US 3624811 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  .lnventor Robert R. Brackett 2,348,741 /1944 Jessen 294/106 X Route 6, Box 251, Kenosha, Wis. 53140 2,287,955 6/1942 280/503 X  Appl. No. 32,940 1,470,830 /1923 254/126  Fi1ed Apr. 29, 1970 149,836 4/1874 214/377 Patented Nov. 30,1971 3,263,430 8/1966 254/126 X 453,086 5/1891 214/377 2,424,095 7/1947 294/19  TOW BARS WITH DIFFERENT SELECTIVELY USABLE COUPUNGS Primary Examiner-Leo Frlagha 4 Claims 5 Drawing Figs Attorney- Robert J Steininger  U.S.CI 280/415 A,
' 180/14 C, 214/377, 280/503, 214/377 ABSTRACT: Two opposed heads each pivotaily mounted on  Int. Cl B6011 1/16 an end of one of the opposed members of the jaws of a tow Field of Search 280/415 A, bar. Each such head consisting of a series of faces each 503;214/377;294/19; /14 C; 254/126 designed to engage an attaching device on an object to be towed. in order to lock the heads with the desired faces op- 156] Rderences Cited posed spring-actuated locking dogs are fixed against rotation UNITED STATES PATENTS about each jaw to allow locking of the heads in as many posi- 2,s54,251 9/1958 Able a a1. 280/415 A tions as there are faces to be used- Optional means are p vided to actuate the jaws and to adapt the invention to either a hand'towed or a power tractor-towed tow bar.
PATENTEnunv 30 um INVENTOR label-7 EBrac/Qf/ FIG! ATTORNEY TOW BARS WITI-I DIFFERENT SELEC'I'IVELY USABLE COUPLINGS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention This invention pertains to the art of towing apparatus which can be quickly and easily adapted for use on a series of different objects within a general category in which each such object has a unique attaching device.
2. Description of the Prior Art Means for attachment to aircraft and other objects which are frequently moved for short distances have been developed for use as tow bars unique to specific objects. As each object group expands such that numerous standard attaching means are established, each such means unique for an individual type of object within the group, the need for maintaining tow bars which will accommodate each such type of object creates an increasing burden. Accordingly, attempts have been made to make a single tow bar adaptable to accommodate many or all objects within a group. Such attempts have been somewhat unsatisfactory because of the difiiculty in incorporating a sufficient number of variations to accommodate all of the objects within a group. Need for a device which can be securely fixed to connecting means on the object to be towed and easily detached from such object is also a major consideration since, particularly in the airport industry, frequent short periods of attachment constitute the primary concern.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION As an industry develops objects to be towed, individual manufacturers tend to employ unique attaching means on its objects such that one or more engaging means on a towing device will suffice for a single manufacturer's products. The need is for a towing device with multiple engaging means which will accommodate objects of all major manufacturers within an industry. In filling this need applicant has pivotally mounted engaging means on opposed members of the tow bar jaws in a manner such that an increase in the number of attaching means which can be accommodated can be accomplished by increasing the number of functional faces on the pivotal mountings. Applicant has further improved the tow bar art by providing means for actuating the opposed jaws at a point remote from the point of engagement with the attaching means making possible increased ease of engaging and disengaging the tow bar.
In the attached drawings and the following description, the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention is set forth. The manner and process of making and using the invention are described below in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most clearly connected, to make and use the invention. It should be emphasized, however, that the subject matter regarded as the invention is not limited solely to the here-described embodiments of it, but rather includes everything falling within the claims set forth at the conclusion of this specification.
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the invention showing engbging means closed for engagement with attaching means on an aircraft or other object to be towed as a result of actuation of opposed jaw members through use of the first embodiment of the actuating means. 7
FIG. 2 shows an enlarged view of one of the opposed jaw members with engaging means attached for selective rotation about the end of said member.
FIG. 3 shows a side view of the end of one of the opposed jaw members showing in greater detail the components of the mechanism for locking the engaging means to the jaw mem bers.
FIG. 4 shows a pier view of the second embodiment of the actuating means of the invention.
FIG. 5 shows a section of the handgrips 5 and 7, as taken along section line 5-5 in FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, FIG. 1 shows jaw members I and 2 hinged at pin 3 with such jaw members terminating respectively in handle 4 with handgrip 5 consisting of an arcuate track; and in arm 6 with handgrip 7 consisting of a corresponding arcuate runner for riding in track 5. Lock a hollow shaft 10 having ring 11 fixed thereto and hole 12 a fixed distance from its end. Spring 13 fits over hollow shaft 10 and rests on ring 1]. Locking collar 14 fits over hollow shaft 10 depressing spring 13 and such collar has a slot 15 on opposite sides thereof and locking dogs 16 projecting from one end. Engaging means 9 consists of head 17 with faces 18 and 19 having projections and depressions, respectively and of guide 20 designed to pivotally fit over the end of hollow shaft 10 and having notches 21 for engaging locking dogs 16 of locking collar 14. Head 17 is mounted on the end of hollow shaft 10 by insertion of shaft 22 through a hole in head 17 and into the hollow of shaft 10 whereupon a hole in shaft 22 aligns with hole 12 in hollow shaft 10 for insertion of pin 23. When engaging means 9 is thus secured, locking collar 14 may be moved toward ring 11 by depressing spring 13 and withdrawing locking dogs 16 from notches 21 allowing head 9 to rotate about the end of hollow shaft 10. By such rotation, that face with the desired engaging device can be placed in closest proximity with its opposite member on the opposed jaw member and the tow bar is ready for use by fitting the engaging device on one such jaw member over the attaching means on the object to be towed and drawing handle 6 toward handle 4 until the engaging device on the remaining jaw member is securely fitted on such attaching means.
The actuating means shown in FIG. 1 is adapted for hand tow bars. Frequently a vehicular tow bar is required. Accordingly, FIG. 4 shows a variation of the tow bar to make possible application of the invention to a tow bar having a conventional hitch means for use with a self-powered vehicle. Jaw members 31 and 32 are connected at a point between the engaging means (not shown) and the point at which they are hinged by actuating means 33 consisting of pins 34, links 35 and 36 pivoted at one end on said pins 34 and at the other end on pin 37 on which nut 38 is carried; and links 39 and 40 pivoted on one end on said pins 34 and on the other end on pin 41 carrying bearing 42 in which crank 43 is pivotally restrained from longitudinal movement relative to pin 41 by rings 44 and 45 fixed to said crank 43, which crank terminates in screw end 46 engaged by nut 38. As crank 43 is turned clockwise screw end 46 draws pin 37 toward pin 41 separating jaw members 31 and 32. Turning crank 43 in the opposite direction draws said jaw members together. Thus a convenient device is provided for fixing the engaging means to attaching means on an object to be towed by a self-powered vehicle and for releasing said engaging means when it is desired to remove the tow bar.
It will be observed from the foregoing description that this combination of engaging means and actuating means is readily adaptable for manufacture with multiple faces for engaging attaching means of a variety of manufacturers without the need for time-consuming modifications, and that such combination can be used, with various actuating means to best accommodate the object to be towed. Likewise, the invention is a tow bar having multiple engaging means each of which can be made functional by disengaging a simple spring hand lock and rotating the proper face into operating position.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States, is:
1. In a tow bar, the combination of,
jaws mounted on said tow bar,
means for actuating said jaws,
opposed heads pivotally mounted on one end of said jaws,
' means for locking said heads to said jaws at a predetermined number of fixed locations on said jaws each said means comprising a collar having locking dogs at one end for engaging under tension corresponding notches on one of said heads said collar being selectively fixed against rotational movement about the end of the jaw member on which it is mounted, 1
means to guide said collar for a limited distance longitudinally on said jaw member when tension on said collar is overcome, and
an engaging means on such head corresponding with each said fixed location to engage attaching means on an object to be towed.
4. In a tow bar as described in claim 1 in which said engaging means comprises depressions or projections of predetermined design to interact with attaching means on an object to be towed to create a connection therebetween.
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