GB2095215A - Crop handling system and method - Google Patents

Crop handling system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2095215A
GB2095215A GB8109425A GB8109425A GB2095215A GB 2095215 A GB2095215 A GB 2095215A GB 8109425 A GB8109425 A GB 8109425A GB 8109425 A GB8109425 A GB 8109425A GB 2095215 A GB2095215 A GB 2095215A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
vehicle
gantry
container
system according
containers
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB8109425A
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
HASSY HORTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT Ltd
HASSY HORTICULTURAL DEV Ltd
Original Assignee
HASSY HORTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT LTD
HASSY HORTICULTURAL DEV Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by HASSY HORTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT LTD, HASSY HORTICULTURAL DEV Ltd filed Critical HASSY HORTICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT LTD
Priority to GB8109425A priority Critical patent/GB2095215A/en
Publication of GB2095215A publication Critical patent/GB2095215A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66CCRANES; LOAD-ENGAGING ELEMENTS OR DEVICES FOR CRANES, CAPSTANS, WINCHES, OR TACKLES
    • B66C19/00Cranes comprising trolleys or crabs running on fixed or movable bridges or gantries
    • B66C19/002Container cranes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66FHOISTING, LIFTING, HAULING OR PUSHING, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, e.g. DEVICES WHICH APPLY A LIFTING OR PUSHING FORCE DIRECTLY TO THE SURFACE OF A LOAD
    • B66F19/00Hoisting, lifting, hauling or pushing, not otherwise provided for

Abstract

A crop handling system comprises a gantry 10 which is supported by uprights 12 and 14 and along which can run a crane 16 controlled by a control unit 18. The crane 16 has lifting tackle 22 for attachment to containers 24. The lower ends of the uprights 12 and 14 have retractable wheels which, when lowered, allow the gantry to be moved in direction 30. A transfer trolley or trailer carrying containers filled with crops is driven below the gantry, the containers being unloaded by the crane 16 and stacked beneath the gantry, ready to be loaded on a lorry. Empty containers are transferred from the lorry to the trailer in a similar manner. The system therefore acts as a buffer store between the field and processing plants and avoids the need for tractors to cover long distances on the road, or road vehicles to enter fields. <IMAGE>

Description

SPECIFICATION Crop collection systems and apparatus DESCRIPTION Field of invention This invention concerns crop collection systems and in particular a system for delivering a harvested crop to a processing station or factory or store and to apparatus for assisting in such collection systems.

Background to the invention When harvesting, it has been established practice to deliver the harvested crop direct from the harvesting machinery into a bulk-carrying container on a road vehicle for transporting the harvested crop to a processing station or factory or store.

There is an inevitable problem with such arrangements in that the wheels and suspension systems of vehicles adapted for use on a field are not particularly suited to road conditions and vice versa.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved crop collection system as an alternative to the arrangement outlined above.

Summary of the invention According to the present invention a system for crop collection and delivery comprises 1. a land vehicle suitable for use on fields in conjunction with a harvester; 2. a first bulk-carrying container detachably mounted on the land vehicle into which the harvested crop is delivered; 3. a container transfer station to which filled containers are brought from the field and to which empty containers are brought by road; 4. lifting means at the transfer station under which a container can be hauled on a land vehicle or road vehicle, and 5. attachment means on the containers for engagement by the lifting means for lifting a container to await transfer to another type of vehicle.

The lifting means may be arranged to lift a container of one type of vehicle and hold same at an elevated position to await transfer to the other type of vehicle or may be arranged to simply lift the container off one type of vehicle and stack it on the ground awaiting the arrival of the other type of vehicle to which it is transferred by simply lifting and lowering thereonto.

The lifting means may be capable of holding more than one container so as to permit the stacking of filled or empty containers in an elevated position.

Conveniently lifting means is mounted on a gantry and the headroom below the gantry is sufficient to allow a number of containers to be stacked below the gantry with sufficient room to allow the lifting means to move thereacross.

Preferably the lifting means includes lateral storage capacity to at least one side of a loading and unloading position to permit a container to be lifted off one type of vehicle and laterally displaced to permit another container to be lifted off another vehicle.

Preferably the lifting means comprises a self latching hand-operated crane unit mounted on a carriage for movement across a gantry.

Preferably the gantry is carried by uprights which are extendable so as to allow the gantry to be elevated from a lowered position for transportation and storage to an elevated position so as to allow a number of containers to be stacked therebelow without interfering with the gantry or the crane.

Preferably the uprights include laterally extending feet to give the structure rigidity and the latter include wheels which can be used for transporting the gantry along a road or across the land. The wheels are typically mounted through suspension units which are of adjustable stiffness to allow for different road surfaces and land surfaces to be accommodated by the wheels.

Since the gantry must be firmly bedded when stationary and used to elevate containers from vehicles which may weight anything up to 8 or 12 tons, the feet of the uprights of the gantry are preferably adapted to be bolted or staked or otherwise secured to foundation platforms of a size and depth sufficient to accommodate the maximum load the gantry can accommodate.

Preferably the foundation platforms form part of a fixed loading and unloading bay which is typically formed from concrete and includes a hardstanding between the foundation platforms onto which vehicles can be driven and to the either side of which containers can be stacked.

In order to accommodate longer length lorries and lorry trains of lorries and trailers, two or more such loading and unloading bays may be arranged in line, one behind the other, and a gantry and cranage facility located at each such loading and unloading bay. In this way a lorry and its trailer may be loaded and unloaded simultaneously.

According to a further aspect of the invention, the gantry may be of sufficient length to extend over more than one such bay so that two lorries can be accommodated below the same gantry and two or more lifting means are-located on the same gantry and adpated to be moved therealong for loading and unloading respective lorries located therebeneath.

Preferably an interlock is provided so that the lifting means cannot be operated unless the wheels have been retracted and the feet of the uprights of the gantry have been property anchored to the foundation platform.

Preferably a second interlock is provided to prevent the lowering or operation of the wheel unless the gantry uprights have been lowered to an acceptable height for transportation.

Conveniently means is provided at one end of the gantry assembly for attachment of the gantry to the rear of a tractor or like-towing vehicle.

Preferably indicator means are provided in the loading bay to allow the driver of a vehicle to align his vehicle correctly with the gantry so that the lifting means is centrally iocatable above the container carried on the rear of the vehicle or so that a container lifted by the lifting means will be readily locatable over the load-carrying platform of the vehicle.

Typically the lifting means or crane is movable not only along the length of the gantry but also laterally of the gantry to accommodate small discrepancies between the hanging position of the container and the load-bearing platform of the vehicle.

According to another aspect of the invention, a method of handling harvested produce comprises the steps of transporting by means of a first vehicle an empty container to a position adjacent land being harvested, and secondly, collecting the said empty container by a second vehicle and filling same with the harvested crop from a harvester as it travels around the field, and thirdly, using the said second vehicle to haul the filled container to the said position adjacent the land being harvested and collecting therefrom a further empty container and, fourthly, transferring to the said first vehicle or a vehicle of the first type the filled container and removing the filled container to a factory, processing plant or store by means of the first-mentioned vehicle or type of vehicle.

Preferably the method includes the step of lifting the empty or filled containers from the vehicles and stacking same, either on the ground or one on top of the other or in an elevated manner to await collection.

The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which Figure 1 is an elevation view of a loading/unloading bay incorporating a gantry for use in the insystem embodying the invention, and Figure 2 is a plan view from above of the bay shown in Figure 1.

In the drawings Apparatus for transferring containers to waiting vehicles and unloading containers from delivering vehicles comprises a gantry 10 mounted on upright supports 12 and 1 4 and along which a hand-operated crane unit 1 6 can run. The latter is preferably operated by means of a hanging cord with control box 1 8 at the lower end of the cord and to facilitate the handling of the cord and the manhandling of the containers, the cord preferably hangs at the end of a cantilevered arm 20 from the crane unit 1 6. Lifting tackle not shown in detail but designated by reference numeral 22 hangs below the crane for attachment to containers, one of which is shown at 24 below the crane.

Each container is typically some 8 ft long x 4 ft high and 5 ft wide. However the apparatus is not limited to containers of this type or size and can be adapted to handle any size of container.

The uprights 12 and 14 include feet which are best seen in Figure 2 and are designated by reference numerals 26 and 28. The feet extend fore and aft of the gantry to provide a degree of rigidity and support to the gantry uprights and include housings that there obstends designated by reference numeral 28 into which road wheels can be elevated. With the wheels in the lowered position, the feet are lifted clear of the ground to allow the gantry to be moved in the direction of the arrow 30 in Figure 1.

When not mobile, the wheels are retracted and the feet rest firmly on a solid concrete platform designated by reference numeral 32 in Figure 1 and means is provided for attaching the feet to the platform by means of bolts or catches or straps or bars.

The simplest method of securing is by means of large bolts screwed into nuts embedded in the concrete base and secured therein.

The apparatus shown in Figures 1 and 2 is intended to be used by lorries and similar vehicles, one of which is shown at 34. The lorry is driven under the gantry to a position denoted by a marker (not shown) so that the container shown at 36 on the lorry is located approximately centrally below the gantry 10.

The crane 16 is then moved across until the lifting tackle 22 can be centred over the container 36 and attached thereto. Operation of the crane device 16 will then lift the container 36 off the lorry.

Suitable control of the crane 1 6 causes the latter to move either to one side or the other to displace the container 36 either to the left or the right and to allow the container to be stood on the ground or stacked on top of another container as shown in Figure 1.

Where the lorry 34 has brought an empty container 36, this will be stood to the appropriate side and any filled container stacked on the other side can then be lifted and lowered onto the lorry by reversing the procedure just described.

The lorry then leaves.

From the field, filled containers are brought by a tractor or other towing vehicle and located in the same way below the gantry. The filled container is then lifted and stacked on the appropriate side and an empty container left by a lorry is then lifted and located behind the towing vehicle to allow it to be moved around the field to pick up the harvested crop in known manner.

Typically the containers are of a standard size as previously mentioned and are adapted to be fitted on low-level trailers which themselves are adapted to be pulled over soft soil and mud with little tendency for the trailers to stick or become embedded.

The trailers may have large diameter wide low pressure tyres or may include tracks so as to minimise damage to the land.

The containers are typically adapted to be loaded on the back of a flat lorry or onto a trailer part of an articulated lorry in much the same way as standard containers are mounted on lorry units and trailer units of articulated lorries.

The invention overcomes the problem of a universal vehicle requirement and greatly simplifies the transportation of harvested produce to a store or processing plant or the like since the loading/unloading bay can act as a buffer store between the field and the processing plants and the like. The transportation between the field and the processing plant or the like can thus be operated efficiently and with vehicles specifically adapted to travel on roads rather than multipurpose vehicles.

In the same way the harvesting of the crop can be carried on irrespective as to whether or not the processing plant is available to receive the crop since harvested crop can be left in filled containers at the loading/unloading bay awaiting collection by the next available lorry.

Although not shown in the drawings weighing cells may be incorporated into the concrete base and/or lifting mechanism-crane, so as to indicate the weight of the lorry/trailer when loaded. Also recording apparatus may be fitted to which electrical (or other) signals are supplied to provide a permanent record of the weights of filled containers handled by the facility. The recording apparatus may operate on an hourly basis or daily or weekly basis.

Claims (21)

CLAIMS 1. A system for crop collection and delivery comprising:
1) a land vehicle suitable for use on fields in conjunction with a harvester;
2) a first bulk-carrying container which is detachably mounted on the land vehicle and into which the harvested crop is delivered;
3) a container transfer station to which filled containers are brought from the field by the land vehicle and to which empty containers are brought by road by a road vehicle;
4) lifting means at the transfer station by which a container can be lifted off or lowered onto a land vehicle or road vehicle; and
5) attachment means on the containers for engagement by the lifting means for lifting a container to await transfer to another type of vehicle.
2. A system according to claim 1, wherein the lifting means are arranged to lift a container off one type of vehicle and hold same at an elevated position to await transfer to the other type of vehicle.
3. A system according to claim 1, wherein the lifting means are arranged to lift the container off one type of vehicle and stack it on the ground awaiting the arrival of the other type of vehicle to which it is transferred by lifting and lowering thereonto.
4. A system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the lifting means are capable of holding more than one container so as to permit the stacking of filled or empty containers in an elevated position.
5. A system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the lifting means are mounted on a gantry and the headroom below the gantry is sufficient to allow a number of containers to be stacked below the gantry with sufficient room to allow the lifting means to move thereacross.
6. A system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the system has lateral storage capacity to at least one side of a loading and unloading position to permit a container to be lifted off one type of vehicle and laterally displaced to permit another container to be lifted off another vehicle.
7. A system according to claim 5, wherein the lifting means comprise a self-latching handoperated crane unit mounted on a carriage for movement across the gantry.
8. A system according to claim 5 or 7, wherein the gantry is carried by uprights which are extendable so as to allow the gantry to be elevated from a lowered position for transportation and storage to an elevated position so as to allow a number of containers to be stacked therebelow without interfering with the gantry or the crane.
9. A system according to claim 8, wherein the uprights include laterally extending feet to give the structure rigidity and the latter include wheels which can be used for transporting the gantry.
along a road or across the land.
10. A system according to claim 9, wherein the wheels are mounted through suspension units which are of adjustable stiffness to allow for different road surfaces and land surfaces to be accommodated by the wheels.
11. A system according to any of claims 9 or 10, wherein feet of of the uprights of the gantry are adapted to be bolted or staked or otherwise secured to foundation platforms of a size and depth sufficient to accommodate the maximum load the gantry can accommodate.
12. A system according to claim 1 wherein the foundation platforms form part of a fixed loading and unloading bay which is formed from concrete and includes a hardstanding between the foundation platforms onto which vehicles can be driven and to the either side of which containers can be stacked.
13. A system according to claim 12, wherein two or more loading and unloading bays are arranged in line, one behind the other, and a gantry and cranage facility located at each such loading and unloading bay, enabling a vehicle and its trailer to be loaded and unloaded simultaneously.
14. A system according to claim 13, wherein the gantry is of sufficient length to extend over more than one such bay so that two vehicles can be accommodated below the same gantry and two or more lifting means are located on the same gantry and adapted to be moved therealong for loading and unloading respective vehicles located therebeneath.
1 5. A system according to claim 13, wherein an interlock is provided so that the lifting means cannot be operated unless the wheels have been retracted and the feet of the uprights of the gantry have been properly anchored to the foundation platform.
1 6. A system according to claim 15, wherein a second interlock is provided to prevent the lowering or operation of the wheel unless the gantry uprights have been lowered to an acceptable height for transportation.
1 7. A method of handling harvested produce, comprising the steps of transporting by means of a first vehicle an empty container to a position adjacent land being harvested, and secondly, collecting the said empty container by a second vehicle and filling same with the harvested produce from a harvester as the latter travels around the field, and thirdly, using the said second vehicle to haul the filled container to the said position adjacent the land being harvested and collecting therefrom a further empty container and, fourthly, transferring to the said first vehicle or another vehicle of the same type as the first vehicle, the filled container and transporting the filled container to a factory, processing plant or store by means of the first vehicle or said another vehicle.
1 8. A method according to claim 17, wherein the first vehicle is a road-going lorry or lorry and trailer, and the second vehicle is an agricultural tractor and trailer.
19. A method according to claim 17 or 18 and including the step of lifting the empty or filled containers from the vehicles and stacking same, either on the ground or one on top of the other or in an elevated manner to await collection.
20. A system for crop collection and delivery, substantially as herein particularly described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
21. A method of handling harvested produce, substantially as herein particularly described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
GB8109425A 1981-03-25 1981-03-25 Crop handling system and method Withdrawn GB2095215A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB8109425A GB2095215A (en) 1981-03-25 1981-03-25 Crop handling system and method

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB8109425A GB2095215A (en) 1981-03-25 1981-03-25 Crop handling system and method

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB2095215A true GB2095215A (en) 1982-09-29

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GB8109425A Withdrawn GB2095215A (en) 1981-03-25 1981-03-25 Crop handling system and method

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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20150314890A1 (en) * 2014-04-30 2015-11-05 The Boeing Company Mobile Automated Overhead Assembly Tool for Aircraft Structures
US9776330B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2017-10-03 The Boeing Company Crawler robot and supporting platform
US10000298B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2018-06-19 The Boeing Company Metrology system for positioning assemblies
US10017277B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2018-07-10 The Boeing Company Apparatus, system, and method for supporting a wing assembly
US10118714B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2018-11-06 The Boeing Company System and method for positioning an automated assembly tool relative to a structure
US10427254B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2019-10-01 The Boeing Company Flexible manufacturing for aircraft structures

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20150314890A1 (en) * 2014-04-30 2015-11-05 The Boeing Company Mobile Automated Overhead Assembly Tool for Aircraft Structures
US9708079B2 (en) * 2014-04-30 2017-07-18 The Boeing Company Mobile automated overhead assembly tool for aircraft structures
US9776330B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2017-10-03 The Boeing Company Crawler robot and supporting platform
US10000298B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2018-06-19 The Boeing Company Metrology system for positioning assemblies
US10017277B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2018-07-10 The Boeing Company Apparatus, system, and method for supporting a wing assembly
US10118714B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2018-11-06 The Boeing Company System and method for positioning an automated assembly tool relative to a structure
US10427254B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2019-10-01 The Boeing Company Flexible manufacturing for aircraft structures
US10442555B2 (en) 2014-04-30 2019-10-15 The Boeing Company Apparatus, system, and method for supporting a wing assembly

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