|Publication number||USRE43233 E1|
|Application number||US 09/771,227|
|Publication date||Mar 13, 2012|
|Filing date||Jan 26, 2001|
|Priority date||May 2, 1997|
|Also published as||US5862921|
|Publication number||09771227, 771227, US RE43233 E1, US RE43233E1, US-E1-RE43233, USRE43233 E1, USRE43233E1|
|Inventors||Frank Venegas, Jr.|
|Original Assignee||Venegas Jr Frank|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (3), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
I. Field of the Invention
The present invention is directed to a cart corral of the type employed by supermarkets and the like to store carts, such as grocery carts, in a parking lot.
II. Description of the Related Art
Tubular steel cart corrals are commonly used in parking lots for temporary storage of carts, such as grocery carts, prior to removing the carts to within the store or a storage structure. Steel tubular cart corrals are a relatively new element provided by stores to aid in preventing carts from damaging vehicles parked in the parking lot. The cart corral was developed to encourage consumers to park the carts within the corral structure after emptying the contents of their cart within their vehicle. By providing a cart corral, store owners hope to eliminate the problem of runaway carts and stray carts scattered throughout the parking structure. That is, consumers generally attempted to park their cart at all different angles to prevent the cart from rolling downhill and smashing into other vehicles after the consumer had emptied his goods from the cart into his vehicle.
A disadvantage of these previously known steel tubing cart corrals is that they require maintenance because they rust. A further disadvantage of currently available steel cart corrals is that once they are assembled, they essentially become fixed in that location. A still further disadvantage of currently available steel cart corrals is that once they are assembled and assume a certain profile, they cannot be disassembled and readily reassembled to conform to a differently shaped cart corral. Hence, although such steel cart corral assemblies exist, they are high maintenance and are not easily removed from one location and reassembled in another location.
The present invention provides a knock down cart corral assembly which is readily and easily assembled and disassembled. The cart corral assembly of the present invention includes a steel subframe surrounded by polymerized sheathing.
More particularly, the cart corral system of the present invention comprises at least two spaced apart vertical rails having a base support extending between the vertical rails and supporting the vertical rails in an upright position. At least two spaced apart horizontal rails are provided and are removably engageable with the vertical rails. The horizontal rails are positioned above the base support and preferably form a right angle with the vertical rails.
A second set of spaced apart vertical rails are also provided opposite the first set of vertical rails and are removably engaged with the horizontal rails at the opposite end. A base support extends between the second set of vertical rails to support the vertical rails in an upright position.
In a first preferred embodiment, a second set of horizontal rails are provided to extend between the second set of vertical rails thereby forming a barrier at one end of the cart corral to prevent carts from rolling out one end of the cart corral. These vertical and horizontal rails form the steel subframe of the cart corral of the present invention.
Removable and replaceable polymerized sheathing surrounds each of the vertical and horizontal rails. Preferably, the sheathing has an interior diameter equal to or greater than the outer diameter of the vertical and horizontal rails and extends completely about the subframe of the cart corral.
In each preferred embodiment of the cart corral of the present invention, the vertical and horizontal rails are removably engaged to each other by slip-on structural fittings such as those provided by Hollaender Manufacturing, Cincinnati, Ohio. These slip-on structural fittings are preferably formed in T-shaped, L-shaped, and multi-angled configurations.
In a second preferred embodiment of the cart corral of the present invention, additional vertical and horizontal rails are provided therewith to create a duo-alley, or multiple alley cart corral system. That is, the second preferred embodiment provides at least two chutes with a closed end for rolling a cart into for temporary storage. In this second preferred embodiment, the vertical and horizontal rails of the steel subframe are surrounded by polymerized sheathing extending about the entire subframe. The polymerized sheathing preferably has an interior diameter equal to or greater than the outer diameter of the vertical and horizontal rails. Additionally, the vertical and horizontal rails with polymerized sheathing are removably engaged to each other by slip-on structural fittings such as those provided by Hollaender Manufacturing, Cincinnati, Ohio.
In a third preferred embodiment of the cart corral of the present invention, the horizontal rails are preferably bent at a 90° angle at one end to form a rounded corner that merges into the vertical rails. Additionally, at the opposite end, the second set of vertical rails extends beyond the slip-on structural fittings and is rounded to create a single arcuate vertical rail. That is, rather than providing an additional horizontal rail between two vertical rails, this preferred embodiment provides a single vertical rail extending from a vertical to a horizontal position and returning back to a vertical position thereby creating an arch-like effect. This third preferred embodiment is also preferably surrounded by polymerized sheathing extending along the entire steel sub-frame. This polymerized sheathing preferably has an interior diameter equal to or greater than the outer diameter of the vertical and horizontal rails. Additionally, slip-on structural fittings such as those provided by Hollaender Manufacturing, Cincinnati, Ohio, are used for removable connection of each of the vertical and horizontal rails.
The advantages of the present invention are many. The present invention provides a maintenance free, readily assembled and disassembled cart corral assembly. The addition of the polymerized sheathing to the metal substructure eliminates maintenance such as painting that is required of standard metal structures.
The cart corral assembly of the present invention can be used for many applications and can be made in any color plastic sheathing and slip-on structural fittings. This plastic sheathing can also include warning signs or any indicia that may be preferred.
As stated above, in alternative embodiments, a plurality of sheaths, horizontal and vertical rails can be used. These and other objects, advantages and features of this invention will become apparent upon review of the following specification in conjunction with the drawings.
The present invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the views, and in which:
Referring now to the drawings and the embodiments illustrated therein,
Two spaced apart horizontal rails 20, 22 are removably engaged with vertical rails 12, 14 and positioned above base support 16. Horizontal rails 20, 22 preferably form a 90° angle with vertical rails 12, 14.
A second set of spaced apart vertical rails 24, 26 are placed opposite first set of vertical rails 12, 14 and are removably engaged with horizontal rails 20, 22. A second base support 28 extends between the second set of vertical rails 24, 26 and supports these rails in an upright position. Base 28 also includes a set of tongues 30 fixedly attached to the base 28 and extending at a 90° angle from base 28 to support vertical rails 24, 26 in an upright position. (See
Polymerized sheathing is provided for surrounding each horizontal and vertical rail. With reference particularly to
With reference to
With reference now to
In an alternative embodiment, vertical rails 24, 26 in corresponding polymerized sheathing 36 extends above horizontal rails 20, 22 in corresponding polymerized sheathing 34. A second set of horizontal rails 52, 54 are provided therewith and are preferably spaced apart between second vertical rails 24, 26. With reference to
Hollaender slip-on fittings 58 are provided with triangularly shaped members for supporting a third set of horizontal rails 62, 64 in a third preferred embodiment of the present invention. Horizontal rails 62, 64 are removably engaged to vertical rails 12, 14 by Hollaender slip-on structural fitting 66. Horizontal rails 62, 64 are surrounded by polymerized sheathing 68 as best shown in
With reference now to
Polymerized sheathing 32, 36 is then slip-fit about corresponding rails 12, 24. Hollaender fittings 58, 66 are then slipped over corresponding polymerized sheathing 36, 32 to be fixed in position layer. As best shown in
Horizontal rails 20 are then slip fit into polymerized sheathing 34 and located preferably at the top edge of vertical rails 12, 14 and corresponding polymerized sheathing 32. Hollaender slip-on fitting 42 is provided with an L-shaped configuration for supporting horizontal rails 20, 22 to vertical rails 12, 19. At the opposite end, slip-on fitting 44 is provided with a T-shaped configuration for intermediate placement of horizontal rails 20, 22 about vertical rails 24, 26. Finally, horizontal rail 54 is slip fit about polymerized sheathing 56 and located between second vertical rails 24, 26 by slip-on structural fittings 60. As is readily shown in
With reference to
Spaced apart horizontal rails are provided between these corresponding intervals to create two chutes for placing carts. Specifically, spaced apart horizontal rails 86, 88 extend between vertical rails 74, 80. Spaced apart horizontal rails 90, 92 extend between corresponding vertical rails 76, 82 and space spaced apart horizontal rails 94, 96 extend between corresponding vertical rails 78, 84 to create these chutes.
Extending vertical rails 80, 82, 84 are secured in position and are provided with extra support by additional horizontal rails 102, 104, 106. All horizontal and vertical rails shown in this preferred embodiment are preferably surrounded by polymerized sheathing extending the length of each rail and having an interior diameter equal to or greater than the exterior diameter of each rail. T-shaped slip-on structural fittings 98 and L-shaped slip-on structural fittings 100 are provided for supporting horizontal and vertical rails in their position as is typically described and shown in
Additionally, a multi angled slip-on structural fitting 110 is provided therewith to secure the central horizontal rails 90, 92 between vertical rails 76, 82 thereby creating the multiple chutes for supporting additional carts. Multi angled slip-on structural fittings 110 are also preferably secured to the corresponding rails as is best shown in
In a fourth preferred embodiment, and with reference to
As described above, cart corral assembly 10 may be provided with a multiplicity of additional vertical and horizontal rails to create additional chutes for supporting additional carts.
Preferred materials for use in the present invention include high density polyethylene for the sheathing and Hollaender slip-on structural fittings for assemblage of the cart corral assembly.
The above description is considered that of the preferred embodiments only. Modifications of the invention may occur to those of ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, it is understood that the embodiments shown in the drawings and described above are merely for illustrative purposes and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8820542||Apr 17, 2013||Sep 2, 2014||Starlite Media, Llc||Shopping cart corral for displaying one or more advertisements and method of providing same|
|US8984782||Aug 8, 2011||Mar 24, 2015||Starlite Media, Llc||Shopping cart corrals with at least two advertisement panels arranged in a staggered fashion and method of providing same|
|US9138081||Jul 25, 2014||Sep 22, 2015||Starlite Medite, LLC||Shopping cart corral for displaying one or more advertisements and method of providing same|
|U.S. Classification||211/17, 256/25, 211/22, 256/24, 256/1, D25/18, 211/195, 52/653.2, D25/15, 211/85.8, 256/65.02|
|International Classification||A47F5/00, A47F10/04|