A lockable bollard to be anchored into the ground includes a substantially vertical post that is rectangular in cross section, with a base having a base fastening structure extending downwardly to be anchored into the ground to which the post is to be anchored. A control shaft extends substantially the entire length of the post, the control shaft having an operating handle adjacent a top end and having a lower engagement feature adjacent a bottom end designed to selectively engage the base when the shaft is in a predetermined position. A closure is disposed adjacent the top of the post to permit selective access to the operating handle.
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/792,535, filed Jan. 15, 2019, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
The invention relates to a top-locking bollard.
A bollard is a sturdy vertical post. The term originally referred to a post on a ship used principally for mooring boats, but is now also used to refer to posts installed to control road traffic. Bollards are typically round in cross section and are locked in place to prevent unauthorized removal. It is important, however, that authorized personnel have the ability to remove a bollard in the event that authorized vehicles, such as work trucks, are to be granted access. This controlled access is usually provided by a padlock. In order to render the bollard visually pleasing, the padlock is often disposed at the base of the bollard or even below ground level to be totally invisible to the casual eye.
A problem with bollards having locks disposed adjacent their base, either above or below ground level, is that they may become fouled by road debris. Worse yet, they are an attraction to dogs and other animals that may urinate on the very mechanism employees need to handle to gain access to the roadway being blocked by the bollard. This not only becomes troublesome to such a person but some such personnel may actually refuse to handle the lock system. This has become problematic to those using bollards since the ability to block and to allow access is critical. And yet the lock has until now needed to be positioned at the base of the bollard in order to access the base to which the bollard is locked.
The present disclosure provides a solution to the foregoing problem by providing a bollard that may be locked to a base with a lock that is disposed at an upper portion of the bollard. Positioning the lock at an elevated position facilitates easy locking and un-locking and avoids the prior art problems with the locks that are handled by the operators being fouled by dogs and road debris.
The disclosed embodiment includes a bollard post that may be rectangular in cross section, and normally would be a rectangle with equal sides; that is, square in cross section. It includes a base that is mounted in the road or path. The post includes a top plate or other closure adjacent the top end that may be locked in a closed position and unlocked to be opened when desired by authorized personnel. Typically, the top plate includes a slot that fits over a loop extending from the post so that a padlock may be placed in the loop to lock access to a control handle. Opening the closure provides access to a shaft having the control handle at the top and a lower engagement feature at the bottom. The shaft extends the length of the bollard post and permits the operator to control the rotatable position of the shaft. Operation of the control handle permits the operator to rotate the shaft, moving the lower engagement feature into and out of alignment with a base engagement feature. The control handle may be as simple as a flat, linear member and the lower engagement feature may be a simple 90 degree bend at the bottom that may be positioned in and out of alignment with the base engagement feature, which may take the form of a simple slot. However, other engagement shapes for the lower engagement feature and the base engagement feature may also be utilized as long as they complement each other.
A bollard is provided that includes a substantially vertical post that is irregular in cross section. A base has a base fastening structure extending downwardly to be anchored in the ground to which the post is to be positioned, the base including a base engagement feature. A control shaft extends substantially the entire length of the post, the control shaft having an operating handle adjacent a top end and having a lower engagement feature adjacent a bottom end designed to selectively engage the base when the shaft is in a predetermined rotational position. A closure is disposed adjacent the top of the post to permit selective access to the operating handle.
The post may be rectangular or even square in cross section. The closure may be a hinged plate that may be opened and closed. The post may include a loop and the plate includes a slot that permits the plate to be closed over the loop to facilitate the use of a padlock in the loop to selectively lock the plate in a closed position. The base engagement feature may be a slot and the lower engagement feature may be in the form of a complementing 90-degree bend in the shaft.
Another aspect of the invention provides a lockable bollard that is to be anchored into the ground. The bollard comprises: a substantially vertical post that is rectangular in cross section; a base having a base fastening structure extending downwardly to be anchored into the ground to which the post is to be anchored; a control shaft extending substantially the entire length of the post, the control shaft having an operating handle adjacent a top end and having a lower engagement feature adjacent a bottom end designed to selectively engage the base when the shaft is in a predetermined position; and a closure disposed adjacent the top of the post to permit selective access to the operating handle.
The control shaft may be rotatable, with the lower engagement feature selectively engaging the base, depending on the rotational disposition of the control shaft. The lower engagement feature may include a first configuration that selectively complements a second configuration in the base. Alternatively or additionally, the lower engagement feature may include a bend in the shaft and the second configuration may be in the form of a slot in the base.
In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration embodiments that may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural or logical changes may be made without departing from the scope. Therefore, the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of embodiments is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.
Various operations may be described as multiple discrete operations in turn, in a manner that may be helpful in understanding embodiments; however, the order of description should not be construed to imply that these operations are order dependent.
The description may use perspective-based descriptions such as up/down, back/front, and top/bottom. Such descriptions are merely used to facilitate the discussion and are not intended to restrict the application of disclosed embodiments.
The disclosed embodiment may be better understood by making reference to the figures. The depicted embodiment is identified at 10 and, as shown in
Base 14 is designed to be non-movably mounted in the ground such as in concrete 16, with a base top 18 being generally flush with the ground as shown in
A rigid shaft 24 extends through most of the length of post 12 and includes a handle 26 adjacent the top end to permit shaft 24 to be rotated. A stationary bar 19 may extend across post 12, through which shaft 24 extends. A similar stationary bar 27 may extend across a lower end of post 12, through which shaft 24 also extends. A bolt 21 may extend through an elongated threaded nut 23 within a sleeve 25 as shown best in
In the depicted embodiment, the lower end of shaft 24 terminates in a lower engagement feature. In the depicted embodiment, this feature is in the form of a bent extension 28. In the depicted embodiment the bend is at 90 degrees although other lesser angles or configurations may be utilized. The engagement feature may alternatively include any configuration that selectively complements a second configuration in the base. Normally the control shaft is rotatable and the lower engagement feature selectively engages the base, depending on the rotational disposition of the control shaft.
Shaft 24 normally extends just past a base plate 30 that is mounted such as by bolts 29 to a mounting frame 31 that is securely mounted such as by welding to the inner periphery of base 14. Base plate 30 includes a base engagement feature that complements the configuration of the lower engagement feature of the shaft. In the depicted embodiment with the lower engagement feature taking the form of a 90 degree extension, the base engagement feature may take the form of a simple slot 32. A detent (not shown) may be provided as part of handle 26 so that the handle can easily be rotated by precisely the desired angle (typically 90 degrees) to align extension 28 with slot 32 when desired to unlock post 12 from base 14.
The upper end of post 12 includes a hinged top plate 34, which includes a top plate slot 36 designed to fit over a loop 38 affixed to the exterior of the post. With top plate 34 closed over the top of post 12, top plate slot 36 fits over loop 38, permitting the operator to place a padlock 39 (shown in phantom) or other locking member through the loop to control access to handle 26. An additional extension lip (not shown) may be provided in top plate 34 to extend over loop 38 and padlock 39 to protect the padlock from the elements.
To mount bollard 10 in place, base 14 is set in the ground and post 12 is slid into the base with mounting rods irons 20 extending into apertures 22. While mounting the post to the base, handle 26 should be used to adjust shaft 24 and 90 degree extension 28 to unlocked positions so that the extension can fit through slot 32 in base plate 30. Handle 26 can then be turned to lock the shaft to the base, which will securely lock post 12 to base 14. Top plate 34 is then closed over loop 38 and padlock 39 can be fitted into the loop, thus preventing unauthorized access to control handle 26.
With the bollard in this locked position, the access onto the roadway or path that is being blocked by the bollard will be prevented. In the event an authorized entry needs to be made, padlock 39 is unlocked, top plate 34 is opened, and handle 26 is accessed. To remove post 12 from base 14, handle 26 is rotated until extension 28 is aligned with slot 32 and the post may be lifted from base 14.
While the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings describe one embodiment of the present invention, variations may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. In any event, it is the following claims and not the foregoing detailed description, which sets forth the scope of this patent.