Title:
Anchoring apparatus for mast on vehicle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An anchoring apparatus for the mast on vehicles is adopted for use on an extendable mast mounted on a movable vehicle body to prevent the erected and extended mast from wobbling in the wind. The anchoring apparatus has a plurality of support posts located around the periphery of the vehicle body and equally spaced from the mast. The support post may include an upper support post and a lower support post. The lower support post may movably rest on the ground surface to support the vehicle body and have a bottom end linked tightly by a steel cable or rod to a neighboring bottom end. The upper support post may be movably extended outwards from the vehicle roof with an outer end linking to the top end of the mast by a steel cable. The outer end of the upper support post and the bottom end of the lower support post may be linked tightly by a steel cable under tension. Thereby the mast can be erected and anchored steadily.



Inventors:
Shaw, Dein (Hsinchu, TW)
Application Number:
10/795226
Publication Date:
10/07/2004
Filing Date:
03/09/2004
Assignee:
FARLY TECH CO., LTD. (Taoyuan Hsien, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H12/20; H01Q1/12; (IPC1-7): E04H12/00; E02D35/00; E04B1/00; E04G21/00
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Primary Examiner:
A, PHI DIEU TRAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An anchoring apparatus for a mast of vehicles for anchoring the mast which is extendable to maintain the mast steadily when erected without wobbling, comprising: a plurality of support posts each having one end movably and detachably engaged with the periphery of a vehicle's roof and another end extended outwards to link to the top end of the mast through a flexible and tension-adjustable support members winding thereon.

2. The anchoring apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support posts are lower support posts extending downwards having respectively one end movably and pivotally engaged with the periphery of the vehicle's roof and another end extended to rest on the ground surface where the vehicle stations.

3. The anchoring apparatus of claim 2, wherein another ends of the support posts resting on the ground surface are linked to each other with flexible members under tension.

4. The anchoring apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support posts include respectively an upper support post and a lower support post that have respectively one end movably engaged with the periphery of the vehicle's roof, the rope being fastened to the top end of the mast and linked to a distal end of the upper support post which extends outwards, and the lower support post being directed downwards to rest on the ground surface where the vehicle stations.

5. The anchoring apparatus of claim 4, wherein the upper support post is extended outwards from the periphery of the vehicle's roof where it is pivotally engaged.

6. The anchoring apparatus of claim 4, wherein the lower support posts have respectively one end resting on the ground surface that are linked to each other under tension.

7. The anchoring apparatus of claim 4, wherein the upper support posts have respectively one end extended outwards that are linked to each other with flexible members under tension.

8. The anchoring apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the support posts is a L-shaped post including an upper support post and a lower support post joined on a connection end which is movably engaged with the periphery of the vehicle roof, the upper support post having one end extended outwards to link to the top end of the mast through a rope and the lower support post having one end rested on the ground surface where the vehicle stations.

9. The anchoring apparatus of claim 8, wherein the lower support posts have respectively one end rested on the ground surface that are linked to each other with flexible members under tension.

10. The anchoring apparatus of claim 8, wherein the upper support post and the lower support post have respectively one end extending outwards that are linked to each other with flexible members under tension.

11. The anchoring apparatus of claim 8, wherein the extending end of the upper support post engages with a pulley.

12. The anchoring apparatus of claim 11, wherein the flexible member is pendent from the top end of the mast and winds around the pulley to connect to the grounding end of the lower support post.

13. The anchoring apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support post is an upper support post extending outwards having one end movably and pivotally engaged with the vehicle's roof periphery and another end extended outwards to engage with a flexible member which links to the top end of the mast and connects to the periphery of the bottom section of the vehicle.

14. The anchoring apparatus of claim 13, wherein the one end of the support post extended outwards is linked to each other with flexible members under tension.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The invention relates to an anchoring apparatus for the mast on vehicles and particularly to an anchoring apparatus that has support posts around the vehicle body to support the mast and employs cables to link the mast and the support posts to maintain the erected mast in a steady manner without wobbling.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Vehicles equipped with an extendable mast may be deployed on a selected site and the mast may be erected to a desired height to do required tasks and compensate the expansion limitation of some equipment fixedly installed on the site. They are frequently used in defense and communication projects, and fire fighting operations. However, due to restrictions of the extension capability, the structural strength often is compromised. As a result, when the mast is extended to a higher elevation, its capability of resisting the wind becomes lower. Hence the mast often is wobbling in the wind. Wobbling of the mast becomes a critical issue to be overcome. Otherwise the mast structure and operations of the equipment mounted thereon will be adversely impacted. To remedy this problem, conventional approaches include the following:

[0005] 1. Select the mast with a greater safety factor.

[0006] 2. Link the top end or middle section of the mast and the vehicle by support members such as steel cables or rods.

[0007] 3. Have ground posts extending outwards from the top end or middle section of the mast, and use support members such as steel cables or rods to link the mast and the support posts.

[0008] 4. Have ground piles planted around the mast and employs support members such as steel cables or rods to link the ground piles and the top end or middle section of the mast.

[0009] The first approach has the shortcomings of increasing cost, weight or size. And it demands an advanced technique for fabricating the mast that could be not existing or available.

[0010] The second approach may generate an unaccepted angle between the steel cables or rods and the mast due to limitation of the size of the vehicle and the fixed location being provided. This angle becomes unacceptable small as the height of the mast increases or the size of the vehicle shrinks. This angle could also be varied due to different anchor location of each steel cable or rod and the mast. The different angle will affect the forces applied on the steel cable or rod and the mast. Hence under the same condition of the wind, the smaller the angle, the greater force the steel cable or rod receives, and the downward pressure on the mast also increases. As a result, the steel cable or rod is prone to damage, and the carrier or mast also might be destroyed. Thus such an anchoring method has a lower safety factor on wind resistance.

[0011] In the third approach the carrier and the mast usually have a larger size and become bulky and heavy. During operation, the ground posts have to be extended outwards to stable the vehicle and the mast. And the steel cables or rods are fastened to the ground posts to form a greater included angle on the mast than the previous approaches. While it provides a greater safety factor for wind resistance, the extending ground posts increase the size of the ground area required for the vehicle. Moreover, the ground posts increase the weight of the vehicle. It also has a more complicated structure and a higher cost. The mast and the ground posts do not always form desired equal angular distances. It could cause drop of wind resistance in some directions.

[0012] The fourth approach may form a greater included angle between the steel cables or rods and the mast for an operation site on a wide open field with ample space and a suitable location and sufficient tools for planting the ground piles. It is the best method when these conditions exist. However, if the operation site is in the city area where the grounds or roads are paved with asphalt or cement and become hard and rigid, to sink or remove the ground piles is a very time-consuming task. The ground surface will also be damaged. In addition, in the city area, the site is difficult to locate or acquire. Without sufficient space, the steel cables or rods cannot be extended to the desired included angles. Hence adopting this method in city area is difficult.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] In order to resolve the wobbling problem occurred to an erected mast, the invention provides an anchoring apparatus that captures the features of the second and the third approaches set forth above and eliminates their shortcomings. The apparatus of the invention includes a plurality of support posts deployed around the site where the mast of a motor carrier is stationed. The support posts may be directed downwards or outwards or both. One end of the posts is movably and pivotally engaged with the periphery of the vehicle's roof. The distal end of the support posts is fastened by a flexible article such as a steel cable, rope or chain, or rigid rod and links to the top end of the mast. When the support posts are directed downward, the distal ends of the support posts rest on the ground surface. Whether the support posts are extended downwards or outwards, the distal ends of the support posts may be linked and bridged by steel cables or rods to increase their steadiness. Upper support posts and lower support posts may also be employed. In such a circumstance, the distal ends of the upper and the lower support posts may also be linked by steel cables or rods. The fashion of the invention mentioned above may be altered to varying application forms. On a larger operation site and space, the support posts may be chosen directing merely downwards. In an operation space with some constraints, the upper support posts and linking of the distal ends of the upper and the lower support posts by steel cables or rods may be employed to enhance the stability. On a ground site where only the vehicle can be accommodated, the upper support posts may be selected, and the distal ends of the support posts and the top end of the mast and the bottom end of the vehicle are linked by steel cables or rods.

[0014] In one aspect of the invention, the upper support posts and lower support posts of suitable lengths may be provided according to different sizes of the vehicle so that the upper and lower support posts may be movably stored in the vehicle, and suitable support posts may be selected for use depending on the installation location. And a preset support dock is mounted onto the vehicle to movably and pivotally engage with the support posts. Thereby whatever the implementation approach being selected, when the mast is erected to the highest location, the top end may be fastened by steel cables or rods to link to the distal ends of the upper support posts or lower support posts to form a selected and controlled included angle relative to the mast so that wobbling of the mast may be minimized. Moreover, the included angle may increase as the height of the mast decreases to enhance the steadiness of the mast. Of course, in response to varying of the height of the mast, the length of the steel cables or rods may be selectively adjusted, such as provide a loosening and tightening adjuster to extend or retract the steel cables or rods. In short, the invention provides support posts that have a suitable length, and may be movably installed on and removed from the periphery of the vehicle's roof to effectively control the included angle between the mast and the anchoring members linked to the top end of the mast and directed downwards. By projecting and controlling the included angle, the mast may be erected and anchored on a steady position regardless where the vehicle is stationed.

[0015] The foregoing, as well as additional objects, features and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the invention according to FIG. 1 with the vehicle body omitted.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front view of the support post fastening to a steel cable.

[0019] FIGS. 4 and 5 are fragmentary perspective views of the support post having one end pivotally engaged with a pivotal dock.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the support post with the bottom end fastening to steel cables.

[0021] FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of the steel cables engaging with the mast closed to the top end thereof.

[0022] FIGS. 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 are perspective views of various embodiments of the invention.

[0023] FIGS. 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19 are front views of the embodiments according to FIGS. 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0024] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the invention includes a mast 1 erected from a vehicle body 2. The mast 1 is fastened to a plurality of steel cables 40 at a location closed to the top end thereof. The steel cables 40 are pulled downwards to the ground surface 3 at two sides of the vehicle body 2. The mast 1 is anchored on a roof rack 21 of the vehicle. The periphery of the roof rack 21 engages with a plurality of support posts 5 which are extended in a biased manner towards the ground surface 3. Each support post 5 has a distal end fastened to the steel cable 40 extending downwards from the top end of the mast 1. The distal ends of the support posts 5 on the ground surface 3 also are fastened and linked by similar steel cables 41. Of course, the steel cables 41 linking the bottom ends of the support posts 5 may be substituted by rigid metal rods.

[0025] Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, fastening of the periphery of the roof rack 21 and the support posts 5 preferably has a movable and detachable function to facilitate disassembly of the support posts from the roof rack and storing in the vehicle. The structure may include a pivotal dock 6 on the roof rack 21 that is located on where the support posts 5 are to be installed. The pivotal dock 6 may have a pawl 61 to clip the vehicle roof or screw on the vehicle roof. It has a cavity 62 at the lower end to receive two fulcrums 51 extending from two sides of one end of the support post 5. The fulcrums 51 may be turned in the cavity 62 to adjust the support post 5 to rest on the ground surface in an optimal position to achieve a steady and secured support. As shown in FIG. 3, the support post 5, besides having the extended fulcrums 51 on two sides, also has a plurality of lugs 52 and 52 located on another end especially the one in contact with the ground surface 3. Each of the lugs 52 and 53 has a hole 54 to engage with hooks 70 and 71 fastened to one end of the steel cables 40 and 41 (as shown in FIG. 6).

[0026] In FIGS. 1 and 2, the steel cables 40 are pendent from about the top end of the mast 1. The ends of the steel cables 40 also have hooks 71 to engage with holes 13 formed on a plurality of lugs 12 extending from the bottom side of a top rack 11 (as shown in FIG. 7). To engage the steel cables 40, first, clip the steel cables 40 on the selected lugs, then erect and extend the mast 1 until the steel cables 40 reach the optimal tension and tensile force.

[0027] The anchoring method mentioned above according to the invention may have many variations according to the site and space where the vehicle is stationed. Based on the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, upper support posts 8 corresponding to the number of the support posts 5 may be deployed on the roof rack 21 (referring to FIGS. 8 and 9). The upper support posts 8 are extended upwards and outwards from the roof rack 21. The steel cables 40 are extended downwards from the top end of the mast 1 to link the distal ends of the upper support posts 8, and other steel cables 42 are directed downwards to link about the bottom end of the support posts 5. The distal ends of the upper support posts 8 may also be linked by steel cables 43 (as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11). In this type of structure the outward extended angle of the support posts 5 is smaller than the one shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, thus it occupies a smaller ground area.

[0028] FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate another type of embodiment. The support post and the upper support post form a L-shaped support post 9. The joining end of the L-shaped support post is pivotally engaged with the pivotal dock on the roof rack 21. The distal end of the upper support post 91 of the L-shaped support post 9 may has a pulley 92 mounted thereon to wind around a steel cable 40 which is pendent from the mast 1 and engages a lower support post 93. The lower support posts 93 have ground ends which also may be linked by steel cables 41 as previously discussed. The L-shaped support post 9 has a greater strength than the separated support posts mentioned above. Hence, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the linking steel cable between the upper and the lower support posts 91 and 93 may be dispensed with (as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15) without affecting the anchor steadiness of the mast.

[0029] The embodiments set forth above have support posts that may be directed downwards on the ground surface. However, in some circumstances, the stationed site and space of the vehicles is constrained, such as the parking lots or road side in city areas where extending outward of the support posts are not allowed. To meet such a requirement, another embodiment is illustrated as shown in FIGS. 16 and 17. In this embodiment, only the upper support posts 8 are provided. The distal ends of the upper support posts 8 are fastened to steel cables 40 for linking to the top end of the mast 1, and other steel cables 42 are linked to the chassis 22 of the vehicle body 2. Thus the problem of site constraint may be overcome. The distal ends of the support posts 8 may also be linked and bridged by steel cables 43 and 44 to enhance the steadiness (as shown in FIGS. 18 and 19).

[0030] While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been set forth for the purpose of disclosure, modifications of the disclosed embodiments of the invention as well as other embodiments thereof may occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to cover all embodiments which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.