Title:
Device to hold paper bag for grass clippings
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The device to hold a bag for grass clippings has an upper section including a hopper integral with a chute having solid walls, and a lower section configured as a caddy for supporting the chute in an upright position. The chute has a pair of wheels for transporting the device, and a pair of toe tabs for lateral stability and for holding the caddy when removing the upper section from a bag of grass clippings. In use, the chute is inverted and a paper bag is placed over the chute. The upper section is turned over to an upright position and placed on the caddy. The hopper may be grasped to tilt the device and wheel it to a desired location. The chute is removed from the bag and the bag is removed from the caddy after bagging the grass clippings.



Inventors:
Klotz, Roy C. (Lyons, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/411856
Publication Date:
11/27/2003
Filing Date:
04/14/2003
Assignee:
KLOTZ ROY C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/99
International Classes:
B65B67/12; A63B57/00; (IPC1-7): A63B55/04; B65B67/04
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MORRISON, NASCHICA SANDERS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROY C. KLOTZ (LYONS, IL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A bagging device for loading paper bags with grass clippings and other yard waste, comprising: (a) an upper section having a hopper and a chute integral with said hopper, the upper section forming a funnel for grass clippings, the chute having solid walls defining a tube and having a bottom end; and (b) a lower section, the lower section configured as a caddy defining an opening sized and dimensioned for receiving the bottom end of said chute, the caddy having a pair of wheels; wherein said chute is adapted for placement within an open paper bag in order to hold the paper bag open and protect the bag from tearing, the bottom end of said chute being placed in the opening of said caddy for supporting said upper section in an upright position with the hopper extending above the open paper bag.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to devices for bagging grass clippings and other yard waste, and more specifically to devices for holding paper bags open while bagging grass clippings. The present bagging device may be used to load any type of bag, but is specifically designed to ease loading biodegradable paper bags required by many municipalities for grass clipping disposal.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] A wide variety of devices are commonly used to bag grass clippings in paper and plastic bags. Devices to hold bags for grass clippings are generally designed to take advantage of limp, flexible properties of plastic bags or the regular form of paper bags. Devices used to hold bags to receive grass clippings include simple devices, such as a single section of folded rigid board, and more complex devises, such as a collapsible wheeled cart with a bag suspended from an interior rim.

[0005] Conventionally, bagging devices hold bags open for loading grass clippings in two ways. Some bagging devices are inserted into the bag before loading and provide an interior framework for holding the bag open. The bag may be held in place by hand or attached to the device with spring-loaded mechanisms, such as clips or clamps. More commonly, bagging devices that are inserted into the bag are held in place by friction between the outwardly pressing sides of the device and the interior sidewalls of the bag.

[0006] The present inventor knows of several bagging devices made of rigid interconnected panels that are intended to be unfolded inside the bag to form an open-ended chute or sleeve of variable circumference. As grass clippings are added, the diameter of the chute expands and presses outwardly against the sidewalls of the bag being filled. Obviously, this is desirable when filling limp, collapsible plastic bags but is not advantageous when filling paper bags likely to tear from the outward pressure exerted by an expanding bagging device.

[0007] A second way bagging devices typically hold bags open is by fixing the edge of the bag opening to a rigid rim that has approximately the same perimeter as the bag opening. The rim can be any convenient shape. Circular and oval rims are more commonly used in devices designed for plastic bags, while rectangular rims are commonly used for devices designed to hold paper bags. Plastic bags are generally held to the rim of these devices with clamps, clips, or dual clamping rims.

[0008] In order to avoid tears and holes in the bag, clips, clamps, and other pinching mechanisms are not widely used as parts of devices intended to hold open paper bags. However, the present inventor knows of a rimmed bagging device designed to hold paper bags open which uses four hinged panels, one along each of the four sides of the rectangular rim. The four panels fold into the open end of the paper bag and nibs on the panels hold the bag in place by pressing small portions of the bag into corresponding sockets along an exterior portion of the rim. However, this method of holding paper bags open for loading grass clippings has not become widely popular.

[0009] A discussion of the related art of which the present inventor is aware, and its differences and distinctions from the present invention, is provided below.

[0010] U.S. Des. Pat. No. 349,992, issued Aug. 23, 1994 to John J. Brohan, describes a bagging device that is a hopper supported by a four-legged frame. No caddy is shown.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 6,116,548, issued on Sep. 12, 2000 to Vernon L. Oleson, describes a device similar to the device described in the Brohan U.S. Pat. No. 349,992 above, with a hopper supported on four legs mounted on a U-shaped base. However, rather than rely on the walls of the bag to support themselves, Oleson has added a locking plate mounted on a piano hinge to each of the four sides of hopper at its exit opening. These plates fold into the open end of the paper bag and grip the upper portion of the bag, holding it vertically beneath the hopper and surrounded by the four legs of the frame supporting the hopper. No caddy is shown.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,868,364, issued on Feb. 9, 1999, to Richard D. MacMillan, titled “Bag Support Assembly,” describes a four-legged device that projects one leg into each of the four corners of a paper refuse bag, the foot of each leg resting on a corner of the bag bottom with the result that the bag is held in place beneath the “funnel.” No caddy is shown.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 4,037,778, issued on Jul. 26, 1977 to Kenneth E. Boyle, titled “Universal Bag Support,” describes an internal support system of lightweight swingable panels of similar height but various widths for holding limp plastic refuse bags open for loading. The Boyle device does not show a funnel or hopper and does not show a caddy.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 4,890,652, issued on Jan. 2, 1990 to L. Jeanne Hoerner, titled “Trash Bag Support Sleeve”, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,979,547, issued on Dec. 25, 1990, also to L. Jeanne Hoerner, describe a system of panels much like that described in the '778 patent discussed above. The Hoerner device does not show a funnel or hopper and does not show a caddy.

[0015] U.S. Des. Pat. No. 428,542, issued on Jul. 18, 2000, to Roger L. Young, titled “Yard Waste Bagging Device,” shows a bagging device having a cylindrical chute and a gated funnel. No caddy is shown.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 6,109,002, issued on Aug. 29, 2000 to James K. McCabe, titled “Apparatus and Method for Supporting and Protecting a Bag During Compacting of Waste,” describes several designs for bagging devices. None of the devices described in the McCabe patent show a funnel or hopper.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 5,069,405, issued on Dec. 3, 1991 to Raymond E. Keating, titled “Mobile Leaf Bag Loading Fixture,” describes a two-wheeled, collapsible cart-like device to aid loading leaves and other yard refuse. Keating does not disclose either a hopper to aid loading nor a chute or other means to protect the sides of the bag being loaded. Rather, Keating describes a elongated oval “bag-supporting hoop” at the uppermost end of the device and describes suspending a plastic leaf bag from the hoop.

[0018] U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,765, issued on Mar. 23, 1993, to Harvey W. Lacey, Jr., titled “Paper Sack Holding Dolly with Top Entry Guide and Bag Top to Guide Shank Holding Strap,” describes a bag holding dolly with a bottom platform, and shanks for holding the top of the bag open, but does not describe a chute for supporting the middle portion of the bag.

[0019] Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 6,131,861, issued on Oct. 17, 2000 to Gabriel A Fortier, Jr., and Kay D. Fortier, titled “Bag Holder,” describes a device to aid holding lawn and leaf bags open during loading and to aid moving full bags. Fortier et al. describe a three legged cart-like device fitted with wheels on two legs, but without the hopper or chute of the present invention.

[0020] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0021] The present invention is a device for bagging grass clippings and other yard waste, particularly in biodegradable paper bags required by a growing number of municipalities. The device has an upper section configured as an integral hopper and chute, and a lower section configured as a caddy.

[0022] The hopper reduces spillage that would otherwise occur when loading a paper bag with grass clippings and yard refuse by offering a rigid opening larger in cross-section than the mouth of the paper bag being filled. The chute has solid walls to act as a shield to protect the top edge and sides of paper bags from tears, abrasions, and punctures from sticks and thorns bagged with yard waste.

[0023] The caddy simplifies transport of a bag filled with yard waste. The caddy supports the bottom of the paper bag while it is being filled or wheeled from place to place, and holds the chute in an upright position.

[0024] Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a device to hold a bag for grass clippings having a hopper and a chute for holding the bag open.

[0025] It is another object of the invention to provide a device to hold a bag for grass clippings having a caddy for ease in moving the bag after bagging the grass clippings.

[0026] It is a further object of the invention to provide a device to hold a bag for grass clippings having a chute with solid walls to protect the bag from rips and tears.

[0027] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0028] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] FIG. 1 is an environmental perspective view of a device to hold paper bags for grass clippings according to the present invention.

[0030] FIG. 2 is a perspective view the upper section of the device to hold paper bags according to the present invention.

[0031] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the caddy of the device to hold paper bags according to the present invention.

[0032] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0033] The present invention is a grass clipping and yard waste bagging device, and more specifically relates to a device for holding a paper bag open while loading grass clippings into the bag. While the present bagging device may be used to load any type of bag, it is particularly suitable for use with biodegradable paper bags required by many municipalities for grass clipping and yard waste disposal.

[0034] FIG. 1 illustrates an environmental view of the device 10. The device has an upper section 12 and a lower section 14. A paper bag 16 is shown disposed between the upper section and the lower section 14. As shown in FIG. 2, the upper section 12 includes a hopper 18 and a chute 20, the chute 20 preferably being integral with the hopper 18. The hopper 18 has an inverted, pyramidal shape, is hollow, and is open at the mouth 22 and the base 24. The extended size of the mouth 22 of the hopper 18 permits the device 10 to receive large clumps of yard waste which are funneled into the chute 20 by the walls of the hopper 18.

[0035] The chute 20 is an elongated hollow tube which is rectangular in cross-section. The chute 20 has solid walls which protect the paper bag 16 from being torn, punctured, or abraded by sticks and other yard waste that might damage the bag 16 if the chute 20 were simply a hollow frame. The chute 20 is sized and dimensioned to fit within the paper bags 16, the hopper 18 extending above the mouth of the bag 16 and the base of the chute 20 extending to the bottom of the bag 16. The hopper 18 and the chute 20 form an elongated funnel for funneling grass clippings, leaves, and other yard waste into the bag 16.

[0036] As shown more clearly in FIG. 3, the lower section 14 comprises a caddy for supporting the upper section 12. The caddy 14 is a rectangular frame made from four angles 26. As used in the present application, the term “angle” refers to a structural member, also referred to in the art as an angle iron, comprising two flanges joined at a 90° angle along one edge. The angles may be made from metal, such as iron, steel, aluminum, etc., plastic, or any other rigid material. The rectangular frame preferably measures about 16″×11 ¾″. The chute 20 is dimensioned slightly smaller in cross-section than the rectangular frame of the caddy 14 so that the chute 20 is properly supported in an upright position by the angles 26. The flanges of the angles 26 are preferably about three inches wide, and define a box-shaped opening so that the flanges of the angles 26 support the base of the chute 20 when the upper section 12 is placed in the caddy 14. A flat plate may be placed in the rectangular frame defined by the angles 26 to provide a bottom wall or platform in order to protect the bottom of the paper-bag 16 from moisture, if desired.

[0037] The caddy 14 has a pair of wheel assemblies 28 mounted to the rear of the rectangular frame. The wheel assemblies 28 are conventional, and may include an axle rigidly mounted to the vertical flange of the rear angle 26 and a wheel rotatable on the axle. The wheel assemblies 28 are mounted so that the user may grasp the hopper 18 and tilt the device 10 in order to use the wheel assemblies 28 to transport the bagging device 10 to any desired location. The caddy 14 also has a pair of toe tabs 30 extending laterally from the front of the rectangular frame. The toe tabs 30 are flat plates attached to the bottom of the caddy 14 and may measure four inches wide, extending from the caddy 14 laterally for about two to four inches. The toe tabs 30 may be made from metal or plastic, and provide lateral stability to the device 10, as well as aiding in removal of the chute 20 from the paper bag 16, as described below.

[0038] In use, the upper section 12 is inverted and placed on the ground. A paper bag 16 is opened and placed over the open end of the chute 20. The upper section 12 is then turned right side up and placed in the caddy 14, the base of the chute 20 being supported by the rectangular frame defined by the angles 26. The user may grasp the hopper 18 and tilt the device 10 to wheel it to a location in his yard where the grass clippings have been collected. Grass clippings and other yard waste are placed in the hopper 18 and fall to the bottom of the chute 20. When the clippings rise to the base 24 of the hopper 18, the device 10 may be wheeled to the curbside for disposal. The user steps on the toe tabs 30 and removes the chute 20 from the paper bag 16. The paper bag 16 is lifted from the caddy 14 and the device 10 is ready for re-use.

[0039] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.