Safety Devices Patents (Class 280/432)
  • Patent number: 10471784
    Abstract: A trailer hitch with safety arm preferably includes a ball mount member, a hitch insert projection and a safety arm. The ball mount member preferably includes a ball leg and an insert leg. The ball leg extends forward and substantially horizontal from a bottom of the insert leg. A hitch ball hole is formed through the ball leg to receive a hitch ball. The hitch insert projection extends rearward and substantially horizontal from the insert leg. The hitch insert projection is preferably a square tube that has an outer perimeter, which is sized to be received by a female hitch receiver. A safety yoke is formed on an upper and front portion of the insert leg. The safety arm is retained in the yoke with a removable fastener and a quick release pin device. The safety arm pivots relative to the insert leg with the removable fastener.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Inventor: Joseph F. Herlihy
  • Patent number: 10391939
    Abstract: A system and method to determine trailer pose includes imaging first and second telltales affixed to a trailer to provide trailer image data. A controller is operable to determine trailer pose from the trailer image data. The trailer pose information may be provided to one or more controllers of a vehicle towing the trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Mohammad Naserian, Shuqing Zeng, Jay H. Sim
  • Patent number: 10363874
    Abstract: A hitch assist system and method are provided herein. An imager captures one or more images of a trailer having a hitch coupler. A user-input device is provided for specifying a location of the hitch coupler in the one or more captured images. A controller generates an image patch around the user-specified location, segments the image patch to identify the hitch coupler, and estimates a trailer height based on a height and projective geometry of the imager.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Yi Zhang, Eric Hongtei Tseng, Mohsen Lakehal-ayat, Thomas Edward Pilutti
  • Patent number: 10336368
    Abstract: A method of adjusting a steering mechanism of a front axle of a rear carriage of a multi-part wheeled articulated vehicle includes the step of adjusting the steering mechanism to a setting corresponding to a target value of the steering deflection angle of the wheels of the front axle of the at least one rear carriage and modifying the steering deflection angle such that forces and/or moments and resulting displacements and/or torsions and/or tensions acting on the front and/or rear carriages are minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: Hübner GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Sebastian Wagner, Gunter Nitzsche
  • Patent number: 10315714
    Abstract: A dolly, a dolly towing system and a method of operating a dolly towing system. The dolly includes a wheeled platform with a coupled electric generator and an automated safety interlock assembly. The interlock assembly includes one or more sensors configured to wirelessly detect whether the dolly and tow motor are safely joined to one another. A controller can be powered by a battery or related onboard source of electric current while the dolly or system are stationary, as well as by the generator when the dolly or system are moving. Signals indicative of the joining that are acquired from the sensors can be received and processed by the controller such that suitable circuitry can convey the processed signal in such a way that the signal provides an audible or visual notice of an operational status of the dolly or system to an operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Adam M. Epperson
  • Patent number: 10256659
    Abstract: A vehicle having a wireless power system is provided. The vehicle includes a tractor and a trailer mounted to the tractor, the tractor having a tractor frame and the trailer having a refrigeration unit. A first inductive charging pad is mounted on the trailer, the first inductive charging pad electrically connected to a portion of the refrigeration unit. A second inductive charging pad is mounted on the tractor, the second inductive charging pad electrically connected to a portion of the tractor and configured to induce an electrical current in the first inductive charging pad. The first inductive charging pad and the second inductive charging pad are configured such that the second charging pad can induce and maintain the electric current in the first inductive charging pad throughout a range of relative rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: CARRIER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Benjamin Edward Ferguson, Robert A. Chopko
  • Patent number: 10103488
    Abstract: Apparatus are disclosed for vehicle connectors for monitoring connection with trailer connectors. An example connector of a vehicle for coupling a trailer to the vehicle includes a wall defining a cavity to receive a trailer connector, a seal to engage the trailer connector when the cavity receives the trailer connector, and a first trailer-connection sensor disposed in the seal to monitor engagement of the trailer connector with the seal to identify a secure connection with the trailer connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Mahmoud Yousef Ghannam, Joel Allen Pittenger, Aed M. Dudar, Swadad A. Carremm
  • Patent number: 10017018
    Abstract: A lock for a gooseneck style trailer may present a tow-ball interface on a base plate with an associated rod interface. The rod may be inserted through one of a plurality of holes along a circumference of the base plate so as to also interface with structure on the trailer. The rod then may be locked into position with a locking mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Inventor: Joel P. Layton
  • Patent number: 9702791
    Abstract: A fluid flow sampling device comprises an elongate housing and a sleeve disposed in the housing having openings corresponding to an inlet and an outlet of the housing. The sleeve is movable relative to the housing to an open position and a closed position. The open position aligns the openings of the sleeve with the inlet and the outlet to allow fluid to flow into the inlet, through the sleeve, and out of the outlet. The closed position blocks the inlet and/or the outlet with a portion of the sleeve such that fluid is prevented from flowing through the sleeve. Additionally, a coalescent filter is disposed in the sleeve between the inlet and the outlet to allow some fluid to pass through the filter for sampling and to allow another portion of fluid to flow past the filter and out of the outlet to carry away coalescent material on the filter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: Universal Analyzers Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Jenkins, Phil Harris, Ted Barben, II
  • Patent number: 9650030
    Abstract: When a brake of a tractor is released, a control unit having a computer built therein monitors the pressure of working fluid output from a trailer control valve that controls a brake of the trailer in conjunction with the brake of the tractor. When time required for a pressure of the working fluid to decrease to a predetermined pressure is a predetermined time or longer, the control unit determines that the trailer is coupled with the tractor. When the time is less than the predetermined time, the control unit determines that the trailer is not coupled with the tractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: VOLVO TRUCK CORPORATION
    Inventor: Katsuhiro Nagura
  • Patent number: 9582046
    Abstract: In one embodiment an electronic device comprises a housing having a first section and a second section comprising a display coupled to the first section by a hinge assembly, a rotation control assembly to control rotation of the hinge assembly, and a controller to activate the rotation control assembly in response to detection of a force condition at a second section of the housing of an electronic device. Other embodiments may be described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Achintya K. Bhowmik, Russell S. Aoki, Shmuel M. Eden, Rajiv K. Mongia
  • Patent number: 9580008
    Abstract: A method for warning a back side of a vehicle provided with a rear bumper multi carrier may include determining a carrier position by determining it is in a stowed state or drawing out state of a rear bumper multi carrier when a signal Reverse (R) step of a shift lever is produced, controlling ON or OFF operation of a detector of a rear side obstacle according to the stowed state or drawing out state of the carrier, and producing a warning signal when the rear side obstacle is detected in the detector operation controlling step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Woo Young Choi, Hyun Gyung Kim, Dong Eun Cha, Seung Mok Lee, Phil Jung Jeong
  • Patent number: 9551788
    Abstract: A trailer of a semi-trailer truck includes a cargo container having affixed at a height of approximately forty-six inches from a base of the cargo container a hole that is approximately two and one half inches in diameter. A fleet pan enclosure in a form of a housing encompassing a communications circuitry, a global positioning device and an ultrasound sensor projects into an interior cavity of the cargo container through the hole. The global positioning device provides an accurate reporting of a location of the semi-trailer truck to a central server. An antenna of a communication circuitry is fully encompassed within the housing. The location at which the housing is affixed provides for an effective measuring and reliable locating of a stored transport item inside the interior cavity of the cargo container through the hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Inventor: Jim Epler
  • Patent number: 9550398
    Abstract: A fifth wheel latching assembly is provided having first and second locking assemblies. The first locking assembly includes first and second jaw members, which are movable between open and locked configurations. In the locked configurations, at least one of the first and second jaw members locks a kingpin in place for towing. The second locking assembly includes a latch element which is movable between open and locked positions. In its closed position, the latch element locks a kingpin in place for towing. The first and second locking assemblies independently lock the kingpin in place. Kingpin insertion causes automatic locking of the first and second locking assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: Dethmers Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Jason J. Kraai
  • Patent number: 9493156
    Abstract: A method and a device are provided for stabilizing a vehicle combination made up of a tractor vehicle and a trailer in case of fishtailing motions, in which—the presence of a fishtailing motion of the tractor vehicle is detected,—after the exceeding of a first threshold value by the amplitude of an oscillating fishtailing variable characterizing the fishtailing motion, a driver-independent steering intervention in the steering actuator system of the tractor vehicle takes place and—after the exceeding of a second threshold value by the amplitude of the fishtailing variable, a driver-independent braking intervention in the brake actuator system of the tractor vehicle takes place,—the second threshold value being selected to be greater than the first threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Thomas Haeussler, Benjamin Baust, Markus Beisswenger
  • Patent number: 9428884
    Abstract: An controller uses one of several transfer curves to map steering angle of an articulated machine to articulation angle. Because an articulated machine may have a range of steering angles that is much greater than the range of articulation angles, the controller uses one of several techniques to map the full range of steering angles to the full range of articulation angles. One technique involves multiple non-zero slope regions, another technique uses a less than one-to-one linear transfer function of steering angle to articulation angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Amit Sharma, Steven C. Budde, Curtis Maas, Matt I. Moul
  • Patent number: 9150062
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an articulated chassis system of large articulated vehicle, which comprises a front beam, a spherical hinge connecting structure, a front frame, a turnplate bearing, a rear frame, a rear beam and a turning angle sensing means, the front beam is connected with the front frame through the spherical hinge connecting structure, the turnplate bearing comprises an inner ring and an outer ring, the front frame is connected fixedly with the outer ring/the inner ring, the rear frame is connected fixedly with the inner ring/the outer ring, the inner ring and the outer ring can rotate relatively, the rear frame is connected with the rear beam, the turning angle sensing means is arranged between the inner ring/the outer ring and the front frame/the rear frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Inventor: Yun Hao
  • Patent number: 9126480
    Abstract: An electronic traction optimization system includes a control unit adapted to produce a corner speed estimate signal for each wheel of a machine, produce an ideal target speed signal for each wheel having a value at least partially responsive to the corner speed estimate signals, produces a practical target speed signal for each wheel, generates an actual target speed signal having a value responsive to a comparison of the ideal target speed signal and the practical target speed signal for each wheel. The control unit compares each actual target speed signal to an associated wheel speed signal to obtain a wheel speed error signal for each wheel and converts each wheel speed error signal to a clutch control signal, wherein each differential clutch actuator is responsive to an associated clutch control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Gerry O. McCann, Yun Liu, Keith F. Harvey
  • Patent number: 9043105
    Abstract: There is provided a behavior control device for the prevention of a jackknife phenomenon of a combination vehicle including a tractor and a trailer pivotably coupled with the tractor, taking into account that the relative pivoting action of the trailer and tractor varies according to the magnitudes of a vehicle speed or a deceleration. The inventive behavior control device comprises a braking-driving force control portion which controls a braking-driving force of the tractor or the trailer to reduce a difference between a yaw rate of the tractor and a yaw rate of the trailer and a judgment portion which judges whether or not a braking-driving force control of the tractor or the trailer by the braking-driving force control portion is necessary; wherein the judgment portion changes based on a vehicle speed or a deceleration of the vehicle the judgment of whether or not the braking-driving force control is necessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Rio Suda
  • Patent number: 9027949
    Abstract: A tractor-trailer vehicle system and method comprising a safety sensor disposed on a fifth wheel assembly to indicate an unlocked position of the fifth wheel assembly. The safety sensor is configured to transmit a signal, either hard wired or wireless, to a valve controller which maintains a valve in the brake line to a trailer parking brake in a closed position based on the unlocked position of the fifth wheel. When the fifth wheel locking mechanism is in an unlocked position, the valve is maintained in a “no go” closed position so that the trailer parking brake remains engaged. The methods include steps to both operate the system and to assemble the fifth wheel safety system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Inventor: Edward P. Reimer
  • Patent number: 9010794
    Abstract: A trailer safety device is provided having two attachment legs that are mounted to frame rails of a towing vehicle. The attachment legs are mounted behind a hitch using U-bolts. The legs continue rearward of the vehicle and meet to form a catch. Failure of the hitch causes a trailer kingpin to become disengaged from the towing vehicle and travel rearward. Rearward travel of the trailer will cause the kingpin to become ensnared on the catch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Integrity Innovations Group, LLC
    Inventor: Paul W Shirk, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8997918
    Abstract: The invention relates to protective device for an articulated vehicle (1) comprising at least a first and second vehicle portion (4, 6); a control gear (8) connected to the respective vehicle portion (4, 6); and an actuating member (16) for, via the control gear (8), changing the relative position of the vehicle portions (4, 6) in relation to one another. The protective device (2) comprises at least one stiffening means (22), which fixes the position of each respective vehicle portion (4, 6) in relation to one another whenever the acceleration and/or speed of at least one of the vehicle portions (4, 6) exceeds a predetermined limit value. The invention also relates to a method for controlling a stiffening means of such a protective device (2) for an articulated vehicle (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: BAE Systems Hägglunds Aktiebolag
    Inventor: Björn Nordberg
  • Patent number: 8960703
    Abstract: A trailer safety assembly for preventing the trailer from jack-knifing includes an actuator coupled to the trailer. The actuator is positioned proximate a king pin on the trailer. A pin is operationally coupled to said actuator. The pin selectively engages a fifth wheel on a vehicle if the trailer begins to jack-knife. An undesired motion of the trailer is restricted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Inventor: Roy A. Hansen
  • Publication number: 20150008656
    Abstract: A safety device for use with a fifth wheel trailer hitch. The safety device is mounted to a first and second rail, these rails secure both the fifth wheel hitch and the safety device to the frame of a vehicle. The safety device is generally U-shaped and extends rearwardly of the fifth wheel hitch to a catch. The catch is defined as the base of the “U” and serves to catch the king pin of a trailer in case the king pin is loosed from the fifth wheel hitch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2012
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Applicant: INTEGRITY INNOVATIONS GROUP, LLC
    Inventor: Paul W. Shirk, JR.
  • Patent number: 8917170
    Abstract: Apparatus for measuring the articulation angle between a tractor and trailer connected by a kingpin and fifth wheel include a transfer assembly associated with the kingpin and interacting with the fifth wheel such that the transfer assembly is rotationally moved relative to the kingpin by relative rotational movement between the kingpin and the fifth wheel. This rotational movement is read by an articulation sensing mechanism having one of a reader element and output element mounted to the transfer assembly and the other of the reader element and the output element operatively mounted to the trailer such that the reader element and the output element interact to provide a signal corresponding to the articulation angle between the tractor and trailer. This signal can be analyzed by a processor for any beneficial use, for example, outputting to a counter steering mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: Santo A. Padula
  • Publication number: 20140331471
    Abstract: The disclosed apparatus, systems and methods relate to a safety chain tool for use with gooseneck trailers. Various embodiments of the tool allow the user to remotely affix the safety chains of a gooseneck trailer, and are configured so as to be left in the bed of the truck during transport so as to allow for easy removal of the chains. In certain implementations, the tool comprises an elongate shaft with a handle at one end and a coupling mechanism at the other, wherein the coupling mechanism is fixedly attached to a chain and a clasp. In certain embodiments, the shaft contains a operational mechanism configured to actuate the clasp. In certain embodiments, this actuation is achieved by extending the ends of the shaft relative to one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2014
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Applicant: JMW Enterprises, LLC
    Inventors: James Jury, Craig Witting, Jerry McCarty
  • Publication number: 20140300081
    Abstract: A trailer safety device is provided having two attachment legs that are mounted to frame rails of a towing vehicle. The attachment legs are mounted behind a hitch using U-bolts. The legs continue rearward of the vehicle and meet to form a catch. Failure of the hitch causes a trailer kingpin to become disengaged from the towing vehicle and travel rearward. Rearward travel of the trailer will cause the kingpin to become ensnared on the catch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2014
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Applicant: INTEGRITY INNOVATIONS GROUP, LLC
    Inventor: PAUL W SHIRK, JR.
  • Patent number: 8814197
    Abstract: According to the present invention, a fifth wheel hitch assembly includes a support bracket adapted to operably couple with a vehicle frame. The hitch assembly also has a hitch plate that includes a throat adapted to receive a kingpin of a trailer and a rear portion. The hitch plate is pivotably coupled with the support bracket and is pivotable between a first position and a second position. Further, the hitch assembly has a limiter linkage that includes a first end pivotably coupled with the rear portion. A second end of the limiter linkage is movable between a stowed and a deployed position. In the stowed position the second end is spaced from the vehicle frame. In the deployed position the second end of the limiter linkage is detachably coupled with the vehicle frame, thereby limiting movement of the hitch plate between the first and second positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: SAF-Holland, Inc.
    Inventor: Justin Keatley
  • Patent number: 8793035
    Abstract: A vehicle and vehicle system are provided with a controller that is configured to generate output indicative of a vehicle mass estimation. The vehicle mass estimation is based on a longitudinal acceleration and a wheel torque when at least one of the longitudinal acceleration, a vehicle speed and a yaw rate indicate an occurrence of a qualified event. The controller is further configured to generate output indicative of a dynamic road gradient estimation based on the vehicle speed, the wheel torque and the vehicle mass estimation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Hai Yu, Matthew Alan Boesch, Ryan Abraham McGee
  • Patent number: 8708112
    Abstract: An inertial braking system for a trailer has an elongated casing member defining an axis along its elongated length, and having an opening at one end of the elongated length. A movable plate housed within the casing and including at least one opening adapted to allow light to pass therethrough. A piston member including a pad member at a distal end thereof and placed inside of the one end of the casing member with the pad member facing outwards from the interior of the casing member and adapted to move along the axis, and rigidly connected at an opposite end to an adjacent end of the movable plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Inventor: Eric Maisonneuve
  • Patent number: 8701842
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to trailer and towing safety devices, and more particularly, but not necessarily entirely, to trailer automatic braking devices that initiate braking when a trailer becomes separated from its tow vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Progress Mfg. Inc.
    Inventor: Jed Anderson
  • Patent number: 8662521
    Abstract: Upper coupler assemblies for mounting coupling devices to trailers, and methods for inspecting upper coupler assemblies. The upper coupler assemblies include a housing having first and second members that define a cavity therebetween. At least the second member has a through-hole adapted to receive a coupling device, such as a kingpin. The cavity contains at least one fluid-tight chamber, more preferably multiple gas-tight and liquid-tight chambers by walls within the cavity. The coupler assembly has at least one fluid inlet for introducing and/or withdrawing a fluid (liquid and/or gas) from one or more of the chambers. The integrity of the upper coupler assembly can be evaluated by introducing or removing a gas from the one or more chambers and detecting the presence of any gas leaks in the one or more chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Inventor: Elvin Lloyd Knollman
  • Patent number: 8511702
    Abstract: The anti jackknife system has locking mechanisms which automatically lock caster type wheels at the rear of a trailer in a fixed position in the direction parallel to the longitudinal centerline of the trailer and to the line of direction of travel of the tow vehicle pulling the trailer forward. In this forward configuration the tongue of the trailer freely rotates on a trailer hitch insert. In a back up configuration a locking mechanism automatically locks the trailer tongue into linear alignment with the trailer hitch insert. The caster type wheels rotate freely about a vertical axis, and when the trailer is backed up by the tow vehicle the trailer will stay in linear alignment with the tow vehicle. The caster type wheels will automatically turn in a direction corresponding to the front wheels of the tow vehicle, thereby completely preventing jackknifing of the trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Inventor: Jeffrey E. Howell
  • Patent number: 8499884
    Abstract: A ring-mount joint between two vehicle units of an articulated bus, with the joint comprising two cantilevers, wherein each cantilever is arranged on one of the vehicle units, with each cantilever comprising a slewing ring, wherein the two slewing rings of the cantilever are mounted in each other so that they can be pivoted, wherein a damping device is provided for damping the rotational motion of the two cantilever relative to each other, wherein in the space enclosed by the inner slewing ring, there is arranged an annular chamber damper, wherein the annular chamber damper comprises two inter-mounted housing parts that are rotatable relative to each other, wherein the one housing part is in connection with the one cantilever and the other housing part is in connection with the other cantilever.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Hübner GmbH
    Inventors: Jens Karasek, Ralf Schulz, Günther Schneider
  • Patent number: 8465042
    Abstract: Upper coupler assemblies for mounting coupling devices to trailers, and methods for inspecting upper coupler assemblies. The upper coupler assemblies include a housing having first and second members that define a cavity therebetween. At least the second member has a through-hole adapted to receive a coupling device, such as a kingpin. The cavity contains at least one fluid-tight chamber, more preferably multiple gas-tight and liquid-tight chambers by walls within the cavity. The coupler assembly has at least one fluid inlet for introducing and/or withdrawing a fluid (liquid and/or gas) from one or more of the chambers. The integrity of the upper coupler assembly can be evaluated by introducing or removing a gas from the one or more chambers and detecting the presence of any gas leaks in the one or more chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Inventor: Elvin Lloyd Knollman
  • Publication number: 20130113181
    Abstract: A securing chain attachment assembly is shown and described. The securing chain attachment assembly may include an attachment body selectively and rotatably securable to a towing vehicle, the attachment body rotatable along a first plane. The securing chain attachment assembly may also include a securement member attached to the attachment body, the securement member capable of having selectively secured thereto a securement chain, where the chain attachment member is pivotal along a second plane, the second plane generally parallel to the first plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2012
    Publication date: May 9, 2013
    Applicant: Cequent Performance Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Cequent Performance Products, Inc.
  • Patent number: 8317216
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a coupling apparatus for the pivoted coupling of a vehicle having two vehicle sections, with coupling elements which are arranged to pivot towards each other, and which can be permanently coupled to a vehicle section. A brake arrangement operates between the coupling elements and forms an adjustable frictional grip between the coupling elements, which blocks the ability of the vehicle sections to pivot toward each other. In addition, the brake apparatus includes a hydraulic cylinder unit which operates on multiple radially acting brake elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: PINTSCH BUBENZER GmbH
    Inventors: Hans-Walter Treude, Andreas Schneider, Markus Topp
  • Patent number: 8297639
    Abstract: A method and to a system for controlling a sliding device for a fifth wheel coupling arranged on a towing vehicle, wherein the sliding device includes a substructure having at least one guide rail oriented in the driving direction, a movable slide, which supports the fifth wheel coupling and engages on the guide rail, and a control unit, to which a motorized drive unit for moving the slide and an actuator for fixing the slide relative to the guide rail are connected. The aim was to provide a method and a control system with which a sufficiently large gap width (W) can be set between the towing vehicle and the trailer in a timely manner. This is achieved, among other things, by a method in which a distance measurement is performed to detect an obstruction in front of the towing vehicle, the signal of the measurement is processed into a control signal in the control unit, and a start-up of the motorized drive unit and/or the actuator is initiated therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Jost-Werke GmbH
    Inventor: José Manuel Algüera Gallego
  • Patent number: 8165770
    Abstract: A system and method of controlling a vehicle with a trailer comprises determining the presence of a trailer, generating an oscillation signal indicative of trailer swaying relative to the vehicle, generating an initial weighted dynamic control signal for a vehicle dynamic control system in response to the oscillation signal, operating at least one vehicle dynamic system according to the dynamic control signal, and thereafter, iteratively generating a penalty function for the weighted dynamic control signal as a function of the oscillation signal response. A neural network with an associated trainer modifies the dynamic control signal as a function of trailer sway response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies
    Inventors: Anya Lynn Getman, Perry Robinson Macneille, Aric David Shaffer
  • Patent number: 8157284
    Abstract: An alignment method and system for connecting a tractor to a steerable trailer includes a connection roller which facilitates the connection by accommodating a variance in fifth wheel to kingpin alignment. The method and system also includes an alignment guide which visually assists the tractor driver in properly aligning the tractor to the interface member of the trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Inventors: James R. McGhie, Robb I. McGhie
  • Patent number: 8146939
    Abstract: A fifth wheel apparatus for detachably coupling a trailing vehicle to a towing vehicle is disclosed. An equalizer bridge is supported on a towing vehicle and is pivotable about a roll axis that extends in a direction of towing motion. The equalizer bridge includes first and second arms that extend laterally from respective first and second sides of the roll axis. A fifth wheel head is coupled to the equalizer bridge for movement therewith about the roll axis. The fifth wheel head is pivotable relative to the equalizer bridge about a pitch axis transverse to the roll axis. First and second damping elements are operably interposed between the towing vehicle and the first and second arms, respectively. When the trailing vehicle is attached to the fifth wheel head, the first and second damping elements resist rolling movement of the trailing vehicle about the roll axis during travel over uneven roads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: Silver Eagle Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Michael Jarvelin
  • Patent number: 8010252
    Abstract: A system and method of controlling a vehicle with a trailer comprises determining the presence of a trailer, generating an oscillation signal indicative of trailer swaying relative to the vehicle, generating an initial weighted dynamic control signal for a vehicle dynamic control system in response to the oscillation signal, operating at least one vehicle dynamic system according to the dynamic control signal, and thereafter, iteratively generating a penalty function for the weighted dynamic control signal as a function of the oscillation signal response. A neural network with an associated trainer modifies the dynamic control signal as a function of trailer sway response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies
    Inventors: Anya Lynn Getman, Perry Robinson Macneille, Aric David Shaffer
  • Publication number: 20110187079
    Abstract: A protective safety cover for fifth wheel pin has a main panel having at least one edge, and an opening adapted to receive the king pin of the trailer therethrough; a perimeter wall extending perpendicularly to the at least one edge of the main panel; and a retainer member connected to the main panel and adapted to securely and removably attach the safety cover to the goose neck of the trailer and around the king pin, to thereby surround the king pin and protect a person from accidentally hitting the king pin.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2010
    Publication date: August 4, 2011
    Inventor: Andre Desmarais
  • Patent number: 7976050
    Abstract: A tensioning device for connecting a trailer to a spring bar of a load-compensating apparatus includes a body unit for securement to a frame member of a trailer; a reel unit having an off-center hub portion with a slot and rotatively secured to the body unit about a pivot axis; a rotation-limiting element which limits rotation of the reel unit to approximately 180° about the pivot axis; a linked chain having a proximal end thereof releasably secured to the slot of the off-center hub portion and a distal end thereof connected to the spring bar of the load-compensating apparatus; a latching element including a biased latch pin; and a lug and removable handle for rotating the reel portion to, and the latching element releasably locks the reel portion in, a chain-tensioned configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: Automatic Equipment Mfg. Co.
    Inventors: Steven Goodman, David Merchant, James Huston, Les Roeber
  • Patent number: 7971894
    Abstract: A device for the active damping of swivel joint couplings, particularly for semi-trailers, articulated buses, and rail vehicles. The device serves to avoid or reduce dynamic driving instabilities known as yaw, sliding, rocking, oversteering, and jack-knife effects in curves, in lane changes, for example in construction sites, in the case of uneven road contact, and in the case of uneven load distribution, for example in semi-trailers. The damping device includes primarily a rotational assembly (5, 12) and a friction brake (9) which is applied front inside to outside within the rotation assembly. The friction brake minimizes or avoids rotational movements of the vehicle about the vertical axis (10) of the vehicle. The damping moment created by the brake (9) is electronically controlled according to the present driving condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: Staude & Company Unternehmensberatung
    Inventor: Rudolf Staude
  • Patent number: 7963547
    Abstract: An articulated vehicle is provided including a stabilization system configured to resist roll-over of a trailer portion of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Eric Richard Anderson
  • Patent number: 7963543
    Abstract: A fully adjustable safety chain assembly comprising at least one trailer mounted safety chain adjusting box, at least one vehicle mounted safety chain adjusting box, and a safety chain having a first free end and a second free end. A slot in each of the at least one trailer mounted safety chain adjusting box and at least one vehicle mounted safety chain adjusting box enables the safety chain first free end and second free end, respectively, to be reversible affixed at a selected position, thereby holding the safety chain at a desired length. A locking mechanism secures the safety chain in place to prevent it from dislodging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Inventor: John Green
  • Patent number: 7925409
    Abstract: A trailer electronic braking system is provided for a road train having a tractor and a plurality of trailers. The braking system includes a braking ECU on each trailer and a communication interface being provided so that the braking ECU on a first trailer and the braking ECU on a second trailer are able to communicate with one another. In use, the respective braking ECU on the first and second trailer receive an input from a respective sensor on the first and second trailer adapted to detect lateral acceleration and/or wheel speed. In the event that one of the sensors detects lateral acceleration and/or a wheel speed indicative of a loss of stability, the sensor generates a signal for actuating stability control, which signal is passed via the communication interface to the braking ECU on the other trailer, so that the other trailer can actuate stability control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: KNORR-BREMSE Systeme fuer Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH
    Inventors: Matthew Fry, Martin Mederer, Kornel Straub, Valer Merza, Gergely Szabo
  • Patent number: 7905555
    Abstract: A yaw control system capable of detecting a predetermined yaw angle of a towed vehicle and then automatically communicating with a braking system of the towed vehicle includes an actuator and a switch. The actuator and switch operate to detect when a towed vehicle, such as a trailer, has exceeded a predetermined yaw angle. In one embodiment, the yaw control system includes a switch arranged to contact a surface of a plate (i.e., actuator) when the towed vehicle exceeds the predetermined yaw angle. In another embodiment, the yaw control system includes a switch mechanism arranged to contact retractable rods (i.e., actuator) coupled to a hitch assembly when the towed vehicle exceeds the predetermined yaw angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Global Polymer Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd M. Huntimer
  • Patent number: RE44948
    Abstract: A tensioning device for connecting a trailer to a spring bar of a load-compensating apparatus includes a body unit for securement to a frame member of a trailer; a reel unit having an off-center hub portion with a slot and rotatively secured to the body unit about a pivot axis; a rotation-limiting element which limits rotation of the reel unit to approximately 180° about the pivot axis; a linked chain having a proximal end thereof releasably secured to the slot of the off-center hub portion and a distal end thereof connected to the spring bar of the load-compensating apparatus; a latching element including a biased latch pin; and a lug and removable handle for rotating the reel portion to, and the latching element releasably locks the reel portion in, a chain-tensioned configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Automatic Equipment Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Steven Goodman, David Merchant, James Huston, Leslie Roeber