US 3666020 A
Apparatus for leveling and conditioning snowmobile trails having a substantially rigid elongate frame assembly and a series of resilient snow gathering and distributing scoops formed from sectors of pneumatic tire casings depending from the frame.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
mte States atent 396661020 ess 1 30, 1972 54] DRAGS FOR SNOOILE 11 3,465,456 9/1969 Meyer ..172/767X 3,477,149 11/1969 Wagner .1..172/767X  Invent figg gzgl, Hess Deerbmk 3,091,791 6/1963 Czarar,Jr... ..15/236R 3,221,619 12/1965 Erickson ..l5/236R 22 Filed: Nov. 18, 1970 211 App]. No.: 90,619
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 233,077 3/1911 Germany ..172/612 Primary Examiner-Robert E. Pulfrey Assistant Examiner-Eugene H. Eickholt Attorney.loseph G. Werner, Theodore J. Long, John M. Winter and James A. Kemmeter [5 7] ABSTRACT Apparatus for leveling and conditioning snowmobile trails having a substantially rigid elongate frame assembly and a series of resilient sno'w gathering and distributing scoops formed from sectors of pneumatic tire casings depending from the frame.
1 Claim, 2 Drawing Figures Patented May'30, 1972 Fig. 1
INVENTORZ ROBERT v HESAS/ ATTORNEY DRAGS FOR SNOWMOBILE TRAILS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention This invention pertains generally to the field of material levelers and more particularly to drags for leveling and smoothing snowmobile trails.
2. Description of the Prior Art Snowmobiling is a relatively new field of recreation yet a great number of snowmobiles have already been sold in the rapidly expanding market. By far the greatest number of these vehicles are owned by private individuals who ride them for recreation over open and wooded trails, fields, frozen lakes and similar areas.
Because of the vast number of snowmobiles coming into use, snowmobilers are finding it increasingly difficult to locate adequate open spaces to ride their machines, particularly around the populated urban centers. Accordingly, many public and privately owned snowmobile trails have been and are being developed.
These trails in both wooded and open areas are receiving a relatively high concentration of use and therefore must be faithfully maintained and groomed to provide safe and adequate riding areas. To maintain these trails in good condition, particularly between snow falls, it is necessary to smooth them out and fill in areas that have had excessively hard use.
The art pertaining to levelers and drags for redistributing roadway materials and reconditioning other traveled surfaces tends to be quite old, most of which was developed in the early 1900s to maintain dirt and gravel roadways for the passage of wagons, sleds, and the early automobiles. These devices generally comprised drags pulled behind horses for smoothing and leveling gravel, dirt and snow. Such devices are typically shown in the following U.S. patents issued around the turn of the century: U.S. Pat. Nos. 194,386; 765,542; 918,993; 987,803; l,ll4,442 and 1,739,804. These drags, of course, became obsolete with the takeover of the automobile and the advent of motorized snowplows and graders. The devices described in the prior art do not meet the need for apparatus to condition and maintain snowmobile trails.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Because roadway drags were generally obsolete long before the snowmobile was even envisioned, it is not surprising that none of the known devices adequately meet the needs of modern snowmobiling. According, I have invented a new snow drag specifically for conditioning and maintaining snowmobile trails to meet the demands of this ever growing sport.
Because most snowmobiling is done by individuals and small groups and most trails are maintained by same, I have designed my snowmobile drag to be economically built. Further, noting the generally rough terrain over which snowmobile trails are made, I have made my drag of a minimum of parts solidly constructed from rugged materials.
The leveling scoops of my drag are made of resilient material, specifically automobile or truck tire casings, so that the drag will bounce over obstacles and giveway and release from the ever present snags in the trailways. The resilient rubber scoops also add buoyancy to the drag to keep it from sinking or cutting too deeply into the snow which would result in the undesirable plowing and cutting away of the snow rather than the required leveling and filling effect.
Recognizing also the need to transport the snowmobile drag, I have made the drag in such a manner that it may be conveniently transported on a conventional snowmobile trailer alongside a snowmobile or even on the top of an automobile.
Further objects, features and advantages of my invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the invention has been selected for exemplification.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a drag for conditioning snowmobile trails exemplifying my invention.
FIG. 2 is a partial bottom plan view of the drag in FIG. 1 showing the underside of a scoop thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to the drawings where like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, my snowmobile trail drag is indicated generally at 20 in FIGS. 1 and 2.
As best seen in FIG. 1, the drag 20 has a substantially rigid elongated frame assembly 21 comprising longitudinal angle iron members 22 and 23 and cross support members 24 preferably welded or bolted thereto. A chain 25 is secured at holes 26 formed in the forward end of each longitudinal member 22. A ring 27 is secured to the middle link of the chain for hitching to a snowmobile for the purpose of pulling the drag therebehind.
A series of resilient rubber snow gathering and leveling scoops 28 are spaced one behind the other along the length of the frame assembly as shown in FIG. 1. Each scoop comprises an arcuate sector of at least about and not more than about 180 of a pneumatic tire casing from an automobile, truck, or the like, divided through the bottom tread portion thereof along a plane extending transversely to the axis of rotation of the tire casing.
Each sector of tire casing forming the snow scoops is secured to the underside of the frame assembly by bolts 29 extending through the longitudinal frame members and the sidewall portion 28a of the tire casings. The side wall portions 28a of the casings extend rearwardly from their point of attachment to the depending thread portion of the casings 28b.
It should be noted that the scoops 28 can be made from any diameter size tire casing from an automobile, truck or the like depending on the width of the trail desired. The arcuate size of said scoops may also be varied, although it is preferred to make the scoops from sectors of about 90 to about The arcuate sector for the scoop shown in FIG. 2 is 120. This particular arcuate size has proven to give excellent gathering, distributing and smoothing action.
The use of discarded tire casings is the most significant factor is achieving a low cost drag and it should be noted that when using 120 sectors, six scoops can be obtained from a single tire casing.
It is understood that my invention is not confined to the particular construction and arrangement of parts herein illustrated and described, but embraces all such modified forms thereof as come within the scope of the following claim.
1. A drag for snowmobile trails comprising:
a. a substantially rigid elongate frame assembly, and
b. A series of resilient snow leveling scoops each comprising an arcuate sector of at least about 90 and not more than about of a pneumatic tire casing divided through the bottom tread portion thereof along a plane extending transversely to the axis of said tire casing, said series of snow leveling scoops being spaced along the length of said frame assembly with the sidewall portion of each Of said sectors of tire casings forming said snow leveling scoops secured to the underside of said frame assembly and having the bottom tread portion extending in depending relation from the rear edge of said sidewall portion.
* i k i