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Publication numberUS3010755 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 28, 1961
Filing dateApr 4, 1960
Priority dateApr 4, 1960
Publication numberUS 3010755 A, US 3010755A, US-A-3010755, US3010755 A, US3010755A
InventorsBlack James J
Original AssigneeTrailmobile Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interlocking post construction for rack body
US 3010755 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 28, 1961 .1. J. BLACK 3,010,755

INTERLOCKING POST CONSTRUCTIQN FOR RACK BODY Filed April 4, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ATTOENEYS.

Nov. 28, 1961 J. J. BLACK INTERLOCKING POST CONSTRUCTION FOR RACK BODY Filed April 4, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 M J v WW//////// 9 a ,2 l 3 United States Patent 3,010,755 INTERLOCKING POST CONSTRUCTION FOR RACK BODY James J. Black, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to Trailmohiie Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 4, 1960, Ser. No. 19,907 3 Claims. (Cl. 29628) This invention relates to a construction for removable side sections, commonly called racks, for freight vehicles. More particularly, it relates to a construction for the corner posts of racks whereby adjoining racks are enabled to interlock with one another to form a relatively rigid, unitary rack body for the vehicle.

For the sake of description, the invention is primarily disclosed hereinafter in relation to roadway freight vehicles and in particular to semi-trailers, but it will be understood that the invention is not limited thereto and that it is also suited for use on railroad car rack bodies as well as for other freight-carrying vehicles.

Racks are typically utilized in conjunction with, for example, fiat semi-trailers, to provide removable side and end walls for the trailer. The individual racks are comprised of spaced posts between which extend enclosure forming means, which may be, for example, slats or panels. The racks are small enough in size and weight to constitute handleable sectional units so that they can be erected on the trailer bed by a single man. The bed is provided with spaced sockets along its sides and ends for receiving downwardly projecting lower ends of the rack posts. By engaging the projecting portions of the posts of a rack in these sockets, the rack is held in upright position as a sectional wall unit, and by thus erecting a series of racks in edge-to-edge relation, the vehicle may be provided with side and end walls.

When the racks are in place, and when the vehicle is provided with a top cover or roof, the vehicle is adapted to carry loads as a container or van; when the racks are removed, the vehicle may be used to transport heavy or bulky loads not requiring enclosed shipment. Convenient removability of racks is therefore desirable from the standpoint of vehicle versatility and usefulness.

In order to provide as rigid and as sturdy a vehicle wall section or unit as is consistent with 'light weight and convenient removability, various means of interconnecting adjacent racks have been employed, ranging from the simple expedient of tying the racks together, to various sorts of hook and eye connections for the rack corner posts.

The present invention is a rack corner post construction whereby adjoining racks may be erected on a bed in interconnection with one another to form a strong, nearly unitary, rack body construction, which requires no separate connecting means.

Reduced to its fundamentals, the present invention is a rack having a corner post at one vertical edge which is provided with flanges extending outwardly in the plane of the rack, the flanges defining a channel in the post, and having a corner post along its other or opposite vertical edge which is provided with a vertical tongue receivable in the channel of the corner post of an adjacent rack. Otherwise put, the present invention is a corner post construction providing a tongue at one end of the rack and a groove at the other end, whereby rack interconnection along substantially the entire height of the rack may be established.

In contrast to previous rack connectors, the present invention, by the corner post construction described, provides 'a relatively weather proof, water tight connection between racks forming a vehicle body wall. Inserted in the groove of an adjacent rack, the tongue 'ice forms a sealed vertical joint between the racks, extending from the vehicle bed to the top of the rack.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the corner posts comprise hollow extruded aluminum members. The channeled, or grooved, corner post has spaced flanges extending outwardly from a hollow, rigid boxlike web portion. The other corner post, which may be called the tongue corner post, has a back portion equal in width to the outside width of the web of the groove post. From this back portion, which is preferably hollow, a tongue extends in the general plane of the rack, of width such that which may be easily received in the grooved corner post of an adjoining rack. Between the corner posts of the rack extend area enclosing means which, in the preferred embodiment, comprise flat aluminum panels secured to the corner posts so as to pro vide a generally smooth and uniform surface on the interior side of the vehicle wall. Reinforcing frame members, which may comprise extruded aluminum channels, are preferably connected between the corner posts to generally rigidify and integrate the structure.

The corner posts of the preferred embodiment extend below the lower edge of the rack panel, so that theymay be received in sockets at the edge of the vehicle bed. The sockets position and maintain the racks in proper alignment with one another, holding the interconnected tongue and groove posts of adjoining racks in engaged relationship until the posts are lifted out of the sockets to dismantle the rack body. The two adjacent interconnected corner posts, thus held in engagement by the socket into which their lower portions extend, behave as a relatively rigid single post member by reason of their engagement along their entire vertical extent. In this manner, the racks remain securely interconnected under the vibration and relative strain of road travel, the sockets holding the racks from fore and aft movement and the tongue and groove corner post interlock holding the racks from relative transverse motion. Furthermore, the joint renders the cargo inside quite safe from rain, road dust and wind.

A more complete description of the invention may be made by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a flat semi-trailer showing partial side walls erected from racks embodying the principles of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary horizontal section through interlocked corner posts of adjoining racks, showing the preferred construction of the corner posts and the manner in which the tongue of one post is received in the groove of an adjoining post, and

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary horizontal section through the downwardly projecting extensions of interlocked corner posts of adjoining racks, showing the manner in which the posts are maintained in engaged relationship by the bed socket in which they are inserted.

In FIGURE 1 is shown a generally conventional flat semi-trailer, designated by 10, having a rectangular bed 11 defined by side edges 12-12., a rear edge 13, and a front edge. Partial side walls 14 and 15 are shown extending upwardly from the side edges of the bed. These walls 14 and 15 are erected from a series of individual sectional units or racks 16.

In the preferred embodiment shown, the individual racks are small enough to be manageable by a single man, so that a flat trailer can be quickly converted to an open top van. Each rack has corner posts at its two vertical edges 17 embodying the principles of this invention. Apart from the corner post construction, which is described more fully hereinafter, the construction of the rack is generally conventional. As a typical example of the rack construction, flat panels 18 may be secured to the corner posts of the rack to provide a smooth interior wall surface. The rack panels 18 may be provided with hand grips 19 whereby the racks can be lifted and set in place on the bed.

Adjacent the edges of the trailer bed 11 are provided sockets 21. These sockets may be set in the bed or, as shown, be secured to the edge of the bed. They are spaced at intervals corresponding to the spacing of the two corner posts of each rack, so that they can receive the downwardly projecting lower ends of the corner posts, 'whereby they support the racks in vertical position.

At the front of the trailer it is desirable, although not necessary, that there be a permanent, non-removable front wall or nose 22, to provide a wind shield. This .edge with a corner post forming a vertically extending channel. In the drawings a preferred post construction is shown in which the grooveis provided by corner post 24 and the tongue by corner post 25. Although only the adjoining corner post sections of a left rack 27 and a right rack 28 are shown, it will be appreciated that each rack is provided on its opposite edges with both a tongue corner post and a groove corner post.

The corner posts 24 and are preferably extruded in aluminum for strength and lightness. Groove post 24' has spaced flanges 29-29 extending outwardly in the general plane of the rack from a web portion 31. Prefera-bly but not necessarily the web or back portion 31 of strength and lightness.

Tongue channel 25 has a tongue 33 of width whereby it may be snugly but not forcibly received by groove channel 24. The tongue projects forwardly from a rear portion 34 which is generally similar in size to the boxportion 32 of post 24, and which is preferably hollow. Attachment of the corner posts to the racks 27 and 28 is conventional and is not shown in detail.

Although the post construction shown is preferred, it will be appreciated that other post constructions which provide a tongue and groove rack seal are within the scope of the invention.

The manner in which the posts are held in engagement by the bed sockets 21 is shown in FIGURE 3. The side rail 36 of the bed is provided with the U-shaped sockets 21 at spaced intervals, the sockets being aflixed to the bed by rivets 37 or the like. The lower ends of both corner posts 24 and 25 are insented in a single socket, whereby the panels are prevented from becoming disengaged. The socket should be long enough, however, to permit the tongue to slide or shift slightly with respect to the groove while still remaining engaged therein, to adjust to slight bed curvature or sag, as might result from various loading conditions.

The tongue and groove connection between the corner posts in accordance with this invention is an elfective seal to wind, dust, road splash and rain, does not open in transit, and provides a rack body which can be easily erected and dismantled without the necessity of engaging hooks or fastenings.

(the channel comprises a hollow box-like section 32 for 7 Having described my invention, I claim:

1. A removable rack for a freight vehicle comprising, a generally rectangular panel, means forming a vertically extending tongue at one side of said panel, means forming a vertically extending groove at the opposite side of said panel, portions of both said tongue forming means and said groove forming means extending downwardly below the lower edge of said panel, said downwardly extending portions being adapted to be received in cooperating sockets provided by the bed of said vehicle, whereby when the tongue of one rack is engaged with the groove of a similar adjacent rack and said downwardly projecting portions are received in a common socket, a vertical joint between said racks is formed.

2. A removable sectional wall unit for a freight vehicle comprising, a vertical post at each vertical marginal edge, area-enclosing means extending between said posts and connected thereto, the lower ends of said posts projecting downwardly below said area-enclosing means and being adapted to be received in cooperating sockets provided by the bed of the vehicle, one of said posts having a web disposed perpendicularly to the plane of said wall unit and two spaced parallel flanges extending outwardly from said web in the plane of said wall unit, said flanges and web defining a vertical groove at the edge of said wall unit, the other of said posts having a parallel-sided tongue extending outwardly in the plane of said wall unit, said tongue having a width slightly less than the width of said groove, whereby when the tongue of one wall unit is engaged in the groove of a similar adjacent wall unit and the downwardly projecting ends of the adjacent posts are received in a common socket, a vertical seal between said Wall units is formed, the common socket positively holding the adjacent posts of the wall units in interfitting relationship against relative longitudinal movement tending to cause gapping between them and the groove holding the tongue against relative transverse movement.

3. A removable sectional wall unit for a freight vehicle comprising, a hollow, vertical post at each side, each said post having a generally rectangular horizontal cross-section, a flat panel extending between said posts and marginally connected thereto, the lower ends of said posts projecting downwardly below said panel and being adapted to be received in cooperating sockets provided by the bed of the vehicle, one of said posts having two spaced, parallel flanges extending outwardly therefrom in the plane of said wall unit, said flanges defining a vertical groove at the edge of said wall unit, the other of said posts having a tongue extending outwardly in the plane of said wall unit, said tongue having a width slightly less than the width of said groove, whereby when the tongue of one wall unit is engaged with the groove of a similar adjacent wall unit and the downwardly projecting ends of the adjacent posts are received in a common socket, a vertical seal between said wall units is formed, the socket positively holding the adjacent posts in interfitting relationship against relative longitudinal movement and the groove holding the tongue against relative transverse movement.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 484,413 Espitallier Oct. 18, 1892 2,579,774 Akey Dec. 25, 1951 2,676,054 Pasin Apr. 20, 1 954 2,717,093 Mautner Sept. 6, 1955

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US484413 *Oct 10, 1891Oct 18, 1892 Card barracks
US2579774 *Nov 3, 1949Dec 25, 1951Hobbs Mfg CompanyVehicle side rack
US2676054 *Sep 19, 1950Apr 20, 1954Radio Steel & Mfg CoJuvenile coaster wagon body paneling
US2717093 *Oct 28, 1950Sep 6, 1955Skydyne IncShipping case or the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3075801 *Oct 26, 1960Jan 29, 1963Paul P Piper SrCotton wagon construction
US3126224 *Jan 22, 1962Mar 24, 1964 Convertible trailer
US3141698 *Mar 13, 1962Jul 21, 1964Strick TrailersRemovable side construction for flat bed trailers
US3163462 *Nov 14, 1962Dec 29, 1964Valesky James TTrailer side construction
US3205002 *Jul 6, 1964Sep 7, 1965Strick TrailersRoof bow fitting for vehicle with removable side sections
US3252730 *Apr 1, 1964May 24, 1966Fruehauf CorpSide rack convertible trailer construction
US3266837 *May 4, 1964Aug 16, 1966Highway Trailer Ind IncConvertible van
US3788684 *Mar 30, 1972Jan 29, 1974Johnson DRemovable grain body sides for flat load bed
US3834575 *May 10, 1973Sep 10, 1974Pullman IncContainer front end construction
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US4613182 *Aug 27, 1984Sep 23, 1986Stone Jack CSide panel assembly
US5192176 *Jul 10, 1991Mar 9, 1993T-W Management CompanySectional van trailer having detachable, interchangeable compartments capable of forming a continuous van body with accompanying system for forming shelf decks and partition walls within cargo holding sections
US5205628 *Sep 23, 1992Apr 27, 1993Herman Miller, Inc.Pharmaceutical cabinet locking arrangement
US5690466 *Nov 28, 1995Nov 25, 1997Courtesy Enterprises, IncorporatedSlope plates for particulate material truck box
US6857677Mar 18, 2004Feb 22, 2005Integris Metals, Inc.Trailer safety handrail system and methods
US7350842 *Jul 14, 2006Apr 1, 2008Leblanc SherrySidewall panel and tarpaulin cover system for flat bed trailers, and truck trailer incorporating same
US7527461Nov 23, 2006May 5, 2009Ellis J NigelSafety rail assembly
US7571949 *Feb 27, 2008Aug 11, 2009Leblanc SheriSidewall panel and tarpaulin cover system for flat bed trailers, and truck trailer incorporating same
US20070114507 *Nov 23, 2006May 24, 2007Ellis J NSafety Rail Assembly
US20080012378 *Jul 14, 2006Jan 17, 2008Leblanc SheriSidewall panel and tarpaulin cover system for flat bed trailers, and truck trailer incorporating same
US20080150308 *Feb 27, 2008Jun 26, 2008Leblanc SheriSidewall panel and tarpaulin cover system for flat bed trailers, and truck trailer incorporating same
US20090206314 *Mar 9, 2009Aug 20, 2009Ellis J NigelSafety rail assembly
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Classifications
U.S. Classification296/186.5, 296/43
International ClassificationB62D53/00, B62D33/023, B62D33/02, B62D53/06
Cooperative ClassificationB62D33/0207, B62D33/023, B62D53/067
European ClassificationB62D33/023, B62D53/06C, B62D33/02D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 5, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: TRAILMOBILE INC., A CORP OF DE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TRAILMOBILE LEASING CORP., A CORP OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004372/0313
Effective date: 19840224
Owner name: TRAILMOBILE LEASING CORP.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:TRAILMOBILE INC.;REEL/FRAME:004372/0330
Effective date: 19840210