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 (Country):
  • BOIVIN, DENIS (Canada)
  • BOIVIN, ALAIN (Canada)
  • COURTEMANCHE, DENIS (Canada)
(73) Owners (Country):
  • CAMSO INC. (Canada)
(71) Applicants (Country):
  • 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 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.


A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
(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 2017-05-04 $450.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2018-05-30 $225.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2018-05-30 $450.00

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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

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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