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Publication numberUS3552761 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1971
Filing dateApr 8, 1969
Priority dateApr 8, 1968
Also published asDE1917833A1
Publication numberUS 3552761 A, US 3552761A, US-A-3552761, US3552761 A, US3552761A
InventorsSjoblom Ake E
Original AssigneeGrythyttans Stalmoebler Ab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible load pallet
US 3552761 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 5, 19-71 AKE E. SJGBLOM CQLLAPSIBLE LOAD PALLET Filed April' 8, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet Jan. 5, 1971 1 AKE E. SJOBLOM 3,552,761

' 'COLLAPSIBLE LOAD PALLET Filed April 8, 1969 4'Shee'cs-Sheet 2 Jan. 5, 1971 AKE E. SJQBLOM COLLAPS IBLE LOAD PALLET 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed April 8, 1969 FI'G. Z.

FIG; 5

FIG. 6


Filed April 8, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG.8I

United States Patent Int. c1. B62b 1/12 US. Cl. 280-42 16 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A collapsible load pallet comprising two end frames connected by a link which moves between an open position to hold the frames spaced-apart, and a folded position to permit the frames to move to a side by side folded position. A generally flat pallet deck is attached to one of the frames for movement between a vertical raised position and a horizontal lowered position in which the pallet deck rests on and spans the distance between the frames. A lock is carried on the pallet deck to lock the link in the open position when the pallet deck is in lowered position.

The present invention refers to a collapsible load pallet, comprising two or four pallet ends two and two being parallel and at least one load platform for carrying the load running between said pallet ends.

In the distribution of goods load pallets are to a more and more increasing extent being exploited, onto which the supplier loads the goods to be delivered to the retailer, the shop, the Warehouse, etc., and which pallets are being left at the place of delivery together with the goods piled thereupon. Sometimes the pallets are being used for the disposition of the goods in the shop or in the warehouse and are not returned to the supplier until the goods have been consumed or sold out.

In order that an optimum quantity of goods may be loaded onto the pallet it is usually provided with two or four pallet ends being parallel in pairs, which are in one way or the other mounted on the load-carrying plane of the pallet, the so called pallet deck. This is especially the case in the transportation of bulky goods as, e.g., provisions, paper wares, chemotechnical articles or the like. In order that the pallet may be handled conveniently it is usually provided with a number of wheels, whereby the pallet may be moved without the aid of special trucks or other requisites.

The return transportation of the load pallets emptied of their goods present certain problems and disadvantages. In order that the pallet ends will stick firmly to the pallet deck they have previously generally been stationary mounted at the pallet deck, but this leads to the disadvantage that the pallet during the return transportation will take up a considerable space due to the upright pallet ends. This is especially a drawback when the transportation of wares takes place by means of delivery vans, which are more and more frequently being used for the above mentioned kinds of transportations, and which generally only have one loading and unloading opening. When loading empty pallets for being transported in return they will be an obstruction for unloading the pallets having goods thereon and being located further in in the van. The transport workers often have to make reloadings during a distribution tour for facilitating the unloading of pallets having goods thereon at following delivery places. Sometimes a reloading might be avoided by turning an empty pallet upside down and putting it on top of another empty pallet, but this is very work exacting since the pallets are fairly heavy, and it further involves the risk that the pallets turned upside down at a canting of the vehicle will turn over andfcause damage to the transported goods or the vehicle itsel One has therefore tried to solve the mentioned problems by mounting the pallet ends detachably at the pallet deck, so that the shopor warehouse-assistants after a pallet has been emptied may take the pallet ends away from the deck and lay them down on said deck. The pallets may then be transported standing on their feet or wheels in more layers over each other or standing on their edges beside each other. A load pallet of this kind is however fairly expensive to manufacture due to the rather complicated mounting means being necessary for the attachment of the pallet ends at the deck. It has also shown that the hitherto known means for attaching the pallet ends at the deck have had to be clasped rather strongly, so that the pallet as a whole will be stable, and this has as an effect that a rather heavy strength is necessary for loosening the pallet ends from the deck after the pallet has been emptied of its goods. In certain cases it may even happen, that the attachment means during the loading or the transportation of the pallet or the disposition thereof in the warehouse may happen to lock itself, so that an extremely strong power or special requisites have to be used for loosening the pallet ends. This is particularly a disadvantage when the pallets are being used for delivery of goods to shops where generally shop-assistants or cash-desk girls have to handle the pallets, a work for which they are not suited.

Another disadvantage with the above mentioned pallets having detachable pallet ends is that the pallet after the ends have been detached will form at least three units, viz, the pallet deck and two pallet ends, and the pallet will consequently also during the return transportation be handled as three separate units, and there will always be a risk that pallet ends or pallet decks will be put aside, get lost or be mixed up in case that more kinds of pallets are being transported at the same time.

There has consequently been a need of a pallet which may if required be collapsed so as to occupy an optimum small space and which in the collapsed state still forms an interconnected unit, so that the pallet always is complete, and so that pallet parts belonging to different pallet copies might not under any circumstances be mixed up.

It has been proposed that a load pallet should be made as two parallel pallet ends and an intermediate running pallet deck, which is preferably pivotally mounted to one of said pallet ends. The problems in the construction of such pallets have been numerous. The greatest problem has been to provide a connection between the two pallet ends, which makes a folding of the pallet possible without dividing it into several parts, and which Will at the same time give the pallet the necessary strength and stability. Another problem has been to provide such a locking of the connection between the pallet ends that they may not unintentionally be turned or moved in relation to each other. A further problem has been to make such a folding of the load pallet possible, that it will in its folded state take an optimum small space and preferably have a width not much exceeding the total width of the two pallet ends.

The present invention is intended to eliminate the above mentioned problems and disadvantages at the previously known load pallets and provide a load pallet, which may be folded so as to occupy an optimum small space, which in its fold out state has an extremely good strength and stability, and which is so formed, that in its fold out state it is secured against any possibility of mutual turning or displacement of the two pallet ends.

The invention will now be described more in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings showing a preferred embodiment thereof. It is however to be understood, that the invention is not restricted to the form of execution thereof described and shown in the drawings, and that various kinds of modifications may occur within the scope of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 in perspective shows a load pallet according to the present invention having the pallet deck turned up against one of the pallet ends.

FIG. 2 is a view from above of the load pallet according to FIG. 1 with the pallet deck in its loading position.

FIG. 3 is a cross section seen from the line III-III of PG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a view of the load pallet according to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 having the pallet deck turned up against one of the pallet ends and having the pallet ends partly put together.

FIG. 5 shows the pallet according to FIG. 4 in its completely collapsed state seen along the arrow V of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a detailed view of the connection link for the two pallet ends, seen along the line VIVI of FIG. 2.

FIG. 7 is a side view of an especially preferred embodiment of the load pallet according to FIGS. l-6 having two pallet gates interconnecting the two pallet ends.

FIG. 8 is a section along the line VIIIVIII of FIG. 7, and

FIG. 9 finally is a section across the line IX-IX of FIG. 7 showing a preferred embodiment of a locking means for the pallet gates.

The load pallet according to FIGS. 1-6 includes two preferably vertical pallet ends 7 and 8 running parallel to each other when the pallet is adapted for loading and transportation and an intermediate load platform 9 named pallet deck running between said two pallet ends 7 and 8. A link arm 10 forming a connection link between the two pallet ends 7 and 8 runs between said two ends.

Each pallet end is composed by a L-bar 11, the length of which defines the horizontal length in one direction of the load pallet. The vertical part of the L-bar 11 is somewhat longer than the horizontal part thereof, and the two pieces each extending outside the edges of the horizontal bar part are bent into right angles, so that they will form corner pieces 12 of the pallet end. Under each end of the L-bar 11 a plate 13 is mounted in any suitable way. This plate 13 forms an attachment base for a wheel or a roller 14, whereupon the pallet may be driven and handled in as well its fold out as its collapsed state without the need of being raised or handled with the aid of special lift devices. The plate 13 has a length and width corresponding to the base plate of the roller 14, and it is attached to the L-bar by welding, screwing, rivetting or the like. In the embodiment of the load pallet showed in the drawings the support plate 13 has a width essentially exceeding the width of the horizontal part of the L-bar 11, but it is obvous to the man skilled in the art that the support plate 13 might be made smaller or has to be made larger depending of the type of wheel 14 which is to be used.

The pallet ends 7 and 8 are formed with end pieces, which may consist of a plate of board, plywood or the like being attached to two or more support posts. In the described embodiment the pallet ends are however formed as a lattice work 15 attached to the inside of the vertical part of the L-bar 11. Said lattice end 15 includes a substantially U-formed frame of fairly thick steel tubes and a number of struts of smaller dimension than that of the frame tube running parallel to the branches of the U- formed frame. Half-way between the branches of the U-formed frame a thick tube 16 is running downwards from the frame and is likewise attached to the L-bar 11. This piece of tube 16 forms an attachment means for the 4 connection link 10 running between the two pallet ends 7 and 8.

The link 10 comprises a U-bar 17 the rib of which runs vertically, and which is divided by a vertical cut at a point located aside of its vertical centre line. The U-bar 17 is in its outer ends provided with vertical tube pieces 18, the under edges of which run in flight with the lowest surface of the U-bar 17, and which are of a height essentially exceeding the height of said U-bar. The tubes pieces 18 have such an inner diameter, that they will fairly tight fit to the outer diameter of the central tube 16 of the lattice end on to which the link tube 18 is pushed. The link tubes will thereby form a link connection between the link arm 10 and each one of the lattice ends.

The connection between the two parts of the U-bar 17 is effected by a parallelepipedical beam 19, which with its one end is welded or in any other suitable way attached to one part of the divided U-bar 17, and which with its other end extends such a distance in over the second part of the U-bar 17, that its end will be located at a vertical line situated somewhat in of the part of said U-bar 17 being opposite the one, where the bar is divided. The beam 19 is preferably formed as a box profile having a transversal width and height substantially corresponding to the inner dimensions of the U-bar 17, so that the beam 19 will be completely positioned within said U-bar. The beam is with its part positioned in the longer one of the two U-bar parts attached to said part by means of a vertical pin 20 so provided, that the beam will be pivotally connected to said longer one of the two U-bar parts. The pin 20 is located aside of the vertical centre of the link arm 10 with a distance only slightly exceeding the length of the support plates 13 of the pallet ends. In moving the pallet ends 7 and 8 transversally towards each other they will thereby also be displaced longitudinally a distance being somewhat longer than the length of the wheel support plate 13. Such a folding together of the load pallet is possible thanks to the link 10 being pivotally connected to each one of the pallet ends and being divided into two parts piovtally connected to each other. In folding the load pallet together two diagonal wheel support plates 13 will be partly pushed in under the L-bar 11 of the opposite lattice end, and the total width of a load pallet thus folded may theoretically be reduced to the total width of the horizontal parts of the two L-bars 11. In the embodiment showed in the drawings the corner pieces 12 of the L-bars 11 are somewhat longer than the width of the horizontal parts of the L-bars, and the width of a collapsed load pallet will consequently theoretically be the total width of the horizontal part of one L-bar and the corner piece 12 of the opposite pallet end. In practice the thickness of the pallet deck will however often determine the total width of the collapsed load pallet. The dimensions of as well the L-bar 11 as the central tube 16 of the lattice end, the tube pieces 18 of the link 10 and the U-bar 17 may be varied according to the necessary strength and stability to be attained of the load pallet.

The major part of the pallet load will however not be received by the above mentioned parts but by the pallet deck 9, and due thereto said deck is made very stable. Preferably the deck is made of wood in the form of pallet boards 22 interconnected by cross bars 21. The pallet deck is thereby formed as two mirror-symmetrical halves 9a and 9b, see FIG. 4, which are joined together by a U-bar 23 having flanges 24 extending from the free ends of its branches. The U-bar 23 is intended to run rectangularly between the two pallet ends at folded out pallet and between the two linked tube connections 16 and 18 of the link 10, and it has for this purpose an inner width being only slightly greater than the maximum width of the link and a height admitting a safe locking of the link 10 in its complete folded out position by the bar 23 striding over the link 10 as shown in FIG. 6. The U-bar 23 with the flanges 24 will in this way form a locking bar for the link arm 10. The flanges 24 are each mounted along one pallet board 22 of the two deck halves, preferably at the under sides thereof. The flanges 24 will also be partly clasped between the pallet boards 22 and the cross bars 21 keeping same together.

The pallet deck 9 has a length and a width closely connected to the surface of the pallet located inside the vertical parts of the L-bars 22, and the pallet deck will at least at its corners directy rest against said vertical parts of the L-bars, what will effectively prevent any rotating movement of one pallet end in relation to the other, at the same time as the locking bar 23, 24 in combination with the pallet deck 9 will prevent any expanding or contracting displacement of one pallet end in relation to the other.

In the case that the lattice ends 15, as is shown in the appended drawings, with their tubes are mounted on the inner side of the L-bar 11 the pallet deck is formed with recesses for said tubes. This is of particular importance at the corners of the pallet deck, since the pallet deck at least with its corners should directly rest against the vertical part of the L-bar 11 in order to give the pallet an optimum stability. In the embodiment indicated in the drawings only the outermost boards of the pallet deck have been adapted to rest against the longitudinal part of the L-bar 11, while the other pallet boards are of such a length, that they run freely inside the lattice tubes of the pallet. This is fully enough for giving the pallet an extraordinary good strength and stability.

The pallet deck is pivotally connected to one of the pallet ends '8 by means of a hinge as is best shown in the FIGS. 2 and 3. The hinge joint includes an angularly bent part 25, which is with one end in a suitable manner mounted under a pallet board 22 and which is in its free end formed to a loop 26. Said loop 26 encloses in itself the rib of a U-formed clamp 27, which is attached to the L-bar 11 with its branches. Generally it is sufficient with two hinge joints of the described kind being located substantially in front of the middle of each half of the pallet deck.

When a pallet of the described kind has been emptied of its goods, it is being folded by turning the pallet deck upwards against the pallet end with which it is connected, whereafter the link is being pushed somewhat in the direction of the arrow V in FIG. 4, and the pallet ends 7 and 8 can then with very small power be pushed together. As mentioned above a certain longitudinal displacement of one pallet end in relation to the other takes place at the same time as the ends are being brought together, so that the wheel support plates 13 of the two pallet ends will be disposed more or less in longitudinal alignment with each other and so that all four wheels 25 of the pallet will be disposed substantially on the same longitudinal line. The support plates 13 will as mentioned completely or partly be pushed into position under the L- bar 11 of the opposite pallet end, and the pallet thereby obtains a width being essentially smaller than What has previously been possible to obtain after the folding of pallets of the kind in question.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the pallet is as mentioned above provided with wheels at each corner, and it has thereby shown suitable to provide the wheels at one end of the pallet ends fixed mounted, while the other two wheels are provided pivotable about a vertical axis. Hereby the advantage will be gained, that the pallet might be directed with the aid of the pivotable wheels as well in its collapsed as its folded out state, what will facilitate the handling thereof.

In FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 an especially preferred embodiment of the above described load pallet has been shown. In addition to the above described pallet ends and the intermediate pallet deck the load pallet according to this embodiment also includes two end gates 28 connected to the other parts of the pallet and being so formed, that the load pallet at the folding thereof will not occupy a greater volume than the above described embodiment in spite of having such end gates.

The end gates 28 include two outer, vertical end tubes 29 and a number of thinner rods 30 provided between the tubes 29 and parallel therewith. The end tubes 29 and the end rods 30 are connected to each other by means of horizontal bands 31, the thickness of which substantially corresponds to the thickness of the L-bar 11. The bands 31 are provided at the side of the gate 28 turned towards the interior of the pallet. The end gates 28 are hinged at each one of two diagonally to each other located outer posts of the ends 7 and 8 by means of suitable hinges 32. For the fixation of the end gates 28 in the vertical directions the outer tubes of the ends 7 and 8, with which the gates are pivotally connecting might be provided with fixed tube pieces 33, whereupon the hinges 32 rest. The gates 28 are somewhat lower than the pallet ends 7 and 8 for the purpose that the gates 28 thereby might be turned 5270 in the counter-clockwise direction as seen in the drawings, so that the tubes 29 and the rods 30 will be completely located within the ends 7 and 8. With the gates thus turned around only the connection bands 31 will be located outside the vertical plane of the pallet ends 7 and 8, but since said bands 31 are not essentially thicker than the vertical part of the L-bar 11 no part of the gates will be positioned outside the vertical plane being parallel to said L-bar 11. It is obvious that the end gates 28 must not extend further down than as to run freely above the uppermost surface of the pallet deck 9, and it is also obvious that its upper part must not extend above the horizontal bordering tubes of the ends 7 and 8, but within said restrictions the gates 28 might be given any suitable height and design.

The locking of the end gates 28 at the pallet end being opposite to the hinge end can be eifected by any suitable means. A preferred locking means is however shown in FIGS. 7 and 9. Said locking means includes a lock bracket 34, which is so displaceable along a guide bar 35, that the bracket as the displacement along said bar 35 at the same time will be moved as well in the vertical as in the horizontal direction. The bracket 34- is in its outer end bent to a diameter corresponding to that of the tube in the pallet end 7 or 8 about which it is intended to seize. The bracket is by means of angularly bent hooks or in any other suitable way displaceably connected to the guide bar 35.

In folding a load pallet according to FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 one will act in the following way: The lock bracket 34, which has hitherto locked the end gate 28 against the pallet end 7 or 8 is moved upwards, whereby its outer, circularly bent part is being moved outwards out of contact with the outer tube of the pallet end 7 or 8. The gate is thereby being made free from one of the pallet ends, and it is now turned outwards and backwards about the outer tube of the opposite pallet end 8 or 7 respectively, at which it is pivotally mounted, and the gate is with its tubes 29 and rods 30 being turned inwards into the interior of the pallet end 7 or -8 as indicated in FIG. 8. Then is acted in the same way with the opposite end gate 28, and the pallet is finally being folded in identically the same way as above described with reference to the FIGS. 1-6.

I claim:

1. A collapsible load pallet comprising two end frame members, a link means connecting said end frame members together and movable between an open position whereat it holds the frame members in a predetermined spaced-apart relationship relative to each other, and a folded position whereat the link means permits movement of the two frame members to a folded position side by side with each other, a generally fiat pallet deck, means for attaching the pallet deck to one of the frame members for movement between a raised position whereat the pallet deck lies in a generally vertical plane, and a lowered position whereat the pallet deck lies in a generally horizontal plane and spans the distance between the frame members and rests on the frame members,

said pallet deck including locking means carried thereon for engaging and locking the link means in said open position when the pallet deck is in said lowered position.

2. A load pallet according to claim 1 wherein the pallet deck is pivotally connected to one of the said end frame members for pivotal movement between said raised and lowered positions, whereby the said end frame members, the said link means, and the said pallet deck comprise one interconnected unit.

3. A load pallet according to claim 1 including vertical posts formed in the said end frame members, and wherein the pallet deck includes arcuate recesses formed along the edge thereof to fit against the said posts for preventing relative displacement between the pallet deck and the end frame members.

4. A load pallet according to claim 3 wherein the two end frame members are generally parallel to each other and wherein the said corner posts are located at the opposite ends of the end frame members, and wherein the said arcuate recesses are formed at the corners of the pallet deck.

5. A load pallet according to claim 1 comprising end gates pivotally connected, one to each of the two end frame members for pivotal movement about a vertical axis for spanning the space between the end frame member to which it is pivotally connected and the other frame member.

6. A load pallet according to claim 5 including locking means for locking the said gates in the said position Whereat the gates span the spaces between the end frame members, the last said means comprising means for locking the gates to the end frame member opposite from that to which it is pivotally connected.

7. A load pallet according to claim 5 wherein said end frame members include a set of vertical posts mounted thereon, and wherein each pallet gate is formed with outer rods and at the inside thereof connection bands and wherein the gates are of such a height that in turning the gates outwards about their pivot axes against the end frame members to which they are pivotally connected, the said gates are positioned within the width of their respective arrangement of end frame members and posts mounted thereon.

8. A load pallet according to claim 1 wherein said end frame members are generally parallel to each other when the link means is in the open position and wherein said link means comprises a link arm articulated for movement about a vertical pivot axis between said open and folded positions.

9. A load pallet according to claim 8 wherein said locking means comprises a downwardly open part formed in the pallet deck and positioned to engage the link arm to lock it in the open position when the pallet deck is moved to the lowered position.

10. A load pallet according to claim 8 wherein the link arm comprises a channel member open to the side 8 and having a U-shaped cross-section and formed in two separate parts, and including a block member positioned to fit within the opening of said U, said block member being rigidly connected to one of said parts and forming said pivot connection of the link arm with the other said part of the link arm.

11. A load pallet according to claim 8 wherein the end frame members are elongated and wherein the articulated link arm is connected to the end frame members approximately at the longitudinal centers thereof.

12. A load pallet according to claim 11 wherein said link arm includes means for folding the link arm such that the two end frame members are longitudinally displaced relative to each other in the folded position, as compared to the relative position of the two end frame members in the open position.

13. A load pallet according to claim 12 wherein the last said means comprises the construction wherein the said pivot axis of the link arm, in the open position, is located closer to one of said end frame members than the other.

14. A load pallet according to claim 13 wherein the pallet is generally rectangular and includes pallet feet at each of its four corners, the said longitudinal displacement of the end frame members being at least as great as the dimension of the pallet feet in said longitudinal direction.

15. A load pallet according to claim 14 wherein the pallet has wheels at each of the four corners and wherein the facing sides of the end frame members have surfaces which mate with each other in the said relatively longitudinally displaced position of the end frame members in the folded position, wherein the end frame members overlap in a direction transverse to the said longitudinal direction in the said folded position.

16. A load pallet according to claim 15 wherein, in the said folded position, the said four wheels are located on the same longitudinal line.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 567,669 9/1896 Weinstock 280-42 604,331 5/1898 Legge 280-42 1,820,466 8/1931 Lieblein 280-42 3,202,438 8/1965 Panknin et al. 28042 FOREIGN PATENTS 910,606 11/1962 Great Britain 10856 BENJAMIN HERSH, Primary Examiner L. J. PAPERNER, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3677199 *Feb 5, 1971Jul 18, 1972Combitainer SaArrangement in loading pallets with supporting walls
US3920258 *Sep 24, 1973Nov 18, 1975Rigulag AbTransportation cart
US5358264 *Mar 2, 1992Oct 25, 1994Hewitt Timothy WMobile machine support
US7419170 *Mar 31, 2006Sep 2, 2008Dennis Theodore KrizanAdjustable monitor cart
US9010798 *Jan 31, 2013Apr 21, 2015Luca ButtazzoniSelf-contained dolly assembly
US9340222Oct 7, 2014May 17, 2016Luca ButtazzoniCastor assembly for modular dolly and kit
US9409585Nov 4, 2014Aug 9, 2016Luca ButtazzoniCastor supported dolly assembly capable of being made from lightweight materials and of being used as a pallet assembly
US20070235968 *Mar 31, 2006Oct 11, 2007Krizan Dennis TAdjustable monitor cart
US20140021691 *Jan 31, 2013Jan 23, 2014Luca ButtazzoniSelf-contained dolly assembly
U.S. Classification280/42, 108/56.1, 108/55.1, 280/79.11
International ClassificationB62B3/02, B65D6/16
Cooperative ClassificationB62B3/025
European ClassificationB62B3/02R