US20070292249A1 - Compact system for lifting and moving pressurized tank - Google Patents

Compact system for lifting and moving pressurized tank Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070292249A1
US20070292249A1 US11/424,184 US42418406A US2007292249A1 US 20070292249 A1 US20070292249 A1 US 20070292249A1 US 42418406 A US42418406 A US 42418406A US 2007292249 A1 US2007292249 A1 US 2007292249A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
device
cradle
tank
base
strap
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
US11/424,184
Inventor
Michael Wilson
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Wilcole Inc
Original Assignee
Itec Manufacturing Ltd
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 Itec Manufacturing Ltd filed Critical Itec Manufacturing Ltd
Priority to US11/424,184 priority Critical patent/US20070292249A1/en
Assigned to ITEC MANUFACTURING, LTD. reassignment ITEC MANUFACTURING, LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WILSON, MICHAEL
Priority claimed from US11/744,749 external-priority patent/US7789611B2/en
Publication of US20070292249A1 publication Critical patent/US20070292249A1/en
Assigned to WILCOLE, INC. reassignment WILCOLE, INC. MERGER (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ITEC MANUFACTURING GP, L.L.C., ITEC MANUFACTURING, LTD.
Assigned to ITEC MANUFACTURING, LTD. reassignment ITEC MANUFACTURING, LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WILSON, MICHAEL
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B5/00Accessories or details specially adapted for hand carts
    • B62B5/0003Adaptations for loading in or on a vehicle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B3/00Hand carts having more than one axis carrying transport wheels; Steering devices therefor; Equipment therefor
    • B62B3/04Hand carts having more than one axis carrying transport wheels; Steering devices therefor; Equipment therefor involving means for grappling or securing in place objects to be carried; Loading or unloading equipment
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B3/00Hand carts having more than one axis carrying transport wheels; Steering devices therefor; Equipment therefor
    • B62B3/10Hand carts having more than one axis carrying transport wheels; Steering devices therefor; Equipment therefor characterised by supports specially adapted to objects of definite shape
    • B62B3/104Hand carts having more than one axis carrying transport wheels; Steering devices therefor; Equipment therefor characterised by supports specially adapted to objects of definite shape the object being of cylindrical shape, e.g. barrels, buckets, dustbins
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66FHOISTING, LIFTING, HAULING OR PUSHING, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, e.g. DEVICES WHICH APPLY A LIFTING OR PUSHING FORCE DIRECTLY TO THE SURFACE OF A LOAD
    • B66F9/00Devices for lifting or lowering bulky or heavy goods for loading or unloading purposes
    • B66F9/06Devices for lifting or lowering bulky or heavy goods for loading or unloading purposes movable, with their loads, on wheels or the like, e.g. fork-lift trucks
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66FHOISTING, LIFTING, HAULING OR PUSHING, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, e.g. DEVICES WHICH APPLY A LIFTING OR PUSHING FORCE DIRECTLY TO THE SURFACE OF A LOAD
    • B66F9/00Devices for lifting or lowering bulky or heavy goods for loading or unloading purposes
    • B66F9/06Devices for lifting or lowering bulky or heavy goods for loading or unloading purposes movable, with their loads, on wheels or the like, e.g. fork-lift trucks
    • B66F9/075Constructional features or details
    • B66F9/20Means for actuating or controlling masts, platforms, or forks
    • B66F9/24Electrical devices or systems
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT, PERSONAL CONVEYANCES, OR ACCOMMODATION SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR PATIENTS OR DISABLED PERSONS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G3/00Ambulance aspects of vehicles; Vehicles with special provisions for transporting patients or disabled persons, or their personal conveyances, e.g. for facilitating access of, or for loading, wheelchairs
    • A61G3/001Vehicles provided with medical equipment to perform operations or examinations
    • 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
    • B62B2202/02Cylindrically-shaped articles, e.g. drums, barrels, flasks
    • B62B2202/022Gas bottles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B2203/00Grasping, holding, supporting the objects
    • B62B2203/10Grasping, holding, supporting the objects comprising lifting means
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62BHAND-PROPELLED VEHICLES, e.g. HAND CARTS, PERAMBULATORS; SLEDGES
    • B62B2203/00Grasping, holding, supporting the objects
    • B62B2203/44Clamping or supporting circumferentially

Abstract

A hoist with a cradle for coupling with a pressurized tank. A primary means of restraining the tank on the cradle is provided along with a backup means should the primary means fail for any reason. A linear actuator assembly raises the cradle up to 27 inches from the floor surface. An onboard battery with an integrated battery charger provides power to the linear actuator. A compact base with swivel casters allows a raised tank to be safely lifted and transported by a single operator. The compact size of the hoist allows it to operate in confined spaces.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • Not Applicable
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • Not Applicable
  • THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
  • Not Applicable
  • INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC
  • Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to an apparatus for lifting and moving pressurized tanks and more particularly relates to a compact apparatus for lifting and moving heavy pressurized oxygen tanks to assist in their installation in and removal from EMS response vehicles.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • Pressurized oxygen cylinders are standard equipment onboard most ambulances and other EMS response vehicles. Most of the pressurized cylinders used are made from either aluminum or steel. Though a lightweight material, an empty aluminum pressurized oxygen cylinder can weigh over one hundred pounds. Steel cylinders are heavier yet.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have a standard which sets limits on how much a person may lift or carry. However, a sister agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), has developed a mathematical model which helps predict the risk of injury based on the weight being lifted and accounts for many confounding factors. The model is based on previous medical research into the compressive forces needed to cause damage to bones and ligaments of the back.
  • NIOSH has shown through research that a lifting index greater than 3.0 can clearly be linked to an increased risk of back and other injuries. In applying the NIOSH equation for calculating a lifting index, an EMS worker lifting a one hundred pound pressurized oxygen tank from the floor and stowing it in a compartment of an ambulance would likely encounter a lifting index of 3.9 or higher. A heavier tank would increase this number even more. Because of this, a single EMS worker attempting to lift and move such a cylinder faces a significant risk of back injury.
  • Cylinder storage compartments onboard EMS vehicles tend to be quite small, some barely larger than the cylinders themselves. These cramped spaces further compound the dangers faced by an EMS worker faced with the task of changing out cylinders. Because the spaces are so small, only one worker can realistically fit within the compartment to manipulate the cylinders.
  • Potential back injury is not the only possible hazard associated with pressurized tanks. The cylindrical shape makes them difficult to grasp and awkward to handle by a single person. However, due to the cramped compartment in which they are stored, only one person can realistically be expected to handle the cylinders. Thus, a real danger exists that a pressurized cylinder being handled could fall from a vehicle unexpectedly. If the cylinder were to strike an object with the exposed valve, the cylinder might rupture. A ruptured cylinder can explode with tremendous force or even become a missile that can cause significant damage to anything it impacts.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In light of the difficulties faced with lifting and moving pressurized tanks, it is one object of the present invention to provide an apparatus that can safely and efficiently lift, support, and control a pressurized tank during transport.
  • It is yet another objective of the present invention to provide an apparatus that can be easily maneuvered by a single operator under all load conditions.
  • It is yet another objective of the present invention to provide an apparatus that is simple to operate.
  • It is yet another objective of the present invention to provide an apparatus that is compact in size to allow easy manipulation of tanks within the confines of ambulance stowage compartments.
  • In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a battery-powered electric hoist is, provided that incorporates a tank cradle for firmly and safely restraining a pressurized tank for transport. The hoist incorporates an electric linear actuator that can raise the tank to the desired height of an ambulance stowage compartment. Large swivel casters are also provided to allow for easy movement of the hoist and attached tank by a single operator. In addition, the tank cradle and base are compact in size to allow for easy maneuverability. This affords greater ease in inserting and removing a pressurized tank from the cramped stowage compartments of an ambulance.
  • The invention accordingly comprises the features described more fully below, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims. Further objects of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description read in light of the drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)
  • The present invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the views, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention with a pressurized tank attached to the cradle for transport; and
  • FIG. 3 is a side-facing illustration of an embodiment of the present invention with a pressurized tank in position for transport.
  • Where used in the various figures of the drawing, the same reference numbers designate the same or similar parts. Furthermore, when the terms “top,” “bottom,” “first,” “second,” “upper,” “lower,” “height,” “width,” “length,” “end,” “side,” “horizontal,” “vertical,” and similar terms are used herein, it should be understood that these terms have reference only to the structure shown in the drawing and are utilized only to facilitate describing the invention.
  • All figures are drawn for ease of explanation of the basic teachings of the present invention only; the extensions of the figures with respect to number, position, relationship, and dimensions of the parts to form the preferred embodiment will be explained or will be within the skill of the art after the following teachings of the present invention have been read and understood. Further, the exact dimensions and dimensional proportions to conform to specific force, weight, strength, and similar requirements will likewise be within the skill of the art after the following teachings of the present invention have been read and understood.
  • REFERENCE NUMERALS
    • 100 hoist
    • 102 cradle
    • 104 safety ring
    • 106 strap
    • 108 lip
    • 110 linear actuator assembly
    • 112 height switch
    • 114 battery charger
    • 116 battery
    • 118 handle
    • 120 base
    • 122 swivel caster
    • 124 fixed caster
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 illustrate a hoist 100 according to one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 shows the hoist 100 without a pressurized tank attached to its cradle 102. FIG. 2 shows the hoist 100 with a pressurized tank attached to its cradle 102 and lifted for transport. The hoist 100 features a tank cradle 102 for securely attaching a pressurized cylindrical tank and supporting it during transport. The cradle 102 is attached to a linear actuator assembly 110 that provides vertical lifting motion to the cradle 102. The electrical power for the linear actuator comes from a 24V battery 116 that features its own trickle battery charger 114. The linear actuator assembly 110 is attached to a narrow base 120 that features heavy duty casters on its four corners. The front of the base 120 features fixed casters 124 while the rear features swivel casters 122 to allow for easy steering and maneuverability.
  • The major structural components of the hoist 100 are constructed from steel. Steel was chosen because it is inexpensive, easy to fabricate, structurally stable, and readily available. However, a person having ordinary skill in the art of fabrication would realize that other metals such as aluminum or even materials such as polymer composites may be used depending upon the structural load requirements. Lighter materials may make the hoist 100 easier to maneuver due to the lighter weight. However, the tradeoff may be in increased cost and reduced stability of a fully-loaded device. Steel provides a good balance of cost, stability, and maneuverability.
  • With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the hoist 100 according to the present embodiment features a narrow base 120 with swivel casters 122 for increased maneuverability. The base 120 is fabricated such that there is a center opening between two outer rails. The center opening is just wide enough to allow for a pressurized cylinder to fit between the rails for attachment to the tank cradle 102. The base 120 also features an attached handle 118. The handle 118 allows an operator to maintain a comfortable grip on the hoist 100 while maintaining proper control under a full load. The forward edge of the outer rails of the base 120 feature fixed casters 124 while the rearward edge of the rails feature swivel casters 122. The swivel casters 122 are located essentially beneath the operator's handle 118 to allow the hoist 100 to be easily steered into position even with a load attached. In addition, the swivel casters 122 also feature locking mechanisms to allow a fully-loaded hoist 100 to be safely parked.
  • While the current embodiment provides four casters for maximum stability, other configuration s are possible and are within the scope of the present invention. For example, in another embodiment all four of the casters could swivel. In yet another embodiment, the base 120 could utilize only three casters; two on the forward ends of the outer rails of the base 120 nearest the tank opening and one swivel caster on the opposite end of the base 120, located in the center approximately beneath the linear actuator 110. Utilizing only three casters would improve the maneuverability of the hoist 100 but at the same time would sacrifice some of the vertical stability.
  • With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the hoist 100 according to the present embodiment features a tank cradle 102 that is shaped to wrap partially around a pressurized tank for support. The radius of the curve of the cradle 102 approximates the radius of the body section of the pressurized tank. The cradle 102 also extends vertically to the approximate height of the body portion of a full-sized pressurized tank. Thus, because its height is suitable for the tallest tank, the cradle 102 can support essentially any sized pressurized tank.
  • With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the cradle 102 features a lip 108 near the bottom that engages the base of a pressurized tank that is to be attached to the cradle 102. To attach a tank, the lip 108 is brought into contact with the base of the tank. The tank is then tipped slightly away from the lip 108 so that the lip 108 can slide beneath the tank. Once the tank rests on the lip 108, the primary and backup attachment means can be utilized to restrain the tank within the confines of the cradle 102.
  • With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the primary attachment means provided in the present embodiment is a strap 106 with an adjustable side release buckle. The strap 106 is wrapped around the body of the tank and the side release buckle is engaged and adjusted to put tension on the strap 106 to restrain the tank within the cradle 102. While the present embodiment utilizes a strap 106 for the primary attachment means, other embodiments could utilize chain, rope, or cable. Also, a strap with a ratchet tightening mechanism, a belt-type buckle, or a hook and loop fastener could be used in place of the adjustable side release buckle for maintaining proper tension on the strap 106.
  • With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the backup attachment means provided in the present embodiment is a safety ring 104. The safety ring 104 is designed to provide backup retention of the tank in the cradle 102 should the strap 106 inadvertently release. In the present embodiment, the safety ring 104 is constructed of plastic coated steel cable. The steel cable provides tensile strength while the plastic coating prevents the cable from scratching or marring the finish of a tank. While the present embodiment utilizes plastic coated steel cable for the safety ring 104, other embodiments could utilize uncoated steel cable, chain, rope, or even strap.
  • The safety ring 104 is threaded through a piece of tubular steel that fits within the center piece of slightly larger diameter tubular steel that makes up the framework of the cradle 102. Thus, the safety ring 104 can be lifted by raising the attached piece of tubular steel to a height that allows the safety ring 104 to slip easily over the tank's valve portion. When released, the tubular steel attached to the safety ring 104 slips down within the larger center piece of tubular steel that makes up the framework of the cradle 102. This allows the safety ring 104 to be rapidly installed and removed.
  • The hoist 100 according to the present embodiment features a linear actuator assembly 110 that is attached to both the cradle 102 and base 120. The linear actuator 110 uses electrical power from the 24V battery 116 to operate. The height switch 112 allows the linear actuator to extend and raise the tank cradle 102 with attached tank up to 27 inches above the floor surface. This height is sufficient for insertion of a tank into typical ambulance stowage compartments. A second position of the height switch 112 allows the linear actuator 110 to retract and thus return the cradle 102 to the floor level.
  • Power for the linear actuator 110 comes from a rechargeable 24V battery 116. The hoist 100 also features a built-in trickle charger 114 to allow the hoist 100 to be plugged into a standard wall socket and recharged when not in use. Battery power is utilized to prevent the need for an electrical cord to provide power to operate the hoist 100. This increases the devices portability and maneuverability. While the present embodiment utilizes a 24V power source, other voltages may be substituted as determined by the voltage requirements of the linear actuator 110 mechanism.
  • FIG. 3 shows a hoist 100 being used by an operator 300 to transport a pressurized tank 302. The operator 300 maneuvers the hoist 100 by utilizing the handle 118. Once in position, the hoist 100 can be parked by locking the swivel casters 122. The cradle 102 can then be raised or lowered by operation of the height switch 112.
  • In view of the foregoing, the hoist 100 serves special needs required by the EMS community. In particular, the hoist 100 allows a single operator to safely and efficiently lift and transport a pressurized tank without the risk of back injury. The compact features of the hoist 100 lend to the device's maneuverability and ease of operation. Thus, a single operator can effectively remove a pressurized tank from an ambulance compartment and install a new one without assistance.
  • Although the invention hereof has been described by way of a preferred embodiment, it will be evident that other adaptations and modifications can be employed without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. The terms and expressions employed herein have been used as terms of description and not of limitation; and thus, there is no intent of excluding equivalents, but on the contrary it is intended to cover any and all equivalents that may be employed without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (19)

1. A device for lifting and transporting a pressurized tank, said device comprising:
a cradle, said cradle having an arcuate shape approximating the radius of said tank;
a base, said base having at least three casters; and
a linear actuator, said actuator physically connecting said cradle to said base such that when energized said actuator causes said cradle's height to change with respect to said base.
2. The device of claim 1, said device further comprising:
a battery; and
a battery charger.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said cradle further comprises:
a lip, said lip for supporting the base of said tank when attached to said cradle;
a strap, said strap serving as a primary means for removably attaching said tank to said cradle; and
a safety ring, said ring serving as a secondary means for removably attaching said tank to said cradle.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein the material for said cradle and said base are chosen from the group consisting of steel, aluminum, and polymer composite.
5. The device of claim 1 wherein said linear actuator can raise said cradle up to 27 inches above the surface upon which said device sits.
6. The device of claim 1 wherein at least one of said casters swivels.
7. The device of claim 1 wherein at least one of said casters does not swivel.
8. The device of claim 1 wherein said linear actuator is powered by a battery.
9. The device of claim 1 further comprising a handle for gripping by an operator.
10. A device for lifting and transporting a pressurized tank, said device comprising:
a cradle, said cradle having an arcuate shape approximating the radius of said tank and a lip for supporting the base of said tank;
a primary attachment means for removably attaching said tank to said cradle;
a base, said base having at least three casters;
a linear actuator, said actuator physically connecting said cradle to said base such that when energized said actuator causes said cradle's height to change with respect to said base;
a battery; and
a battery charger.
11. The device of claim 10 wherein the material for said cradle and said base are chosen from the group consisting of steel, aluminum, and polymer composite.
12. The device of claim 10 wherein said primary attachment means is chosen from the group consisting of strap, chain, rope, and cable.
13. The device of claim 10 wherein said primary attachment means is chosen from the group consisting of a strap with a side release buckle, a strap with a ratchet tightening mechanism, a strap with an adjustable buckle, and a strap with a hook and loop fastener.
14. The device of claim 10, said device further comprising a backup attachment means for removably attaching said tank to said cradle, said backup means chosen from the group consisting of strap, chain, rope, and cable.
15. The device of claim 10 wherein at least one of said casters swivels.
16. The device of claim 10 wherein at least one of said casters does not swivel.
17. The device of claim 10 wherein each of said casters swivels.
18. The device of claim 10 wherein said linear actuator can raise said cradle up to 27 inches above the surface upon which said device sits.
19. The device of claim 10 further comprising a handle for gripping by an operator.
US11/424,184 2006-06-14 2006-06-14 Compact system for lifting and moving pressurized tank Abandoned US20070292249A1 (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/424,184 US20070292249A1 (en) 2006-06-14 2006-06-14 Compact system for lifting and moving pressurized tank
US11/744,749 US7789611B2 (en) 2006-06-14 2007-05-04 Compact system for lifting and moving a pressurized tank
US12/509,194 US7824144B2 (en) 2006-06-14 2009-07-24 Compact system for lifting and moving a pressurized tank

Related Child Applications (2)

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US11/744,749 Continuation-In-Part US7789611B2 (en) 2006-06-14 2007-05-04 Compact system for lifting and moving a pressurized tank
US12/509,194 Continuation US7824144B2 (en) 2006-06-14 2009-07-24 Compact system for lifting and moving a pressurized tank

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