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Publication numberUS2590591 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 25, 1952
Filing dateMar 28, 1950
Priority dateMar 28, 1950
Publication numberUS 2590591 A, US 2590591A, US-A-2590591, US2590591 A, US2590591A
InventorsWinkler Herman E
Original AssigneeU S Machine Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable tail gate lift assembly
US 2590591 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

' March 25, 1952 wlNKLER ADJUSTABLE TAIL GATE LIFT ASSEMBLY 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 28. 1950 w T. I

Hanna 15f WJJVKZEF,

March 25, 1952 H. E. WlNKLER 2,590,591

ADJUSTABLE TAIL GATE LIFT ASSEMBLY Filed March 28, 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN TOR.

HmMAN E. [MW/(127?,

March 25, 1952 H. E. WINKLER 2,590,591

ADJUSTABLE TAIL GATE LIFT ASSEMBLY Filed March 28, 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet I5 7 55 a r a? V////////// l I N V EN TOR.

HEFMAA/E MAI/{L577 Patented Mar. 25, 1952 ADJUSTABLE TAIL GATE LIFT ASSEMBLY Herman E. Winkler, Lebanon, Ind., assignor, by

mesne assignments, to U. S. Machine Corporation, Lebanon, Ind., a corporation of Indiana Application. March 28, 1950, Serial No. "152,329

14 Claims.

1 The present invention relates to an adjustable tail-gate lift assembly; and finds its primary util- :ity when mounted upon a truck or other motor vehicle to act as an elevator for transporting goods in either direction between the vehicle bed or floor and the ground, or such other surface, below the level of the vehicle bed, to or from which articles may'require transportation. While the device of the present invention is primarily useful in that environment, and has been illustrated and will be described therein, it will be apparent that the lift assembly which comprises the present invention may be installed on any type of foundation, there to perform a similar function. In the environment in which the invention is herein described, the adjustable platform-performs the dual function of supporting loads during transportation, and of closing a loading port of-the vehicle body, at times; but it will be apparent that, in some installations, the latter function becomes unimportant.

.The'primary object of the invention is to providea liftassemblykit comprising parts which, when assembled, may beinstalledin any one of a wide variety of locations, certain of the parts being adjustable so that thetransverse dimension of .theinstalled assembly may be adapted to the specific location in which the lift is to .be used. More specifically, I have provided a kit which may be assembled. selectively with trucks of varying flooror body widths, within a predetermined range; the kit including a-pair-of control towers to .be independently mounted upon the vehicle bed, a slide element for each control tower,

adapted to bemounted in such towers and therein to be guided for movement, a load-supporting platform, .adjustableas to its transversedimension to conform to any selected spacing'between thetowers, within agiven range, and adapted to be supported upon the two slide elements, and halyard means including sheave means,,supported above .the uppermost position of the platform, and preferably .upon the towers, the halyard means being connected to the platform, passing over the sheave means, and being controlled .by suitable means to act upon the platform .to shift the .slidemeans in their guides provided bythe towers.

Further objectsof the invention will appear as the description proceeds.

'Io'the accomplishment of the above and related objects, myinvention maybe embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawifrgsattontion'being called to the fact-however, thatthe drawings are illustrativeonly,and that ;2 change may bemadein the specific construction illustrated and described, so long as the .scope of the appended claims is not violated.

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a lift assembly constructedin.accordance with my invention, and shown in association with .a vehicle body suggested-in dotted lines;

Fig. .2 is a fragmental perspective view from .beneath one end of the assembly;

.Fig. '3 is an inverted perspective view of one section of a sectional platform comprising an element of my invention;

Fig. 4 is a similar view of the othersection of such a platform, the section of Fig. '3 ibeingfragmentarily suggested in assembled relation with said other. section Fig. .5 is anenlarged end elevation of a fragment of the assembly illustrated in Fig. 1, and looking from the left-hand end of Fig. 'l;

v.F'ig. Sis a fragmentary bottom plan showing the cable anchorage means; and

Fig. 7 is a broken sectional View taken substantially on the line I, I of Fig. 5.

Referring more particularly to the drawings,it will be seen that I have illustrated a pair of towers ill'and H. Since the two towers are identical-in construction, only one will be describedin detail. Each such tower comprises a base plate i2 adapted to be secured to the top surface of the floor ;or bed I3, of a'vehicle; and it will be clearly apparent from a consideration of the drawings, that the 'two'towers are entirely independentof each other and'may be secured to the bed i3in any selectedrelation of lateral separation. Preferably, each tower will be secured to .the vehicle bed at'a point closely adjacent one lateral edge thereof; and it will be noted that the base plate 1.2 of each tower hasan extension ['4 which projects outwardlybeyond the edge of the vehicle bed for a reason which will later become apparent.

Each tower J0 and H, provides, within itself, a guideway which, in'the preferred embodiment of the invention, willbe inclined slightly from the vertical. The details of the guide means are unimportant to the present invention; and any conventional means for slidably mounting a. slide element maybe adoptedfor such-use. A rod freely slidably mountedin the guide means .of the tower l0; and a sheave orpulley I6 is mounted upon a fixed axis in the tower, a cable i! or other suitable halyard meanspassing over said sheave and leading to winch means (not shown). A similar slide rod I 8 is similarly mounted inqtne tower I i, and halyard means 19 passes over a similar sheave in the tower l l and thence extends to the winch means.

Near its lower end, each slide rod is transversely flattened as at 20 (Fig. and is provided with a foot 2! projecting substantially horizontally away from the associated tower. A pivot pin 22 preferably traverses the flattened section of each slide rod for the purpose of pivotally mounting upon the slide rods a loadsupporting platform indicated generally by the reference numeral 23.

In order that the towers l4 and it may be mounted selectively at various distances from each other, to accommodate the lift kit to various sizes of trunks, the platform 23 must, of course, be adjustable in transverse dimension; and to that end, I make the platform in two relatively movable sections 24 and 25, the details of which are clearly illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4.

At its outer, forward corner, the section 24 is formed to provide two spaced walls 26 and 2'! defining a slot 28, opening through the top and bottom surfaces, and through the forward edge, of said section. At its corresponding corner, the section is formed to provide spaced walls 29 and 35.1 defining a similar slot 3|. The slots 28 and 31 are respectively designed to receive the flattened portions 20 of the slide rods l5 and I8, the pivot pins 22 being seated in suitable perforations in said walls 25, 21, 29 and 30, whereby the platform 23 is pivotally connected to the lower ends of the rods 15 and I8, upon a common axis.

. The section 24 comprises a quadrilateral load supporting panel 32 whose rear edge is preferably channeled by turning a section 33 thereof downwardly and turning a section 34 thereof forwardly, as clearly illustrated in Fig. 4. The forward edge of the panel 32 is defined by a simple flange 35 turned downwardly from the plane of said panel. The outer end of the panel is defined by flange means 36 which may preferably be a separate channel element welded in place as shown; but which may be formed, if desired, by suitably turning a terminal section of the panel 32. I

The fourth side 39 of the panel is left open, as shown.

. A tubular spine element 3'1, which may be a channel welded to the under surface of the panel 32, extends from the flange 35 toward the open end 39 of the section 24, lying parallel to the flanges 33 and 35 and preferably being medially located therebetween. The open mouth 38 of the spine element 3'! is located a substantial dis.- tance short of the open end 39 of the section 24. Bracing members or ribs 40 and 4| extend between the spine 3? and the flanges 35 and 33, respectively, at a point near the mouth 38 of the spine element, but spaced somewhat therefrom in the direction of the flange 35.

The section 25 comprises a quadrilateral loadsupporting panel 42 whose rear edge is channeled asat 43, 44 to fit snugly within the channeled edge 33, 54 of the section 24. The forward edge of the panel 42 is flanged as at 45, the arrangement being such that, when the section 25 is assembled with the section 24, the flange 45 will slidably engage the inner surface of the flange 35. One end of the panel 42 is defined by a channeled flange 45 similar to the flange 35; and a spine element 41, lying parallel to the edges 43 and 45, extends from the flange 45 tion 25; said spine element 41 having a substantial projection 48 beyond said open end 49 of the panel. The spine element 41, or at least its projection 48, is proportioned and designed to fit snugly Within the tubular spine element 37 of the section 24. Bracing ribs 50 and 51 extend from the spine element 47 respectively to the flanges 45 and 43.

The open edge 49 of the panel 42 is formed with a notch 52 proportioned and designed to receive that portion of the spine element 37 which projects beyond the ribs 49 and 4| toward the end 39 of the section 24; and the longitudinal depth of the notch 52 will preferably be substantially equal to the degree of projection of the spine element 37 beyond said ribs 44 and 45. The ribs 50 and 5! will preferably be located substantially at the base of the notch 52.

i It will be seen that the two sections 24 and 25 may be telescopically associated by entering the extremity of the projection 48 of the spine element 47 in the open mouth 38 of the spine .element 31, concurrently entering the channeled flange 43, 44 in the channel flange 33, 34, whereupon the flange 45 will slidably engage the flange 35. The two sections can be telescopically collapsed to a point at which the end 49 of the panel 42 will engage the ribs 40 and 4|, the extremity of the element 31 entering the notch 52. Primarly because of the projection 48, the sections may be expanded until the ends 49 and 39 of the two sections are almost in registry, Without destroying the stiffness of the assembly.

In installing a kit constructed in accordance with the present invention, the two towers l0 and i i will be fixed to the foundation I3 at a selected degree of lateral spacing. The slide rods I5 and 58 will be assembled in their guideways in the respective towers, and then the platform 23 will be mounted upon said slide rods through the medium of the pins 22, the sections 24 and 25 being relatively adjusted to bring their slots 28 and 3| into accurate registry with the flattened portions 24 of the respective slide rods. After such adjustment, and either before or after actual assembly of the sections with the slide rods, suitable perforations may be drilled in the flanges 33, 34, 43, 44 and 35 and 45, to receive bolts or rivets for securin the sections in adjusted positions. Alternatively, the flanges may be welded in place after adjustment; but I presently prefer to use removable bolts so that, if desired, the entire assembly may be removed from one truck and applied to another of different dimensions at some future date.

As has been stated, the cables H and I9 will be suitabl anchored on the opposite ends of the platform 23; and I have illustrated, and will now describe, a preferred form of anchorage means for said cables. Such a preferred form is indicated generally by the reference numeral 53, and identical devices will be used at opposite ends of the platform 23.

The flange 45, for instance, is provided with suitable aligned perforations 54 and 55 in which is received a tubular element 55 preferably provided with an integral esoutcheon plate 51 which may be secured to the outer surface of the flange 45 by an suitable means such as the illustrated screws. At its outer end, the tubular element is formed to provide an outwardly open, peripheral channel 58 which communicates, through a substantially radial port 59, with the interior 60 of said element 56.

At its opposite end, the element 55 is interiorly threaded as at GI for the adjustable reception of a bolt 62 having an axial passage 63 extending completely therethrough; said bolt preferably being provided with a manipulating head 64 at its outer end. A portion 65 of the cable i9 is seated in the channel 58, while a portion 66 thereof is threaded through the port 59 into and through the interior 69 of the elementbfi and through and beyond the bore 63 of the bolt 62. The projecting terminal portion 51 of the cable i9 is rebent upon itself, as is most clearly shown in Fig. 6, and clamping means 68 is applied to the rebent portion of the cable to hold sections thereof in abutting relation. Thus, an abutment, engaging the bolt head 64, is provided on the cable to prevent movement of the cable relative to the bolt in a direction toward the outer end of the element 55. It will be clear that threaded adustment of the bolt 62 toward the left asviewed in Fig. 7 will pull the cable it, thus shortening the distance between the sheave in the tower II and the anchorage point on the platform 23; while adjustment of that bolt toward the right as viewed in Fig. '7 will relax the cable to increase that distance.

When, the parts are in the relative positions illustrative in Fig. 1, it will be seen that the cables l1 and 19, act upon the platform 23 to sustain the lift assembly in the illustrated intermediate position between the ground level and the level of the vehicle ,bed I3. If the winch (not shown) is actuated to pay out the cables I"! and i9, the entire assembly will descend until the feet 2i, which lie in a common horizontal plane and upon the upper surfaces of which the platform 23 rests during such operation, reach the ground.

When the winch is operated to wind in the cables I! and [9, the entire assembly will move upwardly in a direction determined by the guide means within the towers IE and H acting upon the slide rods l5 and is, until spurs 69, located upon the heels of the slide rods and 48 (see Figs. 1 and 5) come into engagement with the projections M of the base plates l2. The parts are so proportioned and designed that, at this instant, the load-supporting panels 24 and 25 will be disposed substantially in the plane of the vehicle floor l3.

-If the winch. continues to operate to wind in the cables Hand I9, the platform 23 will begin to rotate, in a clockwise direction as viewed from the right-hand end of Fig. 1, and, through such winding action, the platform 23 may be drawn into a substantially vertical position, in which it will close tightly against the towers l0 and i l (and/or against the rear ends of the vehicle body walls) to act as a tailgate. To facilitate this function, the axes of the sheaves 26 must be located, above the base plates l2, a distance greater than the distance from the pivot pins 22 to the cable anchorage 53.

I claim as my invention:

1. A load-lifting kit comprising a pair of towers, means for securing said towers independently to a selected foundation in laterally-spaced relation at a selected distance from each other, each tower providing guide means, a slide element for each tower freely reciprocably mounted in the guide means of its tower, said slide elements being guided for reciprocation along parallel, generally vertical paths, a platform comprising a plurality of joined sections relatively adjustable in the direction of spacing between said towers and having a range of adjustment ments and projecting therefrom, at times, away from said towers, halyard means operatively connected to said platform adjacent each of said pivotal connections but spaced from said towers K beyond said pivotal connections, and means for controlling said halyard to control reciprocation of said slide means and the adjusted position of said platform about said pivotal connections relative to said towers.

2. The kit of claim 1 including cooperating means on said towers and on said slide elements for limiting upward movement of said slide elements, and sheave means for said halyard means supported above said movcment-iimiting means.

the distance between said sheave means and the movement-limiting means on said towers exceeding the distance between the points of connection of saidhalyard means to said platform and said pivotal connections.

3. The kit of claim 2 in which said sheave means includes a sheave element supported upon each of said towers.

i. The kit of claim 2 in which said foundation is a vehicle floor or bed and in which the means on each tower cooperating with means on its associated slide to limit slide movement is a plate adapted to be secured to such a vehicle floor to project, toward said platform, beyond an edge of said floor or bed.

5. The kit of claim 4 in which each such plate is a base plate for its tower and is located in the plane of said floor or bed.

6. The kit of claim 1 in which each of said pivotal connections comprises laterally spaced walls on a platform section defining a slot opening through top and bottom walls and through an edge wall of such section, the lower end portion of each slide element being received in one of such slots and between the spaced walls thereof, and hinge pin means projecting from each slide element and seated in sockets in the associated walls.

7. The kit of claim 1 in which said halyard means comprises a cable section. for each end of said platform and means for securing each cable section to its platform end comprising a tubular element fixed to a platform section and formed to provide a peripheral channel opening at one end into the interior of said tubular element, and a tubular bolt adjustably threadedly mounted in said tubular element, such cable section having a portion seated in said channel, and a portion threaded from said channel through said tubular element and said tubular bolt, said cable section having abutment means, beyond that end of said bolt remote from said channel, engageable by said bolt end to exert a tensile stress on said cable section.

8. A sectional lift platform comprising a section formed to provide a forwardly-opening channeled rear edge, a flanged front edge, a loadsupporting panel spanning said edges, a tubular spine paralleling said front and rear edges, disposed therebetween, and open at one end, and a reinforcing rib joining said spine withsaid front i tubular spine of said first-named section.

9. A sectional lift platform comprising a section providing a quadrilateral load-supporting panel and flange means associated with said panel and defining three sides thereof, a tubularspine parallel with two of said sides, fixed to said panel and extending from the third of said sides toward the fourth side of said panel, and a second section providing a quadrilateral load-supporting panel and flange means associated therewith and defining three sides thereof, a spine parallel with two of said sides of said second section, fiXed to said panel of said second section and extending from the third of said sides of said second section beyond the fourth side of said second section, said spine of said second section being proportioned and designed for telescopic association with said spine of said first section, and said two sides of said first section and said two sides of said second section being proportioned and designedfor telescopic association with each other.

10. The platform of claim 9 in which the spine of said first-named section terminates short of said fourth side of said first section.

'11. The platform of claim 10 in which the fourth side of the panel of said second section is provided with an open notch registrable with, and positioned to receive, the adjacent end of the spine of said first section when said sections are telescopically associated.

12. The platform of claim 10 including brac ing means secured to the panel of said first section and extending from each of said two sides into engagement with said first section spine at points nearer to said third side than is the re- I mote end of said spine.

13. The platform of claim 12 in which the fourth side of the panel of said second section is provided with an open notch registrable with, and positioned to receive, the adjacent end of the spine of said first section when said sections are telescopically associated, the depth of said notch, in the direction of length of said spine, being at least equal to the distance from said bracing means to said remote end of said spine.

14. The platform of claim 13 including bracing means secured to the panel of said second section and extending from each of said two sides thereof into engagement with said second-section, spine, said last-mentioned bracing means being spaced from said fourth side of said second section a distance substantially equal to the depth of said notch.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1903431 *Mar 5, 1931Apr 11, 1933Elwell Parker Electric CoIndustrial truck
US2151338 *Jan 30, 1937Mar 21, 1939Harold W ShonnardLifting and lowering mechanism
US2193407 *Nov 8, 1939Mar 12, 1940Harry J HagenRope clamp
US2236317 *Sep 26, 1939Mar 25, 1941Anna C HowlandScrew-propelled tail gate elevator
US2418494 *Feb 16, 1945Apr 8, 1947Anthony CoTwin lift
US2421788 *Aug 24, 1944Jun 10, 1947Henry Mfg Company IncDrum-cable attaching means
US2497474 *May 28, 1948Feb 14, 1950Snow Walter ETruck tail gate lift
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2650724 *Jul 13, 1951Sep 1, 1953Bill Robert OElevator for a portion of a vehicle bed
US2706565 *May 10, 1951Apr 19, 1955Gar Wood Ind IncTail-gate lift
US2848122 *Feb 2, 1955Aug 19, 1958Gar Wood Ind IncElevating tailgate and controls therefor
US2980268 *Oct 8, 1956Apr 18, 1961Dempster Brothers IncTransporting and dumping equipment
US5234310 *Dec 19, 1991Aug 10, 1993Driver Wilfred DHoist system for flat bed trucks
US6308890 *Jun 30, 1998Oct 30, 2001Pixel Instruments, Inc.Universal credit card apparatus and method
US6966608 *Aug 27, 2004Nov 22, 2005Capital City Country ClubIntegrated tail gate transporter
US7635248Jul 21, 2008Dec 22, 2009Sidney Slide L.P.Truck bed assembly with integral partial sliding deck with pivoting inclined towers for raising and lowering a sliding deck
U.S. Classification414/539, 296/50
International ClassificationB60P1/44
Cooperative ClassificationB60P1/4421
European ClassificationB60P1/44D1