Title:
Portable Hose Roller
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable, motorized apparatus for winding flexible hoses, lines, cables and the like into spools for storage. The apparatus includes a motor assembly that drives a spool. The apparatus can receive hoses from either side, and can be mounted on a vehicle hitch receiver at different heights to accommodate different operators and terrains.



Inventors:
Johnston, David B. (Bend, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/921378
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
04/29/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H75/48; A62C33/00; B65H54/42; B65H75/34
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
RIVERA, WILLIAM ARAUZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HANCOCK HUGHEY LLP (SISTERS, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A winding apparatus comprising: a frame including a hitch receiver, a motor mount, and a guide; a motor assembly mounted on the frame; a mandrel driven by the motor and operable to receive and wind a flexible elongate member into a spool; and, a hitch member having a first portion mountable in the hitch receiver and a second portion mountable to a vehicle hitch receiver mounted on a vehicle.

2. An apparatus according to claim I further comprising a remote controller operably connected to the motor assembly.

3. An apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising the frame comprising a rectangular frame, and including two hitch receivers on adjacent sides of the frame.

4. An apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising the first portion being offset from the second portion, and mountable in the hitch receiver in a plurality of positions to vary the height of the frame relative to the vehicle hitch receiver.

5. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the motor assembly includes a reversible drive unit for rotating the mandrel in first and second directions.

6. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the frame comprises a space frame.

7. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the frame includes a storage tray,

8. An apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a pair of guide members removeably mountable on respective first and second sides of the mandrel.

9. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the spool includes a first backing plate and a pair of tines extending from the mandrel for engaging a first end portion of an elongate flexible member.

10. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the elongate flexible member is selected from the group consisting of a hose, a rope, a cable, and an electrical cable.

11. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the apparatus is portable.

12. An apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a protective member mounted adjacent the mandrel.

13. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the guide includes a guide support mountable on the frame and a guide roller mounted on the guide support.

14. An apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising the hitch member being removeably mounted to the frame.

15. An apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising the guide being removeably mounted to the frame.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/466,570, filed on Apr. 29, 2003. The priority of these prior applications is expressly claimed and their disclosures are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to hose handling equipment, and in particular to equipment used for rolling and re-stowing hoses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In activities such as firefighting and construction, hoses are deployed to deliver water to a fire or other location remote from the water supply. When the job is completed, or if the hoses must be moved to a new location, it is necessary to rewind the hoses. This is a time consuming and clumsy task when done by hand, as is normally the case. In addition, the handling of hoses, especially wet hoses, is heavy work that can cause strains and sprains, and can also unnecessarily tire the firefighters or workers. In fighting forest fires, the fire crew is often working in remote locations with a limited crew, and can often find it necessary to move quickly to another location for safety or as part of a redeployment. As a result, there is a need for an apparatus that can readily rewind hoses, that is portable, and that can be easily operated by a single operator.

This invention provides such an apparatus which will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A preferred embodiment of the invention is shown at 10 in FIGS. 1-4, and includes a frame 12, a motor 14, a gearbox 16 having a horizontal output shaft 18, a guide roller 20, a safety frame 22, and a hitch mount 24. Safety frame 22 is provided to prevent accidental insertion of hands or equipment into the moving roller or spool. The frame is designed to be compact and partially dissembled to permit easy transport by one or two persons. The guide roller 20 is mounted on a support that is held in place on the frame by a removable pin that can be removed to detach the support and guide roller (FIG. 2). Referring again to FIG. 2, safety frame 22 is also removable by removing pin 28. Motor 14 as shown is an electric motor that is powered either by the vehicle transporting the roller or by a portable generator. The motor in the preferred embodiment is powered by a 12 volt power supply, but can also be powered by a 110 volt power supply in other embodiments. In still other embodiments motor 14 is gasoline or diesel powered.

The invention is designed to be mountable on the front or rear carrying rack of an ATV, and for this reason the guide roller 20 and the safety frame 22 are removable so that the frame 12 is supportable on an ATV carrying rack. In another embodiment of the invention best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the frame 12 includes a tongue 24 that inserts into a standard square trailer hitch receiver (not shown). By mounting the frame on a hitch in this way the roller can be operated by a single operator and quickly and easily moved with the vehicle. The frame is preferably made of aluminum to minimize the weight of the frame assembly, although any suitable material of construction will suffice.

Turning to FIGS. 5-8, the roller is shown with a hose spool 30 mounted on the motor output shaft. Spool 30 includes a mounting hub 32 that fits onto the output shaft, a backing plate 34 that is mounted on mounting hub 32, and tines 36 around which the end of the hose is wrapped to initially attach the hose to the roller. The backing plate is provided to ensure that the hose is wound in a flat on the spool.

In addition to hoses, the invention can be used to wind wires, cables and tubing onto a spool. In some instances it might be necessary or preferable to adjust the size and spacing of the tines and or the spool for the specific application, but this can be readily achieved as necessary.

Another preferred embodiment of the invention is shown at 40 in FIG. 9

    • Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the frame 42 includes two receiver hitches 44 and 46 that permit frame 42 to be mounted on the vehicle either horizontally or longitudinally. In addition to being mountable at two different orientations, frame 42 can be mounted in either orientation at three different heights utilizing hitch bar 48. Referring to FIGS. 11-13, hitch bar 48 includes offset portions 50 and 52. Portion 50 is insertable into either of receiver hitches 44 or 46 at any of three different positions to position portion 52 above, below or at the same height as receiver 44 or 46. Hitch bar 48 can be mounted in three different orientations as shown in FIGS. 11-13 to provide three different mounting heights as shown. The variable mounting heights accommodate different operators and also facilitate use of the apparatus when the vehicle is parked on slanted terrain.

In another aspect of this embodiment as best seen in FIGS. 14 and 15, the apparatus is fitted with removable left and right line guide-guards 54 and 56. Each is removeable mounted in receivers 55 and 57 and is retained by a removeable pin 58. Each can be individually mounted and permit the operation of the apparatus to wind hoses or lines from either side of the vehicle without the need to reposition the vehicle.

In another aspect of the invention, frame 42 includes a tray portion 60 (FIG. 11) that provides a storage location for accessories such as a foot pedal assembly used to operate the motor, or for tools.

Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous modifications in arrangement and detail are possible without departing from the scope of the invention. All such modifications comprise part of the invention as if expressly stated herein