Title:
Toy vehicle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toy vehicle is described which has a steering wheel positioned behind the vehicle at a distance and height permitting a child to turn the wheels of the vehicle while standing up. A wheel turning apparatus is positioned inside the chassis of the cab of the vehicle, connected to the steering wheel situated behind the vehicle, thus enabling the rotation of the steering wheel from outside, to turn the front wheels connected to the wheel turning apparatus.



Inventors:
Mayson, Samuel Odwalu (Vallejo, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/317971
Publication Date:
01/31/2013
Filing Date:
11/02/2011
Assignee:
MAYSON SAMUEL ODWALU
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H17/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul R. Martin, Paul Richard Martin (Oakland, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A toy vehicle comprising a cab, a steering shaft having forward and rearward ends, said rearward end extending from the back thereof, a steering wheel attached to the end of said shaft, and a toothed gear attached to the forward end thereof, a set of front wheels mounted on the underside of said cab, a wheel turning apparatus positioned inside said cab, connected to said shaft, whereby when said steering wheel is rotated, said wheel turning apparatus turns said front wheels right or left.

2. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein rearward end of said steering shaft extends upward and backward from the back of said cab a distance and at an angle that enables a child to turn the steering wheel attached to the rearward end of said shaft while in a standing position.

3. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein said wheel turning apparatus comprises a horizontal plate having downwardly depending flanges at each end thereof, said plate being rotably attached to a fixed part in the interior chassis of said cab, said flanges each having a hole there through which an axle extends.

4. The toy truck vehicle of claim 3 wherein a wheel is attached to each outer end of said axle.

5. The toy vehicle of claim 3 wherein said horizontal plate has a toothed gear fixed to the underside thereof.

6. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein when said steering wheel is rotated, the toothed gear attached to the forward end of said steering shaft engages the toothed gear attached to the underside of said plate, and moves said wheel turning apparatus and thereby turns said wheels in a right or left direction.

7. The toy vehicle of claim 3 wherein said plate is attached to the interior chassis of said cab by means of a pivot pin projecting upward there from through a hole in said fixed part of said interior chassis, and secured thereto with a nut.

8. The toy vehicle of claim 3 wherein said fixed part is a horizontal plate mounted in the interior of said cab.

9. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein said steering shaft comprises two parts, an inner section and an outer section.

10. The toy vehicle of claim 9 wherein said inner and outer sections are connected with each other at the location where said shaft projects through the back of said cab.

11. The toy vehicle of claim 10 wherein said inner and outer sections are connected by means of interlocking threads.

12. The toy vehicle of claim 1 wherein a trailer is connected to said cab.

13. The toy vehicle of claim 12 wherein said trailer has at least two sets of wheels attached to the underside thereof.

14. A toy truck comprising a cab, a steering shaft having forward and rearward ends, said rearward end extending from the back of said cab, a steering wheel attached to the rearward end of said shaft, and a toothed gear attached to the forward end thereof, a set of front wheels mounted on the underside of said cab, a wheel turning apparatus positioned inside said cab, connected to said shaft, whereby when said steering wheel is rotated, said wheel turning apparatus turns said front wheels right or left.

Description:

This patent application is based on Provisional Patent Application No. 61/572,903, filed on Jul. 25, 2011, in the name of Samuel Odwalu Mayson, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

This invention pertains, in general, to a moveable toy vehicle. More specifically, it relates to a moveable toy vehicle of a type that has a plurality of wheel sets mounted underneath the frame or chassis thereof, and which also has a set of front wheels mounted underneath the cab of the vehicle that are capable of being turned by means of a steering wheel whose shaft extends some distance upward and behind the cab of the vehicle, the forward end of the steering shaft being connected to a wheel turning apparatus located in the cab of the vehicle which enables the front wheels to be turned to the left or right, whichever direction may be desired. While the toy vehicle described herein is described in terms of a toy truck, it also encompasses other types of vehicles such as are shown and described in Provisional patent application Ser. No. 07/252,011, referred to above, all of such contents being incorporated herein by reference. In fact, this invention is applicable to any vehicle that has a pair of turnable front wheels.

2. Background Art

Toy vehicles are well known in the art. They come in a vast array of designs, including big rigs, where a trailer is attached to a cab, and unitary vehicles such as pick-ups, tow trucks, wreckers, motor homes, SUVs and the like. Most toy vehicles include at least two sets of wheels, including a set of front wheels, but the wheels, including the front wheels, are, for the most part, fixed in place, and cannot be turned to the left or right. A child playing with a toy vehicle normally has to get down on the floor, dirt, or sand, and manipulate the toy at close quarters. This is a disadvantage, as the child will often get dirty playing in the dirt, or in the sand.

It would be advantageous to have a toy vehicle which the front wheels can be turned by the use of a steering wheel extending up and behind the cab, so that a child can play with the toy while standing up, and not have to bend down, or get down on the ground in order to enjoy his or her toy. That is the purpose of this invention.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a toy vehicle that has a set of front wheels that can be turned by the use of a shaft to which a steering wheel is attached that enables the front wheels of the vehicle to be turned in a given direction while the child is standing behind the vehicle.

This and other objects will be apparent from the description to follow.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION

My invention is a toy vehicle that has its steering wheel attached to a shaft extending from the back of the vehicle cab, and a gear attached to the forward end of the shaft which interacts with a gear structure or wheel turning apparatus positioned in the chassis of the vehicle cab. When the steering wheel is turned, the gear situated on the forward end of the shaft engages another gear in the wheel turning apparatus that in turn causes the front wheels to turn.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the toy vehicle of my invention.

FIG. 2. Is an enlargement of a section of the shaft of the steering wheel showing the connection of one section of the shaft with another section thereof as it enters the back of the vehicle cab.

FIG. 3. Shows the interaction of the gear on the end of the steering shaft engaging another gear on the wheel turning apparatus.

FIG. 4. Is an enlargement of the end of the steering wheel shaft showing the gear attached to the end thereof engaging a gear forming a part of the wheel turning apparatus.

FIG. 5. Is another view of the front end of the steering wheel shaft which has a gear mounted thereon, engaging a gear in the wheel turning apparatus, causing it to turn as the steering wheel shaft is rotated.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of my invention is a toy truck, and so it will be described herein in that connection. The toy truck of my invention is shown in FIGS. 1-5. The truck 10 comprises a cab 12 having a front end 14, side panels 16, a top 18, and back side 20. The specific configuration is optional. In the cab 12 shown, there are doors 22 on each side panel, and a mirror 24 attached to the forward end of each of the side panels 16 of the cab 12. A pair of front wheels 26 is attached to the underside of the cab frame, and two pair of rear wheels 28. Each of the wheels 26,28 is mounted on an axle, not shown except for the front set of wheels 26. (FIGS. 3 and 5). The back side 20 of the cab has a vertical upper section 30, and a sloping lower section 32. Each of the wheels 26,28 has a cover 34 mounted to the cab, positioned so as to protect the wheel from slinging mud or road debris. The wheel covers 34 are ornamental adjuncts. A trailer 36 is attached to the frame of the cab in the conventional manner such as a fifth wheel that may be attached to the top side of the frame (not shown). The trailer 36 also has a set of wheels 38, one set on the front, and one set on the back. The wheels 38 are mounted on the underside of the trailer, and are fixed in place. Each wheel 38 is attached to a rotating axle (not shown). Alternatively, they can rotate around a fixed axle, also not shown.

A steering wheel 40 attached to a cylindrical shaft 42 is positioned outside the cab 12, the shaft 42 penetrating the back side 20 thereof. The shaft 42 of the steering wheel 40 extends at an angle of approximately 45 degrees from the ground. The steering wheel 40 is attached to the rear end of the shaft 42. The length of the shaft 42 is sufficient so as to enable a child to stand behind the back end of the trailer 36, and, while standing, walking or taking normal steps, turn the steering wheel 40, without undue effort. That is, the shaft is sufficiently long so that a child can stand erect behind the trailer 36 of the truck 10 and rotate the steering wheel 40, and thus the shaft 42 to the right or left easily. The steering wheel 40, as shown, is a typical round wheel with spokes extending outward from the center. However, any other shape of steering wheel can be used so long as the shaft 42 can be rotated with it.

The shaft 42 is comprised of a cylindrical outer section 44 and a cylindrical tubular inner section 46. The outer section 44 can be solid or tubular, as desired. It is connected to the inner section 46 at the juncture where the shaft 42 enters the back side 30 of the truck cab 12. As seen in FIG. 2, the forward end of the outer section 44 of the shaft 42 has threads 48 on the outside thereof. The forward end of the outer section 44 of the shaft 42 is screwed into reciprocating threads 50 in the rearward section of the tubular inner section 46. A tubular sleeve 47 overlies the inner section 46 of the shaft. The sleeve 47 has external threads 52 located at the rearward end thereof on the outside of the tube. A moveable locking nut 54 is positioned toward the forward end of the outer section 44. The locking nut has internal threads, not shown. When the outer section 44 of the shaft 42 is screwed into the inner section 46 of shaft 42, the locking nut 54 is then screwed onto outer threads 52 of the sleeve 47, thus forming a protective bearing through which the shaft 42 extends at the point where the shaft 42 enters the back side 30 of the cab 12, enabling it to be rotated freely as it enters the cab 12. If desired, the sleeve 47 can be fixed to the interior of the cab 12, or the back wall 30. The purpose for the two shaft sections 44 and 46 is so that the outer section 44 of shaft 42 and the steering wheel 40 can easily be dismantled and removed for shipping and storage purposes. The shaft 42 is preferably made of a metal, such as aluminum or iron, but can also be made of plastic. A gear 56 is fixedly positioned on the forward end of the inner section 46 of the shaft 42. The gear 56 has a plurality of teeth 58 situated around its upper periphery.

As best seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, a wheel turning apparatus 60 is mounted to the inside of the cab 12. The wheel turning apparatus 60 consists of an enclosure 62 which comprises a flat plate or sheet 64, and a downwardly extending flange 66 at each end of the flat sheet. Each flange 66 has a round hole 68 through which an axle 70 extends. If desired, a bearing 72 can be positioned within each hole 68, around the axle 70 at each location where it passes through the holes 68, thus enabling the axle 70 to rotate easily within the holes 68. A wheel 26 is mounted at the opposite end of the axle 70. The axle 70, and thus each wheel 26, rotates as the wheels are engaged with the ground, or other surface. Alternatively, the axle 70 could be fixed, and the wheels 26 have bearings in them which permit them to turn around the fixed axle. The flat plate or sheet 64 and flanges 66 are preferably made of a metal such as aluminum, but other materials such as plastic are also suitable. What is required is that it be strong enough to support the components of the wheel turning apparatus.

Positioned above the axle 70 on the underside of the flat sheet 64 is another gear 74. This gear 74 is horizontally situated and is attached to or fixed in position on the underside of the flat sheet 64. The wheel turning apparatus is rotationally connected to the interior of the truck cab chassis by means of a pin 76 attached to the gear 74. The pin 76 projects upward from the center of the gear 74, through a hole (not shown) in a U shaped or angled plate 78 fixed to the interior of the chassis of the cab, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. A bearing 80 is situated in the hole of plate 78, and fixed to the plate. Pin 76, preferably made of metal, projects upward through the bearing 80 situated in the hole of plate 78, and is secured with a nut 82. The pin 76 is thus free to rotate within the bearing 80. The pin 76 is the pivot point between the wheel turning apparatus 60 and the frame 12. Thus the wheel turning apparatus 60 is capable of rotational movement in a horizontal plane as the gears 56, and 74 interact with each other.

Thus, in operation, when the steering wheel 40 is rotated, the gear 56 on the forward end of the shaft 42 engages the gear 74 attached to the underside of the sheet 64, thus causing the wheel turning apparatus to rotate horizontally as the gears 56,74 interact with each other. As the wheel turning apparatus rotates, the wheels 74 attached to the ends of the axle 70 turn in the direction of rotation. Thus a child seeking to play with the truck will be able to turn it in whatever direction he or she wants, just by turning the steering wheel positioned behind the vehicle. The toy vehicle of this invention is preferably made of metal or plastic components. Whether of metal or plastic, however, it is essential that the component parts be strong enough to withstand the rigors of child's play.

It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends and advantages herein. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention as claimed should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments. Indeed, various modifications of the described modes for carry out the invention which are obvious to those skilled in the art are intended to be within the scope of the following claims.