US 3800967 A
A wheelchair carrier has a generally U-shaped frame work constituted by a pair of upright struts whose upper ends are coupled to a relatively low-slung cross brace. Projecting rearwardly is a swing arm pivotally coupled to one side of the frame work and a holding arm fixed to the other side of the frame work.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Kosecoff 1 Apr. 2, 1974 WHEELCHAIR CARRIER ATTACHABLE TO VEHICLE Irving W. Kosecoff, 3201 Butler Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90066  Filed: Sept. 15, 1972  Appl. No.: 289,584
 US. Cl. 214/450, 224/42.03 B  Int. Cl B60m 9/00  Field of Search ..224/42.03 B, 42.03 A, 42.03 R, 224/42.32,42.45 R, 29 R; 214/450; 2] H17, 18
-  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,710,999 1/1973 Allen 224/42.03 B 2,918,297 12/1959 Peters 224/29 B X 3,115,978 12/1963 Anderson, Jr. et a1, 214/450 3,225,986 12/1965 Anderson.. 224/42.03 B 640,736 l/1970 Biester 211/18 Primary Examiner-Gera1d M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner-Jerald M. Forsberg Attorney, Agent, or FirmPastoriza & Kelly [5 7] ABSTRACT A wheelchair carrier has a generally U-shaped frame work constituted by a pair of upright struts whose upper ends are coupled to a relatively low-slung cross brace. Projecting rearwardly is a swing arm pivotally coupled to one side of the frame work and a holding arm fixed to the other side of the frame work.
With the swing arm rotated out of the way to a retracted position, a wheelchair may be assembled onto the carrier by first looping or placing a front corner section of the wheelchair over the holding arm and using it as a pivot to swing the wheelchair upwardly with a lifting action. Once the wheelchair is urged to the desired position, then the swing arm is rotated back to underlie and support the wheelchair handle grips or back rest section. The swing arm may be set in place by a detent and locking knob arrangement.
9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures WHEELCHAIR CARRIER ATTACHABLE TO VEHICLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention generally relates to article carrying devices and more specifically to carriers for wheelchairs or the like capable of being removably installed on vehicle bumpers.
A number of stationary and collapsable bike carriers exist that can be demountably installed on the rear bumpers of automobiles. Their outwardly projecting arms or hangers are ordinarily spaced apart and structured so that the bike can be supported between its front upper portions and middle upper portions. These conventional bike carriers are not equipped or configured to accommodate wheelchairs or similar articles of bulky and unusual shape.
In order to transport a wheelchair by way of a family automobile, it must ordinarily be loaded into the back seat area of the vehicle which is tedious, awkward, time-consuming and very annoying. The wheelchair then consumes considerable space that could otherwise be used by additional occupants and may necessitate using two family automobiles.
Moreover, there is considerable risk that seat covers and upholstery will become ripped, gradually worn, smudged, etc.
.The invalid, paraplegic, geriatric or other person using the wheelchair can certainly not accomplish the loading and unloading effort himself and therefore assistance from others is unavoidable.
A primary purpose of this invention is to permit many people to assemble their Wheelchairs on a special article carrier attached to a vehicle bumper without assistance from others and in minimal time.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated, this invention comprehends a relatively inexpensive, simple and durable article carrier capable of being removably installed on vehicle bumpers, the carrier being structured so that a collapsed wheelchair can be easily manipulated onto and withdrawn from the carrier by a single person.
In its broader aspects, the article carrier has a generally U-shaped frame work with a pair of laterally spaced struts and a cross brace coupled to the upper end of the struts. A pair of clamping assemblies are secured to corresponding'struts for removably securing the U-shaped frame work to the bumper of a vehicle. Extending from and coupled to one side of the U- shaped frame work is a pivot element that rotatably couples a swing arm. The swing arm is thereby able to move within an arcuate path within a verticle plane that is preferably generally parallel to the plane of the U- shaped frame work. A holding arm extends rearwardly from and is coupled to the other side of the U-shaped frame work. An article such as a wheelchair may be disposed between and supported by the swing arm and holding arm.
A detent interconnects the swing arm and pivot element and is structured to allow the swing arm to be locked at selected positions within its path of movement. The detent includes a first serrated disk secured to the pivot element and a second serrated disk secured to the swing arm. The disks are arranged next to each other in releasable interlocking engagement.
Preferably a knob is provided that is coupled to the pivot element and arranged in releasable engagement with the swing arm so that it may be selectively loosened in order to relax locking pressure on the detent and tightened in order to exert locking pressure on the detent.
The swing arm outer or distal end-is formed with a rearwardly extending hanger. The swing arm has a straight shank portion and an open triangular portion. Pliable, scratch resistant material covers the hanger and open triangular portion.
The holding arm is fixed to the U-shaped frame work and likewise is formed with a hanger covered in part by pliable, scratch-resistant material.
The article to be supported by the carrier may be a collapsed wheelchair supported at a back rest section by the swing arm and supported at a forward section by the holding arm.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The numerous benefits and unique aspects of the present invention will be fully understood when the fol lowing detailed description is studied in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an article carrier constructed in accordance with this invention supporting a collapsed wheelchair;
FIG. 2 is an elevational schematic view showing a wheelchair being assembled to the carrier with the swing arm moved to a retracted position;
FIG. 3 is also an. elevational schematic view showing the collapsed wheelchair fully assembled with the swing arm rotated back to its supporting position;
FIG. 4 is a detailed, perspective, enlarged view of the article carrier;
FIG. 5 is a perspective fragmentary view showing the swing arm rotated to a substantially horizontal position; and,
FIG. 6 is a sectional fragmentary view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now primarily to FIG. I, an article carrier I 10 is shown having a pair of spaced and generally upright struts l 1 and 12 and a cross brace 13 spanning between and connected to the top ends of the struts 11 and 12.
Extending rearwardly from the corner or juncture defined by the intersection of strut 11 and cross brace 13 is an elongated swing arm 14 having a hanger 15 formed by its outermost or distal end. The swing arm 14 is rotatably coupled to a pivot element 18 for arcuate movement generally within a verticle plane. Extending rearwardly from the corner or juncture defined by the intersection of strut 12 and cross brace 13 is a holding arm 16 whose outer portion is formed with a hanger 17 similar in construction to hanger 15. Swing arm 14 is movable over a broad angular displacement and holding arm 16 is generally stationary, although it may rotate about its own axis if desired.
Secured to strut 11 is a clamping assembly constituted by a lower bumper clamp 20 and an upper bumper clamp 21. Similarly, secured to the other strut 12 is an identical clamping assembly constituted by a lower bumper clamp 22 and an upper bumper clamp 23.
The U-shaped frame work 24 constituted by the struts l1 and 12 and cross brace 13 is demountably attached to the rear bumper 26 of an automobile 25. The lower bumper clamps 20 and 22 are secured to the lower bumper edge 27 and the upper bumper clamps 21 and 23 are secured to the upper bumper edge 28.
An article characterized by a wheelchair 30 is shown assembled between and supported by swing arm 14 and holding arm 16 of the carrier 10. The wheelchair 30 is of conventional construction and its symmetrical sides are shown collapsed inwardly towards the longitudinal center line where a number of split section panels, etc., are folded and generally flattened against one another so that the overall collapsed wheelchair 30 is compressed within a relatively narrow space. The wheelchair 30 has collapsed back rest portion 33, push bars or handle bars 34, and corners or junctions 35 defined generally by the back rest portion 33 and handle bars 34. For simplicity, this area or section will be referred to as the back rest portion. The wheelchair 30 is shown with inwardly folded leg rest sections 36, foot rest pads 37 and front section support legs 38. Corners or junctions 40 are defined by the intersection of leg rest sections 36 and legs 38 or by bends in the leg rest sections 36. For the sake of simplicity, this area or section will be referred to as the forward section 40. The wheelchair also has relatively small front wheels 41 and relatively large rear wheels 42.
Referringnow to FIG. 2, the wheelchair 30 is shown collapsed and ready for installation on to carrier 10. The person who uses the wheelchair 30 or another person initially loops or places the wheel chair forward section 40 over the holding arm 16 after rotating swing arm 14 downwardly and out of the way to a retracted position. Thereafter, holding arm 16 can be used as a lever to derive a mechanical lifting advantage.
Referring to FIG. 3, the person continues installing wheelchair 30 onto carrier by swinging it upwardly about the axis of holding arm 16 until the back rest portion 33 is substantially erect or otherwise in the desired position. At that point in time the person may grasp swing arm 14 and crank it upwardly again to a substantially erect position where the hanger will underlie and support the wheelchair back rest portion 33.
Referring now essentially to FIG. 4, the swing arm 14 has a barrel-shaped connector 48 swivelly connected to the pivot element 18 which essentially is a bolt having threaded and smooth segments as shall be more fully explained. Adjacent the barrel-shaped connector 48 is a straight shank portion 49 that merges with an open triangular portion 50 constituted by bars 51, 52 and 53. The outermost tip of hanger l5 terminates in a hook 54 which is arranged to project upwardly when swing arm 14 is in its operational position as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4. To protect the wheelchair or other article of unusual geometry assembled on carrier 10, the hanger l5 and at least a part of triangular portion 50 are covered with pliable, scratch-resistant material 55. Secured to the rearward end of the pivot element is a manual knob 56 that can be selectively manipulated to exert pressure on barrel-shaped connector 48 through one or more spring washers 57 or the like. i
The holding arm 16 is essentially a threaded bolt 60 held tightly to the juncture of strut l2 and cross brace 13 by a plurality of nut fasteners 61 and 62. The pivot element 18 and threaded bolt 60 hold the U-shaped frame work 24 together as a rigid unit. The outermost tip of hanger l7 terminates in an upwardly projecting hook 63. A coating of pliable, scratch-resistant material 64 is likewise applied to holding arm 16.
A series of height adjustment retaining holes 66 and 67 are formed through the channel-shaped bars constituting struts 11 and 12 respectively. The bumper clamps 20, 21, 22 and 23 can be selectively positioned in the retaining holes in order to accommodate varying sizes and curvatures of different vehicle bumpers. Stabilizing bolts 68 and 69 are inserted between their associated upper and lower bumper clamps. The bumperengaging forward ends 70 and 71 of the stabilizing bolts 68 and 69 respectively are covered with pliable, scratch-resistant material in order to guard against gouging or scratching the vehicle bumper 26. The sets of upper and lower bumper clamps and stabilizing bolts constitute a pair of three-point contacts with the bumper to assure tight and dependable attachment.
FIG. 5 shows the swing arm 14 rotated counterclockwise and downwardly from its erect position to a horizontal and partially retracted position. With the swing arm 14 swung to this position it will be out of the way so that a person will have adequate elbow room and unobstructed access to the carrier 10 for the purpose of effecting the first phase of the installation procedure. A detent 74 is interposed between the swing arm 14 and pivot element 18 in order to assist in allowing the swing arm 14 to be locked at selected positions within its path of movement. The detent 74 may be any conventional interlock, positive lock catch or related mechanism.
Referring to FIG. 6, the pivot element 18 is an elongated bolt having a forwarded threaded segment 76 extending through strut 11 and cross brace 13, an intermediate smooth segment 77 that passes through and retains barrel-shaped connector 48 of swing arm 14, and, a rearward threaded segment 78 that holds the one or more spring washers 57 and threadably receives the knob 56. i
The detent 74 in this embodiment is characterized by a serrated locking disk 80 fixed to a nut 81 which is in turn tightly secured to threaded segment 76 of the pivot element 18. A mating'serrated locking disk 82 is fixed to an end of the barrel-shaped connector 48. When the swing arm 14 is set in place, the adjacent and abutting disks 80 and 82 will be held together in releasable interlocking engagement. When the knob 56 is loosened then the locking pressure between disks 80 and 82 will be relaxed so that the swing arm 14 may be rotated to a different angular position.
The swing arm 14 is preferably constructed from chrome-plated tubular or rod steel. The arm 14 may incorporate a telescopable connection in order to be length adjustable. Preferably the end-to-end length of arm 14 is equal to or greater than the space between the struts 11 and 12. If desired a plurality of hangers I could be formed on the swing arm 14 and holding arm 16 so that a plurality of wheelchairs could be tandemly aligned and held by the single article carrier 10.
While the article carrier 10 has been described in connection with accommodating a collapsed wheelchair 30, it is constructed to accommodate other articles such as collapsible furniture, large toys, etc.
While it is preferable that the swing arm 14 be erect for optimum support purposes, this is not essential and the arm 14 could be locked in place at numerous inclined positions dictated primarily by the shape and special problems presented by the article to be assembled.
OPERATION Keeping the above construction in mind, it can be understood how the previously described disadvantages pertaining to the transportation of wheelchairs and the like are overcome or substantially eliminated by this invention.
With the article carrier suitably secured to automobile bumper 26 a collapsed wheelchair 30 may be assembled with relative ease by practically any person, including many people who must use wheelchairs. The wheelchair 30 is tilted backwardly on rear wheels 42 until the wheelchair forward section 40 is raised to a level where it may be pushed forwardly to rest upon holding arm 16 as shown in FIG. 2. During this maneuver, the rear wheels 42 have remained on the ground so there has been no need to lift the entire weight of wheelchair 30.
With the swing arm 14 rotated downwardly to one side and generally out of the way, the person may then use the holding arm 16 as a lever and derive a mechanical lifting advantage from it. The handles 34 or the like are grasped and raised until the back rest portion 33 is substantially verticle. Holding the wheelchair in that desired position, the person may then grasp the swing arm 14 and rotate it upwardly to a position where the hanger underlies and supports the back rest portion 33. Then the knob 56 is tightened, causing the detent 18 to become positively locked in order to fix the swing arm 14 in the desired position. Straps may then be tightened to further secure the stability of the wheelchair 30 and carrier 10 prior to travelling.
From the foregoing, it will be evident that the present invention has provided an article carrier for a wheelchair in which all of the various advantages are fully realized.
What is claimed is:
1. An article carrier attachable to a bumper ofa vehicle, comprising:
a. a generally U-shape frame. work having a pair of laterally spaced struts and a cross brace coupled to the upper ends of the struts;
b. clamping assemblies secured to corresponding struts for removably securing the U-shaped frame work to a vehicle bumper;
c. a holding arm extending rearwardly from and being coupled to one side of the U-shaped framework, the holding arm having a hook;
d. a pivot element extending rearwardly from and coupled to the other side of the U-shaped framework;
e. a swing arm with a hook arranged offset vertically from the holding arm, the swing arm being rotatably coupled to the pivot element for arcuate movement in a plane generally parallel to the plane of the framework, and,
f. a detent coupled to the swing arm and pivot element and structured for allowing the swing arm to be locked at selected positions within its path of movement across the framework,
wherein, an article may be disposed between and supported by the swing arm and holding arm.
2. The structure according to claim 1, wherein:
the detent includes a first serrated disk secured to the pivot element and a second serrated disk secured to the swing arm, the disks being mutually adjacent and arranged in releasable interlocking engagement.
3. The structure according to claim 1, including:
a knob coupled to the pivot element and arranged in releasable engagement with the swing arm,
wherein, the knob may be selectively loosened to relax locking pressure on the detent and tightened to exert locking pressure on the detent.
4. The structure according to claim 3, wherein:
the swing arm has a barrel-shaped connector positioned between the knob and detent.
5. The structure according to claim 1, wherein:
the swing arm distal end is formed with a rearwardly extending hanger.
6. The structure according to claim 5, wherein:
the swing arm has a straight shank portion and an open triangular portion, and
pliable, scratch-resistent material covers the hanger and at least part of the open triangular portion.
7. The structure according to claim 1, wherein:
the holding arm is fixed to the U-shaped frame work, and, is formed with a hanger convered in part by pliable, scratch-resistant material.
8. The structure according to claim 1, wherein:
the swing arm is mounted to the junction of one strut and the cross brace,
the holding arm is mounted to the juncture of the other strut and the cross brace,
the struts are formed with height adjustment retaining holes, and,
the clamping assemblies are adjustably secured to their corresponding struts in part by projecting through selected height adjustment retaining holes.
9. The structureaccording to claim 1, including: a collapsed wheelchair supported by the carrier with a back rest section supported by the swing arm and a forward section supported by the holding arm.