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Publication numberUS20010050034 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/877,656
Publication dateDec 13, 2001
Filing dateJun 9, 2001
Priority dateJun 9, 2000
Publication number09877656, 877656, US 2001/0050034 A1, US 2001/050034 A1, US 20010050034 A1, US 20010050034A1, US 2001050034 A1, US 2001050034A1, US-A1-20010050034, US-A1-2001050034, US2001/0050034A1, US2001/050034A1, US20010050034 A1, US20010050034A1, US2001050034 A1, US2001050034A1
InventorsLarry Gross
Original AssigneeGross Larry G.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Metal skid
US 20010050034 A1
Abstract
A skid having a platform with a top, a bottom, a first side, a first elongated tube extending along the length of the first side, a second side, a second elongated tube extending along the length of the second side, a front end, a rear end, and one or more channels in the top positioned longitudinally in the platform, thereby creating a first top panel and a second top panel, wherein the platform is formed from a single sheet of material, e.g., metal or a composite. Two fork pocket are secured to the top of the platform traverse to the channels, thereby defining front and rear channel portions. A front end cap is secured to the top of the platform at the front end, and a center piece is secured to the top of the platform at a predefined fixed distance between the front end cap and the first fork pocket. A plurality of corrugations are formed optionally on the first fork pocket and the second fork pocket, and are formed optionally on the first top panel and the second top panel. Two or more rear end caps are secured to the top of the platform at the rear end. A method for making the skid uses a single flat sheet of material to form the platform, or alternatively, to form two or more portions of the platform that are joined along one or more seams. A method for recycling the skid receives the skid and either reuses, refurbishes, or recycles its component parts depending on the skid's condition.
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Claims(32)
What is claimed is:
1. A skid for storing and transporting a multi-wheeled vehicle, comprising:
a platform having a top, a bottom, a first side, a first elongated tube extending along the length of said first side, a second side, a second elongated tube extending along the length of said second side, a front end, a rear end, and one or more channels longitudinally positioned in said platform, thereby creating a first top panel and a second top panel;
a first fork pocket secured to said top of said platform traverse to said channels at a predefined fixed distance from said front end;
a second fork pocket secured to said top of said platform traverse to said channels at a predefined fixed distance from said first fork pocket, thereby defining one or more rear channel portions; and
a front end cap secured to said top of said platform at said front end;
wherein said platform is formed from a single sheet of material.
2. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said platform is formed from a single sheet of metal.
3. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said platform is formed from a single sheet of composite material.
4. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said platform has a single channel longitudinally centered in said platform.
5. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said platform has two channels longitudinally positioned in said platform.
6. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said platform is formed from two sheets of material, each said sheet forming one half of said platform along a longitudinal axis and joined at a seam.
7. The skid according to
claim 1
, further comprising a center piece rigidly secured to said top of said platform at a predefined fixed distance between said front end cap and said first fork pocket, thereby defining one or more front channel portions.
8. The skid according to
claim 7
, further comprising a means for securing the multi-wheeled vehicle to said platform.
9. The skid according to
claim 8
, wherein said means for securing comprises said center piece having one or more apertures.
10. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein a plurality of corrugations are formed on said first top panel and said second top panel.
11. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein a plurality of corrugations are formed on said first fork pocket and said second fork pocket.
12. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said front end cap covers said front end of said platform.
13. The skid according to
claim 1
, further comprising:
two or more rear end caps secured to said top of said platform at said second end.
14. The skid according to
claim 13
, wherein each said rear end cap extends over and covers a portion of said rear end of said platform.
15. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein the skid is made of metal and said first fork pocket, said second fork pocket, and said front end cap are welded to said top of said platform.
16. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein the skid is made of metal and said first rear end cap and said second rear end cap are welded to said top of said platform.
17. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said platform is roll-formed.
18. The skid according to
claim 1
, wherein said front cap has a plurality of fork apertures.
19. A method for manufacturing a metal skid for storing and transporting a multi-wheeled vehicle, comprising the steps of:
a. forming a platform from a single sheet of material, said single sheet of material having a first edge and a second edge, resulting in said platform having a first side, a first elongated tube extending the length of said first side, a second side, a second elongated tube extending the length of said second side, a front end, a rear end, and one or more channels positioned longitudinally in said platform, thereby creating a first top panel and a second top panel;
b. securing said first edge of said single sheet of material to form said first elongated tube;
c. securing said second edge of said single sheet of material to form said second elongated tube;
d. securing a first fork pocket to said top of said platform traverse to said channels at a predefined fixed distance from said front end;
e. securing a second fork pocket to said top of said platform traverse to said channels at a predefined fixed distance from said first fork pocket, thereby defining one or more rear channel portions; and
f. securing a front end cap to said top of said platform at said front end.
20. The method according to
claim 19
, further comprising the step of:
g. securing a center piece to said top of said platform at a predefined fixed distance between said front end cap and said first fork pocket, thereby defining one or more front channel portions.
21. The method according to
claim 20
, wherein said center piece comprises a means for securing the multi-wheeled vehicle to said platform.
22. The method according to
claim 21
, wherein said means for securing comprises said center piece having one or more apertures.
23. The method according to
claim 19
, further comprising the step of:
g. forming a plurality of corrugations on said first top panel and said second top panel.
24. The method according to
claim 19
, further comprising the steps of:
g. forming one or more first corrugations on said first fork pocket; and
h. forming one or more corrugations on said second fork pocket.
25. The method according to
claim 19
, wherein the skid is made of metal and said securing of said steps (b) and (c) is by welding.
26. The method according to
claim 19
, wherein the skid is made of metal and said first fork pocket, said second fork pocket, and said front end cap are welded to said top of said platform.
27. The method according to
claim 19
, further comprising:
g. securing two or more rear end caps to said top of said platform at said second end.
28. The method according to
claim 27
, wherein each said rear end cap extends over and covers a portion of said rear end of said platform.
29. The method according to
claim 19
, wherein said step (a) comprises forming said platform from two sheets of material, each said sheet of material forming one half of said platform along a longitudinal axis and joined at a seam.
30. A process for recycling a skid for storing and transporting a multi-wheeled vehicle, comprising:
a. receiving from a product provider a skid for storing and transporting a multi-wheeled vehicle, said skid comprising:
a platform having a top, a bottom, a first side, a first elongated tube extending along the length of said first side, a second side, a second elongated tube extending along the length of said second side, a front end, a rear end, and one or more channels longitudinally positioned in said platform, thereby creating a first top panel and a second top panel;
a first fork pocket secured to said top of said platform traverse to said channels at a predefined fixed distance from said front end;
a second fork pocket secured to said top of said platform traverse to said channels at a predefined fixed distance from said first fork pocket, thereby defining one or more rear channel portions; and
a front end cap secured to said top of said platform at said front end;
wherein said platform is formed from a single sheet of material;
b. inspecting said skid for damage and needed repair;
c. reusing said skid if said skid is reusable;
d. refurbishing said skid if said skid is refurbishable; and
e. recycling one or more components of said skid if said skid is not reusable or refurbishable.
31. The process for recycling a skid according to
claim 30
, further comprising:
f. providing said skid to a product provider.
32. The process for recycling a skid according to
claim 30
, further comprising:
f. providing instructions to said product provider for returning said skid for reuse, refurbishing, or recycling.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/210,597, filed Jun. 9, 2000.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to pallets, and more particularly to skids used in the storage and transport of multi-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles and all terrain vehicles.
  • [0004]
    2. Related Art
  • [0005]
    Skids, or pallets, are used routinely in the storage and transportation of heavy equipment or cartons. Skids have been used to store and transport two wheeled vehicles, e.g., motorcycles, for over twenty years. Until recently, these motorcycle skids were made of wood and comprised a wooden platform having either one longitudinally centered single channel extending the entire length of the skid, or alternatively, two longitudinally centered channels spaced a predefined distance from each other. In operation, the wheels of a motorcycle are positioned within the one or two channels, then the motorcycle is tied down to the skid.
  • [0006]
    Conventional wood skids have lost favor with the packaging and moving industries for several reasons. First, wood skids are relatively heavy and are easily damaged during transport and loading. Second, wood skids tend to deteriorate rapidly, especially when exposed to environmental elements such as moisture which tends to diminish the strength and integrity of the wood skids. Finally, there is a limited supply of affordable raw materials that are necessary for the production of quality wood skids.
  • [0007]
    Various efforts have been made at overcoming the obstacles presented with using conventional wood skids. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,347,794 issued to Nordstrom, teaches a pallet having a lightweight framework of metal or aluminum beams and a load-carrying surface formed by a plurality of rollers. While addressing some of the problems experienced with wood pallets in general, Nordstrom is not applicable to the transporting of motorcycles because of the load-carrying surface formed by a plurality of rollers. As understood in light of Nordstrom, transporting motorcycles creates unique problems due in part to the size and weight of most motorcycles, but due moreso to the two-wheeled nature of motorcycles. Because motorcycles are positioned on wheels, unlike other typical freight items, they create the problem of keeping the motorcycle stationary during transport. Also, because motorcycles only have two wheels, unlike automobiles, they must be vertically balanced during transport or risk damage to the motorcycle.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,676, issued to Creed et al. and assigned to Worthington Industries, Inc. (the “Worthington” patent), seeks to address some of the problems associated particularly with the storage and transport of motorcycles. Worthington discloses a modular packaging skid made of steel that has a rectangular base, “U-shaped” channel members, and a plurality of transverse cross members wherein the first and second cross members define a first recess and are situated to retain a first portion of an associated object within the recess, and the third and fourth cross members define a second recess adapted to receive a chock for supporting a second portion of the associated object. Worthington, therefore, addresses the problems associated with wood skids generally by disclosing a skid made of rolled steel, and addresses the problems associated with transporting motorcycles specifically by teaching a skid with recesses and at least one chock to retain the wheels of a motorcycle.
  • [0009]
    In the skid and pallet manufacturing industry where the cost of raw materials and labor continues to escalate and drive profit margins down, time truly is money. The only way for skid manufacturers to stay competitive in the marketplace and maintain a profitable business is by producing increasingly high volumes of quality product that are sold at mere percentage points above cost. In light of that economic climate, Worthington, while solving some problems experienced in the skid manufacturing industry, has underscored the significance of others, namely the need to be able to produce metal skids for transporting and storing motorcycles rapidly. The skid disclosed by Worthington comprises several component parts that are manufactured independently and then assembled together to form the finished product. For example, in order to produce the recesses to accommodate the wheels of a motorcycle, Worthington must first secure a first longitudinal channel member to the tray, then must secure a second longitudinal channel member to the tray, and then must secure a plurality of transverse cross members to the channel members. Worthington also optionally, and apparently preferably, teaches the use of a plurality of support trays that must be secured to the cross members and the bottom surface of the tray such that the second support tray receives a wheel chock that can be positioned longitudinally within the second support tray.
  • [0010]
    Therefore, what the art needs is an improved skid for storing and transporting motorcycles, or other multi-wheeled vehicles, e.g., four wheeled vehicles, that is easily, efficiently, and cost-effectively manufactured. The art further needs an improved skid that is simple, and able to accommodate a variety of vehicles having wheels of different sizes and of different spacing between them with minimal or no adjustments.
  • [0011]
    Worthington, while disclosing a skid that is advantageously formed of a light weight material relative to an equivalent wood pallet, runs the risk of not being able to adequately support the weight of a motorcycle during transport and storage. Many modern motorcycles, such as the Harley Davidson touring motorcycles, weigh in excess of 700 pounds. Therefore, what the art needs is an improved skid for storing and transporting motorcycles that maintains the advantages of decreased weight and bulk, but that also has the further advantage of correspondingly increased strength.
  • SUMMARY OF INVENTION
  • [0012]
    This invention solves the problems encountered with using conventional wood skids and certain metal skids designed for storing and transporting motorcycles by providing a metal skid that is lightweight, strong, simple, and able to be efficiently and cost-effectively manufactured. The skid is described in terms of shipping and storing two wheeled vehicles, e.g., motorcycles, but this is for convenience purpose only. It is readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to adapt the skid of the present invention to four wheeled vehicles, e.g., all terrain vehicles.
  • [0013]
    One aspect of the invention is a skid having a platform with a top, a bottom, a first side, a first elongated tube extending along the length of the first side, a second side, a second elongated tube extending along the length of the second side, a front end, a rear end, and a longitudinally centered channel in the top of the platform, thereby creating a first top panel and a second top panel. A single flat sheet of material, e.g., metal, composite material or plastic, is used to form the platform. To assist in moving a skid, a first fork pocket is secured to the top of the platform traverse to the longitudinally centered channel and a second fork pocket is secured to the top of the platform traverse to the longitudinally centered channel at a predefined fixed distance from the first fork pocket, thereby defining a rear channel portion. Both the first and second fork pocket optionally incorporate a plurality of corrugations on their top surface which make the fork pockets stronger and more difficult to bend. A front end cap secured to the top of the platform at the front end, and a center piece is secured to the top of the platform at a predefined fixed distance between the front end a cap and the first fork pocket, thereby defining a front channel portion. A plurality of rear caps are secured to the rear end of the platform such that the longitudinally centered channel is open through the rear end of the platform. This channel opening facilitates the loading and unloading of a vehicle on and off the skid because the wheels of the vehicle can pass easily through the rear end of the platform.
  • [0014]
    Another aspect of the invention is a method of manufacturing a skid, including the steps of forming a platform of the skid, as described above, from a single sheet of metal or composite material having a first edge and a second edge. Once the platform is formed, the first edge of the single sheet of material is secured, e.g., by welding, in place to form the first elongated tube along the first side and the second edge of the single sheet of material is secured, e.g., by welding, to form the second elongated tube along the second side. Corrugations are optionally formed, or stamped, into the first top panel and second top panel. Once the platform is created, a first fork pocket is secured to the top of the platform traverse to the channel and a second fork pocket is secured to the top of the platform traverse to the channel at a predefined fixed distance from the first fork pocket, thereby defining a rear channel portion. A front end cap is secured to the top of the platform at the front end while a center piece is secured to the top of the platform at a predefined fixed distance between the front end cap and the first fork pocket, thereby defining a front channel portion. A plurality of rear end caps are then secured to the top of the platform at the rear end. The front end cap and the rear end caps assist in holding the shape of the platform and providing the needed strength for storing and transporting a vehicle on the skid.
  • [0015]
    Another aspect of the invention is a process for recycling a skid, including the steps of (1) receiving from a product provider a skid of the present invention for storing and transporting a multi-wheeled vehicle; (2) inspecting the skid for damage and needed repair; (3) reusing the skid if the skid is reusable; (4) refurbishing the skid if the skid is refurbishable; and (5) recycling one or more components of the skid if the skid is not reusable or refurbishable.
  • [0016]
    A feature of the present invention is a metal or composite skid for storing and transporting multi-wheeled vehicles that has corrugations for improved structural strength for accommodating today's heavier vehicles.
  • [0017]
    Another feature of the present invention is a skid that is easily and cost-efficiently manufactured because most of the skid's component parts are made in a single step from a single sheet of material, e.g., metal, composite, plastic, or comparable material.
  • [0018]
    Another feature of the invention is a skid for storing and transporting multi-wheeled vehicles that can accommodate a variety of vehicles having different wheel sizes and spacing while requiring minimal or no adjustments.
  • [0019]
    An advantage of the present invention is an environmentally friendly skid that can be recycled or easily repaired for future use thereby reducing the depletion of natural resources.
  • [0020]
    Another advantage of the present invention is a skid that maintains its strength and structural integrity because it is virtually impervious to environmental conditions, such as moisture.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0021]
    The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. Additionally, the left-most digit(s) of a reference number identifies the drawing in which the reference number first appears.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 1 is a perspective diagram of a skid of the present invention;
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 2 is a perspective diagram of the skid having its components extended outwardly;
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 3 is a perspective diagram of a platform of the skid;
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 4 is a planar end view of a rear end of the skid;
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 5 is a planar end view of a front end of the skid;
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of two fork pockets; and
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative skid of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0029]
    A. The Skid
  • [0030]
    A skid 100 of the present invention is described in FIGS. 1-7. The skid 100 is described in terms of storing and transporting a two wheeled vehicle, e.g., a motorcycle, but this is for convenience purpose only. It would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to design, manufacture, and use a skid 100 of the present invention with a vehicle having a different number of wheels, e.g., four or more wheels.
  • [0031]
    The skid 100 has a platform 156 being generally rectangular in shape including a top 102, a bottom 104, a first side 120, a first elongated tube 106 extending along the length of the first side 120, a second side 122, a second elongated tube 108 extending along the length of the second side 122, a front end 124, a rear end 110, and a longitudinally centered channel 114 in the top 102 and extending the length of the skid 100, thereby creating a first top panel 116 and a second top panel 118.
  • [0032]
    In the preferred embodiment, a single flat sheet of material, e.g., metal, plastic, or a composite material, forms the entire platform 156, including the first side 120, the first elongated tube 106, the second side 122, the second elongated tube 108, and the longitudinally centered channel 114. If the skid 100 is made of metal, the platform 156 is preferably roll-formed from the sheet of metal. However, if the skid 100 is made of a composite, the platform 156 can be manufactured by pultrusion, or other well-known techniques. The top 102 of the platform 156 is the top surface of the skid 100 (or the top surface of the sheet of material forming the platform 156) and the bottom 104 of the platform 156 is the bottom surface of the skid 100 (or the bottom surface of the sheet of material forming the platform 156).
  • [0033]
    A first fork pocket 130 is secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 traverse to the longitudinally centered channel 114. The first fork pocket 130 is generally rectangular in shape and has a general U-shaped cross-section with a flat top side 220 resulting in a first pocket 142 being formed. The first pocket 142 is large enough such that a conventional fork of a fork lift easily fits therein. A first flange 212 and a second flange 214 extend perpendicularly and outwardly from the edges of the first fork pocket 130
  • [0034]
    The first fork pocket 130 is secured traversely to the top 102 of the platform 156 of the skid 100 such that the first fork pocket 130 extends traverse to the longitudinally centered channel 114. In the preferred embodiment, the first fork pocket 130 is secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 at a predefined distance from the front end 124 by welding the first flange 212 and the second flange 214; however this is for convenience purpose only when the skid 100 is made of metal. It would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to secure the first fork pocket 130 by a comparable means, e.g., fasteners, clips, nuts/bolts, resin, and the like.
  • [0035]
    Similar to the first fork pocket 130, a second fork pocket 132 is secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 traverse to the longitudinally centered channel 114. The second fork pocket 132 is generally rectangular in shape and has a general U-shaped cross-section with a flat top side 222 resulting in a second pocket 144 being formed. The second fork pocket 132 is large enough such that a convention fork of a fork lift easily fits therein. A first flange 216 and a second flange 218 extend perpendicularly and outwardly from the edges of the second fork pocket 132.
  • [0036]
    The second fork pocket 132 is secured traversely to the top 102 of the platform 156 of the skid 100 such that the second fork pocket 132 extends traverse to the longitudinally centered channel 114. In the preferred embodiment, the second fork pocket 132 is secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 at a predefined distance from the first fork pocket 130 by welding the first flange 216 and the second flange 218; however, this is for convenience purpose only when the skid 100 is made of metal. It would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to secure the second fork pocket 132 by a comparable means, e.g., fasteners, clips, nuts/bolts, resin, and the like. Once secured to the top 102 of the platform 156, the portion of the longitudinally centered channel 114 extending from the rear end 110 to the second fork pocket 144 is the rear channel portion 136.
  • [0037]
    Optionally, a plurality of first corrugations 140 are formed on the first fork pocket 130 and the second fork pocket 132. Preferably the first corrugations 140 have a length extending parallel to the longitudinally centered channel 114. However, the first corrugations 140 may have a length that extends in any desired direction, such as at an angle to, or offset from, the longitudinally centered channel 114. In addition, a plurality of second corrugations 138 optionally are formed on the first top panel 116 and the second top panel 118. Preferably the second corrugations 138 have a length extending traverse to the said longitudinally centered channel 114. However, the second corrugations 138 also may have a length that extends in any desired direction, such as at an angle to, or offset from, the preferred direction. In the preferred embodiment, first corrugations 140 and second corrugations 138 are embossed during the roll-forming process according to conventional methods. Alternatively, the second corrugations 138 may be stamped into the first top panel 116 and second top panel 118 and the first corrugations 140 stamped into the fork pockets 130, 132. Further, the use of first corrugations 140 and second corrugations 138 is optional, however, they have been shown to add extra structural support to the skid 100. Specifically, these corrugations 138, 140 add strength and stability to the skid 100 wherein they prevent the platform 156 from bending under a heavy load.
  • [0038]
    The skid 100 of the present invention also has a front end cap 126 secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 at its front end 124. The front end cap 126 is an elongated half tube 204 having a generally inversed U-shaped cross section. In addition, the front end cap 126 has a flange 202 that extends vertically below one side of the half tube 204. Therefore, when placed in position on the top 102 of the platform 156, the flange 202 extends downward and covers the front end 124 of the platform 156. The front end 124 also includes two fork apertures 502, 504, one being positioned on each side of the longitudinally centered channel 114. Therefore, the forks of a fork lift are inserted into the fork apertures 502, 504 and are used in lifting and transporting the skid 100. The two fork apertures 502, 504 are located in the flange 202 to allow passage of the forks of a fork lift through the front end 124.
  • [0039]
    A center piece 128 is secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 at a predefined fixed distance between the front end cap 126 and the first fork pocket 130, thereby defining a front channel portion 134. The center piece 128 is preferably positioned such that the front wheel of the vehicle is held within the front channel portion 134 without too much excessive movement, but this is for convenience. The center piece 128 may be positioned at any desired location. The front wheel of a vehicle is placed in the front channel portion 134 during storage and transport. In the preferred embodiment, the center piece 128 is an elongated half tube having a generally inversed U-shaped cross section. The center piece 128 also has one or more apertures 152, 154 that are used in securing a vehicle to the skid 100. For example, ropes or ties may be used to tie the vehicle to the center piece 128 via the apertures 152, 154, thereby preventing the shifting or moving of the vehicle during transport.
  • [0040]
    A first rear end cap 146 is secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 at the rear end 110, preferably on the edge of the first top panel 116, and a second rear end cap 148 is secured to the 102 top of the platform 156 at the rear end 110, preferably on the edge of the second top panel 118. The first rear end cap 146 and the second rear end cap 148 are similar in shape and construction to the front end cap 126. The first rear end cap 146 and second rear end cap 148 each have a flange 208, 210 that extends vertically from one side. Therefore, when in position, the flanges 208, 210 extend over the rear end 110 on each side of the channel opening 150.
  • [0041]
    A first rear end cap 146 and a second rear end cap 148 are used to ensure that the rear channel portion 136 is open through the rear end 110 of the platform 156. This channel opening 150 through the rear end 110 of the platform 156 facilitates the loading and unloading of a vehicle on and off of the skid 100 because the vehicle can be rolled easily through the channel opening 150 of the rear end 110.
  • [0042]
    Also in the preferred embodiment, the entire skid 100 is made of metal, e.g., steel. Therefore, the front end cap 126, center piece 128, first rear end cap 146, second rear end cap 148, first fork pocket 130 and second fork pocket 132 are all secured to the platform 156 by conventional welding. However, this is for convenience purposes only. It would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to manufacture a skid of the present invention from a composite, plastic, or other comparable material, wherein a resin or mechanical fastener may be used to secure the front end cap 126, center piece 128, first rear cap 146, second rear cap 148, first fork pocket 130 and second fork pocket 132 to the platform 156.
  • [0043]
    In an alternative embodiment, a skid 700 of the present invention is shown in FIG. 7. As with the previous embodiment, the skid 700 has a platform 730 being generally rectangular in shape including a top 702, a bottom 704, a first side 720, a first elongated tube 706 extending along the length of the first side 720, a second side 722, a second elongated tube 708 extending along the length of the second side 722, a front end 724, and a rear end 710. However, this skid 700 is designed for four wheeled vehicles and therefore has a first channel 712 positioned longitudinally in the platform 730 and extending the length of the skid 700 and a second channel 714 also positioned longitudinally in the platform 730 and extending the length of the skid 700. The first channel 712 and the second channel 714 create a first top panel 716, a second top panel 718, and a center top panel 728. In addition, the first channel 712 is a predefined distance from the second channel 714 such that the predefined distance is about equal to the distance between the wheels, i.e., axle length, of the vehicle being stored and transported on the skid 700.
  • [0044]
    Except for the existence of a first channel 712 and a second channel 714, the alternative skid 700 has the same features as the skid 100 shown in FIG. 1. That is, the skid 700 further has a front end cap 126, a center piece 128, a first fork pocket 130, a second fork pocket 132, a first rear end cap 146, and a second rear end cap 148. However, in this embodiment, there is also an optional center rear end cap 726 to take into account the center top panel 728. The center rear end cap 726 is secured to the edge of the center top panel 728 and covers a portion of the rear end 710 of the platform 730. Also, upon placement of the center piece 128, the first fork pocket 130, and the second fork pocket 132, two front channel portions 732, 734 are created in which the front wheels of the vehicle are placed and two rear channel portions 736, 738 are created in which the rear wheels of the vehicle are placed.
  • [0045]
    B. Method of manufacturing the skid
  • [0046]
    The manufacturing of a skid 100 of the present invention is described in terms of a skid 100 made of metal and having only one longitudinally centered channel 114. This is for convenience purposes only. The manufacture described herein is equally applicable to a skid 700 having a first channel 712 and a second channel 714, and to a skid 100 made of plastic or a composite material.
  • [0047]
    In manufacturing, the preferred embodiment of a platform 156 of a skid 100 of the present invention is that a single sheet of material having a first edge 302 and a second edge 304, e.g., a sheet of metal or composite material, is formed or molded resulting in the platform 156 having a first side 120, a first elongated tube 106 extending the length of the first side 106, a second side 122, a second elongated tube 108 extending the length of the second side 122, a front end 124, a rear end 104, and a longitudinally centered channel 114, thereby creating a first top panel 110 and a second top panel 118. If the skid 100 is made of metal, the sheet is roll-formed into the platform 156 wherein the first edge 302 of the sheet of material is secured, e.g., tack welded, into place to form the first elongated tube 106, and the second edge 304 also is secured, e.g., tack welded, into place to form the second elongated tube 108.
  • [0048]
    In an alternative embodiment, the platform 156 of a skid 100 is formed from two sheets of material, each sheet of material forming one half of the platform 156 along a longitudinal axis. The two halves of the platform 156 are then joined and secured together at a seam, e.g., by welding. Preferably, the two halves would be about equal in size such that the seam would be positioned within the longitudinally centered channel 114.
  • [0049]
    Once the sheet of material is roll-formed, one or more second corrugations 138 may be formed on the first top panel 116 and the second top panel 118 having a preferred length extending traverse to the channel 114. These second corrugations 138 are formed according to conventional means, e.g., stamping. Upon completion of the forming of the second corrugations 138, the remaining components of the skid 100 are secured to the platform 156.
  • [0050]
    Once the first fork pocket 130 and second fork pocket 132 are made, one or more first corrugations 140 may be formed thereon having a preferred length extending parallel to the channel 114. The first fork pocket 130 and second fork pocket 132 are secured to the top 102 of the platform 156 traverse to the channel 114 also by welding. Lastly, the front end cap 126, center piece 128, first rear end cap 146 and second rear end cap 148 are secured, e.g., welded, to the top 102 of the platform 156 as described above.
  • [0051]
    C. Method of recycling the skid
  • [0052]
    The skid 100 of the present invention facilitates recycling of the skid 100 due to the fact that it is made of a non-wood material, e.g., metal, composite, plastic, or comparable material. It is easy to take the different components apart and either repair or replace them. Accordingly, the process for recycling a skid 100 of the present invention is as follows:
  • [0053]
    First, a product provider sends a skid 100, as described above, for recycling. Once the skid 100 is received, it is inspected for damage to determine if any repair is needed. Depending on the state of the skid 100, one of three actions is taken. First, if the skid 100 is reusable “as is,” then the skid 100 is automatically reused without any further action. Second, if the skid 100 is in generally good condition, then the skid 100 is refurbished by providing slight repair as needed. Lastly, if the skid 100 is not reusable or refurbishable but still has one or more salvageable components, then the skid 100 is recycled by removing the usable components to be used on another skid 100.
  • [0054]
    Conclusion
  • [0055]
    While various embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by the way of example only, and not limitation. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined. Thus, the breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments.
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US7044309Nov 19, 2002May 16, 2006Raines Walter LStrap mounted motorcycle chock and method
US8267263 *Mar 14, 2008Sep 18, 2012Payge HambyRiser deck
US9266673 *Aug 8, 2012Feb 23, 2016Payge HambyRiser deck
US20040093711 *Nov 19, 2002May 20, 2004Raines Walter L.Strap mounted motorcycle chock and method
US20060029490 *Sep 20, 2005Feb 9, 2006Raines Walter LStrap-mounted motorcycle chock and method
US20090229498 *Mar 14, 2008Sep 17, 2009Payge HambyRiser deck
US20130206715 *Aug 8, 2012Aug 15, 2013Payge HambyRiser deck
USD762939 *May 15, 2015Aug 2, 2016Ebert Composite CorporationTransport structure
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 9, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: GATEWOOD PRODUCTS, LLC, WEST VIRGINIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GROSS, LARRY G.;REEL/FRAME:011900/0132
Effective date: 20010608