US 3643356 A
A tool in the nature of a snow shovel comprising a box-shaped container having an open top and front side, a pair of adjustable handle bars projecting upwardly from the rear end of the container and at an oblique angle to the bottom of the container, a slide rail removably secured to the front part of said bottom and projecting slightly beyond the front edge of the bottom, and a runner rotatably and pivotably mounted on the lower side of the bottom at a point underneath the center of gravity of the entire tool.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I w m 1 1 f 11o ttes ntent 1151 sown GohI Web, 2, I972  IIIAND-QIPIERA'IIEI) SNUW REM UVING 1,745,643 2/1930 Roessel ..280/7. 12
IF/QUE, 1,955,997 4/1934 Yant ..37/130 2,809,490 10/1957 Oeters ..16/111 X 1 1 Inventofl 1191mm G911! Sulzbach Germany 2,852,872 9/1958 Benz ..37/130 3 310 891 3/1967 Sachaczenski. ....37/53 I 1  Asslgnee 'gi ggfiggil i 3,337,973 8/1967 Prescott ..37/53  Fil 5 m 22, 19,59 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 211 App] 59 7 1,311,976 10/1961 France ..37/53 Primary Examiner-Robert E. Pulfrey  Foreign Application Priority Data Assistant Examiner-R. E. Suter Sept. 25, 1968 Germany ..P 17 84 843.0 Ammekcra'g  US. CI ..37/531, 37/123, 37/137  MSTCT  1111. .JEtnh 5/02 A t 1 in th nat r f a n w h vel mpri ing a ox-shaped 58] Intent at Search ..37/53, 122, 123, 129, 130, container having an p n p and from side, a p f ju 37/131, 137; 280/712; 16/111 ble handle bars projecting upwardly from the rear end of the container and at an oblique angle to the bottom of the con- 56] References (jih d tainer, a slide rail removably secured to the front part of said bottom and projecting slightly beyond the front edge of the UNITED STATES PATENTS bottom, and a runner rotatably and pivotably mounted on the lower side of the bottom at a point underneath the center of 647,396 4/1900 Furnas ..37/ 130 gravity of the entire tool. 1,658,302 2/1928 Renaud... ..280/7. 12 1,683,732 9/1928 Selin 37/130 5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 22 I972 SHEET 2 OF 2 INVENTOR HELMUT GOHL BY W & AUQ
ATTORNEYS HAND-OPERATED SNOW REMOVING TOOL The present invention relates to a hand'operated snow removing tool in the nature ofa snow shovel or the like which comprises a base plate on which a pivotable roller or wheel and a pair of handle bars are mounted.
Snow shovels and similar tools should be designed so as to permit the snow to be shoved or carried away with as little physical effort as possible. However, tools which are known for this purpose do not comply with this requirement. On simple snow shovels, the frictional resistance increases more and more the further the snow shovel is moved against and into the snow. Therefore, the removal especially of wet or slushy snow with such a snow shovel requires a very laborious effort and is usually soon blocked entirely. Although by providing snow shovels with runners for rolling then along the ground, the frictional resistance relative to the ground is reduced, such snow shovels still require an extreme physical effort for removing wet or firmly packed snow.
Another construction of such a snow shovel which has previously been developed is provided with a pivotable runner on the lower side of the base plate of the tool for rolling the latter along the ground and with supporting rollers at both sides of the front end of the base plate. Although the frictional resistance between this tool and the ground is further reduced by these additional rollers and it is thus slightly easier to remove the snow, the physical effort which is required for such a removal is still far too great because the forces which have to be overcome increases continuously with the amount ofsnow which is taken up by this shovel.
it is an object of the present invention to provide a handoperated snow removing tool in the nature of a snow shovel which eliminates the disadvantages of the tools as above described by mounting the runner in the form of a roller or wheel at a point of the lower surface of the base plate of the tool which is located underneath the center of gravity of the entire tool. Another important feature of the invention consists in securing a pair of supporting tubes on the rear end of the base plate into which a pair of handle bars may be telescopically inserted.
Another feature of the invention consists in the provision of a slide rail which is mounted on the front end of the base plate and the front edge of which projects slightly beyond the base plate, while its rear end is bent upwardly at an angle and abuts against the base plate. This slide rail the front end of which might scrape along the ground and is adapted to dig into the snow prevents the front edge of the base plate from being worn and, since it is thus itself subjected to considerable wear, it is connected to the base plate so as to permit it to be easily replaced by a new slide rail, preferably by being secured to the base plate by means ofscrew bolts.
The handle bars are preferably adjustable to different heights from the ground and are pivotably mounted in the supporting tubes and their outer ends which are provided with handles are bent over at an angle of more than 90. The handle bars may thus be easily adjusted to the particular size of the operator of the tool and to the position ofthe handles which is the most convenient to the operation for manipulating the tool.
For adjusting the center ofgravity of the tool to the most accurate position in accordance with the invention the bearing bracket ofthe runner may be adjustably connected to the base plate so as to permit the runner to be adjusted to different positions in the longitudinal direction of the base plate. Since the runner is disposed in the axial direction of the center of gravity of the tool, the tool may be rolled very easily and with a small physical effort along any area.
When the tool is then used for removing snow, the snow which gradually slides up along the base plate produces at first a slight displacement of the center of gravity ofthe tool which, however, hardly requires any greater effort for moving the tool. During the further forward movement of the tool, the snow will then slide very quickly toward the rear end of the base plate so that the normal center of gravity of the tool will be quickly reestablished, Even when the tool is filled to capacity with snow, the runner will be disposed within the axis of the center of gravity and permit the tool with the snow thereon to be rolled away with the least possible effort.
In order to permit the tool to be moved just as easily either along wet snow or slush or along dry or firmly packed snow, it is another feature of the invention to provide a skid which may be very quickly applied upon or removed from the lower side of the runner. This skid which when applied extends in the longitudinal direction of the tool may be held in its proper position underneath the runner by means of turnbuckles which are connected to both lateral sides of the skid and may be quickly unhooked from the tool.
According to another feature of the invention, the tool is further provided with a pair of small supporting rollers which are mounted on the lower side of the base plate shortly behind the slide rail and are preferably adjustable to different distances from this lower side so as to permit the front edge of the slide rail to be slightly raised or lowered relative to the ground. These supporting rollers facilitate the movement of the tool along dry ground or, for example, when removing loose unpacked snow or slush. Another feature of the invention consists in mounting these supporting rollers on the lower side of the base plate in a manner so as to be pivotable from an operative position in engagement with the ground to an inoperative position in which they are spaced from the ground. To this inoperative position the supporting rollers may be pivoted, for example, when the tool is to be moved along a firmly packed or icy snow base on which the front edge of the tool may easily slide. This pivotability of the supporting rollers also has the advantage that, regardless of whether they are pivoted to their operative or inoperative position, the inclination of the tool relative to the ground and thus also the posi tion of its center of gravity does not have to be changed for removing different types of snow and for moving the tool along the ground as easily as possible under any snow conditions.
For manipulating and guiding the tool as easily as possible, it is advisable to provide it with two handle bars. These handle bars are preferably connect to the tool by inserting them telescopically into a pair of supporting tubes which are secured to the rear end of the base plate and extend upwardly and to the rear therefrom at an oblique angle. The upper ends of the handle bars are bent over at an angle of more than for example, and are provided with handles. Due to the inclined position of the supporting tubes and the handle bars therein and due to the inclined position of the handles relative to the main parts of these handle bars, the handles may be pivoted in different directions when the handle bars are turned to different positions within the supporting tubes. In addition, the height of the handles from the ground may be varied by sliding the handle bars more deeply into or farther out of the supporting tubes and by locking them in the desired position. The handles for manipulating the tool may thus be adjusted to the most suitable position for the operator and, if desired, also in accordance with the height of different operators. This adjustability of the handle bars and handles also increases considerably the facility of manipulating the tool.
The present invention therefore fully attains the object to carry out the removal of snow of any kind with the least possible physical effort. For this purpose, the runner as well as the slide rail and preferably also the supporting rollers are made of a new type of construction and are arranged in a new manner. Nevertheless, the entire tool is of a simple and inexpensive construction and it is especially designed to be easily manipulated.
The features and advantages of the present invention will become more clearly apparent from the following detailed description thereof which is to be read with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 shows a perspective view ofa shovel like tool according to the invention;
FIG. 2 shows a longitudinal section of the tool according to FIG. ll;
FIG. 3 shows a bottom view of the tool according to FIGS. I and 2;
FIG. 4 shows a bottom view ofa tool which is similar to that according to FIGS. 1 to 3, but provided with an adjustable pivotable roller;
FIG. 5 shows a side view of another tool which is similar to the tool according to FIG. 4, but provided with supporting rollers which are pivotable from a supporting position to an inactive position;
FIG. 6 shows a side view of one of the two handle bars for anyone ofthe tools according to FIGS. 1 to 5; while FIG. 7 shows a cross section which is taken along the line AA in FIG. 6.
As illustrated in the drawings, the snow removing tool according to the invention comprises a box-shaped container which has a base plate I, a pair of sidewalls and a rear wall 14 and is open at the top and toward the front. The rear wall 14 extends upwardly from base plate I and at oblique angle toward the rear. On the lower side of base plate 1 underneath the center of gravity of the entire tool a pivotable roller 2 is mounted so as to be rotatable about an axis which extends parallel to base plate I and pivotable about an axis which extends substantially perpendicular to the axis ofrotation.
According to the embodiment of the invention as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, a pair of supporting tubes 4 are secured by clamping brackets 7 to the base plate 1 and to the inclined rear wall 14 of the container and into each of these supporting tubes 4 a tubular handle bar 5 may be inserted which is telescopically adjustable therein to vary the effective length of the bars 5 and also may be turned therein so that the handles 6 which are bent at an angle of more than 90 to the straight parts of the bars 5 such as, for example, at an angie of about 130 may thereby be pivoted in the most suitable directions. Bars 5 may be clamped in the adjusted positions to the supporting tubes 4 by means of setscrews 8. The handles 6 may thus be adjusted to the most suitable height from the ground in accordance with the size of the snow-shoveling person, and they may be turned either inwardly, outwardly, upwardly or downwardly as may be desired and be locked in the adjusted position. It is another important feature and advantage of the tool according to the invention that the center ofgravity of the entire tool is disposed substantially vertically above the point of engagement of pivotable roller 2 with the ground which permits the tool to be easily and accurately guided when it is pushed or rolled along the ground.
Near the front end of base plate I a slide rail 3 is removably secured, for example, by means of bolts 13. It serves for reinforcing the base plate 1 and its front edge projects slightly beyond the front edge of the base plate. The rear part 11 of slide rail 3 behind the bolts 13 is bent upwardly at an angle and its end is braced on the lower side of base plate 1. This slide rail 3 which protects the front edge of base plate I from being worn or damages may be very easily replaced by another when it is excessively worn. It is evident that this possibility of replacing the front edge of the tool increases the length of service ofthe tool considerably.
If the tool is to be used on snow which is frozen or firmly packed on the ground, it is advisable to cover the lower side of the pivotable roller 2 by a skid 9 which extends in the longitudinal direction of the tool and is secured to the base plate 1 so as to be easily removable therefrom. The front end of the skid 9 is for this purpose inserted into a slot in the rear part II of slide rail 3 and near its rear end it is curved slightly upwardly and its longitudinal edges 15 are likewise bent upwardly, so that the skid encloses the lower side of the pivotable roller 2 like a trough. The pivotable roller 2 then rests immovably on the skid 9 and the tool may then slide easily along the snow or ice-covered ground.
On both sides of its rear end, skid 9 carries turnbuckles 10 the other ends of which are hooked into the base plate 1 or into the lower ends of the supporting tubes 4 of the handle bars 5. These turnbuckles 10 are provided for securing the skid 9 in fixed position on the pivotable roller 2. Since the front end of skid 9 is only loosely inserted into the slot in the rear end 11 of slid rail 3 and the turnbuckles end of the skid are merely hooked into the base plate 1 or into the lower ends of the supporting tubes 2, the skid together with the turnbuckles may be applied on or removed from pivotable roller 2 within a few seconds. Of course, skid 9 may also be removably secured to the tool underneath the pivotable roller 2 by any suitable means other than turnbuckles.
In certain cases and especially on larger snow removing tools according to the invention, it is advisable to mount small additional supporting rollers 12 on the lower side of the base plate 1 behind the slide rail 3 and at equal distances from the longitudinal axis of base plate I. These rollers 12 should project from the lower side of base plate 1 for such a distance that, when the base plate is inclined at a certain angle to the ground, these rollers will engage with the ground and facilitate the movement of the tool along the ground.
When removing snow with the tool according to the invention, the front edge of slide rail 3 slides along the ground or along firmly packed snow thereon. The friction of the parts of the tool which engage with the ground is very low and the forward movement of the tool will not be blocked by too high a resistance. The snow which is scraped from the ground slides at first over the slide rail 3 upon the front part of base platel and thereby causes a slight displacement of the center of gravity of the tool which, however, is of no consequence since the weight of the amount of snow which is then picked up by base plate 1 is still very small. During the further forward movement of the tool, this snow then slides quickly toward the rear along the base plate 1 so that, when the box-shaped container 1, 14 is filled, the center of gravity of the tool including the snow thereon will be located substantially vertically above the axis of pivotable roller 2. This also means that the load of snow which has been picked up by the tool will not increase the friction between the slide rail 3 and the ground, especially after the snow has slipped sufficiently to the rear wall 14 of the base plate when the sliding friction of slide rail 3 will be exceeded by the rolling friction of pivotable roller 2. The physical effort required for removing the snow and filling the tool therefore remains as low as possible at all times and it practically does not increase during the operation or while the tool when filled to capacity is rolled away to be emptied.
For adjusting the center of gravity of the tool to the proper position, it is advisable to mount the pivotable roller 2 on the lower side of base plate I so as to be adjustable to different positions in the longitudinal direction of this plate. According to FIG. 4, the bearing bracket 16 on which the pivotable roller 2 is pivotably mounted engages upon an angular bracket 17 of sheet metal which is secured to the lower side of base plate 1 and is provided with guide slots 18 in which the mounting bolts 19 of bearing bracket 16 are slidable so that the latter may be fixed in different positions in the longitudinal direction of the tool.
If the tool is provided with supporting rollers 12, it is advisable to design them, for example, in the manner as shown in FIG. 5, so as to be pivotable on the lower side of base plate I from an operative position to an inoperative position and also to be adjustable to different heights from the ground. In the operative position, the supporting rollers 12 engage upon the ground so that the front edge of the tool no longer needs to touch and scrape directly along the ground and the tool may be easily rolled along slush or snowless ground. If, however, the ground is covered by tightly packed snow, the supporting rollers are not needed. They are for this purpose pivotable toward the rear about an angle of and will then no longer touch the ground. This position of the supporting rollers 12 is, for example, also advisable if the pivotable roller 2 is covered by a skid.
According to the embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 5, a vertically projecting lug 26 is secured to the lower side of base plate 1 and carries a pivot bolt 24 which extends through one end of a bifurcated arm 23 which is pivotable about the pivot bolt 24 and carries on its other end a supporting roller 12. By means ofa butterfly nut 25 the arm 23 may be I0 on the rear locked either in it forward operative position as shown in solid lines or in its rear inoperative position as shown in dot-anddash lines.
In order to permit each supporting roller M in its operative position to be adjusted to different distances from base plate I, the two lateral parts of the bifurcated arm 23 are secured to each other between the pivot bolt 24 and the roller 12 by a transverse web 21 into which a setscrew 2t) is screwed the free end of which engages upon the base plate 1. By turning the setscrew in one direction or the other, the supporting roller 12 may be adjusted to the most suitable position in which it may then be locked by tightening a lock nut 22 on setscrew 20.
When the supporting rollers 12 are not needed, they are pivoted 180 toward the rear and then extend in the direction toward the pivotable roller 2. Since base plate l is upwardly inclined relative to the ground in the direction toward the pivotable roller 2, the supporting rollers 12 will then no longer engage upon the ground. The reversal ofthe supporting rollers 12 from their inoperative position to their operative position and vice versa may be very quickly carried out after the butterfly nut 25 has been loosened,
FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a modification of the two handle bars which may be employed on any of the embodiments of the tool as shown in FIGS. l to 5. Each of these handle bars 5 is tubular and its upper bent-over end is provided with a bandle 6, while its lower part is telescopically inserted into the supporting tube t and carries on its end a thinner extension rod 27.
Approximately at the center ofits length each handle bar 5 is provided with a transversely projecting disk 29 of a considerably larger diameter. Opposite to this disk 29 the end of the supporting tube 4 also carries a disk 30 on which the disk 29 is slidable when handle bar 5 is turned. For limiting the turning movements of handle bar 5, disk 29 is provided, for example, with a downwardly bent lug 31 or with a pin or the like. The periphery of the other disk 30 on the upper end of supporting tube 4- is provided with a recess 32 the ends 33 of which serve as stops for the lug 31.
' By turning each handle bar 5 about its axis, the handle 6 thereon may therefore be pivoted, for example, from its lowest position as shown in FIG. 6 toward the right or left and thus to a different level dependent upon the extent to which the handle bar 5 is turned. The recess 32 is generally made of such an arcuate length that its ends 33 will permit the handle 6 to be pivoted about an angle of no more than 180. Depending upon the direction to which the handles 6 are pivoted, they will also be directed either inwardly or outwardly and may thus be adjusted to the position which is the most suitable for the operator.
For securing the handle bar 5 in its longitudinal direction, a washer is applied on the outer end of rod .27 and a nut and lock nut 23 are screwed thereon so as to permit the handle bar 5 to be easily turned with as little longitudinal play as possible.
Although not particularly shown, it is also advisable to provide a suitable spring, for example, a plate spring, between the nut 28 and the washer so as to permit each handle bar to be adjusted with as little force as possible.
All of the features of the invention as previously described result in a hand-operated tool which permits snow to be removed from the ground with as little physical effort as possible regardless ofwhether the snow is dry, wet or slushy.
Although my invention has been illustrated and described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, I wish to have it understood that it is in no way limited to the details of such embodiments but is capable of numerous modifications within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus fully disclosed my invention, what I claim is:
l. A hand-operated snow removing tool comprising a base plate, means for manipulating said tool including a pair ofsupporting tubes secured to said base plate and projecting upwardly from its rear end, a handle bar inserted into and connected to each of said tubes so as to protect from the upper end thereof, a pivotable roller mounted on the lower side of said base plate approximately midway between the lateral edges of said base plate, said pivotable roller being rotatable about a first axis extending substantially parallel to said base plate and being pivotable about a second axis extending substantially perpendicularly to said first axis, a slide rail removably secured to the lower side: of the front part of said base plate and having a front edge substantially parallel to the front edge of said base plate and projecting for a short distance therefrom, said slide rail having a main front part and a short rear end part bent upwardly from said main front part and abutting against the lower side of said base plate so that said main front part extends at an acute angle to the lower surface of said base plate, a skid adapted to be applied at least upon the lowest part ofthe peripheral surface ofsaid pivotable 4 roller, said skid extending in the longitudinal direction of said base plate, and means for removably securing said skid in a fixed position at the lower side of said base plate, wherein said rear end part of said slide rail has a central aperture and the front end of said skid is adapted to engage into said aperture, at least the rear part of said skid having a trough-shaped cross section so as partly to embrace at least the lowest part of said pivotable roller.
2. A tool as defined in claim 1, in which said means for securing said skid comprise a pair of turnbuckles having inner ends connected to both sides of the rear end of said skid and outer ends removably connected to fixed points at the lower side ofsaid base plate.
3. A hand-operated snow removing tool comprising a base plate, means for manipulating said tool including a pair ofsupporting tubes secured to said base plate and projecting upwardly from its rear end, a handle bar inserted into and connected to each of said tubes so as to protect from the upper end thereof, a pivotable roller mounted on the lower side of said base plate approximately midway between the lateral edges of said base plate, said pivotable roller being rotatable about a first axis extending substantially parallel to said base plate and being pivotable about a second axis extending substantially perpendicularly to said first axis, a slide rail removably secured to the lower side of the front part of said base plate and having a front edge substantially parallel to the front edge of said base plate and projecting for a short distance therefrom, said slide rail having a main front part and a short rear and part bent upwardly from said main front part and abutting against the lower side of said base plate so that said main front part extends at an acute angle to the lower surface of said base plate, a pair of supporting rollers rotatably mounted on the lower side of said base plate near the opposite lateral sides thereof and near the rear end of said slide rail, supporting means for said supporting rollers, said supporting means comprising first means pivotably connecting said first means to the lower side of said base plate so as to permit said supporting rollers to be pivoted in the forward direction to an operative position and toward the rear in an inoperative position, a pair oflugs secured to and projecting downwardly from the lower side of said base plate, a pair of bifurcated arms, one of said supporting rollers rotatably mounted on one end of each of said arms, and a bolt pivotably connecting the other end ofsaid arms to one of said lugs, one end of said bolt carrying a nut adapted to be tightened to secure said arm in either of said operative and inoperative positions of said supporting rollers.
4. A tool as defined in claim 3, further comprising a setscrew screwed transversely through each ofsaid arms and having one end engaging upon the lower side of said base plate when said supporting rollers is in its operative position and adapted for adjusting the distance of said supporting rollers in said position from said base plate.
5. A hand-operated snow removing tool comprising a base plate, means for manipulating said tool including a pair of supporting tubes secured to said base plate: and projecting upwardly from its rear end, a handle bar inserted into and adjustably connected to each of said tubes so as to protect from the upper end thereof, a pivotable roller mounted on the lower side of said base plate approximately midway between the lateral edges of said base plate, said pivotable roller being rotatable about a first axis extending substantially parallel to said base plate and being pivotable about a second axis extending substantially perpendicularly to said first axis, said tubes and said handle bars extending at an oblique angle to the plane of said base plate, the upper end of each of said handle bars being bent over at an angle of more than 90 to the axis of the main part of said handle bar, said handle bar being adapted to be turned to different positions within said tube whereby said handle is pivoted in different directions and to different heights from the ground, said handle bar being axially sli dable within said tube for varying the total length of said tube and handle bar, means for locking said handle bar in the adjusted positions within said tube, a first disk having a larger outer diameter than said tubular member and rigidly secured to the latter approximately at the center of its length, and a second disk rigidly secured to the upper end of said supporting tube, said first disk rotatably engaging upon said second disk, and wherein said second disk is provided with an arcuate cutout and said first disk is provided with a downwardly projecting lug engaging into said cutout, the opposite ends of said cutout forming stops against which said lug is adapted. to engage so as to limit the extent of the rotation of said handle bar relative to said supporting tube,