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Publication numberUS20040042886 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/229,595
Publication dateMar 4, 2004
Filing dateAug 28, 2002
Priority dateJun 20, 2002
Also published asUS6945742, US20030235487, WO2004000715A2, WO2004000715A3
Publication number10229595, 229595, US 2004/0042886 A1, US 2004/042886 A1, US 20040042886 A1, US 20040042886A1, US 2004042886 A1, US 2004042886A1, US-A1-20040042886, US-A1-2004042886, US2004/0042886A1, US2004/042886A1, US20040042886 A1, US20040042886A1, US2004042886 A1, US2004042886A1
InventorsDave Roberts
Original AssigneeDave Roberts
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable manhole cover remover
US 20040042886 A1
Abstract
A manhole cover remover, including a support, the support being a utility vehicle, equipped with a plow carriage, hydraulic ram, and plow connectors; at least one pivot arm joined to the plow connectors; a cable connecting the hydraulic ram and the at least one pivot arm; an attachment joined to the at least one pivot arm; a video camera in optical communication with the attachment; and a monitor located within the utility vehicle and in communication with the video camera and a method of converting a snow plow to a manhole cover remover, including the steps of removing a snowplow blade from plow connectors and hydraulic ram; joining pivot arms to the plow connectors; joining an attachment to the pivot arms; and joining the hydraulic ram to the pivot arms.
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Claims(17)
I claim:
1. A manhole cover remover, comprising:
a support, the support being a utility vehicle, equipped with a winch and plow connectors;
at least one pivot arm joined to the plow connectors;
a cable connecting the winch and the at least one pivot arm;
an attachment joined to the at least one pivot arm;
a video camera in optical communication with the attachment; and
a monitor located within the utility vehicle and in communication with the video camera.
2. The manhole cover remover of claim 1 wherein the winch is a hydraulic ram.
3. The manhole cover of claim 1 further comprising:
a plow carriage joined to a hydraulic ram, the hydraulic ram joined to the at least one pivot arm
4. The manhole cover remover of claim 1 wherein the attachment is a magnet.
5. The manhole cover of claim 1 wherein the attachment is an electromagnet.
6. A manhole cover remover conversion kit, comprising:
at least one pivot arm adapted to be joined to plow connectors;
a cable adapted to connect the hydraulic ram to the at least one pivot arm;
an attachment selectively joinable to the at least one pivot arm;
a video camera in optical communication with the attachment; and
a monitor positionable within a utility vehicle and in communication with the video camera.
7. The kit of claim 6 further comprising:
a support being a utility vehicle equipped with a plow carriage, hydraulic ram and plow connectors, the pivot arms joined to the plow connectors, the hydraulic ram joined to the plow carriage and the cable, the cable joined to the at least one pivot arm, and the monitor positioned within the utility vehicle.
8. The kit of claim 6, wherein there are two pivot arms.
9. The kit of claim 6 wherein the at least one pivot arm is adapted to be hingedly joined to at least one plow connector.
10. The kit of claim 6 wherein the attachment is a magnet.
11. The kit of claim 6 wherein the attachment is an electromagnet.
12. A method of converting a snow plow to a manhole cover remover, comprising the steps of:
removing a snowplow blade from plow connectors and hydraulic ram;
joining pivot arms to the plow connectors;
joining an attachment to the pivot arms; and
joining the hydraulic ram to the pivot arms.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein the pivot arms are hingedly joined to the plow connectors.
14. The method of claim 12 further including the step of:
monitoring the attachment with a video camera and monitor.
15. The method of claim 12 further including the step of:
operating the hydraulic ram to raise and lower the attachment.
16. The method of claim 12 wherein the attachment is a magnet.
17. The method of claim 12 wherein the attachment is an electromagnet.
Description
  • [0001]
    The present invention is in the filed of lifters and more specifically devices for lifting and removing manhole covers.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Manhole covers are well known access points for various utilities equipment. The covers allow cars and other vehicles to traverse the road without falling into the hole itself. Yet, the covers, approximately fifty pounds each, can be removed for required maintenance. Manhole covers, found along many paved roadways, tend to be spaced between one hundred and five hundred feet apart.
  • [0003]
    The covers are generally entrenched with rock, tar, sand and dirt. A worker must hook the cover with a pry bar or other equipment and lift. While one cover is a substantial task, removing multiple covers is daunting. Various tools have been developed to ease this task.
  • [0004]
    For instance, Schmitz et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 5,035,336) and Quarr et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 4,789,072) disclose a Compact Compressible Manhole Cover Lifter and a Hydraulic Manhole Cover Lifter respectively. The lifter is generally an inverted U-shaped piece of equipment that can engage a cover mechanically or magnetically, using either a hydraulic system or winch to lift the cover.
  • [0005]
    Taylor (U.S. Pat. No. 6,164,898) teaches a Manhole cover Removal Apparatus and Method. A reciprocating member mounted on a vehicle lowers to grasps a cover ad raises to lift the cover.
  • [0006]
    Agesen (U.S. Pat. No. 3,152,708) discloses a Tool for Lifting Manhole Covers. A lever with wheels, mounted as a fulcrum, applies pressure to a chain joined to the cover.
  • [0007]
    Mochizuki et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 4,662,607) discloses yet another device for removing manhole covers, entitled Apparatus for Operating Manhole Cover. This device, similar to Agesen, essentially has a lever with wheels, mounted as a fulcrum, which applies pressure to a hanging hook mechanism joined to the cover.
  • [0008]
    Golding (U.S. Pat. No. 4,826,388) teaches a Manhole Cover Lifter. A key is located in the manhole keyhole and a lever provides the mechanical advantage for lifting the manhole cover.
  • [0009]
    Chick (U.S. Pat. No. 5,292,107) teaches a Sewer Cover Lifting Tool. This essentially wheeled hand lever tool lifts covers from the side.
  • [0010]
    Each of the devices are complex, cumbersome and unstable. One device, Lassiter, which is a little less cumbersome than the aforementioned devices is not taught to be used with manhole covers. Lassiter (U.S. Pat. No. 2,804,979) teaches a Portable Lifting Apparatus. A wheeled truck with spaced side frame members carry a boom that may be moved along an arcuate path.
  • [0011]
    What is needed is a manhole cover remover that is compact for transport and stable in operation. The remover should provide god mechanical advantage and ease of moving, preferably with handles positioned in an easy to reach location. Desirably, it should attach and detach from a vehicle and be usable whether or not it is attached to a vehicle.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0012]
    The manhole cover remover is provided with an attachment; a support; a pivot arm, the pivot arm having a proximal end hinged to the support and the pivot arm having a distal end; a winch joined to the distal end of the pivot arm; and a power source in operable communication with the winch.
  • [0013]
    A method of removing a manhole cover includes the steps of rotating a pivot arm down toward a manhole cover, connecting the pivot arm to the manhole cover and winching the pivot arm upward.
  • [0014]
    Advantageously, the manhole cover remover has outriggers positionable for support when in use, which pivot upwardly providing a smaller footprint for the remover when not in use.
  • [0015]
    Also an advantage, the manhole cover remover may be in combination with a dolly providing a mechanism to easily transport the remover between covers.
  • [0016]
    As yet another advantage, the manhole cover remover may be selectively joined to a vehicle, powered by the vehicles accessory battery or its own battery, and the remover may be separated from the vehicle for use independent thereof.
  • [0017]
    A further advantage is that handles may be extended for ease of reach to move the manhole cover remover and collapsed for compact storage.
  • [0018]
    In another embodiment, the manhole cover remover may be provided with a support, at least one pivot arm, a cable, an attachment, a video camera, and a monitor. The support preferably is a utility vehicle, equipped with a plow carriage, hydraulic ram, and plow connectors. The at least one pivot arm may be joined to the plow connectors. The cable connects the hydraulic ram and the at least one pivot arm, while the attachment joins to the at least one pivot arm. The video camera optically communicates with the attachment and communicates with the monitor located within the utility vehicle.
  • [0019]
    A method of converting a snow plow to a manhole cover remover, preferably includes the steps of removing a snowplow blade from plow connectors and hydraulic ram; joining pivot arms to the plow connectors; joining an attachment to the pivot arms; and joining the hydraulic ram to the pivot arms. Operation of the hydraulic ram raises and lowers the attachment, e.g., magnet.
  • [0020]
    Advantageously, this embodiment uses existing equipment, expanding the usefulness of snow plows.
  • [0021]
    Advantageously, this embodiment is compact with few parts, easily connectable to a snowplow in a matter of minutes.
  • [0022]
    These and other advantages will become clear from reading the description of the invention below.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of the present invention joined to a dolly;
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a second embodiment of the present invention joined to a dolly;
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 3 is a front view showing the second embodiment of the present invention joined to a dolly with outriggers;
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 4 is a side view of the showing the second embodiment of the present invention with outriggers extended, one handle operably positioned and the another handle being moved to operable position;
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 5 is a side view showing the present invention joined to a dolly in a collapsed position;
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 6 is a side view showing the present invention with a dolly joined to a vehicle;
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 7 is a front view of an existing snow plow joined to elongate members;
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 8 is a front view showing another embodiment of a manhole cover remover; and
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 9 is a front view of a modified version of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0032]
    A manhole cover remover 10 is provided with an attachment 12; a support 14; a pivot arm 16 joined to the support 26; a connector 26 joining the attachment 12 to the pivot arm 16; a winch 30 joined to the pivot arm 16; and a power source 40 in operable communication with the winch 30.
  • [0033]
    The attachment 12 may be any device suitable for attachment to a manhole cover 90 such as hooks, clamps or magnets. Preferably, the attachment 12 is a magnet. Most preferably, as shown in the second embodiment, the attachment 12 is an electromagnet. The attachment 12 is joined to the pivot arm 16.
  • [0034]
    The support 14 may be any structure suitable for supporting the pivot arm 16. In one embodiment; the support 14 is a dolly 50, such as a two-wheeled dolly 50. The dolly 50 includes uprights 52, wheels 54, cross bars 56 and a base plate 58. The wheels 54 and cross bars 56 are joined to the uprights 52 with the base plate 58 extending perpendicularly from the uprights 52. Alternatively, the support 14 may be a vehicle 100.
  • [0035]
    The vehicle 100 may be joined to the pivot arm 16 and attachment 12. The winch 30, joined to the pivot arm 16, may raise and lower the attachment 12 relative to the manhole cover 90. A power source 40, which may be the accessory battery of the vehicle 100, is in operable communication with the winch 30. In such a configuration the dolly 50 is replaced by the vehicle 100 itself.
  • [0036]
    In a more preferred configuration, the vehicle 100 includes a lower mount 102 that may be raised an lowered hydraulically or by other mechanism. The vehicle 100 further includes selectively removable clamps 104 that attach to the uprights 52 of the dolly 50. When joined, the dolly 50 sits on top of the lower mount 102 and is held in place by the clamps 104. Wiring 36 and 42 may allow the controls 34 and 44 for the winch 30 and power source 40 respectively to be operated from inside the vehicle 100.
  • [0037]
    The pivot arm 16, joined to the support 14 may be any extender suitable for positioning the attachment 12 toward the manhole cover 90. Desirably the pivot arm 16 is relocatable to a stored position, which is desired to be vertical near the uprights 52. The pivot arm 16 has a proximal end 18, which may be joined with a hinge 22 to the support 14. The distal end 20 of the pivot arm 16 may further have a hook or eyelet 24 for connection to the connector 26 and cable 32.
  • [0038]
    The connector 26 may be any device suitable for joining the attachment 12 to the pivot arm 16. Desirably, the connector 26 is joined to the distal end 20 of the pivot arm 16, perhaps to the hook or eyelet 24. Suitable connectors 26 include cables, chains and may be the cable 32 of the winch 30 described further below.
  • [0039]
    The winch 30 may be joined to the distal end 20 of the pivot arm 16 via cable 32. Preferably, the winch 30 includes a control 44 and wiring 36. Wiring 36 may join the control to the remainder of the winch 30 and may further connect the winch 30 to the power source 40. The winch 30 should be of suitable size and strength to lift a manhole cover 90 from a street surface. Cross bars 56 of the dolly 50 may provide a suitable mounting structure for the winch 30.
  • [0040]
    The power source 40 may be in operable communication with the magnet 12 and may be in operable communication with the winch 30. The preferred power source 40 is a 12-volt battery, such as those commonly used as accessory batteries in vehicles. The power source 40 provides the power to operate the winch 30 and allows use of an electromagnet as the attachment 12.
  • [0041]
    One or more outriggers 70 may be used to stabilize the support 14, during removal of the cover 90. The preferred outrigger 70 includes a horizontal arm 74 rotatably joined to an attachment plate 72. Rotation of the outriggers 70 to a vertical position provides a small footprint of the remover 10 for easy transport. The attachment plate 72 may be used to secure the outriggers 70 to the uprights 52 of the dolly 50. The attachment plates 72 desirably include securements 76, preferably detents, which engage the horizontal arms 74, selectively locking the horizontal arms 74 in a horizontal position and in a vertical position. Castors 78 may be joined to the horizontal arms 74 as shown to allow for easy movement of the remover 10 about a manhole cover 90. The outriggers 70 are preferably angles sufficiently to allow the castors 78 and wheels 54 of the dolly 50 to be positioned across the manhole cover 90 from each other.
  • [0042]
    Handles 80 may be joined to the horizontal arms 74 such that the remover may easy be repositioned regardless of the location of the user. The handles 80 preferably are hinged attached to the horizontal arms 74 such that the handles 80 may be positioned perpendicular to the arms 74 when in use and the handles 80 may be positioned parallel to the arms 74 in a collapsed or storage position. Detents may be used to selectively hold the handles 80 in the use position or the storage position. Telescoping handles 80 are desired to allow for smaller storage and longer handles, providing easy reach, when in use.
  • [0043]
    In operation, a manhole cover 90 may be removed by the steps of: vertically positioning outriggers 70 the a horizontal position; rotating a pivot arm 16 down toward a manhole cover 90; connecting the pivot arm 16 to the manhole cover 90; and winching the pivot arm 16 upward. Moving a support 14, such selectively with a dolly 50 or vehicle 100, may locate the pivot arm 16 relative to the cover 90. The pivot arm 16 may connect to the manhole cover 90 with an electromagnet.
  • [0044]
    An embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 shows a manhole cover remover 110 including a support 112, at least one pivot arm 130, a cable 140, an attachment, a video camera, and a monitor. In this embodiment, the support 112 is a utility vehicle 114, equipped with a plow carriage 116, hydraulic ram 118, and plow connectors 120. The pivot arm 130 may be joined to the plow connectors 120, perhaps hingedly with a pin and cotter key arrangement. Desirably there is at least one pivot arm 130 and most preferably two pivot arms 130 each joined to a corresponding plow connector 120. The cable 140 may connect the hydraulic ram 118 and the at least one pivot arm 130 to expand the length of the hydraulic ram 118. The attachment 150, preferably a magnet and most preferably an electromagnet, joins to the at least one pivot arm 130. The attachment 150 is adapted to connect to a manhole cover. A video camera 160 is preferably in optical communication with the attachment 150, temporarily or permanently recording the activity thereof. The monitor 170 located within the utility vehicle 114 and in communication with the video camera 160, displays the activity of the attachment 150 to the user, while the user directs the utility vehicle 114 and the hydraulic ram 118 to properly position the attachment 150 relative to the manhole cover.
  • [0045]
    This embodiment may be prepared as a kit for attachment to existing snow plows 114. The snow plows 114 are equipped with equipped with a plow carriage 116, hydraulic ram 118 and plow connectors 120. The hydraulic ram 118 is a specialized winch. The kit may include at least one pivot arm 130 adapted to be joined to plow connectors 120, a cable 140 adapted to connect the hydraulic ram 118 to the at least one pivot arm 130, an attachment 150 selectively joinable to the at least one pivot arm 130, a video camera 160 in optical communication with the attachment 150; and a monitor 170 positionable within the snow plow 114 and in communication with the video camera 160.
  • [0046]
    In operation, the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8 provides for conversion of an existing snow plow 114 to a manhole cover remover 110, including the steps of removing a snowplow blade from plow connectors 120 and hydraulic ram 118; joining pivot arms 130 to the plow connectors 120; joining an attachment 150 to the pivot arms 130; and joining the hydraulic ram 118 to the pivot arms 130. The pivot arms 130 are preferably hingedly joined to the plow connectors 120. A monitor 170 and video camera 160 may be mounted to the snow plow 114 to monitor the positioning and movement of the attachment 150. Operating the hydraulic ram 118 raises and lowers the attachment 150.
  • [0047]
    The embodiment shown in FIG. 9, shows is substantially the same as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, without the plow carriage 116 or hydraulic ram 118. A winch 122, replaces the purpose and function of the hydraulic ram 118. Pivot arms 130 are joined to plow connectors 120 or equivalent structure. The attachment 150 joins to the pivot arms 130, allowing the winch 122 to raise and lower the attachment 150, e.g. magnet, relative to a manhole cover. The video camera 160 and monitor 170 may be used to allow the user to remain within the vehicle 114.
  • [0048]
    Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7703856Aug 31, 2006Apr 27, 2010Duncan C WarrenManhole cover frame removal saw
US7731451Jul 21, 2009Jun 8, 2010Rock Mills Enterprises, Inc.Magnetic cover remover
US8393823Jun 25, 2008Mar 12, 2013David RobertsManhole cover security and removal
US8439331 *Mar 22, 2010May 14, 2013Alan Byron ShepherdManhole cover extractor
US8684335 *Aug 8, 2011Apr 1, 2014William John HayesPortable hoist for hand trucks
US20060265849 *May 31, 2005Nov 30, 2006Youngs Barry RValve cap removal system
US20070092366 *Oct 24, 2005Apr 26, 2007Bose Joseph MForklift Attachment Utilizing Plow Mounts and Frame
US20070269267 *May 19, 2006Nov 22, 2007David RobertsMagnetic cover remover
US20090279993 *Jul 21, 2009Nov 12, 2009Rock Mills Enterprises, Inc.Magnetic cover remover
US20090324328 *Jun 25, 2008Dec 31, 2009Aer Tech, Inc.Manhole cover security and removal
US20110133140 *Mar 22, 2010Jun 9, 2011Alan Byron ShepherdManhole cover extractor
US20130037768 *Aug 8, 2011Feb 14, 2013William John HayesPortable hoist for hand trucks
US20140064826 *Feb 22, 2013Mar 6, 2014Eric B. CLIFFORDEquipment adapter for snowplow attachment
Classifications
U.S. Classification414/607
International ClassificationB62B1/00, B66F19/00, B62B1/14, B62B5/00, B66C1/06, E02D29/14, B62B5/06, B66F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB62B5/065, B62B1/14, B62B5/0089, B62B5/0079, B66C1/06, B62B2203/30, E02D29/1445, B62B1/002, B66F19/005
European ClassificationB62B5/00S4, B62B1/14, B62B1/00C, B66C1/06, B66F19/00B, E02D29/14F