US 2503240 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 11, 1950 i N. L..CAHNERS 2,503,240
PORTABLE PLATFORM Filed March 11. 1946 .2 Sheets-She 1 64m; v i/moi kw g INVEN TOR. BY
p 1950 N. L. CAHNERS 2,503,240
PORTABLE PLATFORM Filed March 11. 1946 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN TOR.
Patented Apr. 11, 1950 UNITED STATES PAE OFFICE PORTABLE PLATFORM Application March 11, 1946, Serial No. 653,647
3 Claims. 1
This invention relates to portable platforms adapted for use in lift truck operations and gen-.
erally referred to as skids or pallets.
Such platforms have found considerable use in the storage and transportation of goods. The saving in labor handling is considerable where goods may be palletized and shipped through with the pallet to their destination. A drawback to their use in through transportation however, particularly in common carrier transportation, is that the platforms are carried by common carriers at Interstate Commerce Commission rates for the palletized commodity. just as any shipping package or crate. The platform therefore contributes a considerable part of the shipping cost because of its own weight and, in carload lots, involves expensive space consumption. Typ ical wooden and steel platforms weigh 100 pounds or more.
A second disadvantage in present day platforms is the problem of return of empties. Either the platforms are "one use platforms so that their entire valuemust be absorbed as a shipping or other overhead cost, or else attention and consideration must be given to their return shipment. Since the cost of wooden platforms runs as high as six dollars apiece, and of steel platforms at least double that figure, single use involves an item of considerable consequence, while unloaded return shipment is a nuisance and an added cost.
It is a primary object of this invention to provide portable platforms that are light in weight so that their transportation cost will be practically negligible.
It is a, further object of this invention to provide highly inexpensive platforms consisting of a minimum of materials consistent with adequate strength to handle all but extremely heavy or otherwise unusual commodities, and the small cost of which will justify their disposal after one shipment use.
It is a further object of this invention to provide portable platforms which can be supplied in knock-down form for ready assembly by the user or disassembly for return shipment.
It is a further specific object of this invention to provide lightweight platforms made in whole or in part of fiberboard having adequate strength to handle average loads.
It is a further object of this invention to provide cooperating components, each of which may be sold in substantially fiat form for storage in such form for assembly into four-way platforms. The above and other objects of the invention are attained in the structures shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is an isometric view of one form of platform constructed in accordance with my invention Fig. 2 is an isometric view of a similar platform having slightly different construction but omitting certain elements shown in Fig. 1;
Fi 3 is an end view of certain elements of the platform of Fig. 1 in collapsed condition, before assembly of those elements with reinforcing elements which maintain the platform of Fig. 1 against lateral collapse;
Fig. 4 is an isometric view of certain reinforc ing elements useful in the assembly of platforms of Figs. 1 and 2;
Fig. 5 is an isometric view of another element useful with the reinforcing elements of Fig. 4 in the assembly of the platforms of Figs. 1 and 2;
Figs. 6 and '7 are isometric views of modified forms of reinforcing elements useful in the construction of the platforms of Figs. 1 and 2.
Pallets of this invention are characterized by the inclusion of a platform of sheet material, such as of fiberboard, veneer or plywood, provided with a series of supporting members elevating the platform; the supporting members being spaced apart to define therebetween passageways for lift truck fork entry beneath the platform; the supporting members, in a preferred case, forming in and of themselves or in cooperation with the platform a series of hollow sleeves, in part or in whole of fiberboard, which contain elements to reinforce the sleeves against lateral collapse, such elements including walls or segments extending obliquely with respect to a median plane normal to the plane of said platform, the material of said obliquely extending walls being of sufficient thickness, i. e. exceeding 1 3'", to provide the necessary reinforcement against lateral collapse. The desired type of reinforcement may be obtained, in the case of the sleeve, by the use of internal elements or composites having some or all of its segments extending diagonally in one direction or the other, or both, of the bore of the sleeve.
The structure shown in Fig. 1 includes a platform II] as of double faced corrugated paper having affixed to its undersurface as by adhesive G2 a series of spaced supporting members H. In the form shown, the supporting members M are nine in number and are arranged as shown in rows of threes to define therebetween longitudinal and lateral open-bottomed passageways to permitentry of the two spaced forks of a lift truck from any one of the four sides of the platform.
The supporting members I4 are, like the platform itself, formed of double faced corrugated paper orfiberboard. Each supporting member is formed of a single piece of fiberboard which is suitably scored to permit its being folded into a rectangular tube or sleeve with its edges abutting along the top of the sleeve so that the two portions of the supporting member forming the top of the sleeve may be afiixed to the underside of the platform ID by any suitable fastening means such as adhesives or staples.
In order that the platform will have sufficient strength to support usual loads, the supporting members I4 as well as their bores have a greater longitudinal and lateral dimension than height so as to provide a substantial bearing surface for the undersurface of the pallet. Nevertheless, the passageways between the supporting members I4 are so spaced as to permit ready entry of standard lift truck forks. For this purpose and as shown, in a platform which has a dimension of 42" x 48", the platform is supplied along each of its 42" sides with three supporting members I4 having dimensions of, for example, 10 in length, 7" in width and 3%" in height, while the center row of supporting members I4 are identical except that their length is 8" instead of 10". In a 42 x 48" platform, this will leave longitudinal passageways approximately 10 /2" in width and lateral passageways of approximately 10" in width. Thus in both dimensions the aggregate length or width as the case may be of the supporting members is at least equal to one-half the platform dimensionin the 42 direction, three 7" widths of supporting members equal 21" which equals exactly one-half of the 42" platform dimension; while in the 48" direction two 10 lengths plus one 8" length equals 28" which is slightly more than one-half the 48" dimension. Stated in terms of area then, the supporting members will have bottom and top faces aggregating compared with a total platform area of 42" x 48 or 2016 sq. thus leaving the bottom face areas of the supporting members equivalent to about 29.6% of the area of the platform without sacrificing the ability of the platform to be handled as a four-way platform by conventional fork lift trucks.
In the form shown in Fig. 2, the supporting members I4a are similarly arranged beneath a platform I0, but instead of edges of the fiberboard sleeves abutting along the top of the sleeve, the supporting members I4a are formed of suitably scored and folded tubular fiberboard sleeves which have lapped side walls I which are adhesively fastened together. By this construction an extra upright wall of fiberboard, in which the corrugations may run vertically, is provided.
In order to reinforce the supporting members I4 or Ma and the platforms against lateral collapse, reinforcing elements are positioned within the supporting members and may take a variety of forms, the simplest of which is shown in Fig. 4 and comprises two strips of material 20 and 2|, which may be of double-face corrugated paper, Masonite, wood, plywood, resin-bonded pulp or other suitable material, centrally slotted from opposite sides so that they may be interlocked in the manner shown to provide an X- If desired, the reinforcing elements 20 and 2|,
prior to being positioned within the sleeves I4 and Na, may be fitted into a liner sleeve 30 of the type shown in Fig. 5 and which comprises a strip of fiberboard formed into a hollow sleeve and having a double lapped side wall II. In this case the dimensions of the elements 20 and 2| are such that they fit in criss-cross diagonal relation within the liner 30 and then the liner 30 is fitted into a supporting member I4 or I4a, as illustrated in Fig. 1. Where the elements 20, 2| and 30 are used as reinforcements for the supporting members I 4a, it is preferred that the double side wall 3| of the liner 30 is fitted into the supporting member I4a along the opposite side of the bore of the supporting member from the double wall of the supporting member so that in assembled relation each reinforced supporting member I4a will have six upright walls, three on each side, and comprising on one side two supporting member walls I5 and one liner wall and on the other side two liner walls 3| and one supporting member wall.
As previously explained, however, the liner 3' is not essential.
Fig. 6 shows a modified form of reinforcing element comprising a single strip of material as of fiberboard suitably scored, slotted, folded and interlocked as shown in Fig. 6 to provide a unitary reinforcing element having one side wall 4|, two end walls 42 and two diagonal interlocked extensions 43 and 44. Where made of corrugated paper the corrugations preferably extend vertically of the walls 4|, 42, 43 and 44. This element 40 may be of such dimension that it snugly fits into the bores of supporting members I4 and Ma and, in the case of supporting members I4a, it is preferred that the side wall 4| of each element 40 be positioned at the opposite side of the bore from the double wall I5 of each supporting member I4a.
Fig. 7 shows a further modified form of reinforcing element which includes a fiberboard strip 30a which is fastened in rectangular liner form with a double lapped .end wall 5|, instead of a side wall 3|. Fitted within the liner 30a. is an A-shaped assembly including a strip of fiberboard scored and folded to form a V-shaped element having the segments 52 and 53 which are suitably slotted to interlock with a third complementarily slotted strip which extends substantially midway down the liner.
The assembly of Fig. 7 is of suitable dimension to slidably fit within any of the supporting members I4 or I4a.
It will be understood that in some cases the elements 52, 53 and 54 of Fig. I may, if suitably modified in dimension, be utilized in the sleeves I4 or I4a without the liner 30a, which is not essential.
In any of the above form of device therefore, a portable platform is provided which is elevated by a number of spaced fiberboard supporting members which form hollow sleeves having greater length and width than height, the sleeves being either single bored or double bored and the bores also being at least equal in width and length to their height. The sleeves define passageways for lift truck fork entry beneath the platform and are reinforced against lateral collapse by the inclusion of reinforcing elements which are of substantially less volume than the volume of the bores and are dissimilar in shape to the right parallelpipedal shape of the bores, for example of X-shape, Z-shape, A-shape, V-shape, S-shape or other straight, curvilinear, tortuous, serpentine or any other shape, so that they will occupy less volume than the volume of the bores. Because, however, of their trussing effect, they provide substantially the strength that solid supports would provide, segments of the reinforcing elements acting as trusses by extending obliquely with respect to the walls of the sleeves and diagonally of the bores in one or two directions. Their hollow form, however, permits their extension over a large area of the platform surface without undue expense, to minimize the intervening span of the platform I0.
It will of course be understood that the greater the height of the passageways the greater the tendency towards lateral collapse. In devices of this invention as previously described, adequate passageway height for low lift truck use and amounting to as much as 3%" to 4" is possible and still the platform has adequate resistance to lateral collapse and suflicient compressive strength in a vertical direction to support loads well over the maximum capacity loads of average lift trucks. Furthermore, in the preferred form of devices of this invention, the passageways. be-
ing open-bottomed, offer no barrier to the lowering of the wheels of low lift fork trucks.
While the platforms of Figs. 1 and 2 are shown as designed for four-way entry, it will be understood that any of the sleeves H, m may extend the full length of the platform l0. In such case the platform will have parallel passageways extending in only one direction and will be of two-way construction. A series of spaced or abutting reinforcing elements may then be used. In such cases the supported areas of the platform will be about 50% of the surface area of the platform in the case of three 7" sleeves separated by 10" passageways on a 42" side.
A further feature of the invention is that the platforms are adapted for -shipment in collapsed and substantially flat form. Thus the platforms of Figs. 1 and 2 may have their supporting members M or Ma laterally collapsed as illustrated in the case of the platform of Fig. 1 in Fig. 3. These elements may be shipped, together with any of thereinforcing elements of Figs. 4 to 7, inclusive, the reinforcing elements being in unassembled flat or collapsed form, that is the diagonal elements will not be interlocked and the liner or 30a will be collapsed or flat.
Where corrugated paper is used as the material of the elements of this invention, it is desirable, as previously stated, to cut the corrugated paper in such manner that the corrugations will extend vertically in upright portions of the elements to give the greatest strength and support for the platform. Thus it is desirable to have the corrugations run vertically of the side walls of supporting members M, Ma of the elements p When devices of this invention are likely to be exposed to outdoor weather conditions, it may be advisable and it is within the contemplation of the invention to treat a portion or all of the fiberboard elements to render them waterproof or water-resistant as by the application thereto or impregnation thereof of water-repellent materials of types known to the art, such as resins, natural or synthetic rubbers, inorganic silicates, bituminous materials, coal tar or other pitches, or insolubilized glues.
It will be understood that staples, adhesives, gummed paper tapes or other fastening means may be placed at points other than those shown in the drawings in order to maintain the components in assembled condition.
1. A portable materials handling accessory adapted for use in lift truck operations comprising a platform and a plurality of paperboard supporting members elevating said platform and defining passageways for lift truck fork entry beneath said platform, each of said supporting members comprising corrugated paper board folded into a hollow, rectangular unit, corrugated paper board folded into a hollow, rectangular unltnested inside said first named unit with the axis of its bore extending normal to the plane of said platform and an upright reinforcing element extending obliquely with respect to upright walls of, and across corners of, the inside nested unit to brace the supporting member against lateral collapse.
2. A portable materials handling accessory as claimed in claim 1, wherein the reinforcing element is an integral portion of the inside nested unit.
3. A portable materials handling accessory adapted for use in lift truck operations comprising a platform, a plurality of spaced fiberboard supporting members elevating said platform, and forming a plurality of hollow fiberboard sleeves defining therebetween openings for lift truck entry beneath said platform and reinforcing elements including slotted and intermeshed crisscross members fitted within said sleeves to reinforce said sleeves against lateral collapse.
NORMAN L. CAHNERS.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,141,067 Lloyd May 25, 1915 1,931,458 Lang Oct. 17, 1933 2,388,730 Fallert Nov. 13. 1945 2,446,914 Fallert Aug. 10, 1948