Title:
Anchor system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An anchor system which provides a threaded member which can be advanced into a baled material upon rotational engagement of a first member end terminal with the baled material.



Inventors:
Royals, Michael A. (Pierce, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/271576
Publication Date:
05/24/2007
Filing Date:
11/09/2005
Assignee:
Cedar Industries, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02D5/74
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KATCHEVES, BASIL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CR MILES, P.C. (FORT COLLINS, CO, US)
Claims:
1. An anchor, comprising: a. a member having a first member end, a second member end, and a longitudinal axis disposed between said first member end and said second member end about which said member rotates; and b. a thread coupled to said member which advances said member into a baled material upon rotational engagement of said first member end with an external surface of said baled material.

2. An anchor as described in claim 1, further comprising an article engagement element coupled to said member which engages an article proximate to said second member end.

3. An anchor as described in claim 2, further comprising a baled material engagement element coupled to said member which engages said external surface of said baled material to limit advancement of said member into said baled material.

4. An anchor as described in claim 3, further comprising a rotor receiver element coupled to said member which in mated engagement to a rotor assembly operably rotates said member about said longitudinal axis.

5. An anchor as described in claim 4, wherein said member comprises a substantially cylindrical member having a first cylindrical member end, a second cylindrical end, and said longitudinal axis disposed between said first cylindrical member end and said second cylindrical member end about which said substantially cylindrical member rotates.

6. An anchor as described in claim 5, wherein said substantially cylindrical member having said first cylindrical member end, said second cylindrical member end, and said longitudinal axis disposed between said first cylindrical member end and said second cylindrical member end about which said substantially cylindrical member rotates has a cylindrical member diameter “B” of between about three eights inch and about five eights inch.

7. An anchor as described in claim 6, wherein said cylindrical member diameter “B” comprises a cylindrical member diameter of about one half inch.

8. An anchor as described in claim 7, wherein said helical thread commences proximate to said first cylindrical member end and terminates proximate to said baled material engagement element coupled to said cylindrical member.

9. An anchor as described in claim 8, wherein said helical thread further comprises a thread pitch measure “W”, wherein said thread pitch measure comprises a thread pitch measure range of between one half and about one and one-half the cylindrical member diameter “B”.

10. An anchor as described in claim 9, wherein said thread pitch measure “W” comprises a thread pitch measure “W” about equal to the cylindrical member diameter “B”.

11. An anchor as described in claim 10, further comprising a first helical thread surface which faces toward said external surface of said baled material upon rotational engagement of said first cylindrical member end with said external surface of said baled material, and wherein said first helical thread surface has a thread angle “X” of between about forty degrees and about fifty degrees.

12. An anchor as described in claim 11, wherein said thread angle “X” comprises a thread angle “X” of about forty five degrees.

13. An anchor as described in claim 12, further comprising a second helical thread surface which faces away from external surface of said baled material upon rotational engagement of said first cylindrical member end with said external surface of said baled material, and wherein said second helical thread surface has a thread angle “Y” of between about eighty degrees and about ninety degrees.

14. An anchor as described in claim 13, wherein said thread angle “Y” comprises a thread angle “Y” of about ninety degrees.

15. An anchor as described in claim 14, wherein said helical thread has an internal thread diameter “Z” equal to said cylindrical member diameter “B”.

16. An anchor as described in claim 15, wherein said helical thread has an internal thread diameter “Z” of about one half inch.

17. An anchor as described in claim 16, wherein said helical thread has an external diameter “A” of about one half inch greater than said internal thread diameter “Z”.

18. An anchor as described in claim 17, wherein said helical thread has an external diameter “A” of about one inch.

19. An anchor as described in claim 18, wherein said first cylindrical member end terminates in a tip forcibly urged into said baled material to engage said helical thread coupled to said member.

20. An anchor as described in claim 19, wherein said baled material engagement element comprises a substantially circular disk having a first circular disk side and a second circular disk side disposed in substantially parallel opposition, and wherein said first circular disk side concentrically couples to said second cylindrical member end of said cylindrical member.

21. An anchor as described in claim 20, wherein said article engagement element further comprises a bore which communicates between opposed article engagement element surfaces.

22. An anchor as described in claim 21, wherein said article engagement element comprises at least one flange coupled to said substantially circular disk, and wherein said at least one flange has a pair of opposed flange sides between which a bore traverses.

23. An anchor as described in claim 22, wherein said at least one flange comprises a pair of flanges coupled in diametric opposition to said substantial circular disk, each of said pair of flanges having a pair of opposed flange sides between which a bore traverses.

24. An anchor as described in claim 23, wherein said rotor receiver element comprises a one each hexagonal rotor receiving element which mates with a hexagonal socket coupled to said rotor.

25. An anchor as described in claim 24, wherein said baled material is selected from the group consisting of: a baled agricultural material; a baled crop material; a baled crop residue material; a baled hay, a baled wheat grass, a baled straw, a baled corn stalks, a baled alfalfa, a baled cotton, a baled agricultural material configured as round bales, a baled crop material configured as round bales, a baled hay configured as round bales, a baled alfalfa configured as round bales, a baled cotton configured as round bales, a baled hay configured as rectangular bales, a baled alfalfa configured as rectangular bales, a baled cotton configured as rectangular bales.

26. An anchor as described in claim 25, wherein said article is selected from the group consisting of: an article capable of engagement with said article engagement element, an article capable of engagement with said bore which communicates between opposed sides of said article engagement element, an article capable of engagement with said at least one flange which extends from said substantially circular disk, an article capable of engagement to at least one of said pair of flanges coupled to said substantially circular disk, a cord, an elastic cord, a resiliently elastic cord, a hook coupled to a cord, a hook coupled to an elastic cord, a hook coupled to a resiliently elastic cord, and a bungee cord, a baled material cover capable of engagement with said article engagement element, a baled material cover responsive to a cord capable of engagement with said article engagement element, a baled material cover responsive to an elastic cord capable of engagement with said article engagement element, a baled material cover responsive to a resiliently elastic cord capable of engagement with said article engagement element.

27. 27-75. (canceled)

Description:

I. BACKGROUND

An anchor system which provides a threaded member which can be advanced into a baled material upon rotational engagement of a first member end terminal with the baled material.

Production of baled material can use a large amount of resources (land, labor, seed, fuel, fertilizer, equipment, or the like). The manner in which baled material is stored after baling can affect baled material quantity and quality. As such, it can be worthwhile investing additional resources (money, labor, equipment, or the like) in baled material storage to preserve the value of the baled material.

In this regard, baled material stored outside without cover can incur substantial dry matter losses caused by the combination of soil moisture and precipitation. For example, with respect to baled forage materials in Oklahoma, researchers found 13.1% dry matter loss for uncovered storage on the ground versus 2% loss for covered storage on pallets. Similarly, Wisconsin researchers found 10.9% loss for uncovered storage on the ground versus 4.6% in a barn. The studies further showed that average dry matter losses in the uncovered baled material on sod were 11.2% versus 2.3% in the barn. It appears that for eight to nine months of storage, a 6 to 11 percentage unit advantage can be obtained by keeping bales off wet ground and under cover.

Besides losing dry matter, uncovered baled material can also lose quality as determined by nutritional analysis and by appearance. The loss in dry matter reduces weight available for sale and the loss in quality can have a large impact on animal performance and on baled material value. For example, the internal parts of baled hay stored in a shed had a relative feed value (RFV) of 133 and the bottom six inches of the bales at the bottom of the pile had an RFV of 106. The internal parts of bales stored uncovered, outside on sod had an RFV of 114 and the external parts of the bales had RFVs ranging from 55 to 107. In just eight months, the differences in the baled hay weight, quality, and price resulted in baled hay stored in the shed being worth about $3350 (at then existing prices) more per 100 tons harvested than baled hay stored outside on sod. These numbers indicate that it is worth considering an investment in tarpaulins and gravel, or even hay storage sheds.

Also, pests can infest baled materials, such as cotton, requiring fumigation of the bailed material. Tarpaulin fumigation involves the placement of a gas-tight material over the commodity or structure to be fumigated. The tarpaulins made for fumigation, can be impregnated nylon, or can be sheet polyethylene, or the like. In some circumstances, many sections of impregnated nylon tarps can be held together, so there is no limit to the size of the stack or structure that may be covered. In addition to considering the material to use for tarpaulin fumigation, consideration must be given to the method of obtaining a seal which holds an adequate concentration of fumigant for the time necessary to kill target pests.

While there may be a variety of reasons to cover baled materials and while a variety of cover materials are available to cover baled materials either to protect baled materials from moisture, to hold adequate concentration of fumigates to kill pests, or otherwise, there appears to be a long felt but unresolved need for an anchor to secure or seal the cover materials to baled materials.

II. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a broad object of the invention can be to provide an anchor which provides a threaded member which can be advanced into a baled material upon rotational engagement of a first member end terminal with the baled material.

Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a thread which upon rotational engagement with a baled material coordinates a plurality of discrete pieces of the material baled to establish a baled material force receiving surface which sufficiently opposes forces of engagement with at least one thread surface to allow advancement of the member to which the thread is coupled into the baled material.

Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a method of securing a sheet material, tarpaulin, or other article to the external surface of a baled material by engaging such sheet material, tarpaulin, or other article directly or indirectly to an anchor which has been rotationally advanced into the baled material.

Naturally, further objects of the invention may be disclosed throughout other areas of the specification, drawings, and claims.

III. A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 provides an illustration of how to use a particular embodiment of the anchor invention.

FIG. 2 provides an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 1 which illustrates how to use a particular embodiment of the anchor invention.

FIG. 3 provides a cross section view of a particular embodiment of the invention having a thread surface engaged with a baled material.

FIG. 4 provides a top view of a particular embodiment of the anchor invention.

FIG. 5 provides a side view of a particular embodiment of the anchor invention.

FIG. 6 provides an isometric view of a particular embodiment of the anchor invention.

FIG. 7 provides a cross section 6-6 shown by FIG. 3 of a particular embodiment of the anchor invention.

FIG. 8 provides a cross section 7-7 shown by FIG. 3 of a particular embodiment of the anchor invention.

IV. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

An anchor system which provides a threaded member which can be advanced into a baled material upon rotational engagement of a first member end terminal with the baled material.

First, referring primarily to FIG. 1, a particular method of using the anchor invention can comprise the steps of engaging a member (1) adapted to rotate about a longitudinal axis (2) at a location (3) on an external surface (4) of a baled material (5) and then rotating the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2) at the location (3) on the external surface (4) of the baled material (5). By transmitting rotational forces of the member (1) to the baled material (5) through a thread (6) coupled to the member (1) the further step of advancing the member (1) into the baled material (5) a distance sufficient to anchor the member (1) in the baled material (5) can be achieved.

With respect to the baled material (5), a bale provides a pressed package of material typically bound with a baled material restraint (7) such as a cord, wire, strap, or the like, or wrapped with a sheet material such as paper sheet, plastic sheet, or the like. A baled material (5) can comprise any of a numerous and wide variety of raw materials or finished materials which can be pressed and bound to generate the pressed package. Some non-limiting examples of a baled material (5) include a baled crop such as a baled hay, a baled alfalfa, a baled wheat grass, or a baled cotton; and can further include a baled crop residue such as baled straw or baled corn stalks; and can further include other naturally or non-naturally occurring materials such as a baled cellulose fiber, a baled synthetic fiber such as a baled polyester fiber, a baled polypropylene fiber, a baled nylon fiber, or the like (or materials made from such fibers). A baled material (5) can further include various combinations of baled materials (those above-described or otherwise) along with any impurities integral to, baled with, or combined into the material baled, whether intentionally or unintentionally. A baled material (5) can provide a pressed package of the above-described materials, or others, in a wide variety of configurations, for example and without limitation, a round bale, a rectangular bale, a square bale, or the like. The external surface (4) of the baled material (5) refers to the outside surface area of the baled material (5) including the outside surface of features generated during baling of a material, whether intentional or unintentional, such as dimples, cleats, holds, insertion points, grooves, gutters, projections or indentations (whether or not mated), or the like, along with the surfaces of any restraint (7), such as those above-described. The location (3) on the external surface (4) means any location on the external surface (4) of the baled material (5). Additionally, it is not intended that baled material (5) be limited to any particular weight, volume, weight per volume, density, measure, or similar characteristic. Additionally, while embodiments of the invention can be advanced into a baled material (5) as described, it is not intended that the invention be so limited and it is understood that the invention can also be advanced into other materials such as certain support surfaces (35) on which the baled material (5) can be located, such as the ground.

An operator (8) can perform the above-described steps by engaging a first member end (9) (or first member end terminal (25)) at a location (3) on the external surface (4) of the baled material (5) and generating rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2). Rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2) can be achieved by rotationally engaging a second member end (10) (or other components of the anchor coupled to the second member end (10), as described below) with a first hand (11) or a second hand (12), or both hands. Alternately, generating rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2) can be achieved by engaging a rotor (13) to a rotor receiver element (14) coupled directly to the member (1) or indirectly through other components of the anchor described below.

The rotor (13) can comprise any means that can be coupled, connected, engaged, or mated (whether removably, fixedly, slidely, frictionally, or otherwise) to the rotor receiving element (14) of the member (1) capable of generating rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2). The illustrative rotor (13) shown by FIG. 1 comprises a shaft responsive to rotation of a lever (15) connected to a hexagonal socket (16) which can be removably coupled to a hexagonal embodiment of the rotor receiver element (14). However, it is not intended that the rotor (13) be limited only to the configuration of a hexagonal socket (16), but rather the rotor (13) can be selected from a numerous and wide variety of configurations to provide a triangular socket, a rectangular socket, a pentagonal socket, a hexagonal socket, or so forth, which mates with the correspondingly configured rotor receiving element (14); or alternately the rotor (13) can provide an rotor extension element which inserts into a correspondingly configured socket of the rotor receiving element (14); or can be any configuration which during rotation achieves sufficient frictional or fixed engagement with the rotor receiving element (14) to generate rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2). The rotor (13) can further comprise a motor (whether driven by electricity, gas, compressed air, compressed liquid, or other energy source) which operates to turn the rotor (13) which sufficiently engaged with the rotor receiving element (14) generates rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2).

Similarly, the rotor receiver element (14) while shown by FIG. 2, as a hexagonal extension coupled to the member (1), it is not intended to be so limited. Rather the rotor receiving element (14) can as to certain embodiments can comprise any portion of the member (1) which can be coupled, connected, engaged, or mated (whether removably, fixedly, slidely, frictionally, or otherwise) to the rotor element (13). As such, the rotor receiving element (14) can be configured as a triangular, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, or other polygonal portion or extension of the member (1) (or other component of the invention as described below) which couples to a corresponding socket of the rotor element (12); or could alternately be an socket into which inserts a correspondingly configured extension of the rotor (13); or could be any configuration which can achieve sufficient frictional engagement with the rotor element (13) to generate rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2).

As shown by FIG. 2, the step of advancing the member (1) into said baled material (5) by rotation of the thread (6) a distance sufficient to anchor the member (1) in the baled material (5) can further comprise engaging the baled material (5) with a baled material engagement element (17) (further described below) coupled to the member (1) to limit the distance the member (1) advances into the baled material (5).

The method of anchoring can further include the steps of engaging the baled material (5) with an article (18) and securing the article to the member (1) directly, or indirectly by securing the article (18) to an article engagement element (19), further described below. The step of engaging the baled material (5) can comprise engaging the external surface (4) of a baled material (5), whether the baled material comprises one bale or a plurality of bales, with the article (18), or whether engagement of the external surface (4) is in whole or in part. As to certain embodiments of the invention as shown by FIG. 1, the article (18) can be a flexible sheet chosen from a numerous and wide variety of flexible sheet materials which can comprise one flexible layer, or can comprise a pair of flexible layers, or a plurality of flexible layers located, bonded, or secured to one another in whole or in part. The flexible layer(s) can be generated without limitation from a plastic such as a vinyl, a polyethylene, a polypropylene, a nylon, a polyester, a ultraviolet treated polyester, a polyethylene having a vinyl coat, a polypropylene having a vinyl coat, a nylon having a vinyl coat, a polyester having a vinyl coat, a ultraviolet treated polyester having a vinyl coat, or the like, a fabric (whether of natural or synthetic fibers) such as canvass, or the like, each utilized individually or in various permutations or combinations. The flexible layer(s) need only be sufficiently flexible to engage or cover the desired portion of the baled material (5) and it is not intended that the flexible material be limited further by any particular weight, volume, weight per volume, density, tensile strength, resiliency, elasticity, or other material characteristic. Alternately, the article (18) can comprise a substantially inflexible material or a flexible material held in a substantially inflexible configuration (whether or not configured as a sheet material) which engages, or which provides a cover for, the external surface of the baled material (5), whether in whole or in part, such as a board or an enclosure generated from wood, plastic, metal or the like. Additionally, the article (18) can comprise only a line, cord, cable, rope, twine, bungee, or the like, such as a cable of multiple metal strands, whether made from stainless steel or galvanized steel, or whether twisted or braided; or can be a cord of nylon, polypropylene, polyethylene, polysteel, or Kevlar® strands; or can be a combination of various types or kinds of metal, plastic, carbon fiber, or other fibers or strands, in various combinations and permutations matched to the application to provide a desired level of strength, elasticity, resiliency, resistance to ultraviolet light, resistance to chemical compounds, or the like.

As shown by FIG. 2, the step of securing the article (18) to the member (1) can comprise coupling the article (18) to the member (1) or to an article engagement element (19) (as further described below). In this regard, the article (18) can be secured directly to the member (1) or the article engagement element (19), for example by inserting the article engagement element into loops, eyelets, or other apertures integral to the article (18) or by tying a portion of the article (18) directly to the member (1) or the article engagement element (19) by integral cords, extensions, flaps, projections, or the like; or by hooking a portion of the article (18) to the member (1) or the article engagement element (19) by hook(s), arcuate projection(s), or the like; or indirectly with an intermediary attachment element (20) such as a cord, a line, a hook, a bungee cord, a strap, or the like, each attached between the article (15) and the member (1) or the article engagement element (19).

Now referring to FIGS. 3-7, the invention can provide a member (1) having a first member end (9), a second member end (10), and a longitudinal axis (2) disposed between said first member end (9) and said second member end (10) about which said member rotates and a thread (6) coupled to said member (1) which advances said member (1) into a baled material (5) upon rotational engagement of said first member end (9) (first member end terminal (25)) with an external surface (4) of the baled material (5). The term member (1) broadly encompasses a wide variety of member (1) configurations which can be advanced into a baled material by rotational engagement of the thread (6) with the baled material (5). As such, the member (1) can be configured to provide an ovoid, a triangular, a rectangular, pentagonal, a hexagonal, or other geometric or non-geometric configuration in perpendicular cross section to the longitudinal axis (2). Additionally, without limitation the member can taper from a greater cross sectional measure proximate to the second member end (10) to a lesser cross sectional measure proximate to the first member end (9). The member (1) can be generated from a numerous and wide variety of materials such as metal, stainless steel, aluminum, or the like, or combinations thereof; or such as plastic, nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylic, vinyl, or the like, or combinations thereof. Moreover, it is not intended that the member be limited to a solid member or a hollow member or further limited by any particular weight, volume, weight per volume, density, measure, or similar characteristic.

The term thread (6) is intended to encompass all thread (6) configurations which can be coupled to the member (1), whether directly or indirectly, capable of advancing the above-described member (1) into a baled material (5) by rotation of the member (1) to slidely engage at least one thread surface (22) with an opposed baled material force receiving surface (21) having baled material force receiving characteristics. Baled material force receiving characteristics can be differentiated from the force receiving characteristics of conventional materials such as wood, plastic, or metal into which conventional threaded objects may be advanced by rotation. Unlike wood, plastic, metal or other substantially homogeneous single piece materials in which a rotating thread slidely may engage an opposed force receiving surface to advance a conventionally threaded object (such as a screw or a bolt) into the conventional material, baled material (5) typically comprises a plurality of non-homogeneous discrete pieces of the baled material (5) which can be pressed to form a bale (without the use of other binders such as adhesive, resin, polymer, to hold the discrete pieces together). As such, the thread (6) of the invention upon rotation into a baled material (5) slidely engages a baled material force receiving surface (21) which comprises a plurality of discrete pieces of baled material (5) each capable of discrete directional travel in response to forces transmitted from slideable engagement of at least one thread surface (22) upon rotation of the member (1) into the baled material (5). To advance the member (1) into the baled material (5) the thread (6) must be configured to act upon the plurality of discrete pieces of the baled material (5) in a manner that reduces randomness in discrete directional travel of the discrete pieces of the baled material (5) and increases homogeneity of such discrete directional travel among a plurality of pieces of the baled material (5) sufficient to generate a baled material force receiving surface (21) capable of opposing a sufficient amount of force delivered from at least one thread surface (22) to allow the first member end (9) to advance a distance into the baled material (5). Also, once the member (1) has been advanced a distance into the baled material (5) at least one thread surface (22) must coordinate discrete travel of a sufficient plurality of pieces of the baled material (5) to oppose non-rotational travel of the member (5) in or from the baled material (5) to an extent which allows the member (1) to be utilized to secure the above-described article (18).

The particular embodiment of the member (1) shown by FIGS. 3-7 comprises a substantially cylindrical member (1) having a first cylindrical member end (9) and a second cylindrical member end (10) to which a helical thread (6) couples. As to certain embodiments of the cylindrical member (1), a cylindrical member diameter “B” (see FIG. 6) of between about three eights inch and about five eights inch can be utilized. While as to other embodiments of the cylindrical member (1), a cylindrical member diameter “B” of about one half inch can be utilized. An embodiment of the cylindrical member (1) having a cylinder diameter “B” of about one-half inch can have a cylinder member length “L” of between about five inches and twelve inches (see FIG. 6).

As shown primarily by FIGS. 4 and 7, the thread (6) of a substantially cylindrical member (1) can comprise at least one helical thread (6) having first helical thread surface (22) which faces away from the external surface (4) of the baled material (5) as the substantially cylindrical member (1) advances into the baled material (5) and a second helical thread surface (23) which faces toward the external surface (4) of the baled material (5) as the substantially cylindrical member (1) advances into the baled material (5). As shown by FIG. 5, the plane of the longitudinal axis (2) of the substantially cylindrical member (1) and the plane of the first helical thread surface (22) can join at an angle “X”. As to certain embodiments of the invention, angle “X” can include an angle range of between about eighty degrees and about ninety degrees. As to other embodiments of the invention angle “X” can be about ninety degrees. As to the second helical thread surface (23), the plane of the longitudinal axis (2) of the substantially cylindrical member (1) and the plane of the second helical thread surface (23) can join at an angle “Y”. As to certain embodiments of the invention, angle “Y” can include a range of between about forty degrees and about fifty degrees. As to other embodiments of the invention, angle “Y” can be about forty five degrees. The thread pitch “W” can comprise a measure in the range of about three quarters to about one and one half the measure of the cylindrical member diameter “B” with certain embodiments of the invention having a thread pitch “W” having measure about equal to the member diameter measure “B”. The internal thread diameter “Z” can be equal to the cylindrical member diameter “B” while the external thread diameter “A” can comprise a measure of between about one and one-half to two and one-half the measure of the cylindrical member diameter “B” with certain embodiments of the invention having a external thread diameter of twice the cylindrical member diameter “B”. As to those embodiments of the invention having a cylindrical member diameter “B” of about one-half inch the external thread diameter can be about one inch.

Now referring again primarily to FIG. 4, the anchor invention can further comprise a tip (24) coupled to the first member end (9) which provides a tapered surface to provide a first member terminal (25) having a configuration which reduces the amount of force to urge the substantially cylindrical member (1) into the baled material (5) to engage a portion of the coupled at least one helical thread (6). The tip (24) of certain embodiments of the invention can provide a pointed member terminal (25) which can be introduced into the baled material (5) with reduced forcible urging to engage a portion of the at least one helical thread (6) coupled to the substantially helical member (1).

Now referring primarily to FIGS. 3-5, particular embodiments of the invention can further provide a baled material engagement element (17) coupled proximate to the second member end (10) which engages the external surface (4) of said baled material (5) to limit advancement of said member (1) into said baled material (5), as above described. The baled material engagement element (17) can provide a baled material engagement surface (26) which upon engagement with the external surface (4) of the baled material (5) generates sufficient resistance to rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2) to afford an indicia to the operator (8) to cease further rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2), or generates sufficient resistance to rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2) to prevent further rotation of the member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2), or sufficient resistance to rotation of the member (1) to prevent or limit further advance of the member (1) into the baled material (5).

As to the embodiment of the invention shown by FIGS. 3-5, the baled material engagement element (17) can comprise a substantially circular disk having a first circular disk side (27) and a second circular disk side (28) disposed in substantially parallel opposition. The first circular disk side (27) can be concentrically coupled to said second cylindrical member end (10) of the substantially cylindrical member (1). The first circular disk side (27) coupled to the second cylindrical member end (10) can provide a first circular disk side surface area (29) which upon engagement with the external surface (4) of a baled material (5) provides sufficient resistance to further rotation of the substantially cylindrical member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2) to afford an indicia to the operator (8) to cease further rotation of the substantially cylindrical member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2), or prevents further rotation of the substantially cylindrical member (1) about the longitudinal axis (2), or prevents or limits further advance of the substantially cylindrical member (1) into the baled material (5). Certain embodiments of the substantially circular disk (17) can have a diameter of between about one inch and about two inches and a thickness of between about one quarter inch and about one half inch with certain other embodiments of the substantially circular disk (17) having a diameter of about one and one half inches and a thickness of about three eights inch.

Now referring primarily to FIGS. 3-6, particular embodiments of the invention can further include an article engagement element (19) coupled to the member (1) which allows an article (18), as described above, to be secured directly or indirectly to the member (1). As to certain embodiments of the invention, the article engagement element (19) can comprise a portion of the member (1) which remains exposed after rotational advancement into the baled material (5), or a bore (30) which communicates between opposed surfaces of the member (1). Alternately, the article engagement element (19) can be a discrete element coupled to the member (1) or to the baled material engagement element (19). A particular embodiment of the article engagement element (19), as shown by FIGS. 3-6, includes at least one flange (31) coupled to the substantially circular disk (17), above-described. The at least one flange (31) can further include a pair of opposed flange sides (32)(33) between which a bore (30) traverses. The particular embodiment of the invention shown by FIGS. 3-6 further includes a pair of flanges (31)(34) disposed in coupled opposition to the substantially circular disk (17) each further including a pair of opposed flange sides (32)(33) and (35)(36) each of the pair of opposed flange sides traversed between by a bore (30) and (37).

Again referring to FIGS. 3-6, the anchor invention can further include the rotor receiver element (14) of the numerous and varied configurations above described which can be coupled to the member (1) or coupled to the baled material engagement element (17) depending upon the embodiment of the invention.

As can be easily understood from the foregoing, the basic concepts of the present invention may be embodied in a variety of ways. The invention involves numerous and varied embodiments of an anchor and methods of making and using such anchor.

As such, the particular embodiments or elements of the invention disclosed by the description or shown in the figures accompanying this application are not intended to be limiting, but rather exemplary of the numerous and varied embodiments generically encompassed by the invention or equivalents encompassed with respect to any particular element thereof. In addition, the specific description of a single embodiment or element of the invention may not explicitly describe all embodiments or elements possible; many alternatives are implicitly disclosed by the description and figures.

It should be understood that each element of an apparatus or each step of a method may be described by an apparatus term or method term. Such terms can be substituted where desired to make explicit the implicitly broad coverage to which this invention is entitled. As but one example, it should be understood that all steps of a method may be disclosed as an action, a means for taking that action, or as an element which causes that action. Similarly, each element of an apparatus may be disclosed as the physical element or the action which that physical element facilitates. As but one example, the disclosure of an “anchor” should be understood to encompass disclosure of the act of “anchoring”—whether explicitly discussed or not—and, conversely, were there effectively disclosure of the act of “anchoring”, such a disclosure should be understood to encompass disclosure of an “anchor” and even a “means for anchoring.” Such alternative terms for each element or step are to be understood to be explicitly included in the description.

In addition, as to each term used it should be understood that unless its utilization in this application is inconsistent with such interpretation, common dictionary definitions should be understood to included in the description for each term or element as contained in the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, second edition, each definition hereby incorporated by reference.

Thus, the applicant(s) should be understood to claim at least: i) each of the anchors herein disclosed and described, ii) the related methods disclosed and described, iii) similar, equivalent, and even implicit variations of each of these devices and methods, iv) those alternative embodiments which accomplish each of the functions shown, disclosed, or described, v) those alternative designs and methods which accomplish each of the functions shown as are implicit to accomplish that which is disclosed and described, vi) each feature, component, and step shown as separate and independent inventions, vii) the applications enhanced by the various systems or components disclosed, viii) the resulting products produced by such systems or components, ix) methods and apparatuses substantially as described hereinbefore and with reference to any of the accompanying examples, x) the various combinations and permutations of each of the previous elements disclosed.

The claims set forth in this specification are hereby incorporated by reference as part of this description of the invention, and the applicant expressly reserves the right to use all of or a portion of such incorporated content of such claims as additional description to support any of or all of the claims or any element or component thereof, and the applicant further expressly reserves the right to move any portion of or all of the incorporated content of such claims or any element or component thereof from the description into the claims or vice-versa as necessary to define the matter for which protection is sought by this application or by any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof, or to obtain any benefit of, reduction in fees pursuant to, or to comply with the patent laws, rules, or regulations of any country or treaty, and such content incorporated by reference shall survive during the entire pendency of this application including any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof or any reissue or extension thereon.

The claims set forth below are intended describe the metes and bounds of a limited number of the preferred embodiments of the invention and are not to be construed as the broadest embodiment of the invention or a complete listing of embodiments of the invention that may be claimed. The applicant does not waive any right to develop further claims based upon the description set forth above as a part of any continuation, division, or continuation-in-part, or similar application.