Title:
Wheeled carrier stair sliding system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a luggage construction allowing luggage to be slid, rather than the carried or dragged, up and down stairs. The essence of this invention is the combination of a super extendable/angleable pull handle, fixable in the angled position, with a smooth sliding surface on the stair resting face of the luggage body. The handle, super extended and locked in the angled position, is capable of being gripped comfortably by the user at hip level as the bag is being slid up the stairs. The smooth sliding surface removes protrusions from the bag face which slides along the points of the stairs. A brake device is added to prevent the bag from sliding out of control if it is accidentally released by the user.



Inventors:
Weinstein, Alex W. (Bridgeport, WV, US)
Weinstein, James D. (Bridgeport, WV, US)
Application Number:
11/373449
Publication Date:
09/28/2006
Filing Date:
03/11/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
190/115
International Classes:
A45C5/14; A45C13/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alex, Weinstein (1109 Woodland Dr., Bridgeport, WV, 26330, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. The combination of a. smooth sliding surface on the bottom face of luggage, such surface long enough to touch two adjacent step edges so as to present a smooth surface along which the bag can be slid up or down stairs and b. a variable position handle for the luggage which can function fixed 1. along the axis of the bag allowing the bag to be pulled on its wheels 2. extended at an acute angle to the top of the bag to allowing the handle to be comfortably gripped and the bag slid up or down the stairs while it rests flat against the them on its smooth sliding surface.

2. a baggage system set forth in claim 1 which includes an automatic locking unit which fixes the handle of claim one at the desired angle when the bag is to be slid up or down and stairs and which can b readily unlocked to allow the handle to return and be fixed in the pull position.

3. a baggage system set forth in claim 1 wherein there is a braking system attached to the stair impacting face of the luggage, comprising a spring loaded flap which is pushed back to a neutral and unobtrusive position by the impacting action of the stairs against its surface as the bag ascends but will obtrusively impact and catch the stairs as the bag descends a spring loaded emergency handle, which when released will actuate the brake action but when held or keeps the brake in the neutral and unobtrusive position a coil spring and plunger apparatus to keep the brake in a neutral and unobtrusive position when the bag is not being slid on stairs.

Description:

Portable, rollaboard luggage, suitcases with built in wheels and a retractable, locking handles have been around for more than a decade. (U.S. Pat. No. 4,995,487-1991) The convenience of wheeled luggage is unquestioned, as a bag no longer had to be carried but rather could be rolled across a flat or sloping distance. However, luggage is still inconvenient during one almost universal encounter in travel: stairs. When a wheeled carrier must be gotten up stairs, it has to be either lifted, an exhausting enterprise when dealing with a heavy and bulky bag, or has to be dragged, quite uncomfortably, as the bottom edge of the carrier slams each successive stair as it ascends. When the carrier must be gotten down stairs, the two options and results are the nearly the same and equally difficult and inconvenient.

The issue of stair climbing is addressed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,938,740. It is clear however that it is deficient in several key respects. First, and most importantly, it does not detail or emphasize the importance of an angled handle in conjunction with its track sliding surface. It is nearly impossible to slide a bag up its stairs along its bottom without an angled handle, for the user must stoop to a terribly steep angle to do so. Alone, this lack of an angled handle makes U.S. Pat. No. 6,938,740 impractical. Further, this patent describes not a sliding surface but rather a tank track type roller system to facilitate sliding. Because a smooth sliding surface is all that is required, this track and roller system is an unnecessary, not to mention a very expensive and delicate, construction. Additionally, this patent also notes a brake system. However this brake is a brake pad that engages with the rollers, not a brake that impacts with the stairs themselves. Therefore the luggage would still be free to slide out of control, even with the brake engaged, because there is nothing that would effectively hinder its downward sliding path. U.S. Pat. No. 6,938,740 is identifies the problem of stair sliding, but it does not solve this problem simply, cheaply, or successfully.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Objects and Advantages

It is therefore an important object of the present invention to provide rolling luggage which can readily slide up and down stairs

Another object of the present invention is the provision of rolling luggage with both an super extendable/angleable/fixable handle in conjunction with a smooth stair-facing sliding surface, the combination being necessary to accomplish the previous object.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of rolling luggage with a laterally super extendable/retractable and acutely ‘angleable’ handle, and that which functions via a locking hinged sleeve at the end of the guide tube to effectively lock the handle in the angled position, so that the bag can comfortably be pulled (up) or pushed (down) as it lies flat against the stairs or rolled conventionally.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of rolling luggage with a smooth surface or surfaces on the back (bottom) that is capable of touching the points of consecutive steps, providing for an unrestricted sliding movement.

An additional object of the present invention is the provision of rolling luggage with a brake device to prevent uncontrolled downward staor sliding of an accidentally released bag.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention may become apparent from use of the structure disclosed herein.

SUMMARY

The luggage construction of the present invention solves these problems encountered by the prior art with the provision of a fixable angleable super extendable handle in conjunction with a smooth sliding surface or surfaces, on the back (bottom) which allows the cargo carrier to be slide easily, rather than be carried, up or down stairs.

BRIEF DESRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a 3/4 perspective view of an article of luggage in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2a is a side view of the luggage in a predating rolling mode.

FIG. 2b is a side view of the luggage in sliding mode ascending/descending stairs FIG. 2c is a side view of the luggage returned to rolling mode after ascension/descension.

FIG. 3 is a side cross section view of the handle assembly in extended (rolling) position.

FIG. 4a is a perspective view of the hinging-handle angle-locking assembly during rolling mode.

FIG. 4b is a perspective view of the hinging-handle angle-locking assembly as said hinging-handle angles for sliding.

FIG. 4c is a perspective view of the hinging-handle angle-locking assembly during sliding mode.

FIG. 5 is a side cross section view of the handle assembly in super extended (sliding) position.

FIG. 6 is a side view of said luggage as it is restricted from uncontrolled sliding by the brake mechanism.

FIG. 7a is a side view of the brake retraction mechanism during sliding mode.

FIG. 7b is a side view of said brake retraction mechanism during rolling or inactive mode.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERED EMBODEMENT

FIG. 1 gives an overview of the present invention. An article of conventional rolling luggage 17, consisting of a suitcase body 9, roller wheels 13 and a vertically extendable pull handle 7 is further equipped with a set of parallel sliding surfaces/skis/runners of plastic 15 and is adapted so that pull handle 7 further telescopes out and also bends and locks in an angled position. Also in FIG. 1 is brake device 36 and hinging-handle angle-locking assembly 38.

The handle 7 is shown in operative detail in FIGS. 3 and 5. In FIG. 5 pull handle 7 is shown to comprise handgrip 6 mounted atop telescoping rods 8 which are in turn connected to telescoping rods 10. Telescoping rods 8 are of a slightly lesser diameter than telescoping rods 10 so that the former can slide snuggly within the latter. Telescoping rods 10 are of a slightly lesser diameter than master rod sleeves 12 so that the former may also slide into the latter. However, telescoping rods 10 are not attached to master rod sleeves 12. Rather they can slide completely out of master rod sleeves 12 and are only prevented from being totally removed from luggage 1 by catch mechanism 30.

FIG. 3 shows pull handle 7 in extended/half retracted/rolling mode, whereby telescoping rods 8 are completely retracted into telescoping rods 10, but where telescoping rods 10 are partly extended from master rod sleeves 12. This position of the rods is affixed by retractable pins 14, whose mechanism is permanently within telescoping rods 8 and which can pass through pin holes 16, 18, 20, and 22. Retractable pins 14 are activated by depressing button 24. In FIG. 5, when the handle is in superextended/skiing mode, retractable pins 14 lock telescoping rods 8 into telescoping rods 10 at pin hole 16. In FIG. 3, in rolling mode, retractable pins 14 lock telescoping rods 8 into telescoping rods 10 by passing through pin holes 18 and in turn lock telescoping rods 10 into master sleeves 12 by passing through pin holes 20. When in collapsed/stowed mode (not pictured), retractable pins 14 pass lock telescoping rods 8 into telescoping rods 10 by passing through pin holes 18 and in turn locking telescoping rods 10 into master sleeves 12 by passing through pin holes 22.

FIG. 5 shows that handle 7 is in an angled position, whereas in FIG. 3 handle 7 is in a straight position. This angling is accomplished by the following mechanism. FIG. 5 details hinge mechanism 11. This mechanism consists of hinges 26 attached on one end to master rods sleeves 12 and on the other to sleeves 28. Sleeves 28 are of the same diameter as master rod sleeves 12 thus allowing telescoping rods 10 to pass through. Telescoping rods 10 are permitted to pass through sleeves 28 until they have completely parted from master rod sleeves 12. At this point catch mechanisms 30 prevent telescoping rods 10 from being pulled free of sleeves 28. Sleeves 28, using hinges 26, are now free to bend into the angled position desirable for sliding as shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 4 show one of many possible mechanisms for fixing handle 7 in the angled position. Affixed to the handle-side top face of suitcase body 9 is hinging-handle angle-locking assembly 38, consisting of catch units 40 and compression spring 42. Hinging-handle angle-locking assembly 38 is secured to suitcase body 9 by hinging-rivets 44. As handle 7 is rotated upward in FIG. 4b, telescoping rods 10 impact the sloping face of catch units 40. Catch units 40's sloping face, in conjunction with its pivotability, provided by hinging rivets 44, allows telescoping rods 10, and with them handle 7, to slide past and lock, coming to rest against catch units 40's opposite flat face. In FIG. 4c compression spring 42 forces catch units 40 to return to a neutral position and prevent handle 7 from angling back from whence it came. Nor can handle 7 angle further upward, as the cavity construction of suitcase body 9 prevents it from doing so. Handle 7 can return to the rolling or stowed position by squeezing catch units 40 together and then sliding telescoping rods 10 past catch units 40.

FIG. 6 shows the use of the brake device 36. Brake device 36 is on the same face of the luggage as sliding surfaces 15, and is unobtrusive to this smooth surface as long as emergency brake handle 46 is engaged. However, if rolling luggage 17 is being slid up or down the stairs, as in FIG. 2, and the traveler accidentally allows handgrip 6, and thus luggage 17, to slip from his grasp, brake device 36 deploys. creating a protuberance against the nearest flat stair surface that disables the bags ability to slide and prevents it from inflicting injury on a third party.

FIG. 7 shows the brake mechanism in detail. In FIG. 7a brake 64 is forced open by coil spring 60. But brake 64 may be closed and kept out of the way while luggage 17 is in sliding mode by squeezing emergency handle 46. Emergency handle 46 is connected by reel wire system, consisting of brake reel 50 and brake wire 48, to brake 64. When handle 7 is full extended, brake wire 48 is also fully extended from brake reel 50. When the traveler squeezes emergency handle 46 to ascend or descend stairs, brake wire 48 is pulled, and because brake reel 50 is out of additional brake wire 48, brake 64 is pulled closed. If emergency handle 46 is released, coil spring 60 forces brake 64 open, impacting the stairs and preventing out of controlled sliding. When luggage 17 is in rolling or stowed mode, as shown in FIG. 7b, the impact of handle 7 on plunger 52 inside master rod sleeves 12 forces brake 64 closed as plunger wire 54 is pulled taught.

REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 6 handgrip
  • 7 handle
  • 8 telescoping rods
  • 9 suitcase body
  • 10 telescoping rods
  • 11 hinge mechanisms
  • 12 master rods sleeves
  • 13 roller wheels
  • 14 retractable pins
  • 15 sliding surfaces
  • 16 pin holes
  • 17 rolling luggage
  • 18 pin holes
  • 20 pin holes
  • 22 pin holes
  • 24 depressing button
  • 26 hinges
  • 28 sleeves
  • 30 catch mechanisms
  • 36 brake device
  • 38 hinging-handle angle-locking assembly
  • 40 catch units
  • 42 compression spring
  • 44 hinging rivets
  • 46 emergency brake handle
  • 48 brake wire
  • 50 brake reel
  • 52 plunger
  • 54 plunger wire
  • 60 coil spring
  • 64 brake





 
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