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Publication numberUS2887203 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 19, 1959
Filing dateNov 13, 1956
Priority dateNov 13, 1956
Publication numberUS 2887203 A, US 2887203A, US-A-2887203, US2887203 A, US2887203A
InventorsJohn E Baron
Original AssigneeJohn E Baron
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Load supporting member
US 2887203 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 19, 1959 I J. E. BARON 2,887,203

LOAD SUPPORTING MEMBER Filed NOV. 15, 1956 I E6010 F0 l Ea.

United States Patent LOAD SUPPORTING MEMBER John E. Baron, Fresno, Calif.

Application November 13, 1956, Serial No. 621,805

Claims. (Cl. 193-37) The present invention relates to a load supporting member and more particularly to a roller having sub stantial longitudinal rigidity but of adequate and conveniently adjustable resilience to permit flexing of the roller under application of load whereby the roller generally conforms to the contour of the load.

It is well-known to provide cradles for supporting boats for enabling their launching and transportation on trailers. These cradles have taken several forms, for example, bolsters covered with a resiliently compressible fabric and curved with the intended purpose of complementarily receiving the hull of a boat. Such cradle supports have not been fully statisfactory since they are not adjustable to fit all shapes of hulls. They have placed undue stress and strain on the hulls by concentrating the support ofiered on undesirably restricted areas. The resultant strain is frequently aggravated since it is common practice to leave outboard motors on boats when transporting them on trailers thereby increasing the effective weight supported. This condition is even more serious when trailers are traveled over rough terrain of the type sometimes encountered around lake and resort areas.

Other types of boat supports have consisted of rollers inclined or inclinable in an effort to position the rollers in the most effective engagement with a boat hull being supported. However, because some hulls are flat and others curved, these supports have not properly accommodated all boats.

Although the subject invention is conveniently described in connection with the supporting of a boat on a boat trailer, it is not so limited. As the description proceeds, it will be understood that the invention has much wider application for supporting different kinds and types of loads where comparable problems are encountered.

With the foregoing problems in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved load supporting member.

Another object is to provide a load supporting roller having suflicient transverse rigidity but of limited resilience to permit the roller to conform to the shape of the load being supported.

Another object is to prevent undue strain and stress on a supported load.

Another object is uniformly to distribute the weight of a load over a predetermined supporting surface.

Another object is to provide an elongated resiliently flexible roller in which the resilience is adjustable.

Another object is to provide an improved boat support adapted to be mounted on a trailer.

Other objects are to provide a load supporting memher which is simple and economical to construct and to use, durable in form, dependable in operation, adapted to support various types of loads, and which is highly effective for accomplishing its intended purposes.

These together with other objects will become more 2 fully apparent upon reference to the following description and accompanying drawing.

In the drawing:

Fig. 1 is an elevational view of a portion of a boat trailer employing load supporting members as provided for in the present invention, and also shows the hull of a boat in dot-dash lines rested on the load supporting members.

Fig. 2 is a somewhat enlarged fragmentary longitudinal section taken through one of the load supporting members of Fig. 1.

F Fig. 3 is a transverse section taken on line 3-3 of Fig. 4 is a view similar to Fig. 2 but illustrates a second form of the present invention.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary transverse view taken on line 5-5 of Fig. 4.

A bed 10 of a boat trailer, or other support, is illustrated in Fig. 1 of the drawing. A pair of support flanges 11 are secured to, and are upwardly extended from, the bed. Axle pins 14 are mounted in the support flanges in parallel relation longitudinally of the trailer.

Brackets 20 including angulated central portions 21 are rotatably journaled for individual rocking movement on the pins 14 and thus on substantially horizontal axes transversely of the central portions. Further, the brackets have upwardly extended leg portions 24 for a purpose subsequently to be described. It is to be noted that the brackets are positioned in substantially the same vertical plane transversely of the trailer and are limited in their transverse rocking movement by engagement of the central portions with the bed 10.

Rollers 30 are mounted in the brackets 20. Inasmuch as the rollers are identical in construction and are identically mounted in the brackets, only one thereof will be considered in detail. Each roller has an inner elongated flexible sleeve 32 having opposite ends and being hollow throughout. The sleeve is conveniently formed of a metallic, helically wound steam or exhaust'hose, many forms of which are well-known. It is to be noted that the sleeve is preferably watertight and that the outer surface of the sleeve is preferably given a coat of graphite or the like, indicated at 34, for a purpose soon to become apparent.

A plurality of elongated, substantially rigid, somewhat resilient rods 36 of galvanized spring steel, or the like, are slidably fitted within the sleeve and are substantially longitudinally co-extensive with the sleeve. The rods are preferably but not necessarily of uniform size. As indicated in Fig. 3, the rods substantially fill the sleeve and may be removed therefrom simply by sliding them outwardly from the sleeve. As shown, they are transversely frictionally engaged with each other and with the interior of the sleeve. The rods are notjconnected to each other nor to the sleeve and thus may be regarded as individually slidably positioned inside of the sleeve. Caps 38 provide annular portions 39 frictionally fitted over the inner sleeve 32, radially extended flanges 40, and outwardly convex end walls 41. The caps are employed for holding the rods 36 within the inner sleeve. However, the caps are easily removed by slidingthem outwardly and ofi of the sleeve thereby enabling convenient removal and insertion of the rods. An outer elongated tubular member 45 of resiliently flexible and compressible material, such as rubber, is rotatably fitted on the inner sleeve 32 and provides opposite ends terminating adjacent to the radial flanges 40 of the caps 38. The graphite coating 34 minimizes frictional resistance to rotation of the tubular member 45 on the sleeve 32 Substantially inverted U-shapecl straps 50are secured to the leg portions 24 of the brackets 20by fasteners 3 51 extended through the leg portions and straps. The straps of each bracket are axially aligned and received in frictionally secured relation about the cylindrical portions 39 of the caps 38. In this manner, the rollers 30 are supported within the brackets 20 for rocking movement about axes transversely of the axes of rotation of the rollers and for transverse flexing toward and away from the axle pins 14.

Operation The operation of the described embodiment of the subject invention is believed to be readily apparent and is briefly summarized at this point. Assuming that it is desired to support a boat 60 having a downwardly convex hull 61, the rollers 30 are initially adjusted to accommodate the weight of the boat.

For this purpose, rods 36 of predetermined flexibility are fitted within the sleeve 32. It is to be understood that the greater the weight of the boat to be supported, the greater rigidity the rods should have. When the sleeve 32 is filled with rods 36, the caps 38 are placed over the ends of the sleeves 32 and are fitted in the straps 50 of their respective brackets 2t).

The boat 60 is then rolled onto the rollers 3t). The brackets 20 pivot on their axle pins 1 to conform to the slope of each side portion of the hull 61. In addition, however, the rollers also flex inwardly toward their axle pins precisely to conform to the contour of the hull, as best indicated in Fig. l. The rods 36 are sufliciently longitudinally rigid to prevent the cushioned outer tubular member from collapsing and thereby support the boat with adequate resilience to bend in conformity to the shape of the boat.

Second form tion as with the sleeve 32, and filled with a plurality of elongated rods 77 of spring-like material.

In this instance, however, the sleeve 76 has diametrically reduced end portions 78, only one of which is shown. A cap 85 providing a cylindrical portion 86 tightly circumscribes the end of the inner sleeve 76 and is preferably welded thereto. The cap also has an end wall 87 preventing the rods 77 from sliding outwardly of the sleeve but including an aperture 83 through which such rods may be inserted or removed when desired. A threaded plug 89 having an outer slot 90 therein is screW-threadably turned in the end wall 87 for closing the aperture. A trunnion 95 is extended outwardly endwardly from the end wall of the cap and is in substantially coaxial relation with the inner sleeve 76. It is to be noted that the caps may be formed as a part of the inner sleeve instead of separately fitted to the sleeve, as described.

The roller also has an elognated, outer tubular member 100 of resiliently flexible and compressible material as before. The tubular member 100, however, is frictionally fitted on the inner sleeve 76 in such a manner that relative rotation between the tubular member and sleeve is resisted. For this purpose the tubular member may be vulcanized to the end caps 85. It will be noted that the tubular member is substantially longitudinally coextensive with the inner sleeve and rods and at its outer ends, circumscribes the annular portion as of the caps 85. The trunnions 95 are rotatably journaled in bearings 105 for enabling rotation of the roller.

The second form of the invention is particularly adapted for use in conveyers and the like, where the amount of rotation of the roller is greater than that normally encountered in boat trailer use although, of course, being excellently suited to boat support. For this reason, it has been found that the outer tubular member has a longer life since it is not subject to wear incident to.

acemes movement against the outer and sometimes rough surface of the flexible sleeve 76.

In both forms of the invention, a load suppoiting roller has been provided which is sufficiently transversely rigid to provide adequate support of a load but which also has limited flexibility to enable flexing of the roller. The roller conforms to the shape of the load being supported so that the weight is substantially uniformly dis tributed over the entire length of the roller. This obviates placing excessive stresses and strains on small areas of the load. In addition, this type of support facilitates movement of a load thereover inasmuch as provision is made for rotation of the load supporting member. The invention offers a highly practical solution to the problems involved since the resilience of the roller can be quickly changed in accordance with the weight of the load being supported.

Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. In an elongated, resiliently flexible, load bearing support, an elongated flexible and compressible tubular member having opposite ends, and a plurality of inner elongated individually separable members of substantially rigid, somewhat resiliently flexible material individually releasably fitted within the outer member and extended between the opposite ends thereof for imparting substantially transverse rigidity to the outer member but permitting limited flexing of the outer member upon application of a load in supported relation thereon to conform the outer member to the contour of the load being supported, said elongated members being individually insertable into and releasable from the outer member to enable adjustment of the flexibility of the support.

2. In a resiliently flexible roller for rotatably supporting a load comprising an inner elongated flexible sleeve, a plurality of elongated members of resiliently flexible material fitted within the sleeve and imparting substantial transverse rigidity to the sleeve but enabling limited flexing of the sleeve under application of load, the members being in substantially straight conditions when relaxed but being bendable under load, and an outer flexible tubular member rotatably fitted on the sleeve.

3. An elongated resiliently flexible load supporting roller comprising an inner elongated flexible sleeve having opposite ends, a plurality of elongated resiliently flexible rods releasably slidably fitted Within the sleeve and being substantially longitudinally co-extensive with the sleeve, caps releasably .frictionally fitted on the ends of the sleeve for holding the rods within the sleeve, and an outer tubular member of resiliently flexible and compressible material rotatably fitted on the sleeve and having opposite ends adjacent to the ends of the sleeve.

4. In combination with a support; a resiliently flexible load bearing roller comprising an elongated outer tube of resiliently flexible and compressible material having opposite ends, an inner flexible sleeve rotatably fitted within the tube having opposite ends endwardly extended from the ends of the tube, a plurality of elongated resiliently flexible rods releasably slidably inserted within the sleeve and substantially filling the sleeve for imparting rigidity to the sleeve and tube but permitting flexing incident to application of load transversely to the tube whereby the tube conforms to the shape of such load, and caps releasably fitted over the ends of the sleeve for holding the rods in the sleeve; and means secured to the caps mounting the roller in the support.

5. In combination with a support; a substantially U-shaped bracket having a central portion mounted for rocking movement on the support around a substantially horizontal axis transversely of the central portion and a pair of upwardly extended leg portions; a resiliently flexible load bearing roller including an elongated outer tube of resiliently flexible and compressible material having opposite ends, an inner flexible sleeve rotatably fitted within the tube having opposite ends endwardly extended from the ends of the tube, a plurality of resiliently flexible rods releasably slidably inserted within the sleeve in substantially filling relation thereto for imparting substantial rigidity to the sleeve and tube while accommodating flexing incident to application of loadto the tube whereby the tube conforms to the shape of the load, and caps releasably frietionally fitted over ends of the sleeve for holding the rods in the sleeve; and straps secured to the caps and to the leg portions of the bracket mounting the roller in the bracket transversely of the rocking axes.

6. An elongated resiliently flexible load supporting roller comprising an inner elongated flexible sleeve hav ing opposite ends, a plurality of elongated reinforcing rods of substantially rigid, spring-like material releasably slidably fitted within and filling the inner sleeve in substantially longitudinally co-extensive relation therewith, an outer elongated tubular member of resiliently flexible and compressible material frictionally-fitted on the inner sleeve and longitudinally co-extensive with the sleeve, caps having annular portions circumscribing the ends of the sleeve within the tubular member and end walls transversely positioned against the ends of the rods for holding the rods within the sleeve, the end walls of the caps having apertures for enabling insertion and removal of the rods, plugs releasably connected to the end walls of the caps for closing the apertures, and trunnions endwardly extended from the end walls of the caps axially of the outer tubular member.

7. An elongated, resiliently flexible, load bearing support comprising an elongated outer flexible tubular member having opposite ends and an elongated longitudinal axis; and a plurality of inner elongated, substantially rigid, individually separable members having individual longitudinal axes, having limited transverse resilient flexibility, individually releasably fitted within the outer member, extended between said opposite ends thereby substantially filling said outer member, and being transversely engaged with each other substantially coextensively with their lengths for imparting substantial transverse rigidity to the outer member but permitting limited flexing of the outer member upon application of a load transversely of the outer member to enable the outer member to conform to the contour of a load sup ported thereon, the axes of said inner members being substantially parallel to the axis of the outer member.

8. In an elongated resiliently flexible load bearing support an elongated flexible tubular member having opposite ends, and a plurality of inner elongated substantially rigid members having limited transverse resilient flexibility individually slidably fitted within the outer member in transverse engagement with each other substantially coextensively with their lengths and extended between the opposite ends of said outer member, the elongated members filling the tubular member in substantially compact fitted relation and being individually slidably releasable from and insertable into the tubular member whereby the elongated members impart substantial transverse rigidity to the outer member but permit limited flexing upon application of a load transversely thereof to enable the outer member to conform to the contour of a load being supported.

9. An elongated resiliently flexible load supporting roller comprising an elongated helically wound inner flexible sleeve, a plurality of elongated resiliently flexible rods having opposite ends and being releasably slidably fitted within the sleeve and substantially filling the sleeve, the sleeve and the rods being substantially co-extensive, caps releasably mounted on the ends of the sleeve for holding the rods within the sleeve, and an outer tubular member of resiliently flexible and compressible material fitted on the sleeve and having opposite ends adjacent to the ends of the sleeve.

10. An elongated resiliently flexible load supporting roller comprising an inner elongated flexible sleeve having opposite ends, a plurality of elongated resiliently flexible rods of spring steel releasably slidably fitted within the sleeve and being substantially longitudinally coextensive with the sleeve and transversely frictionally engaged with each other and with the interior of the sleeve, caps releasably frictionally fitted on the ends of the sleeve for holding the rods within the sleeve, and an outer tubular member of resiliently flexible and compressible material rotatably fitted on the sleeve and having opposite ends adjacent to the ends of the sleeve.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,156,385 Willson Oct. 12, 1915 1,833,179 Robins Nov. 24, 1931 2,781,124 Troller Feb. 12, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 534,044 Great Britain Feb. 26, 1941

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1156385 *Oct 30, 1908Oct 12, 1915Jeffrey Mfg CoConveyer.
US1833179 *Jul 9, 1930Nov 24, 1931Robins Conveying Belt CoTroughing idler for conveyer belts
US2781124 *Oct 19, 1951Feb 12, 1957Joy Mfg CoYieldably mounted suspension troughing idler
GB534044A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3064841 *May 12, 1958Nov 20, 1962Quick N Easy Products LtdBoat carrying and loading facility for motor vehicles
US3198317 *Jul 13, 1962Aug 3, 1965Davis Robins SamuelConveyor apparatus
US3363681 *Jan 24, 1967Jan 16, 1968Union Carbide CorpHeat exchanger
US4234529 *Dec 18, 1978Nov 18, 1980Condec CorporationMethod and apparatus for shaping plastic foams
US4944563 *Mar 30, 1989Jul 31, 1990The Boeing CompanyWheel assembly including a solid tire
US5380264 *Dec 30, 1992Jan 10, 1995Hitachi, Ltd.Roller for use in molten metal bath
US5392899 *Dec 10, 1993Feb 28, 1995Nakanishi Metal Works Co., Ltd.Drive wheel conveyor
US5476167 *Dec 23, 1993Dec 19, 1995Unarco Material Handling, Inc.Roller track having externally secured spindles for storage rack, roller conveyor, or similar apparatus
US5634977 *Jul 13, 1994Jun 3, 1997Hitachi, Ltd.Apparatus which comes in contact with molten metal and composite member and sliding structure for use in the same
US6964540 *Sep 29, 2003Nov 15, 2005Foxwell Robert DVariably adjustable watercraft ramp
US20090320739 *May 29, 2009Dec 31, 2009Grand Packaging, LlcSupport Block for a Watercraft
Classifications
U.S. Classification193/37, 492/49, 492/42, 492/44, 198/780
International ClassificationB65G39/00, B60P3/10, B60P3/06
Cooperative ClassificationB65G2207/42, B65G39/02, B65G39/125, B60P3/1066
European ClassificationB60P3/10F8, B65G39/12B, B65G39/02