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Publication numberUS3541977 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 24, 1970
Filing dateNov 25, 1968
Priority dateNov 25, 1968
Publication numberUS 3541977 A, US 3541977A, US-A-3541977, US3541977 A, US3541977A
InventorsDavid H Waldman
Original AssigneeDavid H Waldman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pallet for transportation and storage of toroidal shaped articles
US 3541977 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay Assistant Examiner-Glenn O. Finch Attorney-Warren, Rubin, Brucker & Chickering ABSTRACT: A pallet for supporting heavy articles during storage and transport and particularly articles shaped in a toroidal form, such as coiled metallic sheet material. An upper material receiving platform of the pallet is provided by a generally circular plate for coaxially receiving and supporting one end of the coiled material with the plate being provided with a central aperture for passing tiedown straps from beneath the plate up through a central free space of the coil registering with the aperture. A pair of elongate, laterally spaced support members are mounted to the plate opposite its material receiving surface to extend on either side of the plate aperture and provide spaced openings for receiving correspondingly spaced tongs of a forklift. Each of the support members are provided with slotted openings immediately adjacent their connection to the plate for receiving and freely passing the tiedown straps beneath the plate between its outermost edge and interior aperture, thereby facilitating implacement of the tiedown straps on a loaded pallet and at the same time substantially guarding the former against potential damage by the manipulation of the forklift t0ngs.-

Additionally, the pallet is formed with means for providing optional lifting and transporting by conventional hoist cables and means for nesting empty pallets one to another to minimize the required transportation or storage space thereof.

Patented Nov. 24, 1970 3,541,977

INVENTOR DAVID H. WALDMAN ATTORNEYS Patented Nov. 24, 1970 3,541,977


The present invention relates to article-carrying pallets and more particularly to reusable pallets adapted for storing and transporting toroidal shaped articles, such as coiled sheet metal.

A wide variety of pallets is presently in use to facilitate the handling of transported articles, materials or packages. For

example, and with particular pertinence to the present inven-- tion, wooden pallets are typically employed for carrying heavy, toroidal shaped articles such as coiled sheet metal. (Such coils in fact more nearly resemble hollow cylinders, and the term toroidal as used herein in intended to include such shape). Such pallets are constructed of wooden boards and beams nailed together to support the sheet metal coil at a spaced distance from ground or other supporting surface, to prevent damage to the articles from moisture or contamination with dirt and debris. Furthermore, the spaced distance variations in the showing made by the drawings and description may be adopted within the scope of the invention'as set forth in the claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. I is a perspective view of a pallet constructed accord ing to the present invention,-having a coil of sheet material strapped thereto, and being suspended from the hoisting cables ofa'crane; FIG. 2 is an elevation view of empty pallets, as provided by the present invention, stacked for return shipment;

FIG. 3 is a partial cross section of the stacked pallets shown in FIG. 2 taken generally along lines 3-3 thereof;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a portion of the pallet illustrated by FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the pallet and coiled material I mounted thereto as shown in FIG. 1;

wooden pallets provided for this purpose must generally be disposed of after a single use due to the greatweight of the load and the relatively rough handling to which they are subjected. Specifically, the shifting of the load, during transportation by ship, train or truck stresses these wooden pallets to their limit, often damaging them beyond reuse. As the cost of each pallet employed for this purpose, as of the filing date of this application, rangesbetween $25 and $35, a substantial expense is incurred, generally resulting in an increasedcost of the coil itselfto the customer.

Even if a few of the pallets are still in reusable condition, their size and weight and resulting shipping costs make it prohibitive to return the pallets to the sender for perhaps only a single additional use. The higher percentage of pallets which are not reusable, must be disposed ofat the shipping destination, the cost ofwhich'is generally borne by the purchaser.

Further still, when 'these wooden pallets incur substantial damage, the outer edges ofthe coiled material are likely to be damaged thereby rendering the first few layers unusable; and, in more severe cases, much of a portion of the entire length of the sheet coil. All of these factors tend toward increased expense to the purchaser ofthe stock material resulting in an additional cost passed on to the ultimate consumer.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a strong, rugged pallet for transporting and storing heavy toroidal shaped articles, such-as coiled sheet metal, particularly when subjected to the stressing motions of pitch and roll during ocean transport and the relatively rough handling thereof at dockside, which is substantially less susceptible to damage under such conditions and thus reusable for many times that of pallets heretofore used for this purpose.

It is a further object ofthe present invention to provide such a pallet having a sufficiently minimum weight to make it economically feasible to return empty pallets to their point or origin for subsequent shipment with another article.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide such a pallet particularly adapted to accommodate tiedown straps for securing a loaded article to the pallet and to position such straps where they are least likely to be damaged or severed during movement or shipment.

Another object of the present invention is to provide pallets as above which when empty may be nested one to the other in a self-maintaining stack for convenient and economic transportation and storage during nonuse.

The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which ofthe foregoing will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings accompanying and forming part of this specification. It is to be understood, however, that FIG. 6 isa partial cross section view of the pallet and material taken generally along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 7 is an elevation view ofthe pallet and material as seen from lines 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 8 is a bottom view ofthe pallet shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing an alternative embodiment ofthat portion of the invention illustrated by FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is an elevation view of a plurality of stacked empty pallets constructed as shown in FIG. 9; and

' FIG. 11 is a cross section view of the pallets shown in FIG. 10 taken generally along lines 11-1 1.

Referring toFIGS. I and 5 through 8, the present invention provides a reusable pallet for storingand transporting a heavy toroidal shaped article 16 having a central free space, such as coiled, elongate sheet metal. Briefly, the pallet comprises a plate 18 having a surface for receiving one end of the coil and a central aperture 19, best shown in FIGS. 5 and 8, in substantial registration with free space 1-7 of article 16. Aperture 19 serves to pass a plurality of tiedown straps 21, 22,23 and 24- therethrough forsecuring the body of article 16 to plate 18. For supporting plate 18, apair ofelongate members 26 and 27 are provided, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, each having a pair of parallel supporting walls 28, 29 and 31, 32, respectively, connected to plate I 8 oppositeits material receiving surface and perpendicularly depending therefrom. Additionally,'members 26 and 27 extend parallel to one another on opposite sides of aperture 19 to define, respectively, between walls 28 and 29,.

and 31 and 32, laterally spaced-and open ended guides between ground and plate 18 adapted for receiving forklift 'tongs or other suitable material handling appurtenances.

Preferably the entire pallet assembly is fabricated of steel, or steel alloy where the latter if employed may result in advantageous weight saving, utilizing conventional welding techniques or other suitable expedients for connecting the various component parts together as herein described. It is anticipated, of course, that other materials of proper strength,

such as special plastics, treated wood, or the like maybe sub-' stituted for steel or steel alloy.

In order to accommodate the extension of straps 21 and 23 underneath plate 18 and transverse to members 26 and 27, each of such members are provided in thejsupporting walls thereof with elongate cutout openings 33 and 34 as best shown by FIGS. 6 and 7. Openings 33and 34 are disposed im mediately adjacent plate 18 so as to permit straps 21 and 23 toextend substantially flush with plate 18 transversing member 26 and 27 as best shown in FIG. 6. By this arrangement, those straps traversing members 26 and 27, substantially skin the hollow interior portions of the members and thereby are protected from frictional contact between the ground and members 26 and 27. Additionally, by this arrangement straps 21 and 23 may be received and freely passed under plate 18 for encircling article 16 even though the pallet is loaded and ground-engaging portions 36 and 37 of members 26 and 27 are resting on the ground or other surface. It is noted that members 26 and 27 are each preferably provided with a third wall, walls 38 and 39, respectively, to provide added strength to the supporting members and thus to the pallet and to serve as ground-engaging portions 36 and 37. In such case, members 26 and 27 are conveniently formed of inverted U-shaped channels as shown,

In the present preferred construction and as described herein, plate 18 is formed with a generally circular shape for reducing the weight of the pallet to a minimum and thereby rendering it favorably comparable in weight to heretofore used wooden pallets. In this case, outward walls 28 and 32 of members 26 and 27 are extended beyond the general diameter of plate 18 as best shown by FIG. 8. This construction provides a convenient means for fastening and securing cables or other hoist tackle of a crane to the pallet, such as cables 40 as shown in FIG. I. Particularly with reference to FIG. 8, walls 28 and 32, respectively, of members 26 and 27 are extended beyond the general periphery 41 of plate 18 to form extending segments, while inward walls 29 and 31 are coextensive therewith. Additionally, each of walls 28, 29, 38 and 31, 32, 39 are provided with rectangular end cutout portions 42, as best shown in FIG. 8, adjacent ground engaging portions 36 and 37, and extending inwardly from periphery 41 ofplate 18. By virtue of this construction, portions 42 provide means for receiving cables 40 as shown in FIG. 1, wherein the cables may be easily arranged in place for lifting the structure even though a loaded pallet is resting on the ground. This feature is best illustrated by FIG. 4 where a cable 40 shown in phantom is placed within cutout portion 42 extend under and support member 27.

In order to ensure substantial load bearing strength of extended members 26 and 27 for supporting the loaded pallet on forklift tongs or by hoist cables 40, reinforcing structure is preferably included at the ends of such members. This structure has been advantageously provided by forming plate 18 with radially extending ear portions 47, as shown in FIGS. 4, and 8. Each of ear portions 47 are arranged adjacent one of the ends of members 26 and 27, coextensive therewith, and are connectedalong an edge thereof to the extended portions of outward walls 28 and 32 by means of reinforcing members 51, as best shown in FIG. 4. Each of members 51 has a portion, bent at right angles to ear portions 47 and extending along the side of walls 28 a-nd32 under plate 18, also shown in FIG. 4. With reinforcing member 51 shown in FIG. 4, thus in place, the ends of members 26 and 27 are strengthened for supporting a loaded pallet either by forklift tongs or hoist cables. In the latter case, block members 56 are preferably attaehed to reinforcing members 51 as best shown in FIG. 4 to I prevent cables 40 from slipping off ofmembers 26 and 27 during hoisting.

As a further feature of the present invention, reinforcing members, 51, cutout portions 42 and block members 56 provide means for nesting a plurality ofempty pallets in a stacked and self-securing coaxial array as best shown by FIGS. 2 and 3. Particularly each of the reinforcing members are provided with radially inwardly facing shoulder portions, such as portion 61 for member 51 as shown in FIG. 4, such that when empty pallets are stacked as shown in FIG. 2 an associated cutout portion 42 of members 26 and 27 of an adjacent pallet is secured against radially outward movement by shoulder 61. This cooperation is best illustrated by FIG. 3, wherein the nested pallets thereby secure themselves in a coaxial stack.

Furthermore, each of blocks 56 is formed to extend beyond the material receiving surface ofplate 18 and beyond the reinforcing member to which it is attached such that when the pallets are nested as shown in FIG. 2, associated and alined block members 56 of adjacent pallets radially engage one another and secure the stack against relative angular rotation. In addition, each of the block members may be provided with parallel inclined end faces 62 and 63 such that members 56 ofseparate pallets mate against complementary inclined end faces thereof to permit identical angular alinement of the pallets as shown by FIG. 2.

FIG. 9 illustrates an alternative embodiment to that of FIG.

4, an embodiment generally adapted for palletizing steel sheet coils intended for truck or rail shipment only and hence need only accommodate forklift tynes but not slings and the like as on seagoing freight; but where the pallet generally is provided with the numerous structural features of my invention which are desirable to resist shock and other rough handling and provide reuseable pallets. In such case, reinforcing members 51 have been employed due to sufficient strength being provided by the connection of each ear portion of the plate to the extended outer walls of the elongate support members. This construction is shown in FIG. 9, for outer wall 320 of member 27a and ear portion 47a of plate 18a. Pallets embodied in this form are preferably provided with means, similar to the pallet shown by FIG. 4, for nesting a plurality of empty pallets in a self-securing stack. Forthis purpose, a right-angle member 72 is mounted along edges 73 and 74 of ear portion 470 adjacent the article receiving surface of plate 18a. Furthermore, car portion 47a is formed with edges 73 and 74 overlapping wall 32a and the end 76 of member .270, respectively. With reference to FIGS. 10 and 11, members 72 thereby provide radially inwardly facing right angle shoulder portions 77 such that a plurality ofempty pallets nest one to the other in :1 coatsial stacked array with shoulder portions 77 restraining associated ends 76 of members 260 against rotation or radially outward movement as best shown by FIG. 10.

To accommodate the substantial tonnage which must be borne by the pallet in the case of coiled sheet metal, there is provided a pair of triangular shaped, edge stiffening members 64 extending outwardly from members 26 and 27 as best shown. by FIG. 6 and 8, a pair of rectangular stiffening plates 67 depending perpendicularly from plate 18 transversely between members 26 and 27 proximate the ends thereof, and another pair of rectangularly shaped stiffening members 69 mounted to plate 18 and extending perpendicularly between members 26 and 27 generally midway between aperture 19 and plates 67.

Four equally spaced, strap receiving cutouts 71 are provided at equal space positions around periphery 41 of plate 18 and arranged such that two of the cutouts are disposed mid way longitudinally of members 26 and 27 in general alinement with openings 33 and 34 to pass straps 21 and 23 therethrough on either side of stiffening members 64. 5

Aperture 19 is provided primarily to pass tiedown straps 21- 24 therethrough to the free space of article 16, and accordingly any shape of the aperture suitable for-this purpose is contemplated. However, it is preferred to form plate 18 with a generally circular shaped aperture 19 having a diameter approaching that of free space 17 of article 16. This effectively reduces the overall weight of the pallet and thus minimizes the cost of transporting empty pallets for return loads.

In order to provide sufficient rigidity and strength of the structure and thereby make it reusable many times over, plate 18 and members 26 and 27 are constructed ofa high strength metal and securely welded together. Preferably, a high tensile steel is used for the various parts, and provided with a rust or corrosion retardant such as copper to prevent weakening of the pallet during continued use in corrosive environments. However, other materials may be used if desired, such as other high strength steels or aluminum, for example.

I claim:

.1. A reusable pallet for storing and transporting a toroidal shaped article having'a central free space, said pallet comprisa plate having a surface adapted for receiving the article thereon and being formed with a central aperture registrable with the free spaceof the article, said plate being formed with a generally circular or polygonal shape;

elongate support members each having a pair of parallel supporting walls connected to and depending from said plate opposite its article-receiving surface and defining ground-engaging surface portions spaced therefrom, each of said support members located on opposite sides of the central aperture of said plate and parallel to one another so as to form a pair of laterally spaced guides having open ends adapted to receive therethrough external lifting devices such as forklift tongs, said plate being formed and proximate supporting wall end portions being con-- nected along adjoining edges; and means formed in said plate and said walls for receiving and holding tiedown straps secured circumjacent to an article placed on the receiving surface of said plate for storage and shipment thereon. g

2. The pallet as defined in claim 1 and wherein further said parallel supporting wall end portions being formed with end cutout sections adjacent said ground engaging surface portions to provide clearance for receiving hoist cables thereunder between said support members and the ground when the pallet is positioned on the ground.

3. The pallet as defined in claim 1 and wherein further said ear portions are formed to extend beyond the ends of said members, and a boss mounted to each ear portion along the outermost edges thereof, said boss having at least one surface facing radially inwardly in respect to said plate and positioned to form a radially inwardly facing shoulder cooperatively located relative to said member ends such that a plurality of pallets nest-in a coaxial stacked array with said member shoulders of one pallet restraining said member ends ofa pallet immediately thereabove against radially outward movement.-

4. The pallet as defined in claim 2 and reinforcing members LII mounted on and connecting said ear portions and the outer one of said proximate supporting walls, said reinforcing members and cutout sections being positioned such that a plurality of said pallets nest in a coaxial stacked array with said cutout portions of one such pallet nesting within and being restrained against radially outwardly movement by said reinforcing members ofthe pallet immediately therebeneath.

5. The pallet defined in claim 2 wherein each said reinforcing member is formed with an arcuate shoulder portion facing radially inwardly and projecting a generally perpendicular the article receiving surface of said plate. said shoulder portions and aforesaid cutout sections being positioned such that a plurality of said pallets nest in a coaxial stacked array with said end cutout sections ofone such pallet nesting radially inside of said shoulder portions ofthe pallet immediately therebeneath.

6. The pallet as defined in claim 4 and further comprising: elongate block members individually mounted and positioned on each said reinforcing member to provide a shoulder projecting therefrom for securing a hoist cable within said cutout section of said members. said block members having end portions protruding from said ear portions andreinforcing members such that said block members of adjacent stacked pallets engage one another and secure the pallets against relative rotational and radial displacement in respect of each other.

7. The pallet defined in claim 5 and wherein each said block member is formed with parallel inclined end faces matingly engageable with complementary inclined end faces of said block members of adjacent pallets when in coaxial stacked array.

Referenced by
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US3880093 *Jun 1, 1973Apr 29, 1975Schott Ind IncPallet
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