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United States Patent Application 20170362050
Kind Code A1
LeVey; Kenneth December 21, 2017

ALL TERRAIN CABLE REEL TRANSPORT DEVICE AND SYSTEM

Abstract

A cable reel transport device includes a chassis, a rolling assembly operably connected to the chassis, and a drive assembly coupled to the rolling assembly to drive the rolling assembly. A cable reel transport system includes a cable reel having a spool, a first end flange and a second end flange, the spool extending between the first end flange and the second end flange, and a transport device operably connected to each of the first end flange and the second end flange. Each transport device includes a chassis, a rolling assembly operably connected to the chassis, and a drive assembly coupled to the rolling assembly to drive the rolling assembly.


Inventors: LeVey; Kenneth; (Chicago, IL)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Cerro Wire LLC

Hartselle

AL

US
Family ID: 1000002767838
Appl. No.: 15/602530
Filed: May 23, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62352094Jun 20, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B65H 75/425 20130101; B65H 2701/34 20130101; B65H 75/30 20130101
International Class: B65H 75/42 20060101 B65H075/42; B65H 75/30 20060101 B65H075/30

Claims



1. A cable reel transport device comprising: a chassis; a rolling assembly operably connected to the chassis; and a drive assembly coupled to the rolling assembly to drive the rolling assembly.

2. The cable reel transport device of claim 1, further comprising a control lever operable to selectively brake or de-clutch the rolling assembly.

3. The cable reel transport device of claim 1, further comprising a gear reduction assembly operably connected between the drive assembly and the rolling assembly.

4. The cable reel transport device of claim 1, wherein the drive assembly comprises a gear train configured to be driven by rotation of a cable reel.

5. The cable reel transport device of claim 1, wherein the drive assembly comprises a drive gear and a flexible member driven by the drive gear, and the drive gear is configured to be driven by rotation of a cable reel.

6. The cable reel transport device of claim 1, wherein the rolling assembly comprises one or more wheels.

7. The cable reel transport device of claim 1, wherein the rolling assembly comprises a continuous track.

8. A cable reel transport system comprising: a cable reel having a spool, a first end flange and a second end flange, the spool extending between the first end flange and the second end flange; and a transport device operably connected to each of the first end flange and the second end flange, each transport device comprising: a chassis; a rolling assembly operably connected to the chassis; and a drive assembly coupled to the rolling assembly to drive the rolling assembly.

9. The cable reel transport system of claim 8, further comprising a control lever operable to selectively brake or de-clutch the rolling assembly.

10. The cable reel transport system of claim 8, further comprising a gear reduction assembly operably connected between the drive assembly and the rolling assembly.

11. The cable reel transport system of claim 8, wherein the drive assembly comprises a gear train configured to be driven by rotation of the cable reel.

12. The cable reel transport system of claim 8, wherein the drive assembly comprises a drive gear and a flexible member driven by the drive gear, and the drive gear is configured to be driven by rotation of the cable reel.

13. The cable reel transport system of claim 8, wherein the rolling assembly comprises one or more wheels.

14. The cable reel transport system of claim 8, wherein the rolling assembly comprises a continuous track.

15. The cable reel transport system of claim 8, wherein the transport device is coupled to the cable reel by way of the drive assembly.

16. The cable reel transport system of claim 15, wherein the transport devices are configured to engage a surface and support the cable reel at a position spaced from the surface.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION DATA

[0001] This application claims the benefit of and priority to provisional U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 62/352,094, filed Jun. 20, 2016, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The following description generally relates to an attachment for transporting a cable reel and a cable reel transport system.

[0003] Cable reels are used to store, transport, take up and pay out supplies of cables, wires and the like. Known cable reels include opposed, generally circular, end flanges of a first diameter and a spool extending between the opposed end flanges, the spool having a second diameter less than the first diameter. The cable, wire or the like may be wound around the spool and stored thereon for transport.

[0004] Cable reels may be transported, for example, by truck, from a facility to a work site. Once delivered to the work site, the cable reels may be moved to other locations on-site where the cable or wire may be payed out. The cable reel may be moved, for example, by rolling across a work site on the opposed end flanges.

[0005] However, some work sites include areas of rough or exposed terrain. The uneven nature of the terrain may make it difficult for a worker to roll the cable reel. Further, the exposed terrain may become soft or muddy, for example, after rainfall or exposure to other sources of moisture. Cable reels can become stuck in soft or muddy terrains. In particular, the end flanges, having a relatively small thickness, tend to sink into soft or muddy terrain due, in part, to a weight of the cable reel and the supply of cable or wire stored thereon. This results in delays at the work site.

[0006] Accordingly, it is desirable to provide device and system for transporting a cable reel across rough, wet, and/or soft terrain.

SUMMARY

[0007] According to one embodiment, there is provided a cable reel transport device. The device includes a chassis, a rolling assembly operably connected to the chassis and a drive assembly coupled to the rolling assembly to drive the rolling assembly.

[0008] According to another embodiment, there is provided a cable reel transport system. The system includes a cable reel having a spool, a first end flange and a second end flange, the spool extending between the first end flange and the second end flange and a transport device operably connected to each of the first end flange and the second end flange. Each transport device includes a chassis, a rolling assembly operably connected to the chassis, and a drive assembly coupled to the rolling assembly to drive the rolling assembly.

[0009] Other objects, features, and advantages of the disclosure will be apparent from the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying sheets of drawings, wherein like numerals refer to like parts, elements, components, steps, and processes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cable reel transport system according to an example described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011] While the present disclosure is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described one or more embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered illustrative only and is not intended to limit the disclosure to any specific embodiment described or illustrated.

[0012] Referring to FIG. 1, a cable reel transport system 10 according to the examples described herein generally includes a cable reel 12 and a cable reel transport device 14. The cable reel 12 includes first and second opposed end flanges 16, that are generally circular in shape. A spool 18 extends between the first and second end flanges 16 to carry a supply of cable or wire 20.

[0013] With further reference to FIG. 1, the cable reel transport device 14 generally includes a chassis 22, a rolling assembly 24 operably connected to the chassis 22 and a drive assembly 26 coupled to the rolling assembly 24 to drive the rolling assembly 24. In one example, the cable reel transport device 14 may further include a control lever 28 to selectively brake and release the rolling assembly 24, and a gear reduction assembly (not shown) operably connected between the drive assembly 26 and the rolling assembly 24. The control lever 28 may alternatively, or in addition, be operated to de-clutch the drive assembly 26 from the rolling assembly 24.

[0014] The drive assembly 26 may be operably connected to the cable reel 12 and can be driven by rotation of the cable reel 12. The drive assembly 26 may include, for example, a drive gear 30 and a flexible member 32, such as a chain or belt, connected to and driven by the drive gear 30. Alternatively, or in combination, the drive assembly 26 may include a gear train (not shown) driven by the drive gear 30. In some examples, the gear train may serve as the gear reduction assembly.

[0015] In one example, the drive assembly 26 is coupled directly to the cable reel 12. For example, the drive gear 30 may be coupled to an axle of the cable reel 12 such that on-axis rotation of the cable reel 12 drives the drive gear 30, and in turn, the drive assembly 26.

[0016] However, it is understood that the drive assembly 26 is not limited to the examples described above. In another example, or in combination with the examples above, the drive assembly 26 may include a motor (not shown) operably connected to the rolling assembly 24 to power the rolling assembly 24. The cable reel transport device 14 may then be coupled to the cable reel 12 by way of coupling assembly (not shown), for example, a suspension, frame or the like. The coupling assembly may be coupled to the axle of the cable reel 12 to allow for rotation of the cable reel 12 on the coupling assembly.

[0017] The rolling assembly 24 is configured to engage a surface or terrain to transport the cable reel system 10 over the surface or terrain. In one example, the rolling assembly 24 may include a continuous track, commonly referred to as a tank tread or caterpillar track. Alternatively, or in addition, the rolling assembly 24 may be one or more tires, such as all-terrain or rough-terrain tires. Such tires may have an increased width and/or deep treads suitable for transit over rough, soft or muddy surfaces or terrain.

[0018] In one example, one or more cable reel transport devices 14 can be operably connected to the cable reel 12 to support the cable reel 12 and hold the cable reel above the surface or terrain upon which the transport devices 14 are positioned. In one example, a cable reel transport device 14 is coupled to each end flange 16 of the cable reel, for example, at or to an axle of the cable reel 12. Accordingly, the transport device(s) 14 may engage the surface or terrain rather than the end flanges 16 of the cable reel 12.

[0019] To transport the cable reel system 10, a user may rotate the reel 12 in a manner typical to rolling the cable reel 12 across a surface on its end flanges 16. However, because the reel 12 is held above, i.e., spaced from, the surface, the rotation may be transferred to the drive gear 30 of the drive assembly 26 via the axle. The drive assembly 26, in turn, drives the rolling assembly 24 causing the cable reel 12 and cable reel transport device 14 to move in the desired direction. The drive assembly 26 may be either directly or indirectly connected to the rolling assembly 24.

[0020] As described above, each cable reel transport device 14 may be coupled to a respective end flange 16 at an axle of the cable reel 12. A height of each cable reel transport device 14 measured from a bottom, surface engaging portion, of the rolling assembly 24 to a portion coupled to the axle, for example, the drive gear 30, is greater than a radius of the end flanges 16. Accordingly, the cable reel transport devices 14 may support the cable reel 12 and hold the cable reel 12 (including end flanges 16) over the surface or terrain.

[0021] The control lever 28 on each of the one or more cable reel transport devices 14 may be operated to steer the cable reel transport system 10 as it being driven. For example, one control lever 28 may be actuated to a braking position while the other remains released to skid steer the cable reel transport system 10. Braking one of the transport devices 14 causes the system 10 to turn in the direction of the braked transport device 14.

[0022] Further, in the examples above, the continuous track of the rolling assembly 24 may distribute a weight of the cable reel 12 and any load disposed thereon (e.g., a cable or wire supply) over a wider area compared to the relatively thin end flanges of the reel. As such, the continuous track may allow for easier transport over a rough, soft and/or muddy surface or terrain. Similarly, in examples where the rolling assembly 24 includes all-terrain or rough terrain tires, an increased surface/contact area compared to cable reel end flanges 16 is provided.

[0023] The cable reel transport devices 14 may be attached and detached from the cable reel 12 as desired. For example, cable reel transport devices 14 may be attached when it is desired to transport the cable reel 12 over a rough, soft, or muddy terrain, and may be removed when the desired destination is reached. It is understood, however, that the cable reel transport devices 14 may remain coupled to the cable reel 12 during pay out of the cable or wire as well. For example, the transport devices 14 may be braked or de-clutched by way of the control lever 28 to allow for free-wheeling rotation of the cable reel 12 while a pulling force is applied to the cable or wire 20 during pay out.

[0024] It is understood that the features described with respect to any of the embodiments above may be implemented, used together with, or replace features described in any of the other embodiments above.

[0025] All patents referred to herein, are hereby incorporated herein in their entirety, by reference, whether or not specifically indicated as such within the text of this disclosure.

[0026] In the present disclosure, the words "a" or "an" are to be taken to include both the singular and the plural. Conversely, any reference to plural items shall, where appropriate, include the singular.

[0027] From the foregoing it will be observed that numerous modifications and variations can be effectuated without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the present invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific embodiments illustrated is intended or should be inferred. The disclosure is intended to cover by the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the scope of the claims.

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