SNOW DOLLY AND ALL-PURPOSE SHOVEL PLOW

A snow removal device has a body, a shovel connected to the body and positioned at a lower end of the body, a snow catcher connected to the body, and one or more motive elements. The snow catcher is positioned behind the shovel such that when the shovel is tilted back, loose material in the shovel falls into the snow catcher. When the body is tilted back, the shovel also tilts back. The body acts as a lever arm on the shovel, allowing heavy loads to be tilted back with minimal force. A foot pedal facilitates pushing the shovel into loose material. The angle between the body and shovel is 120 degrees. The body is collapsible. The snow catcher has an outer lip and the shovel has sidewalls for retaining loose material. One or more of the motive elements serves as a pivot point for the snow removal device.

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Description

This application hereby claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/310,701, filed on Mar. 4, 2010 entitled SNOW DOLLY, by inventor Richard Yancheski, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to the fields of snow removal and garden tools.

Snow shovels and snow blowers are the standard equipment used to remove snow both residentially and commercially. Use of a snow shovel entails significant physical exertion, both aerobic exercise and weight-lifting. Weight lifting can raise blood pressure and rapidly increase the load on the heart. In cold weather, arteries and blood vessels constrict, reducing blood supply when the load on the heart is high. Hormones released during cold weather and exercise can cause arterial plaques to rupture, causing blood clots and heart attacks. Each year, several hundred people experience a heart attack while shoveling snow. Deaths from heart disease increase 22% in the week following a snowstorm.

Muscle and spinal injuries are extremely common. More than 70,000 people ended up with a shoveling-related injury bad enough to trigger a doctor's visit in 2008. A quarter of those people visited an emergency room, and about 900 were admitted to a hospital. Lower back and shoulder strains, herniated disks, and fractures from falls are the most common snow shoveling injuries.

Needless to say, many elderly or disabled people are unable to use snow shovels because the physical effort required is simply too great. Demographics are shifting towards a more elderly population, particularly in developed countries. Clearing snow using known methods is a serious challenge for these populations.

Snow blowers are an alternative to snow shovels. However, snow blowers are quite expensive, ranging from a few hundred dollars for personal/residential models to a thousand dollars and up for commercial snow blowers. They typically utilize gas powered engines, which emit high levels of pollutants and potentially dangerous fumes. They require oil and regular maintenance because of the large number of moving parts. Used oil must be disposed of properly to avoid environmental contamination. The moving parts can strike a body part, causing injury, or another obstacle, causing damage to the machine. Repair and maintenance increase costs to the user. Especially for larger models, the high weight of these machines makes use very difficult for the disabled or elderly, and on steps or other areas where the machines are cumbersome to maneuver.

Needs exist for improved tools for removing snow.

SUMMARY

It is to be understood that both the following summary and the detailed description are exemplary and explanatory, and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed. Neither the summary nor the description that follows is intended to define or limit the scope of the invention to the particular features mentioned in the summary or in the description.

In certain embodiments, the disclosed embodiments may include one or more of the features described herein.

A new snow removal device and all-purpose shovel plow has a body, a shovel connected to the body and positioned at a lower end of the body, a snow catcher connected to the body, and one or more motive elements selected from the group consisting of wheels, rollers, treads, and slides. The snow catcher is positioned behind the shovel such that when the shovel is tilted back, loose material transfers from the shovel to the snow catcher.

The shovel is positioned such that when the body is tilted back, the shovel also tilts back, allowing loose material to spill from the shovel into the snow catcher. A handle is positioned at a top end of the body. The body acts as a lever arm on the shovel, allowing a heavy load to be tilted back in the shovel when the handle is tilted back with little force from the user.

A foot pedal connected to the body facilitates pushing the shovel into loose material. In one embodiment, the motive elements comprise of wheels. The angle between the body and shovel is 120 degrees. The body is partially or completely collapsible. The snow catcher is equipped with an outer lip that retains loose material within the snow catcher. The shovel has sidewalls for retaining loose material within the shovel before the loose material is transferred to the snow catcher. One or more of the motive elements serves as a pivot point when the snow removal device is placed on the ground in operating position.

In a new snow removal device method, a shovel is positioned at a shovel position at a lower end of a body, and is connected to the body. A snow catcher is positioned behind the shovel position, and is connected to the body. One or more motive elements selected from the group consisting of wheels, rollers, treads, and slides are connected to the body. The snow catcher is positioned such that when the shovel is tilted back, loose material in the shovel transfers from the shovel to the snow catcher.

These and other objectives and features of the invention are apparent in the disclosure, which includes the above and ongoing written specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form a part of the specification, illustrate exemplary embodiments and, together with the description, further serve to enable a person skilled in the pertinent art to make and use these embodiments and others that will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

FIG. 1A is a front view diagram of an embodiment of a shovel and snow catcher.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view diagram of an embodiment of a snow removal device.

FIG. 2 is a top view diagram of an embodiment of a snow removal device.

FIG. 3 is a front elevated view of an embodiment of a snow removal device.

FIG. 4 is a front elevated view of a snow removal device with the shovel portion flipped upwards.

FIG. 5 is a side elevated view of an embodiment of a snow removal device.

FIG. 6 is a perspective detail of a foot pedal for an embodiment of a snow removal device.

FIG. 7 is a side elevated view of an embodiment of a snow removal device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A snow removal device will now be disclosed in terms of various exemplary embodiments. This specification discloses one or more embodiments that incorporate features of the invention. The embodiment(s) described, and references in the specification to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, “an example embodiment”, etc., indicate that the embodiment(s) described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. When a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, persons skilled in the art may affect such feature, structure, or characteristic in connection with other embodiments whether or not explicitly described.

In the several figures, like reference numerals may be used for like elements having like functions even in different drawings. The figures are not to scale. The embodiments described, and their detailed construction and elements, are merely provided to assist in a comprehensive understanding of the invention. Thus, it is apparent that the present invention can be carried out in a variety of ways, and does not require any of the specific features described herein. Also, well-known functions or constructions are not described in detail since they would obscure the invention with unnecessary detail.

A new green technology snow removal device requires no lifting, minimal exercise, and very minimal back or muscle movements to operate. It is similar in overall appearance to a standard dolly (e.g., furniture/box transportation), but attached to the front of the snow removal device is an exceptionally well-developed shovel. The shovel is positioned at a greater than 90 degree angle to the body of the snow removal device. In one embodiment, this angle is about 120 degrees. This makes it easier to push the device forward while maintaining contact between the base and the ground for snow removal applications because the angle between the shovel and the body of the snow removal device creates the effect of a lever. In one embodiment, there is a hinge between the shovel and the body of the snow removal device, allowing a user to set the desired angle. A larger angle makes pushing easier, but may require bending over for taller individuals. A locking device similar to those used on lawn mower wheels for height settings is used to maintain the desired angle.

The shovel is wide and flat to the ground like a blade and tapers off into snow catcher, in one embodiment a circular disc with a rim. The shovel and snow catcher are attached to the body of a snow removal device. The shovel and snow catcher are attached to the body by soldering or welding. In one embodiment, the snow removal device is made of a durable, lightweight material such as aluminum. The snow removal device has large wheels, allowing the person using the snow removal device to easily push the shovel into the snow. Any combination of wheels, rollers, treads, slides, or similar means for movement could be used. Once the snow removal device is into the snow the user pushes down onto the body of the snow removal device to let the snow be lifted and it automatically drops into the snow catcher. Because of the large lever arm of the snow removal device and the high handle, this action requires little effort or bending, even for deep snow. Standard dollies are used to easily transport heavy furniture, such as refrigerators, making snow transport trivial for a snow removal device utilizing a similar structure.

The next step for the user is to wheel the snow removal device away to where the user would like to move the snow. With a simple twist of the snow removal device, the snow falls right out where the user wants it. The snow catcher works like a wheel barrel in that it easily allows the user to remove the snow with minimal exercise of the back, arms, neck, etc.

The new snow removal device replaces the need for snow blowers and cuts down on the pollution caused by small engines. The deeper the snow, the better it works. The cost of the new snow removal device is under 100 dollars, thus saving consumers thousands on unneeded, bulky snow blowers.

In one embodiment, the snow removal device can be folded for easy storage and even fit into the trunk of a car. The body of the snow removal device and handle of the snow removal device fold down. This can be accomplished in a manner similar to a typical lawnmower, with a hinge or pivot point on the body of the snow removal device that can be locked in place with a knob that turns to loosen or tighten the connection. In an alternative embodiment, the body of the snow removal device collapses in a telescoping fashion, similar to that of luggage handles. However, the body of the snow removal device must remain sturdy enough to bear the weight of the loose material being carried. In one embodiment there is a foot pedal on the back of the snow removal device to make it easy for the user to push the snow removal device into the snow.

The snow removal device is ideal for any business or government sidewalk clearing as well as car clearing. The device provides the elderly, disabled, and people with back problems the opportunity to clear their vehicles in case there is an emergency, such as needing to pick up their medications, going to the hospital, or getting stuck in the snow on while driving. Almost anyone can use this device at a time of need. Because it has no motor, users do not have to go to the gas station and get gas for the snow removal device. Users can use it immediately during a storm and clear their driveways without over exerting themselves. This snow removal device revolutionizes the way snow is shoveled and will reduce the number of emergency room visits from people injuring their backs and necks lifting and twisting while removing snow.

Additionally, this snow removal device is useful to the number of people who simply hate shoveling snow. The device is essential for workers who shovel snow as part of their job to prevent back injuries at work. The device is useful for government, private organizations, public sidewalk clearing, schools, and any place that needs its snow removed.

The snow removal device is a convenient and versatile tool. It has many uses other than snow removal, for example it can be used as a garden tool. The snow removal device can be used as a wheel barrel and gravel and mulch spreader. Using the same principles as for snow removal, the snow removal device can be used to easily scoop up large quantities of any relatively loose material, transport it to a desired location, and deposit it without excessive exertion or wear and tear on the back or other muscles.

The snow removal device serves as a better wheel barrel than a conventional wheel barrel, particularly in embodiments where it uses two tires and is therefore designed better for use in the yard. The weight is more easily distributed so that it is easier to push or pull around rough terrain. The snow removal device is excellent for cleaning up yard leaves. The user can fill snow catcher with leaves, wheel the snow removal device to a compost pile or other location, and, with a twist of the wrist, dump the leaves. While pulling weeds, a user can lay the snow removal device down, sit on the body, drape a bag over the snow catcher and deposit the weeds into the bag, tie the bag, and haul it to the trash collection area. It is not necessary to pick up the bag of weeds.

Furthermore, the snow removal device works well as a mulch or gravel spreader. A bag of mulch or gravel may be placed in the snow catcher, and wheeled to where the gravel or mulch is to be placed. The user can then cut the bottom of the bag, tilt the snow removal device in an upward position, and allow the gravel or mulch to go down through the shovel for spreading.

In an exemplary embodiment, the shovel on the front of the snow removal device is 16″ wide at its forward edge and flat to the ground like a blade. The bottom cross section of the shovel is roughly trapezoidal in shape, with 16″ sides tapering back towards the snow catcher. The shovel is like a flat blade on the first inch of the forward edge, and then side walls appear on the shovel, rising from about a quarter of an inch high towards the front to two inches high at the back, matching the depth of the snow catcher. The sides on the shovel act like a guide or slide to keep the snow directed into the snow catcher. In other embodiments, the sides of the shovel are an even 1″ high or 2″ high. The snow catcher is a 24″ circular disc with a 2″ high lip, providing a 2″ deep snow catching area. The snow removal device body is about 46″ long for high leverage and ease of standing use. The wheels are 10-12″ in diameter so that the snow removal device can easily be pushed into the snow. The snow removal device body is at a 120 degree angle with the shovel. In an alternative embodiment, the shovel is 20″ wide at its forward edge.

A simple embodiment of a snow removal device can be constructed by attaching a shovel, for example formed by sheet metal, to the base of a standard device and fixing a trashcan lid or similar to the back of the snow removal device behind the shovel by welding or a simple attachment mechanism, such as bungee cords.

FIG. 1A is a front view diagram of a shovel 3 and snow catcher 5. Snow catcher 5 is connected to shovel 3 and has a lip 15 for retaining snow. Shovel 3 has sides 13 for retaining snow.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view diagram of a snow removal device. The snow catcher 5 and shovel 3 are attached to a body 7. Further attached to body 7 is a handle 9. The wheels 11 are attached to the snow catcher 5 and body 7. The body 7 is at about a 120 degree angle 17 with the ground and shovel 3. Also attached to the body 7 is a foot pedal 1.

FIG. 2 is a top view diagram of a snow removal device.

FIG. 3 is a front elevated view of an embodiment of a snow removal device. Dolly body 301 has hook 319 for carrying pails or other items and stand 317 for resting on a horizontal surface in an elevated position and is connected to shovel portion 305. Shovel portion 305 has raised sides 307 to keep snow or other loose material in the shovel portion 305 and is attached to lifting bar 313 with stabilizing bar 309 and fasteners 311. Wheels 315 transport the device.

FIG. 4 is a front elevated view of a snow removal device with the shovel portion 405 flipped upwards. In this view, the attachment of the shovel portion 405 to the dolly foot 421 can be seen. Pivot bar 425 connects to the dolly foot 421 at edges 423. The pivot bar 425 is mounted through cradles 426 of the shovel portion 405, allowing the shovel portion to rotate about the pivot bar 425 while being secured to the dolly foot 421.

FIG. 5 is a side elevated view of an embodiment of a snow removal device. Here, the rear foot pedal 527 can be seen, and in this figure is being actuated by a user's foot 529, flipping the shovel portion 505 towards the snow catcher 503. In this figures, the pedal is partially depressed, and therefore the shovel portion 505 partially raised. Fully depressing the pedal 527 flips the shovel portion 505 vertical, flipping any load carried in the shovel portion 505 into the catcher 503.

FIG. 6 is a perspective detail of a foot pedal for an embodiment of a snow removal device. The pedal portion 631 of foot pedal 627, which was obscured by the user's foot in FIG. 5, is shown. The foot pedal connects to the lifting bar 513, which is connected to the shovel portion, through gap 630 in the catcher plate/snow catcher 603, using a simple cam device to flip the shovel portion upward and into the catcher plate 603 when the pedal 631 is depressed.

FIG. 7 is a side elevated view of an embodiment of a snow removal device. Here, stationary foot pedal 733 is shown, which is a good place for a user to push its foot against to dig the shovel portion into snow or other material.

The invention is not limited to the particular embodiments described above in detail. Those skilled in the art will recognize that other arrangements could be devised, for example, various shapes and sizes of shovel, snow catcher, wheels, and dolly/body. While the invention has been described with reference to specific illustrative embodiments, modifications and variations of the invention may be constructed without departing from the scope of the invention.

Claims

1. A snow removal device, comprising:

a body,
a shovel connected to the body and positioned at a lower end of the body,
a snow catcher connected to the body, and
one or more motive elements selected from the group consisting of wheels, rollers, treads, and slides,
wherein the snow catcher is positioned behind the shovel such that when the shovel is tilted back, loose material in the shovel falls into the snow catcher.

2. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the shovel is positioned such that when the body is tilted back, the shovel transfers loose material from the shovel to the snow catcher.

3. The snow removal device of claim 1, further comprising a handle positioned at a top end of the body, wherein the body acts as a lever arm on the shovel, allowing a heavy load to be tilted back in the shovel when the handle is tilted back with little force.

4. The snow removal device of claim 1, further comprising a foot pedal connected to the body to facilitate pushing the shovel into loose material.

5. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the motive elements comprise wheels.

6. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the angle between the body and shovel is 120 degrees.

7. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the body is partially or completely collapsible.

8. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the snow catcher further comprises an outer lip for retaining loose material within it.

9. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the shovel further comprises side walls for retaining loose material.

10. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein one or more of the motive elements serves as a pivot point when the snow removal device is placed on the ground in operating position.

11. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the shovel is a circular disc.

12. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the shovel is 16 inches wide.

13. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the body is made of aluminum.

14. The snow removal device of claim 1, further comprising an adjustable locking hinge, wherein the hinge allows for adjustment of the angle between the body and the shovel.

15. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the body is 46 inches long.

16. The snow removal device of claim 1, wherein the snow catcher is a 24 inch circular disc.

17. The snow removal device of claim 5, wherein the wheels are 12 inches in diameter.

18. A snow removal device, comprising:

a body,
a shovel connected to the body and positioned at a lower end of the body,
a snow catcher connected to the body,
one or more wheels,
a foot pedal connected to the body to facilitate pushing the shovel into loose material, and
a handle is positioned at a top end of the body,
wherein the snow catcher is positioned behind the shovel such that when the shovel is tilted back, loose material in the shovel falls into the snow catcher,
wherein the shovel is positioned such that when the body is tilted back, the shovel also tilts back, allowing loose material to transfer from the shovel into the snow catcher,
wherein the body acts as a lever arm on the shovel, allowing a heavy load to be tilted back in the shovel when the handle is tilted back with little force,
wherein the angle between the body and snow shovel is 120 degrees, wherein the body is partially or completely collapsible,
wherein the snow catcher has an outer lip for retaining loose material within it,
wherein the shovel has side walls for retaining loose material,
wherein the wheels serve as a pivot point when the snow removal device is placed on the ground in operating position,
wherein the shovel is a circular disc,
wherein the body is made of aluminum,
wherein the snow catcher is a circular disc.

19. A snow removal device method, comprising:

positioning a shovel at a shovel position at a lower end of a body,
connecting the shovel to the body,
positioning a snow catcher behind the shovel position,
connecting the snow catcher to the body, and
connecting one or more motive elements selected from the group consisting of wheels, rollers, treads, and slides to the body, wherein the snow catcher is positioned such that when the shovel is tilted back, loose material in the shovel falls into the snow catcher.

Patent History

Publication number: 20120055049
Type: Application
Filed: Mar 4, 2011
Publication Date: Mar 8, 2012
Inventor: Richard Yancheski (Parrish, FL)
Application Number: 13/041,337

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Process (37/197); Manually Powered (37/285); Manually Powered (37/265)
International Classification: E01H 5/00 (20060101);