|Publication number||US20080141503 A1|
|Application number||US 11/552,337|
|Publication date||Jun 19, 2008|
|Filing date||Oct 24, 2006|
|Priority date||Oct 24, 2006|
|Publication number||11552337, 552337, US 2008/0141503 A1, US 2008/141503 A1, US 20080141503 A1, US 20080141503A1, US 2008141503 A1, US 2008141503A1, US-A1-20080141503, US-A1-2008141503, US2008/0141503A1, US2008/141503A1, US20080141503 A1, US20080141503A1, US2008141503 A1, US2008141503A1|
|Inventors||R. Troy Smith, Dorene M. Smith|
|Original Assignee||Smith R Troy, Smith Dorene M|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (2), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a safety device for emergency brakes, and is particularly directed to a safety clip for preventing the accidental release of an emergency brake, particularly in vehicles that employ emergency air brake systems.
Air brake equipped vehicles such as buses, trucks, tractors and tractor trailers, forklifts and other industrial vehicles, motorized construction equipment (cranes, backhoes and the like), recreational vehicles, and other heavy-duty motor vehicles and equipment, generally employ emergency air brake systems to immobilize and stabilize a vehicle while parked or idling. In such systems, the emergency brake is typically actuated by pulling on a knob attached to the end of a stem or shaft that extends from the emergency brake mechanism into the vehicle cab. Once the knob is pulled up, a locking mechanism, typically involving a spring-loaded catch or detent mechanism, maintains the stem in an extended position, thereby keeping the emergency brake in its actuated or braking orientation. The emergency break is typically released by depressing the knob, which releases the detent mechanism holding the stem in an extended position.
The emergency brake knob is typically situated on or near the dashboard, arm console, or other surface easily accessible to the driver. Once the emergency brake is released, the wheels are free to rotate and the vehicle can freely travel.
In typical emergency brake systems, only a minimal amount of pressure is required to depress the emergency brake knob. For example, children or dogs wandering around the interior of the vehicle near the emergency brake knob could easily nudge the knob and release the emergency brake. This, combined with the prominent position of the knob, creates a potentially hazardous situation. If the vehicle is parked on other than a level surface, the vehicle could roll in the direction of the slightest decline. Property damage and, more importantly, human injury and death have been directly attributed to inadvertent or accidental release of a vehicle emergency brake.
Prior efforts to prevent inadvertent release of the emergency brake range from haphazard to overly cumbersome. For example, drivers have placed a cup upside-down over the emergency brake knob and directed children not to touch the cup or the knob underneath. This is far from effective deterrent and, to children, almost an invitation to satisfy their curiosity about what might happen if the emergency brake knob is touched. On the other hand, Childres U.S. Design Pat. No. D494,838, depicts a more secure method of blocking access to the release button or knob with a key-operated locking mechanism that fits over the top of the release button. Such a configuration, requiring a fair amount of effort and the use of a key each time the driver wishes to employ the emergency brake, is an overly cumbersome solution. The key could be lost, and Childres' configuration does not provide the necessary incentive to regularly employ the device as a safety feature. It is, in fact, intended to be overly cumbersome as it functions more as an anti-theft device rather than as a safety device. For these reasons, prior efforts to prevent the accidental release of the emergency brake have been inadequate to promote the safety of property and human life.
A safety clip for a vehicle emergency brake system overcomes one or more of the foregoing deficiencies of existing devices for preventing inadvertent release of a vehicle emergency brake. The emergency brake system has a stem extending from a braking mechanism and ending in a knob, and a releasable locking mechanism for maintaining the stem in an extended position during braking. The clip comprises:
In operation, compressing the wing members urges the sleeve to a distended position.
In a preferred safety clip, each of the wing members terminates in an end portion opposite the sleeve and the end portions flare away from each other.
In another preferred safety clip, each of the wing members has an upper edge and a lower edge, and each of the wing members extends angularly from the sleeve such that the wing member end portion top edge is displaced upwardly in relation to the wing member top edge adjoining the sleeve.
In another preferred safety clip, the sleeve and wing members are integrally formed. The sleeve and wing members are preferably integrally molded, more preferably integrally molded from a thermoplastic polymeric material. A preferred thermoplastic polymeric material is polypropylene.
A safety clip and storage pedestal assembly is designed for a vehicle emergency brake system having a stem extending from a braking mechanism and ending in a knob, and a releasable locking mechanism for maintaining the stem in an extended position during braking. The assembly comprises:
A method of maintaining a vehicle emergency brake system in a braked configuration is designed for a system having a stem extending from a braking mechanism and ending in a knob, and a releasable locking mechanism for maintaining the stem in an extended position during braking. The method comprises:
As shown in
As shown in
In operation, C-shaped sleeve 20 acts as a biasing device and is constructed of a resilient yet semi-rigid material, including polypropylene. C-shaped sleeve 20 is configured to frictionally grip the stem or shaft 130 from which an emergency brake knob 140 extends. Safety clip 10 is intended to be placed on stem 130 between knob 140 and the surface from which stem 130 and knob 140 extend, as shown in
In operation, outwardly projecting distal ends 70 and 80 facilitate gripping and compressing wing members 50 and 60 by providing an incongruent surface that inhibits the user's fingers from slipping off safety clip 10.
When wing members 50, 60 are not compressed with bias spring force, first portion 40 a and second portion 40 b of C-shaped sleeve 20 create separation width A which is predetermined to be less than the stem diameter of a standard emergency brake knob.
As shown in
As shown in
While particular elements, embodiments and applications of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be understood, of course, that the invention is not limited thereto since modifications can be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present disclosure, particularly in light of the foregoing teachings.
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|US7922207 *||Sep 18, 2006||Apr 12, 2011||Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.||Activation and deactivation mechanisms for media binders|
|Cooperative Classification||B60T17/221, Y10T24/44|