US 3223383 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 14, 1965 c. J. HRABAL SNOW REMOVAL APPARATUS Filed NOV. 20, 1964 United States Patent 3,223,383 SNGW REMOVAL APPARATUS Charles J. Hrabal, 11f} Blaekhawk, Park Forest, Ill. Fiied Nov. 20, 1964, Ser. No. 419,265 3 Claims. (Ci. 254-1315) This is a continuation-in-part of application Serial No. 279,751, filed May 13, 1963, now abandoned.
This invention relates to snow removal apparatus, and more particularly, to a new and improved, manually operated snow removal device which is capable of being operated with a minimum amount of effort on the part of the operator in order to efficiently remove snow from streets, sidewalks and other like surfaces.
In recent years, the tools or devices of the manually operated type generally employed for clearing sidewalks, driveways or other roadways of snow have usually been in the form of either a conventional snow shovel or plow. Each form of snow removal tool has certain distinct advantages over the other form but it also possesses certain inherent undesirable characteristics not found in the other form of tool. Because of its relatively simple design, a conventional shovel of the type utilized for shoveling snow is usually inexpensive to manufacture and, consequently, low in cost to purchase. However, in order to clear a road surface of snow it is necessary to first thrust the blade of the shovel beneath the snow and then lift the shovel blade with the snow load thereon. The shovel is then manipulated so as to fling the snow load to an area removed from the roadway being cleared and, in many cases, because of the remoteness of the area where it is desired to deposit the snow, it is necessary to carry the shovel with the snow load balanced on the blade to a point where the snow load can be discharged from the shovel to the dump area of the roadway. Obviously, lifting and carrying of the snow load requires a great expenditure of energy and, often times, if the person using the shovel is not in the peak of physical condition and the area to be cleared is relatively large, the heart and other parts of the persons body can be unduly taxed or strained and perhaps injured and/or damaged permanently. At any rate, snow removal by means of manually operated shovel is, at best, an exhausting and repugnant back-breaking chore.
While a manually operated snow plow overcomes some of the shortcomings of snow shovels noted above, it possesses certain other undesirable characteristics. The plow generally comprises a blade which is attached to a handle oriented angularly approximately 45 degrees with respect to a horizontal plane. The blade generally is angularly adjusted with respect to the handle so that as the operator pushes on the handle to move the blade in a straight line, the snow scooped by the blade is deflected to one side of the path being plowed. Thus, it is not necessary to lift and carry the snow being removed from the roadway as when using a snow shovel. However, depending on the depth and Weight of the snow being removed and the surface condition of the roadway being cleaned, the snow removal operation can be very tiresome. It is necessary for the operator to apply a thrust to the blade by means of a handle which is angularly oriented with respect thereto, and, consequently, only a portion of the force exerted by the operator is actually utilized to move the blade forwardly through the snow. Oftentimes the snow in front of the blade piles up to such an extent that it is virtually impossible to push the blade forwardly. Furthermore, since the removed snow is discharged from one side of the blade and is thus deposited in a row directly adjacent to the path taken by the blade, the removed snow can fall or slide back on the surface just traversed by the blade.
It is, therefore, an important object of the present invention to provide a new and improved manually operated snow removal tool or device which obviates the inherent shortcomings of prior snow shovels and snow plows but which possesses the inherent advantages each form of tool has over the other form of tool.
A further object is to provide a snow removal tool of the manually operated type which is simple in design and construction and consequently, inexpensive to manufacture but which is sturdily constructed and durable in use.
A still further object is to provide a snow removal tool having a snow scooping blade uniquely arranged and stabilizing rails for providing a stable support for the tool during the snow scooping operational phase which rails function as fulcrums not only for elevating the snow load prior to the snow load discharging operation of the tool but for tilting the tool to discharge the snow load off the roadway whereby it is never necessary to lift the tool out of engagement with the roadway during the entire snow removal operation.
Another object is to provide a snow removal tool having a blade and a pair of stabilizing legs which legs permit the loaded blade to be elevated from the roadway and then tilted to the side to discharge the snow load without the necessity of ever lifting the tool out of engagement with the roadway.
The foregoing and other important objects and desirable features inherent in and encompassed by the invention, together with the many of the purposes and uses thereof, will become readily apparent from a reading of the ensuing description in conjunction with the annexed drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a manually operable snow removal device embodying the invention; intermediate snow load elevated position of the snow removal device is illustrated by broken lines;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of a portion of the device illustrated in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a rear elevational view of the device shown in FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 4 is a front elevational view of the device; the snow load dumping or discharging position of the device is illustrated by broken lines.
Referring to the drawings in detail, wherein like reference characters represent like elements throughout the various views, a snow removal device, designated generally by numeral 10, embodying the invention is shown. The snow removal device 10 has a frame 11 which is constructed of a pair of elongated members 12, 13 made of tubular material. The elongated members 12, 13 are formed so as to be mirror images of each other and each includes a relatively long handle section 14. The coextensive handle sections 14 abut each other and are rigidly connected together by means of a plurality of rivets 15 or other suitable fastening means spaced along their lengths.
Formed integrally with the end and extending transversely from the longitudinal axis of a respective handle section 14 is a relatively short straight section 16. The short sections 16 extend transversely in opposite directions from the handle sections 14 and serve as a handle bar for operating the snow removal device 10. The free end of each short section 16 is provided with a hand grip 17 for grasping by the hand of the operator.
The frame 11 includes a blade support 18 which has a substantially inverted V-shaped configuration in end elevation, as illustrated in FIGURE 3. Each leg 19 of the V-shaped blade support 18 is integrally formed with a respective handle section 14 and is a continuation of the end thereof opposite the hand grip end. The blade support 18 is angularly oriented approximately degrees with respect to the handle sections 14, as
is apparent from observing FIGURE 1. Thus, when the blade support 18 is vertically disposed as it is when the device is in its snow scooping position the handle sections 14 lie in a plane inclined at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to a horizontal plane. The significance of the angular relationship of the blade support 18 and handle sections 14 with respect to each other in all operational positions of the device will be pointed out hereinafter.
Integrally formed with the V-shaped blade support 18 are a pair of stabilizing rails 20. As viewed in top plan, the rails extend away from the plane of the blade support 18 in the same direction as the handle sections 14 and also diverge transversely outwardly from the blade support 18. It will also be noted that the rails 20 lie substantially in a horizontal plane when the blade support 18 is contained in a vertical plane, as illustrated in FIGURE 1, inasmuch as the support 18 and rails 20 are substantially normal with respect to each other.
The blade 21 of the snow removal device 10 is substantially L-shaped in side elevation. One flat leg portion 22 of the blade 21 is rigidly secured to the forwardmost side of the blade support 18 by means of a plurality of rivets 23, or the like.
As is apparent from a viewing of FIGURES 3 and 4, the leg portion 22 has a transverse length greater than its height and the transverse length is only slightly greater than the transverse spacing between the terminal tip portions 24 of the stabilizing rails 20. Thus, each terminal tip portion 24 is disposed contiguous to a vertical, longitudinally extending plane containing a respective one of the transverse marginal edges 25 of the blade 21. Inasmuch as the stabilizing rails 20 are made of tubular stock, the lowermost surfaces of terminal tip portions 24 are generally rounded. The significance of this fact will be apparent hereinafter. The other leg portion 26 of the blade 21 has the same transverse length as the leg portion 22 but has a width measured in a longitudinal direction as viewed in FIGURE 2 somewhat greater than the height of the leg portion 22. The juncture of the leg portion 22 and 26 is in the form of a concave-convex section 27. The curved section 26 is integrally formed with the leg portion 22 and 26 and resembles one-quarter of a cylinder. The blade 21 being made of relatively thin material such as sheet metal material, the forwardmost transversely extending, straight edge 28 of the leg portion 26 is relatively sharp and constitutes the scraping edge of the snow removal device 10. From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that by making the blade support 18 V-shaped, the thrust applied to the blade 21 by the operator when he pushes on the handle section 14 is distributed over a large area of the leg portion 22. Thus, the blade 21 can be made of relatively light weight material without sacrificing strength and durability and without fear that the blade 21 will distort in use.
From the foregoing, it is believed the manner in which the tool 10 is used is clear. The initial or snow scooping position of the device 10 is illustrated by the full lines of FIGURE 1. With the device 10 in the snow scooping position with the underside 29 of the blade leg 26 and the stabilizing rails 20 engaging the surface 30 of the roadway, sidewalk or other thorofare to be cleaned of snow, it is pushed along the surface 30.
Inasmuch as the forwardmost edge 28 is relatively sharp and disposed at the surface 30, forward movement of the device 10 causes the snow to be scraped from the surface 30 and scooped upon the blade 21. Once the blade 21 is completely filled, the operator presses down on the hand grips 17 to effect pivotal movement of the blade 21 about a transversely extending axis passing through the terminal or tip portions 24 of the stabilizing rails 20. The intermediate or snow load elevated position of the device 10 is partially illustrated by broken lines in FIGURE 1. It will be appreciated that the rails 20 provide a stable support for the blade 21 when the device 10 is in its scraping or scooping position as well as when the device 10 is in its snow load elevated position. The snow load is discharged from the blade 21 to a point off the roadway surface 30 being cleaned merely by twisting the handle section 14 in one direction or in the opposite direction, when the device 10 is in its snow load elevated position to cause the device 16 to pivot about a longitudinal axis extending through a respective one of the rail tip portions 24. The snow load discharge position of the device 10 is illustrated by broken lines in FIGURE 4. It will be noted that the blade 21 is inclined or tilted with respect to the roadway surface 30 when in this position and, consequently, the snow accumulated thereon will readily slide off blade 21 to an area spaced from the surface 30 being cleaned. It will be appreciated that because of the fact that the blade 21 is elevated prior to the commencement of the snow discharging operation and since each tip portion 24 lies closely adjacent to a plane containing a respective blade marginal edge 25, the snow load is discharged from the side of the blade 21 at a point spaced transversely outwardly from the side of the path made by the blade 21 during the snow scooping operation. This fact is clearly illustrated in FIGURE 4. Thus, if the left hand marginal edge 25, as viewed in FIGURE 4, is at the edge of the roadway surface 30, the snow load will be dumped a sufficient distance from the roadway surface 30 to eliminate the possibility of the snow load from rolling or sliding back on the newly cleared roadway surface 30.
It will also be appreciated that the snow dumping operational phase is accomplished with a minimum amount of effort on the part of the operator inasmuch as the pivoting of the blade 21 occurs on the lowermost surface area of a single tip portion 24 which is generally rounded and consequently, the tip portion 24 has practically a point contact with the roadway surface 30 during the pivoting movement.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that it is absolutely unnecessary to bodily lift the device 10 with snow load thereon during the snow removal operation. Hence, the amount of effort required to manually clear a roadway surface 39 of a given size of snow is considerably less than is necessary if the same roadway surface 30 was cleared by a snow shovel or a manually operated plow.
The embodiment of the invention chosen for the purposes of illustration and description herein is that preferred for achieving the objects of the invention and developing the utility thereof in the most desirable manner, due regard being had to existing factors of economy, simplicity of design and construction, and the improvements sought to be effected. It will be appreciated, therefore, that the particular structural and functional aspect emphasized herein is not intended to exclude, but rather to suggest, such other adaptations and modifications of the invention as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in these claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A snow removal device, comprising, a substantially L-shaped blade, one leg portion of said blade being substantially flat and horizontally disposed and the other leg portion being substantially flat and vertically disposed when the device is in one operative position, the forwardmost, transversely extending edge of said horizontally disposed leg portion being straight and serving as a scraping edge, an elongated handle having one end fixedly connected to the vertically disposed leg portion adjacent the uppermost, transversely extending edge thereof, said handle extending rearwardly and upwardly from said vertically disposed leg portion, and a pair of stabilizing rails, each of said rails having one end fixedly connected to said vertically disposed leg portion adjacent the lowermost edge thereof, said rails extending transversely outwardly and rearwardly from said vertically disposed leg portion, each of said rails having a terminal tip portion disposed adjacent a vertical plane containing a respective marginal side edge of said blade and having a lowermost surface lying substantially in a plane containing the underside surface of said horizontally disposed leg portion.
2. A snow removal device, comprising, a substantially L-shaped blade of relatively thin sheet material, one leg portion of said blade being substantially fiat, and horizontally disposed and the other leg portion being substantially fiat and vertically disposed when the device is in one operative position, the fordwardmost, transversely extending edge of said horizontally disposed leg portion being straight and serving as a scraping edge, an elongated handle having one end fixedly connected to the vertically disposed leg portion adjacent the uppermost transversely extending edge thereof, said handle extending rearwardly and upwardly from said vertically disposed leg portion, and a pair of straight, generally tubular stabilizing rails, each of said rails extending transversely outwardly and rearwardly from said vertically disposed leg portion, each of said rails having a terminal tip portion disposed adjacent a vertical plane containing a respective marginal edge of said blade and having its outermost surface generally tangent to a plane containing the underside surface of said horizontally disposed leg portion.
3. A snow removal device, comprising, a substantially L-shaped blade of relatively thin sheet material, one leg portion of said blade being substantially fiat and horizontally disposed and the other leg portion being substantially flat and vertically disposed when the device is in one operative position, the juncture of said leg portions being in the form of a concavo-convex section and the forwardmost, transversely extending edge of said horizontally disposed leg portion being straight and serving as a scraping edge, a blade support having a substantially inverted V-shaped form fixedly secured to said vertically disposed leg portion, an elongated handle integrally formed with an extending upwardly and rearwardly from the apex of said blade support, and a pair of straight, generally tubular stabilizing rails integrally formed with said blade support, each of said rails extending transversely, outwardly and rearwardly from a respective one of said legs of said V-shaped blade support, each of said rails having a terminal tip portion disposed adjacent a vertical plane containing a respective marginal edge of said blade, said rails having their outermost surfaces generally tangent to a plane containing the underside surface of said horizontally disposed leg portion.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,734,291 2/1956 Lasker 37-53 3,082,554 3/1963 Steeb 37-123 WILLIAM FELDMAN, Primary Examiner. MILTON S. MEHR, Examiner.
O. SIMPSON, Assistant Examiner.