Title:
SEAT BACK MOUNTED LOAD FLOOR SYSTEM AND METHOD OF MAKING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A load floor system for use with a vehicle seat having a seat bottom and a seat back connected to the seat bottom includes a load floor member adapted for pivotal connection to the seat back and configured to move between a stowed position and a deployed position when the load floor member is pivotally connected to the seat back. The load floor member may be substantially horizontal and disposed above and spaced apart from a floor surface of the vehicle when in the deployed position. A support member supports the load floor member when the load floor member is in the deployed position.



Inventors:
Sturt, Alan (West Bloomfield, MI, US)
Rye, Paul (Brighton, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/928587
Publication Date:
04/30/2009
Filing Date:
10/30/2007
Assignee:
International Automotive Components Group North America, Inc. (Dearborn, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C9/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Attention: Intellectual Property Manager (SOUTHFIELD, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A load floor system for use with a vehicle seat having a seat bottom and a seat back connected to the seat bottom, the load floor system comprising: a load floor member adapted for pivotal connection to the seat back and configured to move between a stowed position and a deployed position when the load floor member is pivotally connected to the seat back, the load floor member being substantially horizontal and disposed above and spaced apart from a floor surface of the vehicle when in the deployed position; and a support member supporting the load floor member when the load floor member is in the deployed position.

2. The system of claim 1, the seat back being configured to recline with respect to the seat bottom, the system further comprising a hinge connected to an end of the load floor member, the hinge being configured to pivotally connect the load floor member to the seat back and further configured to raise the end of the load floor member as the seat back reclines in a first direction and to lower the end of the load floor member as the seat back reclines in a second direction opposite the first direction.

3. The system of claim 2, the seat back being configured to recline about a pivot point between a plurality of upright positions, wherein the hinge is disposed rearward of, and a first distance below the pivot point when the seat back is in a first upright position and wherein the hinge is disposed rearward of, and a second distance below the pivot point that is greater than the first distance when the seat back is in a second upright position that is reclined rearward of the first upright position.

4. The system of claim 3, the seat back being further configured to fold onto the seat bottom, wherein the hinge is configured to position the load floor member substantially flush with the seat back when the seat back is folded onto the seat bottom while the load floor member is in the deployed position.

5. The system of claim 4 wherein the load floor member is substantially parallel with the seat back when the seat back is folded onto the seat bottom while the load floor member is in the deployed position.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein the load floor member is substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the seat back when in the stowed position.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein the support member is pivotally connected to the load floor member and is configured to move between a retracted and a support position.

8. The system of claim 7 wherein the support member is substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the load floor member when the support member is in the retracted position.

9. The system of claim 7 wherein the support member is substantially transverse to the load floor member when the support member is in the support position.

10. The system of claim 7 wherein the support member is a leg having a width substantially equal to a width of the load floor member and a length sufficient to support the load floor member at a substantially horizontal orientation when deployed.

11. The system of claim 7 wherein the support member includes a securing member that is configured to releasably secure the support member in a position that is substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the load floor member while the support member is in the retracted position.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein the securing member is configured to releasably attach both the support member and the load floor member to the vehicle seat while the support member is in the retracted position and the load floor member is in the stowed position.

13. The system of claim 12 wherein the securing member is a hook configured to engage a portion of the vehicle seat.

14. The system of claim 1 wherein the load floor member defines an opening extending there through to permit a user to access the seat back while the load floor member is in the stowed position.

15. The system of claim 14 wherein the load floor member includes a cover member that is configured to move between a cover position and an exposed position to permit a user to selectively cover the opening.

16. The system of claim 1 wherein the load floor member is disposed at least 100 mm above the floor surface when the load floor member is in the deployed position.

17. A vehicle seat system for use in a vehicle having a tub defined in a floor surface of the vehicle, the vehicle seat system comprising: a seat body having a seat back pivotally connected to a seat bottom and configured to pivot between a plurality of upright positions and to fold onto the seat bottom, the seat body being adapted for attachment to the vehicle proximate to, and forward of, the tub; a load floor member having a hinge, the load floor member being pivotally connected to the seat back by the hinge and configured to move between a stowed position and a deployed position disposed above and substantially covering the tub when the seat body is attached to the vehicle, the hinge configured to raise and lower an end of the load floor member as the seat back pivots between the plurality of upright positions; and a support member pivotally connected to the load floor member and supporting the load floor member above the tub while the load floor member is in the deployed position.

18. The vehicle seat system of claim 17 wherein the load floor member is disposed substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the seat back when in the stowed position.

19. The vehicle seat system of claim 17, the vehicle having a support member receiver proximate a rear portion of the tub, wherein the support member has an engagement portion configured to engage the support member receiver.

20. A method of making a vehicle seat having a retractable load floor system for use with a vehicle, the method comprising: providing a seat body configured for attachment to the vehicle, the seat body having a seat back connected to a seat bottom; providing a load floor system including a load floor member and a support member pivotally attached to the load floor member; and pivotally connecting the load floor member to the seat back such that the load floor system is disposed rearward of the seat body.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The field of the present invention relates generally to a seat back mounted load floor systems which may be selectively stowed and deployed and a method of making the same.

2. Background Art

Load floor systems are known. Examples of load systems are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,207,616; 7,188,881; 7,059,646; 6,698,829; 6,905,155; 6,136,259; and 5,855,310, and also in Published U.S. Patent Application Nos. 2006/0108817; and 2004/0105744.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the invention, a load floor system for use with a vehicle seat is disclosed. In at least a first embodiment, the load floor system includes a load floor member that is adapted for pivotal connection to a vehicle seat back. The load floor member can be configured to move between a stowed position and a deployed position when the load floor member is pivotally connected to the seat back. In at least this embodiment, the load floor member is substantially horizontal and disposed above and spaced apart from a floor surface of the vehicle when in the deployed position. A support member supports the load floor member when the load floor member is in the deployed position. In at least one implementation of the first embodiment, in instances where the seat back is configured to recline with respect to the seat bottom, the system may further include a hinge which may be connected to an end of the load floor member. The hinge may be configured to pivotally connect the load floor member to the seat back. The hinge may be further configured to raise the end of the load floor member as the seat back reclines in a first direction and to lower the end of the load floor member as the seat back reclines in a second direction that is opposite to the first direction. In at least one variation of this implementation, in instances where the seat back is configured to recline about a pivot point between a plurality of upright positions, the hinge may be disposed rearward of and a first distance below the pivot point when the seat back is in a first upright position. The hinge may be disposed rearward of, and a second distance below the pivot point that is greater than the first distance when the seat back is in a second upright position that is reclined rearward of the first upright position. In a further variation of this implementation, in instances where the seat back may be further configured to fold onto the seat bottom, the hinge may be configured to position the load floor member substantially flush with the seat back when the seat back is folded onto the seat bottom while the load floor member is in the deployed position. In a further variation of this implementation, the load floor may be substantially parallel with the seat back when the seat back is folded onto the seat bottom while the load floor member is in the deployed position.

In another implementation of the first embodiment, the load floor member may be substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the seat back when in the stowed position.

In another implementation of the first embodiment, the support member may be pivotally connected to the load floor member and may be configured to move between a retracted position and a support position. In a variation of this implementation, the support member may be substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the load floor member when the support member is in the retracted position. In another variation of this implementation, the support member may be substantially transverse to the load floor member when the support member is in the support position. In at least another variation of this implementation, the load floor member may be a leg having a width that is substantially equal to a width of the load floor member and a length that is sufficient to support the load floor member at a substantially horizontal orientation when deployed. In at least another variation of this implementation, the support member may include a securing member that is configured to releasably secure the support member in a position that is substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the load floor member while the support member is in the retracted position. In a further variation, the securing member may be configured to releasably attach both the support member and the load floor member to the vehicle seat while the support member is in the retracted position and the load floor member is in the stowed position. In some variations, the securing member may be a hook that is configured to engage a portion of the vehicle seat. In the deployed position, the support member may contact the vehicle floor and may have a depression in the floor for locating a distal end of the support member.

In at least another implementation of the first embodiment, the load floor member may define an opening extending there through to permit a user to access the seat back while the load floor member is in the stowed position. In at least one variation of this implementation, the load floor member may include a cover member that is configured to move between a cover position and an exposed position to permit a user to selectively cover the opening.

In at least another implementation of the first embodiment, the load floor member may be disposed at least 100 mm above the floor surface when the load floor member is in the deployed position.

In at least a second embodiment, a vehicle seat system may be used in a vehicle having a tub that is defined in a floor surface of the vehicle. In this embodiment, the vehicle seat system includes a seat body that has a seat back pivotally connected to a seat bottom. The seat back is configured to pivot between a plurality of upright positions and to fold onto the seat bottom. The seat body is adapted for attachment to the vehicle proximate to and forward of the tub. A load floor member having a hinge is pivotally connected to the seat back by the hinge and is configured to move between a stowed position and deployed position. When in the deployed position, the load floor member is disposed above and substantially covering the tub when the seat body is attached to the vehicle. The hinge is configured to raise and lower an end of the load floor member as the seat back pivots between the plurality of upright positions. A support member is pivotally connected to the load floor member and supports the load floor member above the tub while the load floor member is in the deployed position. In at least one implementation of this embodiment, the load floor member may be disposed substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the seat back when in the stowed position.

In at least another implementation of the second embodiment, in instances where the vehicle has a support member receiver proximate a rear portion of the tub, the support member may have an engagement portion that is configured to engage the support member receiver.

In another aspect of the invention, a method of making a vehicle seat having a retractable load floor system for use with a vehicle is disclosed. In a third embodiment, the method includes providing a seat body that is configured for attachment to the vehicle. The seat body has a seat back connected to a seat bottom. A load floor system is provided. The load floor system includes a load floor member and a support member that is pivotally attached to the load floor member. The load floor system is pivotally connected to the seat back such that the load floor system is disposed rearward of the seat body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmented perspective view illustrating a vehicle equipped with an embodiment of the seat back mounted load floor system of the present invention in both a deployed and a stowed configuration;

FIG. 2 is a fragmented perspective view illustrating the seat back mounted load floor system of FIG. 1 in a second deployed configuration;

FIG. 3 is a fragmented perspective view illustrating the seat back mounted load floor system of FIG. 1 in the stowed configuration with the seat assembly in a folded flat configuration;

FIG. 4 is a fragmented cross-sectional view of a portion of the seat back mounted load floor system of FIG. 1 in a deployed configuration;

FIG. 5 is a fragmented cross-sectional view of the seat back mounted load floor system illustrated in FIG. 4 in an alternate deployed configuration;

FIG. 6 is a fragmented cross-sectional view of the seat back mounted load floor system illustrated in FIG. 4 in a stowed configuration;

FIG. 7 is a fragmented cross-sectional view of the seat back mounted load floor system of FIG. 1 illustrating an embodiment of a mechanism for releasably connecting the system to the seat back when stowed;

FIG. 8 is a fragmented cross-sectional view illustrating an embodiment of a support member and the vehicle's adaptation to receive and engage the support member; and

FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a method for manufacturing a vehicle seat assembly equipped with an embodiment of a seat back mounted load floor system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various and alternative forms. The figures are not necessarily drawn to scale, some features may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a representative basis for the claims and/or as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.

Referring now to the Figures, FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary vehicle 20 having a seat assembly 22 and an embodiment of a seat back mounted load floor system 24. Vehicle 20 is depicted as a minivan having a tub disposed rearward of seat assembly 22 to receive seat assembly 22 in a folded flat condition. It should be understood that the invention discussed herein is not limited to use with minivans or to vehicles having seats capable of folding flat. Rather, this invention may be used in other vehicles including, but not limited to, passenger cars, pick up trucks and sport utility vehicles. Such vehicles may or may not be equipped with a tub or other cavity to receive folded flat seat assemblies. Additionally, although the seat back mounted load floor system 24 is depicted attached to a rear seat, it should be understood that an embodiment of this system may be used with a vehicle seat in any row of a vehicle. The principles of this invention are not limited to applications in automobiles but may be employed in all types of vehicles including aircraft, water craft, and other land based vehicles such as rail-based vehicles. Furthermore, as illustrated in FIG. 1, seat assembly 22 includes a seat back 26 which is capable of being reclined to a plurality of varying upright positions. It should be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the seat back mounted load floor system 24 of the present invention may also be used with vehicle seats having seat backs that do not recline.

Seat assembly 22 includes a seat bottom 28 for supporting a vehicle occupant. Seat back 26 reclines with respect to seat bottom 28 to allow an occupant of seat assembly 22 a range of recumbent positions to provide for the occupant's comfort.

In at least the illustrated embodiment, seat back mounted load floor system 24 includes a load floor member 30 and a support member 32. Seat back mounted load floor system 24 is depicted in FIG. 1 in a deployed configuration wherein load floor member 30 is substantially horizontal and able to receive and support cargo and other loads. A second seat back mounted load floor system 25 is illustrated in a stowed configuration. In the illustrated embodiment, load floor member 30 is substantially planar and has a perimeter that substantially corresponds with a perimeter of seat back 26. In other embodiments, load floor member 30 may have a perimeter that is dissimilar from that of a seat back to which it is attached. Additionally, the size of load floor member may vary, depending on the size of the vehicle and the distance between seat back 26 and a rear of the vehicle. An exemplary dimension for load floor member may be a width of 18-50 inches and a length of 18-30 inches.

In the illustrated embodiment, load floor member 30 includes an opening 34 extending through load floor member 30. Opening 34 can provide a user with access to a rear portion of seat back 26 where seat back and other controls may be located. Opening 34 can allow an operator to access and engage such controls when the seat back mounted load floor system 24 is in the stowed configuration. While opening 34 is generally rectangular and disposed in approximately the center of load floor member 30, it should be understood that opening 34 could be disposed anywhere through load floor member 30 that is necessary to correspond with the position of the seat back mounted controls discussed above. It should also be understood that the shape of opening 34 need not be rectangular but may be any shape that is needed to provide a user with access to such controls.

Cover 36 is configured to close opening 34 and may be positioned over opening 34 when seat back mounted load floor system 24 is in the deployed configuration to prevent cargo items from falling through opening 34. In the illustrated embodiment, cover 36 is pivotally connected to load floor member 30. In still other embodiments, cover 36 may be a detached component that may be assembled to load floor member 30. In other embodiments, cover 36 may slide back and forth between a position that exposes opening 34 and the position that covers opening 34. Cover 36 may be made of materials including polypropylene, reinforced polypropylene, ABS, PCABS, and other polymers, aluminum, steel, and/or wood. A bin, basket or other storage device may be supplied to fit opening 34. Cover 36 may be used on top of such storage device.

In the illustrated embodiment, support member 32 is pivotally connected to load floor member 30 and engages a rear portion of vehicle 20. Support member 32 is configured to pivot between a retracted position substantially adjacent and parallel to load floor member 30 and a support position substantially transverse to load floor member 30. As illustrated, support member 22 is substantially perpendicular to load floor member 30. In other configurations, support member 32 may be disposed at an angle substantially less than 90° with respect to load floor member 30, depending upon the configuration of vehicle 20. In other embodiments, support member 32 need not be pivotally connected to load floor member 30, but may be a detached component that is positioned on vehicle 20 and assembled to load floor member 30 when the seat back mounted load floor system 24 is placed in the deployed configuration. In other embodiments, support member 32 may be pivotally connected to a portion of vehicle 20 and rotated into position to support load floor member 30 as load floor member 30 is pivoted into a deployed position.

Load floor member 30 may comprise materials including polypropylene, reinforced polypropylene, ABS, PCABS, and other polymers, aluminum, steel and/or wood. Support member 32 may be made of the same materials. It should be understood that load floor member 30 and support member 32 need not be made of the same materials.

In the illustrated embodiment, vehicle 20 includes a tub 38. Tub 38 may be used to support cargo when the seat back mounted load floor system 24 is in the stowed configuration. Additionally, tub 38 may support cargo below load floor member 30 when seat back mounted load floor system 24 is in the deployed configuration. Tub 38 may also receive seat assembly 22 in a folded state to allow seat assembly 22 to form a flat cargo surface substantially contiguous with a floor of vehicle 20. (See FIG. 3.) When deployed, load floor member 30 substantially covers tub 38 (see FIG. 2.) In other embodiments, load floor member 30 may only partially cover tub 38 when seat back mounted load floor system 24 is in the deployed configuration to provide a user with access to both cargo storage surfaces (see FIG. 1).

In the illustrated embodiment, vehicle 20 is equipped with split folding rear seats. Seat assembly 22 refers to only one portion of the split folding seat assembly. A separate and independently operable seat back mounted load floor system may be mounted and used on the other portion of the split seat assembly. The two seat back mounted load floor systems may be used in unison to provide a secondary load floor. When deployed in this manner, delicate and/or valuable cargo can be placed in tub 30 and concealed from view and also protected from other cargo items that might otherwise damage such sensitive cargo.

When the seat back mounted load floor system is in the retracted position, a user has access to tub 38. (See seat back mounted load floor system 25 in FIG. 1.) As illustrated, in the retracted configuration, the support member is substantially adjacent and substantially parallel to the load floor member and is retained in this configuration by latching hook 40 (see FIG. 8). Latching hook 40 may also be configured to retain the load floor member in a position that is substantially adjacent to, and substantially parallel with, the seat back.

Referring to FIG. 2, seat back mounted load floor system 24 is illustrated in a second deployed configuration. In this configuration, seat back 26 is folded forward over seat bottom 28. An upward facing surface of seat back 26 and an upward facing surface of load floor member 30 are substantially flush and substantially aligned to form a substantially contiguous, expanded load floor.

FIG. 3 illustrates seat assembly 22 in a folded flat configuration wherein seat assembly 22 is stored within tub 38 and wherein a back portion of seat back 26 is substantially contiguous and aligned with the floor of vehicle 20 to provide an expanded cargo receiving surface within vehicle 20. Seat back mounted load floor system 24 is illustrated in the stowed configuration, substantially adjacent to and substantially parallel with a back portion of seat back 26. In this configuration, seat back mounted load floor system 24 is substantially out of the way and does not obstruct storage of cargo in vehicle 20 when seat assembly 22 is folded into the floor of vehicle 20. In some embodiments, seat assembly 22 may include a recess in a back portion of seat back 26 to receive seat back mounted load floor system 24 so that seat back mounted load floor system 24 is disposed flush with the floor of vehicle 20 when seat back mounted load floor system 24 is stowed while seat assembly 22 is folded into the vehicle floor.

With reference to FIG. 4, a fragmented cross-sectional view of load floor member 30 is illustrated. The seat back mounted load floor system 24 is in the deployed configuration and a hinge 42 pivotally connects load floor member 30 to seat back 26. Hinge 42 is connected to seat back frame 44 by a fastener 46. Examples of fasteners include threaded fasteners such as nuts and bolts and also rivets, to name just a few. Hinge 42 includes a substantially flat portion 48 and a right angle portion 50 containing a substantially perpendicular bend. Hinge 42 also includes a hinge pivot point 52 disposed between flat portion 48 and right angle portion 50.

A seat back pivot point 54 is also illustrated in FIG. 4. Seat back 26 pivots about seat back pivot point 54 as seat back 26 reclines or folds forward over seat bottom 28. In the illustrated embodiment, hinge pivot point 52 is disposed below and rearward of seat back pivot point 54 when the seat back mounted load floor system 24 is in the deployed configuration. As seat back 26 reclines forward and rearward, the height of hinge pivot point 52 changes with respect to the height of seat back pivot point 54 above the floor surface of vehicle 20. For instance, when seat back 26 is reclined to its most rearward position, the height above the vehicle floor of hinge pivot point 52 is at its lowest point with respect to seat back pivot point 54. As seat back 26 is moved to a forward position, hinge pivot point 52 rises with respect to seat back pivot point 54. The upward and downward movement of hinge pivot point 52 as seat back 26 is reclined forward and rearward causes the end of load floor member 30, which is supported on right angle portion 50, to correspondingly move in an upward and downward direction. This permits a user to control the incline of load floor member 30. This may be useful when carrying cargo prone to roll or move when vehicle 20 is in transit. In other embodiments, hinge pivot point 52 may not move upward and downward with respect to seat back pivot point 54 as seat back 26 is reclined forward and rearward. In still other embodiments, hinge pivot point 52 may be coincident with seat back pivot point 54. Such coincidental arrangement of pivot points will result in load floor member 30 remaining substantially still as seat back 26 reclines forward and backwards.

FIG. 5 illustrates seat back mounted load floor system 24 and seat back 26 with load floor member 30 in the deployed configuration while seat back 26 is folded forward over seat bottom 28 (not shown). In this configuration, hinge pivot point 52 has been elevated to a position above seat back pivot point 54. This causes load floor member 30 to rise to a position substantially flush and substantially aligned with seat back 26.

FIG. 6 illustrates seat back mounted load floor system 24 and seat back 26 in the stowed configuration. Load floor member 30 is substantially adjacent and substantially parallel with seat back 26. In other embodiments, a gap between load floor member 30 and seat back 26 may be present. In other embodiments, it may be desirable for load floor member 30 to rest at an angle with respect to seat back 26 when in the stowed configuration.

FIG. 7 illustrates a fragmented cross-sectional view of an embodiment of seat back mounted load floor system 24 equipped with latching hook 40 to retain seat back mounted load floor system 24 in the stowed configuration. As illustrated, latch 40 is attached to support member 32 by fasteners 56. Fasteners 56 may include threaded fasteners such as nuts, bolts, and screws to list just a few. Load floor member 30 includes a latch hook opening 55 extending therethrough to permit latching hook 40 to pass through load floor member 30 as support member 32 is moved into the retracted position. Latching hook 40 is also configured to engage a latch receiver 58 attached to seat back 26. Seat back 26 includes a bezel 60 to accommodate latching hook 40 as it engages latch receiver 58. In operation, a user may lift an end of load floor member 30 and pivot it towards seat back 26. As load floor member 30 pivots towards the stowed configuration, support member 32 pivots towards the retracted configuration. As load floor member 30 and support member 32 approach seat back 26, latching hook 42 enters latch hook opening 55 and further enters bezel 60 to engage latch receiver 58 to secure the seat back mounted load floor system 24 in the stowed configuration. To deploy seat back mounted load floor system 24, a user may pull on a lower portion of support member 32 to disengage latching hook 40 from latch receiver 58 and deploy seat back mounted load floor system 24.

With respect to FIG. 8, a fragmented cross-sectional view of support member 32 and a rear portion of vehicle 20 is illustrated. In the illustrated embodiment, vehicle 20 includes a support member receiver 62 configured to engage a bottom portion of support member 32. Support member receiver member 62 is attached via a threaded fastener to vehicle 20. In other embodiments, support member receiver 62 may be integrally formed with a component of vehicle 20 or may be attached to vehicle 20 by other means. In the illustrated embodiment, support member receiver 62 may also be used as a tie down loop for securing cargo articles stored in vehicle 20.

With respect to FIG. 9, a method of making a vehicle seat having a retractable load floor system is illustrated. At reference numeral 64 the method includes providing a seat assembly 22 configured for attachment to vehicle 20. Seat assembly 22 includes seat bottom 28 and seat back 26 connected to seat bottom 28. At reference numeral 66 a seat back mounted load floor system 24 is provided and includes load floor member 30 and support member 32 pivotally attached to load floor member 30. At reference numeral 68 The seat back method load floor system 24 is pivotally connected to seat back 26 such that seat back mounted load floor system 24 is disposed to the rear of seat assembly 22. The pivotal connection may be effected through the use of a hinge such as 42.

While embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended that these embodiments illustrate and describe all possible forms of the invention. Rather, the words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.