US 3117683 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 14, 1964 H, c, KLEPPE 3,117,683
BOAT TRAILER LOADING AND SUPPORTING DEVICE Filed May 3, 1961 E E j 1 5 INVENTOR. Haws/527' C. KLEPPE Z/W T ATTORN EY United States Patent 3,117,683 BOAT TRAILER LOADING AND SUPPGRTING DEVICE Herbert C. Kleppe, La Mirada, Calii, assignor to American Trailer & Manufacturing Co., Dowuey, Cal1f., a
corporation of California Filed May 3, 1961, Ser. No. 107,394 4 Claims. (Cl. 214-84) The present invention relates to a new and improved boat loader and carrying device for attachment to boat hauling trailers of the type adapted for towing behind motor vehicles. 1
More particularly, this invention is concerned with the provision or a resilient roller assembly situated in a mid portion of a trailer cross-framemember and which adapts itself to fit the changing hull configurations and resiliently support the shifting Weight of a boat hull being moved thereover either in being loaded onto or launched from the trailer. Additionally, the roller assembly features a led spring mounting arrangement which flexes to accommodate the changing load of the boat as it moves past the rollers and to resiliently support the weight of the boat during transport and storage.
The construction of presently available boat trzdlers frequently leaves much to be desired in the proper handling of a boat during loading and launching operations and during both transport of the boat over highways during storage periods when the boat remains on the trailer. These problems are caused by the limitations of the guide and supporting roller arrays positioned at various points on the frame members of the trailer. Present roller assemblies are either dimensionally fixed at the factory for a particular hull design or are made adjustable to fixed positions to handle an assortment of designs. However, due to the wide variation of hull cross-section configurations and the changing load requirements imposed in loading or launching the boat there are many times during these operations when the load is shifted back and forth between various rollers and consequently great mechanical strains are caused to appear in the hull structure of the boat which create unwanted maintenance and expense. For example, a typical trailer is usually provided with fixed roller spacing but during the period when the boat is being loaded onto or launched into the water from the trailer the loads imposed upon the various rollers changes as particular cross-sectional portions of the hull move past particular rollers. In the loading operation, as the boat moves over the conventionally fixed rear central roller, a portion of the weight of the boat is centered on the keel and the single point on the stern roller and as the hull progresses over the roller the Weight shift increases to something approaching the total Weight of the boat. This shift of Weight along a moving point on the keel can cause strains of such magnitude as to weaken caulked joints and cause other damages which may result in eventual leaks which would naturally require repair. These strains are recreated in a reverse direction each time the boat is launched. Additionally, the fixed roller placement does not provide any shock absorbing action during the period when the boat is being transported over changing highway surfaces. Hence, it is seen that considerable damage may be inflicted to the structure of the boat with such fixed roller assemblies.
In a preferred form of the invention the resilient roller assemblies are mounted centrally on cross-frame member of the trailer and cooperate with other conventional guide and supporting rollers mounted on other parts of the trailer frame to provide roller conveyor surfaces over which the hull of a boat may be moved by means of a winch in loading the boat or launching it. My resilient roller assembly features a leaf spring support adapted for otlset, parallel attachment to cross-frame members of the trailers. The ends of the leaf spring are equipped with pivotally attached brackets to which are secured two roller members. Although not limited thereto, the assembly is attached to the mid-portion of the rear cross-frame of a trailer where it cooperates with the conventional stern roller secured to the same frame member and normal side supporting and guide rollers distributed along other parts of the trailer frame. As will be described in detail later, the resilient mounting and pivoted rollers of the assembly gently respond to both load and hull crosssectional changes in manner to provide maximum protection for the structure of the boat during all phases of the loading, launching, transport and storage uses of the trailer.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide a roller assembly which may adapt itself to changing load and support requirements in the handling of a boat in conjunction with a boat transporting trailer.
Another object is the provision of a boat loader assembly for attachment to existing trailers or to be incorporated in new trailer constructions wherein a plurality of pivotally movable rollers are supported on a leaf spring member adapted to be attached to the frame members of the trailer.
Another object is to provide a roller assembly having resilient mounting means for load bearing adjustable rollers which contact changing portions of a boat hull during loading or launching of the boat whereby the assembly may flex and adjust to the changing load and contour of the hull to support it in a manner preventing damage to the hull structure.
A further object is to provide a boat trailer comprising a resiliently mounted set of adjustable rollers whereby the shifting load and contour of the boat hull may be accommodated during loading or launching operations and during periods of storage of the boat on the trailer or while being drawn over changing highway surfaces without inflicting damage to the hull structure.
Further objects and additional advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and annexed drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a portion of a boat trailer frame embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the flexibly mounted roller assembly of the invention shown on a section of a trailer frame member;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;
FlG. 5 is a side elevational view of a trailer embodying the invention showing a boat fully loaded thereon; and
FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 are cross sections, looking rearward and taken at the rear of the trailer, of three successive loading positions, as the boat is rolled onto the trailer.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, FIG. 5 shows a typical boat trailer 14} equipped with the resiliently mounted loader device, generally designated 11, and having a boat 12 positioned thereon in its loaded position. The trailer comprises a frame 13 suitably sunported on a Wheel assembly 14 and is provided with the usual coupling fixture 15 utilized in attaching the trailer to a towing vehicle. A typical winch device 16 is mounted toward the front end of the frame upon which is spooled a line 17 secured to the how 18 of the boat by which the boat may be pulled on the trailer or launched there.-
from. Cross-frame members 19 are utilized to mount conventional keel rollers 20 and side support rollers 21 and 22 in addition to the loader device 11; The trailer 10 may be equipped with conventional accessory equipment,such as, tail lights, clearance lights, catwalks, etc, which form no part of the present invention and are not included in the drawings.
As may be seen more clearly in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing, the resiliently mounted loader device 11 is centrally positioned in parallel relation to the cross-frame member 19 located at the rear end of the trailer frame 13. The same cross-frame member is utilized to mount typical side supporting rollers 22 which are pivotally connected by suitable means, such as bolts 23, to vertical brackets 24 having slots 25 which cooperate with attaching means, such as, bolts 26 to adjustably secure the brackets to cross-frame member 19. Additionally, a stern keel roller 27 is rotatably mounted by axle 28 between L brackets 29 in a mid position on flange 30 of cross-frame member 19.
The loader device 11 features a flat leaf spring member 31 which is secured to frame member 19 by means of an L-shaped bracket 32 which is suitably attached to the leaf spring by bolts 33 and may be secured at the mid-point of frame member 19 by a weld joint to upper flange 30 and central section 34. This arrangement permits the free ends 35 and 36 of the leaf spring to flex upwardly and downwardly past flange 30 in response to load changes as will be described. As shown, the free ends 35 and 36 are disposed in an upward direction and are twisted at 37 to form two mounting ears 3S and 39 which are aligned with the rear edge 40 of the Spring. Mounting cars 38 and 39 have loading roller assemblies 41 and 42 pivotally secured thereto by means, such as, bolts 43.
Roller assemblies 41 and 42 are identical and will be described with reference to assembly 41. The assemblies are supported on pivoted bearing fixtures 45 comprising end members 46 and 47 suitably joined, as by welding, to spacing member 48 and a central web 49 which is apertured to receive bolts 43 at the pivotal connection with mounting cars 38 and 39. The end members 46 and 47 are provided with bearing apertures to rotatively receive an axle shaft 50 upon which outer rubber rollers 51 are fixedly secured. The rubber rollers are formed of conventional pressure lubricated materials commonly used in the construction of boat loading rollers. The rollers 51 are positioned in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the leaf spring 31 thereby permitting them to oscillate about their pivotal connections in response to contour changes of the boat hull as it is drawn longitudinally over the rollers during ioading or launching operations.
FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 show, pictorially, the manner in which the loader device functions during the various stages of loading a boat on the trailer. In preparation for a loading operation, the trailer is first backed into position with its rear end tilted downwardly about the axis of the wheels into the Water adjacent the shore line, the boat is headed with its keel centered along the longitudinal axis of the trailer and the line 17 from the winch is secured to an appropriate attaching fixture on the bow of the boat. During the first few feet of movement toward the trailer the weight of the boat is buoyantly supported in the water. As the portion of the keel adjacent the bow contacts the stern roller 27, the part of the bow to the left of line 66 in FIG. 5 begins to position itself between the roller assemblies 41 and 42 of the loader 11 and when the cross-section of the hull .at line 66 comes abreast of roller assemblies 41 and '42 the rollers engage the hull as shown in FIG. 6. At this stage most of the weight is still supported by the water, hence, not being heavily loaded, leaf spring 31 remains relatively unflexed. Between the stages shown in FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, the proportion of weight supported by the loader device 11 begins to increase rap idly causing the ends of the leaf spring to deflect downwardly and rollers 51 begin to pivot outwardly to conform 10 1116 e figtlf lt tl gonfiguration of the hull. At
this stage, the sides of the boat have not made contact with the support and guide rollers 21 and 22 but tilting of the boat is prevented by its engagement with the spaced roller assemblies 41 and 42 of the loader device. In FIG. 8, the boat has been advanced to its fully loaded position and here it is seen that the ends of the leaf spring 31 have deflected further downwardly under the full stern weight of the boat. The usual tie down lines may then be applied to tightly secure the boat to the support rollers of the trailer. As previously mentioned, the leaf spring is still free to flex in either an up or down direction as a result of thrusts from the boat caused by the riding motion of the trailer during towing, thus, also serving to absorb the resultant shocks thereby preventing damaging strains within the structure of the hull.
As is usually the case, the boat may be stored on the trailer until it again is launched. The additional support provided by the loader device serves to minimize the strains imposed on the hull due to the concentration of its weight along the keel surface.
When it is desired to launch the boat from the trailer the above procedure is carried out in reverse manner. Here again, the loader device provides a steadying support to the boat between the time it breaks contact with the various fixed support rollers until it is safely afloat in the water.
From the foregoing those skilled in the art will observe that the invention achieves the objectives outlined in the foregoing and realizes the advantages enumerated. The loader device 11, not only provides protection to the boat during loading and launching operations, but due to its yielding action is response to load changes greatly facilitates both operations. In addition, it alfords maximum protection to the boat during transportation and storage periods on the trailer. Although not shown, additional loader units may be used in conjunction with, or to replace conventional keel rollers on other crossframe members of the trailer.
While the instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention which is therefore not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be afforded the full scope of the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In the combination of a boat hauling trailer having a body frame including spaced cross frame members, one of which being located at the rear end of the frame, a plurality of roller assemblies positioned on said crossframe members to support the keel and side portions of a boat when in loaded position on said trailer, the improvement comprising:
a resilient loader device located adjacent said rear cross-frame member, said loader device having a plurality of roller means arranged thereon at an inboard position with respect to said roller assemblies provided for support of side portions of a boat lading;
the resilient characteristic of the loader device being provided by a leaf spring mounted at its center substantially on the longitudinal axis of the body frame and having opposite free ends disposed on opposite sides of said axis and in parallel relationship to said cross-frame member, said resilient loader device providing an unloaded position for said roller means above the normal position of a boat hull resting on said trailer, said rollers thereby adapted to conform to the changing hull configuration of a boat being drawn thereover and to resiliently yield in response to the increasing and decreasing weight load imposed thereon by the movement of a boat thereover when being hauled along the longitudinal axis of said trailer as the boat is being loaded onto or launched from said trailer.
2. A conveyor and transport device for a boat comprising:
a mobile frame, a keel support means mounted on said frame establishing a central axis of said frame;
Opposed fixed outrigger support means carried in fixed elevation with respect to said keel support means, said outrigger support means establishing a plurality of unyielding support positions defining a cradle to accommodate a boat hull;
at least one cooperative pair of opposed yieldahle rollers located intermediate said outrigger support means on opposite sides of said central axis;
mounting means for said yieldable rollers providing an unloaded position of the rollers with the axis of each roller directed toward the central axis of said frame in mgular relationship to one another, and the outer end of each roller directed upwardly and outwardly;
said mounting means providing a yieldable resistance to loading along an arcuate path to cause the inner end of the rollers to swing upwardly and the outer ends of the rollers to swing downwardly, whereby the weight of a boat loading along said keel support means is transferred from the keel support means to the yieldable rollers which in turn transfer at least part of the weight of the boat to the fixed outrigger support means for transportation by the transport device in such last mentioned position.
3. In the conveyor and transport device as defined in claim 2, the mounting means for said yieldable rollers comprising resilient leaf spring support member having free end portions disposed in perpendicular relation to the said central axis of said frame adjacent the rear portion of the mobile frame.
4. In the combination of a boat hauling trailer having a body frame including spaced cross-frame members, one of which being located at the rear end of the frame:
a central keel support roller and opposed fixed outboard rollers jointly defining a support bed for the keel and side portions of a heart when in loaded position on said trailer;
at least one cooperative pair of opposed yieldahle rollers located intermediate said utboard rollers;
support means for said yieldable rollers providing an unloaded position of the rollers with the axis of each roller directed toward the central axis of said frame in angular relationship to one another, and the outer end of each roller directed upwardly and outwardly;
said support means providing a yieldable resistance to loading along an arcuate path to cause the inner ends of the rollers to swing upwardly and the outer ends to swing downwardly, whereby the weight of a boat loading over said keel support roller is transferred from the keel support roller to the yieldable rollers which in turn transfer at least part of the Weight of the boat to the fixed outboard rollers for transportation by the trailer in said last mentioned position.
References Qited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 909,833 Vrooman Ian. 12, 1909 2,768,045 Shontz May 10, 1955 2,889,946 Hol'sclaw June 9, 1959 2,907,448 Gleeson Oct. 6, 1959 2,974,777 Marsh Mar. 14, 1961