US 3614136 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Calvin J. Dent Klamath Falls, Oreg.
Appl. No. 883,571
Filed Dec. 9,1969
Patented Oct. 19, 1971 Assignee David Lynn White Sunnyvale, Calif.
COMBINED BUMPER AND TOOL BOX 7 Claims, 10 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 280/500, 220/29, 224/42.04, 293/69 Int. Cl ..B60r 19/02, B60d 1/06 Field of Search 293/69;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,217,317 10/1940 McNally et al. 254/133 2,554,680 5/1951 Morris et a1. 206/16 3,471,070 10/1969 Olson 224/4204 3,501,170 3/1970 Da Valle 280/500 Primary Examiner-Arthur L. La Point Assistant Examiner-Robert Saifer Attorney-Clarence M. Crews ABSTRACT: A combined bumper and tool box is provided having a rigid tray which is completely open at the top. A three section hinged cover for the tray is provided comprising a central section and two side sectionsv The closed central section covers projections on the side sections so that locking the central section closed can lock all three sections closed. The cover sections have interengaging parts through which all three sections may be detained in open positions.
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INVENTORI CALVIN JIDENT l'mw'l is afforney vby: ff/mwa COMBINED BUMPER AND TOOL BOX This invention relates to automotive vehicles, and more particularly to pickups, which are notoriously deficient in the provision of space for conveniently housing tools and accessories.
It is a primary purpose of the invention to provide a combined bumper and tool box, adapted to carry a jack, chains and/or other tools and accessories in an out-of-the-way but conveniently accessible, theftproof, and relatively quiet manner.
It is a further feature that the box cover, which is heavy, is made in a plurality of distinct, hinged sections, a first section being provided with a lock, and normally overlapping a neighboring section when closed, so that locking down of the first section locks down the neighboring section as well. Illustratively, a central section locks down two side sections.
It is also a feature that the hinge axes of adjacent cover sections intersect one another in such a manner that the adjacent section edges approach one another as they are swung toward closed condition, and that provision is made of an offset projection on one edge of a pair of adjacent cover section edges, so arranged that the projection may be caused to block closing of both affected sections, thereby causing the two sections dependably to maintain one another in open positions.
In accordance with another feature, the bumper is made to include a pair of carrying bars which are rigidly and directly united with the inner, lower and outer walls of the bumper tray, and extend inward through the inner bumper wall for attachment to opposite sides of the chassis. This contributes importantly to the strength and rigidity of the bumper, and to the security of its attachment to the vehicle.
The carrying bars are desirably of less height than the interior of the bumper, partially divide the interior of the bumper into compartments, and may jointly serve to maintain a jack in fixed position.
The outer bumper wall is desirably provided with an external, central recess in which trailer tow means and a live electrical supply socket for trailer use are accessibly provided.
Other objects and advantages will hereinafter appear.
In the drawing forming part of this specification, disclosure is made of presently preferred, practical and advantageous embodiments of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, perspective view of the rear end of a pickup having an illustrative box-bumper applied thereto, the box-bumper being shown empty and in a set, open condition;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view with the box-bumper closed, but with the cover partly broken away to reveal a jack in stored position;
FIG. 3 is a view in rear elevation of the open box-bumper;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the bumper tray showing details of the interior structure;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view in sectional elevation of a portion of the bumper tray, the section being taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view in sectional elevation, the section being taken on the line 66 of FIG. 5, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view in sectional elevation, the section being taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 5, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary detail view showing how the boxbumper is supported from the chassis of the pickup chosen for illustration at a proper level for cooperation with trailer hitches, and for matching the height of passenger vehicle bumpers;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary detail view showing particularly one of a pair of projecting members provided on the side sections of the cover; and
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the bare outline of a box-bumper of rounded contour, the bumper being in all other respects like the bumper of FIGS. 1 to 9.
The novel box-bumper 10 of FIGS. 1 to 9, inclusive, is shown applied to a pickup l2 of conventional construction.
Briefly, the pickup 12 comprises the usual wheels 14 (one shown), a sprung body 16 which, with a hinged tail-gate I8, defines an open load carrying tray 20, and a chassis or frame which includes longitudinal side bars 22 (FIG. 8).
The box-bumper 10, if supported at the level of the bars 22 of the particular vehicle shown, would be inconveniently high for loading and unloading, mounting and dismounting purposes, for trailer hitch purposes, and for matching the height of other bumpers. The box-bumper I2 is accordingly shown as including at opposite sides of the vehicle, vertically extending mounting bars or plates 24, the mounting bars being rigidly secured to the respective chassis bars 22 in any suitable manner, as by bolt and nut combinations 26.
The bars 24 are made rigidly unitary with horizontal carrying bars 28 and 280 which extend fore and aft and which form partitions, supports and rigid reinforcements for the tray portion 30 of the box-bumper 10. The union of the bars 24 with the bars 28 and 28a may be effected in any suitable manner as by welding or riveting, and the bars 24 may be varied in length to suit the particular needs of the vehicle to which the boxbumper is to be applied. In an appropriate case the bars 24 may even be omitted, and the bars 28 and 280 would then be directly bolted to the chassis members 22 of the vehicle.
The tray portion 30 of the box-bumper shown in FIGS. I to 9 includes an inner wall 32, a bottom wall 34, an outer wall 36 and end walls 38; adjacent walls, as shown, being united by welding. Spot welding along the edges of the bottom wall 34 is desirable because it'leaves openings for the escape of any water which may find its way into the tray. This detail is'not important, however, since drain holes of limited size can be provided through the bottom wall wherever useful. The several walls of the tray could even be'stamped as a single, integral steel forging. Needless to say, the tray and other parts of the box-bumper are made rustproof inside and outside as 'by plating or coating.
The carrying bars 28 and 28a, which are desirably channel bars, as shown, extend outward through slots formed in the inner wall 32. They engage the inner wall 32, the bottom wall 34 and the outer wall 36, and are welded to each of these walls. Neither bar extends the full height of the tray, each forming a partial partition. The bar 28 is modified and supplemented by a filler block 40, suitably secured, asby welding, on its upper surface, the block forming a rest for cover sections 42 and 44. The other carrying bar 28a is notched and has its notch partially filled by a reinforcing channeled member'46 for cradling the operating portion of a jack 45. The interior of the tray desirably has a width to accommodate comfortably the major dimension of the jack base, so that the jack is substantially confined against movement. The channeled member 46 is supplemented by blocks 48 and 50, suitably fixed on top of the bar 280 and made unitary with it as by welding, to provide rests for adjacent margins of cover sections 44 and 52. As will be apparent, the tray is divided into three distinct compartments, arranged to accommodate the jack in the central compartment and in a minor part of one of the side compartments. The side compartments may be used for carrying chains and other tools and accessories.
Between the carrying bars 28 and 280 the bottom wall 34 has an upward extension 340 which lies in the plane of the inner wall 32 and is welded to it. The inner wall 32 is notched to receive a vertical portion of a bottom wall member 340 to which it is welded. The inner wall 32 has substantially greater thickness and strength than the wall member 34a.
The bottom wall 34, in the bumper chosen for illustration, consists of four pieces, namely, the horizontal portion of the piece 34a, side pieces 34b and 34c, and a thicker and stronger center piece 66.
As noted, the tray 30 is provided with a cover consisting of three sections 42, 44 and 52. The cover sections are independently mounted through hinges 54 along the upper edge of the inner wall 32. The side cover sections 42 and 52 are provided on their inner margins with projections 56 which underlie adjacent margins of the central section 44, so that when the cover sections are closed, the central section 44 obstructs opening of both of the side sections. Locking means is provided for the center section 44, consisting illustratively of a hasp 58 affixed to the section 44 and a cooperating staple or eye member 60 which projects outward from the outer wall 36 of the tray. It will be apparent that the center cover section 44 may be locked closed by means of a padlock, desirably a combination type of lock, and that the locking closed of the center section locks closed the side cover sections as well. With the arrangement described, each cover section will be comparatively light, and each may be lifted singly, provided the center section is lifted first, but all may be controlled through the single locking means provided on, and in connection with, the center section.
It is desirable, when access to the interior of the boxbumper is required, that provision be made for detaining two or more of the tray cover sections dependably in open condition. To this end, the inner tray wall 32 is not disposed in a single plane. A central portion of the wall extends directly crosswise of the vehicle, but the end portions incline outward (rearward when the box-bumper is provided at the rear of the vehicle as shown). This makes possible the disposition of the hinge axes of side cover sections 42 and S2 in intersecting relation to the hinge axis of center cover section 44, so that adjacent edges of side and center edges approach one another as the widely opened cover sections are swung toward their closed positions. The projections 56 on the side sections are so shaped that they may be caused to interlock with edge portions of the center section. All three cover sections are shown as detained open in this fashion in FIGS. 1 and 3.
The outer bumper wall 36 does not extend straight across from end to end but is formed with an external recess midway of its length which is less than half as deep as the full breadth of the tray and of considerably less length than the length of the central tray compartment. As shown, this recess is formed by inwardly converging wall sections 360 and 36c and a central wall section 3612 [t is upon the central wall section 36b that the locking staple or eye 60 is mounted. The central cover section 44 is correspondingly notched.
The purpose of the recess is to provide accessibly a conventional tow ball 62 and a conventional electric socket 64 for trailer use. To provide extra strength and body for the tow ball mount and reinforcement for the narrowed portion of the boxbumper, the plate 66 is made much thicker and stronger than the remainder of the bottom wall. The plate 66 extends beneath the mounting bars 28 and 28a, is of a width equal to about one-half the full breadth of the tray, and is welded directly to the carrying bars 28 and 28a. It is desirably made about three times the thickness of the bottom tray wall sections 34a, 34b and 34c.
A plural wire cable 68, leading from the vehicle battery, is introduced into the central compartment of the box-bumper through a rubber-grommeted hole 68a in a wall thereof, and terminates at the socket 64. A conventional pivoted cover 65 is provided for keeping water out of the socket.
In order to prevent slipping of the jack relative to the bottom of the bumper when the jack is in use, and in order to assure the location of the jack near one of the carrying bars 28, 28a, parallel ribs 72, properly spaced to receive the jack lift between them, are provided on the lower face of the plate 66, preferably being welded in place.
Provision is also made of safety tow chain anchorages at opposite sides of the central recess of the bumper. The outer bumper wall 36 is provided with rectangular openings 74. Just behind each of these openings a fitting 76 is set. Each fitting has the form ofa half cylinder open at the bottom, comprising an upper, flat, semicircular wall 78, a semicylindrical lateral wall 80, and a vertically disposed axial anchoring post 82. The upper wall 78 and the lateral Wall 80 terminate in a common vertical plane, abut the outer bumper wall 36, and are.welded to it. The bottom of the lateral wall 80 terminates in a horizontal plane, rests on the plate 66 and is welded to it. The anchoring post 82 is longer than the lateral wall 80. It extends downward through the plate 66ffittirig through an opening formed in said plate. Each fitting combines with the plate 66 and the outer wall 36 to form a semicylindrical recess, with the post extending completely across the recess. A chain having an intermediate portion passed around the post and its ends affixed to a trailer cannot accidentally become detached. The trailer has threefold security against detachment from the pickup; to wit, the hitch and each of the two chains. Any one of the three would normally be adequate to prevent separation.
The box-bumper 10x of Figure 10 is generally like that of FIGS. 1 to 9, differing only in the matter of external configuration. The outer wall is curved at its ends to form end closures for the tray, there being no distinct sidewall members. The outer wall is similarly curved to merge smoothly into the converging, recess-forming wall portions corresponding to the portions 36a and 36c shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4.
l have described what l believe to be the best embodiments of my invention.
1. A bumper for automotive vehicles in the form of a tool box closed at the ends and long enough to extend across, and to protect, a vehicle throughout the entire width thereof, said bumper comprising a shallow tray portion which includes vertically disposed, rigid inner, outer and end walls and a rigid horizontally disposed bottom wall rigidly united with the inner, outer, and end walls, cover means hingedly mounted on the inner wall for completing the enclosure, and locking means for retaining the ,cover means in closed condition, said cover means comprising a plurality of independent, hingcdly mounted sections with adjacent sections having parts disposed in lapping relation and the locking means provided on a single overlapping, dominant section, the construction and arrangement being such that the locking down of the dominant section in closed condition may be caused to retain the entire cover in closed condition.
2. A bumper for automotive vehicles as set forth in claim I in which the cover means consists of two side sections and a dominant center section, and in which the hinge axes of the side sections intersect the hinge axis of the dominant center section in such a way that the bounding edges of opened adjacent sections approach one another as they swing toward their closed positions, and in which at least one of each pair of adjacent edges is provided with offset means engageable with its neighbor for optionally blocking closure of the involved cover sections and detaining both sections in open condition.
3. A bumper for automotive vehicles as set forth in claim 1, but especially of the pickup type, in which the outer faces of the cover sections are flat and normally occupy a common horizontal plane, thereby providing a uniform tread surface for loading, unloading, mounting and dismounting purposes.
4. A bumper as set forth in claim 2 in whichthe tray portion of the'bumper is completely open at the top and the cover sections bear directly upon the upper surfaces of the inner, outer and end walls of the tray portion, and which further includes a pair of bumper carrying bars adapted for attachment to opposite sides of the vehicle chassis, said bars being integrally united with the inner, outer and bottom walls of the tray por tion of the bumper and extending inward through the inner' wall for connection to the chassis.
5. A bumper as set forth in claim 4 in which the carrying bars are modified to form compartment dividing partitions within the tray, each adapted to serve as a rest for one margin of the center cover section and an adjacent margin of a side cover section, and one channeled to provide a groove in which the working part ofajack may be snugly cradled.
6. A bumper as set forth in claim 1 in which the outer bumper wall is formed with an outwardly facing, external central recess, and the bumper includes trailer tow means accessibly provided in the recess, and in which the outer bumper wall has further recesses at opposite sides of the central recess, and safety tow chain anchorages are provided within said side recesses and extend completely across the side recesses.
.7. A bumper as set forth in claim 6 in which an active electrical supply socket for trailers is accessibly provided in the central recess of the outer bumper wall.