|Publication number||USRE37372 E1|
|Application number||US 09/473,825|
|Publication date||Sep 18, 2001|
|Filing date||Dec 22, 1999|
|Priority date||Jan 16, 1996|
|Also published as||US5707067|
|Publication number||09473825, 473825, US RE37372 E1, US RE37372E1, US-E1-RE37372, USRE37372 E1, USRE37372E1|
|Inventors||Craig S. Smith|
|Original Assignee||Craig S. Smith|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Referenced by (11), Classifications (4), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to mechanic creepers and work seats and in particular to a caster-supported creeper that is convertible to a seat with a shelf platform beneath it.
Various creepers with body-support pads on easters have been devised and are being marketed for lying on to work under vehicles and low structural protrusions. Separately, work seats and tool platforms are being produced and marketed for working around low portions of vehicles, car wheels, low plumbing fixtures, low portions of cabinets and low areas of other objects that can require strenuous back-bending without a low work seat. Some known creepers are foldable and some work seats on casters and having tool platforms are foldable. None are known, however, to be convertible between creepers and work seats with a tool platform in a manner taught by this invention.
Examples of creepers and work seats that are different from this invention are described in the following patent documents. British Patent Application Number GB 2,251,828 A by Moghal dated Jul. 22, 1992, described as caster-supported work seat with tool platforms at opposite sides. U.S. Pat. No. 5,072,955, issued to Holland, et al. on Dec. 17, 1991, taught a caster-supported work platform with a central portion that was adjustable in height with inwardly folding braces that were operated with a threaded shaft similar to some car jacks currently in use. U.S. Pat. No. 4,957,302, issued to Maxwell on Sep. 18, 1990, taught a caster-supported work seat that was pivotal in a cradle for height adjustment. U.S. Pat. No. 4,580,799, issued to Quinonez on Apr. 8, 1986, taught a caster-supported creeper with one portion foldable on top of another portion for use as a moveable stool. U.S. Pat. No. 4,471,969, issued to Zabala, et al. on Sep. 18, 1984, taught a caster-supported photography platform with legs that folded down for conversion to a seat or higher photography platform. U.S. Pat. No. 2,611,417, issued to Henry, et al. on Sep. 23, 1952, taught a caster-supported creeper with end portions that were foldable to leg-like positions to raise either or both ends of a central portion or foldable under the central portion for a shorter creeper. British Patent Number 283,330 issued to Bruce on Jan. 12, 1928, taught a caster-supported creeper with a headrest that was pivotal downward to function as a leg to hold a head end of the creeper in position above casters to prevent movement of the creeper in relation to a selected work area.
In light of need for improved worker-support means in low portions of structures, objects of this invention are to provide a creeper with work seat which:
Is convertible between creeper and seat modes;
Has a tool platform in work seat mode;
Has a length-adjustment headrest in creeper mode;
Rides on casters in both modes;
Is sturdy for sitting, standing and prone positions of use; and
Is easily portable and storable.
This invention accomplishes these and other objectives with a convertible creeper with work seat having two end platforms in sliding attachment to slide rods in slideways with which the two end platforms can be slid apart to opposite ends of a central platform to form a full-length creeper in creeper mode. The central platform becomes a work seat and the two end portions become a shelf platform under the work seat when the two end platforms are slid edge-to-edge in work-seat mode. Seat-support reds are attached pivotally to the central platform and to the two end platforms to support the central platform as a seat in work-seat mode and to position the central portion between the two end platforms in creeper mode. The invention can also be used as a standing platform, like a stool, by standing on the seat when the invention is in a locked-wheel stationary position.
The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described an illustrative embodiment of the invention.
This invention is described by appended claims in relation to description of a preferred embodiment with reference to the following drawings which are described briefly as follows:
FIG. 1 is a partially cutaway side view in a seat mode;
FIG. 2 is a partially cutaway side view in a creeper mode;
FIG. 3 is a partially cutaway top view in a creeper mode;
FIG. 4 is a partially cutaway head-end view in a seat mode;
FIG. 5 is a top view in a seat mode;
FIG. 6 is a partially cutaway bottom view in a creeper mode;
FIG. 7 is a partially cutaway foot-end view of an embodiment with a single slide member in a seat mode;
FIG. 8 is a partially cutaway top view of an embodiment with a single slide member in a creeper mode;
FIG. 9 is a partially cutaway bottom view of an embodiment with a single slide member in a creeper mode;
FIG. 10 is a slightly enlarged partially cutaway head-end view of an embodiment with two cylindrical slide members in a seat mode;
FIG. 11 is a slightly enlarged partially cutaway side view of an embodiment with two cylindrical slide members in a creeper mode; and
FIG. 12 is an enlarged partially cutaway fragmentary side view of a head end of an embodiment with two cylindrical slide members in a creeper mode having a ratchet means on a creeper-length extension with a headrest.
Reference is made first to FIGS. 1-6 primarily and to other FIGS. as indicated. A first-end platform 1 has a support surface 2 on a top portion and a first-end slideway 3 vertically below the support surface 2. In this embodiment, the first-end slideway 3 has two sections, one of which houses a slide member which is a rectangular slide rod 4 proximate one side and a separate rectangular slide rod 4 proximate an opposite side of the first-end platform 1. Similarly at an opposite end, a second-end platform 5 also has a support surface 2 on a top portion, a second-end slideway 6 vertically below its support surface 2 and a rectangular slide rod 4 in each of two opposite-side sections of the second-end slideway 6. A central platform 7 with a support surface 2 has a first end 8 and a second end 9.
The central platform 7 is convertible to a seat in a seat mode 10 depicted in FIGS. 1, 4-5, 7 and 10. Optionally as desired for various use conditions, the central platform 7 is convertible to a central portion of a creeper in a creeper mode 11 depicted in FIGS. 2-3, 6, 8-9 and 11-12. Interchangeability between a seat mode 10 and a creeper mode 11 of the creeper seat is accomplished with a working relationship of hinged seat-support members and slide members. A variety of slide members, slideways, seat-support members and related components in lieu of those preferred and illustrated can be employed.
At least one first seat-support member 12 and at least one second seat-support member 13 both have a seat end 14 of seat-support members and a creeper end 15 of seat-support members. The seat end 14 of the first seat-support member 12 is hinged to the first end 8 of the central platform 7 and the seat end 14 of the second seat-support member 13 is hinged to the second end 9 of the central platform 7. The creeper end 15 of the first seat-support member 12 is hinged to an outside end 16 of the first-end platform 1 and the creeper end 15 of the second seat-support member 13 is hinged to an outside end 17 of the second-end platform 5.
As depicted by end-views in FIGS. 4, 7 and 10, the first seat-support member 12 can be a pair of separate legs that are joined by a leg brace 18. The leg brace 18 also provides hinge-attachment surface for preferably a side-to-side full-length seat hinge that is represented by a seat-hinge bolt head 19 for whatever type of seat hinge is employed. Likewise, second seat-support member 13 can be a pair of separate legs that are joined by a leg brace 18 that provides the same functions. Optionally, the first seat-support member 12 and the second seat-support member 13 can be separate pairs of separate legs that are not joined by leg braces 18. For either option, there are a total of four legs at creeper ends 15 of seat-support members 12 and 13.
The at-least-one slide member, represented by the rectangular slide rods 4 in FIGS. 1-4 and 6, is sized and shaped to slide with design snugness in the at-least-one first-end slideway 3 and the at-least-one second-end slideway 6 shown in the same FIGS. 1-4 and 6. For a creeper mode 11 depicted in FIGS. 2-3, 6, 8-9 and 11-12, the rectangular slide reds 4, or other at-least-one slide member, have a length to accommodate a distance of sliding separation of the first-end platform 1 and the second-end platform 5 for positioning the central platform 7 designedly between the first-end platform 1 and the second-end platform 5 horizontally with the first-end platform 1, the central platform 7 and the second-end platform 5 juxtaposed edge-to-edge as a body-support platform for a creeper. For a seat mode 10 depicted in FIGS. 1, 4, 7 and 10, the at-least-one first seat-support member 12 and the at-least-one second seat-support member 13 have design lengths to support the central platform 7 as a seat in a horizontal attitude vertically above the first-end platform 1 and the second-end platform 5 with the first-end platform 1 and the second-end platform 5 juxtaposed edge-to-edge as a shelf platform vertically below the central platform 7 as a work seat.
A seat-mode latch 20 maintains the first-end platform 1 and the second-end platform 5 juxtaposed detachably in an edge-to-edge relationship of an inside end 21 of the first-end platform 1 and an inside end 22 of the second-end platform 5 for the seat mode 10. A variety of fasteners can be employed. Preferably, the seat-mode latch 20 has a grasping latch member 23 that latches onto a rigid latch member 24. The seat-mode latch 20 is shown in a closed mode in seat-mode FIGS. 1, 4, 7 and 10. An open mode of the seat-mode latch 20 is depicted in creeper-mode FIGS. 2, 6, 9 and 11.
In the seat mode 10, the first-end platform 1 and the second-end platform 5 provide a shelf platform on which to place tools and items being worked with in a sitting mode near low work areas. Also, the seat mode 10 comprised of two platforms 1 and 5 for a shelf platform and one platform 7 for a seat, has a relatively wide base for stability. Both modes are convenient, easy to use and advantageous for a wide variety of both commercial and residential applications.
Support means on bottoms of at least the outside end 16 of the first-end platform 1 and the outside end 17 of the second-end platform 5 can be provided for wheeled and/or placeable mobility, the latter particularly desirable if one wants to use the invention like a stool by standing on the support surface 2. The support means are preferably casters 25 of a desired type as shown in all of FIGS. 1-12. Legs 26 that are optionally fixed, pivotal or detachable also can be employed separately or in design combination with the easters 25 in a support relationship shown in FIG. 11.
A headrest 27 can be positioned on the outside end 16 of the first-end platform 1 to comprise a head end of the creeper mode 10. The headrest 27 can be attached directly to the outside end 16 of the first-end platform 1 or positioned on a headrest extension 28 that slides in a headrest slideway 29 as a selectively variable-length extension of the end platform on which the headrest slideway 29 is positioned. Variable-length extension of an end platform is a particularly effective variable-length extension of the creeper mode 11 because it is relatively narrow to provide greater access to and vision of items in a vicinity of a worker's head.
The headrest extension 28 can be attached to a headrest base 30 that is pivotal arcuately for height-positioning of the headrest 27 with the headrest extension 28 in an extended mode. A variety of pivotal means with a variety of position-support means are foreseeable. A preferred position-support means is a slideway ratchet 31 with ratchet slots attached to the outside end 16 of the first-end platform 1 as illustrated in FIG. 12. A ratchet tongue member 32 that is movably attached to the headrest extension 28 can be engaged selectively with the ratchet slots. Foreseeable also as shown in FIG. 10 is a threaded-axle knob 33 that locks the headrest base 30 into a select angular relationship to a headrest slideway 29 that is slotted or channeled horizontally. Also optional can be a headrest leg 34, as shown in FIG. 11, that can be pivoted to a desired perpendicularly for height selection of the headrest 27 and maintained there with a variety of convenient pivot-control means.
In a creeper mode 11, the central platform 7 rests on slide members such as rectangular slide rods 4 shown in FIGS. 1-3, on a rectangular plate 35 as shown in FIGS. 7-10, or on cylindrical slide rods 36 as shown in FIGS. 10-12. First-end slideways 3 and second-end slideways 6 are sized and shaped to receive whatever size and shape of slide member is employed. Bottoms of the central platform 7 are provided with slide channels 37 that are sized and shaped to receive respective slide members as shown in the FIG. 6 bottom view for rectangular slide rods 4 and in FIG. 9 bottom view for the rectangular plate 35. Slide channels 37 for receiving cylindrical slide rods 36 are not shown separately because they could be similar to those used for the rectangular slide rods 4. In FIG. 3, rectangular slide rods 4 are shown in a cutaway below the support surface 2 of the central platform 7 and in FIG. 8, the rectangular plate 35 is shown in a cutaway below the support surface 2 of the central platform 7.
A problem with the rectangular plate 35 as a slide member is that it occupies space that can be used for a headrest extension 28. Either or both the rectangular plate 35 and the headrest extension 28 must be modified or their positioning modified. Otherwise, the rectangular plate 35 is a viable option for an embodiment of this invention.
Means for hinged or pivotal attachment of creeper ends 15 of the seat-support members 12 and 13 to the outside ends 16 and 17 of the first-end platform 1 and the second-end platform 5 is represented by a bottom hinge-bolt head 38. It is representative of a variety of hinge or axle means that can be used.
In some structures of the seat-support members 12 and 13 where they are hinged to the central platform 7, there is an opening in the creeper mode 11 that closes in the seat mode 10 with a nutcracker effect that could cause injury or hurt to a user's finger or other body part when changing from creeper to seat modes. To avoid this for such constructions, a flexible pinch guard 39 can be positioned on bottom edges of the central platform 7 and on bottom edges of the seat-support members 12 and 13 where they join as illustrated in FIG. 12.
A new and useful convertible work creeper, seat and platform having been described, all such modifications, adaptations, substitutions of equivalents, combinations of parts, pluralities of parts, applications and forms thereof as described by the following claims are included in this invention.
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|US8025299||May 28, 2009||Sep 27, 2011||Nathan Hiltz||Collapsible mechanic's creeper|
|US8210584||Jun 12, 2009||Jul 3, 2012||Nathan Hiltz||Collapsible tool for truck operators|
|US8844947 *||Aug 1, 2012||Sep 30, 2014||Whiteside Mfg. Co.||Mobile chair|
|US20020125662 *||Aug 29, 2001||Sep 12, 2002||Annop Magness||Combination lifting, platform, handtruck, scaffold, floorjack and mechanic cleeper|
|US20070176378 *||Jan 30, 2006||Aug 2, 2007||Bangs Frank R||Plumbers helper|
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|US20080075570 *||Sep 25, 2006||Mar 27, 2008||Cance Paul J||Apparatus and Method for Shipping Products|
|Jul 20, 2009||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jan 13, 2010||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|