US 3665643 A
A toy vehicle having one or more ground contacting elements such as wheels, an indicating drum movable in one direction in response to wheel movement, stops for limiting the movement of the drum and locking the wheels to simulate an empty fuel condition, a simulated fuel pump insertable into an opening in the vehicle for moving the indicating drum in an opposite direction without any movement of the wheels to simulate a fully fueled condition, whereby further movement of the vehicle in the one direction is permitted.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Colgrove May 30, 1972 54 TOY VEHICLE 3,115,724 12/1963 Clarke ..46/243 LV  Inventor: Ronald B. Colgrove, 56679 Maple Hill Primary Examiner Louis Mancene 9" wales 14139 Assistant Examiner-J. Q. Lever 22 Filed: Apr. 1, 1971 AlwmeyAllen J Jaffe  App]. No.: 130,342 57 ABSTRACT A toy vehicle having one or more ground contacting elements  U.S. Cl ..46/206 such as wheels, an indicating drum movable in one direction in  ..A63h 17/00 response to wheel movement, stops for limiting the movement  Field of Search ..46/201, 202, 204, 206, 208, of the m and l ing h heels o simulate an empty fuel 4 2 1 243 condition, a simulated fuel pump insertable into an opening in the vehicle for moving the indicating drum in an opposite  References Cited direction without any movement of the wheels to simulate a fully fueled condition, whereby further movement of the vehi- UNITED STATES PATENTS cle in the one direction is permitted.
2,832,] 77 4/1958 Mueller ..46/202 14 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures Patented May 30, 1972 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 RONALD B. COLGROVE INVENTOR ATTORNEY E a 1015 20 253035 F GALLONS TOY VEHICLE The present invention relates to toys and, more particularly, to toy vehicles having one or more ground contacting elements for mobility, such as wheels.
Many types of toy vehicles are known and whether they are of the push or pull type or of the self propelled type, heretofore, none of these mechanical wheeled toys have had as a feature thereof the ability to run out of gas"; requiring the child to perform a refueling operation before the toy can have further movement.
The toy vehicle according to the present invention incorporates features which permit the simulation of a utilization of fuel or other typical prime mover power sources such as electric power. Additionally, before the vehicle can be easily moved again a simulated refueling operation must be performed.
In addition to the obvious enjoyment for the child, the toy of the present invention will instill in him a sense of responsibility since he must refuel when the gauge indicates a low fuel condition or risk running out of gas at a location remote from a refueling station. Of course, suitable refueling trucks can come to the childs rescue.
Basically, the vehicular toy according to the present invention provides a toy vehicle supported for movement on ground contacting elements such as one or more wheels, a movable indicator gauge mounted on the vehicle, means for transmitting movement of the wheels into movement of the gauge, and stop means for substantially locking the wheels against further movement in response to a predetermined movement of the gauge.
The invention also provides means for disabling the stop means and resetting the gauge whereby the wheel or wheels can be further moved, such means would preferably be removably attached to the vehicle from a toy gas pump or from a toy emergency refueling" vehicle or the like.
Although the foregoing description at times will refer to a simulated fuel indicator gauge and a refueling element or tool, this is by way of example and not limitation. The simulation of any source of power is contemplated. Thus, the gauge can be a simulated battery indicator and the tool can be a recharging" tool, if an electric driven vehicle is being simulated.
Additionally, any size of vehicle is contemplated from miniature to full size and it is immaterial to the present invention whether the vehicle is self propelled or adapted to be pushed or pulled.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the present invention reference should be had to the following detailed description of the same taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein;
FIG. 1 is an exploded pictorial view of the apparatus of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a pictorial representation of the drive mechanism of the present invention with parts shown in broken away section;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 88 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 9 is a pictorial view of a typical refueling pump with the refueling tool stored therein.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings and, more particularly to FIG. 1, the apparatus of the present invention is depcited as embodied in a toy vehicle 10, shown for example as a gravel carrier having a hopper 12 for gravel or the like. It is to be understood that any type of vehicle can be employed. To this end, the operating mechanism is depicted as removable assembly generally indicated by the number 14, which is adapted to be suitably fitted to the body or frame 16 of the vehicle as at slots 18.
The operating mechanism is shown as comprising an enclosure or housing 20 having side walls 22 and 24. An axle 26 passes through suitable openings and is adapted to have mounted thereon suitable ground contacting elements such as wheels 28 (only one of which is illustrated).
A cylindrical indicating drum 30 is mounted on the housing 20 for rotation. Drum 30 has a helically extending portion 32 on its periphery that is visually distinguishable from the remaining portions of the periphery as by color, for example. Portion 32 functions as a movable fuel" indicating gauge that cooperates with suitable indicia on the vehicle body, as will become apparent hereinbelow.
Drum 30 is adapted to be rotated in the direction of vehicle movement in response to rotation of wheels 28. Suitable means are provided to transmit wheel motion to corresponding drum movement. Such means are illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 as comprising a gear 34 fixedly mounted on axle 26 cooperating with a gear 36 mounted for rotation in side wall 22. A reduction gear 38 is fixedly attached to gear 36 and cooperates with a much larger gear 40 mounted on a shaft 42 having one end supported in side wall 22. The other end of shaft 42 is supported for rotation and passes through a bore 44 in drum 30. Rotary movement of gear 40 in the direction of vehicle motion is transmitted to movement of drum 30 by means of a suitable transmission or clutching mechanism 46, which may typically comprise a 3-M Fibre-Tran overrunning clutch mechanism, the driver section 48 of which may be adhesively secured to gear 40 and the driven section 50 of which may be adhesively secured to a side face of drum 30. A spring 52 is located between side wall 22 and gear 40 to urge the sections 48 and 50 into inimate contact. The clutch 46 will positively drive the drum 30 counterclockwise as viewed in FIG. 2 in response to movement of wheels 28 in the direction of arrow A and will slip in the opposite direction. Although this type of clutch is advantageous in that it can be overridden without damage, making it suitable for child abuse, other types of clutches or ratchet mechanisms may be utilized, such as a friction clutch, for example.
A projection 54 on drum 30 cooperates with a limit stop projection 56 on the inner surface of wall 24 to limit the degree of travel of the drum to thereby substantially lock the wheels from further movement, as will be described in greater detail hereinbelow. When stop 54 engages and abuts against stop 56, the wheels 28 are substantially locked and no further easy movement is permitted. This corresponds to the simulated out of fuel condition of the vehicle, which is indicated by a minimum portion of helix 32 being exposed through an observation opening in the form of an indicator window 58 in the top surface of vehicle housing 16, as illustrated in FIG. 6.
A gas cap 60 is pivotally mounted on the top surface of housing 16 and is fixed to a square top section 61 of a shaft 62 passing through housing 16, to which is fixedly attached a square sectioned actuating nut 64. Nut 64 is adapted to cooperate with an end of a lever 66 which is pivotally mounted on fulcrum 68 which is mounted to wall 24 of unit 14. The other end 70 of lever 66 is adapted to contact shaft 42 and move the same against the bias of spring 52 to declutch unit 46, as will become apparent hereinbelow. A weak spring 72 is provided to urge lever 66 into contact with actuating nut 64.
Drum 30 is adapted to be rotated back to the position whereat the helical portion 32 thereof occupies substantially the total projected area of window 58. This is the simulated full tank or fully fueled condition. To this end, suitable reset means are provided in the form of a set of gears and a reset actuator tool or simulated fuel pump. Drum 30 has a projecting portion 74 extending through wall 24 to which is fixedly keyed a gear 76 which cooperates with a mating gear 78 fixed to a shaft 80 attached to wall 24. Gear 80 mates with a gear 82 which is similarly supported by wall 24. Vehicle housing 16 has an opening 84 which is normally closed by cap 60, through which opening a simulated fuel pump nozzle or reset tool or actuator 86 is adapted to be inserted as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4. Actuator 86 has on its operative end a plurality of gear teeth 88 in the form of a rack which mates with gear 82. When not in use actuator is stored in a suitable storage facillity such as a gas pump" housing 90 or the like, as illustrated in FIG. 9.
OPERATION In the operation of the foregoing described apparatus, as the wheels 28 are moved in the forward direction (arrow A in FIG. 2) drum 30 is caused to rotate in the same direction through gears 34, 36, 38, 40 and clutch 46. As drum 30 rotates, less and less of the colored portion 32 thereof is exposed through window 58 (FIG. 6) which indicates to the child in a simulated fashion that more and more fuel is being utilized, as the edge of surface 32 progressively approaches the empty or E position. At this position stop 54 engages stop 56 and the wheels 28 are substantially locked against further forward movement. This position of the drum corresponds to the empty or out of fuel condition of the vehicle whereat the edge of colored portion 32 substantially lines up with the empty or E indicia adjacent window 58.
The child must now refuel the vehicle before further movement is permitted. To do this, the gas cap 60 is rotated from the closed position of FIG. 6 to the open position of FIG. 7. Movement of cap 60 causes movement of nut 64 to the dashed position shown in FIG. 8 whereby lever 66 is moved to the dashed position which, in turn, causes the end 70 thereof (FIG. 3) to slide gear shaft 42 and gear 40 away from drum 30 against the action of spring 52 to separate or declutch sections 48 and 50 of clutching mechanism 46. The cap 60 will remain in this position until it is moved back to the closed position because the corner edge of nut 64 has passed dead center. Opening 84 has been uncovered by the movement of the cap to the open position and the refueling tool 86 is inserted therethrough. The teeth 88 of tool 86 engage gear 82 and rotate the same in the direction of arrow B (FIG. 4) which, in turn, causes rotation of gear 78 in the direction of arrow C which causes rotation gear 76 in the direction of arrow D. Since gear 76 is keyed to shaft 74 of drum 30 and since the clutch mechanism is temporarily inoperative, rotation of gear 76 causes rotation of drum 30 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2 whereby stop 54 is moved away from stop 56. As drum 30 is rotated by refueling tool 86, the helical portion 32 thereof progressively occupies more and more of the area under the window 58 until finally it occupies the complete projected area thereof which indicates to the child operator that the vehicle has been completely refueled and is ready for further movement. The tool 86 is rotated 90 to disengage its teeth 88 from the teeth of gear 82 and is removed from opening 84. The cap 60 is rotated to the closed position allowing the elements 48 and 50 of the clutch to engage. The vehicle is now ready for further forward movement until the stops 54 and 56 again engage to simulate the out of fuel condition.
Although a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed and described, changes will occur to those skilled in the art as, for example, instead of incorporating a separate actuator for declutching and resetting the drum, a single actuator could be provided. It is therefore intended that the present invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for simulating the utilization of fuel or the like in a vehicular toy, comprising;
a. a toy vehicle supported for movement on one or more ground contacting elements,
b. movable indicator means mounted on said vehicle,
c. means responsive to movement of said ground contacting elements for causing movement of said indicator means, and
d. stop means engageable for substantially locking said ground contacting elements against further movement in response to a predetermined movement of said indicator means.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising;
e. means for causing opposite movement of said indicator means and disengaging said stop means whereby further movement of said ground contacting elements is permitted.
3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein;
f. said means for causing opposite movement of said indicator means comprises an element removably associated with said vehicle.
4. The apparatus according to claim 3, wherein;
g. said means responsive to movement of said ground contacting elements comprises a clutching mechanism, and there is further provided;
h. means for separating the operative elements of said clutching mechanism whereby opposite movement of said indicator means is permitted without corresponding movement of said ground contacting elements.
5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein;
. said indicator means comprises a rotatable drum having a helically extending surface portion thereof distinquisha ble from the remaining surface portions thereof.
. The apparatus according to claim 5, further comprising;
. an observation opening on said vehicle adjacent said drum, and wherein k. said helically extending distinguishable surface portion of said drum occupies substantially the total projected area of said observation opening when said stop means is fully disengaged to simulate a fully fueled condition of said vehicle, and
. said distinquishable surface surface portion occupies a minimum of the total projected area of said observation opening when said stop means is engaged to simulate an empty fuel condition of said vehicle, the transition of said distinquishable surface portion from said position of total occupation to said position of minimum occupation occurs gradually to simulate the progressive utilization of fuel.
. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein;
said movable indicator means has a portion thereof cooperable with stationary means on said vehicle and movable progressively between first and second extreme positions whereat fueled and unfueled conditions of said vehicle are simulated, respectively.
. The apparatus according to claim 7, further comprising;
actuator means for disengaging said stop means and moving said movable indicator means to said first position.
9. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein;
g. said actuator means is removably associated with said vehicle.
10. The apparatus according to claim 9, wherein;
h. said means responsive to said ground contacting elements comprises a clutching mechanism having a pair of engaging clutch elements, and there is further provided;
i. means for disengaging said clutch elements whereby movement of said indicator means to said first position is permitted without corresponding movement of said ground contacting elements.
11. The apparatus according to claim 10, wherein;
j. said movable indicator means comprises a drum rotatably mounted in said vehicle.
12. The apparatus according to claim 1 1 wherein;
k. one of said engaging clutch elements is fixed to said drum, and
1. said means for disengaging said clutch elements comprises a shaft passing through an axial opening in said drum and a lever pivotally mounted to said vehicle having one end adjacent said shaft for causing reciprocable movement tor means and normally covered by said cap. thereof. 14. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein; 13. The apparatus according to claim 12, further comprisg. said actuator means comprises a member having portions i on an operative end thereof engageable with mating porm. a cap externally of said vehicle, 5 tions of power transmitting elements, one of which is fixed to said drum for rotating the same from said second to said first extreme position.
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n. a shaft attached to said cap adapted to engage and move the other end of said lever, 0. an opening on said vehicle adapted to receive said actua-