So, one thing which I had yet to decide upon was the design details of the pillar or frame which supports the lift arm.
The drawings on my dumper loader project page show two plates, either side of and parallel to the lift arm.
This solution would no-doubt be effective, however I didn’t like the look of how the flat plates mated to the angled sides of the sub-frame.
I was looking for a more elegant solution.
This image shows my first thoughts of placing the side plates in-line with the front chassis frame. A neater solution, however, I was concerned that the plates splaying outwards might limit the forward view from the operators seat.
I mocked this arrangement up and found that it did indeed block the operators view. Not significantly, but enough such that it would be a constant disappointment every time the loader is used. The operators seat and steering wheel is actually off-set to the left of centre slightly, and so the obscured view was more pronounced to the right-hand side of the machine.
I was pleased that I bothered to mock this up as it has given me the opportunity to refine my ideas.
I do however like the parallelism of the side plates to the chassis rails, as this photograph of the mock-up shows. You can also see the unpainted subframe which has been built and the as-yet unfinished mud guards.
This is my initial re-design. I’ve kept the angled base and set the upper plates inward and parallel to the frame allowing greater forward visibility.
Stiffeners will be added to the structure to provide torsional rigidity. (these are concept renders only).
An operators-eye view showing the increased forward visibility.
A great example of how Solidworks can be used to visualise a design concept and make revisions to help produce a better final product.
Another view showing how neat the arrangement now is.
I will almost certainly make revisions and enhancements, but for now, the concept is developing to my liking.