Title:
Tie down stake, angle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tie down stake for anchoring portable shelters or other objects at any angle to the ground in any soil conditions and which consists of a central hub with an eyelet and arms which extend away from the center of the hub. At the opposite end of each arm consist of holes that serve as stake guides for directing a plurality of anchoring rods at a fixed angle downward and into the ground. Thus joined by the arms and hub, the anchoring rods cooperate together to form a secure earth anchor. Also disclosed is a rod removal tool.



Inventors:
Roberts, Bruce (Aptos, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/350331
Publication Date:
08/09/2007
Filing Date:
02/09/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/23
International Classes:
E04H15/62
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ABRAHAM, TANIA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bruce, Roberts (1562 Dolphin Dr., Aptos, CA, 95003, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A tie down stake comprising: a plurality of elongate anchoring rods, each of said rods having a first end and a second end, said first end being sharpened to penetrate the ground and said second end being blunt to receive the blows of a blunt object such as a hammer, said second end having a head means by which to grip said rods such as a bolt head, and a central T shaped hub, said hub having an upper surface and a ground-contacting lower surface, said hub having an eyelet attached thereto and said hub having a plurality of extensions, said extensions connecting said arms, each of said arms having a first end and a second end, said first end being attached to the hub, said second end having holes being formed at an angle such that when said ground-contacting lower surface of said hub and arms placed on the ground and said rods are inserted through said arm holes, said holes being slightly larger in diameter than said rods, said rods are directed downward at a predetermined angle into the ground thereby cooperating to form a secure, temporary earth anchor.

2. A tie down stake as in claim 1 wherein said solid central hub is made of a polymer, metal, or other appropriate material.

3. A tie down stake as in claim 1 wherein said solid central hub connecting the three arms contains three of said holes at the end of each arm, and wherein there are three of said anchoring rods.

4. A tie down stake as in claim 1 wherein said head means of said elongate anchoring rods comprises a blunt end of said rods in order to receive the blows of a blunt object such as a hammer.

5. A tie down stake as in claim 1 further comprising a rod removal tool, said rod removal tool having a handle and a gripping means for gripping said head means of said rods and applying torsion and tensile force to said rods to aid in extracting said rods from the ground.

6. A tie down stake comprising: three elongate metal anchoring rods, each of said rods having a first end and a second end, said first end being sharpened to penetrate the ground and said second end being blunt to receive the blows of a blunt object such as a hammer, said second end having a hexagonal shaped head by which to grip said rods, and a solid central hub made of a polymer or metal, said hub having an upper surface and a ground-contacting lower surface, said hub having an eyelet attached thereto and having three small extensions with which to attach said arms extending away from hub, said holes on opposite ends of arms being slightly larger in diameter than said rods, and said holes being formed at an angle such that when said ground-contacting lower surface of said hub and arms are placed on the ground and said rods are inserted through said holes, said rods are directed downward at a predetermined angle into the ground thereby cooperating to from a secure, temporary earth anchor.

7. The tie down stake of claim 6, wherein said solid central hub is of sufficient rigidity that when said lower surface of said hub is placed on the ground and said arms and rods are inserted through said holes, said hub, said arms, and said rods cooperate as an essentially rigid unit to resist dislodgement of the tie down stake from the ground when a force is exerted on said eyelet.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Portable shelters (Tents) should be securely tied down to prevent their being moved or damaged in a high wind. They almost always require the force to be at an angle as opposed to straight up or perpendicular to the ground. Sometimes portable shelters are permanently tied down on pavement. But more frequently, a portable shelter owner must provide his own tie down device for off-pavement applications. This is especially true when the shelter is erected at a remote site away from pavement.

The most common type of portable tie down anchor used by portable shelters is either an auger-type stake that screws into the ground or a single wood or steel rod. These devices suffer from a number of drawbacks. Most notably that they are difficult to deploy and they do not always hold securely. Auger-type stakes are frequently difficult to screw into the ground and are nearly impossible to use in hard or rocky soil. In addition, they are not designed for forces that require holding an angle to the ground. Furthermore, in soft, sandy or muddy soil auger-type stakes do not always provide a secure hold since they only engage an area of the ground as large as the diameter of the auger itself. Another disadvantage to the auger-type tie down stake is that they tend to pick up large amounts of dirt when they are removed from the ground. Their complicated geometry makes them difficult to insert and remove due to massive side loading.

Another type of stake used is the single stake. This type provides little or no benefit in even the weakest of winds. Since they have a high center of gravity. The constant tug of the ropes in winds will work them loose and eventually fail.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to overcome the drawbacks of the tie down devices in current usage. The primary objective is to provide a tie down stake which is easy to deploy while providing a secure hold for forces that require non-vertical (angular) forces. For example, tents and portable shelters require pullout resistance at an “angle” component instead of a “vertical” component.

Other objectives of the invention are to provide a tie down stake which is easy to remove, lightweight, portable, compact, and easy to clean. To accomplish these objectives the tie. down stake of the present invention uses a central “T” hub working in concert with arms with holes that act as stake guides to direct a plurality of anchoring rods at a fixed angle downward and in a single direction. Thus joined by the “T” hub, the rods work cooperatively to engage a large area of the ground forming an earth anchor with exceptional pullout resistance even in soft, sandy or muddy soil. At the same time the tie down stake is easy to use because the straight rods are easily driven into the ground even in hard or rocky soils.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The major components of the tie down stake include a central “T” hub 1 with securing ring 3, a plurality of arms 7 connected to hub, and a plurality of anchoring rods 2 to secure the hub to the ground. In the preferred embodiment, the tie down stake includes three rods 2, though it will easily be seen that two, three, four or more rods may be used to advantage without departing from the spirit of the invention.

The hub 1 should be made of a strong lightweight material. Acceptable materials for the hub include polymers such as acetal, nylon, polycarbonate or metals such as aluminum or steel. In the preferred embodiment the hub generally has extensions from the center to connect the arms 7, and is triangular in shape. But it may be made in any shape convenient to the use and manufacture of the tie down stake.

The hub 1 has a securing ring 3 extending from the body of the hub 1 for attachment of a rope, cable, chain or other attachment device. The eyelet may be made from an eyebolt or it may be formed integrally with the body of the hub 1, extending from the top or side of the hub.

Attached to the hub are arms 7. At the opposite ends of the arms are three holes 8, equal in number to the number of anchoring rods 2 and slightly larger in diameter than the rods themselves. The holes 8 at the end of each arm are formed at an angle to direct the rods 2 downward in use. The tie down stake has been found to be most effective when the rod holes 8 are formed along a line that is at an angle to the vertical axis of the hub 1 so that the rods take advantage of both rotational force and sheer force as is apparent from the top view. The advantage of this arrangement is that the rods 2 do not interfere with the eyelet 3 or with one another when they are inserted our withdrawn. They are far enough away from each other to take advantage of virgin soil.

The rods 2 are elongate in shape and are sharpened at one end for penetrating the ground and blunt at the other end for receiving the blows of a blunt object such as a hammer. The rods 2 may be made of steel, stainless steel or any other material strong enough to withstand being repeatedly driven into hard or rocky soil. The rods 2 may be circular in cross section or made in any other cross section that is convenient for their manufacture. Proximate the blunt end, the rods include a head means that allows the rods to be gripped for withdrawal by the rod removal tool (FIGS. 3 and 4). The head means 9 may be a hexagonal bolt shape or it may be any other geometry that allows it to be gripped for easy removal. Other possible geometries envisioned for the head means 9 include a flattened head like a nail, an L-shaped bend, a T shape, a hook or a loop. The rods 2 are of a sufficient length to provide secure holding force for the application intended. Fourteen inch rods have been found to provide adequate holding force for tying down portable shelters, though rods of a few inches to a few feet may be used in other applications.

Auxiliary components of the tie down stake include a rod removal tool (FIGS. 3 and 4). The rod removal tool in the preferred embodiment, a rod head nest 5 will cradle a standard hex head with an inside diameter slightly larger than the rods hex head 9 that has a handle 6 attached to engage the head means of the rod. This can be a “T” configuration (FIGS. 3 and 4) or other means to achieve operator comfort. The extraction tool is usually made of steel, but can employ any material that meets the requirements of removing the rod 2 from the ground.

DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a tie down stake, more particularly, to a tie down stake that serves a need to secure all types of equipment into the ground at an “angle” as opposed to “straight up”. Said tie down stake takes advantage of both “rotational force” as well as “sheer force”. The design allows for each rod to be far enough away from each other to take advantage of virgin soil. This furthers the effectively of the device.

Although this tie down stake was designed particularly for securing portable shelters to the ground, the inventor envisions many other uses for it wherever a secure ground anchor is needed to hold equipment at an angle as opposed to force requirements straight up as with most other ground stakes. Some of the uses envisioned are as a tent stake, as a tether stake for pets/livestock or antenna guy wires, as an anchor for temporary structures or mobile homes, as grips for outdoor stage equipment, as land anchor for boats and land vehicles or as a winching anchor for off road vehicles equipped with winches.

Operation of Tie Down Stake

INSERTION—The tie down stake is deployed by placing the hub and arms horizontal to the ground in the desired location; then the rods are inserted through the angled holes at the end of the arms and pushed into the ground or pounded in with a blunt object such as a hammer. The rods need not be driven all the way in to provide a secure hold. Once the tie down stake is secured to the ground, one end of a rope, cable, chain or other attachment device may be attached to the eyelet.

REMOVAL—To remove the tie down stake from the ground the rod removal tool is slipped over the end of the rods one at a time; the head means is engaged by the slots in the tool; then the rods are removed from the ground with a twisting and pulling action by the operator. Once the rods are out of the ground, they can easily be cleaned and stowed in a heavy duty canvas tote bag or other storage means for later use.

While there is shown and described a present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto, but may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope of the following claims.