US 3611994 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Everett R. Bailey 1575 Spruce Street, Denver, Colo. 80220; Frank J. Dreekman, 2967 W. Tanforan Drive, Englewood, Colo. 801 10; William S. Gass, 215 Woodlawn Avenue, Sumpter, S.C. 21950 Appl. No. 849,728
Filed Aug. 13, 1969 Patented Oct. 12, 1971 Inventors FOLIIABLE ANIMAL SHIPPING CONTAINER 7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl 119/17, 119/15,119/22,217/15,-220/6 Int. Cl A01k 01/00, A01k 01/02 Field ofSearch 119/15, 17,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Woolsey Murray Leichtfuss Cheatham, Jr. McKean Ivey Primary Examiner-Aldrich F. Medbcry AttorneyRichard D. Law
ABSTRACT: A foldable shipping container, having a rigid bottom, has four short upstanding sides of different height. anda hinged wall on each of said short sides cooperatively form an enclosure with one of said walls including a hinged top; all of the walls interlocking forming a rigid releasable eontainer, and releasable fastening means secures the top to the other three sides.
PATENTED um 1 2m: 3611.994
sum 1 [1F 2 FIG. 3
INVENTORS EVERETT R. BAILEY FRANK J. DRECKMAN WILLIAM S. GASS ATTORNEY PATENTED um I 2 I97l 3,611,994
sum 2 OF 2 INVENTORS EVERETT R. BAILEY FRANK J. DRECKMAN WILLIAM S. GASS Wan/A ata ATTORNEY FOLDABLE ANIMAL SHIPPING CONTAINER Shipping containers are preferred for the transportation of certain items, and are necessary for other items, for example, in the shipment of live animals shipping containers are necessary. In many instances, it is desirable to use a returnable shipping container, and most generally the shipping container is returned to its point of origin without a return cargo. It is, therefore, advantageous to have a knockdown container reducing the volume of the container for the return to the point of origin. The use of knockdown containers is not new, having been used for some time in such a transportation mode as air travel where space is normally at a premium. The known containers, however, generally include mechanisms too difficult to quickly secure in cargo carrying condition. That is it is too difficult to easily and quickly erect the knockdown container, and, further, consuming considerable time in the erection of the container. The simple containers are not sturdy for repeated use.
According to the present invention, we provide a shipping container which is light but sturdy in its cargo carrying condition, and is easily and quickly set up and taken down. The container, in one form, provides excellent facilities for animals, preventing untimely and accidental release of the animals, and insures adequate ventilation without drafts, provides a septic tank for animal waste, and is simply and easily erected or taken down for return to the place or origin. The container of the invention has four hinged walls which fold into the base making a minimum volume package. The walls very simply interlock in upright position, to form a sturdy container, and releasably lock means secures the container in its erected position.
Included among the objects and advantages of the present invention is a foldable shipping container.
Another object of the invention is to provide a foldable shipping container having hinged walls which fold into a base forming an essentially flat small package of minimum volume.
A further object of the invention is to provide a foldable shipping container having hinged walls that interlock in upright cargo carrying position forming a rigid structure.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a foldable shipping container having locking means which is recessed to prevent accidental opening of the locking means.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a foldable animal shipping container arranged with interlocking walls and'a releasable lock means which locks the walls together with the top.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention may be readily ascertained by referring to the following description and appended illustration in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of one form of the invention in erected position;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device of FIG. 1 with the top open exposing the interior of the container;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view in cross section of a container according to the invention in its knockdown or folded position;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a container according to the invention with the walls in noninterlocked position showing the folding mechanism thereof;
FIG. 5 is a detail perspective view of an interlocking means of the walls of the invention; and
FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of a bottom portion of a container according to the invention providing an animal cage for transportation of the animal.
In the modification of the invention illustrated in FIGS. l-S, a knockdown shipping container is provided which may be made of various sizes for shipping various sizes of objects. Since weight is a factor in any type of shipping it is preferable to construct the shipping container of a metal such as magnesium or aluminum which is light yet provides a rigid structure, permitting stacking of the containers where the same is desirable and necessary in the transportation convenience, In many types of transportation shipping containers and goods are held by means of straps passed over each item or stacks of the items rather than byany securing means directly attached to the container, therefore, the container of the invention is illustrated without hooks, lugs or the like, it is to be understood, however, that the same may be added to the container where desirable. The drawings illustrate a container with holes, which may be used for transportation of animals, but it is to be understood that it may be made without the holes.
The container of the invention includes a bottom element, shown generally by numeral 10, which includes a bottom panel member 12 and four upstanding walls I4, 15, I6 and 17 which extend upwardly from the bottom panel member 12. Each of the walls is of a different height, as shown in FIG. 4. I-Iingedly attached to each of the walls is a side panel of the container, namely panels 20, 21, 22 and 23 hingedly mounted on the short sidewalls 14, I5, 16 and 17, respectively. A top 26 is hingedly mounted by one edge to the panel 22, and it is arranged to be secured to the other three panels to form the enclosure. Each of the panels is provided with a hinge, for example, a piano-type hinge, along its bottom edge pivotally securing the panel of the container to the side of the base. The hinge is indicated at a joint between the base and panel, for example, a hinge 14' between side 14 and the panel 20, hinge 17 between side 17 and panel 23, etc. The top is similarly fastened to the panel 22.
The top is fastened to the sides by means of wire loop screw fasteners 30, 31 and 32 arranged to lock into holes 35, 36 and 37 in angle members 38, 39 and 40, respectively, attached to the sides of the container. Several types of useful fasteners are commercially available, one form being a slotted-head bolt with a split shank which tightens on a wire placed across the hole receiving the bolt, a common type aircraft fastener. The sides interlock by means of an angle on one side under a flange on the adjacent side. As shown in FIG. 5, the wall 20 is provided with a flange member 42, which is secured by rivets 43 and 44 adjacent the edge of the wall, and the wall 21 with its edge 21a bent at right angles thereto defines an interlocking number and is arranged to seat in a groove 45 under the flange 42. The front wall 20 has a flange 42 at each edge thereof and the backwall 22 has a flange member 47 at each edge thereof, while each side edge of the wall 21 is bent at right angles and Each edge 23a of the wall 23 is bent at right angles to mate and interlock with the flanges on the front and backwalls. The sidewalls may have bent edges or an angle secured thereto, with the sidewalls interlocked, and the top releasably secured thereto, the container is a rigid container. With the screw head fasteners, the container is not likely opened accidentally. For small containers a recessed fold-down handle 50 may be useful, and for larger containers a similar type handle on each end wall may be useful for carrying the container.
In the modification illustrated in FIG. 6, a base 55 is provided with four sidewalls 56, 57, 58 and 59, and, also, is provided with a false bottom internally of the base with two sloping sides 60 and 61, sloping from the sides 56 and 58 to a lower joint fonning a center drain 63. Container walls 66, 67, 68 and 69 are hingedly secured to the lower walls 56, 57, 58 and 59, respectively, in a manner to that described for the container of FIGS. 1-5. Each of the sidewalls include a plurality of openings 70 which provide ventilation for an animal contained in the container. The walls are provided with interlocking means and the top is provided with the releasable locking mechanisms for forming a knockdown container. The false bottom drains through a drain 64 to a removable septic tank 65 for catching the waste of an animal contained in the container. The sidewalls of the animal container may be provided with openings for water, feed and the like as is conventional in animal cages.
One of the features of the invention is to provide the short, variable height walls on the base to provide a knockdown feature, wherein the sides are generally positioned at right angles to the base wall in the knockdown position, as illustrated in FIG. 3. This provides a small package without any strain on the sides or the hinges, and it is of minimum volume taking into consideration the projections on the walls.
1. A foldable shipping container, comprising a rigid base member including a bottom panel having attached thereto four upstanding sidewalls of a low height and each said sidewall being of a different height from said bottom panel forming an open top container; a side panel hingedly mounted on each said sidewall and all terminating at uniform height; each said side panel being foldable to a position approximately parallel with said bottom panel when folded in turn from the shortest to tallest sidewall; interlocking means between adjacent said side panels in upright assembled position including, on the inside of adjacent edges of side panels, an interlocking angle member secured to one panel extending normally therefrom, and flange means on the edge of the adjacent side panel including a groove arranged to mate with said angle by seating between said flange groove and the side panel to which it is attached; a top member hingedly attached to one of said side panels and foldable back along said side panel; and means for releasably attaching said top to each of the other three said side panels.
2. A foldable shipping container according to claim 1 wherein said container is made of metal and includes at least one carrying handle.
3 A foldable shipping container according to claim 1 wherein said releasable attaching means includes a slotted bolt and a wire across a hole in each side panel other than said side panel having said top.
4. A foldable shipping container according to claim 1 further characterized by a plurality of holes in said container forming it as an animal container.
5. A foldable shipping container according to claim I wherein said bottom includes a false bottom and said false bot' tom has sloping sides terminating at a central groove drawing to one side of said container.
6. A foldable shipping container according to claim 5 further characterized by a removable septic tank arranged to receive waste from said groove.
7. A foldable shipping container according to claim 1 wherein said hinges are piano-type hinges forming a smooth joint between said base walls and said side panels.