Title:
System and method for expeditious snowplow mounting
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method and system for expeditious snowplow mounting in which a light beam source, such as a laser pointer, is used for aligning a vehicle to a target on the snowplow. The light beam source can be a laser pointer. The light beam source can be removably attached to a portion of the vehicle, such as a dashboard of the vehicle. The target preferably can be attached to the snowplow at a position above the hood of the vehicle substantially horizontal to the light beam source. For example, the target can be mounted to the back of a headlight of a snowplow system. Alternatively, a guide bar can extend vertically from the snowplow system to rise above the hood of the vehicle. The guide bar can serve as the target or a target can be attached to the guide bar.



Inventors:
Dimauro, Anthony R. (Honesdale, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/699273
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
01/29/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
356/399
International Classes:
E01H6/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PEZZUTO, ROBERT ERIC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. (600 Alexander Road Suite 2-1, PRINCETON, NJ, 08540-6011, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for expeditiously mounting a snowplow system to a vehicle comprising: a light beam source to project a beam of light; means for attaching said light beam source to the vehicle; and a target adapted to be associated with the snowplow system, wherein the beam of light is directed at said target for aligning the vehicle to the snowplow system.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein said means for attaching said light beam source comprises a pair of curved arms for receiving said light beam source.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein said light beam source is a laser pointer.

4. The system of claim 3 wherein said laser pointer comprises an elongated body, a light source activator for activating said laser pointer associated with said elongated body, and said elongated body including an opening for releasing said beam of light.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein said means for attaching said light beam source comprises a pair of curved arms for receiving said elongated body of said laser pointer.

6. The system of claim 4 wherein the laser pointer emits a dot.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein said means for attaching said light beam source comprises a first attachment member adapted for attachment to the vehicle and a second attachment member attached to a housing, said housing receiving said light beam source, said first attachment member being removably attached to said second attachment member.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein said target is a self adhesive dot adapted to be attached to said snowplow.

9. The system of claim 1 wherein said target is a guide bar, said guide bar extending vertically from said snowplow.

10. The system of claim 1 wherein said target is a self adhesive dot attached to a guide bar, said guide bar extending vertically from said snowplow.

11. The system of claim 9 wherein said guide bar has a length sufficient to rise above a hood of said vehicle.

12. The system of claim 1 wherein said light beam source is attached to dashboard of said vehicle.

13. A method for expeditiously mounting a snowplow comprising the steps of: attaching a light beam source to a vehicle; projecting a beam of light from said light beam source towards a snowplow connected to said vehicle; and placing a target on said snowplow at a position on said snowplow receiving said beam of light.

14. The method of claim 13 further comprising the steps of removing said snowplow from said vehicle; and reattaching said vehicle to said snowplow by aligning the beam of light with the target on the snowplow.

15. The method of claim 13 wherein said light beam source is a laser pointer.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein said light beam source is attached to said vehicle using a first attachment member adapted for attachment to the vehicle and a second attachment member attached to a housing, said housing receiving said light beam source, said first attachment member being removably attached to said second attachment member.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said housing comprises a pair of curved arms for receiving an elongated body of said laser pointer.

18. The method of claim 13 wherein said target is a self adhesive dot adapted to be attached to said snowplow.

19. The method of claim 13 wherein said target is a guide bar, said guide bar extending vertically from said snowplow.

20. The method of claim 13 wherein said light beam source is attached to a dashboard of said vehicle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a method and system for expeditious snowplow mounting in which a light beam source, such as a laser pointer is used for aligning a vehicle to a target on the snowplow.

2. Description of Related Art

Typical snowplow systems are designed to be mounted on a frame of a truck. The snowplow system can include one or more jaws for attachment to the frame of the truck. During attachment the vehicle is typically maneuvered in several attempts by the driver or directed by a second person to provide proper alignment of the vehicle frame with the snowplow.

It is desirable to provide a system and method for expeditiously mounting a snowplow using a light source, such as a laser pointer, which is removably mounted to a vehicle and can be aligned with a target on the snowplow.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method and system for expeditious snowplow mounting in which a light beam source, such as a laser pointer, is used for aligning a vehicle to a target on the snowplow. The light beam source can be a laser pointer. The light beam source can be removably attached to a portion of the vehicle, such as a dashboard of the vehicle. The target preferably can be attached to the snowplow at a position above the hood of the vehicle substantially horizontal to the light beam source. For example, the target can be mounted to the back of a headlight of a snowplow system. Alternatively, a guide bar can extend vertically from the snowplow system to rise above the hood of the vehicle. The guide bar can serve as the target or a target can be attached to the guide bar.

During operation, after the snowplow system is attached to the vehicle, the light beam source is attached to the vehicle and can be aligned with the snowplow system. A target is placed on the snowplow system at the position of projection of the beam of light onto the snowplow system. Thereafter, the snowplow system can be removed from the vehicle and later expeditiously connected to the vehicle by aligning the previously attached light beam source with the previously attached target on the snowplow system.

The invention will be more fully described by reference to the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a system for expeditious snowplow mounting to a vehicle shown from the driver side of the vehicle in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a laser pointer.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a light source mount.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a target.

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a guide bar.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a system for expeditious snowplow mounting to a vehicle shown from the driver side of the vehicle in accordance with the teachings of the present invention and including the guide bar.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in greater detail to a preferred embodiment of the invention, an example of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings and the description to refer to the same or like parts.

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of system for expeditiously mounting a snowplow 10 in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. Light beam source 12 is coupled to vehicle 11. For example, vehicle 11 can be a truck, pickup truck, sports utility truck and the like or any vehicle to which a snowplow can be attached. Light beam source 12 provides beam of light 14. Beam of light 14 is visible to the human eye.

In one embodiment, light beam source 12 comprises laser pointer 20, as shown in FIG. 2. Laser pointer 20 can be a conventional laser pointer for pointing to a specific location which is typically used as a pointing device for speeches and the like. Laser pointer 20 comprises elongated body 21 with switch 22 to activate power source 23 and activate beam of light 14. Lens opening 24 can release beam of light 14 when activated. Beam of light 14 can produce an end pattern of dot 15. Alternatively, it will be appreciated that any light emitting source available to the public can be used provided that it provides a visible beam of light.

Referring to FIG. 1, light beam source 14 can be coupled to vehicle 11 using light source mount 15. For example, light source mount 15 can be attached to any inside surface of vehicle 11 or on the outside of vehicle 11. In one embodiment, light source mount 15 is removably attached to dashboard 16 of vehicle 11. Alternatively, light source mount 15 can be attached to the rearview mirror of vehicle 11. Light source mount 15 can include curved arms 30 and 32 adapted for receiving light beam source within opening 34, as shown in FIG. 3. Attachment member 35 can be attached to vehicle 11, such as dashboard 16, as shown in FIG. 1. Attachment member 37 can be attached to surface 38 of light source mount 15. In one embodiment, attachment member 37 can be removably attached to attachment member 35 for removably mounting light source mount 15 to a surface of vehicle 11. For example, attachment member 35 and attachment member 37 can be formed of a hook and loop material.

Referring to FIG. 1, target 40 is coupled to snowplow system 42. Snowplow system 42 can be conventional including snowplow blade 44, mounting bracket 45 or jaws mountable to frame of vehicle 11 and optionally headlights 43. An example snowplow system 42 is Plow Series ST-MT-22-26-29-29T-32-28V manufactured by Sno-Way International or any similar make or model. In this embodiment, target 40 is coupled to the back of headlight 43 of snowplow system 42. Headlight 43 typically rises above the hood 13 of vehicle 11 for allowing light beam source 12 to provide a substantially horizontal beam of light 14 towards target 40. Alternatively, light beam source 12 and target 40 can be adjusted to provide various angles of light beam 14 between light beam source 12 and target 40 during alignment of beam of light 14 and target 40.

In one embodiment, target 40 is formed of a self adhesive dot 46, as shown in FIG. 4. Dot 46 can have a contrasting color to beam of light 14 to provide easy location of target 40. For example, dot 46 can be white, yellow or orange.

In an alternate embodiment, guide bar 50 is attached to snowplow system 42, as shown in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6. Guide bar 50 extends vertically at a length to rise above hood 13 of vehicle 11 for allowing light beam source 12 to provide a substantially horizontal beam of light 14 towards target 40. Target 40 can be attached to guide bar 50. Alternatively, guide bar 50 can be used without target 40.

During operation, snowplow system 42 is installed on vehicle 11. Light beam source 12 is mounted to vehicle 11 using light source mount 15. Light beam source 12 is activated to direct beam of light 14 toward snowplow system 42. Target 40 is attached to snowplow system 42 at the position of contact of beam of light 14 with snowplow system 42. Thereafter, snowplow system 42 can be disconnected from vehicle 11. For reattachment of snowplow system 42 to vehicle 11, light beam source 12 is activated and aligned with target 40 by manipulating vehicle 11. After alignment of beam of light 14 and target 40, vehicle 11 is driven into snowplow system 42 and mounting bracket 45 of snowplow system 42 can be attached to vehicle 11 with “perfect” alignment. For example, dot 15 of laser pointer 20 can be aligned with dot 46 of target 40 or guide bar 50.

It is to be understood that the above-described embodiments are illustrative of only a few of the many possible specific embodiments, which can represent applications of the principles of the invention. Numerous and varied other arrangements can be readily devised in accordance with these principles by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.