|Publication number||US3523694 A|
|Publication date||Aug 11, 1970|
|Filing date||Dec 14, 1967|
|Priority date||Dec 14, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3523694 A, US 3523694A, US-A-3523694, US3523694 A, US3523694A|
|Inventors||Oliver Earl J|
|Original Assignee||Oliver Earl J|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (34), Classifications (19)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Aug. 11,1970 E. J. OLHVER DISMANTLEABLE MERCHANIDISING RACK Filed Dec. 14, 3.967
INYENTOR. Earl J. Olwer TORNEYS United States Patent O 3,523,694 DISMANTLEABLE MERCHANDISING RACK Earl J. Oliver, Fremont, Calif.
(555 Montague Ave, San Leandro, Calif. 94577) Filed Dec. 14, 1967, Ser. No. 690,598 Int. Cl. B60r 27/00 US. Cl. 280-3399 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF TIE DISCLOSURE A wheelable merchandising rack formed of a dolly and plurality of tiered trays which may be dismantled from each other. The trays are foldable such that a number thereof may be stacked in a compact pile upon the lower tray of a rack from which the upper trays have been dismantled. The dollies of a number of racks are stackable in nested relationship. Consequently, the trays and dollies of a number of dismantled racks may be stored in a limited storage area, for example, for return shipment to a factory or the like. The individual trays may be loaded with merchandise at the factory, and then a number of the trays and a dolly may be readily assembled to form a loaded rack for shipment to the distributor. When racks are emptied of merchandise, they may be dismantled and compactly shipped to the factory, whereupon the procedure is repeated. In thus using the dismantleable racks, there is considerably less handling of merchandise than is involved in the boxed or crated shipment thereof to a distributor for subsequent display upon racks permanently retained thereat.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the merchandising of a number of commodities, particularly packaged food products such as potato chips, the packages are typically displayed upon the tiered articulated trays of a suitable rack permanently retained at a grocery store, or other distributor. The packaged food product, or other merchandise, is usually packed in quantity at the factory in collapsible cartons or boxes for shipment to the distributor. Aside from the unfolding of the collapsed cartons, packing of the merchandise therein, and closing of the cartons which take place at the factory, it will be appreciated that at the distributor the cartons must be opened, the merchandise unpacked and stacked on the display rack, and the empty cartons folded for return shipment to the factory. There is thus considerable handling involved in getting the merchandise from the factory to the distributors display rack.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a dismantleable tiered merchandising rack which facilitates a material reduction in the handling of packaged potato chips, etc., or other merchandise, between the production line at the factory and display at the distributor. More particularly, the rack comprises a dolly and a plurality of trays which may be removably assembled with each other and the dolly in tiered relationship. Each tray is collapsible such that a number thereof may be compactly stacked upon the erected lower tray of a rack. Each dolly is arranged such that the dollies from a number of dismantled racks may be compactly stacked in nested relationship.
With racks so arranged, the present invention contemplates the placement of a stack of collapsed trays at one end of a conveyor line and a stack of dollies at the other end. The trays are opened and placed on the conveyor, whereupon they are loaded with packages of potato chips, or other merchandise, as they travel along the line. A plurality of the loaded trays at the end of the line are erected in tiered relationship on one of the dollies to thereby provide a complete display rack loaded with merchandise. A number of the loaded racks are placed in a truck, or the like, and transported to the various distributors, whereat the racks are merely wheeled into prominent display positions. When the first empty rack is encountered at a distributor, the upper trays are dismantled from the rack, collapsed, and stacked upon the erected lower tray of the rack. The compact dismantled rack is placed in the truck. Thereafter, any empty racks are completely dismantled, the trays collapsed and stacked upon the trays of the first rack, and the dollies compactly nested in a separate stack. Upon return to the factory, the stacked trays and dollies of the dismantled racks are placed at the opposite ends of the conveyor line for repeat of the procedure hereinbefore described.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an erected dismantleable merchandising rack in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a tray of the rack, with the collapse and erection of the tray illustrated in phantom.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a dolly of the rack.
FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of a plurality of collapsed trays stacked upon a lower erected tray of a rack.
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the dollies of a plurality of racks stacked in nested relationship.
FIG. 6 is an end elevational view of the stacked dollies of FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 in detail, a rack 11 in accordance with the present invention will be seen to include a dolly 12 and a plurality of articulate trays l3 removably secured in tiered relationship. More particularly, the dolly 12, as best shown in FIG. 3, includes an angle iron frame 14 formed of a pair of parallel spaced side members 16 and a pair of interconnecting parallel spaced end members 17. Each of the members 16, 17 include an upright side portion 18 and inwardly right angularly turned base portion 19. The base portions define a marginal support flange 21 which serves to support the lowermost one of the trays 13. At each of the four corners of the frame 14 there is provided a caster 22 so as to render the frame wheelable. The end members 17 are each provided with a post 23 which projects upwardly from the center of the base portion 19 thereof and is inwardly spaced from the side portion. In addition, a V- shaped member 24 depends from the center of the base portion 19 of each end member 17. The apex of each member 24 is aligned with the longitudinal center line of the frame and disposed substantially in vertical alignment with interior face of the side portion 18 of the corresponding end member 24.
As thus provided, it will be appreciated that the dollies 12 of a plurality of the racks 11 may be compactly stacked in nested relationship, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. More particularly, the casters 22 of an upper dolly are supported upon the base portions 19 of the side members 16 of the frame of a lower dolly. The V-shaped members 24 of the upper dolly outwardly engage the posts 23 of the lower dolly to thus lock the dollies against 27 extending upward therefrom. In addition, each tray includes parallel spaced end portions 28 pivotally secured to the opposite ends of the base transversely between the side portions so as to be foldable between upright erected positions normal to the base and collapsed in substantially horizontal positions in contact with the base. Releasable locking means 29 are preferably associated with the end portions to lock same in their upright erected positions. The end portions are further each provided with a tubular post member 31 vertically secured centrally thereof. The upper end of each post member is reduced in diameter, as indicated at 32, so as to be telescopically engageable with the lower end of a post member of a like tray. The lower ends of the post members 31 are also telescopically engageable by the posts 23 of the dolly 12. The end portions 28 are preferably provided with right angularly inwardly turned stops 33 at their upper edges in substantial alignment with the bases of the reduced diameter portions 32 of the post members 31. The stops serve to support an upper tray having its post members 31 engaged by the post members of a lower tray.
In order to erect a rack 11 in accordance with the present invention, one of the trays 13, in erected condition, is positioned upon the dolly 12. The base 26 of the tray rests upon the marginal flange 21 of the dolly, and the lower ends of the tubular post members 31 of the tray are engaged by the posts 23 of the dolly. A plurality of erected trays are in turn placed in tiered relationship with the reduced portions 32 of the post members 31 of lower trays engaging the lower ends of the post members of upper trays, and the bases of the upper trays resting upon the stops 33 of the lower trays. The tiered dismantleable rack 11, illustrated in FIG. 1 is thus formed.
To dismantle the rack 11, the trays are disassembled from each other by disengaging the post members 31 of upper trays from those of lower trays. The lowermost tray may be left in securance with the dolly and the upper trays collapsed and stacked on the lowermost tray as shown in FIG. 4. The erected end portions 28 of the lowermost tray serve to prevent longitudinal shifting of the upper trays stacked thereon. It will be noted that the lowermost tray of the dismantled rack just described is capable of accommodating the collapsed stacked trays of an additional rack. As previously noted, the dollies of a plurality of dismantled racks may be compactly stacked as indicated in FIGS. and 6.
In the preferred articulate construction of each tray 13, the base 26 and side portions 21 are defined by a marginal rod 34 having a pair of longitudinally spaced inner transverse end portions 36 right-angularly outwardly stepped at their opposite ends to terminate in outer transverse end portions 37. The end portions 37 merge rightangularly into upright end portions 38, which in turn arcuately merge smoothly into upper longitudinal portions 39 extending between the end portions 38 at the opposite ends of the tray. A plurality of transverse rod members 41 are disposed in longitudinally spaced relationship between the transverse end portions 36 and provided with right-angularly upwardly turned ends 42 secured to the longitudinal portions 39. The rod members 41 thus define the base of the tray and the upwardly turned ends 42 define the side portions thereof. A pair of longitudinal rod members 43 are preferably respectively secured in bridging relation to the ends 42 of transverse members 41 on opposite sides of the tray substantialy centrally thereof. The opposite ends of each rod member 43 are provided with upwardly and longitudinally outwardly turned portions 44 which terminate short of the upright end portions 38 of marginal rod 34. The portions 44 being unsecured at their free ends, are resilient and define part of a preferred form of the previously noted locking means 29.
The end portions 28 of the tray each preferably include a pair of parallel transversely spaced rod members 46 having inwardly turned eyes 47 at their lower ends traversed by the inner transverse end portions 36 of the marginal rod 34 so as to be pivotal relative thereto. Each pair of rod members 46 is secured to a transversely bridging elongated closed bow-shaped member 48 of rod material. The ends of member 48 are disposed in the regions defined between the upright end portions 38 of marginal rod 34 and upwardly turned ends 42 of the inwardly adjacent transverse rod members 41. When the rod members 46 are pivoted to an upright position, the ends of member 48 engage the resilient portions 44 of rod members 43 in a wedge fit to thereby releasably lock members 46 in position. Each pair of rod members 46 are also bridged at their upper ends by a transverse rod 49, and the upper ends of members 46 are inwardly right-angularly and arcuately reentrantly turned to define the stops 33. The posts 31 are then centrally secured in bridging relation to the inner surfaces of rods 49 and bow-shaped members 48. To complete the construction of each end portion 28 of the tray, a further transverse rod 51 may be centrally secured in transverse bridging relation to the rod members 46 and post 31. Rod 51 may be provided with hooks 52 at its opposite ends such that rubber bands, or the like, may be longitudinally secured between the hooks of the rods 51 at the opposite ends of the tray to assist in retaining merchandise therein.
As previously noted, in one particular use of the rack 11 hereinbefore described, a plurality of dollies 12 compactly stacked as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 are provided at the output end of a conveyor line, and a plurality of the trays 13, collapsed and stacked as shown in FIG. 4, are provided at the input end of the line. The trays are each erected in the manner previously described and placed at intervals on the conveyor. As the trays travel to the output end of the line they are loaded with merchandise. At the output end of the line one of the dollies is removed from the stack and a loaded tray from the conveyor is erected thereon in the manner previously described. Thereafter, a plurality of loaded trays from the line are erected in tiered relationship on the first tray to form the rack illustrated in FIG. 1, but loaded with merchandise. The loaded rack is transported by truck, or the like, to the distributor and is thereat wheeled into display position. Empty racks at the distributor are dismantled and the trays and dollies stacked in the truck as shown in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 for return to the factory and use in conjunction with a conveyor line in the manner just described.
What is claimed is:
1. A dismantleable display rack comprising a dolly; a plurality of collapsible trays each having a base, parallel spaced side portions extending upwardy from said base, and end portions pivotally secured to said base for movement between upright erected positions in right-angular relation to said base and collapsed substantially horizontal positions in contact therewith; and interengaging means carried by said dolly and said trays for removably securing same to each other in tiered relationship, said interengaging means comprising a pair of upright posts at the opposite ends of said dolly, and a pair of tubular post members, respectively, secured to said end portions of each tray, said post members of said end portions having reduced diameter upper ends, said posts of said dolly telescopically engaging the lower ends of said tubular post members of one of said trays, upper tiered ones of said trays having the lower ends of said tubular post members thereof telescopically engaged by said reduced upper ends of said tubular post members of lower ones of said trays; said dolly comprising a rectangular frame including parallel spaced side members and parallel spaced interconnecting end members, said side and end members having upright side portions and inwardly right angularly turned base portions with said base portions defining a marginal support flange for receiving the base of one of said trays,
said upright posts of said dolly projecting from the centers of the base portions of said end members of said frame in inwardly spaced relation to the side portions thereof a plurality of casters respectively secured to said frame at the corners thereof, said casters of one of said dollies engageable with said support flange of the frame of another of said dollies, and a V-shaped member depending from the center of the base portion of each of said end members with the apex of the V-shaped member aligned with the longitudinal center line of said frame and disposed in vertical alignment with the interior face of the side portion of the corresponding one of said end members.
2. A rack according to claim 1, further defined by each of said trays having releasable locking means cooperating between the side portions and end portions thereof to lock the latter in said erected positions.
3. A dismantleable display rack comprising a dolly having a pair of upright posts respectively at the opposite ends thereof, and a plurality of trays, each tray including a base and parallel side portions defined by a marginal rod having a pair of longitudinally spaced inner transverse end portions right-angularly outwardly stepped attheir ends to terminate in outer transverse end portions, said outer transverse end portions merging right-angularly into upright end portions which arcuately merge smoothly into upper longitudinal portions extending between the end portions at the opposite ends of the tray, a plurality of transverse rods disposed in longitudinally spaced relationship between said inner transverse end portions of said marginal rod and having right-angularly upwardly turned ends secured to said upper longitudinal portions of said marginal rod, and a pair of longitudinal rods respectively centrally secured in bridging relation to said upwardly turned ends of said transverse rods, said longitudinal rods saving upwardly and longitudinally outwardly turned resilient end portions terminating short of said upright end portions of said marginal rod, each tray having end portions each including a pair of parallel transversely spaced side rods having inwardly turned eyes traversed by one of said inner transverse end portions of said marginal rod, said pairs of side rods being thereby pivotal with respect to said inner transverse end portions of said marginal rod, a closed bow shaped member of rod material transversely secured in bridging relation between each pair of said side rods and having ends lockingly engageable with said resilient end portions of said longitudinal rods when said side rods are in upright rightangular relation to said base of the tray, a transverse rod secured in bridging relation to each pair of said side rods adjacent their upper ends, said side rods right-angularly and arcuately reentrantly turned at their upper ends to define stops, and a tubular post member centrally secured in bridging relation to said how shaped member and trans verse member secured to each pair of said side rods, each tubular post member having a reduced diameter upper end, one of said trays disposed upon said dolly with said posts of said dolly telescopically engaging the tubular post members of said tray, the remainder of said trays respectively disposed in tiered relation to said first tray with the tubular post members of upper trays telescopically engaged by the reduced upper ends of the tubular post members of lower trays.
4. A rack according to claim 3, further defined by said dolly comprising a rectangular frame including parallel spaced side members and parallel spaced interconnecting end members, said side and end members having upright side portions and inwardy right-angularly turned base portions with said base portions defining a marginal support flange for receiving the base of one of said trays, said posts of said dolly projecting from the centers of the base portions of said end members of said frame in inwardly spaced relation to the side portions thereof, a plurality of casters respectively secured to said frame at the corners thereof, said casters of one of said dollies engageable with said support flange of another of said dollies, and a V-shapcd member depending from the center of the base portion of each of said end members of said frame with the apex of the V-shaped member aligned with the longitudinal center line of said frame and disposed in vertical alignment with the interior face of the side portion of the corresponding one of said end members of said frame.
5. A dismantleable display rack comprising a dolly, a plurality of collapsible trays arranged for mounting on said dolly in tiered relationship, each of said trays having a base and end portions pivotally secured thereto for movement between an upright position in generally rightangular relation to said base and a collapsed substantially horizontal position in contact with the base, interengaging means carried by each of said trays for releasably securing the same one above another in tiered relationship on said dolly with the end portions in upright position; said means having cooperating parts the first of which is provided on said end portion of one tray and the second of which is provided on the end portion of another tray and positioned so as to engage with said first part of another tray, both of said parts cooperating to hold the end portion of the upper tray against rotation in any disection when the first part thereof on such first tray is engaged with the cooperating second part on the other tray, and means on said end portion arranged for engagement with the tray above for supporting said tray when said end portions are in upright position.
6. A rack according to claim 5 wherein one of said second parts of said interengaging means is aifixed to said dolly in position for operative engagement with said first part on a tray supported directly on the dolly.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,579,655 12/1951 Donald 2206 2,747,748 5/ 1956 Barefoot 211126 2,766,993 10/1956 Reichelt 280-33.99 2,827,302 3/1958 Skyrud 28033.99 2,916,293 12/1959 Lang 280-793 2,990,191 6/1961 Black 280--79.1 3,163,296 12/ 1964 Hohnstein 211-126 BENJAMIN HER SH, Primary Examiner M. L. SMITH, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.
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|U.S. Classification||280/33.998, 211/126.2, 206/513, 108/53.3, 108/53.5, 206/386, 206/558, 206/509|
|International Classification||B62B3/14, A47B87/00, B62B3/00, B62B3/16, A47B87/02|
|Cooperative Classification||B62B3/002, A47B87/0207, B62B3/16|
|European Classification||B62B3/16, A47B87/02B, B62B3/00B|