US 3079876 A
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March 5, 1963 J. E. DoANE PALLET CONSTRUCTION Filed May 15, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Avv INVENTOIL dbf/N en/vi @www March 5, 1963 J. E. DOANE l 3,079,876
PALLET CONSTRUCTION Filed May 15, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 F, a, 6 INVENTOR.
3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May 15, 1961 Wwe/vif llnited dentes atent 3,079,375 PALET QNSTRUCTGN .lohn E. Doane, 67 Coral llrive, rinda, Calif. Filed May l5, 196i., Ser. No. 10,lll4 6 Claims. (Si. 19d-55) This invention relates to pallets or platforms for supporting articles while being moved about on lift trucks and while being stored and shipped.
Pallets are being used extensively today for storage and transportation of goods. Often the goods are placed on pallets at their point of origin and are moved, with the aid of lift trucks, to carriers for shipment to their place of destination. Often the goods remain palletized, that is, remain stacked on pallets during shipment thereby facilitating handling which produces ya considerable saving of cost,
Palletized goods shipped by common carrier are charged transportation rates according to their weight, consequently it is desirable to utilize pallets which are light in weight and yet sturdy enough to perform their job as movable platforms. Additionally, the problem of empties has to be considered. ln some instances, pallets have been constructed for a single use and are discarded at the point of destination. This of course makes is necessary to absorb their entire cost as a shipping charge. In other instances, more permanent pallets have been utilized which are returned to the point of origin for reuse. ln this case, the shipping cost to return the pallet must be included in the shipping cost of the goods.
it is therefore a general object of this invention to provide a lightweight, inexpensive, collapsible pallet which is reusable and which is capable of handling even extremely heavy goods.
it is a further object of this invention to provide a pallet which is very lig-ht in weight so that its own weight will not materially add to the cost of shipping of goods and which may be shipped as an empty at a very small cost.
lt is another object of this invention to provide a pallet which is reusable and which may be knocked down or collapsed to decrease its bulk when shipped or stored as an empty.
lt is a still further obiect of this invention to provide a pallet which is sufficiently inexpensive so that it may be discarded after a single shipment without materially adding to the shipping cost or which may be reused.
it is still another object of this invention to provide a collapsible pallet which is capable of holding unusually heavy goods through utilization of collapsing honeycomb support members.
Other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by reference to the following descriptions and claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
GURE l is an isometric view of a preferred embodiment of the pallet of this invention with extension members stapled thereto.
FlGURI 2 is an enlarged detail top view, partially cut away, of the pallet of FGURE l.
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 3 3 of FGURE l.
FEGURES 4 and 5 are respectively isometric views of the pallet of FIGURE l in partially and completely collapsed positions.
FIGURE 6 is an isometric view of the pallet of FlG- URE l in partially open postion and utilizing spacer guides.
Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference characters designate like parts, the pallet shown in FG- URE l and generally designated by reference character le includes an upper platform l2, a lower platform 14 ice and two side panels 16 and l. Platforms i2, 14 and side panels 16 and 13 may comprise a single scored sheet of corrugated paper having an overlap panel 29 fastened by tacks or staples to side panel 16. The sheet is scored at fold lines 22, 24, 26, Z8 so it may be assembled into the at box shape shown and it is further scored along fold lines 3) and 32 so it may be collapsed about these fold lines as shown, for example, in FIGURE 4.
Instead of using corrugated paper which is light and inexpensive, this invention also contemplates the use of more permanent materials as Masonite, wood, resin bonded pulp. in case these materials do not lend themselves to bending about scored fold lines so that several pieces must be used, they may be foldably connected to one another along the various fold lines by tape or other well known fastening materials or adhesives.
A plurality of honeycomb support members expand able and contractable in accordion-like manner of which four are shown at 34, 35, 36 and 37 extend all the way across pallet 16 and have Vtheir respective end portions fastened to the inner surfaces of side panels 1S and 2li by conventional fastening means such as staples or adhesives. A pair of cut-outs 3S, 39 and 4G, 41 are respectively .provided in side panels i6, 20 and 18 between adjacent support members 34, 35 and 36, 37 to define a pair of passageways 42, 43 adapted to receive the fork of the fork lift truck.
Honeycomb support members may be made of paper or other suitable material and in case of reusable pallets may be impregnated to give it greater resistance to moisture and other environmental conditions which may tend to weaken it. The support qualities of extended honeycomb material are very great, a three-quarter inch cell honeycomb paper web being rated for a compression strength of about 60 lbs. per square inch. Consequently, a pallet having a width of 48 and a length of 42 inches and being provided with four honeycomb paper support members, each 6 inches wide, can support a safe evenly distributed load of approximately 60,000 lbs. Much greater safe load ratings for pallets constructed in accordance with this invention are obtainable by utilizing honeycomb material of smaller cell structure.
In certain instances it has been found convenient to provide some means for securing pallet lil in its open position. Without weight being applied to upper platform l2, the accordion-like action of the support members tends to collapse pallet 1t) because of the springlike action of the honeycomb support members. Accordingly, a pair of extension members 44, 45 fabricated of corrugated paper or other suitable material, are dimensioned for accommodation in fork passage 42 and 43 and have ilaps 46, 47, 4S and 49 (and similar flaps on the other side) which are folded outwardly and secured, by staples or other suitable means, to side panel 16 (and side panel iS).
Extension members 44 and 45 may be of single sheet construction, suitably scored along lines 51, 52, 53, 54, S5 and 56, as shown in FlGURE 5 so they may be withdrawn upon collapsing the pallet and flattened out for storage in the spaces above and below the collapsed honeycomb support members. Extension members 44 and 45 also serve as liners for fork passages 42 and 43 -as shown in FIGURE 3 thereby protecting support members 34-37 against damage from the fork. Furthermore, extension members 44 and 45 also provide some guiding action -to the support members upon collapse ofthe pallet.
After an extended period of use of pallet 1t?, the hone comb support members have a tendency to set in their extended position and upon collapsing must be guided into their folded position. In addition to the guidance which may be provided by extension members 44 and 45 or in place thereof, a circular opening may be provided extending lengthwise all thenway through support members 34-37 and permitting the insertion of a rod such as wooden dowels 55-59 shown in FIGURE 6; These dowels will Vfacilitate the collapsing of pallet 16 by retaining the support members in a strai-ghtposition with respect to their center line.
A.FIGURES 4, `5, land 6 show the pallet of this invention in its partially land completely collapsed position by folding the pallet about fold lines 30 and 32. In FIG- URE 4, extension members 44 and 45 yaid in collapsing thehoneycomb suppor-t members, while in FIGURE 6, rods 55 to 58 aid in the collapsing process. FIGURE 5 shows pallet 10 being completely collapsed either for storage or shipment. Generally the height` of the honeycomb support members is between 3 and 4 inches VVand the collapsed length thereof is considerably less depending on size of -the web space, For three-quarter inch web space, the collapsed length has been found to be less -th-an 2 inches for a pallet 42 inches long so that a substantial reduction ibulkfhas been effected.
There has been'described a lightweight, inexpensive, collapsible pallet capable of supporting great weights. The pallet may 'be used with extension members or guide rods or both depending on the convenience of the uSer and the intended `disposition of the pallet.
What is claimed is:
1. A collapsible pallet comprising: a load receiving upper platform foldable about a irst fold line parallel to its lengthwise dimension; a lower platformrfoldable about a second -fold line parallel .to said rst fold line; a pair of side panels Vfoldalbly connecting opposite edges parallel to said fold lines of said upper aud said lower platform, said side panel including a pair of openings delining a passageway for receiving the fork ofa fork lift truck, said platforms and side panels forming an open ended hollow substantially rectangular assembly in the open position and a flat assembly in the collapsed position when `folded about said fold lines; a plurality of collapsible honeycomb support members extending perpendicularly to lsaid vfold lines Ibetween opposite ends of said pair of side panels and being attached thereto, said support members having a height substantially equal .to the distance between opposite platforms.
2. A pallet inaccordance with claim 1 in which said support members are provided with a substantially central opening in the direction of extension.
3. A pallet which may be collapsed from an open to `a closed position comprising: a load receiving upper plat- 4. `form foldable about a fold line extending along its length;
, a lower platform foldable about a fold line extending comb support members having opposite ends atlixed re` spectively to opposite side panels and extending across the widthV of -said box, the height of said support members being substantially equal Ito :the internal height of said box; and a pair of extension members dimensioned for accommodation in said passageways and including means for securing said pallet in its open position.
4. A pallet which may 'be collapsed from an open to -a closed position comprising: a loadrreceiving upper platform foldable about a substantially centrally positioned fold line extending along its lengtlna lower platform foldable about a substantially centrally positioned fold line extending along its length; a pair of side panels foldably connecting opposite lengthwise edge por-tions of said upper and said lower platform to form a hollow rectangular lbox open ended along its length, said side panels includ- -ing apair of openings defining a passageway :through-said box for receiving the fork of a fork lift truck; a plurality of collapsible honeycomb support members having opposite ends allixed respectively to opposite side panels ad`V jacent said openings and extending across the width of said box, the height of said support members being su-bstantially equal to fthe internal height of said box; and a pair of extension members dimensioned for accommoda- `tion in said passageways and including means for securing said pallet in its open position.
5. A pallet as defined in claim 4 n which said means for securing said pallet in itsropen position comprising at last one flap foldably secured to each end of said extension member for fastening to respective external surfaces of said side panels.
6. A pallet as defined in claim 4 in which said support members include a substantially centrally spaced opening along its length for engagement with guide rods.
References Cited in the lile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Y2,089,563 Luhrs -...1 Aug. l0, 1937 2,925,947 Brown Feb. 23, 1960 3,026,078 Simkins Mar. 20, 1962