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Publication numberUS2036535 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 7, 1936
Filing dateFeb 21, 1933
Priority dateFeb 21, 1933
Publication numberUS 2036535 A, US 2036535A, US-A-2036535, US2036535 A, US2036535A
InventorsNelson Charles A
Original AssigneeNelson Charles A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for transporting goods
US 2036535 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 7, 1936. c. A. NELSON 2,036,535

, METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR TRANSPORTING GOODSv Filed Feb. 2l, 1933 5 Sheets-Sheet l April 7, 1936. c. A. NELSON METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR ATRANSPORTING (rOODS Filed Feb. 2l, 1933' 3 Sheets-Sheff(l 2 April 7, 193e. c, A. NELSON 2,036,535


Application February 21, 1933, Serial No. 657,851 I 10 Claims. (Cl. 10S-159) lhe present invention relates to anew and realized and the DTinoiDa-l disadvantages 0f both improved method for the transportation of goods, avoided or lost. and to apparatus by means of which the improved It is well-known that railways throughout the method can be conveniently and economically Country Could Carry many times the amount f practiced. traiiic 4which now passes over them. Without 5 A very considerable proportion of the trame making any changes or additions to the trackin goods and passengers, formerly transported Ways or road bed structures, many more trains over railways, or jointly over railways and highmight be accommodated each day, the IailWaY ways, now passes over highways exclusively, estracks now actually Standing idle most of J611e l0 pecially where the passengers or goods are to be time. Furthermore, the railways generally form l0 transported through relatively short or intermethe most direct routes between principal points, diete distances. The gradual taking over by the provide the easiest grades for tramo, avoid conbus and truck lines of such a considerable porgeSifed Centers, and in general constitute instrution of the passenger and freight trafiic of the mentalities for the safe, fast, and economical country has been brought about by numerous we11 transportation of tramo of all kinds. ln accord.- 15 known causes, which need not be here enuance with my invention, the railways are emmerated, but one principal advantage which the ployed for the'transportation of goods or pashighway carrier has over the railway-carrier consengers so far as is possible, and road vehicles are sists in his ability to transport goods or passengers employed to enable the operator to accomplish from any shipping point in one locality to any the objects which cannot be accomplished by the 20 dennite receiving point in a, different locality, railways and railway rolling stock alone, i. c., thc without trans-shipment of the goods or handling removal of the goods from point of Shipment to during transit in any manner. This method of the nearest railway and subsequent removal ci' transport, which is generally designated door to the goods or passengers from that point on thc door transport, not only saves greatly in time railway nearest the destination, to the actual des- 25 of shipment over the mode of transportation 'dilationwhich involves loading onto and unloading :from In order to accomplish the stated objects, I railway cars at transfer points, but is less ex- Pioilideaspeoial type of road Vehicle and aspeeia pensive to the shipper and in most eases insures typo or rail vehicle, the road vehicle having that the `goods will be received in better condi in general the Same Construction aS those now tion than when they pass` over the railways. The Seen on the highways in lame numbers but being increasing passenger and freight traiiic on the provided With means whereby it, 0I' a Dumber of public highways has, however, greatly increased Such Vehicles. may be Combined With a Dumber o23 the tramo hazard incident to ordinary highway the special rail vehicles at a point oi interchange travel, the buses, trucks, and trailers now com to form a train of novel ohalaoier. Comprising 35 monly used being in many instances of such alternately arranged rail and road vehicles, the large size and great weight as to constitute ohroad Vehicles being elevated so as to be carried jectionable traffic hazards, as, well as being deby. the rail vehicles. with their road wheels in stl-neuve to the highwaysinoperative positions, which train may be trans- The present invention contemplates the re- Portedthrough any desireddstence and may moval, so far as possible, of 'the heavy freight be mpldly disassembled al', 3 distan point 0f and passenger tramo from the highways and the interchange, the road vehicles being detached restoration of such tramo to the railways, thatis, imm tte rliu hvehcles t 10W eidh ad again St the invention contemplates the conjoint use c1 pon e g Ww a' er W c e5 may e moved. to an ints of deliv r oi inail i both the highways ,and railways in effecting the mended. Wmile la ordeno pwige tmveti transfer of goods or passengers, the advantage oi' it will -be necessa t rovide a n r o door to door transfer being retained and also Vehicles of new tg@ eembung tgig? bui ggg the further advantage o' quick, sate, convenient, changes to the present vgl-1011s We11 known types and economical transportation of the goods or of passenger and freight, trucks or buses need be 50 passengers along the railways between relatively made and these changes may be conveniently distant points. In other Words, the invention and inexpensively effected.

contemplates a combination of the two rival Thus, to equip the well-known "semi-trailer transportation systems now in general use so that it may be included in a train for rail wherein the advantages of both are retained and travel, it will be necessary to modify it only by the addition oi' a second coupling device at the rear end thereof so that each end of the semitrailer is provided with means forengagement with a rail vehicle, the semi-trailer as now constructed being already provided at its forward.

` for simultaneous movement but which also ele.-

'-:ates one of the vehicles relatively to the' other, so that part of the weight of the vehicle thus elevated is carried by the other vehicle so long as they remain coupled. There are a number of devices of thiskind now in common use.

Where it is desired that all formal requirements of modern railway practice be complied with, the road and rail vehicles may be equipped with interlocking coupling devices of modified type, including standard railway type draft rigging which may tend to increase the margin of safety of a train built up of vehicles in the specified manner. It will ne appreciated that the tractive effort of the prime mover, which may be at either end of the train and which may exert thereon either a pushing or pulling force, will pass' through the frames of the road vehicles included in the train and that these vehicles and the means which couple them respectively to the several rail vehicles, should be strongly constructed so as to withstand the forces thus transmitted through them.

The first form of coupling device which li contemplate usincr is pro-videdwith means which permits interlocking and disengagement of the road and rail vehicles in the manner now practiced in effecting the coupling or uncoupling of that its road wheels completely clear the tra-ckway, the ends of the highway vehicle riding up inclined 'planes on the rail vehicles in effecting this movement of bodily elevation. 1Nhen it has been raised to such position, with its ends resting upon two of the rail vehicles and its supporting wheels elevated and inoperative, the locking means of the railway units or vehicles are active to cause such engagement of the ends of the road vehicle with the rail vehicles that these vehicles are locked together for transit over the railway road bed, the locking connections permitting pivotal movement of the vehicles relatively to each other as is necessary in the case of a continuous train of interconnected vehicles. f The invention may have various embodlmen both in its method and apparatus aspects. Thus,

while the method contemplates that in the usualA case each of the road vehicles will be loaded with goods or passengers at a point remote from the loaded while mounted upon the supporting rail vehicles and positioned on a side track and, furthermore, that the unloading operation may in certain instances be conducted withoutl detaching the road vehicle from the associated rail vehicles if a side track is available at the destination point. The actual mechanism for carrying out the invention may be modied greatly to suit various operating conditions, and those forms which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings are set forth by way of example only.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 is a side elevation of a form'of highway train comprising a tractor, a semi-trailer, and full trailer", the two trailing vehicles having been modified in accordance with the invention for subsequent assembly with rail vehicles;

Figure 2 is a side elevation of a railway train of alternate road and rail vehicles;

Figure 3 is a similar viewof a similar train showing the modified type of coupling device for coupling the various units together;

Figure 4v is a ltop plan View of one of the rail vehicles or trucks;

Figure 5 is a side elevation of the same; y

Figure 6 is an end view of the truck;

Figure 7 is a side elevation of one of the trucks or rail vehicles shown in Figure 3, the adjacent ends of two adjacent road vehicles supported thereon;

Figure 8 is a top plan view of one of the rail 9 Referring first to Figures 1, 2, and 3. A tracn tor is indicated at l0, this tractor comprising a body mounted upon wheels and adapted. to-be propelled by a gasoline engine or other like power plant, the body being provided at its rear end and approximately above its rear axle with the bottom portion of any suitable type of fth wheel coupling device which is adapted to engage and interlock with the upper portion of a fifth wheel unit mounted upon the forward end of the semitrailer, indicated generally at II, approximately one third of the weight of the semi-trailer being ,transmitted to the tractor l0 by this connection.

Essentially, the coupling device comprises a circular disc or plate either xedly or pivotally mounted upon the forward end of the semitrailer and underneath the frame thereof, this disc having a central pin projecting downwardly therefrom as shown in Figure 11. The bottom portion of the device is preferably constructed substantially as shown in Figures 4 and 5 of the drawings, such a mechanism being here illustrated as mounted upon the truck or rail vehicle. It comprises essentially two inclined guide plates l2, the upper surfaces of which are in a common inclined plane and the inner edges of which converge upwardly as shown in Figure 4, these inner edges I3 merging with parallel inner edges of a slot formed centrally in a disc-like'plate I4, the upper surface of which is horizontal and which is mounted for limited axial sliding movement upon the parallel supporting rods I5, this axial movement being opposed by the coiled compressionA springs I6.

As. is well known, a semi-trailer suoli as indicated at II normally rests, when disengaged from its tractor I0, upon the .road wheels I1 and the smaller supporting wheels II.' If it be desired to couple the tractor and the semi-trailer,

the tractor ls backed axially of the senil-trailer, and the central pin of the upper coupling unit is Figure 11.

ber I4, whereupon an automatic locking member (not illustrated) locks the pin in such position. In this coupling movement the forward end of the semi-trailer is naturally lifted so that the supporting wheels I1 are disengaged from the ground or floor and, after the coupling has been accomplished, these supporting wheels may be further elevated, by well-known means, so as to be completely out of the way. Disengagement of tractor I0 and semi-trailer II may be eifected by releasing the locking means which retains the central or king pin of the upper member of the coupling device, and the tractor then moved forwardly. The upper coupling member then slides down the inclined plates I2 and the two portions are wholly disengaged from each other.

As can be seen from Figure 1, the rear end of the semi-trailer II is likewise provided with an upper coupling member, this member comprising essentially the circular disc I8 and the central pin I9, both of which are more clearly illustrated in likewise the full trailer 20, that is, the trailer having two complete axles and four wheels, is provided at each end, on the under side of its supporting lframe members, with two similar upper coupling members, the purpose of which will be hereinafter more clearly explained. Ordinarily for highway travel the full trailer is connected either to the tractor I Il or to a semitrailer such as I I by means of a simple draw-bar such 'as indicated at 2 I.

The rail vehicle which I utilize in carrying out my improved method of transporting goods or.

connected together by integral cross webs, these p laxles.

side frame members being provided with the usual pedestals for the reception of axle bearings and In fact the truck may resemble to a considerable degree the ordinary and well-known four-wheel railway truck of common type. It is provided with springs 32 and breaking mechanism adapted to be either operated pneumatically or by hand wheels such as indicated at 33. The details of this braking mechanism need not be specifically described as any well-known form may be employed by means of which it is possible to either actuate the brakes by hand or by means of a valve located at a distant point. The brake shoes are indicated at B, the operating cylinder at C, the air reservoir at A, and triple valve at T.

Upon the upper surface of the frame of the truck, and firmly and rigidly supported thereon, are two lower portions of coupling devices, facing in opposite directions as shown. Coupling mechanisms of any customary or usual type are secured to the ends of the frame of the rail vehicle, the opposed draw-bars of these mechanisms being indicated at 34 and 35 respectively. By

i means of these couplings a plurality of rail vehicle, elevating the same until the wheels of the road vehicle are suspended and inoperative and interlocking the road vehicle with both rail vehicles. This method of assembly is carried out whether the road vehicles be of the semi-trailer or the full trailer type so that the train thus built up may have a number of both forms of trailers or still other forms of such vehicles if desired, it being only necessary to provide each vehicle which is to be assembled in the train with the upper coupling unit of a coupling device, at each end thereof. Naturally also, the exact shape of the goods or passenger carrying body of the road vehicle is immaterial, and it may be a box body, a flat body having shipping containers mounted thereon, or thelike. After a train is fully assembled and the various coupling devices are securely interlocked, it may be drawn any distance over the railroad, the tractive effort of the prime mover being transmitted from each rail vehicle to the following one through the intermediate road vehicle which they support.

If it be desired to so design the mechanism that the tractive effort of the locomotive or propelling vehicle, whatever its character, be transmitted from unit to unit of the train through standard railroad couplings, this can be arranged in the manner illustrated in Figures 3, 7, and 8 of the drawings. Here the road vehicles are provided with central bracket-like structures 40 which support, draw-bars and coupling heads, the coupling heads being indicated at 4I and being positioned to interlock with the coupling heads of the trucks or rail vehicles when the road vehicles are properly positioned in the train. The draft pull from rail vehicle to rail vehicle is therefore transmitted through standard coupling devices well able to withstand any of the shocks incident to ,trailic over the road bed.

When coupling devices such as have been just described are utilized, it is necessary to modify somewhat the lower coupling portions, which are mounted upon the intermediate trucks or rail vehicles. Thus, the upper portion of each coupling must be allowed to swing or slide laterally relatively to the lower portion as the angularity of the rail unit changes with respect to that of the road unit in the natural progress of the train around cruves. To permit suiiicient sliding movement of the upper portion of the fifth wheel assembly over the lower, the horizontal supporting plate of the lower portion is laterally extended as shown in Figure 8, and likewise the central slot within which the downwardly projecting king pin of the upper portion is received is extended laterally in both directions from the center, as indicated at 42 in Figure 8. A flange indicated at 43, preferably integral with the'edge of the supporting plate, limits the lateral sliding movement of the disc of the upper coupling unit so that the two portions cannot become disengaged or the upper portion moved so far over to the side of the rail unit as to tend to tip overlthe rail unit.

A flexible air hose swung from an air conduit mounted on the road vehicle is indicated at 44, a similar air hose mounted upon the truck or rail vehicle at 45, and air hose connections at 46. After the formation of a complete train of road and rail vehicles in the manner previously described, all of the air couplings 46 are connected, and the braking mechanisms of the several rail units can be simultaneously operated from the cab of thelocomotive, rail car, or other power unit which is employed to move the train along the track.

Due to the fact. that the road vehicles are eleveted when assembled in the train and also due to the fact that each of the load carrying axles of the road vehicles is spring-supported.. it may be found that the axles and wheels will tend, in certain instances, to drop too far toward the railway road bed. In order to prevent such happening, straps such as vindicated at 48 in Figures 9 and 10 may be passed aroimd the axles of thev road wheels and secured at their upper ends` to` the under frames of the respective vehicles. Thesestraps prevent downward movement of the axles more than a predetermined amount.

The method of goods or passengerA transportation contemplated by the present invention has been previously explained, but a brief resume may be given. The semi-trailer, for instance, -niay`be loaded with goods at a store platform in a given city for transportation to a deilnite point in a distant city. It is sealed, transported to thev nearest point of railway interchange, assembled into a train with a number of other road vehicles, and the requisite number of railway trucks, transported over the railway right of way to the point nearest its ultimate destination, disassembled from the train, and then drawn by another tractor to the point where it is unloaded. The con- Y venience and economy of the method will at once be apparent. No handling of the freight intermediate its points of shipment and destination is necessary, the expensive hauling over the highway for a long distance is avoided, and much time is saved by reason of the more rapid progress of the train over the railroad right of way as compared with the progress over any highway connecting the same points. Any number oi. highway vehicles may be incorporated in a train, within reasonable limits, and a great advantage of the improved method resides in thefact that these highway units may vary greatly in size, shape, length, and width without rendering it'in the least inconvenient to assemble the t'rain at any point of highway or roadway interchange or to disassemble the train at its destination. All that is required of a highway unit is that it be provided at each end with coupling units suitable for engagement with the coupling units mounted upon the rail vehicles,

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. The method of transporting goods from a shipment point to a distant destination by the use of highways and railways and highway and railway rolling stock which comprises, packing the goods at a shipment point in the body of a vehicle equipped with wheels for highway travel, moving said vehicle over a highway to a point of railway interchange, detachably mounting the ends of the body of said vehicle directly upon two disconnected spaced .railway trucks equipped with rail wheels, the' road wheels of said vehicle being suspended and wholly inoperative while said vehicle is so supported, moving said trucks and the vehicle supported thereby along the railway to the point of highway interchange nearest the ultimate destination of said vehicle, removing said vehicle from its supporting railway 'trucks and placing the same upon a highway, and

moving the vehicle while supported by its own wheels over a highway toits destination.

2. The method of transporting Vgoods 'from a point of shipment to a distant destination by the use of highways and railways and highway and railway rolling stock which comprises, packing the goods at a shipment point in the body of a vehicle equipped with wheels for highway travel, detachably mounting the ends of the body oi' said vehicle directly upon two disconnected spaced railway trucks equipped with rail wheels, the road wheels of said vehicle being suspended and wholly inoperative while said vehicle is so supported, moving said trucks and the vehicle supported 'thereby along the trackway to the point of.high

way interchange nearest the ultimate destination o1' said vehicle, removing said vehicle from its supporting trucks and placing the -same upon a highway, and moving the vehicle while supported by its ownwheels over a highway to its destination.

3. The method 'of transporting goods from a shipping point to a distant destination lby the use -of highways and railways and highway and railway rolling stock which comprises, packing the goods ata shipment point in the body offa vehicle equipped with wheels for highway travel,` moving said vehicle over a highway to a point of railway interchange, detachably mounting the ends of the body of said vehicle directly upon two spaced disconnected railway trucks equipped 'with rail wheels, the road wheels of said vehicle being suspended and wholly inoperative while said vehicle is so supported, and moving said trucks and vehicle supported thereby along the railway.

4. The method of transporting goods which comprises placing the goods in the body ora. road vehicle, bodily elevating the vehicle and maintaining it in elevated position by mounting the ends thereof, respectively, directly upon two spaced disconnected railway trucks, applying tractive eilortto one of the trucks, which effort is communicated .to the other truck through the Y vehicle, whereby both trucks and vehicle are moved as a unit to the desired-destination, and removing the trucks from beneath the vehicle and bodily lowering the same until it rests upon its own supporting means.

5. The method of transporting goods over railways which includes the steps: rst,.placing the goods in bodies equipped with road wheels; second, mounting the ends of each body directly upon two spaced disconnected railway trucks positioned upon a single track, each such truck,

except those at the ends of the line, supporting the adjacent ends of two adjacent bodies, whereby a. continuous train of alternately arranged trucksand bodies is formed; and applying tractive effort to one of the end trucksto move the train, the tractive effort being transmitted through the bodies of the trucks.

f 6. In a railway train, in combination, twov .'spaced railway vehicles, a road vehicle having road wheels wholly supported by said railway' vehicles. the ends of the body portion of the road vehicle being pivotally and demountably secured to said rail vehicles, and the highway wheels of the road vehicle'being suspended intermediate the rail vehicles.

7. A railway train comprising alternately arranged road and rail vehicles, each rail vehicle comprising the sole draft connection between adjacent road vehicl, and the road vehicles being detachably mounted and raised upon the rail vehicles so that their road wheels are in raised and inoperative position, each rail vehicle being provided with an outwardly and downwardly inlclined member 'at each end comprising a slide down which the end of the adjacent road vehicle moves when relative longitudinal movement of separation occurs, whereby the road wheels of the road vehicle are rendered operative.

`8. A railway train comprising alternately arranged road and rail vehicles, -each rail vehicle comprising the sole draft connection between adjacent road vehicles, a king pin projecting down- Y,

wardly from each end of each road vehicle, a

- member mounted upon each end of each-rail vehicle 'for supporting the superposed end of a road vehicle, each such means being centrally apertured for the reception of. the king pin of a road vehicle, and means for releasably locking said king pins in said recesses.

9. Av railway tra-in comprising alternately arranged road and rail vehicles, the road vehicles being provided with road engaging means and being demountably supported upon the rail vehicles and each rail vehicle constituting the sole draft connection between adjacent road vehicles.

10. A railway train comprising alternately arranged road and rail vehicles detachably connected together, the road vehicle being provided with road engaging means and having vtheir ends pivotally and detachably secured to adjacent rail vehicles and being otherwise unsupported, and the rail vehicles constituting the sole draft connections between pairs of adjacent road vehicles.


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U.S. Classification414/800, 105/4.1, 105/3, 105/159, 410/53, 188/52
International ClassificationB61D3/18, B61D3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61D3/184
European ClassificationB61D3/18B2