US 3315800 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A ril 25, 1967 H. R. WAGNER 3,315,800
COLLAPSIBLE PLYWOOD SHIPPING DEVICE Filed Dec. 14, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 BY "Zn-b A ril 25, 1967 R, WAGNER 3,315,800
COLLAPSIBLE PLYWOOD SHIPPING DEVICE Filed Dec. 14, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent Ofiice 3,315,800 Patented Apr. 25, 1967 3,315,800 COLLAPSIBLE PLYWOOD SHIPPING DEVICE Hampton R. Wagner, 2220 Elmhurst, Royal Oak, Mich. 48073 Filed Dec. 14, 1964, Ser. No. 417,920 9 Claims. (Cl. 206-46) This invention relates to shipping devices, such as pallets and containers, and particularly to a collapsible shipping device made from plywood or similar material.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a shipping device of substantial structural strength which may be used for shipping relatively heavy articles, yet Which may be collapsed to a fraction after the shipment has been made for storage or return to the shipping source in a condition occupying a minimum amount of space.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a shipping device of the above character which makes only minimal use of nails, cleats or similar fasteners and which is of relatively light weight.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a shipping device of the above character which may serve as a pallet for supporting a single object to be shipped or a number of such objects in spaced relationship to one another, which may serve as a container for an object or objects to be shipped, or which may serve both of such purposes.
It is still another .object of the present invention to provide a shipping device constructed from panels of plywood or similar material in which standard size panels may be used for shipment of a wide variety of articles with only minor cutting or modification.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a shipping device of the above character which lends itself to handling by a fork lift truck, which is easily stored and which may be stacked for shipment or storage.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a shipping device of the above character which may be manufactured at a reasonable cost; which is easily assembled and disassembled and which will perform its intended function in a reliable manner.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description. taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a shipping device of the present invention shown supporting an automobile engine;
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the shipping device illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a modified form of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of that portion of the structure of FIG. 3 enclosed within the circle 4 thereof;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the structure illustrated in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of still another form of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is an elevational view of the shipping device illustrated in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is an elevational view of still another form of the present invention, one fragmentarily illustrated ship'- ping device being shown stacked on another shipping device;
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the shipping device illustrated in FIG. 8, and
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 9.
The main parts of the shipping device may be constructed from a variety of different materials, but they are preferably made from unitary pieces of plywood or panels of similar material. Among the advantages of plywood are its structural strength, light weight, dimensional stability and the fact that it eliminates the necessity of assembling separative boards or other components into unitary planar members of the required size and strength.
An exemplary embodiment of the shipping device of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 in the form of a shipping pallet having a base or deck 12 provided with a pair of spaced parallel stringers or risers 14 secured to its bottom surface along its opposite edges. The stringers 14 consist of lengths of lumber of any desired cross sectional dimensions and they serve to space the deck 12 above the floor or other surface on which the device rests. As is evident in FIG. 2, the deck 12 is provided with a plurality of slots, including a first pair of aligned slots 16 and a second pair of aligned slots 18. The pairs of slots 16 and 18 are arranged parallel to one another and are equally spaced from and parallel to a pair of opposite edges 20 and 22 of the deck 12. One slot 16 and one slot 18 are closely spaced from and perpendicular to an edge 24 of the deck 12, while another slot 16 and another slot 18 are closely spaced from and perpendicular to an edge 26 of the deck opposite from the edge 24. The deck 12 is additionally provided with a pair of slots 28 which are parallel to one another and are perpendicular to the slots 16 and 18. It will be seen that the slots 28 are closely spaced from the deck edge 20. Still another pair of slots 30, parallel to the slots 28, are formed in the deck 12 in locations closely spacedfrom and perpendicular to the deck edge 22.
The above described deck slots serve to support a plurality of upright members disposed in a vertical position perpendicular to the deck 12. Such upright members comprise a pair of spaced parallel walls 32, and four braces 34. The walls 32 are formed with depending tongues or projections 36 and with a pair of spaced vertically extending slots 38 adjacent their opposite ends. The tongues 36 are closely fitted in the slots 16 and 18 respectively, whereas the slots 38 each serve to receive a tongue or projection 40 of one of the braces 34. Each brace 34, which is of generally triangular shape, has a vertical edge 42 from the upper end of which the tongue 40 extends and a bottom edge 44 from the rear end of which a tongue or projection 46 depends. The slots 38 lie in a vertical plane which includes the deck slots 28 and 30 and, thus, the brace projections 46 fit in the deck slots 28 and 30. The braces 34 have an inclined edge 48 that runs generally diagonally between the projections 42 and 46.
The walls 32 serve to support an object to be shipped, an automobile engine 50 being illustrated as an example of such an object. The engine 50 rests with a horizontally extending peripheral flange '52 thereof seated on the upper ends on edges 51 of the walls 32. When using plywood for the walls 32 the wall thickness selected will depend upon the weight of the object being supported. For example, it is believed that plywood will adequately support an engine weighing between 500 and 600 pounds. It will be seen in FIG. 1 that an oil pan 54 of the engine 50 is positioned between the walls 32 so as to engage the walls 32 and thereby prevent movement of the walls 32 in a direction toward one another. Tipping or inclination of the walls 32 in a direction away from one another is resisted by means of the braces 34. The braces 34 are assembled to the walls 32 prior to the assembly of the walls 32 and braces 34 to the deck 12. After the walls 32 and the braces 34 are assembled to the deck, the braces 34 will be prevented from coming out of the slots 28, 30 and 38 until such time as the walls 32 are removed from their deck slots 16 and 18. Such movement is prevented by the weight of the engine 50. However, if the device is to be shipped over rough terrain or it is feared that the engine 50 might bounce off of the walls 32 a banding strap 56 may be used to hold the engine down on the walls 32. The banding strap 56 passes through a pair of slots 58 formed in the deck 12 adjacent the walls 20 and 22 thereof, and underneath the deck 12 between the stringers 14. The ends of the banding strap are secured in the conventional manner. It will be seen that the upper edges 51 of the walls 32 may be suitably contoured to accommodate any irregularities in the article supported thereon. For example, recesses 60 are formed in the upper edges of the walls 32 to accommodate an oil filter housing 62 (FIG. 1).
When the automobile engine 50 has reached its destination, the banding strap 56 is cut and the engine is removed from the shipping device by being lifted vertically upwardly therefrom. Thereafter the walls 32 and the braces 34 are removed from their deck slots and laid flatly on the deck 12. By this means the entire shipping device may be returned to the source from which it was shipped and stored while occupying a minimum amount of space. Thus, a greater number of such shipping devices may be placed on one truck or stored in a given location than would be possible in the case of a pallet or shipping device which was non-collapsible. The present shipping device may be reused a number of times before requiring replacement. Also, if individual parts are damaged, these parts are easily replaced without having to replace the entire shipping device. The various configurations and slots required in the plywood making up the deck 12, the walls 32 and the braces 34 may be formed with a saw in a relatively expeditious manner. Alternatively, the slots may be formed in plywood by the use of a punch press which shears material out of the plywood to form the slots.
FIGURE 3 illustrates a somewhat modified form of the present invention in which a deck 64 or the like, is supported on a pair of stringers 66 to maintain it elevated off of the floor or the structure on which it rests. The stringers 66 serve the same purpose as do the stringers 14 of FIGS. 1 and 2, namely, to enable the fork of a fork lift truck to be inserted under the deck. A pair of spaced parallel upright walls 68 are supported on the deck 64 by means of interfitting projections and slots (not shown) of a nature similar to those of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The walls 68 are engaged by braces 34 identical to those of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The projections 46 of the braces 34 are received in deck slots 70 '(FIG. 4), and are retained in such slots by sheet metal clips 72. Clips 72 also connect the braces 34 to the walls 68. Each clip 72 overlies its brace wall 48 and is provided with spaced side wall portions 74 terminating in out-turned flaps 76. Each clip 72 is applied to the assembly with the flaps in a position initially parallel with the side walls 74. The flaps 76 and side Walls 74 of the clips 72 used at the deck 64 are inserted in the crevices between the projections 46 and the sides of the slots 70. The juncture between the flaps 76 and 74 is positioned to lie at the bottom edge of the slot 70. After the clip 72 is thus assembled the flaps 76 are bent outwardly so as to lie parallel to and against the bottom of the deck 64. The clips 72 at the walls 68 are assembled in a similar manner.
It will be seen that the clips 72 on each brace 34 prevent the walls 68 from tipping toward one another. Thus, the walls 68 may be used to support objects such as axle housings 75 which do not engage the facing sides of the walls 68. The axle housings 75 may be held down on the walls 68 by means of banding straps 77 encircling the deck 64.
The embodiments of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 to particularly relate to structure for supporting and bracing one or more large objects on a pallet. The principles of the present invention may also be utilized to enclose an article or a number of articles to be shipped,
and thereby form a container. Such a shipping device is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 and includes a deck 78 supported on a pair of spaced stringers 80 secured to the underside of the deck 78. The deck 78 is provided with two opposite rows of parallel slots 82. The slots 82 of each row are disposed in spaced relationship to one another, and the two rows are arranged adjacent on opposite pair of edges 84 and 86 of the deck 78. The slots 82 receive conformably shaped projections 88 formed, respectively, on a pair of upright opposite side walls 90. The projections 88 depend from the bottoms of said walls and are of a length equal to the thickness of the deck 78. Thus the projections 88 do not extend beneath the lower face of the deck '78 and are not subject to being pushed upwardly if engaged by the forks of a fork lift truck used to lift the device.
The opposite side walls 98 cooperate with a second opposite pair of side walls 92, locating between the walls 90, to form a lateral or side enclosure for whatever articles are to be supported on the deck 78. In the particular shipping device illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the deck 78 will be seen to be free of slots within the slots 90 and 92 and thus could be used as a container for a large number of small articles such as nuts, bolts or other small parts. However, it is also possible to utilize the enclosing walls 90 and 92 of FIGS. 6 and 7 in conjunction with the article supporting walls 32 of FIGS. 1 and 2. Thus, the deck 78 may be provided with additional slots in the manner of the deck 12 of FIGS. 1 and 2 and the supporting walls 32 and braces 34 may be positioned on the deck 78 within the confines of the walls 90 and 92 to support an engine on the deck 78. It will be appreciated that the deck 78 may also be provided with slots similar to the slots 58 of the deck 12 of FIGS. 1 and 2 to permit the engine to be held down in place by a banding strap without interfering with the placement of the lateral walls 94, 96, 98 and 100.
The walls 92 are provided with two spaced vertically extending rows of slots 94 at their opposite sides which snugly receive projections or tongues 96 extending from the lateral edges of' the walls 90. The projections 96 extend from the adjacent edges of the sheets 96 by an amount equal to the thickness of the material used for the sheets 92, and thus the projections 96 do not extend beyond the outer faces of the sheets 92.
The walls 90 are also provided with spaced upwardly extending projections 98 which are received within simi larly arranged slots 100 of a top wall member 102. The top wall 102 rests upon all of the walls 90 and 92 adjacent its four edges and provides a complete enclosure for the article or articles to be packaged in the shipping device.-
It will be seen that each of the lateral walls 90 and 92 rest at their lower edges on the deck 78. The interfitting projections and slots 88 and 82 prevent movement of the walls 90 toward or away from one another at their lower ends, and the interfitting projections 96 and 94 and the interfitting projections 98 and 100 prevent movement of the sheets 90 toward or away from one another adjacent their upper ends. Furthermore, the opposite lateral margins of the walls 92 abut the edges of the walls 90 to prevent movement of the walls 92 toward one another. Outward tilting movement of the walls 92 is prevented by means of an enclosing lateral banding strap 104 which encircles the walls 90 and 92 and is positioned in a horizontal attitude. Movement of all of the lateral walls off of the deck 78 is prevented by a second banding strap 106 which goes vertically over the top 102 and around the bottom of the deck 78. Once the device of FIGS. 6 and 7 has reached its destination, the banding strap 106 may be cut and the top 102 removed. If the device is being used to hold a number of small articles which are to be used one or a few at a time, the banding strap 105 may be left in place and the assembly used as an open top container until the articles packaged therein have been consumed. On the other hand, if the device is being used merely to enclose one or a few articles packaged on supporting walls and braces in a manner similar to that shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the banding strap 104 would also be cut to provide complete access to the article or articles resting on the deck 78. It will be appreciated that after the shipped articles have been removed, each of the walls 90 and 92 and the top 102 may be laid flatly on the deck 78 and the entire assembly returned to the original shipping source and/or stored in a very compact condition. This, of course, substantially reduces shipping and storage costs.
A somewhat modified form of shipping device used as a container is illustrated in FIGS. 8-10. According to this form of the invention, an opposite pair of upright side walls 108 are interconnected by an intermediate pair of side walls 110 by means of projections 112 formed on the side walls 110 and fitted into slots 114 formed in the side walls 108. The side walls 108 and 110 rest on a deck 112 supported on stringers 116. The stringers 116 are interconnected by battens 118 which still permit the admittance of the fork of a fork lift truck between the battens 118 and the bottom of the deck 112. It will be seen that stringers 116 are spaced inwardly from the side walls 108 and the battens 118 interconnecting them are spaced inwardly and toward one another from the side walls 110. From FIG. 8 it will be noted that the upper ends of the side walls 108 project above the upper ends of the side walls 110. By this means one container may be stacked on another, with the stringers 116 of one container resting on the upper edges of the side walls 110 of a subjacent container. Under such circumstances, the battens 118 engage inner sides of the side walls 110 to prevent shifting of the top container with respect to the lower container in a direction perpendicular to the side walls 110. respect to the lower container in a direction parallel to the side walls 110 is arrested by the abutment of the upper ends of the side walls 108 with the stringers 116.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 8 to a container stacked on another container forms a top or cover for the lower container, and, thus, no special top is needed.
The device of FIGS. 8 to 10 is illustrated as being a double deck container. The side walls 108 are formed with horizontal slots 120 at their mid height for the reception of projection 122 formed on opposite sides of an intermediate deck member 124 disposed parallel to and spaced above the deck member 112. The intermediate deck member 124 which is of generally rectangular planar shape also has projections 126 formed on the other two sides thereof which are received in slots 128 formed in the side walls 110. By this means two engines, for example, can be packaged within One container. Although not illustrated, a banding strap is intended to be positioned horizontally around the side walls 108 and 110 to hold them in assembly. No vertical banding strap is needed on a container having another container stacked on it, as the weight of the upper container will hold the side walls 108 and 110 of the lower container on its deck 112.
All of the walls and the braces illustrated in the several embodiments hereof are designed to be made from unitary planar sheets of plywood, although other materials could be substituted. For load bearing wall plywood ranging from /8" to in thickness will serve most uses. For enclosing walls even thinner plywood can be used. For shipping automobile engines and other bulking parts, load bearing walls may be stacked in standard sizes and the load supporting edges cut out or notched as required for the particular article to be shipped (e.-g. the notch 60 of FIG. 2). While banding straps 56 and 77 are illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 to hold article on load bearing walls, it is to be understood that the weight of the article to be shipped may, in many cases, be suflicient to hold the load bearing walls in their deck slot and no banding strap will be needed. In such cases, the article to Movement of the upper container with be shipped serves as means holding the projections of the walls in the slots of the dec or means applying a force to the wall in a direction toward the deck as this or similar language is used in the claims.
While it will be apparent that the embodiments of the invention illustrated herein are well calculated to fulfill the objects above stated, it will be apparent that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A shipping device including a generally planar deck having two spaced parallel rows of slots formed therein, each of the slots of each row being elongated in the same direction; a pair of upright walls positioned on said deck, each of said walls having a plurality of depending projections fitted in the slots of one of said rows and at least one slot formed therein; a pair of braces, each of said braces having a projection fited in the slot of one of said walls, each of said braces being engageable with said deck to prevent tilting movement of its associated wall in at least one direction relative to said deck; interfitting projection and slot means between said braces and said deck; first deformable clips inserted in said interfitting projection and slot means for preventing disengagement thereof, and second deformable clips fitted between the projections of said braces and the slots of said walls and engageable with said braces and said walls to prevent the projection of said braces from coming out of the slots of said walls.
2. A shipping pallet including a deck having first and second sets of spaced openings therein; a pair of upright walls supported on said deck in spaced relation, an article to be shipped supported on the upper ends of said upright walls, each of said upright walls having at least one depending projection closely fitted in one of said first set of deck openings and a pair of openings formed therein; two pairs of braces, each pair of braces being spaced along and engaging the outer surface of one of said upright walls, each of said braces having a first projection closely fitted in one of said second set of deck openings and a second projection closely fitted in an opening of its adjacent upright wall; said article resting on said upright walls being operable to hold said wall projections in said first set of deck openings whereby said braces are held in assembly with said deck and walls.
3. A shipping pallet including a deck having first and second sets of spaced openings therein; a pair of upright 'walls supported on said deck in spaced relation, an article to be shipped supported on the upper ends of said upright walls, each of said upright walls having a pair of longitudinally spaced depending projections closely fitted in a pair of said first set of deck openings and at least one opening formed therein; a pair of braces, each brace engaging the outer surface of one of said walls and each of said braces having a first projection closely fitted in one of said second set of deck openings and a second projection closely fitted in the opening of its adjacent upright wall, said article resting on said upright walls being operable to hold said wall projections in said first set of deck openings whereby said braces are held in assembly with said deck and walls.
4. The structure set forth in claim 2 including a banding strap at least partially encircling said deck and article, said banding strap being operable to hold article down on said walls.
5. The structure set forth in claim 2 in which said walls and braces are made from unitary pieces of sheet material and in which said projections are integrally formed on the sheet material of their walls and braces.
6. The structure set forth in claim 2 wherein said walls are parallel to one another and perpendicular to said deck, said braces are perpendicular to both said walls and said deck, said walls have straight lower surfaces resting on said deck and from which the projections thereof depend and said braces have straight lower surfaces resting on said deck and from which the first projections thereof depend.
7. The structure set forth in claim 2 in which said article has surfaces on opposite sides thereof engaging the inner sides of said wall for restraining movement of said walls toward one another.
8. The structure set forth in claim 2 wherein said walls and braces are free from separate fasteners directly connecting said walls or braces to said deck or directly connecting said walls to said braces and wherein said walls are readily removable from said deck subsequent to the removal of said article therefrom by the upward movement of said walls relative to said deck and said braces are thereafter separable from said Walls by the outward movement of said braces relative to said walls.
9. A shipping device including a generally planar deck having two spaced parallel rows of slots formed therein, each of the slots of each row being elongated in the same direction, a pair of upright walls positioned on said deck, each of said walls having a plurality of depending projections fitted in the slots of one of said rows and at least one slot formed therein, a pair of braces, each of said braces having a projection fitted in the slot of one of said walls, each of said braces being engageable with said deck to prevent tilting movement of its associated wall in at least one direction relative to said deck, interfitting projection and slot means between said braces and said deck and deformable clips inserted in said interfitting projection and slot means for preventing disengagement thereof.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,758,307 5/1930 Bales 211184 2,116,381 5/1939 Burke 20660 2,418,861 4/1947 Allington 20646 2,428,500 10/1947 Nutt 20646 2,683,010 7/1954 Harnerslag 217-43 2,686,646 8/1954 McMillan 10855 2,828,931 4/1958 Harvey 248119 3,003,788 10/1961 Grymer 10855 3,039,640 6/1962 Buster 217-43 3,147,715 9/1964 Myers 248119 3,216,587 11/1965 Anders 211184 THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
RAPHAEL L. SCHWARTZ, LOUIS S. MANCENE,