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Title:
A RIDE-ON OR WALK-BEHIND GOLF TROLLEY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/068316
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley (1) has a base chassis (2) that allows a user to stand on the golf trolley at or towards the rear of the chassis (2); wheels (5) and a power means configured to provide power to the wheels, and; a support stand (3) pivotally connected to the front of the base chassis (2), the support stand extending upwards from the base chassis and rotatable between an upright ride-on position where the support stand (3) is upright and forwards, and a walk-behind position where the support stand (3) is pivoted rearwards to extend over the chassis (2), the support stand (3) configured to carry and support a golf bag in use, the top portion of the support stand configured to be grasped by a user when riding on or walking behind the golf trolley (1).

Inventors:
HERRICK, Michael (33 Malham Drive, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN8 0XD, GB)
Application Number:
GB2016/000190
Publication Date:
April 27, 2017
Filing Date:
October 18, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HERRICK, Michael (33 Malham Drive, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN8 0XD, GB)
International Classes:
B62D51/02; A63B55/60; B62B5/08; B62D51/04; B62K3/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006032275A22006-03-30
WO2012069656A12012-05-31
WO1995026220A11995-10-05
WO2007013084A12007-02-01
Foreign References:
US20120118657A12012-05-17
GB2478940A2011-09-28
US8365850B22013-02-05
US4848504A1989-07-18
US20100176574A12010-07-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOCK, Richard (Lock IP, 16 Willers LaneAura, Trumpington, Cambridge CB2 9DH, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley, comprising:

a base chassis configured to allow a user to stand on the chassis at or towards the rear of the chassis;

a plurality of wheels, the base chassis and wheels configured for mutual connection to allow rolling movement of the trolley in use;

a power means configured to provide power to the wheels;

a support stand, pivotally connected to the base chassis at or towards the front of the base chassis and extending upwards from the base chassis, the support stand rotatable between an upright ride-on position where the support stand is upright and forwards, and a walk-behind position where the support stand is pivoted rearwards to extend over the chassis, the support stand configured to carry and support a golf bag in use, the top portion of the support stand configured to be grasped by a user when riding on or walking behind the golf trolley.

2. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 1 wherein the base chassis is substantially rigid in use.

3. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 further comprising a brace member connecting between the support stand and the base chassis, the brace member configured to provide support to the support stand.

4. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 3 wherein the support stand comprises an elongate member, and wherein the brace member is connected to the support stand so that the brace member can slide along the support stand when the support stand is rotated between the upright ride-on position and the walk- behind position.

5. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 4 wherein the brace member comprises a sleeve, the sleeve connecting the brace member and the support stand.

6. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 5 further comprising a locking means configured to allow the sleeve to be locked in position on the brace member.

7. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 6 wherein the locking means comprises a latch pin, and apertures on the brace member into which the latch pin locates in use.

8. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the base chassis comprises separate and connectable front and rear sections, the front section comprising the support stand, the rear section comprising the standing portion of the chassis.

9. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 8 wherein connection between the front section and the rear section is made via a quick-release connector, the connection substantially rigid.

10. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9 wherein the plurality of wheels comprises a pair of front wheels and a pair of rear wheels, at least one of the front or rear pairs rotatable away from the front-rear axis of the trolley to allow the golf trolley to be steered.

1 1. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 0 wherein the pair of front wheels are rotatable, and wherein the support stand is connected to the front wheels and is rotatable about it's elongate axis to rotate the front wheels.

12. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11 further comprising a handle, connected to the support stand substantially at the top of the support stand, the handle manipulable by a user to rotate the support stand to move and steer the golf trolley.

13. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 12 wherein the body of the handle extends transversely across the top of the support stand, the handle rotatable clockwise or anti-clockwise about it's connection point with the support stand to steer the trolley.

14. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in claim 13 wherein the support stand and handle are configured such that when the support stand is pivoted rearwards a user can grasp the handle and walk behind the trolley.

15. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14 wherein the base chassis further comprises a foot plate or plates arranged at or towards the rear of the chassis and configured to allow a user to stand on the trolley in use.

16. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15 wherein the power means comprises at least one battery and at least one electric motor.

17. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley golf trolley as claimed in claim 16 wherein the at least one electric motor is/are mounted to the side(s) of the foot plate.

18. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley golf trolley as claimed in claim 16 or claim 17 wherein the at least one battery is mounted to the chassis towards the front of the chassis.

19. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley golf trolley as claimed in claim 16 wherein the at least one battery and at least one electric motor is/are mounted underneath the foot plate.

20. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 19 wherein the base chassis is formed from glass-injected nylon.

2 . A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 19 wherein the base chassis is formed from injection-moulded plastic.

22. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 21 wherein the base chassis is at least partly formed from tubular sections.

23. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 22 wherein the base chassis is substantially H-shaped in plan view.

24. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 23 wherein the pivotal connection between the support stand and the base chassis is via a linear hinge.

25. A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 23 wherein the pivotal connection between the support stand and the base chassis is via a universal joint.

26. A convertible ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley substantially as herein described with reference to figures 1 to 5.

27. A convertible ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley substantially as herein described with reference to figures 6 to 9.

Description:
A ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley

FIELD

The present invention relates to a golf trolley that can be switched between a walk- behind mode and a ride-on mode.

BACKGROUND

Playing a game of golf often requires transporting a considerable amount of playing equipment and ancillary items over long distances, both to get onto the course, and to get from point-to-point on the course. If a player or group of players does not want to walk the entire course carrying their equipment, a number of options are available. They can use a motorised buggy of the type commonly know as a golf cart, or they can use a golf trolley. These are wheeled trolleys designed to carry a golf bag and to be pushed (or sometimes pulled) by a user. These can be manual, or electrically powered to assist a user in moving the trolley from point-to-point the user grasping a handle on the trolley to control the power and walking behind the trolley.

US 8,365,850 describes and shows a self-propelled battery driven, collapsible, golf cart having two selectable operational modes. The two selectable modes are a riding operational mode, in which the golfer stands on the cart while travelling around the golf course, and the second is a walking operational mode in which the golfer walks behind the cart while the cart is in use, wherein the golf bag containing the golf club set, and possible other articles, are supported on suitable supports provided on the cart.

US4,848,504 describes and shows a powered golf carts that may be used selectively in walking and riding modes and is collapsible for storage and transport in the trunk of a vehicle. The convertible walking/riding golf cart of this invention is formed of three basic units; namely, a drive unit, a golf bag support unit and a riding unit.

These units are releasably interconnected for cooperative association in the operative configurations and are readily disconnected from each other for convenient manipulation for storage and transport in the trunk of a conventional automobile.

US 2010/0176574 describes and shows a wheeled platform to a properly equipped golf electric cart in order to build a golf chariot for individual transport on a golf course. The platform is connected to the electric golf cart with a hook at the rear end of the cart.

In this specification where reference has been made to patent specifications, other external documents, or other sources of information, this is generally for the purpose of providing a context for discussing the features of the invention. Unless specifically stated otherwise, reference to such external documents is not to be construed as an admission that such documents, or such sources of information, in any jurisdiction, are prior art, or form part of the common general knowledge in the art.

SUMMARY

It is an object of the present invention to provide a ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley which goes some way to overcoming the abovementioned disadvantages or which at least provides the public or industry with a useful choice.

The term "comprising" as used in this specification and indicative independent claims means "consisting at least in part of. When interpreting each statement in this specification and indicative independent claims that includes the term "comprising", features other than that or those prefaced by the term may also be present. Related terms such as "comprise" and "comprises" are to be interpreted in the same manner.

As used herein the term "and/or" means "and" or "or", or both.

As used herein "(s)" following a noun means the plural and/or singular forms of the noun.

Accordingly, in an aspect the present invention may broadly be said to consist in a ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley, comprising: a substantially rigid and unitary base chassis configured to allow a user to stand on the chassis at or towards the rear of the chassis; a plurality of wheels, the base chassis and wheels configured for mutual connection to allow rolling movement of the trolley in use; a power means configured to provide power to the wheels; a support stand, pivotally connected to the base chassis at or towards the front of the base chassis and extending upwards from the base chassis, the support stand rotatable between an upright ride-on position where the support stand is upright and forwards, and a walk-behind position where the support stand is pivoted rearwards to extend over the chassis, the support stand configured to carry and support a golf bag in use, the top portion of the support stand configured to be grasped by a user when riding on or walking behind the golf trolley. The rigid chassis assists with stability and manoeuvrability and allows greater stability when walking and riding, and helps to keep construction, assembly and use simple.

In an embodiment, the ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley further comprises a brace member connecting between the support stand and the base chassis, the brace member configured to provide support to the support stand. This helps to support the stand and prevent unexpected or inadvertent movement of the support stand.

In an embodiment, the support stand comprises an elongate member, and wherein the brace member is connected to the support stand so that the brace member can slide along the brace member. This offers a simple way to brace the stand and to allow movement.

In an embodiment, the brace member comprises a sleeve, the sleeve connecting the brace member and the support stand. This is a robust and straightforward mechanism.

In an embodiment, the base chassis is substantially H-shaped. This offers a simple and robust construction.

In an embodiment, the base chassis is at least partly formed from tubular sections. This offers a simple and robust construction.

In an embodiment, the ride-on or walk-behind golf further comprises four wheels connected one at each end of the uprights of the H-shaped chassis, aligned to allow movement substantially in line with the cross-piece of the H-section. This simplifies construction and allows a stable movement platform.

In an embodiment, a pair of the wheels at one end are rotatable away from the axis of the cross-piece to allow the golf trolley to be steered. This offers an intuitive and simple steering mechanism to a user.

In an embodiment, the base chassis further comprises a foot plate or plates arranged at or towards the rear of the chassis and configured to allow a user to stand on the trolley in use. This allows a user to stand on the trolley.

In an embodiment, the power means comprises a battery and an electric motor. This offers a robust, inexpensive and easily sourced power supply and prime mover.

In an embodiment, the battery and electric motor are mounted underneath the foot plate. This is a discrete location that allows easy connection to the wheels while not interfering with the operation.

In an embodiment, the ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley further comprises a handle, connected to the support stand substantially at the top of the support stand, the handle manipulable by a user to move and steer the golf trolley. This offers and intuitive mechanism to a user for operation and steering the trolley. In an embodiment, the body of the handle extends transversely across the top of the support stand, the handle rotatable clockwise or anti-clockwise about it's connection point with the support stand to steer the trolley. This offers and intuitive mechanism to a user for operation and steering the trolley.

In an embodiment, the support stand and handle are configured such that when the support stand is pivoted rearwards a user can grasp the handle and walk behind the trolley. This allows ease of operation to a user.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realised that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

This invention may also be said broadly to consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated in the specification οτ the application, individually or collectively, and any or all combinations of any two or more said parts, elements or features, and where specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which this invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Further aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following description which is given by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings which show an embodiment of the device by way of example, and in which:

Figures 1a and 1 b show side views from the left-hand side of a golf trolley according to an embodiment of the invention, the golf trolley having a substantially rigid base chassis configured to allow a user to stand on the chassis at or towards the rear of the chassis; wheels connected at the corners of the chassis, and; a support stand, pivotally connected to the base chassis at or towards the front of the base chassis and extending upwards from the base chassis, the support stand rotatable between an upright ride-on position where the support stand is upright and forwards, and a walk-behind position where the support stand is pivoted rearwards to extend over the chassis, the support stand configured to carry and support a golf bag in use, the top portion of the support stand configured to be grasped by a user when riding on or walking behind the golf trolley, the golf trolley shown in the upright or ride-on position in figure 1a and the walk-behind position in figure 1b.

Figures 2a and 2b show the golf trolley of figure 1 in perspective view from the front and slightly to the left hand side, figure 1a showing the trolley in the upright or ride-on position, and figure 2b showing the trolley in the walk-behind position with the support stand pivoted rearwards.

Figures 3a and 3b show the golf trolley of figure 1 in perspective view from the rear, above, and slightly to the left hand side, figure 3a showing the trolley in the upright or ride-on position, and figure 3b showing the trolley in the walk-behind position with the support stand pivoted rearwards.

Figure 4 shows a left-hand view of the golf trolley of figures 1 to 3, with the frame disassembled into a front part that includes the support stand and the elongate brace member, and a rear part that includes the spine of the chassis, connection between the front part and the rear part made via a quick-release connector, the rear end of the elongate brace member connected/disconnected from the frame via a quick- release mechanism.

Figure 5 shows a left-hand side view of the separated front part of the frame of figure 4, with the elongate brace member folded up against the support stand.

Figure 6 shows a left-hand side view of a second embodiment of the golf trolley of the present invention, similar to the first embodiment, the support stand in this embodiment pivotally connected to the base chassis via a universal joint, the rear platform or foot plate having an upper surface below the axis of rotation of the rear wheels and level with the lowest portion of the frame, a pair of motors located each side of the foot plate in order to facilitate the low location of the foot plate, the batteries located on and along the central spine of the base chassis.

Figure 7 shows a perspective view from the front and left of the second embodiment of golf trolley shown in figure 6.

Figure 8 shows a perspective view from the rear left-hand side and above looking forwards of the second embodiment of golf trolley. Figure 9 shows a close-up perspective view from the rear left-hand side and above looking forwards of the universal joint connection and arrangement of the second embodiment of golf trolley.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the ride-on or walk-behind golf trolley will now be described with reference to the figures.

In a first embodiment, the golf trolley 1 has two main parts: a base chassis 2 and a support stand 3.

The base chassis 2 comprises a frame 4, overall H-shaped in plan view (that is, with a central spine 4a having an axis aligned front/rear, and two end pieces 4b connected one at each end of the spine 4a, that extend generally perpendicular to the spine 4a). The frame 4 is formed from tubular aluminium sections of rectangular cross-section, or similar. In variations, the frame can be formed from glass-injected nylon, or formed from injection-moulded plastic, or similar.

Four wheels 5 are connected one at each end of the two end pieces 4b. The wheels at the rear are fixed orientation, having an axis of rotation front/rear, or perpendicular to the spine 4a. The two front wheels are connected so that they can be pointed in the same direction as the rear wheels, or turned together to the left or to the right, to change the direction of travel of the trolley 1 when it is in motion, in a similar manner to the front wheels or a car.

A foot plate 6 is connected to the top surface of the frame 4, on the rear end piece 4b, between the rear pair of the wheels 5. This allows a user to stand on the frame 4 to ride on the trolley 1. The foot plate 6 can be formed from any suitable material such as metal, plastic or hard rubber, or a combination of suitable materials, and has a rough or high-friction upper surface to help prevent slippage.

A battery or similar power source 10a and an electric motor 10b are mounted underneath the foot plate 6 to provide power to the rear wheels of the trolley 1.

The support stand 3 has the form of an elongate tubular member, slightly longer than the overall length of the base chassis 2 (length measured in line with the axis of the spine 4a). The front of the support stand 3 is configured so that a golf bag can be removably/reieasably mounted on the support stand for transport. That is, so that the trolley 1 can transport the bag in use. The support stand 3 is pivotally connected to the base chassis 2 at the front of the base chassis 2, at substantially the mid-point of the front end piece 4b, in line with the spine 4a. The pivotal connection is configured so that when connected, the support stand 3 extends upwards from the base chassis 2, and so that the support stand 3 is rotatable between an upright position where the support stand 3 is upright and forwards, and a walk-behind position where the support stand is pivoted rearwards to extend over the chassis 4. That is, in the upright position, the support stand 3 is nearly vertical, angled backwards slightly, and in the walk-behind position, the support stand 3 extends over the spine 4a and past the rear edge of the trolley 1 (in this embodiment, the rear edge of the foot plate 6 forms the rearmost part, the support stand 3 extending slightly past this in the walk- behind position). An elongate brace member 7 extends between the front of the foot plate 6 (where it is pivotally connected to the spine 4a) and the body of the support stand 3, to which it is slidably connected. The front end of the brace member 7 is connected to the support stand 3 via a sleeve 9 that passes around the brace member 7. In use, as the support stand 3 rotates forwards and backwards, the sleeve 9 slides along the support stand 3 as the support stand rotates backwards and forwards. The brace member 7 provides support for the support stand 3 without impeding movement. Once the support stand 3 is in either the fully upright or the walk-behind position, a latch pin on the sleeve 9 locks with the brace member 7. That is, apertures are located on the brace member 7 at each end of the length along which the sleeve 9 slides on the brace member 7. The latch pin on the sleeve 9 locates into these apertures once the support stand 3 has been rotated fully forwards or backwards. The latch pin ensures that the support stand 3 is held in position, and is unlocked when a user wishes to move the support stand 3 to the other position.

A handle 8 is located at the top of the support stand 3. In the preferred embodiment, the body of the handle 8 extends transversely across the top of the main body of the support stand 3. The handle 8 can be rotated clockwise or anti-clockwise about it's connection point with the top of the main body of the support stand 3 (i.e. about an axis in parallel with the main body of the support stand 3). The handle 8 is connected to the front wheels via a mechanical linkage that extends inside the support stand 3, so that turning the handle 8 turns the front wheels. When the support stand 3 is pivoted rearwards to extend over the chassis 4, the angle and length of the support stand 3, and the sizes of the other components, are such that a user can grasp the handle and walk behind the trolley 1. The handle 8 also has controls that allow activation of the motor to move the trolley 1. A hardwired connection runs from the handle 8, along the support stand 3 and the elongate brace member 7, to the motor/batteries 10a, 10b. In use, a user can move the support stand 3 to the required position, and either walk behind the trolley 1 with the support stand 3 angled rearwards, or they can stand on/ride on the foot plate 6 with the support stand 3 upright. In either configuration, the user steers and controls the speed via the controls on the handle 8.

In the embodiment described above, the frame is a unitary item. In a variation of the embodiment described above, the frame 4 can be disassembled into two parts when not in use, for storage or transport, as described below with reference to figure 4. As shown in figure 4, the frame 4 can be disassembled into a front part that includes the support stand 3 and the elongate brace member 7, and a rear part that includes the spine 4a. Connection between the front part and the rear part at the spine 4a is made via a quick-release connector that can be of any suitable form, such as for example a male-female connector, a pin and aperture, or similar, and which is located just where the spine contacts the front cross-piece 4b. When the front and rear parts are connected, the connection is substantially rigid, not allowing significant movement side-to-side or up-and-down between the front and rear parts. The rear end of the elongate brace member 7 can also be connected/disconnected from the frame 4 via a quick-release mechanism. This release also includes a quick-release electrical connector that allows the hard-wired electrical connection between the elongate brace member 7, and the motor/batteries 10a, 10b to be made/unmade quickly and easily, so that an electrical connection is made/unmade between the controls on the handle 8 and the motor/batteries 10a, 10b.

When disassembled for storage or transport, the elongate brace member 7 can be folded upwards so that it is roughly parallel to the support stand 3, as shown in figure 5.

Another embodiment is shown in figures 6 to 9. This embodiment is similar to the first embodiment shown in figures 1 to 5 and described above, and similar numbering will be used for simiar features - e.g. trolley 1 and trolley 101 , frame 4 and frame 104, handle 8 and handle 108, etc.

In this embodiment, the pivotal connection of the lower end of the support stand 103 to the base chassis 102 is via a universal joint 1 1 1 , rather than a linear connection such as the hinge of the first embodiment described above. As for the previous embodiment, the universal joint 11 1 allows backwards and forwards rotational movement of the support stand 103 relative to the base chassis 102. That is, when connected, the support stand 103 extends upwards from the base chassis 102, and the support stand 103 is rotatable between an upright position where the support stand 103 is upright and forwards, and a walk-behind position where the support stand is pivoted rearwards to extend over the chassis 104.

In this embodiment, the frame 104 is T-shaped, having a forward part 104b that forms axles for the front wheels and which connects the front wheels to the support stand 103, and a central spine portion 104a that extends backwards from the base of the support stand 103, perpendicular to the forward part 104b. The frame 104 in this embodiment can be formed from aluminium, or injection-moulded plastic, or glass- injected nylon, or similar. The platform or foot plate 106 is at the same level as the frame 104a, and is connected to and extends from the rear of the spine portion 104a. This arrangement of the spine portion 104a and the foot plate 106 allows the foot plate 106 to have an upper surface below the axis of rotation of the rear wheels 105, and level with the top of the spine portion 104a, as best seen in figure 6. A pair of motors 1 10a are located each side of the foot plate 106 as shown in figure 7, in order to facilitate the low location of the foot plate 106. The batteries 110b are mounted on the spine portion 104a, which is formed as an open-topped or U-shaped channel to facilitate this. As can best be seen in figure 6, the spine portion is angled slightly downwards from it's front part where it is level with the axles or axis of rotation of the front wheels, and it's rearmost point where it meets the foot plate 106. The foot plate 106 is arranged substantially horizontally.

The two variations outlined above for the second embodiment (the universal joint

111 , and the low foot plate 106) can be used together (as for the second embodiment above, and as shown in figures 6 and 7), or independently. For example, the low platform of the second embodiment of figures 6 and 7 could be used in conjunction with the linear hinge connection of the first embodiment as shown in figures 1 to 5, and the universal joint of the second embodiment could be used in conjunction with the style of foot plate of the first embodiment shown in figures 1 to 5. It should also be noted that for all of the variations and embodiments described above, the golf trolleys could be unitary, or separable two-part trolleys.




 
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