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OPERATOR SEAT FOR CONSTRUCTION MACHINE, AND CAB AND CONSTRUCTION MACHINE INCLUDING THE SAME

Imported: 10 Mar '17 | Published: 27 Nov '08

Gunnar Spellmeyer, Birgit Weller, Jonas Claudy, Simon Hellwig, Jan Henemann, Christian Grajewski, Florian Kristen, Christian Schuschan, Christoph Probler, Felix Runde

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A construction vehicle includes vehicle frames, an operator cab, a hydraulic oil tank, and engine, and an engine cover. The operator cab is mounted on the vehicle frames. The hydraulic oil tank is disposed to the rear of the operator cab and stores hydraulic oil. The engine is disposed to the rear of the hydraulic oil tank. The engine cover is a member that covers the engine. A rear face of the hydraulic oil tank and a front face of the engine cover are the same size in a widthwise direction. A rear end of an upper face of the hydraulic oil tank is positioned at the same height as a front end of the upper face of the engine cover. The upper face and side faces of the hydraulic oil tank are exposed to outside.

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to D.E. Patent Application No. 10 2007 023 568.4-16, filed on May 21, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an operator seat that is disposed in a construction machine, such as a wheel loader, and a cab and a construction machine that include this seat.

Conventionally, a construction machine such as a wheel loader is provided with a cab. The cab includes a compartment that is formed by walls that includes a stepping into/off door and windows and encloses an operator seat, and is provided with a working machine operation device, a traveling control device, and so on.

For example, Japanese Patent Laid-Open Publication TOKUKAI No. 2000-168499 discloses an operator seat device for a construction machine that includes a seat portion, a backrest portion, an arm rest portion, and so on and is mounted on a seat support that is secured on a floor of a cab.

However, the aforementioned known cab for a construction machine has the following problem.

In recent years, in order to protect operators in cabs in rollover accidents of construction machines, ROPS (Rollover Protective Structure) of a cab is used. Nevertheless, in case that unpredictable shock hits a ceiling surface or the like of a cab, the structure of the aforementioned operator seat device for a construction machine disclosed in Patent Document 1 may have possibility not to provide more sufficient space above operator's head. The reason is that the seat portion and so on are mounted on the seat support that stands on the floor.

The object of the present invention is to provide an operator seat for a construction machine capable of providing more sufficient space above the head of an operator in a cab, and a cab and a construction machine that include this seat.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An operator seat for a construction machine according to a first aspect of the present invention that isdisposed in a cab of the construction machine and includes a seat portion, and a hanging portion. The seat portion includes a seat section, and a backrest section. An operator sits on the seat section. The backrest section is mounted to the seat section, preferably to the rear thereof, in a direction that intersects the seat section. The hanging portion is mounted to connects a part of the seat portion to a ceiling surface of the cab, and supports to suspend the seat portion from above.

In this configuration, a hanging-from-above system that hangs the operator seat from the ceiling surface of the cab is used for the operator seat that is disposed in the cab of the construction machine.

The hanging-from-above system for an operator seat referred herein includes a system that hangs an operator seat from a ceiling surface, differing from a conventional support system that mounts an operator seat on a support section that stands on a floor of a cab. The hanging portion that is mounted to the ceiling surface can support a part of the backrest section of the operator seat, or can support the seat section. Types of the construction machines that are provided with the operator seat according to the present invention are a wheel loader, a bulldozer, a hydraulic excavator, a motor grader, and so on.

In this configuration, it is possible to provide space between the bottom of the operator seat and the floor of the cab. Accordingly, even in case that the ceiling surface is damaged due to a load applied onto the ceiling surface, the operator seat can move to the height corresponding to the floor, therefore, it is possible to provide more sufficient space above operator's head as compared with conventional operator seats.

An operator seat for a construction machine according to a second aspect of the invention, in the operator seat according to the first aspect of the invention, further includes a rotation mechanism that allows the seat portion to rotate in a substantially horizontal direction.

In this configuration, the operator seat further includes a mechanism that allows the seat portion to rotate in a substantially horizontal direction. The seat portion is included in the operator seat of the aforementioned hanging-from-above system.

In this case, the rotation mechanism can rotate the seat portion together with the hanging portion about a rotation shaft that is disposed on the ceiling surface, or can rotate the seat portion independently of the hanging portion.

Accordingly, rotation of the operator seat allows the operator to easily step into/off the cab. In addition, even in a case where the operator is required to turns operator's face to the rear when operating the construction machine, the operator can rotate the operator seat and thus can easily look behind.

An operator seat for a construction machine according to a third aspect of the invention, in the operator seat according to the second aspect of the invention, further includes a rotation locking mechanism that selectively restricts the rotation of the seat portion and selectively releases the restriction.

In this configuration, the rotation locking mechanism brings the seat portion of the operator seat in a rotatable state or in a rotation-restricted state.

In this case, an example of the locking mechanism is provided by an insertion opening and an insertion rod that can be inserted into the insertion opening to restrict rotation of the rotatable seat portion. The insertion opening is formed on the seat portion side.

In this configuration, the seat portion can rotate when the operator steps into/off the cab, on the other hand, rotation of the seat portion is restricted after the operator sits on the seat portion, therefore, it is possible to improve operability when operator operates the construction machine. In addition, in a case where the operator turns operator's face to the rear to look behind when operating the construction machine, for example, the operator releases the restriction of the locking mechanism to allow the seat portion to rotate, and thus can easily look behind as compared with conventional operator seats.

Accordingly, the operator can switch the locking mechanism between restriction of rotation of the seat portion and release of the restriction if necessary. Therefore, it is possible to extensively improve operability, and ease of stepping into/off the cab for the operator as compared with conventional operator seats.

An operator seat for a construction machine according to a fourth aspect of the invention, in the operator seat according to any of the first to third aspects of the invention, further includes a slide mechanism that allows the seat section of the seat portion to slide frontward and rearward relative to the hanging portion.

In this configuration, in the operator seat that employs the aforementioned hanging-from-above system, the seat section that is included in the seat portion slides frontward and rearward relative to the hanging portion.

In this case, since the seat section slides rearward relative to the hanging portion, it is possible to provide space required for the operator to step into/off the cab as much as possible when the operator steps into/off the cab. In addition, in a case where the angle of the backrest section is adjusted in accordance with slide movement of the seat section, it is possible to improve the comfort for the operator.

An operator seat for a construction machine according to a fifth aspect of the invention, in the operator seat according to any of the first to fourth aspects of the invention, further includes an angle adjustment mechanism that adjusts the angle of the backrest section of the seat portion with respect to the seat section.

In this configuration, the angle of the backrest section that is included in the seat portion can be adjusted by the angle adjustment mechanism.

In this case, since the backrest section can tilt to the rearmost position when the operator steps into/off the cab, it is possible to improve ease of stepping into/off the cab. Additionally, the angle of the backrest section can be adjusted to meet operator's need.

An operator seat for a construction machine according to a sixth aspect of the invention, in the operator seat according to any of the first to fifth aspects of the invention, the hanging portion includes a protection structure that extends from a ceiling part of the cab to a connection part between the hanging portion and the seat portion and protects to protect an operator's head.

In this configuration, the hanging portion that is secured and hung from the ceiling surface of the cab includes a protection structure that has strength to protect operator's head.

Accordingly, since the protection structure is provided by stiffness of the hanging portion of the operator seat is added separately from protection for the operator that is provided by stiffness of the cab such as ROPS of the cab, it is possible to more surely provide sufficient space above operator's head.

A cab for a construction machine according to a seventh aspect of the invention includes the operator seat for a construction machine according to in any of the first to sixth aspects of the invention, and a door that is disposed in the side or the rear of the operator seat.

In this configuration, the aforementioned operator seat is provided in the cab that includes the door that is disposed in the side or the like of the operator seat.

Accordingly, even in case that the ceiling surface is damaged due to a load applied onto the ceiling surface, the operator seat can move to the height corresponding to the floor, therefore, it is possible to provide a cab that can provide more sufficient space above operator's head similarly to the above effect as compared with conventional cabs.

A cab for a construction machine according to an eighth aspect of the invention, in the cab according to the seventh aspect of the invention, further includes an operation portion that is disposed in the front or the side of the seat portion and can tilt upward and downward.

In this configuration, in the operator seat that employs the aforementioned hanging-from-above system, the operation portion that is tiltable upward and downward is used as an operation device for the operation of the construction machine.

Herein, the term tiltable upward and downward referred includes meaning of swingable frontward and rearward about a pivot axis that is disposed in the front of or in the rear of the seat portion so as to move to a predetermined position to get out of the way, for example. In addition, the operation portion can include a joystick, a lever handle, and a typical steering wheel. Additionally, the above terms in the front of and in the rear of are used in a sense that the front-to-rear direction is defined by the front that is a direction that the operator who steps into/off the cab of the construction machine faces when sitting on the operator seat to operate the construction machine.

Accordingly, since the operation portion, which may interfere with the operator when the operator steps into/off the cab, tilts upward and downward so as to move to a predetermined position to get out of the way, it is possible to ensure that the operator easily steps into/off the cab. In addition, in a case of combination with the aforementioned rotation mechanism of the seat portion, it is possible to extensively improve ease of stepping into/off the cab as compared with conventional cabs.

A cab for a construction machine according to a ninth aspect of the invention, in the cab according to the eighth aspect of the invention, the operation portion includes an arm section that includes an operation part that is configured and arranged to be operated by the operator, and a support section that supports the arm section. In addition, both the arm and support sections are mounted to be tiltable upward and downward.

In this configuration, both the arm and support sections that are included in the operation portion are tiltable upward and downward.

In this case, the operation part that is disposed on the arm section can include a plate member with a various types of operation levers and buttons that are disposed thereon, a joystick, a lever handle, and so on.

Accordingly, the operation portion can tilt to two tilt-up positions. As a result, the degree of tilt can be adjusted depending on the situation. For example, the operation portion is swingable upward to the furthest position in two tilt-up positions to get out of the way, when the operator steps into/off the cab. Therefore, it is possible to sufficiently provide ease of stepping into/off the cab for the operator.

A construction machine according to a tenth aspect of the invention includes the cab according to any of the seventh to ninth aspects of the invention.

Types of the construction machines provided with a cab are as a wheel loader, a bulldozer, a hydraulic excavator, and a motor grader.

Accordingly, as stated above, even in case that the ceiling surface is damaged due to a load applied onto the ceiling surface, the operator seat can move to the height corresponding to the floor, therefore, it is possible to provide a construction machine that can provide more sufficient space above operator's head similarly to the above effect as compared with conventional construction machines.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIGS. 1 to 7, the following description will describe an operator seat portion (seat portion, operator seat) 22 that is disposed in a cab 20 of a wheel loader (construction machine) 10 according to one embodiment of the present invention.

As used herein to describe the present invention, the following terms front, rear, right, and left refer to the directions as follows. The term front should be defined as a direction that an operator faces in a state where the operator sits on the operator seat (the advance side of the wheel loader 10). The term rear should be defined as the reverse side of the wheel loader 10. The term right should be defined as the right side of the operator in a state where the operator faces toward the advance side, and the term left should be defined as a direction opposite to the right side of the operator.

Overall Configuration of Wheel Loader 10

As shown in FIG. 1, a cab structure according to this embodiment is applied to a cab 20 that is mounted on the wheel loader 10.

The wheel loader 10 includes a body unit 11, a lift arm 12, a bucket 13, four tires 14, and the cab 20. The lift arm 12 is mounted to the front part of the body unit. The bucket 13 is mounted to the fore end of the lift arm 12. The tires 14 support the body unit 11, and rotate so that the body unit runs. The cab 20 is mounted on an upper part of the body unit 11.

The body unit 11 includes an engine room and an actuator portion. The engine room accommodates an engine (not shown). The actuator portion actuates the lift arm 12 and the bucket 13.

The lift arm 12 is an arm member that lifts the bucket 13 mounted to the fore end of the lift arm 12, and is actuated by a lift cylinder that is installed together.

The bucket 13 is mounted to the fore end of the lift arm 12. A bucket cylinder controls dumping and tilting of the bucket 13.

The cab 20 has Rollover Protective Structure (hereinafter, referred to as ROPS), and includes a door 25 that is disposed on the right side surface of the cab 20. The cab 20 forms an operator compartment for the operator that is composed of combination of a plurality of steel pipes and plates. The cab 20 is disposed slightly frontward of the middle part of the body unit 11. The structure of the cab 20 and its mount structure will be described bellow.

Structure of Cab 20

As shown in FIG. 2, the operator seat portion 22 and a steering device (operation portion) 24 are disposed in the interior compartment of the cab 20 according to this embodiment. The interior compartment is formed by the door 25, a front windshield FG, and so on that are mounted to a frame portion. The frame portion is formed by a plurality of pole members 21a-21f, and so on.

In the pole members 21a-21f, the front-right, front-left, rear-right and rear-left corner pole members 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d are arranged in the proximity of four corners of the cab 20, and the right-middle and left-middle pole members 21e and 21f are arranged on the left and right side surfaces of the cab 20, respectively.

As shown in FIG. 3, the operator seat portion 22 includes a seat section 22a and a backrest (backrest section) 22b. The operator (driver) who operates the wheel loader 10 sits on the seat section 22a. The backrest 22b supports operator's back. The operator seat portion 22 is located in the proximity of a middle part of the cab 20. The operator seat portion 22 moves frontward and rearward along slide rails (not shown) that are included in a slide mechanism 41. The slide mechanism 41 is disposed on a bottom-side support section 23d of a hanging-from-above mechanism (hanging portion, rotation mechanism, operator seat) 23. In addition, the angle of the backrest 22b of the operator seat portion 22 can be also adjusted by an angle adjustment mechanism 42. Specifically, the angle adjustment mechanism 42 adjusts the angle of the backrest 22b by frontward and rearward movement of the bottom end of the angle adjustment mechanism 42 in accordance with frontward and rearward slide movement of the seat section 22a. In this configuration, the operator slides the seat section 22a frontward and rearward, or adjusts the backrest section 22b to a desired angle to meet operator's need when stepping into/off the cab or operating the wheel loader, therefore, it is possible to improve the comfort for the operator in the cab 20. The hanging-from-above mechanism 23 that supports the operator seat portion 22 from above will be described bellow.

As shown in FIG. 2, for example, the steering device 24 is disposed between the operator seat portion 22 and the front windshield FG. The operator operates operation levers (operation part) 31, a switch panel (operation part) 32 and so on (see FIG. 4, described later) to changes the traveling direction of the wheel loader 10 or to control the bucket 13, and so on. The structure of the steering device 24 will be also described later.

The door 25 is attached to the right side of the cab 20, and pivots about hinges as a pivot axis that are secured to the right-middle pole member 21e so that the door 25 is opened/closed outside the cab 20.

Structure of Hanging-From-Above Mechanism 23 of Operator Seat Portion 22

As shown in FIG. 3, for example, the operator seat portion 22 according to this embodiment is supported by the hanging-from-above mechanism 23. The hinging-from-above mechanism 23 supports the operator seat portion 22 from above so that the operator seat portion 22 is hung. The hanging-from-above mechanism 23 is connected to a ceiling surface 20a of the cab 20.

The hanging-from-above mechanism 23 connects the operator seat portion 22 to the ceiling surface 20a of the cab 20, and serves as a rotation mechanism that changes the orientation of the operator seat portion 22. The hanging-from-above mechanism 23 includes a rotation shaft 23a, a ceiling-side support section 23b, a backside support section 23c, and a bottom-side support section 23d.

As shown in FIG. 3, the rotation shaft 23a is disposed substantially perpendicular to the ceiling surface 20a, and serves as a rotation axis for changing the orientation of the operator seat portion 22 when the operator steps into/off the cab. The rotation shaft 23a is inserted into an opening that is formed in the ceiling-side support section 23b.

The ceiling-side support section 23b rotates together with the operator seat portion 22 in a substantially horizontal direction about a part corresponding to the opening that is provided with the rotation shaft 23a inserted thereto. As shown in FIG. 6, for example, the rotation range of the ceiling-side support section 23b is restricted by a recessed portion 20b that is formed on the ceiling surface 20a of the cab 20 and has a stepped shape. That is, the side surfaces of the ceiling-side support section 23b come in contact with the stepped-shape parts of the recessed portion 20b as a recessed part of the ceiling surface 20a. This contact restricts the ceiling-side support section 23b into a predetermined rotation angle in the rightward and leftward rotation directions. Accordingly, the operator seat portion 22 is rotated in a desired rotational direction, when the operator steps into/off the cab 20. Therefore, it is possible to improve ease of stepping into/off the cab. In addition, in operation of the wheel loader, when the operator turns operator's face to the rear to look behind in a state where the operator sits on the operator seat portion 22, rotation of the operator seat portion 22 allows the operator to easily look behind. The restriction of the rotation range within the predetermined range can prevent the operator seat portion from rotating too much than required. The ceiling-side support section 23b is connected to the backside support section 23c at an L-shaped part. A protection structure that protects an area in the proximity of operator's head is formed by integrally forming the ceiling-side support section 23b and the backside support section 23c, or by employing a structure that firmly connects both sections. As a result, even in case that a large load is applied onto an upper part of the cab 20 and the upper part of the cab 20 is deformed, the area in the proximity of operator's head can be protected by the protection structure composed of the ceiling-side support section 23b and the backside support section 23c.

The backside of the backrest 22b of the operator seat portion 22 is attached to the backside support section 23c. The top and the bottom of the backside support section 23c are connected to the ceiling-side support section 23b and the bottom-side support section 23d, respectively.

The bottom-side support section 23d is a substantially L-shaped support member that is connected to the bottom of the backside support section 23c, and supports the bottom surface of the seat section 22a of the operator seat portion 22.

In this embodiment, since thus-constructed hanging-from-above mechanism 23 supports the operator seat portion 22, it is not necessary to provide a member that is disposed on the floor of the cab 20 to support the operator seat portion 22. For this reason, as shown in FIG. 3, space S is provided under the bottom-side support section 23d.

Accordingly, even in case that the cab 20 is deformed due to a large load that is applied on to the ceiling surface of the cab 20, the operator seat portion 22 can be moved into the space S that is provided between the operator seat portion 22 and the floor of the cab 20. As a result, even in case that an upper part of the cab 20 is deformed, for example, it is possible to efficiently prevent that shock is applied to an area in the proximity of operator's head as compared with conventional operator seats. In addition, in a normal condition, since the space S is normally provided under the operator seat portion 22, it is possible to improve ease of cleaning up the interior of the cab 20.

Structure of Steering Device 24

In this embodiment, the steering device 24 includes left and right arm sections (arm sections) 24a and 24b, and a support section 24c.

As shown in FIG. 4, the operation levers 31 and the switch panel 32 are disposed on the top surfaces of the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b in a horizontal position, respectively. The left and right arm sections 24a and 24b are connected to the support section 24c that stands on the floor of the cab 20 through a pivot shaft 24d. The left and right arm sections 24a and 24b integrally pivot upward and downward relative to the support section 24c about the pivot shaft 24d. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b extends in a substantially horizontal direction. In this horizontal position, the fore ends of the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b extend in the front-to-rear direction to reach a part in the proximity of the backrest 22b of the operator seat portion 22 so that the operator who sits on the operator seat portion 22 is surrounded by the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b, for example. On the other hand, in a standing position, as shown in FIG. 5, the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b pivot to a position along the front windshield FG so that the operator can freely approach space between the operator seat portion 22 and the steering device 24, and space in the side of the operator seat portion 22.

The support section 24c stands on the floor of the cab 20 to support the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 5, the support section 24c is disposed between the operator seat portion 22 and the front windshield FG in the front-to-rear direction, and between an accelerator pedal 26 and a brake pedal 27 in the left-to-right direction. As shown in FIG. 4, the tilt angle of the support section 24c can be adjusted in the front-to-rear direction about a connection part between the support section 24c and the floor of the cab 20 as a pivot axis. In addition, as shown in FIG. 7, a folding monitor 28 is mounted to an upper part of the support section 24c.

The monitor 28 is unfolded at the upper part of the support section 24c as shown in FIG. 7 when required, for example, when the operator operates the wheel loader, and pivots about a pivot shaft (not shown) that is disposed on the backside of the support section 24c and thus is folded onto the backside of the support section 24c when not in use. Accordingly, it is possible to minimize reduction of operator's range of front vision due to the monitor 28 installation, and to ensure the maximum operator's range of vision.

In this embodiment, the steering device 24 that is tiltable upward and downward is used in combination with the operator seat portion 22 that is supported from above by the aforementioned hanging-from-above mechanism 23.

Thus, the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b pivot and swing upward from the normal horizontal position shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 to the standing position along the front windshield FG shown in FIG. 5. Accordingly, this structure ensures wide space between the operator seat portion 22 and the steering device 24. Therefore, it is possible to further improve ease of stepping into/off the cab for the operator.

In a case where the tilt angle of the support section 24c can be changed upward and downward together with the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b, the position of the steering device 24 can be changed in two tilt-up positions. As a result, the operator can choose whether only the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b pivot to the standing position, or the support section 24c additionally pivots to the standing position depending on the situation when operator steps into/off the cab.

Features of Operator Seat Portion 22 of Wheel Loader 10

(1)

The operator seat portion 22 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment is disposed in the cab 20 of the wheel loader 10, as shown in FIG. 1. The operator seat portion 22 includes the seat section 22a that the operator sits on, and the backrest 22b, as shown in FIG. 3. A part of operator seat portion 22 is connected to the ceiling surface 20a of the cab 20, and is supported by the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 in a hanging-from-above manner.

Accordingly, the space S can be provided between the operator seat portion 22 that the operator sits on, and the floor of the cab 20, as shown in FIG. 3. The space S that is formed under the operator seat portion 22 not only provides ease of cleaning up the interior of the cab 20 but also provides protection space above operator's head in case that an upper part of the cab 20 is deformed or damaged, for example. Specifically, even in case that the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 that supports the operator seat portion 22 is disconnected from the ceiling surface 20a due to deformation or the like of the upper part of the cab 20, since the space S exists under the seat, the operator seat portion 22 falls onto the floor of the cab 20. Therefore, it is possible to more surely provide the protection space above operator's head as compared with conventional cabs in case of deformation or the like of the upper part of the cab.

(2)

The operator seat portion 22 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment is hung from the ceiling surface 20a of the cab 20 by the hanging-from-above mechanism 23, as shown in FIG. 3. In addition, the operator seat portion 22 rotates in a substantially horizontal direction about the rotation shaft 23a that is included in the hanging-from-above mechanism 23.

Accordingly, in a case where the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 is used, since the operator seat portion 22 can be turned toward the stepping into/off door 25, it is possible to sufficiently provide ease of stepping into/off the cab for the operator. In addition, in a state where the operator sits on the operator seat portion 22, when the operator turns operator's face to the rear to look behind, rotation of the operator seat portion 22 allows the operator to easily look behind. As a result, since the operator seat portion 22 and the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 are provided, it is possible to provide the cab 20 that provides ease of stepping into/off the cab, and additionally provides excellent workability.

(3)

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the operator seat portion 22 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment is opposed to the steering device 24 that can pivot upward and downward and can be changed between the normal horizontal position (see FIG. 4) and the standing position (see FIG. 5).

Accordingly, since the cab 20 is configured to have the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b of the steering device 24 that are orientated in the standing position when the operator steps into/off the cab, and are orientated in the horizontal position when the operator drives the wheel loader, for example, it is possible to provide the cab 20 that provides ease of stepping into/off the cab and excellent operability. In particular, as compared with typical steering-wheel type steering devices, it is possible to provide large space in the front of the operator seat portion 22 when the operator stepping into/off the cab. Therefore, it is possible to sufficiently provide ease of stepping into/off the cab 20.

(4)

In the operator seat portion 22 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the steering device 24 is disposed in front of the operation seat portion 22 and is opposed to the operator seat portion 22. The support section 24c and the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b included in the steering device 24 can be pivoted.

Accordingly, for example, when the operator steps into/off the cab 20, the operator can change the position of the steering device 24 in two tilt-up positions by pivoting the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b, and the support section 24c. As a result, required amount of space can be provided in front of the operator seat portion 22. Therefore, it is possible to improve ease of stepping into/off the cab.

(5)

The operator seat portion 22 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment further includes the slide mechanism 41 that slides the seat section 22a frontward and rearward, as shown in FIG. 3.

Accordingly, in a case where the hanging-from-above system is employed for the operator seat portion 22, the operator can operate the wheel loader 10 at a comfortable seat position for the operator by sliding the seat section 22a frontward and rearward. In addition, it is preferable that the seat section 22a is slid to the rearmost position when the operator steps into/off the cab. As a result, space in front of the operator seat portion 22 can be provided as much as possible when the operator steps into/off the cab. Therefore, it is possible to sufficiently provide ease of stepping into/off the cab.

(6)

The operator seat portion 22 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment, further includes the angle adjustment mechanism 42 that adjusts the angle of the backrest 22b, as shown in FIG. 3.

Accordingly, in a case where the hanging-from-above system is employed for the operator seat portion 22, the operator can operate the wheel loader 10 also at comfortable condition for the operator by adjusting the angle of the backrest 22b. In addition, it is preferable that the backrest 22b is tilted toward the rearmost position when the operator steps into/off the cab. As a result, space in the front of the operator seat portion 22 can be provided as much as possible. Therefore, it is possible to sufficiently provide ease of stepping into/off the cab.

(7)

In the operator seat portion 22 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, the ceiling-side support section 23b and the backside support section 23c that are included in the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 are connected in an L-shaped state, and extends from the backside of to the topside of the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 to cover operator's head.

Accordingly, even in case that the ceiling surface 20aor the like of the cab 20 is damaged due to shock applied onto the ceiling surface 20a, for example, the ceiling-side support section 23b and the backside support section 23c can protect operator's head. In addition, in a case where the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 also serves as a protection structure for operator's head, it is preferable that the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 is designed in consideration of the material of the ceiling-side support section 23b and the backside support section 23cand strength of the connection part and so on.

(8)

In the cab 20 of the wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment includes the aforementioned operator seat portion 22 and the hanging-from-above mechanism 23, as shown in FIG. 2.

Therefore, the cab 20 can have effects similar to the aforementioned effects that improve ease of cleaning up the interior of the cab, and more surely provide the protection space above operator's head in case of deformation or the like of the upper part of the cab as compared with conventional cabs.

(9)

The wheel loader 10 according to this embodiment includes the aforementioned cab 20, as shown in FIG. 1.

Therefore, the wheel loader 10 can have effects similar to the aforementioned effects that improve ease of cleaning up the interior of the cab, and more surely provide the protection space above operator's head in case of deformation or the like of the upper part of the cab as compared with conventional wheel loaders.

Other Embodiments

The foregoing description has described one embodiment according to the present invention. However, the present invention is not limited to the foregoing embodiment. Various changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

(A)

In the foregoing embodiment, the operator seat portion 22 freely pivots within the predetermined range about the rotation shaft 23a of the hanging-from-above mechanism 23. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration.

For example, as shown in FIG. 8, a locking mechanism (rotation locking mechanism) 40 that restricts rotation of the operator seat portion 22 may be disposed on the side of the backrest 22b of the operator seat portion 22, or the like.

In this case, when the operator steps into/off the cab, the operator seat portion 22 can be in a rotatable state. On the other hand, after the operator sits on the operator seat portion 22, the operator can pivot an insertion portion 40b of the locking mechanism 40 about a pivot shaft 40a so that the insertion portion 40b is inserted into an engagement portion 40c that is formed on a rear wall of the cab 20. Thus, rotation of the operator seat portion 22 is restricted. Accordingly, operator's posture becomes stable in operation of a wheel loader, for example, therefore, it is possible to improve operability of a construction machine such as a wheel loader.

(B)

In the foregoing embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the steering device 24 that is opposed to the operator seat portion 22 includes the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b that can be changed their position upward and downward. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration.

For example, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, a cab 120 that includes a steering device (operation portion) 124 with a typical steering wheel 124a may be used. In the cab 120, the steering device 124 is used in combination with the operator seat portion 22 of the hanging-from-above mechanism system. In the steering device 124, the height and the position in the front-to-rear direction of the steering wheel 124acan be minutely adjusted depending on operators, as shown in FIG. 10. In this case, a typical steering device 124 can be used in combination with the operator seat portion 22, additionally, rotation of the operator seat portion 22 ensures ease of stepping into/off the cab for the operator.

In terms of ease of stepping into/off the cab for the operator, it is preferable that the steering device 24 of the swing-up system according to the foregoing embodiment is used in combination with the operator seat portion 22 of the hanging-from-above mechanism system. The reason is that space in front of the operator seat portion 22 can be sufficiently provided as compared with the configuration in which the steering device 124 that includes the typical steering wheel 124a shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 is used in combination with the operator seat portion 22.

(C)

In the foregoing embodiment, the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 that connects a part of the operator seat portion 22 to the ceiling surface 20a of the cab 20 extends from the bottom surface of the seat section 22a to the back surface of the backrest 22b of the operator seat portion 22 to support the operator seat portion 22. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration.

For example, the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 may support only a seat section or only a backrest.

(D)

In the foregoing embodiment, the operator seat portion 22 rotates about the rotation shaft 23a that is secured to an upper part of the hanging-from-above mechanism 23 that is located on the ceiling surface 20a of the cab 20. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration.

It is not always necessary to locate the rotation shaft on the ceiling surface. For example, a rotation shaft may be located in a connection part between the hanging portion and the seat portion.

In this case, rotation of the seat portion when the operator steps into/off the cab allows the operator to easily step into/off the cab.

(E)

In the foregoing embodiment, the left and right arm sections 24a and 24b that are included in the steering device 24 integrally pivot. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration.

For example, the steering device may include the left and right arm sections that independently pivot.

In this case, for example, the operator is required to pivot only one arm section that is located in the side where the operator steps into/off the cab, thus, required pivoting torque is reduced. Therefore, the position of the arm section can be more smoothly changed.

(F)

In the foregoing embodiment, the operator seat according to the present invention is applied to the cab of the wheel loader. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration.

For example, the cab that includes the operator seat according to the present invention may be mounted to other construction machines such as a bulldozer, a hydraulic excavator, and a motor grader other than a wheel loader.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

An operator seat for a construction machine according to the present invention has an effect that provides more sufficient space above operator's head as compared with conventional operator seats. Accordingly, the present invention can be widely applied to operator seats that are disposed in cabs of various types of construction machines.

Claims

1. An operator seat for a construction machine disposed in a cab of the construction machine, the operator seat comprising:
a seat portion that includes a seat section on which an operator sits, and a backrest section that is mounted to the seat section in a direction that intersects the seat section; and
a hanging portion connecting a part of the seat portion to a ceiling surface of the cab to suspend the seat portion from above.
a seat portion that includes a seat section on which an operator sits, and a backrest section that is mounted to the seat section in a direction that intersects the seat section; and
a hanging portion connecting a part of the seat portion to a ceiling surface of the cab to suspend the seat portion from above.
2. The operator seat for a construction machine according to claim 1, further comprising
a rotation mechanism that allows the seat portion to rotate in a substantially horizontal direction.
a rotation mechanism that allows the seat portion to rotate in a substantially horizontal direction.
3. The operator seat for a construction machine according to claim 2, further comprising
a rotation locking mechanism that selectively restricts a rotation of the seat portion and selectively releases the restriction.
a rotation locking mechanism that selectively restricts a rotation of the seat portion and selectively releases the restriction.
4. The operator seat for a construction machine according to claim 1, further comprising
a slide mechanism that allows the seat section of the seat portion to slide frontward and rearward relative to the hanging portion.
a slide mechanism that allows the seat section of the seat portion to slide frontward and rearward relative to the hanging portion.
5. The operator seat for a construction machine according to claim 1,
an angle adjustment mechanism that adjusts an angle of the backrest section of the seat portion with respect to the seat section.
an angle adjustment mechanism that adjusts an angle of the backrest section of the seat portion with respect to the seat section.
6. The operator seat for a construction machine according to claim 1, wherein
the hanging portion includes a protection structure that extends from a ceiling part of the cab to a connection part between the hanging portion and the seat portion to protect an operator's head.
the hanging portion includes a protection structure that extends from a ceiling part of the cab to a connection part between the hanging portion and the seat portion to protect an operator's head.
7. A cab for a construction machine comprising:
the operator seat for a construction machine according to claim 1; and
a door that is disposed in a side or a rear of the operator seat.
the operator seat for a construction machine according to claim 1; and
a door that is disposed in a side or a rear of the operator seat.
8. The cab for a construction machine according to claim 7, further comprising
an operation portion disposed in a front or a side of the seat portion with the operation portion being tiltable upward and downward.
an operation portion disposed in a front or a side of the seat portion with the operation portion being tiltable upward and downward.
9. The cab for a construction machine according to claim 8, wherein
the operation portion includes an arm section that includes an operation part configured and arranged to be operated by the operator, and a support section that supports the arm section, both the arm section and the support section being tiltable upward and downward.
the operation portion includes an arm section that includes an operation part configured and arranged to be operated by the operator, and a support section that supports the arm section, both the arm section and the support section being tiltable upward and downward.
10. A construction machine comprising the cab for a construction machine according to claim 7.