rnnen States Rate Raymond et a1.
MODULAR FOLDING lRAllL Inventors: David W. Raymond; Robert E.
Lewis, both of Champaign; Robert E. Quigley, Mahomet, all of 111.
American Seating Company, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Filed: Mar. 6, 1973 Appl. No.: 338,504
us. 01 256/59, 52/9, 52/183 1m. 01 E0411 17/22 Field of Se r 256/59; 52/9, 10, 1 3;
References Cited 2 UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1949 Kamps 182/106 2/1959 McCormick 182/106 11] 3,73%,6flfi Jan. 29, 1974 2,888,182 5/1959 Nixon 52/183 2,593,336 4/1952 Nixon ..182/78 3,401,918 9/1968 Wiese 256/59 Primary ExaminerJordan Franklin Assistant Examiner-Conrad L. Berman Attorney, Agent, or Firm-James J. Hill 5 7] ABSTRACT A hand rail is provided for a telescoping seating or bleacher structure. The hand rail includes first and second upright posts which are mounted respectively to an upper and a lower seating tier when the seating structure is in use. Upper and lower guard rails are pivotally mounted to each post. When it is desired to retract the seating structure, the guard rail is folded and transversely pivoted about one of its mounts for storage in the tread cavity of a telescoping row section.
5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures MODULAR FOLDING RAH.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY The present invention relates to a hand rail structure for bleachers or other seating arrangements as are commonly found in gymnasiums and the like. More particularly, it relates to a hand rail for use with a telescoping seating or bleacher structure. Such bleacher structures are well-known, and they are selectively movable between an extended or use position and a retracted or storage position. Individual seating or bleacher sections are arranged in steps or tiers in the use position and they telescope beneath a higher section in the retracted or storage position so that all sections are stored against a common wall.
In a telescoping seating structure of this type, hand rails are conventionally provided, and they must be removed from the structure prior to telescoping the individual seating sections into their non-use position. Typically, the handrail sections are then stored in a separate location, and this has been found to create a safety hazard in some situations when the workmen setting up a bleacher either do not have time to remove the hand rails from storage and set them up, or decide that it is too much trouble.
One of the principal advantages of the present invention is that the hand rail is provided in modules, extending across a predetermined number of tiers, and that in the non-use position it folds into the tread cavity of a telescoping row section. The storage position of the hand rail does not interfere with the telescoping action in retracting a bleacher section. Hence, the hand rail of the present invention need not be stored in a separate location. Further, by virtue of its resting within a tread cavity, that particular row section in which it is stored cannot be conveniently used until the hand rail is set up, and this provides an extra incentive (in addition to not having to retrieve the hand rail from storage) to having a workman set up the hand rail prior to public use of the bleacher or seating structure.
The modular hand rail sections of the present invention cannot be easily removed from the bleacher sections even in the event that a workman may desire to do so. This, in combination with the minimum set-up time required and the reasonable weight and size of the hand rail sections requires only a single man to set up the hand rails for operation, thereby providing a greater safety feature for telescoping seating structures.
In general, the invention provides a hand rail section which includes first and second upright posts mounted respectively to an upper and a lower seating tier when the seating structure is in its use position. Upper and lower guard rails are pivotally mounted to each post, preferably on opposite sides of the post to permit folding of the hand rail section to a vertical position. One of the tread mounts for the vertical posts permits removal of that post in order to achieve the vertical position for the folded hand rail section.
The other tread mount does not permit removal of the hand rail section in either the use of folded position, but it does permit the hand rail, when folded, to be swung transversely about a horizontal axis into a tread cavity for its associated seating section where it is stored. In the storage position, the folded hand rail does not interfere with the retracting or telescoping action of the individual seating sections.
Other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to persons skilled in the art from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment wherein identical reference numerals will refer to like parts in the various views.
THE DRAWING FIG. I is a fragmentary side elevational view of a bleacher structure incorporating the hand rail of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view showing the hand rail of FIG. I in its vertical, folded position, intermediate the storage and use positions;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary close-up view of the mount for the non-movable post, taken through the sight line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross sectional view similar to FIG. 3 with the folded hand rail in the position of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 with the hand rail being placed in the storage position;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 showing the hand rail in the full storage position; and
FIG. 7 is a front view showing the full folded hand rail in the storage position.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring first to FIG. I, a modular hand rail incorporating the present invention is generally designated by reference numeral 10. It is shown mounted to a telescoping bleacher structure generally designated II including a plurality ofindividual row sections designated 12. The row sections 12 are supported by conventional structure, such as that disclosed in the co-owned Scaggs US. Pat. No. 3,488,898, issued Jan. 13, 1970, entitled Power-Actuated Telescoping Platform Assembly. Similar telescoping support structures could equally well be employed with the present invention.
In the illustrated embodiment, each of the row sections I2 includes a tread or platform portion 13, a rear riser portion 14 extending upwardly from the rear of the tread 13, a forward riser portion 15 extending upwardly from the forward end of the tread l3, and a bench or seat 16 cantilevered to to the top of the forward riser 115. Thus, the tread I3 and rear and forward riser portions 14, 15 define a natural tread cavity generally designated 17 for each telescoping row section. In the storage position, all of the row sections move to the left of the page of FIG. 1 and they are formed into vertical alignment so that each tread cavity 17 is located beneath the tread of an upper tier or telescoping row section.
Still referring to FIG. I, the rail section 10 includes first and second posts 20 and 21 and upper and lower rail members 22 and 23. The upper rail member 22 is pivotally mounted to the posts 20, 21 at the locations 24, 25; and the lower rail member 23 is similarly mounted to the posts 20, 21 at the locations 26, 27. Further, the rail members 22, 23 are preferably located on opposite sides of the posts 20, 21, so as to permit folding of the rail section to an upright position shown in FIG. 2 wherein the post 20 is generally vertically aligned with the post 21, and the side rail members 22, 23 are in side-by-side relation.
The bottom of the removable post 20 is secured to an upper tier when the hand rail is placed in its use position by means of an upright tube or socket 30 which has its bottom welded to the base 31 of an angle bracket 32 and its rear welded to a brace 33 which, in turn, is welded to the vertical portion 34 of the angle bracket 32. The angle bracket 32 is bolted to the rear portion of the tread 13 and to the rear riser 14 of an appropriate row section 12, as seen in the drawing. The cavity of the socket 30 slidably receives the post 20 and, hence, it has a cross sectional shape corresponding to the cross sectional shape of the post 20 while providing for clearance. The post 20 may be secured in the use position by means of a thumb screw 35 which is threadedly received in a nut 36 welded to the socket 30.
The lower post 21 is received in a socket 40 which is similarly welded to the base 41 of an angle bracket 42 and braced by means of a member 43 to the upright plate 44 of the angle bracket 42. The angle bracket 42 may be similarly bolted to a corresponding tread and rear riser portion of a lower tier 12. A thumb screw 45 is threadedly received in a nut 46 welded to the forward portion of the socket 40 to secure the post 21 in its use position. The rear portion of the socket 44 is provided with an inwardly extending bolt 47, the function of which is to prevent complete removal of the post 21 while permitting transverse rotation of the rail section 10 to its storage position seen in FIG. 7.
Referring now to FIG. 3, the socket 40 can be seen to include an inner wall 40 which has its base welded to the horizontal plate 41 of the angle bracket 42, but which terminates short of the top of the socket 40 to provide an opening 50. The opening 50 permits rotation of the rail section to the storage position within a tread cavity 17, as best seen in FIGS. and 6.
The post 40 may be a channel member having a horizontal cross sectional shape in the form of a U, with the open portion of the U facing the left in FIG. 1, so as to receive the bolt 47. The bottom of the channel post 21 is provided with an end plate 52 so that it cannot be completely disengaged from the socket 40that is, the end plate 52 will engage the fixed bolt 47 and thereby prevent removal, as seen in FIG. 4.
In operation, the use position is obvious from FIG. 1, with the two posts 20, 21 being received respectively in the sockets 30, 40 and secured thereto by means of the thumb screws 35, 45.
When it is desired to telescope the seating sections to their retracted position, the thumb screws 35, 45 are loosened, and the upper post 20 is lifted vertically and disengaged from its associated socket to the position shown in chain line in FIG. 1. The rail section is then folded to a complete vertical position as shown in FIG. 2. At this time, the post 21 may be in the position shown in FIG. 3 so that a portion of the weight of the rail section is borne by the tread of the lower tier 12. However, this is not necessary to the practice of the invention because of the overall light weight of the rail section, but it does facilitate movement of the person setting up or storing the hand rail section.
In order to fully store the hand rail section, it is lifted upwardly, as seen in FIG. 4 until the bottom of the post 21 clears the top of the partial side plate 49 of the socket 40. The entire hand rail section is then rotated clockwise in FIG. 5 and thence fully downward as seen in FIGS. 6 and 7 to the full storage position in a tread cavity. The telescoping sections may then be retracted and the hand rail will clear beneath the tread of an upper tier.
Having thus described in detail a preferred embodiment of the present invention, persons skilled in the art will be able to modify certain of the structure which has been illustrated and to substitute equivalent elements for those disclosed while continuing to practice the principle of the invention; and it is, therefore, intended that all such modifications and substitutions be covered as they are embraced within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. In combination, a telescoping structure having a plurality of telescoping seating sections arranged in tiers in the use position, each section including a tread and a cavity above said tread; a hand rail section adapted to span a plurality of said tiers in the use position and comprising first and second posts and rail means pivotally connected to each of said posts; first mounting means secured to one of said tiers for removably receiving said first post; second mounting means secured to another tier for receiving the other post and securing said other post in a use position; and pivot means connected with said second mounting means for permitting said other post to be rotated transversely into a corresponding cavity of said second seating section when said rail section is folded to a non-use position.
2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said rail means of said hand rail section includes first and second elongated rail members, said first rail member being pivotally connected to one side of said first and second posts and said second rail member being pivotally connected to the opposite side of said first and second posts whereby said hand rail section may be folded to a nonuse position with said posts generally axially aligned and said hand rail members in side-by-side relation.
3. The structure of claim 1 wherein said pivot means further comprises stop means cooperating with said other post to limit the complete withdrawal of said post from said second mounting means while permitting partial withdrawal of said post to a folding position wherein said post may be transversely rotated relative to its associated mounting means.
4. The structure of claim 1 further comprising releasable means for selectively locking said first and second posts to their associated mounting means.
5. A modular folding hand rail section for use with a telescoping seating structure wherein said seating structure includes a tread cavity in each retractable seating section, said cavity extending transversely of the direction of retraction, comprising: first and second posts; hand rail means pivotally mounted to each of said posts; a first hollow mounting socket carried by one seating section for slidably telscopically receiving said first post and for providing rigid support for said first post when fully received therein; a second hollow mounting socket carried by a second seating section for slidably telescopically receiving said second post and for providing rigid support therefor while permitting said second post to be selectively moved vertically between a first use position and a second folding position whereat said rail section, when folded to a generally vertical disposition may be transversely rotated into an associated tread cavity in storage position without interfering with the retraction of said seating sections; and stop means associated with said second socket for limiting withdrawal of said second post to said folding position, said stop means including pivot means for permitting rotary movement between said folding and storage positions about said pivot means.