US20080011796A1 - Apparatus for carrying cargo - Google Patents

Apparatus for carrying cargo Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080011796A1
US20080011796A1 US11/780,614 US78061407A US2008011796A1 US 20080011796 A1 US20080011796 A1 US 20080011796A1 US 78061407 A US78061407 A US 78061407A US 2008011796 A1 US2008011796 A1 US 2008011796A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
base
wing
retracted
wings
extended
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
US11/780,614
Inventor
Stephen Threet
Jack Mason
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.)
Everthere Carriers LLC
Original Assignee
Everthere Carriers LLC
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
Priority to US10/640,900 priority Critical patent/US7246733B2/en
Application filed by Everthere Carriers LLC filed Critical Everthere Carriers LLC
Priority to US11/780,614 priority patent/US20080011796A1/en
Publication of US20080011796A1 publication Critical patent/US20080011796A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R9/00Supplementary fittings on vehicle exterior for carrying loads, e.g. luggage, sports gear or the like
    • B60R9/06Supplementary fittings on vehicle exterior for carrying loads, e.g. luggage, sports gear or the like at vehicle front or rear

Abstract

The present disclosure reveals and claims an apparatus for attaching to a vehicle for carrying cargo. The apparatus includes a base and at least one wing having retracted and extended positions. The apparatus occupies a smaller volume when the wing is retracted than when the wing is extended.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application is a Continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/640,900, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,246,733 filed on Aug. 14, 2003.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • It is known in the art to attach a platform to a vehicle for increasing the carrying capacity of the vehicle. The platform generally consists of a rectangular surface that attaches to a trailer or receiver hitch on the vehicle. In this manner, the platform undesirably extends the length of the vehicle. However, the benefit of carrying additional cargo external to the vehicle generally outweighs the detriment of lengthening the vehicle.
  • When additional carrying capacity is not needed, it is desirable to store the platform in a convenient, readily accessible location. One solution, as shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,744,590; 6,382,486; and 6,513,690, is to fold the platform toward the vehicle and leave the platform attached to the vehicle in this folded position. Although this solution ensures that the platform is readily accessible, the platform still adds some length to the vehicle. In addition, the folded platform may be aesthetically undesirable or it may interfere with the vehicle's trunk or tailgate operation.
  • Another solution is to remove the platform from the vehicle and store the platform until needed. Although this solution restores the vehicle to its original length, the platform is generally too bulky to store inside the vehicle, and storing the platform separate from the vehicle limits the accessibility of the platform. Therefore, the need exists for a cargo carrier that can increase the carrying capacity for a vehicle and that can also be conveniently stored with the vehicle when not in use.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • Objects and advantages of the disclosure are set forth below in the following description, or may be obvious from the description, or may be learned through practice of the disclosure.
  • In one embodiment of the disclosure, an apparatus for attaching to a vehicle for carrying cargo includes a base, a mounting sleeve for attaching the apparatus to the vehicle, and a wing moveably connected to the base. The wing has extended and retracted positions so that the wing is substantially coplanar with the base in the extended position and transverse to the base in the retracted position. Furthermore, the apparatus occupies a smaller volume when the wing is in the retracted position than when the wing is in the extended position.
  • In other embodiments of the disclosure, the apparatus may include more than one wing moveably connected to the base. One or more of the wings may include an inner section moveably attached to an outer section so that the inner section resides within the outer section in the retracted position. Alternately, the outer section may reside in the inner section in the retracted position. The apparatus may further include a locking mechanism for locking one of the wings in the retracted position.
  • Those of ordinary skill in the art will better appreciate the features and aspects of such embodiments, and others, upon review of the specification.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A full and enabling disclosure of the present disclosure, including the best mode thereof to one skilled in the art, is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, including reference to the accompanying figures, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 2 is a close-up perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 as partially folded;
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 as fully folded; and
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the present disclosure as partially folded.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Reference will now be made in detail to present embodiments of the disclosure, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the disclosure, not limitation of the disclosure. In fact, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications and variations can be made in the present disclosure without departing from the scope or spirit thereof. For instance, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment may be used on another embodiment to yield a still further embodiment. Thus, it is intended that the present disclosure covers such modifications and variations as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.
  • The present disclosure relates to a collapsible cargo carrier that attaches to a vehicle to increase the carrying capacity of the vehicle. When not in use, the carrier folds up for convenient detachment and storage within the vehicle. As shown in FIG. 1, the carrier 10 generally includes a base 20, a mounting sleeve 30, and one or more wing assemblies 40. The base 20 provides a sturdy foundation to which the other components may attach. The base 20 is typically a flat, solid structure, as shown in FIG. 1, or it may include perforations to reduce its weight. The base 20 may be made of metal, plastic, fiberglass, or a combination thereof, depending on the particular uses and needs. The base may include one or more raised sides 22 to further define the carrier 10 and provide additional attachment points.
  • The mounting sleeve 30 fixedly attaches to the base 20 and provides a means for attaching the carrier 10 to a vehicle. As shown in FIG. 1, the mounting sleeve 30 may be a square collar 32 with an aperture 34 suited to mate with a drawbar 36 from a conventional receiver hitch. The mounting sleeve 30 receives the drawbar 36, and a clevis pin, cotter pin, bolt, or other suitable structure (not shown) fits through a hole 38 in the mounting sleeve 30 and drawbar 36 to secure the mounting sleeve 30 to the drawbar 36. In other embodiments, the mounting sleeve 30 may be a clamp, vice grip, or other structure more suitable for securely engaging the carrier 10 to a ball-type trailer hitch.
  • The wing assemblies 40 moveably connect to the base 20 and provide the remainder of the surface area for carrying cargo. FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a carrier 10 with symmetric, multi-sectional wing assemblies 40 on opposing sides of the carrier's longitudinal axis, although other orientations are within the scope of the present disclosure. Moreover, although FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment with each wing assembly 40 having an inner section 41 and an outer section 42, it should be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that wing assemblies 40 having fewer or more sections are within the scope of the present disclosure.
  • Each wing assembly 40 includes an expanded metal surface 44, vertical siding 46, and horizontal support bars 48. The expanded metal surface 44 extends between the vertical siding 46 and provides the horizontal surface area for carrying cargo. The use of expanded metal reduces the weight of the wing assembly 40; however, it should be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that a solid sheet of material is an equivalent substitute within the scope of the present disclosure.
  • The vertical siding 46 defines the perimeter and provides additional structural support for the wing assemblies 40. The vertical siding 46 may include a slideable attachment 50 and/or a locking mechanism, as shown in more detail in FIG. 2. The slideable attachment 50 allows relative movement between two parts, such as between the wing assembly 40 and the base 20 or between inner 41 and outer 42 sections of the wing assembly 40. The slideable attachment 50 may use rivets, bolts, hinges, slides, or other suitable substitutes. In alternate embodiments, the slideable attachment 50 may be located on other parts of the wing assembly 40, such as the underside of the expanded metal surface 44 and/or horizontal support bars 48.
  • The locking mechanism secures the wing assembly 40 in a desired position. Although various suitable mechanisms are known to one of ordinary skill in the art and within the scope of the present disclosure, one such mechanism is a spring button 60 depicted in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3. As shown, the spring button 60 attaches to the vertical siding 46 at one end 62 and has a button (not shown) at the other end 64. The button fits into a detent 66 in the vertical siding 46 to lock the wing assembly 40 into retracted or extended positions.
  • The horizontal support bars 48 extend between the vertical siding 46 and provide structural support for the expanded metal surface 44. In one embodiment, the horizontal support bars 48 attach to the vertical siding 46 using rivets, bolts, tack welds, or similar suitable methods. The expanded metal surface 44 then attaches to the horizontal support bars 48 in similar fashion. In another embodiment, the vertical siding 46 includes a support flange 49, and the horizontal support bars 48 attach to the support flange 49. The expanded metal surface 44 in turn attaches to the horizontal support bars 48 and/or the vertical siding 46. It should be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that alternate embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure may employ other methods for securing the expanded metal surface 44, vertical siding 46, and horizontal support bars 48.
  • FIGS. 1, 3, and 4 illustrate one embodiment of the present disclosure in various positions. In FIG. 1, the carrier 10 is fully extended, as it would be when installed on a vehicle. To fully retract one wing assembly 40, as depicted in FIG. 3, the outer section 42 of the wing assembly 40 folds into the inner section 41. The spring button 60 is then depressed to unlock the wing assembly 40, and the entire wing assembly 40 rotates roughly perpendicular to the base 20 until the spring button 60 locks the wing assembly 40 in a fully retracted position. FIG. 4 depicts the carrier 10 in a fully retracted position, as it would be when installing or removing the carrier 10 on a vehicle or when the carrier 10 is in storage.
  • FIG. 4 depicts an additional feature present in some embodiments of the present disclosure. As shown, the wing assemblies 40 may further include a U-shaped structure 70 attached to the horizontal support bars 48, or other suitable structure on the wing assembly 40. When the wing assembly 40 is in the folded position, the U-shaped structure 70 serves as a convenient handle for moving the carrier 10. In the extended position, the U-shaped structure 70 is beneath the expanded metal surface 42 and provides additional support for the wing assembly 40.
  • FIG. 5 depicts an alternate embodiment of the present disclosure with a modified wing assembly 80. The modified wing assembly 80 includes an extension slide 82 mounted on the vertical siding 46 for slideably connecting the inner 41 and outer 42 sections. The extension slide 82 includes a ball bearing or nylon roller 84 that rides in a track 86 between the inner 41 and outer 42 sections, although other types of extension slides are known to one of ordinary skill in the art and within the scope of the present disclosure. In the modified wing assembly 80, the outer section 42 slides on the extension slide 80 toward or away from the base 20 to reach a retracted or extended position, respectively. In this manner, the carrier has retracted and extended positions, as before. In addition, the carrier also has intermediate positions in which the modified wing assemblies 80 are rotated to be coplanar with the base 20 while one or both of the outer sections 42 remains retracted within its associated inner section 41.
  • It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications and variations can be made to the embodiments of the disclosure set forth herein without departing from the scope and spirit of the disclosure as set forth in the appended claims and their equivalents.

Claims (22)

1 A cargo carrying apparatus for a vehicle, comprising:
a. a base defining a planar carrying surface;
b. a wing moveably connected to said base;
c. wherein said wing has an extended and a retracted position;
d. wherein said apparatus is configured to carry cargo when in said extended position;
e. wherein said apparatus occupies a smaller volume when said wing is in said retracted position than when said wing is in said extended position.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a second wing moveably connected to said base and opposite said first wing, wherein said first and second wings are on opposing sides of the longitudinal axis of said apparatus.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said first and second wings each comprise
a. an inner section proximate to said base and
b. an outer section moveably attached to said inner section and separated from said base by said inner section in said extended position.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein for at least one of said first and second wings, said outer section resides within said inner section in said retracted position.
5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein for at least one of said first and second wings, said inner section resides within said outer section in said retracted position.
6. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein at least one of said first and second wings further includes a hinge for moveably attaching said inner section to said outer section.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said base includes a locking mechanism for locking at least one of said first and second wings in said retracted position.
8. A cargo carrying apparatus for a vehicle, comprising:
a. a base;
b. a first wing moveably connected to said base;
c. a second wing moveably connected to said base and opposite said first wing;
d. wherein each of said first and second wings has an extended and a retracted position; and
e. wherein said apparatus is configured to be extendable substantially perpendicular to the length of the vehicle.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein said first and second wings are substantially coplanar with said base in said extended position.
10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein said first and second wings are transverse to said base in said retracted position.
11. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein said first and second wings are coplanar to said base in a partially retracted position.
12. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein said apparatus occupies a smaller volume when at least one of said first and second wings is in said retracted position than when both of said first and second wings are in said extended position.
13. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein said first and second wings each comprise
a. an inner section proximate to said base and
b. an outer section moveably attached to said inner section and separated from said base by said inner section in said extended position.
14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein for at least one of said first and second wings, said outer section resides within said inner section in said retracted position.
15. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein for at least one of said first and second wings, said inner section resides within said outer section in said retracted position.
16. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein at least one of said first and second wings further includes a hinge for moveably attaching said inner section to said outer section.
17. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein said base includes a locking mechanism for locking at least one of said first and second wings in said retracted position.
18. A cargo carrying apparatus for a vehicle, comprising:
a. a base;
b. a first wing moveably connected to said base and having an extended position, a partially retracted position and a retracted position;
c. wherein said base is fully accessible in said partially retracted position; and
d. wherein said apparatus occupies a smaller volume when said first wing is in said retracted position than when said first wing is in said extended position.
19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein said first wing is transverse to said base in said retracted position.
20. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein said first wing is coplanar to said base in a partially retracted position.
21. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein said first wing is transverse to said base in said retracted position.
22. The apparatus of claim 18, further including a second wing moveably connected to said base and opposite said first wing.
US11/780,614 2003-08-14 2007-07-20 Apparatus for carrying cargo Abandoned US20080011796A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/640,900 US7246733B2 (en) 2003-08-14 2003-08-14 Apparatus for carrying cargo
US11/780,614 US20080011796A1 (en) 2003-08-14 2007-07-20 Apparatus for carrying cargo

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/780,614 US20080011796A1 (en) 2003-08-14 2007-07-20 Apparatus for carrying cargo

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/640,900 Continuation US7246733B2 (en) 2003-08-14 2003-08-14 Apparatus for carrying cargo

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20080011796A1 true US20080011796A1 (en) 2008-01-17

Family

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Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/640,900 Expired - Fee Related US7246733B2 (en) 2003-08-14 2003-08-14 Apparatus for carrying cargo
US11/780,614 Abandoned US20080011796A1 (en) 2003-08-14 2007-07-20 Apparatus for carrying cargo

Family Applications Before (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/640,900 Expired - Fee Related US7246733B2 (en) 2003-08-14 2003-08-14 Apparatus for carrying cargo

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WO (1) WO2005016765A2 (en)

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US7246733B2 (en) * 2003-08-14 2007-07-24 Everthere Carriers, L.L.C. Apparatus for carrying cargo
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US7992751B1 (en) 2006-07-28 2011-08-09 Sweeney Larry L Cargo carrier
US7798381B2 (en) * 2006-10-25 2010-09-21 Salflex Polymers Ltd. Collapsible roof basket carrier
US20090056592A1 (en) * 2007-08-31 2009-03-05 Everthere Carriers, Llc Combined cargo carrier and portable table
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US20090277856A1 (en) * 2008-05-06 2009-11-12 Jian-Heng Lin Foldable Placement Rack for a Rear Portion of a Car
CA2773297A1 (en) * 2009-09-15 2011-03-24 Ideal Engineering, Inc. Articulating work platform and hitch assembly
US8857688B1 (en) * 2010-01-08 2014-10-14 Randall Ray Bell, III Collapsible hitch mounted cargo carrier
US8240529B1 (en) * 2010-01-08 2012-08-14 Bell Iii Randall Ray Collapsible hitch mounted cargo carrier
DE102010035906B4 (en) * 2010-08-26 2014-05-15 Atera Gmbh Rear carrier system for a motor vehicle
US9931993B2 (en) 2011-08-05 2018-04-03 Horizon Global Americas Inc. Accessory adapter bracket
WO2013022749A1 (en) 2011-08-05 2013-02-14 Cequent Performance Products, Inc. Cargo accessory modular adapter
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US9033641B1 (en) 2012-03-08 2015-05-19 Glenn R. Barefoot Carrier system for electric scooters
US9027809B1 (en) * 2013-09-06 2015-05-12 Leslie P Ezra Platform for transporting or storing goods
US20140166713A1 (en) * 2014-02-22 2014-06-19 Ralph Preston Kirtland Cargo carrier system for vehicle
US10086882B2 (en) * 2016-01-28 2018-10-02 Joseph G Scherer Vehicle sawhorse adjustable assembly
US10661697B2 (en) * 2016-04-05 2020-05-26 Plastic Safety Systems, Inc. Vehicle-mountable cargo carrier for portable rumble strips
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Publication number Publication date
WO2005016765A3 (en) 2005-11-10
WO2005016765A2 (en) 2005-02-24
US7246733B2 (en) 2007-07-24
US20050035167A1 (en) 2005-02-17

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