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Publication numberUS20060049197 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/937,122
Publication dateMar 9, 2006
Filing dateSep 9, 2004
Priority dateSep 9, 2004
Also published asWO2006027573A2, WO2006027573A3
Publication number10937122, 937122, US 2006/0049197 A1, US 2006/049197 A1, US 20060049197 A1, US 20060049197A1, US 2006049197 A1, US 2006049197A1, US-A1-20060049197, US-A1-2006049197, US2006/0049197A1, US2006/049197A1, US20060049197 A1, US20060049197A1, US2006049197 A1, US2006049197A1
InventorsAllan Grainger
Original AssigneeAllan Grainger
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Storage system
US 20060049197 A1
Abstract
A storage system includes a rack (300) having a plurality of uprights (306) rigidly connected together and at least one pair of parallel opposed rails (314). Holders (200) are slidably mounted on the rails and in use a container (100) is held by a holder. At least one fixing device (112) is located on the container and at least one fixing device (211) is located on the holder, in use, each said container fixing device co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder. The container and/or the holder include at least one arrangement (212, 214) for guiding the container into a position on the holder that enables the container and holder fixing devices to co-operate.
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Claims(20)
1. A storage system including:
a container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;
a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder;
at least one fixing device located on the container;
at least one fixing device located on the holder for co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and
the container and/or the holder including at least one arrangement for guiding the container, when it is lowered onto the holder, to a position that enables the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.
2. A storage system according to claim 1, wherein the holder further includes at least one end wall upstanding from the holder base and/or at least one side wall upstanding from the holder base.
3. A storage system according to claim 2, wherein dimensions of the holder base are greater then dimensions of the container base such that, in use, a gap exists between at least one of the container walls and an adjacent said wall of the holder, with at least some of the container fixing devices and/or the holder fixing devices being at least partially located within the gap.
4. A storage system according to claim 1, wherein the holder further includes at least one end wall upstanding from the holder base and at least one side wall upstanding from the holder base, and the guiding arrangement includes an element located in a corner formed between the holder side wall and the holder end wall, the element having an exposed slanted surface such that, in use, when an edge of the container is pushed against the slanted surface, the container is guided generally towards a middle portion of the holder end wall.
5. A storage system according to claim 4, wherein the slanted corner element is located near top edges of the corner between the holder side wall and the holder end wall.
6. A storage system according to claim 2, wherein the guiding arrangement includes at least one protrusion located on an external surface of a said container end wall and at least one corresponding element located on an internal surface of the end wall of the holder, the holder wall element being slanted downwards towards a middle portion of the holder end wall.
7. A storage system according to claim 2, wherein each said container fixing device is located on an outer surface of a said side wall of the container and each said holder fixing device is located on an inner surface of a corresponding said side wall of the holder.
8. A storage system according to claim 6, wherein the container fixing device includes a curved portion that forms a closed loop with a said container side wall and the holder fixing device includes a generally-hook shaped device that, in use, engages the loop to fix the container on the holder.
9. A storage system according to claim 8, wherein the holder fixing device is spring-loaded to engage with the container fixing device in use.
10. A storage system according to claim 6, wherein the holder fixing device includes at least one aperture on a said wall of the holder, the aperture positioned to correspond to the position of a corresponding said protrusion on the container then the base of the container is supported by the base of the holder.
11. A storage system according to claim 1, wherein the container further include at least one handle for assisting with moving the container.
12. A rack storage system including:
a rack including a plurality of uprights rigidly connected together and at least one pair of parallel opposed rails;
a container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls, the holder being dimensioned to be supported on the rails of the rack;
a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder;
at least one fixing device located on the container;
at least one fixing device located on the holder, in use, each said container fixing device co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and
the container and/or the holder including at least one arrangement for guiding the container, when it is lowered onto the holder, to a position that enables the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.
13. A rack storage system according to claim 12, wherein the holder includes a set of wheels to facilitate travel on the rails.
14. A rack storage system according to claim 12, wherein the holder and/or the rack includes a formation to limit travel of the holder on the rails.
15. A rack storage system according to claim 12, wherein the rack and/or the holder includes a device for releasably fixing the holder in the rack.
16. A rack storage system according to claim 12, wherein the rack is fitted with at least one hoop that assist with lifting the rack.
17. A storage system including:
a container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;
a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder, wherein upstanding from the holder base is at least one end wall and at least one side wall;
at least one fixing device located on the container;
at least one fixing device located on the holder for co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and
an element located in a corner formed between the holder side wall and the holder end wall, the element having an exposed slanted surface such that, in use, when an edge of the container is pushed against the slanted surface, the container is guided generally towards a middle portion of the holder end wall to enable the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.
18. A storage system including:
a container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;
a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder, wherein upstanding from the holder base is at least one end wall;
at least one fixing device located on the container;
at least one fixing device located on the holder for co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and
at least one protrusion located on an external surface of a said container end wall and at least one corresponding element located on an internal surface of the end wall of the holder, the holder wall element being slanted downwards towards a middle portion of the holder end wall such that, in use, when the container is lowered onto the holder, the protrusion guides the container generally towards a middle portion of the holder end wall to enable the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.
19. A method of releaseably fixing a container on a holder in a storage system including:
a container having a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;
a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder, wherein upstanding from the holder base are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;
at least one fixing device located on the container, and at least one fixing device located on the holder for co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, the method including steps of:
moving one end of the container towards a rear end of the holder, and
lowering the other end of the container onto the front end of the holder, such that the other end of the container contacts a guiding arrangement that guides the container to a position that enables the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.
20. A method according to claim 19, wherein when the one end of the container is moved towards the rear end of the holder, an edge of the container is pushed against a slanted surface located in a corner formed between the holder side wall and the holder end wall so that the container is guided towards a middle portion of the holder end wall.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a storage system.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Heavy-duty storage systems have a variety of uses. In certain situations, such as when used by the military, the systems can be subjected to large external forces (e.g. when used onboard a land or air vehicle) and “rough handling” by personnel and so the systems need to be very robust. However, this requirement often means that the systems are heavy and can be unwieldy, even when several people are involved in moving them. Precisely positioning such heavy-duty equipment is therefore difficult.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a storage system including:

a container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;

a holder including a base, wherein dimensions of the holder base are greater than dimensions of the container base such that, in use, the base of the container lies substantially flat on the base of the holder;

at least one fixing device located on the container;

at least one fixing device located on the holder, in use, each said container fixing device co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and

the container and/or the holder including at least one arrangement for guiding the container, when it is lowered onto the holder, to a position that enables the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.

Upstanding from the container base may at least one end wall and/or at least one side wall. In use, a gap may exist between at least one of the container walls and an adjacent said wall of the holder, with at least some of the container fixing devices and/or the holder fixing devices being at least partially located within the gap.

The holder may include at least one said end wall and at least one said side wall upstanding from the holder base, and the guiding arrangement can include an element located in a corner formed between the holder side wall and the holder end wall, the element having an exposed slanted surface such that, in use, when an edge of the container is pushed against the slanted surface, the container is guided generally towards a middle portion of the holder end wall. The slanted corner element may be located near the top of the corner formed between the holder side and end walls. In one embodiment, the holder includes at least one end wall and two opposed side walls, with one said corner element being located in a corner formed between one said side wall and the end wall and another said corner element being located in a corner formed between the other side wall and the end wall.

The guiding arrangement may include at least one protrusion located on an external surface of a said container wall (e.g. a said end wall) and at least one corresponding element located on an internal surface of the holder, the holder wall elements being slanted downwards towards a middle portion of the holder (end) wall. In one embodiment, at least one said end wall of the container includes a pair of spaced apart said container wall protrusions and the holder (end) wall includes a corresponding pair of said slanted elements.

In one embodiment, each said container fixing device is located on an outer surface of a said side or end wall of the container and each said holder fixing device is located on an inner surface of a corresponding said wall of the holder.

The container fixing device may include a curved portion that forms a closed loop with a said container wall and the holder fixing device may include a generally-hook shaped device that, in use, engages the loop to fix the container on the holder. Such a holder fixing device may be spring-loaded to engage with the container fixing device. Additionally or alternatively, the fixing device may include at least one protrusion on a (side or end) wall of the container (or holder) and a corresponding aperture on a wall of the holder (or container). For example, the holder fixing device may include at least one aperture on a said wall of the holder, the aperture positioned to correspond to the position of a corresponding said protrusion on the container then the base of the container is supported by the base of the holder.

The container walls may have a height less than a height of the holder walls. The container may further include at least one handle for assisting with moving the container. The handle may be hingeably connected to a said container wall (usually at a point above the height of the holder walls).

The system may further include a rack including a plurality of uprights rigidly connected together and at least one pair of parallel opposed rails, the rails being dimensioned to support the container.

According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a rack storage system including:

a rack including a plurality of uprights rigidly connected together and at least one pair of parallel opposed rails;

at least one container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;

at least one holder including a base, wherein dimensions of the holder base are greater than dimensions of the container base such that, in use, the base of the container lies substantially flat on the base of the holder, the holder being dimensioned to be supported on the rails of the rack;

at least one fixing device located on the container;

at least one fixing device located on the holder, in use, each said container fixing device co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and

the container and/or the holder including at least one arrangement for guiding the container, when it is lowered onto the holder, to a position that enables the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.

The holder may include a set of wheels for travelling on the rails. The holder and/or the rack may include a formation to limit travel of the holder on the rails.

The rack and/or the holder may include a device for releasably fixing the holder in the rack. For example, the holder may include a bar and the rack can include a pivotable latch that releaseably engages the holder bar in use.

The rack may be fitted with at least one hoop for assisting with lifting the rack.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided a storage system including:

a container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;

a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder, where upstanding from the holder base is at least one end wall and at least one opposed side wall;

at least one fixing device located on the container;

at least one fixing device located on the holder for co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and

an element located in a corner formed between the holder side wall and the holder end wall, the element having an exposed slanted surface such that, in use, when an edge of the container is pushed against the slanted surface, the container is guided generally towards a middle portion of the holder end wall to enable the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention there is provided a storage system including:

a container including a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;

a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder, where upstanding from the holder base is at least one end wall and at least one opposed side wall;

at least one fixing device located on the container;

at least one fixing device located on the holder for co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, and

at least one protrusion located on an external surface of a said container end wall and at least one corresponding element located on an internal surface of the end wall of the holder, the holder wall element being slanted downwards towards a middle portion of the holder end wall such that, in use, when the container is lowered onto the holder, the protrusion guides the container generally towards a middle portion of the holder end wall to enable the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.

According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of releaseably fixing a container on a holder in a storage system including:

a container having a base, upstanding from which are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;

a holder including a base for supporting the container to lie substantially flat on the base of the holder, upstanding from the holder base are two opposed end walls and two opposed side walls;

at least one fixing device located on the container, and

at least one fixing device located on the holder for co-operating with a corresponding said holder fixing device to releasably fix the container on the holder, the method including steps of:

moving one end of the container towards a rear end of the holder, and

lowering the other end of the container onto the front end of the holder, such that the other end of the container contacts a guiding arrangement that guides the container to a position that enables the container fixing device and the holder fixing device to co-operate.

When the one end of the container is moved towards the rear end of the holder, an edge of the container may be pushed against a slanted surface located in a corner formed between the holder side wall and the holder end wall so that the container is guided towards a middle portion of the holder end wall.

Whilst the invention has been described above, it extends to any inventive combination of the features set out above or in the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may be performed in various ways, and, by way of example only, embodiments thereof will now be described, reference being made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an example of a container used with the storage system;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a holder for the container;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the holder of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 illustrates schematically the container being placed onto the holder;

FIG. 6 details schematically part of the container being placed onto the holder;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the container fixed on the holder, and

FIG. 8 is a rear view of a rack that can be used with the holder (and container).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The container 100 of FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a rectangular base 102. As with other components of the storage system, the base 102 can be formed from one or more piece and of a variety of materials (e.g. metals, wood or strong plastics) and can have various dimensions, depending on the particular application for which the storage system is to be used. For example, the container base 102 can be formed of steel and have a width of around 686 mm (27″) and a length of around 1066 mm. Standing substantially perpendicularly upwards from the base 102 are two opposed side walls 104A, 104B and two opposed end walls 106A, 106B. Each of the side and end walls can have a height of around 1000-2000 mm. Thus, the container 100 takes the form of a rectangular box with an open top. A lid (not shown), possibly a slidable lid, may be provided to at least partially close the top of the box in use.

Each side wall 104 includes, on its outer surface, a pair of spaced apart handles 108. Each of the two handles on the side walls are located at or near opposing side ends of the walls. Each end wall 106 also includes, on its outer surface, a handle 108 at a generally central location across the width of the end wall. The handles 108 are cylindrical in cross-section and have been bent to form a generally rectangular loop shape. Each handle is hingeably connected to the wall by means of a plate (not detailed) that is fixed to the wall using rivets, the plate being formed to have a tubular channel in which one of the longer sides of the handle is located. The opposite longer side of the handle 108 may be fitted with a grip formed of rubber or the like. The top of the handles are fixed about one quarter of the way down from the top edge of the container walls 104, 106. It will be understood that the locations and number of handles on the walls of the container 100 can be varied from the example shown, but the arrangement in the Figures allows the container to be conveniently handled by several persons. In an alternative version, the handles may be intended for use with mechanical lifting equipment such as a fork-lift truck or a crane.

The end walls 106A, 106B of the container each include, on their outer surfaces, a pair of spaced apart protrusions 110. Each protrusion is generally disk-shaped and has a thickness of around 50 mm. Each protrusion is located about one quarter of the way across from the nearest side edge of its end wall and about 25-51 mm (1″-2″) from the bottom edge of its end wall. Again, it will be understood that the locations and number of protrusions on the walls of the container 100 can be varied from the example shown.

The side walls 104A, 104B of the container each include, on their outer surfaces, a pair of spaced apart fixing devices 112. In the example, each fixing device on the container takes the form of a squared U-shaped bent portion of steel that, when viewed from above, forms a closed generally rectangular-shaped loop with the outer surface of the adjacent side wall 104. The locations and number of fixing devices 112 shown are exemplary only and it could be the case, for example, that one fixing device is located on each end wall.

In the example, each fixing device 112 on the container 100 is intended to co-operate with a hook-like fixing device on the holder (component 211 as described below) to releasably fix the container on the holder, but it will be understood that other types of fixing devices or formations could be used. For example, the fixing devices on the container could take the form of grooves, slots or the like into which moveable arms or bolts on the holder fit to fix the holder and container together. Alternatively, the holder could be provided with loop-shaped fixing devices and the container with the hook-like fixing devices.

In the example of FIGS. 3 and 4, the holder 200 is intended to hold the container 100 and can effectively act as a “sliding shelf” in a rack system (as described below). Thus, when the container 100 is fixed on the holder 200 that is slidably mounted on the rack, the container can function as a removable drawer. The holder includes a rectangular base 202 having a width of around 699 mm (27.5″) and a length of around 1080 mm. Standing substantially perpendicularly upwards from the base 202 are two opposed side walls 204A, 204B and two opposed end walls 206A, 206B. The side and end walls of the holder are shorter than the side and end walls of the container 100, which means that the handles 108, for example, on the container do not interfere with the holder. It will be understood that in some cases the holder could comprise only the base 202 (with the fixing devices and other components described herein being located on the base instead of on the holder walls), although having one or more (and preferably all four) upstanding walls can provide additional security for the container in use.

Each side wall 204 of the holder includes, on its outer surface near one side edge of the wall, a wheel 208. In the example, the wheels 208 are intended to allow the holder to move on a pair of parallel opposed rails of a storage rack as described below. In this case, the end of the holder 200 (including end wall 206A) where the wheels 208 are located will be considered to be the rear end of the holder (and the opposite end (including end wall 206B) of the holder the “front end”). The outer surface of at least one side wall 204 of the holder 200 may include a stop 209 that can engage with a formation on the storage rack to limit travel of the holder. It will be appreciated that the number and locations of the wheels 208 shown in the Figures are exemplary only in some cases the wheels and/or the stop 209 may not be present, depending upon how the holder is to be used.

The end wall 206A at the rear end of the container 200 includes a pair of spaced-apart apertures 210. Each aperture 210 is located about one quarter of the way across from the nearest side edge of the end wall 206A and about 25-51 mm (1″-2″) from the bottom edge of the end wall to correspond with the locations of the protrusions 110 on the outer surface of the end walls of the container 100. Each aperture also has a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the protrusions 110 so that the protrusion can fit into the aperture when the container base is lying on the holder base, thereby helping secure the container on the holder.

Each side wall 204 includes, on its outer surface near the front end of the holder, a fixing device 211. In the example, each fixing device 211 includes a spring-bound latch bar (e.g. “ZincVersa Latch” manufactured by SouthCo of Pennsylvania, USA) having a hook-like formation at one end. The hook can be moved by an operator to engage with the corresponding fixing device 112 on the container (and disengaged when the container is to be removed from the holder).

The internal surface of front end wall 206B is fitted with a pair of spaced apart guiding formations 212A, 212B. The first guiding formation 212A is located some distance (e.g. 200 mm) away from the corner between the left-hand side wall 204A in FIG. 3 and the end wall 206B). The second guiding formation 212B is located a similar distance away from the corner between the right-hand side wall 204B and the end wall 206B. Each guiding formation 212A, 212B includes an elongate flat portion of steel which is fixed, e.g. by means of welding, to the internal surface of the end wall 206B. One end of the first guiding formation 212A is fixed to a point of the internal surface of the end wall 206B near, or at, its top edge and then slants downwards at an angle so that the other end of the guiding formation 212A is located at a point on the internal surface that is nearer the middle of the end wall (i.e. further way from the side wall 204A). One end of the second guiding formation 212B is fixed to the internal surface of the end wall 206B near, or at, its top edge and then slants downwards at an angle so that the other end of the guiding formation 212B is located at a point on the internal surface that is nearer the middle of the end wall 206B (i.e. further way from the side wall 204B than the top of the slanting formation 212B). Although having two guiding formations in the holder provides considerable assistance with fitting the container in the holder, there may still be some benefit in having only one such guiding arrangement.

The internal corner between the side wall 204A and the rear end wall 206A is fitted with a first further guiding formation 214A. Similarly, the internal corner between the side wall 204B and the rear end wall 206A is fitted with a second further guiding formation 214B. Each further guiding formation 214 is a generally wedge-shaped piece of steel having a length corresponding to the height of the holder side and end walls and is fixed, e.g. by means of welding, into its corner of the holder 200. Each wedge shape has a right-angled triangular cross-section. The first further guiding formation 214A has its shorter (base) side fixed to the inside of the end wall 206A and its longer (height) side fixed to the inside of the side wall 204A. Similarly, the second further guiding formation 214A has its shorter side fixed to the inside of the end wall 206A and its longer side fixed to the inside of the side wall 204B. Although having the further guiding formations located in both corners of the holder provides considerable assistance with fitting the container in the holder, there may still be some benefit in having only one such further guiding arrangement in one corner.

At least one side wall 204 may have located, on its outer surface (e.g. near the upper edge of the side wall), a locking bar 216. This is intended to co-operate with a locking mechanism in the storage rack as discussed below to help secure the holder 200 (and the container 100, if fixed) in the rack.

FIG. 5 illustrates schematically an example of how the container 100 is placed on the holder 200. Typically, one end of the container will be moved/pushed (or “thrown”) back and down towards the rear end of the holder and the other end of the container will be lowered (e.g. allowed to drop) into the front end of the holder. The corner guiding arrangements 214 are intended to assist with correctly positioning the container at the rear end of the holder, whilst the front end guiding arrangements 212 are intended to assist with correctly positioning the container at the front end of the holder. Having the container “correctly positioned” on the holder allows the fixing devices on the holder and/or container to co-operate (e.g. the spring bound devices 211 engaging with the loop-shapes 112; the protrusions 110 entering the apertures 210), thus releasably securing the container on the holder.

As one end of the container 100 comes into contact with the corner guiding arrangements 214, the slanted wedge shape of the arrangements 214 causes the end of the container to be moved away from the side walls 204 of the holder and towards a more central location within the holder. This allows the protrusions 110 on the end of the container to move inside the apertures 210 on the rear end wall 206A of the holder.

FIG. 6 details schematically (the front end wall 206B is not shown for ease of illustration) how one of the front guiding arrangements 212A assists with correctly positioning the container in the holder. As the (front) end of the container 100 moves down into the holder 200, a protrusion 110 comes into contact with the guiding arrangement 212A. The slanted nature of the arrangement 212A means that the protrusion 110, and therefore the container 100, is moved away from the side wall 204A of the holder and towards a more central position within the holder. Normally, at the same time, contact with the other guiding arrangement 212B will be causing the other protrusion on the container end wall 206B to move away from the side wall 204B and towards the middle portion of the holder. In this way, the base 102 of the container should come to rest substantially flat on the base 202 of the holder. A gap will usually be left between at least the side walls of the container and the inner surfaces of the corresponding walls of the holder. The gap between the side walls of the container and the holder may be around 13 mm (0.5″). The gap between the front end wall of the holder and the adjacent end wall of the container may be around 13-25 mm (0.5-1″). The gap between the side walls of the container and the holder accommodates the loop-shaped devices 112 and the spring-bound devices 211, and allows the devices 211 to properly dis/engage with the loops, thereby helping secure the container on the holder.

It will be appreciated that having the protrusions 110 on both end walls of the container 100 means that the container can be placed with either end adjacent the front holder wall 206B whilst still allowing the guiding action provided by the guiding arrangements 212 to take place. Also, having the loop-shaped fixing devices 112 at both ends of the container side walls 104 means that engagement with the hook-like fixing devices 211 can still take place, regardless of which end of the container is adjacent the front end wall 206B. FIG. 7 shows the fixing devices 211 and 112 engaged with the container secured on the holder.

Turning to FIG. 8, an example of a rack 300 that can be used to store a plurality of holders 200 (and containers 100, if fixed) is shown. It will be appreciated that the rack can be manufactured from a variety of materials (e.g. metal, wood or strong plastics) and will normally be dimensioned to correspond with the dimensions of the holders and containers that will be used in conjunction with it. In the example, the rack includes a rectangular base 302 that is mounted on four feet 304, each foot being located at one corner of the rectangular base. The base 302 may be fitted with one or more devices (not shown) for fixing the rack to a floor (which may be on a vehicle or in a building), e.g. a threaded arrangement such as the ones commonly known as “ISO cargo hold-down devices”.

The base supports the framework which comprises at least a plurality of rigidly-connected uprights and rails for supporting the holders. At each corner of the upper surface corner of the base 302 is an upright 306. Near the top of the four uprights there may be a rectangular plate 308 to help hold the rack framework structure together. Various struts may also be used to help secure the structure, for example a strut may extend from an upright at the rear end of the rack across to an upright at its front end. Additionally or alternatively, a diagonal cross bar 310A at the rear of the rack may extend from near the top of one upright to near the bottom of another other upright at the opposite end of the rear of the rack (or to the base 302). Another diagonal cross bar 310B may also extend in the opposite direction between the two rear uprights to help hold the structure together. No such cross bars are present at the front end of the rack, which may be left substantially open to allow holders/containers to be placed inside.

The uprights include at least one pair of opposed, parallel rails 314 that can be used to support the holders. The rails 314 may be shaped to co-operate with the wheels 208 of the holder and can have formations that allow the stops 209 to limit the travel of the holder on the rails (or may have formations that can limit travel without the need for a stop on the holder itself). The pairs of rails in the rack can be set apart by different vertical distances to allow containers of different sizes to be used. Further, the presence of the rail/holder immediately above a particular container can help keep that container in position. The rack may be fitted with devices for securing the holders within the rack. Such a device may include a pivotable latch (not detailed in the Figure; similar to the arrangement described in the present applicant's published specification US-2004-0112260-A1) can be used to secure the holder within the rack by engaging with the latch bar(s) 216 on the holder. Further security may be provided by having the front uprights of the rack fitted with gates, similar to those also shown in US-2004-0112260-A1.

The top of at least some of the uprights 306 may be fitted with hoops 312. The hoops can be fitted with cables or the like that can be used to allow the rack (and its contents) to be lifted, e.g. by means of a helicopter.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
EP2033902A1Aug 29, 2008Mar 11, 2009Allan GraingerPallet storage
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/737
International ClassificationB65D25/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65D19/385, B65D2519/00661, B65D2519/00034, B65D2519/00024, B65G1/026, B65D2519/0082, A61F2006/041, B65D11/18, B65D2519/00029, A61F6/065
European ClassificationB65D11/18, A61F6/06C, B65G1/02B, B65D19/38B