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Publication numberUS20030080125 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/282,598
Publication dateMay 1, 2003
Filing dateOct 29, 2002
Priority dateOct 30, 2001
Also published asCA2410117A1
Publication number10282598, 282598, US 2003/0080125 A1, US 2003/080125 A1, US 20030080125 A1, US 20030080125A1, US 2003080125 A1, US 2003080125A1, US-A1-20030080125, US-A1-2003080125, US2003/0080125A1, US2003/080125A1, US20030080125 A1, US20030080125A1, US2003080125 A1, US2003080125A1
InventorsJulius Cassani
Original AssigneeCassani Julius John
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cargo management system
US 20030080125 A1
Abstract
A cargo management system includes a cross member having a first side and a second side and a plurality of rib members hingedly connected to the cross member. A first group of rib members are hingedly connected to the first side of the cross member, and a second group of rib members are hingedly connected to the second side of the cross member. A front member hingedly connected to the first group of rib members and a first top portion hingedly connected to the front member. A rear member is hingedly connected to the second group of rib members and a second top portion is hingedly connected to the rear member. Preferably, the components are hingedly connected together by use of a live or living hinge. A top cover can be formed by one of the first and second top portions. The cargo management system may also include a bottom cover. A brace member and/or a locking member, such as a latch, may be utilized to maintain the cargo management system in a fully deployed position.
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Claims(8)
What is claimed is:
1. A cargo management system for a vehicle, comprising:
a cross member;
a plurality of rib members hingedly connected to the cross member;
a front member hingedly connected to at least one of the plurality of rib members;
a first top portion hingedly connected to the front member;
a rear member hingedly connected to at least one of the plurality of rib members; and
a second top portion hingedly connected to the rear member, wherein the first and second top portions are adapted to form a cover for the cargo management system when fastened together.
2. The cargo management system according to claim 1, further including a bottom member attached to the cross member, the plurality of rib members, the front member, and the rear member.
3. A cargo management system for a vehicle, comprising:
a cross member having a first surface and a second surface;
a first group of rib members hingedly connected to the first surface of the cross member;
a second group of rib members hingedly connected to the second surface of the cross member;
a front member hingedly connected to the first group of rib members;
a first top portion hingedly connected to the front member;
a rear member hingedly connected to the second group of rib members; and
a second top portion hingedly connected to the rear member,
wherein the first and second top portions are adapted to form a cover for the cargo management system when fastened together.
4. The cargo management system according to claim 3, further including a bottom member attached to the cross member, the plurality of rib members, the front member, and the rear member.
5. The cargo management system according to claim 3, wherein the first and second groups of rib members are hingedly connected to the front and rear members by a living hinge.
6. A cargo management system for a vehicle, comprising:
a cross member having a first surface and a second surface;
at least one rib member hingedly connected to the first surface of the cross member;
at least one rib member hingedly connected to the second surface of the cross member;
a front member hingedly connected to the at least one rib member hingedly connected to the first surface of the cross member;
a rear member hingedly connected to the at least one rib member hingedly connected to the second surface of the cross member; and
a top portion hingedly connected to the rear member.
7. The cargo management system according to claim 6, further including a bottom member coupled to the cross member, the plurality of rib members, the front member, and the rear member.
8. The cargo management system according to claim 6, wherein the cover is capable of withstanding a vertical load of at least 250 pounds.
Description
CLAIM TO PRIORITY

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Serial No. 60/340,939, filed Oct. 30, 2001, the entire contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a vehicle storage system, and in particular to a cargo management system that utilizes the “dead storage space” under a bench style seat for separating, controlling and/or securing cargo and other items.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] Conventional cargo storage devices for motor vehicles normally employ netting affixed to an elastic cord. The location for this conventional device directed to cargo separation, control, and securement is normally limited to a trunk space or the rear portion of a mini-van or sport utility vehicle (SUV). The netting and elastic cord device however doesn't completely secure weighted cargo that may move or roll during operation of the vehicle. In addition, this type of conventional device lacks rigidity that may prevent weighted cargo from moving freely in the storage area. Further, the netting only provides a single barrier for separating cargo because the netting may only stretch from a first side of the storage area to a second side of the storage area.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The inventor of the present invention has recognized that the “dead storage space” under a bench style or third seat can be used as a potential cargo storage location, especially when the bench style seat or third seat is in the raised or upright position. To this end, the inventor has developed a cargo management system that can be inserted into the “dead storage space” under a bench style seat. Thus, one aspect of the present invention is to provide a cargo management system to separate, control, and secure cargo or other goods in the “dead storage space” under a bench style seat. The dead storage space under a bench style seat may be directed to a third row seat in an SUV or a collapsible rear seat of a passenger vehicle.

[0007] The cargo management system comprises a cross member having a first side and a second side. A plurality of rib members are hingedly connected to the first side of the cross member forming a first group of rib members and a plurality of rib members hingedly connected to the second side of the cross member forming a second group of rib members. A front member is hingedly connected to the first group of rib members, and a first top portion is hingedly connected to the front member. A rear member is hingedly connected to the second group of rib members, and a second top portion is hingedly connected to the rear member. The first and second top portions are adapted to form a cover for the cargo management system when fastened together.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] In the drawings:

[0009]FIG. 1 is a collapsed view of the cargo management system;

[0010]FIG. 2 is a partially deployed perspective view of the cargo management system;

[0011]FIG. 3 is a deployed perspective view of the cargo management system;

[0012]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a live hinge in the cargo management system;

[0013]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the front member and first top portion;

[0014]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a T-shaped brace for the cargo management system;

[0015]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the T-shaped brace affixed to the cargo management system;

[0016]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a slide-lock brace affixed to the cargo management system;

[0017]FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a first and second top portion adjacently engaged;

[0018]FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the cargo management system affixed in a bench style seating well.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0019]FIG. 1 shows the cargo management system, shown generally at 10, when in a fully collapsed position. Preferably, the cargo management system 10 is made of lightweight, rigid plastic material, such as a thermoplastic composite (TPC) or the like. In the illustrated embodiment, the cargo management system 10 weighs approximately 11 lbs. and allows the user to selectively position the cargo management system 10 within a vehicle (not shown). It will be appreciated that the invention is not limited by the type of rigid, lightweight material, and that the invention can be practiced with any suitable lightweight, rigid material that can allow the user to selectively position the cargo management system 10 within the vehicle. The rigid material may have a decorative carpet or other trim applied over the outer surface to give an appealing appearance to the cargo management system 10. When in the fully collapsed position, the cargo management system 10 may be stowed away in a compact, collapsible, “thin stack form” in or outside of the vehicle. The cargo management system 10 can be positioned within any “dead storage space” of the vehicle, such as a trunk space in a rear portion of a vehicle, or under a bench style seat, such as a rear seat, a third row seat or the like.

[0020]FIG. 2 shows the cargo management system 10 in a partially deployed position. The cargo management system 10 comprises a cross member 12, a plurality of rib members 14, a front member 16, a rear member 18, a first top portion 20, and a second top portion 22. The cross member 12 is the backbone of the cargo management system 10 and includes a first side 24 and a second side 26. The plurality of rib members 14 are further defined as a first group of rib members 28 hingedly connected to the front member 16, and a second group of rib members 30 hingedly connected to the rear member 18. Preferably, the first and second groups of rib members 28, 30 are hingedly connected to the front and rear members 16, 18 by the use of a live or living hinge. In the illustrated embodiment, the first group of rib members 28 and second group of rib members 30 are shown to be positioned symmetrically about the cross member 12. However, in an alternate embodiment, the first group of rib members 28 may be positioned in a staggered relationship with respect to the second group of rib members 30.

[0021] The live hinge connection allows the cross member 12 and the rib members 14 to be deployed at a selected deployment angle θ, defined as the angle between the longitudinal line, A, of the cross member 12 and the longitudinal line, B, of the rib members 14. When the cargo management system 10 is completely collapsed, the deployment angle θ is approximately zero degrees, i.e., the cross member 12 and the rib members 14 are substantially parallel to each other. On the other hand, when the cargo management system 10 is in the fully deployed position, as shown in FIG. 3, the deployment angle θ is approximately ninety degrees, i.e., the cross member 12 and the rib members 14 are substantially perpendicular to each other.

[0022] When the cargo management system 10 is partially or fully deployed, the space between the cross member 12, the rib members 14 and the well wall 60 (FIG. 10) form one or more storage wells 32 of varying size. Preferably, the storage wells 32 are suitably sized so as to provide enough space to store goods of interest, such as a six-pack of beverages, a basketball or the like. However, larger goods may be stored in the storage wells 32 by eliminating some of the rib members 14 in the design of cargo management system 10.

[0023] As seen in FIG. 4, the live hinge connection can be achieved by using a one-sided tape 34 of a type well known in the art. The one-sided tape 34 binds the cross member 12 to the rib members 14, the rib members 14 to the front member 16, and the rib members 14 to the rear member 18. It should be noted that the first top portion 20 and the second top portion 22 are hingedly connected to the front member 16 and rear member 18, respectively. It will be appreciated that the live hinge connection can be achieved by any appropriate means well known in the art. For example, the live hinge connection can be formed by decreasing the thickness along the junction between the top portion 20 and the front member 16, and between the top portion 22 and the rear member 18, as shown in FIG. 5. Thus, an alternate embodiment of the cargo management system 10 may include similar live hinge connections for the members 16, 20 and 18, 22 without the use of the one-sided tape 34. The live hinge connections may also be replaced with other known means of hingedly connecting the components of the cargo management system 10, such as a piano-type hinge, door-type hinge, and the like.

[0024] The rib members 14 located at the ends of the cross member 12 define the end portions 36, 38 of the cargo management system 10, as shown in FIG. 6. When the cargo management system 10 is fully deployed, a brace 40 having a T-shaped cross section can be removably attached to the end portions 36, 38 to prevent the cargo management system 10 from substantially deviating from the fully deployed position. To removably attach the T-shaped brace 40, the T-shaped brace 40 includes a groove 42 capable of receiving the cross member 12 and the end portions 36, 38, as best shown in FIG. 7. The T-shaped brace 40 can also include a tether 44 that can be affixed to one of the end portions 36, 38 in order to prevent the brace 40 from being misplaced or lost. Preferably, the brace 40 is positioned at a junction 39 between the cross member 12 and the rib members 14 that define the end portions 36, 38, as shown in FIG. 6 and 7. In the illustrated embodiment, the T-shaped brace 40 contacts the cross member 12 and the rib members 14 at three locations.

[0025] It will be appreciated that there are many different ways in which to maintain the fully deployed position of the cargo management system 10. As seen in FIG. 8, the cargo management system 10 may also include a device, such as a slide lock 46, for locking the end portions 36, 38 in place. The slide lock 46 may be used singularly or in combination with the brace 40 to keep the system 10 intact and to increase its rigidity. The slide lock 46 is mounted on the end portions 36, 38 and includes a track member 48, a receiving portion 50, and a locking portion 52. The locking portion 52 can be selectively inserted within the receiving portion 50 when the cargo management system 10 is fully deployed. In order to maintain maximum collapsibility of the invention, the track member 48 and locking portion 52 are located on one of the rib members 14 at end portions 36, 38, and the receiving portion 50 is located on the opposite rib member 14.

[0026] As shown in FIG. 9, the first top portion 20 and the second top portion 22 can form a suitable top cover or lid 56 of the cargo management system 10. This can be accomplished by hingedly deploying the front member 16 and rear member 18, respectively. First, the second top portion 22 is folded over and engages the rib members 14 and the cross member 12. The second top portion 22 is foldable along a central portion in order to maintain the compactability and collapsible structure of the present invention. Preferably, the contour of the second top portion 22 substantially conforms to the contour of the opening of the “dead storage space” in which the cargo management system 10 will reside.

[0027] Second, as shown in FIG. 8, the first top portion 20 is fastened to the second top portion 22 by fastening means 54 such as VELCRO®, button-snap-fit, or any other suitable fastening means. When the first top portion 20 is fastened to the second top portion 22, the suitable top cover or lid 56 is formed for the cargo management system 10. The top cover 56 provides an enclosed system 10 that can withstand a vertical load of at least 250 pounds. This can be accomplished by forming a pattern of ribs (not shown), such as a plurality of concentric rings, on the surface of the top cover 56 to provide reinforcement to the top cover 56. To open the top cover 56, the first top portion 20 is unfastened from the second top portion 22 by pulling it away from the second top portion 22. The second top portion 22 can be deployed by gripping an optional handle bezel 58, and pulling the second top portion 22 away from the rib members 14 and cross member 12. Rather than using the storage well bottom as the bottom for the cargo management system 10, the system 10 may also include an optional bottom cover (not shown) that may be similar in shape to the top cover 56 to enclose the bottom, opposite side of the cargo management system 10.

[0028]FIG. 10 shows the cargo management system 10′ placed into a bench style seat well 60 according to an alternate embodiment of the invention. In the alternate embodiment, the cross member 12, the front member 16, and/or the rear member 18 extend longitudinally beyond the end portions 36 and 38 to provide one or more additional storage wells 32 between the end portions 36, 38, and the well wall 60. Preferably, the portions of the cross member 12, the front member 16, and/or the rear member 18 that extend longitudinally past the end portions 36, 38 are free standing and are not hingedly connected to the rib members 14. However, in order to increase the compactness of the cargo management system 10, each of the extensions may be foldable toward the end portions 36, 38 by means of a live hinge.

[0029] One difference between the earlier embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-9 and the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 10 is that the brace 40 may have an X-shaped cross section, rather than a T-shaped cross section, to accommodate the extension of the cross member 12, or the brace 40 can be entirely omitted. Another difference is the top cover 56 can be formed only by use of a second top portion 22′, and that the first top portion 20 can be omitted. Instead of the fastening means 54 on the first top portion 20, the second top portion 22′ includes a latch member 64 for latching the second top portion 22′ to the front member 16 and/or one of the rib members 14. The latch member 64 can fasten the second top portion 22′ to two opposite sides of either the front member 16 and/or a rib member 14 by use of an interference fit, or by any well-known means in the art. The latch member 64 can also function as the handle bezel 58, as described in the earlier embodiment, to unlatch the top cover 56 by pulling the second top portion 22′ in the direction away from the front member 16.

[0030] While the invention has been specifically described in connection with certain specific embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that this is by way of illustration and not of limitation, and the scope of the appended claims should be construed as broadly as the prior art will permit.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7201421Feb 11, 2005Apr 10, 2007Lear CorporationRear vehicle storage system
US7597207Jan 24, 2005Oct 6, 2009Shaun David GreenCollapsible container
US7597208 *Nov 15, 2006Oct 6, 2009Wen-Tsan WangFolding collapsible storage box
US7629552 *May 3, 2004Dec 8, 2009Lockheed Martin CorporationCollapsible and expandable holder and system for using the same
US8733551 *Oct 21, 2008May 27, 2014Medicart International LimitedMedical equipment storage and transportation kit
US8978912 *Mar 5, 2013Mar 17, 2015Response Holdings CorporationCollapsible shipping tote
US20110168598 *Jan 18, 2011Jul 14, 2011The Not Box Co LtdCollapsible crate
US20110192744 *Oct 21, 2008Aug 11, 2011George Christopher ParkerMedical equipment storage and transportation kit
US20130038080 *Aug 11, 2011Feb 14, 2013GM Global Technology Operations LLCStowable under-seat storage system and method of organizing a passenger compartment of a vehicle
WO2005068305A1 *Jan 12, 2005Jul 28, 2005Capon StephenCollapsible container
WO2005070775A1Jan 24, 2005Aug 4, 2005Shaun David GreenCollapsible container
WO2008065350A1 *Nov 21, 2007Jun 5, 2008Barry WhittamSecure storage chamber
WO2013153310A1 *Mar 28, 2013Oct 17, 2013Renault S.A.S.Rear vehicle boot with removable compartmenting
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/6
International ClassificationB60R7/00, B65D6/18, B60R7/02, B65D25/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65D11/1853, B60R7/02, B65D25/04, B65D2313/02
European ClassificationB65D25/04, B65D11/18E2, B60R7/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 29, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: INTIER AUTOMOTIVE INC., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CASSANI, JULIUS J.;REEL/FRAME:013454/0203
Effective date: 20021028