Title:
Folding, vehicle load tie down
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load includes an anchor member to be attached to the object, a projecting member to move between and operative position and an inoperative position to secure the load. The projecting member rotates between said operative position and said inoperative position.



Inventors:
Spradlin, Theodore R. (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/321502
Publication Date:
07/13/2006
Filing Date:
12/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61D45/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
GORDON, STEPHEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wilson Daniel Swayze, Jr. (Plano, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load, comprising: an anchor member to be attached to said object; a projecting member to move between and operative position and an inoperative position to secure said load; wherein said projecting member rotates between said operative position and said inoperative position.

2. A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 1, where in said anchor member includes a first curved portion to accept a pin.

3. A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 2, wherein said anchor member includes a second curved portion to accept said pin.

4. A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 3, wherein said projecting member includes a third curved portion to accept said pin.

5. A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 1, wherein said projecting member includes an arm.

6. A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 1, wherein said anchor member includes a first eyelet to secure said load.

7. A tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 6, wherein said anchor member includes a second eyelet to secure said load.

8. A method for forming a tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load, comprising the steps of: forming an anchor member for attachment to said object; forming a projecting member to move between an operative position and an inoperative position to secure said load; rotating said projecting member between said operative position and said inoperative position.

9. A method for forming a tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 8, wherein said step of forming said anchor member includes the step of forming a first curved portion to accept a pin.

10. A method for forming a tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 9, wherein the step of forming said anchor member includes the step of forming a second curved portion to accept said pin.

11. A method for forming a tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 10, wherein the step of forming said projecting member includes the step of forming a third curved portion to accept said pin.

12. A method for forming a tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 8, wherein the step of forming said projecting member includes the step of forming a first eyelet.

13. A method for forming a tie-down device for attachment to an object to secure a load as in claim 12, wherein the step for forming said projecting member includes the step of forming a second eyelet.

Description:

PRIORITY

The present invention claims priority under 35 USC section 119 based on provisional application Ser. No. 60/639, 812 filed Dec. 29, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a tie-down anchor assembly and more particularly to a tie-down anchor assembly which can be mounted on a horizontal, vertical or sloping surface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the advantages of owning a pickup truck is the ability to carry loads within the truck bed or cargo box. Typically, pickup trucks are manufactured and sold without any means by which to secure or restrain the load in the truck bed. Other types of vehicles such as cars have no truck bed or cargo box but may have a small trunk. Vans also have no means of securing a load on the top. This has not stopped the owners of such vehicles from desiring to carry loads. These vehicles have no means by which to secure or restrain the load.

Ropes, straps, bungi cords or other means are generally referred to as tie-downs are used to secure these loads.

One type of commercially available tie-down anchor is the stake pocket tie-down anchor. Stake pocket tie-down anchors mount into the stake pocket located in the top surface of the side panel of the pickup truck bed. One drawback of the stake pocket tie-down anchor is that they can only be used where a stake pocket is located. Another problem is that cars and other similar types of vehicles are not equipped with the stake pocket, and consequently, cars cannot use the stake pocket tie-down anchor.

Another style of tie-down anchor is one which clamps to the side rail, generally at any desired point there along. Such anchors have been seen to utilize eye-bolts and hooks in connection with a generally C-shaped clamping member to provide the anchor point for the tie-down.

Another tie-down anchor is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,256,844 in which a tie-down anchor for attachment to a side rail of a pickup truck is described.

Another tie-down anchor is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,468,009 in which a pop-up tie-down device is movable between a retracted position within a cavity to an extended position where a portion of the tie-down device protrudes from the cavity.

Lastly, a tie-down anchor is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,742,973 which includes a metal hanger that is welded on one side to a flat steel bar that is bent into an offset U shaped device whose top extends further than its bottom and allows the top to support a load.

Consequently, there has risen a need for an apparatus to secure and restrain these loads on all types of vehicles, including pickups, cars and vans.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention allows for an easy and inexpensive solution to the difficult problem that is common in the prior art devices and for the needs of those who need to restrain and safely transport a load from any type of vehicle including automobiles.

It is an object of the invention to provide the tie-down device that has good aesthetic appearances, which is durable in use and which is efficient to manufacture.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a tie-down device which can be easily manually moved from an inoperative position to an operative position.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a tie-down device which has the inoperative position substantially hidden from view and the extended operative position being accessible for tying cords or lines to objects.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tie-down device that attaches to a surface which is either substantially vertical, substantially horizontal, or a sloped surface.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tie-down device that has the advantage of being hidden from view when not in use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which, like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the projecting member of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates an end view of the projecting member of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of the projecting member of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the projecting member of the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the anchor member of the present invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates an end view of the anchor member of the present invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a side view of the anchor member of the present invention;

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of the anchor member of the present invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of the projecting member and the anchor member of the present invention in the extended and operative position;

FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of the elongate pin of the present invention;

FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of the elongate pin of the present invention;

FIG. 12 illustrates a top view of the elongate pin of the present invention;

FIG. 13 illustrates a cross section view of the projecting member and the anchor member of the present invention in the inoperative and substantially hidden position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates the projecting member 100 of the present invention. The projecting member 100 rotates with respect to the anchor member 500 so that the projecting member 100 can move from the substantially hidden and inoperative position adjacent to the anchor member 500 to the extended and operative position with respect to the anchor member 500 so that cords and lines can be attached to vehicles or objects so that the load is secured.

The projecting member 100 includes a curved portion 104 so that the projecting member 100 can rotate with respect to the anchor member 500 and an arm 102 which is connected to the curved portion 104 to extend the projecting member 100 to the extended and operative position. The projecting member 100 additionally includes a first eyelet 112 for connection to lines and cords so that the user can secure the load and a second eyelet 114 for additional connection to lines and cords. The arm 102 is connected to the inner portion 106 which is connected to the outer portion 108 by the two edge portions 110 and the central portion 116.

FIG. 2 illustrates that the curved portion 104 extends out from the outer portion 108.

FIG. 3 illustrates that the curved portion 104 has a gap between the curved portion 104 and the arm 102.

FIG. 4 illustrates the curved portion 104 includes a hole 402 for the shaft of the elongate pin.

FIG. 5 illustrates the anchor member 500 including a first curved portion 508 and a second curved portion 510 to define a cut out portion 504 which accepts the curved portion 104 and a securing portion 502 to secure the tie-down device to the vehicle or object. The securing portion 502 includes holes 506 so that the securing portion 502 may be attached to the surface of the vehicle or device using the tie-down device, for example with screws

FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of the anchor member 500 including the first curved portion 508 and a second curved portion 510 with the securing portion 502.

FIG. 7 illustrates a side view of the anchor member 500 including the first curved portion 508 and the securing portion 502.

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of the anchor member 500 including the securing portion 502, the first curved portion 508 and the second curved portion 510.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of the projecting member 100 and the anchor member 500. The projecting member 100 is shown in the extended and operative position where the projecting member 100 has been moved or rotated at an angle of ‘a’ where ‘a’ may be between 0° and 180° so that the user may tie or connect a line or cord to the tie-down device. Due to the ability of the projecting member 100 to rotate, the anchor member 500 can be secured to a substantially horizontal, substantially vertical or sloping surface and the projecting member 100 can be rotated so that the projecting member 100 is substantially vertical, allowing the tie-down device to secure the load.

FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of the elongated pin 1000. The elongated pin 1000 includes a shaft 1002 to be inserted into the first curved portion 508 of the anchor member 500, the curved portion 104 of the projecting member 100 and the second curved portion 510 of the anchor member 500. FIG. 10 additionally illustrates that the elongated pin 1000 includes a head 1004 to retain the elongated pin 1000 in the anchor member 500 and the projecting member 100.

FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of the elongated pin 1000 including a shaft 1002 and the head 1004.

FIG. 12 illustrates a top view of the elongated pin 1000.

FIG. 13 illustrates the anchor member 500 with the projecting member 100 in the inoperative and hidden position where the anchor member 500 is folded against the projecting member 100 so that the anchor member 500 and the projecting member 100 may be out of sight of the user for storage of the tie-down device.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed.