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Publication numberUS3727972 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 17, 1973
Filing dateAug 20, 1970
Priority dateAug 20, 1970
Publication numberUS 3727972 A, US 3727972A, US-A-3727972, US3727972 A, US3727972A
InventorsBelk E
Original AssigneeBelk E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cover
US 3727972 A
Abstract
A cover to overlie the open bed of a vehicle afterbody, the cover including a flexible sheet provided in its periphery with a plurality of openings to receive complementally located headed buttons secured about the periphery of the vehicle bed. The cover includes an elongated retainer embedded in the sheet periphery so as to extend across the sheet openings in position to underlie the button heads and thereby secure the cover in position. Use of the retainer enables greater tolerance in the proper locations of the buttons and the sheet openings for receiving them. The retainer also provides a means for attachment of handles to stretch the cover taut.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1111110 @ttes atent 1191 Bellt COVER [76] Inventor: Earl H. Bell z, 2438 San Francisco Avenue, Long Beach, Calif. 90806 [22] Filed: Aug. 20, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 65,474

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,051,643 8/1936 Morrison ..47/28 2,650,401 9/1954 La Manda ..24/203 3,351,356 11/1967 Clark et a1, ..280/179 R 3,163,460 12/1964 Cox ,.296/23 E 3,366,977 2/1968 Koehler 1 1 ..4/l72.l2 2,937,652 5/1960 Zimmer et a1. ..135/15 CF 3,237,904 3/1966 Abruzese 248/361 14 1 Apr. 17, 1973 Primary Examiner-Leo F riaglia Assistant Examiner-John A. Pekar Attorney-Fulwider, Patton, Rieber, Lee and Utecht 57] ABSTRACT A cover to overlie the open bed of a vehicle afterbody, the cover including a flexible sheet provided in its periphery with a plurality of openings to receive complementally located headed buttons secured about the periphery of the vehicle bed. The cover includes an elongated retainer embedded in the sheet periphery so as to extend across the sheet openings in position to underlie the button heads and thereby secure the cover in position. Use of the retainer enables greater tolerance in the proper locations of the buttons and the sheet openings for receiving them. The retainer also provides a means for attachment of handles to stretch the cover taut.

3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR] 71975 K m w a a my 5 J T N 4 Z W 5 T a z y mu Mw m L A m E 2 F H film m a; T m i {J COVER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a cover, and more particularly to a flexible cover to overlie an area peripherally bounded by a plurality of elements which cooperate with the cover to mount it in position.

2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Attachment of the periphery of a flexible cover to overlie an area of predetermined dimensions presents no difficulty when the peripheral openings in the cover exactly match the locations of the complemental fastener elements bounding the area in question. However, a precise match requires care and skill.

The present invention has particular application to the fitting of canvas or vinyl coated fabric to the open bed of a light commercial vehicle of the type sometimes referred to as a pickup truck. In the prior art it was common practice to provide a plurality of reinforced openings in the periphery of the cover, precisely locate a plurality of complemental fasteners on the truck afterbody, and then fit the fasteners through the cover openings. If the match between any fastener and its opening was off by approximately one-eighth inch or more the fit was unsatisfactory. Therefore, an almost exact match was necessary, which entailed considerable time, skill and consequent expense. Moreover, any stretching or distortion of a cover after a period of use could also render the fit unsatisfactory. An additional problem with such a cover was that it was difficult to stretch taut without eventually tearing the edges of the cover.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention a cover is provided which is adapted to overlie an area of predetermined dimensions, such as the open bed of a pickup truck or the like. The cover comprises a flexible sheet to conform to the peripheral contours of the open bed, and fastener elements mounted at the open bed periphery are receivable within a plurality of openings provided in the periphery of the sheet.

An elongated retainer is attached to the sheet in position to extend across the sheet openings so that any portion of the retainer can engage an individual fastener element whereby considerable tolerance is provided for lateral misalignment of a fastener element and the center of the opening within which it is disposed. The larger the opening provided, the greater is the tolerance afforded.

The presence of the retainer element allows a handle to be attached for easy pulling upon the flexible sheet to render it taut. The retainer prevents localization of the pulling stresses, spreading them along the adjacent portions of the sheet periphery.

Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cover of the present invention mounted upon the bed of a vehicle afterbody;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the cover of FIG. 1, a portion of the cover being cut away to conserve drawing space;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view taken along the line 55 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated a cover 10 mounted in overlying relation to the open bed 12 of a pickup truck 14. The showing of the truck 14 is merely exemplary and, as will be seen, the cover 10 is adapted to overlie any similar area of predetermined dimensions.

The afterbody of the truck 14 defining the open bed 12 is of conventional construction, including a front wall 16, spaced side walls 18, and a rear wall or tail gate 20.

Fastener elements in the form of headed buttons 22 are spaced about the periphery of the open bed 12 and are secured to the associated walls of the bed by means of sheet metal screws 24 which each extend through a countersunk central opening in the associated button 22 and into the metal material of the walls and tail gate of the truck bed 12, as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6. The particular spacing between the buttons 22 is not critical to the present invention, typical spacings at the front of the bed being approximately eight inches, with spacings at the sides and rear of the truck bed being about twelve inches. The spacings at the corners may be closer, if desired, to provide a close fit with the cover 10, as will be seen.

The cover 10 comprises a sheet 26 of flexible material such as vinyl coated cotton twill which is preshrunk and water repellent. The sheet 26 is capable of being stretched to a limited extent in order to provide a taut fit. In this regard, the sheet 26 includes a plurality of openings 28 in its periphery. The openings 28 may be reinforced with grommets or the like, if desired, but the material of the sheet 26 is preferably made sufficiently strong that such reinforcement is not necessary. The openings 28 are located in spaced apart relation so as to complementally match the locations of the plurality of buttons 22.

The side and rear margins of the periphery of the sheet 26 are stitched or otherwise secured to a band 30 of corresponding material, as best viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5, to provide a double thickness for reinforcement. In addition, a length of plastic tubing 32 is incorporated between these thicknesses of material to provide a reinforcing welt. Also sandwiched between the two thicknesses is an elongated element or retainer wire or rod 34, both the tubing 32 and rod 34 preferably being stitched in the position illustrated. Sections of the tubing 32 and rod 34 are also similarly incorporated within the front margin of the sheet 26, except that the sheet 26, as best seen in FIG. 3 is formed into an overhanging lip 36 which overlies the front wall 16 of the truck bed 12 to prevent rain or wind from entering under the cover 10.

The rear corners of the sheet 26 are illustrated in FIG. 2 as they would be prior to stitching, that is, a portion of each corner is cut away so that when the con fronting edges of the cut away portion are brought together and sewn, the sewn together section will fit over the associated corner of the truck bed 12.

The openings 28 can be made of any particular size, even as much as two inches in diameter, and the rod 34, or sections thereof, extends across each of the openings 28. Consequently, when the cover is fitted over the truck bed 12, and the buttons 22 are received within the openings 28, the rod 34 is adapted to engage and underlie the headed portion of each button 22, as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6. The resilience of the material of the sheet 26, as well as the weight of the sheet from one edge to the other, or the wind effect pulling up the cover during movement of the truck 14, tends to maintain good engagement between the rod 34 and the various buttons 22. Since any portion of the rod 34 in one of the openings 28 is effective to engage the associated button 22 in the manner just described, it will be apparent that the centers of the buttons 22 need not exactly align with the centers of the openings 28. Instead, there is a considerable tolerance provided, in that each button 22 can project within almost any part of the opening 28 and be in position to engage upon the rod 34.

The openings 28 and the integral rod 34 associated therewith have been illustrated as located at each ofthe four margins of the sheet 26, but there may be occasions where such an arrangement would be omitted along one or more edges of the sheet. For example, if a more permanent type of fastening arrangement was desired to secure the front margin of the sheet 26 in position, grommeted openings could be provided at the front margin to receive fasteners having projecting portions which can be received in such openings and then turned or moved so as to lock against the margins of such openings, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. However, in most instances use of the openings 28 and rod 34 about the entire periphery of the sheet 26 is preferred since mounting or removal of the cover 10 require only that the margin or margins of the sheet 26 be pulled sufficiently to unseat or disengage the rod 34 from the heads of the buttons 22.

To facilitate pulling upon the cover margins a plurality of handle holds or handles 38 are provided at spaced intervals along the side and rear margins of the sheet 26, as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 4. Each handle 38 is made of a length of nylon webbing which underlies the cover margins and has its opposite ends disposed through suitable openings in the reinforcing band 30. These ends are looped back upon themselves and stitched so that when the handle is grasped and pulled the strain is transmitted along the length of the associated section of rod 34. This eliminates localized stresses which might tear the margin of the sheet 26.

The cover 10 is easily mounted in position by first locating the front margin openings 28 over the buttons 22, with the rod 34 underlying the undercut or head portion of the buttons. Thereafter, the handles 38 at the rear margin are pulled to stretch the cover over the truck bed 12 for location of the rear margin openings 28 over the buttons 22. Next, one of the side margins is similarly secured in position and, finally, the handles on the opposite side of the cover are used to pull the remaining side margin into position over the buttons Various modifications and changes may be made with regard to the foregoing detailed description without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Iclaim:

1. In combination: a vehicle afterbody having an open bed;

a plurality of fastener elements mounted to said afterbody about the periphery of said open bed;

a flexible sheet overlying said bed and having a plurality of openings in its periphery, said openings receiving said fastener elements; and

an elongated, rigid retainer rod secured to the periphery of said sheet, extending across said openings, and engaged upon said fastener elements to secure said cover over said open bed, said rod being operative to distribute pulling stresses on said cover along the periphery of said cover, said rod further being operative to facilitate pulling upon said cover to locate said fastener elements in said openings.

2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said fastener elements each includes an undercut portion for receiving said retainer rod.

3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said fastener elements each comprise a headed button, and said retainer rod underlies the margin of the head of each said button.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2051643 *Apr 14, 1936Aug 18, 1936Southern Brighton MillsCloth house
US2562005 *Jun 4, 1947Jul 24, 1951Wenzel Tent & Duck Co HTarpaulin
US2570533 *Jun 6, 1949Oct 9, 1951Elliott Charles FUniversal automobile cover
US2650401 *Apr 16, 1951Sep 1, 1953La Mond John RWeatherproof covering closure fastener
US2732877 *Dec 15, 1954Jan 31, 1956 taylor
US2937652 *Sep 8, 1958May 24, 1960Nelson A Taylor Co IncMeans for detachably fastening a flexible top to a windshield
US2992668 *Jan 5, 1960Jul 18, 1961Mary CollardAppliance cover
US3024063 *Feb 19, 1960Mar 6, 1962Robinson William JOne-man truck body cover
US3163460 *Sep 9, 1963Dec 29, 1964Frederic L CoxCamping trailers
US3237904 *May 21, 1963Mar 1, 1966Michael AbruzeseBeach blanket anchor
US3264656 *Apr 23, 1964Aug 9, 1966Clay Horace APool cover and anchor means therefor
US3351356 *Jun 11, 1965Nov 7, 1967ClarkTruck tie-down device
US3366977 *Mar 23, 1967Feb 6, 1968Carl A. KoehlerSwimming pool cover
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3936077 *Mar 4, 1974Feb 3, 1976Arie BliekTonneau cover for fifth wheel camper trucks
US4639033 *Dec 16, 1985Jan 27, 1987Wheatley Donald GTonneau cover
US4982697 *Dec 21, 1987Jan 8, 1991Neff Gregor NAquatic net pen and method
US4996752 *Jan 18, 1982Mar 5, 1991Clendinen Charles DStud and eyelet fastener
US5058652 *Apr 17, 1989Oct 22, 1991Wheatley Donald GTonneau cover
US5065699 *Dec 1, 1989Nov 19, 1991Shelly MarshallMobile pet protection cage
US5275458 *Apr 24, 1992Jan 4, 1994Custom Form Manufacturing, Inc.Tonneau cover assembly
US5385377 *Oct 8, 1992Jan 31, 1995Canvasback Convertible Tops Inc.Pickup truck bed covers and attachment system therefore
US5460423 *Mar 11, 1993Oct 24, 1995Custom Form Manufacturing, Inc.Tonneau cover assembly and cross-bow clip
US6149220 *Aug 7, 1997Nov 21, 2000Custom Creative Products, Inc.Cover assembly for the cargo area of a vehicle
US6309006Oct 18, 2000Oct 30, 2001Saddleman, IncAttachment system for truck beds
US8128149 *Aug 31, 2010Mar 6, 2012Wolf Mark ASystem for securing a truck bed cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/119, 296/100.16, 160/354, 160/127, 135/115
International ClassificationB60J7/08, B60J7/10
Cooperative ClassificationB60J7/104
European ClassificationB60J7/10B2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 12, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BOSTROM SEATING, INC., A WI. CORP., WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:KUSTOM-FIT MFG., CO. A/K/A AND D/B/A KUSTOM FIT MANUFACTURING COMPANY, KUSTOM FIT MANUFACTURING CO., INC., AND KUSTOM FIT MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.;REEL/FRAME:005005/0397
Effective date: 19881101