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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
HANDHELD IMPLEMENT SUITABLE FOR CLEARING SNOW
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/013951
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The invention comprises a handheld snow clearing implement, comprising an elongate handle, a body, attached to said handle via a multi - directional joint, and a blade attached to said body, wherein the blade comprises two portions, each with an inside edge and an outside edge, said blade portions being fixedly joined to one another, and disposed at an angle to each other, wherein the implement further comprises a beam projecting from the, in use, front of said blade, at or adjacent the join of said blade portions.

Inventors:
NICHOLS ANDREW (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2011/051196
Publication Date:
February 02, 2012
Filing Date:
June 24, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NICHOLS ANDREW (GB)
International Classes:
E01H5/02
Foreign References:
CN2825735Y2006-10-11
FR2692296A31993-12-17
US20090235559A12009-09-24
PL63783Y12008-06-30
GB2380757A2003-04-16
US6735887B12004-05-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP21 LIMITED (Lakeside 300Old Chapel Way,Broadland Business Park, Norwich Norfolk NR7 0WG, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A handheld snow clearing implement, comprising an elongate handle, a body, attached to said handle via a multi-directional joint, and a blade attached to said body, wherein the blade comprises two portions, each with an inside edge and an outside edge, said blade portions being fixedly joined to one another, and disposed at an angle to each other, wherein the implement further comprises a beam, projecting from the, in use, front of said blade, at or adj acent the j oin of said blade portions .

2. An implement according to claim 1, wherein said beam has a curved underside.

3. An implement according to claim 2, wherein the blade, body and beam are of a single, integrally formed piece.

4, An implement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the blade has a three sided profile, presenting a concave shape. 5. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein, the join of the two blade portions is such that the said portions are disposed substantially perpendicularly to one another,

6. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the outside edge of the blade has at least a top portion and a bottom portion and the top portion of the outside edge is flared relative to the rest of the blade.

7. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the handle may be extended and / or retracted.

8. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the multi- directional joint is releasably lockablc.

9. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the blade is of a plastics material. 10. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising a grit or salt discharging unit 11. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the handle may be removed. 12. An implement according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising means of attachment to a vehicle. 13. A handheld snow-bearing implement substantially as described herein, with reference to and as illustrated by any appropriate combination of the text and / or drawings.

Description:
Handheld Implement suitable for clearing snow

The Invention relates to handheld implements suitable for clearing snow, such as manually operated, personal snow ploughs.

Background to the Invention.

The art known to the Applicant is as follows:

CN2825735Y

PR 2692296 (VOGRIN)

US 2009/0235559A1 (COLES)

PL 63783 (KARWGDRZA)

GS2380757A (WILLIAMS)

US673S887B1 (MUZZAMMEL) These citations show that portable snow ploughs are known per se, but that the invention in its widest claimed aspect differs from all of the documents cited above at least in that it has a ground contacting body, a jointed handle and a blade with multiple portions.

The invention therefore enables the user to better approach and solve the problems associated with manual snow clearance; chiefly, problems related to the speed and effectiveness of clearance and to ease of moving and manipulating the device.

Summary of the invention In a first broad Independent aspect, the invention comprises a handheld snow clearing implement comprising an elongate handle, a body, attached to said handle via a multidirectional joint and a Made attached to said body, wherein the blade comprises two portions, each with an inside edge and an outside edge, said blade portions being fixedly joined to one another, and disposed at an angle to each other, wherein the implement further comprises a beam projecting from the, in use, front of said blade, at or adjacent the join of said blade portions.

The multidirectional joint and the body, both individually and in combination, allow for a more manoeuvrable implement

The multidirectional joint also allows the implement to pitch and roll whilst being operated, to easily overcome any undulations In the surface of the path being cleared. It also facilitates the steering of the implement by the user.

Further, this combination of features dispenses with the problems associated with wheels, namefy dysfunction, rust and decay. Rust is a particular problem when the implement Is used in combination with salt The two portion blade, being configured so as to resemble a chevron or arrowhead, allows the user to "pierce" the snow by breaking it up to displace it more easily; this is particularly useful when one merely wants to move the snow, for example, off a path, rather than remove it from an area completely. In a first subsidiary aspect said beam has a curved underside.

The curved underside of the beam allows it to move more easily over terrain.

Preferably, the blade, body and beam are of a single, integrally formed piece.

This Improves the structural strength of the implement

In a second subsidiary aspect the blade has a three sided profile, presenting a concave the implement less prone to wear and dysfunction. In a third subsidiary aspect the joint of the two blade portions is such that the said portions are disposed substantially perpendicularly to one another.

The disposition of said portions in this way is a particularly good way of form ing a point which is driven Into the snow, forcing snow to move to either side.

In a fourth subsidiary aspect, the outside edge of the blade has at least a top portion and a bottom portion and the top portion of the outside edge is flared relative to the rest of the blade

The flaring of the top outside edge assists deeper snow discharge which is to say snow is displaced further and is therefore prevented from falling back onto the outer edges of a cleared path. In a fifth subsidiary aspect, the handle may be extended and / or retracted.

The extendible pole allows for more length and hence allows a lower angle from which the user can push and thereby provides greater force in the forward direction. By extending the pole to a given length it allows more than one person to push, which is particularly useful if children are to be performing the snow clearing task.

In a sixth subsidiary aspect, the hinge is releasably lockable.

The provision of a locking mode for the hinge is particularly useful where the path is straight and the snow is thick and the inventor simply wants to clear through a path quickly and effectively. in a seventh subsidiary aspect, the blade is of a plastics material.

The provision of a blade of plastics material provides a hard wearing and cheap alternative to the more common metal blade.

In an eighth subsidiary aspect, the invention further comprises a grit or salt discharging unit The provision of grit and salt discharging means provides a particularly useful combination of services. In an ninth subsidiary aspect the handle may be removed.

In a tenth subsidiary aspect, the invention further comprises means of attachment to a vehicle. The removable handle advantageously detaches In order that the rest of the Implement may be attached to a powered grass cutter, mini sweeper or the like. The means of attachment is included to facilitate the provision of the same advantage.

The invention also comprises a handheld snow-clearing implement substantially as described herein, with reference to and as illustrated by any appropriate combination of the text and / or drawings.

Brief description of the figures The embodiments of the invention will now be described, in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective side view of an embodiment of the invention.

Figure 2 is a perspective view of a detail of an embodiment of the invention.

Figure 3 is a side view showing the back of a detail of the invention. Figure 4 is a side view showing the front of a detail of the invention. Figure 5 is a side view showing a side of a detail of the invention. Figure 6 is a top down plan view of a detail of the invention. Figure 7 is a bottom up plan view of a detail of the invention. Figure 8 is a top down plan view of a second embodiment of the invention. Detailed description of the preferred embodiments

At figure 1 there is a hand-held implement, indicated generally at 2. The hand-held implement 2 is primarily designed for moving snow, but may have uses in moving other substances. The hand-held implement 2 comprises an elongate handle 4 attached to a body 6 via multi-directional joint 8, said body 6 being attached to blade 10. Attached to blade 10 is a beam 12 with a curved underside 14. In this embodiment the beam 12 projects from peak 16 of blade 10. The beam 12 may preferably be made of a metallic or plastics material, or a mixture thereof.

The body 6 allows for smooth motion over surfaces and is of a stable construction. The body 6 may be made out of a variety of materials but plastics and in particular nylon bodies are particularly preferred, because such material is generally hard-wearing and specifically abrasion resistant The body 6 may be made from reclaimed plastics or nylon, enabling the invention to be constructed in a more environmentally friendly manner. The body 6, can be constructed as a single, integrally formed piece with blade 10 and beam 12. It may for example be formed during a single injection moulding process. Advantageously the body 6 could be hollow, or preferably made of a honeycombed material, to save material costs and decrease the mass of the implement 2. The use of plastics materials for body 6, blade 10 and beam 12 has a further example of militating against damage to the surface which is to be cleared of snow where a steel blade for example might cause scratching and damage. Figure 7 usefully shows central bracer 50, which here attaches the blade 10 to the body 6. The attachment means here is screws 52. A moulded, one- piece, polymer construction is also possible.

In this embodiment, handle 4 is of fixed length but in other embodiments it may be extendable. The handle has a screw-end fitting 18, in order that it may be attached to or removed from joint 8, which has the necessary means for mating with said screw-end fitting 18, in some embodiments. A locking nut or lever 20 may be provided to avoid the untwisting of the handle when steering the implement 2, whilst compromising minimally on structural strength. Figure 2 shows button interface 22; said button is attached to a releasable locking mechanism that facilitates telescopic extension and compression of said handle 4.

Blade 10 comprises first portion 23 and second portion 24. The two portions 23, 24 are, in this preferred embodiment orientated in a substantially perpendicular manner to one another, but other orientations are possible. They meet at peak 16. The two portions 23, 24 may be joined there, or the blade 10 may be a single integrally formed piece. The blade 10 preferably has a three sided profile, which in particularly preferred embodiments may be described as "semi-hexagonal". It comprises an upper piece 26, a middle piece 28 and a lower piece 30, with the edges of upper piece 26 and lower piece 30 orientated away from the body 6. Thus, the blade 10 presents a concave shape. In this embodiment portions 23 and 24 extend beyond the edges 32 of body 6. The preferred embodiment at figure 5, is one in which the rear edges 34 of the blade 10 (of which one is shown) are fashioned substantially at 45° to avoid snow falling back in behind the implement 2. Returning to figure 1, the embodiment displayed has a flared outside top edge 36, which assists with cutting through the snow. An alternative, continuously curved blade may also be used.

An embodiment of multidirectional joint 8 is disclosed at figure 2. Joint 8 is attached to body 6. Joint 8 comprises base 40, which is attached via hinge mechanism 42 to joint receiving end 44. The joint 8 allows for the handle 4 to be moved so that It Is orientated to either side of the body 6. It further allows for the handle 4 to be moved from a horizontal orientation, substantially parallel to planar upper surface 46 of body 6, to a vertical orientation, substantially perpendicular to said upper surface 46. The joint 8 therefore allows for "pitch and roll", allowing implement 2 to be operated to easily overcome any undulations In the surface being cleared. The joint 8 also facilitates steering of the plough by the user. In use, by twisting the handle 4 left or right It brought a respective portion 23, 24 of the blade 10 to turn into the snow causing more snow to fall on the respective portion 23, 24 which is being pushed onto, as well as gently pushing the implement 2 to the left or the right to turn comers.

A figure 8, is shown a grit / salt dispensing attachment 60 at the rear of the body 6. It is releasably attachable. Also, at figure 8, means by which the implement 2 may be attached to grass-cutters, street sweepers and the like is shown. In this example the means is a dip on base 70. A fitting to the front of a vehicle with for example cable or hydraulic lifting would facilitate snow clearing of paths to city centres, housing estates and the like. The clip-on base could be affixed to the underside of the body 6 of the implement 2 to facilitate this. Alternatives to the clip on base 70 include an integrally formed attachment and, either clip on, or integrally formed support beams.