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United States Patent 1^1
Hi] 3,922,030 145] Nov. 25, 1975
 PROTECTIVE SEAT
|75] Inventor: Robert N. Stedman, Chillicothe, III.
[ 73 | Assignee: Caterpillar Tractor Co., Peoria, 111.
|22] Filed: June 24, 1974
121] Appl. No.: 482,510
[52| U.S. CI 296/65 A; 267/131; 297/216
[51 ] Int. CI.2 B60N 1/02
[5K| Field of Search 297/216, 349, 353, 385,
297/285, 452; 248/399, 400; 267/131;
296/65 R, 65 A, 63, 35 B
I 56 | References Cited
UNITED STATES PATENTS
3.191,400 6/1965 Swenson 296/65 R
3,236.556 2/1966 Lathers 296/65 R
3,291,527 12/1966 Hall et al 297/353
3,730,588 5/1973 Braun 297/452
3.792,896 2/1974 Eggert, Jr 248/399
Primary Examiner—Robert J. Spat"
Assistant Examiner—Lawrence J. Oresky
Attorney, Agent, or Firm — Phillips, Moore,
Weissenberger, Lempio & Strabala
The invention provides a vehicle safety seal particularly applicable to the relative exposed operator cabs of earthmoving vehicles. The seat includes angularly disposed resilient members for improved absorption of shock from both vertical and horizontal loading, and an improved adjustable shoulder support assembly having variably resilient wing portions. The safety seat further includes structure for permitting a desired degree of freedom of movement of the operator or other occupant, which means includes operator-controlled structure for rotating the seat about a central vertical axis.
16 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures
U.S. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet 1 of 2 3,922,030
U.S. Patent Nov. 25,1975 sheet 2 of 2 3,922,030
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to vehicle safety seats. In particular this invention relates to a protective, shockabsorbing safety seat for vehicles used in the earthmoving industry which vehicles often afford little or no protection to the occupants thereof.
Many types of vehicle safety seats have been previously proposed which are designed to protect vehicle occupants and retstrain them against the influence of high accclerational forces developed during accidents, emergency maneuvers and similar occurrences. Many such seats, exemplified by those described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,777,531 to Erickson and in SAE JOURNAL, March 1 968, at pp. 56-60, incorporate a variety of restraints, typically in conjunction with impact-absorbing elements. These prior art seats, however, are primarily directed to use in conventional vehicles which vehicles enclose the occupants thereof and afford protection of themselves in the event of an accident, particularly of the type which results in vehicle roll-over. Additionally, such conventional vehicle safety seats are generally designed to accommodate only occupant activity which is typically encountered in the particular type of vehicle. Such occupant activity under normal circumstances in enclosed-type vehicles is usually relatively minimal, and extensive restraints can be provided without interfering with the normal movements of driver or passengers.
Incorporation of such prior art safety seats are in vehicles which do not provide customary occupant protection, such as operator cabs of earthworking equipment, is, therefore, frequently ineffective in preventing occupant injury, particularly in vehicle roll-over situations. Also, the restraining systems frequently employed in combination with these seats typically interfere with the movements of the operator of such equipment, who must be permitted free access to all parts of the operator console and control elements in order to manipulate various functions of the equipment.
It is, therefore, desirable to provide an efficient safety seat for particular use on earthworking vehicles or similar equipment where the occupant is relatively exposed, and which also provides adequate freedom of movement for the occupant; especially for the operation of rear-mounted attachments on earthworking equipment, or for similar requirements.
SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
The invention provides a vehicle safety seat comprising improved suspension means including angularly disposed resilient members for absorbing vertically downward and horizontal loads, and damping recoil, and improved shoulder and arm support means for absorbing horizontal loads generated for example, by sideward motion occurring during a side roll-over of the vehicle. The safety seat further includes an assembly of steel or other strong material which may conveniently comprise a modified standard production seat secured to the suspension means and shoulder support means. The safety seat further comprises rotation means and preferably fore-and-aft displacement means for maximum seat adjustment according to the occupant's needs.
It is an object of this invention to provide a vehicle safety seat for protecting the occupant thereof against
the effects of high vertical and lateral acceleration forces.
It is another object of this invention to provide a vehicle safety seat for use in conjunction with earthworking vehicles having improved means for protecting the occupant thereof in the event of a side roll over of the vehicle.
It is another object of this invention to provide a vehicle safety seat which permits extensive freedom of 10 movement to the occupant thereof.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide a vehicle safety seat for an earthworking vehicle which permits the occupant thereof full access to the vehicle controls and full visibility of vehicle attachments, in15 eluding rear mounted attachments.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a vehicle safety seat having improved suspension and lateral support means. Other objects and advantages of the invention will 20 become apparent from the following description and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is an elevation of the safety seat of this inven25 tion shown attached to a vehicle frame and with an occupant in position; and FIG. 2 is a front view of the safety seat of FIG. 1.
30 FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the safety seat of this invention generally indicated at 10. Suspension means are indicated generally at 11, a shoulder support assembly is generally indicated at 12, and a seat assembly is generally indicated at 13. The seat 10 is shown mounted
35 upon the floorboard 14 of a vehicle (not shown) by mounting and rotation means generally indicated at 16 for permitting rotation of the seat 10 approximately 45" about a vertical axis. The scat assembly 13 includes a rigid seat frame 17
40 with an adjustable back portion 15 and a seat cushion 18 and back cushion 19 for occupant comfort. The seat assembly 13 is mounted by means of the suspension means 11 of this invention, which means include a rigid base plate member 21, a parallel disposed rigid upper
45 plate member 22, and a resilient means 23 disposed between the base plate member 21 and the upper plate member 22. Portions of the plate members 21 and 22 are horizontally disposed in planes parallel to the floorboard 14 beneath the seat assembly 13, other adjacent
50 portions extend vertically to the point at which the upper plate member 22 is approximately level with the upper surface of the seat cushion 18, and then other portions diverge outwardly at an angle with the vertical portions. The resilient means 23 are thus angularly dis
55 posed with respect to the normal vertical attitude of the seat occupant in the vicinity of the occupant's hips and thighs and capable of absorbing the vertical and horizontal loading which would be exerted by the occupant during a vehicle side roll-over and damping the return
The suspension means 11 further include a plurality of hold-down means 24 each comprising a retaining member such as a rod or dowel 26 pivotally secured at one end thereof to the base plate member 21 and to the 65 other end thereof to the upper plate member 22 for permitting vertical downward and lateral movement of the seat assembly 13 while limiting vertical upward movement thereof. The dowel members each include a