US 3269475 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
30. 1966 w. n. VOELKER 3,259,475
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM HAVING TWO PAIRS OF ENDLESS TRACKS Filed Nov. 19, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVE OR Wa%%zr 9. [/ae r ATTORNEY 0. 1966 w. D. VOELKER 3,269,475
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM HAVING TWO PAIRS OF ENDLESS TRACKS Filed Nov- 19, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEY 0, 1966 w. D. VOELKER 3,269,475
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM HAVING TWO PAIRS OF ENDLESS TRACKS Filed Nov. 19, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVEN ATTORNEY 30. 1966 w. D. VOELKER 3,269,475
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM HAVING TWO PAIRS OF ENDLESS TRACKS Filed NOV. 19, 1963 4 Sheets-$heet INVENT R z/mzfer 2 W50??? ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,269,475 TRANSPORTATEON SYSTEM HAVENG TWG PAIRS 0F ENDLESS TRACKS Walter D. Voelker, Philadelphia, Pa., assignor to Duramohile Company, Southampton, Pa, a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Nov. 19, 1963, Ser. No. 324,767 1 Ciaim. (Cl. 1802) This invention relates to containers suitable for transporting goods on railroad cars, trucks, barges, airplanes, or other transportation devices and shiftable from one transportation unit to another. Such containers usually have a relatively large capacity such as several cubic yards or even thousands of cubic feet. Such containers have sometimes been loaded onto and/or unloaded from long haul transportation devices by the use of cranes, or fork lift trucks, and/ or other devices deemed objectionable by many of the potential users. Hence, transportation engineers have been long seeking alternative solutions to the problem of providing auxiliary equipment sufficiently flexible and convenient to warrant more Widespread use of containers.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a transportation system in which two pairs of endless tracks are arranged in a generally rectangular relationship, whereby there is more flexibility in the control of the steering by reason of the availability of the alternately used pairs of tracks. Such steering control is particularly advantageous in an endless track device employed for short distance shifting of a cargo-carrying device scheduled for long-haul transportation other than by such endless tracks.
The nature of the invention is further clarified by reference to the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a man operating a portable power unit for steering a container in accordance with the present invention.
\FIGURES 2, -3, and 4 are partial sectional schematic views of portions of the apparatus of FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is a schematic top view. FIG. 4 is a schematic end view of the bottom portion of the container. PEG. 2 is a perspective schematic view of a portion of a bottom corner of a container.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the invention characterized by auxiliary apparatus of suflicient weight to be carried on a cart.
FIGS. 6-9 concern a third embodiment of the invention characterized by auxiliary apparatus transmitting hydraulic power to hydraulic motors temporarily attached to the container. FIG. 6 is a perspective view of such a transportation system. FIG. 7 is a schematic view of the hydraulic system actuated to maintain the tread in a lowered, weight-supporting position. FIG. 8 is a schematic view of the same mechanism actuated to maintain the tread in a raised position. FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a portion of the raised tread.
The important feature of the present invention is the combination of a container having endless tracks and means for rapid engagement and disengagement with auxiliary equipment whereby the pair of tracks may be powered and steered. This feature is emphasized in FIGS. 14, in which an operator 11 shifts a container 12 by the use of auxiliary equipment 1 3 readily engageable to or disengageable from the container 12. Each of a pair of endless tracks 14, 15, can be separately powered under the control of the operator, who thus can steer the container during its shifting from one transportation device to another.
In considering some of the details of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 14, it can be noted that the operator 3,269,475 Patented August 30, 1366 can carry a power unit 16 comprising a frame 17, gasoline engine 18, reversible gear shift 19, and clutches 20, 21, all regulated by finger controls at the handles 22. Drive shafts 23, 24 extend from the clutches 2t), 21 for transmitting power to the tracks 14, 15. Splining 25 may be provided to permit the drive shafts to serve for operators of various heights and to permit greater flexibility of operation. A stabilizing bar 26 can extend from the frame 17 of the power unit 16 for disengageable anchoring on the container 12. Each drive shaft. has a universal joint 27 at each end. The container 12 includes a cargo compartment 28 and a chassis 29 comprising an end member 30 and a side member 31. A driving gear 32 engages with a track. Each driving gear 32 is driven by an axle 34 rotating in bearings 35 and 35 of the chassis 29. A gear 36 on the axle 34 is rotated by driving screw 37 on a shaft 38 equipped with pins 39 engaging with a socket 40 at the end of the drive shaft of the auxiliary equipment 13. The weight of the container is transmitted to the tracks through a plurality of weight-supporting wheels 33. The system by which the sockets 41B of the drive shafts 28 and 24 of auxiliary equipment transmits the power of the gasoline engine 18 to the endless tracks 14 and 15 is designated as the disengageable power transmission means 41. It is ordinarily desirable to equip the container 12 with the disengageable transmission means 41 at each end of the container.
In the operation of the transportation system shown in FIGS. 14, an operator 11 carries auxiliary equipment 13 to a container 12 scheduled for shifting and attaches the stabilizing bar 26 to the container 12, and secures the sockets 40 on the ends of the shafts 38 to engage the disengageable transmission means. After thus connecting the auxiliary equipment to the container 12, the operator can start the gasoline engine 1 8, and engage one or both of the clutches 20, 21 to drive the endless tracks '14, 15 respectively. The steering of the container involves the usual control of the forwrad and reverse speeds of each of the pair of tracks. By reason of the tracks ability to traverse rough terrain, and to bridge relatively wide crevices, the container 12 can be shifted across a wide variety of conditions, thus having an important advantage over wheels. The height of the track system is much less than necessary for wheel systems having less satisfactory performance. The power of the gasoline engine 18 is transmitted through the transmission 19, clutches 20, 21, splined extensible drive shafts 23, 24, sockets 40, shaft 38, driving gear 36, axle 34, driving gear 32, to the endless tracks 14, 15, utilizing the disengageable power transmission system 11.
Numerous modifications of the general concept of the combination of a tracked container and auxiliary equipment having disengageable power transmission means are possible. A considerable variety of containers can comply with the uniform standard for receiving power from auxiliary equipment. In locations in which auxiliary equipment is in almost constant use, there is economic justification for much more expensive apparatus than would be appropriate in locations where the use would be only occasional. Each of the many varieties of auxiliary equipment can be employed in shifting any of the many varieties of containers, the disengageable power transmission standards being common to all, thus providing extreme flexibility in the use of the transportation system of the present invention.
As shown in FIG. 5, a gasoline engine 118 may be heavy enough to be mounted upon a cart 150, which also carries transmission 119, and clutches 120, 121, controlling drive shafts 123, 124. The cart can be temporarily anchored to a container unit 112 consisting essentially of a platform '15'1. Endless track devices having a pair of endless treads are often provided with parking brakes, and the embodiment shown in FIG. 5 includes shiftable pins 152, 153 adapted to engage with tracks 114, 115 to serve as parking brakes. The operation of the transportation system of 'FIG. 5 is essentially the same as that for 'FIGS. 1-4.
As shown in FIGS. 69, a track can be actuated by a hydraulic motor supplied with pressurized hydraulic fluid from a tractor. A container having the dimensions of the cargo-carrying portion of a typical semi-trailer truck can thus be shifted at walking speeds by the use of the auxiliary apparatus comprising a hydraulic pump driven by a suitable power unit and an appropriate system of controls.
Referring in detail to FIG. 6, a tractor 261 is equipped with a seat 262 for an operator and with a power-driven hydraulic pump supplying streams of high pressure hydraulic fluid to a network 263 of hydraulic hoses 264. A container 212 has a pair of tracks 214, 215 and a supplemental pair of tracks 265, 266. Each track is provided with a hydraulic motor 267 and a hydraulic jacking control system 2 68, each supplied by a system (supply and return) of hydraulic lines and a system of controls operable through one of the hoses 264. As shown in FIG. 7, a track 215 can be lowered into operative position by the supply of hydraulic fluid in lowering tube 269 during the absence of fluid from raising tube 270. The track is supported by member 2711 vertically shiftable by the tubes 269 and 270. Stationary base 272 supported by legs 273 depending from the container 212 cooperate in the operation of the hydraulic jacking, providing fixed surfaces contacting upper plate 274 of the vertically shiftable member 271. 'FIGS. 8 and 9 show the track 115 in its raised position by reason of the hydraulic fluid pressure in the raising tube 270.
In the operation of the transportation system of FIGS. 6-9, the operator on the tractor approaches a container on a transportation device, and attaches temporarily the hydraulic motor 267 and the jacking system controls 268, and then returns to the seat 262 of the tractor 261. The operator actuates controls so that the supplementary pair of tracks 265, 266 are maintained in a raised position and so that tracks 214, 215 are moved into a lowered position so that they carry the weight of the container 212 and raise it off the legs on which is normally rests. Then the hydraulic motors are energized so that they advance the container toward its destination, such as on another transportation device. The operator steers the container by the controls of the relative speeds of the tracks 2'14, 215. Additional speed of control of the steering is provided by the supplemental pair of tracks 265, 266 so that if the operator misjudges and guides the container into a wrong position, the correction may be made quickly by shifting to the use of the supplemental tracks. Moreover, the availability of the two sets of tracks permits the loading of the containers onto either the side or end of a truck according to the convenience of the situation. The general operation of the transportation system of FIGS. 6-9 has much similarity to that of FIGS. 14, the principal difference being that in locations in which larger containers would be shifted, the auxiliary equipment would be more powerful, and that the transmission of power greater than about 25 horsepower is advantageously accomplished hydraulically instead of by rotating shafts coupled between two moving vehicles.
Various modifications in the transportation system are possible without departing from the scope of the claim.
The invention claimed is:
In a transportation system in which cargo-containing devices carry cargo on long-haul transportation, and in which endless track devices are employed for short-distance shifting of such cargo containing devices, the improvement which consists of the combination of:
(A) an endless track device having two pairs of endless tracks at right angles to each other and arranged in a generally rectangular relationship; hydraulically operated means in the endless track device for lowering or raising at least one pair of tracks into and from operative cargo carrying relationship; two pairs of cooperating members adapted to receive power from an auxiliary apparatus for revolving the endless tracks; and
(B) auxiliary apparatus comprising: a motor; two pairs of attachable-detachable companion members energized by the motor transmitting hydraulic power to the cooperating members in the endless track device for transmitting hydraulic power revolving the endless tracks; control means actuating the hydraulically operated means to lower a pair of endless tracks for supporting the cargo; and steering control means permitting the control of the power transmitted to each of the supporting pair of tracks, whereby the cargoca'rrying device may be steered during its shifting, there being more flexibility of control of said steering by reason of the availability of the alternately used pairs of rectangularly arranged endless tracks.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 484,828 10/ 1892 Stewart 180-664 X 1,388,236 8/1921 Bressler 1 9.3 X 1,628,309 5/1927 Davis 1806.7 1,942,022 1/ 1934 Paries 67 X 2,029,431 2/1936 Lewis 280-28.5 X 2,055,860 9/1936 [Faries et a1 280r28.5 X 5, 9 1/ Van Voorhees 1 809.-3 X 2,828,826 4/ 1958 Riemenschneider 1 801 2,857,008 10/ 1958 lPirrello 1801 2,877,981 3/1959 MoMurry 2-8043.24 X 2,966,222 12/ 1960 Lambert 1 80-6.7 3,020,059 2/1962 Allen 280-285 X 3,156,315 11/1964 Hawgood 18019 X FOREIGN PATENTS 513,031 12/ 1937 Great Britain.
BENJAMIN HERSH, Primary Examiner. A. HARRY LEVY, Examiner.
J. A. PEKAR, Assistant Examiner.