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Title:
SYSTEM FOR LIFTING VEHICLES, PARTICULARLY FOR LIFTING VEHICLES IN ORDER TO OPERATE ON THEIR TIRES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/066391
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system for lifting vehicles, particularly for lifting vehicles in order to operate on their tires, is disclosed, that comprises: lifting controlling means (1); lifting-adjusting means (3); means for locking and unlocking a braking member (5) of a wheel (6); and vehicle lifting and lowering means (7).

Inventors:
Baldo, Massimo (Frazione Feilley, 16 Saint Vincent, I-11027, IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IT2001/000071
Publication Date:
September 13, 2001
Filing Date:
February 15, 2001
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Baldo, Massimo (Frazione Feilley, 16 Saint Vincent, I-11027, IT)
International Classes:
B60S9/12; (IPC1-7): B60S9/12; B60G17/005; B60G17/015
Foreign References:
US5722641A
US5312119A
US5963128A
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Garavelli, Paolo c/o Bre, Mar Via Servais A. S. R. L. (27 Torino, I-10146, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. System for lifting vehicles, particularly for lifting vehicles in order to operate on their tires, characterised in that the system substantially comprises: lifting controlling means (1); lifting adjusting means (3); means for locking and unlocking a braking member (5) of a wheel (6); and vehicle lifting and lowering means (7).
2. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said vehicle lifting and lowering means (7) are further equipped with a spare tire (4) replacing the wheel (6) whose tire is out of order, said spare tire (4) being lowered in an operating position in contact with the ground upon activating said system.
3. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said lifting adjusting means (3) are composed of at least one solenoid valve (9) connected between said braking member (5) of said wheel (6) and said vehicle lifting and lowering means (7).
4. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said lifting adjusting means (3) are further composed of at least another solenoid valve (11) connected between said braking member (5) of said wheel (6) and said lifting controlling means (1) when said wheel (6) is a driving wheel.
5. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said lifting controlling means (1) are composed of a pushbutton that controls a tank and brake pump assembly (15).
6. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said means for locking and unlocking the braking member (5) of said wheel (6) are composed of the vehicle brake pedal.
7. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said vehicle lifting and lowering means (7) are composed of at least one piston (17) housed inside a cylinder (18).
8. System according to Claim 7, characterised in that said cylinder (18) with said piston (17) is connected to an hub (19) of the wheel (6).
9. System according to Claim 1 that can be used on vehicles equipped with power steering, characterised in that said lifting adjusting means (3) are composed of at least two solenoid valves (9', 9"), at least one (9') of said solenoid valves being connected upstream and at least one (9") of said solenoid valves being connected downstream of said vehicle lifting and lowering means (7), said at least two solenoid valves (9', 9") being further connected to an activation pushbutton for a tank (20) containing power steering oil and to a pump (22) for the power steering oil to adjust the vehicle lifting.
10. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said lifting adjusting means (3) are composed of at least two solenoid valves (10,10'), at least one (10) of said solenoid valves being connected upstream and at least one (10') of said solenoid valves being connected downstream of said vehicle lifting and lowering means (7), said at least two solenoid valves (10,10') being further connected to an activation pushbutton for a tank (24) containing recirculating oil and to a small pump (26) to send oil into an hydraulic circuit of the vehicle lifting and lowering means (7).
11. System according to Claim 1, characterised in that said vehicle lifting and lowering means (7) are of an electric type, and in that said lifting adjusting means (3) are composed of at least one pushbutton (30) connected to said lifting and lowering means (7) through electric cables (28) for their activation.
12. System according to any one of the previous Claims, characterised in that it is further equipped with a movement probe that inhibits the activation of said system in case the vehicle is moving.
13. System according to any one of the previous Claims, characterised in that it is further equipped with at least one inflating pressure sensor for the wheels (6) in order to signal when a tire has been punctured.
Description:
SYSTEM FOR LIFTING VEHICLES, PARTICULARLY FOR LIFTING VEHICLES IN ORDER TO OPERATE ON THEIR TIRES The present invention refers to a system for lifting vehicles, and in particular to a system for lifting vehicles of the car and truck types in order to operate on their tires, for example when such tires are out of order or it is necessary to insert or remove snow chains or the like. The system of the invention allows keeping the normal vehicle movement unaltered.

The present invention will be described hereinbelow, as a non-limiting example, as applied to the field of vehicles with out-of-order tires ; as will clearly appear by reading the text of the description and of the claims, however, the invention can be equally efficiently applied to all cases in which it is necessary to lift a vehicle for a particular application, such as for example in order to install or remove snow chains from tires, etc.

When it is necessary to lift a vehicle due to the puncture of one or more of its tires, it is currently necessary to employ a device that is commonly called"car jack", that allows lifting the vehicle in order to replace the out-of-order tire.

Such car jacks are of the mechanical or pneumatic type or the like according to the size and the weight of the vehicles to be lifted; their use however has a set of common problems.

First of all, it is necessary to locate their position inside the vehicle, such operation not always being immediate, since they are unfrequently used. Then, it is necessary to install them under the vehicle, lift the vehicle itself, replace the tire and repeat the above operations in reverse order to start again. In addition to the difficulty that each one of these operations can have for people that are not accustomed to replace tires, in case of bad weather there are evident discomforts, above all since these operations foul the user that is not adequately dressed at that time.

Object of the present invention is solving the above prior-art problems, by providing a system for lifting vehicles, particularly for lifting vehicles in order to operate on their tires, that allows having to do without the need of finding and using the car jacks and that provides a useful alternative to out-of-order tires, thereby allowing to safely reach a place in which such tires can be efficiently replaced. Moreover, the system of the invention allows keeping the normal vehicle movement unaltered.

The above and other objects and advantages of the invention, as will appear from the following description, are obtained with a system as disclosed in Claim 1. Preferred embodiments and non-trivial variations of the present invention are the scope of the dependent Claims.

The present invention will be better described by some preferred embodiments thereof, provided as a non-limiting example, with reference to the enclosed drawings, in which: -Figure 1 is a partial front view of an embodiment of the system according to the present invention ; -Figures 2 to 5 are schematic views that show a first preferred embodiment of the system respectively applied to driving and non-driving wheels; Figures 6 to 9 are schematic views that show a second preferred embodiment of the system respectively applied to driving and non-driving wheels; Figures 10 to 13 are schematic views that show a third preferred embodiment of the system respectively applied to driving and non-driving wheels; and Figures 14 to 17 are schematic views that show a fourth preferred embodiment of the system respectively applied to driving and non-driving wheels.

The system of the present invention for lifting vehicles, particularly for lifting vehicles in order to operate on their tires, is first of all preferably applied to each one of the four or more wheels of a vehicle, in order to be able to be separately actuated for each wheel according to needs. This obviously is not limiting, arrangements being able to be set in which the system is only used as applied to driving wheels or other solutions, for example for any type of vehicle that is running on tires.

The system of the invention substantially comprises lifting controlling means 1; lifting adjusting means 3; means for locking and unlocking the braking member 5 of a wheel 6 ; and vehicle lifting and lowering means 7.

The vehicle lifting and lowering means 7 can further be equipped with a spare tire 4 (for example a common"small wheel") replacing the wheel 6 whose tire is out of order: in this case, the spare tire 4 is lowered in an operating position in contact with the ground upon activating the system.

According to a first practical embodiment of the system of the invention, shown in Fig. s 2 to 5, the lifting adjusting means 3 are composed of at least one solenoid valve 9 connected between the braking member 5 of the wheel 6 and the vehicle lifting and lowering means 7.

The system is then further equipped with at least another solenoid valve 11 connected between the braking member 5 of the wheel 6 and the lifting controlling means 1 when the wheel 6 is a driving wheel.

In all embodiments shown, then, the system of the invention has, obviously in a non-limiting way, the lifting controlling means 1 that are composed of a pushbutton (not shown) that controls a tank and brake pump assembly 15 equipped with a plug 13, while the means for locking and unlocking the braking member 5 of the wheel 6 are composed of the vehicle brake pedal. Instead, in a common way, the vehicle lifting and lowering means 7 are composed of at least one piston 17 housed inside a cylinder 18. As can be better seen in Fig. 1, the cylinder 18 with the piston 17 is connected next to the hub 19 of the wheel 6, but obviously this arrangement also is not constraining or limiting, other securing positions being able to be provided, such as for example the insertion below the trapeze, etc.

Going back to Fig. s 2 to 5, a first preferred embodiment of the system of the present invention is shown. With particular reference to Fig. s 2 and 4, they respectively show the system as applied to a driving wheel and a non-driving wheel with the inserted piston 17. Such system operates through the pressure of the brake oil that is simply exerted by the brake pedal (not shown), that all vehicles, even those equipped with an automatic gearbox, have. The system is operated in the following way: the pushbutton referred to the wheel 6 affected by a puncture is first pressed. In such a way, the solenoid valves 9 and 11 are activated, that are respectively placed before and after the braking member 5 (for the driving wheels, Fig. 2), or only after the braking member 5 (for non-driving wheels, solenid valve 9 in Fig. 4). Both solenoid valves 9,11, when the pushbutton is inserted, must allow the pressurised oil to pass only along one direction (arrow S, delivery), the solenoid valve 11 towards the braking member 5 and the solenoid valve 9 towards the piston 17 (or only towards the piston 17 in case of Fig. 4). After that, the user must only subject the brake pedal to pumping, thereby lowering the wheel 4 secured on the piston 17 head, thereby lifting the vehicle till a limit warning light will turn on. Two solenoid valves 9, 11 are used only for driving wheels, because it is necessary to lock the braking member 5, thereby transferring the driving onto the operating wheel through the differential gear. Non-driving wheels (Fig. 4) instead do not need the braking member 5 lock, since these wheels can normally remain free to turn.

With particular reference now to Fig. s 3 and 5, they respectively show the system as applied to a driving wheel and a non-driving wheel with the disconnected piston 17. The disconnection operation (always when the vehicle is not moving) is still simpler than the previous one, since it is enough to press the pushbutton that is affected by the turned-on warning light, wait for about two or three minutes till the system is completely in a standby position, thereby allowing the driver to go on travelling. The practical disconnection operation provides that, when the driver presses the pushbutton with the turned-on warning light, the unit turns off the operating contact as shown by the four arrows S and N in the Figures, taking the solenoid valves 11 placed before the braking member 5 into their complete opening position both along one direction, and along the other, thereby freeing the braking member 5. The solenoid valves 9 placed after the braking member 5 go back into the opposite position to the current one, since the oil flow can only go back into the tank 15 of the braking system lifting the piston 17 and the related wheel 4. This operation allows abutting the vehicle again onto the replaced tire. The waiting position of the solenoid valves 9,11 will prevent the downward movement of the piston at the time in which the driver starts again its travel with the unavoidable pressures on the brake pedal that are exerted for the normal vehicle use.

With reference now to Fig. s 6 to 9, a second preferred embodiment of the system of the present invention is shown. With praticular reference to Fig. s 6 and 8, theyr respectively show the system applied to a driving wheel and to a non-driving wheel with the piston 17 inserted. Such system can be applied only on vehicles having the power steering, since for moving the piston 17 the pressurized hydraulic oil of the power steering itself is used. The operation is very similar to that of the previous system, since also here there are solenoid valves 9', 9", 11, which however are placed here in a different way. The first solenoid valve 11 is always placed before the braking member 5 of the driving wheel 6, always in order to lock the wheel at the time in which the driver inserts the related pushbutton and presses the brake pedal at least twice. The second solenoid valves 9', 9" are instead placed one (9') before the piston 17 and the other (9") after the piston 17, respectively to supply and remove the pressure.

These two solenoid valves 9', 9", when the pushbutton (not shown) for inserting the system is pressed, have respectively the task of being opened and closed, allowing the pressurized oil taken from the tank 20 of the power steering system to pass through the pump 22 and supply the piston 17 for its movement. The second solenoid valve 9"will be closed to avoid that the oil outflows and does not allow the piston 17 to correctly move. At the end of the piston 17 stroke, the related warning light will turn on.

With particular reference now to Fig. s 7 and 9, they respectively show the system applied to a driving wheel and a non-driving wheel with the disconnected piston 17. The disconnection system is very similar to the above-mentioned one, since the driver must simply press the pushbutton with the warning light on. At that time, the solenoid valve 11 placed before the braking member 5 opens and disengages the brake, while the solenid valve 9' that is placed before the piston 17 closes and the solenoid valve 9"that is placed after the piston 17 opens, thereby making the oil that at that time was into the piston 17 outflow towards the oil tank 20 of the power steering. The wheels 6 that are not affected by driving for the second system do not need solenoid valves on the braking system. The waiting time before restarting will again be equal to about two or three minutes.

With reference now to Fig. s 10 to 13, a third preferred embodiment of the system of the present invention is shown. With particular reference to Fig. s 10 and 12, they respectively show the system applied to a driving wheel and to a non-driving wheel with the piston 17 inserted. In this case, it is provided to use a wholly new hydraulic circuit, that can be applied to any vehicle model, because it substantially operates by means of the clutch pedal (not shown). The third system is equal to the second above-described system, with the only difference that the pressurized oil is not taken from the power steering system, nor from the braking circuit system, but by placing a small pump 26 next to the movement of the clutch lever, which will transmit, thrugh the pedal movement, the pumping for sending pressurized hydraulic oil to the affected piston 17. The pistons 17 will be equipped with solenoid valves 10,10'that are different from the so far described ones, since the oil that this small pump 26 will pressurize when the clutch pedal is pressed must go into a recovery tank 24 when the system of the invention is not required. Therefore, a solenoid valve 10'will be necessary on the circuit to avoid the movement of the piston 17 when it is not needed. All other applications are equal to the second system. When the system is inserted, the oil pumped therein by the clutch pedal, once having reached the maximum extension of the piston 17, through the solenoid valve 10'placed before the piston, allows the pressurized oil to go into the recovery tank 24.

With particular reference now to Fig. s 11 and 13, they respectively show the system applied to a driving wheel and a non-driving wheel with the disconnected piston 17. Such system is quite the same as the previous ones as regards its disconnection, since in practice the operation is always that of closing the solenoid valve 10 placed before the piston 17 and opening the solenoid valve 10'placed after the piston 17, thereby allowing the piston 17 to rise again and the oil to go back into the recovery tank 24, re-opening then the solenoid valve 10 that in practice enables the pressurized oil recirculation.

With reference now to Fig. s 14 to 17, a fourth preferred embodiment of the system of the present invention is shown. With particular reference to Fig. s 14 and 16, they respectively show the system applied to a driving wheel and to a non-driving wheel with the piston 17 inserted. This fourth system, instead, operates in a completely different way from the previous ones, since it uses electric and not hydraulic pistons, thereby removing the solenoid valves for moving the piston 17, keeping only the solenoid valves 11 for locking the braking member 5 to the driving wheels 6. The system in fact operates as follows. When the driver presses the affected pushbutton, only the solenoid valves 11 operate for locking the braking member 5, always by pressing the brake pedal at least twice. After this, the driver will have other four double pushbuttons 30 available (or another double pushbutton that operates to allow the movement of all four pistons, or any other equivalent alternative arrangement) connected to the piston 17 through electric cables 28, that are very similar to the used ones, for example for controlling glass-lifting devices. The pushbuttons 30 will be equal to one per wheel 6, like the previous ones, and their task will be that of supplying the contacts for the piston 17 movement for its rise and descent. Obviously, in order to simplify the control panel, the pushbuttons 30 could be less in number and, through simple electric arrangements, be able to similarly control all vehicle wheels.

With particular reference now to Fig. s 15 and 17, they respectively show the system applied to a driving wheel and a non-driving wheel with the disconnected piston 17. The disconnection of this fourth system is equal to the previous ones in its first step, that is the braking element 5 is unlocked with the pushbutton 30 disconnected, while with the same pushbutton 30 used for lowering the piston 17, by pressing the other contact the piston 17 will be lifted, letting thereby the vehicle abut onto the replaced tire 6.

The above-described systems and their operation will be inhibited in case of a moving vehicle due to the presence of a movement probe (not shown) that will prevent the operation on the pushbutton panel with a moving vehicle, thereby avoiding that one of the four systems is accidentally inserted during the normal vehicle run.

The system of the invention can further be equipped with at least one inflating pressure sensor (not shown) for the wheels 6 in order to signal when a tire has been punctured.

Other alternative embodiments of the invention are possible, such as for example the one where the piston 17 movement is of the pneumatic type, in addition to the already-described types.

As clearly appears from what has been described above, the system of the invention has a very simple arrangement to make, since it is globally composed of a set of accessories that are all available on the market and that can be easily installed. Such accessories substantially are: illuminated pushbuttons, a unit, movement probe, solenoid valves, an increased tank for brake oil, an increased tank for hydraulic power steering oil, a new tank and pump for the hydraulic oil, pressure pipes, electric cables, pistons equipped with return spring and fixed filled wheels.

The assembling of such accessories is very simple, since it is necessary to insert the control pushbuttons inside the vehicle compartment, these four pushbuttons (one for every wheel) being equipped with an illuminated warning light and being connected to the unit thrugh an electric cable. The pushbutton controls arrive to the unit together with the movement probe contact (open/close). From the unit, then, the electric controls go out for operating the solenoid valves and the controls related to turning on the visual safety system (four arrows). From the unit controls can also go out for moving the pistons, if they are of an electric movement type. The piston movement can be of four systems, since the application of the various systems will depend on the type of vehicles, while the rest of the accessories will be equal for all vehicles.

The accurate location of the pistons 17 will have to be established according to the type of vehicles; it is provided to place the pistons 17 on the shock absorbers or still better to integrate them into these latter ones in their lower part.

For the passage of the piston 17 rod and the small wheel 4 that will be connected thereto, it is provided to create a new trapeze die, wit a slit that is sufficiently big as to allow its passage not to prevent the vehicle steering movement: this modification will only affect the steering wheels.

As regards the operating procedure to be followed with the system of the present invention, it substantially provides that the user, after having ascertained that one of his tires is punctured, starts the engine up, goes into an idle position, inserts the parking brake and presses the pushbutton affecting the punctured tire. As regards the first system, it is necessary to press the brake pedal for at least five or six times, till it is not ascertained that the wheel 6 remains uplifted from the ground and the limit warning light for the piston turns off. As regards the second system, it is necessary to press the brake pedal only twice, to lock the wheel if not affected by driving, and after that it is necessary to wait till the wheel 6 is lifted from the ground and the limit warning light for the piston 17 turns on. As regards the third system, it is necessary to press the brake pedal twice, to lock the wheel if affected by driving, and then press the clutch pedal for at least five or six times till the wheel 6 is lifted up from the ground and the limit warning light for the piston 17 turns on. As regards finally the fourth system, it is necessary to press the brake pedal only twice, to lock the wheel if affected by driving, and then press the pushbutton for the electric descent of the piston 17 till the limit warning light for the piston 17 turns on.

After having activated the system in one of the above four conditions, the driver can move with due care in order to reach the place in which the punctured tire can be replaced with better tranquility, comfort and saferty.

The system of the invention is useful also in particular when the puncture affects more than one vehicle tire: at that time, provided that at least one driving wheel 6 is efficient, the system anyway allows the vehicle to move till the nearest service station in order to replace the punctured tires.

As regards the operation of the above- mentioned movement probe, for example, it receives signals from the odometer string, that shows the vehicle movement, with a very simple open/close electric contact, allowing to activate the system of the invention only when the vehicle is not moving.

Task of the above-mentioned unit will be that of coordinating the controls of the whole operating system, and will for example be equipped with a relay and a small printed circuit. Its position can be inside the vehicle passenger compartment or in the engine compartment.

At the end of the operation on the tire (replacement after a puncture, snow chains insertion or removal, etc.), it willl then be necessary to press the affected pushbutton again, this being recognisable since it has a corresponding illuminated warning light on. It will then be necessary to wait for about two minutes for the solenoid valves to go back to their standby state, that the piston 17 has also risen again in its standby state and that the oil has come back into the suitable recovery tank. At that time all warning lights will turn off and the user will be able to start traveling again.




 
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