Title:
Umbrella base with wheels
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An umbrella base is provided for use with a patio umbrella. The umbrella base has a base shell, a shaft coupled to the base shell for receiving the pole of the patio umbrella, and at least one wheel assembly coupled to the base shell.



Inventors:
Bilotti, Alfred J. (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/942497
Publication Date:
03/16/2006
Filing Date:
09/15/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/129, 135/44
International Classes:
A45B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond Sun (Tustin, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An assembly, comprising: a patio umbrella having a pole; and an umbrella base having: a base shell; a shaft coupled to the base shell for receiving the pole; and at least one wheel assembly coupled to the base shell.

2. The assembly of claim 1, further including at least one foot coupled to the base shell, wherein the at least one foot has the same height as the at least one wheel assembly.

3. The assembly of claim 2, wherein there are three feet and one wheel assembly positioned in spaced apart manner about the base shell.

4. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one wheel assembly includes: a bracket coupled to the base shell; and a wheel rotatably secured to the bracket.

5. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the base shell has a bottom surface, and the at least one wheel assembly is coupled to the bottom surface under the base shell.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to outdoor and patio umbrellas, and in particular, to an umbrella base that is adapted for use in supporting outdoor and patio umbrellas.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Outdoor patio umbrellas have become increasingly popular as more and more people are beginning to conduct more outdoor activities. For example, outdoor dinner parties and events are becoming more common, and patio umbrellas have been useful in providing shade to tables and chairs that have been placed outdoors for these events.

In this regard, it is often necessary to move the patio umbrellas from one location to another. In other words, mobility of a patio umbrella has been important as this mobility enhances the utility and value of a patio umbrella. Unfortunately, the patio umbrella itself is very heavy, and the base on which the patio umbrella is supported is usually even heavier than the patio umbrella. It is difficult for a single person to move a patio umbrella and its base, and the task often requires two or more people.

Thus, there remains a need to provide a patio umbrella that can be conveniently moved around.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a patio umbrella that can be conveniently moved around.

To accomplish the above objectives, the present invention provides an umbrella base for use with a patio umbrella. The umbrella base has a base shell, a shaft coupled to the base shell for receiving the pole of the patio umbrella, and at least one wheel assembly coupled to the base shell. The wheel assembly can be provided under the base shell to remain hidden and unobstrusive, which also minimizes the tripping of a person over the wheel assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an umbrella base according to one embodiment of the present invention shown in use with a conventional patio umbrella.

FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the umbrella base of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the umbrella base of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side plan view of the wheel assembly of the umbrella base of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a front plan view of the wheel assembly of the umbrella base of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a side plan view of the umbrella base of FIG. 1 shown with the umbrella base being tilted upwardly for transportation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following detailed description is of the best presently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating general principles of embodiments of the invention. The scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

FIGS. 1-3 illustrate an umbrella base 10 according to one embodiment of the present invention. The umbrella base 10 has a generally circular base shell 12 having a cylindrical shaft 14 extending from about the center of the top surface 16 thereof. The cylindrical shaft 14 has a cylindrical bore that is adapted to receive the bottom portion of the pole 18 of a conventional patio umbrella. A threaded bolt 22 extends through an opening (not shown) in the shaft 14 so that the bolt 22 can be adjusted to press against the pole 18, thereby securing the pole 18 inside the bore of the shaft 14.

A plurality of feet 24 are provided in spaced-apart manner around the bottom surface 26 of the base shell 12. A wheel assembly 28 is also provided on the bottom surface 26 of the base shell 12. The wheel assembly 28 and the feet 24 are considered to be support members, and are spaced apart from each other by around the same radial distance so that the wheel assembly 28 and the feet 24 can stably support the base shell 12 on the ground or other planar surface. There is preferably a total of at least three support members, at least one wheel assembly 28 and at least two feet 24, or at least two wheel assemblies 28 and at least one foot 24. FIGS. 1-6 illustrate the provision of three feet 24 and one wheel assembly 28 spaced apart so that the three feet 24 occupy the twelve o'clock, three o'clock and six o'clock positions, with the wheel assembly 28 occupying the nine o'clock position. The height of each feet 24 and the wheel assembly 28 are the same so as to provide the base shell 12 with a horizontal orientation.

The base shell 12 can be made from a metal material, such as cast iron or aluminum, and is provided with a weight that is sufficient to support a conventional patio umbrella 20. The cylindrical shaft 14 can be made of cast iron, steel or molded plastic in one piece and attached to the base shell 12 with a washer and screw (not shown). The feet 24 can also be made (e.g., cast or molded) in one piece with the base shell 12, or made from plastic.

Each wheel assembly 28 has two spaced-apart wheel units 30. Two wheel units 30 are provided to facilitate a more stable rolling motion for the umbrella base 10. FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate one wheel unit 30, the other wheel unit 30 being identical. Each wheel unit 30 has a housing 32 that is made of cast iron, steel or molded plastic. A bracket 34 having a recess 36 is secured to the bottom of the housing 32 by one or more threaded bolts 38. The bracket 34 has two opposing side walls 40, and a wheel 42 is secured for rotation between the side walls 40 about a shaft 44 whose ends are secured to the side walls 40 by caps 46. The wheel 42 can be made of nylon or rubber. The two wheel units 30 shall be parallel and are attached to the housing 32 with the wheel 42 facing outwardly.

There are two ways to secure the housing 32 to the base shell 12. For example, the housing 32 can be molded as part of the base shell 12. Alternatively, the bracket 34 is securely fastened to the base shell 12 by the threaded bolts 38.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the umbrella base 10 being placed stably on the ground supporting a patio umbrella 20. When it is desired to move the umbrella base 10 and the patio umbrella 20 supported thereon, the user can grip the pole 18 of the patio umbrella 20 and tilt the patio umbrella 20 towards the direction of the wheel assembly 28. The wheels 42 of the wheel assembly 28 allow the umbrella base 10 to be easily pivoted upwardly in the manner shown in FIG. 6. The user can then push or pull the combined base 10 and umbrella 20 by using the wheels 42 to roll the combined base 10 and umbrella 20 on the ground. When the user reaches the desired location for the patio umbrella 20, the user can tilt the umbrella base 10 downwardly about the wheels 42 to reach the orientation shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 again.

Thus, the present invention provides an umbrella base 10 that has a simple wheel assembly that allows the umbrella base 10 to be tilted and then rolled from one location to another location. In addition, the wheel assembly 28 and its wheels 42 are provided underneath the base shell 12 so that the wheels 42 can be hidden from view, and not pose any risk of tripping any person who happens to walk by the wheel assembly 28.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.