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Claims for Patent: 5,931,089

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Claims for Patent: 5,931,089

Title: Bale starting chamber with tensioning device
Abstract:A round baler for forming round bales of crop material includes side-by-side belts trained for movement between a starting position and a finish position around a series of stationary rollers including a forward baler roller and a rear baler roller spaced apart from the forward baler roller. Upper and lower roller arrangements are continuously engageable with the crop material. The upper roller arrangement, the lower roller arrangement and a run of the belts extending between the forward baler roller and the rear baler roller together define a starting baler chamber. A belt tracking and tensioning device is interposed between the forward baler roller and the rear baler roller. The belt tracking and tensioning device is mounted on the upper roller arrangement, and functions to maintain the belts in a predetermined relationship relative to the upper roller arrangement and to increase the tension of the belts in response to bale growth, as the belts move between the starting position and the finish position.
Inventor(s): Viesselmann; Kim P. (Graton, WI), Campbell; Willis R. (Olathe, KS)
Assignee: Gehl Company (West Bend, WI)
Application Number:08/812,582
Patent Claims: 1. A round baler for forming round bales of crop material comprising:

a plurality of side-by-side belts trained for movement between a starting position and a finish position around a plurality of stationary rollers including a pair of spaced stationary baler rollers;

an upper roller continuously engageable with the crop material;

a lower roller continuously engageable with the crop material;

said upper roller, said lower roller, and a run of said belts extending between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers together defining a bale forming chamber; and

a variable belt tensioning arrangement movably mounted to one of said upper and lower rollers and interposed between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers, wherein said variable belt tensioning arrangement is engaged with said belts and movable in response to growth of a bale within said bale forming chamber to vary the tension of said belts between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers as said belts move from said starting position to said finish position in response to bale growth.

2. The baler of claim 1, wherein said belt tensioning device is movable in a forward direction during bale formation.

3. The baler of claim 1, wherein said variable bale tensioning arrangement is located outside said bale forming chamber.

4. The baler of claim 1, wherein said variable belt tensioning arrangement includes a first guide roller entrained with said belts, and a second guide roller entrained with said belts and spaced from said first guide roller.

5. The baler of claim 4, wherein said first guide roller and second guide roller are both mounted above said upper roller.

6. A round baler for forming round bales of crop material comprising:

a plurality of side-by-side belts trained for movement between a starting position and a finish position around a plurality of stationary rollers including a pair of spaced stationary baler rollers;

an upper roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material, wherein said upper roller arrangement comprises a stripping roller, and an initial bale forming roller located parallel to, beneath, and forwardly of said stripping roller;

a lower roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material;

said upper roller arrangement, said lower roller arrangement, and a run of said belts extending between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers together defining a bale forming chamber: and

a belt tensioning device interposed between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers to vary the tension of said belts between said starting position and said finish position in response to bale growth.

7. A round baler for forming round bales of crop material comprising:

a plurality of side-by-side belts trained for movement between a starting position and a finish position around a plurality of stationary rollers including a pair of spaced stationary baler rollers;

an upper roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material, said upper roller arrangement including a stripper roller;

a lower roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material;

said upper roller arrangement, said lower roller arrangement, and a run of said belts extending between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers together defining a bale forming chamber; and

a belt tensioning device interposed between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers to vary the tension of said belts between said starting position and said finish position in response to bale growth, wherein said belt tensioning device comprises a bracket having at least two ends; at least one guide roller mounted toward a first one of said bracket ends; and wherein a second one of said bracket ends is pivotably mounted to said stripping roller.

8. The baler of claim 7, wherein said at least one guide roller is mounted above said stripping roller.

9. The baler of claim 7, wherein said at least one guide roller is solely supported against said belts on said stripping roller.

10. A round baler for forming round bales of crop material comprising:

a plurality of side-by-side belts trained for movement between a starting position and a finish position around a plurality of stationary rollers including a pair of spaced stationary baler rollers:

an upper roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material;

a lower roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material;

said upper roller arrangement, said lower roller arrangement, and a run of said belts extending between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers together defining a bale forming chamber; and

a belt tensioning device interposed between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers to vary the tension of said belts between said starting position and said finish position in response to bale growth, wherein said belt tensioning device is independent of tensioning springs.

11. A round baler for forming round bales of crop material comprising:

a plurality of side-by-side belts trained for movement between a starting position and a finish position around a plurality of stationary rollers including a pair of spaced stationary baler rollers;

an upper roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material;

a lower roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material, wherein said lower roller arrangement comprises a single floor roller mounted rearwardly of said upper roller arrangement;

said upper roller arrangement, said lower roller arrangement, and a run of said belts extending between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers together defining a bale forming chamber; and

a belt tensioning device interposed between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers to vary the tension of said belts between said starting position and said finish position in response to bale growth.

12. A round baler for forming round bales of crop material comprising:

a plurality of side-by-side belts trained for movement between a starting position and a finish position around a plurality of stationary rollers including a pair of spaced stationary baler rollers;

an upper roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material;

a lower roller arrangement continuously engageable with the crop material;

wherein said upper roller arrangement and said lower roller arrangement are rotatable in the same direction;

said upper roller arrangement, said lower roller arrangement, and a run of said belts extending between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers together defining a bale forming chamber; and

a belt tensioning device interposed between said pair of spaced stationary baler rollers to vary the tension of said belts between said starting position and said finish position in response to bale growth.

13. In a round baler for forming round bales of crop material and having a plurality of side-by-side belts trained about a series of baler rollers for movement between a starting position and a finish position, an upper roller arrangement and a lower roller arrangement, both of said roller arrangements being engageable with the crop material and cooperable with a run of said belts to define a bale starting chamber, the improvement comprising a mechanism for tensioning said belts between the starting position and finish position, and comprising:

a bracket pivotably mounted to one of said roller arrangements; and

at least one guide roller mounted on said bracket and entrained with said belts;

wherein said at least one guide roller is shiftable in response to bale growth during bale formation to maintain said belts in a predetermined position relative to said roller arrangement.

14. The improvement of claim 13, including a second guide roller mounted on said bracket in spaced relationship to said at least one guide roller and engageable with said belts to increase the tension on said belts in response to bale growth.

15. The improvement of claim 13, wherein said bracket is constructed and arranged to maintain said belts in close proximity to said upper roller arrangement.

16. The improvement of claim 13, wherein said at least one guide roller is located between a pair of said baler rollers.

17. The improvement of claim 13, wherein said guide roller is located adjacent a roll in said roller arrangement, and wherein the diameter of said guide roller is less than the diameter of said roll in said roller arrangement.

18. The improvement of claim 13, further comprising a scraper member mounted to the bracket and including a scraping surface located in close proximity to the at least one guide roller.

19. In a round baler roller for forming round bales of crop material and having a plurality of side-by-side belts trained about a series of stationary baler rollers for movement between a starting position and a finish position, a driven stripping roller and a driven floor roller, both of said driven rollers being engageable with the crop material and cooperable with a run of said belts to define a bale starting chamber, the improvement residing in a mechanism for tensioning said belts between the starting position and finish position and comprising:

a bracket pivotably mounted to said stripping roller;

a first guide roller mounted on said bracket and engageable with said belts;

a second guide roller mounted on said bracket in spaced relationship from said first guide roller and engageable with said belts;

wherein said first guide roller and said second guide roller are pivotable with respect to said stripping roller in response to bale growth during bale formation to vary the tension on said belts.

20. The improvement of claim 19, wherein said bracket is V-shaped and has a first leg and a second leg diverging from a common intersection thereon.

21. The improvement of claim 20, wherein said first guide roller is mounted for rotation at said common intersection, said second guide roller is mounted for rotation on said first leg, and wherein said second leg is pivotably mounted to said stripping roller to pivotably mount said bracket to said stripping roller.

22. A round baler, comprising:

a movable tensioned belt arrangement;

at least one roller located adjacent the belt arrangement and adjacent a crop inlet defined by the round baler, wherein the movable belt arrangement and the at least one roller together define a bale forming chamber;

wherein the belt arrangement is movable between a starting position and a finish position in response to bale growth within the bale forming chamber; and

a belt tensioning device interconnected with the at least one roller and engaged with the movable belt arrangement and operable to increase the tension of the belt arrangement in response to movement of the belt arrangement from its starting position toward its finish position.

23. In a round baler including a roller and a movable tensioned belt arrangement which cooperate to at least in part define a bale forming chamber for receiving crop material from a crop inlet associated with the baler, wherein the belt arrangement is movable between a starting position and a finish position to vary the size of the bale forming chamber in response to bale growth, the improvement comprising a variable belt tensioning device interconnected with the roller and engaged with the belt arrangement and operable to provide an increasing tension on the belt arrangement as the belt arrangement moves from its starting position toward its finish position.

24. In a round baler including an interior containing a movable belt arrangement and at least one roller which is located adjacent the belt arrangement and cooperates with the belt arrangement to at least in part define a bale forming chamber, wherein the belt arrangement is movable between a starting position and a finish position in response to bale growth within the bale forming chamber, the improvement comprising a belt tensioning member disposed within the interior of the round baler and engaged with the belt arrangement, wherein the belt tensioning member is operable to increase the tension of the belt arrangement in response to movement of the belt arrangement from its starting position toward its finish position.
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