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Publication numberUS3628296 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 21, 1971
Filing dateSep 2, 1969
Priority dateSep 2, 1969
Publication numberUS 3628296 A, US 3628296A, US-A-3628296, US3628296 A, US3628296A
InventorsHenry Herbert J
Original AssigneeUnistrut Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Breakaway sign support
US 3628296 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

tates Patent lllnited n 1 mesa [54] BREAIKAWAY SIGN SUPPORT 15 Claims, 11 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 52/98, 52/298, 52/726, 52/741, 248/1885 [51] int. Cl E0411 12/32 [50] Field of Search 52/98, 298, 296,726, 40, 28, 170, 741;94/1.5; 40/125; 248/1885 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,011,598 12/1961 Galloway et-al. 52/298 X 3,295,873 1/1967 Attwood ..287/189.36 F X 3.349.531 10/1967 Watson 52/296 3355998 12/1967 Roemisch 94/].5

OTHER REFERENCES Telespar Advertisement from booklet Why Telespar Traffic Supports, Copyright 1963 by Unistrut Corporation, Wayne, Michigan, pages 2 and 12 Primary Examiner-Price C. Faw, Jr. Attorney- Hauke, Gifford and Patalidis ABSTRACT: A structural sign support assembly composed of a plurality of telescopically assembled, perforated tubular members comprising a ground anchor, a reinforcing sleeve and a post member in which the longitudinally perforated tubular ground anchor, whose upper surface is substantially flush with the ground surface or the concrete or asphalt topping alongside a roadway, has its upper portion encompassed by a larger close-fitting longitudinally perforated tubular reinforcing sleeve for rigidity and added strength at a surface level breakaway point. A longitudinally perforated tubular sign support post is telescopically retained within the ground anchor and secured by a bolt member or members extending through aligned perforations of the post, the ground anchor and the reinforcing sleeve. The perforations ofthe post at or immediately above the top surface of the ground anchor and its supporting sleeve provide a relatively weak breakaway section so that the post will break off on impact from a vehicle or the like above the ground surface without damaging the reinforcing sleeve and the tubular ground anchor with the lower end of the standard or post remaining therein. The post can thereafter be easily removed from the ground anchor which remains in the concrete or soil of the ground for replacement with a new post.

PATENTED D5821 [an 3,628,296

SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENT'OR HERBERT J. HENRY PATENTED 05021 I971 3,628,296

sum 2 OF 2 BREAKAWAY SIGN suwoa'r BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention refers in general to sign support post constructions used alongside roadways and highways, and more in particular to a structural assembly adapted to break and fall over readily when struck by a vehicle or the like.

2. Description of the Prior Art The following related prior art is herewith made of record; U.S. Pat. No. 772,928 to W. T. Dunlap, Metallic Base for Posts; U.S. Pat. No. 1,307,655 to W. H. Brown, Collapsible Sign and Lighting Post; U.S. Pat. No. 1,499,445 to G. S. Clay, Lamp Post; U.S. Pat. No. 3,308,584 to W. T. Graham, Highway Guide Post; U.S. Pat. No. 3,349,531 to G. H. Watson, Frangible Connector Assembly for Stanchions, Poles and Standards; U.S. Pat. No. 3,355,998 to A. V. Roemisch, Highway Marker Device; and U.S. Pat. No. 3,381,427 to G. H. Watson, Frangible and Expandible Assembly for Parking Meter Supports, Stanchions, Poles and Posts.

It is well known that sign support posts are erected at various points alongside a roadway and adapted to carry signs, markers, warning lights, reflectors, or like signals for the motorist using the roadway. Temporary sign standards or posts are often driven into the ground along the shoulders of the roadway for easy removal and replacement, however, permanent standards or posts along the roadway are usually set in a concrete post hole for rigid support of the standard or post. Very frequently, vehicles traveling along the roadway collide with the sign support post at various speeds. Depending on the force of impact and the rigidity of the construction of the post, and depending on the material being used for the post, whether it be a metal of substantially solid cross section, tubular or channel type, the impact force of the vehicle will either bend the post to a substantial degree or knock it down completely. In either of these cases, the degree of damage to the automobile, as well as to the post, in most cases is very considerable and may also result in serious injuries to the driver or the occupants of the vehicle, either due to resistance to the impact or in bending or breaking toward the impacting vehicle. In some instances, the inherent flexibility of the post will permit it to bend only to a certain degree and will then deflect against the impacting vehicle with the result of secondary damage by the back-bouncing vehicle hitting some other object on the roadway. Permanent sign support posts are often rigidly anchored in the ground along the shoulder of the roadway and when struck by a vehicle will break off at a relatively high distance above the ground surface such that the portion of the post thereafter protruding from the ground causes additional serious damage to the under carriage of the vehicle traveling over it. Furthermore, the portion of the standard or post remaining in the ground and protruding therefrom a considerable distance above it will be a serious hazard liable to cause further damage or injuries. In conventional sign support post constructions, after having been knocked over the inground anchor portion of the standard or post must be dug out of the ground for replacement with a completely new anchor and sign support post structure, which, as is readily apparent, is time consuming and expensive.

Breakaway sign support posts are known, as exemplified by some of the above listed prior art, and are intended to provide a safety feature to prevent or lessen damage to the colliding vehicle and serious injuries to its occupants.

Generally, these known structures include a rigid base support for a post which is anchored in or on the ground and to which the aboveground portion of the post is removably attached, providing a weakened connection portion of dissimilar material or the like between the main portion of the post and the rigid ground base or anchor so as to break the post from the base upon impact at a certain magnitude of force. In these structures, however, the assembly of the posts are difficult and the ground base or anchor after severing of the post may be damaged to such an extent as not to be reusable, and thus would have to be dug out of the ground for replacement.

LII

Other known breakaway sign support posts utilize shear pins or breakable clips to attach the aboveground portion of the post to the in-ground anchor base. In these instances, the holes for the shear pins or the bolts for the clips upon breakage on impact will be severely damaged so as to need refinishing on the spot, which is difficult to accomplish and costly. In all of these known structures, there is also present a dangerous possibility that the knocked off standard or post upon high speed impact will be completely severed from the base support and will be thrown upward and back onto the vehicle or upward and forward into the path of the moving vehicle causing additional serious damage to the vehicle and injury to its occupants. This is particularly true in cases in which the center of the mass of the standard or post, defined by the position of the sign or marker supported by the post, is relatively high above the point of the impact.

It has furthermore been proposed to provide a frangible post connection between the main portion of the post and the ground base comprised of a weakened cross section and a resilient insert held together within the tubular post by a relatively strong bolt, which, however, is pliable to bend on impact without breaking. Thus, as the upper portion of the post is hit by a moving object, the weakened portion of the post collapses and the post bends over in the direction of impact. However, complete severance of the post is prevented by the bendable anchor bolt which at the same time limits the degree at which the post will be displaced from its vertical position, thus virtually still remaining in the path of the traveling vehicle which hit the post and thereby liable to inflict severe damage to the vehicle and possible injuries to the occupants of the vehicle.

By means of the present invention, an improved construction and method for assembly of a breakaway sign support post has been provided, adapted to be severed under impact at a certain magnitude of force in such a manner as to avoid and largely eliminate the above referred to disadvantages of devices shown in the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present improved sign support structure comprises a telescopic arrangement of a plurality of perforated tubular members, including a primary perforated tubular ground anchor member which is driven into the ground adjacent the roadway to a suitable depth which may vary according to the type of soil and length of the tubular support member. The upper portion of the tubular anchor member is provided with a reinforcing tubular anchor sleeve telescopically arranged around it and which is likewise perforated. The primary aboveground portion of the post is likewise of tubular perforated construction and is telescopically inserted into the tubular ground anchor member a distance suiting the required height of the sign, and all three tubular members are then securely attached to each other by bolt means extending through aligned perforations of the tubular members im mediately at or slightly below the ground surface.

In one embodiment, the upper layer of the ground surface may comprise a concrete foundation or a layer of blacktop, such as is often found along the highway shoulders. In this instance, the outer tubular reinforcing sleeve will be the only member of the ground support or anchor which is positioned in the concrete, such that the upper ends of the sleeve, as well as the inner tubular ground support, are substantially flush with the surface of the concrete or blacktop. The concrete is recessed around the upper ends of the ground support anchor members a distance to clear aligned perforations for the extension of the attaching bolts therethrough, which thus will be just below the surface of the concrete. After insertion and securement of the aboveground main portion of the post, if that post is subjected to an impact force, the post will break away substantially immediately above the ground surface and fold over to lie flat on the ground, the perforations in the post providing a weak section for easy severance of the post from the tubular ground support anchor member without leaving any appreciable portion of the post or ground anchor standing above the ground, which otherwise could be seriously damag-' ing to the vehicle traveling thereover.

In another embodiment of the invention, the composite standard or post structure is set into a normal compacted ground provided alongside a roadway and in this instance the tubular ground support anchor member together with its upper reinforcing sleeve extends slightly above the ground surface in order to attach the securing bolt for the aboveground post member. When the post member is severed by impact, it will break away at the bolt connection because of the weakened perforations, leaving only a small portion of the base support protruding above the ground which is not sufficient to further damage the vehicle traveling across it, or otherwise constitute a hazard.

In either embodiment, as will be more fully described hereinafter, the in-ground base support anchor members will remain completely intact and can be immediately reused after removal of the lower portion of the severed standard or post from the tubular base support anchor.

The invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description of several preferred embodiments thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The accompanying drawings illustrate the preferred embodiments forming part of the detailed description in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views and in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross section view through a portion of the ground alongside a roadway having a concrete or blacktop surface layer and showing the improved composite sign standard or post structure in assembled position therein;

FIG. 2 is a perspective top view cross section of the improved post and base support anchor structure shown in FIG. I as seen along line 22 thereof;

FIG. 3 shows the improved composite post structure illustrated in FIG. 1 in a position of severance from the base support anchor immediately after impact;

FIG. 4 is a cross section similar to FIG. 1 illustrating a ground alongside a roadway without a concrete or blacktop topping;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing the improved composite post structure in a position of severance from the base support anchor immediately after impact;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating the complete severance of the aboveground post member from the base support anchor lying flat on the ground similar to the ground illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 without a concrete topping; and

FIGS. 7-11 are perspective illustrations of several modified embodiments of splicing connections between several perforated telescoping tubular post members used for the repair of salvaged post sections after the post has been knocked over by impact.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With reference to FIGS. 1-3, the portion of a ground section is illustrated at 20, which upper surface is provided with a concrete or blacktop layer 22 to provide a more level, load carrying and wearand weather-resisting surface than normally provided by an untreated ground surface.

A tubular polygonal relatively long post anchor member 24 is inserted through the blacktop or concrete layer 22 and rammed into the ground and positioned such that the top end 26 of the post anchor member 24 will be substantially level with the surface 23 of the concrete or blacktop. As will be noted, all sides of the tubular polygonal post anchor member 24 are provided with a plurality of longitudinally aligned apertures or perforations 28 which, obviously. aid in rigidly retaining the post anchor within the ground 20 by means that the mass of the ground outside and inside of the tubular post anchor member interlocks with the perforations.

The upper end of the anchor member 24 within the concrete or blacktop layer 22 is provided with a tubular reinforcing sleeve 30, which is of the same polygonal cross section and of slightly larger diameter so as to be pushed over the upper end 26 of the post anchor member 24. As illustrated, all of the sides of the tubular reinforcing sleeve 30 are similarly provided with a plurality of perforations 32, which are preferably spaced longitudinally at an equal distance with the perforations 28 of the tubular anchor member 24 and in assembly the reinforcing sleeve is disposed on the anchor member such that its upper end will be flush with the upper end of the anchor member and with the surface of the blacktop or concrete layer as shown, and in this position the perforations 32 of the reinforcing sleeve 30 will be axially aligned with corresponding perforations 28 of the post anchor member 24. As further shown, the reinforcing sleeve 30 is of an axial length substantially corresponding or only slightly longer than the thickness of the blacktop or concrete layer 22, whereas a substantial portion of the anchor member 24 extends deeper into the ground 20 for the reception of the aboveground tubular standard or post portion 34, which is of smaller cross-sectional dimension than the tubular anchor member 24 to be telescopically inserted therein for rigid vertical support of the post.

The above ground standard or post portion 34 is likewise of tubular construction, having a polygonal cross section corresponding to the cross section of the anchor member 24 and reinforcing sleeve 30, and is similarly provided at all sides with a plurality of perforations 36 spaced along the post in even distances corresponding to the spacing of the perforations 28 and 32 so that in assembly any group of perforations 28, 32 and 36 may be selectively aligned. The upper end (not shown) of the aboveground post member 34 is adapted, as known per se, to carry a sign, marker, bracket or the like (not shown), which can be securely attached to the post member 34 in any selected height position and to any side thereof by means of the perforations 36. For support, the aboveground post member 34 is inserted into the long tubular post anchor 24 to a certain selected depth determined by the length of the post member, the weight and size of the member supported by the post member and the desired height of the supported member, such as a road sign, marker or the like. Obviously, if relatively large, flat road signs are to be supported on the post member 34, the post will be inserted deeper into the tubular ground anchor 24 for maximum rigidity to provide sufficient wind resistance support for the sign or marker. The telescoping tubular members 24, 30 and 34 are preferably all of the polygonal cross section to prevent even any slight rotation relative to each other.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3 and more in detail in FIG. 2, the telescoped tubular post member 34 is securely attached within the composite ground anchor structure composed of the anchor member 24 and reinforcement sleeve 30 by means of an angle bolt 38 extending through aligned perforations of all three tubular members, 24, 30 and 34. As more clearly seen in FIG. 2, the bolt 38 is formed to provide portions disposed at substantially right angles to each other and which is provided at one end with an enlarged head portion 40 and at the opposite end with screw threads 42 for the receipt of a lock nut 44. The anchor bolt 38 is inserted through aligned diagonally disposed perforations across an inner corner of the tubular members 24, 30 and 34, and then tightened by the nut 44 for maximum rigid connection of the members. This bolt securing arrangement is preferred over a straight through bolt connection since the areas adjacent the corners of tubular polygonal members provide maximum resistance to lateral stresses so that crushing or collapsing of the sides of the tubular members upon tightening of the nut 44 is effectively prevented. If desired, two anchor bolts 38 may be used at opposite diagonal comers, however, in most applications one bolt will be sufficient. The particular bolt structure 38 and its mode of application in structural assemblies of this type is disclosed and more fully described in US. Pat. No. 3,295,873 to W. R. Atwood for Fastener Element" and forms no part of the present invention.

The improved composite sign structure of FlGS. 1-3 is erected alongside the roadway as follows: The longer tubular anchor member 24 is first driven into the ground 24. If only a blacktop surface is provided alongside the roadway, the anchor member 24 can be driven directly through the blacktop 22 into the ground without having to drill a hole first, and is then driven flush with the upper surface of the blacktop. Hereafter, the reinforcing sleeve 30, of shorter length, is driven over the anchor member 24 and likewise flush with the ground surface. The provision of the reinforcing sleeve increases the tubular wall thickness of the tubular base anchor structure immediately below the ground surface and to a certain depth thereof to insure sufficient resistance against bending. If the two ground anchor members 24 and are installed by the driving method, the long anchor member is driven into the ground first to a depth so as to let the upper portion extend from approximately 1 to 2 inches above the ground surface. The reinforcing sleeve 30 is then pushed over the protruding portion of the longer anchor member 24, whereafter both members are driven together into the ground until their top surfaces are flush with the top surface of the ground. Driving both members simultaneously reduces friction on the long anchor member 24 caused by the dirt or rock formations within the ground. The anchor member 24 and reinforcing sleeve 30 are precut such that the uppermost perforations are aligned with each other and are just below the ground surface.

If the shoulder alongside the roadway on which the sign post is to be erected is already provided with a concrete bed, it will be necessary to break a hole in the concrete in order to drive the anchor members 24 into the ground, which thereafter can be refilled with concrete. Conversely, the composite tubular anchor members 24 can be driven into the ground first, as described above, letting them extend above the ground a distance of from 4 to 6 inches for the preparation of a concrete bed around the composite post anchor, which is then leveled off to be flush with the top surfaces of the longitudinally aligned anchor member 24 and reinforcing sleeve 30.

In either instance, where a concrete or blacktop bed is being used, a recess 46 is provided along two sides of the tubular anchor structure, as particularly seen in FIG. 2, to provide a clearance for the fastening bolt 33 through the uppermost aligned perforations of the anchor member 24 and reinforcing sleeve 34). The two-sided recess 46 is preferably disposed along the sides most likely to be struck by a moving object to permit maximum rigid support around the upper portions of the anchor members at the opposite side of impact to provide maximum absorption of the reaction forces and thus prevent damage or displacement of the anchor members 24 upon impact against the post member 34.

The post member 34 is then inserted within the long anchor member 24 a distance suitable for the particular sign installation and any selected perforations 36 of the post member 34 are then being aligned with the uppermost aligned perforations of the anchor member 24 and reinforcing sleeve 30 for insertion of the anchor bolt 38 therethrough by means of the recess 46 provided in the concrete or blacktop bed. The structure is then secured by tightening of the nut 44 on the anchor bolt 38.

With particular reference to FIG. 3, at the moment of impact, in the direction indicated by the arrow, by a moving object such as a, vehicle at a certain magnitude of force against the aboveground standard or post member 34, it will be seen that the aboveground post member 34 will break away immediately above the blacktop or concrete ground surface 23 because of the weakened cross section provided by the perforations 34. It will be noted that, if the composite post structure is erected in the manner aforedescribed, the aboveground portion of the post member 34 will first break and sever from the in-ground anchor base structure 24, 30 at the side of the bolt recess in the concrete or blacktop layer 22 and be moved over to the opposite side of impact at which side the upper portion of the composite in-ground anchor base structure is supported solidly against the concrete or blacktop layer, thereby preventing any displacement or damage of the upper portion of the composite in-ground anchor structure. The momentum of the moving object after impact against the post 34, in the direction of the arrow, causes the aboveground portion of the standard or post member 34 to topple over completely, to lie flat on the ground so as not to cause any further additional damage to the moving object running over it. In most instances, on impact in the direction of the arrow the aboveground portion of the standard or post 34 will remain attached at one side to its lower portion 35 retained within the post anchor structure at the side opposite the side of impact, which at the time of repair can easily be cut off. The aboveground portion of the standard or post 34 at the actual point of impact caused, for instance, by the bumper of a vehicle may also break or snap at that particular point due to the weakened cross sections of the perforations of the post lying in a common plane, which will give way on impact due to the rigid securement of the post within the in-ground base structure and the weight of the supported member atop the standard or post, which causes a reaction force in opposite directions. The severed sections of the post or standard can be salvaged for reuse, as described later on.

As particularly noted in FIG. 3, the lower portion 35 of the post 34 after the aboveground portion of the post has been sheared off by an impact force protrudes only a small distance above the ground surface 23, which in no way causes additional damage to the vehicle or other object traveling across it. It will further be noted in FIG. 3 that the composite anchor base structure formed by the relatively long post anchor 24 and the upper reinforcing sleeve 34 remains completely uneffected and undamaged so that magnitude, replacement of the sign post 34 it will only be necessary to remove the bolt 33 and then pull the remaining lower portion 35 of the severed post 34 out of the long post anchor 24 for replacement with a new or repaired post or standard which can be done at a minimum of time and expanse. The primary feature, therefore, is the undamaged retainment of the structural in-ground anchor base composed of the relatively long post anchor 24 and the reinforcing upper sleeve member 30, which can always be reused again without any refinishing, aligning, straightening or other mechanical work to be done on the spot.

The embodiment in FIGS. 46 illustrates a sign post or standard installation within an untreated ground 20, without any leveling or load supporting surfacing normally found along secondary roadways. The composite ground support anchor structure is of the same construction as that shown in FIGS. 1-3 composed of a relatively long tubular post support anchor member 24, provided with a similar reinforcing sleeve 30 telescopically installed over its upper ends and positioned such that their top surfaces are flush with each other. Both members are of similar polygonal cross section and provided with pluralities of perforations 28 and 32.

To install the in-ground anchor base structure into the ground 20, the long tubular post anchor 24 is first driven into the ground to a depth depending on the length of the anchor member and the soil condition, and to such an extent as to leave a short section protrude from the ground surface 23 sufficiently to expose the uppermost perforations. Hereafter, the reinforcing sleeve 34 of substantially lesser length than the tubular post anchor member 24 is driven into the ground over the upper portion of the post anchor in telescoping relationship and to such extent as to align the top of the sleeve flush with the top of the post anchor and thereby likewise provide axial alignment of the uppermost sleeve perforations 32 with the uppermost perforations 28 of the post anchor 24. Thus, when no concrete or blacktop bed is provided, the upper portion of the composite in-ground anchor base structure extends a distance of approximately 3 to 5 inches above the ground surface or just enough to facilitate the insertion of the angle bolt 38 through the aligned perforations for securement of the sign post 34, which, in similar fashion, is inserted for rigid vertical support within the long tubular post anchor 24. A group of selected perforations 36 are then brought in alignment with the already aligned perforations 28 and 32 of the base structure to receive the angle bolt 38, which is of similar construction as that shown in FIG. 2, for secure fastening of the sign post 34 to the post anchor 24 and reinforcing sleeve 30 diagonally across an inner corner of the tubular polygonal members, as previously described in connection with FIGS. 1-3, which is then tightened by the nut 44.

With particular reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, upon the causation of an impact force against the post member 34 in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 5, the sign post 34 snaps or breaks off immediately above the planar aligned top surfaces of the post anchor 24 and associated reinforcing sleeve 30, as shown. The reinforcing sleeve 30 provides the sufficient wall thickness and material strength at the critical bending area or breakaway point to allow the sign post 34 to break off substantially clean at the top of the composite anchor structure without any damage or displacement to the portion of the anchor structure protruding a small distance above the ground. Under force of the impact, as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, the enlarged head portion 40 of the angle bolt 38 will be sheared off as the sign post 34 is forcibly moved from its vertical position. As the momentum of the striking object, such as a vehicle, continues, the severed sign post 34 falls flat to the ground, as illustrated in FIG. 6, and will cause no further damage to the vehicle moving across it. Although a portion of the in-ground anchor base protrudes from the ground surface, its height dimension is not sufficient to cause any damage to the under carriage of the vehicle as it travels across it.

To replace the severed sign post 34, the remaining portion 35 of the post, which is retained within the tubular post anchor 24, can be easily removed from the composite anchor base structure, together with the sheared off angle bolt 38, and a new or repaired sign post can be immediately installed therein to be attached by a new angle bolt 38. A new angle bolt 38 will be the only additional replacement needed over the embodiment as illustrated in FIGS. l3.

FIGS. 7-11 illustrate various modes of splicing of a tubular post member 34 to increase its length, or, more appropriately, to reinforce the post member at certain points along its length. These various methods of splicing can also be advantageously used in connection with the salvaged sections of the severed post member 34 after it has been broken off from its in-ground base connection in the manner described in the foregoing description of FIGS. 1-6. From that description, it is apparent that the post member 34 upon impact by a moving object, such as a vehicle, will be severed or broken at two points along its length, namely: at the point of impact, as for instance caused by the bumper of a vehicle, a distance above the ground, and further at a point immediately above the ground or above the planar aligned top surface of the reinforced inground anchor member. Thus, under normal impact conditions, the post member 34 will be broken into three sections: the upper section carrying the sign, marker or the like (not shown); an intermediate section between the actual point of impact and the ground anchor; and a lower section 35 of the post which remains within the tubular anchor member 24, and, as described, remains substantially undisturbed within the anchor member. In most cases, all of these three sections of the severed post member 34 can be salvaged and reused by cutting off and squaring the broken and damaged ends of the salvaged post sections and then splicing the several post sections together by methods such as illustrated in FIGS. 711 to thereby obtain a new post of appropriate length to be reused with the undamaged in-g round anchor structure 24, 30.

In FIG. 7, a salvaged post section 34a having its broken ends cut off square, as shown, is provided with a pair of splicing sleeves 50, 52 of identical polygonal cross section but slightly larger diameter to be pushed over the ends of the salvaged post section 34a, to which they are then securely attached by means of the angle bolts 38 through selected aligned perforations 54 of the splicing sleeves and the perforations 36 of the severed post section in a manner as previously described.

In FIG. 8, a method is illustrated to splice together two sections of salvaged squared-off post sections 34a, 34b and 34c together by means of an intermediate splicing sleeve 56 similarly attached thereto through the perforations 58 by an angle bolt 38.

The splicing method illustrated in FIG. 9 is similar to that shown in FIG. 8. However, in this instance the salvaged squared-off post sections 34d and 34e abut with their inner ends within the splicing sleeve 56 if the salvaged sections are still of sufficient length, or, alternately, if another post section is to be attached by a second splicing sleeve over the sufficiently outwardly protruding ends of one or both of the post sections 34d or 342.

The method of splicing in FIG. 10 is a reverse arrangement from that of FIG. 9 in which an internal intermediate splicing tube 60 of smaller diameter is provided for insertion within the abutting squared ends of the salvaged post sections 34f and 34g to be spliced together and secured by means of an angle bolt 38 through aligned perforations 36 of the post sections and perforations 62 of the internal splicing member 60.

The splicing embodiment in FIG. ll is substantially identi: cal to that shown in FIG. 7, with the exception that only one splicing sleeve 64 is being shown attached by angle bolt 38 to one end of a salvaged post section 34h.

It will be seen that these and similar relatively simple splicing methods enable all of the salvaged broken sections of the post member 34 to be economically reused by cutting and squaring off the broken ends and then splicing them together using the same angle bolts and telescoping tubular members as in the original structure, thereby considerably reducing costs, inventory and scrap.

From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that a novel structural post member and improved method of erection and repair has been provided using identical perforated tubular members cut to any desired length and similar bolt attachment means applicable to the various embodiments of the post structure or for the splicing of salvaged broken post sections. Due to the provision of a plurality of perforations along the entire lengths of the tubular members, the weight of the structural members are considerably reduced and permit the members to be longitudinally adjustably attached to each other and, in addition, provide a weakened cross section in the plane of the perforations so as to be easily severed at impact without bending or otherwise distorting the severed post sections, so that they can be salvaged and reused.

The polygonal tubular members used in the erection of the improved post structure herein disclosed are preferably made in accordance with the disclosures in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,266,051 and 3,437,779, both in the name of C. W. Atwood, to which further reference may be had.

The present novel structural post member and improved method of erection provides a safe, breakaway sign or marker support by the provision of a solid reinforced tubular ground anchor receiving the tubular post member and attached thereto in such manner that upon impact the post member will be severed immediately above the top surface of the ground anchor without damaging or displacing the ground anchor itself, and will also be broken at the actual point of impact against the post member caused by the bumper or other protruding portion of a vehicle, causing the post member to be toppled flat onto the ground to allow the vehicle to safely pass thereover. By the very nature and improved erection method of the perforated tubular post members, the impact damage to the vehicle when striking the post is negligible and, in most instances, will be nothing more than a slight dent in the bumper of the vehicle. The serious hazard inherent in conventional post members when struck by a vehicle and completely severed to thereby be thrown by the impact onto the vehicle has been eliminated completely by the present novel post structure.

The present invention may be embodied in certain other forms without departing from the spirit and essential characteristic thereof, therefore, the present embodiments are to be considered in all respects as illustrative only and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description.

lclaim;

l. A composite structural post assembly comprising:

a first tubular member,

a second tubular member telescopically surrounding said first tubular member,

a third tubular member telescopically inserted within said first tubular member and extending therefrom a substan tial distance in upright position,

said first and said second tubular members being disposed longitudinally relative to each other such that their upper end surfaces are disposed in a common plane,

means for rigidly securing said first, said second and said third tubular members together to prevent longitudinal movement relative to each other, and

said third tubular member being provided with means comprising a weakened cross section at a pointjust above said coplanar upper end surfaces of said first and said second tubular members to thereby permit the extended portion of said third tubular member to sever along a line substantially parallel to said coplanar upper end surfaces of said first and said second tubular member upon the applica tion of a force thereto in a direction normal to the longitudinal axis of said third tubular member.

2. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 1, in which said first, second and third tubular members are provided with longitudinally spaced perforations adapted to be selectively axially aligned upon assembly to be in a coplanar relation with each other.

3. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 2, in which said perforations in said third tubular member comprise said weakened cross section portions.

4. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 2, in which said means rigidly securing said tubular members together comprises a nut and bolt assembly for extension through said axially aligned perforations immediately below said upper end surfaces of said first and said second tubular member.

5. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 4, in which said first, second and third tubular members are of polygonal cross section.

a. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 5, in which said nut and bolt assembly comprises an angle bolt adapted for securing extension through a group of aligned perforations disposed diagonally from each other at two connecting sides of said polygonal tubular members.

7. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 3, in which said first tubular member is rigidly supported within the ground, and said second tubular member comprising a reinforcing sleeve surrounding the upper portion of said first tubular member within said ground.

8. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 7, in which said ground is provided with a blacktop surface.

9. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 7, in which said ground is provided with a concrete surface.

lii. The composite structural post assembly as defined in claim 9, in which said concrete surface is recessed around a portion of said reinforcing sleeve to facilitate insertion and fastening of said securing means so as to be disposed just below the top of said concrete surface.

ill. A method of assembly and erecting a structural breakaway post member composed of a plurality of perforated tubular members, said method comprising:

driving a first perforated tubular support member of predetermined length into a ground for rigid support therein to a distance leaving a small portion thereof protruding above the surface ofsaid ground,

ll lll telescopically inserting a perforated tubular-reinforcing sleeve member over said protruding portion of said first tubular member,

driving said first tubular support member and said reinforcing sleeve member simultaneously further into said ground such that the upper end surfaces of said tubular support member and said reinforcing sleeve member will be flush with each other within a common plane,

telescopically inserting a perforated tubular post member of substantial length within said tubular support member for upright support thereby,

axially aligning a group of said perforations of said tubular support member, said tubular sleeve member and said tubular post member and securing all of said three members to each other by bolt means extending through a selected group of aligned perforations at a point immediately adjacent said surface of said ground, permitting said tubular post member to be severed at the occasion of an impact force thereagainst along a line immediately above said coplanar upper end surfaces of said tubular support member and said sleeve member.

12. in the method of assembly as defined in claim 11 in which said perforated tubular members are of polygonal cross section, providing a plurality of longitudinal spaced perforations along all sides of said tubular polygonal members, the further step comprising: inserting said bolt means through a group of aligned perforations diagonally disposed on two im mediately adjacent sides of said polygonal tubular members.

113. In the method of assembly as defined in claim llll the further steps comprising:

providing said ground with a substantially solid loadcarrying surface,

breaking a hole through said solid surface substantially cor responding to the erosssectional diameter of said reinforcing sleeve,

driving said tubular support member and its associated reinforcing sleeve simultaneously through said hole for penetration of said tubular support member into said ground below said solid surface,

aligning the upper ends of the said tubular support member and said reinforcing sleeve with each other and with the top of said solid surface to be coplanar with each other,

providing a shallow recess within said solid surface encompassing at least two sides of said polygonalreinforcing sleeve,

inserting said perforated post member within said tubular support member,

aligning a selected group of perforations of said tubular members with each other and inserting a fastening means comprising an angle bolt through aligned perforations diagonally disposed opposite from each other at said two sides encompassed by said shallow recess in said solid surface so as to be immediately below said coplanar upper ends of said hollow support member, said reinforcing sleeve and said top of said solid surface.

14. A breakaway sign post structure comprising:

a first elongated hollow member, rigidly supported within the ground substantially along its entire length,

a second elongated member telescopically inserted within said first member for upright extension above the surface of said ground,

means to longitudinally adjustably secure said second member to said first member at a point immediately adjacent said ground surface to prevent longitudinal movement relative to each other,

said second member having a plurality of longitudinally spaced portions of weakened cross sections disposed therealong such that one of said portions of said weakened cross section will always be disposed in assembly immediately above said securing means at any longitudinally adjusted position of said second member relative to said first member to permit the portion of said second member extending above the said ground surface to sever at said one of said portions of weakened cross sections nearest said securing means upon the application thereagainst of an impact force of predetermined magnitude,

a third elongated hollow member comprising a reinforcing sleeve adapted to surround the upper portion of said first hollow member within said ground,

said reinforcing sleeve being provided with a plurality of perforations for extension of said securing means therethrough to secure said first, said second and said third members together,

the top ends of said first hollow member and said reinforcing sleeve being disposed in coplanar relationship relative to each other, and the portion of said second elongated member extending in upright position above said ground surface being adapted to be severed immediately adjacent said coplanar aligned top ends of said first hollow member and said reinforcing sleeve upon the application thereagainst of said impact force.

15. A breakaway sign post structure comprising:

a first elongated hollow member, rigidly supported within the ground substantially along its entire length and having means reinforcing a portion of its upper end substantially at the ground surface,

a second elongated member telescopically inserted within said first member for upright extension above the surface of said ground,

means to longitudinally adjustably secure said second member to the reinforced portion of said first member at a point immediately adjacent said ground surface to prevent longitudinal movement relative to each other,

said second member having a plurality of longitudinally spaced portions of weakened cross sections spaced therealong such that one of said portions of said weakened cross sections will always be disposed in assembly immediately above said securing means at any longitudinally adjusted position of said second member relative to said first member to permit the portion of said second member extending above said ground surface to sever at one of said portions of weakened cross sections nearest said securing means upon the application thereagainst of an impact force of predetermined magnitude.

said reinforcing means including the surface of a roadway shoulder portion, said hollow member being imbedded therein,

said surface of said shoulder portion being provided with a concrete base having a recess around at least a portion of said securing means to facilitate the assembly thereof.

UNITED S'IATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No 3,628,296 Dated Dec. 21, 1971 Inventor(s) HERBERT J. HENRY (UGO-1159-A It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that; said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

IN THE SPECIFICATION:

Col. 4, line 48, delete "the before "polygonal" Col. 6. line 353, delete "magnitude," and insert therefore, --upon- Col. 6, line 40, change "expanse" to -expense- Col. 8, line 2, after "section" insert -34a- Col. 8, line 4, after "sections" delete "34a,"

Col. 8, line 53, change "Atwood" to -Attwoo,d--

IN THE CLAIMS:

Col. 12, line 18, change the period to a comma Signed and sealed this 13th day of June 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FL ETC HER, JR R0 BERT GOTT SCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

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Classifications
U.S. Classification52/98, 52/298, 40/610, 248/188.5
International ClassificationE01F9/011, E01F9/018
Cooperative ClassificationE01F9/0182
European ClassificationE01F9/018C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 4, 1986AS06Security interest
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON THE, (FNBB), 100 FED
Owner name: UNISTRUT CORPORATION, A CORP OF DE
Effective date: 19860202
Owner name: UNISTRUT INTERNATIONAL CORP., A CORP OF DE.
Effective date: 19860203
Feb 4, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: GTE PRODUCTS CORPORATION
Effective date: 19860201
Owner name: UNISTRUT INTERNATIONAL CORP., 35005 MICHIGAN AVENU
Feb 4, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON THE, (FNBB), 100 FED
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:UNISTRUT INTERNATIONAL CORP., A CORP OF DE.;UNISTRUT CORPORATION, A CORP OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004510/0025;SIGNING DATES FROM 19860202 TO 19860203
Owner name: UNISTRUT INTERNATIONAL CORP., 35005 MICHIGAN AVENU
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:GTE PRODUCTS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004510/0822
Effective date: 19860201