US 3591141 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Ralph A. Rltclifl I 614 Mountain View Ave. P.0. Box 543,
Belmont, Calif. 94002  Appl. No. 841,326  Filed July 14, 1969  Patented July 6, 1971  OVERCENTER LOAD BINDER 3,271,007 9/1966 Ratcliff 254/78 Primary Examiner-Robert C. Riordon Assistant Examiner-David R. Melton Atl0rneyFlehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert ABSTRACT: An overcenter-type load binder, having improved self-locking safety characteristics, defined by an operating lever having a clevis configuration at one end, a pivoted yoke mounted at such end, and a movable shank mounted inwardly of such end. Generally L-shaped slots are formed in the clevis arms of the lever and the shank is provided with projecting pins which extend through and beyond the confines of the slots for engagement in self-locking recesses provided in the yoke. lnterengagement of the pins and recesses during movement of the lever toward a load unbinding position prevents flying of the lever during such unbinding.
PATENTED JUL 6 I97] sum 1 0r 2 OVERCENTER LOAD BINDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to the field of devices for binding a load, and more particularly to the field of overcenter load binders in which a lever of dog leg configurationhaving yoke and shank members connected therewith is movable between first and second positions for binding or unbindin'g a w load secured by hold down elements'operatively connected a with the shank and yoke by suitable means, such as grab hook members attached to the yoke and shank. The load binder of this invention may be utilized in any environment where prior known conventional'overcenter load binders have been employed heretofore.
The field of this invention particularly relates to overcenter load binders, having safety characteristics heretofore unknown which prevent the operating lever from flying as the same is moved from a load-binding position toward a load-unbinding position so that injury to the operator of the lever is other uses, to bridge the gap between the end of load holddown elements which are positioned to extend around a load I to be sustained upon or bound to a load supporting surface.
2. Description of the Prior Art overcenter-type binders have been widely known and generally utilized for many years. By way of illustration, conventional overcenter load binders of the type commonly employed heretofore are shown in the U.S. Pats. to Williams No. 2,089,679 dated Aug. 10, 1937, and Stacy, No. 1,538,412 dated May 19, 1925. Certain shortcomings in such longknown types of overcenter load binders have been rectified within recent years by patented improvements thereto, such as the improvements detailed in Ratcliff, U.S. Pat. No. 3,271,007 dated Sept. 6, 1966 and Ratcliff, U.S. Pat. No. 3,395,892 dated Aug. 6, 1968.
However, prior known overcenter load binders, including those embodying recent improvements as noted, do not utilize nor incorporate therein the particular improved safe operating and self-locking features characteristic of this invention. While the binder disclosed in Ratclifi, U.S. Pat. No. 3,271,007 includes features which impart greatly improved safety characteristics thereto in comparison to conventional overcenters binders, such binder incorporates a special design which departs substantially from the construction of conventional widely accepted overcenter binders of this type utilized by the trade for many years. j The present invention retains the basic construction of a conventional overcenter binder and adds thereto interengaging self-locking and safety mechanisms which retain the general configuration and features recognized by and long accepted in the trade, while at the same time providing the imbinder as wasgenerally true of prior known improvements.
Thus, the drawbacks of prior known overcenter load binclers are overcome by the presentinvention ina structure which retains the basic advantages for which conventional overcenter load binders have been long accepted. That is, the
subject load binder retains the advantages of durability, simplicity, low cost, strength with comparative light weight, and
one man operability, while at the same time providing greatly improved safety and self-locking features.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION operating lever having a clevis portion at one end thereof, (2)
a yoke pivotally connected withthe clevis end of the binder, and (3) a shank movably connected with the lever generally in line with the offset dogleg portion of the lever. Means are connected with the shank and yoke which permit the binder to be operatively engaged with load holddown elements. Such means may take various forms, but, in conformance with the construction of conventional overcenter load binders well accepted in the trade, such means in the illustrated embodiment comprise grab hook member connected by swivels with the binder components noted.
Improved safety and self-locking features are imparted to the subject binder by providing generally Lshaped slots in the opposed clevis arms of the operating lever in which pins provided on the binder shank are receivable and through which such pins project for selective interengagement with accommodating recesses in the binder yoke when the operating lever is in a load-binding position. lntercngagement of the pins with the yoke recesses insures that the lever may be moved to a load unbinding position without the danger of flying" characteristic of conventional overcenter binders, as will be described. The interengaged pin and slot construction noted permits selective movement of the shank relative to the lever in such fashion that the load is preliminarily released a predetermined extent, independently of the particular position of the lever, which thereby prevents and positively precludes flying of the lever which has so often produced injury even death to operators using conventional binders.
From the foregoing, it should be understood that objects of this invention include: the provision of an improved overcenter-type load binder which incorporates therein selflocking and safety features heretofore unknown; the provision of an overcenter load binder requiring a minimum number of components characteristic of conventional load binders but which have been modified to impart the noted improved characteristics thereto without appreciably increasing the cost thereof; the provision in an overcenter load binder means of precluding flying of the operating lever thereof when the lever is moved from a load-binding toward a load-unbinding position; and the provision in an overcenter load binder of operatively interconnected slot, pin and recess structure which imparts the safety and self-locking features noted to the principal components of the binder.
These and other objects of the invention will become 'ap parent from a study of the following detailed disclosure in which reference is directed to the appended drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a generally schematic view showing the subject binder employed to hold a series of cylindrical objects, such as logs, in place on a load supporting surface.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the binder with the operating lever thereof shown in load-binding orientation.
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of a portion of the binder taken in the plane of line 3-3 of FIG. 2. y y
FIGS. 4 and 5 are partial side elevational views of the binder illustrating the sequence of operation thereof as the operating lever is moved toward the load-unbinding position.
FIG. 6 is a partial side elevation view of a modification of the yoke member of the subject binder.
FIG. 7 is a partial side elevational view of the binder with the operating lever thereof shown in the load-unbound orientation ready to be moved to the load-binding position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In keeping with the aforementioned advantages which make overcenter-type load binders attractive to users, the binder of this invention, generally designated 1, comprises a minimum number of operative parts of sturdy metal, such as steel, and is defined by three principal operatively interconnected components, namely an elongated operating lever 2, a yoke member 3, and a shank member 4.
The yoke and shank members each includes means associated therewith by which the binder may be operatively connected with load hold down elements in known fashion. In that connection, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 4, the preferred embodiment illustrated uses conventional grab hook and swivel constructions for engaging the binder with load hold down elements. That is, at its free end 6, the shank is formed with an internal ball shaped socket 7 in which a link 8 having an enlarged ball-shaped end 9 is swivelly received. The opposite end of link 8 is connected with a conventional grab hook 13 by a chain link 12. The free end 16 of yoke 3 similarly is provided with an internal ball shaped socket 17 in which a link 18 corresponding in construction to link 8 just described is swivelly received and with which a conventional grab hook 20 is connected by a chain link 19.
FIG. 1 shows a binder l in an illustrative load binding arrangement in which the respective grab hooks l3 and 20 are engaged with load holddown elements 21 and 22 positioned around a load to be bound. Such load, for purposes of illustration, comprise a stack of logs L, positioned on a load-supporting surface such as a logging trailer (not shown) and held in place thereon by the holddown elements positioned therearound. The load binder l bridges the gap between ad-. jacent ends of the holddown elements and tensions the same to prevent shifting of the load when the operating lever 2 of the binder is in the closed load binding position. As noted, the ends of the respective holddown elements are defined by short lengths of coil chain 21' and 22' with which the grab hooks are engaged in known fashion. Other types of load holddown elements obviously may be employed if preferred.
It should be understood that operating lever 2 is manipulated in the fashion well known with overcenter load binders to move the same between the closed load-binding position shown in FIG. 2 and the open load-unbinding position shown in FIG. 7. In that connection, when the grab hooks of the shank and yoke are connected with the load holddown elements, tension may be applied to the holddown elements by drawing the shank and yoke towards each other as the operating lever is moved toward and beyond its overcenter position as the lever is moved to the load-binding position shown. So long as the operating lever remains in the load-binding position, tension is maintained on the load holddown elements to maintain the load against shifting.
It should be understood that the improvements to conventional overcenter binders imparted by this invention reside in modifications made to the construction of the operating lever, the yoke and shank, as will be described.
The operating lever 2 includes a graspable handle portion 23 at one end thereof and a clevis portion 24 at its opposite end, the latter being defined by two parallel laterally spaced arms 26 and 27 which are joined with each other and with the handle portion between opposite ends of the lever at a location generally designated 28. As best seen in FIG. 5, each of the clevis arms includes an offset portion generally designated 29 which imparts a dog leg configuration to the lever which is characteristic of overcenter type load binders.
Provided in the offset portion of each clevis arm is a generally L-shaped slot 31 which includes a protuberance 32 projecting thereinto which effectively divides the slot into two operative portions, namely, a shorter portion 33 which extends generally transverse to the longitudinal axis of the operating lever, and an elongated portion 34 which projects generally in the same direction as, but somewhat angularly oriented to, the longitudinal axis of the operating lever, for the purpose to be described. The base 35 of the slot is generally straight as noted.
Pivot pins 36 and 37 are integral with and preferably formed in one piece with the respective clevis arms of the operating lever and project in coaxial relationship in opposite directions therefrom. The pins provide the means by which yoke 3 is pivotally mounted at one end of the operating lever as seen in FIG. 3.
Yoke 3 comprises a pair of laterally spaced legs 38 and 39 (FIG. 3) arranged in generally parallel relationship and interconnected with each other at the aforementioned end 16 of the yoke in which the ball socket 17 is formed. At the inner end opposite from socket 17, the arms of the yoke are provided with apertures 41 and 42 through which the pivot pins 36 and 37 of the operating lever clevis portion are received. Thus yoke 3 is pivotally connected with one end of the operating lever in the manner best noted in FIG. 3.
Provided in the upper surfaces of the arms 38 and 39 of the yoke (i.e. the surfaces facing the-operating lever) are aligned generally arcuate recesses, such recesses being designated 43 and 44 respectively. The recesses each include a projecting tip which delimits one margin thereof, such projecting tips being designated 46 and 47 respectively as seen in FIG. 3. Each tip normally precludes inadvertent separation of a locking portion of shank 4 from the recess in a manner to be described hereinafter.
In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 2 through 5, the projecting tips 46 and 47 are formed integral with and in one piece with the yoke. However, in the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the projecting tip which defines one margin of each yoke recess is comprised of a spring loaded detent structure which includes a depressible detent, designated 51, received within a metal casing 52 which is press fitted into an elongated opening 53 formed in the respective yoke arrns. A coil spring 54 normally urges the detent 51 to the extended position seen in FIG. 6. The end of casing 52 adjacent its open end is restricted to preclude separation of the detent from the casing. While a spherical ball-shaped detent 51 is illustrated in the embodiment shown, it should be understood that springloaded detents of different configurations may be utilized if desired. The function of detent 51 on the operation of the binder is the same as that of tips 46 and 47, namely to prevent inadvertent movement of the operating lever from the loadbinding position, as will be described.
Shank 4, as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 5, comprises a generally flat body 56 having the aforementioend socket 7 at end 6 thereof. At its oppositvely rounded end 55, the shank includes a pair of oppositely directed laterally extending coaxial pins 57 and 58. When the load binder is assembled, pins 57 and 58 are positioned to project laterally into and through the L-shaped slots 31 formed in the offset dogleg portions 29 of the operating lever as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 5. That is, the respective pins 57 and 58 extend laterally through and beyond the confines of the slots formed in the operating lever so that such pins are in a position to be seated in the recesses 43 and 44 of the yoke arms 38 and 39.
Referring to FIG. 2 in which the operating lever of the load binder is shown in the load-binding or closed position, it will be noted that shank pins 57 and 58 are received within recesses 43. and 44 of the yoke and are normally maintained in such position, by the projecting tips 46 and 47 thereof. Additionally, the pins are situated within the upper or smaller portions 33 of the respective slots formed in the clevis portion of the operating lever. The projecting protuberances 32 of the respective slots normally maintain the pins in such smaller slot portions.
It should be understood that when the lever is in the closed position shown in FIG. 2, that tension on the load holddown elements applied to the shank and yoke through the respective grab hooks and ball swivels maintains the pins and slots interengaged as shown. Thus, the operating lever is securely held in the closed position in the manner noted, thereby imparting self-locking characteristics-to the binder. The manner manner in which the interengaged pins, recesses and slots preclude the operating lever from flying when the lever is moved from the load-binding position toward the unbound or open position is shown in the sequence of operations illustrated in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5. :As seen by comparing FIGS. 2 and 4, pins. 57 and 58' remain stationary, (that is, positioned beneath the projecting tops 46 and 47 of the yoke arms) during initial movement of the operating lever from the fully closed position toward the open position. As force is applied to the operating lever to pivot the same towards the open position, the tension on the holddown elements which is applied to the shank 4 and yoke 3 is initially sufficient to prevent the pinsfrom passing around the projectingtips 46 and '47 of the yoke arms.
However, pivotal movement of the operating lever causes the pins to ride over and. clear the respective protuberances 32 of the L-shaped slots in the operating lever arms. Thus, while the pins are moving in the slots 311 from the small upper portions 33 thereof into the elongated larger portions 34 thereof in response tomovement of the lever, the tension applied to vthe shank and yoke maintains the pins engaged in the yoke recesses beneath the tips 46' and 47 (or beneath the alternative detents 51 ofFIG. 6).
However, continued movement ofthe. operating lever brings the pins into contact with the base 35 of each slot as seen in FIG. S. At thatstagei'the tensional force on the shank and yoke remains unchanged although the lever has moved partially to the unbinding position. However, as the pins strike the respective bases 35' of ..the. respective slots, continued pivotalmovement offthe lever overcomes theconfiningreffects of FIG. 5.
Such movement of the pins, and. the shank. therewith, releases initial tension .on' thebinder without having the force of such tension removal transferrreddirectlyto the operating lever. That-is, asnoted by comparingFIGS. 4and 5, while tension force'is being relieved asthe'shank pins are moving longitudinally through-the slots, the operating; lever itself has not moved past its overcenter position. Thus, the problem encountered with conventional binders in-which' the lever. flies rapidly toward the unbound :position asthe-operating lever passesits deadcenter position is positively precluded'.
With the subject binder, when the pins'reachthe ends of slot portions 34-, sufiicient tensiorr has been removed. from the binder so'that' continued movement of the'operating'leverto the fully unbound open position may be effected without danger of the lever moving: rapidly after it' passes the'dead' centerlocation.
When it is desired to move the operating lever from the open'position to the closed position whenxa load is to be.
Operation of the hoist of the-binder with the modifiedyoke. shown in FIG. 6-isessentially the same as thatdescribed, with the exception that thedepressible spring urged detent 51 is.
retracted into its associatedeasing asrthe. pins contact the same; rather than requiringgthepins torideout and. over the integral projecting tips 46 and 47 as in the. embodiment shown in FIGS. Z'through 5.
Illustrated inxFIGS. Zand'4 is-means preferably-employedv with the subject binder for-assisting in maintaining the operating lever. in the closed position when the binderis-oriented'in a particular way. That is,- spring means, definedfby-a curvedlleaf spring 66 which is weldedor' otherwise securedto a. small backing plate 67, ispositioned between the legs 38 -and' 39 f the yoke. and maintainedin place by pins orscrews 69 as seen in FIG. 2. The free end of the curved leaf spring 66 engages the rounded end 550i the shank as best seen'in FIGS.- 2 and 4 when the operating lever is in the load-binding closed position. The purpose of such spring is as follows. It has been found that when aload binder of the subject type is utilized in an inverted or upside down position (in which the operating lever when closedextends upwardly rather than downwardly as in FIG. 2) and if'a bottom loadholddown element should accidentally become disengaged from or loosened relative to the hinder, the spring: 66 will maintain the shank pins engaged within the yoke recesses, which in turn will maintain the operating. lever in the elosedposition even though the binder is inverted and under no appreciable load. Thus, the spring 66- is important under special operatiri'g condition's to assist in obviatingunwanted se'paration of the binder from the load holddown elements when under no load or very light load conditions.
Having thus-madeafull disclosure of this invention and'the improved characteristics thereofl attention is directed to'the appended claims for the scope of protection to be afforded thereto.
l=claim2 1'. In an overcenter load binder fcomprising an operating lever, a yoke pivotally connected-with said lever adjacent one endthereof, and' a-sli'ank movably connected withsaid lever inwardly 'otl said end,theimprovement comprisinga generally lL-shaped slot'formed'in saidlever inwardly of said one end,
30. B. a pinonsaid shank projecting therefrom-andreceivedin said slbt insaid lever, I I. said pin extending through said slot and projecting laterally beyond the confines th'ereof,and
C. arecessin saidyoke' in which said pin is receivablewh'en' said?operatin'g:.lever is-ina-Ioad bindingpOsitiOn, whereby engagement of": said pin in said recess'releasahly maintains saidlever in said load-binding'position.
2. Thebinder'ofclaimliinwhichsaid yoke recess includes l aprojectin'g tip definingamargin thereof, 2. saidtip normally precluding inadvertent separation of saidfpin from said recess'. 32' Thebinder of claim': 2 in which saidprojectihg' tip is integral with said'yoke. 4. The binder of claim 2 in which said' projecting tip is defined by. a depressible spring-loaded detent positioned on saidyoke.
5: The binderrof claim l inwh'ich said lever includes I l. a protuberaneeprojecting into'said'slot which normally such' slot when* said lever isin saidlbad' binding position; 6. An'overcenter loadbindercomprising A. an operatinglever'havinglaterally. spaced'arms defining 5 5: one end' thereof,
a shank. movablyconnected with said leverbetween said' arms inwardly'of 'said end;
lever armsinwardly'from-said lever end, a
E. pins on said shank projecting: in opposite' directionstherefrom and movably received in said slots in said lever arms,-
projectingalat'erallybeyond the confinesthereof, and
F. recesses= in 1 said 1 yoke in which' said projecting pins are receivable when said'operatinglever is-in aload binding.
position for releasably maintained said 'lever i'n such-posi- 70? tion.
I: a projeetingitipdefining'arnargin thereof,
2. said up. precludlng: Inadvertentseparation ol an as-- 7 mumemmmmnm" maintains said pin'- within a' predetermined portion of B. a yokepivotally connected with saidleveradjacent said" D: generally IL-shaped -opposedaligned-slots'formed' in saidl. said 'pins extending'throughtheirassociated slots and' 7; The binder ofclaim'6in which'said yoke'recesses'each in tegral with said yokes 9. The binder of claim 1 in whichlsiia projecting tip is v defined by a depressible spring-loaded detentpositioned on said yoke. 10. The binder of claim 6 in which said lever arms include l protuberances projecting into said slots which normally maintain said pins within predetermined portions of such slots when said lever is in said load binding position. I 11.,The binder of claim 6 which further includes G. means connected with said shank and said yoke for en--' gaging said binder with load holddown elements.
v D. a yoke pivotally connected with said lever adjacent 12. The binder of claim 11 in which each of said means comprises a 7 l. a hook member mounted on a free end of each said shank and said yoke.
13. The binder of claim 6 which further includes G. a springmember carried by said yoke and engageable with said shank when saidlever is in said load binding position for assisting in maintaining said lever in such I position when said binder is inverted. 1
14. An overcenter load binder comprising A. 'an elongated operating lever'movable between a load binding closed position and a load-releasing open position including I. a graspable handle portion at one end thereof, and 2. a clevis portion at theother end thereof including a pair of laterally spaced anns joined with each other and with said handle portion between said ends of said levve'r, i a. each of said arms including an offset portion which imparts adogleg configuration tosaid lever, and
b. an elongated generally L-shaped slot in each of said 7 arms generally within said offset portion thereof, B. a shank positioned between said clevis arms, v
' l. pins extending laterally in opposite directions from one end of said shank and movably. received within and passing'through said slots in said clevisarms and projecting laterally beyond the confines thereof, a
.C. means connected with a free end of said shank for engaging said binder with a load holddown element, I
the ends of said clevis arms, I
l. recesses'in said yoke in which the projecting ends of said pins of said shank are releasably receivable for retaining said lever in said load binding position, and
E. means connected with a free end of said yoke for engaging said binder with another load holddown element. 15. The binder of claim 14 in which said yoke recesses each includes i l. a projecting tip defining a margin thereof,
a 2. said tip precluding inadvertent separation of an associatedpin from such recess.
16. The binder of claim 14 in which said lever arms includes 'l protuberance projecting into said slots which normally maintain said pins within predetermined portions of such slots when said lever is in said load-binding position.