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Wheeled snowplow and sand or salt spreader

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Title: Wheeled snowplow and sand or salt spreader.
Abstract: A manual snowplow and spreader to clear a path of snow and disperse melting agents in a single pass. This snowplow is wheeled and has two adjustable curved blades that move snow to both sides, only left side, only right side or straight ahead. The spreader storage tank disperses material through a funnel, controlled by a flow valve. Personal height adjustments for the vertical and horizontal grips provide comfort and efficiency. Flexible positioning of the front wheels provide two options. First, the front wheels are off the ground, forcing the shovel blades closest to the surface for optimal clearing. Second, the front wheels are on the ground, effectively raising the shovel blades off the ground, making it easiest for dispersal of sand or salt. The wheels are positioned behind the blades, enabling higher snow accumulations to be cleared. The said device is easily assembled and disassembled for convenient storage. ...


- Syosset, NY, US
Inventor: Abraham Harry Stecker
USPTO Applicaton #: #20060230644 - Class: 037278000 (USPTO) -


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Related Patent Categories: Excavating, Snow Or Ice Removing Or Grooming By Portable Device, Scraper Blade, Mounted On Surface Contacting Support Or Guide, Manually Powered
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20060230644, Wheeled snowplow and sand or salt spreader.

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FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to snowplows and sand or salt spreaders, and, more particularly, to a manual snowplow with the purpose of clearing snow, and, additionally, melting snow with a built in spreader.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The clearing of snow around your house, business, school, place of worship, or store is a necessity. The current choice of snow shovels, snowplows, and snow machines are either inefficient, noisy, expensive, or break down when really needed.

[0003] Most of the manual snow shovels require a great deal of lifting and hauling to clear a path of snow. This makes an individual use excessive strength and places unnecessary strain on the heart and back.

[0004] The current inefficiency of manual snow clearing results in lengthy exposure outside for long periods of time. High winds, freezing temperatures, and other harsh weather conditions can lead to frost bite, colds, and other illnesses.

[0005] Selection of a shovel with the most comfortable and appropriate height can be difficult, as many stores only carry a standard fixed height shovel.

[0006] Many snow shovels and snowplows require leverage of your arms and back, few utilize the leverage of wheels to reduce manual effort.

[0007] Snowplows with small wheels are ineffective and get buried in snowfalls of more than a few inches. Additionally, small wheels can get stuck in slush and irregular surfaces often found in driveways and broken sidewalks.

[0008] Snowplows with wheels built outside the plowing path get snow build up and resist forward motion.

[0009] Snow clearing devices with a fixed `V` shovel configuration have no flexibility on the path width, furthermore they tend to get pushed sideways and loose traction when only one side of the plow is used to clear snow.

[0010] Snowplows with inflexible `V` openings, where both blades are fixed at the same angle cannot push the snow to only one side and are therefore limited to clearing a path the width of the blades, and cannot clear an open area, such as a driveway.

[0011] The gasoline and electric snow machines are both very costly to purchase and require expenditures each year for tune ups. They require a great deal of space for storage, and the gasoline must be completely emptied between snow seasons to prevent starting and stalling problems. Additionally, gasoline spilt on the lawn or driveway can be toxic, and gasoline spilt on your skin or clothes leaves a long lasting unpleasant smell and is difficult to remove.

[0012] The operation of gasoline snow clearing devices are very noisy and can be inappropriate to use early in the morning or late at night. Additionally, most are too noisy to use next to schools, places of worship or libraries.

[0013] The electric powered snow machines can also impose safety issues, such as the potential for tripping over wires or getting seriously injured by coming in contact with frayed or cut electric wires. This could lead to electric shock or electrocution.

[0014] Most stores don't carry sand or salt spreaders, only sand, salt or other melting materials. Purchases are generally made of the larger and heaver bags for enough materials to last the entire winter season.

[0015] The completion of snow clearing is done by putting a melting agent or sand on the ground to melt what can't be cleared or to make it less slippery for walking. Spreading of these materials adds to the time spent outside, and after shoveling for a while, many areas are missed or skipped due to exhaustion. Small containers requiring many refills are used to disperse the materials, since the large bags bought in the store are so heavy. Spreading of materials is usually awkward, time consuming and messy.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 6,269,558, assigned to Alexander on Aug. 7, 2001, describes an adjustable snow plow shovel which includes a T-shaped handle comprised of a horizontal gripping member and an elongated vertical shaft member.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 5,791,072, assigned to Schbot on Aug. 11, 1998, describes an adjustable snowplow designed to remove snow and other materials from various surfaces by pushing the snowplow along the surface.

[0018] U.S. Pat. No. 5,511,328, assigned to Fingerer on Apr. 30, 1996, describes a hand operated snow plow with adjustable blades.

[0019] U.S. Pat. No. 4,796,367, assigned to Kulant on Jan. 10, 1989, describes an adjustable, manual snowplow which includes a pair of elongated blades.

[0020] U.S. Pat. No. 4,512,091, assigned to Leininger on Apr. 23, 1985, describes a wheeled snowplow and consists of a tubular frame having a laterally spaced pair of side portions, a rear portion and a V-shaped front portion.

[0021] U.S. Pat. No. 3,994,081, assigned to Middleton on Nov. 30, 1976, describes a push-type snowplow having a forwardly mounted angled blade reciprocated in a fore-and-aft direction by an oscillating motor drive for thrusting snow aside.

[0022] U.S. Pat. No. 3,664,042, assigned to Canrado on May 23, 1972, describes a snowplow particularly adapted to be manually propelled and includes a wheel-mounted scraper blade arranged to direct snow laterally.

[0023] U.S. Pat. No. 3,526,979, assigned to Ladewski on Sep. 8, 1970, describes a snowplow having a longitudinal frame support and a pair of blades connected to the frame support.

[0024] U.S. Pat. No. 3,431,661, assigned to Carlson on Mar. 11, 1969, describes a snowplow with laterally expansible fixed angle plow portions.

[0025] U.S. Pat. No. 2,908,090, assigned to Eifel on Oct. 13, 1959, describes a snow plow comprising a body of generally triangular shape, disposed with the apex of the triangle at the center forward portion.

[0026] U.S. Pat. No. 2,900,744, assigned to Champain on Oct. 13, 1959, describes a snow removal device with a pair of forwardly converging pusher plates, a frame arranged between the pusher plates, and resting on ground runners.

[0027] U.S. Pat. No. 2,460,560, assigned to Williams on Feb. 1, 1949, describes a hand snow plow mounted on wheels.

[0028] U.S. Pat. No. 2,432,780, assigned to Mader on Dec. 16, 1947, describes a snow plow, with two positions, either flat, or in a `V` position, and a single traction wheel.

[0029] U.S. patent application No. 20050050774, assigned to Cadman, Mar. 10, 2005, describes a sidewalk maintenance vehicle and system for clearing snow and ice from a surface.

[0030] U.S. patent application No. 20040031172, assigned to Porat, submitted Feb. 19, 2004, describes a manually operated snow plow which includes a V-shaped blade assembly, a pair of end blades, a front pivoting extension, and a handle.

[0031] U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,269,558, 5,791,072, and 5,551,328 have a single handle for pushing and is not height adjustable. Additionally, these snowplows have no wheels for extra leverage.

[0032] U.S. Pat. No. 4,796,367, describes the snow shovel with the apex or `V` closest to you, requiring you to push snow rather than deflect it.

[0033] U.S. Pat. No. 4,512,091, has a non-adjustable fixed V-shaped shovel. Also, the wheels are small and can get stuck in slush and irregular surfaces.

[0034] U.S. Pat. No. 3,994,081, is motorized and requires a long electric wire to operate. Also the blades are fixed in their range and can't be adjusted.

[0035] U.S. Pat. No. 3,664,042 has fixed `V` blade positioning, only 3 wheels for balance, components are connected with a cable, and a fixed height single handle for support.

[0036] U.S. Pat. No. 3,526,979 has both blades adjustable, both always to the same relative angle to each other. Also, the single handle height is fixed, and it has small wheels that can get stuck in slush and irregular surfaces.

[0037] U.S. Pat. No. 3,431,661 is a single handled snowplow without wheels that has a blade that expands in the form of a `V`. Although its not required to lift this snowplow, you have to make several passes over the same path, each time opening the blades further, to go from a narrow path to one that is usable.

[0038] U.S. Pat. No. 2,908,090 has fixed `V` blade positions, a fixed height handle, and a single wheel for balancing, which never allows all of the snow blade to be on the ground.

[0039] U.S. Pat. No. 2,900,744 has a fixed `V` blade, a single non adjustable handle, and ground runners which can create friction in areas of low or no snow.

[0040] U.S. Pat. No. 2,460,560 has a contoured blade, which will push the snow forward, rather than to the side. This device also has a fixed handle for pushing.

[0041] U.S. Pat. No. 2,432,780 is a single handled snowplow with a single wheel. The blade has two positions, a fixed `V` and also a flat angled position. The angled position is only directed to one side and limited in its clearing ability.

[0042] U.S. patent application No. 20050050774, is a motorized vehicle, more expensive than manual devices, uses gasoline, and pushes snow straight ahead, rather than to the sides.

[0043] U.S. patent application No. 20040031172, is a fixed `V` shovel with a fixed height handle, and no wheels.

[0044] It is therefore an object of the invention to make it easy to clear a path in snow with less effort and strain than prior manual shovels or snowplows.

[0045] It is another object of the invention to provide a manual sand or salt spreading mechanism to be used simultaneously with the front blades to help melt snow or ice that cannot be moved.

[0046] It is another object of the invention to make using the device easy and efficient for different height sized individuals.

[0047] It is another object of the invention to enable higher snow accumulations to be cleared by using large rear wheels and provide leverage and flexibility with adjustable front wheels.

[0048] It is another object of the invention to provide an easy adjustment mechanism to the front blades to enable snow to be pushed to both sides, only to the left, only to the right or straight ahead.

[0049] It is another object of the invention to provide a convenient way to carry sand or salt and easily disperse it.

[0050] It is another object of the invention to provide an easy means to assemble and disassemble the device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0051] In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader to clear a path in the snow and disperse melting agents in a single pass. This snowplow is wheeled and has two adjustable curved blades that can move snow to both sides, only to the left side, only to the right side or straight ahead. The spreader storage tank mounts on the frame and disperses material through a funnel, controlled by a flow valve. Personal height adjustments for the vertical and horizontal hand grips provide optimal comfort and efficiency for operating this device. Flexible positioning of the front wheels provide two options. The first is where the front wheels are adjusted off the ground, forcing the front shovel blades closest to the surface for optimal snow clearing. Second is where the front wheels are adjusted to be on the ground, effectively raising the front shovel blades off the ground and making it easiest for dispersal of sand or salt and no shovel friction. All wheels are positioned behind the blades in the clearing path, enabling higher snow accumulations to be cleared and less snow resistance to occur. The manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader is easily assembled and disassembled for convenient storage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0052] A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:

[0053] FIG. 1 is a perspective left side view of a manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader in accordance with the invention. The front left blade is set to the forward position and the right blade in the back position. This configuration will move snow to the right side;

[0054] FIG. 2 is a perspective rear view of a lower section of the said device;

[0055] FIG. 3 is a perspective top view of a manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader. This configuration has the left and right front blades set to the furthest back position;

[0056] FIG. 4 is a perspective top view of a manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader;

[0057] FIG. 5 is a perspective right view of a manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader; and

[0058] FIG. 6 is a rear view of a shovel component of the manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader. Only the lower section scrapes along the ground and can be separated from the upper section. The lower section is attached in back of the upper section, with bolts extruding rearward.

[0059] For purposes of clarity and brevity, like elements and components will bear the same designations and numbering throughout the FIGURES.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0060] FIG. 1 is a perspective left side view of the manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader. The left front blade 42 is pinned in the forward position and the right front blade 40 in the most rear position. When the snowplow is moved in this configuration, snow will be pushed to the right side.

[0061] The said device is operated manually by pushing and holding onto the horizontal hand grip 12 or the left vertical hand grip 14 and the right vertical hand grip 16. The height of these grips is adjusted on the right side by moving a locking pin into one of several aligned openings on the right adjustable handle support 18 and similarly on the left side by adjusting the left adjustable handle support 20. Between the right adjustable handle support 18 and left adjustable handle support 20 are two horizontal brackets that support the storage tank 28. The upper storage tank support bracket 22 has a rod extruding from the center top, which fits into an aperture on the underneath section of storage tank 28, about mid point. The lower center storage tank support bracket 24 extrudes from the front horizontal support bar 26. These two brackets add stability to storage tank 28 during movement of the snowplow. Additional support of storage tank 28 from the left side is provided by the left side storage tank support 30, which extrudes from the left adjustable upper shovel bracket 36. Additional support of storage tank 28 from the right side is provided by the right side storage tank support 32, which extrudes from the right adjustable upper shovel bracket 34.

[0062] To control the direction the snow will be pushed the outer blades are independently adjusted. In total there are three shovel blades. They consist of two large adjustable outer blades, the left front blade 42 and the right front blade 40, and a small center blade 44 to fill the gap between the other two. The center section of each large outer blades is fixed. The outer sections are adjustable. The angle of the blades remain constant relative to the ground, for any adjustment. The left front blade 42 is adjusted with locking pins using both the left adjustable upper shovel bracket 36 and the left adjustable lower shovel bracket 50. The right front blade 40 is adjusted with locking pins using both the right adjustable upper shovel bracket 34 and the right adjustable lower shovel bracket 46. The center blade 44 is connected to the center pivotal connector 56. The front blades are constructed of two components which are bolted together. The lower section is a leading scrapper edge, and the upper section is a vertical upright plow portion. The right adjustable upper shovel bracket 34 and right adjustable lower shovel bracket 46 are held together by the right side front vertical support 48. The left adjustable upper shovel bracket 36 and left adjustable lower shovel bracket 50 are held together by the left side front vertical support 38.

[0063] To provide flexibility to the left and right blades the center pivotal connector 56 connects both. This connector has hinges on both sides. The top of the center pivotal connector 56 is attached to the front horizontal support bar 26 using the center bracket connector 52.

[0064] The smaller front wheels have been wide to avoid getting stuck in slush and irregular surfaces and for better traction. This helps when only one side of the snowplow is used to clear snow and its gets pushed sideways. The rear wheels are large to support the storage tank 28.

[0065] Movement of the said device is generally done utilizing the two front and two back wheels. The front wheels can be adjusted to raise them off the ground, forcing the front shovel blades closest to the surface for optimal snow clearing. The front wheels can also be lowered to the ground raising the front of the frame, elevating the front shovel blades off the ground. This makes it optimal for dispersing sand or salt. The small right front wheel 58 height is adjustable using one of several slots in the lowest part of the right adjustable handle support 18. The small left front wheel 62 is adjustable using one of several slots in the lowest part of the left adjustable handle support 20. The small left front wheel 62 and small right front wheel 58 are attached to the handle supports height adjusters with locking pins making assembly and disassembly easy.

[0066] To achieve better leverage in higher snow accumulations, this embodiment has the rear wheels made much larger than the front wheels. However, an alternate embodiment of this device can have the rear and front wheels any range in size, providing the front wheels are not greater than the rear wheels. All wheels are positioned behind the path of the shovels to have the least amount of snow resistance. The left large back wheel 64 is attached behind the left front blade 42, the right large back wheel 66 is attached behind the right front blade 40. Both rear wheels are connected with locking pins, making assembly and disassembly easy.

[0067] The spreader control value 76 on top of the storage tank 28 is the mechanism used to start or stop the flow of sand or salt onto the ground. The removable storage tank lid 60 is removed when loading sand or salt and when secured, protects materials from getting wet. When the spreader control value 76 is opened and sand or salt is flowing, it will be widely dispersed via the funnel cone 54, that has several channels or narrow alleyways for spreading.

[0068] FIG. 2 provides a view of the left rear vertical support bar 72 and right rear vertical support bar 70. These two support bars maintain the structure and help support the weight of the storage tank 28. The left rear vertical support bar 72 and the right rear vertical support bar 70 are connected to the rear lower horizontal support bar 74.

[0069] FIG. 3 is a configuration where the blades are in a `V` position. When the said device is pushed, snow will move to both sides.

[0070] FIG. 4 is shows all four wheels, with a configuration of the front blades pinned to force the snow to the right side.

[0071] FIG. 5 is a perspective left side view, in contrast to the perspective right side view of FIG. 1, the left side and right side of said device are built symmetrically.

[0072] The adjustable brackets, left adjustable upper shovel bracket 36, left adjustable lower shovel bracket 50, right adjustable upper shovel bracket 34, right adjustable lower shovel bracket 46, are made of concentric double pipes or tubes that are fit snug into each other.

[0073] The handle supports, right adjustable handle support 18 and left adjustable handle support 20 are constructed of concentric double pipes or tubes that fit snug into each other.

[0074] This structure of the said device can be fabricated of plastic, metal, or wood components. The front blades can be fabricated of plastic or metal and coated with a non-stick surface to reduce friction and easier snow movement.

[0075] Said device can have its components made of any color and not effect its operation.

[0076] In operation, the manual snowplow and sand or salt spreader has several adjustments for its most effective usage. The left and right shovel blades are set with pin adjustment to push the snow, either to the right, to the left or straight ahead. The height of the horizontal and vertical hand grips are set with pin adjustments. The front wheels are set to position the front blades for snow clearing or sand or salt spreading. The storage tank 28 is filled with sand or salt and the spreader control value 76 is adjusted to disperse material as required.

[0077] FIG. 6 is a rear view of the shovel component. This view illustrates the two sections of the shovel. Only the lower section is in contact with the ground where as the upper lower section is an upright plow. The two sections are bolted together where they overlap.

[0078] Said device is not limited in use to snow clearing and melting. The device can be used to plow materials other than snow, this includes, but is not limited to, soil, grain, sand, gravel, or any other loose materials.

[0079] The storage container can also hold seeds for planting, feed for livestock, or other material that can be used in a spreader. The variable flow value can be opened very wide to allow the disbursement of many different sized materials.

[0080] The storage tank 28 shown is only one of many sizes available. It can be made wider and longer.

[0081] Since other modifications and changes varied to fit particular operating requirements and environments will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention is not considered limited to the example chosen for purposes of disclosure, and covers all changes and modifications which do not constitute departures from the true spirit and scope of this invention.

[0082] Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be protected by Letters Patent is presented in the subsequently appended claims.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20060230644 A1
Publish Date
10/19/2006
Document #
File Date
09/20/2014
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
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Drawings
0



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