US 2846079 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 5, 1958 F. R. LEE'PER GARMENT RACK FOR DELIVERY TRUCK Filed July 2, 1956 m m m w.
fkfosnlck A. LEM BY I rronuzv United States Patent GARMENT RACK FOR DELIVERY TRUCK Frederick R. Leeper, Dover, Pa.
Application July 2, 1956, Serial No. 595,433
3 Claims. (Cl. 211 123) This invention relates to improvements in a garment rack mounted in the upper portion of a delivery truck such as used by dry cleaning establishments and the'like, and, more particularly, said garment rack is of the type which may be actuated for purposes of advancing with ease and convenience garments supported by hooked, conventional coat hangers which are mounted upon the rack, whereby the loading and particularly the discharge of garments from the rack are facilitated.
It is common practice in trucks used by laundries and dry cleaning establishments to provide suitable rack means in the upper portion of the body of the delivery truck, said racks principally comprising pipes supported adjacent the opposite ends thereof by brackets fixed to the top of the delivery truck or supported by cross members extending between opposite side walls or panels of the truck body. The loading of racks of this nature is not particularly difiicult. Generally, the trucks are loaded from the rear door thereof and the garments are pushed forwardly on the racks until the truck is loaded. Generally, it is customary to arrange the garments upon the racks in the order in which they are to be delivered along the route of the truck to the customers. The garments which are to be delivered first are placed upon the rack adjacent the forward end thereof near the drivers seat, whereby said garments readily may be reached by the driver when delivery is to be made.
It is obvious that after the first few garments have been delivered, the forward portion of a rack of this conventional nature will be empty and it then is necessary for the driver to manually slide the garments forwardly upon the rack so that they will be handy for delivery along the route. This results in inconvenience to the driver and also the consumption of time. Further, starting and stopping in trafiic frequenly results in the clothes hangers supporting the garments sliding longitudinally along the rack so that even if the garments might be disposed adjacent the forward end of the rack, they may slide rearwardly along the rack upon too sudden an acceleration of the truck. Bunching and crushing of the garments also results.
It is the principal object of the present invention to provide a garment rack construction in a delivery truck and provide the same with means preferably operable manually to effect easy and quick advancing of the garments along the rack so that the garments next to be delivered are within easy reach of the driver at all times and the same means for effecting advancing of the garments along the rack also may be used to move the same forwardly for example along the rack as the garments are loaded thereupon from the rear end of the truck.
It is another object of the invention to provide said rack with means which not only facilitate the advancing of garments therealong but also serve to conveniently space the garments from each other and prevent accidental or unintended sliding of the garments along the rack while en route.
2,846,079 Patented Aug. 5, 1958 ice Still another object of the invention is to provide a rack of the type described above with simple and readily operable means which will rotate the rack for purposes of effecting advancing movement of the garments supported thereby and said advancing means is manually operable conveniently from either the drivers seat of the truck or from the rear or loading end of the rtuck, as desired.
Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in'the drawing comprising a part thereof.
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 is a side elevation of a garment rack embodying the principles of the invention and illustrated as being mounted in a fragmentary portion of a delivery truck which is shown in phantom, part of the supporting structure being shown in sectional fashion so as somewhat to resemble a sectional elevation longitudinally through the truck.
Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus and fragmentarily illustrated delivery truck shown in Fig. 1 and visually indicating the several positions from which the mechanism for actuaing the rack and advancing garments thereon may be operated.
Fig. 3 illustrates on a larger scale than in the preceding figures, a side elevation of a garment rack per se embodying the principles of the present invention, part of said rack being broken away so as better to illustrate details thereof.
Fig. 4 is an end view of the garment rack apparatus shown in Figs. 1 and 2 and illustrating particularly the arrangement of the operating means for the rack advancing mechanism.
The figures of the drawing comprising a part of this application illustrate an exemplary delivery truck, in phantom, of the type commonly used by laundries, dry cleaning establishments and the like. The truck body 10 has been illustrated in phantom and it is to be understood that such illustration is not to be considered restrictive since garment racks embodying the principles of the present invention readily are usable in other types of vehicles such for example as in the coat co'mpartment of airplanes, trains, buses, and in certain types of automobiles. Also, to conserve space and tominimi ze the overall height of a truck or other vehicle of this nature, the rack mechanism embodyingxthe principles of the present invention and generally designated 12 is mounted in the upper or top portion of the body 10.
Any suitable type of bracket means may be used and connected to the upper portion of the body 10. The specific illustration selected for exemplary illustration of such bracket means comprises a pair of transversely extending bars 14 and 16, respectively attached at the ends thereof to the forward and rearward portion of the body 10, by any suitable means such as welding, bolts, or the like. The rearward bar 16 has a plate 18- connected to and depending therefrom, the plate supporting a suitable bearing 20 which may be anti-friction or otherwise. The forward bar 14 is provided with any suitable type of bracket means such as a pair of plates22 and 24 which are U-shaped in side elevation as shown in Fig. 3. The plate 22 has a bearing 26 aflixed thereto, said bearing being similar to bearing 20. Suspended between and rotatably supported by bearings 20 and 26" is a rack shaft 28 which for example may comprise a piece of tubular pipe of desired length and for example approximately one and one-quarter inches in outer diameter. Preferably, the diameter should be selected so as conveniently to be received within the conventional hook of a coat hanger 30 made from wire or otherwise. Such exemplary hooks are shown in Figs. 1 and 2 and garments 32 supported thereby are illustrated in phantom.
The opposite ends of the rack shaft 30 may have stub shafts 34 and 36 inserted within the tubular shaft 28 and. affixed thereto by taper pins 38 or the like. Such stub shafts 34 and 36 are rotatably supported directly by the bearings and 26. Further, the forward stub shaft 36 preferably has a positioning collar 40 fixed thereto so as to prevent relative longitudinal movement between the shaft 28 and the bearings.
Spiral hook-positioning and feeding means are provided on the rack shaft 28. One inexpensive and convenient form of such spiral means comprises a wire of, for example, a diameter of 14 inch or inch. A coil of such wire may be stretched out to be expanded substantially to the exemplary configuration thereof shown in Fig. 3, the same being indicated 42. Said spiral wire member 42 may be fixed to the rack shaft 28 by any suitable means such as periodic spot welds 44. Hence, it will be seen that as the shaft 28 and the spiral advancing means 42 thereon are rotated in one direction, as indicated by the curved arrows in Figs. 1 and 2, the garments 32 upon the hanger 30 will be advanced forwardly from the rear or loading end of the truck to the front end thereof, where the forwardmost of the garments will conveniently be positioned adjacent the seat 46. Hence, when the driver stops the truck to make a delivery, the prearranged garments are supported in such manner that the forwardmost garments are ready for delivery.
Advancing movement of the garments 32 in the direction of the straight arrow shown in Fig. l is efiected by any suitable rotating means such as a ratchet-type one-way clutch 48 of a standard type. Exemplary clutches of this nature for example are used on outboard motors, lawn mowers, and other similar mechanisms. They are provided with flexible, cord-like coiled members 50 such as braided rope, one end of which is coiled about a drum, not shown, within the clutch mechanism 48. The specific type of clutch mechanism used does not comprise part of the present invention in that any type of manually operated driving means may be used as long as the same preferably rotates the rack shaft 28 unidirectionally. However, it is found that a one-way clutch of the general type described above and illustrated in the drawing constitutes a very handy and highly effective means for rotating the rack shaft 28.
The end of the flexible member 50 which projects beyond the one-way clutch 48 is engageable by the driver of the truck for example and, upon being pulled, will rotate the rack shaft 28 as indicated by the curved arrows in Fig. 1, as referred to above. In one specific example utilized successfully, a single pull of the member 50 rotates the shaft four times. Assuming for example that the convolutions of the spiral wire 42 are approximately two inches apart, it will therefore be seen that a single rotation of the shaft will advance a garment substantially eight inches. Hence, it will be seen that in conventional delivery trucks of the type contemplated for use, the rack shaft 28 will be six or eight feet in length and only a. relatively few successive pulls upon the member 50 will advance a garment completely from one end of the shaft 28 to the other.
The one-way clutch 48 is supported in any convenient manner such as being attached for example to the plate 24 as shown in the drawing. Also, while the present illustration shows the one-way clutch 48 supported adjacent the forward end of the rack shaft 28, it will be understood that this is primarily for convenience and said one-way clutch could with substantially equal facility be mounted adjacent the opposite end of the rack shaft 28 and thereby be supported for example by plate 18, if desired.
The driving member, not shown, of conventional oneway clutch 48 is connected to the forward end of stub shaft 36 and through said stub shaft rotates the rack shaft 28 when the member 50 is pulled in one direction. Automatically operable retracting means for the member 50 are provided in accordance with the conventional construction of the one-way clutch 48. For convenience of operation and also to provide greater utility for operating the rack shaft 28, the outer end of the flexible cord-like member 50 extends transversely across the upper portion of the body 10 of the truck so as to extend above the drivers seat 46. Such arrangement may be effected by the use of a pair of pulley members 52 and 54, the first being mounted adjacent the forward end of one side of the truck body 10, while the other is mounted adjacent the rear end thereof, said pulley members being supported by any conventional and suitable brackets 56 and 58. Under such circumstances, the flexible member 50 has a manually engageable handle 60 connected thereto adjacent the one-way clutch 48 and the outermost end of member 50 may be provided with a suitable ring 62 which normally is held in position for ready engagement adjacent the rear end of the truck by a hook 64 attached to one side wall of the truck body for example, as clearly shown in Fig. 4.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that when the operator or driver of the truck is seated within the seat 46, he may reach overhead with one hand and engage the handle 60 so as to pull the cord-like member 50 as far or as many times as necessary to advance the forwardmost garments 32 upon the rack 28 until they are within his reach for removing the same from the rack to deliver them. Upon releasing the handle 60, the retracting means for the cord-like member 50 immediately retracts the same to starting position due to the inherent characteristics of the one-way clutch 48.
When the truck is being loaded from the rear door for example, the ring 62 which is adjacent said door, is removed from the hook 64 and may be pulled to operate the one-way clutch 48 and advance the garments from the rear end of the truck to the forward end thereof along the rack shaft 28. It is not necessary to disengage the ring 62 from the hook 64 however and simply the rearward end of the flexible member 50 may be pulled without such disengagement being made.
Further, if desired to simplify the operating mechanism, the outer end of the flexible member 50 may for example be provided with a simple manual engageable means such as a ring 66, as shown in Fig. 1, the same being readily positioned for easy engagement by the driver while seated in the seat 46. Also, while the present illustration shows only a single rack installation, it is to be understood that a plurality of' such racks may be used in transversely spaced relationship within the truck body 10, if desired. A suitable arrangement of flexible operating members 50 may be provided so as to be easily engageable by the driver either from the seat of the truck or from the loading end thereof, all in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in its preferred embodiment, and has included certain details, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the -scope of the invention as claimed.
1. A garment rack for a delivery truck and the like having a body including side walls and a top, said rack comprising in combination, bracket means attachable to said body to support said rack in the upper portion of said body adjacent the top, an elongated cylindrical shaft having spiral positioning and feeding means carried thereby and extending therealong between opposite ends thereof, bearings supported by said bracket means and engaging the opposite end portions of said shaft to support the same for axial rotation and substantially horizontally in the upper portion of said body, and parallel to the longitudinal axis thereof, a manually operable one-way clutch mounted adjacent one end of said shaft and interconnected thereto operatively, and manually engageable means connected to said clutch and operable to rotate said shaft unidirectionally to advance garments therealong.
2. A garment rack for a delivery truck and the like having an enclosed body, said rack comprising in combination, bracket means attachable to said body adjacent the upper portion thereof, an elongated cylindrical shaft arranged to extend substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of said body, spiral positioning and feeding means surrounding and fixed to said shaft and extending therealong between opposite ends thereof, bearings supported by said bracket means and receiving the end portions of said shaft to support the same rotatably and substantially horizontally in the upper portion of said body, a manually operable one-way clutch mounted adjacent the normally forward end of said shaft and interconnected thereto operatively, and a coiled flexible cordlike member connected to said clutch and operable when pulled in one direction to rotate said shaft unidirectionally, one end of said flexible coiled member being arranged to be positioned within reach of the truck operator at the forward end of said truck.
3. A garment rack for a delivery truck having an enclosed body including a drivers seat, said rack being arranged to be mounted in the upper portion of said body and to extend longitudinally thereof and comprising in combination, bracket means attachable to the upper portion of said body respectively adjacent the forward and rear ends thereof, an elongated cylindrical shaft having spiral garment hook positioning and feeding means fixed thereto and extending therealong between opposite ends thereof, bearings supported by said bracket means ano receiving the end portions of said shaft to support the same for continuous rotation and substantially horizontally in the upper portion of said body, a manually operable one-way clutch supported by one of said brackets and connected to one end of said shaft, a flexible and coiled cord-like member connected to said clutch and operable when pulled in one direction to rotate said shaft unidirectionally and advance garments on hooked hangers along said shaft from one end to the other thereof, pulley means supporting said cord-like member to extend substantially above the drivers seat and toward the rear end of said body, and manually engageable means connected to said cord-like member and respectively positioned thereon near the drivers seat and the rear end of the truck body, whereby said means may be engaged selectively and manually operated to advance garments along said shaft when the driver either is in said seat or loading said truck from the rear end thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,365,839 Pike Dec. 26, 1944 2,442,099 Shoemaker et al. May 25, 1948 2,620,917 Dahlberg Dec. 9, 1952 2,708,522 Loomis May 17, 1955 2,733,745 Norwood Feb. 7, 1956