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Publication numberUS3073408 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 15, 1963
Filing dateMar 17, 1960
Priority dateMar 25, 1959
Publication numberUS 3073408 A, US 3073408A, US-A-3073408, US3073408 A, US3073408A
InventorsKurt Winkler
Original AssigneeKurt Winkler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shifting device for the swiveling of cars
US 3073408 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jfian- 1963 K. WINKLER SHIFTING DEVICE FOR THE SWIVELING 0F CARS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I INVENTOR ,(aer MA/KL 52 g; M A zlvsrsn Filed March 1'7, 1960 Jan. 15, 1963' K. WINKLER SHIFTING DEVICE FOR THE SWIVELING OF CARS Filed March 17, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 R ma M MM; M a A r Z J 04 VA/ mw m 0% United States Patent 3.073.408 SHIFI'ING DEVICE FOR THE SWIVELING F CARS Kurt Winkler, Mallingerstrasse 69, Baden, Switzerland Filed Mar. 17, 1960, Ser. No. 15.638 Claims priority, anplicationGermany Mar. 25, 1959 4 Claims. '(Cl. 180-1) This invention relates to an improved device for shifting an automobile sidewise by a swiveling movement, preferably, about the bisecting point of an axle.

In modern city traffic the question of parking cars is of constantly increasing importance. Between cars parked in a row certain large intervals must be maintained to permit the individual cars to enter and leave. Frequently there are gaps in the row which are only a little larger than the car itself and which can, therefore, not be utilized. Or, the car must be operated several times back and forth until it stands on the desired spot, which situation is associated with the danger of damaging the already parked cars and the maneuvering car and with a loss in time. other occasions, for example, when trucks are to be loaded or unloaded in front of a building.

The most expedient remedy for these dilficulties is a device which makes it possible to move the car approximately in a right angle to the direction of driving. Many solutions heretofore have been suggested but none of them has proved very practicable. Most of them are based on the idea of lifting the car and shifting it laterally by means of a pair or pairs of small auxiliary wheels or turning it about a fulcrum. Apart from the complicity and resulting susceptibility to'troubles which are inherent in all these devices, they are operable practically only on even ground. Many modern roads are curved Similar problems are also encountered on' (crowned), however, to allow rain water to flow off.

rapidly, and hence they have a considerable inclination toward the edge of the road. In most cases that occur in practice, therefore, the parking device must move the car uphill or downhill. It was found that the auxiliary wheels of the known devices have a much too small bearing surface. Even with a slight additional work increase or a reduction of the coetficient of friction they glide on the ground without gripping. The inclination of the road edge can suffice to bring the downward motion of the car out of the control of the driver or--when attempting to leave the parking spaceto prevent the upward motion. In addition, if the road should be Wet or icy the danger of sliding down increases, and it is impossible to move the car uphill, that is, from the edge toward the center of the road. The same phenomena appear on inclined terrain, on snow, on soft or sandy ground and even with relatively small obstacles or unevennesses in the path of the auxiliary wheels.

These difficulties are further increased by the fact that in the majority of all parking, swivel or turning devices for cars, the drive is effected by the car engine, requiring a complicated design. This difficulty is attempted to be remedied by driving only half the auxiliary wheels, frequently only a single Wheel. The result of this insufficient drive is that the car becomes completely unmaneuverable in a much shorter time.

It has to be mentioned that most of these devices are subject to great fouling and have no protection against it. It will be seen, therefore, that they are unsuitable for practical use.

In order to avoid the above mentioned disadvantages the need arises for a device for shifting cars where the bearing surfaces are large enough positively to prevent sliding on the ground in practically all cases and to ensure the maneuverability of the car under all weather-- 3,073,408 Patented Jan. 15, 1963 and road-conditions. This requirement is met by the shifting device according to the invention for the swiveling of cars in cooperation with a lifting device which--in operating position-lifts a pair of wheels of the car off of the ground. It is characterized by at least two conveyor rolls, arranged in at least one vertically moveable frame, which conveyor rolls lie in a horizontal plane and can be driven at will in both directions, but in each case in the same direction of rotation.

The invention is represented schematically in the attached drawing in several non-limitative embodiments, the same parts being designated with the same reference numbers, in which drawing:

FIG. 1 shows the retracted shifting device and its arr'angement in the automobile, seen from the rear;

FIG. 2 shows the same shifting device in a plan view;

FIG. 3 shows the extended device, the rear wheels of the automobile being lifted from the ground;

FIGS. 4 and 5 shows various arrangements of the conveyor rolls in a plan view;

FIG. -6 schematically shows the spring support of a conveyor roll on the frame of the shifting device, means for driving the conveyor roll being omitted for simplicity.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of the device as shown in FIG. 1, but adding the vehicle spring suspension and showing the drive means associated with the conveyor rolls may drive the elastically supported rolls,

FIG. 8 is a bottom view of the device shown in FIG. 7, and

FIG. 9 is a further enlarged detail view of the lifting and drive devices.

According to FIG. 1, the automobile rests on the wheels 1, the shifting device 2 being in retracted position. On the car frame 3, are secured pressure cylinders 4 which are actuated hydraulically or pneumatically. The simplest way is to connect them to a system already existing in the car. The shifting device secured on the cylinder is retracted and extended by loading and relieving the cylin der. For stability reasons, four cylinders preferably are provided; however, two are sufiicient. They can be replaced by any other mechanical, electric or other lifting device. I

On the pressure cylinders 4, is secured the frame 5 of the shifting device in which the conveyor rolls 6, 6, are

' arranged parallel to the longitudinal axis of the car. They preferably have a profiled surface or any other surface providing a good grip. Their diameter is so dimensioned that they project far enough under the frame 5 easily to overcome obstacles such as stones or small irregularities in the ground. They are driven, by means of a chain drive 7, by an electric motor 8 whose direction of rotation is reversible, and to which electric current is fed from the dynamo or the battery of the car (not illustrated). Preferably, the electric motor 8 is arranged in the frame 5 of the shifting device 2 between the con: veyor rolls 6 and operated from the instrument panel of the automobile. Instead of the chain drive 7, there can also be used any other form of power transmission, but the chain drive has proved resistant to fouling.

Sufiicient ground freedom is ensured with the shifting device retracted, since it can be made fiat.

FIG. 2 shows the same shifting device in a plan view, where the lifting device has been omitted for claritys sake. In the present example the shifting device is arranged directly behind the dilferential 9, because it can be accommodated there very easily. It can, however, also be arranged at any other locus.

FIG. 3 shows a similar shifting device to that il1ustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, but in extended position. It is supported on the ground, but with only about half the car weight resting on it, while the pair of wheels 1 of the car are lifted from the ground. In this embodiment, also the conveyor rolls 6 are driven by the electric motor 3 by way of a chain drive 7, but they have here an additional function. They must move the self-contained conveyor belt It? which is wrapped about both of them. In order to ensure the necessary bearing surface and the desired bearing pressure for the conveyor beltwhich can be an endless belt of known designit can be pressed against the ground in addition by auxiliary rolls 11, which are arranged between the conveyor rolls but are not driven. Additional auxiliary rolls 12 serve to guide and stretch the unloaded portion of the conveyor belt. Such a belt has an advantage over the conveyor rolls represented in FIG. 2 if the road conditions are particularly adverse. In this case, it may also be expedient to support the two outermost rolls a little higher than the others, so that they no longer bear on the ground. This applies both to the conveyor rolls and to auxiliary rolls arranged outside these rolls. With this arrangement obstacles are easier to overcome.

If two shifting devices are provided in a car and it can thus be shifted parallel to its longitudinal axis, the conveyor rolls, or the conveyor belt surrounding them, roll or rolls smoothly on the ground. A different situation is presented if only one shifting device is provided which lifts, for example, the rear wheels while the car rests on its front wheels. If the rear part of the car is now shifted, the movability in the axle journals of the front axle results in a big turning circle whose center lies approximately in the point of bisection of the front axle. The conveyor rolls or the conveyor belt now can no longer roll off smoothly. They tend to run straight, but are forced to described an arc. The result is a displacement of these conveyor elements on the ground so that a combination of rolling and sliding friction results m a resistance against the motion. This requires more power for the motion and results in a greater wear of the conveyor rolls or of the conveyor belt.

In order to avoid these disadvantages, the conveyor rolls 13 are so arranged according to FIG. 4 that they run on a turning circle whose center M lies approximately in the point of bisection of the unlifted wheel axle 14 of the car. In this way the rolls 13 can roll off on the turning circle, and there is only a slight displacement on the ground toward their ends. If this insignificant error is also to be avoided, the conveyor rolls 13 must be provided with a conicity which corresponds to the radius of the turning circle, that is, the apex of the cone lies in the center of the turning circle. With this form, the conveyor rolls move exactly on their rolling circle, and the lateral resistance on the ground is reduced to a minimum.

Another variant for the arrangement of the coveyor rolls is shown in FIG. 5. The rolls 15 run in pairs on a turning circle whose center M lies approximately in the point of bisection of the unlifted wheel axle 14 of the car, and their symmetry axes 16 point to the center of the turning circle: in each pair, the axes of the rolls are parallel to each other. The advantage lies in the greater number of conveyor rolls, which results in an increase of the bearing surface and of the adhesion without complicating the drive, since the rolls can be driven in pairs. It is also possible to surround each pair of rolls 15 with a conveyor belt 17, as it is shown in FIG. 5, with one pair of rolls so enveloped. This arrangement combines the advantages of the conveyor belt with an arrangement wherein the conveyor rolls run on a turning circle.

in order to make the entire driving mechanisms of the shifting device more elastic, it is of advantage to support all conveyor and auxiliary rolls on springs, as is represented schematically in FIG. 6, for example.

FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 illustrate one way that'the drive means may be associated to drive the elastically supported rolls 19. The end bearings carried by shafts 18 are linked to move substantially vertically within the frame 5,-and are pressed downwardly by suspension springs 2% which distribute the load of the roll between them. Each s ring, however, is designed so that it will carry the entire load of the corresponding roll without retracting the roll entirely into the bottom of the frame 5.

The means for locking the wheel suspension in its loaded position as illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 3 may be constructed as shown in H6. 7 where the parts are numbered the same way, and the levers 23 are normally moved to inoperative position by the rods shown extending foiwardly therefrom, and may be released into operative engagement wtih the lugs 22, when desired, for lifting the wheels with the frame.

Under normal load the shafts 13, of the conveyor roll 19, which are supported in the frame 5 of the shifting device, are pressed down by springs 28 on their hearing seat. If the load increases, the springs yield upwtrd, and the weight remains distributed over all rolls. This has the effect that the car is not lifted and lowered again every time it rolls over a stone, for example, as soon as one roll passes over the obstacle and it has to carry the whole weight. In this embodiment, conveyor roll 19 is driven in the manner described hereinabove.

It is of advantage to provide a tensioning device for each chain drive and for each conveyor belt, and to equip each shifting device with a self-locking or loci:- ing device to prevent the car from overspeeding on steep slopes. The number of conveyor rolls or pairs of conveyor rolls is not limited to two in all models, just as it is possible on the other hand, to divide the frame and to provide a conveyor rollor, a pair of conveyor rolls-- in each section, so that the device can be housed easier in the fenders, for example, or in the rear tins of the car. In some cases it may be of advantage to replace this divided frame by a fork or a similar roll-holding device.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the shifting device is normally secured on the car frame 3 whose lifting also effects the lifting of the car. When the shifting device reaches the ground during the lowering of the same, the wheels 1 of the car are not yet lifted. They remain on the ground so long until the car frame has been lifted by the considerable travel stroke of the car springs (not illustrated). Only when they are completely relieved, are the wheels lifted. This difficulty can be avoided if the car springs are locked in their loading position, during the lifting and turning operation.

A device of this type is represented by way of example in FIG. 3. A catch 22 is rigidly connected with the rear axle 21. On the car frame 3 there is articulated a lever 23, which lever is held out of engagement by a spring 24. By suitable means (not shown) the descending shifting device 2 presses the lever 23, against the spring force, into the catch 22 and retains it there. When the wheels 1 are lifted from the ground, they can not relax the car springs, since the car springs remain locked in their loaded position. When the shifting device 2 is retracted again and the wheels I touch the ground the car weight loads the car springs, the lock is released, and the spring 24- forces the lever 23 out of engagement as soon as the shifting device clears the path.

The turning process takes place, for example, as follows: In order to park a car in the gap within a car row, the car is driven into the gap with the front wheels first. Care has to be taken that the front wheels as far as possible come to stand on their proper spot. After braking the front wheels, a button on the instrument panel is pushed which acts on a shut-off valve in the feed line to the pressure cylinders. The valve opens and the pressure cylinders extend the shifting device arrange close to the rear axle. During this process the spring suspension of the wheels is locked in its loaded position by an automatic device. The shifting device touches the ground, the rear wheels are lifted and the car weight rests on the front wheels and on the shifting device. By throwing a toggle switch on the instrument panel in the desired direction, the electric motor of the shifting device 5 is set in operation which in turn sets the conveyor rolls in operation. The rear part of the car is swung about until it stands on the desired spot whereupon the motion is stopped by returning the toggle switch to its zero position. The moving axle journals of the front axles have a favorable effect, because they permit a long turning path of the car Without the front wheels having to move from their spot. By pushing a second button on the instrument panel, the pressure cylinders are relieved, the

shifting device is retracted, the lock is released and the car stands again on its four wheels.

The electric motor is locked electrically. It can only be started when the shifting device is completely extended. Likewise, the pressure cylinders can not be re lieved as long as the electric motor is running.

The shifting device according to the invention permits utilization of even relatively small gaps in a row of parked cars, and to park the cars much closer together, which is a great advantage not only in parking lots but also in garages. The device is also useful when changing tires, since it can make a jack superfluous.' Other advantages result, for example, whena car is stuck in anuneven terrain, or when the engine has become unservica able due to an accident, or when the wheels are blocked.

In these cases, just as in narrow curves, it is frequently desirable to shift the car laterally. The usability on any terrain found in practice and at any weather, the security against gliding or overturning on sloping ground and the resistance, aganist fouling and irregular load make the shifting device according to the invention an important part of the car.

I claim: 1. A shifting device for swivelling an automobile having a vehicle frame and front and rear wheels, comprising a lifting device having its upper end fixed to one end of said vehicle frame between the corresponding wheels, a swivelling drive device having a frame structure fixed to the lower end of said lifting device, said swivelling drive device being normally held off the ground and lowered to the ground by operation of said lifting device to raise said corresponding wheels off the ground, I V said swivelling drive device including at least two con bearing and its upper end abutting said frame structure, whereby said rolls will maintain a sulficiently extended surface contact with the ground to provide good traction on soft and variably inclined road surfaces, 7

and reversible power means mounted in said frame structure and a flexible belt drive means drivably connecting said conveyor rolls and said power means to drive said rolls at will in either direction.

2. A shifting device as defined in claim 1, the corn veyor rolls having the axes operating in substantially vertical planes radiating from a vertical axis midway between said wheels at the other end of said vehicle frame.

3. A shifting device as defined in claim 2, said conveyor rolls being provided with a conicity the apexes of which lie in said vertical axis.

4. A shifting device as defined in claim 1, and means for locking the wheel suspension at said one end of said vehicle frame in its loaded position to said vehicle frame during said lifting and swivelling operations.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Great Britain July 1924

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3202231 *Dec 6, 1961Aug 24, 1965James Butterworth ArchibaldParking apparatus for motor vehicles
US3356384 *Jan 13, 1966Dec 5, 1967Philips CorpMounting wheels for a washing machine
US4616726 *Oct 31, 1985Oct 14, 1986Volvo Bm AbDevice for turning an articulated motor vehicle
US20080053729 *Sep 6, 2006Mar 6, 2008Armen ShagbazyanParallel parker
CN102935843A *Nov 22, 2012Feb 20, 2013陕西银河消防科技装备有限公司Omnibearing automatic steering device
CN102935843B *Nov 22, 2012Aug 26, 2015陕西银河消防科技装备有限公司一种全方位自动转向装置
DE2930934C2 *Jul 30, 1979Oct 29, 1981Martin 6274 Huenstetten De PrugelTitle not available
EP0181301A1 *Oct 24, 1985May 14, 1986Volvo Bm AbDevice for turning an articulated motor vehicle
WO1997019840A1 *Nov 27, 1996Jun 5, 1997Iop S.R.L.Device for the transverse traverse of vehicles
WO2008086658A1 *Jan 16, 2007Jul 24, 2008Zhaoshan LinLaterally running vehicle
U.S. Classification180/200, 180/9.1
International ClassificationB60S9/215, B60S9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60S9/215
European ClassificationB60S9/215