US 3583061 A
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June 8, 1971 R. E. ADAMS 3,583061 METHOD FOR INSTALLING DRAF'I' GEAR Filed July 28. 1969 I I I HIM 2 Sheets-Sheet l F r H E ADAMS June 1971 R. E. ADAMS 3,583,61
METHOD FOR INSTALLING DRAFT GEAR Filed July 28, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet E INVNT( JR.
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United States Patent O" 3,583,061 METHOD FOR INSTALLING DRAFT GEAR Ralph E. Adams, 211 E. Rehton Parkway, Walbridge, Ohio 43465 Filed July 28, 1969, Ser. No. 845,454 Int. Cl. B23p 21/00 U.S. Cl. 29--469 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Railroad cars and locomotves are coupled together through couplers which transmit pushing and pulling forces to the frames of the vehicles through cushioning devices called draft gear. Conventional draft gear comprise cast housings containing springs or other deformable material that is acted upon by a piston. The draft gear with its piston facing forwardly is surrounded by a yoke, and a striker plate is installed between the piston and the front end of the yoke. The front end of the yoke has an opening therethrough and the shank of the coupler projects therethrough to engage the striker plate. A loosely fitting retainer pin extends through the yoke and coupler to transmit pullng force to the yoke, draft gear, and striker plate, and thence to abutments on the vehicle frame. Pushing forces are transmitted from the coupler to the striker plate, draft gear, and then to abutments on the vehicle frame.
It sometimes happens that the internal sprngs or cushioning devices of the draft gear become broken, and then it is necessary to replace the entire draft gear. The railroad vehicles are built with structure over the top of the housing for the draft gear, so that the draft gear must be replaced from underneath the railroad vehicle. Draft gear has conventionally been replaced by placing a yoke and draft gear assembly on top of a jack and manually jackng the assembly up into position. This manhandlng of the draft gear usually requires a crew of two or three men and takes from two to four hours. The operation of jacking a draft gear into position has not changed appreciably in over 50 years, although in some instances, the 'jack has been improved. In one instance, for example, a ramp has been installed on the jack in order to facilitate the positioning of the draft gear on top of the jack, from which position it is then raised into final position in the railroad vehicle.
The principal object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved method, and means, for transporting and installing draft gear in railroad vehicles.
Further objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description of the preferred embodirnents of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view showing the means employed in the present invention for raising draft gear into position in a railroad vehicle;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the parts comprising the yoke and draft gear assembly which is shown being installed in a railroad vehicle in FIG. *lg and Patented June 8, 1971 FIG. 3 is an isometric View of a draft gear support pallet which makes it possible to use warehouse lifting equipment for installing draft gear in a railroad vehicle.
DESCR'I'PTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS According to the present invention, a draft gear assembly is raised into the receiving pocket between sills of a railroad vehicle by a hoistng device located externally of the vehicle, using a thin pallet cantilevered from the hoisting equipment. The draft gear assembly is located on the projecting end of the pallet. In the embodiment shown in FIG. l, the pallet 10 is specially designed for use with loading equipment having front end forks 12, which equipment 14 is sometimes called a fork-lift truck. The pallet 10, best seen in FIG. 3, comprises a flat support 16 having a pair of elevating pads 18 located adjacent one end thereof. The opposite end of the pallet is provided with brackets 20 and 22 for attaching the pallet 10 onto the forks 12 of the fork-lift truck 14. The brackets 20 and 22 are located a distance suficently remote from the pads 18 that pads 18 will be beneath the draft gear re ceiving cavity, when the fork-lift truck is positioned externally of the front end of the railroad vehicle. A distance of 4 feet between the bracket 20 and the closest elevating pad 18 will usually be sufficient to service most railroad vehicles. The pads 18 will usually be approximately 2.0 inches on centers to give a total length of approximately 6 feet.
The brackets 20 and 22 can be made in various ways so that the forks 12 can either be positioned below the support member 16, or above the support member 16. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the forks are adapted to be positioned below the support 16. In this embodiment, the bracket 22 generally serves to keep the support 16 from sliding laterally off of the forks 12 while the outer bracket 20 holds the support 16 downwardly onto the forks 12. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the bracket 20 is generally an open sided box like structure made of steel bar. The top side 24 of the box is fastened to the top side of the support 16. The bottom side 26 of the box is spaced approximately 1 /2 inches below the bottom of the support 16. The support 22 is a generally -shaped strap, the horizontal leg 28 of which is likewse positioned approximately 1 /2 inches below the bottom of the support 16. Although not necessary, there may also be provided a leg 30 adjacent the opposite end of the pallet 10, so that the leg 30 and brackets 26 and 28 can rest on a flat surface and keep the end of the support 16 substantally level when resting on the ground.
FIG. 2 of the drawings shows a cast sill block 32, open at the bottom and which contains a draft gear receiving cavity 34. The sill block .32 is adapted to be riveted, or otherwise aflixed, to the longitudinal sills commonly used in railroad vehicles. The block 32 has a draft gear receiving cavity 34 into which a pair of rear abutment surfaces 36 project and which are spaced from each other by a distance to receive the back end of the yoke, later to be described. The draft gear receiving cavity 34 is also bounded by a pair of front abutment surfaces 40 adapted to be engaged by a striker plate 42. The abutments 40 also project into the cavity but a short distance to leave a space therebetween adapted to receive the front end of the yoke 38. The forward end of the receiving cavity 34 is enlarged for reasons which will later be described, and the front end of the sill block 32 is closed olf excepting for a centrally located square opening 44 adapted to receive the shank 46 of a coupler.
The draft gear 48 comprises a large cast block having a piston 50 projecting from its forward end, which piston is held in place by suitable retainers 52. The rear end of the block 48 is closed, and suitable cushioning means, as
for example springs, rubber blocks, etc., are interpositioned between the rear wall of the block and the piston 50 to resiliently resist rearward movement of the piston 50. The rear end of opposite side surfaces of the block may be fiared outwardly as at 54, to provide abutments for engaging the rear abutment surfaces 36 of the sill cavity 34.
The front end of the yoke 38 is provided with a pair of wings 56 which project forwardly and outwardly to accommodate pivotal movement of the shank 46. A pair of horizontal longitudinally extending slots 58 are provided in the respective wings 56 to receive a flat coupler pin 60. The main body portion of the yoke 38 provides an open sided rectangular box -62 adapted to surround the draft gear housing 48 and the striker plate 42. The front wall 64 of the box 62 is provided with a rectangular opening 66 which allows the rear end of the shank 46 of the coupler to bear directly against the striker plate 42.
The parts so far described may be installed by placing the yoke 38 on the pallet with the wings 56 facing i towards the attachment brackets 22 and 24, and sliding the draft gear housing 48 sideways into the central cavity 68 of the yoke 38. They may also be installed by sliding the housing 48 into the cavity -68 of the yoke 38 and placing the assembly on the pallet 10. Thereafter the striker plate 42 is slid sideways into the cavity between the front wall 64 and the piston 50. The forks 12 of a fork lift truck are then slid forwardly between the bottom side 26 of the bracket and the bottom of the support 16, and on forwardly between the horizontal leg 28 of the bracket 22 and the bottom of the support 16 to provide a moment resisting connection therebetween. The elevator of the lift-truck is elevated to clear the terrain, and the lift truck is maneuvered rearwardly along the center line of the railroad vehicle to bring the yoke and draft gear assembly directly beneath the receiving cavity 34. The elevator of the lift truck is raised until the pads 18 abut the bottom of the cast sill block 32, following which the retainer plate 70 is slid between the pads 18 to bring its bolt holes 72 in register with the bolt holes 74 of the sill block 32. Bolts, rivets, or other suitable fasteners are inserted through the holes 72 and 74, and are tightened to retain the assembly in place. The shank 46 of a coupler is moved rearwardly through the openings 44 and 66, and the end of the headed coupler pin 60` is inserted through the longitudinal slots 76 in the sill block, slots 58 in the wings 56, and slotted opening 78 in the shank 46 to secure the coupler. The end of the pin 60 which projects out of the opposite side of the sill block 32 has an opening 80 therethrough into which a pin retainer, not shown, is placed.
It will be seen that the objects of the invention heretofore enumerated, as well as others, have been achieved, and that there has been provided a new and improved safe means of raising heavy draft gear into position in such manner that they can be safely Secured in place before the lifting equipment is removed for working access. In contrast therewith, the art has had to temporarily hold the draft gear in position, and remove the jacking equipment before the retainer plate could be permanently installed. It will further be seen that the present invention allows the easy handling and storing of the draft gear on a pallet from which it need not be removed prior to or during the installation into the railroad vehicle.
While the invention has been described in considerable detail, I do not wish to be limited to the particular constructions shown and/or described, and it is my intention to cover hereby all novel adaptations, modifications, and arrangements thereof which come within the practice of those skilled in the art to which the invention relates.
1. The method of installing railroad draft gear in a railroad car between parallel sills having longitudinally spaced apart draft stops therebetween, said method comprising: installing a longitudinally extending draft gear pallet on the forks of a fork lift truck, said pallet having a pair of longitudinally spaced draft gear supports adjacent one end thereof and means adjacent the other end of said pallet for securing the pallet to the forks of said fork lift truck, said pallet having a yoke and draft gear assembly on said supports, moving said lift truck to bring the projecting pallet underneath the car with the yoke and draft gear assembly thereon centered beneath the sills, raising the lift truck forks to bring the yoke between the sills and the draft gear between said draft stops, inserting a retainer plate underneath said yoke between said supports, securing said retainer plate to said sills, and then removing said fork lift truck and said pallet.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,06 2,500 11/1962 Arnes et al 214-1 (D)X 3,095,981 7/1963 Thorson 214-1 (D) GERALD M. FORLENZA, Primary Examiner R. J. SPAR, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.