Title:
Auxiliary loop and span harness for a string trimmer or the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An auxiliary harness supported by right or left shoulder to suspend the string trimmer at or near a fixed point somewhat central to the torso having a carrying case, a string trimmer quick release button, an on-off lock to release or fix a retractable cable from a spring loaded spool, the cable fitted to the string trimmer and the operator by harness clips, the cable having to provide a longitudinal span to dampen lateral kickback and longitudinal flutter and to relax one or more trigger fingers, the operator having to adjust the cable and the boom slightly without having to remove the harness, the cable made of firm or elastic material having to dampen an operator's foot movement and the string trimmer vibration with a two-way longitudinal span embodiment or maneuvers the string trimmer with a single loop embodiment, and the harness providing steps to relieve operator fatigue.



Inventors:
Hurley, Edward P. (Sarasota, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/151078
Publication Date:
11/05/2009
Filing Date:
05/03/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, PHONG H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edward P. Hurley (1214 Western Pine Circle, Sarasota, FL, 34240, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An auxiliary loop and longitudinal span harness for a string trimmer comprising: a string trimmer or the like having an elongated boom; the boom transfers power from a motor to a cutting tool; the boom having means for a safety shield to connect near the tool; the tool having means to be directed by a plurality of handlebar configurations which are held substantially near the string trimmer fixed point; the harness having means to be worn over an operator's right or left shoulder; the harness base having means to suspend the string trimmer at or near a fixed point central to the operator's torso; the harness having means for a carrying case; the carrying case having a quick release button; the quick release button having means to immediately release the harness from the string trimmer; the carrying case having an on-off lock; the on-off lock having means to release or fix a retractable cable, strap or the like from a spring loaded spool within the carrying case; the carrying case further having a lower base and a top clip; the carrying case base connected to a frontal or a middle harness clip at a lower end and connected from an upper end to the frontal, the middle, the top or a rearward harness chip; the harness clips having means to be positioned on the boom a safe distance away from the tool; the cable having means to separate and return to the carrying case to form the harness loop; the cable having means to separate from the carrying case to form the harness longitudinal span; the cable having means to be stored in a tight position; the cable having means to support a symmetrical shoulder pad or the like; the cable made of firm or elastic material and different sizes; the longitudinal span having means to dampen lateral kickback from the tool to the operator; the longitudinal span having means to dampen resonance from the string trimmer to the operator; the longitudinal span having means to relax one or more trigger fingers; the on-off lock having means to adjust the cable length without having to remove the harness from a right or left shoulder; the on-off lock having means to adjust the boom angle slightly without having to remove the harness; the harness longitudinal span having means to dampen transport; the harness having means to significantly stabilize the string trimmer with the longitudinal span; the harness having means to significantly maneuver the string trimmer with the loop embodiment; the harness having means to relieve operator fatigue and stress.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of grounds maintenance and more specifically to an auxiliary loop and span harness for a string trimmer or the like. The purpose of a lawn care shoulder harness has mainly been to provide safety and support for a handheld yard tool during heavy-duty or long term grounds maintenance work. Many of yesterday's heavier handheld power tools have been converted into lighter machines which appears to have reduced demand for safety harnesses. Heavier lawn mowing vehicles with seat belts have also been replaced by lightweight floating mowers to generally prevent compaction of turf and soil. However, soil will compact naturally which can force lightweight lawn equipment with floating booms or decks to oscillate significantly during transport making it wise to periodically check tool frames with high frequency drive systems for bends and cracks. This is why a shoulder harness can come in handy to prevent strain to tools and their groundskeepers.

There are known lawn care safety harnesses that consist of either a loop or a span support for a string trimmer. The harness loop of U.S. Pat. No. 5,319,806 provides the string trimmer with more maneuverability. U.S. Pat. No. 6,158,636 provides an elastic harness loop to absorb some of the vibration from lightweight lawn tools. The longitudinal span supports of U.S. Pat. No. 6,250,525 B1, U.S. Pat. No. 7,111,404 B2 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,535,498 will help a towering subject gain an upper hand when having to be subjected to long grueling work. Generally speaking, the harness span structures described in '525, '404 and '498 will dampen vibration of lightweight elongated beams during static and dynamic load functions. Furthermore, one or more cable spans fixed to pillars will provide stability to decks and beams during transport and windy conditions which is pretty common during lawn care. Accordingly, most string trimmers with a boom can be better stabilized by augmenting a shoulder harness loop pattern of '636 into a longitudinal span length, as somewhat illustrated in '404, which helps to control lateral tool kick back as well as dampen a string trimmer from high resistance.

A shoulder harness span that forms an apex in support of an operable string trimmer should further draw a towering figure away from a cutting tool without adding more stress to an operator. This is definitely not the case with most electric handheld lawn trimmers that place a heavy load near the tool end which tends to shorten the boom. However, making it challenging to retract or expand a shoulder harness as described in '806 and '404 will limit the number of lawn care options which may discourage its primary use and could possibly increase operator stress.

There appears to be an advantage of expanding the prior art from a maneuvering loop harness into an adjustable span harness with better tool stabilizing capability which is the main goal of this patent application.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is to provide an auxiliary harness to assist an operator with support of a string trimmer.

Another object of the invention is to provide the harness with symmetrical right or left handed use.

Another object of the invention is to provide the harness with a loop embodiment for greater maneuverability of the string trimmer.

A further object of the invention is to provide the harness with a longitudinal span to help reduce the string trimmer resonance feedback and lateral kickback.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide the harness with adjustable lengths to keep an operator's torso relatively straight with respect to the string trimmer operation.

Still yet another object of the invention is to provide the harness with an auxiliary retractable carrying case.

Another object of the invention is to provide the carrying case with a handle grip for making safe and efficient height adjustments to the string trimmer.

Another object of the invention is to provide the harness with more than one longitudinal span adjustment without having to remove the harness from a body.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide the operator relief of one or more trigger fingers, one or more vertebral discs and other joints with an improved longitudinal span.

Still yet another object of the invention is to provide the operator with more comfort during rough weather.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying two drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed an auxiliary loop and span harness for a string trimmer comprising: a string trimmer or the like having an elongated boom, the boom transfers power from a motor to a cutting tool, the boom having means for a safety shield to connect near the tool, the tool having means to be directed by a plurality of handlebar configurations which are held substantially near the string trimmer fixed point, the harness having means to be worn over an operator's right or left shoulder, the harness base having means to suspend the string trimmer at or near a fixed point central to the operator's torso, the harness having means for a carrying case, the carrying case having a quick release button, the quick release button having means to immediately release the harness from the string trimmer, the carrying case having an on-off lock; the on-off lock having means to release or fix a retractable cable, strap or the like from a spring loaded spool within the carrying case, the carrying case further having a lower base and a top clip, the carrying case base connected to a frontal or a middle harness clip at a lower end and connected from an upper end to the frontal, the middle, the top or a rearward harness chip, the harness clips having means to be positioned on the boom a safe distance away from the tool, the cable having means to separate and return to the carrying case to form the harness loop, the cable having means to separate from the carrying case to form the harness longitudinal span, the cable having means to be stored in a tight position, the cable having means to support a symmetrical shoulder pad or the like, the cable made of firm or elastic material and different sizes, the longitudinal span having means to dampen lateral kickback from the tool to the operator, the longitudinal span having means to dampen resonance from the string trimmer to the operator, the longitudinal span having means to relax one or more trigger fingers, the on-off lock having means to adjust the cable length without having to remove the harness from a right or left shoulder, the on-off lock having means to adjust the boom angle slightly without having to remove the harness, the harness longitudinal span having means to dampen transport, the harness having means to significantly stabilize the string trimmer with the longitudinal span, the harness having means to significantly maneuver the string trimmer with the loop embodiment and the harness having means to relieve operator fatigue and stress.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the auxiliary harness illustrating a loop embodiment for supporting a string trimmer.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of FIG. 1 illustrating a span embodiment for supporting the string trimmer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

Referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, An auxiliary harness 20 is connected to a string trimmer 10 which consists of an elongated boom 30 that transfers inward power from a motor 40 to a cutting tool 50 at about ground level. The string trimmer 10 will have a safety shield 60 that mounts to the boom 30 near the tool 50 to protect a rearward operator and bystanders from outer tool 50 forces. The tool 50 is directed and controlled by right 72 and left 74 control grips, that is, with a plurality of handlebar 70 configurations that connect to the boom 30. The handlebar 70 and the harness 20 are generally held centrally balanced at the string trimmer 10 and operator's fixed points.

Referring again to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the harness 20 is capable of being mostly stored inside a handy carrying case 84, but one embodiment of the loop 12 and span 14 harness 20 could be to replace the carrying case 84 with a common strap adjuster (not shown.) The carrying case 84 attaches to either a frontal 92 or middle 94 harness clip on the boom 30 which is substantially balanced above the string trimmer 10 fixed point.

A release button 86 or the like is located at the base of the carrying case 84 for the operator to immediately disengage the harness 20 from the string trimmer 10 for safekeeping. An on-off lock 88 is switched back and forth along the side of the carrying case 84 to expand, retract or fix a cable 82, strap, combination thereof or the like into a loop 12 harness 20 embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 or a longitudinal span 14 harness 20 alternative embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2. The harness 20 cable 82 can be made of firm or elastic material and will couple to an auxiliary symmetrical shoulder pad (not shown) and other cables or attachments known in the art.

Still referring further to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, in order to employ the loop 12 and span 14 harness 20, the string trimmer 10 is rested on the ground with the motor 40 made operable so that the cable 82 can be pulled from the carrying case 84 and extended out to either a rearward harness clip 96 position to form a downward parabola span 14 or a top clip 98 position on the carrying case 84 to form a vertical loop 12. Once the cable 82 is ready to be worn, the operator can lift the harness 20 off the ground and strap it over an opposite right 16 or left 18 shoulder a safe distance away from the tool 50 without interference from the handlebar 70 right 72 and left 74 hand grips according to sound engineering judgment. Prior to lawn care operation, the harness 20 should be given fine tune adjustments to align and balance the string trimmer 10. Accordingly, these minor adjustments can help optimize the tool 50 and boom 30 angles without having to remove the harness 20 from the operator because the carrying case 84 can be held up and adjusted from a secondary right 72 or left 74 handed grip position. Lawn care transport and work is ready to commence once the cable 82 is locked in a desired ergonomic position. It is recommended to periodically interchange right 16 and left 18 shoulder harness 20 positions after the string trimmer 10 repeatedly meets high resistance. A good rule of thumb is to switch the loop 12 and span 14 harness 20 positions half way through the string trimmer 10 cycle which is determined in most operator manuals. This method or process will distribute the string trimmer 10 resonance more evenly which can add up to more lawn care fulfillment. When lawn care has been completed, the motor 40 must be turned off so that the harness 20 can be removed from the operator's right 16 or left 18 shoulder in order to rest the inoperable string trimmer 10 on the ground while the operator is able to hold the cable 82 up before activating the on-off lock 88 to slowly retract the cable 82 back into the carrying case 84 which avoids harness 20 whiplash. It is important to note that the on-off lock 88 reminds workers to change their trigger finger 78 positions periodically to reduce fatigue when performing several different lawn care exercises. The string trimmer 10 warm-up and cool-down steps should help operators stretch their muscles and ligaments before and after work.

Now referring only to FIG. 1, the harness 20 loop 12 embodiment of the invention must have the carrying case 84 base connected to the middle harness clip 94 on the boom 30 followed by the cable 82 extending over the operator's left 16 or right 18 shoulder and back down to a top clip 98 of the carrying case 84 for quick tool 50 maneuverability and to improve string trimmer 10 load balance. This process is quick for multiple lawn care exercises, but the loop 12 harness 20 will pivot more than a span harness which could lead to more lawn scalping and additional absorption of string trimmer 10 resonance.

Referring to FIG. 2, the harness 20 longitudinal span 14 embodiment of the invention facilitates the cable 82 as an elongated stabilizer for the string trimmer 10. The harness 10 carrying case 84 base is connected to the frontal 92 or middle 94 harness clip on the boom 30 followed by the cable 82 being drawn up and around the operator's opposite right 16 or left 18 shoulder and spanned longitudinally to the rearward harness clip 96 at the top end of the motor 40 while keeping a safe distance away from elbow movement during the string trimmer 10 operation. The on-off lock 88 of the span 14 harness can be implemented to quickly put the harness 20 longitudinal span 14 in step with a desired operating height or boom 30 angle to gradually trim down vegetation without having tall brush get pulled around the tool 50 which is more difficult to control with a loop harness. Indeed, the harness 20 span 14 embodiment will pivot from a right 16 or left 18 shoulder, but with less maneuverability and more stability than what is commonly found with loop harnesses. Accordingly, the operator is encouraged to maintain a single orthogonal fold trimming framework without flipping the string trimmer 10 into dangerous or awkward contortions. The rearward harness clip 96 provides maximum means for the cable 82 to dampen lateral kickback 52, as well as help control longitudinal 54 and vertical 60 tool 50 resonance when the tool 50 meets high resistance. Assuming that the string trimmer 10 is resting on a grounds surface with the cable 82 locked in a fully open position, the operator can hand release the rearward harness clip 96 and reel the harness 20 distal end into the carrying case 84 until the cable 82 can be coupled to either one of the frontal 92 or middle 94 harness clips for quick storage. Moreover, the string trimmer 10 can be easily stored without having the harness 20 flapping around or fall to the ground.

Still referring to FIG. 2 and briefly to FIG. 1, the harness 20 longitudinal span 14 is able to relax one or more right 72 or left 72 grips; particularly the right 76 and left 78 trigger finger pressure points. In fact, the rearward harness clip 96 location permits an operator to use their arm as a lever on the motor 40 cowling 42 during transport of the string trimmer 10 to relieve the left 78 trigger fingers and grip 74. Moreover, the span 14 harness 20 can be alternated half the time to exercise the right 76 fingers and grip 72 evenly with the left fingers 78 and grip 74. It is advised not to significantly bend arm and body joints or use an arm as a lever on the motor 40 cowling 42 during the string trimmer 10 operation because this could lead to more fatigue of the right 72 and left 74 trigger fingers. The left trigger fingers 78 shown resting in FIG. 2 are already subjected to about fourteen percent more stress during normal lawn care operation shown in FIG. 1 which is why an arm should only be used as a lever on the motor 40 cowling 42 to reduce stress to the left 78 fingers and grip 74 when in transport and for aiding with harness 20 and tool 50 adjustments. The harness 20 span 14 will significantly distribute the operator's transport movement and tool resonance because of the significant longitudinal length of the harness 20.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.