Method and apparatus for cleaning tire rims
The present invention relates to a method and apparatus of a brush, particularly in conjunction with cleaning and/or polishing tire rims. The brush may be adapted so as to work in tandem with a power tool, or in alternate embodiments the brush may include a handle, which enables a user to manually rotate the brush about a tire rim. The brush is provided with oversized dimensions in order to expedite the cleaning process of large tires, specifically tires used on trucks.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to cleaning brushes and more particularly to methods and apparatus for cleaning tire rims on a motor vehicle, such as a truck.
Many motor vehicle owners take pride in keeping their motor vehicles as clean as possible, whether it be vacuuming the interior carpet of their motor vehicle or polishing the chrome bumpers meticulously. Many owners customize the detailing of their motor vehicle to fit their own requirements and needs.
Many motor vehicle enthusiasts are proud to display a clean, shiny tire rim. Unfortunately, tire rims are close to the road and, therefore, accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. Tire rims, therefore, need constant attention in order to achieve the desired polished effect.
A number of techniques have been developed by enthusiasts for keeping their tire rims in good condition. Some wrap a towel around their fingers to get into small grooves; others apply water pressure to remove embedded dirt from the rims. Another practice for cleaning tire rims may be using a hand brush or cloth in conjunction with a cleansing agent. The brushes, however, have been generally designed with the goal of detailing and cleaning a small part of the tire rim at one time.
Using a brush that is not particularly designed to clean tire rims is painstakingly detail-oriented, time consuming and not very effective. Although these deficiencies affect all motor vehicle owners, the shortcomings of existing brushes are particularly glaring when cleaning large tire rims such as those found on trucks and larger vehicles.
Thus, there is a need for a simple and quick method and apparatus for cleaning tire rims, particularly truck tire rims.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides methods and apparatus for cleaning the tire rims on trucks. It also provides methods and apparatus for cleaning the tire rims in a fleet of trucks.
The method, in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, involves connecting a brush having a plurality of bristles extending from the brush to a power tool capable of rotating the brush. Thus, the brush is inserted into a first tire rim of a first truck such that the bristles on the brush are in contact with the surfaces of the first tire rim. Then, the power tool is turned on so it rotates, thereby causing the brush to rotate and cleaning the first tire rim. Next, these steps are repeated on the remaining tire rims of the first truck, and then the steps are repeated on the remaining trucks in the fleet. The entire fleet is thereby cleaned. In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, a cleaning agent can be used.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a power tool is provided for use with the brush. The brush includes a shaft having a first end that can be engaged with the power tool. The shaft preferable has a length between 14 to 20 inches. The brush further includes a plurality of bristles that are connected to and extend outward from the shaft. The bristles preferably have a length extending from the shaft in a range of 3.5 to 6 inches. Further, the bristles are preferably made from nylon, such as Nylon 612.
The shaft is preferably comprised of at least two strands of intertwined stainless steel. The shaft preferably has a diameter of ⅜ inch. Preferably, the shaft has one or more loops at one end, the loops having bristles extending outwardly in a direction away from the end of said shaft. The bristles are generally more dense in the looped area.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention is a new and improved brush assembly and a method of using the same. Additionally, the present invention contemplates a method of cleaning the tire rims on a fleet of vehicles, including a fleet of trucks.
A brush 10 is shown in
The first end 14 of the brush 10 may optimally include an end piece 18. The end piece 18 is designed and constructed for engaging and cooperating with a power tool capable of rotating the shaft 12. The power tool may be a standard portable electric drill provided with an electric cord for attaching the drill to a power source, or the drill can be provided with a suitable internal battery that provides a source of power. There are many acceptable power tools available today.
The end piece 18 may be integrally formed with shaft 12. Alternatively, the end piece 18 and the shaft 12 may consist of two separate elements interconnected to one another. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the brush 10, the brush 10 does not include an end piece 18, thus leaving first end 14 of the shaft 12 free.
A plurality of bristles 20 are located near the second end 16 of the shaft 12, as illustrated in
The bristles 20 may be comprised of a nylon material and have a length extending from the shaft 12 in a range of 3.5 to 6 inches. In a more preferred embodiment, the bristles 20 extend from the shaft 12 for a length in the range of 4 to 5 inches. In a most preferred embodiment, the bristles 20 extend cylindrically from the shaft 12 for a length of about 4.5 inches.
Other materials may be used for the bristles 20, such as cloth, polypropylene or the like. A combination of nylon and cloth can also be used for the bristles 20. However, in the preferred embodiment, the bristles 20 are constructed from nylon, specifically nylon 612. Nylon is the preferred material for the bristles due to its high resiliency. If cloth is used the cloth is preferably glued to the nylon bristles. The cloth 25 can be a felt material that is wrapped around a bristle and secured thereto with glue as shown in
Additionally, it has been found that the nylon, specifically nylon 612, when treated to a warm or hot water bath, readily returns to its original shape. Thus, if the brush 10 has been left under a heavy load and the bristles 20 have lost their shape, a hot bath will realign the bristles 20 back to their original form.
It is preferred that the bristles 20 be crimped. The crimping of the bristles allows the density of the bristles 20 in the brush 10 to be increased. This feature enables more bristles to be placed at a location, as compared to bristles that are not crimped. The brush 10 may be designed having a greater density of bristles 20 at certain locations along shaft 12. For example, brush 10 may have a higher density of bristles located in proximity to second end 16 compared to locations along the shaft 12 closer to first end 14.
The bristles 20 preferably extend completely around the shaft 12, forming a circular body as viewed from the top and as shown in
As illustrated in
As illustrated in
Since the brush 10 has been designed specifically for cleaning tire rims, the brush easily contacts with hub 30 (an interior cylindrical surface) and exterior wall 32 (an exterior cylindrical surface) simultaneously when second end 16 of brush 10 is placed between the two. Additionally, the brush 10 may conveniently contact the interior wall 38 of the tire 34 at the same time it contacts the other surfaces of the tire rim.
The brush 10 may also be used to clean other parts of a tire such as the tire 34 itself and front surfaces of the tire hub. In order to best clean these surface the brush 10 may be angled parallel to the tire. The brush also may be moved laterally back and forth as well as up and down across all parts of the tire. This is in contrast to the rotating in and out movement utilized when cleaning the cavity 36 as described above. It is also possible to adjust the angle of contact between the tire 34 and the brush 10 to achieve whatever angle is most advantageous to remove dirt and grime from various places disposed on the tire.
To operate the brush 10, a user attaches the first end 14 of brush 10 to a power tool capable of rotating shaft 12. The user places the second end 16 of the brush 10 into the cavity 36 between the hub 30 and the exterior wall 32 of the tire 34. The protection element 24 protects the interior wall 38 from being scratched by the shaft 12. The user then activates the power tool, thereby rotating the brush 10. The bristles 20, now also rotating about the shaft 12 due to the power tool, come into contact with the exterior wall 32, interior wall 38 and the hub 30. Friction caused by the rotation of the bristles 20 against each of the walls causes any dirt disposed on the walls to become displaced and disengaged. The user may rotate the brush 10 about the entire circumference of the tire rim, thereby cleaning the entire surface of the exterior cylindrical wall 32, interior wall 38 and the hub 30. After multiple revolutions around the circumference of the hub 30 by the user, most of the dirt disposed within the cavity 36 will be removed. Additional rotations may be added to the cleaning process as needed. Because all of the tire rim surfaces are simultaneously contacted, cleaning is improved.
In a further embodiment of the present invention, a cleaning agent may be provided before, during or after employment of the brush 10 to aid in the cleaning process of the tire 34. Preferred cleaning agents include water, soap or the like. Additionally, the brush 10 may be used in conjunction with a polishing agent if the user so desires.
In alternate embodiments of the present invention as shown in
This construction of the brush helps protect the interior wall of the tire rim. This feature also provides greater contact between the brush 100 and the interior walls of the tire 34. Specifically, with reference back to
The fan top 119 may take many shapes depending on how many bristles are added to brush 100, as well as the technique that is used to attach the bristles to the shaft. In a situation where a turn and tuft technique is utilized, the fan top 119 may be in the shape of a substantially two-dimensional semi-circle as show in
Additionally, the top may take a more rounded shape 121, where the top forms a complete semi-spherical covering. In this embodiment, as shown in
In yet another alternate embodiment of the present invention as shown in
The handle 221 is preferably dimensioned to fit comfortably in a user's hand, thus enabling the user to maneuver brush 200 about a cavity of a tire. The bristles 220 are preferably dimensioned similarly to the bristles 20, the dimensions having previously been described. In a preferred embodiment, the bristles 220 have a length of between 4 to 5 inches extending from the shaft 212.
The handle 221 may include a gripping portion, which increases the comfort of the user when handling the brush 200. The gripping portion may be designed with ridges sized for receiving a user's fingers. The handle 221 may be integrally formed with shaft 212; or in an alternate embodiment, the handle 221 may be a separate piece interconnected to the shaft 212 of the brush 200. Where a handle 221 is provided, the shaft 212 preferably has a length of 16 to 23 inches, to allow the brush 20 to be fully inserted into the tire rim.
In yet another alternate embodiment of the present invention as shown in
It should also be appreciated that each embodiment of the brush of the present invention can use the fan-shaped bristles at the end of the shaft or any other feature disclosed herein.
Although the brush of the present invention may be utilized by any motor vehicle owner or employee to clean tire rims, the advantages of the present invention are magnified when used by businesses that have fleets of vehicles that require cleaning tire rims on multiple motor vehicles. The present invention is particularly advantageous when the fleet of vehicles consists of trucks. Examples of such businesses are UPS, service stations, towing companies, construction companies, landscaping businesses, truck cleaning companies, the U.S. Postal Service, trucking companies and the like. Although these businesses' prime objective may not be to clean motor vehicles, maintaining a clean vehicle is still important. The use of the present invention by such businesses will save time, improve efficiency and ultimately save money. Further, the fleet can easily be cleaned with a brush in accordance with the present invention on the weekend or on a day when the trucks are idle.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of a method of the present invention, the tire rims on a fleet of trucks are cleaned by first connecting a brush having a plurality of bristles extending from the brush to a power tool capable of rotating the brush. Then, the brush is inserted into a first tire rim of a first truck so that the bristles on the brush are simultaneously in contact with an exterior and interior surface of the tire rim. Further, the brush, in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention, also contacts an inner surface of the truck tire rim. A cleaning agent can also be applied to each tire rim before inserting the brush into the first tire rim.
After the brush has been inserted into the first tire rim, a power tool is activated so as to rotate the brush. In this manner, the first tire rim is cleaned as the brush is rotated around the circumference of the tire rim. Then, the brush is inserted into the next tire rim and the power tool is caused to rotate in the same manner as previously described so that the brush also rotates, thereby cleaning the next tire rim. Each remaining tire rim is cleaned in this fashion. Then, each of these steps is repeated for each of the remaining vehicles in the fleet.
A timetable may be set up wherein each truck must report at a scheduled time, so that trucks are serviced and cleaned; or, additionally, the driver of the truck may be responsible to keep his or her individual truck clean.
The brush of the present invention provides the added advantage of not only being large enough so that, as previously described, the brush may simultaneously contact the surfaces of a tire rim including the hub 30, the exterior wall 32 and the interior wall of the tire 34 as shown in
Whether it be the individual driver or servicing personnel, the user must simply connect the brush 10 to a power tool so as to rotate the bristles 20 that are connected to the shaft 12. The shaft 12 is then placed into the cavity 36 of the tire 34, once again as shown in
The brushes, as described herein may also be utilized by truck cleaning businesses and more specifically to mobile truck cleaning businesses that move from location to location cleaning one vehicle or a fleet of vehicles at each stop. The brush as presently disclosed would greatly aid these businesses by providing a quick, efficient and inexpensive accessory specifically designed for purposes consistent with their business's goals i.e. meticulously cleaning of a truck. Additionally, the brush of the present disclosure may be utilized in conjunction with an air or water pressure system further improving the cleaning process. Thus, the brush of the present invention is preferably carried on a truck or other vehicle as part of an operation geared towards cleaning fleets of trucks.
The brush as described herein may also be coupled with various cleaning agents, polishes and cleaning accessories in various kits. Specifically, one kit may include the brush of the present invention along with a cleaning agent. Another kit may include the brush, the cleaning agent and a power tool. Additionally, the kits as previously described may include various sponges and other brushes of varying size and shape, specifically designed for cleaning tire rims. These various kits include each of the previously mentioned components in the kit in a single package and are offered for sale in the single package. Providing the brush of the present invention in combination with other tire and tire rim cleaning products and cleaning tools in a single package in kit form advantageously allows consumers and other cleaning businesses to conveniently buy all the products needed to clean tire rims and tires.
Furthermore, one or all of the elements included with the kits described above may also be expanded to include various other cleaning accessories. One example of additional accessories may be products designed to clean and polish other elements of the tire such as the tire itself. This includes all tire cleaning products presently available. Thus the present invention contemplates a kit including a brush described herein along with products for cleaning tire rims and additional products for cleaning tires. Although, specific combinations of a kit have been described above, it should be realized that specific examples are only illustrative and various combinations including all the elements detailed or only some of the elements detailed may be included in a specific kit along with the brush of the present invention. Additionally, other products may also be combined with the present inventive brush to form additional kits.
As mentioned previously, the bristles 404 are preferably nylon, and most preferably nylon 612. The previous lengths of the bristles 404 were stated for the distance that they extend from a shaft of a brush. As can be seen from
Referring now to
Note that it is preferred to paint or coat the top surfaces of the loops 410 and 412 with a rubberized or otherwise soft coating. This forms a protective element, as previously discussed, to minimize the possibility of scratching.
Although the present invention herein has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles and applications of the present invention. It is therefore to be understood that numerous modifications may be made to the illustrative embodiments and that other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. A method of cleaning the tire rims on a fleet of trucks, comprising the steps of:
- (a) connecting a brush having a plurality of bristles extending from the brush to a power tool capable of rotating the brush;
- (b) inserting the brush into a first tire rim of a first truck such that the bristles on the brush are in contact with an exterior cylindrical surface of the first tire rim and with an interior cylindrical surface of the first tire rim;
- (c) causing the power tool to rotate so that the brush rotates, whereby the first tire rim is cleaned;
- (d) repeating steps (b) and (c) for the remaining tire rims of the first truck;
- (e) repeating steps (b), (c) and (d) for the remaining trucks in the fleet.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising the step of applying a cleaning agent to each tire rim before inserting the brush into the tire rim.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the brush has bristles extending from the end of the brush that is inserted into the tire rim.
4. The method as claimed in claim 3, wherein the brush simultaneously contacts an inner wall of the truck tire rim.
5. A brush for cleaning or polishing tire rims with a power tool, comprising:
- a shaft having a first end being adapted to be engageable with the power tool, said shaft having a length between 14 to 20 inches; and
- a plurality of bristles, said bristles connected to and extending outward from said shaft, wherein said plurality of bristles have a length extending from the shaft in a range of 3.5 to 6 inches.
6. The brush as claimed in claim 5, wherein said length of said shaft is between 16-18 inches.
7. The brush as claimed in claim 5, wherein said length of said plurality of bristles is between 4 to 5 inches.
8. The brush as claimed in claim 5, wherein said bristles are nylon.
9. The brush as claimed in claim 5, wherein said shaft is comprised of at least two strands of intertwined stainless steel.
10. The brush as claimed in claim 5, wherein said shaft has a diameter measured at approximately ⅜ of an inch.
11. The brush as claimed in claim 5, the brush having a second end, said shaft having a loop at said second end, said loop having bristles extending outwardly in a direction away from said first end of said shaft.
12. The brush as claimed in claim 5, further comprising a cloth material disposed on an end of at least some of said bristles.
13. The brush as claimed in claim 5, further comprising a protection element on said second end of said shaft.
14. The brush according to claim 5, further comprising a locking hub disposed at said first end of said shaft.
15. The brush according to claim 5, further comprising a wedge attached to said shaft, said wedge having a contoured face for forcing said plurality of bristles in a direction away from said first end.
16. The brush according to claim 5, further comprising a top element, said top element being fastened to said second end and including a second plurality of bristles, wherein at least some of said second plurality of bristles are angled away from said first end of said brush.
17. A method of cleaning or polishing a tire rim, comprising the steps of:
- providing a brush, said brush comprising a shaft and a plurality of bristles, said shaft comprising a first end and a second end and a length of between 16 to 20 inches wherein said first end is engageable with a power tool, wherein said bristles are attached to said shaft, further wherein said bristles extend outward from said shaft and have a second length, said second length being between a range of 6 to 12 inches;
- engaging said first end of said brush to a power tool capable of rotating said brush;
- placing said brush in contact with a tire rim so as to create a sufficient amount of friction between said brush and said tire rim to remove dirt disposed on said tire rim.
- operating said power tool so as to rotate said brush.
18. The method of claim 17, further comprising the step of applying a cleansing agent to said tire rim.
19. A method of claim 17, wherein said bristles are nylon.
Filed: Feb 6, 2004
Publication Date: Aug 11, 2005
Inventor: Andy Wachter (Bloomingdale, NJ)
Application Number: 10/773,545