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Publication numberUS3616557 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1971
Filing dateNov 4, 1969
Priority dateNov 4, 1969
Publication numberUS 3616557 A, US 3616557A, US-A-3616557, US3616557 A, US3616557A
InventorsVara Arthur G Sr
Original AssigneeVara Arthur G Sr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Knock down highway sign
US 3616557 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

NOV. 2, 197-1 v SR 3,616,557

KNOCK DOWN HIGHWAY SIGN Filed Nov. 4, 1969 3- Sheets-Sheet 1 INVEN'IOR. ARTHUR G. VHPHSR A. G. VARA, SR

KNOCK DOWN HIGHWAY SIGN Nov. 2, 1971 3 .Shoets-Sl1cot 2 Filed Nov. 4, 1969 INVENTOR. HRTHUQ G. l/H'QH SR 6300M QM A TTOP/VEYS Nov. 2, 1971 VARA, SR 3,616,557

KNOCK owN HIGHWAY SIGN Filed Nov. 4, 1969 I 3 Shets-Sheet 5 I NVliN'lUR. 19R THU/Q 6. W929 SR A TTOPNEYS @MQM United States Patent O "ice US. Cl. 40138 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A knock down highway sign adapted to be readily folded from a storage position into an erected position. When erected, the sign is resistant to being tipped over by high wind conditions while being adapted to be swung down into engagement with the ground Without substantial injury thereto in the event that the sign is hit and run over by a vehicle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed towards a knock down highway sign.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a highway sign which will not be tipped over or blown down during use, but which may be swung down in engagement with the ground without substantial injury to the sign in the event it is hit and run over by a vehicle.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a highway sign, which may be quickly erected without the use of tools or fastener devices which are subject to loss.

The highway sign according to the present invention includes a sign placard, a sign placard supporting bracket and a pair of bracket mounting devices. The sign placard and placard mounting devices are foldable relative to the bracket for the purpose of either collapsing or erecting the sign. When folded into erected condition, the bracket mounting devices tend to resiliently maintain the bracket and thus the sign placard in a vertical upright condition, while permitting same to be momentarily displaced from such position under high wind loadings. The maximum displacement of the sign placard under high Wind loadings is limited to approximately +45 from the vertical, so as to insure that the indicia carried thereon is legible under maximum wind deflection conditions. For this purpose, there is provided stop override devices including generally V-shaped stops and compression springs, which cooperate to limit displacement of the bracket relative to the bracket mounting devices. However, the compression springs are designed such that when the sign placard and/ or bracket is subjected to an extreme load condition, as by contact with a speeding car or truck, the bracket may disengage from the stops and pivot downwardly into engagement with the ground so as to permit the vehicle to move thereover without further damage to the bracket, mounting devices or the vehicle. The sign placard is preferably formed of a plastic material, which is designed to safely fail under extreme load condition, as by shattering into non-jagged edge pieces. Thus, even when hit and run over by a vehicle, the sign of the present invention is normally not subject to extensive damage and may be rendered fully operable by replacement of the sign placard.

DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the highway sign construction of the present invention in erected condition;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the sign construction shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the sign construction shown in FIG. 1;

3,616,557 Patented Nov. 2., 1971 FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken generally along line 44 in FIG. 3;;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side elevational view showing the sign moved downwardly into engagement with the ground;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken generally along line 66 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a detailed view of the area designated as 7 in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view illustrating the sign in its collapsed or storage condition.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION The sign construction according to the present invention, which is designated as 1 in FIGS. 1-3 and 8, generally includes a sign placard 2 having upper and lower portions 4, 6 connected by hinge devices 8; a generally rectangular, sign placard supporting bracket 10 and a pair of bracket mounting devices 12, 12'.

Preferably, bracket 10 is formed from a single piece of steel rod having its ends joined together as by welding and deformed so as to define parallel lower and upper portions 10a, 10b and parallel end portions 100, A central brace member 14 and a pair of end brace members 16, 16' are suitably fixed, as by welding, to lower and upper portions 10a, 10b to provide a relatively light weight bracket construction, which is rigid substantially only within the plane of the bracket.

Sign placard 2 is preferably formed of a suitable plastic material, which is designed to safely fail under high impact load conditions, as by shattering into fine nonjagged pieces. The sign placard may be mounted on bracket 10 by any suitable means, such as by hinge device mounting bolts 18, which pass through end brace members 16, 16' and upper and lower mounting bolts 20, 22, which pass through central brace member 14. Sign placard portions 4, 6 may be selectively secured in either their erected or collapsed positions, which are best shown in FIGS. 2 and 8, respectively, by means of a handle operated latch 24, which is slidably mounted in a guide bracket 26 suitably fixed to the rear surface of up per portion 4, as by mounting bolts 28. Portions 4 and 6 may be secured in their erected condition by manually positioning the lower end 30 of latch 24 within a tubular receiver 32 weld aflixed to the rear surface of central brace member 14, whereas the portions may be secured in their collapsed condition by positioning the upper end 34 of latch 24 within the forwardly projecting eye shaped end opening of lower mounting bolt 22. Preferably, latch end 34 is provided with a slightly hooked end, not shown, so as to prevent it from being unintentionally pulled from cooperative locking engagement with mounting bolt 22 when a worker picks up sign 1 by means of handle latch 24 for the purpose of transporting same while in its collapsed condition.

It will be understood that sign placard 2 may be of any desired configuration and be provided on at least the front surface of portions 4 and 6 with appropriate indicia, such as Men Working. Also, it will be understood that if desired, latch 24 may be of any other suitable construction and formed together with hinge devices of a suitable plastic material so as to simplify sign construction and/ or repair.

By referring to the drawings, it will be understood that bracket mounting devices 12, 12' are of identical construction. Thus, only bracket mounting device 12 will be described in detail and like parts of device 12 will be identified in the drawings by like primed numbers. Now referring specifically to FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, it will be seen that bracket mounting device 12 includes a bearing block 40, which is provided with through bore opening 42 adapted to freely receive lower bracket portion 20a; such as to permit pivotable movement of a pair of supporting legs 44a, 4412, which are pivotally supported within cutouts 46a, 46b of bearing block 40 by pivot pins 48a, 48b; and a pair of tension springs 50a, 50b, which are connected at their respective ends to the free ends of legs 44a, 44b and a hook retainer 52 fixed as by welding to upper bracket portion b. By viewing FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be understood that legs 44a, 44b are mounted on bearing block for pivotal movement about a pair of spaced, substantially parallel axes, which are in turn disposed in a straddling right angular relationship to the axis about which bracket 10 pivots relative to hearing block 40.

Preferably, the free ends of legs 44a, 44b are down turned, as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, so as to permit the sign to dig into the ground when the sign is in erected condition and thereby resist being blown from the position in which it is placed. Also, it is preferable that bearing block 40 and legs 44a, 44b are formed of relatively heavy rigid metal bar stock, so that they are both resistant to deformation under high impact loadings and serve to maintain the overall center of gravity of the sign closely adjacent the ground.

Referring specifically to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that the point at which tension springs a, 50b are connected to hook retainer 52 is disposed vertically above intermediate pivot pins 48a, 48b, such that the springs are subjected to maximum tension, assuming that bracket 10 is in an upright condition, only when legs 44a, 44b

are disposed in alignment. When legs 44a, 4411 are moved from their collapsed or storage condition shown in FIG. 8, wherein they are disposed generally parallel to bracket 10, into their erected condition shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, wherein they extend in opposite directions relative to bracket 10, they are moved past their relatively aligned position so as to form slightly obtuse angles with the pivot axis of bracket 10. The relative angular inclination of legs 44a, 44b to the pivot axis of bracket 10 when in erected condition is determined by abutting engagement of the legs with walls 46c, 46d of bearing block cutouts 46a, 46b. Thus, it will be understood that springs 50a, 50b are adapted to resiliently lock or maintain legs 44a, 44b in either their erected or collapsed conditions.

Now referring particularly to FIG. 3, it will be understood that springs 50a, 50b normally tend to resiliently maintain bracket 10 and thus sign placard 2 in an upright position, while permitting same to be pivoted vertically downwardly therefrom relative to hearing block 40 about the axis of lower bracket portion 10a. Thus,

when the sign placard is subjected to a gust of wind or to air pressure differential occasioned by a high speed truck passing closely adjacent the sign, the sign placard will only be momentarily deflected from its upright position. Under steady wind conditions, downward deflection of the sign placard will decrease the effective surface area of the sign placard exposed to the wind and thus increase the wind velocity which the sign may withstand before tipping over.

A particularly important feature of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 3-6 as including a stop override device, including a generally V-shaped stop fixed as by welding to bearing block 40 and a compression spring 62, which is freely supported on lower bracket portion 10a intermediate bearing block 40 and end brace 16. The spring constant of spring 62 is sufficient to normally maintain bearing block 40 in engagement with bracket end portion 100, such that pivotal movement of the bracket relative to the bearing block is limited by engagement of bracket portion 106 with either of rounded leg or cam portions 60a, 60b of the stop 60, as is best shown in phantom in FIG. 3. Preferably, the angle between stop leg portions 60a, 60b is approximately and the stop is arranged such that the maximum deflection of sign placard 2 from the vertical due to wind loading conditions is approximately 45. Deflection of sign placard 2 through angles of greater than 45 would normally prevent or seriously curtail the ability of the driver of an oncoming vehicle to observe the safety indicia carried by the sign placard. While it would of course be possible to form stop 60 so as to reduce the amount of deflection of sign placard 2, the ability of the sign to resist being tipped or blown over during high wind conditions would of course be progressively diminished.

Under actual test conditions, wherein sign placard 2 was 30 x 30 inches and the total overall weight of the sign was only 21 /2 lbs., pressure conditions set up by semitrailer trucks traveling up to 70 mph. in close proximity to the sign did not result in its being tipped or displaced.

Now referring specifically to FIGS. 5 and 6, it will be understood when the sign is subjected to a high impact loading condition, as when it is hit by a moving vehicle, bracket end portion is forced to override one or the other of stop leg portions 60a, 60b and the sign thereafter forced to pivot downwardly into engagement with a sign supporting surface, such as the ground. The camming action stop leg portions 60a, 60b and end portion 10c tends to reciprocate bearing block 40 relative to bracket lower portion 100 with the result that spring 62 is compressed. Thus, it will be apparent that the spring constant of spring 62 determines the impact load necessary to move end portion 100 from its normal position intermediate stop leg portions 60a, 60b. The sign, when flattened tends to remain in engagement with the ground during and after passage of the vehicle thereover, so as to prevent the sign or portions thereof from springing up into engagement with the underside or rear wheels of the vehicle, which might otherwise result in injury thereto, and/or springing up into erected position after the vehicle passes, which might result in injury to a workman standing adjacent the sign. The resultant high tension stress set up in one or the other of tension springs 50a, 5011, as a result of the sign being forced to the ground, is ineffectual in returning same to elevated position due to the fact that in the present construction a line drawn between the ends of the tensioned spring passes closely adjacent to the pivot axis of lower bracket portion 10a. Thus, the moment tending to return the sign to upright condition is effectively overcome by the compressive stress in compression spring 62, which retains bracket side portion 100 in frictional surface engagement with stop device 60.

If the impact of a vehicle with sign placard 2 is sufficiently severe the latter will fail by shattering and must be replaced. However, the remaining permanent portions of the sign, namely, bracket 10 and mounting devices 12, 12 will likely escape injury due to their construction.

To further draw the attention of vehicle operators to the indicia carried on the sign, I preferably provide one or more warning flags, shown in phantom in FIG. 1 at 70, 70', which may be removably supported within openings 74, 74 provided in legs 44a, 44a. Flags 70, 70' are preferably of the collapsible variety such that they may be rolled up and stored within a flag carrying tube 76 fixed to brace members 14, 14' by attachment clip devices 78, 80.

From the foregoing, it will be apparent that when the sign is in its fully collapsed or storage condition, illustrated in FIG. 8 it occupies a minimum of space and may be readily transported from place to place by gripping handle latch 24. The sign may be readily set up at a point of use by simultaneously gripping legs 44a, 44b or 44a, 44b in any desired sequence and pulling the pair of legs against the tension of springs 50a, 5012 or 50a, 50b past the over center position thereof whereupon the springs bias the legs into their erected position. Thereafter, erection of the sign may be completed by disengaging upper end 34 of latch device 24 from mounting bolt 22, pivoting upper placard half 4 into its upright position and positioning lower end 30 of latch device 24 into locking engagement with tubular receiver 32.

I claim: 1. A highway sign including in combination: a sign placard; a bracket for mounting said sign placard; a pair of devices for mounting said bracket relative to a supporting surface, said devices being disposed adjacent opposite ends of said bracket, each said device including bearing means, a pair of supporting surface engageable leg members mounted on said bearing means and a pair of tension springs, said bearing means of said devices cooperating to pivotally support said bracket for vertical swinging movement in opposite directions relative to said supporting surface about a first axis arranged substantially immediately adjacent said supporting surface, said pair of springs being connected adjacent first ends thereof to said bracket at points vertically above said axis and adjacent second ends thereof one to each of said leg members such that said pair of springs cooperate to resiliently bias said bracket into a vertical upright position relative to said supporting surface; and

means to limit the extent of vertical swinging movement of said bracket from said vertical upright position.

2. A highway sign according to claim 1, wherein said bracket movement limiting means includes stop means fixed to at least one of said bearing means, said stop means including portions disposed such that said bracket is intermediate said stop portions when in said vertical upright position, said stop portions being engageable by said bracket during vertical swinging movement thereof, whereby movement of said bracket in opposite directions from said upright position is normally limited to not greater than about 45.

3. A highway sign according to claim 2, wherein compression spring means is carried by said bracket, said compression spring means tending to resiliently maintain said bracket intermediate said stop portions, said compression spring means being deformable upon high impact loading of said bracket to permit said bracket to move from between said stop portions and swing downwardly into engagement'with said supporting surface.

4. A highway sign according to claim 1, wherein said sign placard includes upper and lower portions, having front indicia bearing surfaces and rear surfaces, said lower portion being fixed to said bracket, said upper portion being hingedly secured to said lower portion for vertical swinging movement relative thereto between an erected condition wherein said placard portions are substantially coplanar and a collapsed condition wherein said placard portions are substantially parallel, with said front surfaces thereof in facing relationship and means are provided to selectively lock said placard portions in said erected and collapsed conditions thereof, said locking means including a handle operated latch member slideably, supported on said rear surface of said upper placard portion, a first latch member receiving device mounted adjacent said rear surface of said lower placard portion and a second latch member receiving device mounted adjacent said front surface of said lower placard portion, said latch member having first and second end portions thereof alternately receivable within said first and second receiving devices to alternately lock said upper placard portion in said erected and collapsed conditions thereof.

5. A highway sign according to claim 4, wherein leg members of each said pair are pivotally supported on their associated bearing means for swinging movement about substantially vertically disposed parallel axes between erected and collapsed conditions, said axes being disposed adjacent opposite sides of said bracket, and said pair of leg members when in said erected condition extending in opposite directions relative to said bracket and when in said collapsed condition being disposed substantially parallel to said bracket.

6. A highway sign according to claim 1, wherein leg members of each said pair are pivotally supported on said bearing means for movement about a pair of spaced parallel axes, said spaced axes straddling said first axis and being disposed in substantially right angles thereto, leg members of each said pair when pivoted relative to their associated bearing means being movable between an erected condition wherein they extend in opposite directions relative to said bracket and are disposed at obtuse angles relative to said first axis and a collapsed position wherein they are disposed generally parallel to said first axis, and each said pair of springs are operable to resiliently maintain its associated pair of leg members selectively in said erected and said collapsed conditions thereof.

7. A highway sign according to claim 1, wherein said bracket is of generally rectangular configuration including upper and lower portions and a pair of end portions, said bearing means of said pair of devices pivotally receive said bracket lower portion and are disposed one adjacent each of said bracket end portions, and said motion limiting means includes at least one compression spring means carried by said bracket and at least one stop means fixed to one of said bearing means, said compression spring means being operable to normally bias said one bearing means into surface engagement with one of said bracket end portions, said stop means being carried on a surface of said one bearing means disposed in engagement with said one bracket end portion, said stop means being of generally V-shaped construction and having leg portions disposed such that said one bracket end portion is intermediate said stop portions when in said upright position, said leg portions being engageable by said one bracket end portion whereby vertical swinging movement of said bracket in opposite directions from said upright position is normally limited to not greater than about 45 said compression spring means being compressible by said one bearing means when said bracket is subjected to a high impact loading condition to permit said one bracket end portion to move from between said leg portions and said bracket to move downwardly into engagement with said. supporting surface.

8. A highway sign according to claim 7, wherein leg members of each said pair are pivotally supported on their associated bearing means for movement about a pair of spaced parallel axes, said spaced axes straddling said first axis and being disposed in substantially right angles thereto, leg members of each said pair when pivoted relative to said bearing means being movable between an erected condition wherein they extend in opposite directions relative to said bracket and are disposed at obtuse angles relative to said first axes and a collapsed position wherein they are disposed generally parallel to said first axis, and each said pair of springs are operable to resiliently maintain its associated pair of legs selectively in said erected and said collapsed conditions thereof.

9. A highway sign according to claim 8, wherein said sign placard includes upper and lower portions having front indicia bearing surfaces and rear surfaces, said lower portion being fixed to said bracket, said upper portion being hingedly secured to said lower portion for movement between an erected condition wherein said placard portions are substantially coplanar and a collapsed condition wherein said placard portions are substantially parallel with said front surfaces thereof in facing relationship, and means are provided to releasably lock said upper placard portion in either said erected or collapsed conditions thereof, said locking means including a handle operated latch member slidably supported on said rear surface of said upper placard portion, a first latch member receiving device mounted adjacent said rear surface of said lower placard portion and a second latch member receiving device mounted adjacent said front surface of said lower \placard portion, said latch member having first and second end portions thereof alternately receivable within said first and second receiving devices to alternately lock said upper placard portion in said erected and collapsed conditions thereof.

10. In a sign for displaying indicia to motorists passing along a highway, said sign including indicia carrying means and means for pivotally supporting said indicia carrying means on a supporting surface for wind loading induced vertical swinging movements in opposite directions relatively from a normal vertically upstanding position, wherein indicia carried by said indicia carrying means is normally visible by a motorist only during a range of swinging movements of said indicia carrying means bounded in said opposite directions by indicia vision limiting positions, the improvement wherein said supporting means includes in combination:

mounting means arranged to lie in supporting engagement with said supporting surface for mounting said indicia carrying means for vertical swinging movement in said opposite directions relative to said supporting surface about an axis arranged substantially immediately adjacent said supporting surface, the whole of said mounting means being disposed immediately adjacent said supporting surface, said mounting means extending in opposite directions from adjacent front and rear surfaces of said indicia carrying means, substantially the whole of said indicia carrying means normally extending vertically above said axis and said mounting means;

spring means for resiliently opposing swinging movement of said indicia carrying means in said opposite directions from said upstanding position; and means for normally limiting wind loading induced swinging movements of said indicia carrying means in said opposite directions beyond said vision limiting positions, while permitting swinging movements of said indicia carrying means about said axis beyond said vision limiting positions downwardly to lie essentially parallel to said supporting surface and said mounting means when said indicia carrying means is subject to high impact loading conditions, whereby when said indicia carrying means is subjected to high impact loading conditions, the whole of said sign is disposed in close proximity to said supporting surface.

.11. A sign according to claim 10, wherein said mounting means includes two pairs of supporting surface engaging leg members arranged one pair adjacent each end of said indicia carrying means, leg members of each said pair extending in opposite directions from adjacent relatively front and rear surfaces of said indicia carrying means, and said spring means includes at least one pair of springs associated with one of said pairs of leg members, said pair of springs being connected adjacent first ends thereof to said indicia carrying means at points 8 vertically above said axis and adjacent second ends thereof one to each of said legs of said pair such that said pair of springs cooperate to normally bias said indicia carrying means into said upstanding position.

12. A sign according to claim 11, wherein said limiting means includes means for preventing said spring means from returning said indicia carrying means to said upstanding position when said indicia carrying means has been pivoted downwardly to lie essentially parallel to said supporting surface and said mounting means.

13. A sign according to claim 10, wherein said limiting means includes stop means having portions thereof carried by said mounting means and being disposed for motion limiting engagement by said indicia carrying means when swung alternately into said vision limiting positions and means permitting said indicia carrying means to move from between said portions and swing downwardly when said indicia carrying means is subject to said high impact loading conditions as aforesaid.

14. A sign according to claim 13, wherein said mounting means includes two pairs of supporting surface engaging leg members arranged one pair adjacent each end of said indicia carrying means, leg members of each said pair extending in opposite directions from adjacent rela tively front and rear surfaces of said indicia carrying means, and said spring means includes at least one pair of springs associated with one of said pairs of leg members, said pair of springs being connected adjacent first ends thereof to said indicia carrying means at points vertically above said axis and adjacent second ends thereof one to each of said legs of said pair such that said pair of springs cooperate to normally bias said indicia carrying means into said upstanding position, and said stop means tend to constrain return movement of said indicia carrying means into said upstanding position when said indicia carrying means has been pivoted downwardly to lie essentially parallel to said supporting surface and said mounting means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,750,118 3/1930 Mueller et al. 40-138 2,062,479 12/1936 Ritz-Woller 40-1251}! 2,090,783 8/1937 Chinn 40125 H 2,454,648 11/1948 Green 40'125 H 2,995,847 8/1961 Carpenter 40l25 H 3,256,629 6/1966 Whitman 40125 H LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 40-125

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3747925 *Dec 20, 1971Jul 24, 1973Seeger RSpring resistant type exercising device
US3792678 *Sep 27, 1972Feb 19, 1974Rowland Dev CorpEmergency warning sign with readily collapsible frame
US3847335 *Aug 10, 1973Nov 12, 1974Ross HFoldable portable sign standard
US4246715 *Sep 28, 1979Jan 27, 1981Nelson Mark ETraffic signs
US4509714 *Jul 14, 1983Apr 9, 1985Marketing Displays, Inc.Portable wind-resistant sign stand with flexible bow-type legs
US4951407 *Nov 4, 1987Aug 28, 1990Flex-O-Lite, Inc.Yieldable sign stand
US4999938 *Apr 24, 1987Mar 19, 1991Marketing Displays, Inc.Convertible message sign
US5832866 *Jun 19, 1997Nov 10, 1998Stoudt; Theodore L.Sign support with captive flags
US6115951 *Aug 5, 1998Sep 12, 2000Reflexite CorporationPortable and compact retroreflective sign system
US6708643 *Apr 25, 2001Mar 23, 2004Tmc Safety Products, Inc.Portable airport traffic barricade
US6761000 *Mar 3, 2000Jul 13, 2004Bordbusters B.V. I.O.Infoboard and assembly of such infoboard and a portal crane truck
US7614173 *Jul 21, 2006Nov 10, 2009Ki Ryong KimRoad traffic-control signboard assembly having automatic return function
DE29518568U1 *Nov 23, 1995Feb 15, 1996Stegmaier Hans PeterZusammenklappbares Traggestell für Werbeflächen
EP0069348A1 *Jul 1, 1982Jan 12, 1983Marler Haley Exposystems LimitedFoldable device
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/613, 40/602, 40/610
International ClassificationE01F9/011, G09F7/18, E01F9/012, G09F7/22, E01F9/017
Cooperative ClassificationG09F7/22, E01F9/017, E01F9/012
European ClassificationE01F9/012, E01F9/017, G09F7/22