Manhole cover removing tool

Implements or apparatus for applying pushing or pulling force – Miscellaneous

Reexamination Certificate

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Details

C254S131000

Reexamination Certificate

active

06431523

ABSTRACT:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to tools for removing manhole covers.
More particularly, the present invention relates to manual tools for removing manhole covers from a manhole ring or frame.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Two basic types of manhole covers exist. The first is the standard manhole cover that has an open pick hole. This type of pick hole is generally a slot in the side of the cover about one and one fourth inches wide and about one and one half inches long. The slot depth equals the thickness of the cover, i.e. the slot extends completely through the cover. The second type of manhole cover is used to keep surface water out of the manhole and has a recessed pick hole. The recessed pick hole is a pocket that is cast into the cover and does not completely penetrate the cover. In each instance the manhole cover fits into a manhole frame or ring which is fixedly positioned (e.g. set in concrete) in the ground surrounding the manhole. The manhole cover fits in the manhole ring so that the upper surfaces are substantially flush. Also, in both instances the standard cast iron manhole covers weigh between two hundred and three hundred pounds.
Currently, a tool to remove manhole covers exists that has a single pointed end similar to the pointed end of a standard pick. These types of manhole picks can be used with an open pick hole only. They are not used with recessed pick hole manhole covers. This type of manhole pick requires the operator to physically lift the manhole cover vertically free of the manhole ring and then pull the manhole cover to the side of the manhole. The operator usually stands right next to the manhole cover while lifting and then has to shuffle backwards to move the cover off of the manhole. During this operation, the manhole pick does not fit securely in the pick hole, opening the door for injury Two types of injuries generally occur during this operation: 1) the operator drops the manhole cover on his foot; or 2) the operator injures his back while lifting, since the standard cast iron manhole cover weighs 200 pounds or more.
Currently, there are no manhole picks being manufactured specifically for the recessed pick hole cover. Operators are substituting common tools, such as digging picks and claw hammers for this operation. It is very difficult to remove a recessed pick hole cover with these types of substitute tools. Again these types of substitute tools open the door for injuries as explained above.
What is experienced in the field is a disregard for available manhole picks because they are difficult to use and do not work well. Instead, operators are using shovels to remove manhole covers. The shovel is inserted between the manhole cover and the manhole ring. This allows the operator to tip or lever the manhole cover to one side. The operator can then grab the manhole cover with his hands and slide it off of the manhole. This works well for the removal of about ten manhole covers and then the shovel is bent and not usable. Depending upon the number of manhole covers being removed, the shovel budget gets very high in a short time. Additionally, the chances of injury are high for this operation as explained above with the added possibility of hand injuries.
It would be highly advantageous, therefore, to remedy the foregoing and other deficiencies inherent in the prior art.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved manhole cover removing tool.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved manhole cover removing tool which is capable of being used to remove either an open pick hole type of manhole cover or a recessed pick hole manhole cover.
And another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved manhole cover removing tool which is easier and more efficient to use then prior art tools and which reduces the physical effort required during a manhole cover removing operation.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved manhole cover removing tool which greatly reduces the possibilities of injury during a manhole cover removing operation.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved manhole cover removing tool which reduces the number of tools required during a manhole cover removing operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Briefly, to achieve the desired objects of the instant invention in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof, provided is a manhole cover removing tool including an elongated body having an upper end with a handle attached and a lower end defining a pivot area. A first elongated member is attached to the body so as to extend generally transversely therefrom in a first direction and terminate in a pointed end designed to engage an open pick hole type of manhole cover. A second elongated member is attached to the body so as to extend generally transversely therefrom in a second direction, generally opposite to the first direction, and terminate in a flattened end designed to engage a recessed pick hole type of manhole cover.
In a preferred embodiment the handle, the elongated body and one of the first and second elongated members are formed integrally from a single piece of material, such as a metal rod.
The desired objects of the instant invention are further achieved in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof comprising a method of disengaging a manhole cover, including one of the open pick hole type and the recessed pick hole type, from a manhole ring including the steps of providing a manhole cover removing tool including an elongated body having an upper end with a handle attached and a lower end defining a pivot area, a first elongated member attached to the body so as to extend generally transversely therefrom in a first direction and terminating in a pointed end designed to engage the open pick hole type of manhole cover, and a second elongated member attached to the body so as to extend generally transversely therefrom in a second direction, generally opposite to the first direction, and terminating in a flattened end designed to engage the recessed pick hole type of manhole cover. An operator then performs the steps of determining the type of manhole cover to be disengaged and selecting the pointed end of the first elongated member for an open pick hole type of manhole cover and the flattened end of the second elongated member for a recessed pick hole type of manhole cover. The operator then performs the steps of engaging the selected one of the pointed end of the first elongated member and the flattened end of the second elongated member in the one of the open pick hole type of manhole cover and the recessed pick hole type of manhole cover, respectively, of the manhole cover to be disengaged and lifting and disengaging the manhole cover from the manhole ring.


REFERENCES:
patent: 1336630 (1920-04-01), Kirkpatrick
patent: 1530946 (1925-03-01), Johnson
patent: 2027009 (1936-01-01), Wyscaver
patent: 2382831 (1945-08-01), Tabellione
patent: 5865425 (1999-02-01), Meadows

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