilizer pad 118 in accordance with the present invention will now be described with reference to Figs. 4-10. As understood by those skilled in the art, stabilizer pads in accordance with embodiments of the present invention may be used with a backhoe as shown in Fig. 1, and may also be used with other vehicles or platforms having stabilizing members for stabilizing the vehicle or platform.

The stabilizer pad 118 has a substantially U-shaped frame formed in one embodiment from a continuous steel sheet. The continuous steel sheet is bent to form the U-shape consisting of a base plate 122 and flanges 124 and 126. Each of the flanges 124 and 126 has outer grouser points 130 and inner grouser points 131.

Mounted to the underside of the base plate 122 is a resilient pad 140. The resilient pad 140 is secured to the frame using brackets 142a and 142b which respectfully couple to flanges 124 and 126. The brackets are mounted to the flanges using bolts 144, nuts 146 and washers 148, as best shown in Fig. 10.

The resilient pad 140 is formed using a plurality of rubber strips 150 that are compressed using brackets 142a and 142b and steel rods 152. In the embodiment shown, the steel rods 152 are welded to each of the brackets 142a and 142b, however, in other embodiments, the steel rods can be replaced by bolts and nuts. In one embodiment of the present invention, the rubber strips are made from sidewall segments of truck tire carcasses or from rubber conveyor belts, both of which have been found to provide desirable flexibility and surface friction for use in stabilizer pads.

Each of the flanges 124 and 126 has a hole, respectfully 134 and 135 in alignment with bushings 136 and 137. The holes and bushings are designed to accommodate the pin 34 of the stabilizer arm 14 to couple the stabilizer arm to the stabilizer pad as in the prior art.

The stabilizer pad 118 includes an optional cam 156 mounted to bushing 136. In addition, the stabilizer arm 14 includes a polyethylene wheel 154 mounted to the side of

the stabilizer arm as shown in Fig. 4, using a bolt and a nut. In one embodiment, the cam is made from a steel rod and is welded to the bushing, however, in other embodiments, the cam may be made from other relatively hard materials and fastened to the arm using other techniques. The polyethylene wheel and cam prevent inadvertent flipping of the stabilizer pad as described further below and as described in U. S. Patent Application No.

08/909,524, which is incorporated herein by reference. Other mechanisms for preventing self-flipping, such as those described in U. S. Patents 5,054,812 and 5,667,245, may also be used with stabilizer pads of the present invention.

Stabilizer pad 118 is rotatable about pin 34 when the stabilizer arm is in its upright position to place either the resilient pad 140 or the grouser points 130 downward to engage the ground when the stabilizer arms are lowered to stabilize the vehicle. When the vehicle is operated on a smooth, finished ground surface, it is desirable to place the resilient pad 140 of the stabilizer pad 118 in contact with the ground surface. When the vehicle is operated on a rough or unfinished ground surface, it is desirable to position the stabilizer pad such that the outer grouser points 130, and in some instances the inner grouser points 131, contact the ground surface. Figs 4 and 6 show the stabilizer pad with the resilient pad 140 in position to engage the ground surface, while Figs. 5 and 7 show the stabilizer pad with the outer grouser points 130 in position to engage the ground surface.

As shown in Fig. 7, the outer grouser points 130 are slightly longer than the inner grouser points 131 allowing the outer grouser points to contact the ground surface to provide maximum stability. On particularly rough or uneven surfaces, the inner grouser points may also contact the ground surface. In other embodiments of the present invention, the stabilizer pad 118 may not include the inner grouser points.

As briefly discussed above, the polyethylene wheel 154 and cam 156 are used to prevent the stabilizer pad 118 from inadvertently flipping when the stabilizer arm is raised. The weight of the resilient pad 140 may cause the stabilizer pad to flip from the position shown in Fig. 7 to that shown in Fig. 6 by rotating in the direction of arrow 160 when the stabilizer arm is raised. When the stabilizer pad rotates in the direction shown by arrow 160, the cam 156 contacts the wheel 154 and prevents further rotation of the stabilizer pad. When it is desired to flip the stabilizer pad from the position shown in Fig. 7 to that shown in Fig. 6, additional rotational force can be applied to the stabilizer

pad by an operator of the vehicle to cause the polyethylene wheel 154 to deform slightly and allow the cam to pass by the polyethylene wheel.

To rotate the stabilizer pad from the position shown in Fig. 6 to that shown in Fig. 7, the stabilizer pad is rotated approximately 135° about the pin 34 in the direction shown by arrow 162 (see Fig. 6). Similarly, to move from the position shown in Fig. 7 to that shown in Fig. 6, the stabilizer pad 118 is rotated approximately 135° about pin 34 in the direction shown by arrow 160.

A second embodiment of a stabilizer pad 218 in accordance with the present invention will now be described with reference to Figs. 11-13, which show the stabilizer pad 218 mounted to a stabilizer arm 214. Stabilizer arm 214 differs from stabilizer arm 14 in that it includes only one pin 234 for coupling to both a hydraulic piston 215 and to the stabilizer pad 218. In addition, the stabilizer arm 214 includes a steel plate 216 contained within the stabilizer arm to provide rigidity to the stabilizer arm. Stabilizer pad 218 is similar to stabilizer pad 118, and similar components are labeled using the same reference numbers. Stabilizer pad 218 differs from stabilizer pad 18 in that the bushings 236 and 237 used to mount the stabilizer pad 218 to the stabilizer arm 214 are sized to accommodate the pin 234.

A third embodiment of a stabilizer pad 318 for use on the stabilizer arm 14 will now be described with reference to Figs. 14-16. The third embodiment includes flange pieces 324 and 326 and a resilient pad 340. The flanges 324 and 326 are coupled together through the pin 34 of the stabilizer arm and are coupled to the resilient pad 340.

The flange pieces have bushings 336 and 337 for receiving the pin 34. Each of the flange pieces has a pair of outer grouser points 330 and three inner grouser points 331.

Each of the flange pieces also includes a pair of right angle re-enforcing sections 332 and 334, which provide structural re-enforcement for the pad and as described below provide additional stabilization when the stabilizer pad is used on a rough or unfinished surface.

The right angle sections 332 also function as mounting brackets for mounting the reversible resilient pad 340, and each of the right angle sections 332 includes mounting holes 345 for this purpose.

The resilient pad 340, similar to the pad 140 of the first embodiment, is formed from a plurality of rubber strips 350. The rubber strips 350 are compressed between brackets 342a and 342b using steel rods 352. Each of the rubber strips 350 and the brackets 342a and 342b has a slot 362 to receive a mounting plate 322. The mounting

plate 322 has mounting holes 360 that align with mounting holes 345 on the flanges to mount the mounting plate to the flanges using bolts 349, washers 346 and nuts 348. In one version of the third embodiment, the flanges 324 and 326 and the mounting plate 322 are made from steel.

One significant advantage of the embodiment of the invention shown in Figs. 14- 16 is that the resilient pad 340 is reversible to extend the life of the pad. The resilient pad 340 can be mounted such that either surface 368 contacts the ground (as shown in Fig. 15), or such that surface 366 of the pad contacts the ground. With the resilient pad 340 removed from the flanges, the resilient pad can be rotated 180 degrees to change from surface 368 of the pad facing down to surface 366 of the pad facing down. The rubber strips used with stabilizer pads can wear over time, and the ability to change surfaces of the resilient pad 340 significantly extends the usable life of the resilient pad.

Stabilizer pad 318 is rotatable about pin 34 in a manner similar to stabilizer pad 118 described above to allow either the resilient pad 340 or the grouser points to contact the ground. As with stabilizer pad 118, the outer grouser points 330 are longer than the inner grouser points 331.

In Figs. 14 and 15, stabilizer pad 318 is shown mounted to the stabilizer arm 14 using pin 34. In other embodiments, the stabilizer pad 318 may be mounted to stabilizer arm 214 using a common pin, such as pin 234 in Fig. 11, with the hydraulic piston 215.

The right angle sections 332 and 334 provide additional stability for the stabilizer pad 318 when the grouser points 330 contact the ground. Typical grouser points, such as those provided on flanges 24 and 26 of prior art stabilizer pad 18 (Fig. 3), have angled surfaces extending in opposite directions along one axis from the tip of the grouser point.

Grouser points 330 have angled surfaces 370 and 371 extending from the tip of the grouser points in opposite directions along an x axis (see Fig. 14 for axis orientation). and in addition have angled surfaces 372 extending in a direction along a y-axis orthogonal to the x-axis. The right angle sections provide additional stability by resisting movement of the stabilizer pad in the y-axis direction. As understood by one skilled in the art, in other embodiments, the right angle sections 332 and 334 may form an angle other than ninety degrees with the flanges.

A fourth embodiment of a stabilizer pad 418 in accordance with the present invention will now be described with reference to Figs. 17 and 18. Stabilizer pad 418 is similar to stabilizer pad 318 and like parts are labeled using the same reference numbers.

Stabilizer pad 418 differs from stabilizer pad 318 in that the resilient pad 440 of stabilizer pad 418 has two separate slots 462a and 462b rather than one slot 362 as in resilient pad 340 of stabilizer pad 418. In addition, the mounting plate 322 of stabilizer pad 318 is replaced by two separate mounting plates 422a and 422b in stabilizer pad 418.

In the fourth embodiment, two mounting plates are used to mount the resilient pad to the flanges, in other embodiments, more than two mounting plates may be used. In the third and fourth embodiments, the mounting plate or mounting plates act as the base plate for the stabilizer pads.

A fifth embodiment of a stabilizer pad 518 in accordance with the present invention will now be described with reference to Figs. 19 and 20. Stabilizer pad 518 is similar to stabilizer pad 318 and like parts are labeled using the same reference numbers.

The primary difference between stabilizer pad 518 and stabilizer pad 318 is that a mounting plate is not used to mount the resilient pad to the flanges. Rather, bolts are used to compress the rubber strips of the resilient pad between the flanges of the stabilizer pad 518 as described below. In this embodiment, the resilient pad acts as the base plate of the stabilizer pad.

Stabilizer pad 518 includes flanges 524 and 526 and resilient pad 540. Flanges 524 and 526 are similar to flanges 324 and 326 of stabilizer pad 318, except that flanges 524 and 526 do not include right angle brackets 332, and flanges 524 and 526 include mounting holes 540 for mounting the resilient pad to the flanges using bolts 549, washers 546 and nuts 548.

Resilient pad 540 includes rubber strips 550, each of which has holes 562 for receiving the bolts 549. Resilient pad 540 differs from resilient pad 340 in that pad 540 does not include metal brackets for compressing the rubber strips 550. In stabilizer pad 518, the rubber strips 550 are compressed together between the flanges 524 and 526 using the bolts 549 and the nuts 548. In the embodiment shown in Figs 19 and 20, the holes 562 for the bolts 549 in the resilient pad 540 are centered between a first planar surface 566 and a second planar surface 568 of the pad 540. This allows the resilient pad to be reversible so that either the first planar surface or the second planar surface is positioned to contact the ground.

A sixth embodiment of a stabilizer pad 618 will now be further described with reference to Figs. 21 and 22. Stabilizer pad 618 is similar to stabilizer pad 118 described above in that both have a substantially U-shaped frame made from a continuous steel

sheet. Stabilizer pad 618 differs from stabilizer pad 118 in that the degree of rotation from one working side of the stabilizer pad to the other working side is 180 degrees for stabilizer pad 618 verses 135 degrees for stabilizer pad 118.

The U-shaped frame of stabilizer pad 618 includes a base plate 622, flanges 624 and 626 and a resilient pad 640. Each of the flanges has grouser points 630. The resilient pad is mounted to mounting holes 639 of the base plate 622 using bolts 649, washers 646 and nuts 648. The resilient pad 640, like resilient pad 140, is formed using a plurality of rubber strips 650 that are compressed using brackets 642a and 642b and steel rods 652. In the embodiment shown, the steel rods 652 are welded to each of the brackets 642a and 642b. Each of the brackets 642a and 642b have right angle sections 643 having holes 644 for mounting the resilient pad 640 to the base plate 622.

A seventh embodiment of a stabilizer pad 718 in accordance with the present invention will now be described with reference to Fig. 23. Stabilizer pad 718 is substantially identical to stabilizer pad 618 except that the U-shaped frame of stabilizer pad 618 is replaced by two flange sections 724 and 726. Each of the flange sections has grouser points 730 and a right angle bracket 722 having mounting holes 739 for mounting the resilient pad to the flange sections.

In stabilizer pads 618 and 718, all of the grouser points 630 and 730 are shown as being of approximately the same height. In other versions, the outermost grouser points on each of the flanges may be longer than the inner grouser points to provide four-point contact of the stabilizer pads at substantially the outermost points on the stabilizer pads to maximize stability.

In other versions of the embodiment shown in Figs. 21-23, the flanges and brackets can be modified to accommodate the resilient pad 140 shown in Fig 4, or one of the reversible resilient pads shown in Figs. 14,17 and 20.

The embodiments of the invention shown in Figs. 11-23 do not include the cam 156 and the wheel 158 described above with respect to the stabilizer pad 118. As understood by one skilled in the art, to prevent self-flipping of the stabilizer pads shown in Figs. 11-23, the cam 156 could be included on the stabilizer pads and the wheel 158 could be included on the arm.

Some embodiments of the present invention described above have reversible rubber pads. The reversible pads could be replaced with single-sided pads as understood by those skilled in the art.

One advantage of embodiments of stabilizer pads of the present invention over prior art stabilizer pads is a reduction in manufacturing costs. In the first embodiment of the present invention, described above with reference to Figs. 4-10, the U-shaped frame can be formed from one piece of steel without requiring any welding. Alternatively, the U-shaped frame could be manufactured as a single cast piece. A further reduction in manufacturing costs is provided by the use of a single laminated pad in place of the three laminated pads used in the prior art stabilizer pad shown in Figs. 1-3. In addition to reducing manufacturing costs, stabilizer pads of the present invention are inherently structurally stronger than prior art pads and are therefore less susceptible to wear and have an extended operational life, even in adverse operating environments. Also, the use of a reversible laminated pad significantly increases the life of stabilizer pads of the present invention.

In the prior art, one side of the resilient pad used with stabilizer pads is typically coupled to a rigid mounting member for mounting the resilient pad to the stabilizer pad.

The resilient pads used in embodiments of the present invention are mounted to the stabilizer pad at a central point in the pad to allow the pad to have two or more working surfaces to significantly extend the life of the pad. In illustrative embodiments described above, resilient pads have two working surfaces. However, the present invention is not limited to pads having two working surfaces, but includes pads with more than two working surfaces.

In embodiments of the present invention described above, stabilizer pads include flanges having grouser points for engaging a rough or gravel ground surface. As understood by those skilled in the art, grouser points used with embodiments of the present invention are not limited to tapered steel points formed in the flanges, but also include other gripping devices arranged on the stabilizer pad to enable the stabilizer pad to grip a rough or gravel surface to prevent the stabilizer pad from slipping.

An eighth embodiment of a stabilizer pad 818 in accordance with the present invention will now be described with reference to Figs. 24 and 25. Furthermore, a ninth embodiment of a stabilizer pad 918 will also now be described with reference to Figs. 26 and 27. Both of these embodiments employ basic stabilizer pad constructions of the type described, for example, in U. S. Patent Nos. 4,761,021 and 5,050,904. These constructions support the resilient pad laterally in a spaced side-by-side relationship

rather than most of the earlier embodiments described herein in which the resilient pad is centrally supported.

With further specific reference to Figs. 24 and 25, there is described a stabilizer pad 818 supported from a stabilizer arm 814. For this support there is provided the bushings 836 and 837 for receiving the support pin 834.

The pad itself is comprised of separate flanges 824 and 826. Each of these flanges has a respective base 823 and 825. For example, the flange 824 is formed with a base 823 in a right angle arrangement and is constructed of a single piece of heavy-duty metal.

Each of the flanges 824 and 826 have respective grouser points 831 and 833. In this particular embodiment there are two grouser points associated with each flange and the grouser points are disposed symmetrically with respect to the bushings associated with each flange. This provides a stable grouser point construction when the pad is used in rough terrain such as in dirt or gravel. In this regard, in the orientation of the pad illustrated in Figs. 24 and 25, rather than the grouser points contacting the ground, the resilient pads 840 are in position for contact with a ground surface such as an asphalt or concrete surface.

In the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 24 and 25 the flanges 824 and 826 are interconnected by a cross-piece 821 disposed at one end of each of the flanges. This provides an open center section that receives the arm 814.

The embodiment of Figs. 24 and 25 provides a quite simplified way of attaching the resilient pad 840 to either of the flanges 823 or 825. For this purpose, each of the flanges is provided with a plurality of slots 860. In the embodiment illustrated in Fig. 24 three slots 860 are provided. However, it is understood that fewer or greater numbers of slots can be employed.

Depending upon the number of slots provided, the resilient pad 840 is likewise cut-out on its top section to provide upstanding portions 866, each having a hole 864 extending therethrough, such as illustrated particularly clearly in Fig. 25. Each of these upstanding portions 866 extends through a corresponding slot 860 into the position illustrated in Fig. 24. A plurality of cross-rods 862 are then used. These extend into the holes 864 and preferably provide a press-fit. The rods 862 are preferably positioned against the top surface of the flange on either side and may be welded to the flange or

secured in any other suitable manner to the flange so that the cross-rods do not disengage.

Prior to assembly, the resilient pad 840 which is comprised of a plurality of rubber strips 850, is secured together. These individual strips can be joined together by several different means such as by gluing, stapling, bolting or riveting. Also, the resilient pad 840 can be a single piece molded block still having the cut slots defining the upstanding portions.

Now, reference is made to the ninth embodiment of the present invention illustrated in Figs. 26 and 27. This embodiment, although similar to the embodiment of Figs. 24 and 25, is different in that the resilient pad 940 in the ninth embodiment is reversible. In this way the resilient pad 940 can be removed and essentially rotated through 180° so that extended wear of the pad becomes an important aspect of this particular construction.

With further reference to Figs. 26 and 27 there is shown a stabilizer pad 918 that is comprised of flanges 924 and 926. These flanges are similar to the flanges illustrated in Figs. 24 and 25 and thus include respective grouser points 931 and 933. Instead of the single base piece illustrated in the eighth embodiment, in the ninth embodiment, as illustrated clearly in Fig. 27, there are provided base pieces 923a and 923b. Likewise, the flange 926 has associated therewith base pieces 925a and 925b. Each of these base pieces extends at a right angle from its associated flange and the base pieces are spaced from each other a predetermined distance. Each of the base pieces is provided with a hole at the end thereof for receiving a stud 960, which in turn receives a corresponding cotter pin 962. The purpose of the stud and cotter pin is to secure the resilient pad 940 to these base pieces.

The flanges 924 and 926 are supported from the stabilizer arm 914 by means of the bushings 936 and 937 which receive the pivot pin 934. Also, the flanges are interconnected by means of the cross-piece 921 illustrated in Fig. 27.

The resilient pad 940 is constructed of a number of individual strips or segments 950. These segments are secured together and form a somewhat oblong shape. The shape could also be rectangular, circular, hexagon, triangular, octagon, or some other form and preferably has a lower contact surface 941 and an upper contact surface 943.

These two surfaces are preferably, but not necessarily, parallel to each other.

The resilient pad 940 is supported in a central manner and for that purpose there are provided slots 945 that extend through the pad. The base pieces extend into these slots and the pad is finally positioned in the manner illustrated in Fig. 26. To hold the pad together, the individually strips may be glued, stapled, bolted or riveted. Also, there is provided an end plate 966 also having slots corresponding to the slots in the pad material itself. As illustrated in Fig. 26 the studs 960 extend through end holes in each of the base pieces. These studs may also bear against the outer surface of the end plate 966 and are held in position by means of the aforementioned cotter pins 962.

Also, a bolt 964 of somewhat elongated construction extends through the resilient pad and through a hole 965 in the flange 924. The bolt 964 is secured by means of a washer 970 and a nut 968. The bolt 964 and its associated nut and washer is used, of course, on each of the pads associated with the respective flanges 924 and 926.

As can be seen quite readily, in the embodiment of Figs. 26 and 27, the pad 940 is reversible. This can be reversed by simply removing the bolt 964 and the studs 960 and rotating the pads so that rather than surface 941 being the ground contact surface, the surface 943 is the ground contact surface.

A final embodiment of the present invention is now illustrated in Figs. 28-33.

This particular pad construction may be referred to as an offset pad. It has been found that due to certain machine constraints, clearances between the pad and machine make this offset arrangement more advantageous. For example, machine tires or fenders may be arranged so that a symmetrical type pad cannot be employed. The design in this last embodiment provides an offset arrangement yet allowing the loading on the resilient pads to be equalized. Proper pad balance may be achieved without the use of additional counterweights.

Fig. 28 is a depiction of a backhoe 875 with there being provided a stabilizer arm 876 depicted as having the offset pad 880 affixed thereto. By way of example it is noted that a fender 877 is arranged in a manner so that if the symmetrical pad were to be used there would be interference between the pad and the body of the vehicle. Accordingly, by means of this offset pad arrangement there is no interference between the pad and any parts of the body of the vehicle.

The pad 880 is constructed with a base 882 having, as illustrated in, for example, Fig. 30, offset legs 890 and 891. Associated with legs 890 and 891 are upstanding flanges 892 and 893, respectively. Each of these flanges have a pair of grouser points

894 such as illustrated in Fig. 33. Fig. 31 shows the pad in the position in which the grouser points are engaging the ground surface.

This last embodiment of the present invention also illustrates a resilient pad 975, one associated with each of the legs 890 and 891. The pad 975 may be constructed of a series of separate resilient strips 976, all secured together and disposed within a U- shaped holder 977. As illustrated in Figs. 31-33, a series of rods 979 may be employed to hold the resilient pad in the U-shaped holder 977. For a somewhat similar pad construction refer to U. S. Patent No. 4,761,021 which is hereby incorporated by reference hereinto.

As illustrated in Fig. 30, the offset legs 890 and 891 are of different length. Leg 890 is shorter than the leg 891. Accordingly, the resilient pad on the leg 890 is arranged more towards the outer end of the pad construction while the pad associated with leg 891 is disposed more inwardly of the pad construction.

This last embodiment of the present invention also illustrates an important concept in a releasable latch. Although this releasable latch is illustrated with regard to the embodiment of Figs. 28-33, such a releasable latch may also be used with other embodiments of the present invention described herein.

The last embodiment of the invention illustrates the latch 980. The latch 980 is supported from the arm by means of a pivot pin 982. Also supported from the arm is a fixed position stop 984. The latch 980 has a slot 986 for engaging with the stop 984. As illustrated is, for example, Fig. 31 a cam 988 is provided to interact with the latch 980.

The cam 988 is supported from bushing 990. The cam 988 may be a fixed metal rod.

The releasable latch 980 is made of a resilient material. It may be of material 95a Duro with a thickness of 7/8thS inch.

Now, with regard to Fig. 31, it is noted that the latch is basically in its locked position. The stop 984 is engaged with the latch and the far end of the latch is in turn engaged with the cam 988. However, because the latch 980 is resilient it will allow the pad to reverse if potentially damaging obstacles are encountered when operating the machine.

Also, the latch can be released as is illustrated in Fig. 32. By pushing the latch manually in the direction of arrow 991, the latch essentially disengages from cam 988.

This permits the pad to then be rotated to the position illustrated if Fig. 33 with the resilient pads now in engagement with the ground surface. In connection with the

illustration of Fig. 32, it is noted that the latch 980 has a tab 993 that functions as a spring to return the latch to its locked position. In the position of Fig. 33 the latch is in its locked position but is not in engagement with the cam as the pad has been rotated to its other position.

Having thus described at least one illustrative embodiment of the invention, various alterations, modifications and improvements will readily occur to those skilled in the art. Such alterations, modifications and improvements are intended to be within the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description is by way of example only and is not intended as limiting. The invention's limit is defined only in the following claims and the equivalents thereto.

What is claimed is: