Title:
Side mounted truck tie-down rail
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to the art of securing cargo in the bed of a pickup truck. A slotted bar is secured to the upper inside wall in the bed of a truck where the structural flange is formed around the bed. When the rail is mounted on a vehicle it provides a plurality of tie down locations and increases the structural strength of the side walls. The tie down does not interfere with a bed cover. The tie down is fabricated from one or multiple pieces that are linkable to extend the length of the tie down and allow for configuration changes based upon the dimensions of the truck bed.



Inventors:
Randazzo, Mark (Riverside, CA, US)
Randazzo, Joseph W. (Oceanside, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/485810
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/12/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
410/115
International Classes:
B61D45/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GORDON, STEPHEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUHLER ASSOCIATES (BUHLER, KIRK A. 1101 CALIFORNIA AVE. SUITE 208, CORONA, CA, 92881, US)
Claims:
1. 1-10. (canceled)

11. A side mounted truck tie-down rail system comprising: at least one elongated rail section configured from essentially rectangular cross sectional material having a height and a width where the height is greater the width, a top side, a bottom side, a first end and a second end; each elongated rail has at least one tie-down hole or elongated tie-down slot oriented through said width of said elongated rail; each elongated rail has at least one mounting hole located near each of the first end and the second end of each said elongated rail oriented through said height for mounting said bottom side of the elongated rail on an inner flange within a truck bed, wherein, said first end of a first elongated rail is configured for engagement with said second end of a second elongated rail using said mounting holes to connect said first and said second elongated rails to create an elongated rail assembly.

12. (canceled)

13. (canceled)

14. (canceled)

15. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 11 wherein the at least one mounting hole is counter bored into the elongated rail sections such that said counter bored hole allows a head of a fastener installed in said counter bored hole to seat below the top side of the elongated rail section.

16. (canceled)

17. (canceled)

18. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 11 wherein the elongated rail section is mountable on a side, front or tailgate of said truck bed.

19. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 11 wherein when said elongated rail section is the installed on said inner flange within said truck bed said elongated rail section exists below a horizontal top surface of said truck bed such that said elongated rail section does not interfere with installation of a tonneau cover, bed cover or tarp placed on top of said truck bed.

20. The side mounted truck tie-own rail system from claim 11 wherein attachment of one or more said elongated rail pieces increases bending strength of said truck.

21. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 12 wherein the first end has a recess on said bottom side of said elongated rail, and the second end has a recess on said top side of said elongated rail.

22. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 12 wherein a first end has a recess on said bottom side of said elongated rail, and the second end has a taper from said top side of said elongated rail.

23. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 12 wherein the first end has a recess on said top side of said elongated rail, and the second end has a taper from said top side of said elongated rail.

24. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 16 wherein the first end has a recess on said bottom side of said elongated rail, and the second end has a recess on said top side of said elongated rail.

25. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 16 wherein the first end has a recess on said bottom side of said elongated rail, and the second end has a taper from said top side of said elongated rail.

26. The side mounted truck tie-own rail system from claim 16 wherein the first end has a recess on said top side of said elongated rail, and the second end has a taper from said top side of said elongated rail.

27. The side mounted truck tie-down rail system from claim 11 wherein the at least one tie-down hole or elongated tie-down slot is at least partially open to said top side of said elongated rail.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a vehicle tie-down rail. More particularly, the present invention relates to a tie down rail for a truck or other similar vehicle where the tie-down rail is mounted inside the bed of the truck on the upper side of the bed of the truck.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many vehicle manufacturers place stake pockets through the top rail of the pick up bed and are placed on the sides of the bed. After market tie-down devices are available for these pockets. The disadvantage if the stake bed anchors are the limited number of locations where the stake bed pockets are found on each side of the truck. A typical truck only has three pockets and no pockets are placed behind the passenger compartment or on the tale gate to allow cargo to be secured. Another consideration is with the transportation of multiple items in the bed of a truck where the tie down points must be utilized with multiple hooks all utilizing the same attachment location.

Another system for pick-up truck tie-down rails is rails that are attached to the top of the sides of the bed. Exemplary examples of patents covering this type of tie downs are found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,650,382 issued to Johnson on Mar. 17, 1987, U.S. Pat. No. 5,827,024 issued to Davenport on Oct. 27, 1998, U.S. Pat. No. 6,176,658 issued to Rowe on Jan. 23, 2001, U.S. Pat. No. 5,476,349 issued to Okland on Dec. 19, 1995 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,872,719 issued to Cardwell on Oct. 10, 1989. These rails are usually higher than the side of the truck and do not allow for the load to be secured and properly synched. When using these tie-downs the load can often be pulled out of the bed of the truck as opposed to being tied down to the floor of the bed. These systems also inhibit the use of a bed covers, truck caps or tonneau covers.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,846,140 issued to Anderson et al. on Jan. 24, 2005 discloses a Flexible Truck Bed Tie-Down System having elongated “U” shaped rails that run down the sides, back and bottom of a truck bed. These rails are an integrated part of the truck frame and are not an aftermarket product that is added to a truck after it is built. The elongated slots further do not provide defined locations for attachment nor do they provide open slots for the securing of straps or belts.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,350,089 issued to Tekavec on Feb. 26, 2002 discloses a Pickup Truck Ben Portable Tie-Down Apparatus. The portable apparatus temporarily clamps to the inside lip of a truck and is removed by loosening the clamping mechanism. These tie downs are only for temporary usage and do not extend the length of the side and back wall of a truck. The portable tie-down does not provide elongated slots for the securing of belts of straps.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,799,927 issued to Wheatley on Oct. 5, 2004 discloses a Tie Down Anchor System formed from sheet metal that is attached to the sides and bottom of the bed of a truck. The anchor system includes a series of rectangular holes for securing hooks and custom fastening hardware. The side mounting components do not mount of the upper lip of the bed nor does the anchor system mount to the back of the cab portion of the bed. This mounting system is not adjustable to accommodate different length truck beds.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,364,211 issued to Lund on November 15, 1994 discloses a Side Rail Anchor Bar that mounts onto the top of the side walls that surround the bed of a truck and includes a series of turned rods for attaching hooks and the like. It does not include slots for attaching belts or straps.

What is needed is a vehicle tie-down system that is secured to the inside lip of a truck bed. The tie down should further be mountable to the back cab portion of truck bed and provide features for the attachment of both hooks and strapping material. The proposed truck tie downs provide this solution with a length adjustable tie down system that is mountable to the inside lip of a truck bed to provide fastening and adds structural strength to the truck.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the side mounted truck tie down rail to provide a rail system that can be fabricated in various lengths and the lengths can be secured together to create a rail system of longer or shorter lengths to accommodate a variety of truck bed lengths. The versatility of the tie-down rail further allows the rail to be mounted behind the cab or on the tailgate.

It is another object of the present apparatus to provide multiple tie-down points along the sides and front of the bed that are easily accessible. These multiple tie-down location consists of elongated slots that provide the ability to attach hooks and or straps. In many cases securing of a load requires the use of both types of securing materials. The slotted design allows for multiple tie-down to be used at the same time or to accommodate odd size loads or different sized loads that are difficult to accommodate with tie down rails that are currently available.

It is another object of the present apparatus to provide the slotted bar with has countersunk holes between each slot to secure the bar to the flange of the truck bed allowing for a sturdy hold with no screw heads protruding out into the cargo area.

It is another object of the present apparatus to provide tie-down rails that are mounted on the inner flange a tonneau, truck cap or tarps are not obstructed by the rails, nor do you need to remove the rails to install these truck bed covers. The installation of tie-down rails inside the bed produce a sleek look at the same time providing the functionality to secure cargo under the bed covers.

It is another object of the present apparatus to provide a tie-down bar that is mountable behind the cab, cargo can now be secured side to front or side to side depending upon the needs of the cargo being secured to properly and safely retain the load as it is being transported.

It is another object of the present tie-down to secure a tie down lower in the bed of the vehicle. This reduces the possibility that the load is lifted when it is being secured.

It is still another object of the present apparatus to increase the strength of the bed of the truck body when the tie-down rail is attached to the truck bed. Because the truck bed is formed from bent sheet metal the strength of the side walls is weak and when the sides are drawn together to secure a load the walls can deform. The attachment of the railing on the inside of the truck bed provides additional structural members that creates a stronger side wall to allow the load to be secured more firmly when the cargo is being strapped down or into the truck.

Various objects, features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a view of the side mounted truck tie-downs mounted to the inside of a truck bed.

FIG. 2 shows the tie-down rail in a two piece configuration

FIG. 3 shows the tie-down rail system configured in linkable pieces.

FIG. 4 shows the tie-down rail attached to one side and the front of a truck bed.

FIG. 5 shows a detailed view of the tie-down rail mounted on the side of a truck bed with a strap and hook attached through the slots.

FIG. 6 shows a cross sectional view of the tie-down rail mounted on the inside of a truck bed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a view of the side mounted truck tie-downs mounted to the inside of a truck bed. The truck 10 is a typical truck having a front cab section 30 where the driver and any occupants sit. The vehicle has a tailgate 40 that is raised or lowered to allow for placement of items or elongated items. Typically the tailgate is opened an items that will be placed and secured in the back of truck are brought in through the open tailgate. Once the items are brought into the bed of the truck they are secured with tie-downs. In the preferred embodiment the tie downs are located on the inside peripheral edge of the truck bed. In accordance with this embodiment the tie-downs are bolted to the structural flange area formed around the perimeter of the truck bed on the right shown as a single piece 70, left shown in two sections 50 and 55, and the front shown as 60. In securing cargo with most tie-downs that are available today the tie-downs are only available on the right and left sides requiring the load to be secured using two straps pulling in an angular arrangement. The tie-down railing is configured in sections allowing the tie-down railing to be installed according to the length required by the installation.

FIG. 2 shows the tie-down rail in a two piece configuration. This configuration provides the advantages of allowing the railing to be fabricated in shorter lengths and installed based upon the dimensions of the vehicle. It will be shown in more detail with FIG. 3 that in another contemplated embodiment that the railing can be fabricated in linked pieces allowing it the expand based upon the length required. The embodiment in FIG. 2 shows the rails as typically configured. The tie-down railing system shown utilizes two pieces 50 and 55. One end of each length includes an angled or chamfered side 53 and 54. This angled side is usually placed on the outer ends when the tie-down railing is installed in a truck. The end opposite the chamfered end is keyed 51 and 52 to allow the parts to connect together with a fastener such as a bolt. The non mounting edges are rounded to reduce the potential of injury on the corners and further reduce the possibility of cutting or abrading ropes or straps that are passed through the holes. Sampled have been made using rectangular aluminum with a rectangular dimension of 1″×⅝″ and 48″ in length. While these dimensions are provided for reference they are not to be understood as the only dimensions that are contemplated.

Each section is essentially rectangular in cross section where holes or slots are located through the narrow dimension for attaching straps or hooks. The wide portion of the rectangular cross section includes countersunk holes for the placement of hardware such as bolts that retain the tie-down railing on the vehicle. In the embodiment shown only elongated slots 90 are shown for securing a load in the bed. The multiple elongated slots provide a plurality of securing locations as well as providing a wide opening for using straps, ropes or the like. While only elongated slots are shown, holes or a combination of slots and holes can be utilized. It is further contemplated that some slots may exist as partially open slots leaving open hooks for attachment of looped material for hooking through the opening(s).

FIG. 3 shows the tie-down rail system configured in linkable pieces. The tie-down is shown in three pieces with differing length sections. The extreme ends 53 and 54 are chamfered as previously described in FIG. 2. Section 56 includes one chamfered end 53 with one keyed end 52 with two elongated slots. Section 57 includes one chamfered end 54 with one keyed end and three elongated slots 92. The ends of each elongated slot 94 are rounded 94 to reduce the potential of damaging the rope or strap. In this section open slot 90 allows passing loop material that is hooked through the opening 98 in the slot. Section 58 includes keyed ends 51 for joining sections 56 and 57. The keyed ends have through holes where a fastener such as 104 is placed through the aligned holes 82 in the keyed sections. In the preferred embodiment the tie-down rail is fabricated from aluminum, but other metals or plastics are contemplated that will provide similar appearance and or functionality.

FIG. 4 shows the tie-down rail attached to one side and the front of a truck bed. In this figure just a portion of the truck bed 10 is shown. The tie-downs are mounted on the side 20 of the truck in two pieces 50 and 55. Another tie-down is mounted behind the cab 60 to allow the load to be secured to the forward section of the bed. In this figure an additional tie-down rail 59 is shown mounted to the bottom of the bed. To provide an additional tie-down location using the same rail as used in the other aforementioned locations. It is further contemplated that a rail can bee mounted on the tailgate portion of a truck to provide and additional securing location. Because the tie-down rails are mounted on the inner flange or within the bed of the vehicle they do not interfere with a cover that can be placed over the bed. This allows versatility to secure a load within the bed of a truck while the truck bed cover is also installed.

FIG. 5 shows a detailed view of the tie-down rail mounted on the side of a truck bed with a strap and hook attached through the slots. A portion of one side of the truck 20 is shown with a portion of the truck tie-down rail 50. This end portion of the rail shows the end chamfer 54 with the rounded edges and corners to reduce the potential of damage to person or property. Counter bored hole 82 is shown where fastener 100 is placed through the hole to secure the truck tie-down to the inside wall of a truck bed. Fastener 102 is shown seated within a counter bored hole. The head of the fastener is completely recessed below the surface of the truck tie-down rail. With the head of the fastener seated below the surface of the rail the potential for damage from the head of the fastener is eliminated in addition the potential for the fastener being tampered with is reduced. An elongated slot 90 is shown with a typical securing hook 115 placed through the hole. In the other slot shown in this figure a strap 110 is shown placed through the elongated hole. While only elongated slots are shown, holes or a combination of slots and holes can be utilized.

FIG. 6 shows a cross sectional view of the tie-down rail mounted on the inside of a truck bed. In this cross sectional view one side of the truck body 20 is shown with the truck tie-down rail 50 mounted on the inside of the bed. Mounting the tie-down rails on the inner flange increases the strength of the flange and the side wall of the truck. This allows the user to pull the straps more tightly to secure the load. Fastener 100 is shown seated in the counter bored hole. On the inside of the truck wall a washer 106 and nut 104 holds the railing on to the truck. The slotted bar has countersunk holes between each slot to secure the bar to the flange of the truck bed allowing for a sturdy hold with no screw heads protruding out into the cargo area.

Thus, specific embodiments of a side mounted truck tie-down rail have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims.