US 3347049 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 3,347,049 TRENCH SHORING APPARATUS Richard P. Faltersack and Ernest F. Faltersack, In, San Jose, Calif., assignors to The Ernric Company, San Jose, Calili, a corporation of California Filed May 8, 1964, Ser. No. 365,983 3 Claims. (Cl. 61-41) The present invention relates generally to trench shoring apparatus and more particularly to hydraulic shoring units which can be temporarily placed within a freshly excavated trench to preclude cave-ins thereof.
Presently available trentch excavating equipment permits trenches to be dug rather rapidly so that sewer pipes or the like can be placed therein the trench immediately refilled. However, installation of the pipe requires entry of personnel into the trench which can be rather deep and not infrequently cave-ins of the fresh excavation have not only interfered with the expeditious accomplishment of the installation but have caused bodily injury to the working personnel. Temporary shoring mechanisms have been utilized to avoid such damage to equipment and personnel but for the most part have been heavy units which are awkward to utilize and moreover have required entry into the trench for their installation, thus sharply reducing the safety afforded.
Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide a trench shoring apparatus which is light and easy to handle and can be readily installed in a trench from an above-ground position, yet at the same time, when installed, is of utmost effectiveness in its shoring function.
More particularly, it is a feature of the invention to provide a trench shoring apparatus utilizing elongated shoring rails between which expansible members are supported in a novel fashion enabling the aforementioned ease of installation and effectiveness of the entire arrangement in its shoring function.
It is an additional feature of the invention to provide a trench shoring mechanism wherein the aforementioned expansible members constitute hydraulic actuating cylinders which are pivotally connected at their opposite extremities to the shoring rails enabling such rails to 'be collapsed into adjacent parallel inoperative position when the unit is to be moved or stored.
A related feature of the invention is the provision of a pivoted connection between the extremity of the hydraulic actuatin cylinder and the shoring rail including a mounting block at the end of the hydraulic actuating cylinder which is brought into flat abutting engagement with the F shoring rail when the hydraulic actuating cylinder is in its operative position whereat it extends substantially perpendicular with respect to the shoring rail.
A correlated feature of the invention relates to the particular configuration of the mounting block and the adjoining portion of the shoring rail which assures a firm connection when the hydraulic actuating cylinder is in its operative position and avoids lateral displacement of the unit or structural failure thereof wherefore ultimately excellent shoring action is obtained.
A further feature of the invention is the provision of a shoring rail which is formed from extruded aluminum so that it is light in weight yet it is at the same time formed so as to have maximum strength and to allow the aforementioned firm connection to be established with the hydraulic actuating cylinders.
Yet more specifically, it is a feature of the invention to provide a shoring rail having an integral longitudinallyextending conduit formed therein to provide for passage of hydraulic fluid to the mentioned hydraulic actuating cylinders, the inlet to such conduit being at the ex- Patented Oct. 17, 1967 tremity of the shoring rail so that hydraulic fluid can be supplied thereto from a position adjacent the top of the trench to be shored.
Yet another feature of the invention is the provision of a hydraulic actuating cylinder wherein the piston rod constitutes a hollow cylindrical structure serving as a conduit for hydraulic fluid and thus eliminating the conventional connections to the exterior of the cylinder.
As a result of the elimination of the exterior connections to the hydraulic cylinder, it is another feature of the invention to provide a tubular socket within which the hydraulic cylinder housing can be received to facilitate connection to the adjacent shoring rail or alternatively within a socket on an extension member which in turn can be received in a similar socket on the shoring rail to thus provide easy accommodation of the shoring apparatus to trenches of widely variant widths without the necessity for a substitution of hydraulic actuating cylinders of different dimensions.
These as well as other objects and features of the invention will become more apparent from a perusal of the following description of the structure illustrated in the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a treansverse sectional view through a trench and showing in side elevation a shoring apparatus embodying the present invention disposed in operative shoring position therewithin,
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, side elevational view of a portion of the shoring apparatus of FIG. 1 when in its collapsed, inoperative position,
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, transverse, fragmentary, sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1,
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3, and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view, with portions thereof broken away, illustrating the addition of an extension element to the shoring structure shown in the other figures.
The illustrated shoring apparatus generally includes a pair of similar shoring rails 10, 10 which are differentiated by the prime notation and are held in shoring disposition against the sides of the trench as shown in FIG. 1 by a pair of like hydraulic actuating cylinders 12 extending therebetween in spaced relation from the opposite extremities thereof.
Each of the shoring rails 10, 10' is an elongated member preferably formed by extruded aluminum in a configuration as best shown in FIG. 3 permitting the structure to be at once light and strong. For this purpose, the main body portion of the rail 10 constitutes a flat plate 14 of a desired width (e.g. 8 inches) having two strengthening ribs 16, 18 projecting therefrom at substantially right angles and in parallelism with a spacing of approximately three inches therebetween. As clearly shown in FIG. 3, the extremities of these ribs 16, 18 are formed into a rounded configuration for a purpose to become more apparent hereinafter.
In addition, one of the shoring rails 10, that on the right in FIG. 1 and illustrated in cross-section in FIG. 3, is provided with an enlarged elongated rib 20 through the center of which a conduit 22 is formed for the flow of hydraulic fluid from an inlet connector 24 at the upper extremity of the shoring rail 10 which permits releaseable connection thereto of the output of a suitable hydraulic pump (not shown).
In order to enable connection of the hydraulic actuating cylinders 12 to the described shoring rails 10, 10', mounting blocks 30, 30' are secured to the rails at appropriate longitudinal positions thereon. As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the mounting block 30 on the right hand rail is pivotally mounted on a pivot pin 32 secured in the aforementioned ribs 16, 18 in bridging relationship therebetween. The mounting block 30 is loosely received between the two ribs 16, 18 so that it can be pivoted from the full-line disposition shown in FIG. 4 whereat the base of the block lies flatly against the plate 14 of the shoring rail to the phantom-line disposition whereat the mounting block projects substantially perpendicularly from the shoring rail.
As clearly shown in FIG. 3, longitudinal grooves 30a are formed in the base of the mounting block 30 to accommodate any entrapped dirt and permit solid seating of the block against the adjacent shoring rail 10. Additionally, the mounting block 30 is provided with integral arms 30b that curve outwardly over the rounded extremities of the described strengthening ribs 16, 18 on the shoring rail, such contact providing additional support of the mounting block 30 against the shoring rail 10 to permit maximum transfer of pressure therebetween and also to prevent turning or lateral displacement of the mount: ing block under the rather great forces experienced during operation.
The mounting block 30 illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 rigidly carries a cylindrical socket member 36 which projects perpendicularly from the shoring rail 10 when the mounting block 30 is in its operative full-line disposition as shown in FIG. 4. The socket member 36 in turn receives the end of the piston rod 34 and a removable transverse pin 37 holds the members in their assembled relationship. The socket member 36 is at a position spaced from the pivot pin 32 sufiiciently so that 90 pivoting of the mounting block 30 and hydraulic actuating, cylinder 12 is permitted so that the parallel disposition shown in FIG. 2 can be assumed. Additionally, it will be observed that the pivot pin 32 for the mounting block 30 on the right-hand shoring rail as viewed in FIG. 1 lies at the upper extremity of the mounting block. In turn, the pivot pins 32' for like mounting blocks 30 on the other shoring rail 10 are mounted at the lower end thereof. The mounting blocks 30 on the left shoring rail 10 are generally similar to these on the right but have welded thereto a larger cylindrical socket member 36' for reception of the outer housing 38 of the hydraulic actuating cylinder 12, as illustrated. Additionally, the cylindrical socket member 36' includes a bracket 40 rigidly secured to the side thereof and extending forwardly into lateral proximity to the end of the cylinder housing 38 which in turn mounts on its side a removable pin 42 enabling releaseable connection of the hydraulic actuating cylinder 12 to the socket member 36' in a position such that the end of the housing abuts the base of the socket.
When the hydraulic actuating cylinders 12 are pivotally connected to the shoring rails 10, 10 in the fashion described, it will be apparent that the shoring rails can be displaced longitudinally relative to one another from the position shown in FIG. 1 to the position illustrated in FIG. 2 whereat the shoring rails are brought into closely adjacent parallel dispositions enabling easy removal of the structure from a trench or insertion into a trench. In addition, the collapsed structure occupies much less space so that transportation and storage thereof is facilitated.
The hydraulic actuating cylinders 12 are of light construction, each including the mentioned cylinder housing 38 within which a piston 44 (see FIG. 1) is mounted for slidable movement in more or less conventional fashion. The piston rod 34 is connected to the piston 44 and projects from the end of the cylinder housing 38 through a suitably sealed axial opening. In accordance with the present invention, the piston rod 34 is of hollow construction to serve as a conduit 46 for hydraulic fluid. Lateral openings 48, 50 are formed in the piston rod 34 adjacent its opposite extremities, one opening 48 on the left as viewed in FIG. 1 communicating between the hollow interior of the piston rod 34 and the interior of the cylinder housing 38 on the left side of the piston 44.
therewithin. The other opening 50 communicates with a connector 52 on the exterior of the piston rod 34 and a short flexible tube 54 is removably attached to this connector and to a similar connector 56 on the adjoining shoring rail 10 to provide communication with the interior of the longitudinal conduit 22 previously described in such shoring rail. Obviously, if hydraulic fluid is pumped through the shoring rail conduit 22 and thence into the flexible tubes 54 at spaced positions on the shor ing rail, such fluid is then delivered under pressure through both piston rods 34 and thence to the left side of the pistons 44 within the cylinders 38 to accordingly effect extension of the hydraulic actuating cylinder structures 12. The resultant force is applied through the mounting blocks 30, 30' to the shoring rails 10, 10 which are accordingly held firmly against the sides of the trench as illustrated in FIG. 1. Release of hydraulic pressure allows the cylinders 12 to retract and after arcuate displacement of the shoring rails to the'collapsed FIG. 2 disposition, the entire structurev can be readily removed from the trench for subsequent utilization. It is to be particularly observed'that installation of the shoring apparatus in a trench, application of hydraulic pressure and subsequent removal of the shoring apparatus from a trench all can be accomplished from a position at ground level; the operator need not enter the trench. Furthermore, because the structure is relatively light, a single operator can carry out the entire operation.
It will be obvious that any given hydraulic actuating cylinder 12 has a limited amount of extension and in accordance with an additional aspect of the present invention, application of the shoring apparatus to trenches of variant widths is enabled without actual replacement of one hydraulic, actuating cylinder by another. Since exterior hydraulic connections to the cylinder housing 38 are eliminated by the described construction, a cylindrical extension member 60 can be applied to the end of such housing to accordingly enlarge the entire operating width of the shoring apparatus. As clearly illustrated in FIG. 5, such extension member 60 constitutes a generally cylindrical body 62 having an enlarged socket member 64 at one end thereof which is adapted to telescopically receive the end of the cylinder housing 38 much in the same fashion as the socket member 36 on the left mounting block 30 in FIG. 1 received such housing. A bracket 65 on the exterior of the socket member 64 and the pin42 on the adjoining exterior of the cylinder enable a releasable connection to be made therebetween. However the extremity of the cylinder housing 38 actually engages the end of the main body portion 62 of the extension member 60 to transmit the requisite compressive strength. The extension member 60 itself it now received within the cylindrical socket member 36 on the shoring rail 10 and a releaseable pin connection 68 is made therebetween. Because the extension member is mounted at the cylinder end, of the hydraulic actuating structure 12, it can be of relatively large dimensions and can withstand the compressive strength requirements of shoring operations.
Other alterations and modifications can obviously be made without departing from the spirit of the present invention and the foregoing description of one embodiment of the invention is to be considered as purely exemplary and not in a limiting sense and the actual scope of the invention is to be indicated only by reference to the ap-- pended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Trench shoring apparatus which comprises a pair of elongated shoring rails adapted to engage the opposite sides of a trench, each of said rails constituting an elon-.
gated flat plate having integral longitudinally-extending ribs projecting therefrom to form edges arranged in.
spaced, parallel relation, a pin supported between said ribs on each of said rails, an extensible member extending between said rails and pivotally connected to said pins at its opposite extremities for movement between parallel and perpendicular relation to said rails, said extensible member being arranged to engage said flat plate and having arms engaging the edges of said ribs when disposed in perpendicular relation to said rails.
2. Trench shoring apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the edges of said ribs are rounded and the arms on said extensible member are formed to establish arcuate contact therewith.
3. Trench shoring apparatus which comprises a pair of elongated shoring rails adapted to engage the opposite sides of a trench, each of said rails constituting an elongated flat plate having integral longitudinally-extending ribs projecting substantially perpendicularly therefrom in spaced, parallel relation to form parallel edges in spaced relation to said plate, and means for releas- 15 ably holding said shoring rails against the sides of the trench including an extensible member engaging said rails at its opposite ends, said extensible member having curved arms engaging the edges of said projecting ribs to hold each of said rails against the side of the trench.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 804,696 11/1905 Winterhofl? 6139.1 2,830,563 4/1958 Burckhalter 254-9'3 X 2,859,022 11/1958 Frye 6145.2 X 3,224,155 12/1965 Rook 52593 3,224,201 12/1965 Brunton 6-l-41 3,230,720 1/1966 Bennett 61-41 FOREIGN PATENTS 644,304 1962 Canada.
DAVID I. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.
JACOB SHAPIRO, Examiner.