US 3008536 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 14, 1961 G. I INABERY, sR 3,008,536
DETACHABLE SUPPORTING STEP Filed June 4, 195e F. 7 BY wm,mmv7an zyl' 6 ATTORNEYS lthe event it is desired to change the sign.
United States Patent 3,008,536 DETACHABLE SUPPORTING STEP Linferd G. Linabery, Sr., Gladwin, Mich.
Filed June 4, 1958, Ser. No. 739,712 1 Claim. (Cl. 182--187) This invention relates to supporting step constructions of the kind adapted -for attachment to highway signposts or the like for supporting a workman at any desired height above the ground. More particularly, the'invention pertains to detachable supporting steps having no moving parts and which are capableof being securely clamped on an upright -post -at any desired height above ground level.
Posts of the kind generally used to support highway or the like signs are generally of two types, namely, cylindrical posts or sheet metal posts bent to substantially channel shape. In either event, such p-osts generally are of substantial length so as to en-able the post to be inserted iirmly into the ground and yet support the sign at sufficient height above ground level that the sign will not be obscured by parked vehicles. Due to the distance the sign is supported above ground level,'it frequently is diiiicult for workmen to stand on the ground and reach the fastening means which connect the sign to the post in Consequently, it is desir-able that the workman be provided with a device of some kind vfor enabling him to reach the top -of the sign.
-From time to time it becomes necessary to remove a sign and its signpost from a long established location. Where a signpost has been embedded in the ground for a long period of time, it sometimes is extremely difficult to loosen the signpost `from the earth, even though a mechanical or power signpost puller device is used. However, if the signpost can be worked back yand forth prior to the application of pulling force, the removal of the signpost from the ground is greatly facilitated.
Frequently, highway signposts become bent or twisted, due to high winds or other causes, but many such signposts may continue to be used if they can be straightened. Preferably, the signposts should be straightened without requiring their removal from the ground and it has been customary heretofore for workmen to utilize a wrench or the like in the straightening operations.
An object of this invention is to provide a detachable step construction which is adapted for attachment at any desired level to a signpost of predetermined configuration and which may be rigidly clamped to the post so as to support the weight of a workman.
Another object of the invention is to provide a detachable step construction which may be clamped to a signpost of particular configuration and support the weight of a user as he rocks the signpost back and forth to loosen it in the ground.
A further object of the invention is to provide -a detachable step construction of the kind referred to which contains no moving clamp parts, but which is capable of being attached rigidly to a signpost so as 'to provide safe support for a workman.
Still a further object is to provide a device of the character described which is capable of use in straightening bent or twisted posts and which includes adjustable means for enabling the user to apply considerable force to the post.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be pointed out specifically or will become apparent from the following `description when it is considered in con- ICC junction with the appended claim and the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE l is a rear elevational view of a typical sign and signpost currently in use and showing a detachable' step constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the invention mounted on the signpost;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the adjustable step shown in FIGURE l, the post being shown in section;
FIGURE 3 is a -front elevational view of the step shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 2, but showing a modified form of the invention;
FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 3, but illustrating the step shown in FIGURE 4; and
FIGURE 6 is an end view of a step having an adjustable lever arm mounted thereon.
A detachable step fonmed i-n accordance with the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES l, 2 and 3 is designated general-ly by the reference character S and comprises a body member 1 and preferably composed of an angle bar having a generally horizontal top ange 2 and a substantially vertical side flange 3. Adjacent to one end o-f the body member 1 is welded or otherwise suitably secured to the upper surface of the top liange 2 a clamping element 4. The element 4 includes a portion 5 which projects laterally from the body and overhangs the vertical flange 3. The clamping element 4 also is provided -along its inner edge with a substantially right-angular notch 6, the apex a of the notch being locatedsubstantially ilush with the outer surface of the side flange 3 and the outer portion of the notch termin-ating in a poi-nt b. A second clamping element 7 is welded or otherwise suitably secured to the lower surface of the ange 3 in vertically spaced relation to the element 4 `and is arranged to project laterally in substantially the same direction as the clamping element 4. The element 7 is provided with a surface 8 which slopes inwardly and away from -t-he element 4 from a point c, but which faces the notch 6 in the clamping element 4'for a purpose presently to be pointed out. At the end of the body member 1 which -is remote from lthe clamping element 4 is welded or otherwise suitably secured a crossbar or enlargement 9 which conveniently may comprise an angle piece having an upper, substantially horizontal flange and a vertically depending flange 11. The vcrossbar 9 extends a substantial distance on either side of the body member 1 so as to provide a support for both feet of a workman.
Referring now to FIGURES 1 and 2, the kind of signpost 13 with which the supporting step S -is adapted for use preferably comprises a sheet metal member having a central portion 14, each side edge off which is bent to form with the portion 14 a substantially channel shaped element terminating on either side in flanges 15. The upper end of the post 13 may be provided with a plurality of openings 16 for the accommodation of screws or bolts 17 by means of which one or more signs 18 may be removably secured to the post, and the lower end of the post 13 may be pointed, if desired, to facilitate its being driven into the ground 19.
Signposts of the kind shown at 13 are substantially uniform throughout the country, so supporting steps S .may be mass-produced without fear that they will not tit on all posts of the kind shown at 13. When assembling the various elements of the step r1, the clamping elements 4 and 5 should be spaced longitudinally of the body member 1 a distance such that the space between the apexa of the notch 16 and the corresponding point d ofv the clamping surface 8 correspondsSubstantially -to the width of the post 13. As will be evident from FIG- URES 1 and 2, the distance lbetween parallel vertical planes passing through the points a and d is greater than the distance between parallel vertical planes passing through the points b and c of the clamping elements 4 and 7,`respectively. The reason for this construction is to enable the cut-er edges b and c of the clamping surfaces to overlie the flanges 15 of the post and prevent inadvertent separation of the step S from its post. The lconstruction and arrangement'oi thepartsSl and 7 are such, however, that the step S may not be attached to the post when the step-is in a horizontal position.
To assemble the Step Sron a post 13, it is necessary 'that the step be rocked clockwise, as viewed in FIGURE l, from the full line position to the chain line position. In this position of the step, the flanges 15 of the post 13 may be inserted between the clamping element portions 5 and'7 because the straight line distance between the points b and c lis so' selected as to lbe greater than the width of the post 13. When the post has been received between the clamping element sections 5 and 7 and the ,'ilanges 15 of the post bearagainst the vertical wall V3 of the body'member, the step may be adjusted longitudinally koft-he'post and,'at the desired location above ground `level, berocked counterclockwise so as to cause the clampingsurfaces `6 and 8 toclamp against the sides of the post asis indicated in FIGURES l and 2. In this connection; the'distance between parallel vertical planes -passing through the points'a and d should be so selected as to correspondsubstantially to the width of the post 13 sothat in clamped condition the upper surface of the body'portion `2 will be substantially horizontal.
`When the step has vbeen clamped in adjusted position, Va Workman may stand on the crossbar 9 to gain access to the screws or bolts which hold the sign 18 on the post "I3'orhe may support himself on the step S and grasp the post 13` while shaking thelatter back and forth to `1oosen the post in the ground so as to facilitate its removal eithermanually or by a post-pulling device.
In FIGURES 4 ,and 5 is shown la step S whichtis gen- "erally similar to the step S except for minor variations to "enable it to be attached to -a cylindrical or tubular signsupport 21. vIn the'modiied construction, the body portion 22 comprises lan angle bar similar to the bar 2 -in that it includes an upper, horizontal ange 23 and a vertical, sideilange 24. To the upper surface of the Aflange 23 and adjacent to one end ofthe latter is welded Vor-otherwisersuitably fixed` a clamping bar ZShaVing a portion 26 -whichprojects `laterally beyondv the side flange V24. To the lower surface ofthe side flange 24 in ver- Atically spaced relation' to the element 25'is welded a laterally projecting bar 27 to `which is welded or otherwise suitably secured a clamping element 28 having a sloping clamping vsurface 29 terminatingtinan outer point 30. The'fclamping element 25 includes a notcht31,'the surfaces ofiwhichconstitute clamping suraces 32 and 33 terminating in an outer point 34. The distances 'the clamping elements'26 and `28 project laterally from the side ange 24 should be so selected that the points 30 and 34 are spaced'frorn the flange 24'a'dist-ance greater than lthe/radius of the post -21 and the longitudinal spacing of jthe clamping elements along the body-portion V22 should be-so selected that the distance between parallelplanes Jpassing through'the points 30'wand -34'is less thanthe diameter or width of the post 21. The step'Sntay be completedby thewelfding-of an enlargement ,or crossbar l"35tothe end of the body portion 22 remote from the clamping elements and the enlargement 25 conveniently inlay `comprisean :angle barhaving an upper 'ilange 436 :anda vertical-flange 37 f similar to the corresponding ele- 'ments of the enlargement l9.
Although i the 'distance between parallel planes passing through: the points e30 and 34 is lessthan'the diameter of the post 21, the straight line distance from point to point is greater than the diameter` of-the post. Accordingly, the step 20 may be canted, as is shown in chain lines n FIGURE 5, so as to permit the post 21 to be received between the clamping elements 26 and 28 and with the points 30 and 34 located outwardly of the post. Thereafter, the step may be rocked counterclockwise, as viewed in FIGURE 5, so as to bring .the clamping surfaces of the clamping elements'26vand 28 into clamping engagement with opposed sides of the post 21 whereupon the step 20 will be rigidly clamped'o-n the post 21.
To adjust either of the disclosed'steps S or S longitudinally of their respective posts, it is necessary only to rock the steps tov such` positions that the clamping surfaces of the respective clamping devices are free of the posts edges. When the steps have been adjustedto a desired position, they may be released by the-workman and will automatically clamp themselves on their respective posts because of their natural tendency to rock in a counterclockwise direction as is viewedtin the drawings. This tendency on the part of the steps is caused partly by the provision ofthe supporting enlargements 9 and 35 and partly because the clamping devices of each step are located more closely adjacentto one end of the unit than to the other end.
The removal of either supporting step from :its associated signpost may be effected quite simply merely by reversing the procedure followed in mounting the step on the post.
Referring now particularly to FIGURE 6, either or both of the steps S and S' may include a lever yarm or rod 40 slideably mounted for movement parallel to the longitudinal axis of the respective body member in a pair of brackets or ears 41 Ihaving openings therein to accommodate the arm. The arm 40' normally is so located that its ends do not exten-d beyond the ends of the body member, but the rod is shiftable longitudinally so as to enable it to project beyond one endy or the other of the step. The rod may be prevented from being separated from the step, if desired, by a cotter pin or the like 42` located substantially at its middle.
When a post is to be straightened or untwisted, the step S or S is clamped to thepost in the manner previously described and the lever arm '40 extended from one end of the step so as to provide an extension whereby considerable force may be applied to the post to straighten or untwist it.
The `disclosed embodiments are representative ofv presently preferred embodiments of the invention, but are intended to be illustrative rather than definitive thereof. The invention is defined in the claim.
A `detachable supporting step for Iattachment to an upright post, said step comprising a body member having a substantially flat, planar face defined by an upper edge and a lower edge spaced from said upperedge; a iirst clamping element connected to said body member ladjacent one of said edges and extending laterally from said face of said body member, said element having a straight edge converging towardsaid oneface of said body mem ber `and forming a V with said one face, the apex of said V being located at said one face of said body member; a second clamping element connected to said body member adjacent the other :of saidl edges and extending laterally from said one face Vof said body member inthe same general direction. as said `first clamping element, said second element also having a straight edge converging toward said one face of said body member and forming the width of the post on which said step -is to be mounted; bracket means carried by said body member on the opposite side of said face; and :a lever arm slideably supported by said bracket means to prov-ide lan extension of said body member.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 141,498 Edmonston Aug. 5, 1873 6 Johnston Feb. 28, 1905 Day Dee. 15, 1908 Nerenhausen Mar. 9, 1915 Hughes M-ay 30, 1916 Higgin July 24, 1923 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Nov, 8, 1923 Great Britain Feb. 25, 1953