Title:
Land anchor having up-slide hammer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A land anchor device that is configured for external driving with a hammer or the like and self-contained extraction with an up-slide hammer member. Among other benefits, weight, bulk and cost-of-manufacture are reduced by a land anchor device in accordance with the present invention. The device may include a drive stake having a continuous drive member from striking surface to tip, any of and various cross-sectional configurations. The handle arrangements facilitate easy-of-use. The device includes an auger accessory. Various embodiments and fabrication materials and methods are disclosed.



Inventors:
Shearer, Kenneth Owen (Florence, OR, US)
Application Number:
10/865982
Publication Date:
12/15/2005
Filing Date:
06/11/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02D5/74; E02D7/22; E02D9/02; (IPC1-7): E02D5/74
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIGUEROA, LUZ ADRIANA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Steven J. Sullivan (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A land anchor device, comprising: a drive stake having an exposed striking surface and an insertion tip, said drive stake including a substantially continuous member from said striking surface to said insertion tip; a hammer member provided substantially below said striking surface, said hammer member configured for movement along said stake; a first handle member coupled to said hammer member for manual movement of said hammer member by a user; and an extraction anvil coupled to said stake substantially between said striking surface and said hammer member.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said stake has a substantially square lateral cross-sectional configuration.

3. The device of claim 1, further comprising a second handle member, said first and second handle members being disposed on substantially opposing sides of said hammer member and configured to have a horizontal dimension that is at least two times their vertical dimension.

4. The device of claim 1, further comprising grip material provided on said first handle member.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein said hammer member is provided wholly below said striking surface.

6. The device of claim 1, further comprising a hand guard member coupled to said first handle member to inhibit movement of a user's hand into a location between said hammer member and said extraction anvil.

7. The device of claim 1, further comprising an auger member coupled to said stake.

8. The device of claim 7, wherein said auger member is releasably coupled to said stake.

9. A land anchor device, comprising: a drive stake having an exposed striking surface and an insertion tip; a hammer member configured for movement along said stake; a first handle member coupled to said hammer member for manual movement of said hammer member by a user; and an extraction anvil coupled to said stake substantially between said striking surface and said hammer member; wherein said stake has a non-circular lateral cross-sectional configuration.

10. The device of claim 9, wherein said stake has two or more longitudinally disposed sides that are substantially flat.

11. The device of claim 9, wherein said stake has a lateral cross-sectional configuration that is rectangular, including square.

12. The device of claim 9, wherein said stake has a lateral cross-sectional configuration that is longer than wide.

13. The device of claim 9, wherein said hammer member is provided below said striking surface.

14. The device of claim 9, wherein said stake includes a substantially continuous member from said striking surface to said insertion tip.

15. The device of claim 9, further comprising a second handle member, said first and second handle members being disposed on substantially opposing sides of said hammer member and configured to have a horizontal dimension that is at least two times their vertical dimension.

16. The device of claim 9, further comprising grip material provided on said first handle member.

17. The device of claim 1, further comprising an auger member coupled to said stake.

18. A land anchor device, comprising: a drive stake having an exposed striking surface and an insertion tip, said drive stake including a substantially continuous member from said striking surface to said insertion tip; a hammer member provided substantially below said striking surface, said hammer member configured for movement along said stake; a first handle member coupled to said hammer member for manual movement of said hammer member by a user; and an extraction anvil coupled to said stake substantially between said striking surface and said hammer member; wherein said stake has a non-circular lateral cross-sectional configuration.

19. The device of claim 18, further comprising a second handle member, said first and second handle members being disposed on substantially opposing sides of said hammer member and configured to have a horizontal dimension that is at least two times their vertical dimension.

20. The device of claim 18, wherein said stake has a lateral cross-sectional configuration that is rectangular, including square.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to land anchors and similar devices that are designed to be driven into the earth to anchor an item and also for removal when no longer needed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The prior art teaches several land anchor devices including those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,806,453; 6,481,364; and 6,606,829, among others. The present invention is an improvement over these devices in many ways including, but not limited to, being significantly less expensive to manufacture, relatively lightweight, capable of being more rapidly driven into the ground, and configured to more steadfastly hold its position once driven into the ground.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,806,453, issued to Cook for a Land Anchor Device, teaches a relatively complicated slide hammer arrangement that provides up and down hammering and includes a large number of components. The handle has a limited range of motion and is configured for removable attachment. The large number of components makes the device disadvantageously expensive to manufacture and more prone to mechanical failure.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,481,364, issued to Woyjeck for an Anchoring Device and Methods of Use, teaches a device having a cylindrical hammer assembly that encompass the top half or more of the drive stake and stabilizing fins that extend from the bottom portion of the stake. The long cylindrical hammer and to perhaps a lesser extent the fins add disadvantageously to the bulk, weight and cost of manufacture of the device.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,606,829, issued to Benincasa et al., teaches a device that is collapsible. The “runner” or handle shaft member may be slid into the “anchor body” permitting the device to be compressed in size for stowing, etc. While this feature may be desirable to some users, it represents a trend in land anchor devices to include a multiplicity of components, to be expensive to manufacture and to have relatively limited drivability due to inherent design limitations (for example, the inherent structural compromises of the '829 design) and a limited range of motion of the hammer.

A need thus exists for a land anchor device that is configured in a manner that has relatively few parts, is inexpensive to manufacture, is relatively lightweight, can be driven quickly and efficiently to a secure position, is configured to more steadfastly hold a position once driven into the ground, and can be readily removed when desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a land anchor device that overcomes one or more of the shortcomings of the prior art including being lesser in weight, bulk and/or cost-of-manufacture.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a land anchor device that is configured for driving by an external force and being extracted by a self-contained mechanism.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a land anchor device that has a non-circular lateral cross-sectional configuration.

These and related objects of the present invention are achieved by use of a land anchor having up-slide hammer as described herein.

In one of many embodiments, the present invention may include a drive stake having a striking surface and an insertion tip. The drive stake may include a continuous member from the striking surface to the tip to efficiently transfer a driving force to the tip. The extraction anvil is preferably positioned below the striking surface and a hammer member is provided that may be moved upward along the drive stake into contact with the extraction anvil to deliver an upward or de-anchoring force to the device.

Various embodiments, features and materials are included in the present invention.

The attainment of the foregoing and related advantages and features of the invention should be more readily apparent to those skilled in the art, after review of the following more detailed description of the invention taken together with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 and 2 are respectively an elevation view and a top view of one embodiment of a land anchor device with up-slide hammer device in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 3-5 are side views and FIG. 6 is an end view illustrating one embodiment of assembly of the extraction hammer and handle arrangement of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a side view of a stop member of the land anchor device of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 8-10 are a side view and two top views of auger members in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 11a-11c are lateral cross-sectional views of representative alternative embodiments of a drive stake in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an elevation view and a top view of one embodiment of a land anchor with up-slide hammer device 10 in accordance with the present invention is shown.

Device 10 includes a drive stake 20 that is configured for being driven into the ground or other anchoring medium. An extraction anvil 22 is preferably coupled to the stake near a top portion thereof. An extraction hammer 30 is preferably provided below the extraction anvil and configured for upward movement along stake 20 in the direction of arrows A. Upward movement of hammer 30 into contact with extraction anvil 22 delivers an extraction force to the anvil (and hence stake 20), causing the stake to be extracted from its anchoring medium. A stop member 24 is preferably provided on stake 20 below extraction anvil 22 to maintain hammer 30 at a convenient location for being grasped by a user.

Hammer 30 preferably includes a hammer head 31 and a pair of handles 34. Hand guards 35 are preferably provided by or on handles 34 in such a manner as to prevent a user's hand or fingers from moving into a position where they might get pinched between hammer head 31 and anvil 22.

In use, device 10 is configured for being driven by an external force, for example, a hammer and preferably a sledge hammer. A conventional 5 or 6 lbs. sledge hammer is a suitable driving tool for the approximately 40″ version or the like described below, though other sized hammers may be used (and other sized land anchor devices in accordance with the present invention may be formed). The top or “strike receiving surface” 21 of stake 20 is configured to receive the driving blow of the sledge. As a continuous linear member or the like, stake 20 transfers a blow delivered to striking surface 21 through to the distally located drive tip 26, thereby driving stake 20 into the ground or other medium. Note that tip 26 is preferably pointed or otherwise configured to facilitate being driven into the ground.

Extraction anvil 22 may be provided slightly below striking surface 21. In this arrangement, drive blows are delivered directly to the striking surface. With repeated use, striking surface 21 may mushroom over onto parts of the extraction anvil.

The present invention strategically supports the combination of external driving to secure the land anchor to land and non-external driving for removal. Typically, the most significant challenge in using a land anchor is driving it into the ground. Use of an external hammer or the like facilitates greater efficacy in driving because a hammer or the like can deliver more momentum than prior art down slide hammers. The increased momentum is attributable to the greater range of motion of the hammer, the positioning of the hammer relative to a user that permits a user to put more force in a blow, and the weight of the hammer head which is often heavier than a prior art land anchor hammer head.

In addition, by eliminating the down hammer components found in prior art devices, the land anchor of the present invention is lighter and less bulky than those devices.

Stake 20 may be formed of a sturdy, rigid material such as various metallic materials (with corrosion protection, if necessary). Suitable material, depending on use conditions, include steel (stainless and non-stainless), aluminum and other metals and alloys thereof. It should also be recognized that non-metal materials that are sufficiently sturdy may also be used. In one embodiment, stake 20 is formed of 1″ square steel stock and cut to a length of approximately 40″. The steel stock in this exemplary embodiment preferably has a yield strength of approximately 36K pounds and a tensile strength of approximately 58K to 80K pounds. A stake of this size is designed for use in anchoring a house boat or small plane or the like. For anchoring smaller devices such as smaller water craft and the like, a smaller sized version of device 10 may be used and/or lighter weight materials such as aluminum, etc., may be utilized. In addition, material such as stainless steel may be used for stake 20 and/or other device components for a higher end product or to obtain a given aesthetic appearance.

Referring to FIGS. 3-6, assembly of extraction hammer 30 is illustrated. While FIGS. 3-6 illustrate one manner of manufacture the hammer and handle assembly, it should be recognized that other manners of manufacture may be employed without departing from the present invention.

Handles 34 may be formed of cylindrical pieces of steel or other suitable shapes and materials. In one embodiment, the individual handles 34 are made of 1″ diameter steel rods cut to lengths of approximately 6″. A corner of each of the rods is preferably notched as shown to receive hammer head 31. Hammer head 31 may be formed as a circular (or otherwise shaped) member with a preferably centered square hole (matching the geometry of stake 20). In one embodiment, hammer head 31 has a height of ½″ and a diameter of 3″ and is stamped out of flat plate steel.

Extraction anvil 22 may have substantially the same dimensions as hammer head 31 and be formed in substantially the same manner. Accordingly, a top view of hammer head 31 may look substantially like anvil 22 as shown in FIG. 2.

Handles 34 are preferably welded to hammer head 31 on opposite sides to achieve the arrangement shown in FIG. 4. Hand guards 35 are preferably coupled to each of handles 34. While the guards may be made of any suitable materials, in one embodiment, they are formed of steel washers that are welded to handles 34 at the appropriate locations. FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of one embodiment of a guard 36 mounted to a handle 34. The relative position of hammer head 31 is also shown.

Handles 34 may then be covered with a rubber or like material that provides better grip and/or shock absorption. These grips 36 may be provided through various manners known in the art, including dipping into a suitable grip material, gluing the grip material in place, spraying on the grip material, etc. Note that the metallic components of the device are preferably powder coated (assuming this is necessary based on the type of metal used), and the powder coating is preferably applied before application of the grip material.

FIG. 7 illustrates stop member 24. Stop member 24 may be formed in various ways. In one embodiment, stop member 24 is formed of a hollow cylinder having an inner diameter that can fit around the preferably square stake. The stop member is preferably made of a metallic material and welded to stake 20.

Referring to FIGS. 8-9, an elevation view and a plan view of an auger member 50 in accordance with the present invention are respectively shown. Auger member 50 is preferably configured to fit over a bottom region 28 of stake 20 (see FIG. 1). The auger member may include a shaft 51 and an auger blade 52 welded to or otherwise formed with the shaft. Auger blades are know in the art. Shaft 51 preferably has a lateral cross-sectional geometry that is complementary to stake 20 so as to readily fit over the stake yet securely engage it. Complementary holes 29 and 59 may respectively be formed in the stake and auger member for removable insertion of a locking pin 61 or other removable device. Note that other releasable attachment schemes could be used without deviating from the present invention. Many releasable schemes are known in the art. The shaft section 53 at which mounting hole 59 is located is preferably double walled for reinforcement.

Shaft 51 may b3 formed of any suitable material, including steel, other metals or other rigid durable materials. Suitable materials for auger blade and shafts are known in the art.

FIG. 9 illustrates the top edge 55 of auger blade 52, shaft 51 and mounting hole 59.

Referring to FIG. 10, a top plan view of another embodiment of an auger member 60 in accordance with the present invention. Auger member 60 includes a shaft 61 that in lateral cross-section has a substantially square interior 64 and a substantially circular exterior 66. The auger blade 62, attachment hole 69 and other features are substantially as described above for auger member 50 of FIGS. 8 and 9. The circular exterior may reduce the drag associated with turning the auger member.

In use, auger member 50 (and 60) permits insertion and secure retention of land anchor 10 in a sandy or like substrate such as on a beach. The auger member is attached to the bottom of stake 20 and horizontally disposed handles 34 provide leverage to screw the land anchor into the ground. The position of handles 34 provide good leverage for operating the land anchor in this manner. To remove the anchor, the handles are turned in the opposite direction. The provision of auger member 50 (and 60 and the like) increases the versatility of the land anchor of the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 11A-11C, representative, but not limiting, alternative embodiments for the lateral cross-sectional configuration of a drive stake in accordance with the present invention are shown. Each of these embodiments are non-circular, making the drive stake more difficult to turn in an anchoring medium. FIG. 11A illustrates a substantially triangular configuration 81, while FIG. 11B illustrate a substantially polygonal configuration (hexoganal) 82 and FIG. 11C illustrates a more amorphous curved shape (hour-glass like) 83 with recessed side portions. The embodiments of both FIGS. 11B and 11C are longer (i.e., deeper) than wide.

With respect to other features of a land anchor in accordance with the present invention, stake 20 may have any lateral cross-sectional configuration. The device of FIGS. 1-2 and 8 illustrates a square configuration, though it should be recognized that a triangular, hexagon, circular, rectangular or other shape may be used. The use of a square shape (or triangular or the like) provides a stake that is less likely to turn in the anchoring medium once it is driven in. Circular shaped stakes tend to turn more readily than square or triangular shapes and this may lead to the stake loosening its position more quickly.

It should also be recognized that stake 20 may be formed of any length. Some different length embodiments are discussed above.

It should also be recognized that while handles 34 are configured in an arrangement that facilitates attachment of an anchoring rope or the like, supplemental cleats or loops or the like may be coupled to a land anchor device 10 in any of its various embodiments.

While the invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention and the limits of the appended claims.