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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
GUARD DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/045283
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A guard for a snow plow may include a body portion and a head portion extending from the body portion and including a bull nose shape, wherein, the body portion and the head portion may have embedded therein a plurality of wear resisting elements and wherein the body portion and head portion may each comprise a polymer material.

Inventors:
WILLIAMS, Dan (9241 Cheney Trail, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, 55076, US)
Application Number:
US2017/049846
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
September 01, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
INTERSTATE COMPANIES, INC. (2901 East 78th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55425, US)
International Classes:
E01H5/06
Foreign References:
KR101252616B12013-04-09
DE8809287U11988-09-22
DE2904251A11980-08-07
US5636458A1997-06-10
US7347014B12008-03-25
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLEIN, Brett A. et al. (Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.Capella Tower, Suite 3500,225 S 6th Stree, Minneapolis Minnesota, 55402, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A guard for a snow plow, comprising:

a body portion comprising a first wearable material and configured for attachment to a plow blade; and

a head portion comprising a second wearable material and having a bull nose shape extending from the body portion,

wherein, the body portion and the head portion have embedded therein a plurality of wear resisting elements to reduce the rate of wear of the respective wearable materials.

2. The guard of claim 1, wherein the plurality of wear resisting elements comprises a plate embedded in the body portion of the guard.

3. The guard of claim 2, wherein a portion of the plate is exposed beyond an edge of the body portion.

4. The guard of claim 2, wherein the first wearable material extends between the plate and the plow blade.

5. The guard of claim 1, wherein the plurality of wear resisting elements comprises at least one of a plurality of rods and a plurality of bars.

6. The guard of claim 5, wherein the plurality of rods are embedded in the head portion of the guard.

7. The guard of claim 6, wherein the rods are arranged at an angle between parallel and perpendicular to a bottom surface of the guard.

8. The guard of claim 5, wherein the plurality of bars are embedded in the head portion of the guard.

9. The guard of claim 1, wherein the bull nose shape of the head portion is configured for hooking engagement with an edge of the plow blade.

10. The guard of claim 1, wherein the guard is configured to be arranged at either of two outer edges of the snow plow.

11. A snow plow comprising a plow blade with a plow guard, the plow guard

comprising:

a body portion comprising a first wearable material and configured for attachment to the plow blade; and

a head portion comprising a second wearable material and having a bull nose shape extending from the body portion,

wherein, the body portion and the head portion have embedded therein a plurality of wear resisting elements.

12. The snow plow of claim 11, wherein the plurality of wear resisting elements comprises a plate embedded in the body portion of the guard.

13. The snow plow of claim 12, wherein a portion of the plate is exposed beyond an edge of the body portion.

14. The guard of claim 12, wherein the first wearable material extends between the plate and the plow blade.

15. The snow plow of claim 11, wherein the plurality of wear resisting elements comprises at least one of a plurality of rods and a plurality of bars.

16. The snow plow of claim 14, wherein the rods are embedded in the head portion of the guard.

17. The snow plow of claim 15, wherein the rods are arranged at an angle between parallel and perpendicular to a bottom surface of the guard.

18. The snow plow of claim 14, wherein the plurality of bars are embedded in the head portion of the guard.

19. The snow plow of claim 11, wherein the bull nose shape of the head portion is configured for hooking engagement with an edge of the plow blade.

20. The snow plow of claim 11, wherein the plow guard is a first guard, and the plow blade additionally has a second guard.

Description:
GUARD DEVICE

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[001 ] The present application claims priority to Provisional Application No.

62/382,555, entitled Guard Device, and filed September 1, 2016, the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[002] The present application relates to guards such as stand-offs, guides, bumpers, wear surfaces, and other devices or systems that function to guide and/or protect a primary component and may be consumable and/or sacrificial. More particularly, the present application relates to a guard adapted for use in protecting plow blades and moldboards. Still more particularly, the present application relates to a guard adapted for use in protecting the bottom outer corner of plow blades and/or moldboards against damage and wear from bumping, rubbing, scraping, or otherwise encountering the ground, curbs, and other obstructions.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[003] The background description provided herein is for the purpose of generally presenting the context of the disclosure. Work of the presently named inventors, to the extent it is described in this background section, as well as aspects of the description that may not otherwise qualify as prior art at the time of filing, are neither expressly nor impliedly admitted as prior art against the present disclosure.

[004] Plow guards are often provided on snow plows to mitigate damage to the plow blade, moldboard, plow wing, and/or structural welds from interaction with the ground, street, curb, or other plowed surface or obstructions. Plow guards are often made from materials including steel, graphite, carbide and/or other materials. These plow guards may include a left-hand version and a right-hand version, and are commonly bolted to an outer lower corner of the blade of a plow to protect the plow blade and/or moldboard from damage. During use, the plow guard may wear due to engagement with the ground, curbs, and other obstructions. In some cases, the frictional heat developed during these encounters may cause the metal plow guard to fuse to the blade of the plow making the guard difficult to remove without cutting or burning it off. In addition, the left-hand and right-hand version of the guards may make it difficult and more costly to stock the guards and may create inconvenience when stocking errors are made due to the similar looking guards.

[005] More particularly, current plow guards may include a solid steel guard plate that is manufactured for either the right or left side of a plow wing. It may wear down quickly, so users often obtain separate carbide impregnated steel sections that are approximately 1" thick by 3" wide, which may be welded to the steel guard plate. The augmented steel guard plate may then be mounted onto the appropriate side of the plow. Once worn, the relatively small carbide sections that were welded onto the guard plate can be replaced. However, having been welded on, they are typically cut off via a plasma cutter and new units may be welded on. Once the steel guard plate is worn (i.e., after a few carbide sections have been welded on and replaced), the entire plow guard assembly may be replaced. However, because of the steel design, friction, and moisture/corrosive nature of snow removal, the steel plate guard is commonly fused and rusted to the plow blade and, while it is bolted to the plow, it also may be removed via a plasma cutter due to the fusion and rust. Additionally, the hard steel and harder carbide often results in heavy vibration and increased wear on all mounting components and chassis of the trucks. Moreover, the friction and heat of plowing of a steel guard may increase the level of wear on curbs and other surfaces, which may requiring curbs to be more frequently replaced. Carbide is also a material that does not wear to an edge but wears in a rounded fashion which may diminish the quality of contact the plow blade is able to make with the surface being plowed.

[006] The approximate cost for an individual plow guard may include the steel guard plate (approx. $175.00), carbide sections 1" x 3" (approx. $70.00 each, totaling to $280 where each guard plate averages use with 4 carbide sections). This is a total of about $450 per plow, not including labor, and a typical plow guard may need to be replaced approximately 2-3 times per plowing season on average. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[007] The following presents a simplified summary of one or more embodiments of the present disclosure in order to provide a basic understanding of such embodiments. This summary is not an extensive overview of all contemplated embodiments, and is intended to neither identify key or critical elements of all embodiments, nor delineate the scope of any or all embodiments.

[008] The present disclosure, in one or more embodiments, relates to a guard for a snow plow. The guard may have a body portion including a first wearable material and configured for attachment to a plow blade, and a head portion including a second wearable material and having a bull nose shape extending from the body portion. Additionally, the body portion and the head portion may have embedded therein a plurality of wear resisting elements. In some embodiments, the plurality of wear resisting elements may include a plate embedded in the body portion of the guard. A portion of the plate may be exposed beyond an edge of the body portion. Moreover, the first wearable material may extend between the plate and the plow blade. The wear resisting elements may additionally include a plurality of rods and/or a plurality of bars, which may be embedded in the head portion of the guard. The rods may be arranged at an angle between parallel and perpendicular to a bottom surface of the guard. The bull nose shape of the head portion may be configured for hooking engagement with an edge of the plow blade. In some embodiments, the guard may be configured to be arranged at either of two outer edges of the snow plow.

[009] The present disclosure, in one or more embodiments, additionally relates to a snow plow having a plow blade with a plow guard. The plow guard may have a body portion having a first wearable material and configured for attachment to the plow blade, and a head portion including a second wearable material and a bull nose shape extending from the body portion. In some embodiments, the body portion and head portion may have embedded therein a plurality of wear resisting elements. In some embodiments, the plurality of wear resisting elements may include a plate embedded in the body portion of the guard. The plate may be exposed beyond an edge of the body portion. Moreover, the first wearable material may extend between the plate and plow blade. In some embodiments, the plurality of wear resisting elements may include a plurality of rods and/or a plurality of bars, which may be embedded in the head portion of the guard. The rods may be arranged at an angle between parallel and perpendicular to a bottom surface of the guard. In some embodiments, the bull nose shape of the head portion may be configured hooking engagement with an edge of the plow blade. Moreover, in some embodiments, the plow guard may be a first guard, and the plow blade may additionally have a second guard.

[010] While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments of the invention. As will be realized, the various embodiments of the present disclosure are capable of modifications in various obvious aspects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[01 1 ] While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter that is regarded as forming the various embodiments of the present disclosure, it is believed that the invention will be better understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying Figures, in which:

[012] FIG. 1 is a front view of a plow vehicle including a guard device, according to one or more embodiments;

[013] FIG. 2 is a close-up view of a plow of the vehicle of FIG. 1, according to one or more embodiments.

[014] FIG. 3 is a close-up view of the plow of the vehicle of FIG. 1 engaged with a curb, according to one or more embodiments.

[015] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[016] FIG. 5 is a side view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments. [017] FIG. 6 is a plan view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[018] FIG. 7 is a side view of a steel plate of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[019] FIG. 8 is a close-up view of wear resisting elements of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[020] FIG. 9 is an end view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[021 ] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a plow guard of the present disclosure without wear resisting elements, according to one or more embodiments.

[022] FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view of a plow guard of the present disclosure without wear resisting elements, according to one or more embodiments.

[023] FIG. 12 is a bottom view of a plow guard of the present disclosure without wear resisting elements, according to one or more embodiments.

[024] FIG. 13 is an end view of a plow guard of the present disclosure without wear resisting elements, according to one or more embodiments.

[025] FIG. 14 is a bottom view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[026] FIG. 15 is a bottom view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[027] FIG. 16 is a cross sectional view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[028] FIG. 17 is a bottom view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

[029] FIG. 18 is a cross sectional view of a plow guard of the present disclosure, according to one or more embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[030] The present disclosure, in some embodiments, relates to a guard device for a snow plow, for example, that may be manufactured from a polymer material having carbide rods or other wear resisting elements arranged therein. The polymer material may be naturally insulating and non-corrosive and, as such, may avoid fusing to the plow blade. In some embodiments, wearing of the plow guard may result in a lubricating resin that further reduces friction. The carbide material may significantly reduce the wear rate of the polymer material, allowing the plow guard to meet or exceed the length of use of known plow guards. Moreover, the removal and replacement of the present plow guard may be relatively simple and straight forward and avoid the need for a plasma cutting device. Still further, the reversibility of the design may avoid issues of left-hand vs. right-hand guards.

[031] Referring now to FIG. 1, a plow guard 100 of the present disclosure is shown in use with a plow vehicle 102 having a plow. The plow may have a moldboard 104 and a plow blade 106. The plow guard 100 may be mounted to the plow blade 106 of the plow. For example, the plow guard 100 may be bolted to, or through, the plow blade 106 in some embodiments, or otherwise coupled to the plow blade. As shown, a plow guard 100 may be arranged on either or both outer corners of the plow blade 106. FIG. 2 shows a close-up view of the plow guard 100 coupled to one corner of the plow blade 106. The plow guard 100 may generally be configured to protect an outer edge 108 of the moldboard 104 and/or blade 106, a bottom edge 110 of the moldboard and/or blade, and a corner where the outer edge and bottom edge meet. In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 2, the plow guard 100 may extend outwardly beyond the outer edge 108 of the moldboard 104 and/or blade 106. This extension beyond the outer edge 108 may allow the plow guard 100 to additionally operate as a bumper, guide, or guard against encounters with curbs or other aspects of a plowed surface. As shown for example in the close-up view of FIG. 3, the extension of the plow guard 100 beyond the outer edge 108 may help to protect the moldboard 104 and/or blade 106 from a curb 112 or other surface. The reverse may also be true (i.e., the guard 100 may protect the curb 112 or other surface from the plow).

[032] Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, one embodiment of a plow guard 200 is shown. The plow guard 200 may be configured for attachment to a plow blade and for guiding and/or guarding the plow, moldboard, and/or blade against wear and damage. As shown, the plow guard 200 may include body or attachment portion 202 and a head portion 204. The plow guard 200 may have a bottom surface 206 configured for contacting a plow surface.

[033] The body or attachment portion 202 may be configured for alignment with and placement along a blade portion of a plow. In one or more embodiments, the body or attachment portion 202 may include a relatively flat plate-like structure having a pair of generally parallel edges. The flat plate-like structure may be configured for placement along a front surface of a relatively flat blade portion of the plow. In some embodiments, the body or attachment portion 202 may have a generally rectangular shape with a length 208 configured to extend along the front surface of the plow blade. The body portion may have a length 208 of between approximately 5 inches and approximately 40 inches in some embodiments. In particular, the body portion 202 may have a length 208 of between approximately 12 inches and approximately 32 inches in some embodiments. More particularly, the body portion 202 may have a length 208 of between approximately 20 inches and approximately 25 inches in some embodiments. In other embodiments, the body portion 202 may have any other suitable length 208. The body portion 202 may have a width 210 perpendicular to the length 208, and configured to extend upward from a bottom edge 110 of the plow blade. The body portion 202 may have a width 210 of between approximately 1 inch and approximately 12 inches in some embodiments. Particularly, the body portion 202 may have a width 210 of between approximately 2.5 inches and approximately 9 inches in some embodiments. More particularly, the body portion 202 may have a width 210 of between approximately 4.5 inches and approximately 6.5 inches in some embodiments. In other embodiments, the body portion 202 may have any other suitable width 210. The body portion 202 may additionally have a thickness 212 configured to extend outward from the plow blade. The thickness 212 may be between approximately 0.1 inches and approximately 5 inches in some embodiments. In particular, the thickness 212 may be between approximately 0.25 inches and approximately 3 inches. More particularly, the thickness 212 may be between approximately 0.5 inches and approximately 1.5 inches in some embodiments. In other embodiments, the body portion 202 may have any suitable thickness 212. The body or attachment portion 202 may further be configured for attaching the plow guard 200 to the plow and may include one or more attachment holes 214, which may be bolt holes, for coupling the plow guard to the plow. The bolt holes 214 may be sized, spaced, and arranged to match holes that are present on the plow blade so as to allow for relatively seamless retrofit of the plow guard 200.

[034] The head portion 204 may be configured to hook on the outer edge 108 of the plow blade, defining the position of the plow guard together with the above- mentioned bolt holes 214. The head portion 204, when viewed in cross-section or from the bottom or top as shown in FIG. 6 for example, may extend from the body or attachment portion 202 and may have a doubly flared shape where each flare extends laterally away from the body or attachment portion in a direction generally perpendicular to the flat plate surface. With continued reference to FIG. 6, in some embodiments, each flare may extend from the body portion with a first radius of curvature 216 to a first transition point 218. The first radius of curvature 216 may be between approximately 0.5 inches and approximately 2 inches in some embodiments. At the first transition point 218, each flare may continue extending away from the body portion 202 with a second radius of curvature 220 to a second transition point 222. The portion of the flare with the second radius of curvature 220 may be convex with respect to the portion having the first radius of curvature 216, and the second radius of curvature may be between approximately 0.5 and approximately 2 inches in some embodiments. When in place on a plow blade, one of the flared shapes may hook on the outer edge 108 of the plow blade and the other flared shape may extend away from the plow blade. The head portion 204 may additionally have an arced top portion 224 connecting the second transition points 222 of the two flared shapes. The arced top 224 may have a third radius of curvature 226, which may be larger than the first 216 and/or second 220 radii of curvature. The third radius of curvature 226 may be between approximately 1 inch and approximately 6 inches in some embodiments. Together, the flared shapes and the arced top 224 may generally form a bull nose on the end of the body or attachment portion 202 that is relatively large as compared to the thickness 212 of the body or attachment portion. In this way, the head portion 204 may have a thickness 228 larger than the thickness 212 of the body portion 202. For example, the head portion 204 may have a thickness 228 of between less than 1 inch and approximately 8 inches. In particular, the head 204 may have a thickness 228 of between approximately 1 inch and approximately 6 inches. More particularly, the head 204 may have a thickness 228 of between approximately 2 inches and approximately 4 inches in some embodiments. In other embodiments, the head 204 may have any other suitable thickness 228. Moreover, the head 204 may have a width 230 similar to or the same as the width 210 of the body portion 202 in some embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In other embodiments, the head 204 may have a larger or smaller width 230 than the width 210 of the body portion 202. While particular radii of curvature have been included, other suitable radii may be used.

[035] In one or more embodiments, the body portion 202 and/or head portion

204 may be constructed of a wearable material, such as one or more polymer or plastic materials. For example, the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204 may include a custom blended polyurethane plastic. The plastic may be blended to a particular hardness to take heavy impact, but may additionally be configured to remain pliable at low temperatures. In some embodiments, the plastic may have a melting point that is near 500 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce melting due to friction and to reduce or avoid adhering the guard to the plow blade due to overheating. In other embodiments, the plastic may have a higher or lower melting point. In some embodiments, the plastic may be impregnated with a lubricant to provide a layer of protection for water erosion, and may be relatively resistant to the mild corrosives used in snow removal. In other embodiments, the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204 may be constructed of any other suitable material(s). Particularly suitable materials include those that are generally rigid and corrosion resistant, but insulative so as to wear relatively evenly while avoiding heat transfer.

[036] In some embodiments, the body portion 202 and/or the head portion 204 may include one or more wear resisting elements. The wear resisting elements may be constructed of wear resisting materials, such as carbide, steel, and/or one or more other relatively high wear resisting materials, and may be configured to resist wear of the plow guard 200. In some embodiments, the wear resisting elements may be embedded in the plow guard 200. That is, the plastic blend or other wearable material may be molded over the wear resisting elements. The carbide or other wear resisting elements may be held inside the mold by a mechanical interference fit and/or a chemical bond. In other embodiments, the wear resisting elements may be otherwise mechanically and/or chemically coupled to the plow guard 200. The wear resisting elements may be configured to extend from, or near, one or more edges of the plow guard 200 so as to make contact with a plow surface. The wear resisting elements may be plates, bars, rods, or other suitable shapes.

[037] For example, looking at FIGS. 4-6, the body portion 202 may have a plate wear resisting element, such as a steel plate 232. The plate 232 may be embedded within the body portion 202, and in some embodiments may extend partially into the head portion 204. The plate 232 may have a length and width similar to the length 208 and width 210 of the body portion 202. For example, the plate 232 may extend across a majority of the width 210 of the body portion 202 and a majority of the length 210 of the body portion. The plate 232 may have a thickness smaller than the thickness 212 of the body portion 202, such that the plate may be substantially surrounded on each of two parallel faces by the material of the body portion. In this way, contact between the plate 232 and the metal surface of the plow blade may be interrupted by the polymer, plastic, or other material of the body portion and/or head portion. In some embodiments, the plate 232 may be embedded in the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204 such that a bottom edge 234 of the plate may extend outward beyond the widths 210, 230 of the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204. In some embodiments, less than 1 inch of the steel plate 232 may extend beyond the widths 210, 230 of the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204. Particularly, approximately 0.125 inches, approximately 0.25 inches, or approximately 0.5 inches of the plate 232 may extend beyond the widths 210, 230 of the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204. Still other amounts of plate exposure may be provided.

[038] As shown for example in FIGS. 4 and 7, the plate 232 may have one or more attachment holes 236, which may be bolt holes, configured to align with the bolt holes 214 of the body portion, such that the plow guard 200 may be coupled to a plow blade. It is to be appreciated that, in addition to providing wear resistance, the steel plate 232 may increase stability of the connection between the plow guard 200 and the plow blade. That is, by providing a layer of steel through which each bolt passes in coupling the plow guard 200 to the plow blade, the steel plate 232 may increase stability of the bolt connections. In some embodiments, the bolt holes 214 may have a square shape to ease installation. Additionally, in some embodiments, the plate 232 may have one or more pour through holes 238 arranged along its length. The pour through holes 238 may be configured to mechanically couple the plate 232 to the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204. For example, where the body portion 202 and/or head portion 204 are constructed of one or more polymers or plastics, the pour through holes 238 may be configured to receive the melted polymer or plastic material during molding of the body portion and/or head portion, so as to mechanically couple the plate 232 to the plastic parts. Moreover, the pour through holes 238 may provide mechanical connection points between the two outer faces of the body portion 202, through the plate 232.

[039] With reference again to FIGS. 4-6, the head portion 204 may additionally have one or more wear resisting elements. For example, the head portion 204 may have one or more carbide rods 242 and/or one or more carbide bars 240. Each carbide rod 242 may extend through a portion of the width 230 of the head portion 204. For example, each carbide rod 242 may extend ¼ to ¾ of the width 230 of the head portion 204, or ¼ to ½ or ¼ to 1/3 of the width 230 of the head portion 204. Still other portions of the width 230 may be consumed by the rods 242 in some embodiments. One or more of the carbide rods 242 may be configured to extend beyond the width 230 of the head portion 204, as shown for example in FIGS. 8 and 9. In some embodiments, less than 0.5 inches, or less than 0.25 inches of each rod 242 may extend beyond the width 230 of the head portion 204. Particularly, approximately 0.1 inches, approximately 0.12 inches, approximately 0.15 inches, or approximately 0.2 inches of each rod 242 may extend beyond the width 230 of the head portion 204. In other embodiments, the rods 242 may extend any other suitable distance beyond the width 230 of the head portion 204. The head portion 204 may have any suitable number of carbide rods 242, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or any other suitable number of embedded rods. In some embodiments, the carbide rods 242 may have a generally circular cross sectional shape. Each rod 242 may have a longitudinal length of between approximately 0.5 inches and 5 inches in some embodiments, or between 1 inch and 3 inches, or between 1.5 inches and 2.5 inches. In other embodiments, the rods 242 may have any other suitable longitudinal length. The rods 242 may have a diameter of less than 1 inch, less than 0.75 inches, less than 0.5 inches, or any other suitable diameter. In some embodiments, the rods 242 may have a diameter of 0.625 inches, or a diameter of 0.375 inches.

[040] In some embodiments, one or more of the carbide rods 242 may be embedded at an angle between parallel and perpendicular to the bottom surface 206 of the guard 200. For example, each rod 242 may be arranged such that its longitudinal axis is at an angle of between approximately 1 degree and approximately 30 degrees, or between 5 and 20 degrees, or between 8 and 12 degrees, from perpendicular with the bottom surface 206 of the guard 200. FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the angled carbide rods 242 extending from the head portion 204. The angles of the rods 242 may increase the exposed surface area of the rods, which may in turn decrease wear rate of the plow guard 200. Additionally, the angles of the rods 242 may be configured to improve contact with angled curbing.

[041] In addition to, or alternative to, the carbide rods 242, the head portion 204 may have one or more carbide bars 240, as shown in FIGS. 4-6 and 9. Each carbide bar 240 may have a length extending generally parallel to the bottom surface 206 of the guard 200. A portion of one or more of the carbide bars 240 may extend outward beyond an outer surface of the head portion 204 in some embodiments. In some embodiments, less than 0.5 inches, or less than 0.25 inches of each bar 240 may extend beyond an outer surface of the head portion 204. In other embodiments, the bars 240 may be flush with the outer surface of the head portion 204. The carbide bars 240 may be arranged at any suitable location along the width 230 of the head portion 204. For example, the bars 240 may be arranged at between ¼ and 3/4, or between ¼ and ½, or between 1/3 and 1/2 of the way up the width 230 of the head portion 204, as measured from the bottom surface 206 of the guard 200. The head portion 204 may have any suitable number of carbide bars 240, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or any other suitable number of embedded bars. In some embodiments, the carbide bars 240 may have a generally rectangular cross sectional shape. Each bar 240 may have a longitudinal length of between approximately 0.5 inches and 5 inches in some embodiments, or between 0.75 inches and 3 inches, or between 1 inch and 2 inches. In other embodiments, the bars 240 may have any other suitable longitudinal length. The bars 240 may have a width and depth of less than 0.5 inches, less than 0.4 inches, or any other suitable width and depth. In some embodiments, the bars 240 may have a width of 0.313 inches and a depth of 0.125 inches. In some embodiments, the carbide bars 240 may be arranged radially about a point. As shown for example in FIG. 6, the bars 240 may be arranged radially such that the protruding ends of the bars are substantially evenly spaced about the arced top 224 of the head portion 204. The carbide bars 240 may generally be configured to reduce wear of the guard 200 when in contact with curbing, including high back curbing, for example.

[042] FIGS. 10-13 show the plow guard 200 without the wear resisting elements described above, according to some embodiments.

[043] In other embodiments, a plow guard of the present disclosure may have different wear resisting elements, which may be configured in different arrangements. It is to be appreciated that while the resisting elements described above are described as steel and carbide, other relatively wear-resistant materials may be used additionally or alternatively. The wear resisting elements may generally be provided at different locations along the body portion and head portion, and may be arranged at different angles and with different spacing. For example, FIGS. 14-16 show an additional embodiment of a plow guard 300 of the present disclosure. As shown, the body portion 302 of the plow guard may have a plurality of carbide rods 306, instead of or in addition to a steel plate. The carbide rods 306 in the body portion 302 may be similar to rods 308 arranged in the head portion 304, and may be spaced at desired locations along the length of the body portion. FIGS. 17-18 show an additional embodiment of a plow guard 400 of the present disclosure. As shown, the head portion 404 of the plow guard 400 may have one or more carbide bars 408 arranged generally perpendicular to a bottom surface of the head portion, and one or more carbide rods 406 arranged throughout the length of the body portion 402. In still other embodiments, a plow guard of the present disclosure may have different wear resisting element configurations. In some embodiments, the position and spacing of the wear resisting elements may be adjusted or selected based on a desired wear resistance and/or wear pattern and should not be limited to the position or spacing shown. As additionally shown in the embodiments 300 and 400, rather than extending from the body portion at a first radius of curvature, the two flared sides of the head portion may extend from the body portion at approximately a 90 degree angle, in some embodiments, to a first transition point. An arced top may connect the transition points of the two flared sides. In still other embodiments, the head portion may have any other suitable shape.

[044] A plow guard of the present disclosure may provide protection for a plow, including moldboard and/or plow blade, against damage or wear from a plow surface, obstructions, and/or other objects or surfaces. Wear resisting elements within the plow guard may generally increase the life of the plow guard by providing wear resistance of the guard. Moreover, the polymer-based material of the plow guard, or portions of the plow guard, may ease removal of the plow guard from a plow by preventing rust and/or fusion of the guard to the plow.

[045] In some embodiments, the shape of the plow guard and spacing of the bolt holes may be configured to satisfy at least 2 purposes. The first purpose may be to provide strength at the point where the majority of wear is imparted by surmountable curbs or other structures or surfaces on a plow blade and/or moldboard. The second purpose may be to make the product universally mountable to either side of a plow blade. This may allow 1 unit to be purchased for either the right or left side of any plow blade so customers will not be required to have more than 1 model in stock. As it is made to wear, and because metal to metal contact is interrupted by the polymer or plastic material, the guard may create much easier replacement of worn out parts as it may avoid fusing of the guard to the blade and it may avoid welding, which may reduce removal and installation time from approximately 2-4 hours per truck, to 2-4 minutes per truck, also resulting in savings in labor costs. The poly compound design may also result in quieter operation and decreased wear to the plow wings, mounting brackets, and truck chassis as it is a softer material that may flex and may absorb vibration more efficiently than steel. There are applications for this design beyond just the plow guards, as well, because it may reduce labor costs and machine wear and tear costs.

[046] As used herein, the terms "substantially" or "generally" refer to the complete or nearly complete extent or degree of an action, characteristic, property, state, structure, item, or result. For example, an object that is "substantially" or "generally" enclosed would mean that the object is either completely enclosed or nearly completely enclosed. The exact allowable degree of deviation from absolute completeness may in some cases depend on the specific context. However, generally speaking, the nearness of completion will be so as to have generally the same overall result as if absolute and total completion were obtained. The use of "substantially" or "generally" is equally applicable when used in a negative connotation to refer to the complete or near complete lack of an action, characteristic, property, state, structure, item, or result. For example, an element, combination, embodiment, or composition that is "substantially free of or "generally free of an element may still actually contain such element as long as there is generally no significant effect thereof.

[047] In the foregoing description various embodiments of the present disclosure have been presented for the purpose of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The various embodiments were chosen and described to provide the best illustration of the principals of the disclosure and their practical application, and to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the present disclosure as determined by the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth they are fairly, legally, and equitably entitled.