Ball And Socket Patents (Class 280/511)
  • Patent number: 10717331
    Abstract: In a measuring device for measuring an articulation angle between a tractor vehicle which has a longitudinal axis, and a trailer which has a longitudinal axis, with a trailer coupling which trailer coupling includes a coupling ball, a ball receptacle which serves to receive the coupling ball, and at least one magnetic sensor it is proposed that the coupling ball have a ball opening, that a magnet be mounted in the ball opening, and that the ball receptacle have a recess, and that the at least one magnetic sensor be mounted in the recess, wherein changes in a magnetic field generated by the magnet are sensed by the magnetic sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: SCHARMÜLLER GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H. & CO. KG
    Inventor: Remo Trachsel
  • Patent number: 10442261
    Abstract: This application provides an improved trailer hitch coupler comprising a trailer tongue having a recessed portion, said recessed portion having a recessed portion front and recessed portion back wall; a moveable base plate inside the tongue recessed portion; a cavity spring positioned in the tongue recessed portion and biasing the base plate toward the recessed portion front; and coupler arms connected to the base plate at a pivot point, whereby the coupler arms rotate around the pivot point to open and closed positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Inventor: Darrin Dahlenburg
  • Patent number: 9802452
    Abstract: A hitch with a force dampening assembly and a kingpin adapter. The hitch includes upper and lower arms coupled via a dampening assembly that includes a resilient member disposed in a passage in the lower arm and an axle coupled to the upper arm and disposed coaxially through the resilient member. Facets or asymmetries on the passage and axle resist rotational movement of the resilient member relative thereto. The resilient member is flexed between the wall of the passage and the axle to enable pivotal movement of the upper arm relative to the lower arm. The kingpin adapter includes a wedge ring disposed on a kingpin and retained thereon by a clamping ring. A housing is coupled to the clamping ring to affix the housing to a trailer and to retain the wedge ring in position. A hitch can be coupled to the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: B & W CUSTOM TRUCK BEDS, INC.
    Inventor: Travis M. McCall
  • Patent number: 9657775
    Abstract: The invention relates to a bearing component, comprising a base body (2) and an opening (3) which is formed in the base body (2) and on which an internal bearing face is formed, the internal bearing face having a diamond coating (4), and the diamond coating (4) having elongate depressions (42) extending substantially in the longitudinal direction (X-X) of the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: EagleBurgmann Germany GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Joachim Otschik, Wolfgang Berger, Michael Rieger, Andreas Pehl
  • Patent number: 9266401
    Abstract: A trailer coupling with a ball support and a coupling ball arranged at a free end of the ball support. A coupling ball holder is fitted onto and can rotate on the coupling ball. A locking element is provided on the coupling ball holder by which the coupling ball holder is secured against being inadvertently removed from the coupling ball. An angle measuring device, provided on the coupling ball, comprises sensors which can detect rotation of the coupling ball holder relative to the coupling ball about a rotation axis. The position of the locking element, relative to the coupling ball, can be determined using the sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Michael Klank, Julian Stratmann, Lutz Pydde, Jens Vortmeyer, Christoph Elbers
  • Patent number: 9248714
    Abstract: An adapter which serves as an anchor point for coupling a trailer to a vehicle. The adapter adapted for mating in the socket of the vehicle. The adapter rotatable between a locked and an unlocked position. The adapter including a locking member which, when rotated, moves a follower partially through an aperture, partially extending into the socket thereby locking the adapter within the socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: Pulliam Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: James M. Karasch, William A. Aske, Randall A. Pulliam
  • Patent number: 9174501
    Abstract: A system is described for detachably securing a housing to a ball hitch (e.g. of the type used in trucks for towing). The system includes a tubular housing for fitting over the ball, and attachment means for detachably securing the housing to the ball. A workpiece can then be secured to the housing, as desired. A preferred attachment means is a pair of opposing lock pins which are movable between retracted and extended positions. When the pins are in the extended position, they secure the housing to the ball hitch. The type of workpieces may vary. For example, the workpiece may be a work table, a vise, a fifth-wheel hitch system, a winch, or an arm for a lift bucket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: Quick-Hitch, Inc.
    Inventor: Dewey R. Marcy
  • Patent number: 9132707
    Abstract: A hitch system for coupling a hitch post to a ball portion employs a control system configured to operate in a service mode and a master mode. The control system operates in the master mode upon entry of a master code. Entry of the master code is not required to operate the control system when the control system is in the service mode. Entry of the master code is required to operate the control system when the control system is in the master mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2015
    Inventor: John Wasem LaPrade
  • Patent number: 9050868
    Abstract: A hitch assembly having a ball stud assembly and a sleeve with an open end dimensioned to receive the ball stud assembly. The ball stud assembly including a ball portion and a locking assembly. The ball stud assembly is movable between an extended position in which the ball portion extends out of the sleeve and a retracted position in which the ball portion is fully received within the sleeve. The locking assembly is configured to selectively lock the ball stud assembly with respect to the sleeve in either the extended position or the retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Midway Products Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Randall T. Schott, Daryl Adams, Johnny H. Allison
  • Publication number: 20150137486
    Abstract: A spherical plain bearing is configured for use within an articulated joint in an articulating vehicle. The spherical plain bearing includes an outer member defining an exterior surface and an interior surface which defines an interior engagement surface, and an inner member is encircled at least partially by the outer member. The inner member has an interior surface defining a bore therethrough, and an exterior surface defining an exterior engagement surface. A radial gap extends between the interior engagement surface and the exterior engagement surface. A lubricant is disposed in the radial gap and a diamond chromium composite matrix hard coating is disposed on the interior engagement surface and the exterior engagement surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Applicant: ROLLER BEARING COMPANY OF AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Bradley Smith, James Voisine
  • Patent number: 9010795
    Abstract: An improved hitch mechanism is provided that includes an elongated shaft for connecting with a ramp or trailer, and a mating member for connecting with a tow ball of a tow hitch. The mating member includes a chamber disposed therein for housing the tow ball in a first position and in a second position. When the tow ball is in the first position in the chamber, the mating member and the elongated shaft are rigid relative to the tow hitch. When the tow ball is in the second position in the chamber, the mating member and the elongated shaft are non-rigid relative to the tow hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Inventor: Teffy R. Chamoun
  • Publication number: 20150102584
    Abstract: An apparatus for attaching either a gooseneck trailer hitch or a fifth wheel trailer hitch to a truck bed can include a single cross-member, a gooseneck ball receiver and a plurality of mounting pads. The single cross-member can be attached to first and second truck longitudinal frame rails. The gooseneck ball receiver can be coupled to the single cross-member and aligned with a gooseneck hitch opening in the truck bed. The plurality of mounting pads can be spaced apart from the single cross-member and can be attached to the frame rails independent of the single cross-member. The plurality of mounting pads can be aligned with a corresponding plurality of access openings in the truck bed. The single cross-member can be a suspension cross-member supporting at least first and second suspension members.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2013
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventors: Carolyn R. Hartleip, Jagan M. Mummadi, James B. Legray, Bryan G. Mrozinski
  • Patent number: 9004523
    Abstract: A tongue weight donut scale includes a tongue weight donut scale body having an upper planar surface, a lower planar surface, and a central opening having an inner diameter, a weight sensor coupled to the tongue weight donut scale body and generating a signal representative of a weight on the tongue weight donut scale, an indicator box converting the signal from the weight sensor into a weight value and providing a weight value output, and a display window displaying the weight value output. The tongue weight donut scale detects the tongue weight of a trailer attached to a trailer hitch ball, when the tongue weight donut scale is installed between the base of the trailer hitch ball and the ball support of a trailer hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Inventor: Roger W. Scharf
  • Patent number: 8979071
    Abstract: A vehicle lift jack is provided. The jack may include: a frame; a lifting arm attached to the frame; a saddle attached to an end of the lifting arm; and a video camera attached to the jack and oriented to capture video footage of an area proximate to the saddle. A method of lifting a vehicle using a jack may be provided. The method may include: positioning the jack under the vehicle; capturing an image of the vehicle; viewing the image; determining the jack is in a desired position with respect to the vehicle; and raising the vehicle with the jack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Bosch Automotive Service Solutions LLC
    Inventors: Darren Schumacher, Dennis Hanson, Robert Kochie
  • Publication number: 20150069737
    Abstract: A ball mount for measuring tongue weight of a trailer is disclosed. The ball mount can comprise a ball portion for interfacing with a ball configured to couple with a tongue of a trailer, a hitch portion for interfacing with a hitch receiver associated with a vehicle, and a load measurement device associated with the hitch portion. The hitch portion can be configured to pivot relative to the hitch receiver about a fulcrum in response to a downward force on the ball, with the hitch receiver resisting rotation of the hitch portion about the fulcrum thereby inducing a load on the hitch portion. The load measurement device can be configured to determine a magnitude of the downward force on the ball based on the load on the hitch portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2014
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Inventor: Kevin McAllister
  • Patent number: 8967654
    Abstract: A trailer hitch is disclosed which eliminates the need for safety chains. The trailer hitch includes a locking device which is selectively pivotally secured to the tongue of a trailer or the hitch ball coupler assembly at the forward end of the tongue or to both the hitch ball coupler assembly and the tongue. The locking device is selectively movable between locked and unlocked positions. When the locking device is in its locked position, the locking device prevents the disconnection of the hitch ball coupler assembly from the hitch ball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Inventor: Gary Riibe
  • Patent number: 8955866
    Abstract: A ball hitch has an actuator substantially disposed in a towing ball member. The actuator includes a pivotable handle, which in the stowed position forms part of the outer profile of the ball, but which can be pivoted upward to be used to rotate a shaft portion of the actuator. As the shaft rotates, it rotates a paddle with a cam surface housed in a support base for the ball hitch, which pushes on two interference balls. In the stowed position, the cam surface maintains the interference balls projecting outward from openings in the support base to secure the ball hitch into the towing vehicle. When the actuator turns the shaft, the cam surface allows the balls to retract into the support base without changing elevation of the shaft and cam surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Curt Manufacturing, LLC
    Inventor: Curtis M. Bowe
  • Patent number: 8939462
    Abstract: A trailer towing device for a tractor vehicle (1) which comprises a coupling ball (11), having a hollow space (21) for coupling a trailer vehicle (2), and a ball support (17) which engages with an end area in the hollow space (21) through an opening (22) provided in the coupling ball (11) and supports the coupling ball (11), such that the end area of the ball support (17) comprises a joint ball (15) on which the coupling ball (11) is fitted and can rotate so that, together with the coupling ball (11), the joint ball forms a ball joint (28).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Dirk Adamczyk, Julian Stratmann, Christoph Elbers
  • Patent number: 8925955
    Abstract: A hitch apparatus includes a an elongated hitch member having a distal free end and an opposite proximal end. The hitch member is configured to be movably secured within a hitch receiver of a vehicle, and movable between retracted and extended positions relative to the hitch receiver. A first locking mechanism is operably secured to the hitch receiver and releasably engages the hitch member to maintain the hitch member in a retracted position. A housing is attached to the hitch member distal end. The housing includes an opening formed through a portion thereof, and a shaft is movably secured within the housing and is axially rotatable within the housing. A second locking mechanism is operably secured to the housing that releasably engages the shaft to prevent rotation of the shaft. An elongated coupler arm extends through the housing opening and is secured to the shaft such that the coupler arm rotates with the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: TeleSwivel, LLC
    Inventor: David Allen Dekarske
  • Publication number: 20140375020
    Abstract: A ball hitch has an actuator substantially disposed in a towing ball member. The actuator includes a pivotable handle, which in the stowed position forms part of the outer profile of the ball, but which can be pivoted upward to be used to rotate a shaft portion of the actuator. As the shaft rotates, it rotates a paddle with a cam surface housed in a support base for the ball hitch, which pushes on two interference balls. In the stowed position, the cam surface maintains the interference balls projecting outward from openings in the support base to secure the ball hitch into the towing vehicle. When the actuator turns the shaft, the cam surface allows the balls to retract into the support base without changing elevation of the shaft and cam surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2013
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventor: Curtis M. Bowe
  • Patent number: 8915515
    Abstract: A gooseneck hitching system is disclosed which couples the gooseneck hitch of a trailer to a hitch ball of a vehicle through the use of a remotely RF controlled linear actuator which also includes a locking receptacle structure mounted on the bed of the vehicle which replaces the conventional safety chain arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: Gary Riibe
  • Patent number: 8915514
    Abstract: A multi-function, anti-rotational, power-sports utility hitch receiver assembly includes a four-sided hollow receiver tube having a forward end configured to attach to a tow vehicle and a rearward end configured to house an attachment of an accessory shank. Aligned apertures are present in the opposing sidewalls between the forward end and the rearward end for securing a hitch accessory shank within the receiver tube by inserting a hitch-pin through apertures. A removable, adjustable tightening bar is attachable to an underside of the hitch receiver tube for maintaining the receiver tube in a stationary position when the receiver tube is installed on a tow vehicle by abutting a surface on the tow vehicle. The assembly further includes a tow loop, e.g., for attaching tow chains, straps, bungee cords, tow hooks and the like to the receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: John R. Columbia
  • Patent number: 8910965
    Abstract: A hitch system comprises a housing, a hitch plate, and an actuator system. The housing is secured to a hitch post, and the housing defines a housing opening and a housing chamber. The hitch plate is rotatably attached to the housing, and the hitch plate defines a first ball opening. The actuator system displaces the hitch plate relative to the housing such that the hitch system operates in an unhitched configuration in which the first ball opening is aligned with the housing opening and a hitched configuration in which the first ball opening is not aligned with the housing opening. A ball portion is inserted into the housing chamber and removed from the housing chamber when the hitch system is in the unhitched configuration. The ball portion is substantially secured within the housing chamber when the hitch system is in the hitched configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Inventor: John Wasem LaPrade
  • Publication number: 20140360282
    Abstract: A magneto elastic sensor having a longitudinally extending shaft like member which is subject to a load, is provided. A magneto-elastically active region is directly or indirectly attached to or forming a part of the member in such a manner that the mechanic stress is transmitted to the active region. A magnetically polarized region of the active region becomes increasingly helically shaped as the application stress increases. A magnetic field sensor means is arranged approximate the at least one magneto elastically region for outputting a signal corresponding to a stress induced magnetic flux emanating from the magnetically polarized region. The magnetic sensor means is configured for determination of a shear stress and/or of a tensile or compressive stress. In particular, the sensor means comprises at least one direction sensitive magnetic field sensor, which is arranged having a predetermined and fixed spatial coordination with the member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2014
    Publication date: December 11, 2014
    Applicant: Methode Electronics Malta Ltd
    Inventor: Johannes GIEßIBL
  • Publication number: 20140327229
    Abstract: A tongue weight donut scale includes a tongue weight donut scale body having an upper planar surface, a lower planar surface, and a central opening having an inner diameter, a weight sensor coupled to the tongue weight donut scale body and generating a signal representative of a weight on the tongue weight donut scale, an indicator box converting the signal from the weight sensor into a weight value and providing a weight value output, and a display window displaying the weight value output. The tongue weight donut scale detects the tongue weight of a trailer attached to a trailer hitch ball, when the tongue weight donut scale is installed between the base of the trailer hitch ball and the ball support of a trailer hitch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2014
    Publication date: November 6, 2014
    Inventor: Roger W. Scharf
  • Patent number: 8876143
    Abstract: A nut member having a groove is used to replace the existing nut that holds a ball mount for a trailer to the mounting location. A sleeve is positioned over the nut member and a locking mechanism in the sleeve is engaged so that a locking arm is positioned within the groove of the nut member thereby inhibiting removal of the sleeve when the lock is engaged. Access to the nut member is inhibited by being enclosed by the sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Inventor: Craig Hicks
  • Patent number: 8864165
    Abstract: A receiver assembly that attaches to a vehicles step-bumper, drop-center bumper, or other structurally sound mounting surface and provides at least an elongated horizontal box receiver to support cargo carriers, cargo carrier accessories, or other tow-hitch receiver accessories and leaves the vehicles frame mounted tow-hitch receiver available for trailer towing or additional tow-hitch receiver accessories, and in addition the receiver assembly provides at least one cargo anchor point to secure cargo, cargo carriers, cargo carrier accessories, or other tow-hitch receiver accessories.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Inventor: Daniel Alan Thomas
  • Patent number: 8844962
    Abstract: The hitch step assembly has a platform securable to a hitch bar and pivotable from a storage position to a stepping position with respect to the hitch bar. The platform is preferably substantially planar and parallel to the length of the hitch bar at the stepping position. The platform is pivotable to the storage position that exposes a ball mount assembly connected to the hitch bar. Walls extending downward from the platform to substantially enclose the ball mount assembly and prevent its exposure as a trip hazard during use of the hitch step. A locking pin is provided that maintains the platform at the storage position or the stepping position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Cequent Consumer Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Francis Bernart
  • Patent number: 8840130
    Abstract: The maximum security/maximum versatility ball mount assembly provides an assembly for securing a ball mount or other accessory shank to a receiver hitch on automotive vehicles, tractors, ATVs, and other vehicles equipped with a receiver-type hitch. As the shank of a hitch accessory or implement is inserted into a receiver, dual retractable hitch pins automatically engage the receiver when the pins align with the two hitch-pin apertures in the receiver tube, thereby securing the ball mount/accessory's shank to the vehicle's receiver. A shank end cap shields the hitch pin assembly's internal components from dirt and/or rust particles, and the end cap also serves as an innovative and useful alignment aid when inserting the shank into a vehicle's receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Inventor: John R. Columbia
  • Publication number: 20140265245
    Abstract: A safety chain bracket assembly is shown and described. The safety chain bracket may include a tubular sleeve adapted to attach with a hitch socket of a towing hitch, the tubular sleeve including an aperture configured to receive a hitch ball, and a bracket body engaged with the tubular sleeve, where pivoting the bracket body selectively locks the bracket body with the tubular sleeve. The safety chain bracket may also include at least one wing member extending from the bracket body, the wing member configured to operably receive a safety chain.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: Richard W. McCoy
  • Patent number: 8833792
    Abstract: An implement hitch tongue apparatus has a nodular cast iron tongue member defining a vertical drawpin hole. A bottom recess is defined in a bottom surface of the tongue member forward of the drawpin hole, and a pin hole recess is defined in a front portion of the drawpin hole. The recesses are filled with hard surfacing welding electrode material by welding with a hard surfacing welding electrode. A grease conduit can provide grease to the bottom surface of the tongue member. A solid one-piece ball insert member can be removably installed in the drawpin hole instead of hard surfacing. The ball insert can provide different drawpin hole sizes, and can extend down below the tongue to support the tongue weight on the ball insert with the ball insert rotating with respect to the tongue during turns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Power Pin Inc.
    Inventor: Brian R. Olson
  • Patent number: 8827300
    Abstract: A coupling device for coupling a first vehicle to a second towed vehicle, the coupling device including a pillar (3) for mounting to a towbar attached to the first vehicle; a connector (30) for connection to the second towed vehicle; a sleeve (13) linked to the connector (30) and adapted for engagement with the pillar (3) by fitting over the pillar (3); and a collar (15) adapted to fit over and engage with a portion of the sleeve (13) for movement with respect to the sleeve (13); wherein the collar (15) is movable with respect to the sleeve (13) between a first unlocked position in which the sleeve (13) is removable from the pillar (3) and a second locked position in which the sleeve (13) is not removable from the pillar (3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Inventors: John R. Allsop, Neville J. Withers
  • Patent number: 8757654
    Abstract: The anti-theft device is for use with a trailer hitch regardless of whether the trailer hitch is attached or unattached to a towing vehicle ball. The device is selectively movable between an open position and a closed position. It includes two complementary and substantially coplanar base plates, two mutually-facing rim members defining an inner slotted space receiving the lateral flanged edge of the trailer hitch when the device is in the closed position on the trailer hitch, and two anchoring members. Each anchoring member is rigidly connected to and downwardly projecting from the corresponding plate. The device is very compact, effective, easy to use, and can be installed or removed in a few seconds. It provides a very convenient way of preventing the theft of a trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Cojega Inc.
    Inventor: Ephrem Lachance
  • Patent number: 8746724
    Abstract: A trailer and hitch mounting system that includes a hitch insert assembly that is attached to a hitch attachment of a trailer and additionally has a hitch mount. A mounting plate assembly has a mounting plate that is secured to the bed of a truck and has a frustoconically shaped hitch guide with an angled surface that receives and is engaged by the hitch mount in order to guide the hitch mount toward an opening within the hitch guide to place the hitch mount at a predetermined location for securing the trailer to a truck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Inventor: Wayne Arends
  • Patent number: 8733781
    Abstract: A trailer hitch is disclosed. Said trailer hitch comprises a first bracket assembly, a second bracket assembly, a coupler assembly, and a jack assembly. Said jack assembly is capable of mechanically adjusting first bracket assembly relative to second bracket assembly. Said coupler assembly is capable of releasably attaching to a hitch on a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Inventor: Jerry Sims
  • Publication number: 20140131979
    Abstract: A ball clamp 30 has a semi-spherical surface that is urged by coil compression spring 34 into engagement with the spherical surface of a hitch ball. An L-shaped flange 73 on the rear of the ball clamp guides the groove 75 along the length of the sloped guide tongue 69 of the ball clamp support 65, assuring that the ball clamp 30 is properly supported and accurately positioned during its movements toward and away from the ball hitch 12.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2012
    Publication date: May 15, 2014
    Applicant: TIE DOWN, INC.
    Inventors: Charles J. MacKarvich, Timothy Joseph Prelac
  • Publication number: 20140110918
    Abstract: An overload indicator is shown and described. The overload indicator may include a compression ring located between a portion of a hitch and a hitch ball, the compression ring calibrated to withstand up to a selected vertical force limit. The compression ring collapsing or flattening when applied with a force equal to or greater than the selected vertical force limit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: April 24, 2014
    Inventor: Richard W. McCoy
  • Publication number: 20140103619
    Abstract: A hitch ball assembly includes a hitch ball supported on a housing, a bore within the hitch ball and housing, and a pin rotatable with respect to the hitch ball and housing. The pin is configured to engage a trailer coupler and rotate therewith. An angle sensor measures rotation of the pin to determine rotational movement of the trailer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Publication date: April 17, 2014
    Applicant: Cequent Performance Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas R. Motts, Chandrakumar Kulkarni, Fred Brickley
  • Publication number: 20140091554
    Abstract: A multi-function, anti-rotational, power-sports utility hitch receiver assembly includes a four-sided hollow receiver tube having a forward end configured to attach to a tow vehicle and a rearward end configured to house an attachment of an accessory shank. Aligned apertures are present in the opposing sidewalls between the forward end and the rearward end for securing a hitch accessory shank within the receiver tube by inserting a hitch-pin through apertures. A removable, adjustable tightening bar is attachable to an underside of the hitch receiver tube for maintaining the receiver tube in a stationary position when the receiver tube is installed on a tow vehicle by abutting a surface on the tow vehicle. The assembly further includes a tow loop, e.g., for attaching tow chains, straps, bungee cords, tow hooks and the like to the receiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Publication date: April 3, 2014
    Inventor: John R. Columbia
  • Patent number: 8684389
    Abstract: A tow hitch comprises an elongated tubular shank of rectangular cross-section having four side walls; and at least one tow ball mounted to an adjacent side wall of the shank with a mounting shank extending from a base of the tow ball through a first hole in the adjacent side wall and a second hole in a side wall opposite the adjacent side wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Buyers Products Company
    Inventor: Thomas A. Gries
  • Patent number: 8662520
    Abstract: An improved hitch adapter allows an individual to attach a vehicle with a hook to a trailer with a ball coupler. The improved hitch adapter comprises an adapter ring mechanically coupled to a front plate. The front plate is mechanically coupled to a first parallel surface. The first parallel surface further comprises an adapter ball inset. The first parallel surface is mechanically coupled to a left plate and a right plate. The adapter ball inset is mechanically coupled to a height-adjustable ball. The right plate and the left plate are mechanically coupled to a size variable clamp. This enables a user to mechanically couple the hook to ball coupler regardless of size of the ball coupler enabling full articulation in a vertical direction and a rotational direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Inventor: Michael Cornelius Powers
  • Publication number: 20140054877
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a towing system for towing a first vehicle behind a second vehicle. The towing system comprises a first vehicle comprising a receiver hitch, a second vehicle comprising a hitch lift, and a link. The link may be secured to the receiver hitch and a hitch. The towing system tows a rear end of the first vehicle behind a rear end of the second vehicle without the use of a trailer or excessive fasteners and connections.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Publication date: February 27, 2014
    Inventor: Lloyd Ammuel Adams, III
  • Patent number: 8636297
    Abstract: A hitch includes a vertically extending trunk portion, a first limb horizontally extending from the trunk portion and a second limb horizontally extending from the trunk portion below the first limb.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: M Group, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Merten, Jay Z. Muchin, Michael M. Potempa, Brian S. Potempa
  • Publication number: 20130341888
    Abstract: The invention relates to a trailer coupling for motor vehicles, comprising a coupling ball carrier which can be mounted on a vehicle body and a coupling ball with a ball body which has a ball surface extending between a ball attachment and an upper end surface of the ball body, with which the ball surface comprises a sensor zone for recognizing a body located close to or on the coupling ball, several detection locations different from one another are located in the sensor zone, a sensor unit arranged stationarily in the ball body beneath the ball surface is associated with each detection location and each sensor unit is designed such that it detects a body present in a close-proximity area above the ball surface at the respective detection location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2013
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: Scambia Holdings Cyprus Limited
    Inventors: Aleksej Kadnikov, Bernhard Rimmelspacher, Wolfgang Gentner
  • Publication number: 20130334793
    Abstract: A hitch system for coupling a hitch post to a ball portion employs a control system configured to operate in a service mode and a master mode. The control system operates in the master mode upon entry of a master code. Entry of the master code is not required to operate the control system when the control system is in the service mode. Entry of the master code is required to operate the control system when the control system is in the master mode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventor: John Wasem LaPrade
  • Patent number: 8596665
    Abstract: The invention relates to a trailer coupling (1) for fastening to a towing vehicle, having a flange plate (2) and a hitch ball (3), wherein a neck (4) that connects the flange plate (2) and the hitch ball (3) is formed. For a high force load capacity, small installation space requirements, weight efficient constructability and assurance of large swivel angles, it is suggested, that the maximal extent of the neck (4) in a first direction (91) is smaller than in a second direction (92), which is normal to the first direction (91).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Inventors: Josef Scharmüller, Josef Scharmüller, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20130307250
    Abstract: A trailer hitch system for improving the speed and safety of attaching the trailer to a tow vehicle. The hitch may include a shank that may be attached to the trailer through a ball hitch. A receiver may be provided on the tow vehicle such that attachment of the trailer to the tow vehicle may be accomplished by introducing the shank into the receiver when the tow vehicle is backed to the trailer. A funnel shaped guide member may be provided to facilitate aligning the shank with the receiver. Also, friction reducing rollers may be used with the shank or the receiver. Moreover, a height adjustment and visual guidance system may be included to facilitate connecting the trailer to the tow vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Applicant: PROGRESS MFG. INC.
    Inventor: GARY M. SCOTT
  • Publication number: 20130307234
    Abstract: A trailer a method for transporting a person adapted to be attached to a mobility scooter. The trailer includes a platform base supported on at least two wheels, at least one seat on the platform base, and a hitching assembly to attach the platform base to the motorized scooter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2012
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Inventor: Judy Ann Anders
  • Patent number: 8534695
    Abstract: A hitch assembly includes a housing bracket having side members and a connecting member. A lower platform is attached to the housing bracket such that a cavity is formed between the lower platform and the connecting member. An L-shaped upper platform is configured to engage the cavity. A mounting bracket is connected to the housing bracket and has at least one adjustment aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Inventor: John R. Columbia
  • Patent number: 8523217
    Abstract: A coupling mechanism for attaching a fifth wheel RV trailer to a truck for towing. A fifth wheel towball interface which provides unobstructed gimbal action into the connection between truck and trailer. A fifth wheel base having a lightweight structure made from a lightweight material and/or engineered design with lightweight in mind.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Inventor: John I. Andersen