US 3456967 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 22, 1969- K. W. TANTLINGER ET AL CONTAINER COUPLER Filed Aug. 17, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet l fizz w 4 a Ei July 22, 1969 w TANTUNGER ET AL 3,456,967
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CONTAINER COUPLER Filed Aug. 17, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 wmup Ji United States Patent 3,456,967 CONTAINER COUPLER Keith W. Tantlinger, Grosse Pointe Shores, and Adrian F. Hulverson, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., assignors to Fruehauf Corporation, a corporation of Michigan Filed Aug. 17, 1967, Ser. No. 661,381 Int. Cl. F16!) 7/00, 7/04 US. Cl. 287-2 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various means have been employed heretofore in the art for joining two containers together but none are known where like heads are employed which are ofiset angularly to each other on a rotatable element so that one may be locked prior to the insertion and locking of the other by the rotation of the single element.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention pertains to a coupler for joining adjacent ends of containers having aligned apertures in the corner castings. The coupler has a housing with bosses on opposite ends which journal a rotatable element within the housing. The bosses mate with the apertures in the corner castings in which they are insertable. Like locking heads are provided on the ends of the rotatable element which are angularly offset relative to each other so that in one position of the rotatable element one head will be aligned with its boss and may enter an aperture. When the element is in another position the one head is locked and the other head is aligned with its boss so that it may enter an aperture. In a third position of the rotatable element the heads will be in maximum locked positions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a container coupler embodying features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged central sectional view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1, when applied to the casting at the corners of adjacent containers;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the structure illustrated in 'FIG. 2, taken on the line 33 thereof;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 2, taken on the line 4-4 thereof;
FIG. 5 is a plan of the structure illustrated in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a view of structure, similar to that illustrated in FIG. 3, with the rotatable element turned to one position to permit the insertion of one head in an aperture;
FIG. 7 is a view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 6, after the rotatable element had been further rotated to shift the other head to a position where it may enter an aperture and the one head to locked position;
FIG. 8 is a view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 7, upon the further rotation of the rotatable element for moving the heads to maximum locked position;
Patented July 22, 1969 FIG. 9 is a view of structure similar to that illustrated in FIG. 2, showing another form of the invention;
FIG. 10 is a broken sectional view of the structure illustrated in FIG. '9, taken on the line 9--9 thereof;
FIG. 11 is a sectional view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 9, taken on the line 11-41 thereof;
FIG. 12 is a view of the structure of FIG. 11 showing both heads in locked position;
FIG. 13 is a view of the structure of FIG. 12 showing one head in released position; and
FIG. 14 is a view of the structure of FIG. 13 showing the other head in released position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The coupler 11 of the present invention embodies a horseshoe like housing '12 containing a central slot 13 with positioning apertures 14 and 15 in communication therewith. A rotatable element 16 has shaft portions 17 thereon which are journaled in bearing elements 18 in an aperture 19 thereof which is eccentrically disposed to the cylindrical outer peripheral surface. The elements are diametrically split along the line 21 to be composed of two half portions which can be placed about the shaft portions 17 and thereafter secured within an aperture 22 in an end plate 23 being secured thereto by a weld 24 with a weld 25 securing the plates 23 to the ends of the housing 12.
An operating rod 26 extends through the slot 13 to be slidably disposed through an aperture 27 at the central part of the rotatable element v16. The aperture 27 is recessed at 28 to receive a spring 29 which abuts a washer 31 secured on the end of the rod by a pin 32. A slot 33 in the wall of the element 16 receives the washer 31 upon the retraction of the rod. The rod 26 has a pin 34 which limits its inward movement by the spring 29 for locating a collar 35 on the rod within one of the apertures 14 or 15 for locking the rotatable element 16 against turning movement.
The ends of the shaft portions 17 contain locking heads 36 and 37 which are herein illustrated as being of pointed cylindrical construction and disposed in eccentric relation to the shaft portions 17 and in offset angular relation to each other a predetermined amount. The centers of the shaft portions 17 and heads 36 and 37 are located by X marks in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. The heads are movable into concentric relation to the adjacent bearing elements 18 in selected positions in the angular adjustment of the rotatable element '16.
When the rod 26 is moved from the position illustrated in FIG. 3 to the position illustrated in FIG. 6, the head 37 is concentric with the bearing element 18 adjacent thereto. The head and bearing element being substantially of the same diameter may enter a cylindrical aperture 43 in a casting 41 of one container while the head 36 is still in its eccentric relationship to its adjacent bearing element 18. After the head 37 and bearing element 18 adjacent thereto have been inserted through the aperture 43, the rod 26 is advanced in the slot 13 to the aperture 14 where the collar 35 on the rod will be drawn within the aperture by the tension of the spring 29. This moves the head 37 to a locked position and the head 36 into concentric relationship to its bearing element 18 in position to have the head and bearing element enter the aperture 43 in a casting 42 of an adjacent container. Thereafter the collar 35 is withdrawn from the aperture 14 and the rod 26 is advanced along the slot 13 until it reaches the aperture 15 where the collar 35 will be drawn thereinto by the tension of the spring 29 to lock the element 16 in fully rotated position. In this position a maximum engagement is produced by the heads 36 and 37 with the end walls of the apertures 43 in the castings 41 and 42 in the corners of the containers to provide a maximum holding force for securing the containers in adjacent relationship.
The open ends of the housing 12 are closed by a plate 38 which is welded between the two extending ends thereof with a locking plate 39 secured thereto by a weld 40. The plate 39 extends beyond the plate 38 in position to engage the side of the casting 41 or 42. This locks the housing against rotation while the collar 35 in the aperture looks the rod and prevents the heads 36 and 37 from rotating. The heads will be retained in locked position until the rod 26 has been withdrawn to move the collar 35 from the aperture 15 to permit the rod to be advanced in the slot 13 to the aperture 14 and locked by the collar 35 to release the head 36. The further advancement of the rod the adjacent end of the slot releases the head 37. The containers can be separated when the collar 35 on the rod 26 is within the aperture 14. After the separation, the rod 26 is moved to the end of the slot 13 to permit the coupler 11 to be removed from the containers to which they were secured.
In FIGS. 2 and 5, the castings 41 and 42 at the corners of the adjacent container are illustrated as having cylindrical apertures 43 which are in aligned relation to each other when resting on a common support or supports that are in planar relation to each other. When coupling the containers together the head 37 and its aligned bearing element or bushing 18 are inserted in the aperture 43 of the castnig 42, as illustrated in FIG. 6. The rod 26 is moved to have its collar 35 enter the aperture 14 to lock the head 37 to the casting and to align the head 36 with its bearing element 18, as illustrated in FIG. 7. The containers are advanced toward each other until the head 36 and its bushing 18 passes through the aperture 43 of the casting 42 whereupon the rod 26 is withdrawn to have the collar 35 move from the aperture 14. The rod and collar are advanced further in the slot 13 until the collar 35 enters the aperture 15 advincing the heads 36 and 37 to maximum lock positions, as illustrated in FIG. 8. The containers are locked together in secured relation as the locking plate 39 prevents the housing 12 from angularily shifting.
In FIGS. 9 to 14, another form of coupler for connecting castings 46 and 47 at the corner of two containers is illustrated. The castings have elongated apertures 48 with parallel sides and arcuate ends. The coupler has a housing 49 with a U-shaped central portion 50 containing a central slot 51 extending from a horizontal to a vertical position with locking apertures 52 and 53 in communication therewith. A rotatable element 54 has aligned shaft portions 55 which are journaled in central apertures 56 in bosses 57. The bosses are diametrically split along a line 58 providing two half portions which are placed about the shaft portions 55. The bosses 57 are of cylindrical form having opposite side portions 61 milled to provide a boss of a shape to enter the aperture 48 in the casting 47. A cylindrical end portion 62 extends in a cylindrical aperture 63 in a plate 64 and is welded thereto. The plates 64 are welded to the side edges of the U-shaped central portion 50 of the housing. The housing 49 embodies the central U-shaped portion 50, the end plates 64 and the bosses 57 extending therefrom in aligned relation to each other.
An operating rod 66 extends through the slot 51 and is slidably disposed through an aperture 67 in the rotatable element 54. The aperture 67 is recessed at 68 to receive a spring 69 which abuts a washer 71 secured on the end of the rod by a pin 72. A slot 73 in the wall of the element 54 receives the washer 31 upon the retraction of the rod 66. The rod has a pin 74 which limits its inward movement by the spring 69 for locating a collar 75 secured on the rod within one of the apertures 52 or 53 for locking the rotatable element 54 against turning movement.
The ends of the shaft portion 55 have locking heads 76 and 77 thereon. The heads are angularly otfset to each other so that when the rod 66 is in horizontal position in the slot 51, the head 77 will be aligned with its boss 57 so that it can enter the aperture 48 in the casting 46. The head 77 will be turned when the rod is moved upwardly until the collar 75 is disposed in the aperture 52 in which position the head 76 will be aligned with its boss 57. When the container is moved to have the casting 47 in the position illustrated in FIG. 9 with the head 76 extending through the aperture 48, the movement of the rod 66 to vertical position with the collar 75 in the aperture 53 will move both of the heads 76 and 77 into maximum locked position. These positions are more clearly illustrated in FIGS. 12, 13 and 14.
The locked position is illustrated in FIG. 12 where the rod 66 is in vertical position with the collar 75 disposed in the aperture 53. It will be noted that the head 77 is in transverse relation to the aperture 48 and that the head 76 is angularly disposed to the horizontal position. In FIG. 13, the rod 66 is illustrated as having the collar 75 disposed in the aperture 52 with the head 76 in position to enter the aperture 48 of the casting 47 and the head 77 disposed in initial locked position.
In FIG.14, the rod 66 is shown in horizontal position with the head 77 aligned with the aperture 48 and the head 76 disposed in angular relation to the head 77. After the insertion of the head 77 into the aperture 48 of the casting 46, the upward movement of the rod 66 to have the collar 75 enter the aperture 52, turns the head 77 into initial locked position and the head 76 into alignment with its boss 57 in position to enter the aperture 48 of the casting 47.
What is claimed is:
1. In a coupler, a housing containing a slot having spaced positioning lock means therein, a rotatable element having shaft portions within the housing, bearing bosses supporting said shaft portions and extending from the sides of the housing, said bosses having a peripheral shape capable of entering a correspondingly shaped aperture in a member, a rod extending through the housing slot and engaging said rotatable element, a head at the end of each shaft portion of a shape complementary to said adjacent bearing boss and being offset angularly relative to each other, enlarged means on said rod matable with said positioning lock means for locking the rotatable element in one position where both heads are in maximum locked position, in another position where one head is in partially locked position and the other head is positioned for entrance into an aperture and means on one end of said rod for biasing said enlarged means into said positioning lock means.
2. In a coupler as recited in claim 1, wherein the bearing bosses are cylindrical in form having eccentric apertures in which the shaft portions of the rotatable element are joumaled and wherein the heads are cylindrical in form with tapered ends and of a diameter substantially that of the bearing bosses so as to be separately concentric therewith in two positions of the rotatable element.
3. In a coupler as recited in claim 2, wherein the hearing bosses are made in two parts so as to be assembled about the shaft portions of the rotatable element.
4. In a coupler as recited in claim 3, wherein side plates have apertures in which the bearing bosses are secured and wherein the housing is a U-shaped strap having the slot in the arcuate portion. I
5. In a coupler as recited in claim 4, wherein a plate is secured to the housing in position to engage the side of a container and prevent the housing from turning.
6. In a coupler as recited in claim 1, wherein the bosses and heads are circular in form.
7. In a coupler as recited in claim 1, wherein the bosses and heads are rectangular in form.
8. In a coupler as recited in claim 1, wherein said positioning lock means are notches in the slot wall and 5 6 wherein said enlarged means is a collar on the rod which 3,261,070 7/ 1966 Abolins 24221 is capable of entering said notches. 3,389,663 6/1968 Gutridge 105366 References Cited CARL W. TOMLIN, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 A. V. KUNDRAT, Assistant Examiner 1,797,337 3/1931 Freeman. 2,963,310 12/1960 Abolins.
3,027,025 3/1962 Tantlinger. 24-221; 105366; 287103; 29635.1