Pivoted Jaw Or Retainer Patents (Class 280/512)
  • Patent number: 10654328
    Abstract: The invention relates to a lockable tow hitch. The tow hitch comprises a housing having a generally hemispheral socket for receiving a tow ball, and a handle mountable on the housing. The handle has having a rod member slidably projecting into the housing and arranged for moving a locking element within the housing between an engaged position at which it holds the tow ball within the socket and a disengaged position where the tow ball is free to move into and out of the socket. The tow hitch further comprises a catch member movable between a holding position wherein it secures the handle against sliding and an open position where the handle is free to slide, and a lock arranged to lock the locking element in the engaged position when the lock is locked, and to free the locking element for moving to the disengaged position when the lock is unlocked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: AL-KO INTERNATIONAL PTY LIMITED
    Inventors: Tony Rametta, Michael Rametta
  • Patent number: 10189323
    Abstract: The invention provides a trailer coupling including a ball neck movable between an operative position and a rest position. A coupling ball and a pivot bearing unit are fixed to the vehicle. A rotation blocking arrangement has at least two rotation blocking bodies. An actuating body has a respective cam face that runs transversely to the guide direction for each of the rotation blocking bodies arranged to be rotatable about the pivot axis. As a result of the rotary movement in a direction of actuation the at least two rotation blocking bodies are movable in the guide direction. A release position latching arrangement is movable between a latch release position and a latching position that fixes the actuating body in relation to the guide body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: Bosal ACPS Holding 2 B.V.
    Inventors: Aleksej Kadnikov, Wolfgang Gentner, Bernhard Rimmelspacher
  • Patent number: 10112449
    Abstract: A socket hitch apparatus comprises a socket member defining a socket. A swivel member is attached to the socket member about a horizontal swivel pivot axis located rearward of the socket, such that the swivel member can pivot from an open position to a closed position. The front ball engaging portion of the swivel member defines a ball recess between upper and lower recess ends, the recess configured such that as the hitch ball moves upward into the socket, same pushes the upper recess end upward and when the hitch ball reaches the top of the socket, the swivel member is locked in the closed position and the lower recess end is under a periphery of the hitch ball. A forward end of a lower surface of a ramp member is located below a rear edge of the socket and slopes downward and rearward from the forward end thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: POWER PIN INC.
    Inventor: Brian R. Olson
  • Patent number: 9975387
    Abstract: In order to improve a trailer coupling for motor vehicles comprising a ball neck, which is mountable at a first end on a rear part of a motor vehicle to be fixed to the vehicle by means of a ball neck holder and which carries a coupling ball at a second end, in such a manner that load carriers can be mounted and securely held in a simple manner, it is proposed that at least one positioning body is arranged on the ball neck at a defined spacing from the coupling ball to position a load carrier holding arrangement attachable to the coupling ball and the ball neck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Scambia Holdings Cyprus Limited
    Inventors: Aleksej Kadnikov, Wolfgang Gentner, Bernhard Rimmelspacher
  • Patent number: 9963080
    Abstract: A tow ball coupling and holder member suitable for towing a wheelie bin or transporting a bicycle. The tow ball coupling has a mechanism which is quick and simple to attach and remove without great physical effort or mechanical knowledge. The tow ball coupling includes a tow ball housing and a releasable tow ball catch arranged to allow the housing to admit the ball without manual operation of the catch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Inventor: Roy William Swan
  • Patent number: 9873299
    Abstract: A socket hitch apparatus comprises a socket member defining a socket. A swivel member is attached to the socket member about a horizontal swivel pivot axis located rearward of the socket, such that the swivel member can pivot from an open position to a closed position. The front ball engaging portion of the swivel member defines a ball recess between upper and lower recess ends, the recess configured such that as the hitch ball moves upward into the socket, same pushes the upper recess end upward and when the hitch ball reaches the top of the socket, the swivel member is locked in the closed position and the lower recess end is under a periphery of the hitch ball. A forward end of a lower surface of a ramp member is located below a rear edge of the socket and slopes downward and rearward from the forward end thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: POWER PIN INC.
    Inventor: Brian R. Olson
  • Patent number: 9790982
    Abstract: A device including a ball, cage housing the ball and a centering lug, wherein the centering lug has a generally annular form with a radially outer annular periphery and a radially inner annular periphery, the outer annular periphery is integral with the cage and the inner annular periphery is inserted in a groove in the outer periphery of the ball, and the centering lug is elastic and arranged to hold the ball along a predefined axis in a rest position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: Airbus Operations (SAS)
    Inventors: Olivier Teulou, Pascal Peries
  • Patent number: 9751369
    Abstract: An improved trailer hitch coupler is provided that includes a tongue recessed portion, a moveable base plate inside the tongue recessed portion, and moveable coupler arms that close around a trailer hitch, and slide into the recessed portion in a closed position. The trailer hitch coupler can include spring biased locking arms that rest in a saddle to secure the coupler arms in a locked position. The improved trailer hitch coupler provides ease of coupling without accurate alignment between the towing vehicle and the trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Inventor: Darrin Dahlenburg
  • Patent number: 9688110
    Abstract: The invention relates to a drawbar (1) for a vehicle trailer, comprising a half-spherical receiving socket (2) with a receiving opening (3) for receiving a coupling ball (4), and a drawbar carrier (5) for connecting said receiving socket (2) to the vehicle trailer. It is suggested that the receiving socket (2) is pivotally connected to the drawbar carrier (5) using a safety device (6); that the receiving socket (2) can be secured in an operating position using an actuating device (7) of said safety device (6); and that the receiving socket (2) can be pivoted relative to the drawbar carrier (5) in a direction away from the receiving opening (3), out of the operating position and into a decoupling position, by means of said actuating device (7).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Inventors: Josef Scharmüller, Josef Scharmüller, Jr.
  • 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
  • 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: 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: 20140353944
    Abstract: Systems and methods for stimulation of neurological tissue and generation stimulation trains with temporal patterns of stimulation, in which the interval between electrical pulses (the inter-pulse intervals) changes or varies over time. The features of the stimulation trains may be selected and arranged algorithmically to by clinical trial. These stimulation trains are generated to target a specific neurological disorder, by arranging sets of features which reduce symptoms of that neurological disorder into a pattern which is effective at reducing those symptoms while maintaining or reducing power consumption versus regular stimulation signals. Compared to conventional continuous, high rate pulse trains having regular (i.e., constant) inter-pulse intervals, the non-regular (i.e., not constant) pulse patterns or trains that embody features of the invention provide increased efficacy and/or a lower than average frequency.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2014
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Inventors: Warren M. Grill, David T. Brocker, Merril J. Birdno
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20140300084
    Abstract: A trailer coupler may be provided with an opening and socket for a hitch ball, and a clamping bar in an internal channel for locking the coupler and hitch together. The internal channel may extend horizontally and be positioned above the opening and below the socket. The channel may include a laterally-facing aperture adjacent the second end, out of which one end of the clamping bar may extend. That end of the clamping bar may include a bracket with an open channel to fit over a flange on the coupler body. The coupler may be assembled by inserting a first end of the clamping bar through the laterally-facing aperture, and moving the first end of the clamping bar into the coupler body channel while fitting the bracket over the flange at the open channel of the clamping bar.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Applicant: PACIFIC RIM INTERNATIONAL, LLC
    Inventor: Yibin YE
  • Publication number: 20140265252
    Abstract: A hitch ball is shown and described. The hitch ball may include a ball member, a body extending from the ball member, and a locking member in communication with the body. The hitch ball may also include a first release mechanism positioned in the ball member, the first release mechanism operatively coupled with the locking member, where positioning the first release mechanism in an first direction positions the locking member in a disengaged position, and a second release mechanism positioned in the body, the second release mechanism operatively coupled with the locking member, where positioning the second release mechanism in a second direction positions the locking member in the disengaged position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventors: Lynn H. Mida, Jacob S. Belinky
  • 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: 8746726
    Abstract: A trailer coupler may be provided with an opening and socket for a hitch ball, and a clamping bar in an internal channel for locking the coupler and hitch together. The internal channel may extend horizontally and be positioned above the opening and below the socket. The channel may include a laterally-facing aperture adjacent the second end, out of which one end of the clamping bar may extend. That end of the clamping bar may include a bracket with an open channel to fit over a flange on the coupler body. The coupler may be assembled by inserting a first end of the clamping bar through the laterally-facing aperture, and moving the first end of the clamping bar into the coupler body channel while fitting the bracket over the flange at the open channel of the clamping bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Pacific Rim International, LLC
    Inventor: Yibin Ye
  • Patent number: 8746727
    Abstract: A utility hitch provides a shaft defining a longitudinal axis. A socket is affixed to the shaft and at least partially receives a ball. A slide lock coupled with the shaft is translatable parallel with the shaft longitudinal axis. A tongue protrudes from the slide lock. The tongue secures the ball into the socket by engaging the ball at a bottom surface, and alternatively releases the tongue from the ball bottom surface to enable the ball to release from the socket. Retracting pins protrude from the shaft to retain the slide lock and tongue in a first position immediately adjacent to the ball, and are operative to retract inside the shaft and slide lock when the slide lock is translated to a second position distal to the ball, to permit the slide lock to translate or reciprocate relative to the shaft. Wings may be provided to facilitate actuation of the retracting pins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Inventor: Roger A. Burton
  • Publication number: 20140117646
    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: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2013
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: TeleSwivel, LLC
    Inventor: David Allen Dekarske
  • 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: 8668221
    Abstract: A device for coupling a vehicle to a trailer is provided. The device includes a base having a channel and a pair of side walls. The channel includes a mouth leading into a stop. The side walls are spaced apart from each other and the channel runs generally between the side walls. A catch is pivotally mounted between the side walls. The catch includes a mounting end, a catch end, and a contact surface. The catch end is pivotable between a first position, wherein the catch end abuts against the base; and a second position wherein the catch end is displaced from the base. The tow pin engages the contact surface of the catch and pivots the catch end towards the second position. The catch end returns to the first position so as to secure the tow pin between the catch end and the stop when the tow pin abuts against the stop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason Michael Adkins, Charles Christopher Asebes, Sudhakar Pillarisetti
  • Patent number: 8636020
    Abstract: An outdoor umbrella includes an awning frame, a supporting shaft and an adjustable rotation base including a base housing and a transportation arrangement. The base housing is arranged to couple with the supporting shaft to support the awning frame in an upright manner, and includes a plurality of transferring wheels. The transportation arrangement is provided at the base housing to operate the base housing between an idle mode and a transportation mode, wherein in the idle mode, the transferring wheels are suspenedly lifted up to position above the bottom edge of the base housing such the base housing is sat on the ground surface in a stationary manner, wherein in the transportation mode, the base housing is lifted up by air pressure for allowing the transferring wheels to move out of the receiving cavity at a position below the bottom edge of the base housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Inventor: Wanda Ying Li
  • Publication number: 20130307251
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for improved ease and reliability of coupling a trailer to a tow-ball of a towing vehicle through a straight connection of a support member with a tow-ball. The support member is configured to abut a posterior portion of the tow-ball at a first abutting portion. A pivot arm is configured to pivot over the tow-ball to a position where a second abutting portion is adjacent an anterior portion of the tow-ball. A pivot plate connected to the support member at a first pivot and to the pivot arm at a second pivot is configured to bias the first abutting portion towards the second abutting portion to securely contact the posterior portion and the anterior portion of the tow-ball respectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2013
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Inventor: Lieuwe Faber
  • Patent number: 8485545
    Abstract: The invention refers to a trailer coupling (10) for a towing vehicle (26), comprising a base body (12), a coupling unit (14) with a coupling element (16), that works with a counter-coupling element (18) of a trailing towing vehicle (22), whereby the coupling unit (14) relative to the base body (12) is adjusted between a coupling position and a release position, and a securing device (40), with a securing element (42), that can be adjusted between a securing position and a release position, whereby, in its securing position, it secures the coupling unit (14) in its coupling position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Jost-Werke GmbH
    Inventor: Udo Szczepanek
  • Publication number: 20120306180
    Abstract: A trailer coupler may be provided with an opening and socket for a hitch ball, and a clamping bar in an internal channel for locking the coupler and hitch together. The internal channel may extend horizontally and be positioned above the opening and below the socket. The channel may include a laterally-facing aperture adjacent the second end, out of which one end of the clamping bar may extend. That end of the clamping bar may include a bracket with an open channel to fit over a flange on the coupler body. The coupler may be assembled by inserting a first end of the clamping bar through the laterally-facing aperture, and moving the first end of the clamping bar into the coupler body channel while fitting the bracket over the flange at the open channel of the clamping bar.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2012
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Applicant: PACIFIC RIM INTERNATIONAL, LLC
    Inventor: Yibin YE
  • Patent number: 8262122
    Abstract: A coupler assembly for coupling a trailer to a towing vehicle hitch ball is provided. The assembly includes a housing with a coupler socket adapted to receive a hitch ball. A ball clamp is disposed within the interior of the coupler housing and is movable toward and away from the coupler socket. The ball clamp has a clamping portion that retains the hitch ball within the coupler socket with the ball clamp positioned toward the coupler socket in a hitch ball retention position. A guide ramp is disposed within the coupler housing rearward of the coupler socket. The guide ramp projects toward the ball clamp and slopes upward and forward toward the coupler socket. A lateral guide member is disposed on the ball clamp rearward of the guide ramp. The lateral guide member cooperates with the guide ramp surface to limit forward movement of the ball clamp into the coupler socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: U-Haul International, Inc.
    Inventor: Edward J. Votruba
  • Patent number: 8205905
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus may permit a ball and socket coupling arrangement. A rotary interference member (2) and a rotary socket member (8) may be displaced from a hitch ball interference position (6) and a hitch ball socket position (11), respectively, to a hitch ball clearance position (7) by a hitch ball (17) moving through a trailer coupling path (27). A hitch ball socket (15) may be formed in part by a socket engagement surface (9) of a rotary socket member (8). A hitch ball guidance cone (21) may guide the hitch ball (17) through the trailer coupling path (27). A control rod (34) may be used to displace the rotary interference member (2) and the rotary socket member (8) from a hitch ball interference position (6) and a hitch ball socket position (11), respectively, to a hitch ball clearance position (7).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Inventor: William M. Zilm
  • Patent number: 8152120
    Abstract: A multipurpose support for attachments mountable to the tow hitch of a vehicle. The support comprises a main body adapted to receive an attachment and a coupling means for a quick release coupling of the main body to the tow hitch of a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Barwall Limited
    Inventors: Michael Barrett, Sean Doherty
  • Publication number: 20120043738
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus may permit a ball and socket coupling arrangement. A rotary interference member (2) and a rotary socket member (8) may be displaced from a hitch ball interference position (6) and a hitch ball socket position (11), respectively, to a hitch ball clearance position (7) by a hitch ball (17) moving through a trailer coupling path (27). A hitch ball socket (15) may be formed in part by a socket engagement surface (9) of a rotary socket member (8). A hitch ball guidance cone (21) may guide the hitch ball (17) through the trailer coupling path (27). A control rod (34) may be used to displace the rotary interference member (2) and the rotary socket member (8) from a hitch ball interference position (6) and a hitch ball socket position (11), respectively, to a hitch ball clearance position (7).
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2011
    Publication date: February 23, 2012
    Inventor: William M. Zilm
  • Patent number: 8083250
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods, and other examples associated with a hitch ball coupler are described herein. In one example, a coupler includes a body and a cap. The body and cap are pivotally connected on a first end. The body includes a first recess and a shoulder. The cap is selectively moveable between a closed position and an open position. The cap includes a second recess that selectively forms a socket with the first recess, and an arm extending from a second end that engages the shoulder when the cap is in the open position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Cequent Trailer Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Frank Drake, Kevin Rabska
  • Patent number: 8083249
    Abstract: The present invention provides a trailer coupler having an integrated locking device attached to the handle or the coupler body. The handle of the trailer coupler moves from a first position where the hitch ball is insertable to a second position where the hitch ball is prevented from insertion. The locking device having a locking pin that is insertable into the aperture of the handle to prevent movement of the handle from the second position to the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Cequent Consumer Products
    Inventors: Toby Most, Francis Bernart
  • Patent number: 7954840
    Abstract: A coupler assembly for coupling a trailer to a towing vehicle hitch ball has a housing with an interior that defines a coupler socket adapted to receive a hitch ball. A ball clamp is disposed within the interior of the coupler housing and is movable toward and away from the coupler socket. The ball clamp has a clamping portion that retains the hitch ball within the coupler socket with the ball clamp positioned toward the coupler socket in a hitch ball retention position. A guide ramp is disposed within the coupler housing rearward of the coupler socket. The guide ramp projects toward the ball clamp and slopes upward and forward toward the coupler socket. A lateral guide member is disposed on the ball clamp rearward of the guide ramp. The lateral guide member cooperates with the guide ramp surface to limit forward movement of the ball clamp into the coupler socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: U-Haul International, Inc.
    Inventor: Edward J. Votruba
  • Patent number: 7926830
    Abstract: A hitch adapter for use with a forwardly extending tongue of an implement which enables the hitch on the forward end of the tongue to be converted from a clevis-type hitch to a hitch ball-type hitch. The hitch adapter of this invention may also be used with hitch balls having different diameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Inventor: Curt J. Hill
  • Patent number: 7909351
    Abstract: A trailer coupling dock theft-proof lock to prevent unauthorized coupling and hauling of a trailer during parking includes a locking dock, a coupling assembly and a lock assembly. The coupling assembly can be latched in a dome of a trailer coupling dock. By locking and unlocking of the lock assembly the coupling assembly can be retained or removed so that unauthorized towing of the trailer can be prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Handyway Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hsai Chin Hui
  • Patent number: 7871098
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods, and other examples associated with a hitch ball coupler are described herein. In one example, a coupler includes a body and a cap. The body and cap are pivotally connected on a first end. The body includes a first recess and a shoulder. The cap is selectively moveable between a closed position and an open position. The cap includes a second recess that selectively forms a socket with the first recess, and an arm extending from a second end that engages the shoulder when the cap is in the open position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2011
    Assignee: Cequent Trailer Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Frank Drake, Kevin Rabska
  • Patent number: 7762735
    Abstract: An apparatus according to embodiments of the present invention includes a socket having at least three ball support points to constrain a ball, and a yoke rotatably coupled to the socket, the yoke having an axis of rotation that intersects the ball when the ball is positioned in the socket, the yoke rotatable to a closed position in which the yoke captures the ball in the socket, and the yoke rotatable to an open position in which the yoke does not capture the ball in the socket. According to some embodiments, the yoke is biased in the closed position such as, for example, by a spring. The yoke may be rotationally coupled to the socket at one or more locations, and the axis of rotation may intersect the ball when the ball is in the socket either through the center of the ball or at an off-center location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Cedar Mesa Design Company, LLC
    Inventors: Frank Brittin Clayton, III, Richard Adams
  • Patent number: 7762529
    Abstract: An universal tool for unlatching a locking pin on a gooseneck ball hitch comprises an arm supported on a support leg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Inventor: Raymond C. Scott
  • Patent number: 7556279
    Abstract: Trailer hitch (10) has a pivotal ball mount (30) having upper and lower wedge-shaped parallel plates (52, 54) that are connected by pivot pin (64) to the opening (31) of socket (29). Lock lever (34) is pivotally mounted in the mounting element (26) and is spring biased toward locking engagement with the recesses (82, 84) of the pivotal ball element. By tilting the lock lever (34) away from the pivotal ball mount, the pivotal ball mount is free to rotate so that its hitch ball can move in an arc laterally for alignment with the ball receptacle (16) of the trailer tongue (14). Forward movement of the towing vehicle and trailer causes and pivotal ball mount to become aligned with the lock lever, and the spring (44) urges the lock lever back into locking engagement with the recesses (82 or 84). The pivotal ball mount (30) can be inverted so as to raise or lower the height of the hitch ball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Inventor: Todd A. Suhling
  • Patent number: 7543838
    Abstract: An anti-theft mechanism for a trailer coupler designed such that it can be locked or secured to the coupler is such a manner that the coupler cannot be utilized. The mechanism includes a body, which is securable to the trailer coupler. The body includes a retention portion that is sized to mate with the lip portion of the trailer coupler. The mechanism also includes a lock cylinder, an extension member attached to the lock cylinder, and a locking pin moveable between retracted and extended positions. When the lock cylinder is rotated from the unlocked position to the locked position, the extension member moves the locking pin from the retracted position to the extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Master Lock Company LLC
    Inventor: Kerry Jacques
  • Patent number: 7540524
    Abstract: A device for detecting the support load with which a tongue of a trailer vehicle acts on a tractor vehicle. The device includes a first coupling element, a second coupling element that can be detachably connected to the first coupling element, and with a sensor arranged between the tongue or the tractor vehicle and the first coupling element. The sensor is designed to detect the vertical force component acting between the tongue or the tractor vehicle and the first coupling element. The first coupling element is pivotably connected to the tongue or the tractor vehicle such as to be pivotable about a horizontal pivot shaft. The first coupling element is also connected to the second coupling element such as to be movable about an axis running parallel to the pivot shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Jean Viaud
  • Patent number: 7467805
    Abstract: The present invention provides a locking device for a hinged, body and cap trailer coupler to prevent unauthorized use of an unattended and unattached trailer. The device consists of a cylindrical bar member joined to an elongated tongue member. The elongated tongue member is sized for insertion between the body and cap portion of a trailer coupler in the open position such that the cap portion is forced against the sliding collar of the trailer coupler, preventing the trailer coupler from closing on the ball of a tow vehicle. The elongated tongue member provides a slotted hole portion to receive the shackle of a padlock to lock the system in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2008
    Inventor: Thomas Robnett, II
  • Patent number: 7413212
    Abstract: An improved trailer theft-thwarting coupling dock to prevent unauthorized coupling and hauling of the trailer coupling dock includes a coupling dock body, a upper mechanism, a lower mechanism and a lock assembly. The upper mechanism has a upper handle fastening to the lock assembly. Through locking and unlocking of the lock assembly, unauthorized opening of the upper mechanism can be prevented. Thereby the trailer coupling dock cannot be coupled and hauled unless authorized, and an improved theft-thwarting effect can be achieved for the trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Handyway Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chin-Hui Hsai
  • Patent number: 7378013
    Abstract: A coupler comprised of a coupler housing having a first opening formed therein. The opening has a concave cavity. A cylindrical socket is formed within the housing. A second opening in the housing communicates with the cylindrical socket. A lock ring is provided, the lock ring having a cylindrical portion and an arm portion extending therefrom. The cylindrical portion of the lock ring is disposed within the cylindrical socket in the housing with the arm portion extending from the housing through the second opening. An opening is formed through the cylindrical portion of the lock ring. The cylindrical portion of the lock ring is rotatable in the cylindrical socket wherein the lock ring is movable between a first position wherein the opening in the lock ring is aligned with the concave cavity to allow a tow ball to be inserted into the concave cavity through the opening in the lock ring and a second position wherein the opening is not in alignment with the concave cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2008
    Assignee: Buyers Products Company
    Inventor: Philip Sandler
  • Publication number: 20080023941
    Abstract: Trailer hitch (10) has a pivotal ball mount (30) having upper and lower wedge-shaped parallel plates (52, 54) that are connected by pivot pin (64) to the opening (31) of socket (29). Lock lever (34) is pivotally mounted in the mounting element (26) and is spring biased toward locking engagement with the recesses (82, 84) of the pivotal ball element. By tilting the lock lever (34) away from the pivotal ball mount, the pivotal ball mount is free to rotate so that its hitch ball can move in an arc laterally for alignment with the ball receptacle (16) of the trailer tongue (14). Forward movement of the towing vehicle and trailer causes and pivotal ball mount to become aligned with the lock lever, and the spring (44) urges the lock lever back into locking engagement with the recesses (82 or 84). The pivotal ball mount (30) can be inverted so as to raise or lower the height of the hitch ball.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Publication date: January 31, 2008
    Inventor: Todd A. Suhling
  • Patent number: 7044494
    Abstract: A tow hitch comprised of an elongated shank of rectangular cross-section. The shank has four side surfaces. A first tow ball of a first dimension is fixedly mounted to a first of the side surfaces. A second tow ball of a second dimension is fixedly mounted to a second of the side surfaces. A third tow ball of a third dimension is fixedly mounted to a third of the side surfaces. The first and the third tow balls are on opposite side surfaces of the shank. A jaw is mounted to the shank for pivotal movement about an axis through the shank. The jaw has a ball-engaging surface, and is movable between a first position wherein the ball-engaging surface engages one of the tow balls and a second position wherein the ball-engaging surface is spaced from one of the tow balls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Buyers Products Company
    Inventor: Michael J. Cowett
  • Patent number: 6902182
    Abstract: A hitch device for use with a pulling vehicle and a trailer, including a first hitch arm and a second upwardly directed hitch arm. At a second end of the second upwardly directed hitch arm is a joint allowing rotation about at least two axes. The hitch device positions the joint a preselected vertical and horizontal distance from the pulling vehicle and a hitch receiving structure connected thereto. The hitch device may be used with a trailer having first and second diverters encouraging the trailer to move about a tree or other shrub.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Inventor: Mark R. Kamunen
  • Patent number: 6880368
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for locking a gooseneck trailer hitch such that a hitch ball cannot be inserted into or removed from the hitch. In one preferred embodiment, the hasp of a lock is passed through the retainer bracket of the hitch and locked with or without passing through the hitch handle. In another embodiment, a lock pin with an eyelet on one end is inserted into the retainer bracket of the hitch, and the hasp of a lock is passed through the eyelet and the hitch handle. In yet another embodiment, a lock pin with an eyelet on one end is inserted into a pair of openings on the cover plate surrounding the hitch handle, and the hasp of a lock is passed through the eyelet and the hitch handle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Inventors: Dennis R. Ulbrich, Derrick A. Pizarro
  • Patent number: 6820889
    Abstract: A hitch assembly that is specially designed for transporting large and heavy manufactured housing units. The hitch assembly is of a one piece unitary construction that includes angularly extending sides that define an included angle of between approximate 50 and 60 degrees so that it can be interconnected with the structural members of standard, prior art hitch assemblies, which also define an included angle of between approximately 50 and 60 degrees.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Inventor: Ronald Anderson
  • Patent number: 6811176
    Abstract: A coupling device is provided for receiving and securing a ball, the ball being attached to the structure to be coupled, including a tow vehicle in the case of a trailer hitch application. Various embodiments of the device for both tongue and “goose neck” trailer hitch applications are included, which provide for simple and effective latching and unlatching, including operation from the perimeter of the vehicle. Hands free latching is provided for all coupling embodiments. A pivoting ball support with one or more recessed faces is rotated and displaced as the ball enters the device, and is returned to a position whereby the ball is prevented from exiting the device. Various provisions are made for retaining the pivoting ball support in this position after such latching has occurred. Provisions for unlatching include various handles and hand pushed structure. Vertical adaptations are provided for use on gates and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: Pepe Guerra, Trustee
    Inventors: David Richard Brown, Danny Richard Brown, Stacy Ray Brown