Utah Patent of the Month – August 2021

Commercial lawn mowers use multiple mower decks with cutting blades to speed up the process of mowing expansive properties. The decks are attached to the machine with front and rear rollers which are moved along as the height of the ground changes. This makes it easier to mow uneven surfaces – but also leads to damage bearings and costly repairs. Firefly Automatix, Inc. has designed a mower deck roller assembly that better manages uneven ground without damage.

This machine uses a roller secured between two opposing bearings, they are secured in place by a tapered shaft of the roller and a tapered collar within the bearing. The two tapered edges allow a snug fit within the bearing while simultaneously evenly distributing the roller’s load to the bearing. The height of the main body of the mower is controlled by the position of the rollers. The roller is coupled within the bearing and can be tightened creating an opening. As the screw is tightened the collar is forced inwardly onto the shaft. This inward movement causes the outer diameter of the collar to expand. The outer surface expands uniformly against the inner ring of the bearing. This creates a friction based fit. The uniform expansion minimizes amy imbalances in the force that is transferred from the roller to the bearings when the mower is in use. 

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