US 20080237251 A1
A rotational molded plastic refuse container having side walls defining downwardly facing shoulders. A pair of metal side fork pockets each having outwardly extending flanges abutting one of said shoulders and being affixed thereto. The shoulders and the flanges functioning to bear the weight of the container and its contents when the container is being manipulated to empty its contents. A lid pivotally attached to the open upper end of the container and casters removably attached to the bottom of the container. ARFID tag disposed internally of at least one of the side walls.
1. A plastic refuse container having a molded plastic body including a floor, a front wall, a rear wall, a first end wall, and a second end wall, the combination defining an open topped plastic container, the container further comprising:
(1) a downwardly directed shoulder on each of said first and second end walls,
(2) first and second side fork pockets secured to said first and second end walls, respectively;
(3) each said side fork pocket comprising means for abutting said downwardly facing shoulder;
(4) each said side fork pocket including a lift tube for receiving a fork on a refuse truck; and
(5) the combination of said means for abutting and said downwardly facing shoulder supporting the weight of said container and its contents for manipulation and emptying.
2. A plastic refuse container as defined in
3. A plastic refuse container as defined in
4. A plastic refuse container as defined in
5. A plastic refuse container as defined in
6. A plastic refuse container as defined in
7. A plastic refuse container as defined in
8. A plastic refuse container as defined in
9. A plastic refuse container as defined in
10. A plastic refuse container as defined in
11. A plastic refuse container as defined in
12. A plastic refuse container as defined in
13. A plastic refuse container as defined in
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to refuse containers and more particularly to an improved trash or refuse containers of the relatively large commercial sizes handled by mechanical refuse collecting trucks. More specifically, the invention is directed to such a container which is rotationally molded and includes two external side fork pockets secured to the outer walls of the container in such a manner to facilitate the lifting of the container with the forks of a refuse truck without damage to the container.
2. Prior Art
Refuse bins or containers of the type with which the present invention is concerned are generally fabricated of steel and provided with hinged steel lids. Such containers are relatively expensive to fabricate and have the disadvantage that they are subject to deterioration due to rusting caused by their outside storage. They also have a disadvantage that they are heavy and therefore difficult to handle. In addition because these metal containers are hollow they generate a great deal of noise when the refuse trucks handle them to empty the refuse from the container into the trucks. Recently attempts have been made to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art of metal containers by manufacturing such containers from plastic material. Such plastic containers have been formed in essentially the same shape as the prior art metal containers. In order to provide a lifting mechanism for the refuse trucks, metal sleeves, channels and skids have been bolted or otherwise attached to the outside surfaces of the plastic containers for receiving the forks of the typical refuse trucks.
Because the forks of the refuse trucks have become substantially standardized in spacing, the prior art plastic and steel bins have been about the same capacity in size because the sleeves through which the forks are inserted are typically on the outside of the container such that the container must fit between the forks. In addition the mounting techniques for attaching the sleeves to the container have resulted in numerous occasions wherein the sleeves are pulled from the container destroying the ability of the refuse truck to lift and unload the container. Depending upon the degree of the damage done when the sleeves are pulled from the containers such damage may result in replacement of the plastic refuse containers.
To overcome these problems a refuse container is known in which the sleeves or side fork pockets are secured to the container in such a manner that the plastic container rim supports the weight of the container when the container is lifted with the forks of a front load refuse truck. Such a structure places a great deal of stress on the molded plastic rim and in many instances causes a failure thereof.
In further refuse containers of the type of which the present invention is concerned utilize a metal lift tube sleeve which is incorporated in the container during the rotational molding process. Such a structure is difficult to manufacture and adds additional expense.
In many applications it becomes desirable to be able to maintain an accounting of the refuse containers including the weight of the contents thereof, the location thereof, the time when the refuse truck empties the contents of the container into the truck and the like. If such accounting was accomplished in the prior art, such was done by making manual entries either by hand or through the utilization of APDA or the like.
There is therefore a need for a rotationally molded plastic refuse bin or container which is provided with metal sleeves or side fork pockets adapted to receive the forks of a refuse truck and which are attached to the outside of the refuse bin or container in such a manner that the weight of the container and the trash contained therein are supported by the container walls in such a manner that damage to the rotationally molded plastic container or the container rim is eliminated. There is also a need for providing apparatus for automatically accounting for the refuse container and the operational processes with regard thereto as the refuse container is being emptied by the refuse truck operators.
A plastic container having a molded plastic body including a floor, a front wall, a rear wall, a first end wall, and a second end wall with the combination defining an open top plastic container which further comprises a downwardly directed shoulder on each of the first and second end walls, first and second metal side fork pockets secured to said first and second end walls respectively, each of said side fork pockets comprises means for abutting said shoulder, each of said side fork pockets including a lift tube for receiving a fork on a refuse truck and the combination of the abutting means and the shoulder supporting the weight of the container and its contents for manipulation and emptying.
In accordance with the more specific aspect of the present invention there is also provided metal caster plates which are affixed to the bottom wall of the container. Casters are affixed to the caster plates in such a manner that the casters may be easily removed and replaced in the field thereby eliminating the necessity of returning the container for repair and replacement of casters.
In accordance with the added further specific aspect of the present invention there is provided a molded plastic lid which is attached to a hinge which includes a metal bar affixed to the back of the container molded rim and includes a plurality of hinge plates secured thereto to allow the lid to hang freely behind the container without any binding.
In accordance with yet a further added specific aspect of the present invention, there is provided an RFID tag which is insitu molded into a wall of the molded plastic container during the time that it is being molded.
The plastic refuse container of the present invention is designed to be manufactured by rotational molding. However, the container may be manufactured by other manufacturing techniques without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as defined by the claims. A plastic refuse container of this invention may have a volume of two, three, four, six, seven or eight cubic yards in interior volume and preferably is manufactured utilizing a medium density polyethylene plastic material or any other plastic material suitable for rotational molding
Rotational molding takes places by melting thermoplastic resin in powder or pellet form in a biaxially-rotating, heated mold. The interior shape of the mold corresponds generally to the shape of the product to be molded. The particles of thermoplastic resin melt and puddle in the bottom of the mold. As the mold is rotated simultaneously through a vertical and horizontal axis all parts of the mold rotate through this puddle of thermoplastic material causing a thin layer of the material to coat the inner surface of the hot mold and fuse to the mold in layers. The process continues with the fused layers becoming progressively thicker until the desired product thickness is achieved and the layers have taken on the shape of the mold being used to form the product. A principal characteristic of a typical rotationally molded product is that it is hollow. The thickness of the walls of the molded product is controlled by the amount of powder or pellets with which the mold is charged before the biaxial rotation of the mold begins.
After all of the plastic material has melted and fused to the interior walls of the mold the mold is moved to a cooling chamber where the mold is typically cooled by air and water or a mist of the two. The part in the mold cools to a point where the mold can be opened and the part removed.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to
Referring now more particularly to
By reference now more particularly to
Although the flanges 54 and 84 are described as being used to receive the fasteners to attach the side fork pockets to the container 10 it will be recognized that such may be accomplished in other ways. For example, the additional flange may be eliminated and the top wall 74 of the side fork pocket may be positioned to abut the downwardly facing shoulder 40 with fasteners passing through the shoulder and the top wall 74. A stabilizing flange could extend downwardly from the rear wall 80 and be affixed to the side wall 16. In any event it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the load of the container and refuse is supported by the vertical structure of the side walls 14 and 16 having the downwardly facing shoulder formed by under cutting or in setting the side walls.
By referring now more particularly to
By referring now more particularly to
Throughout the description of the molded plastic container formed in accordance with the principles of the present invention as above set forth, various references are made to a plurality of metal components. Such metal components include the side fork pockets, caster plates, axels, brackets, fasteners, and the like. In accordance with the principles of the present invention all of these metal parts are formed from stainless steel. By utilization of stainless steel for these various metallic parts, the deterioration of the container as a result of rust is precluded thereby extending the useful life of the plastic containers.
As was indicated above, under certain applications and circumstances, it is desirable to provide a detailed accounting of the containers and their use. Such may be done for billing purposes, as well as to maintain control of the location of the containers and to track maintenance activity with regard thereto. To provide a ready means for automatically maintaining such accounting information a radio frequency identification tag (RFID) is insitu molded into the front wall 12 of the refuse container. Such is illustrated schematically in
To obtain an insitu disposition of the RFID tag 170 between the surfaces 172 and 174 of the wall 12 such must be accomplished during the container molding process. Shown schematically in
There has thus been disclosed a rotationally molded plastic refuse container which includes a support structure for side fork pockets affixed to the container which provides for substantial and sufficient weight bearing support for the weight of the container and the refuse deposited therein to preclude separation of the side fork pockets from the container during lifting and emptying thereof. There is also provided an attachment structure for the casters so that they may be easily and rapidly exchanged or replaced in the field should such be required.