Title:
Hitch Wire Stand
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to a multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly which is adapted to fit into a receiver hitch of a vehicle. The multiple wire dispensing assembly includes 1) an extension bar that is adapted at one end to fit into a vehicle hitch; 2) a shaft support member adapted to receive and retain the second end of the extension bar; 3) a shaft support assembly perpendicularly connected to the shaft support member. The shaft support assembly contains a plurality of parallel spaced shaft members centrally connected to the longitudinal axis of the spindle support assembly. The shaft members each includes a spool support rotational member secured coaxially thereon, and additionally, a retaining cap is secured to the outer end of each shaft member. The shaft members are adapted to receive and retain a spool of wire thereon and to provide controlled contact therewith when the wire strands from the respective spools of wire are to be dispensed therefrom.



Inventors:
Stiltner, Rodney (Box Springs, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/248174
Publication Date:
04/15/2010
Filing Date:
10/09/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H49/32; B65H49/26; B65H49/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
RIVERA, WILLIAM ARAUZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Clifton Tunnell (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly adapted for use with a vehicle receiver hitch, comprising: a) an extension bar having a first end thereof that includes a substantially square cross section that is adapted for releasable insertion into said vehicle receiver hitch, said receiver hitch having a substantially square cross section, the inside dimensions thereof being larger than the outside dimensions of said first end of said extension bar and being adapted to receive and surround a portion of said first end of said extension bar, and said extension bar having a second end that is disposed opposite with respect to said first end, said first end includes a hole in said extension bar adapted to align with a receiver hitch hole in said receiver hitch whereby a retaining pin is adapted for insertion through said hole and said receiver hitch hole; b) a shaft support member that is adapted to releasably receive and surround a portion of said second end of said extension bar, said shaft support member having a substantially square cross section the inside dimensions thereof being larger than the outside dimensions of said second end of said extension bar, said second end includes a hole in said extension bar adapted to align with a shaft support hole in said shaft support member whereby a retaining pin is adapted for insertion through said extension bar hole and said receiver shaft support member hole; c) a shaft support assembly having a longitudinal axis connected in a substantially perpendicular alignment with respect to the longitudinal axis of said shaft support member; d) a support member interconnecting said shaft support member and said shaft support assembly, wherein said longitudinal axis of said support member is disposed such that a right triangle is formed with respect the longitudinal axis of said shaft support assembly and said shaft support member; e) a plurality of shaft members are extended in a substantially perpendicular alignment through said shaft support assembly such that their longitudinal axes are centrally secured to said shaft support member and disposed at a predetermined spaced apart parallel relationship in respect to one another; f) a plurality of spool support rotational members are located coaxially on the exteriors of said support shafts, said rotational members permitting rotation of at least one spool of wire thereon; and g) a plurality of retaining caps connected to the outer edges of said spool shaft members, said retaining caps prevents a spool of wire from sliding off a shaft member during use; whereby a strand of elongate material, such as electrical wire is dispensed off of a single or multiple spools of wire, when said strand is attached to a fixed object and then a vehicle is moved a distance to a desired location causing the strand to be dispensed as the spool or spools rotate around each shaft member.

2. A multiple wire dispensing hitch stand as described in claim 1, further including a square sealing cap on the upper end of said shaft support assembly.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally relates to a dispenser apparatus assembly for dispensing elongate flexible materials and in particular to a hitch mountable system for providing a highly portable and convenient means of dispensing multiple spools of electrical wire for construction purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The use of dispenser apparatuses, especially those adapted to dispense wire, are known in the prior art. More specifically, dispenser apparatus for wire have been heretofore devised and tend to be devices that are manually carried or manually pulled across the ground. Some known devices are either trailer towed devices or devices that require permanent attachment to a vehicle. These devices often dispense a single strand of wire, but are often either ill suited to the faster pace and greater strains that accompany the improved pace of movement and dispensing possible with a movable transport, such as a motorized vehicle, including strains that may dislodge the spool holding the wire from the transport.

Attempts to meet the greater strains of the faster pace of movement appear to have resulted in the development of devices that are less convenient and more time consuming to use. Although known devices have been developed that are able to dispense multiple strands of wire simultaneously, in general, these devices are either fairly expensive to manufacture, difficult to use, and are not capable of being removably attached to a vehicle. Further, these devices have numerous moving parts that can break or malfunction and require costly repair.

The majority of the dispensing devices in the prior art are adapted for dispensing materials that will be used in agricultural settings. Apparatus intended for dispensing wire for fencing in agricultural settings generally have their spools mounted such that its axis is perpendicular to the ground. These devices will encounter difficulties in dispensing electrical wire, because if the spool is mounted perpendicular to the ground, the inherent weight of the wire causes it to fall and bind upon itself during the process of dispensing.

In a construction settings, a single strand of wire can be installed the length of the job site and then the process can be repeated as many times as is necessary for each parallel run that is required. However it is preferred to be able to install a plurality of parallel runs of wire simultaneously. Accordingly, if only one traversing across the job site can result in the dispensing of two, four, or even six parallel runs of wire, a savings of both time and effort will result.

As receiver hitches are in common use, a spooled wire dispenser that is adapted for use with a receiver hitch can readily be used with many vehicles. This eliminates the expense that is associated with the use of a tow dolly to support and to transport the dispenser. Further, a dispenser that extends an appropriate distance away from the vehicle allows the operator to operate a “pick-up truck,” a commonly used vehicle in the construction industry, with the vehicle's tail gate in the open or closed position, thereby maximizing the use of the vehicle.

Examples of wire dispensing assemblies are those disclosed in:

U.S. Pat. No. 3,000,588. (Brady)—The Brady patent discloses a rather elaborate trailer for unrolling heavy rolls of wire used in electrical power lines and has means to use gear and chain drives to insure the proper and accurate dispensing of the wire from the spools.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,107,878 (Wong) The Wong patent discloses a multiple reel carrier mounted on a wheelbarrow type structure and having reel compensating features and separate brake structures.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,789,778. (Zogg)—The Zogg et al patent teaches a wire dispensing structure attached to the three-point hitch on a farm tractor having pairs of wire spools which are rotated in opposite directions to act against each other as a brake when the tractor is stopped.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,934,655—(Whistle) The Whistle patent discloses a rather elaborate post setting and wire dispensing apparatus attached to a tractor structure.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,208,021 (Wall)—The Wall patent discloses a plurality of stacked coil members utilized for the dispening fencing wire and is substantially different structurally.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,042,737 (Sigle)—The Sigle patent discloses a multiple wire dispensing assembly for use in fences that holds the spools in a vertical position and includes an additional trailer structure for supporting the assembly.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,568,900 (Conroy)—The Conroy patent discloses a multiple wire dispensing assembly for use in fences that holds the axes of the spools in a perpendicular position in relation to the ground that is unsuitable for dispensing heavy wire, such as electrical wire, because it binds upon itself during dispensing due to gravity.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,951,316 B1 (Heidelberger)—The Heidelberger patent discloses a towable wire dispensing assembly that includes ground engaging apparatus for supporting the dispenser which are unnecessary to the purpose of dispensing wire.

In these respects, the Multiple Wire Dispensing Hitch Stand system according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of providing a highly portable and convenient means of dispensing elongate flexible materials such as electrical wire.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of dispenser apparatus now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new vehicle hitch mountable dispenser system construction wherein the same can be utilized for providing a highly portable and convenient means of dispensing single or multiple strands simultaneously of elongate flexible materials, including heavy gage electrical wire. To attain this, the present invention generally comprises a frame removably attachable to a vehicle's hitch behind the vehicle, and a spool mounting assembly mounted to the frame for supporting one or more spools on the frame. The spool mounting assembly comprises a plurality of shaft members attached through the center of an upwardly rising longitudinal axis of the frame that are diposed parallel to the ground and at a predetermined space apart from one another. Each shaft member has a spool support rotational member mounted coaxially thereon in order to allow the spool to freely rotate around the shaft member. The exterior end of each shaft members includes a retaining cap for securely retaining spools on the spool support rotational member during operation.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide a wire dispensing hitch assembly for readily connecting to a pickup truck, tractor, or other vehicle's hitch member.

Another object of the invention is to provide a wire dispensing assembly having a plurality of shaft support assemblies, whereby it can retain and rapidly dispense multiple spools of wire simultaneously.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a wire dispensing assembly that retains the wire spools in a horizontal position, such that the axes of the spools are parallel to the ground, such that the electrical wire will not bind during the dispensing process.

Another object of this invention is to provide a wire dispensing assembly that securely retains the wire spools on said assembly during operation.

Another object of this invention is to provide a wire dispensing assembly that can be manufactured easily and economically.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a wire dispensing assembly that is easy to use and can be easily assembled or disassembled on site.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a wire dispensing assembly that can be operated when the tail gate of pickup truck is in its raised or lowered position.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a wire dispensing assembly that can be easily disassembled for compact storage when not in use.

Another object of this invention is to provide a sturdy, long lasting wire dispensing assembly that with sufficient strength to withstand the forces imparted on it.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a wire dispensing assembly that has a minimum amount of parts that can wear out or be damage such that it substantially maintenance free.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the attached specification and appended claims.

Various other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURES OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a new multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly having wire spools located thereupon as they would used in actual operation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, the new multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly of this invention can be better understood by reference to FIG. 1. Illustrated in FIG. 1, is a multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly, indicated generally at 10. The multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly 10 of the invention is highly suitable for dispensing elongate flexible materials or members. The elongate flexible materials may include relatively stiff materials from a spool, such as wire, cable, barbed wire, and also may include relatively more flexible materials such as cord, rope, chain, and string. The dispenser is highly suitable for being mounted to a towing vehicle, such as an all terrain vehicle with three or four wheels, smaller tractors and utility vehicles, but may be used with larger vehicles.

In the preferred embodiment, the multiple wire dispensing hitch stand 10 includes an extension bar 12 that is adapted at a first end 12a thereof for insertion into a receiver hitch 14 of a vehicle (not shown.) Extension bar 12 allows a vehicle, such as a pickup truck, that has a tailgate to be operated in raised or lowered position while the hitch stand 10 is in use.

In general, the requirements for the construction of extension bar 12 for use with receiver hitch 14 are well known and are not discussed in great detail herein. Briefly, extension bar 12 is sized to fit inside receiver hitch 14. Passing through extension bar 12 is a hole 22 that is disposed near the first end 12a thereof. When the extension bar is properly inserted into receiver hitch, hole 22 aligns with a receiver hitch hole 24 that passes through receiver hitch 14. A retaining pin 26 is then inserted through receiver hitch hole 24 and simultaneously through hole 22 in extension bar 12, thus securing the extension bar in a fixed position in receiver hitch 14. Pin 26 is usually held in place by the use of a second pin (not shown) which passes through it once it is inserted through receiver hitch hole 24 and hole 22 in extension bar 12.

Extension bar 12 also has a second end 12b that is disposed at the end opposite to the first end 12a thereof, that is adapted for insertion into shaft support member 44. Extension bar end 12b includes a hole 32 passing through extension bar 12. When extension bar end 12b is properly inserted into the shaft support member 44, hole 32 aligns with shaft support member hole 34. A retaining pin 36 is then inserted through support member hole 34 and simultaneously through hole 32, thereby securing extension bar 12 in a fixed position in shaft support member 44. Pin 36 is usually held in place by the use of a second pin (not shown) which passes through it once it is inserted through shaft support member 44 and hole 32 in extension bar 12.

Shaft support member 44 is perpendicularly attached to a shaft support assembly 50. A support member 48 creates a right triangle by interconnecting said shaft support member 44 and shaft support assembly 50 and provides additional reinforcement for the integrity of the structure of multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly 10.

Extension bar 12, shaft support member 44, and shaft support assembly 50 are preferably of a square shape in transverse cross section so as to present a rigid structure for support of a plurality of horizontal shaft members 60. Each shaft member 60 is interconnected through a central section of shaft support assembly 50 and is attached, by welding or the like, in a substantially perpendicular alignment thereto and at a predetermined spaced apart parallel relationship with respect to each other.

Each shaft member 60 is provided with a hollow coaxial rotational member 80 to receive and support a respective spool of wire 100 thereon and to allow a reduced frictional rotation of a spool 100 during use as will be explained. The interior of each coaxial rotational member 80 is lubricated and then placed such that it coaxially surrounds said shaft member 60 allowing said rotational member 80 to coaxially rotate around said shaft member 60. Exterior retaining cap 90 is connected to the exterior end of said shaft member 60 to retain said coaxial rotational member 80. Further, as shown in FIG. 1, when wire spool 100 is placed on wire caddy 10, said exterior retaining cap 90 retains said wire spool 100 in place during operation. Each of the shaft members 60 are capable of holding a spool 100. Thus the maximum number of spools of wire (not shown) that can be simultaneously dispensed depends upon the number and relative positioning of the shaft members 60. In the preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, six shaft members are able to hold six spools respectively.

During operation, a strand of elongate material, such as electrical wire is dispensed off of a spool, such as spool 100, by securing the strand (not shown) to a fixed object that is not attached to the vehicle and then moving the vehicle to the general location that is desired. As the vehicle moves, the strand, or up to six strands simultaneously, are dispensed as the spool 100 or spools rotate around each shaft member. After the vehicle stops, the strand or strands are then manually urged into location and severed from the spool.

The materials used for all of the component parts of the multiple wire dispensing hitch stand assembly 10 are as desired as are the methods whereby each component part is attached to the other. However for purpose of example, a common material for the component parts of the hitch stand assembly 10 is steel and a common method of attaching them together is by welding. The extension bar 12 must of course be sized to fit into the receiver hitch 14 and shaft support member 44. Usually square steel tubing is required to accomplish this. As it is common practice to construct the receiver hitch 14 of different sizes of material stock to accommodate different towing capacities, the exact size is not given. If it is desired, certain of the component parts may be formed as an assembly by casting or by any other process that is known or preferred. Similarly other alloys as well as synthetic materials may be used to form the component parts other than by use of the steel that is described hereinabove.

The invention has been shown, described and illustrated in substantial detail with reference to the presently preferred embodiment. It will be understood by those skilled in this art that other and further changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention which is defined by the claims appended hereto.