Primary Examiner—William H. Schultz
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Burd, Bartz & Gutenkauf
A livestock feeding apparatus having an endless belt supported on an elongated table above a feed bunk by a plurality of stands. The stands are laterally and vertically adjustable to level the apparatus and accommodate different sized bunks. The belt has an upper run that rides on a wood deck secured to the support. An idler and drive pulley engages one end of the belt opposite ends. The belt is retained in driving engagement with the drive pulley by a driven roller engageable with the lower run of the belt adjacent the drive pulley. A motor drives the roller at a speed so that the surface speed of the roller is greater than the linear speed of the belt to maintain the lower portion of the run of the belt between the roller and the drive pulley under tension. A sweep assembly slidably mounted on the wood deck operates to move the material off of the side of the top run of the belt into the bunk. The sweep assembly has a roller located in driving engagement with the upper run of the belt and an angularly located drum. Coacting drive members drivably connect the roller with the drum so that on rotation of the roller the drum is rotated to move material off the side of the belt. A reversible motor drivably connected with a cable to the sweep assembly operates to reciprocate the sweep assembly between opposite ends of the support. A belt tightening assembly associated with the pulleys maintains the belt under tension. The belt tensioning assembly includes biasing springs and a linear actuator that adjusts the biasing force on the springs to maintain tension on the belt. A diverter assembly attached to the sweep assembly has a pivotally mounted chute movable to opposite inclined positions to selectively direct the material to opposite sides of the feed bunk.
7 Claims, 30 Drawing Figures