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Lockdown structure for agricultural particulate tank

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Laurence K. Lee, Guntis Ozers

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A method and apparatus for use with a planting assembly including a first mounting member having first and second horizontally separated ends, the apparatus comprising first and second rigid support members that extend in the same direction from and substantially perpendicular to the first and second ends of the mounting member and that form first and second support surfaces, respectively, a hopper including first and second lower wall members that together define an upwardly facing cavity and form first and second downward and oppositely facing external surfaces, respectively, the external surfaces sloping downward toward a hopper opening along first and second trajectories, respectively, the hopper positioned on the support members such that the first and second external surfaces are received on the first and second support surfaces, respectively, the first external surface forming a first hopper coupler having an engaging length dimension along the first trajectory and a first locking member having a first locking coupler formed to be received by the first hopper coupler at various juxtapositions along the engaging length, the first locking member further including a first engager integrally formed with the first locking coupler and operable to lock the first locking coupler to the first support member.

Description

These and other objects, advantages and aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following description. In the description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which there is shown a preferred embodiment of the invention. Such embodiment does not necessarily represent the full scope of the invention and reference is made therefore, to the claims herein for interpreting the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a is perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a planter apparatus constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the carrier frame of illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the carrier frame illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a mainframe assembly used with the configuration of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in an extended operating position;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in a transport position;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in an intermediate position with an implement between the operating and the transport positions;

FIG. 8 is a rear perspective view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 with storage units attached and in the transport position;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 8 with storage units in the transport position;

FIG. 10 is perspective view of an exemplary hopper and hopper mounting assembly according to the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along the line

11

11 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of one of the locking members of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line

13

13 in FIG. 14;

FIG. 14 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along the line

14

14 of FIG. 10 illustrating an exemplary locking member in a locked position; and

FIG. 15 is similar to FIG. 14 albeit illustrating an exemplary locking member in an unlocked position.

Claims

1. A storage apparatus for use with a planting assembly including a first mounting member having first and second horizontally separated ends, the apparatus comprising:

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein each of the engagers includes a shoulder member that extends substantially perpendicularly from the first end of a corresponding leg member to a distal shoulder end, an arm member that extends from the distal shoulder end parallel to and to the same side of the distal end as the leg member to a distal arm end and a finger member extending from the distal arm end toward the leg member such that the leg member, shoulder member, arm member and finger member together define a support receiving space therebetween.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein each of the finger members includes a tapered edge facing a corresponding leg member and away from a corresponding shoulder member.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the locking members are formed of a resilient rubber.

5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the first and second passageways have similar cross sections along their length dimensions and are aligned with the first and second trajectories, respectively.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the first edges of each of the passageways each forms a lip that extends toward a corresponding opposing second edge of the passageway.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the second edges of each of the passageways each forms a lip that extends toward a corresponding opposing first edge of the passageway.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein each of the first and second external surfaces has an upper edge and where each of the passageways is open at a corresponding upper edge.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the first and second external surfaces include first and second lower edges, respectively, and the first and second external surfaces form first and second limiting surfaces proximate the first and second lower edges and at lower ends of the first and second passageways, respectively.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the limiting surfaces are vertically below corresponding support members.

11. A storage apparatus for use with a planting assembly including a first mounting member having first and second horizontally separated ends, the apparatus comprising:

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the distal ends of the leg members abut the limiting surfaces.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein each of the engagers includes a shoulder member that extends substantially perpendicularly from the first end of a corresponding leg member to a distal shoulder end, an arm member that extends from the distal shoulder end parallel to and to the same side of the distal end as the leg member to a distal arm end and a finger member extending from the distal arm end toward the leg member such that the leg member, shoulder member, arm member and finger member together define a support receiving space therebetween.

14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the first edges of each of the passageways each forms a lip that extends toward a corresponding opposing second edge of the passageway.

15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein the second edges of each of the passageways each forms a lip that extends toward a corresponding opposing first edge of the passageway.

16. A storage apparatus for use with a planting assembly including a main frame member, the apparatus comprising:

17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the first edges of each of the passageways each forms a lip that extends toward a corresponding opposing second edge of the passageway and the second edges of each of the passageways each forms a lip that extends toward a corresponding opposing first edge of the passageway.

18. The apparatus of claim 17 wherein the first and second external surfaces have first and second upper edges and first and second lower edges, respectively, and where each of the passageways is open at a corresponding upper edge and the first and second external surfaces form first and second limiting surfaces proximate the first and second lower edges and at lower ends of the first and second passageways, respectively.

19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the limiting surfaces are vertically below corresponding support members and the leg members have lengths such that distal ends of the legs are proximate corresponding limiting surfaces when the leg members are received in corresponding basins.

20. A storage apparatus for use with a planting assembly including a first mounting member having first and second horizontally separated ends, the apparatus comprising:

21. The apparatus of claim 20 wherein the second external surface forms a second hopper coupler including a second receiving passageway having a second engaging length dimension along the second trajectory, the apparatus further including a second locking member having a second locking coupler formed to be received by the second receiving passageway of the second hopper coupler at various juxtapositions along the second engaging length, the second locking member further including a second engager integrally formed with the second locking coupler and operable to lock the second coupler to the first support member.

22. The apparatus of claim 20 also for use with a planting assembly including a second mounting member having first and second horizontally separated ends where the first support member is mounted between the first ends of the first and second mounting members and the second support member is mounted between the second ends of the first and second mounting members.

23. A storage apparatus for use with a planting assembly including a first mounting member having first and second horizontally separated ends, the apparatus comprising:

24. The apparatus of claim 23 wherein the second external surface forms a second hopper coupler including a second receiving passageway having a second engaging length dimension along the second trajectory, the second hopper coupler further including a plurality of second hopper couplers spaced along the second external surface, the apparatus further including a second locking member, the second locking member including a separate second locking member for each of the second hopper couplers and a second locking coupler formed to be received by the second hopper coupler at various juxtapositions along the second engaging length, the second locking member further including a second engager integrally formed with the second locking coupler and operable to lock the second coupler to the first support member.

25. A method for locking a hopper to first and second separated and substantially parallel support members that form first and second support surfaces, respectively, the hopper including first and second lower wall members that together define an upwardly facing cavity and form first and second downward and oppositely facing external surfaces, respectively, the first and second external surfaces sloping downward toward a hopper opening along first and second hopper trajectories, respectively, the method comprising the steps of: