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1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to golf carts. More particularly, this invention relates to a garage floor pan that may be positioned underneath the golf cart for collecting battery acid that may otherwise drip onto the floor of the garage from the batteries of the golf cart.
2. Description of the Background Art
Modern golf carts are in wide use today, particularly in retirement communities where they have become a dominant means of transportation. Oftentimes, the golf carts are stored within the resident's garage along with their conventional automobile. Unfortunately, however, oftentimes the garage floor is damaged by battery acid that drips from the golf cart during filling of the batteries or during recharging of batteries that have been overfilled.
Presently, there exists many types of garage floor pans that are designed to collect dripping precipitation such as rain and snow and particulates such as dirt and grease that might drain from an automobile. A widely popular type of garage floor pan is that sold under the trademark “Autosport” through catalog companies and websites such as frontgate.com and skymall.com. This type of garage floor pan consists of a sheet of plastic material which is bordered with a snap-on rim that functions to provide a peripheral edge such that the melting snow and rain are dammed-up and kept within the periphery of the garage floor pan.
While the TM “Autosport” garage floor pan has achieved considerable appeal for use with automobiles, it is not particularly suitable for use in conjunction with golf carts. Specifically, since the “Autosport” garage floor pan simply includes a rim positioned about its outer peripheral edges, the entire surface area of the pan itself remains relatively level. While this is of no concern with regard to dripping rain and melting snow, the dripping battery acid from a golf cart typically disperses across the entire surface area thereof to contaminate the tires of the golf cart only to then be tracked onto the garage floor when the golf cart is pulled out of the garage. Hence, there presently exists a need for an improved garage floor pan that is particularly adapted for use with golf carts to not only collect the battery acid as it drips from a golf cart but to also prevent such battery acid from flowing to the tires of the golf cart.
Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide an improvement which overcomes the aforementioned inadequacies of the prior art devices and provides an improvement which is a significant contribution to the advancement of the golf cart art.
Another object of this invention is to provide a garage floor pan for golf carts that includes a raised peripheral edge to assure collection of any dripping battery acid, rain, melting snow, or the like within the confines of the pan itself.
Another object of this invention is to provide a garage floor pan for golf carts comprising raised tracks positioned along the longitudinal sides of the pan to slightly raise the tires of the golf cart above the bottom floor of the pan and to thereby prevent the tires from being contaminated by the battery acid being contained within the pan itself.
Another object of this invention is to provide a garage floor pan for golf carts which includes raised ridges that serve as a guide for driving the golf cart into proper position on top of the pan.
The foregoing has outlined some of the pertinent objects of the invention. These objects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and applications of the intended invention. Many other beneficial results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the summary of the invention and the detailed description of the preferred embodiment in addition to the scope of the invention defined by the claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
For the purpose of summarizing this invention, this invention comprises a garage floor pan for golf carts which is principally designed to collect battery acid that drips from the golf cart during filling of the batteries thereof or during charging of the batteries that may “over-boil” due to having been over-filled or over-charged.
More particularly, the golf cart pan of the invention comprises a generally rectangular configuration. Preferably, the area of the golf cart pan is about one-half the “footprint” area of a conventional golf cart. The golf cart can be driven onto the pan and then slightly off the pan to a position whereby the front wheels are off the pan and the rear wheels are on the pan. In this manner, the pan is positioned immediately below the battery compartment of the golf cart. However, it should be noted that the pan may be made full-length, if desired.
The pan includes a peripheral ridge that serves to prevent any liquids dripping onto the pan from flowing off the pan onto the garage floor. Importantly, the golf cart pan of the invention comprises two rows of raised tracks, spaced apart by a distance approximately equal to the conventional wheel span (i.e., the distance between the rear tires) of a golf cart. The raised tracks serve to elevate the tires of the golf cart by slightly raising the tires of the golf cart above the floor of the pan. In this manner, accumulated battery acid within the pan is precluded from contacting the tires of the golf cart and otherwise contaminating them. It should be appreciated that since the tires of the golf cart do not “sit” in the battery acid that may be collected within the pan, the golf cart may be driven off the golf cart pan without concern that the battery acid would otherwise be “tracked” onto the garage floor as would otherwise occur if the tires were contaminated with the battery acid.
Another important feature of the garage floor golf cart pan of the invention is the inclusion of side ridges and ingress and egress ridges that serve as a visual guide to direct the driver of the golf cart to align the golf cart relative to the pan so that it can be driven onto the pan in the proper position.
The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the more pertinent and important features of the present invention in order that the detailed description of the invention that follows may be better understood so that the present contribution to the art can be more fully appreciated. Additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter which form the subject of the claims of the invention. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and the specific embodiment disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the golf cart pan of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1 along lines 2-2;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1 along lines 3-3; and
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of a conventional golf cart parked on top of the golf cart pan of the invention.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
Referring to FIG. 1, the golf cart pan 10 of the invention comprises a generally rectangular configuration having lateral edges 12 and ingress and egress edges 14. The lateral edges 12 and the ingress and egress edges 14 define a volume of space within the confines of the outer periphery of the pan 10 defined thereby that precludes any liquids being deposited on the bottom 10B of the pan 10 from flowing out of the pan 10 and onto the floor on which the pan 10 may be positioned. By way of example, but not by limitation, the lateral edges 12 and the ingress and egress edges 14 preferably comprise a height of about one inch.
The ingress and egress edges 14 preferably comprise a pair of reduced height tire edges 14T that are spaced apart from each other and positioned adjacent the lateral edges 12. The reduced-height edges 14T serve as ingress and egress portions to allow ingress and egress of the golf cart tires. By way of example, but not by limitation, the height of the reduced-height edges 14T is about one-eighth to one-half inch and most preferably, one-eighth of an inch.
It should be appreciated that the volume of liquid that may be contained within the pan 10 is defined by the cross-sectional area of the pan 10 multiplied by the height of the lowest edge 12 or 14. In the case of the preferred embodiment with the tire edges 14T being the lowest point, the volume that could be contained within the pan 10 is equal to the height of the tire ridge 14T multiplied by the area of the pan 10.
The golf cart pan 10 of the invention further comprises a plurality of raised tire stand-offs or tracks 16T positioned in alignment with the tire edges 14T of the ingress and egress ridges 14 to define two rows of tire tracks from one end to the other thereof. Each of the raised tire tracks 16T preferably comprises a generally rectangular configuration that is raised to a height substantially equal to that of the tire edge 14T. By way of example, and not limitation, the raised tire tracks 16T may be dimensioned to be approximately three-quarters of an inch wide and one-eight of an inch high. Further, by way of example and without limitation, the raised tire tracks 16T are preferably spaced from each other by a distance such as one-half of an inch. It should be appreciated that the height of the tire tracks 16T need not necessarily be any higher than the tire edges 14T, since the tire edges 14T are the lowest ridge of the pan 10. One or more of the tire tracks 16T may have an increased height, or be of a different configuration to serve as a “stop” for accurate positioning of one of the rear tires.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the golf cart pan 10 is preferably manufactured from a sheet of ABS plastic using vacuum forming techniques.
As best shown in FIG. 4, the pan 10 of the invention is dimensioned to be one-half in area of the footprint of a conventional golf cart 18. Further, the spacing between the opposing tire edges 14T and the opposing rows of raised tire tracks 16T aligned therewith, are dimensioned to be approximately equal to or greater than the wheel span of a conventional golf cart 18.
Referring now to FIG. 4, in use, the golf cart pan 10 is positioned in a garage or other location where the golf cart 18 is customarily stored while charging. Using the lateral edges 12, tire edges 14T and the ingress and egress edges 14 as visual guides, the driver of the golf cart aligns the golf cart 18 such that its tires are aligned with the rows of raised tire tracks 16T. The golf cart 18 can then be driven onto the pan 10 and then further to be partly off the pan with the front tires 18T off the pan 10 and the rear tires 18T on the pan 10. When so positioned, the rear golf cart tires 18T will be seated on top of at least one of the raised tire tracks 16T. As such, the rear golf cart tires 18T are raised above the bottom 10B of the pan 10. As the batteries of the golf cart 18 are being filled or charged, any battery acid that may overflow or boil over from the batteries and drip from the golf cart 18 will drip onto the pan 10 and be accumulated thereby. The accumulated battery acid is precluded from flowing onto the garage floor by virtue of the lateral edges 12 and ingress and egress edges 14 and are thereby precluded from contacting both the front and rear golf cart tires 18T by virtue of the raised tire tracks 16T as the cart 18 is driven onto or off of the pan 10. Thus, it should be appreciated that even with a significant accumulation of battery acid within the pan 10, the golf cart 18 can be driven off of the pan 10 without tracking the battery acid onto the garage floor as would otherwise occur with the prior art pans having a flat bottom 10B and without the raised tire tracks 16T or ingress and egress edges 14T.
The present disclosure includes that contained in the appended claims, as well as that of the foregoing description. Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Now that the invention has been described,