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Adjustable quick disconnect portable wheel chair ramp

Abstract
Portable wheel chair ramps consist of a platform and ramp sections. The platform and ramp sections are sandblasted. Ramp sections have an extended adjustable legs, (U.S. Pat. No. 6,810,995.). Ramp sections have an extruded locking mechanism underneath that connect one section to others using a specifically designed tube and a configurated J hook. Rails are then connected to extended adjustable legs of ramp sections and secured to each other with an end post and an angle piece of aluminum, then bolted together, insuring the rigidity of the railing system to comply with codes. Bolting the rails together with an inner handrail gives a continuous railing system for the purpose of individuals using a wheel chair to traverse the ramp. Inner rails are secured to the railing system and the leg posts with a bolt, this rail runs the entire length of the ramp on both sides.

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Inventors: Warford; Larry Eugene; (Sumner, WA)
Correspondence Name and Address: Larry Warford
P.O. Box 1170
Buckley
WA
98321
US

Serial No.: 037762
Series Code: 11
Filed: January 19, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 14/69.5
U.S. Class at Publication: 014/069.5
Intern'l Class: E01D 1/00 20060101 E01D001/00

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Claims

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1. A system devised to allow ramp sections to be connected by a mechanism consisting of an extruded tubular shaped receiver shown in FIG. 4 and a hooked shaped support brace. The locking system meshes with a lower supporting bracket then lifts into an angle and slips into a receiving pocket and drops into a locked parallel position, this then locks it into place utilizing a lower tab lock. This system will allow it to support a great deal of weight in excess to code requirements. The lower locking mechanism secure the ramp section perfectly and also controls the alignment to insure continuity of All sections, thus increasing safety. This also makes it simple to install without the need For fasteners.

2. Is a swivel metal support rod consisting of a schedule 40 pipe running the width of the bottom ramp section. See FIG. 5 This is inserted into a round cut out and covered By a totally enclosed web. Once this pipe is inserted into the bottom of the ramp, it is Then welded to a vertical inner post. At the top of the inner post there is a hole where a Nut is welded. This nut receives the bolt that's attached to the continuous rail bracket Shown in FIG. 2 handrail "Detail D." When the ramp is being shipped, this rail is folded Down and rest on the holding brackets. After the ramp is installed this rail rotates 90 Degrees at that point the handrail posts can be installed. The bolt from the continuous rail Bracket is now inserted through the hole of the handrail post and into the nut that's Welded on the inner post then it can be tightened securing all the components together. The reasons for this is that at this point of the ramp it wedges down and the side walls Have no vertical support or integrity to support a pocket.

3. We have designed a handrail system that simplifies the installation that adds to the integrity of the system. This system supports all aspects of the handrail, using one permanent fastener, please refer to FIG. 3. "Detail C-3" focus your attention to the enhanced view. By this time you should be familiar with these components, so I will keep this brief. You first start with the inner post which extends through the pocket of the ramp section. This post also supports the adjustable base plate (or leg). This tube is constructed out of steel for its greater strength. The handrail slides over this inner post. The next rail has an angle bracket which matches up with the handrail post. The continuous rail bracket and its attached bolt goes through the angle bracket and the handrail post into the inner post that has the welded nut. This supports all four of these components in one assembly. The purpose for this is to simplify the installation of the rail system and Increase its strength giving it a continuous rail appearance. Each component is interchangeable and each rail system has a square tube on one end connected by the upper and lower rails to an angle bracket on the other end which encompasses the square tube on the previous rail. See FIG. 3 C-3

4. Please consider this claim because we have designed a ramp section formed out of a single piece of lightweight material. This material is formed at a 90 degree angle, giving it a side wall surface of the appropriate size to carry the load, and then formed Once again at 90 degrees giving it the underneath support required for the webbing to be attached. The webbing is attached to the underneath along with the J extrusion on one end and the I extrusion at the other end. This makes a complete ramp section. You can see This in FIG. 4 1. This is better than using multiple smaller sections welded together like Those that are used currently. This system makes it lighter and stronger eliminating the manufacturing process of welding multiple components together, thus eliminating the weaknesses caused by the weld. See FIG. 5
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Description

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TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This invention is in the field of portable wheelchair ramps. It is specifically designed for mobile construction trailers and modular or pre-fab building structures such as are commonly utilized on construction projects. It is also used in portable buildings for schools and other portables and sometimes on permanent projects.

BACKGROUND

[0002] A wheelchair ramp is an inclined plane that is a continuous and unobstructed way of travel to and from an elevated space in a wheelchair. Portable wheelchair ramps have long been used in all types of construction. Most are used with various types of platforms and/or entry systems. Some are made out of aluminum, steel, but the most common are wood. The American Disability Act is now requiring that wheelchair ramps be placed in all public entry ways, thus insuring entrance to all. The standards for these entry systems have become more stringent, and in the modular field, more in demand, which is the reason for my design for this new portable wheelchair ramp.

OBJECTIVE AND ADVANTAGES

[0003] The objective of my invention is to provide a design that will be easy and less time-consuming to install. It will be lighter and easier to assemble than all of the other ramps on the market, thus saving time and cost to the modular industry.

[0004] Another objective of my invention is to have a higher safety factor. Due to its design, my ramp will be more flexible, allowing it to be used in the modular industry and on permanent structures. The ramp sections are formed out of a solid piece of lightweight material. This eliminates weaknesses due to excessive welding, greatly increasing its strength.

[0005] FIG. 1 shows two views of the completed wheelchair ramp fully assembled. "Elevation View" is a side view showing rails connecting to the decking systems and the individual adjustable legs. "Plan View" shows a top view of the decking system with the attached platform. This is a fully-assembled view which does not show the locking mechanism. This is shown in FIG. 4 "Detail E." The locking mechanism is hidden underneath the ramp section, this not only hides the locking mechanism but creates a more finished and appealing look.

[0006] FIG. 2 Shows the handrail outer post "Detail. D." Also shown in this detail is the continuous inner rail and its bracket securely fastened. It also shows the inner post in "Detail C" with a partial view of the ramp section deck assembly attached. "Detail C" shows the adjustable legs with the inner post, which extends inside of the handrail shown in handrail "Detail D." Also shown in FIG. 2 is a side view of "Detail C," this helps you understand how the inner post is connected to the ramp pocket. It uses a channel which is machined part of way up the pocket allowing the bolt from the inner post to slide into this channel, then the leg can be properly adjusted. When this bolt is tightened it holds the inner post and the leg firmly in place. Also showing, in FIG. 2 "Detail D" of the continuous inner rail and it's bracket and bolting system.

[0007] FIG. 3 Is a top view of FIG. 2 Allowing you to understand how it is assembled. As you are looking down on the handrail system of the enhanced view of "Detail C-3" this show the inner 3 and outer handrail tubes 4. It also shows how the angle bracket 31 that encompasses the handrail post 4 and the continuous rail and its bracket and fastening system. The view of C-3 show two separate rails sections adjoined together, showing how they are attached. Also shown are the inner rail, its bracket and fastening system.

[0008] FIG. 4 Shows four different enhanced views of my locking system. View D is a ramp section showing extrusions I on one end and J on the other end. View A, and B shows how these two extrusions come together. Also with an open view, View C shows the locking system locked in place giving you a clear cut away view of how the system looks when it is in the lock position.

[0009] FIG. 5. Shows the underside of the end section. This section makes the transition from the ground onto the ramp. "View A" shows the support webbing, the end plate, and the inner handrail support welded to the swivel support tube. This is a heavy steel wall round tube welded to both inner rails. This inner tube is housed in an aluminum channel. The uni-flip rail is shown in the lower position in "View A" and in the upper position in "View B" The lower position is used for shipping. The swivel rod is noticed by the broken lines and this runs the full length of the end of the ramp section. It is then welded to the square tube that creates the rail connector. B is the side view showing how the uni-flip rail pivots up and down to create that stability needed to support the handrail of the wheel chair ramp. Since there is limited height this was necessary to meet the strength requirements. Also shown is how each ramp section is formed out of a single sheet of lightweight material, view A also shows the underside of each ramp section and its supporting webbing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010] In order for the reader to obtain a better appreciation of the invention and to see the features. I have included this detailed description. In FIG. 1 is a reduced version of my wheelchair ramp showing all parts fully assembled. FIG. 1A is showing the ramp fully assembled B is a top view of how the ramp looks when connected together. FIG. 2 Shows a better view of the handrail detail. Handrail post 4 in "Detail D" slides over inner post 3 in "Detail C" and the continuous rail 28 and flat bar 34 handrail bracket shown in better detail in FIG. 3 enhanced view. It has a bolt 33 which has a washer 39 that slides over the bolt and then a C clip 38 clips over the bolt 33 allowing it to spin freely. This washer 39 is then welded to the handrail bracket 34, the hole 37 in the bracket 34 is larger than the C clip 38, but smaller than the washer 39. This allows the bolt to stay permanently attached to the bracket. In FIG. 3 this bolt 33 then runs through a hole 31 in the angle bracket 34, then passes through the outer aluminum handrail post 4 into and through the inner steel post 3 and threads into the nut 24 that is welded to the inner steel post 3, this secures all three of these components with a single bolt 33. This is shown in an enhanced version below FIG. 2 "Detail C" We also need to bring to your attention the pocket 6 that is shown in "Detail C." This version is a side view of pocket 6 in FIG. 2 and the inner post 3 and its supporting mechanism. Pocket 6 has a machined channel 36 it extends from the bottom of the pocket 6 approximately 1/3 up the side of this pocket allowing bolt 30 to slide into this groove. There is a stop 40 that supports the weight of the post of the bottom of the pocket 6. This bolt 30 extends through the inner post 3 into a square nut 43 that is nested inside of a channel extrusion 41 which is welded to the base plate 27. When this bolt 30 is tightened it not only hold the inner tube shown in FIG. 2 into position, it also holds the inner channel 41. This system is explained in more detail in our previous U.S. Pat. No. 6,810,995

[0011] Attention is then directed to FIG. 4 extrusion J this makes up the new locking mechanism, this extrusion consists of a channel shape 18, a supporting hook 10, a locking prong 11. This fits into the extrusion I, which consists of an S shape extrusion 20 with a locking seat 19 for the prong 11 and a receiving circular seat 7 that receives the hook 10. To assemble, the mechanism the hook 10 shown in view A enters through the opening 13 at a 15 degree angle shown in FIG. 4 "Detail B" Then the hook 10 rests on the circular seat 7 and then lifting parallel to one another seating prong 11 underneath locking seat 19, this keeps the two components from either lifting in elevation or collapsing from one another. This keeps the ramp section firmly attached without the need for any fasteners. FIG. 5 shows the bottom platform and the swivel rail support system. This is a tubular swivel metal support consisting of a heavy wall round steel tube 22. This tube is inserted through an opening 44 that is machined into the side wall of the ramp section 1. From the underneath view Detail A" this tube 22 is then enclosed in an extruded aluminum channel 27. It runs the width of the bottom ramp section. That inner tube 22 is then welded to two inner posts 21 that then can swivel horizontal or vertically in position. The handrail post 4 shown in FIG. 2 "Detail D" then slides over the vertical portion of the inner post 21 and then is tightened down with a bolt 33 shown in FIG. 2 using the nut 24. This allows the rail to be secured in its appropriate position. This system allows the inner post 21 to swivel 90 degrees from a flat position resting against a support bracket 26 which consist of a small piece of angle welded to the side of the ramp section 1 .This allows that ramp section to be shipped in the lower position. Then the rail can be lifted to an upright position so that the outer handrail post 4 shown FIG. 2 "Detail D" slides over it. This allows the force that is required by ADA to be carried through the ramp via the swivel support tube 22. This makes the system far stronger than simply bolting the rail to the outside of the ramp section 1, in a position where there is no vertical support to do so. Also show in FIG. 5 is the supporting webs 25 which are welded underneath each ramp section to give it additional strength, but if you notice web 27 is actually a channel shaped extrusion that supports the swivel support tube 22 holding it into the correct position and adding additional strength. You will also notice at the end of the ramp section where it comes in contact with the ground there is a flat plate 23, which finishes off the edge of the ramp keeping it flush to the ground.

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