CA2501122A1 - Collapsible multi-use cart and tree stand - Google Patents

Collapsible multi-use cart and tree stand Download PDF

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Publication number
CA2501122A1
CA2501122A1 CA 2501122 CA2501122A CA2501122A1 CA 2501122 A1 CA2501122 A1 CA 2501122A1 CA 2501122 CA2501122 CA 2501122 CA 2501122 A CA2501122 A CA 2501122A CA 2501122 A1 CA2501122 A1 CA 2501122A1
Authority
CA
Canada
Prior art keywords
cart
deck
tree
handle
configuration
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2501122
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
David John Moore
Donald James Macdonald
Original Assignee
David John Moore
Donald James Macdonald
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by David John Moore, Donald James Macdonald filed Critical David John Moore
Priority to CA 2501122 priority Critical patent/CA2501122A1/en
Priority to US11/084,760 priority patent/US20060207831A1/en
Publication of CA2501122A1 publication Critical patent/CA2501122A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60DVEHICLE CONNECTIONS
    • B60D1/00Traction couplings; Hitches; Draw-gear; Towing devices
    • B60D1/14Draw-gear or towing devices characterised by their type
    • B60D1/145Draw-gear or towing devices characterised by their type consisting of an elongated single bar or tube
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01MCATCHING, TRAPPING OR SCARING OF ANIMALS; APPARATUS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF NOXIOUS ANIMALS OR NOXIOUS PLANTS
    • A01M31/00Hunting appliances
    • A01M31/006Game carriers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01MCATCHING, TRAPPING OR SCARING OF ANIMALS; APPARATUS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF NOXIOUS ANIMALS OR NOXIOUS PLANTS
    • A01M31/00Hunting appliances
    • A01M31/02Shooting stands
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60DVEHICLE CONNECTIONS
    • B60D1/00Traction couplings; Hitches; Draw-gear; Towing devices
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B1/00Hand carts having only one axis carrying one or more transport wheels; Equipment therefor
    • B62B1/10Hand carts having only one axis carrying one or more transport wheels; Equipment therefor in which the load is intended to be transferred totally to the wheels
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B1/00Hand carts having only one axis carrying one or more transport wheels; Equipment therefor
    • B62B1/18Hand carts having only one axis carrying one or more transport wheels; Equipment therefor in which the load is disposed between the wheel axis and the handles, e.g. wheelbarrows
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62DMOTOR VEHICLES; TRAILERS
    • B62D63/00Motor vehicles or trailers not otherwise provided for
    • B62D63/06Trailers
    • B62D63/061Foldable, extensible or yielding trailers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B1/00Hand carts having only one axis carrying one or more transport wheels; Equipment therefor
    • B62B1/008Hand carts having only one axis carrying one or more transport wheels; Equipment therefor having a prop or stand for maintaining position
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B2202/00Indexing codes relating to type or characteristics of transported articles
    • B62B2202/42Persons or animals, dead or alive

Abstract

A collapsible cart and tree stand operable in cart, tree stand and collapsed configurations is disclosed. The cart includes a substantially planar deck, wheels removably and rotatably mountable to the deck, and a handle removably connectable at a front edge of the deck. In variations, the cart can hitch to a vehicle, hitch to a bicycle, contain loads in a bin, and includes side rails and a backrest for carrying an injured person. In the collapsed configuration, the handle and wheels are removably stowable adjacent to said deck, with two wheels in substantially coplanar relation to each other. In the tree stand configuration, the deck has a rear edge whose left and right extremities are rearward of an intermediate portion therebetween which is adapted to engage the surface of a tree. A tree support for supporting the deck is provided which is removably attachable to a tree.

Description

COLLAPSIBLE MULTI-USE CART AND TREE STAND
1. TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to mufti-use devices for supporting and transporting loads and, in particular, a collapsible mufti-use cart and tree stand. Variable uses of the mufti-use cart include use as a hunting cart, a trailer cart (including a bicycle led trailer cart), a materials cart and a stretcher.

2. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Tree stands are used to permit a hunter to hunt from an elevated position.
Hunting carts are used to transport game that has been hunted. Trailer carts are used to carry loads while hooked to a vehicle such as an All Terrain Vehicle ("ATV") or a bicycle.
Material carts, such as wheelbarrows, are often used to carry loose, forestry or landscaping materials such as soil, aggregate, logs or chopped wood, or forestry or landscaping supplies.
Stretchers are used to carry injured persons. When not in use, it is often necessary to store tree stands, hunting carts, trailer carts (including bicycle led trailer carts), material carts and stretchers.
Many devices have been developed to perform one or more of the functions of a tree stand, hunting cart, trailer cart, material cart and stretcher. Some of these devices can be folded or collapsed into a collapsed configuration for storage.
For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,492,196 ("' 196") issued to Michno discloses a portable deer cart and tree stand having a U-shaped handle and a securement hoop secured to a seat portion of the device. The device is mounted to the tree by coupling a securement hoop of the seat to a hook of a tree strap. The device of the ' 196 Patent cannot be collapsed into a collapsed configuration for convenient storage, cannot be used as a material cart nor a stretcher; the U-shaped handle impedes the cooperative efforts of multiple persons pulling the device; and the two pairs of support brackets provide a cumbersome construction that results in greater weight and complexity of manufacturing, a lower carrying capacity and impeded maneuverability of the deer cart.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,673,928 ("'928") issued to Jury discloses a folding portable cart having a plurality of hinges and latches pivotally interconnecting an intermediate frame member to forward and rearward frame members; and axle assemblies employing primary and secondary struts for attaching a pair of wheels. When the cart of the '928 Patent is in its folded orientation, forward, rearward and intermediate frame members, two side axle assemblies and two wheels are placed parallel to each other. The cart of the '928 Patent cannot be used as a tree stand, material cart, trailer cart nor a stretcher; the plurality of hinges and latches lowers the carrying capacity of the cart; the parallel placement of the frame members, axle assemblies and wheels when the cart is in its folded orientation results in excessive thickness; and the struts of the axle assemblies provide a cumbersome construction resulting in greater weight and complexity of manufacturing.
The shortcomings of the above devices are addressed by the present invention.

3. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Shortcomings of the prior art may be addressed by providing, in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, a collapsible multi-use cart which is operable in a cart configuration and in a collapsed configuration and by providing, in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention, a collapsible mufti-use cart and tree stand which is operable in a cart configuration and in a tree stand configuration.
In variations, the collapsible mufti-use cart and tree stand is operable as a hunting cart, a trailer cart (including a bicycle led trailer cart), a materials cart, and a stretcher. The mufti-use cart and nee stand includes a deck and at least two wheels which are dimensioned to permit two of the wheels to be stowed adjacent to the deck in substantially coplanar relation to each other when the mufti-use cart and tree stand is in the collapsed configuration.
'The deck of the mufti-use cart and tree stand, in accordance with the second embodiment, includes a rear deck edge having an intermediate portion between left and right rear edge extremities. In the second embodiment, the left and right extremities are rearward of the intermediate portion.
It is an object of the invention that the collapsible mufti-use cart and tree stand be easy to manufacture.
It is a further object of the invention that the collapsible mufti-use cart and tree stand be easy to assemble.
It is a further object of the invention that the collapsible mufti-use cart and tree stand minimize the diversity of equipment needed for hunting, landscaping and carrying injured persons.

4. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Specific embodiments in accordance with the invention are described with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the mufti-use cart, in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention, shown in a cart configuration.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the mufti-use cart shown in Figure 1, shown in a cart configuration.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the multi-use cart shown in Figure 1, shown collapsed.
FIG. 4 is a side view of a variation of the mufti-use cart shown in Figure 1, showing a vehicle hitch component.
FIG. 5 is a side view of a variation of the mufti-use cart shown in Figure 1, showing a bicycle hitch component.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the mufti-use cart shown in Figure 1, showing a bin for containing materials.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the mufti-use cart shown in Figure 1, showing a backrest and side rails.
FIG. 8 is a bottom view of a deck of the mufti-use cart suitable for use as a tree stand in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the mufti-use cart in accordance with the second embodiment of the invention, showing in situ use of the mufti-use cart configured as a tree stand.
Like components in the different figures for each embodiment are referenced by like reference characters.

5. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Refernng to Figures 1 and 2, perspective and side views of the mufti-use cart 10, in accordance with a first and preferred embodiment of the invention, are respectively shown. The mufti-use cart 10 is shown in Figures 1 and 2 assembled as a hunting cart 12 and includes a deck 14, a pair of wheels 46 and a handle 52.
The deck 14 in accordance with the first embodiment is substantially planar so as to define a deck plane 16 and has a front deck edge 18, a left deck side 20, a right deck side 22 and a rear deck edge 24 opposite the front deck edge 18. The deck 14 defines a longitudinal direction 26 within the deck plane 16 from the rear deck edge 24 to the front deck edge 18 that is indicated by the longitudinal direction 26 arrow shown in Figure 1.
The deck 14 includes a frame 28 which is generally rectangular in the first embodiment and disposed at the front and rear deck edges 18 and 24 and at the left and right deck sides 20 and 22. The frame 28 is preferably formed from hollow lengths of pipes or tubing that are joined, such as by welding, at their respective ends and at other reinforcement points.
Alternatively, the tubing may be continuous tubing that is bent and welded at reinforcement points. The tubing need not necessarily be welded, but may be riveted or removably attached at intersections by fasteners such as pins, bolts or screws. The tubing preferably has a square cross-sectional shape, but may have any suitable shape, including round, elliptical and polygonal. The frame 28 is preferably made of a strong and lightweight material. For example, the frame 28 may be made of aluminum having a structural grade of 6061 T6. The frame 28 may also be made of other suitable materials, including steel, wood, plastic and composite materials.
A platform 30 is attached to the frame 28 at the front and rear edges 18 and 24 and at the left and right sides 20 and 22 and lies in the deck plane 16 of the deck 14.
The platform 30 has a top surface 32 upon which the platform 30 can carry cargo or other loads, including captured or hunted game animals, and has a bottom surface 34 to which the frame 28 attaches. The platform 30 is preferably made of a solid sheet of anodizing quality aluminium having a grade 5052 H32, but other qualities and grades may be used and the platform 30 may be grated or perforated. In the preferred embodiment, the hunting cart 12 weighs less than 18 kg (40 pounds) and has a tested carrying capacity of up to 227 kg (500 pounds).
A wheel guard 36 is attached to the frame 28 at each of the left and right deck sides 20 and 22. The pair of wheel guards 36 may be integrally attached to or formed in the frame 28, such as by welding, and made of a material similar to the frame 28.
A pair of cross braces 38 are attached to the wheel guards 36, to the frame 28, and to the bottom surface 34 of the platform 30, and extend parallel to and spaced apart from each other between the left deck side 20 and the right deck side 22. The cross braces 38 increase the carrying capacity of the multi-use cart 10. Preferably, the cross braces 38 are made of a material similar to the frame 28 and are integrally attached to or formed in the frame 28, such as by welding.
A wheel opening 40 is defined at each of the left and right deck sides 20 and 22 by one wheel guard 36 and the frame 28 and cross braces 38. Each wheel opening 40 is dimensioned to permit one wheel 46 to fully rotate when placed within the wheel opening 40.
Wheel brackets 42 are fixed to the frame 28 and to the wheel guards 36 at each of the left and right deck sides 20 and 22 at or near mid-way between the front and rear deck edges 18 and 24, thereby forming one pair of opposing wheel brackets 42 at each of the left and right deck sides 20 and 22. Each pair of opposing wheel brackets 42 permits one wheel 46 to be mounted to the deck 14 such that the wheel 46 is able to rotate and can be removed after having been mounted.
Angled wheel guard members 44 are formed in the wheel guards 36 and connect outer ends of the cross braces 38 to the frame 28 at corners of the deck 14. 'The angled wheel guard members 44 cooperate with the remainder of the wheel guards 36 to protect the wheels during use and provide contoured sides so as to improve maneuverability of the mufti-use cart 10. For example, the mufti-use cart 10 is less likely to become caught and come to an abrupt halt when pulling the mufti-use cart 10 alongside the trunk of a tree. The angled wheel guard members 44 also serve as corner handles for grasping the deck 14, such as when lifting or carrying the multi-use cart 10, for example, and serve as attachment points for securing cargo or other loads to be transported using the mufti-use cart 10. Preferably, the angled wheel guard members 44 are made of a material similar to the remainder of the wheel guards 36.
Still refernng to Figures 1 and 2, each wheel 46 has attachment components suitable for attaching the wheel 46 to corresponding wheel brackets 42. In the preferred embodiment, each wheel 46 has a central hub 48 housing an axle about which the wheel 46 rotates, and has wheel nuts 50 for mounting the wheel 46 to the corresponding wheel brackets 42. The preferred embodiment does not require customized wheels, which would increase costs, nor does the preferred embodiment require an axle to extend between the wheels 46. Such an axle extending between the wheels 46 could impede the motion of the mufti-use cart 10 by, for example, catching on underbrush or objects when the mufti-use cart 10 is in motion.
The handle 52 can be connected to the deck 14 at the front deck edge 18, and can be removed after having been connected. When connected, the handle 52 extends in the longitudinal direction 26 from the front deck edge 18, extends substantially within a plane perpendicular to the deck plane 16 at an angle relative to the longitudinal direction 26, and extends in a transverse direction substantially parallel to the deck plane 16.
Thus, the handle 52, when the mufti-use cart 10 is in the cart configuration, extends in the longitudinal direction 26 and additionally is disposed in the transverse direction so as to form a T-shape. The angle at which the handle 52 extends substantially within the plane perpendicular to the deck plane 16 relative to the longitudinal direction 26 is optimally equal or near to forty-five (45) degrees, but can be any angle between zero (0) and ninety (90) degrees, and is preferably between 25 and 65 degrees. In the preferred embodiment, the handle 52 is made from aluminum, but may also be made of other suitable materials, including steel, wood, plastic and composite materials.
The handle 52 preferably includes handle attachment points, such as the tie-down plate 54 shown in Figures 1 and 2, for attaching cargo or other loads to the mufti-use cart 10.
A front deck edge collar 56 is fixed, typically by welding, to the frame 28 at the front deck edge 18 so as to extend in the longitudinal direction 26 and may extend past the front deck edge 18. The handle 52 is connected to the frame 28 and deck 14 by inserting the handle 52 partway into the front deck edge collar 56 and securing the handle 52 in place.
In the preferred embodiment, the handle 52 is separable into a base section 58, a supporting section 60 and a handle bar 62.
The base section 58 has a base longitudinal portion 64 that is removably connectable to the deck 14 by means of the front deck edge collar 56. The base section 58 also has a base extension portion 66 extending from the base longitudinal portion 64 substantially within a plane perpendicular to the deck plane 16 at an angle relative to the longitudinal direction 26.
A joint 68 is operable to permit the base section 58, at the base extension portion 66, and the supporting section 60, at a supporting extension portion 70 of the supporting section 60, to connect. The base section 58 and the supporting section 60 can be removed after having been connected at the joint 68. Preferably, the supporting extension portion 70 and the base extension portion 66 extend in substantially the same direction of extension substantially within a plane perpendicular to the deck plane 16 at substantially the same angle relative to the longitudinal direction 26.
A supporting longitudinal portion 72 is formed in the supporting section 60 and extends from the supporting extension portion 70 at an angle relative thereto such that the supporting longitudinal portion 72 extends substantially in the longitudinal direction 26. In the preferred embodiment, the angle formed between the base longitudinal portion 64 and the base extension portion 66 of the base section 58 is substantially equal in magnitude but opposing in direction to the angle formed between the supporting extension portion 70 and the supporting longitudinal portion 72 of the supporting section 60, the angles having magnitudes of approximately one hundred thirty-five (135) degrees.
Angled brace plates, such as the preferable brace plate 74 shown in Figures 1 and 2, may be formed in the handle 52 to support the base and supporting sections 58 and 60 at the angled connections between their respective longitudinal and extension portions.
A support 76 suitable for supporting the handle bar 62 is formed in the supporting longitudinal portion 72 of the supporting section 60. In the preferred embodiment, the support 76 is a collar fixed to the end opposite the joint 68 of the supporting section 60. The handle bar 62 can be connected to the support 76 so as to extend in a transverse direction substantially parallel to the deck plane 16, and can be removed after having been connected.
The base and supporting sections 58 and 60 are dimensioned to locate the handle bar 62 from the deck 14 a distance in the longitudinal direction and a distance in the extension direction that facilitates human-powered transport. For example, the supporting longitudinal portion 72 and the base longitudinal portion 64 extending from the front deck edge 18 when the multi-use cart 10 is in the cart configuration may be approximately equal in length, and each approximately one sixth the combined length of the base extension portion 66 and the supporting extension portion 70. The angled T-shape of the handle 52 provides a place clear of obstructions on either side of the base and supporting sections 58 and 60 from which two people may push on the handle bar 62 so as to pull, or manually tow, the mufti-use cart 10. The dimensions of the angled T-shape of the handle 52 effect a weight distribution that provides a stable and balanced place from which only one person may effectively tow the mufti-use cart 10 by pushing on only one side of the handle bar 62. The angled T-shape of the handle 52 also permits manual towing of the mufti-use cart 10 by one or two persons pulling on one or both sides of the handle bar 62 and permits the mufti-use cart 10 to be pushed, rather than manually towed, by pushing on the handle bar 62.
The connections between the base section 58 and the deck 14 at the front deck edge collar 56, between the base section 58 and the supporting section 60 at the joint 68, and between the supporting section 60 and the handle bar 62 at the support 76 may be secured with the use of any suitable fastener or combination of fasteners, including the use of a clip, a cotter pin, a set screw and a pin and groove arrangement, with or without spring biasing means.
A hollow region within the handle bar 62 provides an enclosure 78 which is accessible to a user and can store items such as small tools and accessories, including items such as a wrench, tire repair kit, and the elastic cord 88 described below. In the preferred embodiment, the entire handle bar 62 is hollow and open at one end for access to the enclosure 78 formed by the entire hollow interior of the handle bar 62.
A plug, such as the preferably water sealing plug 80 shown in Figures 1 and 2, is provided to seal the accessible hollow region within the handle bar 62 such that the enclosure is water-resistant.
A kickstand 82 is preferably included in the multi-use cart 10. The kickstand 82 includes an attachment end attached to the base section 58 of the handle 52 and permitting the kickstand 82 to rotate about the attachment end. The kickstand 82 rotates about a sliding hinge 84 located at the attachment end between the extended position shown in Figures 1 and 2 and a retracted position (not shown). The kickstand 82 has, at a free end opposite the attachment end, a foot 86 that, when the kickstand 82 is in its extended position, abuts the ground or other surface and thereby supports the multi-use cart 10 such that the deck plane 16 is generally parallel with the ground upon which the mufti-use cart 10 rests and the handle bar 62 is conveniently located for grasping by a user. In the retracted position, the kickstand 82 and the base extension portion 66 of the handle 52 are preferably parallel or nearly parallel to each other and the foot 86 is near to the base extension portion 66.
A resilient member, such as the elastic cord 88 shown in Figures 1 and 2, or other elasticized or coiled spring-like attachment, is attached at one of its ends to the kickstand 82 and at its opposite end to the handle 52. In Figures 1 and 2, the elastic cord 88 is shown attached to the handle 52 near the handle bar 62, but other locations may be used. The elastic cord 88 urges the kickstand 82 toward the retracted position and retains the kickstand 82, after having been moved into the retracted position, in the retracted position.
In the preferred embodiment, moving the kickstand 82 from the retracted position to the extended position is accomplished by rotating the kickstand 82 towards the extended position and against the urging of the elastic cord 88 until the sliding hinge 84 has caused the attachment end of the kickstand 82 to slide toward the handle 52 and has locked the kickstand 82 in its extended position. Moving the kickstand 82 from the extended position to the retracted position is accomplished by first pulling the kickstand 82 away from the handle 52, which moves the kickstand 82 toward the ground when the mufti-use cart 10 is upright, until the kickstand 82 is released from its locked state. The kickstand 82 is then, accompanied by the urging of the elastic cord 88, rotated toward the retracted position.
Figure 3 shows a bottom view of the deck 14 of the mufti-use cart 10 configured, in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention, in a collapsed configuration 90. In the collapsed configuration 90, the base section 58, the supporting section 60 and the handle bar 62 are separated from each other and are stowed adjacent to the deck 14 alongside the deck plane 16. The parts of the handle 52 (Figures 1 and 2) are each connected by collars 92, including the front deck edge collar 56, to the deck 14 and can be removed from the collars 92 for assembling into the cart configuration. In the preferred embodiment, the collars 92, including the front deck edge collar 56, are attached to the mufti-use cart 10 at the frame 28 adjacent the bottom surface 34 of the platfonm 30. The kickstand 82 is typically placed in its retracted position when the mufti-use cart 10 is collapsed into the collapsed configuration. The pair of wheels 46 are removed from the wheel brackets 42 and can be stowed adjacent the deck 14 alongside the deck plane 16 next to each other in substantially coplanar relation to each other.
The elastic cord 88 is removed from the kickstand 82 and from the handle 52 (Figures 1 and 2) and can be used to secure both wheels 46 to the deck 14. The elastic cord 88 can be removed and the wheels 46 removed from their stowed position. The deck 14 and the wheels 46 are dimensioned to permit the generally coplanar relation of the wheels 46 in the collapsed configuration 90 to minimize the width or thickness of the mufti-use cart 10 for improved convenience of storage. In the prefenred embodiment, the mufti-use cart 10 in the collapsed configuration 90 has a thickness of 20 cm (8 inches) or less.
In operation, the user transports the mufti-use cart 10 into a recreation area in the collapsed configuration, either by vehicle or carried. The mufti-use cart 10 can be quickly and easily assembled at the recreation area, then pushed or pulled by at least one operator to a desired location. The elastic cord 88 is used to secure equipment to the deck 14 as is desired. The multi-use cart 10 is lightweight, and with a high ground clearance, and well balanced weight distribution, is easy to navigate over uneven ground and variable terrain.
Game and other objects can be lifted, dragged or levered onto the deck and transported on the mufti-use cart 10.
Figure 4 shows a side view of a trailer cart 94, which is a variation of the mufti-use cart 10 in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention. The trailer cart 94 has a trailer hitch component 96. With the handle 52 removed from the mufti-use cart 10, the trailer hitch component 96 is inserted at one of its ends into the front deck edge collar 56 and secured by any suitable fastening method, including the same fastening method used to connect the handle 52 to the deck 14. A hitch member 98 of the trailer hitch component 96 is operable to permit hitching the mufti-use cart 10 and a vehicle 100 such as an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle), a tractor or other farm or landscaping vehicle, including a lawn tractor and a garden tractor, or other vehicle.

Typically, the hitch member 98 is hitched to a trailer tow hitch 102 of the vehicle 100. Hitching the hitch member 98 and the trailer tow hitch 102 permits the mufti-use cart 10 to be towed by the vehicle 100. The trailer cart 94 is preferably towed at speeds below highway speed. The trailer hitch component 96 is removably connectable to the mufti-use cart 10 and can be removed from the mufti-use cart 10 by releasing the trailer hitch component 96 from the front deck edge collar 56 and separating the trailer hitch component 96 from the deck 14.
Figure 5 shows a side view of a bicycle led trailer cart 104, which is a variation of the mufti-use cart 10 in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention.
The bicycle led trailer cart 104 has a bicycle attachment component 106. The bicycle attachment component 106 permits the mufti-use cart 10 to be towed by a bicycle 108 in a stable manner.
To install the bicycle attachment component 106, the base section 58 of the handle 52 is connected to the front deck edge collar 56 (Figure 2) as previously described. However, the supporting section 60 is removed and replaced by the bicycle attachment component 106, which is, in the bicycle towed configuration, connected to the base section 58 at the joint 68. The connection at the joint 68 can be secured by any suitable method, including using the same fasteners used to connect the base and supporting sections 58 and 60 of the handle 52. A bicycle attachment end 110 of the bicycle attachment component 106 is operable to be removably connectable to the bicycle, and preferably to the seat post 112 of the bicycle 108, to permit hitching the mufti-use cart 10 and the bicycle 108. The bicycle attachment component 106 is removably connectable to the mufti-use cart 10 and can be removed by releasing and separating it from the base section 58 or by releasing and separating the base section 58 from the mufti-use cart 10.
Figure 6 shows a perspective view of a materials cart 114, which is a variation of the mufti-use cart 10 in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention.
The materials cart 114 includes the entire hunting cart 12 and a bin 116 suitable for carrying within it a load such as materials or other cargo. In the preferred embodiment, the bin 116 is particularly suitable for carrying or containing loose, forestry or landscaping materials such as soil, aggregrate, logs or chopped wood, or forestry or landscaping supplies. The bin 116 is removably connectable to the deck 14 by operation of bin fasteners 118. In the preferred embodiment, the deck 14 and bin 116 are of such dimensions to permit the materials cart 114 to have a volume carrying capacity that is significantly larger than the typical carrying capacity of a standard wheelbarrow.
Figure 7 shows a perspective view of a stretcher 120, which is a variation of the mufti-use cart 10 in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention. The stretcher 120 includes the entire hunting cart 12, a backrest 122, and a pair of side rails 124. The backrest 122 provides support for a load between the deck 14 and an attachment point at an upper portion of the handle 52, such as at the tie-down plate 54 of the supporting extension portion 70.
The backrest 122 cooperates with the pair of side rails 124 to facilitate using the stretcher 120 to transport a person, such as an injured or tired person. The backrest 122 is formed from a mesh or solid sheet made of a fabric or similar material. The backrest 122 can be connected to the mufti-use cart 10 and can be removed from the mufti-use cart 10. In the preferred embodiment, the backrest 122 has a generally triangular shape forming three apexes 126 of the triangular backrest 122. The backrest 122 attaches at the apexes 126 to the mufti-use cart 10 at the tie-down plate 54 of the handle 52, and at the left and right deck sides 20 and 22 near the front deck edge 18, including near the cross brace 38 closest to the front deck edge 18. The side rails 124 are removably connectable to the mufti-use cart 10 at the left and right deck sides 20 and 22, respectively.
Preferably, the side rails 124 attach to the mufti-use cart 10 at the left and right sides of the platform 30, thereby placing the side rails 124 adjacent to the wheels 46 when in the cart configuration, but inward of the wheels 46 to protect an injured person being transported by the stretcher 120 from the turning of the wheels 46 during transport. The backrest 122 and side rails 124, of which there may be more than two, cooperate to enhance the comfort of any person resting on or being transported by the mufti-use cart 10. The side rails 124 can be used without the backrest 122 to protect any load, including hunted game animals, from the wheels 46 of the mufti-use cart 10.
In operation, the stretcher 120 variation of the mufti-use cart 10 can be stored in the collapsed configuration on, for instance, an emergency vehicle, and assembled when necessary to transport an injured person over rough terrain. In addition, the stretcher 120 attachment may be carried with the hunting cart 12 in case of emergency.
Figure 8 shows a bottom view of a tree deck 128 of the mufti-use cart 10, in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention, in which the mufti-use cart 10 is suitable for use as a tree stand 146 (described below and shown in Figure 9). In the second embodiment, the tree deck 128 is substantially planar and has a front tree deck edge 130, a left tree deck side 132, a right tree deck side 134 and a rear tree deck edge 136. The rear tree deck edge 136 includes a left rear edge extremity 138 adjacent the left tree deck side 132 and a right rear edge extremity 140 adjacent the right tree deck side 134. The rear tree deck edge 136 is contoured to substantially conform to the shape of a tree 148 (described below and shown in Figure 9) such that, when in use as a tree stand 146, the rear tree deck edge 136 typically contacts the tree 148 at more than one point along the rear tree deck edge 136. Preferably, the rear tree deck edge 136 is V-shaped and has a rear edge apex 142 located forward of and substantially mid-way between the left and right rear edge extremities 138 and 140. However, the rear tree deck edge 136 may be arc-shaped or shaped any other way in which the left and right extremities 138 and 140 are rearward of a portion between the left and right extremities 138 and 140. The surface of the rear tree deck edge 136 is made uneven or serrated by projections, such as the crenellations or protrusions 144 gripping a tree's outer circumferential surface. The protrusions 144 enhance the suitability of the tree deck 128 as a tree stand 146, including reducing the possibility of slippage between the rear tree deck edge 136 and the outer surface of the tree. Front tree deck edge attachment points 159 and lower strap attachment points 168 are provided at or adjacent to the four corners of the deck 14.
Figure 9 shows a perspective view of the mufti-use cart 10, in accordance with the second embodiment, configured as a tree stand 146. The tree stand 146 is shown attached above the ground, in situ, to a tree 148. The tree stand 146 includes the entire hunting cart 12 (Figures 1 and 2) and a tree support, such as the tree clamp 150 shown in Figure 9. The tree clamp 150 functions to support the tree deck 128 above the ground adjacent the tree 148 when the mufti-use cart 10 is in the tree stand configuration. To configure the mufti-use cart 10 as the tree stand 146, the wheels 46 and the handle 52 (not shown in Figure 9) are typically removed from the mufti-use cart 10 and may be stored, for example, on the ground or in the manner of the collapsed configuration 90 (Figure 3). The tree clamp 150 can be removed from the mufti-use cart 10 so as not to interfere with the operation of the mufti-use cart 10 when being used in the cart configuration. When in the cart configuration, the mufti-use cart 10 is operable to support and transport the tree clamp 150 unconnected from the mufti-use cart 10.
The tree clamp 150 includes a pair of upper strap attachment points 152 located near opposing sides near the top of the tree clamp 150. The upper strap attachment points 152 permit an upper strap 154 to strap the tree clamp 150 to the tree 148. The upper strap 154 can be used to strap the tree clamp 150 to the tree 148 by surrounding the tree 148 with the upper strap 154 and the tree clamp 150, attaching opposite ends of the upper strap 154 to the tree clamp 150 at the upper strap attachment points 152, and tightening the upper strap 154 and the tree clamp 150 around the tree :148 to secure the tree clamp 150 in place. Typically, the upper strap 154 has an adjustable length which permits the upper strap 154 to strap the tree clamp 150 to a variety of trees having a variety of trunk sizes, including the tree 148.
The tree clamp 150 includes a pair of angle strap attachment points 156 located near opposing sides near the top of the tree clamp 150. The angle strap attachment points 156 can receive a pair of angle straps 158 extending from the tree deck 128 at or near the left and right tree deck sides 132 and 134, respectively, toward the tree to the angle strap attachment points 156. The angle straps 158 can be attached to the tree deck 128 at or near the front tree deck edge 130 (including at or near the cross brace 38 closest to the front tree deck edge 130), at front tree deck edge attachment points 159 located at or near front tree deck edge 130, such that the angle straps 158 extend upwardly at an angle toward the tree 148, and can be removed from the tree deck 128.
The tree clamp 150 includes a pair of frame bars 160 which extend vertically in parallel, spaced apart relation to each other between the top of the tree clamp 150, where the upper strap attachment points 152 and the angle strap attachment points 156 are located, at opposing sides of the tree clamp 150 and the tree deck 128 at the left and right tree deck sides 132 and 134 at or near the rear tree deck edge 136. The frame bars 160 can serve to enhance the stability of the tree stand 146.
T'he frame bars 160 include a seat support crossbar 162 which extends between the frame bars 160 and a pair of seat stops 164 respectively attached to the pair of frame bars 160 above the seat support crossbar 162 at its ends. The seat support crossbar 162 and the pair of seat stops 164 cooperate to support a seat of the tree stand 146, such as the seat 166 shown in Figure 9, above the tree deck 128 and below the top of the tree clamp 150. Typically, the seat 166 is supported at a height suitable for the average person to be able to sit comfortably on the seat 166 with their feet resting on the tree deck 128. The seat 166 may be padded for additional comfort.
The seat 166 can be secured in position by inserting one edge of the seat 166 into the gap between the seat support crossbar 162 and the pair of seat stops 164. The seat 166 can be removed from such secure position so as not to interfere with the operation of the mufti-use cart 10 when being used in the cart configuration. When in the cart configuration, the mufti-use cart 10 is operable to support and transport the seat 166 unconnected from the mufti-use cart 10.
The tree deck 128 includes a pair of lower strap attachment points 168 located at or near the left and right tree deck sides 132 and 134 at or near the rear tree deck edge 136. Preferably, the pair of lower strap attachment points 168 are formed by the cross brace 38 closest to the rear tree deck edge 136 at the wheel opening 40. The lower strap attachment points 168 permit a lower strap 170 to strap the tree deck 128 to the tree 148. Thus, the lower strap attachment points 168 can serve to enhance the stability of the tree stand 146. The lower strap 170 can be used to strap the tree deck 128 to the tree 148 by surrounding the tree 148 with the lower strap 170 and the rear tree deck edge 136 of the tree deck 128, attaching opposite ends of the lower strap 170 to the tree deck 128 at the lower strap attachment points 168, and tightening the lower strap 170 and the tree deck 128 around the tree 148 to secure the tree deck 128 in place.
Typically, the lower strap 170 has an adjustable length which permits the lower strap 170 to strap the tree deck 128 to a variety of trees having a variety of trunk sizes, including the tree 148.
In use, the operator can quickly and easily reconfigure the mufti-use cart 10 into a tree stand 146 at a desired height for hunting, observation, or other purposes. The operator can comfortably sit on the seat 166 with his or her back to the tree 148, with equipment on the deck 128 if desired. When leaving, the operator can quickly and easily disassemble the tree stand 146, climb down from the tree 148 and reassemble the mufti-use cart 10 to exit the area.
Apart from the differences described above between the deck 14 of the first embodiment and the tree deck 128 of the second embodiment, the first and second embodiments are substantially similar. As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the second embodiment can be assembled as a hunting cart, trailer cart (including a bicycle led trailer cart), material cart and stretcher, and can be collapsed into a collapsed configuration, with the same ease and effectiveness and in a similar manner as the first embodiment.
As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, in light of the foregoing disclosure, many alterations and modifications are possible in the practice of this invention without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is to be construed in accordance with the substance defined by the following claims.

Dean Palmer IP Law 18 March 2005 List of References Our Ref: 2236 Title: COLLAPSIBLE MULTI-USE CART AND TREE STAND

Applicant:Mooremac Industries Inventor(s):MACDONALD et al.

mufti-use cart 10 hunting cart 12 deck 14 a deck plane 16 a front deck edge 18 a left deck side 20 a right deck side 22 a rear deck edge 24 a longitudinal direction 26 a frame 28 a platform 30 a top surface 32 a bottom surface 34 wheel guards 36 cross braces 38 a wheel opening 40 wheel brackets 42 angled wheel guard members 44 a pair of wheels 46 a central hub 48 wheel nuts 50 a handle 52 tie-down plate 54 a front deck edge collar 56 a base section 58 a supporting section 60 a handle bar 62 a base longitudinal portion b4 a base extension portion 66 A joint 68 a supporting extension portion 70 a supporting longitudinal portion 72 brace plate 74 a support 76 an enclosure 78 water sealing plug 80 1 of 3 Dean Palmer IP Law 18 March 2005 a kickstand 82 a sliding hinge 84 a foot 86 the elastic cord 88 a collapsed configuration 90 collars 92 a trailer cart 94 a trailer hitch component 96 A hitch member 98 a vehicle 100 a standard trailer tow hitch 102 a bicycle led trailer cart 104 a bicycle attachment component 106 a bicycle 108 A bicycle attachment end 110 seat post 112 a materials cart 114 a bin 116 bin fasteners 118 a stretcher 120 a backrest 122 a pair of side rails 124 three apexes 126 a tree deck 128 a front tree deck edge 130 a left tree deck side 132 a right tree deck side 134 a rear tree deck edge 136 a left rear edge extremity 138 a right rear edge extremity 140 a rear edge apex 142 protrusions 144 a tree stand 146 a tree 148 tree clamp 150 a pair of upper strap attachment points 152 an upper strap 154 a pair of angle strap attachment points 156 a pair of angle straps 158 front tree deck edge attachment points 159 2 of 3 ,, . . Dean Palmer IP Law 18 March 2005 a pair of frame bars 160 a seat support crossbar 162 a pair of seat stops 164 seat 166 a pair of lower strap attachment points 168 a lower strap 170 3 of 3

Claims (38)

1. A collapsible cart operable in a cart configuration and in a collapsed configuration, the cart comprising:

a) a substantially planar deck having opposing front and rear edges and left and right sides;

b) at least two wheels, said at least two wheels respectively being, when the cart is in the cart configuration, removably and rotatably mounted to said deck adjacent said left and right sides so as to define a longitudinal direction of travel; and c) a handle, said handle being, when the cart is in the cart configuration, removably connected to said deck at said front edge, said handle being removably stowable adjacent to said deck when the cart is in the collapsed configuration, whereby said deck and said at least two wheels are dimensioned to permit two of said at least two wheels to be stowed adjacent to said deck in substantially coplanar relation to each other when the cart is in the collapsed configuration.
2. The cart of claim 1, wherein said handle, when the cart is in the cart configuration, extends in said longitudinal direction and additionally is disposed in a transverse direction so as to form a T-shape.
3. The cart of claim 1, wherein said handle is separable into a plurality of sections, said plurality of sections comprising:

a) a base section, said base section being removably connectable to said deck at said front edge; and b) a supporting section, said supporting section being removably connectable to said base section.
4. The cart of claim 1, wherein said handle comprises:

a) a longitudinal portion, said longitudinal portion extending from said deck substantially in said longitudinal direction when the cart is in the cart configuration; and b) an extension portion, said extension portion extending, when the cart is in the cart configuration, substantially within a plane perpendicular to the plane of said deck at an angle relative to said longitudinal direction.
5. The cart of claim 4, wherein said angle is in a range between 25 and 65 degrees.
6. The cart of claim 3, wherein said base section comprises:

a) a base longitudinal portion, said base longitudinal portion extending from said deck substantially in said longitudinal direction when the cart is in the cart configuration; and b) a base extension portion, said base extension portion extending, when the cart is in the cart configuration, substantially within a plane perpendicular to the plane of said deck at an angle relative to said longitudinal direction.
7. The cart of claim 6, wherein said angle is in a range between 25 and 65 degrees.
8. The cart of claim 3, wherein said plurality of sections further comprise a handle bar, said handle bar being removably connectable to said supporting section, said handle bar being disposed, when the cart is in the cart configuration, in a transverse direction parallel to the plane of said deck to facilitate manual towing of the cart by one or more users.
9. The cart of claim 8, wherein said handle bar comprises an accessible hollow region within said handle bar for containing items.
10. The cart of claim 9, further comprising a plug for plugging said accessible hollow region within said handle bar.
11. The cart of claim 1, wherein said handle comprises at least one attachment point for attaching a load.
12. The cart of claim 1, wherein said deck comprises a frame and a substantially planar platform for carrying a load, said platform being attached to said frame.
13. The cart of claim 1, wherein said cart comprises at least two wheel brackets attached to said deck at said left and right sides, said at least two wheels being removably and rotatably mountable to said at least two wheel brackets, respectively.
14. The cart of claim 1, wherein said cart comprises at least two wheel guards attached to said deck at said left and right sides, respectively, each of said at least two wheel guards defining an opening dimensioned to permit placement therein of one of said at least two wheels.
15. The cart of claim 14, wherein each of said at least two wheel guards comprises a corner handle for grasping said cart, said corner handle being located at a corner of said deck.
16. The cart of claim 1, wherein said at least two wheels are removably and rotatably mountable to said deck without the use of an axle between said at least two wheels.
17. The cart of claim 1, further comprising a collar attached to said deck at said front edge, said collar being operable to connect said handle to said deck when the cart is in the cart configuration and operable to stow at least a section of said handle adjacent to said deck when the cart is in the collapsed configuration.
18. The cart of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of collars operable to stow said handle adjacent to said deck when the cart is in the collapsed configuration.
19. The cart of claim 1, further comprising a kickstand having an attachment end and a foot opposite said attachment end, said kickstand being removably attachable at said attachment end to said handle.
20. The cart of claim 19, wherein said kickstand is operable to retract to a retracted position and to extend to an extended position, said foot being closer to said handle when said kickstand is in said retracted position than when said kickstand is in said extended position.
21. The cart of claim 20, further comprising a resilient attachment member operable to urge said kickstand toward said retracted position when the cart is in the cart configuration.
22. The cart of claim 21, wherein said resilient attachment member is operable to facilitate maintaining a removably stowable position of said at least two wheels when the cart is in the collapsed configuration.
23. The cart of claim 1, wherein said handle comprises a hitch member operable to permit hitching the cart and a vehicle.
24. The cart of claim 1, wherein said handle comprises a bicycle hitch member operable to permit hitching the cart and a bicycle.
25. The cart of claim 1, further comprising a bin for containing a load, said bin being removably connectable to said deck adjacent a top surface of said deck.
26. The cart of claim 1, further comprising a backrest for providing support between said deck and an upper portion of said handle.
27. The cart of claim 26, wherein said handle comprises an attachment point at said upper portion of said handle, said backrest being removably connectable to said attachment point and to said deck at said left and right sides.
28. The cart of claim 1, further comprising at least two rails removably connectable to said deck at said left and right sides, respectively, such that said at least two rails are inwardly adjacent to said at least two wheels when the cart is in the cart configuration.
29. An apparatus, the apparatus being operable in a cart configuration and in a tree stand configuration, the apparatus comprising:

a) a substantially planar deck having opposing front and rear edges and left and right sides, said rear edge having a left extremity adjacent said left side, a right extremity adjacent said right side and an intermediate portion intermediate of said left extremity and said right extremity, said left extremity and said right extremity being rearward of said intermediate portion;

b) at least two wheels, said at least two wheels being removably and rotatably mountable to said deck adjacent said left and right sides, respectively;

c) a handle, said handle being removably connectable to said deck at said front edge;
and d) a tree support, said tree support being removably attached to a tree and operable to support said deck when the apparatus is in the tree stand configuration, said tree support being unconnected from the apparatus when the apparatus is in the cart configuration.
30. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein said tree support comprises a pair of upper strap attachment points for strapping said tree support to a tree.
31. The apparatus of claim 30, wherein said tree support is operable to support a seat above said deck and below said upper strap attachment points when the apparatus is in the tree stand configuration.
32. The apparatus of claim 30, wherein said tree support comprises a pair of frame bars extending in parallel, spaced apart relation between said upper strap attachment points and said deck when the apparatus is in the tree stand configuration.
33. The apparatus of claim 32, wherein said tree support comprises a seat support crossbar extending from one frame bar of said pair of frame bars to the other of said pair of frame bars and a pair of seat stops respectively attached to said pair of frame bars above said seat support crossbar, said pair of seat stops and said seat support crossbar cooperating to support a seat above said deck and below said upper strap attachment points when the apparatus is in the tree stand configuration.
34. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein said tree support comprises angle strap attachment points for receiving a pair of straps extending upwardly from said deck at said left and right sides toward the tree to said angle strap attachment points when the apparatus is in the tree stand configuration.
35. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein said rear edge comprises a plurality of projections for gripping the tree when the apparatus is in the tree stand configuration.
36. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein said deck comprises a pair of lower strap attachment points for strapping said deck at said rear edge to a tree.
37. The apparatus of claim 29, further comprising a seat.
38. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein said deck and said at least two wheels are dimensioned to permit two of said at least two wheels to be stowed adjacent to said deck in substantially coplanar relation to each other, and wherein said handle is removably stowable adjacent to said deck.
CA 2501122 2005-03-17 2005-03-17 Collapsible multi-use cart and tree stand Abandoned CA2501122A1 (en)

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CA 2501122 CA2501122A1 (en) 2005-03-17 2005-03-17 Collapsible multi-use cart and tree stand
US11/084,760 US20060207831A1 (en) 2005-03-17 2005-03-18 Collapsible multi-use cart and tree stand

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US11/084,760 US20060207831A1 (en) 2005-03-17 2005-03-18 Collapsible multi-use cart and tree stand

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