Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2822562 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2822562
(54) English Title: TRACK ASSEMBLY FOR AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE
(54) French Title: CHENILLES POUR VEHICULE TOUT TERRAIN
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • B62D 55/08 (2006.01)
  • B60F 5/00 (2006.01)
  • B62D 55/10 (2006.01)
  • B62D 55/20 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • BOIVIN, DENIS (Canada)
  • BOIVIN, ALAIN (Canada)
  • COURTEMANCHE, DENIS (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • CAMSO INC. (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • CAMOPLAST SOLIDEAL INC. (Canada)
(74) Agent: SMART & BIGGAR
(45) Issued: 2015-05-26
(22) Filed Date: 2002-05-30
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2003-08-25
Examination requested: 2013-08-01
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
2,372,949 Canada 2002-02-25

English Abstract

The present invention is concerned with track assemblies for an all-terrain vehicle, which make it maneuverable and effective upon a variety of unstable, uneven, stable and even surfaces, while designed to maintain tension upon the endless track belts to keep them in their due course and prevent accidental loosening while having a punctually localized surface contact with a ground surface, and at the same time reducing the damages inflicted on the terrain.


French Abstract

La présente invention concerne des chenilles pour véhicule tout terrain qui rendent le véhicule manuvrable et efficace sur une variété de surfaces, quelles soient stables, instables, planes ou accidentées. Les chenilles sont conçues pour demeurer tendues, sur les courroies de chenille, pour les maintenir en place et éviter tout desserrement accidentel lors d'un contact ponctuel localisé de la surface de roulement avec le sol. Ce faisant, linvention réduit les dommages infligés au terrain.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

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CLAIMS:
1. A steerable endless track for a reduced-size vehicle designed primarily
for off-
highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the
endless track being steerable by changing an orientation of the endless track
by
a steering mechanism of the vehicle, the endless track comprising:
(a) an outer ground-engaging surface:
(b) an inner surface opposite to the outer ground-engaging surface;
(c) a plurality of drive projections projecting from the inner surface and
arranged longitudinally along the track; and
(d) a plurality of traction projections projecting from the outer ground-
engaging
surface and arranged longitudinally along the track;
the endless track being free of stiffening members extending transversally of
the
endless track at longitudinally spaced locations at which a drive projection
registers with a traction projection.
2. A steerable endless track as defined in claim 1, wherein the drive
projections
are equally spaced in a longitudinal direction of the endless track.
3. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 and 2,
wherein the
traction projections are equally spaced in a longitudinal direction of the
endless
track.
4. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 3,
wherein each
traction projection slopes from a central area of the endless track toward
lateral
end portions of the track.

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5. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 4,
wherein each
traction projection is generally convex in a transverse direction of the
endless
track.
6. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 3,
wherein each
traction projection includes a row of traction lugs spaced apart in a
transverse
direction of the endless track, the endless track including a central area and
a
pair of lateral end portions on either side of the central area, the row of
traction
lugs including at least one traction lug proximal the central area and having
a
first projection height and at least one traction lug proximal one of the
lateral
end portions and having a second projection height, the first projection
height
exceeding the second projection height.
7. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claim 1 to 4, wherein
each
traction projection varies in height in a transverse direction of the endless
track.
8. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 7,
wherein the
plurality of drive projections is a first row of drive projections, the
endless track
comprising a second row of drive projections projecting from the inner surface

and arranged longitudinally along the endless track, the first row of drive
projections and the second row of drive projections being spaced apart in a
transverse direction of the endless track, a drive projection of the first row
of
drive projections and a drive projection of the second row of drive
projections
being configured to simultaneously engage a drive wheel which imparts motion
to the endless track.
9. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 8,
wherein the
vehicle is an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).

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10. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein
the
steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
11. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein
the
vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.
12. A pair of endless tracks for a reduced-size vehicle designed primarily for
off-
highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, wherein
each endless track of the pair of endless tracks is a steerable endless track
as
defined in any one of claims 1 to 11.
13. A steerable track assembly for a reduced-size vehicle designed primarily
for off-
highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the
track assembly being steerable by changing an orientation of the track
assembly by a steering mechanism of the vehicle, the track assembly
comprising:
(a) an endless track including:
i. an outer ground-engaging surface;
ii. an inner surface opposite to the outer ground-engaging surface;
iii. a plurality of drive projections projecting from the inner surface and
arranged longitudinally along the track;
iv. a plurality of traction projections projecting from the outer ground-
engaging surface and arranged longitudinally along the track;
the endless track being free of stiffening members extending
transversally of the endless track at longitudinally spaced locations at
which a drive projection registers with a traction projection; and
(b) a plurality of wheels for supporting and driving the endless
track.

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14. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 13, wherein the plurality
of
wheels includes:
(a) a leading idler and a trailing idler, the leading and trailing idlers
being in a
spaced apart relationship, a segment of the endless track extending
between the leading and trailing idlers defining a ground engaging run;
(b) a drive wheel in driving engagement with the endless track for imparting
movement to the endless track.
15. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 14, wherein the ground
engaging
run includes:
(a) a load bearing section located between the leading idler and the trailing
idler, the load bearing section transferring to the ground surface a major
portion of the load carried by the track assembly;
(b) a leading section extending between the leading idler and the load bearing

section, the leading section being oriented such as to converge toward the
ground surface when the endless track is in motion and propels the vehicle;
and
(c) a trailing section extending between the load bearing section and the
trailing
idler, the trailing section being oriented such as to diverge from the ground
surface when the endless track is in motion and propels the vehicle.
16. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 14 to 15,
wherein
the leading idler rotates about a first axis of rotation, the trailing idler
rotates
about a second axis of rotation and the drive wheel rotates about a third axis
of
rotation, a first horizontal distance defined between the first axis of
rotation and
the third axis of rotation being different from a second horizontal distance
defined between the second axis of rotation and the third axis of rotation.

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17. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 16, including a support
structure
having:
i) a center portion rotatably supported at the third axis of rotation;
ii) a first support arm mounted to the center portion and extending along a
radial direction of the drive wheel toward a leading end of the track
assembly;
iii) a second support arm mounted to the center portion and extending along a
radial direction of the drive wheel toward a trailing end of the track
assembly.
18. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 17, wherein the first
support arm
defines a first angle with an imaginary horizontal axis which extends through
the
third axis of rotation, the second support arm defines a second angle with the

imaginary horizontal axis, and the first angle is different from the second
angle.
19. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 14 to 18,
wherein
the drive wheel is in rolling contact with the ground engaging run.
20. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 16 to 19,
wherein
the drive wheel is in overlapping relationship with one of the leading and
trailing
idlers, when viewed in a plane that is normal to the third axis of rotation.
21. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 20, wherein the drive wheel
is in
overlapping relationship with the trailing idler, when viewed in a plane
normal to
the third axis of rotation.

22
22. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 15 to 21,
wherein
the load bearing section is located closer to one of the leading and trailing
idlers
than to the other of the leading and trailing idlers.
23. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 17, wherein one of the
first and
second support arms is longer than the other of the first and second support
arms.
24. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 17, wherein the first
support arm
and the second support arm define an obtuse angle therebetween.
25. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 16, wherein the third axis
of
rotation is located above the first axis of rotation and the second axis of
rotation.
26. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 16, wherein the drive wheel
has
a periphery bound between a first upper horizontal imaginary plane and a first

lower horizontal imaginary plane, one of the leading and trailing idlers
having a
periphery bound between a second upper horizontal imaginary plane and a
second lower horizontal imaginary plane, the first lower horizontal imaginary
plane being positioned below the second upper horizontal imaginary plane.
27. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 16, wherein the drive wheel
has
a periphery bound between a first upper horizontal imaginary plane and a first

lower horizontal imaginary plane, the leading idler having a periphery bound
between a second upper horizontal imaginary plane and a second lower
horizontal imaginary plane, the trailing idler having a periphery bound
between a
third upper horizontal imaginary plane and a third lower horizontal imaginary
plane, the first lower horizontal imaginary plane being positioned below the

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second upper horizontal imaginary plane and below the third upper horizontal
imaginary plane.
28. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 27,
wherein
the plurality of wheels imparts a generally triangular path of travel to the
endless
track.
29. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 15 to 27,
wherein
the plurality of wheels define a track supporting and guiding arrangement that
is
in rolling contact with the inner surface at a plurality of positions, one of
said
positions being the load bearing section.
30. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 15 to 29,
wherein
the load bearing section extends below the leading section.
31. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 15 to 30,
wherein
the load bearing section extends below the trailing section.
32. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 31,
wherein
the drive projections are equally spaced in a longitudinal direction of the
endless
track.
33. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 32,
wherein
the traction projections are equally spaced in a longitudinal direction of the

endless track.

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34. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 33,
wherein
each traction projection slopes from a central area of the endless track
toward
lateral end portions of the endless track.
35. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 34,
wherein
each traction projection is generally convex in a transverse direction of the
endless track.
36. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 35,
wherein
each traction projection includes a row of traction lugs spaced apart in a
transverse direction of the endless track, the endless track including a
central
area and a pair of lateral end portions on either side of the central area,
the row
of traction lugs including at least one traction lug in the central area and
having
a first projection height and at least one traction lug proximal one of the
lateral
end portions and having a second projection height, the first projection
height
exceeding the second projection height.
37. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claim 13 to 34,
wherein
each traction projection varies in height in a transverse direction of the
endless
track.
38. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 14 to 37,
wherein
the plurality of drive projections is a first row of drive projections, the
endless
track comprising a second row of drive projections projecting from the inner
surface and arranged longitudinally along the endless track, the first row of
drive
projections and the second row of drive projections being spaced apart in a
transverse direction of the endless track, a drive projection of the first row
of

25
drive projections and a drive projection of the second row of drive
projections
being configured to simultaneously engage the drive wheel.
39. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 38,
wherein
the vehicle is an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
40. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 39,
wherein
the steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
41. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to 40,
wherein
the vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.
42. A pair of steerable track assemblies for a reduced-size vehicle designed
primarily for off-highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared
surfaces, wherein each of the steerable track assemblies is as defined in any
one of claims 13 to 41.
43. A steerable endless track for a reduced-size vehicle designed primarily
for off-
highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the
endless track being steerable by changing an orientation of the endless track
by
a steering mechanism of the vehicle, the endless track comprising a plurality
of
drive lugs projecting from an inner surface of the endless track and a
plurality of
traction projections projecting from an outer ground-engaging surface of the
endless track, the endless track being free of stiffening members extending
transversally of the endless track at areas of the endless track where a drive
lug
registers in a longitudinal direction of the endless track with a traction
projection.

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44. A steerable endless track as defined in claim 43, wherein the traction
projection
slopes from a central area of the endless track toward lateral end portions of
the
endless track.
45. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 43 and 44,
wherein
the traction projection is generally convex in a transverse direction of the
endless track.
46. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 43 to 45,
wherein the
traction projection includes a row of traction lugs spaced apart in a
transverse
direction of the endless track, the endless track including a central area and
a
pair of lateral end portions on either side of the central area, the row of
traction
lugs including at least one traction lug in the central area and having a
first
projection height and at least one traction lug proximal one of the lateral
end
portions and having a second projection height, the first projection height
exceeding the second projection height.
47. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claim 43 to 44, wherein
each
traction projection varies in height in a transverse direction of the endless
track.
48. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 43 to 47,
wherein the
drive lug registering in the longitudinal direction of the endless track with
a
traction projection is a first drive lug and the endless track includes a
second
drive lug spaced from the first drive lug in a transverse direction of the
endless
track, the first and second drive lugs being configured to simultaneously
engage
a drive wheel as the drive wheel imparts motion to the endless track.

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49. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 43 to 48,
wherein the
vehicle is an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
50. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 43 to 49,
wherein the
steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
51. A steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 43 to 50,
wherein the
vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.
52. A set of four endless tracks for a reduced-size vehicle designed
primarily for off-
highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, wherein
at least two of the endless tracks in the set of four is a steerable endless
track
as defined in any one of claims 43 to 51.
53. A steerable track assembly for a reduced-size vehicle designed primarily
for off-
highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the
track assembly being steerable by changing an orientation of the steerable
track
assembly by a steering mechanism of the vehicle, the steerable track assembly
comprising:
a) an endless track comprising a plurality of drive lugs projecting from an

inner surface of the endless track and a plurality of traction projections
projecting from an outer ground-engaging surface of the endless track,
the endless track being free of stiffening members extending
transversally of the endless track at areas of the endless track where a
drive lug registers in a longitudinal direction of the endless track with a
traction projection; and
b) a plurality of wheels for supporting and driving the endless track.

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54. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 53, wherein the plurality
of
wheels includes:
a. a leading idler and a trailing idler in a spaced apart relationship, a
segment of
the endless track extending between the leading and trailing idlers defining a

ground engaging run; and
b.a drive wheel in driving engagement with the endless track for imparting
movement to the endless track.
55. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 54, wherein the ground
engaging run includes:
a. a load bearing section located between the leading idler and the trailing
idler,
the load bearing section transferring to the ground surface a major portion of

the load carried by the track assembly;
b. a leading section extending between the leading idler and the load bearing
section, the leading section being oriented such as to converge toward the
ground surface when the endless track is in motion and propels the vehicle
in a forward direction;
c. a trailing section extending between the load bearing section and the
trailing
idler, the trailing section being oriented such as to diverge from the ground
surface when the endless track is in motion and propels the vehicle in the
forward direction.
56. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 55, wherein the leading
idler
rotates about a first axis of rotation, the trailing idler rotates about a
second axis
of rotation and the drive wheel rotates about a third axis of rotation, a
first
horizontal distance defined between the first axis of rotation and the third
axis of
rotation being different from a second horizontal distance defined between the

second axis of rotation and the third axis of rotation.

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57. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 56, including a support
structure
having:
i) a center portion rotatably supported at the third axis of rotation;
ii) a first support arm mounted to the center portion and extending along
a radial direction of the drive wheel toward a leading end of the track
assembly;
iii) a second support arm mounted to the center portion and extending
along a radial direction of the drive wheel toward a trailing end of the
track assembly.
58. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 57, wherein the first
support arm
defines a first angle with an imaginary horizontal axis which extends through
the third axis of rotation, the second support arm defines a second angle with

the imaginary horizontal axis, and the first angle is different from the
second
angle.
59. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 54 to 58,
wherein
the drive wheel is in rolling contact with the ground engaging run.
60. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 54 to 59,
wherein
the drive wheel is in overlapping relationship with one of the leading and
trailing idlers, when viewed in a plane that is normal to the third axis of
rotation.
61. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 60, wherein the drive wheel
is
in overlapping relationship with the trailing idler, when viewed in a plane
normal
to the third axis of rotation.

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62. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 54 to 61,
wherein
the load bearing section is located closer to one of the leading and trailing
idlers
than to the other of the leading and trailing idlers.
63. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 57, wherein one of the
first and
second support arms is longer than the other of the first and second support
arms.
64. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 57, wherein the first
support arm
and the second support arm define an obtuse angle therebetween.
65. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 56, wherein the third axis
is
located above the first axis and the second axis.
66. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 54, wherein the drive wheel
has
a periphery bound between a first upper horizontal imaginary plane and a first

lower horizontal imaginary plane, one of the leading and trailing idlers
having a
periphery bound between a second upper horizontal imaginary plane and a
second lower horizontal imaginary plane, the first lower horizontal imaginary
plane being positioned below the second upper horizontal imaginary plane.
67. A steerable track assembly as defined in claim 54, wherein the drive wheel
has
a periphery bound between a first upper horizontal imaginary plane and a first

lower horizontal imaginary plane, the leading idler having a periphery bound
between a second upper horizontal imaginary plane and a second lower
horizontal imaginary plane, the trailing idler having a periphery bound
between a
third upper horizontal imaginary plane and a third lower horizontal imaginary
plane, the first lower horizontal imaginary plane being positioned below the

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second upper horizontal imaginary plane and below the third upper horizontal
imaginary plane.
68. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 67,
wherein
the plurality of wheels impart a generally triangular path of travel to the
endless
track.
69. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 68,
wherein
the plurality of wheels define a track supporting and guiding arrangement that
is
in rolling contact with the inner surface at a plurality of locations, one of
said
locations being the load bearing section.
70. A steerable rack assembly as defined in any one of claims 55 to 69,
wherein the
load bearing section extends below the leading section.
71. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 55 to 70,
wherein
the load bearing section extends below the trailing section.
72. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 71,
wherein
the traction projection slopes from a central area of the endless track toward

lateral end portions of the endless track.
73. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 72,
wherein
the traction projection is generally convex in a transverse direction of the
endless track.
74. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 73,
wherein
the traction projection includes a row of traction lugs spaced apart in a

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transverse direction of the endless track, the endless track including a
central
area and a pair of lateral end portions on either side of the central area,
the row
of traction lugs including at least one traction lug in the central area and
having
a first projection height and at least one traction lug adjacent one of the
lateral
end portions and having a second projection height, the first projection
height
exceeding the second projection height.
75. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 71,
wherein
each traction projection varies in height in a transverse direction of the
endless
track.
76. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 54 to 75,
wherein
the drive lug registering in the longitudinal direction of the endless track
with a
traction projection is a first drive lug and the endless track includes a
second
drive lug spaced from the first drive lug in a transverse direction of the
endless
track, the first and second drive lugs being configured to simultaneously
engage
the drive wheel as the drive wheel imparts motion to the endless track.
77. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 76,
wherein
the vehicle is an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
78. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 77,
wherein
the steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
79. A steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to 78,
wherein
the vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.

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80. A set of steerable track assemblies for a reduced-size vehicle designed
primarily for off-highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared
surfaces, wherein each of at least two of the steerable track assemblies is as

defined in any one of claims 53 to 79.
81. A reduced-size vehicle designed primarily for off-highway usage, over
undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the reduced-size vehicle
including the steerable endless track as defined in any one of claims 1 to 8.
82. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in claim 81, wherein the vehicle is an
All-
Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
83. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 81 and 82, wherein
the
steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
84. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 81 to 83, wherein
the
vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.
85. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 81 to 84, wherein
the
vehicle includes a plurality of transverse pairs of track assemblies, each
track
assembly including an endless track, a leading pair of the plurality of track
assemblies being steerable and including each the steerable endless track.
86. A reduced-size vehicle designed primarily for off-highway usage, over
undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the reduced-size vehicle
including the steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 13 to
38.

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87. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in claim 86, wherein the vehicle is an
All-
Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
88. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 86 and 87, wherein
the
steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
89. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 86 to 88, wherein
the
vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.
90. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 86 to 89, wherein
the
vehicle includes a plurality of transverse pairs of track assemblies, each
track
assembly including an endless track, a transverse pair of the steerable track
assemblies being mounted at a leading end of the vehicle.
91. A reduced-size vehicle designed primarily for off-highway usage, over
undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the reduced-size vehicle
including the steerable track as defined in any one of claims 43 to 48.
92. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in claim 91, wherein the vehicle is an
All-
Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
93. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 91 and 92, wherein
the
steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
94. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 91 to 93, wherein
the
vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.

35
95. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 91 to 94, wherein
the
vehicle includes a plurality of transverse pairs of track assemblies, each
track
assembly including an endless track, a transverse pair of the steerable track
assemblies being mounted at a leading end of the vehicle.
96. A reduced-size vehicle designed primarily for off-highway usage, over
undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the reduced-size vehicle
including the steerable track assembly as defined in any one of claims 53 to
76.
97. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in claim 96, wherein the vehicle is an
All-
Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
98. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 96 and 97, wherein
the
steering mechanism of the vehicle has handlebars.
99. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 96 to 98, wherein
the
vehicle includes a seat that is straddled by a driver of the vehicle.
100. A reduced-size vehicle as defined in any one of claims 96 to 99, wherein
the
vehicle includes a plurality of transverse pairs of track assemblies, each
track
assembly including an endless track, a transverse pair of the steerable track
assemblies being mounted at a leading end of the vehicle.
101. A method for reducing a transverse rigidity of a steerable endless track
for use
in a reduced-size vehicle designed primarily for off-highway usage, over
undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces, the endless track being
steerable by changing an orientation of the endless track by a steering
mechanism of the vehicle, the endless track comprising a plurality of track

36
segments following in succession in a longitudinal direction of the endless
track,
each track segment including a drive projection projecting from an inner
surface
of the endless track and a traction projection projecting from an outer ground-

engaging surface of the endless track, the drive projection registering in the

longitudinal direction of the endless track with the traction projection, the
method comprising manufacturing the endless track without providing a
stiffening member extending transversally of the endless track in a portion of

each track segment between the drive projection and the traction projection.
102. An endless track for a track assembly providing traction to an all-
terrain vehicle
(ATV), the track assembly being substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel of
the ATV, the track assembly being steerable by changing an orientation of the
track assembly by a steering mechanism of the ATV, the track assembly
comprising a plurality of wheels, the endless track comprising flexible
material
to flex around the plurality of wheels, the plurality of wheels including a
drive
wheel for imparting motion to the endless track, the endless track comprising:
a) an inner surface for facing the plurality of wheels;
b) a ground-engaging outer surface opposite to the inner surface;
c) a plurality of drive projections projecting from the inner surface,
distributed in a longitudinal direction of the endless track, and
positioned to engage the drive wheel; and
c) a plurality of traction projections projecting from the ground-
engaging
outer surface and distributed in the longitudinal direction of the endless
track;
the endless track being free of stiffening inserts extending transversally to
the
longitudinal direction of the endless track and disposed within the flexible
material at areas of the endless track where a given one of the drive
projections

37
registers in the longitudinal direction of the endless track with a given one
of the
traction projections.
103. An endless track as defined in claim 102, wherein the given one of the
traction
projections slopes from a central area of the endless track toward lateral end

portions of the endless track.
104. An endless track as defined in any one of claims 102 and 103, wherein the

given one of the traction projections is generally convex in a transverse
direction of the endless track.
105. An endless track as defined in any one of claims 102 to 104, wherein the
given
one of the traction projections includes a row of traction lugs spaced apart
in a
transverse direction of the endless track, the endless track including a
central
area and a pair of lateral end portions on either side of the central area,
the row
of traction lugs including at least one traction lug in the central area and
having
a first projection height and at least one traction lug proximal one of the
lateral
end portions and having a second projection height, the first projection
height
exceeding the second projection height.
106. An endless track as defined in any one of claim 102 to 105, wherein the
given
one of the traction projections varies in height in a transverse direction of
the
endless track.
107. An endless track as defined in any one of claims 102 to 106, wherein the
given
one of the drive projections registering in the longitudinal direction of the
endless track with the given one of the traction projections is a first given
one of
the drive projections, a second given one of the drive projections being
spaced

38
from the first given one of the drive projections in a transverse direction of
the
endless track, the first given one of the drive projections and the second
given
one of the drive projections being configured to simultaneously engage the
drive
wheel.
108. An endless track as defined in any one of claims 102 to 107, wherein the
steering mechanism of the ATV comprises handlebars.
109. An endless track as defined in any one of claims 102 to 108, wherein the
ATV
comprises a straddle seat for a driver of the ATV.
110. A set of four endless tracks for providing traction to an all-terrain
vehicle (ATV),
wherein each of at least two of the endless tracks in the set of four endless
tracks is an endless track as defined in any one of claims 102 to 110.
111. A track assembly for providing traction to an all-terrain vehicle (ATV),
the track
assembly being substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel of the ATV, the track
assembly being steerable by changing an orientation of the track assembly by a

steering mechanism of the ATV, the track assembly comprising:
a) a plurality of wheels; and
b) an endless track disposed around the plurality of wheels, the endless
track comprising flexible material to flex around the plurality of wheels,
the endless track comprising:
- an inner surface for facing the plurality of wheels;
- a ground-engaging outer surface opposite to the inner surface;
- a plurality of drive projections projecting from the inner surface
and distributed in a longitudinal direction of the endless track;
and

39
- a plurality of traction projections projecting from the
ground-
engaging outer surface and distributed in the longitudinal
direction of the endless track;
the endless track being free of stiffening inserts extending transversally
to the longitudinal direction of the endless track and disposed within the
flexible material at areas of the endless track where a given one of the
drive projections registers in the longitudinal direction of the endless
track with a given one of the traction projections.
112. A track assembly as defined in claim 111, wherein the plurality of wheels

includes:
- a leading idler wheel and a trailing idler wheel spaced apart in a
longitudinal direction of the track assembly, a segment of the endless
track extending between the leading idler wheel and the trailing idler
wheel defining a ground-engaging run of the endless track; and
- a drive wheel for imparting movement to the endless track.
113. A track assembly as defined in claim 112, wherein the ground-engaging run
of
the endless track comprises:
- a load bearing section located between the leading idler wheel and the
trailing idler wheel and transferring to the ground surface a major
portion of the load carried by the track assembly;
- a leading section extending between the leading idler wheel and the
load bearing section, the leading section being oriented such as to
converge toward the ground surface when the endless track is in
motion and propels the ATV in a forward direction; and
- a trailing section extending between the load bearing section and
the
trailing idler wheel, the trailing section being oriented such as to diverge

40
from the ground surface when the endless track is in motion and
propels the ATV in the forward direction.
114. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 112 and 113, wherein the

leading idler wheel rotates about a first axis of rotation, the trailing idler
wheel
rotates about a second axis of rotation and the drive wheel rotates about a
third
axis of rotation, a first horizontal distance defined between the first axis
of
rotation and the third axis of rotation being different from a second
horizontal
distance defined between the second axis of rotation and the third axis of
rotation.
115. A track assembly as defined in claim 114, comprising a support structure
having:
- a center portion rotatably supported at the third axis of rotation;
- a first support arm mounted to the center portion and extending along a
radial direction of the drive wheel toward a leading end of the track
assembly; and
- a second support arm mounted to the center portion and extending
along a radial direction of the drive wheel toward a trailing end of the
track assembly.
116. A track assembly as defined in claim 115, wherein the first support arm
defines
a first angle with an imaginary horizontal axis which extends through the
third
axis of rotation, the second support arm defines a second angle with the
imaginary horizontal axis, and the first angle is different from the second
angle.
117. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 112 to 116, wherein the
drive
wheel is in rolling contact with the ground-engaging run of the endless track.

41
118. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 114 to 117, wherein the
drive
wheel is in overlapping relationship with one of the leading idler wheel and
the
trailing idler wheel, when viewed in a plane that is normal to the third axis
of
rotation.
119. A track assembly as defined in claim 118, wherein the drive wheel is in
overlapping relationship with the trailing idler wheel, when viewed in a plane

normal to the third axis of rotation.
120. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 113 to 119, wherein the
load
bearing section is located closer to one of the leading idler wheel and the
trailing idler wheel than to the other of the leading idler wheel and the
trailing
idler wheel.
121. A track assembly as defined in claim 115, wherein one of the first and
second
support arms is longer than the other of the first and second support arms.
122. A track assembly as defined in claim 121, wherein the first support arm
and the
second support arm define an obtuse angle therebetween.
123. A track assembly as defined in claim 114, wherein the third axis of
rotation is
located above the first axis of rotation and the second axis of rotation.
124. A track assembly as defined in claim 112, wherein the drive wheel has a
periphery bound between a first upper horizontal imaginary plane and a first
lower horizontal imaginary plane, one of the leading idler wheel and the
trailing
idler wheel having a periphery bound between a second upper horizontal

42
imaginary plane and a second lower horizontal imaginary plane, the first lower

horizontal imaginary plane being positioned below the second upper horizontal
imaginary plane.
125. A track assembly as defined in claim 112, wherein the drive wheel has a
periphery bound between a first upper horizontal imaginary plane and a first
lower horizontal imaginary plane, the leading idler wheel having a periphery
bound between a second upper horizontal imaginary plane and a second lower
horizontal imaginary plane, the trailing idler wheel having a periphery bound
between a third upper horizontal imaginary plane and a third lower horizontal
imaginary plane, the first lower horizontal imaginary plane being positioned
below the second upper horizontal imaginary plane and below the third upper
horizontal imaginary plane.
126. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 125, wherein the
plurality of wheels impart a generally triangular path of travel to the
endless
track.
127. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 113 to 126, wherein the
plurality of wheels define a track supporting and guiding arrangement that is
in
rolling contact with the inner surface at a plurality of locations, one of
said
locations being the load bearing section.
128. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 113 to 127, wherein the
load
bearing section extends below the leading section.
129. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 113 to 128, wherein the
load
bearing section extends below the trailing section.

43
130. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 129, wherein the
given
one of the traction projections slopes from a central area of the endless
track
toward lateral end portions of the endless track.
131. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 120, wherein the
given
one of the traction projections is generally convex in a transverse direction
of
the endless track.
132. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 131, wherein the
given
one of the traction projections includes a row of traction lugs spaced apart
in a
transverse direction of the endless track, the endless track including a
central
area and a pair of lateral end portions on either side of the central area,
the row
of traction lugs including at least one traction lug in the central area and
having
a first projection height and at least one traction lug proximal one of the
lateral
end portions and having a second projection height, the first projection
height
exceeding the second projection height.
133. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 132, wherein the
given
one of the traction projections varies in height in a transverse direction of
the
endless track.
134. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 133, wherein the
given
one of the drive projections registering in the longitudinal direction of the
endless track with the given one of the traction projections is a first given
one of
the drive projections, a second given one of the drive projections being
spaced
from the first given one of the drive projections in a transverse direction of
the
endless track, the first given one of the drive projections and the second
given

44
one of the drive projections being configured to simultaneously engage the
drive
wheel.
135. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 134, wherein the
steering mechanism of the ATV comprises handlebars.
136. A track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111 to 135, wherein the
ATV
comprises a straddle seat for a driver of the ATV.
137. A set of track assemblies for traction of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV),
wherein
each of at least two of the track assemblies is a track assembly as defined in

any one of claims 111 to 136.
138. An ATV comprising the endless track as defined in any one of claims 102
to
107.
139. An ATV as defined in claim 138, wherein the steering mechanism of the ATV

comprises handlebars.
140. An ATV as defined in any one of claims 138 and 139, wherein the ATV
comprises a straddle seat for a driver of the ATV.
141. An ATV as defined in any one of claims 138 to 140, wherein the ATV
includes a
plurality of transverse pairs of track assemblies, each track assembly
including
an endless track, a leading pair of the plurality of track assemblies being
steerable and including each the endless track.

45
142. An ATV comprising the track assembly as defined in any one of claims 111
to
134.
143. An ATV as defined in claim 142, wherein the steering mechanism of the ATV

comprises handlebars.
144. An ATV as defined in any one of claims 142 and 143, wherein the ATV
comprises a straddle seat for a driver of the ATV.
145. An ATV as defined in any one of claims 142 to 144, wherein the ATV
includes a
plurality of transverse pairs of track assemblies, each track assembly
including
an endless track, a leading pair of the plurality of track assemblies being
steerable and including each the endless track.
146. A method for reducing a transverse rigidity of an endless track for use
in an all-
terrain vehicle (ATV), the endless track being steerable by changing an
orientation of the endless track by a steering mechanism of the ATV, the
endless track comprising flexible material to flex around a plurality of
wheels,
the endless track comprising a plurality of track segments following in
succession in a longitudinal direction of the endless track, each track
segment
including a drive projection projecting from an inner surface of the endless
track
and a traction projection projecting from a ground-engaging outer surface of
the
endless track, the drive projection registering in the longitudinal direction
of the
endless track with the traction projection, the method comprising
manufacturing
the endless track without disposing a stiffening insert extending
transversally to
the longitudinal direction of the endless track within the flexible material
in a
portion of each track segment between the drive projection and the traction
projection.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
1
TITLE OF THE INVENTION
Track assembly for an all-terrain vehicle
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[0001] The present invention relates to all-terrain vehicles. More
specifically, the present invention is concerned with track assemblies for an
all-
terrain vehicle.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0002] Traditionally, two types of all-terrain vehicles are proposed
either the wheel type or the tracked type.
[0003] Generally, a wheeled vehicle is more maneuverable than a
tracked vehicle, but is not as efficient on uneven or soft terrain such as,
for
example snow.
[0004] Tracked all-terrain vehicles have been proposed, which
require complicated track assemblies comprising a track frame to maintain the
tension of the endless track belt and prevent it from loosening. Furthermore,
such vehicles have generally a large contact area with the ground, which
results in a decreased maneuverability and an increased impact on the often
soft terrain.
[0005] Therefore, there is still room for improvements toward an all-
terrain vehicle provided with track assemblies, which is maneuverable and
effective upon a variety of unstable or uneven surfaces, while designed to
maintain tension upon the endless track belts to keep them in their due course

CA 02822562 2014-12-01
2A
and prevent accidental loosening, and at the same time reducing damages
inflicted
on the terrain.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
[0006] An object of the present invention is therefore to provide
improved
track assemblies for an all-terrain vehicle.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0006A] In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, there is
provided a steerable endless track for a reduced-size vehicle designed
primarily for
off-highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces. The
endless track is steerable by changing an orientation of the endless track by
a
steering mechanism of the vehicle. The endless track comprises: an outer
ground-
engaging surface; an inner surface opposite to the outer ground-engaging
surface; a
plurality of drive projections projecting from the inner surface and arranged
longitudinally along the track; and a plurality of traction projections
projecting from
the outer ground-engaging surface and arranged longitudinally along the track.
The
endless track is free of stiffening members extending transversally of the
endless
track at longitudinally spaced locations at which a drive projection registers
with a
traction projection.
[0006B] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided a steerable track assembly for a reduced-size vehicle designed
primarily
for off-highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces.
The
track assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the track assembly
by a
steering mechanism of the vehicle. The track assembly comprises an endless
track
and a plurality of wheels for supporting and driving the endless track. The
endless
track includes: an outer ground-engaging surface; an inner surface opposite to
the
outer ground-engaging surface; a plurality of drive projections projecting
from the

CA 02822562 2014-12-01
2B
inner surface and arranged longitudinally along the track; and a plurality of
traction
projections projecting from the outer ground-engaging surface and arranged
longitudinally along the track. The endless track is free of stiffening
members
extending transversally of the endless track at longitudinally spaced
locations at
which a drive projection registers with a traction projection.
[0006C] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided a steerable endless track for a reduced-size vehicle designed
primarily for
off-highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces. The
endless track is steerable by changing an orientation of the endless track by
a
steering mechanism of the vehicle. The endless track comprises a plurality of
drive
lugs projecting from an inner surface of the endless track and a plurality of
traction
projections projecting from an outer ground-engaging surface of the endless
track.
The endless track is free of stiffening members extending transversally of the

endless track at areas of the endless track where a drive lug registers in a
longitudinal direction of the endless track with a traction projection.
[0006D] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided a steerable track assembly for a reduced-size vehicle designed
primarily
for off-highway usage, over undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces.
The
track assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the steerable track
assembly by a steering mechanism of the vehicle. The steerable track assembly
comprises an endless track and a plurality of wheels for supporting and
driving the
endless track. The endless track comprises a plurality of drive lugs
projecting from
an inner surface of the endless track and a plurality of traction projections
projecting
from an outer ground-engaging surface of the endless track. The endless track
is
free of stiffening members extending transversally of the endless track at
areas of
the endless track where a drive lug registers in a longitudinal direction of
the endless
track with a traction projection.

CA 02822562 2014-12-01
2C
[0006E] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided a method for reducing a transverse rigidity of a steerable endless
track for
use in a reduced-size vehicle designed primarily for off-highway usage, over
undeveloped roads or other unprepared surfaces. The endless track is steerable
by
changing an orientation of the endless track by a steering mechanism of the
vehicle.
The endless track comprises a plurality of track segments following in
succession in
a longitudinal direction of the endless track, each track segment including a
drive
projection projecting from an inner surface of the endless track and a
traction
projection projecting from an outer ground-engaging surface of the endless
track.
The drive projection registers in the longitudinal direction of the endless
track with
the traction projection. The method comprises manufacturing the endless track
without providing a stiffening member extending transversally of the endless
track in
a portion of each track segment between the drive projection and the traction
projection.
[0006F] In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention,
there is
provided an endless track for a track assembly providing traction to an all-
terrain
vehicle (ATV). The track assembly is substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel
of
the ATV. The track assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the
track
assembly by a steering mechanism of the ATV. The track assembly comprises a
plurality of wheels. The endless track comprises flexible material to flex
around the
plurality of wheels. The plurality of wheels includes a drive wheel for
imparting
motion to the endless track. The endless track comprising: an inner surface
for
facing the plurality of wheels; a ground-engaging outer surface opposite to
the inner
surface; a plurality of drive projections projecting from the inner surface,
distributed
in a longitudinal direction of the endless track, and positioned to engage the
drive
wheel; and a plurality of traction projections projecting from the ground-
engaging
outer surface and distributed in the longitudinal direction of the endless
track. The
endless track is free of stiffening inserts extending transversally to the
longitudinal
direction of the endless track and disposed within the flexible material at
areas of the

CA 02822562 2014-12-01
2D
endless track where a given one of the drive projections registers in the
longitudinal
direction of the endless track with a given one of the traction projections.
[0006G] In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention,
there is
provided a track assembly for providing traction to an all-terrain vehicle
(ATV). The
track assembly is substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel of the ATV. The
track
assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the track assembly by a
steering
mechanism of the ATV. The track assembly comprising: a plurality of wheels;
and an
endless track disposed around the plurality of wheels. The endless track
comprises
flexible material to flex around the plurality of wheels. The endless track
comprises:
an inner surface for facing the plurality of wheels; a ground-engaging outer
surface
opposite to the inner surface; a plurality of drive projections projecting
from the inner
surface and distributed in a longitudinal direction of the endless track; and
a plurality
of traction projections projecting from the ground-engaging outer surface and
distributed in the longitudinal direction of the endless track. The endless
track is free
of stiffening inserts extending transversally to the longitudinal direction of
the
endless track and disposed within the flexible material at areas of the
endless track
where a given one of the drive projections registers in the longitudinal
direction of
the endless track with a given one of the traction projections.
[0006H] In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention,
there is
provided a method for reducing a transverse rigidity of an endless track for
use in an
all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The endless track is steerable by changing an
orientation of
the endless track by a steering mechanism of the ATV. The endless track
comprises
flexible material to flex around a plurality of wheels. The endless track
comprises a
plurality of track segments following in succession in a longitudinal
direction of the
endless track, each track segment including a drive projection projecting from
an
inner surface of the endless track and a traction projection projecting from a
ground-
engaging outer surface of the endless track. The drive projection registers in
the
longitudinal direction of the endless track with the traction projection. The
method
comprises manufacturing the endless track without disposing a stiffening
insert

CA 02822562 2014-12-01
2E
extending transversally to the longitudinal direction of the endless track
within the
flexible material in a portion of each track segment between the drive
projection and
the traction projection.
[00061] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided an endless track for a track assembly providing traction to an all-
terrain
vehicle (ATV). The track assembly is substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel
of
the ATV. The track assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the
track
assembly by a steering mechanism of the ATV. The track assembly comprises a
plurality of wheels. The endless track is mountable around the plurality of
wheels.
The plurality of wheels includes a drive wheel for imparting motion to the
endless
track. The endless track comprises: an inner surface for facing the plurality
of
wheels; a ground-engaging outer surface opposite to the inner surface; and a
plurality of traction projections projecting from the ground-engaging outer
surface
and spaced apart in a longitudinal direction of the endless track. The endless
track is
free of stiffening rods extending in a transversal direction of the endless
track at
locations of respective ones of the traction projections in the longitudinal
direction of
the endless track.
[0006J] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided a track assembly for providing traction to an all-terrain vehicle
(ATV). The
track assembly is substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel of the ATV. The
track
assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the track assembly by a
steering
mechanism of the ATV. The track assembly comprises a plurality of wheels
including: a drive wheel; and a leading idler wheel and a trailing idler wheel
spaced
apart from the leading idler wheel in a longitudinal direction of the track
assembly.
The track assembly further comprises an endless track mounted around the
plurality
of wheels. The endless track comprises: an inner surface for facing the
plurality of
wheels, the drive wheel being rotatable to impart motion to the endless track;
a
ground-engaging outer surface opposite to the inner surface; and a plurality
of
traction projections projecting from the ground-engaging outer surface and
spaced

CA 02822562 2014-12-01
2F
apart in a longitudinal direction of the endless track. The endless track is
free of
stiffening rods extending in a transversal direction of the endless track at
locations of
respective ones of the traction projections in the longitudinal direction of
the endless
track.
[0006K] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided an endless track for a track assembly providing traction to an all-
terrain
vehicle (ATV). The track assembly is substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel
of
the ATV. The track assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the
track
assembly by a steering mechanism of the ATV. The track assembly comprises a
plurality of wheels. The endless track is mountable around the plurality of
wheels.
The plurality of wheels includes a drive wheel for imparting motion to the
endless
track. The endless track comprises: an inner surface for facing the plurality
of
wheels; a ground-engaging outer surface opposite to the inner surface; a
plurality of
wheel-contacting lugs projecting from the inner surface to contact the
plurality of
wheels; and a plurality of traction projections projecting from the ground-
engaging
outer surface and spaced apart in a longitudinal direction of the endless
track. The
endless track is free of stiffening rods extending in a transversal direction
of the
endless track at locations of respective ones of the wheel-contacting lugs in
the
longitudinal direction of the endless track.
[0006L] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided a track assembly for providing traction to an all-terrain vehicle
(ATV). The
track assembly is substitutable to a ground-engaging wheel of the ATV. The
track
assembly is steerable by changing an orientation of the track assembly by a
steering
mechanism of the ATV. The track assembly comprises a plurality of wheels and
an
endless track mounted around the plurality of wheels. The plurality of wheels
includes: a drive wheel; and a leading idler wheel and a trailing idler wheel
spaced
apart from the leading idler wheel in a longitudinal direction of the track
assembly.
The endless track comprises: an inner surface for facing the plurality of
wheels, the
drive wheel being rotatable to impart motion to the endless track; a ground-
engaging

CA 02822562 2014-12-01
2G
outer surface opposite to the inner surface; a plurality of wheel-contacting
lugs
projecting from the inner surface to contact the plurality of wheels; and a
plurality of
traction projections projecting from the ground-engaging outer surface and
spaced
apart in a longitudinal direction of the endless track. The endless track is
free of
stiffening rods extending in a transversal direction of the endless track at
locations of
respective ones of the wheel-contacting lugs in the longitudinal direction of
the
endless track.
[0007] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided an all-terrain vehicle comprising at least two track assemblies to
support
the all-terrain vehicle onto a ground surface, each one of said at least two
track
assemblies comprising: a longitudinal endless track belt provided with an
inner
surface provided with a plurality of inner lugs and an outer surface provided
with a
plurality of external lugs; a mounting structure to mount said longitudinal
endless
track belt to said vehicle, wherein, when mounted to said mounting structure,
said
longitudinal endless track belt has a punctually localized surface contact
with the
ground surface.
[0008] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there
is
provided an endless track belt assembly comprising: a track driving wheel
provided
with a plurality of teeth; an endless track belt provided with an inner
surface having a
plurality of inner lugs and an outer surface having a plurality of external
lugs, said
endless track belt being wounded around said track driving wheel; wherein a)
said
teeth are so spaced that a distance between two consecutive teeth spans a
distance
separating two consecutive inner lugs of said endless track belt and b) said

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
3
endless track belt, when mounted to said track riving wheel, has a punctually
localized contact with a ground surface.
[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention,
there is provided a method for mounting an endless track belt on a all-terrain
vehicle,
comprising the acts of: providing an endless track belt having inner lugs and
external
lugs; providing a track driving wheel having a plurality of teeth so spaced
that a
distance between two consecutive of the plurality of teeth spans a distance
separating two consecutive of a plurality of inner lugs of the endless track
belt;
interconnecting the track driving wheel to an inside idler wheel and to an
outside
idler wheel; and tensioning the endless track belt around the track driving
wheel, the
inside idler wheel and the outside idler wheel so that the endless track belt
has a
punctually localized surface contact with a ground surface.
[0010] Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention
will
become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description
of
preferred embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to
the
accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0011] In the appended drawings:

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4
[0012] Figure 1 is a
side elevational view of an all-terrain vehicle
provided with track assemblies according to an embodiment of the present
invention;
[0013] Figure 2 is a
side elevational view of the front track assembly
of the vehicle of Figure 1, seen from of the outside of the all-terrain
vehicle;
[0014] Figure 3 is a
side elevational view of the front track assembly
of the vehicle of Figure 1, seen form the inside of the all-terrain vehicle;
[0015] Figure 4 is a
sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of Figure
3;
[0016] Figure 5 is an
enlarged side view of an outside idler wheel
attachment of the track assembly of Figure 2;
100171 Figure 6 is a
sectional view of a rigid member of the track
assembly of Figure 2;
[0018] Figure 7 is a
top plan view of the attachment of the front track
assembly of Figure 1 to the all-terrain vehicle;
[0019] Figure 8 is a
side elevational view of a rear track assembly of
Figure 1, seen from the inside of the all-terrain vehicle;
[0020] Figure 9 is a
top plan view of the attachment of the rear track
assembly of Figure 1 to the all-terrain vehicle;

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
[0021] Figure 10 is a sectional view similar to Figure 4 but
illustrating
a second type of endless track; and
[0022] Figure 11 is a sectional view similar to Figure 4 but
illustrating
a third type of endless track.
DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT
[0023] A track assembly for an all-terrain vehicle according to an
embodiment of the present invention will now be described in details with
reference to the appended drawings.
[0024] Figure 1 shows an all-terrain vehicle 10 comprising a body 12
and four track assemblies (only two shown) according to the present invention
arranged in a plane adjacent to each side of the vehicle 10.
[0025] There are two identical track assemblies in the front of the all-
terrain vehicle 10, of which only one track assembly 14 is visible in Figure
1, in
place of conventional front wheels. Similarly, there are two identical track
assemblies, of which only one track assembly 16 is visible in Figure 1, in
place
of the conventional rear wheels.
[0026] Only the track assemblies 14 and 16 visible in Figure 1 will be
described hereinbelow. Furthermore, as they are symmetrical about a vertical
axis 22 when viewed from the outside of the vehicle 10 (see Figure 1), only
the
track assemblies 14 will be described hereinbelow. It is also to be noted that

the elements as seen from the outside of the vehicle 10 will bear the same

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
6
numbers in the rear track assembly 16 than the corresponding ones in the front

track assembly 14, with a prime.
[0027] However, since
the attachment of rear and front track
assemblies differs as seen from the inside of the vehicles 10, they will be
described separately.
[0028] The front track
assembly 14 is better seen in Figure 2. It
comprises a longitudinal endless track belt 23 and a mounting structure to
mount the endless track belt 23 to the vehicle 10. The mounting structure
includes a track driving wheel 24, a pair of inside idler wheels 26, a pair of

outside idler wheels 28 and supports to interconnect the wheels 24, 26 and 28
as will be described hereinbelow.
[0029] The endless
track belt 23 is provided with inner lugs 30 on its
inner surface 31 and with external lugs 32 on its outer surface 33. It is
wounded
around the track driving wheel 24 and the idler wheels 28 and 26.
[0030] As can be
better seen from Figure 4, the track driving wheel
24 is mounted to a conventional hub 35 of the all-terrain vehicle 10. The
wheel
24 includes a first mounting plate 37 mounted to the hub 35 and a second
mounting plate 34 mounted to the first plate 37 via four bolt and spacer
assemblies 36. A circular disk 38 is mounted to the bolt and spacer assemblies

36 and includes equidistant wide teeth 40 contacting the inner surface 31 of
the
track 23.
[0031] As will be
apparent to one skilled in the art, the equidistant
teeth 40 are so located as to cooperate with some of the inner lugs 30 of the
endless track belt 23. More precisely, as can be better seen from Figure 2,
the

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
7
teeth 40 are spaced so that the distance between two consecutive teeth 40
spans the distance separating consecutive inner lugs 30 of the endless track
belt 23, in a meshing engagement, in such a way as to drive the endless track
belt 23.
[0032] Each of the inside idler wheels 26 includes a peripheral
portion in contact with the internal surface 31 of the track 23. The wheels 26

are interconnected by a spacing element (not shown).
[0033] Similarly, each outer idler wheel 28 includes a peripheral
portion in contact with the internal surface 31 of the track 23. The wheels 28

are interconnected by a spacing element 42.
[0034] The wheels 24, 26 and 28 are interconnected, as seen from
the outside of the track assembly 14, by an angled connecting element 44. The
angled connecting element 44 has a center portion 46 provided with an
aperture 48 in which bearings 50 are mounted. A fastener 52 connects the
connecting element 44 to the second plate 34 while allowing the angled
connecting element 44 to pivot about the fastener.
[0035] The connecting element 44 has a short arm 54 having a free
end to which the inside idler wheels 26 are rotatably mounted. The connecting
element 44 also has a long arm 56 having a free end to which the inside idler
wheels 28 are rotatably mounted as will be further discussed hereinbelow. The
connecting element 44 is better seen from the top plan view of Figure 6.
[0036] Turning now briefly to Figure 3 of the appended drawings, as
can be seen from the inside of the all-terrain vehicle 10, the idler wheels 26
and
28 of the front track assembly 14 are also directly connected together by an

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
8
elbowed connection element 58. The inside idler wheels 26 are rotatably
mounted to a first end of the elbowed connection element 58 while the outside
idler wheels 28 are rotatably mounted to a second end of the elbowed
connection element 58.
[0037] The rotatable connection of the outside idler wheels 28 to the
angle connection element 44 and to the elbowed connection element 58 will
now be described with reference to Figure 5.
[0038] As will easily be understood by one skilled in the art upon
inspection of Figure 5, the tension of the endless track belt 23 is adjusted
by
the connection of the outside idler wheels 28 to the elements 44 and 58. For
concision purpose, only the connection of the wheels 28 to the elbowed
connection element 58 will be described.
[0039] With reference to the enlarged side view of Figure 5, a
tension adjusting assembly according to another aspect of the present
invention will be described. As can be seen from this figure, a distal end of
the
connection element 58 includes a slotted aperture 60 receiving a fastener 62
used to rotatably mount the wheels 28 to the assembly. By sliding the fastener

62 in the aperture 60, it is possible to increase or decrease the tension on
the
track 23. To adjust and maintain this track tension, a cam element 64, having
an outer periphery provided with notches 66 located at different distances
from
the attachment point of the element 64, is mounted to the fastener 62. By
selecting which notch 66 is in contact with a fixed pin 68 of the element 58,
a
predetermined tension may be maintained. It is to be noted that the cam
element 64 is provided with a handle 7010 facilitate the manipulation by a
user.

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
9
[0040] Returning to Figure 4 of the appended drawings the endless
track 23 will be described in greater detail.
[0041] As can be seen from Figure 4, the overall profile of the track
23, from one side to the other, i.e. transversely, is generally convex.
However,
the convex profile of the track 23 is created by a lug arrangement comprising
two successive transverse rows of lugs arranged in a staggered relationship.
[0042] A first transverse row of lugs contains three lugs 72, 74 and
76 and a second row of lugs contains four lugs 78, 80, 82 and 84. These lugs
are symmetrical about a longitudinal axis (not shown).
[0043] A first lateral lug 72 of the first row includes three ground-
contacting surfaces separated by two indentations. The shape of lateral lug 72

is such that the ground contacting surfaces are generally transversally
convex.
[0044] A central lug 74 is centered about longitudinal axis and
includes two ground-contacting surfaces separated by an indentation. The
ground contacting surfaces are symmetrical about the longitudinal axis and are

generally transversally convex.
[0045] A second lateral lug 76 is a mirror image of lug 72 about the
longitudinal axis.
[0046] The first and second lateral lugs 72 and 76 are laterally
spaced apart from the central lug 74.

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
[0047] In the second transverse row of lugs, a first intermediate lug
80 includes two ground-contacting suifaces separated by an indentation. The
ground engaging surfaces are slightly transversally convex.
[0048] A first external lug 78 includes two ground-contacting
surfaces that are separated by an indentation and are transversally convex.
[0049] Finally, the second intermediate lug 82 and the second
external lug 84 are respectively mirror images of lugs 80 and 78 with respect
to
the longitudinal axis. For concision purposes, these lugs will not be further
described herein.
[0050] Of course, the sequences described hereinabove of the lug
arrangement defined by the rows of lugs are repeated onto the entire external
surface of the endless track 23.
[0051] The endless track belt 23 further includes, for each row of
lugs, a stiffening rod 71, made of glass fibers for example. Each stiffening
rod
71 is embedded in the material forming the track belt 23 so as to be generally

parallel to the inner surface 31 thereof. The rods 71 provide enhanced
rigidity
to the endless track belt 23. The enhanced rigidity of the track belt 23 has
many
advantages. For example, it helps the track to provide adequate traction even
when the center portion of the track is not in direct contact with the ground,
as
illustrated in Figure 4. However, it has been found that this type of traction
may
be detrimental to the steering of the vehicle in some conditions.
[0052] As it is apparent from Figure 4 the ground contacting surfaces
of symmetrical lugs 78 and 84 are not aligned with the outer surfaces of the
other lugs to form a continuous profile. Indeed, the ground contacting
surfaces

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
11
of lugs 78 and 84 are more angled and exceed the convex profile defined by
the other lugs. This configuration of the outer lugs is advantageous since it
further prevents the vehicle from tipping over during sharp turns at high
speed
when the vehicle 10 is severely tilted.
[0053] As mentioned hereinabove, the way the front track assembly
14 is attached to the body 12 of the vehicle 10 differs from the way the rear
track assembly 16 is attached to the body 12 of the vehicle 10. These two
attachments will be described hereinbelow.
[0054] The front track assembly 14 is attached to the body 12 of the
vehicle 10 in a fashion shown in Figures 4 and 7, while the rear track
assembly
16 is attached to the body 12 of the vehicle 10 in a fashion shown in Figure 8

and 9.
[0055] As seen in Figures 4 and 7, the front track assembly 14 is
mounted to a tubular wheel table 100 of the vehicle 10 by means of a generally

triangular plate 102 fastened thereto by a plurality of U-bolts 104, 106, 108
and
110. A rod 112 is connected between the elbowed connection element 58 and
a pivot 114 of the tubular wheel table 100. A first end of the rod 112 is
attached
to the elbowed connection element 58 by means of rubber damping elements
116, in such a way as to allow a vertical movement at this point of the rod
112
in relation to the elbowed connection element 58. A second end of the rod 112
is attached to the pivot 114 of the tubular wheel table 100 by means of an R-
clip 120, in such a way as to allow at this point a horizontal movement of the

plate 102 holding the tubular wheel table 100 relative to the elbowed
' connection element 58.

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
12
[0056] The front track assembly 14 is further attached to the body 12
of the vehicle 10 through a conventional rod 150 of the suspension system of
the vehicle 10 and a conventional rod 157 used for direction (see Figure 4).
[0057] As seen in Figures 8 and 9, the rear track assembly 16 is
mounted to the body 12 of the vehicle 10 by a rod 212. The rod 212 is
connected on a first end to the elbowed connection element 58' by means of a
rubber damping attachment 216. It is attached, on a second end, to a tubular
chassis 130 of the body 12 of the vehicle 10 by means of a chipping joint 132
fastened thereto by an R-clip 134.
[00581 From the above description of the fashion in which the front
and rear track assemblies 14 and 16 are mounted to the body 12 of the vehicle
10, in relation to Figures 4 and 7, and 8 and 9 respectively, the present
invention provides for track assemblies that are easily removed or mounted to
the vehicle 10, through using R-clips (120 and 134), which enable
disconnecting the track assemblies from the vehicle in a simple manner.
(0059] As stated hereinabove, the interior surface 31 of the endless
track belt 23 is provided with a plurality of equally spaced lugs 30, which
ensure
a positive engagement with the teeth 40 provided on the outer circumference of

the wheel 24. In operation, the wheel 24 is coupled to a drive shaft, via the
hub
30, connected to an engine (not shown), in such a way that the engine drives
the wheel 24 in rotation. The wheel 24 thus drives the endless track belt 23
by
the meshing engagement of the teeth 40 with the internal lugs 30 of the
endless track belt 23.
[0060] It is further to be understood that the external lugs 32 on the
external circumference surface of the endless track belt 23 respectively exert
a

CA 02822562 2013-08-01
13
positive mechanical connection with the underlying ground surface that
contributes to propel the vehicle 10.
[0061] Figure 10 and Figure 11 show sectional views similar to that
of Figure 4 but illustrating variants of an endless track that may be mounted
to
the track assembly of the present invention.
[0062] In Figure 10, the overall profile of the endless track belt 23a,
from one side to the other, i.e. transversely, is generally convex.
[0063] The convex profile of the endless track belt 23a is created by
the same lug arrangement as that described hereinabove in relation to Figure
4. In this specific embodiment however, the endless track belt 23a does not
include stiffening rods under each row of lugs. Consequently, the rigidity of
the
endless track belt 23a is less than the rigidity of the endless track belt 23
(Figure 4) and the profile of the endless track belt 23a conforms itself to
the
profile of the ground. Since the pressure is more localized in the center of
the
endless track belt 23a, a more punctually localized contact zone between the
endless track belt 23a and the ground 29 is created. In many cases, this
punctually localized contact zone makes the vehicle 10 more maneuverable.
100641 Turning now to Figure 11, a third version of an endless track
belt 23b will be described. The endless track belt 23b is wounded around the
track driving wheel 24 and the idler wheels 28 and 26, is still provided with
inner lugs 30 on its inner surface 31. However, its outer surface is provided
with
rectangular lugs 86. Since there are no stiffening rods in the endless track
belt
23b, the endless track belt 23b is free to conform itself to the ground 29, as

seen in Figure 11. Furthermore, since the pressure is exerted only in the
middle

CA 02822562 2013-10-24
14
of the endless track belt 23b by the wide teeth 40, a punctually localized
contact
zone between the endless track belt 23b and the ground 29 is created.
[0065] As will be apparent to one skilled in the art, the endless track
belts 23a
has a particularly punctually localized contact surface with the ground 29.
Indeed,
since it is transversally convex, it generally contacts the ground 29 with a
limited
surface at any given time when the ground 29 is hard.
[0066] Furthermore, since there are no guiding rails for the endless track
belts
23, 23a or 23b, the external lugs only exert a pressure on the ground 29, when
it is
hard, in the vicinity of the wide teeth 40 of the wheel 24. These two combined

features improve the maneuverability of the vehicle since it emulates the
contact of a
conventional tire onto hard ground, given that a shortened length of contact
of the
endless track with the ground surface reduces the resistance to a turning
force.
[0067] Of course, one skilled in the art could designed another convex
profile
of the external lugs of the endless track belts 23 and/or another arrangement
of the
mounting assembly of the endless track belts 23 to the vehicle 10 to obtain
this "one
point contact" feature. For example, one could provide a guiding rail having a
convex
profile and transversally convex lugs to achieve similar results.
[0068] As people in the art will understand, the all-terrain vehicle of
the
present invention, provided with four endless track assemblies, can be used
for a
wide range of operations and terrain, while being highly mobile and offering
good
running performance.

CA 02822562 2013-10-24
[0069] The endless track structure maintains an adequate configuration
over
a variety of surfaces.
[0070] It will be obvious to people skilled in the art that the present
invention
can be applied both in the case of a two-wheel drive vehicle wherein the power
is
typically applied only to the rear track belt assemblies and the front track
assemblies
merely facilitate steering, and in the case of a four-wheel vehicle, wherein
power is
independently provided to each one of the four track assemblies.
[0071] As will be further understood by one skilled in the art, the all-
terrain
vehicle 10, equipped with track assemblies according to the present invention,
may
be viewed as a snow vehicle since it may be used on snow as efficiently as
conventional snow vehicles such as snowmobiles, for example. However, the one-
point contact feature of the present invention allows the use of the all-
terrain vehicle
on harder surface without the usual drawbacks of tracked vehicles.
[0072] Interestingly, the present track assembly system can equip all
four
wheels of an all-terrain vehicle or only the front or rear wheels thereof,
since it only
weakly reduces the speed of the vehicle relative to the underground surface.
[0073] A further possibility would be to use track assemblies according
to the
present invention in place of the rear wheels of a vehicle, while mounting
skis in
place of the front wheels thereof.
[0074] Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by
way of preferred embodiments thereof, it can be modified,

CA 02822562 2013-10-24
16
and remain within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended
claims.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2015-05-26
(22) Filed 2002-05-30
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2003-08-25
Examination Requested 2013-08-01
(45) Issued 2015-05-26

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2019-04-30 $450.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2020-06-01 $225.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2020-06-01 $450.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
  • the late payment fee set out in Item 22.1 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules; or
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Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Special Order $500.00 2013-08-01
Request for Examination $800.00 2013-08-01
Filing $400.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2004-05-31 $100.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2005-05-30 $100.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2006-05-30 $100.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2007-05-30 $200.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2008-05-30 $200.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2009-06-01 $200.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2010-05-31 $200.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2011-05-30 $200.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 10 2012-05-30 $250.00 2013-08-01
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 11 2013-05-30 $250.00 2013-08-01
Registration of Documents $100.00 2013-08-06
Registration of Documents $100.00 2013-08-06
Registration of Documents $100.00 2013-08-06
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 12 2014-05-30 $250.00 2014-05-01
Registration of Documents $100.00 2014-12-15
Final $300.00 2015-02-27
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 13 2015-06-01 $250.00 2015-05-01
Re-Examination requested - Standard $2,000.00 2015-12-24
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2016-05-30 $250.00 2016-05-02
Registration of Documents $100.00 2016-10-07
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2017-05-30 $450.00 2017-05-04
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2018-05-30 $450.00 2018-05-10
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2019-05-30 $450.00 2019-04-30
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
CAMSO INC.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
CAMOPLAST SOLIDEAL INC.
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Abstract 2013-08-01 1 12
Description 2013-08-01 16 492
Claims 2013-08-01 6 179
Drawings 2013-08-01 10 310
Representative Drawing 2013-09-03 1 21
Claims 2013-08-02 21 797
Cover Page 2013-09-06 1 49
Description 2013-08-02 21 777
Description 2013-10-24 21 778
Description 2014-06-13 20 703
Claims 2014-06-13 43 1,543
Claims 2014-09-29 18 666
Description 2014-12-01 22 814
Claims 2014-12-01 29 1,049
Cover Page 2015-05-06 1 49
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-08-06 3 117
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-09-12 2 77
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-11-07 2 90
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-08-01 30 1,194
Correspondence 2013-08-15 1 37
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-09-04 1 16
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-10-24 8 244
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-12-17 4 128
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-03-24 3 153
Correspondence 2015-03-04 3 119
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-06-13 58 2,084
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-07-15 2 72
Correspondence 2014-08-07 1 21
Correspondence 2014-07-17 11 416
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-09-29 23 823
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-10-20 6 429
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-12-01 107 4,387
Correspondence 2015-02-27 2 75
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-12-24 599 27,936
Correspondence 2015-12-24 597 27,805
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-02-19 2 38
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-07-20 1 32
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-07-25 10 539
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-13 29 1,574
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-25 31 1,246
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-10-24 2 61
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Fees 2019-04-30 1 55