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Publication numberUS3604363 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 14, 1971
Filing dateJun 1, 1970
Priority dateJun 1, 1970
Publication numberUS 3604363 A, US 3604363A, US-A-3604363, US3604363 A, US3604363A
InventorsSmith Edward Payson
Original AssigneeIllinois Railway Equipment Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container securing means for transport carrier with automatic latch to accommodate various clearances with bottom container fittings
US 3604363 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

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[ 54 CONTAINER SECURING MEANS FOR Primary Examiner- Drayton E. Hoffman TRANSPORT CARRIER WITH AUTOMATIC Lockwood LATCH D0 ACCOMMODA'I'E VARIOUS CLE CES BmOM CONTAINER ABSTRACT: The spring-biased latches on a transport carrier for automatically engaging and disengaging bottom corner C Drawing Figs container fittings are bodily movable to maintain the same 105/366 D, latching engagement within limits for various clearances 105/366 C, 248/361 A, 248/119 R between the container fittings and the housings secured to the [51] Int. 861d /00 transport carrier on which the latches are mounted.

PATENTED SEP1 419m SHEET 1 OF 6 PATENTEU SEP 1 419?:

SHEET 2 OF 6 PATENIED SEPI 412m SHEET 3 OF 6 PATENTEU SEP 1 4197| SHEET E OF 6 CONTAINER SECURING MEANS FOR TRANSPORT CARRIER WITH AUTOMATIC LATCI-I TO ACCOMMODATE VARIOUS CLEARANCES WITII BOTTOM CONTAINER FITTINGS This invention is an improvement over the construction disclosed in US. Application Ser. No. 886,489, filed Dec. 19,1969.

Because of variations in the distances apart that occur between bottom container fittings and container latching mechanisms on a transport carrier spaced apart to receive these fittings, substantial clearances may be present. When the container is offset somewhat from a central position there is the possibility that the required latching engagement along one side may be absent. As a result the container may be blown off of the transport carrier or it may bounce ofi' under certain circumstances.

Accordingly, among the objects of this invention are: To provide for maintaining latching engagement with container fittings at the bottom of a container on a transport carrier, such as a railway flatcar, where there is substantial clearance between the fittings and the latching mechanism; to provide for automatic variation in the positions of the latches on opposite sides of the container to maintain the same extent of latching engagement with the container fittings on these opposite sides within the limits of latching engagement with the container fittings on these opposite sides within the limits of predetermined clearance between the fittings and the latching mechanism individual thereto; for this purpose to mount each latch for bodily movement with respect to the latch housing on the transport carrier; to mount translatorily on each latch housing a latch follower for pivotally supporting a springbiased latch; to bias the latch follower toward a container fitting located on the latch housing; and to mount the latch on the latch follower to pivot about one axis against the action of a biasing spring when the container is lowered into latching position on latch housings mounted on the transport carrier and to pivot about another axis against the action of the biasing spring when the container is lifted from the transport carrier.

According to this invention latch housings are mounted on a transport carrier to receive rectangular containers having at the lower comer of each an apertured container fitting. On each latch housing there is translatorily mounted a latch follower that is biased toward the respective container fitting and has an extent of movement equal to or greater than the expected clearances between the container fittings and the respective latch housings. Mounted to pivot about two axes on each latch follower under the influence of a relatively strong spring is a latch having a nose portion for entering the aperture of the respective container fitting. The arrangement is such that, within the expected clearances, the nose portions of the latches on opposite sides of the container will enter the respective apertures of the container fittings to the same extent. Thus there is no likelihood that one or the other of the latches will move out of the latching engagement with its container fitting.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of the deck or floor of a transport carrier such as railway car adapted to receive the container latching devices in which the present invention is embodied.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a corner fitting which is typical of the corner fittings that are located at each of the four bottom corners of container adapted to be transported by the railway car.

FIG. 3 is a view at an enlarged scale and in side elevation of a container locking mechanism or pedestal taken looking generally along line 33 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a view in end elevation of the pedestal or container locking mechanism of FIG. 3 taken generally along 4-4 of that figure.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the container locking means shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a horizontal-sectional view taken generally along line 66 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 7 is a vertical-sectional view taken generally along line 7-7 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a vertical-sectional view taken generally along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a perspective rear view of a portion of the follower.

FIG. 10 is a perspective front view of the follower shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a view, in side elevation, of the latch.

FIG. 12 is a side elevation of the latch shown in FIG. 11 looking generally along line l2l2.

FIG. 13 is a view in side elevation of the follower and latch in latching position.

FIG. 14 shows the relation between the latch and the follower as the container fitting is lowered into latching engagement.

FIG. 15 is a view, similar to FIG. 14, showing the relation between the latch and the follower when the container fitting is lifted from the transport position.

In FIG. 1 reference character 10 designates, generally, a portion of a transport carrier, such as a railway car, having a floor deck 11 may be formed of steel plate. The floor or deck 1 l is provided with lengthwise extending slots 12 having transverse openings 13 and notches 14 at various positions therealong the purpose of which will be apparent presently. Slidably mounted along the slots 12 are container locking means each of which is indicated, generally, at 15. The container locking means 15 are arranged to be of identical construction except for left and right arrangements as will be understood readily. Also there are two container locking means 15 near each end of the floor or deck 11 which are not slidable. It will be understood that four of the container locking means 15 are arranged to receive a rectangular container a portion of which is indicated at 16 in FIG. 2. It will be understood also that a number of containers 16 are arranged to be carried by the transport carrier I0 and that, while each has the same nominal width, they may vary in length. Because of variations in lengths the longitudinal slots 12 are provided and certain of the container locking means 15 are slidable therealong to different positions.

At each of the four lower corners of the rectangular containers 16 there is provided a hollow bottom container fitting that is indicated, generally, at 17 in FIG. 2. The container fitting 17 has a vertical slot or latch receiving opening 18 in one sidewall 19 that faces outwardly of the container 16. The fitting 17 also includes another sidewall 20 in which a circular opening 21 is located. The walls 19 and 20 extend at right angles to each other and are connected by a bottom wall 22 in which a slot 23 is located. As will appear hereinafter provision is made for latching engagement with the container fitting [7 through the use of the vertical slot or latch receiving opening 18in the wall 19.

In FIG. 1 the distance between oppositely located container locking means 15 is indicated at 24. This distance may vary slightly. Also the distance between the sidewalls 19 of opposite container fittings 17 may vary slightly. In certain instances where the position of the container 16 varies from a central location between the container locking means I5, there is a possibility that the clearance may be so great that the latch intended to enter the vertical slot 18 in one side of the bottom container fitting 17 may become entirely disengaged. When this occurs the corresponding side of the container 16 is not latched to the transport carrier 10. In the event that there is a substantial cross wind or the transport carrier 10 is subject to severe bouncing due to uneven trackage, it is entirely possible under these circumstances that the container 16 will be blown off of the transport carrier 10 or will bounce off of it. It is to overcome this problem that this invention is particularly addressed.

In FIGS, 3-8 there is indicated, generally, at 26 a latch housing that may be a malleable iron casting. The latch housing 26 is provided with vertical walls 27 and 28 that are arranged to overlie, respectively, the sidewalls l9 and 20 of the bottom container fitting 17. The vertical walls 27 and 28 are positioned at right angles to each other and between them and below their upper edges is a floor 29 that is arranged to receive the bottom wall 22 of the container fitting 17. A cover wall 30 is spaced from the vertical wall 27 by laterally extending walls 31, 32 and 33, FIG. 6, and is provided with edges 34 and 35 for overlying the edges of the transverse opening 13 into which the respective container locking means can be swung to inoperative position. A wall 36, FIGS. 4 and 7, opposite cover wall 30 and depending from the floor 29 has a lower wall section 37 that extends through the respective slot 12 and terminates in a trunnion that is indicated. generally, at 38. The trunnion 38 is provided to facilitate swinging of the respective container locking means 15 into one of the transverse openings 13. Also depending from the underside of the latch housing 26 is a shear lug 39 that is arranged to enter one of the notches 14 to position the respective container locking means 15 along the respective slot 12 depending upon the length of the container that is to be accommodated. Wings 40 and 41 extend laterally from opposite sides of the trunnion 38 and underlie the edges of the respective slot 12 for the purpose of holding the container locking means 15 against upward movement. In FIG. 3 a slot 42 is shown in the cover wall 30 for receiving a tool to lift the container locking means 15 from the retracted or inoperative position in one of the transverse openings 13.

In FIG. 4 there is indicated at 43 clearance that may occur between the sidewall 19 of the bottom container fitting 17 and the respective vertical wall 27 of the latch housing 16 which forms a part of the container locking means 15. This clearance 43 may be greater or less but for illustrative purposes the particular extent is as shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 7 illustrates a condition in which there is no clearance between the sidewall 19 and the juxtaposed vertical wall 27 of the respective latch housing 26.

In accordance with this invention provision is made for maintaining the same latching engagement with the vertical slot 18 in the wall 19 of the bottom container fitting 17 regardless of variations in the clearance indicated at 43. For this purpose follower means in the form of a follower, indicated generally at 44 in FIGS. 9 and 10 is employed. The follower 44 may be a casting of suitable metal and is bifurcated with depending furcations 45 having apertures 46 intermediate their ends. The apertures 46 are provided for receiving a roll pin 47, FIG. 4. The roll pin 47 is fixed to the furcations 45 and its ends extend into horizontal slots 48 that are provided in walls 49 and 50, FIG. 3, of the latch housing 26. In this manner the follower 44 is translatorily mounted on the latch housing 26. At the lower distal ends of the furcations 45 laterally extending shoulders 51 are formed for a purpose that presently will be apparent. At the upper distal end of the follower 44 a nose portion 52 is provided having a surface 53 that is arranged to engage the outer surface of the sidewall 19 of the bottom container fitting l7. Along its upper side the nose portion 52 has an inclined striker surface 54 that is arranged to be engaged by the lower comer of the bottom container fitting 17 as it is lowered onto the floor 29 for facilitating displacing of the follower 44. Also provided at the upper distal end of the follower 44 are spring sockets 55 that are arranged to receive coil compression springs 56, FIGS. 5 and 6, which are employed for biasing the follower 44 outwardly and its surface 53 into engagement with the surface of the sidewall 19. As shown in FIG. 6 the coil compression springs 56 react against the bottoms of the spring sockets 55 and the inner side of the cover wall 30 where they are held in position by inwardly extending bosses 57.

The inward movement of the follower 44 under the biasing action of the coil compression springs 56 is limited by stop means. The stop means comprise bottom walls 58 of the spring sockets 55 and rear surfaces 59 of the vertical wall 27.

It will be noted in FIGS. 3 and 6 that a vertical slot 60 if provided in the cover wall 30 for receiving the furcations 45 of the bifurcated follower 44. A slot 60' in wall 27 receives the nose portion 52 therethrough.

For latching engagement with the latch receiving opening 18 in the sidewall 19 of the bottom container fitting 17 latch means in the form of a bellcrank, indicated generally at 61. is employed. Its construction is shown more clearly in FIGS. 11 and 12. The latch means 61 is mounted on the follower 44 for relative pivotal movement about two axes and also for translatory movement therewith. The latch means 61, as indicated, is in the form of a beilcrank and includes an upper arm 62 and a lower arm 63 having an arcuate slot 65 at the junction between these arms. The center of curvature of the arcuate slot 65 is indicated at 66 which also is located along the pivot axis of trunnions 67 that extend laterally from opposite sides of the latch means 61. As shown in FIG. 13, for example, the trunnions 67 are arranged to engage the shoulders 51 on the lower distal ends of the furcations 45 of the follower 44. This engagement takes place while the bottom container fitting 17 is being lowered into latching position and while the latch means 61 remains in latching engagement with the vertical slot 18 of the respective bottom container fitting 17.

Again referring to FIG. 11 it will be observed that the lower arm 63 has an extension 70 which is provided with a slot 71 having a bar 72 thereacross. The bar 72 and the slot 71 are provided for receiving the upper end 73 of a coil tension spring 74 that is employed for biasing the latch means 61 into latching engagement with the respective bottom container fitting 17. The lower end 75, FIG. 8, of the tension spring 75 is anchored to a transverse pin 76 the ends of which are located in and held by slots 77 in the latch housing 26.

At its upper end the upper arm 62 of the latch means 61 has a nose portion 80 which overlies the nose portion 52 of the follower 44. The nose portion 80 has an inclined striker surface 81 to facilitate displacement of the latch means 61 when the bottom container fitting 17 is lowered onto the floor 29 and into latching position. A horizontal latching under surface 82 is provided on the nose portion 80.

The latch means 61, which is formed of suitable metal is generally platelike in configuration and is positioned between the furcations 45 of the follower 44 with the roll pin 47 extending through the arcuate slot 65.

With a view to limiting relative movement between the follower 44 and the latch means 61 suitable stop means is employed. The stop means comprises a stop surface 83 on the upper arm 62 of the latch means 61 for juxtaposition to a stop surface 84, FIG. 7, on the rear side of the nose portion 52 of the follower 44. In this manner the relative movement between the latch means and the follower 44 is controlled. It has been pointed out previously the manner in which the relative movement between the follower 44 and the latch housing 26 is controlled.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 7 the nose portion 80 of the latch means 61 extends into the vertical slot 18 of the bottom container fitting 17 and into overlying relation with the bottom 85 of the vertical slot 18. More specifically the horizontal latching under surface 82 overlies the bottom 85 of the vertical slot 18 and in this manner the required latching engagement with the bottom container fitting 17 is provided.

In FIG. 4 the extent that the latching under surface 82 overlies the bottom 85 of the vertical slot 18 is indicated at 86. This degree of overlap is ample to maintain proper latching engagement with the bottom container fitting 17 despite the clearance as indicated at 43 between the wall 19 and the wall 27 of the latch housing 26. The reason for this is that the follower 44 has been biased by the springs 56 to maintain the surface 53 of its nose portion 52 in engagement with the wall 19 of the bottom container fitting 17. Since the latch means 61 is mounted on the follower 44. It accompanies the follower 44 to maintain the proper latching engagement with the bottom container fitting 17.

Referring now to FIG. 7 it will be observed that the sidewall 19 of the bottom container fitting 17 is juxtaposed to the vertical wall 27 of the latch housing 26. However, the distance indicated at 87 of overlap of the horizontal latching under surface 82 with the bottom 85 of the vertical slot 18 identical with the distance 86 in FIG. 4. Thus, within the predetermined limits of clearance, such as the clearance 43, the same degree of latching engagement with the bottom fitting 17 is maintained regardless of its relative position to the respective container locking means 15.

In operation, when the container 16 is lowered into latching engagement with the container locking means 15, the individual bottom container fitting 17 move downwardly as indicated by arrow 90 in FIG. 14. The lower corner horizontal the bottom container fitting 17 engages the inclined striker surface 81 and displaces the latch means 61 to the position here shown. During this operation the latch means 61 pivots about axis 66 of the trunnions 67 on the shoulders 51 at the lower distal ends of the furcations 45 as permitted by the arcuate slot 65. This involves only a slight stressing of the coil tension spring 74. 'On further downward movement in the direction indicated by arrow 90 the lower corner of the bottom container fitting 17 engages the inclined striker surface 54 of the follower 44 and it is displaced until its surface 53 engages the sidewall 19 in the position shown for example in either FIG. 4 or FIG. 7. Also the nose portion 80 is pivoted to the latching position here shown with respect to the vertical slot 18. In FIG. 4 the roll pin 47 is positioned at the right end of the horizontal slots 48 in the walls 49 and 50 of the latch housing 26. In FIG. 7 the roll pin 47 is positioned at the left ends of these horizontal slots 48.

When a sufficient lifting force is applied to the rectangular container 16 it and the bottom container fitting 17 move upwardly as indicated by arrow 91 in FIG. 15. Here the bottom 85 of the vertical slot 18 reacts against the horizontal latching under surface 82 which previously had been held in latching position by the coil tension spring 74. Under these circumstances the latch means 61 pivots about the axis 93 of the roll pin 47 at the left end of the horizontal slots 48. The trunnions 67 are lifted from the shoulders 51 and a considerably greater extension of the spring 74 takes place than occurs when, as shown in FIG. 14, the bottom container fitting is moved downwardly into latching position. After the bottom container fitting 17 has been moved upwardly out of engagement with the nose portion 52 of the follower 54 and the nose portion 80 of the latch means 61, these elements resume the positions shown in FIG. 13 and as illustrated in the other figures, for example FIGS. 4 and 7.

What is claimed as new is:

1. Container securing means for a transport carrier arranged to secure thereto one or more containers each having at least one bottom container fitting with a latch receiving opening in a wall thereof, said bottom container fitting being likely to have substantial clearance between said wall and said container securing means, said container securing means comprising:

housing means for attachment to said transport carrier for underlying each bottom container fitting,

follower means movably mounted on said housing means,

means positioned between said housing means and said follower means to bias said follower means toward engagement with said wall of said bottom container fitting, latch means movably mounted on said follower means and means biasing said latch means into latching engagement with said bottom container fitting at said opening therein.

2. Container means according to claim 1 wherein:

means on said housing means limits said movement of said follower means, and

means on said follower means limits said movement of said latch means.

3. Container means according to claim 1 wherein:

follower spring means reacts between said housing means and said follower means and biases said follower means for translatory movement relative to said housing means, and

latch spring means reacts between said housing means and said latch means and biases said latch means for relative pivotal movement with respect to said follower means and to said housing means.

4. Container means accordin to claim 1 wherein: said housing means has a wa l for JUXIEPOSIIIOH to said wall of said bottom container fitting,

means translatory mount said follower means on said housing means,

said follower means has a nose portion movable relative to said wall on said housing means to engage said wall of said bottom container fitting, I

means pivotally mount said latch means on said follower means,

said latch means has a nose portion movable relative to said wall on said housing means for entering said latch receiving opening in said bottom container fitting,

stop means on said housing means limits movement of said follower means relative to said housing means, and

stop means of said follower means limits pivotal movement of said latch means relative thereto and to said housing means.

5. Container means according to claim 4 wherein:

said nose portion on said follower means has an inclined striker surface for engagement by said bottom container fitting to displace said follower means when said bottom container fitting is lowered onto said housing means along said wall thereof within the limits of said clearance, and

said nose portion on said latch means has an inclined striker surface for engagement by said bottom container fitting to displace said latch means when said bottom container fitting is lowered onto said housing means as aforesaid.

6. Container means according to claim 4 wherein:

said means slidably mounting said follower means on said housing means includes pin and slot means respectively on said follower means and said housing means, and

said means pivotally mounting said latch means on said follower means includes said pin means on said follower means and slot means on said latch means and shoulder means on said follower means and trunnion means on said latch means.

7. Container means according to claim 4 wherein:

follower spring means reacts between said housing means and said follower means and biases said follower means for movement relative to said housing, and

latch spring means reacts between said housing means and said latch means and biases said latch means for movement relative to said follower means and to said housing means.

8. Container means according to claim 4 wherein:

said follower means is bifurcated and has: a pin extending between its furcations with the ends of the pin extending into slots in said housing means, and latch trunnion fulcrum shoulders at the distal ends of said furcations, and

said latch means has: its mose portion overlying said nose portion of said follower means, a body portion between said furcations of said follower means, a slot intermediate its end through which said pin extends, and trunnions for engaging said fulcrum shoulders.

9. Container means according to claim 4 wherein:

a pair of coil compression springs react between said follower means and said housing means and bias said nose portion of said follower means toward said wall of said bottom container fitting, and

a coil tension spring reacts between an arm of said latch means extending from said trunnions and said housing means and biases said nose portion of said latch means into said latch receiving opening in said bottom container fitting.

l0. Container means according to claim 1 wherein, within the limits of said clearance, the extent of latching engagement of said latch means in said latch receiving opening in said bottom container fitting is the same for all operative positions of said bottom container fitting on said housing means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3543969 *May 21, 1968Dec 1, 1970Acf Ind IncAdjustable container support means for a railway flat car
US3556019 *Nov 25, 1968Jan 19, 1971Maclean Lock Nut CoRailroad car support and securement structure including a collapsible support pedestal
US3565013 *Mar 28, 1968Feb 23, 1971Acf Ind IncLaterally shiftable lock for securing containers on railway flat cars
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3693919 *May 6, 1971Sep 26, 1972Boeing CoCargo handling system automatic center
US3742867 *Jul 6, 1971Jul 3, 1973Pullman IncRailway container cushioned supporting structure
US3774551 *Sep 21, 1972Nov 27, 1973Illinois Railway Equip CoContainer securing means for a transport carrier with latch variably pivoted to accommodate different clearances
US3899205 *Aug 13, 1973Aug 12, 1975Mi Jack Products IncContainer retrieval system
US4266820 *May 14, 1979May 12, 1981Pullman IncorporatedVariance compensating coupler for container-carrying trailer chassis
US4497602 *Mar 4, 1983Feb 5, 1985The Boeing CompanyLocking device
US5106247 *Aug 9, 1990Apr 21, 1992Johan HoveAutomatic locking system
US5570981 *Nov 16, 1993Nov 5, 1996Holland CompanyLatch device for securing cargo containers to vehicle decks
US6053692 *Jul 17, 1995Apr 25, 2000Mason; Thomas M.Device for securing a removable container to a hauling vehicle
US6537001 *Aug 8, 1998Mar 25, 2003Macgregor-Conver GmbhHolding piece and method for holding containers
US6537002 *Mar 12, 2001Mar 25, 2003Macgregor-Conver GmbhMethod for holding containers
US6974164Aug 2, 2002Dec 13, 2005Holland LpLatch device for securing cargo containers
US7896593Aug 14, 2007Mar 1, 2011Holland, L.P.Latch device for securing cargo containers together and/or to vehicle decks
US8448385Dec 22, 2009May 28, 2013Holland, L.P.Vehicular container lid-latching system
Classifications
U.S. Classification410/70
International ClassificationB60P7/13, B60P7/06, B61D45/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60P7/13, B61D45/001
European ClassificationB60P7/13, B61D45/00B