Title:
STRAP ROLLER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for supplying heavy duty strapping for use in a cargo area. The device includes a housing, a two-way motor supported within the housing having a shaft for paying out, winding and storing the heavy duty strapping and a magnet affixed to the housing and sized to releaseably affix the device to a magnetically attractable support.



Inventors:
Donovan, Tom (Petaluma, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/372551
Publication Date:
08/20/2009
Filing Date:
02/17/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61D45/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GORDON, STEPHEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dergosits & Noah LLP (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for supplying heavy duty strapping for use in retaining cargo, said device comprising a housing, a two-way motor supported within said housing having a shaft for paying out, winding and storing said heavy duty strapping and a magnet affixed to said housing and sized to releaseably affix said device to a magnetically attractable support.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said housing is releaseably affixed to said magnetically attractable support by said magnet proximate a cargo area for selectively paying out said heavy duty strapping for selectively retaining said cargo therein.

3. In the combination of a vehicle having a cargo area and a device for supplying heavy duty strapping whereby said device comprises a housing, two-way motor supported within said housing and a shaft for paying out, winding and storing said heavy duty strapping for selectively retaining cargo within said cargo area, the improvement comprising a magnet affixed to said housing and sized to releaseably affix said device to a magnetically attractable surface of said vehicle.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said motor is powered by said vehicle.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application relies upon U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/029,525 filed on Feb. 18, 2008.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention involves a device for supplying heavy duty strapping for use in retaining cargo in such environments such as the cargo area of a vehicle. The device is powered by a two-way motor for paying out and withdrawing the strapping and is releaseably affixed to the cargo area by affixing the device to a magnetically attractable surface thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Heavy duty straps are commonly used in manufacturing, transporting and storing a variety of products. Equipment such as trailers or containers may be equipped with these straps to stabilize the loads being carried. To be effective, there must often be several straps that reach across the entire length of the load at different locations. The straps must be sturdy enough to withstand the loads they bare. The straps must also be long enough to span the entire length of the load. As a result, these straps are often long and heavy, and may often become intertwined with other straps.

The process of coiling these lengthy and heavy straps after usage may take considerable time and effort. There is therefore a need for products that may simplify and expedite the process of coiling the straps. These products must be powerful and convenient. These products must also be portable enough to handle the wide variety of strap arrangements needed to handle a diversity of load configurations.

Several prior art approaches have addressed the consumers' desire for strap rollers. For example, some prior art strap rollers use manual cranks as coiling devices. One end of the strap is attached to a roller. The user then turns a hand crank to turn the roller, coiling the strap as the crank and roller turn. These devices provide an alternative to coiling straps by hand, but may be inconvenient, laborious and time consuming. Examples of these strap rollers appear in the following U.S. Pat. Nos., which are incorporated herein by reference for their supporting teaching: U.S. Pat. No. 6,729,604 to Claycomb; U.S. Pat. No. 6,206,317 to Harverstine; U.S. Pat. No. 5,975,454 to Potter; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,603,589 to Regal.

Another approach uses a cranking system that utilizes an external power source. These devices use a cranking system similar to the manual cranks. These devices, however, offer the option of using an external motor as a power source. The user attaches one end of the strap to the coiling device. The user then attaches the device to an external motor and the motor turns the roller and coils the strap. The use of motors makes these devices less laborious and time consuming than manual cranks. However, the need for an external power source still makes these devices inconvenient and limits their portability This approach appears in U.S. Pat. No. 7,059,588 to Goulet and U.S. Pat. No. 6,467,755 to Reilly, which are incorporated herein by reference to for their supporting teachings.

Yet another approach uses a handheld, powered coiler. This approach appears in U.S. Pat. No. 4,588,167 to Finzel, which is incorporated herein by reference for its supporting teachings. This product combines a small motor with a crank to make one unified coiling device. The user attaches one end of the strap to the spool. The user then holds the device as the motor turns the spool and coils the strap. This device is more portable and convenient than coilers that use an external power source. This device is also more expedient and convenient than manual cranks. However, the coiling process may still be laborious and time consuming because of the need for the user to hold the device while it coils. This device also lacks the ideal stability and convenience needed for working with heavy straps.

Traditionally, devices of this nature have been affixed to key locations within or approximate a cargo area for retaining and stabilizing cargo therein. In doing so, mounting plates are provided for the passage of carriage bolts and the like resulting in permanently established fixed locations for these coilers. Although a permanent anchoring system provides a secure framework for paying out, winding and storing heavy strapping, such an arrangement is not without its drawbacks. For example, holes must be crafted within or proximate to the cargo area thus defacing such support structure. Further, although a fixed location for a coiler may be ideal in some situations, when loads change, it may be preferable to have such devices in different locations. Fixing the devices permanently, such as at a fixed location within the side wall of a vehicle reduces flexibility and thus utility of such coilers.

It is thus an object of the present invention to provide a device capable of paying out, withdrawing and supporting heavy strapping that can be repositioned at will while retaining the utilitarian benefits of the prior art.

These objects will be more readily apparent when considering the following disclosure and appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A device for supplying heavy duty strapping for use in a cargo area. The device includes a housing, a two-way motor supported within the housing having a shaft for paying out, winding and storing the heavy duty strapping and a magnet affixed to the housing and sized to releaseably affix the device to a magnetically attractable support.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of the device of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a cargo vehicle having the present invention used thereon.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As noted, the present invention involves a device for supplying heavy duty strapping for use in retaining cargo FIG. 1 is a front plan view of such a device whereby device 10 includes mounting plate 11 and, spaced therefrom, motor plate 14. As such in phantom, the present device includes a motor housing 15 containing a two-way motor for turning spool 23 (FIG. 2) for paying out, winding and storing heavy duty strapping of the type generally employed for tying down and retaining cargo.

Turning to FIG. 2, the device of FIG. 1 is shown in side view. Again, motor housing 15 is supported between mounting plate 11 and motor plate 14 and held in place by B type connectors 21.

Emanating through axle hole 13 (FIG. 1) is axle 22 in the form of a shaft extending from the two-way motor. In its preferred embodiment, axle 22 fits within spool 23 within centrally configured bore 26. Spool mounting hole 24 is provided for receiving a threaded member (not shown) for securing axle 22 within bore 26. It is upon spool 23 that heavy duty strapping is wound.

When motor within motor housing 15 is employed to cause axle 22 to rotate in one direction, heavy duty strapping winds upon spool 23. When switch 12 is set in an opposite orientation, motor within housing 15 causes axle 22 to spin in an opposite direction thus enabling spool 23 to pay out heavy duty strapping as needed.

As noted previously, devices of this type generally include, within their mounting plates, various holes for permanently retaining the device to a side wall or similar support positioned proximate the cargo area. This not only defaces the cargo area but also limits the flexibility of the device as its repositioning is either cumbersome or impossible carry out.

The present invention solves this impediment by providing magnet 25 (FIG. 2) affixed to mounting plate 11. The magnet can be affixed to the mounting plate either by magnetic attraction or by passing a bolt through the magnet and through the mounting plate as desired. In doing so, the device can be repositioned anywhere within or proximate to a suitable cargo area as long as it is appended to a magnetically attractable support. An illustration of this is found in FIG. 3.

Turning to FIG. 3, vehicle 30 is shown in the form of a cargo vehicle having a cargo area 50 positioned behind cab 55. Internal cargo receiving area 35 is shown in which devices 40 and 41 have been arbitrarily attached to side wall 51 through the use of magnets 38 and 39. Typically, side wall 51 would be made of metal such that magnets 38 and 39 would readily affix devices 40 and 41 thereto. Devices 40 and 41 are composed not only of magnets 38 and 39 but also of housings 31 and 32 from which spools 36 and 37 emanate. As noted previously, these spools are directly coupled to two-way motors contained within motor housings and within devices 40 and 41. Heavy duty strapping 33 and 34 is selectively wound upon spools 36 and 37 such that upon actuation of motors, strapping 33 and 34 can be caused to pay out from spools 36 and 37 across cargo area 35 only to attach either by hooks or other means to the opposite side wall of body 50. Again, because devices 40 and 41 are held to side wall 51 by magnetic attraction, it is quite easy for these devices to be repositioned on other walls or their height changed or further devices added to or subtracted from the tie down matrix in order to optimally strap down loads while not resulting in any defacement of the truck body.

It is further noted that a motor contained within housing 15 can be powered by running lines 9 (FIG. 1) to the electrical service of vehicle 30. Such 12 volt service could conveniently be employed to power the present devices without need for external power sources of any kind.