Title:
Snow removal device and method of snow removal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved hand operated snow removal device is disclosed. The device can be used to quickly remove snow to form a plurality of cleared parallel pathways by pushing the device through the snow and then pulling the device through the snow to clear away any windrows left by the formation of the cleared paths. The device includes a ā€œVā€ shaped plough having an apex and a pair of plough blades extending away from the apex, the plough blades each having a lower edge. A shovel blade is mounted between the plough blades, the shovel blade having a lower edge, the lower edge of the shovel blade and the lower edges of the plough blades being substantially coplanar. The shovel blade has a first side oriented away from the apex. The device also includes a handle for grasping the device and pushing and pulling it through the snow.



Inventors:
Fortino, Vincenzo (Bolton, CA)
Application Number:
10/861413
Publication Date:
12/08/2005
Filing Date:
06/07/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01H5/02; (IPC1-7): E01H5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PETRAVICK, MEREDITH C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Elias Borges (Toronto, CA)
Claims:
1. A hand operated snow removal device comprising: a) a V shaped plough having an apex and a pair of plough blades extending away from the apex, the plough blades each having a lower edge; b) a shovel blade mounted between the plough blades, the shovel blade having a lower edge, the lower edge of the shovel blade and the lower edges of the plough blades being substantially coplanar, the shovel blade having a first side oriented away from the apex, and c) a handle.

2. The hand operated snow removal device of claim 1 wherein the shovel blade has opposite first and second ends, the first end mounted to one of the plough blades and the second end being mounted to the other plough blade.

3. The hand operated snow removal device of claim 2 wherein the shovel blade and the plough blades form a triangular structure.

4. The hand operated snow removal device of claim 1 wherein the plough blades each have opposite first and second sides, the first sides of the plough blades being concave, the concave sides of the blades being oriented forward towards the apex, the shovel blade being positioned opposite the concave sides of the plough blades behind the apex.

5. The hand operated snow removal device of claim 1 wherein the first side of the shovel blade is concave.

6. The hand operated snow removal device of claim 4 wherein the first side of the shovel blade is concave.

7. The hand operated snow removal device of claim 1 wherein the handle extends away from the apex beyond the shovel blade.

8. The hand operated snow removal device of claim 1 wherein the plough blades each have an upper edge and a height between the upper and lower edges of the plough blades and wherein the shovel blade has an upper edge and a height between the upper and lower edge of the shovel blade, the height of the shovel blade being less than the height of the plough blades.

9. The hand operated snow removal device of claim wherein the plough blades and the shovel blade form a chamber immediately behind the apex.

10. A method of removing snow from a surface using the device as defined in claim 1 comprising the steps of: a) clearing a first path through the snow by pushing the snow plough through the snow by hand with the apex of the plough oriented towards the snow, the snow cleared by the plough in clearing the first path forming a windrow on either side of the first path, b) clearing a subsequent path through the snow parallel and adjacent to the first path by pushing the snow plough through the snow by hand with the apex of the plough oriented towards the snow, the snow cleared by the plough in clearing the subsequent path forming a subsequent windrow positioned between the first path and the second path, c) clearing the subsequent windrow between the first and subsequent paths by dragging the snow plough through the windrow with the shovel blade oriented towards the windrow.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to hand operated snow ploughs and methods of using same.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hand operated snow ploughs have been known for quite some time. These snow plough devices usually have a V shaped snow blade mounted on a housing with one or more handles attached to the housing behind the snow blade. To use the snow plough to remove snow from a surface, the user stands behind the V shaped snow blade and grasps the handle. The user then pushes against the handle forcing the snow plough forward with the point of the V shaped blade cutting through the snow. The V shaped snow blade ploughs the snow pushing it to either side of the plough and clearing a path for the user. The snow which was pushed aside by the V shaped snow plough builds up as a windrow on either side of the path cleared by the plough. If the surface is much wider than the blades of the snow plough, then the plough must be turned around and then pushed though the snow again to clear another path adjacent to the first path. The plough must be positioned to scoop up one of the windrows left by the first ploughing operation. Since the blades of the plough are arranged to form a chevron or V shaped plough, the user must position the plough so that the windrow contacts only one side of the V shaped plough. If the point of the V shaped plough were to make contact with the windrow, then the plough would push the snow to either side of the plough, thereby leaving a somewhat smaller windrow of snow in the center of the previously cleared path, which would be counter productive. If the plough is positioned with the windrow aligned with only one side of the V shaped blade, then the windrow would be pushed to one side, leaving the previously cleared path free of snow.

While previously existing hand operated snow ploughs have been around for a long time, their design has prevented their use for most applications. As mentioned above, clearing a path using a traditional V shaped snow plough leaves a windrow on either side of the blade. This is fine if only a single path no wider than the snow plough is to be cleared though the snow. However, if a person wishes to clear a much wider path through the snow, then all subsequent passes of the plough must be oriented to sweep up the windrows left by the previous ploughing operation. This requires the operator to effectively use only half the snow plough, since the plough must be aligned such that the windrow contacts only one side of the V shaped plough. In effect, the first pass of the plough clears a path having a width equal to the width of the plough. Each subsequent pass of the plough, however, clears a path only half as wide as the plough. Furthermore, since only one side of the plough is contacting the snow, significant torsional forces are applied to the plough, forcing the user to apply more force on the handle in order to keep the plough in proper alignment with the windrow. As result, hand operated snow ploughs are rarely used in modern times.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an improved hand operated snow removal device which is able to remove snow to form cleared pathways be either pushing the device through the snow or by pulling on it. The device can be used to quickly remove snow to form a plurality of cleared parallel pathways by pushing the device through the snow and then pulling the device through the snow to clear away any windrows left by the formation of the cleared paths. The device includes a ā€œVā€ shaped plough having an apex and a pair of plough blades extending away from the apex, the plough blades each having a lower edge. A shovel blade is mounted between the plough blades, the shovel blade having a lower edge, the lower edge of the shovel blade and the lower edges of the plough blades being substantially coplanar. The shovel blade has a first side oriented away from the apex. The device also includes a handle for grasping the device and pushing and pulling it through the snow.

With the foregoing in view, and other advantages as will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which this invention relates as this specification proceeds, the invention is herein described by reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, which includes a description of the preferred typical embodiment of the principles of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. is a perspective view of a hand operated snow removal device made in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2. is a schematic representation of the first step in the method of the present invention using the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3. is a schematic representation of a second step in the method of the present invention using the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4. is a schematic representation of a third step in the method of the present invention using the device shown in FIG. 1.

In the drawings like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the different figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring firstly to FIG. 1, a snow plough made in accordance with the present invention, shown generally as item 10, consists of a V shaped plough 12 having apex 14 and plough blades 16 and 18. Plough blades 16 and 18 are oriented to form the V shaped plough. It will be appreciated that plough 12 may be made from two separate plough blades joined together at apex 14 or as a one piece construction. Regardless of whether plough 12 is a single or multi piece construction, plough 12 will have plough blades 16 and 18 which extend away from apex 14. Snow plough 10 also has a shovel blade 20 positioned behind apex 14 and between plough blades 16 and 18. Plough blades 16 and 18 have lower edges 30 and 32, respectively, upper edges 36 and 38, respectively, and concave sides 42 and 44 respectively. Concave sides 42 and 44 are oriented towards the front of the plough towards apex 14.

Shovel blade 20 has lower edge 34, upper edge 39, concave side 24 and opposite ends 26 and 28. Preferably, shovel blade 20 is rigidly connected to blades 16 and 18 at ends 26 and 28, respectively to form a triangular structure having chamber 48 between blade 20 and apex 14. Lower edges 30 and 32 of blades 16 and 18, respectively, and lower edge 34 of blade 20 are all substantially coplanar. The height of blade 16 is defined as the height between lower edge 30 and upper edge 36. Likewise, the height of blade 18 is defined as the height between lower edge 32 and upper edge 38 and the height of blade 20 is defined as the height between lower edge 34 and upper edge 39. The height of blade 20 is less than the height of plough blades 16 and 18.

Handle 22 is mounted to brace 46 which is in turn mounted to blades 16 and 18. Handle 22 extends away from apex 14 beyond and behind blade 20. Handle 22 may also be mounted to blade 20 above top edge 39. Blade 20, being mounted to blades 16 and 18 forms a brace for the plough blades helping to hold the plough blades into the V shape.

Referring now to FIG. 2, an improved method of removing snow from a snow covered surface 50 using the snow removal device of the present invention (shown as item 10) shall now be discussed. The user first grasps handle 22 of snow removal device 10 and pushes the device into the snow in the direction indicated by arrow 58. Plough 12 is oriented such that apex 14 is pointed toward the snow. As path 52 is cleared, windrows 52 and 54 are formed as the snow is pushed aside by plough 12. When the first pass of the ploughing device is finished, a first elongated path 52 is cleared of snow.

Referring now to FIG. 3, after path 52 is cleared a subsequent path 62 is then cleared parallel with and adjacent to path 52 by pushing ploughing device 10 through the snow. Preferably, ploughing device 10 is positioned such that plough 12 does not cut into windrow 56. As plough 12 is pushed into the snow, it forms cleared path 62. Snow pushed to the side of the plough nearest path 52 is piled on top of windrow 56 while the snow pushed to the opposite side of the plough forms windrow 64. Windrow 64 will be substantially parallel with windrow 56. It will be appreciated that since both blades 16 and 18 engage the snow as the plough is forced through the snow, the resistive forces applied by the snow to blade 16 will be substantially equivalent to the resistive forces applied by the snow to blade 18. Since the resistive forces of the snow are substantially balanced between blades 16 and 18 relatively little if any torsional forces tending to turn the plough to the left or right will result. The plough is therefore relatively easy to maneuver.

In FIG. 3, ploughing device 10 is illustrated as being pushed through the snow in the direction indicated by arrow 60. It will be appreciated that an identical path can be cleared adjacent to and parallel with path 52 if the plough travels in the opposite direction. In the example as illustrated, the initial pass of ploughing device 10 commenced from side A, leaving the ploughing device on side B when the first pass is completed. Therefore, it is most convenient to make the subsequent pass starting from side B; however, the user may wish to position the ploughing device on side A again for the subsequent pass. Regardless of which side the user starts ploughing from, when the subsequent pass of the plough is completed, path 62 will extend adjacent to and parallel with path 52 and windrow 56 will separate the two paths.

Referring now to FIG. 4, after adjacent cleared paths 52 and 62 are formed, ploughing device 10 is used to remove intervening windrow 56. Ploughing device 10 is reversed and oriented such that the shovel blade 20 is oriented towards windrow 56 and the device is dragged by pulling on handle 22. If the amount of snow forming windrow 56 is excessive, the snow will spill over blade 20 and into chamber 48. The spilled over snow will accumulate in chamber 48 because plough 12 has a greater height than blade 20. By dragging device 10 in this manner, substantially all of the snow contained in windrow 56 can be removed to one side (either A or B) of area 50.

It will be appreciated that the user may wish to clear a plurality of adjacent parallel paths before removing the intervening windrows. Alternatively, the user may wish to first form two adjacent cleared paths and then remove the intervening windrow between the two paths before proceeding to clear another path. Regardless of which order the user chooses to form the paths, each time the user clears a path the path formed is the width of the plough. Therefore, the present device together with the present method is potentially capable of removing snow no less than twice as fast as the prior art methods of snow removal where only the first path is made using the entire width of the plough.

A specific embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed; however, several variations of the disclosed embodiment could be envisioned as within the scope of this invention. It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.