Title:
Methods and devices for moving trench grates
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel device makes the movement of trench grates significantly easier. The device is advantageously designed to provide significant leverage, leverage that is needed to move heavy trench grates.



Inventors:
Mcafee, Ralph Glenn (La Plata, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/808245
Publication Date:
12/27/2007
Filing Date:
06/07/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02B5/02
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Primary Examiner:
RUDAWITZ, JOSHUA I
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Capitol Patent & Trademark Law Firm, PLLC (Vienna, VA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A device for moving a trench grate comprising: a frame; a dual-contact hook for attachment to a grate, the hook hanging from a part of the frame and positioned between a point of contact and a suspension point such that significant leverage is available to reduce a load required to move a grate; and a plurality of swivel wheels attached to a lower section of the frame.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application is related to, and claims the benefit of priority from, U.S. Provisional Patent Publication No. 60/811447 filed on Jun. 7, 2006 the contents of which are incorporated in full herein as if set forth in full herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Manipulating heavy (approx. 200 lbs.) cast iron floor trench grates is a challenge. These grates are typically placed across doorways, ramps, and other entrances to hangers, warehouses, subways, etc, for drainage purposes.

In some instances they are also used to contain mechanical piping, such as fire sprinkler systems, and miscellaneous plumbing.

The installation and maintenance of such systems requires the periodic removal and replacement of grates. This has been done up to this point by hooking a bent rod in two places, and then having two or more people lift a grate and then do a “crab-walk” sideways across an opening to set the grate down. This method is both tedious, and cumbersome, not to mention the risk of back injury to the movers, stepping into the opening, or dropping the grate on someone's toes.

Accordingly, it is desirable to provide better methods and devices for moving trench grates that overcomes the difficulties mentioned above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To overcome the difficulties set forth above and others, the present inventor has provided a novel device that makes the movement of trench grates significantly easier.

More specifically, the present invention includes a device for moving a trench grate that includes at least: (a) a frame; (b) a dual-contact hook for attachment to a grate, the hook hanging from a part of the frame and positioned between a point of contact and a suspension point such that significant leverage is available to reduce a load required to move a grate; and (c) a plurality of swivel wheels attached to a lower section of the frame used to move the device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a picture of device for moving trench grates according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts an example of the device in FIG. 1 moving a trench grate in accordance with an exemplary method of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION, WITH EXAMPLES

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a picture of a device 1 for moving a trench grate according to one embodiment of the present invention.

A shown, the device 1 includes a pair of handles 3,4 extending from a frame 5, which is suspended from a mid-point 6 in a three swivel wheeled, lower frame arrangement 7 (e.g., dolly). This suspension allows the handle frame 5 to be raised, and lowered, while still maintaining three wheel contact with the floor. This allows the plurality of wheels 8 on the lower section of the frame to swivel freely, regardless of the handle elevation.

FIG. 1 also depicts a dual-contact hook 9 hanging from the frame 5, at an approximated one third distance between a physical point of contact on a handle, and a suspension point (on the lower frame or dolly). This hook 9 is designed to fit within a specific grate (i.e., grate pattern) so as to ensure contact at two points (for stability). As the reader will surmise, because of this the hook 9 shown in FIG. 1 is only one example of the many hooks that can be configured, all of which come within the scope of the present invention.

Continuing, in accordance with the present invention the position of the hook 9 is such that significant leverage is available to reduce the handle load required to move a grate to a manageable level. The hook 9 is designed to hang at an angle until loaded in order to aid in quick placement into position.

The inventive device 1 may be used similar to the operation of a wheel barrow, with dual, basically horizontal handles, and operated by a single person. However, the operation of device 1 differs from that of a wheel barrow in the following ways.

First, as is obvious the device 1 does not include a “barrow”, or load pan. Second, instead of a single, rigidly mounted wheel as used in a wheel barrow, the device 1 includes three individually mounted swivel wheels 8. The wheels 8 allow devices made in accordance with the present invention to easily operate forward, backward, and sideways, for a full 360 degree travel. This allows for instant fine adjustment with minimal effort by the operator for both removal, and especially re-installation, of grates.

In accordance with a further embodiment of the invention, a device, such as device 1, made in accordance with the present invention may be grasped by the handles, elevated slightly, and rolled across a trench grate 2 as shown in FIG. 2. The operator (not shown) may be on one side of the grate 2, and the wheels 8 on the other. The hook 9 may be positioned slightly beyond the center of the grate 2. From this position, the operator aligns the hook 9 with the central slotted portion of the grate 2, lowers the handles and moves the hook 9 in the direction of the operator until the hook 9 is seated on the grate 2. Thereafter, the operator may raise the handles thereby easily elevating the grate 2 until it is clear of the trench 10. The device 1 may then be rolled forward, with the grate 2 suspended from the hook 9 until it is past the opening 10. The handles may then be lowered, allowing the grate 2 to come to rest directly on the floor, beyond the trench 10.

To remove the hook 9 from the grate 2, the operator may roll the device 1 forward slightly to disengage the hook 9. This allows the handles to be raised, thereby becoming free of the grate 2. A slight sideways pressure by the operator causes the wheels 8 to swivel, and the device 1 to roll sideways (parallel to the trench 10), until the device 1 is in line with the next grate, at which time the procedure is repeated.

In accordance with yet an additional embodiment of the invention, a grate may be re-installed by reversing the order of the above process/method.

In still further embodiments of the invention, the length of the handles is designed to allow enough room for an operator to perform all functions needed to move a grate from a single side of the trench. Further, the device 1 is easy to control such that only one person is needed to place, or remove, grates to and from trenches.

Though the description above has set forth some examples in order to illustrate the methods and devices of the present invention, a more complete scope of the present invention is given by the claims that follow.