Title:
WRAPPING APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for applying a material, such as stretch wrap, to a pallet stacked with objects is provided. Conventional pallet wrapping is labor intensive, causes back injuries, repetitive stress injuries and other work related injuries to users/operators. By contrast, the apparatus of the present invention is portable, light-weight, easy to use and reduces the risk of work place injuries. The apparatus includes an elongated handle having a first end and a second end and a retaining mechanism mounted on the elongated handle for securing a roll of material to the handle. The retaining mechanism includes a first retaining member secured to the first end of the elongated handle and a second retaining member secured to the second end of the elongated handle, where the roll of material is located between the roll of material.



Inventors:
Northrup, Bill Thomas (BREA, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/192882
Publication Date:
02/19/2009
Filing Date:
08/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
242/588.2
International Classes:
B65B11/00; B65H49/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GERRITY, STEPHEN FRANCIS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOZA & LOZA LLP (Upland, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A wrapping apparatus, comprising: an elongated handle having a first end and a second end; a retaining mechanism mounted on the elongated handle for securing a roll of material to the elongated handle, the retaining mechanism comprising: a first retaining member secured to the first end of the elongated handle; and a second retaining member secured to the second end of the elongated handle; a lock pin, inserted into the elongated handle adjacent to and contacting the first retaining member for securing the first retaining member to the elongated handle.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first end of the elongated handle is placed next to a pallet allowing a user to wrap a bottom portion of the pallet without bending over.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first end of the elongated handle is placed onto the ground to assist a user in wrapping a pallet and the second end of the elongated handle functions as a gripping area for the user.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first retaining member comprises: a sleeve; a washer adjacent to and contacting the sleeve, the washer having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; and a retaining pin adjacent to and contacting the washer and inserted into the elongated handle for retaining the sleeve and washer on the elongated handle.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the sleeve comprises: an outer ring for supporting a bottom end of the roll of material; and an inner ring, adjacent to and contacting the outer ring, adapted for insertion into an opening on the bottom end the roll of material to secure the sleeve to the roll of material.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second retaining member comprises: a sleeve comprising: an outer ring for supporting a bottom end of the roll of material; and an inner ring, adjacent to and contacting the outer ring, adapted for insertion into an opening on the bottom end the roll of material to secure the sleeve to the roll of material; a first washer, adjacent to and contacting the sleeve, having a first center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; a first retaining pin adjacent to and contacting the washer and inserted into the elongated handle for holding the washer in place; and a spring mounted on the elongated handle directly adjacent to and contacting the first washer for adjusting tension of the roll of material as it is dispensed.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the second retaining member further comprises: a second washer mounted on the elongated handle adjacent to and contacting the spring, the second washer having a second center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; and a removable pin inserted into the elongated handle adjacent to the second washer for retaining the spring and second washer on the elongated handle.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the removable pin comprises: an elongated member; and a locking mechanism having a first end secured to a first side of the elongated member and a second end secured to a second side of the elongated member.

10. The apparatus of claim 8, further comprising a cover mounted on the elongated handle over the second retaining member, the cover having a lever for adjusting the tension in the spring wherein the tension in the spring is decreased upon a user depressing the lever.

11. A wrapping apparatus, comprising: an elongated handle including a first end and a second end; a retaining mechanism mounted on the elongated handle for securing a roll of material to the elongated handle, the retaining mechanism comprising: a first retaining member secured to the first end of the elongated handle, the first retaining member comprising: a first sleeve; a first washer adjacent to and contacting the first sleeve, the first washer having a first center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; and a first retaining pin adjacent to and contacting the first washer and inserted into the elongated handle retaining the first sleeve and first washer on the elongated handle; a second retaining member secured to the second end of the elongated handle, the second retaining member comprising: a second sleeve; a second washer, adjacent to and contacting the second sleeve, having a second center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; a second retaining pin adjacent to and contacting the second washer and inserted into the elongated handle for retaining the second washer; a spring mounted on the elongated handle directly adjacent to and contacting the second washer for adjusting tension of the roll of material as it is dispensed.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising a lock pin, inserted into the elongated handle adjacent to and contacting the first retaining member for securing the first retaining member to the elongated handle.

13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the second retaining member further comprises: a third washer mounted on the elongated handle adjacent to and contacting the spring, the third washer having a third center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; and a removable pin inserted into the elongated handle adjacent to the third washer for retaining spring and third washer on the elongated handle.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the removable pin comprises: an elongated member; and a locking mechanism having a first end secured to a first side of the elongated member and a second end secured to a second side of the elongated member.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, further comprising a cover mounted on the elongated handle over the second retaining member, the cover having a lever for adjusting the tension in the spring wherein the tension in the spring is decreased upon the user depressing the lever.

16. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the first end of the elongated handle is placed next to a pallet allowing a user to wrap a bottom portion of the pallet without bending over.

17. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the first end of the elongated handle is placed onto the ground to assist a user in wrapping a pallet and the second end of the elongated handle functions as a gripping area for the user.

18. A method of using a wrapping apparatus, comprising; placing a first end of the wrapping apparatus next to an object such that a roll of material is aligned with a bottom of the object, a user holding a second end of the wrapping apparatus; securing one end of the material to a corner of the object; moving the wrapping apparatus around the object resulting in the material covering a part of the object; inverting the wrapping apparatus, when approximately half of the object has been covered by the material and continuing to move the wrapping apparatus around the object to cover uncovered portions of the object; and tearing the material wrapped around the object from the roll for securing to the object, thereby sealing the object.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising; inverting the wrapping apparatus upon reaching the top of the object with the material allowing a user to lift the wrapping apparatus to seal the top of the object with the material.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein the object is on top of a pallet.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY UNDER 35 U.S.C. §119

The present Application for Patent claims priority to Provisional Application No. 60/956,697 entitled “Wrapping Apparatus”, filed Aug. 18, 2007 and hereby expressly incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD

The present invention relates to a wrapping apparatus for applying stretch wrap over and/or around objects, particularly objects and/or goods stacked on a pallet.

BACKGROUND

Stretch wrap is a highly stretchable plastic film that is wrapped around objects, goods and/or items. It is frequently used to unitize pallet loads but also may be used for bundling smaller items. In pallet unitizing, stretch wrap improves stability of products or packages, provides some degree of dust and moisture protection as well as some degree of tamper resistance and resistance to package pilferage.

In one prior art approach, stretch wrap is manually applied to pallets. The stretch wrap is commonly supplied in a long roll, weighing 8-10 pounds, from which the material is dispensed by unwinding from the roll. As it is unwound, the material is pulled or stretched against the goods on the pallet to which it is being applied. To wrap the lower portion of the pallet, a user/operator walks around the pallet hunched over manipulating the heavy roll while also trying to pull enough tension into the film to hold the pallet together. Then seconds later, the user/operator is holding the same roll of stretch film above his head to wrap the top of the pallet, again tugging on the film using his back and arm muscles. This procedure is not only labor intensive but causes back injuries, repetitive stress injuries and other work related injuries to operators.

In another prior art approach, stretch wrap is applied using an automated machine. However, automated machines are expensive and are stationary. Pallets must be brought to the machine and the machine is unable to wrap the top of the pallet, i.e. the top of the objects stacked on the pallet. As such, the user/operator still has to wrap the top portion of the pallet manually. Furthermore, the pallets sit on a rotatable base of the automated machine and rotate around the stationary roll of stretch wrap. The size of the rotatable base limits the size of the pallet that can be wrapped. Furthermore, automated machines are not portable and require a fairly complicated elevating machine which must be used in order to raise or lower the height of the stretch film application.

Consequently, an apparatus for applying stretch wrap is needed that is portable, light-weight, easy to use and prevents work related injuries.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for applying a material, such as stretch wrap, to a pallet stacked with objects is provided. Conventional pallet wrapping is labor intensive, causes back injuries, repetitive stress injuries and other work related injuries to users/operators. By contrast, the present invention provides an apparatus that is portable, light-weight, easy to use and reduces the risk of work place injuries.

The wrapping apparatus of the present invention includes an elongated handle having a first end and a second end and a retaining mechanism mounted on the elongated handle for securing a roll of material to the elongated handle. The retaining mechanism includes a first retaining member secured to the first end of the elongated handle; a second retaining member secured to the second end of the elongated handle; and a lock pin, inserted into the elongated handle adjacent to and contacting the first retaining member for securing the first retaining member to the elongated handle.

The first retaining member includes a sleeve; a washer adjacent to and contacting the sleeve, the washer having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; and a retaining pin adjacent to and contacting the washer and inserted into the elongated handle for retaining the sleeve and washer on the elongated handle.

The sleeve may include an outer ring for supporting a bottom end of the roll of material; and an inner ring, adjacent to and contacting the outer ring, adapted for insertion into an opening on the bottom end the roll of material to secure the sleeve to the roll of material.

The second retaining member may include a sleeve which may include an outer ring for supporting a bottom end of the roll of material; and an inner ring, adjacent to and contacting the outer ring, adapted for insertion into an opening on the bottom end the roll of material to secure the sleeve to the roll of material; a first washer, adjacent to and contacting the sleeve, having a first center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; a first retaining pin adjacent to and contacting the washer and inserted into the elongated handle for holding the washer in place; and a spring mounted on the elongated handle directly adjacent to and contacting the first washer for adjusting tension of the roll of material as it is dispensed.

Additionally, the second retaining member may include a second washer mounted on the elongated handle adjacent to and contacting the spring, the second washer having a second center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle; and a removable pin inserted into the elongated handle adjacent to the second washer for retaining the spring and second washer on the elongated handle.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the wrapping apparatus may also include a cover mounted on the elongated handle over the second retaining member, the cover having a ever for adjusting the tension in the spring wherein the tension in the spring is decreased upon a user depressing the lever.

A method of using a wrapping apparatus to wrap objects and/or goods stacked on a pallet may include the steps of: placing a first end of the wrapping apparatus next to an object such that a roll of material is aligned with a bottom of the object, a user holding a second end of the wrapping apparatus; securing one end of the material to a corner of the object; moving the wrapping apparatus around the object resulting in the material covering a part of the object; inverting the wrapping apparatus, when approximately half of the object has been covered by the material and continuing to move the wrapping apparatus around the object to cover uncovered portions of the object; and tearing the material wrapped around the object from the roll for securing to the object, thereby sealing the object.

The foregoing, together with other features and advantages of the present invention, will become more apparent when referring to the following specification, claims and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various features of the present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of an exemplary embodiment of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals refer to like parts.

FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of a sleeve utilized in a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a sleeve utilized in a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a washer utilized in a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of a washer utilized in a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of a pin utilized in a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a side view of a spring utilized in a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 illustrates a side view of a lock pin utilized in a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates a side view of a wrapping apparatus having a cover, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 illustrates a top view of a cover of a retaining mechanism of a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of a cover of a retaining mechanism of a wrapping apparatus, according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 12 illustrates an embodiment of a method of using a wrapping apparatus according to an embodiment of the present application.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention.

In the following description, certain terminology is used to describe certain features of one or more embodiments of the invention. The term “roll” refers to any type of material for packaging an object, including stretch wrap, shrink film, shrink wrap, plastic, tear tape, ream wrap, etc. The term “object” refers to any type of item that is capable of being wrapped in stretch wrap or other material, including products, packages, goods.

One aspect of the invention provides an apparatus for applying stretch wrap to a pallet stacked with objects. Conventional pallet wrapping is labor intensive, causes back injuries, repetitive stress injuries and other work related injuries to users/operators. By contrast, the present invention provides an apparatus that is portable, light-weight, easy to use and reduces the risk of work place injuries.

FIG. 1 illustrates a side view of a wrapping apparatus 100, for wrapping a pallet stacked with objects in a material, such as stretch wrap, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The wrapping apparatus 100 includes an elongated handle 102 and first and second retaining members 110 and 112. A roll 104 of stretch wrap, which is comprised of a rigid tube (not shown) and a sheet of stretch wrap wound onto the rigid tube, is mounted on the elongated handle 102 between the first retaining member 110 and the second retaining member 112.

In one embodiment, the elongated handle 102 includes a first end 103 which may be placed onto the ground to assist a user/operator in wrapping a pallet (or other item) and a second end 105 which functions as a gripping area for the user/operator. The first retaining member 110, secured to the first end 103 of the elongated handle 102, includes a sleeve 114, a washer 116 and a pin 118. The washer 116, having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle 102, is placed onto the elongated handle 102 adjacent to the pin 118, which is inserted into the first end 103 of the elongated handle 102 for holding the washer 116 in place. The pin 118 may be removable or may be permanently secured to the elongated handle 102.

In one embodiment, the bottom of the sleeve 114 is located 2.5 inches from the bottom of the first end 103 of the elongated handle 102. 2.5 inches is preferred as the bottom of the roll 104 will then be at the same height as the top surface of the pallet stacked with goods or objects. This allows the user/operator to wrap the bottom portion of a pallet without having to hunch or bend over. However, the sleeve 114 may be located at any suitable distance.

The sleeve 114, which includes an outer ring 115 for supporting a base or lower end 108 of the roll 104, an inner ring 117 for insertion into one end of the rigid tube in the roll 104 and an opening (as shown in FIG. 3) sized to accommodate the elongated handle 102 passing through, is attached to the washer 116.

Once the roll 104 has been mounted onto the elongated handle 102 and mounted on the first retaining member 110, the second retaining member 112 is mounted onto the elongated handle 102 on top of the upper end 106 of the roll 104, securing the roll 104 to the elongated handle 102. The second retaining member 112 includes a sleeve 120, a first washer 122, a spring 124, a second washer 126 and a lock pin 128. The sleeve 120, which includes an outer ring 121, an inner ring 123 for insertion into a top end of the rigid tube in the roll 104 and an opening (as shown in FIG. 3) sized to accommodate the elongated handle 102 passing through, is attached to the top of the roll 104.

The first washer 122, having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle 102, is mounted onto the elongated handle 102 on top of the sleeve 120. A spring 124 is mounted on the elongated handle 102 directly adjacent to and contacting the first washer 122 to allow the operator to adjust the tension of the wrap being dispensed from the apparatus 100. The second washer 126, having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle 102, is mounted on the elongated handle 102 adjacent to and contacting the spring 124. Next, the lock pin 128 is inserted into the elongated handle 102 to secure the second retaining member 112 to the elongated handle 102 and create tension in the spring 124. The spring creates tension on the stretch wrap 104 which holds it in place. Finally, a cover (shown with reference to FIG. 9) is placed over the second retaining member 112. The user/operator may adjust the tension of the spring 124 using a lever on the cover. Increased tension may allow the stretch wrap to be dispensed or unwound slowly while decreased tension may allow the stretch wrap to be dispensed or unwound more quickly. In other words, by adjusting the tension, the user/operator may customize the speed in which the stretch wrap may be unwound.

In the preferred embodiment, the length of the wrapping apparatus is 57 inches. However, this dimension is by way of example only and any suitable dimension may be used.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of a sleeve 200, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The sleeve 200 includes an outer ring 202 which contacts an end of a roll of stretch wrap and an inner ring 204 for insertion into an opening of a rigid tube in an end of the roll of stretch wrap. In one embodiment, the height of the outer and inner rings 202 and 204 is ⅜ inches. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used.

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a sleeve 300, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The sleeve 300 includes an outer ring 302 which contacts an end of a roll of stretch wrap, an inner ring 304 for insertion into an opening of a rigid tube in an end of the roll of stretch wrap and a center opening 306 sized to accommodate an elongated handle passing through it. In one embodiment, the diameter of the outer ring 302 is 3.5 inches, the diameter of the inner ring 304 is 3 inches and the diameter of the center opening 306 is 15/16 inches. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used.

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a washer 400, according to one embodiment of the present invention. In one embodiment, the height of the washer 400 may be ⅛ inches. This dimension is by way of example only and any suitable dimension may be used.

FIG. 5 is a top view of a washer 500 according to one embodiment of the present invention. The washer 500 includes a center opening 502 sized to accommodate an elongated handle passing through it, as described above. In one embodiment, the diameter of the washer 500 is 2.5 inches and the diameter of the center opening 502 is 1 1/16 inches. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used.

FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of a pin 600, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The pin 600, having an elongated member 602 and a head 604, may be used to secure a washer (as described above with reference to FIG. 1) to an elongated handle. The elongated member 602 may be inserted into the elongated handle until the head 604 of the pin is abutting the elongated handle. In one embodiment, the length of the pin is 2.25 inches and the diameter of the elongated member is 0.25 inches. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used.

FIG. 7 illustrates a side view of a spring 700, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The spring 700 allows a user/operator of a wrapping apparatus to increase or decrease tension of the wrap being dispensed from the wrapping apparatus. As is described below, the spring 700 may be connected to a lever on a cover of the wrapping apparatus. The tension in the spring is directly proportional to the pressure applied to the lever. The user/operator manually depresses the lever to overcome the force applied by the spring allowing the stretch wrap, or other material, to be more easily dispensed or unwound from the roll.

In one embodiment, the length of the spring 700 maybe 4.25 inches, the outer diameter of the spring is 1.25 inches and the inner diameter of the spring is 1 inch. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used.

FIG. 8 illustrates a side view of a lock pin 800, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The lock pin 800 includes an elongated member 802 and a locking mechanism having one end secured to one side of the elongated member 802 and an opposite end secured to the opposite side of the elongated member 802 once it is inserted into an elongated handle of a wrapping apparatus of the present invention. The elongated member 802 is inserted into the elongated handle and secured with the locking mechanism 804 to prevent the lock pin 800 from falling out which in turn retains the spring and retaining mechanism (as described above) on the elongated handle. In one embodiment, the length of the pin is 2.25 inches and the diameter of the pin is 0.25 inches. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used.

FIG. 9 illustrates a side view of a wrapping apparatus 900, for wrapping a pallet, stacked with objects, in stretch wrap or other material, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The wrapping apparatus 900 includes an elongated handle 902 and first and second retaining members 910 and 912. A roll 904 of stretch wrap, which is comprised of a rigid tube (not shown) and a sheet of stretch wrap wound onto the rigid tube, is mounted on the elongated handle 902 between the first retaining member 910 and the second retaining member 912.

In one embodiment, the elongated handle 902 includes a first end 903 which may be placed onto the ground to assist a user/operator in wrapping a pallet (stacked with objects) and a second end 905 which functions as a gripping area for the user/operator. The first retaining member 910, secured to the first end 903 of the elongated handle 902, includes a sleeve 914, a washer 916 and a pin 918. The washer 916, having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle 902, is placed onto the elongated handle 902 adjacent to the pin 918, which is inserted into the first end 903 of the elongated handle 902 for holding the washer 916 in place. The pin 918 may be removable or may be permanently secured to the elongated handle 902.

In one embodiment, the bottom of the sleeve 914 is located 2.5 inches from the bottom of the first end 903 of the elongated handle 902. 2.5 inches is preferred as the bottom of the roll 904 will then be at the same height as the top surface of the pallet stacked with goods (or objects). This allows the user/operator to wrap the bottom portion of a pallet without having to hunch or bend over. However, the sleeve 914 may be located at any suitable distance.

The sleeve 914, which includes an outer ring 915 for supporting a base or lower end 908 of the roll 904, an inner ring 917 for insertion into one end of the rigid tube in the roll 904 and an opening (as shown in FIG. 3) sized to accommodate the elongated handle 902 passing through, is attached to the washer 916.

Once the roll 904 has been mounted on the elongated handle 902 and mounted onto the first retaining member 910, the second retaining member 912 is mounted onto the elongated handle 902 on top of the upper end 906 of the roll 904, securing the roll 904 to the elongated handle 902. The second retaining member 912 includes a sleeve 920, a first washer 922, a spring 924, a second washer 926 and a lock pin 928. The sleeve 920, which includes an outer ring 921, an inner ring 923 for insertion into a top end of the rigid tube in the roll 904 and an opening (as shown in FIG. 3) sized to accommodate the elongated handle 902 passing through, is attached to the top 906 of the roll 904.

The first washer 922, having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle 902, is mounted onto the elongated handle 902 on top of the sleeve 920. The spring 924 is mounted on the elongated handle 902 directly adjacent to and contacting the first washer 922 to allow the user/operator to adjust the tension of the wrap being dispensed from the apparatus 900. The second washer 926, having a center opening sized to accommodate the elongated handle 902, is mounted onto the elongated handle 902 adjacent to and contacting the spring 924. Next, the lock pin 928 is inserted into the elongated handle 902 to secure the second retaining member 912 to the elongated handle 902 and create tension in the spring 924. The spring 924 creates tension on the stretch wrap which holds it in place. A cover 930 is placed over the second retaining member 912. The cover 930 includes a lever (as shown in FIG. 11) for allowing the user/operator to adjust the tension in the stretch wrap as it is dispensed from the wrapping apparatus 900.

In the preferred embodiment, the length of the wrapping apparatus is 57 inches so that the user/operator can wrap objects from ground level to over his head without having to bend over or stretch. However, this dimension is by way of example only and any suitable dimension may be used.

FIG. 10 illustrates a top view of a cover 1000 of a retaining mechanism, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The cover 1000 includes a center opening 1002 sized to accommodate an elongated handle passing through it. In one embodiment, the diameter of the center opening 1002 is 15/16 inches and the diameter of the cover 1000 is 4.0 inches. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used. Although the cover 1000 is shown as circular, any shape of cover may be utilized, including but not limited to oval, rectangular, square, etc.

FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of a cover 1100 of a retaining mechanism, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The cover 1100 includes a center opening 1104 sized to accommodate an elongated handle passing through and a lever 1102 for adjusting the tension in a spring, as described above. The user/operator manually depresses the lever 1102 to overcome the force applied by the spring allowing the stretch wrap to be more easily dispensed or unwound from the roll.

In one embodiment, the length of the cover 1100 is 4.75 inches; the width or diameter of the cover is 4.0 inches and the width of the lever is 1⅞ inches. These dimensions are by way of example only and any suitable dimensions may be used.

The elongated handle may be constructed of any suitable material such as wood, plastic or metal, such as aluminum.

FIG. 12 illustrates an embodiment of a method of using a wrapping apparatus according to an embodiment of the present application. First, a user/operator stands erect holding the second end of the elongated handle such that the first end of the elongated handle is on the ground and the roll of material, such as stretch wrap, is aligned with the bottom of the goods/objects, which may or may not be located on a pallet 1202. The user/operator then hooks the loose end of the stretch wrap to a corner of the pallet 1204 and walks around the pallet several times dispensing the stretch wrap and stretching it over the goods/objects 1206. This fuses the stretch wrap to the pallet and the goods/objects on the pallet. When the user/operator has wrapped approximately half of the goods/objects on the pallet, the apparatus is inverted (i.e. the second end of the elongated handle is now on the ground and the first end of the elongated handle is now in the hands of the operator) 1208. The user/operator then continues to walk around the pallet stacked with goods/objects dispensing the stretch wrap and stretching it over the top side surfaces of the goods/objects; the roll is approximately chest high 1210. Upon reaching the top surface of the goods on the pallet, the elongated handle is again inverted so that the second end of the elongated handle is back in the hands of the user/operator 1212 allowing the user/operator to lift the apparatus over his head to wrap the top surface of the goods on the pallet 1214, thus environmentally sealing the entire goods/objects on the pallet. Finally, the stretch wrap is severed (or torn) from the remaining material on the roll so that the wrapping apparatus may be set aside and the end of the material may be fused to the pallet so that if the pallet tips over, the goods/objects should not move 1216.

Although the method described with reference to FIG. 12 is described with reference to the objects and/or goods stacked on a pallet, the wrapping apparatus is equally applicable for wrapping objects and/or goods not stacked on a pallet.

Advantageously, the wrapping apparatus according to embodiments of the present application may provide numerous mechanisms to prevent work related injuries. First, users/operators do not have to apply the stretch wrap by walking around the pallet hunched over manipulating the heavy roll while also trying to pull enough tension into the film to hold the pallet together. By positioning the roll 2.5 inches from the first end of the elongated handle as the height of a pallet is 2.5 inches, the user/operator does not have to hunch or bend over to wrap the bottom portion of goods stacked on a pallet. Also, the user/operator may invert the wrapping apparatus to wrap the top of the pallet, or the goods on stacked on the pallet, instead of holding the same roll of stretch film above his head to wrap the top of the pallet while tugging on the film using his back and arm muscles. Additionally, the user/operator does not have to continually hold the weight of the roll of stretch wrap; the elongate handle supports the weight of the roll. As a result of these mechanisms, the physical problems associated with the job of wrapping a pallet, such as back and hip injuries, may be eliminated.

Furthermore, the wrapping apparatus according to embodiments of the present application may provide may cost savings to standard methods of wrapping pallets. First, no external power is needed to operate the wrapping apparatus saving on electricity. Also, the rolls of stretch wrap may be easily and quickly replaced on the wrapping apparatus optimizing a user/operator's time so that more pallets may be wrapped in less time. Furthermore, no additional tools, such as a chair ladder, fork lift, or pallet jack, are needed to wrap an entire pallet of goods allowing an entire pallet of goods to be wrapped regardless of the size of the pallet. Also, the wrapping apparatus is cost effective to manufacture.

One or more of the components and functions illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and/or 12 may be rearranged and/or combined into a single component or embodied in several components without departing from the invention. Additional elements or components may also be added without departing from the invention.

While certain exemplary embodiments have been described and shown in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that such embodiments are merely illustrative of and not restrictive on the broad invention, and that this invention is not be limited to the specific constructions and arrangements shown and described, since various other modifications may occur to those ordinarily skilled in the art.