Selectively Rigid Or Flexible Patents (Class 280/474)
  • Patent number: 10300783
    Abstract: The invention relates to a vehicle including a chassis and a pair of wheels supported in spaced apart relationship by the chassis for rotation about a common axis. A pair of drive modules is associated with the respective wheels. The drive modules and the chassis are connected for rotation as a sub-assembly relative to the wheels about the common axis with the centre of mass of the sub-assembly below the common axis in a static equilibrium position. Each of the drive modules is housed substantially within the respective wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
    Inventors: Mark Calleija, Salah Sukkarieh
  • Patent number: 9156495
    Abstract: A driving support device for a first trailer coupling vehicle including a first trailer and a first towing vehicle includes: a leading vehicle driving status obtaining device for obtaining a driving status of a second trailer coupling vehicle; a first towing vehicle driving status obtaining device for successively obtaining a driving status of the first towing vehicle; a first trailer driving status obtaining device for successively obtaining a driving status of the first trailer; and a support device for supporting a driver of the first trailer coupling vehicle so as to bring the driving status of the first towing vehicle and the driving status of the first trailer closer to the driving status of a second towing vehicle and the driving status of a second trailer, respectively, when the first trailer coupling vehicle changes in direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Takahisa Yamashiro
  • 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: 8950774
    Abstract: A frame locking bar is supported pivotably with respect to a rear body. The frame locking bar is constructed to be able to lock an articulated structure by fixing a front body and the rear body to each other to thereby prevent swing thereof. A fixing mechanism is constructed to be able to position this frame locking bar at a prescribed pivoted position in a cantilevered state. At the positioned prescribed pivoted position, when viewed from above, a foot mount is located outside a side surface of a driver's compartment. Thus, a wheel loader capable of locking an articulated mechanism and allowing easy and highly safe services at a high position is obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: Komatsu Ltd.
    Inventors: Nobuo Ushikubo, Nobumasa Takamatsu, Yasuhiro Yamane
  • Publication number: 20140210183
    Abstract: Stabilizer for a lower link of a three-point hitch of a tractor, comprising a first stabilizer member and a second stabilizer member connected to the first stabilizer member by a spring mechanism which allows a longitudinal movement between the stabilizer members, wherein the overall length of the stabilizer is adjustable by rotating the stabilizer members against each other. Furthermore, a blocking means is connected to the first stabilizer member, wherein the blocking means can be moved into a closed position in which a longitudinal movement between the stabilizer members is restricted. The first stabilizer member comprises a rotation-symmetric locking collar which engages the blocking means in the closed position such in that a longitudinal movement between the stabilizer members is disabled, wherein a rotation between the stabilizer members is lockable by a safety means, wherein the safety means comprises a spring clip engaging a recess formed in the circumference of the locking collar.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2012
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Inventors: Martin Heitlinger, Hans Sauermann
  • Patent number: 8678422
    Abstract: An adjustable hitch device for coupling a towing vehicle to a towed implement or trailer is adapted for changing the coupling angle between the vehicle and the implement and also for changing the elevation angle of the implement. An elongated, rigid link is pivotally coupled at a first end to a hitch mechanism coupled to the vehicle and at a second, opposed end to a forward portion of the implement. An intermediate portion of the link is pivotally coupled to one end of a hydraulic cylinder, while a second, opposed end of the hydraulic cylinder is coupled to a forward portion of the implement. Extension of the cylinder lowers the implement's forward portion and raises its aft portion, while retraction of the cylinder has an opposite effect. In this manner, the height of the implement may be increased for use in operation or may be lowered for transport or storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: KSi Conveyors, Inc.
    Inventors: Terry N. Kaeb, Steven R. Walder
  • Patent number: 8556286
    Abstract: A crash attenuator includes a crash cushion having a front end, a rear end, and a trailer hitch component disposed adjacent the front end. The trailer hitch component is capable of being secured to a mating hitch component located on a towing vehicle, such that the hitch components are capable of being rotated relative to each other about a substantially vertical axis. The crash attenuator further includes at least one wheel supporting the crash cushion. The wheel is rotatable about a substantially horizontal axis and is spaced rearwardly from the hitch component. A pair of tethers are positioned on opposite sides of the hitch component and are moveable relative to one or more retraction mechanisms connected to the crash cushion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Bret Eckert, Michael J. Buehler, James B. Welch
  • 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: 8388012
    Abstract: A crash attenuator includes a crash cushion having a front end, a rear end, and a trailer hitch component disposed adjacent the front end. The trailer hitch component is capable of being secured to a mating hitch component located on the towing vehicle, such that hitch components are capable of being rotated relative to each other about a substantially vertical axis. The crash attenuator further includes at least one wheel supporting the crash cushion. The wheel is rotatable about a substantially horizontal axis and is spaced rearwardly from hitch component. One or more tethers are positioned on opposite sides of the hitch component and are moveable relative to one or more guides connected to the crash cushion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Buehler, Bret Eckert, James B. Welch
  • Patent number: 8333401
    Abstract: A dual chassis with multi-directional transmission includes a front chassis and a rear chassis that can be united to function as a traditional unitary chassis or can be separated to become two independently, but connected, chassis that can traverse uneven terrain during ground movement. The multi-directional transmission serves to increase the distance between the two chassis and enable them to travel at differing vertical and horizontal angles with respect to the surface of the earth. As part of the multi-directional transmission, a central multi-directional mechanism connects a medial portion of said front chassis to a medial portion of said rear chassis to selectively allow for the independent horizontal and vertical movement of said front and rear chassis when traversing uneven terrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: Lares Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Francisco Javier Lares
  • Patent number: 8272662
    Abstract: The present application describes a gooseneck coupler assembly that may include a gooseneck trailer pivot, an extension arm, and a pivot retention mechanism having a ball socket. The ball socket may engage with a hitch ball located on a towing vehicle. The gooseneck trailer pivot may be mounted on a towed vehicle or trailer and be capable of pivoting about a vertical axis relative to the trailer. During engagement, the ball socket and the extension arm may provide tilt capability but thereby prevent any rotational movement relative to the hitch ball. However, the gooseneck coupler assembly may still be able to tilt fore-and-aft or side-to-side relative to the hitch ball. Therefore, the only pivotal movement relative to a vertical axis would be permitted at the gooseneck trailer pivot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Cequent Towing Products
    Inventors: Richard W. McCoy, Paul Caruso, David Tallieu
  • Patent number: 8271164
    Abstract: The invention provides a guidance system for guiding a towed agricultural implement such as seeders, planters, sprayers and the like, along a preferred path between rows of growing crop or standing stubble by sensing the rows of growing crop or standing stubble with a uniquely designed paddle-like sensor means which does not engage the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: One Pass Implements Inc.
    Inventors: Barry K. Melanson, Bruce W. Wilton, David R. Duke, Ross L. Filpula, Patrick M. Beaujot
  • Patent number: 8225895
    Abstract: A robotic vehicle having two or more tracked mobility platforms that are mechanically linked together with a two-dimensional coupling, thereby forming a composite vehicle of increased mobility. The robotic vehicle is operative in hazardous environments and can be capable of semi-submersible operation. The robotic vehicle is capable of remote controlled operation via radio frequency and/or fiber optic communication link to a remote operator control unit. The tracks have a plurality of track-edge scallop cut-outs that allow the tracks to easily grab onto and roll across railroad tracks, especially when crossing the railroad tracks at an oblique angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Sandia Corporation
    Inventors: Jonathan R. Salton, James H. Buttz, Justin Garretson, David R. Hayward, Clinton G. Hobart, Jamieson K. Deuel, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20120146313
    Abstract: A crash attenuator includes a crash cushion having a front end, a rear end, and a trailer hitch component disposed adjacent the front end. The trailer hitch component is capable of being secured to a mating hitch component located on the towing vehicle, such that hitch components are capable of being rotated relative to each other about a substantially vertical axis. The crash attenuator further includes at least one wheel supporting the crash cushion. The wheel is rotatable about a substantially horizontal axis and is spaced rearwardly from hitch component. One or more tethers are positioned on opposite sides of the hitch component and are moveable relative to one or more guides connected to the crash cushion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2012
    Publication date: June 14, 2012
    Inventors: Michael J. BUEHLER, Bret ECKERT, James B. WELCH
  • Patent number: 8136830
    Abstract: A crash attenuator includes a crash cushion having a front end and a rear end, and a restraint element disposed adjacent the front end and capable of being coupled to a towing vehicle. The crash attenuator further includes at least one wheel supporting the crash cushion. The restraint element is operable between at least an impact condition and a non-impact condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Buehler, Bret Eckert, James B. Welch
  • Patent number: 8011684
    Abstract: The invention relates to a trailer towing-control apparatus comprising a towing means connectable between a trailer and a towing vehicle; the towing means having a first connection means at its operative forward end pivotably connectable to a towing vehicle and a second connection means pivotably connectable to the trailer on the other side of the axis of the trailer relative to the first connection means; and a restraint means to selectively allow for articulation of the first connection means relative to the towing vehicle or to prevent articulation of the towing means relative to the towing vehicle in a horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Inventor: John Walton Abel
  • Patent number: 7997608
    Abstract: An extension coupling for interconnecting a trailer to a tow hitch carried on a tow vehicle includes an elongated arm having a first end and a second end. The first end is pivotally connected to the trailer. A king pin is connected to the second end. The king pin includes a projecting stop that engages the tow hitch to strictly limit pivoting movement of the elongated arm relative to the tow hitch. In one possible embodiment, the elongated arm is a pin box assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: Cequent Performance Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert F. Mater, Jr., Gomer B. Jones
  • Patent number: 7976051
    Abstract: An alignment guide and remotely operated latch mechanism for use in coupling a towing dolly of a two trailer rig, the towing dolly being connected to a first trailer of the two trailer rig and used to pull a second trailer of the two trailer rig behind the first trailer, the alignment guide facilitating coaxial alignment of the towing dolly with the first trailer by pulling the first trailer and towing dolly forward with a tractor, and the alignment guide further facilitating the coaxially aligned first trailer and towing dolly to be backed up together for hitching the towing dolly to the second trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Inventors: Michael A. Laster, Glenn Hart
  • Patent number: 7946606
    Abstract: A backup device for limiting the rotation of converter dollies about a trailer hitch is presented. A dolly mounted, laterally extending moveable bar is selectively pressed against the vertical members of the trailer's underride guard in order to prevent rotation of the dolly relative to the trailer. The bar is retracted from the trailer to allow significant rotation of the dolly during normal forward operation. The backup device is operable with many makes and models of trailers because the laterally extending bar provides a large area that the trailer underride guard may contact. In addition to being operable with many models of trailers, the present invention does not require specific features to be added onto a trailer pulling the converter dolly. Additionally, the large contact area of the laterally extending bar allows the device to function with dollies that are significantly rotated about a trailer hitch. The backup device is also robust, aerodynamic, and self contained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignee: Vanguard National Trailer Corp.
    Inventor: Mark A Roush
  • Publication number: 20110089668
    Abstract: A crash attenuator includes a crash cushion having a front end and a rear end, and a restraint element disposed adjacent the front end and capable of being coupled to a towing vehicle. The crash attenuator further includes at least one wheel supporting the crash cushion. The restraint element is operable between at least an impact condition and a non-impact condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2010
    Publication date: April 21, 2011
    Inventors: Michael J. Buehler, Bret Eckert, James B. Welch
  • Patent number: 7874572
    Abstract: A crash attenuator includes a crash cushion having a front end, a rear end, and a trailer hitch component disposed adjacent the front end. The trailer hitch component is capable of being secured to a mating hitch component located on the towing vehicle, such that hitch components are capable of being rotated relative to each other about a substantially vertical axis. The crash attenuator further includes at least one wheel supporting the crash cushion. The wheel is rotatable about a substantially horizontal axis and is spaced rearwardly from the substantially vertical axis. The crash attenuator further includes at least one restraint element operable between at least a disengaged condition, wherein the crash cushion is capable of rotating about the substantially vertical axis, and an engaged condition, wherein the at least one restraint element constrains rotation of the crash cushion about the substantially vertical axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: Energy Absorption Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Buehler, Bret Eckert, James B. Welch
  • Patent number: 7845668
    Abstract: A dual trailer has a first trailer with a king pin for a tractor and a rear fifth wheel for the king pin of a second trailer. The rear end of the first trailer and the front end of the second trailer is lifted into an empty transport position so that the first and second trailers are supported solely on the tractor and the rearmost axle of the second trailer. The remaining axles are held raised from the ground by the lifting of the trailers and by an individual lifting hook supporting the axle raised relative to the frame. In the empty transport position, the first and second trailers are maintained as a single integral trailer in a directly aligned position. Each axle includes an air bag so that the hook is engaged when the axle is raised relative to the frame by releasing the air from the bag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Inventor: Guy Bergeron
  • Patent number: 7784812
    Abstract: A dual chassis with multi-directional transmission wherein a front chassis and a rear chassis can be united to function as a traditional chassis or separated when traveling over uneven terrain. A multi-directional transmission serves to increase the distance between the two chassis and enable them to travel at differing vertical and horizontal angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Inventor: Francisco Javier Lares
  • Patent number: 7766362
    Abstract: A secondary trailer hitch is provided by the present invention for allowing the lineal, straight, reverse movement of one or more vehicles in tow behind a prime mover. The secondary trailer hitch includes a housing configured for being connected with a first vehicle being towed. The secondary trailer hitch further includes an arm configured for being connected with the housing. The arm is further configured for being secured against a second vehicle when the housing is connected with the first vehicle. The secondary trailer hitch further includes a securing mechanism connected to the arm. The securing mechanism is configured for allowing a user to secure the arm against the second vehicle and is further configured for allowing a user to disconnect the apparatus from between the first vehicle and the second vehicle when the apparatus is under engagement tension from both the first vehicle and the second vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2010
    Assignee: SwitchQuick, LLC
    Inventors: Gregory A. Helton, Steven R. Kunert
  • Patent number: 7712761
    Abstract: An extension coupling for interconnecting a trailer to a tow hitch carried on a tow vehicle includes a pin box assembly having a first end and a second end. The first end is pivotally connected to the trailer. A king pin is connected to the second end. The pin box assembly includes a locking wedge that engages the tow hitch to strictly limit pivoting movement of the pin box assembly relative to the tow hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Cequent Performance Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert F. Mater, Jr., Gomer B. Jones
  • Patent number: 7527279
    Abstract: A trailer hitch assembly is used with a trailer having a plurality of wheels each rotatable about a horizontal axis and a vertical axis. The hitch assembly includes coupling elements on the trailer for fixedly engaging the trailer to a towing vehicle in a horizontal plane parallel to the ground surface during a rearward motion of the vehicle and the trailer and for pivotably linking the trailer to the vehicle in the horizontal plane during a forward motion of the vehicle and the trailer. A locking mechanism automatically preventing rotation of the wheels about the respective second axes during the forward motion of the trailer and the vehicle and for enabling rotation of the wheels about the respective second axes during the rearward motion of the trailer and the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Inventor: Vincent C. McCalip
  • Patent number: 7494154
    Abstract: A powered maneuverable and retractable trailer jack adapted for attachment to a tongue of a trailer has an external sleeve, a gear rack on an exterior of the external sleeve, a housing containing at least one gear engaged with the gear rack and operative to move the external sleeve relative to the housing, the housing including a mount configured for attachment to the tongue of a trailer whereby the external sleeve is laterally offset relative to the tongue of a trailer, an internal rod within the external sleeve, the internal rod extending through a wheel fork at a lower distal end of the internal rod and the external sleeve and attached to a drive gear which is engaged with a shaft gear upon a drive shaft rotationally mounted in the wheel fork, and a drive sprocket attached to the drive shaft, a wheel mounted upon an axle rotationally mounted within the wheel fork, and a wheel sprocket attached to the axle proximate to the wheel, and a chain which extends continuously from the wheel sprocket to the drive sp
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Inventors: Robert E. Richards, Mark J. Quintile
  • Patent number: 7464955
    Abstract: Method and arrangement including a vehicle having a first and a second vehicle section connected to an articulation that allows rotation about a vehicle longitudinal axis of the vehicle. A positioning arrangement is included that has at least one adjusting device in which the positioning arrangement includes operation by at least one adjusting device in order to rotate the first and second vehicle sections into a predefined basic position in relation to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Assignee: Volvo Construction Equipment AB
    Inventors: Jörgen Ahlberg, Ivar Aaboen, Rickard Nilsson, Lena Larsson
  • Patent number: 7044493
    Abstract: The invention is a tow bar assembly used for towing trailers with vehicles. The tow bar assembly is located between the vehicle and the hitch assembly, such as a ball mount hitch assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Inventor: Paul Wilson
  • Patent number: 7032918
    Abstract: A method for stabilizing an articulated vehicle, which articulated vehicle comprises at least a front frame structure and a rear frame structure, and a frame joint structure, which is arranged to couple the frame structures to each other and to allow them to rotate both in relation to each other, away from the normal position, as well as at the same time around an axis, which is substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction of the articulated vehicle. In the method a supporting force is maintained, which force affects between the frame structures and resists the rotation of the frame structures away from normal position, and the maximum of said supporting force is controlled in such a manner that it is dependent on the difference of rotations at least when said difference is increasing and at least when said difference is static.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: John Deere Forestry Oy
    Inventors: Into Saarinen, Veli-Matti Jortikka, Mikko Rahja
  • Patent number: 6991246
    Abstract: A trailer hitch assembly is used with a trailer having a plurality of wheels each rotatable about a horizontal axis and a vertical axis. The hitch assembly includes coupling elements on the trailer for fixedly engaging the trailer to a towing vehicle in a horizontal plane parallel to the ground surface during a rearward motion of the vehicle and the trailer and for pivotably linking the trailer to the vehicle in the horizontal plane during a forward motion of the vehicle and the trailer. A locking mechanism automatically preventing rotation of the wheels about the respective second axes during the forward motion of the trailer and the vehicle and for enabling rotation of the wheels about the respective second axes during the rearward motion of the trailer and the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2006
    Inventor: Vincent C. McCalip
  • Patent number: 6866284
    Abstract: Impact attenuating device for vehicles with frame side members. The attenuator includes an attenuating part, wheels and a connecting part which connects the device to the vehicle either in an operating position or in a transport position. To be able to transport the attenuator between different roadwork areas easily and in a manner safe for traffic, the impact attenuating device is connected like a trailer to the vehicle when in the transport position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: Vägverket
    Inventor: Arne Carlsson
  • Publication number: 20040212174
    Abstract: Method and arrangement including a vehicle having a first and a second vehicle section connected to an articulation that allows rotation about a vehicle longitudinal axis of the vehicle. A positioning arrangement is included that has at least one adjusting device in which the positioning arrangement includes operation by at least one adjusting device in order to rotate the first and second vehicle sections into a predefined basic position in relation to one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2003
    Publication date: October 28, 2004
    Applicant: VOLVO ARTICULATED HAULERS AB
    Inventors: Jorgen Ahlberg, Ivar Aaboen, Rickard Nilsson, Lena Larsson
  • Patent number: 6749213
    Abstract: A vehicle drawbar support assembly for supporting a drawbar pivotally coupled to a frame of the vehicle includes a drawbar support attached to the frame. The support engages and supports an end of the drawbar. A pair of bushing members are mounted to the support on opposite sides of the drawbar. The bushing members are engageable with the drawbar to limit sideways movement of the drawbar. Each bushing has a multiple-sided outer surface, and each bushing has a bore extending therethrough along a bore axis which is offset from a central axis of the bushing. Each bushing is rotatable about the bore axis so that different selected sides are engageable with the drawbar. A pin couples each bushing to the support and is received by the bore of the respective bushing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Michael Dean Kollath, Peter Alan Kosmicki
  • Patent number: 6712380
    Abstract: A trailer, comprising a trailer coupler portion, a trailer frame attached to the trailer coupler portion, and at least one caster wheel attached to the trailer frame. The trailer coupler portion comprises a trailer hitch including a proximal hitch portion, a distal hitch portion, a hinge link connecting the proximal hitch portion to the distal hitch portion, and a hitch locking mechanism adapted for locking the distal hitch portion in position with respect to the proximal hitch portion. The caster wheel(s) include a spindle attached to and adapted for swiveling with respect to the trailer frame. The trailer may further include a caster locking system adapted for preventing the spindle from swiveling with respect to the trailer frame. The caster locking system includes a drum attached to the spindle of the caster wheel(s) and further includes a hitch pin lock having a body and a pin. The drum has a pin aperture through which the pin may extend to prevent the spindle from swiveling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Inventor: Dan L. Edens
  • Publication number: 20040056448
    Abstract: A vehicle drawbar support assembly for supporting a drawbar pivotally coupled to a frame of the vehicle includes a drawbar support attached to the frame. The support engages and supports an end of the drawbar. A pair of bushing members are mounted to the support on opposite sides of the drawbar. The bushing members are engageable with the drawbar to limit sideways movement of the drawbar. Each bushing has a multiple-sided outer surface, and each bushing has a bore extending therethrough along a bore axis which is offset from a central axis of the bushing. Each bushing is rotatable about the bore axis so that different selected sides are engageable with the drawbar. A pin couples each bushing to the support and is received by the bore of the respective bushing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2002
    Publication date: March 25, 2004
    Applicant: Deer & Company, a Delaware corporation
    Inventors: Michael Dean Kollath, Peter Alan Kosmicki
  • Patent number: 6591918
    Abstract: A draft link of an agricultural tractor three-point hitch has a recessed pocket on the inside surface thereof. The recessed pocket has a convex back wall surface with a center of curvature. A bumper is disposed in the pocket and has a concave inner surface complementary to the convex back wall surface of the pocket. The convex outer surface of the bumper is eccentric to the convex back wall surface of the pocket resulting in a wedge shaped bumper. The bumper is rotatable in the pocket about the center of curvature. The position of the bumper in the pocket determines the extent to which the eccentric outer surface projects from the pocket. This projection determines the amount of lateral sway of the draft link.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventors: Jan J. Wojewodzki, Edwin Roy Kreis
  • Patent number: 6523629
    Abstract: A robotic vehicle system for terrain navigation mobility provides a way to climb stairs, cross crevices, and navigate across difficult terrain by coupling two or more mobile robots with a coupling device and controlling the robots cooperatively in tandem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Sandia Corporation
    Inventors: James H. Buttz, David L. Shirey, David R. Hayward
  • Patent number: 6488306
    Abstract: A coupling device for connecting a first mobility platform to a second mobility platform in tandem. An example mobility platform is a robot. The coupling device has a loose link mode for normal steering conditions and a locking position, tight link mode for navigation across difficult terrain and across obstacles, for traversing chasms, and for navigating with a reduced footprint in tight steering conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: Sandia Corporation
    Inventors: David L. Shirey, David R. Hayward, James H. Buttz
  • Patent number: 6443475
    Abstract: A movable drawbar control system for use on a typical tractor and specifically on endless track type tractors. The drawbar control system is hydraulically controlled by the user of the tractor via controls in the cab. The system uses a hydraulic cylinder to operate independently movable bar lock flaps. The design of the invention is such that inward and outward motion of the hydraulic cylinder changes the orientation of the bar lock flaps between an engaged vertical position or a disengaged horizontal position. These flaps are used to lock a drawbar into a center position or allow the drawbar to swivel freely from side to side along a pivot bar. Additionally, the bar lock flaps are biased with springs that place a rotation force on them so that they tend toward an engaged or vertical orientation when the hydraulic cylinder is engaged to move them to this position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Inventor: Clayton F. Fegley
  • Patent number: 6340167
    Abstract: This invention is a trailer-tractor rig coupling that prevents jackknifing. It performs like a standard coupling in all normal cases, but if on icy roads, the semi slips and turns opposite to the steering wheel, the coupling brake locks the semi to the tractor. Then when the semi responds to the front wheels again, the brake releases and operates in a normal way.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Inventor: Joseph J. Boyd
  • Patent number: 6131940
    Abstract: A structure for a collapsible wheelchair is provided in which the casters are each mounted on a four bar linkage pivoted from a cam actuated rotary lock mechanism on the frame of the chair.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventor: Frank W. Arnoth
  • Patent number: 6116631
    Abstract: A trailer hitch assembly for attachment to a vehicle and trailer is provided with a fixed support member attached to the vehicle. A floating hitch member is attached to the trailer. Variable pressure shock absorbers interconnect the hitch and support. Rollers on the support member engage with guide tracks on the floating hitch member to control movement of the assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Easy Rider Incorporated
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Logan, John W. Turner
  • Patent number: 6109814
    Abstract: An implement-positioning apparatus used on an implement-towing vehicle such as a tractor includes a draft arm, a lift link, and a mechanism coupling the arm and the link together. The mechanism selectively permits floating arm movement (and therefore floating implement movement) relative to the link. In the improvement, the mechanism includes a clevis-like attachment member fixed on the link and having two arms, each with a slot extending therealong. A pivot-mounted selection member is coupled to the attachment member by a pin through the slots and moves between a first position engaging the attachment member and a second position away from the attachment member. When the selection member is in the second position, the pin is free to move along the slots and thereby permit the draft arm and the implement coupled thereto to "float" and, within limits set by the length of the slots, seek its own elevation under the urging of external forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Case Corporation
    Inventors: Teresa L. Cox, Bryan J. Garberg, John T. Rasset
  • Patent number: 6098998
    Abstract: A shopping cart has a wheeled base, a frame projecting upwardly from the base, and a basket having a rear end secured to the frame and projecting forwardly from the frame. The basket has a front wall with a pair of leg openings, and a back support member is adjustably mounted in the basket for movement between a first position against the inside of the front wall to close the leg openings, and a second position spaced rearwardly from the front wall to provide a back support for a child seated in the front end of the cart with the child's legs extending through the leg openings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Inventor: V. John Ondrasik
  • Patent number: 6089584
    Abstract: A hand wheeled cart attachment for a "rocker glider" chair or the like with a wooden frame having a foot rest, casters in the front end and large hand wheels in the rear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Inventor: Stanley B. Cobb
  • Patent number: 6022031
    Abstract: A child carriers accessory attachable to a shopping or luggage cart which does not significantly reduce the functionality of the cart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2000
    Assignee: Four D, Incorporated
    Inventors: Mary J. Reiland, Kenneth H. Reiland
  • Patent number: 5988670
    Abstract: A child carrier includes a frame, wheels disposed at the lower portion of the frame, a hand-pushed bar joined to the frame, a seat attachable to the frame by a fore swing arm and a rear swing arm. The fore swing arm and the rear swing arm are hinged respectively to the front and rear of the frame and are capable of swinging the seat. The child carrier further includes a switching device that permits a caregiver to adjust the distance between the lower ends of the fore and rear swing arms so that the seat can swing in a horizontal gliding motion or a pendulum type rocking motion. The carrier can also be used as a common hand-pushed carriage when the seat is fixed. The child carrier further includes an anti-swing latch capable of coupling the frame to the fore swing arm to prevent the seat from moving relative to the frame. The seat is adjustable to provide a forward or rearward facing stroller or carriage seat and is removable from the frame to provide a bassinet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Jiangsu Goodbaby Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Zhenghuan Song, Miao Long Ye, Jing Ming Li
  • Patent number: 5971483
    Abstract: A recreational chair which is adapted to be folded for storage and useful as transport cart is disclosed. The recreational chair has a seat member with mounted arm rests and an axle with spaced apart wheels. The arm rests have a first pair of pivot pins. There is also a back support member with ends pivotally mounted on the axle and it has a second pair of pivot pins spaced from the axle. Rachet members are mounted on the second pivot pins and the rachet members comprise an elongated member with a central channel interconnected to a first opening which is adapted to receive the first set of pins. A second opening spaced from and remote from the channel is adapted to receive the second set of pins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Inventor: Daniel C. Brenneman
  • Patent number: 5882021
    Abstract: A child carriers accessory attachable to a shopping or luggage cart which does not significantly reduce the functionality of the cart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: Four D, Inc.
    Inventors: Mary J. Reiland, Kenneth H. Reiland