AU758585B2 - Improved drive mechanisms - Google Patents

Improved drive mechanisms Download PDF

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Publication number
AU758585B2
AU758585B2 AU71833/00A AU7183300A AU758585B2 AU 758585 B2 AU758585 B2 AU 758585B2 AU 71833/00 A AU71833/00 A AU 71833/00A AU 7183300 A AU7183300 A AU 7183300A AU 758585 B2 AU758585 B2 AU 758585B2
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AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
transverse
transverse axle
axle
wheel hub
gear case
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AU71833/00A
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AU7183300A (en
Inventor
Theodore William Reinhold
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Bartlem Pty Ltd
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Bartlem Pty Ltd
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Priority to AUPJ9911 priority Critical
Priority to AUPK0378 priority
Priority to AUPK2057 priority
Priority to AUPK2972 priority
Priority to AUPK4136 priority
Priority to AUPK5028 priority
Priority to AU67069/98A priority patent/AU6706998A/en
Priority to AU71833/00A priority patent/AU758585B2/en
Application filed by Bartlem Pty Ltd filed Critical Bartlem Pty Ltd
Publication of AU7183300A publication Critical patent/AU7183300A/en
Priority claimed from AU2002301935A external-priority patent/AU2002301935B9/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of AU758585B2 publication Critical patent/AU758585B2/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Ceased legal-status Critical Current

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Description

IMPROVED DRIVE MECHANISMS This invention relates to drive mechanisms for ride-on mowers.
Ride-on mowers often utilize reversible belt drive assemblies which transfer drive in the forward and reverse directions through a step down chain drive to the mower's rear transverse drive axle. In some mowers, the drive is actuated by a rocking type pedal in which heel pressure is used to engage reverse drive and toe pressure to engage forward drive. For simplicity, light weight, ease of construction and reliability, *:ride-on mowers mostly have a transverse drive axle with respective rear wheel hubs fixed thereto at opposite ends for S rotation therewith about the axis of the transverse axle. The transverse axle is typically mounted to the mower chassis by spaced chassis mountings which in most cases are flangette bearings which are boltbard to the chassis and support the axle for rotation relative to the chassis. Typically, the transverse S. axle is chain driven via a sprocket which is secured thereto for driving the wheels in unison.
As the width of ride-on mowers is increased for better stability and wider cut and the width of the wheels is increased for better traction, the disadvantages of such drive systems on mower steering control become more noticeable. Such disadvantages can be overcome by providing a differential in the drive train to the rear wheels. Unfortunately, the previously known differentials are not particularly suitable for the simple drive trains of most ride-on mowers and the heavy rough work which they often encounter. Additionally, such previously known differentials do not have the ability to be selectively locked in a convenient manner for non-differential drive when required.
The lack of a differential lock is particularly disadvantageous en a ride-on mower is operated on undulating or slippery su faces because drive can be lost through the differential allowing one wheel to spin freely while the other wheel remains stationary.
While differential and internal locks are well known they are not convenient to use on ride-on mowers and are undesirably expensive to manufacture.
Many ride-on mowers are used where operating conditions vary greatly from well, kept turfed areas adjacent a house for example, to coarse cut grassed areas around trees and in backyard acreage paddocks. Often such areas are mown in a single mowing job where it becomes necessary to quickly and easily change between full drive with both rear wheels driving in unison and S: differential drive where one or both wheels can drive. For example, it may be unacceptable to operate with non-differential drive on well kept lawn areas because the locked wheels could damage the lawn when sharp turns are negotiated. On the other hand, damage to a lawn could occur if one or both wheels are allowed to slip while mowing a grass on a slope or slippery grass. Additionally, loss of drive may necessitate the drive dismounting from the mower and pushing it out of difficulty and may require using some other implement to cut the grass in that difficult area.
Ride-on mowers of the type mentioned earlier in which forward and reverse drive are actuated by a rocking type pedal allow rapid change from forward drive to reverse drive and vice versa. Consequently, it is necessary for the drive components to be generally lightweight in order to avoid flywheel effects which could cause extreme loads on some components during change from forward to reverse and vice versa. It is also necessary to ensure that the differential is suitably sealed to prevent loss of lubricant which could result in damage to the differential and/or the lawn on which it is being used.
Ride-on mowers often utilize reversible belt drive assetblies of the type illustrated in Australian Patent Specification No. 402230 ("402230") in which opposed clutch plates of a clutch assembly are adapted to be reciprocated along an output shaft by a clutch actuating mechanism for engagement with either one of a pair of belt driven contra-rotatable pulley wheels for forward and reverse drive. The pulley wheels are typically supported for free rotation on the output shaft and are coupled thereto via the clutch assembly for driving engagement in forward or reverse rotation and are typically driven by a common belt although it is possible to use separate belts. In the mower illustrated in 402230 the pulley wheels are rotated by :iI0: opposite runs of a V-section drive belt extending between an idler pulley elevated above the mower chassis and a driving pulley on or driven from the mower engine. A cutter drive belt passes between a pulley on the cutter housing and a pulley on the V motor and extends about a pair of idler pulleys at the front of the mower whereby the drive may be transferred from the engine pulley to the horizontally displaced cutter housing pulley. A rocking type pedal as mentioned earlier is used to move one clutch plate into engagement with one pulley for reverse drive and the other clutch plate into engagement with the other pulley for forward drive.
Typically, in ride-on mower applications of the reversible belt drive mechanism, the chassis is formed as a sheet metal pressing and the clutch actuating mechanism includes a linkage assembly which interconnects the foot actuated pedal to the two clutch plates for moving them back and forth along the supporting shaft. It will be appreciated that the power transferred through the clutch is proportional to the engagement force between the repsective clutch plate and driving pulley wheel of the reversible belt drive mechanism. Accordingly, any flexing which occurs either in the linkage assembly or the chassis is (4Sfqetrimental to the performance of the reversible belt drive :D~hanism. Furthermore the actuating mechanisms utilised to date for actuating the clutch have hampered the ability to quickly install or remove the reversible belt drive mechanism from the chassis for servicing purposes.
One object of the present invention is to provide a ride-on mower having a reversible rear drive assembly to a differentially driven rear axle which is operable in relatively harsh operating conditions. Another object is to provide such a ride-on mower which can be operated reliably without leakage of lubricant from the differential. Another object is to provide a ride-on mower having a reversible differentially driven rear axle assembly i:.f0: which can be selectively locked and unlocked in a convenient and safe manner externally of the differential remote from the danger of the rear axle drive train. Another object is to provide a drive assembly for a reversible ride-on mower which has improved o drive actuation means.
With the foregoing in view, the invention in one aspect resides broadly in a ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly including: a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and supported by a transverse axle which supports respective wheel hubs at 26: opposite ends thereof and which is supported for rotation by spaced chassis mountings intermediate said wheel hubs and through which the transverse axle is attached to the mower's chassis, the gear case being mounted on the transverse axle between one wheel hub and the adjacent chassis mounting and said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive attached to the gear case for driving the transverse axle; the gear case including a housing which extends co-axially with the transverse axle and carries a pair of opposed planetary gears therein for orbital motion about the transverse axle; opposed sun gears supported in axially spaced relationship Sthe transverse axle adjacent said one wheel hub and differentially driven by the opposed planetary gears, the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle and drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, and the other sun gear and the other wheel hub being locked for rotation with the transverse axle; the gear case including fixed end walls at the opposite ends thereof which substantially enclose the sun gears and planetary gears within the housing; the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub having a boss or collar which passes rotatably into the fixed end wall interposed between said one wheel hub and the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub and said boss or collar is drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, and the transverse axle passes rotatably into the other end wall and said boss or collar.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly, including: a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and supported by a transverse axle which supports respective wheel hubs at opposite ends thereof and which is supported for rotation by spaced chassis mountings intermediate said wheel hubs and through which the transverse axle is attached to the mower's chassis; the gear case being mounted on the transverse axle between one wheel hub and the adjacent chassis support and said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive attached to the gear case for driving the reversible rear drive axle assembly; the gear case including a housing which extends co-axially with the transverse axle and carries a pair of opposed planetary gears therein for orbital motion about the transverse axle; opposed sun gears supported in axially spaced relationship Wthe transverse axle adjacent said on wheel hub and are differentially driven by the opposed planetary gears; the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle and drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, and the other sun gear and the other wheel hub are locked for rotation with the transverse axle; the gear case including fixed end walls at the opposite ends thereof which substantially enclose the sun gears and planetary gears within the housing; the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being drivingly connected to said one wheel hub by a sleeve portion which passes :00: rotatably into the fixed end wall interposed between said one wheel hub and the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub, and the transverse axle passes rotatably into the other end wall and said sleeve portion.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a ride-on mower including: a chassis; a transverse axle mounted to and extending beyond said chassis at both ends for rotation relative thereto about a S transverse axis; 20 a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle between said first wheel and said chassis for rotation relative to said transverse axle about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being substantially enclosed by said gear case.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a ride-on mower including: a chassis; a transverse axle mounted to and extending beyond said chassis at both ends for rotation relative thereto about a S transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle between said first wheel and said chassis for rotation relative 29: to said transverse axle about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second pun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said gear case being adapted to contain therein a liquid lubricant for lubricating said first and second planetary gears and said first and second sun gears.
Preferably, the ride-on mower previously described includes selectively engageable differential locking means disposed externally of the gear case and at the side of said one wheel hub distal from the gear case for selectively locking said one wheel hub for rotation with said gear case and said transverse axle so that the respective wheel hubs rotate in unison with said transverse axle and said gear case. In a preferred form the differential locking means includes a locking member which extends from said one wheel hub offset from said transverse axle S and a locking plate supported slidably but non-rotatably on said oe.o transverse axle and adapted to be manually slid into engagement with said locking member to lock said one wheel hub to said transverse axle for rotation therewith in unison.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, eeoc including: a transverse axle supporting respective wheel hubs at opposite ends thereof, one hub being freely rotatable about said transverse axle and the other hub being fixed to said transverse axle; a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and supported by said transverse axle and forming a housing extending along the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive operatively connected to the gear case for rotation therewith; a pair of opposed planetary gears supported by said housing for orbital motion about the transverse axle; opposed sun gears supported in axially spaced relationship ,g and co-axially about the transverse axle and substantially within said housing and meshed with said opposed planetary gears for differential rotation thereby, the sun gear nearest said one hub being drivingly connected to said one hub by a sleeve portion and the other sun gear being locked for rotation with said transverse axle; and an externally accessible locking member associated with said one hub and manually movable to a locking position at which it locks said one hub for rotation with said gear case and said transverse axle.
In one form of the ride-on mower previously described part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one sun gear nearest said one hub but in another form part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one hub while in another form part of said S sleeve portion is integral with said one sun gear nearest said one hub and part is integral with said one hub. In still another form, part of said sleeve portion is separate from said one sun gear nearest said one hub.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a rear i drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a differential gear case adapted for rotation about a transverse axis; a transverse axle extending through said gear case for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; irst sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being substantially enclosed by said gear case.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a differential gear case adapted for rotation about a transverse axis; a transverse axle extending through said gear case for S rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said gear case adapted to contain therein a liquid lubricant for lubr ting said first and second planetary gears and said first and second sun gears as they rotate. Preferably, the rear drive assemblies previously described include locking means for selectively locking said second wheel hub for rotation with said transverse axle.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; .0.
0 drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a 0 second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being substantially enclosed by said gear case.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis or rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; 11 S7 a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end -12and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a 3* second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation S relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said gear case being adapted to contain therein a liquid lubricant for lubricating said first and second planetary gears and said first and second sun gears.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for 7 TR ing said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for •.I1Q rotation therewith about said transverse axis, and an externally accessible locking member associated with said S second wheel hub and manually movable to a locking position at which it locks said second wheel hub for rotation with said gear case and said transverse axle.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis .06. for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; "a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other 9500 end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; la o a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis anda Ssun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation 0 relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, and externally accessible locking means operatively connected to said second wheel hub for selectively locking said second wheel hub for rotation with said transverse axle.
In a preferred form of the rear drive assembly previously described said sun gears and said planetary gears are spur gears.
9. While the locking means may be arranged to lock any two of the differential components which otherwise rotate differentially it is preferred that it lock the wheel hub to the transverse axle. In a preferred form the differential locking means includes an offset locking member which extends from said one wheel hub offset from said transverse axle and is adapted to be engaged with a complementary locking member operatively connected to said transverse axle. In one such form said complementary locking .i member is a locking plate which is non-rotatably mounted on said transverse axle for sliding movement between a locking position 2 in which the one wheel hub is locked to said transverse axle for *0S500 oorotation therewith and an unlocked position in which said transverse axle and said one wheel hub are free to rotate differentially. In one arrangement of such form said offset locking member is an extension of a wheel stud on said one wheel hub.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a differential assembly including:a transverse axle; a fixed wheel mount adjacent one end of said transverse axle; a free wheel mount adjacent the other end of said transverse said free wheel mount including a tubular axle supported about said transverse axle; a first sun gear secured to said transverse axle for rotation therewith and a second sun gear secured to said tubular axle; a gear case assembly rotatably mounted on said transverse axle having planetary gears therein adapted to engage with said sun gears and to orbit said transverse axle; and drive means for rotating the gear case about said transverse axle; characterised in that said sun gears and said planetary :.JO gears are spur gears.
In another aspect the invention resides broadly in a Sreversible drive assembly including a pair of wheels supported on a output shaft at opposite sides of a clutch assembly and adapted to be driven for contra rotation and clutch actuating means for moving the clutch assembly into engagement with either drive wheel for rotation therewith in a forward or reverse direction, the actuating means including an actuating member 0 restrained for movement substantially along the longitudinal axis of the output shaft.
":2Ui Preferably the actuating member is actuated through a linkage adapted to guide the actuating member for movement S substantially along the longitudinal axis of the output shaft.
It is also preferred that the actuating member be readily detachable from the linkage to facilitate operative placement of an endless belt about the drive wheels and or removal of the reversible belt drive assembly from its supporting chassis.
In a preferred form the actuating member passes between the drive wheels and beyond the extremities thereof whereby the opposite ends of the actuating member may be connected to respective links of the linkage. The links may be in form of lazy links and an independent operating member may be used to operate Y .ctuating member or the links may be active members used to transmit the actuating force to the actuating member.
For example the links may be so disposed that the operating means moves the actuating member transverse to thedrive shaft in order that the linkage restrains the actuating member for movement whereby it has a component of motion along the axis of the drive shaft. Preferably however the links extend from the actuating member to respective movement translation means, such as bell-cranks, wedges or cranks or the like. The latter may be actuated by a driver's control member such as a foot pedal or control lever.
0 Suitably the links are disposed substantially parallel to the drive shaft but of course they could diverge from actuating member relative to the drive shaft. Preferably the actuating linkage interconnecting the driver's control member to the actuating member incorporates limiting means for limiting the initial engagement pressure between the clutch assembly and a respective pulley wheel. The limiting means may be in the form of a spring which controls the maximum or initial S. engagement pressure of the respective clutch plate or the limiting means may be in the form of a damper which damps initial i engagement of the clutch assembly with the engaged pulley wheel.
:eeeeo Alternatively the limiting means may be a spring or the like associated with the foot control pedal and adapted to resist foot pressure so that only a relatively small actuating force is transferred through to the clutch actuating means.
Preferably, the limiting means is incorporated in the actuating linkage interposed between a rocking type foot actuating pedal and the actuating means which engages the clutch assembly and moves the latter between the spaced pulley wheels.
Accordingly, the limiting means may be in the form of a bell crank assembly having angularly disposed pivot arms resiliently r9 ected to one another so as to minimize the engagement force whi may be applied thorough the bell crank assembly.
In another aspect, this invention resides broadly in a chassis mounting arrangement for a reversible belt drive assembly of the type including a pair of drive wheels supported on a output shaft at opposite sides of a clutch assembly and adapted to be belt driven for contra rotation and clutch actuating means for moving the clutch assembly into engagement with either drive wheel for rotation therewith in a forward or reverse direction, characterised in that the drive assembly is mounted in an aperture in a sheet metal portion of a chassis by drive shaft bearings mounted on flanges extending along edges of the sheet opening whereby the drive shaft axis is disposed closely adjacent the apertured sheet metal portion.
Preferably the drive from the shaft is transmitted from a sprocket disposed intermediate one drive shaft bearing and the drive assembly. It is also preferred that the sheet be cutaway or indented along the opening edge adjacent the bearing mounts to permit the bearings or their carriers to extend to opposite sides of the sheet and thereby permit the centreline of the drive shaft to be maintained close to the sheet portion. Alternatively, the flanges may be so formed as to permit the shaft axis to supported in line with the sheet. For example, the flanges at opposite sides of each bearing at each opening edge could extend to opposite sides of the sheet to permit diagonally opposed bearing mounts to support a flangette bearing or the like at opposite sides of the sheet. Alternatively a separate bearing carrier could be fixed to the sheet to hold the bearings in their desired positions.
In yet another aspect, this invention resides broadly in a differential assembly including:an axle assembly; a fixed wheel mount at one end of the axle assembly; a free wheel mount including a tubular stub axle supported the opposite end of the axle assembly; a fixed sun gear on the axle assembly and preferably located adjacent the free wheeling mount; a gear case assembly having planetary gears therein adapted to engage with said fixed sun gear; mounting means for mounting the gear case rotatably about the axle assembly; drive means preferably adapted for belt or chain drive from a drive motor for rotating the gear case about the axle; a further sun gear adapted to mesh with said planetary gears to form a differential drive, and i"connector means for connecting the free wheel mount to the further sun gear. The term fixed wheel mount and free wheel mount herein are to be understood as being fixed of free relative to the innermost one of the concentric axles.
In order that this invention may be more readily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate a typical embodiments of the present invention and wherein:- 1 illustrates a mower assembly according to the invention; 2: FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of a drive arrangement of the mower assembly illustrated in FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view through the drive apparatus of FIG. 2; FIG. 4 is a plan view of the drive assembly mounted in a sheet metal chassis; FIG. S is an end view of the shaft and mounting arrangement; FIG. 6 is an end view of the mounting arrangement for he clutch actuating bearing; FIG. 7 is a plan view of one bearing retaining member; FIG. 8 is a side view of the belt tensioning device associated with the reversible belt drive apparatus; IG. 9 is an inverted perspective view of the belt -19tensioning device associated with the cutter drive; FIG. 10 is a top perspective view corresponding to FIG. 9; FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate the grass catcher assembly; FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the drive axle assembly; FIG. 14 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view illustrating the operative arrangement of the differential, axle and drive wheel assembly; FIG. 15 is a transverse cross-sectional view; FIG. 16 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view illustrating yet another form of differential, axle and drive wheel assembly according to the invention; S. FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the spur gear arrangement of the differential illustrated in FIG. 16; FIG. 18 is an end view of the spur gear arrangement of the differential illustrated in FIG. 16; and FIG. 19 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view illustrating yet another form of differential, axle and drive wheel assembly according to the invention.
A typical ride-on mower 10 as illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2 includes steerable front wheels 11, driven rear wheels 12, drivers foot pedals 13 at each side of the mower and a cutter housing 14 height adjustably supported beneath the mower's chassis 15. Drive apparatus for transmitting power from the motor 16 to the cutter housing 14 and to the rear wheels 12 includes a cutter drive belt 17 connecting the cutter housing shaft 18 with the motor 16 though idler pulleys 28 and a secondary drive belt 19 connecting the motor with the idler pulley 20 mounted beneath the seat 21.
The rear wheels 12 are supported on a rear axle assembly 22 driven through a chain 23 from a drive shaft 24. The latter supports a reversible belt drive assembly 25 having pulley wheels 26 contra-rotated by the opposite runs of the secondary drive 19. The drive pulleys 26 are suitably offset to one side of the tractor frame 15 beneath the operator's seat 21 whereby space is provided beneath the seat 21 and beside pulley wheels 33, 34 for a storage battery for the motor 16.
As illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4, the reversible belt drive assembly 25 includes a driven shaft 31 having a central portion 32 of square cross-section. A forward driven pulley 33 and a reverse driven pulley 34 are mounted to the driven shaft 31 at opposite ends of the central portion 32 on ball bearings Respective clutch plates 36 and 42 are selectively engageable with the pulleys 33 and 34 to selectively rotate the shaft 31 0* either forwardly or in reverse.
The clutch plate 36 which engages with the reverse pulley 34 includes a drive flange 37 and a boss 40 which has a square cross-section bore 41 formed therethrough to engage slidalby and non-rotatably with the central portion 32. The forward clutch plate 42 includes a forward clutch flange 43 supported by a boss 44. The latter incorporates a bearing land 45 on its inner end on which the inner race 46 of a clutch actuator bearing 47 is mounted. The outer end 50 of the bearing land 45 is peened and rolled over to secure the inner race 46. The bore 51 of the boss 44 is recessed centrally as illustrated at 52. The clutch actuator bearing 47 is supported on the forward clutch plate 42 as that the member has an elongated hub whereby contact pressure between the square bore of the hub and the square portion of the drive shaft 14 is reduced. The adjacent plate 36 floats freely along the square drive shaft and abuts the throw-out bearing 47 whereby it may be forced into engagement with the drive plate 37.
The clutch flanges 37 and 43 are faced with clutch facings 53, and are urged away from the driven pulleys 33 and 34 by centralising springs 54.
As can be seen in Figs. 4 and 6. the actuating member 60 for urging the clutch plates 36, 42 into and out of engagement with /Q ected pulley wheel 33, 34 is in the form of an arm which -21extends diametrically across the drive assembly 25 and includes a central bearing retaining portion 61 in which the throw-out bearing 47 is retained. The opposite ends of the actuating member extend outwardly beyond the pulley wheels 33, 34 and connect via quick release pin connections 63 to respective links 64 of a parallel linkage assembly 59 which is actuated by rocking one of the heel/toe foot pedals 13.
Both links 64 pass to respective bell crank members 65 which are interconnected to a common push/pull link 66, which may be length adjustable if desired. The push/pull link 66 is actuated :-19 by a pivot link 67 which pivots about a fixed mounting pin 70 and is thus slotted at 71 to enable the pivot link 67 to move longitudinally with pivotal movement of the bell cranks 65. A linkage 68 is connected between the pivot link 67 and one rocking pedal 13 whereby it is adapted to be pulled by applying toe pressure to the foot pedal for forward motion.
Such action pushes the push/pull link 66 causing translation of motion through the bell cranks 65 with resultant pushing of the actuating member 60 towards the forward drive pulley 33 and S: accompanying engagement of the clutch 36 therewith.
This arrangement is chosen such that the relatively long linkage assembly 68 which extends between the pivot link 67 and S the foot pedal 13 is maintained in tension when the drive mechanism is actuated in its forward direction. The linkage assembly 68 is of course place in compression in reverse mode.
However in reverse mode, less drive torque is required to be transmitted from the drive assembly 25 and thus less force needs to be transmitted through the actuating member It will be seen from the above that the actuating linkage assembly 59 operates the actuating member 60 for reciprocal axial motion along the driven shaft 31 and thus it provides an effective means of transferring movement of the foot pedal 13 to tion of the drive assembly 25. Furthermore the drive -22assembly can be easily removed from the chassis 15 by releasing the quick connection pins 63 and the mounting bolts 73 which secure the flangette bearings 35 to the chassis 15 and then by lifting the drive assembly 25 complete with the actuating member from the chassis.
For the purpose of replacing drive belts, sufficient clearance is left between the drive wheels 33 and 34 and the adjacent opening edge 78 such that a V belt may be inserted therebetween and placed into the grooves of the drive wheels 33 and 34. The belt may pass over the actuating member 60 subsequent to the rear end of the latter being disconnected by the quick connect pin 63.
The actuating member 60 retains the bearing 47 between part circular portions 55 of identical overlapping arms 56 which are bolted together by through bolts as illustrated. The arms 56 are so formed that the shank portions are co-planar. The bearing 47 is retained against axial movement relative to the arms 56 by forked retainer plates 57 fitted between the overlapped portions of the arms 56. Each plate 57 is forked at its inner end so as to neatly accommodate the periphery of the bearing 47 between the its fingers 58.
The linkage assembly 68 incorporates spring 72 disposed about the push/pull rod 73 an between an adjustable nut 76 on the rod 73 and an abutment collar 74 formed on an extension bar A further collar 77 is formed on the extension bar 75 to slidably locate the trailing end of the rod 73. Thus in use, the spring 72 limits the force applied to the actuating member for reverse operation with operation of the foot pedal 13.
The drive assembly 25 is suitably located within a square cutout 80 in a folded steel plate chassis 15. For this purpose the cutout is terminated by mounting flanges 81 folded from the opposed sides of the cutout 80. The flanges 81 are each provided Q a doubler 82 which is suitable bolted thereto along the full -23length of the flange. Each doubler 82 is suitably in the form of a carrier plate which extends below the chassis and provides mountings or a mounting for the rear axle assembly As shown in Figs. 4 and 5, the flanges 81 extend transverse to the shaft 31 from opposite sides of a relief cutout 83 formed in the sheet metal chassis adjacent the opening 80 to enable the bearings 35 to extend down beyond the upper face of the chassis.
This arrangement permits the centreline of the drive shaft 31 to be disposed close to the chassis surface 84 such that axial loads applied through the drive shaft by the actuating member 60 do not :aI1a result in significant flexing of the flanges 81. Thus operation of the drive assembly 25 by the actuating member 60 is enhanced.
Furthermore it will be seen that the sprocket 84 is located close to the forward drive pulley wheel 36. Accordingly the drive load path in the forward mode is minimised thus further minimising flexure within the shaft itself and assisting positive actuation of the drive. The above described arrangement also provides an advantage in that the sheet metal from which the a.
chassis is formed may be minimised, maintaining a low chassis weight.
":11U Belt tension is maintained in the secondary drive belt by S adjustment means 100 which supports the idler pulley 20. The S adjustment means 100 is illustrated in Fig. 8.
The adjustment means 100 is adapted for supporting the idler pulley 20 for movement along a slotted frame bracket 102. The pulley 20 is mounted on a spindle assembly 103 rigidly attached to a slide bar 104 which is mounted within guide apertures 105 formed in end plates 106 and 107 of the frame bracket 102. The bar 104 is supported in use such that it extends parallel to the runs 108 of the drive belt 109 which passes about the pulley The spindle 103 passes through a slide bearing 120 which engages about the edges of the slot 121 and stabilizes the pulley usIspring pawl 122 attached at one end to the bracket 102 0
PFC
-24extends angularly to the bar 104 whereby its outer end 123 is biassed through is own resilience into engagement with the bar 104 and with a plurality of notches 124 formed along a portion of the bar 104. The pawl 122 permits the bar 104 to move freely in the direction away from the belt runs 108, the ratchet direction, but prevents opposite movement towards the belt runs 108.
A tension spring 125 is attached at one end to the end plate 107 and extends alongside the bar 104 and its other end connects to the bracket 126 fixed to the end 127 of the slide bar 104. The :l tension spring 125 forces the bar 104 in the ratchet direction.
A spring release trigger 128 is fixed to the pawl 122 and extends away therefrom to protrude beyond the frame bracket 102 whereby the outer end 129 of the trigger 128 may be manipulated to deflect the pawl away from the slide bar 104. The deflected attitude of the spring pawl is illustrated in dotted outline at 130. The trigger is used when the spring 125 has been release from the bar 104 to enable the bar 104 to move freely in through the end plates 106 and 107 such as for moving the pulley to the rear 131 of the slot 121 to enable the belt 109 to be either removed or replaced, as shown in dotted outline at 132.
In use, as illustrated, a V-belt 19 which is to be tensioned is passed around the pulley 20. The tension spring 125 draws the slide bar 104 through the guide apertures 105 to tension the belt 19 while the outer end 123 of the spring pawl 122 rides up and over the notches 124 until the V-belt 19 has been drawn into a state of tension controlled by the force in the tension'spring 125. The bar 104 is prevented from oscillating or reducing belt tension by engagement between the pawl end 123 and one of the notches 124. The spring 125 will automatically advance the bar 104 in the ratchet direction as the belt wears or stretches and sufficient slack appears in the belt 109 such the cumulative tension in the belt runs is less than the tension of the spring 125. The notches 124 are arranged close together such that such movement is accompanied by engagement of the pawl with the next notch.
When it is necessary to move the slide 102 back to a low belt-tension position, such as for changing the belt, the spring 125 is released and the trigger 128 is manipulated to release from the bar 104 allowing it to be slid through the guide apertures 105 and so position the pulley 20 that the belt may be release therefrom.
Belt tension is maintained in the cutter drive belt 147 by adjustment means 135 which supports the idler pulley 28 at the front 136 of the chassis about which the return run of the cutter belt 17 passes. The adjustment means 135 is illustrated in fig.
9 9.
The drive belt 17 passes forwardly from the engine mounted driving pulley 29 attached to a vertical-shaft motor 16 for return about idler pulleys 28 to the driven pulley 18. This arrangement provides a relatively long belt run to the driven o.
pulley 18 which is advantageous for the purposes of raising and lowering the driven pulley 18 with the cutter housing.
The belt 17 passes from the smaller driving pulley 29 forwardly beneath the mower chassis 15, rotating a quarter-turn to engage with the idler pulleys 28 before returning to the larger driven pulley 18. The idler pulleys 28 are supported for rotation on pulley carriers 147 and 148 which maintain the idler pulleys inclined at the correct angle to lead the lower runs of the belt 17 onto the larger diameter driven pulley 18.
The carriers 147 and 148 are substantially identical, however the carrier 147 carrying the idler pulley 28 engaged by the drive run of the belt 17 is bolted rigidly to the mower chassis 15 while the other carrier 148 is bolted to a U-shaped bracket 150 having apertured legs 151 supporting plastics bushes The bushes 152 are slidable along a round shaft 154 secured -26at its ends by through bolting to a chassis front wall member 155 and rear wall member or bracket 156. The length of the shaft 154 is such as to permit substantial travel of the U-shaped bracket therealong without substantially changing the belt feed geometry.
Accordingly the travel is able to accommodate a relatively large amount of stretch in the belt 17.
The carrier 148 is restrained from rotation about the shaft 154 by a stud 157 held captive in a mounting slot 160 in the chassis 140 and spaced from the shaft 154. The slot 160 is disposed parallel to the shaft 154. The stud 157 passes upwardly :.iJV beyond the slot 160 through a slotted pivot member 163 arranged above the chassis 15. The free end of this member 163 forms a pointer which indicates the limits of automatic adjustment of the moveable idler pulley 28.
Each carrier is provided with multiple pulley mounting apertures 165 to enable belt tension to be adjusted manually to enable the automatic tensioner to maintain effective operation.
It will be seen that the shaft mounting of the carrier 148 provides a relatively large reciprocal movement of the carrier whereby early stretching of the belt will not cause the carrier to travel its full extent and whereby early maintenance associated with short travel adjusters is alleviated. Furthermore S the small mass of the reciprocating parts facilitates operation of the tensioner. If desired friction damping or other forms of damping may be utilised to damp the motion of the carrier 148.
The carrier 148 is controlled through a spring biassed push rod assembly 166 connected to one of the apertures 167 and an actuating lever 168 is used to provide the necessary control of the rod 166, including locking it in a retracted position to prevent drive being transferred through the drive belt 17. The push rod assembly 166 is shown disconnected in the drawings, however it will be apparent that the spring 170 urges the rod 171 tantially parallel to the shaft 154 so as to maintain -27appropriate tension in the belt 17. The bearing end 172 of the rod may be engaged in either aperture 167 to achieve the desired tension. Other forms of adjustment may also be provided as desired such as length adjustment of the rod 171.
As shown in Fig. 1 a grass catcher 30 may be fitted to the mower 10. Details of the grass catcher are illustrated in Figs.
11 and 12.
In Fig. 11, the dotted outline 180 represents the grass outlet of the cutter housing 14 and the dotted outline 181 represents the grass inlet of the catcher 30. The inlet 181 is maintained in alignment with the outlet 13 by engagement between S. an upstanding pin 182 fixed to the cutter housing and engaging S through an aperture 184 of a flange 185 extending along the upper edge of the inlet 181. The flange 185 rests upon the cutter housing 14 to support the leading end of the catcher 11 which is able to move up and down with height adjustment of the cutter housing 14. In this manner the leading end of the catcher 30 may S: be readily secured in position by lowering it to engage the aperture 184 about the pin 182.
The upper extremity of the grass inlet 181 of the grass catcher 30 is disposed below the top face 183 of the catcher oo..
S housing 186 and the space between the top face 183 and the er mounting flange 185 increases rearwardly from the leading edge of the grass outlet 180. This arrangement forms an air space 187 above the inlet 181 in which cut grass does not accumulate and which alleviates the build up of cut grass at the neck portion 190 of the grass catcher 10. Thus grass flows efficiently rearwardly from the grass catcher inlet 181 into the main body of the catcher 30. To facilitate grass flow, the rear side wall is formed of mesh as is the breathing panel 191 in the back wall/door 192.
The rear of the catcher 30 is supported by a bar 193 extends rralyefrsely from the mower 10 which extends beneath the housing 0 P lC-\ -28and is located in slotted brackets 194 fitted to the underside of the housing 186 whereby it may pivot about and slide along the bar 193. The rear closure door 192 is mounted along its inside edge on hinges 195 and a spring 196 selectively holds the door 192 in the closed or open position.
An upstanding strut 197 forms a door mounting for the spring and provides a handle which is accessible to the driver of the mower whereby the door 192 can be readily moved to the open position by a seated operator as illustrated in Fig. 12.
In use, the catcher 30 is fitted to a mower 30 by firstly connecting the cross bar 193 thereto to provide the rear pivotal support and subsequently supporting the front of the catcher on the cutter housing 14 with pin 182 passing through the aperture 184. The catcher 30 may be manually moved in a longitudinal direction to permit operative alignment of the pin 182 with the aperture 184. After mowing, when the catcher is full, the user simply pivots door 192 to its over-centre open position at which it is held by the spring 196, grasps the handle 198 and tilts the catcher through the open rear end 198.
As shown in Fig. 13 the axle assembly 210 includes a ":2t1: transverse axle 211 provided with keyed land portions 212 and 213 at each end thereof. The axle 211 is also provided with a fixed sun gear 214 adjacent keyed land portion 213. The sun gear has a collar 215 which is adapted to locate within the bushed hub 216 of a drive sprocket 217 provided with bolt apertures 218 through which bolts may pass to connect an open ended tubular housing 219 to an opposed end plate 220. A shim 221 is adapted to be inserted between the sprocket and the back face of the gear 214 so as to enable the mesh between the gear 214 and opposed planetary gears 222 supported in the housing 219 to be adjusted. The planetary gears 222 are mounted on respective stub axles 223 fixed to the housing 219.
\S The axle 211 is further provided with a bearing surface 225 0us on which a tubular stub axle 226 may rotate. The tubular stub axle 226 is formed integrally with a further sun gear 227 adapted to mesh with the planetary gears 222. A further shim 228 is provided for placement between the back face of the gear 227 and the end plate 220. The tubular stub axle 226 is also provided with an outer key 230 so that it may be locked to a wheel hub 231. The latter is provided with studs 229 which pass through the mounting apertures 232 in the wheel 233. At the other end of the axle 211 a further carrier 240 mounts on the keyed land portion 212 and connects to the wheel 241 through .100 studs 242. The wheel 233 is adapted to be locked to the studs 229 through wheel nuts 245 which have extensions 246 formed thereon.
The extensions 246 are adapted to engage within respective radial slots 247 in a locking plate 250 having a hub 251 which is keyed to the keyed land portion 213.
The arrangement is such that drive is transmitted to the gear case 219 and to either one or both of the sun gears 214 or 227 by the planetary gears 22. The latter assembly will provide a differential action between the wheels 233 and 241 in known manner. However if during use further drive is required in situations where one wheel may slip and cause drive to be lost, 9999 the differential assembly 300 may be locked by moving the locking S plate 250 along the keyed land portion 213 until the wheel stud extensions 246 engage within the slots 247. In this configuration neither wheel may spin independent of the other. Both will be driven through the differential assembly 300 for simultaneous rotation.
From the above it will be seen that the differential can be formed inexpensively through using very simple components such as cropped tubing to form the housing and a simple dog clutch to provide the differential lock mechanism. Furthermore the differential may be associated directly with a sprocket or the J-Fj ke with simple mountings as per conventional solid axle assemblies.
Figs. 14 and 15 illustrate sections of the differential assembly 300 in more detail. As illustrated, the differential housing 219 is machined from mild steel tubing and formed with opposing apertures 252 to accept the stepped threaded ends 253 of the pinion stub axles 254. The pinion stub axles 254 also pass through hardened and ground rectangular supporting blocks 255 which self align over the apertures and engage securely with the inner wall of the housing 219 when the securing nuts on the :00. threaded ends 253 are tightened. The keyed hub 251 of the locking Ij" mechanism is slidable along the end of the axle 211 and along the 9 99 associated key 260 between disengaged and engaged positions, illustrated in full and dotted outlines respectively in Fig.
and at which a sprung ball 261 engages with a respective one of the indents 262.
The corners of the hardened square blocks 255 bite into the relatively soft inner wall of the housing 219 and the square ends of the blocks 255 abut either end plate so that in use accurate location of the blocks and the planetary gears 222 S: supported thereby is provided. Furthermore, the through bolting apertures 218 are arranged at each side of the blocks 255 such 9O9.
that effective bolting together of the housing components may be S achieved without distortion of the components.
The axle 211 is stepped at 256 to provide a locating shoulder for the side gear 214 which is secured thereto by a key 257. The keyed hub 251 of the locking mechanism is slidable along the end of the axle 211 and along the associated key 260 between disengaged and engaged positions, illustrated in full and dotted outlines respectively in Fig. 14, and at which a sprung ball 261 engages with a respective one of the indents 262.
As shown in Figs. 16, 17 and 18 the differential assembly 265 includes a chain driven sprocket 266, an end plate 267 and ia tubular housing 268 which enclose the remainder of the differential assembly. A first set of planetary gears 270 each having a spindle portion 271 is rotatably mounted on the sprocket 266 and are adapted to mesh with a second set of planetary gears 272 each having a spindle portion 273 also rotatably mounted on the sprocket 266 whereby drive may be transferred by the enmeshed contra-rotating spur gears 270, 272 engaging with respective sun gears 280, 281. The first set of planetary gears 270 has the spindly portions 271 distally disposed from the sprocket 266 whereas the second set of planetary gears 272 has the spindle S portions proximally disposed to the sprocket 266.
o10 The first set of planetary gears 270 mesh in orbiting 0 relationship with a first sun gear 280 which is fixedly mounted on a main axle 282. In like manner, the second set of planetary 0 0 V406 gears 272 mesh in orbiting relationship with a second sun gear 281 which is fixedly mounted on a tubular stub axle 283. The main axle 282 passes through the tubular stub axle 283 and has a dogclutch 284 mounted on a dog-clutch land 286 on the end of the axle 282 adjacent the differential side of the sprocket 266. The 0o tubular stub axle 283 has a wheel mounting land 287 for mounting a wheel 288 thereon. The wheel includes a dog clutch engaging pin 289 for engaging the dog clutch 284. Another wheel (not shown) @000 is mounted on the other end of the main axle 282.
0 The differential housing is sealed by oil seals 290, one of which seals the housing adjacent where the main axle 282 passes through the sprocket 266 and another which seals the housing adjacent where the stub axle 283 passes through the end plate 267.
If during use, drive is required in situations where one wheel may slip and cause drive to be lost, the differential assembly 265 may be locked by moving the dog clutch 284 axially along the land portion 286 until the dog clutch 284 engages with e engaging pin 291 on the wheel 288. In this configuration P\U S 4 ne. her wheel may spin independently. Both will be driven through the differential assembly 265 for simultaneous rotation.
As shown in Fig. 19 the differential lockout mechanism may be substituted by a clutch assembly 300 whereby the degree of relative rotation between the inner axle 301 and the outer tubular axle 302 through the differential 303 is selectively variable. In this embodiment the differential lockout mechanism 300 is in the form of a clutch assembly 304 having a first clutch plate 305 secured to the wheel 306 by the wheel studs 307 and a second clutch plate 308 keyed to the shaft 301 by key 309 for s0 9 free sliding movement therealong. Friction facings 310 are :1 provided as illustrated. The end of the shaft 301 is couterbored *0 0 and threaded at 311 to receive a finger operable adjusting nut 0@ 312 through which axial pressure may be applied through the collar 313 to the clutch plate 308 so as to force the clutch plate 308 into engagement with the clutch plate 305. A spring 314 is interposed between the hub 315 of the clutch plate 308 and the collar 313. The finger nut 312 may be tightened to effectively lock the shaft 301 to the shaft 302 or loosened to provide full Sdifferential action. Of course the finger nut may be adjusted @006 intermediately above positions to provide a limited slip facility with selected slip being available to the user.
0°oo oooc00

Claims (27)

1. A ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly including: a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and supported by a transverse axle which supports respective wheel hubs at opposite ends thereof and which is supported for rotation by spaced chassis mountings intermediate said wheel hubs and through which the transverse axle is attached to the mower's chassis, the gear case being mounted on the transverse axle between one wheel hub and the adjacent chassis mounting and said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive attached to the gear case for driving the transverse axle; the gear case including a housing which extends co-axially with the transverse axle and carries a pair of opposed planetary gears therein for orbital motion about the transverse axle; opposed sun gearssupported in axially spaced relationship Son the transverse axle adjacent said one wheel hub and differentially driven by the opposed planetary gears, the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being rotatable about the i' transverse axle and drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, S and the other sun gear and the other wheel hub being locked for rotation with the transverse axle; the gear case including fixed end walls at the opposite ends thereof which substantially enclose the sun gears and planetary gears within the housing; the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub having a boss or collar which passes rotatably into the fixed end wall interposed between said one wheel hub and the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub and said boss or collar is drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, and the transverse axle passes rotatably into the other end wall Rd said boss or collar.
2. A ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly, including: a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and supported by a transverse axle which supports respective wheel hubs at opposite ends thereof and which is supported for rotation by spaced chassis mountings intermediate said wheel hubs and through which the transverse axle is attached to the mower's chassis; the gear case being mounted on the transverse axle between one wheel hub and the adjacent chassis support and said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive attached to the gear case for driving the reversible rear drive axle assembly; the gear case including a housing which extends co-axially with the transverse axle and carries a pair of opposed planetary gears therein for orbital motion about the transverse axle; opposed sun gears supported in axially spaced relationship on the transverse axle adjacent said on wheel hub and are differentially driven by the opposed planetary gears; i the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle and drivingly connected to said one 2 wheel hub, and the other sun gear and the other wheel hub are S• locked for rotation with the transverse axle; the gear case including fixed end walls at the opposite ends thereof which substantially enclose the sun gears and planetary gears within the housing; the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being drivingly connected to said one wheel hub by a sleeve portion which passes rotatably into the fixed end wall interposed between said one wheel hub and the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub, and the transverse axle passes rotatably into the other end wall and said sleeve portion. S 1 A ride-on mower according to Claim 2, wherein at least part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one sun gear nearest said one hub.
4. A ride-on mower according to Claim 2, wherein at least part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one hub. A ride-on mower according to Claim 2, wherein part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one sun gear nearest said one hub and part is integral with said one hub. o
6. A ride-on mower according to Claim 2, wherein at least part of said sleeve portion is separate from said one sun gear nearest said one hub.
7. A ride-on mower including: a chassis; a transverse axle mounted to and extending beyond said S chassis at both ends for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end 0 and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and S a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle between said first wheel and said chassis for rotation relative to said transverse axle about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse Sai xle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being substantially enclosed by said gear case.
8. A ride-on mower including: *a chassis; a transverse axle mounted to and extending beyond said chassis at both ends for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle between said first wheel and said chassis for rotation relative to said transverse axle about said transverse axis; 'r0" drive means operatively connected to said gear case for S rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel for oSTr.tation therewith about said transverse axis, said gear case -37- being adapted to contain therein a liquid lubricant for lubricating said first and second planetary gears and said first and second sun gears.
9. A ride-on mower according to any one of the preceding claims including selectively engageable differential locking means disposed externally of the gear case and at the side of said one wheel hub distal from the gear case for selectively locking said one wheel hub for rotation with said gear case and said transverse axle so that the respective wheel hubs rotate in 1 unison with said transverse axle and said gear case.
10. A ride-on mower according to Claim 9, wherein the differential locking means includes a locking member which extends from said one wheel hub offset from said transverse axle and a locking plate supported slidably but non-rotatably on said transverse axle and adapted to be manually slid into engagement with said locking member to lock said one wheel hub to said transverse axle for rotation therewith in unison. ,2 11. A chain driven reversible rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle supporting respective wheel hubs at opposite ends thereof, one hub being freely rotatable about said transverse axle and the other hub being fixed to said transverse axle; a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and supported by said transverse axle and forming a housing extending along the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive operatively connected to the gear case for rotation therewith; a pair of opposed planetary gears supported by said housing AS orbital motion about the transverse axle; -38- opposed sun gears supported in axially spaced relationship along and co-axially about the transverse axle and substantially within said housing and meshed with said opposed planetary gears for differential rotation thereby, the sun gear nearest said one hub being drivingly connected to said one hub by a sleeve portion and the other sun gear being locked for rotation with said transverse axle; and an externally accessible locking member associated with said one hub and manually movable to a locking position at which it S locks said one hub for rotation with said gear case and said t~o transverse axle.
12. A chain driven reversible rear drive assembly according to Claim 11, wherein at least part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one sun gear nearest said one hub.
13. A chain driven reversible rear drive assembly according to Claim 11, wherein at least part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one hub. 0" 14. A chain driven reversible rear drive assembly according to Claim 11, wherein part of said sleeve portion is integral with said one sun gear nearest said one hub and part is integral with said one hub.
15. A chain driven reversible rear drive assembly according to Claim 11, wherein at least part of said sleeve portion is separate from said one sun gear nearest said one hub.
16. A rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a differential gear case adapted for rotation about a transverse axis; S _a transverse axle extending through said gear case for -39- rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being substantially enclosed by said gear case.
17. A rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: S"a differential gear case adapted for rotation about a transverse axis; a transverse axle extending through said gear case for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub'mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case STIorbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case -n zI rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said gear case being adapted to contain therein a liquid lubricant for lubricating said first and second planetary gears and said first and second sun gears as they rotate.
18. A rear drive assembly according to Claim 16 or Claim 17, including locking means for selectively locking said second wheel hub for rotation with said transverse axle. S 19. A rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; 0 a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse Stf le for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being substantially enclosed by said gear case. A rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; ***drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case S rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, said gear case being adapted to contain therein a liquid lubricant for lubricating said first and second planetary gears and said first sTnd second sun gears.
21. A ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly according to Claim 19 or Claim 20, including selectively engageable locking means disposed externally of the gear case and at the side of said one wheel hub distal from the gear case for selectively locking said one wheel hub for rotation with said gear case and said transverse axle so that the respective wheel hubs rotate in unison with said transverse axle and said gear case. i 22. A ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly according to Claim 21, wherein the locking means 0 includes a locking member which extends from said one wheel hub offset from said transverse axle and a locking plate supported slidably but non-rotatably on said transverse axle and adapted to be manually slid into engagement with said locking member to lock said one wheel hub to said transverse axle for rotation therewith in unison.
23. A rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis 70" for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; oeoeo S• a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; A 4 a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse -43- axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second sun gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for rotation therewith about said transverse axis, and an externally accessible locking member associated with said second wheel hub and manually movable to a locking position at which it locks said second wheel hub for rotation with said gear .LQ case and said transverse axle. n 24. A rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower, including: a transverse axle adapted to be mounted to a mower chassis for rotation relative thereto about a transverse axis; a first wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at one end and secured thereto for rotation with said transverse axle and a second wheel hub mounted on said transverse axle at the other end for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; a differential gear case mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis; S• drive means operatively connected to said gear case for rotating said gear case about said transverse axis; a pair of opposed planetary gears mounted in said gear case for orbital movement about said transverse axis as said gear case rotates; a first sun gear secured to or integral with said transverse axle for rotation therewith about said transverse axis and a second sun gear mounted on said transverse axle for rotation relative thereto about said transverse axis, said first and second sun gears being in operative contact with said pair of opposed planetary gears for differential drive, and said second SI gear being operatively connected to said second wheel hub for -44- rotation therewith about said transverse axis, and externally accessible locking means operatively connected to said second wheel hub for selectively locking said second wheel hub for rotation with said transverse axle.
25. A rear drive assembly for a ride-on mower according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the web of said driven sprocket forms one of said end walls.
26. A differential assembly as claimed in any one of the 0 preceding claims wherein said sun gears and said planetary gears are spur gears.
27. A ride-on mower according to any one of Claims 21 to 26 wherein the locking means is adapted to lock any two of the differential components which otherwise rotate differentially. a. a
28. A ride-on mower according to any one of Claims 21 to 27 wherein the differential locking means includes an offset locking member which extends from said one wheel hub offset from t" said transverse axle and is adapted to be engaged with a complementary locking member operatively connected to said transverse axle.
29. A ride-on mower according to Claim 28, wherein said complementary locking member is a locking plate which is non- rotatably mounted on said transverse axle for sliding movement between a locking position in which the one wheel hub is locked to said transverse axle for rotation therewith and an unlocked position in which said transverse axle and said one wheel hub are free to rotate differentially. ride-on mower according to Claim 28 or Claim 29, wherein said offset locking member is an extension of a wheel stud on said one wheel hub.
31. A ride-on mower according to any one of Claims 28 to including a plurality of said offset locking members angularly spaced around said transverse axle.
32. A ride-on mower according to any one of the preceding Claims, wherein said gear case is disposed substantially within the cavity of a wheel mounted to said one wheel hub. oo 32. A ride-on mower according to any one of Claims 9, 18, and 21 to 31, wherein said selectively engageable locking means includes a manually adjustable clutch assembly adapted to provide full differential action between said one wheel hub and said transverse axle or limited slip facility therebetween. n.
33. A ride-on mower according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said sun gears are spur gears and each of said '2 pair of planetary gears includes a first pair of spur gears meshed with one sun gear and a second pair of spur gears meshed with the other sun gear, each gear of the first set meshed with one of the second set.
34. A differential assembly as claimed in Claim 14, wherein said locking means is a dog clutch having complementary clutch portions mounted to said drive shaft and said tubular axle and adapted to engage to lock said second wheel hub for rotation with said gear case and said transverse axle. A differential assembly including:- a transverse axle; 0 a fixed wheel mount adjacent one end of said transverse axle; a free wheel mount adjacent the other end of said transverse axle, said free wheel mount including a tubular axle supported about said transverse axle; a first sun gear secured to said transverse axle for rotation therewith and a second sun gear secured to said tubular axle; a gear case assembly rotatably mounted on said transverse 6°o°° Saxle having planetary gears therein adapted to engage with said sun gears and to orbit said transverse axle; and l drive means for rotating the gear case about said transverse axle; characterised in that said sun gears and said planetary gears are spur gears.
36. A ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly including: 0000 a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and suppQrted i .by a transverse axle which supports respective wheel hubs at opposite ends thereof and which is supported for rotation by spaced chassis mountings intermediate said wheel hubs and through S which the transverse axle is attached to the mower's chassis, the gear case being mounted on the transverse axle between one wheel hub and the adjacent chassis mounting and said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive attached to the gear case for driving the transverse axle; the gear case including a housing which extends co-axially with the transverse axle and carries a pair of opposed planetary gears therein for orbital motion about the transverse axle; S opposed sun gears supported in axially spaced relationship on the transverse axle adjacent said one wheel hub and differentially driven by the opposed planetary gears, the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle and drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, and the other sun gear and the other wheel hub being locked for rotation with the transverse axle; the gear case including fixed end walls at the opposite ends thereof which substantially enclose the sun gears and planetary gears within the housing; 0S OS the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub having a boss or collar which passes rotatably through at least part of the fixed S end wall interposed between said one wheel hub and the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub and said boss or collar is drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, and :00 the transverse axle passes rotatably through the other end ooo wall and said boss or collar.
37. A ride-on mower having a chain driven reversible rear drive assembly, including: 0 00a differential gear case mounted rotatably on and supported by a transverse axle which supports respective wheel hubs at opposite ends thereof and which is supported for rotation by spaced chassis mountings intermediate said wheel hubs and through which the transverse axle is attached to the mower's chassis; 906the gear case being mounted on the transverse axle between one wheel hub and the adjacent chassis support and said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle; a driven sprocket for the chain drive attached to the gear case for driving the reversible rear drive axle assembly; the gear case including a housing which extends co-axially with the transverse axle and carries a pair of opposed planetary gears therein for orbital motion about the transverse axle; S? opposed sun gears supported in axially spaced relationship -48- on the transverse axle adjacent said on wheel hub and are differentially driven by the opposed planetary gears; the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being rotatable about the transverse axle and drivingly connected to said one wheel hub, and the other sun gear and the other wheel hub are locked for rotation with the transverse axle; the gear case including fixed end walls at the opposite ends thereof which substantially enclose the sun gears and planetary gears within the housing; the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub being drivingly connected to said one wheel hub by a sleeve portion which passes rotatably through at least part of the fixed end wall interposed ee between said one wheel hub and the sun gear nearest said one wheel hub, and the transverse axle passes rotatably through the other end @00 wall and said sleeve portion. Dated this 1 3 t h day of January, 2003. BARTLEM PTY LTD By their Patent Attorneys AHEARN FOX oooo• January 2003
AU71833/00A 1990-05-01 2000-11-24 Improved drive mechanisms Ceased AU758585B2 (en)

Priority Applications (8)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AUPJ9911 1990-05-01
AUPK0378 1990-05-30
AUPK2057 1990-08-31
AUPK2972 1990-10-23
AUPK4136 1991-01-08
AUPK5028 1991-03-11
AU67069/98A AU6706998A (en) 1990-05-01 1998-05-18 Improvements to drive mechanisms
AU71833/00A AU758585B2 (en) 1990-05-01 2000-11-24 Improved drive mechanisms

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU71833/00A AU758585B2 (en) 1990-05-01 2000-11-24 Improved drive mechanisms
AU2002301935A AU2002301935B9 (en) 1990-05-01 2002-11-12 Improved drive mechanisms

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
AU67069/98A Division AU6706998A (en) 1990-05-01 1998-05-18 Improvements to drive mechanisms

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
AU2002301935A Division AU2002301935B9 (en) 1990-05-01 2002-11-12 Improved drive mechanisms

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AU7183300A AU7183300A (en) 2001-02-08
AU758585B2 true AU758585B2 (en) 2003-03-27

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AU71833/00A Ceased AU758585B2 (en) 1990-05-01 2000-11-24 Improved drive mechanisms

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Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4468985A (en) * 1977-11-29 1984-09-04 Skf Nova Ab Planetary gearing system
US5269730A (en) * 1990-06-05 1993-12-14 Tochigifujisangyo Kabushiki Kaisha Differential gear device for vehicle

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4468985A (en) * 1977-11-29 1984-09-04 Skf Nova Ab Planetary gearing system
US5269730A (en) * 1990-06-05 1993-12-14 Tochigifujisangyo Kabushiki Kaisha Differential gear device for vehicle

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AU7183300A (en) 2001-02-08
AU6706998A (en) 1998-07-16

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