US 3685404 A
An attachment for flat bed vehicles which combines a snow scarifier, scraper, compactor and mesh drag all in one unit to efficiently and economically groom ski slopes.
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United States Patent Rich et a1. 1451 Aug. 22, 1972  .MULTI-WAY SNOW GROOMING 1,883,404 10/ 1932 Ronning ..94/44 X APPARATUS FOR SKI SLOPES 2,262,415 11/1941 Williams 172/777 Inventors: B aine B. Rex M. Brown, 018011 of Utah 2,042, i l Senz l 3,531,161 9/1970 Conn ..299/67 X Asslgnee: Thwkol Chemlcal Corporatwn, 978,498 12/1910 Skow ..172/784 B98191, 2,984,026 5/1961 Thompson 172/784 x 22 Filed; July 24 1970 2,723,608 1 H1955 Jackson ..94/48 3,199,424 8/1965 Glass ..94/48  Appl. No.: 58,024
Primary Examiner-Jacob L. Nackenoff  US. Cl ..94/44, 172/777 yh ma W. Brennan  Int. Cl ..E01c 19/22 . Field of Search 172/802, 784, 777; 94/39, 45,  ABSTRACT I 94/44 40; 299/67 An attachment for'flat bed vehicles whichcombines a snow scarifier, scraper, compactor and mesh drag all  References cued in one unit to efficiently and economically groom ski UNITED STATES PATENTS p 3,504,598 4/ 1970 Haker ..94/40 5 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PA'TENTEDmszz m2 8m .1. ur 3 INVENTORS BLAINE RICH REX M. BROWN PATENI'EBm z m2 3.685404 SHEEI 3 0F 3 INVENTORS' BLAINE RICH- REX M. BROWN PATENTEIJ 3,685,404
sum 3 BF 3 POSITION INTERMEDIATE SCARIFYING POSITION SCRAPING POSITION INVENTORS BLAINE RICH REX M. BROWN MULTI-WAY SNOW GROOMING APPARATUS FOR SKI SLOPES This invention relates generally to snow grooming equipment for ski slopes and more particularly to an apparatus which is attachable to flat bed vehicles provided with hydraulic or electric power, and which includes a multi-purpose snow compacting bar.
The proper grooming of the trails of a skiing area requires several types of equipment to handle the various conditions encountered. First of all, fluffy, new fallen snow must be packed for preservation and smoothed for skiing. As great numbers of skiers move over the slopes and trails, they tend to follow specific patterns or courses which form undesirable and dangerous mounds known as moguls which must be cut off and leveled for continued use of the slope.
Moreover, the daily temperature changes and the heavy traffic result in extremely hard snow and, in many cases, solid ice conditions both of which must be broken up and worked into a fine powder to meet the criteria of good skiing conditions which demands a shallow depth of approximately I to 2 inches of powder snow on top of a smooth snow surface for edge control of the skis.
As is well known, the extremely steep slopes involved and the constantly changing snow conditions require the use of light weight, high performance vehicles,'and a multitude of different implements especially designed to function properly in each particular condition. These comprise various types of rollers to compact the snow, bulldozer blades, scrapers, etc., to cut the moguls, and a great variety of harrows or scarify drags to scratch loose the surface under the more hardened snow conditions. Obviously, the initial cost and maintenance of these tools comprises a very material overhead expense as does the time lost in changing from one tool to another.
Accordingly, the main object of the present invention is to obviate the above and other problems of the snow grooming of ski slopes by providing a self contained, power actuated, multi-purpose snow grooming apparatus which is economical in initial cost and maintenance and which requires a minimum of time and effort in the changing of the tools used.
to provide a snow grooming apparatus which includes a pivoted snowtool or bar which is readily adjustable to several different positions.
Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent during the course of the following description.
In the drawings we have shown one embodiment of the invention. In this showing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus mounted on a flat bed vehicle in folded, inoperative position for transport to a ski slope;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof showing the snow bar and its supporting boom partially pivoted rearwardly to operative position;
FIG. 3 is a similar view showing the snow bar and its mesh drag in one of its operative positions;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the snow grooming bar to an enlarged scale;
FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view thereof;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the snow grooming bar in scarifying position;
FIG. 7 is a similar view showing the bar in a modified scarifying position;
FIG. 8 is a similar view showing the bar in snow compacting position; and
FIG. 9 is a similar view showing the bar in scraping position.
Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, numeral 12 designates the snow grooming apparatus as a whole mounted in transport position on the flat bed 14 of a vehicle 16 which is preferably equipped with endless tracks and a hydraulic power unit.
The snow grooming apparatus 12 comprises a box frame 18 which is detachably but rigidly secured to the vehicle bed 14; a boom 20 comprising a box frame having hollow side members 22 and being pivotally mounted by shaft 19 on the rear of the box frame 18 and having spaced, outer boom arms 24 telescopically mounted in the side members 22 and held in adjusted position by bolts 26; and a multipurpose snow grooming bar 28 pivotally mounted to the outer ends of the boom arms 24 by depending flanges 29 as at 30.
The boom 20 is pivoted from the transport position of FIG. 1 to the operative position of FIG. 3 and back by means of a reversible hydraulic unit 32 which receives power fluid from the vehicle 16 by means of hoses 34, the shaft 19 of the boom 20 being fixed to the drive shaft of the unit 32.
The snow grooming bar 28 which is provided with outrigger snow skids 36 (FIGS. 1, 4, and 5), comprises an elongated metal plate 38 which is bent as at 40 to form a flat surface 42 which limits the depth of the penetration of transversely spaced harrow teeth 44, bent again at 46 to form a flat compacting blade surface 48, and finally bent upwardly to form a scraping edge 50. The harrow teeth 44 are adjustably but fixedly mounted in a transversely extending channel member 52 and project forwardly through aligned apertures 54 in the grooming bar plate 38 which is reinforced by laterally spaced ribs 56 which straddle the channel 52.
The angular position of the grooming bar 28 is adjusted about its pivots 30 by means of a pair of upstanding plates 58 fixed to the bar on each side of the outer boom arms 24 which are each provided with a bolt 59 receiving aperture 60. The plates 58 are each provided with four similar apertures 62, 63, 64 and 65 which are alignable with the apertures 60 so as to present different portions of the grooming bar 38 to a ski slope. It will be apparent that the position of the bar 38 is readily adjusted by simply removing the bolts 59 from a given aperture (6265) and the apertures 60 in the arms 24, pivoting the bar with respect to the arms 24, and reinserting the bolts. Optionally, as indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 9, the adjustment may be effected by a double acting hydraulic cylinder 66. As shown in the drawings, a mesh drag 68 terminating in a heavy flexible belt 70 is attached to the grooming bar 28 just above the scraping edge 50.
The bar 28 performs each ski slope grooming function in the desired sequence by simply removing the bolts 59 and repositioning the bar for the desired functron.
The compacting position shown in FIG. 8 provides a negative rake of 50 (the angle made by the various surfaces of the blade 38 of bar 28 and a plane perpendicular to the work, ie., snow surface. The rake angle is considered positive when less than 90, measuring in a clock-wise direction, and negative when greater than 90 measuring clock-wise, or less than 90 measuring counter clock-wise. In the present instance the negative rake angle of 50 should be considered as measured counter clock-wise.) resultant angle of approach, moving into the fallen or otherwise loose snow. This angle provides a wedging effect which forces the snow to compress and slide under the parallel flat terminating surface 48 of the blade 38, obviously various degrees of rigidity can be obtained by the amount of downward pressure applied by the hydraulically controlled bar supporting boom 20.
The scraping position shown in FIG. 9 provides 61 negative rake angle of the blade. In this position, the terminating edge 50 is in line contact with the hardened snow surface, allowing the required cutting pressure to be exerted for removal of the undesirable moguls.
The scarifying position of FIG. 6 is accomplished by pivoting the blade 38 forwardly beyond the compacting position, to 30 negative rake. in combination with the harrow tooth projections 44 and the flat parallel blade surface 42, the hardened ice and snow surfaces can be broken up and smoothed in one operation.
It will now be apparent that the novel apparatus 12 including the novel grooming bar 28 enables all of the snow grooming operations to be accomplished without removing or changing the bar. This enables major economies to ski slope operators as the cast of this single implement is approximately the same as any one of the three types required. Thus, an effected savings of approximately two thirds on acquisition costs alone can be realized independent of the continuing cost of lost time in complete changes of implements.
It will be appreciated that in each of the compacting, scraping and scarifying operations, the use of the mesh drag 68, 70 effects a final leveling and smoothing action.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departure from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A snow-grooming bar comprising, in combination, a blade adapted to be dragged over snow; said blade being shaped to have a plurality of snow grooming surfaces; means operably connected with said blade for selectively presenting different ones of said surfaces to the snow to effect one type of grooming thereof; and a plurality of harrow teeth projecting through one of said surfaces for scarifying the snow.
2. The combination recited in claim 1; and a mesh drag fixed to a trailing edge of said blade for leveling and smoothing the snow.
3, The combination with a vehicle having a flat bed; of an apparatus for grooming snow on ski slopes, etc., comprising a boom mounting on said bed; a blade mounted on the end of said boom for engagement with the snow; said blade being shaped to have a plurality of snow-grooming surfaces; means operably connecting said b ade with said boom for selectively-presenting d1 ferent ones of said surfaces against the engaged snow to effect one type of grooming thereof; and a plurality of harrow teeth mounted on and projecting through one.
of said surfaces for scarifying the snow.
4. An elongated bar for grooming engagement with snow on ski slopes comprising a blade having an initial bend to form a snow-wedging surface, a second bend terminating said wedging surface and forming a compacting surface, a final bend to terminate the compacting surface and define a snow-cutting surface; and a plurality of harrow teeth mounted on and projecting through said wedging surface for scarifying the snow.
5. The combination recited in claim 4; and a mesh drag fixed to the trailing edge of said blade for leveling and smoothing the snow.
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