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Патент USA US2408532

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w
I‘
ET AL
TRAILER
2,408,531 ‘
HITCH
"
I
Filed Dec. 18, 1944
BT51
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P1 17.2.
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INVEN TORS
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“Arm/WE)’; _
Patented Get. 1, 1946 '
2,408,531
UNITED STATES ‘PATENT OFFICE
TRAILER HITCH
Howard C. Riemann, West Milwaukee, and Joel
E. Thorp, West Allis, Wis., assignors to The
Fulton Company, West Allis, Wis., a corpora
tion of Wisconsin
Application December 18, 1944, Serial No. 568,576
13 Claims.
(Cl. 280-33A4)
2
1 ,
provides a dangerous and obstructive outwardly
Our present invention relates generally to im
provements in devices for facilitating attachment
projecting part adapted to cause injury‘ or
damage.
of one vehicle to another, and relates more spe
ci?cally to improvements in the construction and
It is therefore a more speci?c object of our in
operation of trailer hitches for motor driven Cl vention to provide an improved trailer hitch for
vehicles such as automobiles, tractors or the
streamlined vehicles such as standard automo
biles of various models, which may be conven
The primary object of this invention is to pro
iently applied to diverse types of vehicles in an
vide an improved trailer, hitch which is simple in
effective manner, and all portions of which may
, construction, flexible in its adaptations, and e?'i 10 be readily concealed when not in actual use.
cient in use.
,
Anotherspeci?c object of the invention is to
like.
.
‘
e
provide an improved durable and strong acces
sory for connecting one of the elements of a
trailer coupling to a suitable portion of a draft
. While numerous types of so-called trailer cou
plings for connecting trailers to draft vehicles
such as tractors and automobiles, have hereto-»
vehicle, and which is quickly adjustable to ?t
vehicles of different styles or types.
A further speci?c object of this invention is to
provide an improved draft assemblage which is
, fore been used extensively, considerable difficulty
has been encountered in attempting to apply
these couplings to modern streamlined vehicles
wherein‘suitable points of attachment are nor
mally concealed by the bodies, fenders. and
bumpers and are therefore relatively inaccessible.
Perhaps the most successful and extensively used
trailer coupling, comprises in general a socketed
member adapted to be attached to the draft bar
of the trailer, and a ball member normally coact
ing with the socket of the trailing member and 25
formed for attachment to some durable and
sturdy portion such as the frame of the draft
vehicle. However, in the latest streamlined
automobile models, it is impossible to conven
iently attach accessories such as coupling draft’
attachable to the normally concealed frames of
streamlined automobiles or the like, and which
may be readily adjusted or placed into an invis-l
ible position and concealed and protected by the
bumper of the car to which it is applied.
7
Still another specific object of our invention is
to provide an improved trailer coupling hitch
which may be manufactured and sold at moder
ate cost, which may be readily applied to or re
moved from a vehicle by a novice, and which
avoids interfering with the normal use of the
vehicle bumper bar when the hitch is inactive.
vmembers directly to the frame and bumper be
These and other speci?c objects and advan
cause of the concealment of the rear frame-‘por
. tions and obstructions produced by relatively thin
tages of the invention will be apparent from the
following detailed description.
coverings such as sheet metal bodies, fenders, and
. splash plates; These. sheet metal parts are in
sufficiently strong to withstand the pull induced
A clear conception of the several features con
35 stituting the present improvement, and of the
construction and operation of trailer hitches em
bodying the invention, may be had by referring
by a trailing vehicle, and in many cases even
the bumpers are not sufficiently strong. In most
to the drawing accompanying and forminga part
of this specification wherein like reference char
- cases, the bumpers are also made inaccessible by
splash pans, license plate frames, and the like, 4:0' acters designate the same or similar parts in the
various views.
and the bolts which attach the bumpers to the
‘ bumper brackets often become loose or havetheir
,Fig- l is a fragmentary plan view of one of
threads stripped, thus permitting the bumpersto
our improved trailer hitches, snowing the same
drop off. The extreme diversity in design of
applied to the bumper bracket of one type of
bumpers also makes standardization of bumper 45 vehicle having minimum distance between an
coupling clamps practically impossible, and it
choring points, and also showing the coupling
has heretofore been difficult to readily detachably
ball member thereof in active position disposed
and ?rmly attach such coupling members to
outwardly beyond the rear bumper bar;
streamlined vehicles. , Then too, in’ cases Where
Fig.2 is a similarly fragmentary rear view of
the trailer coupling israrely- used, it is undesir 50 the‘ assemblage of Fig. 1, showing, the bumper
able to have the coupling draft member which is
removednand the bumper bracket in section;
~attached to such a streamlined vehicle, ‘clearly
Fig. 3 is another fragmentary plan view of vthe
V visible. andprotruding when not in actual use,
same hitch assembly, showing the same attached
because such visibility of the coupling element
to the bumper bracket/of another type of vehicle
; besides Amarring the appearance of the car, also
55
bumper assemblage having maximum distance
2,408,531
3
between anchoring points, and likewise showing
the coupling member in active position;
slidably adjustable along the bar ll, may also be
formed of sheet metal with the aid of punches and
dies, and the same is true of the clamps ll, 23
Fig. 4 is an enlarged transverse section through
of the draft plate l9, thereby facilitating
the new trailer hitch, taken near its mid portion
quantity production of the entire accessory.
and showing the ball coupling member in active
Standard carriage bolts l8 may be used to ad
position in solid lines and in inactive position in
justably but ?rmly attach the members l3 to
dot-and-dash lines, and also illustrating several
the bar ii and the clamps ll to the members l3;
typical bar bumper sections; and
and by disposing the slots l2 and the openings Hi
Fig. 5 is a similarly enlarged fragmentary View
of one of the adjustable clamps for rigidly at 10 in rectilinear alined series, any of the openings 14
may be brought into open alinement with selected
taching the hitch to a bumper bracket which is
slots 12 or" the adjacent series, thereby providing
shown in section.
great ranges of outward straight line adjustment
While our invention has been shown hereinas
forthe members l3 relative to the central bracket
being especially adapted for-use on streamlined
iii. By disposing the openings E5 in the flat end
automobiles of various models and makes and in
portions ‘it of the members E3 in arcuate series
conjunction with ball and socket type trailer cou
disposedrinarcs having as centers the extreme
plings such as disclosed in our coependingappli
end openings 58 or the adjacent rectilinear series,
cation Serial No. 564,036, ?led November 18, 1944,
any desired degree of swinging adjustment is
now Patent No, 2,392,063, Jan. 1, 1946, it is not our
readily obtainable for the clamping brackets ll,
desire or intent to unnecessarily restrict the scope
so that these bracketsvmay thus be caused to co
or utility of-the-improved features by virtue of
act with bumper braces 'l'of various shapes and
this limited- - disclosure,
spaced apart various distances, as near to the
Referring to the drawing, the improved trailer
main frame of the vehicle as possible.
hitch assembly shown therein is especially adapted
The carriage bolts l8 may obviouslybe readily
'to be conveniently attached to the rear bumper
applied to any-of the slots 12 and openings l4, l5
brackets-‘l of an automo‘bile'or'the like on voppo
and are provided with ordinary clamping nuts 25
site sides of the central longitudinal plane of ‘the
and
lock washers 425 as shown in Fig. 5; and the
vehicle as near to the vehicle frames as possible,
square or otherwise polygonal portions of such
and-forwardly or the rear bumper bar 8 and
beneath therear spIash‘plate-VS; The bumper 30 bolts located near the heads thereof, will prevent
turning of the bolts 58 within the similarly- polyg
brackets l and bumper bars '3 may-assume ‘various
onal' openings ‘[4, 15 of 'the members l3, thus
‘shapes and sizes depending upon-the model or
permitting manipulation of the nuts ‘25 from be
type of car, and the vehicle frame and the
neath. The swingably- adjustable draft bar or
brackets-l are normally concealed'from view at
plate is is preferably-bent ‘as shown in Fig. 4»,~in
the'top“ and'si-des by the splash plates 9, the
order to clearthe lower edge of the rear bumper
fenders and the bodiesof the‘ automobiles.
bar v8 when the hitch is in use, and the pivoted
Our improved ‘hitch assemblage comprises in
end of the’ plate 19 is looped'aroun-d the pivot pin
general acentral U-sha-pedbracket it having a
2% and may ‘be welded so asl-to prevent spreading
rigid channel shaped bar l l secured to-its front
portion, said ‘bar'beingprcvided\with- a series of 40 of the loop.. The coupling ball member 2! may
' alin-ed slots- iE oneach side of the central plane
of the bracket; an elongatedcha-nnel ‘shaped
member l3—'slidabl-y adjustable along each slotted
side portion of the rigid cross-‘bar 'I I, each mem
berl3~having a rectilinear series of polygonal
openings l-ll "therein ‘which are 'alineable "with the
slots E2 of the ‘bar 1 l, and also having ‘an-arou
ate'series of similar openings [5 at-the outer
widened and flat extremity l3 thereof‘; a-U eshaped
also -be‘-f-orn1ed of sheet metal as disclosed in our
prior application ihereinbeforereferredlto, and is
provided with-an-attaching boltil'land with a
nut-1'28-and lockwasher 29 coacting with thebolt
23":to firmly secure themember -2l to the swinging
end of- the bar 1-9. Theclamps-‘Q‘S and thebolt
22' which coact with the opposite resilient side
?anges or walls .of the central bracket ill, are
adapted to clamp these walls against the opposite
' clamp i'lv disposed beneath the’ flattened outer
sides of the end loop of the» plat-ell} so as to
extremity-of ‘each adjusting mem‘beri 3 ;v carriage
bolts i 8- coo-perablewi-ththe slots i2; openings l 4,
’ bl-e,position-asshown-insolid lines/in Fig. 5, or in
?rmly hold the-latter‘in either active and accessi
draw‘ ba-r or-pla-te l9~~swingably suspendedirom
inactive ‘and concealed.- position-‘as illustrated in
.dot-and-dash lines. In order to assist in thus
holding the draw bar 19 in position,- the clamps
the “opposite resilient side walls of the ‘central
‘bracket ld'by meanscf a pivot pin-2d and having
side walls of the bracket» 10,- andlthebolt 22 is
l5 and with openings in thefl'anges of the clamps
i'l'to hold the parts inassembled‘condition; a
7 its ~ swinging end forme d- for detach-able '- applica
' tic-n era-coupling ‘ball member 2%; and aclamp
23lareprovided with lugs?! which penetrate the
embraced by coil/springs 32 which 1pull the lugs
LE-l ;out of the pathof swing of the bar plate‘!!!
when they-nut -30-1lis-released.- ‘The-bolt ZZVmay
ingbolt=22 and clamps 23 coacting-withthe main 60
be providedlwithlanordinarynut 3l~J--for clamping
bracket id and with the draft plate lEl-to'?-rmly
purposes, butneed not beprovided with a'lock
~ retain the latter-either inactive‘ or‘inactive posi
washer since the-resiliency‘ of the side ‘walls of
tion.
the bracket “Lander- the-sheet metal clamps 23
The bracket wand the cross-bar li-may be
formed-of sheet metal with'theiaid'of punches 65 and springsS-Z make the use of‘such washers
unnecessary.
1
andd-iesandrlmay be ?rmlyunitedby welding or
Duringcnormal use ofithe'improved trailer cou
other-wise,- or they may be- produced‘from a single
pling hitch, theadjustable channel shaped mem
piece of metal. The channel shape of the bar ll
bers‘ I13 may be'slidalong the laterallyproject
provides extremely rigid attaching arms project
"ing-"arms-ofthe cross-bar"! l tO-any'dBsired posi
ing-“laterally away from the ‘bracket-I ii, and these
tion'fso that the ‘ U_-shaped~ clamps ‘I l " which are
arms-may be provided with lower- loops 24 which
serve as pointsof attachment for safety cables or
initially loosely‘ suspended ,from the outer 'por
chains required by-rla-w in some States, and which
may also the-used asmani-pulating- handles. The
channel shaped ‘adjusting members 13 which‘are
tion'i ii of ‘the members ‘I 3; maybe caused to prop
erly cooperate with the bumper supporting brack
' ets ‘i ‘of the particular vehicle to which‘ the acces~
2,408,531?
sory is to be'applied, as near‘ to the framev of the
vehicle as possible.‘ The members I3 may then
be ?rmly attached to the cross-bar II in the de
sired positions‘of adjustment with the aid of bolts
said arms, an elongated supporting member‘ slid
bumper supporting'brackets 1, whereupon bolts
a coupling member secured to said bracket be
tween said arms, a supporting member slidably
adjustable along each of said arms, and a clamp
swingably adjustable upon the outer end of each
of said's‘upporting members, each of said sup
ably. cooperable with each of said arms and each
being formed for independent adjustable attach
ment to the'adjacent arm along said openings,
and av clamp pivotally adjustable about a verti
l8, either as shown in Fig. 1, or as shown in Fig. 3.
The-U-shaped vclamps I‘! may then be swingably Oi cal pivot relative-to the outer end of each of
adjusted about the end. openings 18 of .th'e‘adja
said supporting Emembers.
.
.
'zi3.‘In" a trailer'hitch,.a bracket having‘rigid
cent rectilinear series, and caus'edfto properly
arms extending from the, opposite sides thereof,
cooperate with the adjacent portions of the
18 maybe applied to the‘ pivot openings l4 and
to'the nearest opening l5 of the adjacent arcuate
series, so as to ?rmly clamp the members“ 13
to thebrackets 1 as illustrated in Fig. 5. ‘ The
' porting members having therein a rectilinear .set
assemblage will then be ?rmly attached to the
vehicle, and the draft plate. l9 may thereafter 15 of bolt holes and anarcuate series of similar
holes for effecting locking of said member to the
be ‘swung either'into active or into inactive posi
adjacent arm and locking of said clamps to the
tion at the will of the operator, and locked in
adjacent supporting members.
either of these positions with the aid of the
4. In a. trailer hitch, a bracket having opposite
clamping bolt 22, in an obvious manner. It will
thus be'noted that the improved attachment may 20 side walls and channel shaped arms extending
outwardly therefrom, a channel shaped support
be readily applied to vehicles of diverse models
ing member slidably adjustable along eachv of
and styles-and that the coupling ball member
said arms, a U-shaped clamp suspended from
2| which is carried by the outer swinging end of
the outer end of each of said supporting members,
the draft bar or plate l9imay be conveniently dis
a draw bar swingably suspended from said bracket
posed either in accessible or in concealed position.
between said side walls, and a coupling member
The auxiliary loops “which are rigidly attached
secured to the swinging end of said draw bar.
to the cross-bar H may be used when necessary,
5. In a trailer hitch, a bracket having opposite
for purposes of attaching safety cables or chains,
side walls and channel shaped arms extending
thus making the appliance extremely ?exible
30 outwardly therefrom, a channel shaped support
in use and in its adaptations.
ing member slidably adjustable along each of
From the foregoing detailed description it Will
said arms, a U-shaped clamp suspended from the
' be apparent that our present invention provides
outer end of each of said supporting members, a
an improved trailer hitch which besides being
draw bar swingably suspended from said bracket
extremely simple and compact in construction, is
highly ?exible in its adaptations, and is also 35 between said side Walls, a coupling member. se
cured to the swinging end of said draw bar, and
highly efficient in normal use. Since all of the
means coacting with said walls to clamp said
major parts of the assemblage may be readily
draw bar so as to retain said coupling member
formed from sheet metal with the aid of presses,
in either active or inactive position.
punches and dies, the manufacturing cost of
6. In a trailer hitch, a bracket having spaced
the assemblage is reduced to a minimum, while 40
a sturdy and durable assemblage results. The
use of standard bolts besides reducing the initial
cost also makes replacement of lost bolts readily
possible, and it has been found that the improved
accessory can be readily applied to various types
of automobiles without marring these structures
or diminishing the aesthetic appearance thereof.
The improved trailer hitch has proven highly suc
side walls and channel shaped rigid arms ex
tending laterally therefrom, a channel shaped
elongated supporting member slidably adjustable
in a straight line along eachof said arms, a U
shaped bumper bracket clamp swingably adjust
ably suspended beneath the outer end of each of
said supporting members, means for locking said
members to said arms and said clamps to said
members in various positions of relative adjust
ment, and a draw bar swingably suspended from
said bracket between said walls.
7. In a trailer hitch, a bracket having spaced
side walls and channel shaped rigid arms extend
ing laterally therefrom, a channel shaped elon
cessful in actual use and the provision of the
rectilinear and arcuate series of adjusting open
ings [4, I5 has been found extremely useful in
facilitating attachment of the accessory to dif
ferent types of vehicles.
It should be understood that it is not desired 55
gated supporting member slidably adjustable in
to limit this invention to the exact details of
a straight line along each of said arms, a U
construction, or to the precise mode of use, here
shapedbumper
bracket clamp swingably adjust
in shown and described, for various modi?cations
ably
suspended
beneath the outer end of each
within the scope of the appended claims may oc
of said supporting members, means for locking
cur to persons skilled in the art.
60 said members to said arms and said clamps to
We claim:
_
said members in various positions of relative ad
1. In a trailer hitch, a bracket having ?xed
justment, a draw bar swingably suspended from
laterally spaced side walls and rigid arms extend
said bracket between said walls, and means co
ing outwardly away from said walls, a coupling 7 acting with said side walls to retain said draw bar
member swingably suspended from said bracket
in various positions of adjustment about its sus
between said walls, supporting members for said
bracket secured to said arms and being inde
pendently slidably adjustable therealong, and a
clamp swingably adjustable about a vertical pivot
pension pivot.
8. In a trailer hitch, a bracket having opposite
side walls and rigid arms extending outwardly
therefrom, an independent supporting member
relative to the outer end portion of each of said
slidably adjustable along each of said arms, a U
supporting members.
'
,
shaped clamp suspended from the outer end of
2. In a trailer hitch, a brackethaving later
each of said supporting members, a draw bar
ally extending integral arms each provided with
swingably suspended from said bracket between
a rectilinear series of elongated openings, a cou
said side walls, and a coupling member secured
pling member secured to said bracket between 75 to the swinging end of said draw bar.
2,408,531.
8
toward. and awayifrom‘ said coupling ‘member,
9.- In a. trailer hitch,a bracket having opposite
sidewalls and rigid arms, extending outwardly
therefrom, an independent supportingmember
sli‘dably adjustable along each of said-arms, a U
shaped clamp suspended fromcthe outer end of
and: an attaching :clamp for the ,hitch swingably
adjustable about-a. vertical pivot relative to the
outer, end‘ portion of .each of said supporting
members.
each of said supporting members, a, draw bar
swingably suspended from. said bracket between
12,111 a trailer hitch,_ a bracket having oppo
site, side walls andichannel shaped arms, extend
ingioutwardly therefrom, a channel shaped sup
said side walls, a coupling member, securedzto the
porting member slidablyadiustable along each
swinging end of said draw bar, and means co
acting with said walls to clamp saidrdraw bar 10 of said arms, a. clamp suspended, from the outer
end of eachoisaidsupporting members, a draw
so as to retain, said coupling member in. either ac
bar?swingably suspended from said bracket be.
tive exposed or inactive concealed position.
tween said side walls, and a coupling member se
10. In‘ a trailer hitch. a bracket ‘having, rigid
curedlto .the swingingvend of said draw bar.v
arms extending from the opposite sides‘ thereof,
13. .In a trailer hitch, a bracket having oppo
a coupling member secured to said bracket‘be 15
site side walls and channel shaped arms extend
tween said arms, a supporting member horizon
lngoutwardly therefrom, a channel shaped sup
tally slidably adjustable along each of ‘said arms
porting .member slidably adjustable along each of
toward and away from said coupling member, and
said arms, a clamp suspended from the outer end
an attaching clamp for the hitch swingably ad
justable about a vertical pivot relative to the 20 of each ofsaid supporting.,members, a draw bar
pivotally suspended from said bracket between
outer end portion of each of said supporting
saidside walls, a coupling member secured to the
members.
swingingend of said draw bar, and means coact
11; In a trailer hitch, a bracket having rigid
ing, withv said ‘walls, for clampingsaid' draw bar
arms extending from the opposite sides thereof, a
in various ‘positions relative to its suspension
coupling member swingably suspended from said
bracket between said arms upon a horizontal
transverse pivot, a supporting member horizon
tally slidablyv adjustable along each of said arms
25
pivot.“
HOWARD C. RIEMANN'.
JOEL R. THORP.
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