US 3650224 A
A warehousing pallet made up of two or more sections and having foot means projecting from each of the sections defining lateral openings for receiving the forks of a lift truck. Each of these sections has releasable attaching means arranged for releasably attaching one section to another. The releasable attaching means comprise dovetail joints formed in the side edges of the sections.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Petix et a1.
 Mar. 21, 1972 WAREHOUSING PALLET Robert F. Petix, Beaver-ton, Oreg.; Joseph A. Aquino, Mission Hills; Frank J. Aquino, Agoura, both of Calif.
Assignee: William C. Holden, a part interest Filed: Aug. 25, 1969 Appl. No.: 852,619
U.S. Cl ..108/51, 108/56 Int. Cl.. ..B65d 19/00, B65d 19/12 Field of Search ..108/51-58;
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1950 Benoist et al. ..l08/58 X 923,975 6/1909 Johnston ..52/591 X 3,131,829 5/1964 Masser ..220/112 3,481,285 12/1969 Yellin ..l08/58 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam AttorneyEugene M. Eckelman [5 7] ABSTRACT A warehousing pallet made up of two or more sections and having foot means projecting from each of the sections defining lateral openings for receiving the forks of a lift truck. Each of these sections has releasable attaching means arranged for releasably attaching one section to another. The releasable attaching means comprise dovetail joints formed in the side edges of the sections.
3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures WAREHOUSING PALLET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to new and useful improvements in warehousing pallets.
Pallets are now commonly used for supporting loads to be moved by lift trucks. Such pallets include a load supporting top portion and several foot members between which are disposed side openings for receiving the forks of a lift truck. To save manual handling of a load, the manufacturer in many cases places a specific order on a pallet and the load, together with the pallet, is shipped to the distributor or retailer.
The pallets whether used for long hauls or merely for warehousing are subjected to considerable abuse and are frequently damaged. Many of the pallets now in use comprise wooden pallets which when damaged are generally discarded because of the difficulty in repairing them. In many cases such pallets are only partially damaged but it is not feasible to rebuild the entire pallet for repairing the damage. Some pallets heretofore employed, such as covered by U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,216,376 and 3,256,839 can be disassembled and therefore possibly repairable. However, repair is not easy, and as in the case of the wooden pallets it would be just as economically feasible to discard the pallet as to pay for repair.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention and forming a primary objective thereof a pallet consists of at least two sections having releasable locking means so that the sections can be readily attached and detached, whereby if one section should become damaged or worn it can be readily replaced.
More particular objects of the present invention are to provide a warehousing pallet made up of a number of sections, each of said sections comprising a top load supporting plate and four corner foot members, and also including male and female dove-tailed joint portions formed in the side edges of the foot members whereby the sections are capable of being attached together without fasteners; to provide individual pallet sections of the type described which are of a structure facilitating molding them from plastic in a lightweight but rugged unit; and to provide a novel structural arrangement of the molded foot portions and other reinforcing means for providing a rugged pallet.
The invention will be better understood and additional objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description which illustrates a preferred form of the device.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a pallet embodying features of the present invention, said pallet being illustrated as comprising four of the interconnecting sections;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged bottom plan view of one section of the pallet; and
FIG. 4 is an elevational view, partly in section, taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in particular to the drawings a pallet is designated by the numeral in FIG. 1. Such pallet is made up of four individual sections 12, 14, 16, and 18. Each of the four sections is of identical structure, having a top plate or load supporting portion and foot portions 22, 24, 26, and 28, FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, disposed at the corners. Lateral or side openings 30, FIG. 3, are provided between the foot portion to receive the forks ofa lift truck.
Each foot portion comprises a depending hollow shell-like enclosure which is open at the bottom. Such foot portions have a box-like core 32 in a portion thereof which depends from the top load supporting plate 20 to the plane of the bottom edge of the foot portion to provide load bearing support for the foot portion. The shell-like cores 32 preferably are hollow and are tapered to a smaller dimension toward the bottom. Upright webs 34 are provided between the foot portions 22 and the cores 32 to form a substantially rigid structure.
Each of the sections 12, 14, I6 and 18 is of identical construction. The foot portions 22, 24, 26 and 28 and the sides of the pallet sections are selectively notched such that two adjacent sides of each section have dovetail-type recesses 36 and two adjacent sides have dovetail-type tongues 38. By this arrangement, recesses 36 and tongues 38 are disposed on opposite sides from each other, and in attaching two sections together, a tongue 38 of one pallet section is merely slipped into a recess 36 of another pallet section. The dovetail joints securely lock the sections together with each section having a connection with adjacent side sections. The selected tongue and recess arrangement forms recesses 40 and projections 42 at the corners, the recesses 40 being interengaged by projections 40 on adjacent sections.
The edges 44 of the tongues 36 and 40 and recesses are tapered, best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, so as to form a vertical stopping engagement between the sections whereby the top surfaces of the pallet sections will all be held in a common plane. The top plate 20 has a plurality of ribs 46 on its under surface for reinforcing such plate.
The present pallet was designed particularly for molding from plastic to make it durable and light in weight. The hollow foot portions 22, 24, 26 and 28 contribute to the light weight of the pallet but yet provide a support which can stand a heavy compressive load. If one of these sections should become damaged it is merely necessary to replace it with a new section. Such is accomplished by lifting out the damaged section and fitting in the new section. No fasteners are required, and thus no appreciable time is involved in replacing a section.
It is to be understood that the form of our invention herein shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of our invention. For example, a pallet may be made up of only two or three interlocking sections instead of four and further yet more than four sections may be used if desired.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A warehousing pallet comprising:
a. at least two separate molded sections each having defining side edges,
. a top load supporting portion on said sections,
. foot, means depending from each of said sections and defining lateral openings therebetween for receiving the forks of a lift truck,
. one of said sections having a vertical recess on one side edge thereof and the other of said sections having a vertical tongue dimensioned and arranged to fit in said recess,
e. said recess and tongue comprising a vertical dove-tailed joint such that one section is releasably interlocked against lateral movement with the other section by vertical interengaging movement of said tongue into said recess,
f. said recess and tongue being defined by vertically tapered wall means to form the tapered dove-tailed joint, with the tongue of one section being seated vertically in the recess of the other section whereby the sections are held locked together vertically by a load on the top load supporting portion thereof.
2. The pallet of claim 1 wherein a. said foot means comprise hollow open bottom extensions leading from said load supporting portion,
b. a depending core in said foot means,
c. and reinforcing webs extending between said foot means and their respective cores.
3. The pallet of claim 1 wherein a. said top load supporting portion comprises plate means,
b. reinforcing ribs on the undersurface of said plate means,
c. said foot means comprising hollow open bottom extensions leading from said plate means,
d. a depending core in said foot means,
e. and reinforcing webs extending between said foot means and their respective cores.