Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A TRAILER FOR UNCOILING PLASTIC PIPE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/147656
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An uncoiling trailer (110) is used for uncoiling large, plastic pipe coil (112). The uncoiling trailer uses a re-usable bobbin (130) to secure the pipe coil (112) within the uncoiling or de-coiling trailer (110). A relay or succession of bobbin and pipe coil assemblies (130, 112) may be loaded into the de-coiling trailer (110) in exchange for an empty or spent bobbin (130) from the uncoiling trailer (110). The empty bobbin (130) may be re-loaded with another pipe coil (1 12) further down the laying track. A tailgate (136) of the uncoiling trailer (110) has a take-off head (138) with a pipe haul- off. In use the take-off head (138) may be used to pull the uncoiling pipe section through the take-off head (138) against a coupled braking resistance applied to the rotation of the uncoiling pipe coil (112) and / or bobbin (130).

Inventors:
FEROS NICHOLAS (AU)
WOOD STEVEN ROBERT (AU)
KEAVY BRENDAN ROBERT (AU)
CELLIERS GEOFFREY HARRY (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2017/050184
Publication Date:
September 08, 2017
Filing Date:
March 02, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
VINIDEX PTY LTD (AU)
K L H PROMOTIONS PTY LTD (AU)
International Classes:
F16L1/00; B21F1/02; B60P3/035; B65H49/10; B65H75/24; F16L1/024; F16L1/032; F16L1/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015131096A12015-09-03
WO2011001183A12011-01-06
WO2012027775A12012-03-08
Foreign References:
US20140191076A12014-07-10
US20140086688A12014-03-27
US3889831A1975-06-17
US5139751A1992-08-18
US5676009A1997-10-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARDS, Adrian et al. (1 Market StreetSydney, New South Wales 2000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A method of uncoiling a pipe from a pipe coil, the steps including:

loading a first pipe coil to a first bobbin to form a first bobbin and pipe coil assembly;

mounting the first bobbin and pipe coil assembly to an uncoiling trailer;

removing the first bobbin after the first pipe coil is laid by the uncoiling trailer;

simultaneously to at least one of the previous steps, loading a second pipe coil to a second bobbin to form a second bobbin and pipe coil assembly;

mounting a second bobbin and pipe coil assembly to the uncoiling trailer; and

re-loading the first bobbin with another pipe coil to form another bobbin and pipe coil assembly.

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the steps are repeated to uncoil successive pipe coils.

3. A method of according to claim 1 or 2, further including loading a pipe coil to a bobbin, the steps including:

reducing an outside diameter of the bobbin to an outer diameter less than or equal to an inner diameter of a pipe coil,

inserting the bobbin into a pipe coil center, and

increasing the outside diameter of the bobbin to secure the pipe coil to the bobbin.

4. A method of according to claim 3, further including the step:

increasing the circumference of the bobbin at the same rate about the bobbin when securing the pipe coil to the bobbin.

5. A method of according to claim 3 or 4, further including the steps of: retracting radially at least two members of the bobbin to reduce the outside diameter of the bobbin, and

expanding radially at least two members of the bobbin to increase the outside diameter of the bobbin.

6. A trailer for uncoiling a pipe coil comprising:

a trailer chassis,

a tailgate attached to a rear of the trailer chassis,

a pair of arms pivotably attached to the chassis,

a removable bobbin adapted to be mounted by the pair of moveable arms, and a take-off head for the pipe coil moveably mounted to the tailgate,

wherein the bobbin is loaded with the pipe coil that is to be uncoiled, and

wherein the bobbin and pipe coil assembly enters the trailer chassis via the open tailgate and is loaded into an operating position within the trailer by the pair of moveable arms.

7. A trailer according to claim 6, wherein each of the arms moves independently with respect to the other arm.

8. A trailer according to claim 6 or 7, wherein each of the arms moves vertically and horizontally.

9. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 8, wherein the bobbin includes:

at least two members of the bobbin, and

an actuating means within the bobbin to radially retract and expand the members with respect to the bobbin,

wherein loading and securing of the pipe coil is done by radially retracting and expanding the members.

10. A trailer according to claim 9, wherein the members of the bobbin are at least one of a curved segment and a longitudinal bar.

11. A trailer according to claim 9 or 10, wherein the actuating means is at least one of a scissor lift mechanism, lift table, actuating hydraulic cylinder, radial guides and rams.

12. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 11, wherein each end of the bobbin is adapted to engage with a respective arm of the trailer.

13. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 12, wherein the bobbin centralises within the pipe coil.

14. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 12, including a mounting arrangement for the bobbin to the pair of arms comprising:

a pair of opposed, tapered rings, each rotationally mounted to the pair of two opposed moveable arms; and

the bobbin core includes opposed, co-axial corresponding rings, each adapted to mate with each respective tapered ring of the pair of opposed arms;

wherein the opposed tapered rings are actuated to removably clamp the corresponding rings of the bobbin core to mount the bobbin and pipe coil assembly within the trailer.

15. A trailer according to claim 6, wherein the mounting arrangement further includes locking pegs or blades recessed to a mounting surface of the tapered rings, wherein the locking pegs are adapted to extend beyond the mounting surface so as to retain the respective bobbin core ring to the respective arm.

16. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 15, wherein a pair of guards adjacent the pipe coil are each attached to respective moveable arms

17. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 16, further including a respective drive wheel to an inside of each tapered ring mounted on each moveable arm.

18. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 17, wherein the take-off head for a pipe coil comprises:

a first set of three opposed pairs of rollers,

a second set of two opposed pairs of rollers, and

a moveable chassis co-locating the first set and second sets of rollers together,

wherein the first set of rollers are mounted to the chassis orthogonally to the second set of rollers.

19. A trailer according to any one of claims 16 to 18, wherein the take-off head traverses the full width of at least one of the tailgate and a width of the pipe coil.

20. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 19, wherein the take-off head rotates about a horizontal axis

21. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 20, wherein the take-off head traverses vertically.

22. A trailer according to any one of claims 6 to 21, wherein take-off head rotates about a longitudinal axis of an uncoiled pipe section passing through the take- off head.

23. A trailer according to any one of claims 18 to 22, wherein for the take-off head each pair of the second set rollers is mounted on, opposed sides of the first set of rollers.

24. A trailer according to any one of claims 18 to 23, wherein the second set of two opposed rollers are pivotably mounted and actuated such that at least one of a pipe entry angle and a pipe exit angle to the take-off head may be controlled.

25. A trailer according to claim 18 or 24, wherein at least one pair of the opposed rollers is driven to control an uncoiling of a pipe section from the pipe coil that passes through the take-off head.

26. A trailer according to any one of claims 18 to 25, wherein the arrangement of the first and second set of rollers is to at least one of: increases a circularity transverse cross-section of a pipe section, straightens a length of the pipe section and applies a reverse bend to a pipe a section from the pipe coil.

27. A trailer according to any one of claims 25 or 26, wherein the driven rollers are coupled with a rotational drive to the pipe coil to control a pipe tension between the take-off head and the pipe coil.

28. A trailer according to claim 27, wherein the coupling between the driven rollers and the pipe coil rotational drive is hydraulic.

29. A trailer according to any of claims 6 to 28, wherein the trailer chassis has independent suspension.

30. A trailer according to any of claims 6 to 29, further including a pivotably mounted strap cutter for cutting a pipe coil strapping.

31. A cradle for a bobbin and pipe coil assembly according to claim 1 or 6, comprising:

an arcuate arrangement of at least three horizontal members providing support to a lower most portion of the pipe coil, and

a base supporting the arcuate arrangement,

wherein the arcuate arrangement and the base are configured to support the bobbin and pipe coil assembly in an upright position.

32. A cradle according to claim 31, further including an integral, quick release strap mechanism for securing the bobbin and pipe coil assembly to the cradle.

33. A cradle according to claim 31 or 32, wherein the horizontal members are pivotably mounted to conform with the bobbin and pipe coil assembly.

34. A method of uncoiling a pipe coil, the steps including:

passing a pipe section from the pipe coil through a take-off head, driving the take-off head to control the uncoiling of the pipe coil, braking a rotation of the pipe coil, and

maintaining a sufficient tension of a pipe section between the pipe coil and the take-off head by a proportional control between the driving of the take-off head and braking pipe coil rotation.

35. A method according to claim 34, further including the step:

coupling the take-off head driving to the braking of the pipe coil rotation.

36. A method according to 34 or 35, further including the step:

proportionally braking the pipe coil rotation to the driving of the take-off head

37. A method according to any one of claims 34 to 36, further including the step: proportionally controlling the take-off drive in opposition to the pipe coil rotation braking

such that the sufficient tension to the pipe between take-off head and the pipe coil is maintained to prevent a movement between the uncoiled windings within the pipe coil.

38. A method according to any one of claims 34 to 37, wherein adjacent windings of the pipe coil remain in contact with each other and/or the bobbin core during the uncoiling.

39. A method according to any one of claims 34 to 38, further including the step: maintaining a sufficient tension of the pipe section to preserve an integrity of the pipe coil windings during uncoiling.

40. A method according to any one of claims 34 to 39, wherein the proportional control is with respect to a linear speed of the take-off head haul off and a rotational speed of the pipe coil.

41. A method according to claim 40, further including the step:

offsetting the linear speed of the take-off head and the rotational speed of the pipe coil to maintain a sufficient tension.

42. A method according to any one of claim 34 to 41, further including the step of: hydraulically coupling between the take-off driving and the pipe coil braking.

43. An apparatus according to any one of claims 34 to 42, comprising:

a haul-off drive motor for a take-off head,

another drive or braking motor for a bobbin and pipe coil assembly, and

a control circuit between the haul-off motor and the bobbin and pipe coil assembly motor.

44. An apparatus according to claim 43, wherein the control circuit is a hydraulic circuit between the take-off head motor and the bobbin motor.

45. A method for uncoiling a pipe coil comprising the steps:

uncoiling a pipe section from a pipe coil;

maintaining a tension between an uncoiled pipe section and the pipe coil; and reverse bending the pipe section about at least one of:

an axis offset and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil, an axis offset and orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil, and

any axis orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the uncoiled pipe section,

whereby the uncoiled pipe is straightened.

Description:
A TRAILER FOR UNCOILING PLASTIC PIPE. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

[0001] The present invention relates to the laying of plastic pipe from large pipe coils. In particular to de-coiling or uncoiling of pipe coils in remote areas with a minimum of ancillary equipment and support staff.

2. Description of the Art

[0002] There are various known arrangements and methods for laying of plastic pipe from pipe coils. A common technique is to supply a pipe coil and spool assembly direct from a pipe factory to the site for installation. The spool with the pipe coil assembly may then be mounted upon the back of truck or towed trailer in an arrangement to allow the spool to rotate freely. The free end of the pipe may then be secured or anchored near a trench for the pipe. The truck or trailer with the free running spool of pipe is then driven alongside the trench until the other pipe end is released from the spool. The uncontrolled release of the pipe end from the spool is a safety issue if larger pipe diameters are used and the truck or trailer is being driven too fast. In addition the placement of the pipe for laying into the trench may also be haphazard.

[0003] In addition passive roller arrangements have been used to improve the circularity and straightness of plastic pipe from a pipe coil. An example of one such arrangement is US 5,676,009 (Bright et al). However such circularity and

straightening devices as Bright are typically not used to directly control the rate of de- coiling of large pipe coils.

[0004] None of these prior art methods and apparatus provides an entirely satisfactory solution to the laying of plastic pipe from large pipe coils in remote areas, nor to the ease of de-coiling or uncoiling larger diameter pipe from large pipe coils. [0005] Any reference herein to known prior art does not, unless the contrary indication appears, constitute an admission that such prior art is commonly known by those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, at the priority date of this application.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention aims to provide an alternative de-coiler trailer arrangement and method for pipe coils which overcomes or ameliorates the disadvantages of the prior art, or at least provides a useful choice.

[0007] In one form the invention provides a method of uncoiling a pipe from a pipe coil, the steps including: loading a first pipe coil to a first bobbin to form a first bobbin and pipe coil assembly; mounting the first bobbin and pipe coil assembly to an uncoiling trailer; removing the first bobbin after the first pipe coil is laid by the uncoiling trailer; simultaneously to at least one of the previous steps, loading a second pipe coil to a second bobbin to form a second bobbin and pipe coil assembly;

mounting a second bobbin and pipe coil assembly to the uncoiling trailer; and reloading the first bobbin with another pipe coil to form another bobbin and pipe coil assembly.

[0008] The method wherein the steps are repeated to uncoil successive pipe coils.

[0009] The method further including loading a pipe coil to a bobbin, the steps including: reducing an outside diameter of the bobbin to an outer diameter less than or equal to an inner diameter of a pipe coil, inserting the bobbin into a pipe coil center, and increasing the outside diameter of the bobbin to secure the pipe coil to the bobbin.

[0010] The method further including the step: increasing the circumference of the bobbin at the same rate about the bobbin when securing the pipe coil to the bobbin.

[0011] The method further including the steps of: retracting radially at least two members of the bobbin to reduce the outside diameter of the bobbin, and expanding radially at least two members of the bobbin to increase the outside diameter of the bobbin. [0012] In another form the invention provides a trailer for uncoiling a pipe coil comprising: a trailer chassis, a tailgate attached to a rear of the trailer chassis, a pair of arms pivotably attached to the chassis, a removable bobbin adapted to be mounted by the pair of moveable arms, and a take-off head for the pipe coil moveably mounted to the tailgate, wherein the bobbin is loaded with the pipe coil that is to be uncoiled, and wherein the bobbin and pipe coil assembly enters the trailer chassis via the open tailgate and is loaded into an operating position within the trailer by the pair of moveable arms.

[0013] The trailer wherein each of the arms moves independently with respect to the other arm.

[0014] The trailer wherein each of the arms moves vertically and horizontally.

[0015] The bobbin includes: at least two members of the bobbin, and an actuating means within the bobbin to radially retract and expand the members with respect to the bobbin, wherein loading and securing of the pipe coil is done by radially retracting and expanding the members.

[0016] The members of the bobbin are at least one of a curved segment and a longitudinal bar.

[0017] The actuating means is at least one of a scissor lift mechanism, lift table, actuating hydraulic cylinder, radial guides and rams.

[0018] The trailer wherein each end of the bobbin is adapted to engage with a respective arm of the trailer.

[0019] The trailer wherein the bobbin centralises within the pipe coil.

[0020] The trailer including a mounting arrangement for the bobbin to the pair of arms comprising: a pair of opposed, tapered rings, each rotationally mounted to the pair of two opposed moveable arms; and the bobbin core includes opposed, co-axial corresponding rings, each adapted to mate with each respective tapered ring of the pair of opposed arms; wherein the opposed tapered rings are actuated to removably clamp the corresponding rings of the bobbin core to mount the bobbin and pipe coil assembly within the trailer.

[0021] The mounting arrangement further includes locking pegs or blades recessed to a mounting surface of the tapered rings, wherein the locking pegs are adapted to extend beyond the mounting surface so as to retain the respective bobbin core ring to the respective arm.

[0022] The trailer wherein a pair of guards adj acent the pipe coil are each attached to respective moveable arms.

[0023] The trailer further including a respective drive wheel to an inside of each tapered ring mounted on each moveable arm.

[0024] The take-off head for a pipe coil comprises: a first set of three opposed pairs of rollers, a second set of two opposed pairs of rollers, and a moveable chassis co-locating the first set and second sets of rollers together, wherein the first set of rollers are mounted to the chassis orthogonally to the second set of rollers.

[0025] The take-off head traverses the full width of at least one of the tailgate and a width of the pipe coil.

[0026] The take-off head rotates about a horizontal axis.

[0027] The take-off head traverses vertically.

[0028] The take-off head rotates about a longitudinal axis of an uncoiled pipe section passing through the take- off head.

[0029] The trailer wherein for the take-off head each pair of the second set rollers is mounted on opposed sides of the first set of rollers.

[0030] The second set of two opposed rollers are pivotably mounted and actuated such that at least one of a pipe entry angle and a pipe exit angle to the takeoff head may be controlled.

[0031] The trailer wherein at least one pair of the opposed rollers is driven to control an uncoiling of a pipe section from the pipe coil that passes through the takeoff head.

[0032] The arrangement of the first and second set of rollers is to at least one of: increases a circularity transverse cross-section of a pipe section, straightens a length of the pipe section and applies a reverse bend to a pipe a section from the pipe coil.

[0033] The driven rollers are coupled with a rotational drive to the pipe coil to control a pipe tension between the take-off head and the pipe coil.

[0034] The coupling between the driven rollers and the pipe coil rotational drive is hydraulic. [0035] The trailer chassis has independent suspension.

[0036] The trailer further including a pivotably mounted strap cutter for cutting a pipe coil strapping.

[0037] A cradle for a bobbin and pipe coil assembly for either the method or the trailer, comprising: an arcuate arrangement of at least three horizontal members providing support to a lower most portion of the pipe coil, and a base supporting the arcuate arrangement, wherein the arcuate arrangement and the base are configured to support the bobbin and pipe coil assembly in an upright position.

[0038] The cradle further including an integral, quick release strap mechanism for securing the bobbin and pipe coil assembly to the cradle.

[0039] The cradle wherein the horizontal members are pivotably mounted to conform with the bobbin and pipe coil assembly.

[0040] In an alternate form the invention provides a method of uncoiling a pipe coil, the steps including: passing a pipe section from the pipe coil through a takeoff head, driving the take-off head to control the uncoiling of the pipe coil, braking a rotation of the pipe coil, and maintaining a sufficient tension of a pipe section between the pipe coil and the take-off head by a proportional control between the driving of the take-off head and braking pipe coil rotation.

[0041] The method further including the step: coupling the take-off head driving to the braking of the pipe coil rotation.

[0042] The method according to 34 or 34, further including the step:

proportionally braking the pipe coil rotation to the driving of the take-off head.

[0043] The method further including the step: proportionally controlling the take-off drive in opposition to the pipe coil rotation braking such that the sufficient tension to the pipe between take-off head and the pipe coil is maintained to prevent a movement between the uncoiled windings within the pipe coil.

[0044] The method wherein adjacent windings of the pipe coil remain in contact with each other and/or the bobbin core during the uncoiling.

[0045] The method further including the step: maintaining a sufficient tension of the pipe section to preserve an integrity of the pipe coil windings during uncoiling.

[0046] The proportional control is with respect to a linear speed of the take-off head haul off and a rotational speed of the pipe coil. [0047] The method further including the step: offsetting the linear speed of the take-off head and the rotational speed of the pipe coil to maintain a sufficient tension.

[0048] The method further including the step of: hydraulically coupling between the take-off driving and the pipe coil braking.

[0049] In yet another form the invention provides an apparatus comprising: a haul-off drive motor for a take-off head, another drive or braking motor for a bobbin and pipe coil assembly, and a control circuit between the haul-off motor and the bobbin and pipe coil assembly motor.

[0050] The control circuit is a hydraulic circuit between the take-off head motor and the bobbin motor.

[0051] In yet a further alternate form the invention provides a method for uncoiling a pipe coil comprising the steps: uncoiling a pipe section from a pipe coil; maintaining a tension between an uncoiled pipe section and the pipe coil; and reverse bending the pipe section about at least one of: an axis offset and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil, an axis offset and orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil, and any axis orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the uncoiled pipe section, whereby the uncoiled pipe is straightened.

[0052] Further forms of the invention are as set out in the appended claims and as apparent from the description.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0053] The description is made with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

[0054] FIGURE 1 is a schematic of a rear perspective view of a de-coiling or uncoiling trailer for a large, plastic pipe coil.

[0055] FIGURE 2A is a schematic of a perspective view of an expandable bobbin or reel being inserted into a pipe coil.

[0056] FIGURE 2B is a photograph / drawing of a bobbin core showing the co-axial rings. [0057] FIGURE 3 is a photograph / drawing of a DN250mm SDR11 polyethylene (PE) pipe coil.

[0058] FIGURE 4 is another rear perspective view of the de-coiling trailer of FIGURE 1.

[0059] FIGURES 5 to 7B are schematics of close-up views of FIGURE 4 to the bobbin core rings in place upon the tapered surface of the moveable lifting arms.

[0060] FIGURES 8 to 9C are perspective views of the scissor lift mechanisms or otherwise lift table mechanisms to retract and expand the curved segments of the bobbin core.

[0061] FIGURES 10A to 12B are photographs / drawings of the cradle used to support the bobbin and pipe coil assembly with a quick release mechanism.

[0062] FIGURES 13 to 15C are a sequence of schematic drawings showing the loading of the pipe coil and bobbin assembly to the de-coiling trailer and unloading of an empty bobbin.

[0063] FIGURE 16 is a side sectional view of the de-coiler trailer showing the position of the cradle for loading operations.

[0064] FIGURE 17 is a schematic of a perspective view of the take-off head 138 attached to rails 1712 of the tailgate 136.

[0065] FIGURES 18 to 22 are schematic diagrams of various views of the take-off head.

[0066] FIGURES 23 to 25 are various views of the uncoiling pipe from the pipe coil passing through the take-off head to be laid pipe from the rear of the de- coiling trailer.

[0067] FIGURE 26 is a perspective view of a strap cutter as may be used to cut the binding straps to the pipe coil of FIGURES 2 A and 3.

[0068] FIGURES 27 to 30 are views of a portable remote control unit that may be used by an operator.

[0069] In the figures the reference numerals are prefixed by the figure number. For example FIG 1 is the "100" series, FIG 2 is the "200" series and so on. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0070] FIGURE 1 is a rear perspective view of an uncoiling trailer 110 for a large, plastic pipe coil 112. The uncoiling trailer is used to uncoil the pipe 114 from the pipe coil 112 and lay the pipe upon a ground or adjacent a trench for the pipe. The word "de-coiling" in the following detailed description and claims is taken to include: de-coil, uncoil and uncoiling of a coil of a pipe. The operator person 114 in FIGURE 1 provides an indicator of a size of the de-coiling trailer 110 and the pipe coil 112. The trailer chassis may be approximately 5 metres wide and approximately 10 metres long as an example of the size of the trailer and components in FIGURE 1. The remote control operation of the de-coiler trailer 110 by the operator 114 is described in detail further below with respect to FIGURES 27 to 30. The plastic pipe may be of a suitable plastic material for forming into pipe coils for transport and then de-coiling into lengths of pipe. For example plastics such as a polyolefin, a polyalkene and polyethylenes varying in density, molecular weight and cross linking. The pipe coils may be of pipe up to approximately DN125 SDR 11 or 17 pipe with continuous length of 2km, or up to a DN250 with an approximate SDR range of 9 to 17 pipe with continuous length of 400m. In the following description the following terms are defined. A Standard Diameter Ratio "SDR" is typically used to define the wall thickness for a given outside diameter of a pipe. The SDR is defined as the ratio of the pipe nominal outside diameter "DN" to the nominal wall thickness. The de-coiler trailer 110 may have a capacity to handle pipe coils 112 up to approximately 10 tonne in weight. The coiled pipe 214 may have an outside diameter of up to approximately 5.2 metres and a width of up to approximately 2.4 metres. Preferably the maximum diameter is up to approximately 4900mm. The number of pipe winding layers may be from three to ten or more preferably approximately six to eight layers. Example pipe coil windings are shown in FIGURES 1, 2A, 3 and 13. Such larger pipe diameters, pipe coil diameters and pipe coil widths are not safely, economically and reliably dealt with by prior art devices for de-coiling / uncoiling or otherwise laying out of the pipe. These large pipe coil widths and diameters may be produced by a pipe coiler as described in the Australian provisional patent application AU 2016902685 filed 8 July 2016, titled "Coiler ". [0071] FIGURE 1 also shows a towing vehicle 118 which in the example shown is a caterpillar track style vehicle, such as a Challenger style vehicle, suitable for remote area, multi-purpose work in rough terrain. It will be readily appreciated that any suitable towing vehicle may be used such as a prime mover or agricultural tractor, depending on the towing load and the terrain, track or road. A cradle 120 to the rear of the de-coiling trailer 110 may be used during a loading and unloading process for the pipe coil 112 as described in detail below with respect to FIGURES 13 to 15C. The cradle 120 may also have optional outriggers 122 to provide extra stability for the cradle 120 on uneven ground when the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 is secured to the cradle 120. The cradle outriggers 122 may have height adjustability to aid in their function.

[0072] The de-coiler trailer 110 has a number of features to aid in self- contained loading and unloading as well as de-coiling of the pipe coil 112. For example, a pair of moveable lifting arms 124 pivotably 126 attached to the trailer chassis 128 as shown in FIGURE 1. The lifting arms 124 may be used to raise and lower the bobbin 130 or reel supporting the pipe coil 112. The lifting arms may be operated using independent hydraulic rams or cylinders 132. The lifting arms 124 may be operated at different heights for situations where the terrain is uneven and the trailer load may need to be adjusted to an appropriate center of gravity of the trailer. The operation of the de-coiler trailer on uneven terrain is described further with respect to FIGURES 13 and 14 A.

[0073] The de-coiler trailer 110 also uses an expandable bobbin 130 or reel in order to secure and support the pipe coil 112. The bobbin may also be re-usable to aid in loading and unloading to the de-coiler trailer 110 as well as freight logistics for the pipe coil from the factory to the installation site. That is the bobbin remains on site for re-use as described further below.

[0074] Each of the lifting arms 124 of the de-coiler trailer 110 may also have Ferris wheel like guards 134 to further aid in retaining and securing the pipe coil 112 on the bobbin 130 when loaded onto de-coiler trailer 110. The ferris wheel guards 134 may also have a reduced section 135 or chord to the circumference of the guard in order to reduce the height of the de-coiling trailer 110 when in transit between de- coiling jobs. In addition the reduced span 135 of the guards 134 may be used lowermost so as to enable an empty bobbin 130 to be lowered directly onto the cradle 120, or an alternative cradle for the empty bobbin, during re-loading operations, as described further below with respect to FIGURES 13 to 15C.

[0075] The bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, 112 may be driven or braked with a hydraulic motor 137 as described below with respect to FIGURE 4 and

FIGURES 23 to 25.

[0076] The rear of the de-coiling trailer 110 features a tailgate 136 through which the bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, 112 may be loaded and unloaded. The tailgate 136 also supports a take-off head 138 for the pipe 114 from the pipe coil 112. The take-off head 138 also operates as a driven haul-off for the pipe to directly control the de-coiling and laying of the pipe 114. The above features and further are described in detail further below.

[0077] FIGURE 2A is a perspective view of an expandable bobbin 130 being inserted into a pipe coil 112. FIGURE 3 is a photograph / drawing of a DN250mm SDR11 polyethylene (PE) pipe coil 112 being held upright by a crane with sling, in order to receive a bobbin 130. In FIGURE 3 straps 312 about the pipe coil 112 and the inner pipe tail 314 are shown. The straps 312 are typically applied to the pipe coil 112 during factory coiling and prior to freighting. The straps 312 may be applied full width and across all the winding layers of the pipe coil. Intermediate straps may also be applied across fractions of the pipe coil width and winding layers so as to maintain pipe integrity during storage, handling, freighting and loading to the bobbin 130 and mounting to the de-coiler trailer. FIGURE 2 A has omitted the straps 312 in order to improve clarity. As the pipe coil 112 inner diameter is fixed by the straps 312 at delivery and may vary from pipe coil to pipe coil and different pipe DN and SDR, the bobbin core 212 (or reel) of FIGURE 2 A may be retractable and expandable in order to aid in fitting and securing to the pipe coil 112.

[0078] The bobbin 130 of FIGURE 2 A has an outer surface 214 that may be made up of six curved segments 216, curved plates or members about the cylindrical bobbin core 212 as shown. The curved segments 216 or members may be radially retractable and expandable with respect to the bobbin core 212 in order to aid fitting into and securing the pipe coil 112 to the bobbin 130. In use, for securing a pipe coil to the bobbin, the radial retraction of the members 216 may be done until the outside diameter of the bobbin 130 is less than or equal to the inner diameter of the pipe coil 112. The members 216 may then be expanded radially to increase the bobbin outside diameter so as to secure the pipe coil 112 to the bobbin 130. The curved segments or members 216 may be radially moved or otherwise controlled by actuating means within the bobbin core 212. For example the actuating means may be an arrangement of hydraulic cylinders with scissor lift mechanisms as described below with respect to FIGURES 8 and 9.

[0079] It will be readily appreciated that more or less moveable curved segments than six may be used and still fulfil the function of reducing the outer diameter of the bobbin core 212 so that the bobbin 130 may be inserted into the pipe coil 112. For example opposing members or curved plates 216 may be expandable with respect to the bobbin core 212 so as to secure the pipe coil 112 for loading to the de-coiler trailer 110 and de-coiling. In another example one to six moveable curved segments spaced about the periphery of the bobbin core 212 may be used.

Alternatively one to three segments may be used. Preferably two or more segments 216 or members 216, 816 are used so that the increasing of the circumference about the bobbin may be done at the same rate.

[0080] It will also be readily appreciated that the continuous, curved outer surface 214 of each curved segment 216 may be substituted with a number of longitudinal bars 816 or members to provide the same purpose as shown and described with respect to FIGURES 8 to 9C below. However the minimum form and minimum number of curved segments 216 or longitudinal bars 816 or members may be constrained by a need to provide sufficient support to the innermost portions of the plastic pipe coil 112 during loading and de-coiling operations.

[0081] The bobbin core 212 also features a pair of co-axial rings 218 at each end of the bobbin core 212. One of which is shown in FIGURE 2A. FIGURE 2B is a photograph / drawing of the bobbin 130 without the curved segments 216 and inner mechanisms described herein. The co-axial rings 218 at each end of the bobbin 130 are shown in FIGURE 2B. Also shown in FIGURE 2B are fork pockets 222 for lifting the bobbin with a forklift truck during pipe coil loading. The inner surface 220 of each ring 218 is tapered to match a corresponding tapered ring 412 or truncated cone mounted to the lifting arm 124 as shown in FIGURE 4. The corresponding tapered ring 412 is a rotating mounting to the lifting arm 124 to allow the pipe coil 112 to be uncoiled as described below with respect to FIGURES 23 to 25. The rotating tapered ring mounting 412 may be driven or braked by a hydraulic or an electric motor 137 or a drive which may be coupled with the drive to the take-off head 138 haul-off rollers 1826 as described further below.

[0082] The inner pipe tail 314 of the pipe coil, see FIGURE 2 A, may be secured to the bobbin core 130 via the support frame support ends 224 to the rings 218. Alternatively the inner pipe tail 314 may be secured to the de-coiler trailer 110 as described below with respect to FIGURE 4.

[0083] FIGURE 4 is another rear perspective view of the de-coiling trailer 110 of FIGURE 1. FIGURE 4 has omitted much of the structure of FIGURE 1 in order to improve clarity to the features described for FIGURE 4, for example only one moveable arm 124 is shown. The tapered ring 412 of FIGURE 4 on the lifting arm 124 may also include recesses or apertures 414 for pegs or pins to lock the bobbin core rings 218 in a correct position upon the corresponding tapered surface 412 of the lifting arm 124.

[0084] FIGURE 4 also shows a circumferential open segment 416 of the Ferris wheel guard 134 to allow the inner pipe tail 314 of the pipe coil 112 to protrude through the open segment 416. During coiling of the pipe in the factory, the inner pipe tail 314 may be left outside the pipe coil width in order to prevent kinking or otherwise distortion of the pipe coil. Alternatively or in addition the inner pipe tail 314 of the pipe coil 112 may be secured to the guard chord 135 in order to maintain its position outside of the pipe coil. However, for such securing the inner pipe tail 314 may be prone to twisting towards the end of uncoiling the pipe coil. Accordingly, the application of reverse bends (described below) is not accurately applied for the last few windings on the pipe coil, resulting in pipe wastage. The inner pipe tail 314 may be further secured to the structures described herein by pinning the end with transverse through holes and the use of an appropriately anchored inner sleeve to mate with the inner pipe tail 314 end.

[0085] FIGURES 5 to 7B are close-up views of FIGURE 4 to the bobbin core rings 218 in place upon the tapered surface 412 of the moveable lifting arms 124. The curved segments 216 are not shown in FIGURES 5 to 7 in order to improve clarity. In FIGURES 5 and 6A a locking pin or peg 512 within the aperture 414 of the tapered surface 412 is shown. The bobbin core ring 218 is innermost to the lifting arm 124 such that when the locking pin 512 or blade projects through the aperture 414 the bobbin core ring 218 as well as the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 are secured or clamped between the lifting arms 124 and to the de-coiling trailer 110. FIGURE 6B shows the bobbin 130 secured by the projecting locking pins 512.

[0086] FIGURE 7A is an underside or inner view of the tapered ring 412 of FIGURES 5 and 6. A latching mechanism and actuator 712 for the locking pin 512 is shown attached to the underside of the tapered ring 412 of the lifting arm 124. It will be readily appreciated that safety interlocks and locking flags may be implemented for the locking pins 512 and latching mechanism 712 in order to ensure and verify that the bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, 112 are correctly and always engaged when the lifting arms 124 raise the assembly 130, 112. FIGURE 7B is an axial view of the bobbin 130 secured to one lifting arm 124. Locking flags 714 are visible from each latching mechanism 712 about the tapered ring and the bobbin ring 218.

[0087] It will be readily appreciated that the circular ring 218 shown at the bobbin 130 end may be replaced with a hexagonal ring or other suitable multisided shape ring that mates with a corresponding ring 412 or other mounting on the lifting arm. The alternative corresponding ring 412 or mounting on the lifting arm 124 may be profiled to mate easily and robustly to the hexagonal ring 218 of the bobbin 130. For example flange or flank drive protuberances or projections to the lifting arm mounting 412 may be used to engage with the sides of the hexagonal ring 218. Such an alternative mounting for the bobbin core 212 to the lifting arm 124 may require reduced machining tolerance and be more robust to damage in the field.

[0088] In the FIGURE examples to the bobbin 130 rings 218 and

corresponding tapered ring or truncated cone 412 of the lifting arms 124. The taper direction is shown towards the center of the bobbin core 212. It will be readily appreciated that the taper may be reversed in direction if desired

[0089] FIGURES 8 to 9C are perspective views of the scissor lift mechanisms 812 or otherwise lift table mechanisms to retract and expand the alternate members 216 of the bobbin 130 as described above with respect to FIGURE 2 A. In FIGURES 8 and 9A an alternate bobbin 130 is shown installed or loaded into the trailer 110, between the lifting arms 124. To improve clarity, the pipe coil 112 is not shown. An actuating hydraulic cylinder 814 to an upper scissor lift mechanism 812 is shown in an extended state for an expanded bobbin core 212 operating position.

[0090] In FIGURES 8 and 9 A are an alternate example of the bobbin 130 where an alternative to three curved segments may expand or retract. In Figures 8 and 9A the alternate example is longitudinal bars 816 at the radially outermost sides of the scissor lift mechanism 812. The longitudinal bars 816 may directly support the inner diameter of the pipe coil 112. The longitudinal bars 816 may also have a suitable rubber profiled edge and face 818 to protect the plastic pipe 112, 114.

[0091] FIGURES 9B and 9C are perspective views of only the bobbin 130 with six scissor lift mechanisms 812. FIGURE 9B shows the scissor lift mechanisms 812 and longitudinal bars 816 retracted. FIGURE 9C shows the scissor lift mechanisms 812 expanded. The scissor lift mechanisms may be particularly advantageous to provide a sufficient securing force to the inside of the pipe coil so as resist the large torques during uncoiling that may be experienced for larger diameter pipe, for example DN250mm. For example each scissor lift mechanism may be capable of providing up to and more than 6 tonne of lift force.

[0092] The scissor lifts 812 may be operated hydraulically via a hydraulic circuit designed so that all the scissor lifts expand at the same rate and with opposing scissor lifts being concentric to the bobbin core 212. The increasing or expanding of the effective outside diameter of bobbin at the same rate about the increasing bobbin circumference is useful to secure the pipe coil to the bobbin uniformly and without damage. In addition the use of the same expansion of the bobbin outside diameter about the bobbing allows the bobbin to centralise within the pipe coil.

[0093] It will be readily appreciated that the technical drawings of FIGURES 9B and 9C have more detail that is in addition to the scissor lift mechanism and function 812 for expanding and retracting the curved segments 216 / longitudinal bars 816 / members 216, 816 of the bobbin.

[0094] It will also be readily appreciated that other actuating means mechanisms to the scissor lift one, described by way of example, may also be used to obtain the same function of radial expansion or retraction for the bobbin 130 to the pipe coil. For example an arrangement of radial guides and rams may be used to reduce the weight and complexity of the bobbin 130. Such an arrangement may advantageously reduce the weight of the bobbin 130 from approximately four tonnes to approximately two tonnes when de-coiling smaller diameter pipe such DN125mm. A reduced weight of the bobbin core may be an advantage when loading the bobbin core in remote areas in that lifting machinery may be of a lower capacity and size.

[0095] FIGURES 10A to 12B are photographs / drawings of the cradle 120 used to support the bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, 112 during loading operations to the de-coiling trailer 110. The cradle 120 shown in FIGURE 10A may have three support struts 1012 which are both an integral part of the cradle structure and base as well as providing support to the lowermost portion of the bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, 112. The three horizontal support struts 1012 provide an arcuate arrangement that matches the lowermost portion of the pipe coil 112 in order to minimise distortion of the outermost pipe sections when resting upon the cradle 120.

[0096] Alternatively the three horizontal support struts 1012 may be mounted to the cradle 120 so that they tilt or swivel in order to conform to the shape of the lower most portion of the pipe coil 112. FIGURE 10B is a photograph / drawing showing a swivel support strut 1014 mounted to the cradle 120 via a swivel / pivoting mounting 1016.

[0097] FIGURES 11 and 12A are respective side and inside views of the quick release lashing or strapping mechanism 1112. The lashing or strapping mechanism is used to safely secure using appropriate lashes or straps the up to 5 metre high pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 to the cradle 120 for storage and during loading operations of the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 to the de-coiler trailer 110. The quick release mechanism 1112 enables the lashes or straps to be released quickly from a safe distance and without hindering the operation of the lifting arms 124.

FIGURE 12B is a side view of the other side of the cradle 120 shown in FIGURE 11. The corresponding ratchet and winding mechanisms 1212 are shown to the quick release mechanisms 1112 of FIGURE 11. The lashes or straps that may be used to secure the pipe coil 112 to the cradle 120 may also include a cover over the top of the pipe coil as described in, for example, the Australian innovation patent application AU2016100252 filed 8 March 2016, titled "A Trailer".

[0098] FIGURES 13 to 15C are a sequence of drawings showing the loading of the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 to the de-coiling trailer 112. An unloading of the empty bobbin 130 is also shown. In FIGURE 13 the bobbin 130 and take-off head 138 have both been omitted for clarity. In FIGURES 14A and 15A the six curved segments 216 have been shown partially retracted for clarity: normally during loading they would be secured against the pipe coil 112.

[0099] In FIGURES 13 & 14A the tailgate 136 of the de-coiler trailer 110 is shown open in order to admit the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130. The pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 are shown supported and secured to the cradle: securing straps have been omitted for clarity. The lifting arms 124 are lowered to an appropriate height in order for the tapered rings 412 of the arms 124 to engage with the bobbin core rings 218. An independent suspension system for the de-coiler trailer 110 may also be used to adjust the height and level of the trailer chassis 128, as described further below. It will also be readily appreciated that the lifting arms may also have some transverse or horizontal movement in order to admit the bobbin 130 and then to bring the lifting arms together to engage with the bobbin core rings 218 to mount the bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, 112. Alternatively part of the lifting arm to bobbin engagement mechanism or mounting may be retractable in order to allow for the bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, 112 to be admitted into the de-coiler trailer 112. The flexible combination of the independent vertical movement of each arm 124 with an independent horizontal or side to side movement of each lifting arm 124 as well as height and level adjustment of the trailer chassis 128 suspension provides a robust and flexible arrangement and method for picking up the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 in rough / uneven terrain.

[00100] The towing vehicles 118 may then reverse the de-coiling trailer

110 such that the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 passes through the tailgate 136, into the de-coiling trailer 110 and between the lifting arms 124. FIGURE 14A shows the partially reversed de-coiling trailer 110 with the bobbin and pipe coil assembly 130, I m partially through the tailgate 136. [00101] FIGURE 14B is a photograph / drawing from the rear of the trailer chassis 128 looking forward. In FIGURE 14B only the chassis 128 is shown for clarity purposes. A pair of guide wings or projecting plates 1412 are shown attached to the towing yoke 1414 at the front of the trailer chassis 128. The guide wings 1412 may be used to guide the placement of the trailer 1 10 with respect to the cradle 120 during reversing of the de-coiling trailer 110.

[00102] FIGURE 15A shows the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112,

130 engaged with the lifting arms and about to be lifted from the cradle 120. The tailgate 136 has yet to be closed before lifting operations begin. The remote control operator 116 has also yet to stand-off with their remote control, before lifting commences.

[00103] At this point the inner pipe tail 314 securing strap 312 may be wrapped or otherwise secured to the bobbin 130. Access for this securing operation may be provided by the open segment 416 of the Ferris wheel guard 134, as described above with respect to FIGURE 4.

[00104] The Ferris wheel guard 134 may also be clamped to the bobbin 130 at this point in the loading and mounting sequence so that the guard 134 and the bobbin 130 rotate together. It will be readily appreciated that the guard 134 may not clamp the pipe coil 112, that is only the bobbin 130 may hold or secure the inner of the pipe coil 112.

[00105] FIGURE 15B is a perspective view of an empty bobbin 130 which has been unloaded onto a bobbin cradle 1512 suitable for holding the bobbin 130 during unloading. A bobbin stand 1514 may also be used to raise the height of the bobbin cradle 1512 to a suitable height for the lifting arms 124 and chassis 128 suspension when unloading an empty bobbin 130. The height selected for the bobbin stand 1514 and bobbin cradle 1512 may be similar to that for the bobbin 130 when loaded with a pipe coil 1 12. FIGURE 15C is a perspective view of only the bobbin 130 with the bobbin cradle 1512 and the bobbin stand 1514. In a similar fashion to the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 loading, an empty bobbin 130 may be unloaded from the de-coiling trailer 110, onto the bobbin cradle 1512 and removed from the de-coiling trailer 110 as shown in FIGURE 15B. The empty bobbin 130 may then be re-loaded with another pipe coil 112. The bobbin cradle 1512 may also be used for transporting the bobbin 130 between pipe installation sites.

[00106] FIGURE 16 is a side sectional view of the de-coiler trailer 110, with multiple features not shown to improve clarity for the description here. The position of the cradle 120 for loading operations is shown. The suspension system between the trailer wheels and the trailer chassis 128 may be height adjustable and / or independent to each wheel. Preferably independent suspension and height adjustability is used as shown in FIGURE 16 for one wheel. The hub 1612 of a road wheel (not shown) may be mounted on an independent swing arm 1614 with an independent hydraulic or air suspension actuator to provide control to the action of the independent swing arm 1614 and wheel mounted on the hub 1612. Independent suspension and height adjustability together with loading of the bobbin and pipe coil within the trailer chassis close to or at the center of gravity of the trailer may be advantageous for sloped, uneven dirt and/or rock laying tracks as well as loading the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 as described above where levelling of the trailer chassis 128 is desirable. For such irregular tracks or uneven terrain offsetting for uneven or sloped ground allows the trailer and load to be used safely in remote areas for uncoiling and laying pipe as well as during loading and unloading operations. In addition the independent suspension reduces j airing and unsettling of the pipe coil windings. An air bag suspension system may be used as well as other suspension systems.

[00107] A use of multiple bobbins 130 which may be pre-loaded with pipe coil along the laying track has a number of advantages. In parallel to or simultaneously with the pipe de-coiling and laying process the delivered pipe coils may be laid along the laying track at appropriate intervals. As the uncoiling of pipe and pipe laying proceeds, an empty, (first) unloaded bobbin from the de-coiling trailer may be transported to the next (first) pipe coil for loading onto the (first) bobbin to form a (first) bobbin and pipe coil assembly. The (first) bobbin and pipe coil assembly may then be mounted to the de-coiler / uncoiling trailer for the pipe coil to be unwound / uncoiled. Whilst the first pipe coil is being uncoiled and pipe laid another (second) pipe coil may be loaded to a (second) empty bobbin to form a (second) successive bobbin and pipe coil assembly. Once the spent or empty (first) bobbin from the de-coiler trailer 110 is unmounted or removed from the trailer then the (second) bobbin and pipe coil assembly may be mounted to the uncoiling trailer 110. Then the successive (second) pipe coil may be uncoiled whilst the empty (first) bobbin is reloaded with another successive pipe coil. In such a manner a relay or succession of bobbin and pipe coil assemblies may be loaded into the de-coiling trailer in exchange for an empty or spent bobbin 130 from the uncoiling trailer 110. The empty bobbin then being re-loaded with another pipe coil further down the laying track. That is the bobbins may operate as re-usable cartridges with the pipe coils for the de-coiler trailer so that a pipe coil and bobbin assembly may be rapidly loaded to the de-coiler. After the pipe coil is fully wound out then the spent bobbin or cartridge may then be rapidly unloaded from the trailer and re-used for another pipe coil.

[00108] The re-use of such custom, specialist bobbins allows for a saving in materials compared with single use bobbins or spools that a pipe coil may be delivered on in prior art techniques. A reusable bobbin is an advantage in deploying of low environmental impact pipe infrastructure. The volume of freight of the pipe coil is also improved if spools are not used during freight, for example as per the Australian innovation patent application AU2016100252 filed 8 March 2016, titled "A Trailer ". When no spools are used during freight, more and / or larger pipe coils may be carried for a single freight transporter / semi-trailer.

[00109] In addition the unique expandable and retractable bobbin 130 as described herein is configured to be rapidly and safely loaded with a pipe coil, then self loaded by the trailer 110 and then unloaded from the de-coiling trailer without the need for cranes or specialist lifting equipment in the field, a particular advantage in remote areas.

[00110] A remote hydraulic power pack to the de-coiling trailer may be used for operating the multiple bobbins as they are expanded and retracted for pipe coil loading. A remote hydraulic power pack for the bobbins allows for conservation of hydraulic fluid to a power pack between expansion and retraction cycles for the bobbin during pipe coil loading.

[00111] FIGURE 17 is a perspective view of the take-off head 138 attached to rails 1712 of the tailgate 136. The take-off head 138 may traverse along the rails 1712 of the tailgate 136 across the full width of the pipe coil in order to advantageously track with the pipe 114 as it uncoils from the pipe coil 112. In other words the take-off head may traverse along a horizontal axis. The traverse may be automated and/or operator controlled to track the uncoiling pipe. In addition the takeoff head may traverse across the full width of the tailgate in order to provide haul-off across the full width of the pipe coil. A full width tracking and traversing of the takeoff head 138 to the pipe coil width during pipe uncoiling and the following traversing of the take-off head 138 may provide particular assistance in reducing or preventing kinking or distortion of the pipe as it is taken off the pipe coil. In addition the full width traversing may also reduce or eliminate binding of the rollers in the take-off head and/or pipe coil resistance for larger pipe diameters.

[00112] In addition full width traversing of the tailgate may also be useful for directing the laying of the pipe to one side of the de-coiling trailer. For example, towards or into a trench.

[00113] The take-off head 138 chassis or otherwise may also be mounted (not shown) to the tailgate 136 or rear of the de-coiler trailer so that the height of the take-off head 138 with respect to the ground and / or the pipe coil unwinding pipe may be adjusted for different pipe coil diameters and during pipe coil unwinding / uncoiling. During pipe coil uncoiling the number of layers of pipe may be from approximately three to ten as described with respect to FIGURE 1. Accordingly the pipe section uncoiled from a pipe coil may vary in height from the ground or a vertical distance with respect to trailer chassis may vary from approximately 100mm to approximately 600mm depending on the layer of pipe being uncoiled from the pipe coil. That is the haul-off of the pipe by the take-off head may also traverse along a vertical axis.

[00114] The take-off head 138 of FIGURE 17 may also be tilted backwards and forwards, as per arrows 1714. That is the take-off head and pipe haul- off may be rotated about the horizontal axis of the traversing rails 1712 of the tailgate 136. The tilting 1714 allows for the take-off head angle of operation to appropriately match an angle of the pipe length 114 uncoiling from the pipe coil 112. In addition the tilting may also be done to impart an opposing bend to the pipe coil as described below and with respect to FIGURES 23 to 25. The tilting may be done by tilting a sub-frame assembly 1716 of the tailgate assembly 136. The sub-frame assembly 1716 includes the rails 1712 to which the take-off head 138 is mounted. The tilting of the sub-frame assembly 1716 may be actuated by hydraulic rams 1718 as shown. In addition an entry angle of the horizontal rollers of the take-off head 138 may be adjusted as described with respect to FIGURE 18.

[00115] It will be readily appreciated that whilst the take-off head is shown attached to a tailgate of the de-coiler trailer, the take-off head may also be mounted on a follower trailer that is suitably coupled to the rear of the de-coiler trailer. The follower trailer may include the same structures and functions to support the movement and operation of the take-off head as described herein for the tailgate mounting.

[00116] FIGURE 18 is a detailed perspective view of the take-off head 138. The head 138 has a moveable chassis 1812 to which are attached at the top and bottom the tailgate traversing rollers 1814 for advantageously traversing the tailgate as described above with respect to FIGURE 17. That is the take-off head 138 may be moveably mounted to the tailgate. A traversing drive wheel 1816 may be used to propel the take-off head 138 across the tailgate 136. The traversing drive wheel runs against a suitable rail 1712 of the 136. Alternatively to drive wheels, runners for the take-off head to the tailgate with a driven toothed belt may be used to provide a traversing arrangement with less slip and more traversing force for the take-off head. In another alternative a worm drive arrangement may be used instead of the toothed belt. In a further alternative a dry rack and pinion arrangement may be used.

[00117] In FIGURE 18 two pairs of horizontal rollers 1818, 1919 are shown which are opposed to each other at the front and rear of the take-off head 138. The two pairs of opposed horizontal rollers 1818, 1819 are also mounted on opposed sides of the haul-off rollers 1826. Each of the pair set of entry horizontal rollers 1818 is pivotably 1820 attached to the take-off head chassis 1812 so that the angle of entry of the pipe into each roller may be adjusted according to the angle of the uncoiling pipe 114 to the front set of horizontal rollers 1818. Similarly each of the rear horizontal rollers 1819 is also pivotably attached 1820 to the chassis 1812 to accommodate for and control or vary the exit angle of the pipe exiting the rear set of horizontal rollers 1819 to the ground as well as the diameter of the pipe, see further below to FIGURES 23 to 25. The angle of horizontal rollers 1818, 1819 to the horizontal may be adjusted by a tilt adjuster 1822 or actuator as shown in FIGURE 18. The two pairs of entry and exit rollers 1818, 1819 together or separately also provide rotation or bending of the pipe about the horizontal axis rails 1712 for the uncoiled pipe section in a similar manner to that described above for the tilting 1714 of the take-off head to the tailgate 136.

[00118] The clamping of each pair set of horizontal rollers 1818 to the pipe may be adjusted by a clamping actuator 1824. The front and rear horizontal roller pairs 1818, 1819 are both free running as their function is to guide the pipe into and out of a set of haul-off rollers 1826 between the horizontal rollers 1818.

[00119] Another axis of rotation for the pipe may also be provided by the take-off head. The take-off head chassis 1812 may also be rotatably mounted (not shown) to the tailgate 136 such that the entry and exit rollers 1818, 1819 as well as the haul-off rollers 1826 may rotate about the longitudinal axis of the pipe section passing through the take-off head 138. That is the take-off head chassis may be mounted on a swivel platform to the tailgate 136, where the swivel platform may also traverse horizontally across the tailgate 136 and pipe coil width. Accordingly the swivelling entry and exit roller pairs 1818, 1819 may be used to impart or apply reverse bends about any axis orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the uncoiling pipe section and not just as described with reference to FIGURES 23 to 25.

[00120] The haul-off rollers 1826 shown in FIGURE 18 are orientated orthogonally to the horizontal rollers 1818, 1819. The haul-off rollers 1826 are made up of three opposed pairs of rollers as shown in FIGURES 18, 19 and 20. FIGURE 19 is a plan view of the take-off head of FIGURE 18. FIGURE 20 is a perspective view with corresponding front and side elevational views of a row of three haul-off rollers.

[00121] The haul-off rollers 1826 may be driven by motors 1828 with an interconnecting drive chain 1830 for each side of the haul-off rollers as shown in FIGURES 18 and 20. Accordingly the hauling off drive applied by the rollers 1826 on each side of a pipe is uniform and used to control the uncoiling of the pipe from the pipe coil. The speed of the haul-off rollers 1826 may also govern the rate at which the pipe is laid out behind the de-coiler trailer 110. The clamping of the haul-off rollers to the pipe may be controlled by a pipe squeezing actuator 1832 as shown in FIGURES 18 and 19. Alternatively to the haul-off rollers 1826 a caterpillar (belt loop) haul-off may be used as selected by a person skilled in the art of plastic pipe manufacture and handling.

[00122] Advantageously at the start of uncoiling the use of three opposed pairs of rollers for the haul-off 1826 provides sufficient pulling or haul-off force and control that the starting pipe end may be presented to the entry pair of opposed haul-off rollers. The drive or braking as appropriate to the bobbin rotating mounting 412 to lifting arms 124 may be applied to aid in starting the haul-off before some or all of the straps about the pipe coil are cut. In the prior art typically a pulling wire or rope attached to the starting pipe end is passed through a pipe haul-off firstly and then anchored. The trailer is then moved away from the anchor point until the pipe engages with the haul -off. This method of operation may pose significant safety risks due to the high tensile forces (up to some tonnes) in the pulling wire or rope if it should fail or the coupling to the pipe end fails.

[00123] The arrangement and force of clamping applied by the horizontal rollers 1818, 1819 and / or the haul-off rollers 1826 may also be used to restore the circularity (or reduce the ovality) of the pipe cross-section during uncoiling.

[00124] FIGURE 21A is a front elevational view of the take-off head in FIGURE 18.

[00125] In addition to pipe coils 112 with a single length of pipe, some pipe coils (not shown) are coils of paired pipe where two pipes coiled together are uncoiled and laid adjacent to each other. FIGURE 2 IB is a partial view of the take-off head 138 of FIGURE 21 A but with a pair of pipes 2112, 2114 held horizontal by the front horizontal rollers 1818 so that the haul-off rollers 1826 may act upon the paired pipe 2112, 2114. Similarly the rear horizontal rollers 1819 also maintain the paired pipe 2112, 2114 in a horizontal orientation.

[00126] FIGURE 22 is a perspective technical drawing of the take-off head of FIGURE 18.

[00127] FIGURES 23 to 25 are various views of the uncoiling pipe 114 from the pipe coil 112 passing through the take-off head 138 to be laid as straightened pipe 2314 from the rear of the de-coiling trailer 110. In FIGURES 23 to 25 an opposing or reverse bend 2312 as one example is shown applied to the uncoiling pipe as the pipe exits the take-off head in the direction of arrow 2316. The opposing bend 2312 to the corresponding bend of the pipe in the pipe coil may be controlled to account for variations in the bending radius of different sections of pipe in the pipe coil so that a straightened pipe 2314 is laid out from the de-coiling trailer. For example pipe sections for the outer layers of the pipe coil will have a larger radius of bending than those pipe sections for the inner layers of the pipe coil. To apply an opposing bend the tilt angle of the take-off head on the tailgate of the de-coiler trailer may be adjusted as required. For example the take-off head may be tilted upwards at the pipe exit from the take-off head in order to direct the pipe upwards as it exits the take-off head to apply an appropriate reverse bend. That is the take-off head is rotated about the horizontal axis of the tailgate as described for FIGURE 17. Alternatively or in addition the take-off head roller combination of entry and exit horizontal rollers 1818, 1819 with orthogonal haul-off rollers 1826 may also provide sufficient straightening to the pipe for laying as described with respect to FIGURE 18. For example straightening to the pipe by an opposing or reversing bend may be applied by adjusting the respective tilts to the front and rear sets of horizontal rollers 1818, 1819 so as to provide a reverse bend to the pipe length 114 to that given in coiling the pipe coil 112. In either case the reverse bend is applied about an axis offset and parallel to the pipe coil and bobbin longitudinal axis.

[00128] Similarly, the traversing of the take-off head across the pipe coil width, described with reference to FIGURE 17, may be used to apply a reverse bend about a vertical axis offset and orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil.

[00129] The de-coiler trailer uniquely features multiple, independent linear and rotational axes for movement, control and reverse bending of the uncoiling pipe section 114. During coiling of pipe coils residual stresses, temporary elastic deformation and / or plastic deformation in the pipe windings of the pipe coil may be applied or induced. These residual stresses and / or deformations may result in the uncoiling pipe forming an undesirable spiral or helix when unwound from the pipe coil. The ability to reverse bend the pipe section 114 in any direction, continuously with variable bending radius during uncoiling provides an advantage in uncoiling pipe coils to provide straight pipe suitable for laying. Similarly when curved pipe laying is required, bends may be induced into the uncoiling pipe as desired so that the pipe lays in the direction and place required for a change in pipe laying direction. That is multiple, variable radius reverse bends about multiple axis of the uncoiling pipe may be applied depending on where that uncoiling section of pipe resided within a pipe coil and what straightness or bend is desired for the laid pipe.

[00130] It will be readily appreciated that each of the axes of linear translation or rotation described above and with respect to the FIGURES for the takeoff head and/or uncoiled pipe section may be referenced to the common longitudinal or cylindrical axis of the pipe coil 112 and bobbin 130 for coiling and uncoiling the pipe coil. For example tilting 1714 for the take-off head in FIGURE 17 is a rotation about an offset, parallel axis to the longitudinal / cylindrical axis of the pipe coil 112 and the bobbin 130. Similarly for the entry and exit rollers 1818, 1819 described at FIGURE 18. The vertical, linear translation of the take-off head described with respect to FIGURE 17 is an orthogonal, offset axis to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil and bobbin. The linear traversing of the take-off head across the rails 1712 of the tailgate is to a horizontal axis that is offset and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil and bobbin. The rotation about the pipe section 114 longitudinal axis via the swivel platform to the take-off head is an axis offset and generally orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the pipe coil and bobbin.

[00131] In use the haul-off rollers 1826 of the take-off head 138 may be used to pull the uncoiling pipe 114 through the take-off head 138 against a

simultaneous braking resistance applied to the rotation of the uncoiling pipe coil 112 and / or bobbin 130. The braking resistance may be supplied by the two hydraulic motors 137 attached to the bobbin 130 and each lifting arm 124. This arrangement of haul-off drive coupled with an appropriate and controlled braking resistance allows for large diameter plastic pipe to be uncoiled in a controlled, steady fashion despite the inherent, variable uncoiling resistance for the layered pipe windings in coiled plastic pipe. Furthermore as the pipe coil 112 approaches the end of the pipe length, the remaining pipe length is hauled off in a controlled and safe fashion. The pipe tensile forces for larger plastic pipe may be up to one tonne (10,000 Newtons) during controlled uncoiling. Accordingly the forces applied for haul-off, braking resistance and the entry and exit horizontal rollers are substantial.

[00132] A hydraulic drive and/or control circuit between the haul-off drive motors 1828 and the lifting motor hydraulic motors 137 may be used so that a proportionally controlled drive or braking to the pipe coil and bobbin assembly 112, 130 rotation is following the haul-off hydraulic motor 1828 drive such that a controlled and sufficient tension may be applied and maintained to the pipe length 114 between the take-off head 138 and the pipe coil 112. That is proportionally controlling the take-off drive in opposition to the pipe coil rotation braking such that the sufficient tension to the pipe between take-off head and the pipe coil is maintained to prevent any movement between the uncoiled windings within the pipe coil.

[00133] The proportional control may be with respect to a linear speed of the pipe through the take-off head haul off and a rotational speed of the pipe coil. The rotational speed of the pipe coil may be with respect to the speed of a winding layer that is currently being uncoiled. The control between the take-off head and the pipe coil rotation may also include an offsetting of the linear speed of the take-off head and the rotational speed of the pipe coil to maintain a sufficient tension

[00134] Without maintaining a sufficient tension to the pipe section 114 between the take-off head haul-off and the pipe coil, the pipe coil integrity is likely to be lost. Loss of pipe coil integrity may be in the form of two or more of the pipe windings becoming loose and losing contact with adjacent pipe windings in the pipe coil or the bobbin. Loose pipe coil windings during uncoiling may lead stoppages and pipe deformations due to binding between loose pipe windings. The sufficient and varying pipe section tension to be applied between the haul-off and the pipe coil during uncoiling may also be determined by the coiling characteristics of a particular pipe coiler used, for example as described in Australian provisional patent application AU 2016902685 filed 8 July 2016, titled "Coiler ". The pipe coiling characteristics may be used to aid in determining the tension to be maintained during uncoiling.

[00135] FIGURE 26 is a perspective view of a strap cutter 2612 as may be used to cut the binding straps to the pipe coil 112 as described above with respect to FIGURES 2A and 3. Partial strap cutting may occur during the start of a pipe coil uncoiling so that pipe coil integrity is preserved until sufficient tension is applied to the uncoiled pipe section. For example only some of the full width and intermediate straps 312 may be cut at start-up. The strap cutter 2612 may be mounted within the de-coiling trailer on an arm or other mechanism/s so as to be position-able about the pipe coil 112 for severing the straps 312. The strap cutter 2612 may feature a mouth 2614 and leading horns or guides 2616 as shown in FIGURE 26 to aid the entry of the strap 312 into the cutting mouth 2614. The cutting mouth may feature active or passive cutting means. The cutting mouth 2614 may also include two crossed blades (not shown) to cut the strap 312 as the strap progresses into the cutting mouth 2614. The strap cutter 2612 may also be automated or remote controlled by the operator 116.

[00136] A pipe cutter may be appropriately mounted to the tailgate 136 of the uncoiling trailer 110 in order to cut the pipe exiting from the take-off head 138 when appropriate. The pipe cutter may be selected and mounted as determined by a person skilled in the art. For example a remote controlled chain saw suitable for plastic pipe may be used as well as commercially available plastic pipe cutters.

[00137] FIGURES 27 to 30 are a top (plan) view, right and left elevational views and a bottom (underside) elevational view of a portable remote control unit 2712 that may be used by an operator to control the de-coiler trailer 110 from a safe distance. For example an exclusion zone of 5 metres about the de-coiler trailer 110 may be used. In addition the distance of the operator from the de-coiler trailer 110 may also be chosen so as to give the operator a whole field view of the trench, the right of way laying track, towing vehicle, de-coiler trailer and the uncoiling pipe being laid. In FIGURE 27 the various remote control features are shown on a panel of the remote control unit 2712 together with explanatory text boxes about the panel. FIGURES 28 to 30 show and explain with text boxes the other control features about the remote control unit 2712

[00138] It will be readily appreciated that a PID controller

(proportional-integral-derivative) implemented via a PLC (programmable logic controller) may be used to control respective drives of the haul-off rollers 1826 and the hydraulic motor 137 to the bobbin 130 for a particular pipe diameter, coil diameter and pipe material. In addition the haul-off speed may be controlled to track and match the ground speed of the de-coiling trailer 110 over the laying track. Furthermore control, sensing and automation may be implemented to allow the de-coiling trailer to function autonomously or semi-autonomously. Automated control may reside on the de-coiling trailer and / or the remote control unit 2712 of FIGURE 27 for the operator.

[00139] The de-coiler trailer may have a power plant upon it to supply electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic power and control lines as required. The hydraulic power plant on the de-coiler trailer may also be used to expand and retract the bobbin 130.

[00140] In use the de-coiler trailer described herein may be used to uncoil and lay plastic pipe considerably faster than prior art methods and apparatus, whilst maintaining pipe integrity. For example the de-coiler trailer may lay or string out pipe in approximately half to a fifth of the time than the prior art. A 40 day program of uncoiling and laying or stringing out of plastic pipe as straight length pipe sections of 20m lengths (DN250mm) may be reduced to less than 10 days with the invention and use of pipe coils. In addition a minimum of two people may only be required to operate the uncoiling operation. One person to remotely control the operation of the de-coiler trailer 110 and another to operate the tractor or towing vehicle 118. A third person may be also used to successively re-load the empty bobbins 130 with pipe coil 112 whilst uncoiling of a previously loaded bobbin and pipe coil assembly by the de-coiler trailer is underway.

[00141] It will be readily appreciated that a following trailer

arrangement with a chute or other such mechanism may be used to place or direct the uncoiled pipe 2312 into a trench directly from the rear of the de-coiling trailer 110.

[00142] In this specification, terms denoting direction, such as vertical, up, down, left, right etc. or rotation, should be taken to refer to the directions or rotations relative to the corresponding drawing rather than to absolute directions or rotations unless the context require otherwise.

[00143] Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is recognized that departures can be made within the scope of the invention, which are not to be limited to the details described herein but are to be accorded the full scope of the appended claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent assemblies, devices, apparatus, articles, compositions, methods, processes and techniques.

[00144] In this specification, the word "comprising" is to be understood in its "open" sense, that is, in the sense of "including", and thus not limited to its "closed" sense, that is the sense of "consisting only of. A corresponding meaning is to be attributed to the corresponding words "comprise, comprised and comprises" where they appear.