Us Patent Ideas

Mattress Patent Ideas Search

Mattress caddy

Abstract
Disclosed herein is an apparatus designed to assist the manual transportation of large, heavy or unwieldy articles. The preferred embodiment of the present invention is an economically-designed mattress caddy fabricated of a variety of strong light-weight materials (e.g. nylon, aluminum) to provide the functionality and durability required by the nature of its usage. The main components of the present invention include a support strap, with handles formed at each end, and two cradle assemblies. To utilize the present invention in the transportation of a mattress, it is first laid out lengthwise, with the cradle assemblies positioned open-end-up, to facilitate the loading of the mattress. The cradle assemblies are then positioned along the strap at an interval that measures somewhat less than the length of the mattress with each assembly an equivalent distance from one of the handles. A long edge of the mattress is then placed into, and thereafter supported/cradled by, each of the cradle assemblies. At this point, each individual grasps one of the handles with one hand, places his/her other hand on opposite surfaces of the vertically-oriented mattress to balance the load, and lifts the mattress off of the ground/floor.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inventors: Freeland, Kenneth Wayne; (Baltimore, MD)
Correspondence Name and Address: Royal W. Craig
Law Offices of Royal W. Craig
Suite 153
10 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore
MD
21202
US

Serial No.: 321864
Series Code: 10
Filed: December 17, 2002

U.S. Current Class: 294/152
U.S. Class at Publication: 294/152
Intern'l Class: B65D 063/18

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Claims

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I claim:

1. An apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users comprising: a support strap, said support strap having distal handles at each end; and a plurality of cradle assemblies adjustably attached along said support strap for cradling said article.

2. The apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users according to claim 1 wherein said support strap is fabricated of nylon.

3. The apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users according to claim 1 wherein said plurality of cradle assemblies each further comprise a flat support member with upwardly angled edges.

4. The apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users according to claim 3, wherein each of said plurality of cradle assemblies includes a strap retaining sleeve attached thereto.

5. The apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users according to claim 4, wherein each of said strap retaining sleeves comprises a section of nylon strap attached at both ends underneath a respective cradle assembly.

6. The apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users according to claim 1, wherein said plurality of cradle assemblies are each fabricated of plastic.

7. The apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users according to claim 1, wherein the distal handles of said support strap are formed by sewing said strap onto itself at both ends.

8. The apparatus for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users according to claim 7, wherein said support strap is sewn onto itself at both ends in a criss-cross pattern

9. A method for the transportation of a large, heavy or unwieldy article by two users comprising the steps of: cradling said article in a plurality of cradle assemblies; lifting and transporting said article cradled in said plurality of cradle assemblies via use of a support strap.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Description

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

[0001] The present application derives priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/341,363 filed Dec. 17, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to tools to assist in two-person manual transportation of large, heavy or unwieldy articles, specifically, to an improved mattress caddy for moving mattresses.

[0004] 2. Description of the Background

[0005] The transportation of large, heavy or unwieldy articles remains a problem, even in the professional moving industry. The need to move or lift such articles, using only human power, has led to the development of helpful devices such as dollies, pulley/lever assemblies, hand trucks and the like. However, despite the existence of many such manual devices, there remain situations where all known devices are useless (e.g. movement of unwieldy and/or limp articles within typical buildings).

[0006] Prior devices designed to assist with the manual transportation of large, heavy or unwieldy articles include U.S. Pat. No. 4,463,977 to Wyatt. The patent discloses a hand-grippable carrier for individual use in carrying large planar articles. The apparatus contains a central grip and two curved support members attached thereto. A combined spacer and grip is provided proximate to the main grip for initially positioning the carrier for transport. Unfortunately, the apparatus is designed for use by a single individual and is, therefore, limited to objects whose size and/or weight can be managed by one person.

[0007] A second apparatus is found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,251,945 to Stoops. The patent discloses an apparatus for the protection and assistance in the manual transportation of bulky articles. The article to be carried is placed at the longitudinal center of the main panel and the longitudinal ends thereof brought upwardly about it. Straps with appropriate fasteners are provided on the main panel to maintain the longitudinal ends in the upward configuration about the article. A pair of handles located on each longitudinal end of the main panel, are provided for the user to grasp. To protect the article against moisture and electrical shock, the apparatus is preferably formed of a waterproof and electrically insulating material. Additionally, the apparatus may include a top flap along one longitudinal end and side flaps at each lateral edge extending from the longitudinal end containing the top flap to a point beyond the longitudinal center of the main panel. These flaps serve to surround the enclosed article for further protection. Unfortunately, the apparatus is, once again, designed for use by a single individual and is, therefore, limited to objects whose size and/or weight can be managed by one person. The apparatus is also costly to manufacture, relative to its utility as a means for simply carrying, and to some degree protecting, bulky articles.

[0008] The problem is acute in the case of the typical mattress and box spring. The typical mattress is very heavy, very limp, and commonly equipped only with a limited handle or support strap carrying system. The locations of the handles/support straps are such that they become useless in many scenarios (e.g. ascending/descending a flight of stairs, regardless of whether or not the flight includes one or more turns). Mattresses can weigh hundreds of pounds, and the lack of appropriate means to hold on to a mattress makes manipulation within a typical home an exasperating, and often exhausting, process even for physically imposing individuals. It is a two-person job, and there is no way for two people to get four arms around a mattress. The afore-mentioned prior art devices offer minimal assistance.

[0009] Therefore, there remains a need for an apparatus that provides two individuals with an improved means for manually transporting large, heavy or unwieldy articles such as mattresses. An apparatus of this type should minimize back strain, maximize maneuverability, and also be simple and economical to manufacture in order to provide for widespread use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] It is, therefore, the primary object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for the two-person manual transportation of large, heavy or unwieldy articles.

[0011] It is another object to provide an improved apparatus for the manual transportation of large, heavy or unwieldy articles by two individuals that equalizes the stature of the two individuals, firmly secures the article being carried (to improve safety), and vastly increases the maneuverability of the article (i.e. two individuals using the present invention may transport an article of a certain size and/or weight that would require two, more physically imposing individuals to transport without the utilization of the improved apparatus).

[0012] It is a more specific object to provide a mattress caddy for two-person manual transportation of large, heavy and unwieldy mattresses and box springs that is easy to use, easy on the back, and which increases maneuverability for both participants.

[0013] It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus as described above that is relatively simple and economical to manufacture.

[0014] In accordance with the above objects, the present invention is an apparatus used by two individuals to transport a large, heavy or unwieldy article. The preferred embodiment comprises a support strap formed into substantially circular handles at each end and two cradle assemblies attached to the strap at points between the handles. The support strap and cradle assemblies are fabricated of a variety of strong light-weight materials (e.g. nylon, aluminum) to provide the functionality and durability required by the nature of their usage. The present invention's design is simple and straightforward, and can be economically manufactured.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and certain modifications thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mattress caddy 20 being used for transporting a mattress according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 is an end perspective view of the mattress caddy 20 as in FIG. 1.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of an exemplary cradle assembly 40 as in FIG. 2.

[0019] FIG. 4 is a bottom perspective view of the cradle assembly 40 as in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mattress caddy 20 being used for transporting a mattress according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 is an end perspective view of the mattress caddy 20.

[0021] With collective reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the preferred embodiment comprises a support strap 30 formed into handles 32 at each end and two identical cradle assemblies 40A & 40B adjustably attached to the strap 30 at spaced intervals between the handles 32. The support strap 30 and cradle assemblies 40A & 40B are preferably fabricated of one of a variety of strong light-weight materials (e.g. nylon, aluminum) to provide the functionality and durability required by the nature of their usage. The handles 32 are preferably about 8" in diameter to loop around the wrist, and may be formed simply by looping strap 30 back upon itself and sewing in a loop. To ensure that sewn handles 32 are sturdy, the overlapping end of the strap 30 should be sewn onto itself as shown in FIG. 2 in a cris-cross pattern. Alternatively, hard circular handles may be attached at the ends of strap 30. Either way, the overall length of the support strap 30, inclusive of the loops of the handles 32, is preferably about 116". The present invention's design is simple and straightforward, and can be economically manufactured.

[0022] FIGS. 3 and 4 are, respectively, a top perspective view of one of the two cradle assemblies 40 as shown in FIG. 2, and a bottom perspective view of the cradle assembly 40.

[0023] Each cradle assembly 40 comprises a flat support member with upwardly angled edges, thereby defining a channel 42 having a horizontal bottom surface 46 and two vertical sides 48. The cradle assemblies 40 may be formed from metal such as aluminum, or molded (such as by extrusion molding). Each cradle assembly 40 also comprises a strap retaining sleeve 50 secured to the underside of the cradle assembly 40 by two opposing retaining grommets 52. The retaining sleeve 50 is a short length of material (same as strap 30) which is attached at both ends across the underside of the cradle assembly 40 by the two retaining grommets 52 to thereby form a sleeve. Each cradle assembly 40 is formed with two clearance holes/countersinks through it to allow attachment of sleeve 50 by grommets 52.

[0024] In normal usage of the mattress caddy 20, the cradle assemblies 40A & 40B are adjusted along the strap 30 (while the mattress caddy 20 is laying on the ground) to properly space them (to accommodate mattresses of differing lengths). The mattress caddy 20 is laid out lengthwise and the support strap 30 is stretched to its full length and laid flat on the ground or floor. The cradle assemblies 40 are then positioned, with the vertical sides 48 pointing upward, along the strap 30 at an interval that measures somewhat less (e.g. 4" to 6") than the length of the mattress to be transported. The position of the cradle assemblies 40 along the support strap 30 may be adjusted lengthwise along strap 30 simply by sliding them there along. The strap 30 freely slides through the sleeves 50. The interval should be equally distributed around the mid-point of the strap 30 such that each cradle assembly 40 is an equivalent distance from one of the handles 32. Once the new position of the cradle assembly 40 along the strap 30 is established, the mattress to be moved is placed atop, thereby fixing the relative positions of the cradle assemblies 40A & 40B. The long edge of the mattress is placed into, and is thereafter supported/cradled by, each of the cradle assemblies 40. At this point, each user grasps one of the handles 32 with one hand and places his/her other hand on opposite surfaces respectively, of the vertically-oriented mattress to balance the load, and they lift the mattress off of the ground/floor.

[0025] Referring back to FIG. 1, the mattress caddy 20 is shown being utilized by two users to transport a conventional mattress.

[0026] The above-described mattress caddy 20 greatly assists in the two-person manual transportation of large, heavy or unwieldy articles, and specifically mattresses and box springs. Its adjustability equalizes the stature of the two individuals, and the cradle assemblies firmly secure the mattress for improved safety, regardless of the breadth of the mattress. Even when the breadth of the mattress exceeds the extent of the cradle assemblies 40, the upward tines grip the underside of the mattress and firmly secure it. The users need only grip the handles 32 and raise them to belt level, all using the arms and minimizing stress to the back. Moreover, when carrying the mattress the mattress caddy 20 vastly increases maneuverability, and two individuals can easily round corners and navigate steps. The device is easy to use, relatively simple, and economical to manufacture.

[0027] Field testing has demonstrated that a mattress balanced/cradled in the present invention is manually transported up or down stairs, through doorways, etc. with much greater ease and maneuverability than that achieved through attempted use of the manufacturer-supplied, limited handle/support strap carrying system. Additional testing has demonstrated that the manual transportation of a standard king size mattress using the mattress caddy 20 may be accomplished easily by two women of average size/strength, as compared to the typical need for two men of average size/strength required when using the manufacturer-supplied handles/support straps.

[0028] Having now fully set forth the preferred embodiment and certain modifications of the concept underlying the present invention, various other embodiments as well as certain variations and modifications of the embodiments herein shown and described will obviously occur to those skilled in the art upon becoming familiar with said underlying concept. For example, the stated materials used in its construction may be varied as appropriate to suit the design and/or aesthetic constraints and desires of the manufacturer and/or user. It is to be understood, therefore, that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically set forth in the appended claims.

Related Patent

Patent NO.

Mattress Patent Title

20030135930 Mattress with diversified density
20030131418 Corner piece for a soft-sided mattress
20030125899 Automatic mattress selection system
20030121104 Mattress with internal vibrator
20030118795 Mattress label system
20030111857 Mattress caddy
20030110568 Self-sealing mattress structure
20030106578 Detachable mattress tent
20030101517 Elastic body, method for manufacturing the same and mattress including the same
20030093864 No-flip mattress and methods for their construction
 
 
Adjustable Bed
Air Curtain
Air Purifier
Auto Lift
Badge Holder
Balance
Blinds
Blister Packaging
Cable Lock
Cable Ties
Carpet
Caster Wheel
CCtv Camera
Cell Phone
Computer Desk
Computer Rack
Conference System
Conference Table
Copier
Counterfeit Detector
Credit Card
Dental Care
Desiccant
Digital Video Recorder
Domain Names
Dome Camera
Double Sided Tape
Electric Hoist
Electric Wheel Chair
Ethernet Switch
Exit Sign
Fire Extinguisher
First Aid Kit
Flow Meter
Forklift Truck
Garden Light
Garden Umbrella
Geogrid
Glue Gun
Hair Treatment
Hand Dryer
Health Care
Hearing Aid
Heat Shrink Tube
Infrared Camera
Infrared Thermometer
Ink
Ink Refill
Inkjet Cartridge
Insurance
Investment Casting
Juice
Juice Extractor
Kitchen Faucet
Laminate Flooring
Lanyard
Laptop
Laser Engraving Machine
Latex Gloves
LED Display
Linear Bearing
Massage Chair
Massage Table
Mattress
Mattress Pad
Mechanical Balance
Memory Foam Pillow
Microscope Camera
Mini Flashlight
Modem Card
Nitrogen Generator
Office Chair
Office Furniture
Pallet
Paper Shredder
Patch Cord
PCB
Personal Care
Photo Paper
Portable Vacuum Cleaner
Power Cord
Powered Wheelchair
Printed Circuit Board
Printed Tape
Printer Ribbon
Printing Machine
Projector
Radiant Heat
Radiant Heating
Rechargeable Flashlight
Rewinding Machine
Roll Label
Safety Vest
Security Door
Self-adhesive Label
Shopping Cart
Skin Care Product
Skin Cream
Spiral Staircase
Stereo Microscope
Storage Box
Storage Racks
Temperature Controller
Terminal Blocks
Thermocouple
Toner Cartridge
Towel Dispenser
Treadmill
Venetian Blind
VoIP Phone
Walkie Talkie
Water Filter
Wheel Chair
Wheelchair
Wire Shelving
Wood Flooring
Wristbands
Quick Index
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z