Vehicle Patents (Class 116/28R)
  • Patent number: 6161497
    Abstract: A parking aid in the form of a vehicle position indicator and parking method that includes an alerting mechanism that deploys when a portion of the vehicle contacts a deployment mechanism positioned in a predetermined location to alert the driver that the desired position has been achieved. The vehicle position indicator includes a weighted base assembly, a deployment bellows assembly in connection with the weighted base assembly, and an inflatable recoil tube in air flow communication with the deployment bellows assembly and supported on the weighted base. The deployment bellows assembly has an air volume equal to the air volume of the inflatable recoil tube such that when the deployment bellows is fully compressed, the inflatable recoil tube is fully inflated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Inventor: Billy P. Sallee
  • Patent number: 6163250
    Abstract: A system for detecting an object located on a surface of a vehicle, includes a sensor for sensing whether an object is located on a surface of a vehicle, a warning indicator for emitting a warning based on an output of the sensor, and a device for transmitting a signal from the sensor to the warning indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Paul Andrew Moskowitz
  • Patent number: 6148760
    Abstract: The extendible parking guide with overhead track is an improved parking guide device for positioning a motor vehicle in an enclosed garage or similar parking area. The extendible parking guide includes a set of varying length rods which can be assembled into a longer rod device of various lengths. The top section of the extendible parking guide features a hook. The bottom section of the extendible parking guide is brightly colored for easy visibility. The extendible parking guide is hung from an overhead track which is fastened to the ceiling of the garage above a vehicle's windshield. The overhead track contains numerous openings along its length which allow the parking guide to be hung in different lateral positions, so that the parking guide makes contact with the windshield of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Inventor: Steve Oi
  • Patent number: 6129035
    Abstract: A visual car spotter that is visible for a distance either day or night. The visual car spotter includes a telescopic mast with three telescopic segments frusto in cross section constructed of translucent or transparent material which when extended frictionally lock one within another. The mast is removably attached to a base which either has a permanent magnet embedded therein or has a layer of plastic with magnetic particles embedded therein adjacent to the bottom of the base for attachment to the metal roof of the automobile. In one embodiment a light at the distal end of the extended mast is a visual indicator at night and in another embodiment the light is in the base and the entire mast has illumination. A lanyard attached to the base or mast or both extending into the interior of the automobile between the door and door frame prevents theft and provides notice to the driver of the automobile to remove the visual car spotter from the roof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Inventor: Dale Schweinberger
  • Patent number: 6085687
    Abstract: An accessory is provided for mounting flags, typically favorite team pennants or insignia, on the rooftops of vehicles provided upwardly extending bars such as luggage racks by means of a clamping mechanism that orients a flagstaff vertically a predetermined distance above the rooftop, and thus provide high visibility without interfering with driver vision or damaging the exterior surface of the automobile. The flag vertically extends at a height that serves as a car finding signal in crowded stadium parking lots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Inventor: Morgan Chester
  • Patent number: 6062161
    Abstract: A vehicle alarm apparatus includes a frame mountable to a vehicle and defining a distal end spaced from the vehicle. A roller is rotatably mounted to the frame adjacent the distal end thereof to rotate upon coming into contact with a curb or other object. An alarm device is connected to the frame and is responsive to rotation of the roller to generate a warning signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Inventor: Robert O. Boden
  • Patent number: 6062160
    Abstract: A guide member mountable on the rear portion of a carrier or boat trailer, which would include a mounting bracket for mounting onto a rear, for example, bumper of the trailer, a post portion hingedly engaged to the mounting bracket, the post portion having on its upper end a reflective surface in the shape of a circle or the like, and on its lower end, a counter weight. There is further provided a spring member engaged between the mounting bracket and the post, so that the guide would normally be in the vertical position with the reflective surface extending a distance above the trailer visible by the driver of the vehicle, but when a boat or other material is loaded onto the trailer, the guide would move into the horizontal position against the bias of the spring and the counter weight, held in the horizontal position by the material or both placed thereupon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Inventor: Wayne Delcambre
  • Patent number: 6062162
    Abstract: A protective garage mat with integral parking alignment device for protecting a surface from oil spills while concurrently providing vehicle parking assistance. The floor mat includes a reinforced rubber mat having ribs/channels for retaining a pre-determined quantity of oil. The floor mat is formed with a coupling at the fore end for mounting a parking alignment indicator such as an upright pole having a reflector or signal light mounted thereon. The pole is supported in the mat by the coupling for pivotal movement upon being contacted by an advancing vehicle. An optional electrical circuit may electrically actuate a signal light to provide a visible alerting signal for a driver of the advancing vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Inventor: Lance Leo Dean
  • Patent number: 6048068
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a marker for indicating wheel rotation for a truck. The marker fits onto the wheel and turns with the wheel. The marker has a reflective end to allow vision during less visible occasions. The marker is mounted on the wheel stud and when the wheel stud is fastened the wheel marker is pressed between the rim and the wheel nut. The marker's reflective end rests on the outer portion of the rim.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Inventor: Timothy S. Broten
  • Patent number: 6034600
    Abstract: A vehicle turn signal system (10), and an associated method, utilizes turn selectors (14, 16) located on a steering wheel (12). The system has right and left turn signal indicator circuits (34, 38) that are each energizable to indicate an intended movement of the vehicle toward the right or left, respectively. A micro-controller 20 controls the energization of the right and left turn indicator circuits (34, 38). Each of the right and left selectors (14, 16) is actuatable in a first manner for causing the micro-controller (20) to energize the respective indicator circuit (34 or 38) to perform a first indication operation and actuatable in a second manner for causing the micro-controller to energize the respective indicator circuit (34 or 38) to perform a second indication operation. In one embodiment, the first manner of selector actuation is a relatively short duration actuation, and the second manner of selector is a relatively long duration actuation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2000
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph E. Browne, Michael Walter Malesko
  • Patent number: 6023218
    Abstract: A locating and alarm system for a motor vehicle comprising a housing. A securing means is for securing the housing onto a roof of the motor vehicle. Visual locating means in the housing is for visually indicating location of the motor vehicle. Audio locating means in the housing is for audibly indicating location of the motor vehicle. Visual alarm means in the housing is for visually activating an alarm when a disturbance takes place at the motor vehicle. An audible alarm means in the housing is for audibly activating an alarm when a disturbance takes place at the motor vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2000
    Inventor: Steven Tremblay
  • Patent number: 6010107
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a flag holding device for engaging the shaft of a flag or banner to a vehicle window. A preferred embodiment of the device comprises a mounting base, a support clip, and a substantially cylindrical shaft. The mounting base includes a socket and a locking mechanism. The support clip includes an interior arm and an exterior arm which engage the vehicle window and serves a shock absorption function while maintaining the shaft in a substantially upright position. The support clip arms ares preferably rectangular in cross-section, with a ratio of arm thickness to arm width of 1 to 6. A second embodiment includes a mounting base having two sockets for receiving two shafts, the orientation of the two sockets causing the two shafts to engage one another to help prevent accidental removal. A third embodiment includes a mounting base having multiple sockets which enable the mounting base to receive a shaft in a variety of orientations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: National Banner Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Abraham Goldfarb
  • Patent number: 5996869
    Abstract: A cargo carrier platform for mounting to a vehicle hitch allowing cargo to be transported outside the vehicle. The cargo carrier includes a drawbar adapted to be received within the vehicle hitch and a cargo platform adjustably attached to the drawbar to facilitate fore and aft adjustment of the platform relative to the rear of the vehicle. The drawbar is provided with a vertical offset to position the platform further from the ground. Markers are mounted on the outer rear corners of the platform to provide the user with a continuous visual indication of the extent of the cargo carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Draw-Tite, Inc.
    Inventors: Jacob S. Belinky, David L. Rogers, David A. Young
  • Patent number: 5992343
    Abstract: A device for assisting a driver in the parking of a vehicle in a sheltered parking space is provided. The device includes: (a) an upper horizontal bar; (b) two parallel vertical bars, front and rear, which extend down from and are each attached at one end to the upper horizontal bar; and (c) two parallel horizontal bars, front and rear. The rear horizontal bar attaches at approximately a right angle to the rear vertical bar. The device is suspended over and in front of the parking space, such that when a person in the driver's seat of a correctly parked car in the parking space views the device, the front vertical bar is directly in front of the rear vertical bar, and the front horizontal bar is directly in front of the rear horizontal bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Inventor: Glenn Frank Drover
  • Patent number: 5975734
    Abstract: A fastening arrangement for mounting a lamp or a headlight in an opening of a vehicle wall part in which there is at least a partial overlap between the lamp or headlight and the edge of the opening and the lamp or the headlight can be fastened to a second vehicle wall part by at least one fastening device pivotally connected to the lamp or headlight so that the lamp or headlight can be retained in the opening in the first vehicle wall part. This makes it possible to fasten lamps or headlights, such as additional brake lights or side indicator lights, between two vehicle wall parts without any need for accessibility between the vehicle wall parts. As a result, it is possible for such lamps to be mounted in vehicle wall parts which border cavities in vehicle parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Volkswagen AG
    Inventor: Michael Muller
  • Patent number: 5954151
    Abstract: A wheel restraint safety system has a frame having a perimeter size to surround a wheel assembly, and mounted for spacing the frame about the wheel assembly. The frame has a pair of sidebars connected to a pair of end gates forming a generally rectangular outline. The end gates are hingedly connected to one of the sidebars and releasably lockable to the other of the sidebars. The gates provide access to the wheel assembly. The frame has a sensor for detecting unbalanced rotation of a wheel of the wheel assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Inventors: John Gary Cochrane, Gordon Douglas Lee
  • Patent number: 5949329
    Abstract: A boat loading guidance device including an array of indicator lamps which signals the boat operator when a boat has been maneuvered into correct longitudinal alignment with a submerged boat trailer. In the preferred embodiment a pair of actuating arms are angularly disposed to form a V-shape and adapted to engage the bow of a boat at the forward end of the boat trailer. Upon contact with the bow of a boat, the actuating arms close an associated switch passing electrical current by a plurality of circuits to either a port or starboard indicator lamp informing the boat operator of the direction in which the boat must be maneuvered into correct alignment with the trailer. In one embodiment, the boat loading guidance device is adapted to receive power from the battery of a towing vehicle by way of an existing trailer wiring harness. In an alternative embodiment, the device is self-powered by a plurality of dry cell batteries for supplying electric power to the lamp circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Inventor: Willie J. Woodard
  • Patent number: 5933081
    Abstract: A device for aiding in the location of an automobile which is located in a crowded parking lot includes an illuminable member which is readily connectable to the automobile, preferably to an externally extending antenna, a power supply device operably connected to the illuminable member for supplying power thereto to cause illumination of the illuminable member. The illuminable member may also include a remote controllable switch operably associated with the power supply device for initiating operation of the device of the present invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Assignee: Antenna Buddies, Inc.
    Inventor: Cynthia C. Jones
  • Patent number: 5927229
    Abstract: A visual aid system for attachment to a hitch of a motor vehicle to a trailer including a first pole cantably attached onto the hitch connector ball of the motor vehicle and a second pole articulated to the hitch mechanism of the trailer so as to move to a position directly above the socket of the hitch mechanism. The first pole includes a pole member and a receptacle affixed to a lower end of the pole member. The receptacle has a groove formed circumferentially around an interior thereof. An elastomeric band is located within the groove so as to be interposed between the ball and the receptacle. The second pole includes a pole member, an articulatable connector pivotally connected to an end of the pole member, and a base affixed to the hitch mechanism of the trailer. The articulatable connector is pivotally connected to the base. A phosphorescent cap is affixed to a top of the first pole so as to emit light outwardly from an upper portion of the first pole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Inventor: Michael A. Karr, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5921199
    Abstract: A car locator is provided having a base for attaching the locator to a car. A cantilevered support rod is pivotally connected with the base to permit pivotal movement and positioning of the rod relative to the base. A hollow marking sleeve having an outer transparent tube and an inner fluorescent liner disposed within the tube slidably mounts onto the support rod for marking the car. The sleeve engages the support rod with sufficient contact force to retain the sleeve in position on the support rod. The sleeve is slidably removable from the support rod so that the sleeve may be pulled from the support rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1999
    Assignee: Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Leon S. Gross
  • Patent number: 5915330
    Abstract: A temporary automobile marker is provided with a hollow base cone and a tower cone attached to the top of the base cone. The tower cone is co-centric with the base cone but has a smaller diameter in order to form two surfaces that help reflect light in a discontinuous fashion in order to make the marker more visible. A magnet is encased within the hollow base cone. The bottom edge of the base cone is covered with a pad so that the base cone and the encased magnet will not harm the surface of the vehicle to which the marker is attached. A method for employing the marker is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Inventor: John M. Courville
  • Patent number: 5913525
    Abstract: A system for leveling a vehicle such as a recreational vehicle or the like includes three jacks in the form of hydraulic cylinders mounted to the vehicle frame. A series of manually actuated switches, oriented in a diamond pattern, are located within the interior of the vehicle and are interconnected with the jacks to provide selective extension of the jacks to adjust the attitude of the vehicle relative to level. A level sensor is mounted to the vehicle and is interconnected with the jacks and the switches, and an operating system is responsive to the level sensor for controlling operation of the jacks and providing information to the control panel. The operating system alerts the operator as to which of the switches should be actuated in order to level the vehicle, and also functions to cut-off extension of each jack when the level sensor has detected that the vehicle in the vicinity of the jack has attained a level condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1999
    Assignee: Versa Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert H. Schneider, Jon D. Jacobs
  • Patent number: 5904115
    Abstract: An assembly, preferably comprising a clearance pole, includes a first pole element with a first horizontal portion and a second vertical portion, and a second tubular pole element mounted to the ground, extending vertically, and receiving the first pole second portion. The first and second pole elements are mounted so that the first element is rotatable with respect to the second about a vertical axis. The slanted surface of an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene block acts as a cam follower engaging a rod, bar, or tube which acts as a cam, the structures biasing the first pole element first portion to a home position. A dry lubricant is provided between the pole element bearing surfaces to provide relatively friction-free rotation between them.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1999
    Assignee: Lincoln Industries Division of Progress Rail Services
    Inventors: Michael Wayne Durbin, Michael J. Winn
  • Patent number: 5905434
    Abstract: A vehicle communications system having a remote control unit installed in the interior of a vehicle and a display unit located on the exterior of the vehicle. The display unit has an input from the remote control unit and an input from a vehicle interface module that has inputs from the vehicle such as the braking system and the turning signal system. The remote control unit is controllable by the driver in the vehicle and has a table of preset and preprogrammed messages selectable by the driver. The driver selects a message to be displayed and sends the message to the display unit. Any input to the vehicle interface module from the vehicle signaling systems overrides the signal input from the remote control unit unless the display unit is mounted on the front of the vehicle. The driver can select a message from a table of messages that are sequentially displayed on the remote control unit. The table of messages is stored on a flash memory in the remote unit and in a flash memory in the display unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1999
    Inventors: Paul J. Steffan, Ming Chun Chen
  • Patent number: 5894673
    Abstract: A vehicle mounted backing distance gauge is provided, in which an activator bar carried by two side arms, normally biased to an extended position, extends approximately ten inches behind the vehicle, and as the vehicle is backed toward an object such as a loading dock, the activator bar comes into contact with the object and retracts toward a front end of the vehicle. The activator bar is coupled to a plunger beam carried within a casing mounted on the vehicle that moves in concert with the activator bar, and through the use of a bevel gear pair and a follower arm controllably moved by the forward end of the plunger beam, an indicator sign is rotated or pivoted by a shaft coupled to one of the bevel gears from a first position parallel to the side of the vehicle and extending toward the rear of the vehicle, to a diametrically opposed position parallel to the vehicle, but extending toward the front of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Inventor: Donald C. Pretsch, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5881667
    Abstract: An antenna ball identification system comprising first and second outer shells, with each shell having a hollow interior and a substantially planar perimeter edge. Each shell has an interior protrusion disposed inwardly from the perimeter edge which is structured to have a substantially hour glass shaped cavity, with each cavity extending out into the outer perimeter edge. The first shell is hingedly attached to the second shell such that the respective perimeter edges abut each other to form a structure having a substantially solid outer surface. The interior protrusions are positioned such that the cavities are positioned next to each other when the first and second shells are closed, with the cavities forming a hollow receptacle having a neck and extending inwardly from an opening formed by the cavities in the exterior of the structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Inventor: Jeffrey J. Herbert
  • Patent number: 5879024
    Abstract: The air bag deployment inhibitor circuit is a fail-safe type of circuit inserted between the power source and the squib which actuates the air bag inflator. The circuit has a normally closed seat adjustment limit switch and a seat belt switch normally open when the seat belt is properly buckled. The seat belt switch is in series with the coil of a relay. Both the seat adjustment limit switch and the contacts of the relay are in series between the power source and the squib, so that if either the seat adjustment switch is open, or the seat belt is unbuckled, opening the relay contacts, the air bag is deactivated and will not deploy. The circuit may include either one indicator light or LED to show the air bag is enabled, or a separate indicator for each switch to indicate the reason why the air bag is not enabled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Inventor: William Estep
  • Patent number: 5870967
    Abstract: An alert system for alerting the driver of a vehicle when a seatback is unlatched includes a seatback movable between latched and unlatched positions, and a latch for retaining the seatback in the latched position. A handle is connected to the latch and includes a first portion movable for operating the latch to facilitate movement of the seatback to the unlatched position and a second portion operable for alerting the driver when the seatback is in its unlatched position. The first and second portions of the handle are sufficiently pivotable and unitary that movement of the first portion for operating the latch simultaneously operates the second portion for alerting the driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Lear Corporation
    Inventor: Robert L. Hecht
  • Patent number: 5864429
    Abstract: Van rear door window reflective tape to provide a light display when coacting with a headlight beam of an approaching motorist that is on an inside, rather than outside, window surface so that the door of a parked van when open provides the referred-to light display and, when the door is closed and the van backed into a garage, the reflective tape coacts with a van interior rear light to provide a light display that conveys a sense of the length of the van and facilitates the parking maneuver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Inventor: Peter Gold
  • Patent number: 5860385
    Abstract: A school bus is equipped with a crossing arm mechanism that is mounted on the front bumper at the passenger side. The mechanism includes a crossing arm assembly that is pivoted between a retracted (stored) position adjacent the front bumper and an extended (operative) position where the crossing arm assembly extends outwardly of the bus bumper in a perpendicular fashion to control pedestrian traffic. The crossing arm assembly includes a plastic bracket that is pivotally attached to an actuating mechanism and a cantilever beam that is attached to the bracket at one end. The bracket has two vertically spaced pivot arms and a beam mounting portion that supports the cantilever beam. The cantilever beam is a plastic extrusion that comprises upper and lower tubular sections that are interconnected by a web portion. The extrusion is modified at one end for attachment to the bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Transpec Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald C. Lamparter
  • Patent number: 5836261
    Abstract: An antenna topper includes an ornamental element which is capable of being secured to the antenna of the vehicle. The ornamental element can be hollow or solid. Solid ornamental elements include a centrally disposed bore sized to frictionally engage the antenna. A hollow ornamental element includes a plurality of support members attached to the interior thereof to define an aperture. The support members are resiliently biased so that the ball at the end of the antenna may be forced through the aperture. The antenna topper can be in the form of sports balls, expressioning faces, animals, etc. The antenna topper can also be constructed of various lightweight materials such as plastic, rubber, styrofoam, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Inventor: Dolores M. Sutton
  • Patent number: 5832865
    Abstract: A mechanical vehicle positioning device provides a visible guide to the operator of a vehicle while that vehicle is being positioned. An indicator suspended at a desired vehicle locating position while a vehicle is being positioned can be retracted when not in use, for example, through a connection to the garage door or by motorized means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Inventor: Douglas M. Harmel
  • Patent number: 5806196
    Abstract: A method and apparatus (10) for aligning a towed vehicle (12) with a towing vehicle (14) is disclosed. The method is implemented with an alignment apparatus (10) including a base (22) configured for attachment to the towed vehicle (12), a platform (23) rotatably mounted on the base (22), and a level device (24) mounted on the rotatable platform (23). While the towed vehicle (12) is connected to the towing vehicle (14), the platform (23) and level device (24) are rotated until the level device (24) is in its level position. This sets a reference height position for the towed vehicle (12). When it is desired to reconnect the towed vehicle (12) with the towing vehicle (14), the towed vehicle (12) is raised until the level device (24) is once again in its level position. In one embodiment, the alignment apparatus includes a base hingedly connected to a mounting bracket for permitting side-to-side leveling of the towed vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Inventors: Gary T. Gibbs, E. Leon Hopkins
  • Patent number: 5796331
    Abstract: A sign (10) includes a sign housing (16) having a pair of extension arms (102) extending therefrom for mounting purposes. The sign housing (16) includes light elements (28) to illuminate at least a portion of the sign (10). The sign housing (16) and extension arms (102) include channels therethrough to allow power conductors (52) to extend from the light element internal the sign housing (16) through the extension arms (102) to power source. The extension arm also receives and supports a hollow, L-shaped bushing (112) through which the power conductors extend. The bushings (112) are received in a mounting housing (122) which in turn secured to a support structure, such as a bus (12). The mounting housing (112) includes an actuator connected to the bushing (112) to pivot the sign (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: Transpec Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald C. Lamparter
  • Patent number: 5755453
    Abstract: Apparatus for use with a boat or similar type trailer comprising a bracket with a forwardly extending portion and a rearwardly extending portion securable to the framework of a trailer adjacent to the rear. A pivot pin is provided and has a fixed end secured to the bracket. A resilient C-shaped clip with a central extent and a front opening is secured to the forwardly extending portion of the bracket. Another resilient C-shaped clip with a central extent and a front opening is secured to the rearwardly extending portion of the bracket. A rigid elongated tube is provided and has an aperture adjacent to its lower end pivotally received on the pin and adapted to be moved from a lower horizontal orientation to a raised vertical orientation. The pole is adapted to be received within the clip in either orientation and retained in such orientation until pulled upwardly by an external force applied as by a user, or pushed downwardly by an external force applied as by boat or similar device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Inventor: William C. Bell
  • Patent number: 5743481
    Abstract: A safety device in conjunction with a tensioning mechanism or a force-limiting device of a safety belt system of motor vehicles. The safety device includes a signal device for indicating actuation of the tensioning mechanism or force-limiting device, and after actuation, a signal device extends into a path of movement of a functional component of the safety device so that upon subsequent operation of the safety device, the signal device generates an audible signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Autoliv Development AB
    Inventor: Matthias Baker
  • Patent number: 5740622
    Abstract: An antenna-mounted pennant comprising a flag attached to a body, and a pin. The body comprises two mutually parallel bores: a pin bore and an antenna bore. The pin bore communicates with the antenna bore. The pin bore is sized to frictionally admit the pin. The antenna bore is sized to admit an upper extreme of a standard tapered automotive or boat antenna. Once installed on a tapered antenna, the antenna-mounted pennant is entrapped between the antenna tip and the increasing diameter of the antenna. Where the antenna-mounted pennant is slid downwards on the antenna, the increasing diameter of the tapered antenna shaft renders the fit between the antenna shaft and the antenna bore frictional, whereby the antenna-mounted pennant is immobilized on the antenna shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Inventor: Rene J. Martin
  • Patent number: 5735230
    Abstract: An apparatus for supporting flags on automobile antennas including an antenna securement portion adapted for securement to an antenna of an automobile. A flag attachment portion is molded with the antenna securement portion. A flag is removably received within the flag attachment portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Inventor: Daniel R. Romesburg
  • Patent number: 5727497
    Abstract: The invention is a flag system for displaying a flag from a hood of an automobile. The primary embodiment consists of a mast with a pin which is inserted into the mast. The pin prevents the flag from creeping up the mast. The flag system is held in position between the hood and car by a tongue. A threaded portion and a threaded nut are located on the mast. The threaded nut is tightened, clamping the tongue onto the car hood.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1998
    Inventor: John A. Nichols, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5719553
    Abstract: A school bus has a stop sign hinged on a sealed electrical actuator assembly that is attached to the side of the bus. The actuator assembly includes the electrical and mechanical components including an electric motor that pivot the hinged stop sign from a stored position adjacent the bus to an operative position extending outwardly of the bus in perpendicular fashion and back to the stored position. These components and wiring harnesses are protected in an outer sealed housing that has a removable cover to facilitate installation and repair. Installation and repair is further enhanced by a removable inner housing sub-assembly that carries a motor control circuit for the electric motor and provides additional protection for the electric motor. The school bus also has a crossing arm hinged on an identical sealed electrical actuator assembly, that is attached to the front bumper of the bus near the passenger door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1998
    Assignee: Transpec Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald C. Lamparter
  • Patent number: 5713300
    Abstract: The device for providing the visual location of the location of the end of the dipstick tube is provided. The device makes it easier for a motorist to replace the dipstick in the dipstick tube after checking the fluid level (i.e., motor oil level, transmission fluid level, etc.) of an internal combustion engine or other industrial apparatus. One preferred device made in accordance with the present invention includes a flat ring-shaped structure of a bright color that is mounted directly over the end of a dipstick tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1998
    Inventor: Ray Hubert
  • Patent number: 5711245
    Abstract: An alignment guide for indicating the location of a waste water outlet port of a large vehicle, such as a motor home, which is not directly visible to the driver of the vehicle. This device is comprised of a brightly-colored indicator flag which is attached to the distal end of an extending arm. The proximal end of the extending arm is mounted directly to, or near the vehicle's waste water drain. When extended, the indicator flag offers the driver of the vehicle a reference point by which he may align the vehicle to the waste water receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1998
    Assignee: Valterra Products Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth John Knirck
  • Patent number: 5680706
    Abstract: A device is provided for alignment of a trailer and a towing vehicle which consists of a visible mast placed on the trailer tongue to allow the towing vehicle driver to view the mast and to easily back into a correct position for coupling with the trailer. The mast has a pivotable arm which can be secured in either an extended contact position or a relaxed, downward position as necessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 28, 1997
    Inventor: Terry R. Talcott
  • Patent number: 5678505
    Abstract: The present invention provides a warning device for attachment to a tractor unit for warning when an attached trailer has pivoted to a position where it may cause damage to the tractor. The warning device comprises a base for attachment to a skirt of the tractor unit, the base being adapted at one end for receiving a switch element and also being adapted to receive one end of a resilient connecting element. The device includes a feeler which extends from the device in a position to contact the trailer unit when the trailer unit has pivoted to a potentially skirt contacting position, the feeler being adapted for receiving the second end of the resilient connecting element to connect the base and the feeler. The resilient connecting element joining the base and the feeler of the warning device allows for full movement of the feeler relative to the base in all directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1997
    Inventors: Arthur Leung, Roscoe H. Carmack
  • Patent number: 5660347
    Abstract: A safety device in conjunction with a tensioning mechanism or a force-limiting device of a safety belt system of motor vehicles. The safety device includes a signal device for indicating actuation of the tensioning mechanism or force-limiting device, and after actuation, a signal device extends into a path of movement of a functional component of the safety device so that upon subsequent operation of the safety device, the signal device generates an audible signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Assignee: Autoliv Development AB
    Inventor: Matthias Baker
  • Patent number: 5660136
    Abstract: A collapsible cover for the drive unit of an outboard or sterndrive boat is provided. The cover is releasably secured to the drive unit by an adjustable sleeve that fits around an upper part of the unit. Each of the cover's sides includes an impact absorbing pad that functions to protect swimmers or other people in the area of the drive unit from coming into direct contact with the unit. The pads also protect the drive unit from being damaged by tools or other objects accidentally impacting on the unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Inventors: Robert Pignatelli, Audrey Cohn, Nicholas Pignatelli, Joyce M. Pignatelli
  • Patent number: 5655474
    Abstract: A position indicating and distance gauging device is provided for the purpose of preventing impact or collision of a vehicle or an object, such as a trash dumpster, carried by a vehicle with a wall or barrier, such as a dumpster enclosure. The device includes an indicator arm retained in a generally vertical orientation and biased away from the barrier or wall, and a bracket mounted to the wall or other structure at a height at which distance markings provided on an upper face of a flange portion of the device will be readily visible to a vehicle operator in a vehicle that is approaching the barrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1997
    Inventor: Donald Charles Pretsch, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5655306
    Abstract: A vehicle mounted backing distance gauge is provided, in which a plunger, normally biased to an extended position, extends approximately ten inches behind the vehicle, and as the vehicle is backed toward an object such as a loading dock, the plunger comes into contact with the object and retracts into a casing mounted to the driver's side of the vehicle. The plunger has an internal beam that moves in concert with the plunger, and through the use of a bevel gear pair and a follower arm controllably moved by the forward end of the internal beam, an indicator sign is rotated or pivoted by a shaft coupled to one of the bevel gears from a first position parallel to the side of the vehicle and extending toward the rear of the vehicle, to a diametrically opposed position parallel to the vehicle, but extending toward the front of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1997
    Inventor: Donald Charles Pretsch, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5636588
    Abstract: An identification device for mounting on the antenna of a transport vehicle. The device is tubular and resilient, and has a central cavity for receiving the antenna. A series of spaced apart external grooves selectively accept a tie constricting the tubular device about the antenna. The device has hook and loop material attached thereto, and a corresponding patch of hook and loop material. The corresponding patch is mounted to the vehicle, for temporary stowage of the identification device when not in use. The identification device has one or more distinctive bright colors, for being conspicuous at a distance. The device is preferably employed when parking a vehicle amidst many similar vehicles, thereby enabling an owner or operator to identify the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1997
    Inventors: Jan Keller, Suzanne R. Geiger-Visci
  • Patent number: 5620219
    Abstract: The protective fence of the invention comprises a first and a second arms that are pivoted at the opposite ends of a frame member that is placed in lieu of the bumper of a school bus. When children are entering or exiting the school bus, the bus driver can activate the arms that alternately pivot into an outwardly-projecting extended position. The arms are linked at their outer ends by a foldable band that is stretched between the two arms. The area directly in front of the school bus hood is circumscribed by the arms and the foldable band, and is thus not readily accessible by any of the children. Consequently, it is much less likely that a child will stand in this area in front of the school bus hood when the bus driver drives off, and disastrous accidents can be avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Inventor: Jean-Hugues Servant