FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to setting large poles into the ground and in particular to a device, a system and process for utilizing fluids, such as water jets to set large poles into the ground. The present invention is also readily removable from the pole subsequent to the pole being set into the ground for reuse in setting subsequent poles.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
There has long been a need to rapidly set large poles, such as utility poles, quickly and correctly in the ground. These poles must be set in an upright position and as perpendicular to the ground as possible. Whenever one or a few poles need to be set into the ground time is not critical. However, after a storm or other disaster the rapid replacement of utility poles is critical to the recovery and subsequent operation of a particular area and group of people.
Currently large poles, such as utility poles, are set in place by first digging out a hole into which the pole will be set. Next the pole is then set into the hole. Finally the hole is backfilled with dirt and/or sand. The pole is now securely and firmly in place.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
A number of devices currently exist to set large poles into the ground by first digging a hole and then setting the pole into the hole. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,968,657; 4,362,451; 5,170,850; 5,281,067; 5,438,805; 5,476,352; 5,927,925 and 6,485,234 are examples of these devices.
U.S. Pat. No. 1,245,373 discloses a device for setting a piling wherein water is pumped into the interior of the piling and then out the bottom thereof. U.S. Pat. No. 885,337 discloses a device for setting a concrete piling wherein water is pumped into the interior of the piling and then out the bottom thereof. The exiting water displaced the dirt/sand and provides a hole onto which the piling can be lowered into place. U.S. Pat. No. 4,257,722 is another example of a fluid being sent down through the center of a piling to provide a hole in the ground into which the piling is placed. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,851,490 and 2,555,359 discloses devices wherein jets of fluids are provided on the exterior of the piling or pole to displace the ground and provide a hole into which the piling or pole is set. U.S. Pat. No. 1,644,560 discloses a device which utilizes fluids, such as water, to remove pilings which are currently set into the ground.
What is currently lacking in the art is a device that can be quickly secured to a pole, be connected to a source of fluid, such as water, have the water delivered to the device, utilize the water to set a pole into the ground and then have the entire device be readily removed from the pole for use in setting subsequent poles into the ground.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A system for setting poles into the ground utilizing a fluid is disclosed. The device is connected to a source fluid, such as water. The device also includes a fluid pump. The inlet of the pump is connected to the source of fluid and the output is connected through a conduit to a pole setting device. The output from the pump is high volume. The pole setting device includes a manifold which distributes the high volume fluid to at least two conduits that are substantially vertically oriented with respect to the pole. After the pole has been set into the ground the pole setting device can be removed from the ground and the pole and used to set another pole in the ground. Nozzles can be optionally located at the outlet end of each of the conduits.
Accordingly, it is an objective of the instant invention to provide a device and system for rapidly setting poles into the ground.
It is a further objective of the instant invention for providing a device and system for setting poles into the ground and subsequently being removable from the pole and reusable in setting additional poles into the ground.
It is yet another objective of the instant invention for providing a device and system for setting poles into the ground utilizing a fluid such as water.
It is a still further objective of the invention for providing a device and system for setting poles into the ground that is readily movable and transportable to various locations where needed.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with any accompanying drawings wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments of this invention. Any drawings contained herein constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
FIG. 1 is an overall view of the present invention connected to a pole being set into the ground;
FIG. 2 is a view of two pole setting devices not connected to the system;
FIG. 3 is a view of the high volume pump used to deliver fluid to the pole setting devices and an engine which operates the pump;
FIG. 4 is a view of the present invention on a trailer;
FIG. 5 is a perspective of a first embodiment of the pole setting device;
FIG. 6 is a side view of the device illustrated in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a top view of the device illustrated in FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the pole setting device;
FIG. 9 is a top view of the device illustrated in FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a view of the present invention having set a pole into the ground; and
FIG. 11 is an end view of a fluid outlet of the present invention including a nozzle.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described a presently preferred, albeit not limiting, embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the present invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.
Referring to FIGS. 1-11 of the drawings a device and system for setting poles, in particular large poles, into the ground is illustrated at 10 in FIG. 1. The system includes a pump 12 which is driven by an engine 14. In a preferred embodiment the pump is a Berkely pump with an output of 600 gallons pre minute (GPM). Other pumps can also be employed as long as the have a relatively high (GPM) output. The engine in the preferred embodiment is a Deutsch 90 horsepower (HP), air cooled, diesel engine. The air cooled engine is preferred because of its relatively simple cost of operation, since it does not require a fluid cooling system. Other engines can also be employed to drive the pump. The only requirement is that the engine employed is capable of driving the pump at the desired GPM output.
In a preferred embodiment water is employed as a fluid to operate the pole setting or fluid delivering device 16. Other fluids can also be employed. FIG. 1 illustrated a lake or pond 18 as a source of water. A fluid retaining conduit, in particular a hose, 20 connects the source of water 16 and an inlet 22 to the pump 12. In the preferred embodiment a fire hose rates at 600 pounds pre square inch (PSI) is employed. Any other fluid retaining conduits can also be employed. While a flexible conduit is illustrated in the preferred embodiment, rigid conduits can also be employed.
Fluid from the output 24 of pump 12 is delivered to the pole setting or fluid delivering device 16 through another or second fluid retaining conduit 26. This second fluid retaining conduit is preferably the same as conduit 20. However, other fluid retaining conduits can also be employed provided they are capable of delivering the fluid at the desired GPM rate.
The second fluid retaining conduit 26 is connected to the pole setting or fluid delivering device 16 at connection or coupling 28. Coupling 28 is in turn connected to at least two fluid outlets 30. Additional fluid outlets 30 can be employed if necessary. Each of the fluid outlets 30 has a substantially horizontal portion 32 and a substantially vertical portion 34 fluidly connected to portion 32. The portions 34 are substantially parallel to each other. The ends 36 of the vertical portions 34 are preferably open. However, a nozzle 38 (FIG. 11) can be employed adjacent the end 36 of portion 34 of fluid outlet 30 to increase the pressure and flow rate of the fluid being delivered out of fluid outlet 30.
A collar 40 or similar retaining device is secured to the substantially horizontal portions 32 of the fluid outlets. The collar can be square, rectangular or curved, as illustrated in FIG. 9. An eyelet 42 or other securable means is connected to collar 40. Eyelet 42 enables a cable 44 or other type of connection to be releasable secured to the fluid delivering or pole setting device 16.
Operation of the pole setting device is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 10. Initially a pole 46 is placed in an upright position and held in place by a cable or other means 48. The conduit 20 is connected to or placed in a source or fluid, in particular water. The engine 14 is started and pump 12 begins to operate. The pump delivers water or fluid from the source 18 to the pole setting device 16. The pole setting device 16 is releasably secured to a pole 46 and held in place by the collar 40 and cable 44. The pole is held in its upright position by cable 48. As water or fluid is delivered to the fluid outlets 30, 34 the relatively high volume of fluid displaces the ground or earth. The weight of the pole 46 then lowers the pole into the ground that has been displaced by the fluid. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 10 the length of the pole setting device 16 is substantially less that the length of the pole 46. In a preferred embodiment the length of the pole setting device is 20% of the length of pole 46. This percentage of the length of the pole setting device to the length of the pole is not limited to 20% and is variable based on the dimensions of the pole, the depth of the hole into which the pole is being set, the type of ground, dirt, sand, into which the pole is being set and other factors. It can vary from approximately 1% to approximately 100%.
The operation of setting the pole into the ground is continued until the pole reaches a predetermined desired depth. These predetermined depths are based on the size of the poles, the loads the poles will carry and additional factors such as wind shear loads on the pole, etc. At this point the present invention is radically different from the prior art devices. After the pole has been set to the correct depth, the pole setting device 16 is withdrawn from the ground by cable 44. The ground that has been displaced by the water or fluid now settles back in around the pole and securely anchors or sets the pole into the ground. The present invention can now be reused to set additional poles into the ground. This is a considerable improvement over the devices in the prior art. These devices usually remain attached to the pole, stay in the ground and can not be used to set other poles in the ground. The present invention substantially decreases the cost of setting poles into the ground by permitting the device to be reusable.
Further, as seen in FIG. 3 the entire system can be readably positioned on and transported by a trailer. This enables the system to be easily moved between different jobs and different locations. Many locations are not accessible by heavy equipment and the present invention could be delivered to these locations.
All patents and publications mentioned in this specification are indicative of the levels of those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains. All patents and publications are herein incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.
It is to be understood that while a certain form of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not to be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and any drawings/figures included herein.
One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as those inherent therein. The embodiments, methods, procedures and techniques described herein are presently representative of the preferred embodiments, are intended to be exemplary and are not intended as limitations on the scope. Changes therein and other uses will occur to those skilled in the art which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention and are defined by the scope of the appended claims. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention as claimed should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments. Indeed, various modifications of the described modes for carrying out the invention which are obvious to those skilled in the art are intended to be within the scope of the following claims.