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Publication numberUS3407836 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1968
Filing dateOct 4, 1965
Priority dateOct 4, 1965
Publication numberUS 3407836 A, US 3407836A, US-A-3407836, US3407836 A, US3407836A
InventorsKeiser Keril M
Original AssigneeKeril M. Keiser
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wheeled collapsible tower for a tank or the like
US 3407836 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 29, 1968 K. M. KEISER 3,

WHEELED COLLAPSIBLE TOWER FOR A TANK OR THE LIKE Filed Oct. 4, 1965 v 4 Shmaecs-Sheed;v 1

K. M. KEISER Oct. 29, 1968 WHEELED COLLAPSTBLE TOWER FOR A TANK OR THE LIKE 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 4, 1965 Oct. 29, 1968 K. M. KEISER 3,407,836

WHEELED COLLAPSIBLE TOWER FOR A TANK OR THE LIKE Filed 0 0%.. 4, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 J nn}, I 25: 6. 18 151/ MFA/r02.

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WHEELED COLLAPSIBLE TOWER FOR A TANK OR THE LIKE Oct. 29, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Ivrewrae;

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Filed Oct. 4, 1965 V United States Patent 3,407,836 WHEELED COLLAPSIBLE TOWER FOR A TANK OR THE LIKE Keril M. Keiser, 409 N. Washington Ave., Glendora, Calif. 91740 Filed Oct. 4, 1965, Ser. No. 492,780 11 Claims. ('Cl. 137--344) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A wheeled collapsible tower for a tank or the like having an actuator for vertically moving the tower relative to the tower chassis between a retracted position of travel and an elevated position of use and vertically moving the chassis between an elevated position of travel wherein the chassis is supported on wheels and a lower position of use wherein the chassis rests on the ground.

The present invention relates generally to supporting scaffolds or towers; more particularly, the invention relates to improvements in the collapsible mobile tower disclosed in the co-pending application Ser. No. 387,337, filed Aug. 4, 1964, and entitled Portable Collapsible Tower for Fluid Tanks and the Like, now Patent No. 3,315,921, issued Apr. 25, 1967.

The co-pending application referred to above discloses a mobile collapsible scaffold or tower structure which may be employed for various purposes but is designed primarily for use as a water tower for servicing the water tank trucks, or water pulls as they are commonly referred to, employed in so-called land fills. A land fill is an earth moving operation in which soil is added to a land area for the purpose of leveling the area and/ or raising the elevation of its surface.

One of the major problems associated with such a land fill is maintaining the proper moisture content of the soil in order to obtain the required degree of compaction of the soil. If the soil, in its native state, lacks the required moisture content, the land fill contractor must supplement the moisture by periodically wetting the soil as the land fill operation proceeds. Such additional water is deployed over the land fill area by means of water trucks which are commonly referred to in the trade as Water pulls.

The storage capacity of the water pull is limited, with the result that the pull must be periodically refilled during the course of a typical land fill. This periodic filling, or servicing, of a water pull creates a two-fold time loss involving the time required for the water pull to travel from its operating area to the water supply and back to the operating area, and the time required to actually refill or service the pull at the water supply. Moreover, many land fills are of such magnitude as to require the employment of a large number of water pulls. Servicing such a large number of water pulls introduces 'an additional time loss when it is necessary for the pulls to line up and wait their turn at the water supply, or supplies.

These time losses are minimized by using several mobile water towers placed at strategic locations about the fill. In this way, the time required for each water pull to travel from its operating area to a water tower and return is reduced and the tendency for the water pulls to line up at a water tower is minimized or eliminated. The use of a number of strategically located water towers spaced about a land fill site, therefore, is highly desirable.

In order to optimize effectiveness, water towers of the character described must satisfy certain requirements. Such water towers, for example, must be highly mobile so that they may be easily transported from one job site to another. Accordingly, the dimensions and weight of the tower, when conditioned for transportation, must satisfy ice the motor vehicle code specifications. The tower must also be capable of being towed and lauded by a relatively light truck. In addition, the tower should be capable of being landed and erected on roughly cleared ground, such as ground which has been graded with a caterpiller and blade, without auxiliary ditching or hand shoveling. Such landing and erection capabilities of the tower should exist on both level land and mild slopes. Finally, the tower must be capable of erection to a height such that its Water tank is elevated a sufficient distance above the ground to position the down spout of the tank. over the fill port of a water pull. Preferably, the tower should be capable of being quickly erected and collapsed by one man.

The mobile collapsible scaffold or tower disclosed in my aforementioned co-pending application satisfies all the foregoing requirements and, therefore, may be employed to advantage as a water tower for servicing water pulls at a land fill site.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide certain improvements in towers of the character described, which increase its operational efiiciency, particularly when the tower is employed as a water tower at a land fill site.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide a mobile collapsible tower of the character described embodying improved means for coupling the mobile base or trailer of the tower to a towing vehicle.

Another object of the invention is to provide a mobile collapsible tower of the character described having novel power operated elevating means for vertically moving the collapsible tower structure between its elevated position of use and its collapsed position of travel.

An object of the present invention is the provision of a mobile collapsible tower of the character described having improved means for retaining the tower in its erect position.

Another object of the invention is to provide a mobile collapsible tower of the character described wherein a warning is automatically furnished to the tower operator in the event that he should attempt to lower the collapsible tower structure before draining the tower tank, thereby to eliminate the excessive strain on and damage to the tower structure which may result from lowering of the structure while the tank is filled.

Another object of this invention is the provision of a mobile collapsible tower which may be readily scaled for inspection but which, when elevated, is easily accessible only to authorized personnel, thereby to minimize the possibility of climbing of an erect, unattended tower by children and other unauthorized persons.

Another object of the invention is to provide a mobile collapsible tower of the character described which is relatively simple in construction, compact in size, reliable in operation, easy to transport from one job site to another, and otherwise ideally suited to its intended purposes.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those versed in the art from a consideration of the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an improved mobile collapsible water tower according to the invention, illustrating the tower in its erect position of use;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view illustrating the,

collapsible tower structure between its elevated and collapsed positions relative to the trailer frame;

FIGURE 7 is a side elevational View of the tower in its erect or elevated position of use;

FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the elevating means illustrated in FIGURES 3 through 6;

FIGURE 9 is an enlarged perspective view of certain hydraulic components embodied in the tower;

FIGURE 10 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the bracing cable anchorages embodied in the tower;

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view illustrating the water dump valve embodied in the tower which is automatically opened when the collapsible tower structure is lowered; and

FIGURES 12a and 12b are enlarged fragmentary side elevations of the dump valve in FIGURE 11 illustrating, respectively, the valve in its closed and opened positions.

Referring to the drawings, the mobile collapsible scaffold or tower 10 comprises a lower mobile supporting base or trailer 12 and an upper collapsible scaffold or tower structure 14. Trailer 12 has a generally rectangular frame 16 with front and rear ends and normally upper and lower sides. Trailer frame 16 comprises a pair of longitudinal side frame members 18 which are rigidly connected adjacent their front and rear ends by cylindrical cross members 20. Extending between and rigidly joined to the frame members 18, intermediate the front and rear cross members 20, is a center cross member 22. Cross member 22 is reinforced by braces 24 which extend forwardly from and are rigidly joined to the latter cross member and to the side frame members 18. Located at the rear end of the trailer frame 16 are a pair of wheels 26. As it will appear presently, wheels 26 are mounted on the frame for vertical movement between their lower extended position of FIGURE 2, wherein the wheels are disposed to engage the ground and support the rear end of the trailer frame in an elevated position of travel, and their upper retracted positions of FIGURE 1, wherein the wheels are elevated above the upper side of the frame to permit the rear end of the frame to rest directly on the ground. Located at the front end of the trailer frame 16 is a vehicle hitch 28 including a front hitch member 30 which is adapted for pivotal connection to the rear hitch member 32 of a towing vehicle 34. As will appear presently, the hitch 28 is mounted on the front end of the trailer frame in such a way as to permit vertical movement of the front end of the frame relative to the front hitch member 30, when the latter is attached to the rear hitch member 32 of the towing vehicle, between the elevated position of travel illustrated in FIGURE 3, wherein the front end of the trailer frame is elevated above the ground, and the position of rest illustrated in FIGURE 4, wherein the front end of the frame rests directly on the ground.

The collapsible tower structure 14 comprises parallel front and rear supporting legs 36. The lower ends of the two front supporting legs 36 are rigidly joined to a sleeve 38 rotatable on the front cross member 20 of the trailer frame 16. The lower ends of the two rear supporting legs 36 are rigidly joined to a sleeve 40 rotatable on the rear cross member 20 of the trailer frame. The upper ends of the legs 36 are pivotally joined to a connecting member 39 which, in the illustrated embodiment of the invention, comprises a water tank. The supporting legs 36 have substantially the same length and the longitudinal axis of the connecting member or tank 39 parallels the longitudinal axis of the trailer frame 16. At this point, therefore, it is evident that the trailer frame 16, supporting legs 36, and connecting member or tank 39 together constitute a parallel bar mechanism which is so constructed as to permit pivotal movement of the collapsible tower structure 14 between its erect or elevated position of use illustrated in FIGURE 1 and its collapsed position of travel illustrated in FIGURE 2. The trailer frame 16 and "4 tank 39 remain parallel in every angular position of the tower structure.

Extending between and rigidly joined to the front supporting legs 36 and the lower bearing sleeve 38 for these legs are bracing members 41. Bracing members 41 have upper divergent ends 41a and lower parallel ends 41b. The upper ends 41a of the bracing members are rigidly joined by a cross brace 42. The lower ends 41b of the bracing members are located at opposite sides of and closely adjacent the midpoint of the front bearing sleeve 38 The trailer hitch 28 comprises a generally bell crank shaped structure including a pair of substantially perpendicular arms 44 and 46 which are disposed in a common plane passing midway between the lower ends 41b of the front leg bracing members 41, substantially normal to the front bearing sleeve 38. The lower end of arm 44 is rigidly joined to a bearing sleeve 48 rotatable on the front bearing sleeve 38. Arm 46 comprises a tubular hitch tongue or arm which is rigidly joined to the arm 44 at a position between its ends and extends forwardly from the latter arm. The front hitch member 30 comprises a ring on the forward end of the hitch arm 46 for receiving the rear hitch member 32 on the towing vehicle 34. A brace 48 is connected between the hitch arm 46 and the bearing sleeve 48. At this point, it is evident that the front hitch member 30 is mounted on the trailer frame 16 in such a way as to permit vertical movement of the front end of the frame relative to the latter hitch member between the elevated travel position of the frame illustrated in FIGURE 3 and the lower rest position of the frame illustraed in FIGURE 4.

Operatively connected between the trailer frame 16 and the trailer hitch 28 is an elevating means 50 for vertically moving the front end of the frame between its travel and rest positions. Elevating means 50 comprises a hydraulic linear actuator including a cylinder 52 and a piston (not shown) movable in and having a rod 54 extending beyond one end of the cylinder. The opposite end of the cylinder is attached, by pivot means 56, to the cross brace 22 on the trailer frame 16, at a point midway between the ends of the latter brace. The outer end of the piston rod 54 is attached, by pivot means 58, to the outer end of the upright arm 44 of the trailer hitch 28. Opposite ends of the cylinder 52 are pressurized and vented through hydraulic lines 60 and 62. It is evident at this point that when the front hitch member 30 of the tower trailer 12 is coupled to the rear hitch member 32 of the towing vehicle 34, the hydraulic actuator 50 is effective to vertically move the front end of the trailer frame 16 between its elevated travel position of FIGURE 3 and its lower rest position of FIGURE 4. Thus, if we assume the trailer frame initially occupies its rest position of FIGURE 4, wherein the front end of the frame is supported on the ground, admission of hydraulic fluid under pressure to the rear end of the actuator cylinder 52 is effective to rotate the trailer hitch 28 in a counter-clockwise direction about the axis of the front cross frame member 20 and thereby elevate the front end of the frame. The front end of the frame may be returned to its lower position of rest by the admission of hydraulic fluid to the forward end of the actuator cylinder. It is significant to note that when the trailer frame 16 occupies its lower position of rest on the ground, the weight of the frame and the collapsible tower structure supported thereon are removed from the trailer hitch, thereby facilitating coupling of the front hitch member 32 and uncoupling of this bitch member from the rear hitch member 32 of the towing vehicle 34.

When the tower 10 is to be towed from one location to another, the trailer hitch 28 of the tower is coupled to the rear hitch member 32 of the towing vehicle 34, and the trailer frame 16 is raised to its elevated travel position of FIGURE 3. Also, as will be explained presently, the collapsible tower structure 14 is lowered to its collapsed position of FIGURE 2 and the rear trailer wheels 26 are lowered to their extended positions of the latter figure, wherein these wheels support the rear end of the trailer frame inan elevated position above the ground. Accordingly, when the tower is conditiond for towing from one location to another, the entire trailer frame 16 is elevated a distance above the ground, thereby to permit the tower trailer 12 to move freely along the ground.

When the tower 10 is to be towed from one location to another, it is desirable to positively lock the trailer frame 16 and the trailer hitch 28 in their relative positions of FIGURE 3 and to provide a positive connection between the trailer hitch and the trailer frame for effective transmission of the towing loads from the hitch to the frame. To this end, the trailer hitch is equipped with a tie rod 64 which is slidably fitted in the rear end of the hitch arm 46. This tierod is extendable rearwardly of the hitch to the position of FIGURE 3, wherein a bushing 66 mounted on the rear end of the rod is aligned with a pair of coaxial bushings 68 mounted on the bracing members 41 for the front tower legs 36 when the latter occupy their collapsed position of FIGURE 3. A lock pin 70 is insertable through the aligned bushings to lock the tie rod to the bracing members. The tie rod may be locked to the hitch arm 46 by a lock pin 72 which is insertable through aligned holes in the arm and rod. It is evident that when the tie rod 64 is thus secured to the hitch arm 46 and bracing members 41, the trailer frame 16 and trailer hitch. 28 are positively locked in their relative travel positions of FIGURE 3 and the towing loads exerted on the trailer hitch in transit are transmitted through the tie rod to the bracing members and then through these members to the trailer frame.

The hydraulic actuator 50 is also employed to raise and lower the collapsible tower structure 14. To this end, the pivotal connection 58 between the front end of the actuator piston rod 54 and the upright arm 44 of the trailer hitch 28 comprises a bushing 74 which may be aligned with the bushing 68 on the tower bracing members 40 by rearward retraction of the piston rod to its position of FIGURES. During this rearward retraction of the. piston rod, the trailer hitch 28 is rotated rearwardly from its rest position of FIGURE 4 to its rear retracted position of FIGURE 5. To permit such rearward rotation of the hitch, and thereby rearward retraction of the actualtor piston rod 54, the tie rod lock pins 70 and 72 are removed and the tie rod 64 is retracted into the hitch arm 46. The tie rod is locked in this retracted position by inserting the lock pin 72 through an additional set of aligned holes in the tie rod and hitch arm. After alignment of the trailer hitch bushing 74 with the bushing 68 in the tower bracing members 41, the lock pin 70 is inserted through the bushings to lock the piston rod 54 to the bracing members 41. Under these conditions, the hydraulic actuator 50 is effective to vertically move th collapsible tower structure 14 between its elevated position of FIGURES 1 and 7 and its collapsed position of FIGURE 2. e

' It is desirable to positively secure the tower structure 14 in its elevated position. The tower is equipped with two separate retention means for this purpose. The trailer hitch 28 forms one of these tower retention means. The second tower retention means comprises a pair of cr ss bracing cables 76 and 78 at each side of the tower structure. The cables76 are connected between the upper ends of the front tower legs 36 and the trailer frame 16, adjacent the lower ends of the rear tower legs 36. These cables are so longitudinally dimensioned that they become taut when the tower structure 14 reaches its elevated position of FIGURES 1 and 7. When the tower structure is collapsed, the cables 76 catch on hooks 80 secured to the rear tower legs. These hooks prevent the cables from dragging on the ground when the tower 10 is towed from one location to another.

The remaining bracing cables 78 are attached at one end to the upper ends of the rear tower legs 36. The opposite ends of the cables 78 have loops 82 which slide on the front tower legs 36 in the regions between the lower ends of these legs and the upper ends of the bracing members 41. When the tower structure 10 is collapsed, the cable loops 82 slide upwardly along the front legs to the position of FIGURE 2. The bracing members 41 are dimensioned to permit sufficient upward movement of the cable loops along the legs for complete lowering of the tower structure 14. When the tower structure is raised to its elevated position, the cable loops 82 slide downwardly along the front tower legs to positions adjacent the lower ends of these legs. The cables 78 are then secured to the front tower legs by cable anchors 84.

Each cable anchor 84 comprises a flange 86 welded to the rear side of the respective front tower leg 36, adjacent the lower end of the leg. Extending through each flange are a series of spaced holes 88 for receiving a U-shaped anchor pin 90. When erecting the tower structure 14, the anchor pins 90 are removed to permit the cable loops 82 to slide downwardly over the apertured anchor flanges 86. The cables 78 are then tensioned by forcing the cable loops 82 downwardly as far as possible along the front tower legs, as by foot pressure on the cables. The anchor pins 90 are then reinserted into the anchor flanges 86 to positively secure the cable 78 to the lower ends of the front tower legs. If desired, the anchor pins 90 may be apertured to receive locks 92 for preventing removal of the pins and, thereby, collapsing of the tower structure 14.

While the bracing cables 78 are thus being secured to the front tower legs 36, the tower structure 14 is retained in its elevated position by hydraulic actuator 50. Thereafter, the actuator piston rod 54 is retracted to rotate the trailer hitch 28 to its upright position of FIGURE 6, wherein a bushing 94 on the hitch arm 46 is aligned with the bushings 68 in the tower bracing members 41. The tie rod lock pin 70 is then inserted through the aligned bushings 68, 94 to lock the trailer hitch 28 to the front tower legs 36. In this upright position of the trailer hitch, the exposed end of the hitch tie rod 64 rests on the ground, whereby the hitch serves as a brace for retaining the tower structure 14 in its erect position. It is significant to note that the actuator piston rod 54 is then retracted into the actuator cylinder 52 and is thereby shielded against accidental and malicious damage.

The rear wheels 26 of the tower trailer 12 are mounted on a carriage 96 which is rigidly attached to the rear tower legs 36. This carriage includes a pair of normally upper supporting members which are disposed for flat supporting engagement with a pair of supporting bars 100 rigidly fixed to opposite sides of the tower tank 39 when the tower structure 14 occupies its lower collapsed position. When the tower structure occupies its elevated position of use, illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 7, the trailer frame 16 rests on the ground, the trailer wheels 26 are located in an elevated position behind the rear tower legs 36, and the wheel carriage 96 is disposed in the inclined position shown. Descending from its erect position to its collapsed position, the tower structure 14, the trailer wheels 26, and the wheel carriage 96 rotate rearwardly and downwardly into an initial position wheerin the wheels engage the ground. As the tower structure continues in its collapsing movement, the rear end of the trailer frame 16 is elevated. The rear of the frame is thus elevated by the force or weight exerted by the tank 39 on the rear tower legs 36 as levers with the axle of the wheels 26 as a pivot. This leverage action will be understood from the geometry of the parts. Such action is assisted by the downward and rearward movement of the tank 39 which results from the fixed position against the ground of the front end of the trailer frame 16, as will be appreciated by observation of the geometrical relationship of the parts. During final movement of the. tower structure 14 to its fully collapsed position, the supporting members 98 on the wheel carriage 96 enter into supporting engagement with the supporting bars 100 on the water tank.

Hydraulic fluid is supplied to the hydraulic actuator 50, for elevating and lowering the collapsible tower structure 14, by a hydraulic system 102. This hydraulic system includes a hydraulic fluid reservoir 104, a pump 106, a motor 108 for driving the pump, and a valve 110 with an operating handle 112. The inlet of the pump 106 is connected tothe reservoir 104. The output of the pump is connected to the inlet of the valve 110. The valve has ports which areconnected to the ends, respectively, of the actuator cylinder 52 through the hydraulic lines 60 and 62 and an additional port which is connected to the hydraulic fluid reservoir 104 through a return line 114. The above compo nents of the hydraulic system 102 are enclosed in a housing 116 mounted on the trailer frame 16. In operation of the hydraulic system 102, the pump motor 108 is energized from any suitable electrical power source, such as the battery of the towing vehicle 34. Operation of the valve handle 112 to one position communicates the hydraulic lines 60 and 62 to the outlet of the pump 106 and to the return line 114, respectively, thereby to effect retraction of the actuator piston rod 54 into the actuator cylinder 52. Operation of the valve handle to the other position reverses the connection of the hydraulic lines 60, 62, thereby effecting extension of the piston rod from the actuator cylinder.

Extending from the forward end of the water tank 39, adjacent the bottom thereof, is a down spout 118. The front end of this down spout is supported from the tank by rods or cables 120. The tower legs 36 are so longitudinally dimensioned that when the tower structure 14 occupies its erect position of FIGURES 1 and 7, the elevation of the down spout 118 above the ground is sufiicient to enable the spout to be located over the fill port of a water pull. It is significant to note at this point that the down spout may remain in the same position while the tower structure 14 is erected, collapsed, or being towed. Thus, as may be readily observed in FIGURE 2, the position of the down spout with respect to the tower structure when the latter is collapsed is such that the spout need not be dismantled during storage or towing, thereby eliminating the work and time which would otherwise be involved in dismantling and reassembling the spout.

Mounted in the down spout 118 is a dump valve 122 having an operating handle 124. Handle 124 is rotatable between the vertical position illustrated in FIGURE 12a, wherein the valve 122 is closed, and the horizontal position illustrated in FIGURE 12b, wherein the valve is open. Depending below the rear end of the water tank 39 is a hose connection 127 through which the tank may be filled.

In order to maximize the mobility of the present tower 10, the weight of the tower must be minimized. This, in turn, requires the use of relatively small and light weight components in the construction of the tower. As a consequence, collapsing of the tower while the water tank 39 is filled may result in excessive strain on and damage to the tower. For this reason, it is desirable to provide a warning to the tower operator in the event that he should attempt to collapse the tower without draining the water tank. This varning may be provided in various ways. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the warning is furnished by opening the dump valve 122 in response to collapsing of the tower, thereby to permit any water in the tank 39 to drain through the down spout. This water drainage instantly alerts the tower operator to the fact that the water tank 39 has not been drained.

To this end, a valve operating rod 126 is pivotally connected at its upper end to the outer end of the valve operating arm 124. The lower end of the rod 126 has a cross member 128, one end of which is slidably caged in a guide way 130 defined between the lower vertical end 41/) of one of the tower bracing members 41 and a rod 132, attached at its ends to the latter bracing member. Rigidly attached to the upper end of the valve operating rod 126 is a generally semi-cylindrical rod extension 134 which seats against the front side of the valve operating arm 124 when the tower structure 14 occupies its elevated position of use, illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 7, and the dump valve 122 is closed. It is evident from the drawings that when the tower structure 14 is collapsed, an upward thrust is exerted on the valve operating rod 126 during initial collapsing movement of the structure. This upward thrust of the rod opens the dump valve 122, which comprises a fast opening butterfly valve. Opening of the dump valve permits any water remaining in the tank 39 to drain from the tank through the down spout 118, thereby instantly alerting the tower operator to the fact that collapsing of the tower should be terminated and the water tank should be drained. This automatic opening of the dump valve 122 in response to collapsing of the tower structure 14 requires counter-clockwise rotation of the valve handle 124, as the latter is viewed in FIGURES 12a and 12b. The extension 134 on the valve operating rod 126 prevents reverse rotation of the valve handle during collapsing of the tower structure. When the tower structure 14 occupies its elevated position of use, the valve operating rod 126 provides a means for manually opening and closing the dump valve 122. The cross member 128 on the lower end of the rod serves as a handle for operating the rod.

Mounted on the front end wall of the water tank 39 are a series of rungs by which the tower operator may climb to the top of the tank for the purpose of inspecting the latter through an access opening in the top of the tank. This access opening is closed by a removable cover 140. A significant feature of the invention resides in the fact that the tower operator may easily scale the water tank 39 when the tower structure 14 is collapsed by first grasping the down spout supporting rods or braces and climbing up one of the inclined front tower legs 36 to the rungs 136 and thereafter climbing these rungs to the top of the tank. When the tower structure 14 is elevated to its erect position of use, on the other hand, the front tower legs are vertically disposed, and therefore not easy to scale, and the lowermost rung 136 is located a substantial distance above the ground. This makes it very difiicult or impossible for children and other unauthorized persons to climb an erect, unattended tower. The tower operator, on the other hand, may easily scale the elevated tower, when a water pull is stationed in front of the tower, by first climbing to the top of the pull and then stepping from the pull to the rungs 136 on the water tank 39.

In describing the operation of the present collapsible mobile tower 10, it will be assumed that the tower structure 14 initially occupies its erect position of use illustrated in FIGURES l and 7. In this erect position, the trailer frame 16 rests on the ground, the rear trailer wheels 26 are elevated above the ground, and the tower structure is retained against collapsing by the bracing cables 76, 78 and the trailer hitch 28 which is locked, by the lock pin 70, to the currently upright front tower legs 36 in a position wherein the rear, exposed end of the trailer hitch tie bar 64 rests on the ground, in the manner best shown in FIGURE 6. In this elevated position of the tower, water pulls are serviced by driving each pull to a position wherein the fill opening of the pull is located directly below the outer end of the down spout 118. The dump valve 122 is then opened, by operation of the valve rod 126, to permit water to drain from the tower tank 39 to the pull.

When the tower 10 is to be transported from one location to another, the water tank 39 is drained and the tower structure 14 is collapsed. Collapsing of this tower structure is accomplished by first removing the lock pin 70 which currently locks the trailer hitch 128 to the front tower legs 36. The hydraulic pump 106 is then operated and the valve handle 112 is positioned to deliver hydraulic fluid under pressure to the rear end of the actuator cyl- 9 inder 52 to extend the actuator piston rod 54 to the position of FIGURES 1, 7 and 8, wherein the bushing 74 at the upper end of the upright arm 44 of the trailer hitch 28 is aligned with the bushings 68 on the front tower leg bracing members 40. The lock pin 70 is then inserted through these aligned bushings to lock the piston rod 54 to the front tower legs. Thereafter, the anchor pins 90 for the tower bracing cables 78 are removed to release the cable loops 82 for upward movement along the front tower legs. The cable anchor flanges 86 are provided with upper openings 142 in which the anchor pins 90 may be stowed when not in use. After release of the cable 78, the valve handle 112 is operated to supply hydraulic fluid under pressure to the forward end of the actuator cylinder 52, thereby to retract the actuator piston rod 54 into the cylinder and effect lowering of the tower sructure 14 to its collapsed position of FIGURE 2 during this collapsing of the tower structure, the rear trailer wheels 26 are rotated rearwardly and downwardly into contact with the ground and the rear end of the trailer frame 18 is elevated, as described earlier. In the fully collapsed position of the tower structure, the supporting bars 100 on the water tank 39 rest on the upper supporting members 98 of the wheel carriage 96, whereby substantially the entire weight of the tank 39 is transmitted directly to the wheels. During this collapsing of the tower structure, the cable loops 82 slide upwardly along the front tower legs 36. Preferably, the

, front tower legs are equipped with lugs 144 over which the loops may be hooked to retain them in their elevated positions on the front tower legs, when the tower structure is collapsed.

After collapsing of the tower structure, the lock pin 70 is again removed to release the trailer hitch 28 for pivotal movement relative to the trailer frame 16. The towing vehicle 34 is then maneuvered to a position wherein its rear hitch member 32 is located below the front hitch member 30 onthe tower trailer 12. The hydraulic actuator 50 is then operated to extend the actuator piston rod 54 through the initial position of FIGURE 4, wherein the front hitch member 30 engages over the rear hitch member 32 on the towing vehicle 34 to the final position of FIGURE 3. During extension of the piston rod from the position of FIGURE 4 to the position of FIGURE 3, the trailer hitch 28 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction relative to the trailer frame 16, as these parts are viewed in FIGURES 3 and 4, and the front end of the trailer frame is elevated relative to the front hitch member 30 to its travel position of FIGURE 3. Finally, the trailer hitch tie bar 64 is extended and the lock pins 70 and 72 are inserted to lock the tie bar to the hitch arm 46 and the front tower legs 36. The tower is then conditioned for towing from its current location to a new location.

Erection of the tower 10 at the new location is accomplished by reversing the steps just outlined. Thus, upon arrival of the tower at the new location, the lock pins 70 and 72 are removed and the hydraulic actuator 50 is operated to lower the front end of the trailer frame 16 to its position of rest on the ground. The tie bar 64 is then retracted forwardly into the hitch arm 46 and the lock pin 72 is reinserted to lock the tie bar in its retracted position. Thereafter, the hydraulic actuator 50 is operated to rotate the trailer hitch 28 to its position of FIG- URE 5, the lock pin 70 is reinserted to lock the hitch arm 44 to the front tower legs 36, and the actuator is operated to elevate the tower structure 14 to its erect position of use. After the tower structure has been secured in its erect position by means of the bracing cables 76, 78, the lock pin 70 is removed, the trailer hitch 28 is rotated to its bracing position of FIGURE 6, and the lock pin is reinserted to lock the trailer hitch to the front tower legs .36 in the manner illustrated in the latter figure.

Those versed in the art will appreciate that the present invention achieves the objects and realizes the advantages heretofore mentioned.

Although a specific embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described herein, it will be understood that the same is merely exemplary of presently preferred embodiments capable of attaining the objects and advantages hereinbefore mentioned, and that the invention is not limited thereto; variation will be readily apparent to those versed in the art, and the invention is entitled to the broadest interpretation within the terms of the appended claims.

The inventor claims:

1. A portable collapsible support to be towed by a vehicle with a rear hitch member, comprising:

a base frame having front and rear ends and normally upper and lower sides,

wheels mounted on the rear end of said frame,

a collapsible supporting structure at the upper side of said frame including front and rear supporting legs adjacent the front and rear ends, respectively, of said frame, said legs having lower ends adjacent said frame and upper ends remote from said frame, a connecting member extending between the upper ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said frame and the lower ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said connecting member and the upper ends of said legs, said pivotal connections having substantially parallel pivot: axes extending transversely of said frame, whereby said supporting structure is vertically movable relative to said frame between an upper extended position of use and a lower retracted position of travel,

a hitch arm at the front end of said frame having front and rear ends and including a front hitch member at the front end of said arm,

means pivotally connecting the rear end of said hitch arm to the front arm of said frame for relative vertical swinging movement of said hitch arm and frame on an axis substantially parallel to said first mentioned pivot axes and between rest positions, wherein the front end of said frame is disposed to rest on the ground when said front hitch member is connected to said rear hitch member of the towing vehicle, and travel positions, wherein the front end of said frame is disposed to clear the ground when said front hitch member is connected to said rear hitch member of the towing vehicle, and

common power means operable between said frame, said hitch arm, and said front supporting legs for selectively effecting vertical swinging movement of said supporting structure between said extended and retracted positions and effecting relative vertical swinging movement of said hitch arm and frame between said rest and travel positions thereof.

2. A support according to claim 1, wherein:

said power means comprises a hydraulic linear actuator operatively connected between said] frame and hitch arm, and means for selectively operatively connecting said actuator to said front supporting legs.

3. A support according to claim 1, including:

means for rigidly connecting the rear end of said hitch arm to said front supporting legs when said hitch arm and frame occupy said travel positions and said supporting structure occupies said retracted position, thereby to restrain said hitch arm against pivotal movement relative to said frame.

4. A collapsible support comprising:

a base frame having front and rear ends and normally upper and lower sides,

a collapsible supporting structure at the upper side of said frame including front and rear supporting legs adjacent the front and rear ends, respectively, of said frame, said legs having lower ends adjacent said frame and upper ends remote from said frame, a connecting member extending between the upper ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said frame and the lower ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said connecting member and the upper ends of said legs, said pivotal connections having substantially parallel pivot axes extending transversely of said frame, whereby said supporting structure is vertically movable relative to said frame between an upper extended position of use and a lower retracted position,

a bracing member pivotally mounted on one end of said frame for swinging about the lower pivot axis of the adjacent supporting legn,

power means on said frame operatively connected to said bracing member for swinging said member relative to said frame,

first connecting means for releasably connecting said bracing member to said adjacent supporting legs when said supporting structure occupies said retracted position thereof, thereby to permit said supporting structure to be elevated to said extended position thereof by said power means,

said bracing member being relatively swingable relative to said adjacent supporting legs when said supporting structure occupies said extended position thereof to a bracing position wherein said bracing member is disposed to support said tower structure in said extended position, and

second connecting means for releasably connecting said bracing member to said adjacent supporting legs when said said bracing member occupies said bracing position thereof.

5. A portable collapsible support to be towed by a vehicle with a ear hitch member, comprising:

a base frame having front and rear ends and normally upper and lower sides,

a collapsible supporting structure at the upper side of said frame including front and rear supporting legs adjacent the front and rear ends, respectively, of said frame, said legs having lower ends adjacent said frame and upper ends remote from said frame, a connecting member extending between the upper end of said legs, pivotal connections between said frame and the lower end of said legs, pivotal connections between said connecting member and the upper ends of said legs, said pivotal connections having substantially parallel pivot axes extending transversely .of said frame, whereby said supporting structure is vertically movable relative to said frame between an upper extended position of use and a lower retracted position of travel,

a vehicle hitch pivotally mounted on the front end of said frame for swinging substantially on the lower pivot axes of said front supporting legs,

said hitch including a front hitch member adapted for pivotal connection to the rear hitch member of the towing vehicle,

power means operatively connected between said frame and vehicle hitch for effecting relative swinging movement of said frame and hitch between rest positions, wherein the front end of said frame is disposed to rest on the ground when said front hitch member is connected to said rear hitch member of the towing vehicle, and travel positions wherein the front end of said frame is disposed to clear the ground when said front hitch member is connected to said rear hitch member of the towing vehicle,

first connecting means for releasably connecting said vehicle hitch to said front supporting legs when said supporting structure occupies said retracted position thereof, thereby to permit said supporting structure to be elevated to said extended position thereof by operation of said power means,

said vehicle hitch being swingable relative to said frame and supporting structure when said structure occupies said extended position thereof to a bracing position wherein said vehicle hitch is disposed to retain said supporting structure in said elevated position, and

second connecting means for releasably connecting said vehicle hitch to said front supporting legs when said supporting structure occupies said elevated position.

6. A support according to claim 5, wherein:

said vehicle hitch comprises a generally bell-crank shaped structure including a hitch arm and a second arm at the rear end of and extending transversely of said hitch arm,

said first connecting means includes an opening in said second arm adapted to be aligned with an opening on said front supporting legs to receive a lock pin, and

said second connecting means comprises an opening in said hitch arm adapted to be aligned with said opening in said front supporting legs to receive said lock pin.

7. A collapsible water tower comprising:

a base frame having front and rear ends and normally upper and lower sides,

a collapsible tower structure at the upper side of said frame including front and rear supporting legs adjacent the front and rear ends, respectively, of said frame, said legs having lower ends adjacent said frame and upper ends remote from said frame, a water tank extending between the upper ends of said legs, pivotal connection between said frame and the lower ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said tank and the upper ends of said legs, said pivotal connections having substantially parallel pivot axes extending transversely of said frame, whereby said tower structure is vertically swingable relative to said frame between an upper extended position of use and a lower retracted position,

power means operatively connected between said frame and tower structure for effecting vertical swinging movement of said tower structure between said extended and retracted positions,

:a down spout on said tank through which water is adapted to flow when said tower structure occupies said extended position of use,

a valve in said down spout for controlling water flow therethrough, and

operating means operatively connected between said tower structure and valve for opening said valve in response to initial movement of said tower structure from said extended position to said retracted position.

8. A water tower according to claim 7, wherein:

said valve operating means comprises a valve operating rod including a handle which is disposed in a position accessible to an operator stationed on the ground when said tower structure occupies said elevated position of use, thereby to permit said valve to be manually operated from the ground.

9. A collapsible Water tower comprising:

a base frame having front and rear ends and normally upper and lower sides,

a collapsible tower structure at the upper side of said frame including front and rear supporting legs adjacent the front and rear ends, respectively, of said frame, said legs having lower ends adjacent said frame and upper ends remote from said frame, a water tank extending between the upper ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said frame and the lower end of said legs, pivotal connections between said tank and the upper ends of said legs, said pivotal connections having substantially parallel pivot axes extending transversely of said frame, whereby said supporting structure is vertically swingable relative to said frame between an upper extended position of use and a lower retracted position,

said tower structure swinging toward one end of said frame during movement of said tower structure from said retracted position to said extended position,

a down spout extending from the end of said tank adjacent said one end of said frame, and

a number of vertically spaced rungs mounted on said end of said tank over said spout, whereby when said tower structure occupies said retracted position, said structure is adapted to be scaled by stepping from the supporting legs adjacent said one end of said frame to said spout and from spout to said rungs, and when said tower structure occupies said extended position, said structure is adapted to be scaled by stepping from a vehicle positioned beneath said down spout to said spout and from said spout to said rungs.

10. A collapsible support comprising:

a base frame having front and rear ends and normally upper and lower sides,

a collapsible supporting structure at the upper side of said frame including front and rear supporting legs adjacent the front and rear ends, respectively, of said frame, said legs having lower ends adjacent said frame and upper ends remote from said frame, a connecting member extending between the upper ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said frame and the lower ends of said legs, pivotal connections between said connecting member and the upper ends of said legs, said pivotal connections having substantially parallel pivot axes extending transversely of said frame, whereby said supporting structure is vertically movable relative to said frame between an upper extended position of use and a lower retracted position,

said tower structure swinging toward one end of said frame during movement of said structure from said retracted position to said extended position,

first cables connected at one end to the upper ends of the supporting legs adjacent one end of said frame and at the other end to the lower ends of the supporting legs at the opposite end of said frame.

second cables secured at one end to the upper ends of the supporting legs adjacent said opposite end of the frame and having loops slidable on the supporting legs adjacent said one end of said frame,

said loops being adapted to move downwardly along said last mentioned legs during vertical swinging movement of said supporting structure from said retracted position to said extended position, and

anchorage means on the lower ends of said last memtioned legs for securing said cable loops against relative upward movement along said last mentioned legs, thereby to retain said supporting structure in its elevated position.

11. A support according to claim 10, wherein:

said anchorage means comprise projecting apertured flanges on the lower ends of said last mentioned supporting legs over which said cable loops are adapted to slide, and

retaining pins insertalble through said flanges over said loops to restrain said loops against upward movement along said flanges and last mentioned supporting legs.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,438,571 3/ 1948 Maxon 280-43 3,039,633 6/1962 Mindrum et a1. 280-414.5 XR 3,160,171 12/1964 Klein 137-344 3,288,315 11/1966 Bigden 280-4223 XR HENRY T. KLINKSIEK, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3552556 *Jan 15, 1969Jan 5, 1971Hall Vriel AApparatus for transporting and lifting loads
US3709251 *Sep 15, 1970Jan 9, 1973W ManorMobile collapsible scaffold
US3809115 *Mar 13, 1972May 7, 1974R KleinRemote control apparatus
US4041974 *Feb 23, 1976Aug 16, 1977Keiser Keril MMobile tower
US4279320 *Jan 22, 1980Jul 21, 1981International Harvester CompanyHand grip/filler neck recess for a tractor hood
US4449724 *May 7, 1982May 22, 1984Ahn Min HTelescopic tanker for carrying fluid
US4512361 *Nov 29, 1982Apr 23, 1985Suncast CorporationHose storage apparatus
US5542495 *Oct 24, 1994Aug 6, 1996Aulakh; Hardev S.Bridge cleaner and paint/debris holder apparatus
US5758685 *Mar 5, 1996Jun 2, 1998Suncast CorporationIndustrial hose cart
US7037036 *Mar 15, 2004May 2, 2006Strassman David RAsphalt seam heater
US7387316 *Apr 12, 2005Jun 17, 2008Bobby J. KelleyPortable water tank
USRE32510 *Oct 29, 1986Sep 29, 1987Suncast CorporationHose storage apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/899.3, 280/491.1, 280/414.5, 280/839, 220/565, 280/43.23
International ClassificationB65D90/12, B65D90/16
Cooperative ClassificationB65D90/16
European ClassificationB65D90/16