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Publication numberUS3294419 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 27, 1966
Filing dateApr 12, 1965
Priority dateApr 12, 1965
Publication numberUS 3294419 A, US 3294419A, US-A-3294419, US3294419 A, US3294419A
InventorsJohn J Martin, Robert A Hitch
Original AssigneePullman Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tandem container connecting arrangement
US 3294419 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 27, 1966 J. J. MARTIN ETAL TANDEM CONTAINER CONNECTING ARRANGEMENT Filed April 12, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORs Rg rw/fih BLZM/Q Dec. 27, 1966 J. J. MARTIN ETAL 3,294,419

TANDEM CONTAINER CONNECTING ARRANGEMENT Filed A ril 1.2V 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 1 Hm. {36 /l//////// INVENTORS JOHN J.MARTIN ROBERT AQHITCH ATT'Y.

United States Patent "ice 3,294,419 TANDEM CONTAINER CONNECTING ARRANGEMENT John .I. Martin, Weatherly, Pa., and Robert A. Hitch,

Milford, N.J., assignors to Pullman Incorporated, Chicago, Ill, a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 12, 1965, Ser. No. 447,443 8 Claims. (Cl. 280-415) The present invention relates to semi-trailers and more particularly to semi-trailers of the type employing detachably mounted van containers and to a new and improved arrangement for connecting semi-trailers of the foregoing type for tandem operation over the road.

Van containers have achieved a growing acceptance for freight movement and have led to the development of a modular group of freight containers which provides carrier and shippers with, an economical and flexible means of transporting interchangeably between marine, rail and road services. To this end, the containers are designed to utilize accepted methods of handling and securing to accommodate railway car, ship or semi-trailer chassis.

Briefly, the modular system embodies several type of specially constructed semi-trailer chassis equipped to transport the containers over the road. However, the containers employed in the interchangeable universal system are standardized to size which render the over the road operation on a single semi-trailer somewhat uneconomical. To overcome this uneconomical operation of the single semi-trai-ler containing the relatively small sized containers, the semi-trailers are connected in tandem. It is the arrangement for coupling the semi-trailers in tandem with which the present invention is primarily concerned.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a new and improved coupling arrangement for connecting semi-trailers of the above described type in tandem.

It is a further object to provide a coupling arrangement for semi-trailers which is economical and of simple construction to facilitate the attachment of the trailers in tandem.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of two semi-trailers of the type having a van body detachably fastened on the semi-trailer chassis and incorporating the coupling arrangement of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the van body and the semi-trailer chassis schematically showing the manner in which the van body is detachably fastened to the semitrailer chassis;

FIG. 3 i an end view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged view of the lower adjacent corners of the trailer and showing the coupling arrangement in its operative connecting position;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of one of the rear corners of the foremost container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the front corner of the rearmost container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view through the rear corner bracket taken generally along the lines 7-7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view through the front corner bracket taken generally along the lines 88 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the tie member of the coupling assembly;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the clamp member of the coupling assembly;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary view of the four adjacent corners of the van bodies and showing the initial position Patented Dec. 27, 1966 of the tie member relative to the corner brackets thereof;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary view of the two lower corners of the van bodies showing the clamping member being inserted into the operative coupling; and

FIG. 13 is an enlarged perspective view showing the tie member and the clamping member in their operative tandem connecting position.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a front semi-trailer 10 and a rear semitrailer 11 each being of the general type having a detachable van 'body 12 and a chassis 13 and connected together for tandem operation by means of a coupling arrangement 14 embodying the principles of the present invention.

The van bodies or containers 12 and each of similar tructure and are of the type generally used in intermodular or universal type transportation. These containers 12 generally have nominal dimensions of 8 x 8 x 20'. Each container 12 is generally rectangular and comprises side walls 16, an upper Wall 17, a lower or bottom wall 18 and end walls 19. The construction is such that no reinforcement is employed in the formation of the sheet metal sides; in other words, the container is substantially frameless. Welded to the bottom wall and extending longitudinally of the body are transversely spaced securing tracks 21 preferably in the form of angle irons and having downwardly depending flanges 22 with lengthwise spaced openings 23 as schematically illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3.

The chassis 13 includes an upper frame 24 formed from suitable structural components and having side members 26 adapted to receive the securing tracks 21. Secured or mounted on the upper frame 24 is a suitable retractable plunger or locking mechanism 27 which is operative to be inserted into the openings 23 of the securing tracks for detachably fastening the container 12 to the chassis 13. Fastened to the chassis at the front ends thereof is a landing gear 28 and adjacent the rear end is a bOgie 29. The forward end of the chassis 13 may also be provided with a king pin 31 for attachment to the fifth wheel plate of a semi-trailer. The bogies 29 may be of more or less conventional structure and include wheels 32.

In accordance with the present invention, the semitrailers 10 and 11 with the containers 12 secured to the respective chassis 13 are connected in tandem by the coupling arrangement 14. At the right end as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the containers is provided with front corner brackets 33a and at the left end with rear corner brackets 33b. The front and rear corner brackets 33a and 331) are generally formed as of box like castings and are of standardized exterior dimensions. In accordance with the present invention the front corner brackets 33a, as shown in particular in FIGS. 6 and 8, includes side walls 34, a top wall 36, a rear wall 37, a bottom wall 38, and a front wall 39. The exterior side wall 34 is formed with an elongated somewhat oval opening or aperture 41 which is adapted to receive suitable fastening means for securing the container to the mounting chassis provided on the rail or ship equipment with which the container is adapted to be used. The front wall 39 is formed with a rectangular opening 42 which merges at its lower end with an elongated slot 43 formed in the bottom wall 38. Spanning the opening 42 somewhat above the bottom wall 38 is a tie or clamping bar 44 of substantially circular cross section. Along the sides of the rectangular opening 42 there is formed an inclined guiding surface 46. The elongated slot 43 is formed at its outer end with camming or guiding surfaces 47.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, the rear corner brackets 33b are similarly formed as a box like structure and include the front wall 39, top wall 36, rear wall 37, bottom wall 38 and sidewalls 34. As in the construction of the front corner bracket 33a, the outer side wall 34 is formed with an elongate aperture 41 for the same purpose as described above. Formed in the rear wall 37 is a substantially circular pilot opening 48. The front wall 39 is formed with a rectangular opening 49 defined along the bottom edge thereof by a tie bar 51 which is of substantially rectangular cross section and terminating at its inner end in a semi-circular section 52. The tie bar 51 is spaced somewhat upwardly from an elongate slot 53 formed in the bottom wall 38 and extending upwardly into the front wall 39 and terminating at the tie bar 51.

A corner bracket 33a is located at each of the front corners of the forward ends of the containers 17 and the two rear corner brackets are located along each of the corners of the rear ends of the containers 17. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 1, 4 and 11 through 13, the front and rear corner brackets 33a are positioned in aligned lengthwise spaced relationship to each other when the semitrailers are arranged for tandem operation. Connecting or coupling the semi-trailers for tandem operation is the coupling means 14 which includes a tie member 54 and a separable clamping member 56.

As shown in FIG. 9, the tie member 54 comprises an elongate bar of generally rectangular section which may preferably be formed as a forging and machined to size if necessary, and includes at one end a pilot end of circular section 57 which is adapted to be received within the pilot opening 48 of the rear corner bracket 33b. At its other end the tie member 54 is formed with a fastening projection 58 having a threaded opening 59. At its top face the fastening projection 58 is formed with an inclined surface 61 to facilitate the insertion of the fastening projection into the rectangular opening 42 of the front corner bracket 33a. Intermediate its ends and along the upper surface the tie member 54 is formed with a spacing projection 62 providing a pair of lengthwise spaced shoulders 63 and 64 which engage the adjacent end walls 17 of the container bodies in the coupled positions of the latter.

As shown in FIGS. 10-13, the clamping member 56 includes a clamping jaw sector 66 having a horizontal limb 67 terminating at one end in an upwardly extending clamping jaw 68 having a semi-circular surface 69 complementary to the substantially semi-circular surface 52 of the tie bar 51. Extending horizontally outwardly from the clamping jaw 68 are trunnions 71 which are adapted to rest on the inner surface of the bottom wall 38 of the rear corner bracket 33b.

At the other end of the clamping jaw 66, there is formed a second gripping jaw 72 which is also formed with a semi-circular clamping surface 73 adapted to embrace the clamping bar 44 of the front corner bracket 33a. Extending from the gripping jaw 72 is a fastening projection 74 having an aperture 76 adapted to be aligned with the threaded aperture 59 of the tie member 54.

To utilize the coupling arrangement 14 as shown in FIGS. 11-13, tie member 54 is initially inserted into the rear corner bracket 33b so that the pilot end 57 thereof is inserted into the pilot opening 48. The body portion is snugly received in the rectangular opening 49 between the tie bar 51 and the upper wall 36. As shown, the rear semi-trailer 11 is spaced from the front semitrailer 10 so as to permit the ready insertion of the tie member 54 into the rear corner bracket 33b. Thereafter, the rear trailer 11 is moved forwardly to the phantom line position shown in FIG. 11 so that the fastening projection end 58 of the tie member 54 is received within the rectangular opening 42 of the front corner bracket 33a between the inner side of the top wall 36 and the clamping bar 44. Insertion of the fastening projection end 58 into the front corner brackets 33a is facilitated by way of the inclined surfaces 61 and 46 on the projection end 58 and corner bracket 33a, respectively. In

, apart relatively to each other.

this position the fastening projection rests on the clamping bar 44. It is also to be noted that the spacer projection 62 by means of the spaced shoulders 63 and 64 abutting the end walls 39 of the corner brackets 33a and 33b, serves to maintain the {front and rear semi-trailers 10 and 11 at a predetermined fixed lengthwise space relationship.

As shown in FIG. 12 the clamp or locking member 56 is inserted vertically through the opening 43 in the bottom wall 38 of the rear corner bracket 33b with the trunnions 71 lying lengthwise of the opening 53. Thereafter, the locking member 56 is twisted so that the trunnions 71 lie transversely of the opening 53 and rest upon the inner surface of the bottom wall 38. The locking member 56 is then swung upwardly about the trunnions 71 so that the semi-circular surface 69 rocks about the semi-circular surface 52 0f the tie 'bar 51. The locking member 56 is swung until the semi-circular surface 73 on the gripping jaw 72 embraces the clamping bar 44 of the front corner bracket 3311 as shown in FIG. 11. The tie member 54 and the clamping jaw or looking member 56 are then secured by means of a bolt 78 which is inserted through the opening 76 and into the threaded opening 59 of the tie member 54.

To release the coupling arrangement 14, the above described procedure is reversed and the tie member 54 and locking member 56 are removed from the corner brackets 33a and 33b. The tie member 54 and locking member 56 may then be stored in a storage area (not shown) provided on the containers 12.

For over the road operation the two semi-trailers 10 and 11, coupled as described above, are hauled by a tractor (not shown). The foremost semi-trailer is connected by way of the king pin 31 to the fifth wheel plate (not shown) of the tractor in the more or less conventional manner. When hauled, of course, the landing gear 28 on each of the semi-trailers 10 and 11 is elevated above the road level. The pulling and pushing forces excited by the tractor on the forward semi-trailer are also transmitted to the rearmost semi-trailer through the tie members 54 and clamping bars 56 located at each of the adjacent corner fittings 33a and 33b of the containers 12 mounted on the respective chassis 13. At the same time the tie members 54 and clamping bars 56 assume the shear forces exerted by the weight of the front end of the rearmost semi-trailer 11.

During transit over the road the foremost semi-trailer 10 and the rearmost semi-trailer 11 may be on different grades. Such difference of grade levels of the semitrailers is accommodated by the connection of the clamping bar 56 between the front corner bracket tie bars 44 and the rear corner bracket tie bars 51. As heretofore described, the clamping jaw68 is formed complementary to the semi-circular surface 52 of the tie bar 51, and the gripping jaw 72 is also formed with a semicircular concave surface which engages the clamping bar 44. Moreover, the underside of the tie member merely tangentially engages the clamping bar 44 where bolted to the clamping member 56. This construction permits the rearmost semi-trailer 11 to tilt relatively to the forward semi-trailer 10 because the clamping bar 44 may turn relatively to the complementary circular surfaces of the gripping jaw 73 and the clamping bar 44.

Thus, assuming that the rearmost semi-trailer 11 is on a downgrade relative to the front semi-trailer 10, the rearmost semi-trailer 11 may tilt relative to the coupling connection 14, which acts in the nature of a hinge, until the upper adjacent ends of the containers abut. Similar hinging movement of the rearmost semi-trailer 11 occurs when disposed on an upgrade relative to the front semitrailer 10. However, the hinging movement is such that the upper ends of the containers 12 are spaced further With the construction shown it is proposed to achieve a hinging angle of, for example, 15.

From the foregoing description it should be readily apparent that the coupling arrangement 14 of the present invention quickly and simply connects the two semitrailers in tandem for over the road operation by the simple connection at the adjacent corner brackets 33a and 33b of the containers 12 fastened to the semi-trailer chassis and 11.

What is claimed is:

1. An arrangement for coupling two semi-trailers in tandem, comprising a first semi-trailer and a second semitrailer, said first and second semi-trailers each including a wheeled chassis, frameless van size cargo bodies removably mounted thereon, and latching means for fastening said cargo bodies on the respective ones of said wheeled chassis, said cargo bodies each having corner brackets at the lower ends thereof, coupling means extending between said lower bracket means, said coupling means including rigid bar means insertable into said lower corner bracket a-t adjacent ends of said cargo bodies of said first and second semi-trailers and engageable with tie bar means formed in said ,lower corner brackets, said lower corner bracket tie bar means and coupling means being formed to permit limited rocking movement in a vertical plane of said firs-t and second semi-trailers and means detachably fastening said coupling means within said lower corner brackets.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said coupling means comprises a tie member, and a clamping member.

3. The invention as defined in claim 2 wherein said tie member includes means fastenable to said clamping member for retaining said clamping means in engagement with said corner bracket tie bar means.

4. The invention as defined in claim 3 wherein said tie member further includes means located for engagement with the adjacent ends of said cargo bodies of said first and second semi-trailers for retaining the latter in a predetermined spaced relationship.

5. The invention as defined in claim 3 wherein said tie bar means and said clamping member are formed to permit said limited rocking movement of said semi-trailers in a vertical plane.

6. An arrangement for coupling semi-trailers in tandem comprising two semi-trailers each including a chas sis and a frameless van-size cargo body detachably fastened thereon, said bodies each having corner brackets at the lower corners thereof, said lower corner brackets each being of a box like construction and having a chamber, an opening formed in an end wall of each of said brackets and communicating with said chamber, said openings in said corner brackets on adjacent end walls of said tandem semi-trailers being in longitudinal and transverse alignment, clamp receiving means of circular section extending across the openings of one pair of said corner brackets along an end wall of one of said containers, a tie means disposed across said respective openings of the pair of corner brackets on the end wall adjacent to said one end wall of said container, coupling means insertable into said chambers of said corner brackets on said adjacent end walls of said containers, said coupling means including a tie member and a clamping member embracing said corner bracket tie means and said corner bracket clamping bars, said tie means and clamping means including surfaces formed to hingedly embrace said clamp receiving means whereby said semitrailers are capable of hinging movement relative to each other when disposed on different grades.

7. The invention as defined in claim 5 in which said tie members are insertable through said openings into said chambers and overlie said tie means and said clamp receiving means, and said clamp means underlies said tie means and said clamp means and wherein said clamp means and said tie member underlies said tie means and said clamping means.

8. The invention as defined in claim 6 wherein the end of said clamping means embracing said respective tie means and said tie means are formed with arcuate concave surfaces to permit rocking movement of said clamping means thereabout.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,086,673 4/1963 Tantlinger et a1 220-15 3,092,282 6/1963 Tantlinger et al. 2201.5 3,132,883 5/1964 Tantlinger et a1. 287108 LEO FRIAGLIA, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3086673 *Aug 21, 1961Apr 23, 1963Fruehauf Trailer CoContainer tie
US3092282 *Aug 21, 1961Jun 4, 1963Fruehauf Trailer CoAutomatic container tie
US3132883 *May 25, 1961May 12, 1964Fruehauf CorpShipping apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3580410 *Feb 13, 1969May 25, 1971Strick CorpCoupling device for container handling system
US4942975 *Jul 5, 1989Jul 24, 1990The United State Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyContainer connector having a skewed installation configuration
US6237794 *Mar 10, 2000May 29, 2001Stoughton Trailers, Inc.Stacking post top casting
US6450522 *Sep 29, 2000Sep 17, 2002Susumu YamadaTransporting vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification280/418.1, 220/1.5, 280/8, 280/DIG.800
International ClassificationB60P1/64, B65D90/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S280/08, B60P1/6481, B65D90/0026
European ClassificationB65D90/00C, B60P1/64C7
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