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Publication numberUS3616713 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1971
Filing dateJan 2, 1970
Priority dateJan 2, 1970
Publication numberUS 3616713 A, US 3616713A, US-A-3616713, US3616713 A, US3616713A
InventorsCrouch William Z
Original AssigneeCargill Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Railroad car door operating mechanism
US 3616713 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 2, T Tl w. z. CROUCH RAILROAD CAR DOOR OPERATING MECHANISM 3 Sheats-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 2, 1970 INVINTOR Ill-LIAN Z. CROUCH Nov. 2, 1971 w. z. CROUCH RAILROAD CAR DOOR OPERATING MECHANISM 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 2, 1970 1 w. z. CROUCH RAILROAD CAR DOOR OPERATING MECHANISM 3 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed Jan. 2, 1970 g wlLum z'fazuca M402 wfi United States Patent 0 3,616,713 RAILROAD CAR DOOR OPERATING MECHANISM William Z. Crouch, Houston, Tex., assignor to Cargill, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minn. Filed Jan. 2, 1970, Ser. No. 198 Int. Cl. 1325b 17/00, 21/00, 29/00 US. Cl. 8157.4 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A wall mounted apparatus for power opening and closing of a door of a railroad car including a motor mounted for movement in three mutually perpendicular directions relative to the door of the car. The movement is effected by means of mutually perpendicular tracks and rollers mounted in the tracks. The apparatus retracts when not in use to a storage position along the Wall.

This invention relates to an apparatus for opening or closing a door or gate of a railroad car of the hopper or gondola type and, more particularly, is directed to an apparatus adapted to be installed at an unloading station for connection to various door operating mechanisms for such railroad cars.

An increasing number of bulk products such as grain, oil, seeds, sugar, flour, sand, chemicals, etc., are being transported in hopper or gondola cars having a bottom port through which the product may discharge to an underlying receiver at the unloading station. The ports of such cars are usually closed by a slidable door or gate mounted in a track for sliding movement between a closed and an open position. The gate operating mechanism for sliding the gates typically includes a rack gear formed on the bottom of the gate meshed with a pinion gear on a pinion gear drive shaft which is accessible for turning by an operator. Because of the heavy weight exerted on the gate by the product in the car, the gate may be extremely difficult to slide in its rack and require that considerable torque be applied to the pinion shaft.

Operating such gates with manual force is difficult and may be impossible where the gate is not freely sliding, due to rust, dirt, ice or other accumulations as well as extremely heavy weights. While a power assist, such as an impact wrench, has been suggested for opening doors of railroad cars, such power assists have not proven satisfactory because stuck doors may cause such reaction forces that the man operating the power assist receives an abrupt, violent, twisting torque causing injury. Moreover, such power assists supply only a limited amount of torque and become too heavy for manual operation when the size of the power assist is increased.

Another solution which has been attempted involves the use of a special mounting for a power assist, such mounting comprising a track on the ground parallel to the tracks on which the car sits during unloading. The power assist mounted in this manner typically includes a horizontal shaft extending from a motor toward the car door and is movable along the track to the position of the door opening and closing mechanism. A power assist mounted in this manner has not proven satisfactory due to the fact that the location and height of the gates of different cars varies considerably requiring a large number of universal joint attachments and telescoping bars to effect connection to the great variety of cars. Such universal joints and long distance connections between the gate opening mechanism and the motor resalt in a safety hazard, as does the location of the motor Patented Nov. 2, 1971 and track on the ground adjacent the car when not in use.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved apparatus for opening or closing a gate of a railroad hopper or gondola car.

A further object of the present invention is to open and close the gate of a railroad hopper or gondola car by an improved apparatus which is storable out of the way when not in use.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gate operating apparatus embodying novel features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 connected to the gate operating mechanism of a railroad car;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 in different positions including a partially stored position;

FIG. 4 is a top view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1 shown in an in use position.

Briefly, the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings is directed to an improved apparatus for the opening and closing of railroad car doors. By means of the novel features disclosed herein, the disadvantages of the prior art apparatus are overcome. The disclosed apparatus provides a power assist movable along three mutually perpendicular axes over the length of the car unloading station so that the power assist may be easily disposed in coupling relationship with the door operating mechanism or mechanisms for any type of car without the use of universal joints. In addition, the construction disclosed herein permits swinging movement of the power assist into a stored position when not in use.

Referring now to the drawings, the apparatus 10 of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 1, includes an upright support 12, a pair of arms 14 mounted for slidable movement vertically and pivotal movement on the upright support, a long frame 16 mounted for horizonal movement relative to and swinging movement with the arms 14 toward and away from the upright support 12 and a carriage 18 mounted for horizontal movement along the frame 16 parallel to the upright support 12. The carriage includes a horizontal track or guide 20 disposed in parallel relationship to the arms 14 and a motor 22 mounted on the track 20 for movement toward and away from a railroad car 23 (FIG. 2) and a door opening mechanism thereon having a rotary operating member in the form of a horizontally extending pinion shaft 25. The mounting of the arms 14 on the support provides movement in the vertical direction. The mounting of the carriage on the frame 16 provides horizontal movement parallel to the car and the combination of the frame 16 mounted on the arms 14 and the motor 22 mounted in the track 20 provides horizontal movement toward and away from the railroad car. The motor is thus provided with movement in three mutually perpendicular rectilinear directions so that it can be positioned at any location relative to the side of a railroad car.

Referring more specifically to FIG. 1, it can be seen that in the illustrated embodiment the upright support 12 is made up of two vertically oriented I-beams 24 and 26 and a cross beam 28 which also takes the form of an I-beam having its web vertically oriented. The cross beam 28 extends the entire distance between the two vertically oriented I-beams 24 and 26 and is affixed at each end to the vertical beams by suitable means such as welding. In utilizing the I-beams 24 and 26, it may be possible in some unloading stations of steel construction to employ as the vertical I-beams the frame structure of the unloading station walls and complete the upright support structure by welding the cross beam 28 therebetween. The vertical I-beams are of identical construction and are aligned with their webs parallel to each other and their respective flanges lying in the same planes. The flanges are employed as vertical guides or tracks for movement of the remainder of the apparatus. The upright support structure 12 has no moving parts and constitutes the only immovable portion of the apparatus described herein. The remainder of the apparatus is mounted either directly or indirectly on the upright support structure 12 and moves as a unit in a vertical plane providing the first direction of rectilinear movement referred to above.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4 the structure of the elongated guide members or arms 14 and their relationship to the remainder of the apparatus is illustrated. In the in use position the arms extend horizontally from the respective I-beams 24 and 26 in parallel fashion. 'Each arm 14 is of essentially the same construction and in the illustrated embodiment is made up of a rectangular framework having side rails in the form of *C-shaped channels 30 connected by cross supports 32 and corner supports 34 for maintaining the rectangular framework in a rigid relationship. The channels are positioned with their open sides outwardly disposed to define a horizontal track or guide and are adapted to receive opposing rollers described hereinafter. In order for the arms to move pivotally from the horizontal to a vertical or stored position against the support structure 12, the end of each arm nearest the upright support structure 12 is provided with a pair of aligned holes extending through the bights of the two channel members for receiving a pin or shaft upon which the arm pivots for storage. In addition, a cross member 3 6 is afiixed between the channels approximately at the midpoint along their length and provides an anchoring means for a cable the purpose of which will be described hereinafter. Each arm 14 is also provided with a fixed pin 38 extending between the channels near their outer end relative to the upright support structure 12. The fixed pin 38 is employed as a pivot point for a pair of jointed tension members which will be described hereinafter and is anchored to the two channel members by welding or other suitable means.

As stated earlier, the arms are mounted for vertical movement along the upright support structure. This mounting is effected for each arm by means of a support member or guide follower 40 best seen in FIG. 4. The guide follower 40 is, looking downward from the top, of a C-shaped cross section and is made of steel or other heavy structural metal, the C-shape enclosing the track or guide formed by the outer flange of the vertical I-beam. The structure of the C-shape is made up of a central web formed of strips of steel 42 (FIG. 1) welded to a pair of angles. One leg of each angle forms one of a pair of end flanges 44 extending in the same direction perpendicular to the web. The width of the space between the end flanges 44 is just greater than the width of the flange of the upright I-beam 24 or 26 which forms part of the support structure described earlier. In order to permit low friction sliding movement of the guide follower on the support 12, the web of the guide follower is provided at its lower end with a rectangular opening in which a row of rollers or bearing wheels 46 are mounted with their common horizontal axis of rotation parallel to the plane of the web.

The end flanges 44 of the guide follower are each provided with inwardly extending brackets 48 at their outer and upper extremities in the form of Z-shaped pieces of steel. These brackets 48 are mounted by bolts 49 so that they have one leg against the inner surface of the end flange, a second leg extending perpendicular inwardly from the flange and the third leg extending perpendicular to the second and back toward the central web of the guide follower 40. Each flange 44 and its respective 4 bracket 48 are provided with a pair of aligned holes through which a shaft 50 is received and afiixed by suitable means such as welding. Each shaft 50 carries a series of antifriction rollers or bearing wheels 52 mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis relative to the upright structure.

As can be seen from FIG. 4, the series of bearing wheels 46 at the lower extremity of the mounting means 40 bear against the outer surface of the flange of the vertical I-beam while the second series of bearing wheels 52 at the upper extremity of the mounting means 40 bear against the backside of the flange of the Lbeams 26 resulting in a cantilever type mounting for the guide follower 40 which substantially reduces friction during the sliding of the guide follower 40.

The pivotal support for the arms 14 herein is provided by a shaft 53 journaled in and extending through the holes in the channels 30 of the arms and a pair of lugs 54 projecting outwardly from the guide follower 40 in spaced vertical planes. This connection permits the pivotal movement of the arm 14 about a horizontal axis together with the remainder of the apparatus carried thereon relative to the guide follower 40 and the fixed support structure 12 so that the apparatus can be stored when not in use. A second pair of steel lugs sit for mounting a pulley and cable used to cause pivoting of the arms are located on one of the strips 42 approximately midway between the upper and lower ends of the guide follower 40. Each lug 56 extends outwardly from the surface of the guide follower 40 in the same direction as the lugs 54 and is provided with an opening receiving a pulley shaft. A small pulley 5-8 is mounted between the lugs 56 on the shaft aflixed in the openings of the respective lugs.

A bracket 60 of generally U-shaped configuration is mounted on the guide follower near the upper extremity thereof. The bracket is mounted with its bi ght portion against the guide follower 40 and with its respective legs extending a short distance outwardly from the surface thereof in the same direction as the tabs mentioned earlier. The legs are provided with openings for receiving a pin the purpose of which will become apparent hereinafter.

At the uppermost end of the guide follower a stiffening member 62 best seen in FIG. 4 is welded to the outside of the guide follower. The stiffening member is C-shaped and fits snugly around the outside of the flanges 44 at approximately the same vertical location as the bearing wheels 52 to provide added rigidity to the structure when the bearing wheels are under load. Immediately above the stiffening member 62 is a cable connector 64 which is welded to the surface of the guide follower 4t) and includes an opening for receiving a cable so that the guide follower may be lifted when desired.

The pivotal movement of each arm 14 is limited to ninety degrees of rotation by means of a pair of jointed tension members 68. The lower end of each tension member is pivotally connected to the shaft 38 on the arm 14, mentioned earlier, while the upper extremities of the jointed tension members are pivotally connected by means of pins to the legs of the U-shaped bracket 60, also mentioned earlier, on the guide follower 40. Each of the tension members is provided with a foldable joint at its midpoint so that it can fold upon itself as the arm 14 is pivoted from a horizontal in use to a vertical stored position. The length and positioning of the ends of the tension members 68 are such that the pivotal movement of the arm 14 is limited to a horizontal position from above when the tension member is fully extended.

A cable 72 is attached to the cross member 36 mentioned earlier and extends upwardly over the pulley 58 and downwardly past the bearing wheels 46 and the arm 14 to the base of the upright support 12 where it is anchored. The cable 72 provides the force necessary to pivot the arms 14 into the vertical position in storage and is long enough to permit the tension members to fully extend when the arms are at a height in the range where the car opening mechanism is to be engaged.

A second cable 74 for lifting the guide follower along the vertical I-beam is anchored in the cable connector 64 and as can be seen in FIG. 1 extends upwardly along the upright structure 12 to the actuator for lifting the apparatus. It should be understood that the preceding description of the details of one arm 14 and its guide follower 40 applies in all respects to both ends of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

A better understanding of the operation of this portion of the device will be facilitated by the following description of the actuator which causes the respective guide followers and consequently the remainder of the apparatus to be raised and lowered.

Returning again to FIG. 1, cylinder 76 which may be of pneumatic or other construction and containing a piston and a rod 77 is rigidly aflixed to the center of the cross beam 28 and extends downwardly therefrom. The outer extremity 78 of the piston rod is attached to the upper edge of a large counterweight 80 in such a manner that actuation of the cylinder 76 by the operator causes the rod to extend downwardly forcing the counterweight in a downward direction. The pair of cables 74 referred to earlier extend upwardly from their respective connections to the guide followers 40 and over a pair of pulleys 82 mounted on the upright I-beams 24 and 26. The cables then extend along the cross beam 28 to a second pair of pulleys 84 and then downwardly to a connector on the upper surface of the counterweight 80.

When the cylinder 76 is actuated forcing the counterweight downward the cables are caused to pull through the respective pulleys 82 and 84 on either side of the counterweight lifting the respective guide followers 40 simultaneously upward along the vertical I-beams 24 and 26. The lifting process is assisted by the reducing of friction due to the fact that the only cont-acts between the guide followers and the I-beams are at the respective sets of bearing wheels 46 and 52 on either side of the flange of the I beam.

Simultaneously with the lifting operation and as an incident thereto, the cables 72 connected to the arms 14 and the bases of the respective upright I-beams 24 and 26 are caused to pass over the pulleys 58 due to the upward movement of the pulley with the guide follower 40. As the lifting progresses, the slack cable 72 becomes taut and begins to lift the arm 14 in pivotal movement about the shaft 53 as shown in FIG. 3. This motion continues until the lifting reaches the upper extremity of the cable 72 resulting in a completely folded vertical position for the arm 14 as shown in phantom in FIG. 3.

Referring again to FIG. 4, a second cylinder 86 which may also be of the pneumatic type is shown mounted on the side of one of the arms 14 on the I-beam 26 by means of a suitable bracket 88 and a collar 90. The cylinder contains a piston and a rod 90 extending in the same direction as the arm 14. The rod is connected at its outer end to a tab 93 on the frame 16, which extends between the respective arms 14, and acts on the adjacent end of the frame 16 to move the same inwardly and outwardly along and with respect to the arm 14 in response to the actuation of the cylinder 86. Through a suitable equalizer cable to be described later, actuation of the cylinder results in simultaneous movement of the remote end of the cross frame 16 with respect to its support arm 14.

The cross frame 16, in the illustrated embodiment, is made up of a pair of parallel I-beams 94 arranged with their web portions parallel to each other and extending substantially "beyond both of the arms 14 to form an elongated two sided horizontal track or guide (FIG. 1). The I-beams 94 are held rigidly in parallel relationship by means of a series of cross members (not shown) extending between their respective webs and are further connected by a pair of end plates 96 and a series of angle pieces 98 mounted on top of the upper flanges and having one leg against the flanges and one leg vertically oriented. The angle pieces 98 are four in number and, as seen in FIG. 4, are positioned on either side of each of the arms 14 with the vertically disposed leg just outside of the track formed by the channels 30. Each angle piece has rotatably mounted thereon a pair of spaced trolley wheels 100 which are fitted into the track defined by the channels 30 of each of the arms 14 to provide rolling movement therealong in response to the action of the cylinder 86 mentioned earlier.

Due to its length and the weight of the carriage 18 which it supports, the cross frame 16 is further provided with stiffening means which takes two forms and prevents downward bending of the frame between the support arms 14. The first of these is a pair of tie rods 102 extending from the top of one end plate 96 downward along the underside of the cross members between the I-beams 94 to the top of the other end plate 96. A portion of these tie rods is shown in FIG. 4. In addition, a stiffening member is provided in the form of a rectangular box which extends substantially the distance between the arms 14 and is affixed to the top of the I-beams 94 by suitable means such 'as welding. The side walls 104 of the box are made of sheets of steel welded along the outer edges of the respective I-beam flanges and includes a series of cross pieces 106 formed of angles having one leg welded to the top of the I-beam flanges and the vertical leg welded to the inner side of the plates 104 to form a rigid structure to resist the bending moment in the frame 16.

As mentioned earlier, the movement of the frame 16 horizontally along the tracks of the arm 14 is effected by means of the fluid pressure cylinder 86 and the equalizer cable 108. Referring again to FIG. 4, it can be seen in order to employ a single pressure cylinder 86 which is connected to the frame 16 at the tab 93 the equalizer cable with a pulley system has been provided to transmit equal parallel motion to the arm 14 at the opposite end of the apparatus. In this system, the cable 108 is a continuous taut loop suitably attached at 109 to the angle piece 98 on the frame 16. The cable extends around a pulley 110 at the outer extremity of the arm 14 and back along the arm 14 toward the guide follower 40 where it engages a second pulley 112 making a partial turn and progressing across the apparatus to the opposite arm 14. Moving along the cable in the opposite direction from the connection 109 toward the guide follower, the cable engages a third pulley 114 for a portion of its rotation after which it again progresses across the apparatus toward the other arm 14. The pulley arrangement on the opposite arm 14 is similar in construction to the pulley arrangement on the arm shown in FIG. 4 and a similar connection is effected on the angle piece 98 at the frame 16 adjacent to the opposite arm 14. Consequently, activation of the cylinder 86 moving the end of the frame 16 nearest the cylinder in a direction either toward or away from the upright member 26 is transmitted simultaneously to the opposite end of the frame 16 by the taut cable 108 and the pulley system causing parallel movement of both ends of the frame 16 avoiding binding and twisting of the frame. It is, of course, possible without departing from the scope of the invention to employ a pair of fluid pressure cylinders at opposite ends of the frame or alternatively to employ several different configurations of pulley and cable systems which would result in the same effect.

The carriage 18 as mentioned earlier is mounted for horizontal movement along the frame 16 parallel to the plane of the upright support 12. The movement is effected by means of two pairs of rollers or trolley wheels 116 engaging the horizontal track formed by the flanges and webs of the two I-beams 94 of the frame (FIG. 2). In the illustrated embodiment the carriage includes a pair of spaced short I-beams 118 disposed in parallel relationship, suspended beneath the frame 16 on the trolley wheels 116 and extending outwardly from the frame toward the railroad car and away from the upright support 12 to form another horizontal track. The space between the short I-beams 118 is rigidly maintained by means of reinforcing strips (not shown) extending between the I- beams as well as by a pair of angled brackets 120 disposed with one leg welded to the top flange of the short I-beams 118 and the other leg disposed vertically adjacent to the track formed by the long I-beams 94 of the frame 16. The four trolley wheels 16 mentioned earlier are mounted for rotation about fixed horizontal axes by means of bolts or other suitable means to the upright legs of the respective angle brackets 120 and are held rigidly within the track formed by the two I-beams 94 so that the carriage can move laterally along the frame 16 while preventing a twisting motion of the carriage itself. The movement along the frame 16 is, in the illustrated embodiment, effected manually by the operator; however, it might be power assisted without departing from the scope of the invention by use of powered cables or other means.

At the end of the carriage 18 disposed away from the railroad car 23 and toward the upright support 12, a control panel 122 is provided. In the illustrated embodiment, the control panel includes levers for actuating the cylinders 76 and 86 as well as actuating means for the motor 22. As illustrated these connections take the form of fluid pressure hoses 123 connected to a suitable pressure source (not shown); however, they might also take the form of flexible wires or cables if other means were employed for moving the various portions of the apparatus. The flexible connections also lead to the various portions of the apparatus including the motor mounted on the carriage 18.

The motor 22 is mounted under the carriage 18 by means of a movable portion of the carriage made up of a U- shaped bracket 124 having a bight portion sufficiently wide to encompass the entire width of the outer edges of the two parallel I-beams 118 of the carriage. The leg portions of the U-shaped bracket extend upwardly along the outside of the two I-beams 118 and each leg carries spaced rollers or trolley wheels 126 which are inserted into the track formed by the flanges and Webs of the I-bearns 118 of the carriage.

The motor is atfixed to the underside of the bight portion of the U-shaped bracket 124 by conventional means, and, in the illustrated embodiment, is in the form of an air driven motor having a rotary output member in the form of a drive shaft 128. The drive shaft 128 of the motor extends horizontally toward the position of the railroad car and terminates in a spur gear (not shown). The spur gear engages a conventional gear speed reducer 130 which in turn transmits the torque of the motor to a horizontal shaft 132 increasing the torque and reducing the r.p.m. The end of the shaft 132 is provided with a dogged portion 134 which in the illustrated embodiment is four sided. The dogged portion receives an adapter 136 which, depending on the design of the railroad car to be engaged, may contain a male or a female adapter for engagement with the appropriate pinion shaft of the car. The motor is moved manually along the track formed by the I-beams 118 toward and away from the railroad car. As can be seen from FIG. 2, the only part which needs changing regardless of the type of railroad car employed is the adapter or chuck 136 which connects to the pinion of the car.

An understanding of the operation of the entire apparatus disclosed herein will be facilitated by the following description. When it is desired to move the apparatus from the stored position partially shown in phantom of FIG. 3 to the in use position of FIG. 1, the operator actuates the cylinder 76 forcing the counterweight upward and permitting the remainder of the assembly to move downward under its own weight. This motion is controlled by means of one of the valve levers n the control panel 122.

As the apparatus is lowered, the cable 72 moves over the pulley 58 permitting the arms to pivot about the pins 66 until the reach a point where the tension members 68 are fully extended and the arms 14 are in the horizontal position. Below the point where the tension members become fully extended the cable 72 is permitted to go slack and the entire mechanism can be further lowered to the desired height for the gear reducer shaft 132. When the desired height of the apparatus is reached for the particular car to be unloaded, the movement of the counterweight is stopped by the operator deactivating the cylinder 76. The operator then activates a second lever which causes the cylinder 86 in conjunction with the cable 108 to move the entire frame 16 outward toward the railroad car along the arms 14.

When the frame reaches the extremity of the arms 14 the action of the cylinder 86 is halted. The operator then manually shifts the carriage 18 on its trolley wheels along the track of frame 16 until the motor shaft is disposed laterally in front of the opening and closing mechanism of the car door. The motor is then moved outwardly along the track formed by the I-beams of the carriage 18, fitted with a suitable adapter and put into engagement with the pinion shaft 25 of the car gate opening mechanism.

The motor is then actuated by means of the control panel 122 and the car door is opened. Because of the employment of two pairs of spaced trolley wheels 116 engaging the frame 16 and because of the widely spaced track defined by the two I-beams 118 of the carriage the torque caused by the motor engaging the opening mechanism of the gate is resisted and little or no twisting of the apparatus occurs during the opening of the gate even if it is jammed because of dirt, rust, or other foreign matter. When the gate has been opened or closed the motor is manually retracted and the appropriate levers are actuated causing the frame 16 to move backward against the upright support 12 and to cause the entire apparatus to move to its fully stored vertically oriented position shown in phantom in FIG. 3.

The present invention has resulted in the provision of a rugged versatile apparatus for opening the grates of railroad cars. The motor has a horizontal shaft which can be easily manipulated to a precise location corresponding to that of the horizontal shaft of the car gate opening mechanism. In the event of any misalignment, a universal joint could, of course, be provided to connect to the car gate opening mechanism. In addition, the apparatus is semiautomatic in operation requiring only one operator and can be stored out of the way when not in use. The result is a quick efficient and safe apparatus for the opening and closing of railroad car doors without the necessity of extensions and other safety hazards.

While a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, it will be understood that there is no intent to limit the invention by such disclosure but, rather, it is intended to cover all modifications and alternate constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for operating a door opening and closing mechanism of a railroad car having a rotary operating member with an axis extending horizontally and outwardly from the car and transversely of the railroad tracks supporting the car at an unloading station, said apparatus comprising a stationary support at said station,

a motor having a rotary output member adapted for coupling to said operating member of said mechanism to transmit an operating torque thereto, and means mounting said motor on said support for movement back and forth in two directions normal to each other and to said axis of said operating member to bring said output member into alignment with the operating member, said mounting means also providing for movement of said motor back and forth in a third direction parallel to said axis and into an 9 out of a coupling position adjacent the operating member.

2. An apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said mounting means comprises a horizontal guide mounted for vertical adjustment and a carriage movable back and forth along said guide and supporting said motor for movement back and forth normal to the guide and toward and away from the railroad car.

3. An apparatus for operating a door opening and closing mechanism of a railroad car on tracks at an unloading station, said apparatus comprising a stationary support at said station,

a horizontal guide defining a rectilinear path paralleling said tracks,

means mounting said guide on said support for vertical movement and for bodily swinging movement about a horizontal axis parallel to said path between an operating position spaced from the support and an out-of-the-way position closely adjacent the support,

a carriage mounted on said guide for movement back and forth along said path, and

a motor mounted on said carriage for horizontal movement normal to the guide and toward and away from said car mechanism when said guide is in said operating position, said motor being adapted for coupling to said mechanism to operate the same.

4. An apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said guide is mounted on said support for said vertical and swinging movement by spaced parallel vertical guides forming part of said stationary support,

two support members shiftable vertically along said .guides and connected together for vertical movement in unison,

elongated guide members carried by said support members and mounted thereon for swinging movement about a common horizontal axis between upper retracted positions adjacent said vertical guides and horizontal operating positions, said elongated guide members defining rectilinear paths extending horizontally when the guide members are in said operating positions, and

means mounting said horizontal guide on said elongated guide members for movement along said paths defined by the members.

5. An apparatus for operating an opening and closing mechanism for a door of a railroad car at an unloading station, said apparatus comprising a vertically movable frame defining a first horizontally disposed track,

a carriage mounted on said first horizontally disposed track for movement therealong to a position substantially aligned with said mechanism, said carriage defining a second horizontally disposed track substantially perpendicular to said first track,

a motor mounted on said carriage and movable along said second track toward and away from said opening and closing mechanism, and

a drive means coupled to said motor and extending therefrom for coupling to said opening and closing mechanism and for transmitting torque thereto whereby said gate may be opened and closed.

6. An apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein the mounting for said vertically movable frame comprises a fixed upright support defining a third vertically disposed track providing the vertical movement of said frame, a pair of arms extending horizontally from said vertically disposed track and mounted by rollers on said third track for vertical movement therealong, and means mounting said frame on said arms for movement back and forth along the arms as well as vertically therewith.

7. An apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein each of said arms further comprises a pivotal joint adjacent said vertically disposed third track, and includes means for causing pivotal movement about said pivotal joint as an incident to the vertical movement of said arms whereby said motor is pivoted about said joints into a stored position when not in use.

8. An apparatus as set forth in claim 7 further comprising a pressure fluid device mounted on one of said arms and having a movable piston connected to said frame adjacent the arm,

a continuous cable attached to said frame at each of said arms, and

a series of pulleys, said cable being arranged to pass over said pulleys to effect simultaneous horizontal movement of the entire frame along both of said arms in response to the movement of said pressure fluid piston at one of said arms.

9. An apparatus as set forth in claim 6 further comprising a counterweight mounted on said support for vertical reciprocating movement relative thereto, and

cables attached to said counterweight and extending over said support to said arms whereby downward and upward movement of said counterweight causes upward and downward movement respectively of said arms and said frame.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,486,022 10/1949 Haist et al 81177.1 X 2,578,279 12/1951 Bardwell 8157.l3

FOREIGN PATENTS 7/1957 Sweden.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4004475 *Aug 8, 1975Jan 25, 1977Mimco IncorporatedPortable wrench for rotary members
US5308692 *Jun 26, 1992May 3, 1994Herbert Malarkey Roofing CompanyFire resistant mat
US5484653 *Apr 6, 1994Jan 16, 1996Herbert Malarkey Roofing CompanyFire resistant mat
Classifications
U.S. Classification81/57.4, 81/57.11, 173/195
International ClassificationB61D7/00, B61D7/30
Cooperative ClassificationB61D7/30
European ClassificationB61D7/30