Tractor-trailer Backing Connections Patents (Class 280/DIG14)
  • Patent number: 6120052
    Abstract: A tow hitch alignment apparatus having a pair of light sources that emit different colored light beams. The light sources are positioned such that, when the trailer hitch components are in proper position for engagement, both light beams intersect at the target location and emit a the third colored light, which indicates to the driver that the tow vehicle is in the proper position for coupling with the trailer. In an alternate embodiment, the tow vehicle has a horizontal sensor plate embedded with photoelectric cells adjacent the tow ball which detects the approach of the tow hitch from the trailer. A laser emitter is placed adjacent the trailer hitch and directed at a pre-focused position. As the tow ball approaches the hitch, laser light from the emitter strikes various photoelectric cells on the sensor plate, which is in connection with a display within the driver's compartment. The display provides information and guides the driver regarding the tow vehicle's path towards the trailer hitch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Inventors: Dan Capik, Adair Brown
  • Patent number: 6100794
    Abstract: A fifth wheel coupling safety system for indicating when a king pin is properly locked into a fifth wheel assembly. The system includes a fifth wheel assembly having a slot for receiving a king pin of a trailer and a locking mechanism for coupling the king pin to the fifth wheel assembly. The locking mechanism has a locking jaw adapted for coupling the king pin to the fifth wheel assembly, and a pull handle for positioning the locking jaw between locked and unlocked positions. The locking jaw couples the king pin to the fifth wheel assembly when in the locked position and permits separation of the king pin from the fifth wheel assembly when in the unlocked position. The pull handle is positionable between a locking position and an unlocking position. The pull handle positions the locking jaw in the locked position when the pull handle is in the locking position and the pull handle positions the locking jaw in the unlocked position when the pull handle is in the unlocking position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Inventor: Terrence E. Hillier
  • Patent number: 6002330
    Abstract: A lighting system for a towed off-highway vehicle has a left and right hazard warning lamps that flash in unison when the vehicle is not turning. When the vehicle is turning, the hazard warning lamp on the side of the turn flashes, while the other hazard warning lamp is illuminated steadily. Left and right turn indicator lamps are operated by a control circuit that receives signals which operate the hazard warning lamps. The control circuit responds to those signals by rendering the turn indicator lamps inactive when the vehicle is not turning, and operates the left and right turn indicator lamps in the same manner as the left and right hazard warning lamps, respectively, when the vehicle is turning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: J. W. Speaker Corporation
    Inventor: Brian E. Brandt
  • Patent number: 5861802
    Abstract: An electronic coupling control system for a vehicle trailer hitch assembly having a hitch plate in which a throat is defined for receiving a trailer kingpin and having a locking mechanism for locking the kingpin in the hitch throat. The electronic coupling control system includes a trailer proximity sensor for sensing when a trailer is in proximity to the hitch assembly, a kingpin sensor for sensing the presence of the kingpin in the hitch throat, a lock sensor for sensing when said locking mechanism is in a locked and secured position, and indicator means located in the vehicle for providing hitch coupling status information to an operator of the vehicle. The indicator means is coupled to the trailer proximity, kingpin, and lock sensors for informing the operator when a trailer is in proximity to the hitch assembly, when the kingpin is positioned in the hitch throat, and when the locking mechanism is in a locked position. The indicator means may include an indicator light and control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Holland Hitch Company
    Inventors: Gerald W. Hungerink, John P. Heeb, Ronald D. Ingraham
  • Patent number: 5690347
    Abstract: An integrated jackknife control device for a tractor trailer assembly requires minimal if any modification to the existing fifth wheel coupler of the tractor trailer. The device comprises a computer controlled braking system including one or more pivot brakes acting directly on the trailer body, sensors which detect tractor trailer conditions indicative of incipient or full-fledged jackknifing and possibly other hazardous conditions such as collision or panic braking, and a proportional controller which causes one or more brake to apply a resistive force directly to the trailer which increases proportionally with a sensed degree of trailer jackknifing. The braking system preferably will automatically remain in a standby mode during backing maneuvers and will allow the operator to actuate the braking system manually and also to reset or return the braking system to a standby condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1997
    Assignee: Tractor Trailer Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene H. Juergens, Timothy A. Novesky, Jerome Rychtik
  • Patent number: 5544611
    Abstract: The present invention discloses an apparatus for positioning a boat onto a boat trailer comprising two magnetic reed switches attached inside the bilge of the boat along the central, longitudinal axis of the boat; an indicator box mounted in the boat and electrically connected to the magnetic reed switches for providing a signal when the boat is properly positioned onto the boat trailer; and two permanent magnets attached to the boat trailer along the longitudinal, central axis of the boat trailer. When the boat is moved onto the boat trailer such that the permanent magnets attached to the boat trailer are adjacent the magnetic reed switches inside the boat, the magnetic reed switches close, thereby causing the indicator box to signal that the boat is properly positioned onto the boat trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1996
    Assignee: Fahringer Enterprises
    Inventors: Stephen Fahringer, Sr., Stephen Fahringer, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5474320
    Abstract: A trailer is provided having a support frame and a steering axle. The trailer is interconnected to a tow vehicle. The steering axle is rotatable between a first position providing positive caster and a second position providing negative caster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 12, 1995
    Assignee: SSAC & Association, L.L.C.
    Inventors: John C. Bojarski, Thomas M. Gerondale
  • Patent number: 5455557
    Abstract: An auxiliary back-up and trailer coupling device for motor vehicles includes ultrasonic sensors mounted on the motor vehicle. The ultrasonic sensors transmit and receive sound waves, and are linked to a control and display device. The device permits the position of a trailer unit that is equipped with a coupling device and arranged behind the motor vehicle to be exactly determined. The trailer is equipped with a coupling device, preferably a tow bar, and has an additional transmitting and receiving ultrasonic sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1995
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Martin Noll, Ulrich Kanzler, Klaus Krockenberger, Juergen Leinberger
  • Patent number: 5407221
    Abstract: A converter dolly for connecting a second trailer in tandem to a first trailer is provided. The converter dolly comprises a base, a connector frame pivotally connected to the base for horizontal movement about a substantially vertical axis, a dolly locking structure, and a plurality of ground engaging wheels carried by the base. The connector frame includes a hitch for pivotally connecting the connector frame to the forward wheeled vehicle for substantially horizontal movement about a substantially vertical axis, and a fifth wheel assembly fixed on the connector frame to pivotally connect the connector frame to the rear wheeled vehicle for substantially horizontal movement about a substantially vertical axis. The fifth wheel assembly includes a fifth wheel locking having an unengaged position and an engaged position for preventing rotational movement between the connector frame and the rear wheeled vehicle in its engaged position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 18, 1995
    Assignee: A.M. Haire Truck Bodies, Inc.
    Inventors: Darrell K. Haire, Andrew R. Haire
  • Patent number: 5396857
    Abstract: A improved launching device is provided, which consists of a structure hitched to a motor vehicle for hauling a boat to a launch ramp that extends into a body of water. An apparatus on the hauling structure is for indicating to a driver of the motor vehicle, the point of buoyancy of the boat on the surface of the body of water. The hauling structure can be backed down just the right distance on the launch ramp into the body of water, to accomplish the task of launching the boat into the body of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 14, 1995
    Inventor: Albert Emery, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5348332
    Abstract: A back-up direction guide for a pup trailer dolly having a frame sprung from a wheel equipped axle and connected to the rearward end of a truck-trailer by an A-frame tongue portion is formed by a rigid plate clamped in overlying relation to the forward end portion of the pup trailer dolly frame. Load binders are pivotally connected with the respective ends of the plate and tensioned flexible members connected with the respective load binder and the respective outer lower limit of the rearward end portion of the truck-trailer guide the pup trailer dolly in a selected direction during rearward backing movement of the truck-trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1994
    Inventor: David Hamilton
  • Patent number: 5320376
    Abstract: A trailer is provided having a support frame and a steering axle. The steering axle is rotatable between a first position providing a positive caster and a second position providing a negative caster. The axle is rotated by means of a tongue adjustable between a forward and a rearward position. A connector rod is pivotally connected to the tongue and secured to the axle such that the connector rod rotates the axle into the first position providing a positive caster when the tongue is located in the forward position and rotates the axle to a second position providing a negative caster when the tongue is in the rearward position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: Sure Steer Axle Co., Inc.
    Inventors: John C. Bojarski, Thomas M. Gerondale
  • Patent number: 5282641
    Abstract: Automatic Trailer Control System--containing four principle inventions. One part of the invention provides automatic trailer steering control to the trailer to cause a delayed turn of the trailer steering mechanism while maneuvering a turn. A second part of the invention provides an electro-magnetic braking system, to the trailer, which is controlled by the same Microcomputer system that controls the trailer turning. The third part of the invention utilizes the electro-magnetic braking system as an alternator/generator to be used as an auxiliary battery charging system. A fourth part of the invention uses the electro-magnetic braking system as a motor to drive the trailer wheels as an assist during trucking operations. All operational functions are controlled by the Microcontroller based control system mounted on the trailer rear wheel platform. Sensors are placed on the truck/trailer operating system to obtain operational information needed for the control of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 1, 1994
    Inventor: Richard J. McLaughlin
  • Patent number: 5246242
    Abstract: A steering system for steering a vehicle, including a subframe disposed at the rear end of the vehicle for supporting the vehicle, the subframe being pivotably connected to the vehicle, a pair of axles attached in tandem to the subframe, the axles having wheels disposed thereon and a pivot restricting mechanism for partially restricting the pivotable movement of the tandem axle with respect to the vehicle. The pivot restricting mechanism exerts a torsional force on the subframe so as to bias the subframe in such a manner as to align the subframe in an aligned position where the wheels are aligned with the vehicle. The pivot point of the subframe is offset in the direction of one of the axles from the midpoint of the axles with respect to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1993
    Assignee: Paccar Inc.
    Inventor: Roger P. Penzotti
  • Patent number: 5247442
    Abstract: The components of a tractor-trailer assembly are provided with means for determining the ball angle between the tractor and trailer during backing as well as the distance and location of the backing objective with respect to the back of the trailer. Intelligence concerning these data are processed to determine the corrections required in current steering conditions to maintain a desired course of trailer travel during backing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1993
    Assignee: Brigham Young University
    Inventor: Rodney G. Kendall
  • Patent number: 5152544
    Abstract: Sensors (170, 172) for sensing articulation angle (AA) and/or a time derivative thereof (dAA/dt, d.sup.2 AA/dt.sup.2) for a trailer anti-swing control system are provided. In the preferred embodiments, at least the active transducers of the sensors are mounted to the tractor (12) subvehicle of the articulated vehicle system (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1992
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph B. Dierker, Jr., Thomas A. Gee, John Dresden, III
  • Patent number: 5108123
    Abstract: A vehicle docking device includes a matrix of sensors arranged in a planar array of rows and columns spaced apart from one another. The matrix of sensors is mounted proximate the hitch ball of the towing vehicle in a horizontal plane. An activator is supported in a predetermined position relative to the towing hitch of the vehicle to be towed for activating one of the sensors closest thereto. The activator is positioned to be directed at the center point of the sensor matrix when the hitch ball is directly under the towing hitch. The sensor matrix is electrically coupled to a corresponding array of indicators disposed near the driver of the towing vehicle. Each indicator is associated with a corresponding sensor. By observing the array of indicators, the driver can determine whether the hitch ball and towing hitch are aligned, or in what direction correction is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1992
    Inventor: Robert Rubenzik
  • Patent number: 5098115
    Abstract: A converter dolly for interconnecting and facilitating backing up of a tandem trailer assembly pulled by a tractor is disclosed. The converter dolly is coupled to the rear of a first trailer for pivotable movement relative thereto about a substantially vertical axis. The converter dolly includes a wheeled frame. A fifth wheel is fixed on the wheeled frame and has a front end defining opposing front corner portions. The wheeled frame includes a coupling assembly for coupling the wheeled frame to a second trailer for pivotable movement about a substantially vertical axis. A locking mechanism cooperates with the fifth wheel and includes a spaced pin housing secured at each front corner portion of the fifth wheel so that when the fifth wheel pivots up or down, the housings move as units with the fifth wheel. A pin is positioned in each housing and movable therein from a retracted to an extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1992
    Assignee: A.M. Haire Truck Bodies, Inc.
    Inventors: Darrell K. Haire, Andrew R. Haire
  • Patent number: 5097250
    Abstract: An electronic trailer guide includes sensors and associated logic and display circuitry that serve to present information to the driver of a towing vehicle as to the direction in which he must turn the steering wheel of the towing vehicle to back a trailer into a desired position, as to whether the trailer is tilted to the left or to the right, as to whether, when backing a boat trailer down a boat ramp into a body of water preparatory to launching a boat, the water level has risen to a point beneath the towing vehicle at which there is a risk of damage to the vehicle and, as to whether, when backing a boat trailer down a boat ramp into a body of water, the water has buoyantly lifted the boat off of the trailer so that it may be launched.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Inventor: David Hernandez
  • Patent number: 5056806
    Abstract: A trailer useful for carrying combine cutter heads - either corn or small grains. The trailer avoids interference with the combine when loading the head and also maintains a proper load balance after the head is loaded. It does so by using a trailer-wheel axle which is movable from a normal road position with the wheels well under the load to a rear position where the wheels are considerably behind the driving wheel of the combine as that machine drives up to the trailer so that the head can be detached and loaded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1991
    Inventor: Harlan F. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5040825
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a combine header transport which may be rapidly and easily adjusted to support a wide variety of kinds and shapes of headers for transport. The transport includes an inclined bracket having a slotted sloped surface. A rail having a plate affixed thereto overlies the sloped surface and a second plate underlies the sloped surface. When the plates are loosened relative to each other, the rail may be readily slid along the sloped surface to effect rapid and simultaneous adjustment of the rail in both the transverse horizontal direction and in vertical elevation and, when the adjustment is complete, the plates clamp the inclined bracket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 20, 1991
    Assignee: E-Z Trail, Inc.
    Inventor: Abe B. Kuhns
  • Patent number: 4818035
    Abstract: A tractor-(28) trailer (30) vehicle (24) brake system control for distributing the brake effort to obtain inter-tractor-trailer proportional braking (H.sub.1 /V.sub.1 =H.sub.2 /V.sub.2) by use of sensors (170, 172) mounted to the trailer only is provided. The control system senses (80) acceleration (a) and the ratio of vertical to horizontal forces (H.sub.F /V.sub.F) at the fifth wheel (34) by sensors (170, 172) mounted to the tractor (28) only and modulates the brakes to cause the ratio H.sub.F /V.sub.F to equal acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 1987
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1989
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventor: Joseph H. McNinch, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4775165
    Abstract: An anti-jackknife system for use while towing a trailer with a tractor. The tractor and trailer are coupled to each other by a fifth-wheel assembly in known manner. The fifth-wheel assembly includes a wheel plate carried by the tractor and a cooperating pin carried by the trailer, the pin being rotatable within the wheel plate when the tractor and trailer are coupled to each other. First and second abutments are carried by the trailer on opposing sides of the pin. The abutments move in paths around the pin on a change in orientation between the tractor and trailer, as during turning, for example. Fluid-actuated cylinders are carried by the tractor on opposing sides of the wheel plate with each cylinder providing a stop movable between a first position out of the abutment path. The stops are normally in the second position. A jackknife condition is detected to actuate at least one of the fluid-actuated cylinders to move its associated stop into the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1986
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1988
    Inventor: Orville B. Grovum
  • Patent number: 4770436
    Abstract: A drawbar type trailer hitch comprising a frame supported telescoping tongue extended and retracted by a first pressure cylinder while a second pressure cylinder may be operated to position the rearward end portion of the telescopically extended tongue in a lateral direction for correcting the direction of rearward movement of a towed vehicle being backed toward a parked position by the towing vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 13, 1988
    Inventor: Alan D. Anderson
  • Patent number: 4729575
    Abstract: Apparatus for controlling the position of a trailer with respect to a tractor is disclosed. A control mechanism is attached to the steering mechanism of the tractor and produces an output corresponding to the position of the steering mechanism. A movable hitch is attached to the tractor to receive a hitch on the trailer. The hitch on the tractor is movable with respect to the tractor in opposed directions transverse to the center line of the tractor. Hydraulic cylinders are driven by the central mechanism to move the hitch in response to the position of the steering mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 8, 1988
    Inventor: Marvin P. Eggen
  • Patent number: 4664403
    Abstract: A trailer hitch structure for coupling a double caster-type wheel trailer to a tow vehicle having a conventional hitch bar fixed thereto and projecting rearwardly thereof. There is provided a rigid vehicle connector having a front portion fixedly connectable to the hitch bar. The front portion connects to a transversely extending rear portion which extends generally parallel to the vehicle bumper. This rear portion mounts adjustable bumper elements adjacent the opposite ends thereof, which bumper elements adjust for snug engagement with the vehicle bumper. A crossbar is positioned adjacent but slightly rearwardly from the rear portion and is coupled thereto through a swivel structure which defines a horizontal roll axis which extends in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle. The crossbar mounts a pair of hitch balls adjacent the opposite ends thereof. The trailer has a tongue structure provided with a pair of sidewardly spaced couplers for releasable engagement with the hitch balls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1985
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1987
    Inventor: C. Glenn Livingston
  • Patent number: 4645226
    Abstract: A dolly carries a fifth wheel for connecting a trailing vehicle, a drawing device (18,20,24) for pivotable connection of the dolly (8) to a drawing vehicle and elongated side supports (22) are movable from a free position to a locked position in which they form an essentially rigid connection between the dolly and a support element (24) carried by the drawing vehicle. Hereby the connection between the dolly and the drawing vehicle can be made sidewardly rigid if needed. By the side supports (22) being carried by pivotal supports (26), which allow sidewards pivoting of the side supports to the locked position, a vehicle rig, including the dolly, can maintain a maximum of allowed length both with and without sidewards rigidity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1984
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1987
    Assignee: Slapvagnskopplingar AB
    Inventors: Hans Gustavsson, Christer Bystedt
  • Patent number: 4616726
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for an articulated vehicle, for turning the vehicle about within a very limited space. According to the invention, the rear vehicle portion is provided with at least one supporting wheel mounted sideways, the axis of which lies in a vertical plane intersecting the vertical axis of articulation between the front and rear portions of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1985
    Date of Patent: October 14, 1986
    Assignee: VOLVO BM AB
    Inventor: Sixten Johansson
  • Patent number: 4603876
    Abstract: A pair of strut members are pivotally attached on either side of a dolly used to pivotally couple the front of a trailing trailer to the rear of a leading trailer. The struts are pivotal between an opened or in-use position in which any substantial pivotal movement of the dolly about relative to the leading trailer about a vertical axis is prevented and a closed or out-of-use position in which free pivotal movement of the dolly relative to the leading trailer is allowed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1984
    Date of Patent: August 5, 1986
    Inventor: Paul E. Gray
  • Patent number: 4573699
    Abstract: To enable a semi-trailer or full trailer to back up on a straight path, a remotely controlled locking plunger attached to the fifth wheel of a tractor or converter dolly is extended upwardly to enter a bushing carried by the king pin plate on the bottom of the trailer. The arrangement locks the trailer against pivoting relative to the tractor fifth wheel around the axis of the king pin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1986
    Assignee: Safety Equipment Corporation
    Inventor: Ronald F. Smith
  • Patent number: 4405146
    Abstract: The coupling is provided with a load bearing plate (6) tiltably mounted on a circular plate (10) supported on the tractor for rotation about a substantially vertical axis (20). The load bearing plate receives, in a slot (7) formed therein, a pair of spaced apart kingpins (1,3) on the underside of the trailer (A) in such manner that the trailer and the two plates are restrained from rotation with respect to each other. A pair of fluid operated rams (29,30) are mounted on the tractor and are arranged to cooperate an opposite sides of said axis (20) with rollers (35,36) carried by the circular plate via a pair of swinging arms (23,24) pivoted on a center shaft at one end and on the ends of the ram piston rods (27,28) near their opposite end. Thus only one ram at a time may become operable to resist rotation of the plates away from an in-line position of the tractor and trailer or to restore this position, to avoid trailer swing or to cure a jacknifing condition, without the piston rods fouling the center shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1981
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1983
    Inventor: David C. Mitchell
  • Patent number: 4405147
    Abstract: A steering device for steering a spaced axle trailer includes a pair of pivots connecting a tongue to a frame of the trailer. The steering device includes a primary arm pivotally connected to the trailer frame. The primary arm is coupled to pivotal spindle mechanisms on which the front trailer wheels are mounted to translate pivotal movement of the primary arm to the spindles, causing steering of the trailer. A mechanical surge brake device is connected to the tongue. A laterally movable element of the surge brake mechanism is attached to a hitch socket that fits over a hitch ball attached to a tow vehicle, so that the distance between the tow vehicle and the trailer is decreased slightly when the brakes of the tow vehicle are applied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1981
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1983
    Assignee: U-Haul Technical Center
    Inventors: John Horsman, James W. Ryden
  • Patent number: 4391455
    Abstract: A tractor vehicle provided with a fifth-wheel plate (4) supported by a beam (3) mounted on the chassis of the vehicle vertically pivotably in the longitudinal direction of the vehicle on two fulcrums (5) spaced-apart in the transverse direction of the vehicle. The fulcrums of the beam are selectively together or separately displaceable in the longitudinal direction of said vehicle. In this way the fifth-wheel plate is displaceable not only in the longitudinal direction (A) of the chassis by displacing both fulcrums simultaneously but also in the transverse direction (B) of the chassis by displacing only one fulcrum (FIG. 4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1980
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1983
    Assignee: Oy Sisu-Auto Ab
    Inventor: Nils Fagerstedt
  • Patent number: 4345775
    Abstract: An automatic steering system for a towed vehicle, or trailer, wherein the wheels of the trailer are steered while backing by means of a lockable, in length, rod extending longitudinally from a towing vehicle, the rod being positioned to the side of a towing connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1980
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1982
    Inventor: Donald V. Merrifield
  • Patent number: 4332396
    Abstract: A backing stabilizer for use in conjunction with a tractor having a tractor trailer pivotally connected thereto and another trailer with a tongue having one end pivotally connected to the tractor trailer and having the opposite end pivotally connected to the other trailer. The backing stabilizer includes a continuous cable having a portion connected to the tongue, means for movably connecting a portion of the cable to the trailer, and means for moving the cable to a slack condition wherein the tongue is pivotally movable and for moving the cable to a taut condition wherein the tongue is substantially held in a nonpivotable position by the cable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1982
    Inventor: George M. Ashby, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4219208
    Abstract: A steerable wheeled assembly for a vehicle such as a harvesting or windrowing machine of the type adapted to be drawn over crop rows in the ground is disclosed. The assembly includes rotatable vertical members and a horizontal axle member which are arranged in a "C" frame supportingly connected to the vehicle and which provides clearance under the axle. Ground engaging wheels rotate on stub axles which pivot in steering movement when the vertical members are rotated. Steering or pivot arms are mounted on each of the vertical members and are connected together by a tie rod. A fluid power actuated cylinder connected to one of the arms is used to pivot the arm and stear the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1978
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1980
    Assignee: Logan Farm Equipment Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Niles H. Fuller, Melvin G. Grover
  • Patent number: 4208063
    Abstract: A mechanism is disclosed for steering in the reverse direction a towed or pulled wheeled vehicle, such as a trailer with one or more axles, each axle having one or more pairs of steerable wheels. A steering rod is connected to at least one of the steerable trailer wheels and extends generally along the trailer axle, terminating at a pivotal connection mechanically movable in relation to a pivotal connection between a fixed support rigid with the trailer axle and a plate rotatable with respect to the trailer axle and angularly positioned by operative association with the vehicle. Movement of the pivotal connection between the steering rod and plate, provided for by suitable mechanical means, imparts a lateral displacement to the steering rod, causing the trailer wheel and by mechanical connection, all trailer wheels, to turn and the trailer to proceed in the same path of movement as the towing vehicle when the vehicle and trailer are moving in a reverse direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1978
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1980
    Assignee: Gil-Bar Trailer Corporation
    Inventors: Edward S. Baker, Gilbert L. Barnett
  • Patent number: 4153132
    Abstract: A trailer steering and towing hitch includes a moveable hitch connecting member which is supported on a towing vehicle for moving back and forth transverse to the axis of the towing vehicle with a motor for moving the hitch member back and forth for moving the front of a towed trailer for shifting and steering the trailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1977
    Date of Patent: May 8, 1979
    Inventor: Lawrence W. Biedebach
  • Patent number: 4147372
    Abstract: A coupling mechanism adapted for attaching a draft vehicle to a drawn vehicle, so as to permit relative pivotal movement therebetween in a generally horizontal plane, and comprising an arcuate orientation of abutment means adapted to be supported by the draft vehicle and another abutment means adapted to be supported by the drawn vehicle, with at least one of the abutment means being selectively expandible or extendible by power means, for causing interlocking coaction between the first and second mentioned abutment means, so as to transmit force from the first mentioned abutment means to the second mentioned abutment means in a direction generally laterally of the longitudinal axis of the mechanism, whereby the drawn vehicle during a backing-up operation moves in the same general direction as the draft vehicle. The mechanism is useable with a fifth wheel type of truck-trailer combination as well as with trailer hitch drawn-bar type couplings for use in connection with automotive and truck-type vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1977
    Date of Patent: April 3, 1979
    Inventor: Alray Sumpter
  • Patent number: 4133552
    Abstract: The invention contemplates pressure-fluid operated control connections, auxiliary to a trailer-hitch connection, for providing a selected one of a plurality of functions primarily to aid in making a hitched connection between a trailer and a towing vehicle. The invention also provides selective availability of safety aids for back-up maneuvering of the hitched trailer, and anti-sway coupling for the safe trailing of hitched vehicles on the highway. Various embodiments are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1977
    Date of Patent: January 9, 1979
    Inventor: Gerald Sheine
  • Patent number: RE33697
    Abstract: A tractor-(28) trailer (30) vehicle (24) brake system control for distributing the brake effort to obtain inter-tractor-trailer proportional braking (H.sub.1 /V.sub.1 =H.sub.2 /V.sub.2) by use of sensors (170, 172) mounted to the trailer only is provided. The control system senses (80) acceleration (a) and the ratio of vertical to horizontal forces (H.sub.F /V.sub.F) at the fifth wheel (34) by sensors (170, 172) mounted to the tractor (28) only and modulates the brakes to cause the ratio H.sub.F /V.sub.F to equal acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1991
    Inventor: Joseph H. McNinch, Jr.