Patent Number: 6,308,966

Title: Ski vehicle brake and steering system

Abstract: A braking and steering mechanism that is located near, but behind the steering pivot point of a runner of a ski vehicle. In a conventional snowmobile, for example, the steering pivot point is near the middle of the longitudinal axis of the runner, and, hence, the preferred braking and steering mechanism extends from behind the middle of the runner, but not at the rear end of the runner, to contact the snow or ground to slow or stop the snowmobile movement relative to the snow or ground. The preferred braking and steering mechanism has a brake that is a retractable, protruding member that extends down from the runner bottom surface near, but behind the steering pivot point a sufficient distance to frictionally engage the snow/ground significantly more than does the bottom of the runner. The protruding member may take the forms of a prong or spike, a blade or plate, or other single, plural, smooth or toothed member(s) that can make frictional contact with the snow/ground. Preferably, the brake has one or more elongated members that extend through and from the bottom of the runner to stab 2-6 inches into the snow/ground, provided that the center of gravity of the elongated members and their actuating mechanism combined is located near, but behind, the steering pivot point of the ski. Optionally, there may be included a control system for partial or incremental application of the brake, for example, for moving the brake varying depths into the snow/ground, or moving the brake to varying angles and positions relative to the snow/ground for varying amounts of frictional engagement or digging action. Also, there may be included a control system for differential application of the brake on one side of the ski vehicle relative to the other side. This way, assistance in steering the vehicle may also be obtained.

Inventors: Cook; Travis A. (Prairie, ID), Putney; Joseph L. (Caldwell, ID)

Assignee:

International Classification: B60T 11/10 (20060101); B62B 13/14 (20060101); B62M 27/00 (20060101); B60T 1/00 (20060101); B60T 1/14 (20060101); B62B 13/00 (20060101); B62M 27/02 (20060101); B62B 013/14 (); B60T 007/08 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018