Title:
Jack fence
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular non-combustible self supporting fencing system made up of modular combinations of vertical supports and horizontal crossbars that are configured to interconnect to form stable connecting structures for use in a variety of soil types and in a variety of varied conditions, thus reducing the number of types of pieces required to assemble the structure and increasing the functionality of the device. The fencing system allows for durable, relatively maintenance free fencing in a variety of locations that is simple to install and requires little or no maintenance. The device can be installed without the use of tools by unskilled labor in a quick and efficient manner.



Inventors:
Gumb, Tyler T. (Twin Falls, ID, US)
Application Number:
10/428404
Publication Date:
11/04/2004
Filing Date:
05/01/2003
Assignee:
GUMB TYLER T.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01K3/00; E04H17/14; (IPC1-7): E04H17/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARCIA, ERNESTO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRANK J. DYKAS (BOISE, ID, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A fencing system for restricting livestock from accessing a selected area comprising: at least two vertical support structures, each of said vertical support structures having a first post with at least one connection bracket connected thereto and a second post configured to support said first post in a selected vertical orientation; and at least one crossbar, said crossbar having a first end configured to connect with a connection bracket from a first vertical support structure and a second end configured to connect with a connection bracket from a second vertical support structure, said first and second vertical support structures configured to suspend said crossbar in a desired vertical position.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein said vertical support structures are configured to position said first post in a non perpendicular orientation with regard to a generally horizontal base surface.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein said vertical support structure is comprised of a first piece of steel tubing having a first length and a second piece of steel tubing having a second length, said first piece of steel tubing have a plurality of connection brackets connected thereto, said second piece of steel tubing welded to said first piece of steel tubing in such a manner so as to maintain said first piece of steel tubing in a desired vertical orientation.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein said connection brackets are comprised of a first piece of steel tubing having a first diameter, said first piece of steel tubing connected to said first upright vertical support structure.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein said crossbars are pieces of steel tubing that are configured for placement upon said first pieces of steel tubing within said connection brackets.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein said first posts of said vertical support structures are configured to be supported by said second posts of said vertical support structures in an orientation wherein said first posts are vertically positioned at an angle of less than ninety degrees from horizontal.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein said crossbars are connected to said connection brackets by sliding a portion of said connection bracket within a hollow portion of said crossbar.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein said connection brackets are hollow and are configured to receive a portion of said crossbar therein.

9. A modular non-combustible fencing system for use in remote areas, said fencing system configured to be assembled in a desired location without the use of tools comprising: a first end post assembly, said first end post assembly having a first vertical post and a first support post, said first support post configured to maintain said first vertical post in a desired vertical position less than ninety degrees from horizontal, said first end post having at least two end connection brackets, said end connection brackets connected to said first vertical post and extending in a first direction from said first end post, said end connection brackets configured to connect with a hollow portion of a crossbar; a plurality of crossbars, said crossbars having hollow ends, each of said hollow ends configured to receive a portion of a connection bracket therein; a plurality of intermediate posts, each of said intermediate posts having a vertical post, a support post and at least two intermediate connection brackets, said vertical post and said support posts configured to maintain said vertical post in a desired position, wherein said vertical post is positioned less than ninety degrees from horizontal, said intermediate connection brackets are connected to said vertical post and extend in a first direction and in a second direction from said intermediate posts, said end connection brackets configured to connect with a hollow portion of said crossbars; and a second end post, said second end post having a vertical post and a support post connected in a desired orientation wherein said vertical support post is maintained in a desired vertical position less than ninety degrees from horizontal, said second end posts having at least two second end connection brackets, said second end connection brackets connected to said vertical support posts and extending in a second direction from said vertical post; wherein said posts and said crossbars are connectable by sliding a portion of said crossbar over a portion of said connection bracket so that said crossbars provide horizontal support to said posts and said posts provide vertical support to said crossbars thus forming a fence.

10. The system of claim 9 wherein said posts are comprised of a first piece of steel tubing having a first length and a second piece of steel tubing having a second length, said first piece of steel tubing have a plurality of connection brackets connected thereto, said second piece of steel tubing welded to said first piece of steel tubing in such a manner so as to maintain said first piece of steel tubing in a desired vertical orientation.

11. The system of claim 9 wherein said connection brackets are comprised of a first piece of steel tubing having a first diameter, said first piece of steel tubing connected to said first upright vertical support structure.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein said crossbars are pieces of steel tubing that are configured for placement upon said first pieces of steel tubing of said connection brackets.

13. The system of claim 11 wherein said first posts of said vertical support structures are configured to be supported by said second posts of said vertical support structures in an orientation wherein said first posts are vertically positioned at an angle of less than ninety degrees from horizontal.

14. The system of claim 11 wherein said crossbars are connected to said connection brackets by sliding a portion of said connection bracket within a hollow portion of said crossbar.

15. The system of claim 11 wherein said crossbars are connected to said connection brackets by sliding a portion of said crossbar within said connection bracket.

16. The system of claim 11 wherein said first end post and said second end post are further supported by a wire tensioning device.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to modular fencing systems, and more particularly to a durable non-combustible modular fencing system that is configured for assembly without the use of tools.

[0003] 2. Background Information

[0004] In vast open areas such as the western portions of the United States, large tracts of open land exist. This land is utilized for a variety of purposes by a variety of persons. At times, the various ways that this land is utilized can create undesired consequences. One of the uses of these large portions of land is for grazing cattle or other types of livestock. While grazing these livestock upon these open spaces is beneficial in many ways, the livestock, if left unchecked, can produce many problems and create damage to the land. One example is the effect that livestock can have on water such as creeks, rivers, and streams. As the livestock enters and exits these areas, the animals stir up the bottoms, break down the banks, and may defecate or otherwise contaminate the stream. This can cause particular irreparable harm to the stream bed and aquatic life, and cause erosion of the surrounding stream banks. Furthermore, this can cause a variety of health hazards to both humans and animals that may access the stream or creek for use. In addition to these problems, allowing cattle into sensitive areas such as stream banks and recently burned areas can prevent the re-growth of desired plant life and can lead to increased levels of destruction of the soils and plants.

[0005] In the past, a variety of ways and methods have been utilized to attempt to keep cattle from entering streams and to maintain cattle in desired areas upon the rangeland. Among these systems is the use of fences such as post and barbed wire fences. A post and barbed wire fence is made up of a plurality of vertical pieces, usually wooden posts, that have a portion buried within the ground. A fencing wire, such as barbed wire, is then connected to the posts and is tightened to provide a barrier between the posts. These barbed wire fences are then used to traverse an area and provide a barrier preventing cattle from entering into the sensitive areas.

[0006] One problem with such types of fences is that they require that a hole be dug in order to place the post in a desired position. This requires a significant amount of time and effort as the holes must be dug into the earth, the posts placed within the holes, and the area surrounding the posts refilled in order to support the posts in place. This process can be quite time consuming if utilizing manual labor and in some instances such as when the soil is wet or hard, or when the fence must pass over rocks these posts cannot be utilized and placed in these locations.

[0007] Typically placing a barbed wire fence requires digging the post hole in order to drive the post into the ground, placing the post into the ground, securing the post, placing the barbed wire upon the post, tightening the wire, fastening the wire, and then moving onto the next post where the same procedure must be repeated. This procedure is time intensive and costly. Another problem with these types of fences is that the fences must be checked regularly so as to ensure that the fence has not been broken down or developed a hole within it that would allow an animal to move into an area where it is not desired that the animal wander.

[0008] A variety of natural occurrences limit the application and efficacy of such fences. In areas where the ground freezes hard and deep and does not thaw for a significant period of time, it is very difficult or nearly impossible to place posts into the ground. In addition, in these areas as the water content of the soil fluctuates and the ground freezes and thaws, the ground itself will heave. In some instances, this heaving of the ground can cause the fence posts to become loose or fall down. When this occurs, the fence is no longer viable as a means of keeping cattle from entering the undesired areas. Another problem with barbed wire fences is that wood can rot from being continuously wet. When this wood rots, posts fall and the fence will become useless. In addition, range fires which are a common occurrence in some locations can destroy the fences thus allowing livestock access to sensitive areas such as the recently burned out areas.

[0009] Another disadvantage of placing the prior art type of fences is the cost involved in installing and maintaining the fences in a desired location. In addition to the cost of placing the fence posts and the fences themselves, there is a requirement of additional costs as persons with experience and expertise must be utilized to over see the fence placing project as well as to check and repair the fences in the event of damage.

[0010] Therefore, what is needed is a fencing system that can be used upon a variety of surfaces including wet ground, hard ground, rocks, and ledges, that provides a durable and effective fencing system for preventing animals from entering into sensitive areas. What is also needed is such a fencing system that can be quickly and easily installed by unskilled labor and requires a minimum amount of tools for assembly. What is also needed is a fencing system that provides reliable, durable fencing protection in light of a variety of elements, including fires, floods, cold, etc, and that requires little or no maintenance once installed.

[0011] Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide a modular, non-combustible fencing system that can be used on a variety of surfaces, including wet ground, hard ground, rocks, ledge, and that can be set in place utilizing relatively unskilled labor without the use of tools. It is a further object of the invention to provide a non-combustible fencing material that can withstand a variety of natural and phenomenon elements, including, but not limited to, fire, water, and wind.

[0012] Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The present invention is a modular non-combustible fencing system configured to be used in remote areas upon a variety of soil types and conditions. The fencing system allows for durable, relatively maintenance free fencing in a variety of locations that is simple to install and requires little or no maintenance. The device can be installed without the use of tools by unskilled labor in a quick and efficient manner. The fencing system is also configured to be assembled in a desired location without the use of tools.

[0014] The fencing system is made up of modular combinations of vertical supports and horizontal crossbars. Each of the vertical supports has a vertical leg having a plurality of brackets attached to it and a support leg that maintains the vertical leg in a desired position and orientation of preferably less than ninety degrees from vertical. The horizontal crossbars are configured to be suspended between the vertical supports by placement upon the brackets. For increased ease of use, the brackets and the horizontal crossbars are configured to be generally similar and universally compatible, thus reducing the number of types of pieces required to assemble the structure and in turn increases the functionality of the device.

[0015] In one embodiment of the invention, a first vertical post is configured to be placed upon the ground or other surface and is supported in a desired vertical position of generally less than ninety degrees from vertical by a first support post. This first vertical post has at least one connecting bracket attached to it. This connecting bracket extends away from the vertical support post and is configured to connect with and suspend one end of a crossbar thereupon. The crossbar extends from a first end that is configured to connect with a first bracket to a second end that is configured to connect with a second bracket. A second post and accompanying brackets are configured to connect with a second crossbar in a manner that is substantially the same as the connection between the first crossbar and the first vertical support. This second post is also configured to connect with a third crossbar which extends along a length to a third post. The fence is formed successively as the support posts and the crossbars are successively interconnected to form the fencing sections sufficient to cover the desired distance. In some embodiments, some of the vertical supports and the positioning of the brackets may be variously embodied to form ends or corners for the fencing sections.

[0016] The connection between the brackets and the crossbars can be accomplished in a variety of ways. This includes embodiments where the brackets include a portion that slides within the ends of the crossbars as well as embodiments where the crossbars slide within portions of the brackets. The combinations and configurations for connection between the brackets and the crossbars can be accomplished in a variety of ways. This includes embodiments where the sliding of the bracket and the crossbars is done in a vertical or a horizontal direction. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the posts are comprised of steel tubing of desired gauges and thicknesses that provide desired characteristics of non-combustibility together with reliable resistively to the present invention.

[0017] This fencing system can be put in place easily because all of the individual pieces are modular. Therefore once formed, the pieces can be moved to the desired location and set in place. Since the connection between the brackets and the crossbars is accomplished by sliding the materials, no tools are needed and can be performed by relatively unskilled labor in a quick and efficient manner. Because the fence that is formed is self supporting and made of a non-combustible heat resistant material, it requires little or no additional maintenance.

[0018] Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measure by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

[0019] Still other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description wherein I have shown and described only the preferred embodiment of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description of the preferred embodiment are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive in nature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred first embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a detailed view of the end posts of the preferred embodiment.

[0022] FIG. 3 is a detailed perspective view of the intermediate posts, the bracket portions, and the connection brackets of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0023] FIG. 4 is a detailed view of the first end portion of the present invention showing the connection of the crossbars to the connection brackets.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0024] While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

[0025] FIGS. 1-4 show a preferred first embodiment of the present invention. Referring first to FIG. 1, a perspective view of a portion of the present invention is shown. While in this Figure two sections of fence are shown, it is to be understood that the embodiment shown in this Figure is merely intended to be illustrative in nature. The invention is not limited thereto, but may be variously embodied to obtain fence lengths equal to the desired specifications of the user.

[0026] The fencing system is made up of a first end post assembly 20, a plurality of intermediate post assemblies 40, and a second end post assembly 50. These post assemblies 20, 40, 50 are interconnected by crossbars 30 which form the lateral lengths of the fence and assist to provide vertical support to the post assemblies 20, 40, 50. Fence sections and the fences themselves are formed by repeatedly forming sections by connecting the crossbars 30 to the post assemblies 20, 40, 50, through the brackets (shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 4).

[0027] The first end post assembly 20 is made up of a first vertical post 22 and a first support post 24. The first support post 24 is configured to support the first vertical posts 22 in a desired position. Preferably, this position is less than ninety degrees from horizontal. This configuration allows for increased stability of the vertical sections 22, and allows for increased stability of the overall fencing portion against forces against the fence, such as cattle, livestock or other animals. Attached to the first vertical post 22 are at least two end connection brackets 26 (shown in FIG. 2). In this embodiment, three connection brackets are used in as much as a three rail fence is desired. The number of connection brackets 26 can be varied according to the selected necessities of the user. In this embodiment, these connection brackets 26 are pieces of steel tubing having a gauge or diameter less than the internal of the generally hollow crossbars 30. The connection brackets 26 are connected to the vertical posts 22 by welding. In addition, a hasp 28 may be utilized to cover the connection bracket and reinforce the connection between the connection bracket 26 and the vertical post 20. A detailed illustration of this first end post 20 is shown in FIG. 2.

[0028] The connection brackets 26 on the first end post 20 are configured to extend only in a first direction away from the first vertical posts 22. In use, an individual would connect a crossbar 30, which has a first hollow end 32, to one of the end connection brackets 26. This is done by sliding a portion of the brackets 26 into the first hollow end 32 of a crossbar 30. A detailed drawing of this feature is shown in FIG. 4. By inserting the end connection bracket 26 within the hollow end portion of the crossbar 30, the end post 20 and the crossbar 30 are connected. The crossbars 30 are similarly connected to all of the first end post connection brackets 26. While three crossbars 30 are shown in the present invention, thus indicating three rails, it is to be distinctly understood that the present invention is not limited thereto, but may be variously embodied and modified to arrange a fencing structure having a desired configuration.

[0029] The crossbars 30 extend from the first end post 20 to another post. If only a short section of fence is desired, this next post may be a second end post 50. If, however, a longer length is desired, the crossbars would then extend to an intermediate post 40. An intermediate post 40 is comprised of a vertical post 42, a support post 44, and three intermediate connection brackets 46. The intermediate posts 40 have bi-axially extending connection brackets that extend in both a first direction and a second direction, thus allowing these intermediate posts 40 to support and connect crossbar rails as they extend from the first end post 20 towards the second end post 50. A detailed view of an intermediate post 40, together with its associated connection brackets, is shown in FIG. 3 of the present invention.

[0030] The intermediate vertical post 42 is supported in a generally vertical position of less than a straight up ninety degrees by the support post 44. The intermediate connection brackets 44 extend in a first direction and in a second direction and are configured to connect a pair of crossbars 30 along a generally parallel line. Like the first end connection brackets 26, the second end connection brackets 56 and the intermediate connection brackets 46 are configured to be made out of pieces of steel tubing having a diameter less than the internal diameter of the generally hollow crossbars 30. This allows the crossbars 30 to receive the connection brackets 26, 46, 56 within and to hold these crossbars 30 in a desired orientation and vertical position. Any number of crossbars 30 and intermediate posts 40 may be repeatedly connected so as to achieve a fence having a desired length.

[0031] When a last section of fence is placed, the fence is terminated in the preferred embodiment by connecting a set of crossbars 30 to a second end post assembly 50. The second end post assembly 50 is configured to be a mirror image of the first end post 20. The second end post 50 has a vertical post 52 and a support post 54. The support post is configured to hold the support post in a desired orientation, preferably less than ninety degrees from horizontal. Second end connection brackets 56 extend in a second direction away from the second end post 50 toward the intermediate posts 40. Like the first end post connection brackets 26 and the intermediate post connection brackets 46, the second end post connection brackets 56 are pieces of steel tubing that are configured to be received within a portion of the generally hollow crossbar 30.

[0032] In this preferred embodiment, the end post assemblies 20 and 50 can each be further supported by a system such as guide wires or other anchoring devices that hold the fence in a desired position and provide an anchoring support to the device. Such anchoring devices include cementing the posts into the ground, and/or attaching the posts to a fixed portion such as a stone or other forms of attachment. These anchoring devices further allow the fencing sections to be maintained in desired locations and positions.

[0033] In order to increase the efficiencies of constructing this device, the first end posts, the second end posts, and the intermediate post are all manufactured to be made of the same type of materials, have the same number of brackets, and have vertical posts and support legs of the same length. Likewise, all of the crossbars 30 are made of the same dimensioned material as are all of the connection brackets. This allows the device to be constructed in a simple manner and alleviates problems of shortage which may arise when dealing with non-compatible pieces and parts. In addition, the materials from which these devices are made are welded steel, which has the resistivity properties both to withstand fire, wind, and water. In addition to the embodiment as shown, it is also to be understood that this material may also be galvanized or otherwise coated in order to provide increased resistively properties.

[0034] The present invention can be variously modified for a variety of types of uses based upon the types of animals that are sought to be controlled. For example, if cattle are intended to be fenced in or out, the dimensions of the posts would be so that the posts would be between four and six feet in height and would utilize two or three rails so as to prevent the cattle from passing through the fence. In other applications where sheep are concerned, the crossbars may need to be closer together and be greater in number so as to prevent the sheep from passing through the fence. In other applications where more athletic animals such as deer or elk are concerned, the fences may need to be higher. Suitable adaptations based upon the disclosed system may be variously embodied to conform to the needs of the user, such modifications are also included with in the scope of the present invention.

[0035] In addition to the embodiments that are described in the present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is limited thereto but may be embodied in a variety of other forms and features without deviating from the scope of the present invention. While there is shown and described in the present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that this invention is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of the following claims. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.