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Adjustable Bolster Swing Legs for Mounting and Aligning and Reorienting Crawlers for Slipform Paving Machines

A paving machine which is configured to move in a paving direction for spreading, leveling and finishing concrete into a form having a generally upwardly exposed, finished concrete surface and terminating in lateral concrete sides. The paving machine has a main frame, including a center module, bolsters laterally movably connected to respective lateral sides of the center module for changing a spacing between the bolsters, and a crawler track associated with respective aft and forward ends of the bolsters. A bolster swing leg for each crawler track supports an upright jacking column secured to the swing leg proximate a free end thereof. A worm gear drive between the jacking column and the crawler track permits rotational movements of the crawler track and the jacking column about an upright axis. A hinge bracket is interposed between each swing leg and an associated surface of the bolsters and includes a fixed, upright pivot shaft that pivotally engages the swing leg to enable pivotal movements of the swing leg about an upright axis in a substantially horizontal plane. The hinge bracket further includes a pivot pin that is laterally spaced from and fixed in relation to the pivot shaft. A length-adjustable holder capable of being held at a fixed length has a first end pivotally engaging the pivot pin on the hinge bracket and a second end that pivotally engages the swing leg. The holder permits pivotal motions of the swing leg about the hinge pin when it is in its length-adjustable configuration and prevents substantially any motion of the swing leg when the holder is in its fixed-length configuration. A feedback loop cooperates with angular position transducers and automatically keeps the crawler tracks oriented in the paving direction of the machine when the swing legs move in a horizontal plane relative to a remainder of the paving machine. The paving machine can be reconfigured between its paving orientation and a road transport orientation by activating the crawlers to move the swing legs and the crawlers into a narrowed transport configuration.
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