US 3653168 A
Trailer piers of separate elements interengageable in superposed relation in vertical alignment in different numbers from one pair to a plurality of adjacent pairs to provide piers of different heights. In each instance the pier so formed provides convergently upwardly extending side walls, a broad, horizontal lower ground-engaging surface, a smaller, but relatively large upper wall centrally apertured for a conventional vertical, trailer-engaging bolt and height-adjusting nut, which upper wall is adequate for supporting a set of wedges for rigidly supporting the trailer independently of said bolt after the trailer has been levelled.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1151 3,653,168 Cook 1 Apr. 41, 1972 54] TRAILER PIERS 3,541,748 11/1970 Rothgeb ..52/169  Inventor: Elbert W. Cook, 5461 Eastside Road,
. Primary Exammer-Pnce C. F aw, Jr. Reddmg Cahf' 96001 Attorney-Boyken, Mohler, Foster & Schwab  Filed: Mayll, 1970 Appl. No.: 36,859
 US. Cl ..52/294,52/122,52/169 [51} Int. Cl. ..E02d 5/52, E02d 27/48  Field ofSearch ..52/294, 292, 169, 122, 227
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,374,624 4/1945 Schwendt ..52/227 1,647,925 11/1927 May ..52/227 1,447,942 3/1923 Fitzgerald ..52/294 2,032,030 2/1936 Talen ..52/227 X [5 7] ABSTRACT Trailer piers of separate elements interengageable in superposed relation in vertical alignment in difierent numbers from one pair to a plurality of adjacent pairs to provide piers of different heights. In each instance the pier so formed provides convergently upwardly extending side walls, a broad, horizontal lower ground-engaging surface, a smaller, but relatively large upper wall centrally apertured for a conventional vertical, trailer-engaging bolt and height-adjusting nut, which upper wall is adequate for supporting a set of wedges for rigidly supporting the trailer independently of said bolt after the trailer has been levelled.
1 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures IN'VENTOR. ELBERT W. COOK ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAPR 4 1972 SUMMARY OF INVENTION Heretofore concrete piers for supporting trailers have been cast in different heights, such as 12, 18, 24 and 30-inch heights, and such piers have been pyramidal in shape with square upper and lower ends. The upper ends of the piers are approximately 3 inches X 3 inches and the lower ends approximately 12 inches X 12 inches. Usually a 16 inches X 16 inches X 2 inches square wooden pad has been positioned on the ground to support each pier since each pier is hollow, being formed with a downwardly opening recess having lower edges that require a pad for support. Inasmuch as the ground on which the trailer is to be positioned may be a slope, or irregular, the separate areas or spots levelled for the pads and piers may be at different elevations, and these different elevations may be widely different at different trailer locations. Thus the conventional one-piece piers suitable for use at one location may be unsuitable for use at another location without making extensive excavations or fills.
Also, heretofore, the areas of the upper surfaces on conventional piers do not provide sufficient bearing surfaces for supporting adequate wedges. As a result, the occupant or owner of the trailer, instead of making excavations or fills to position the upper surfaces of the piers approximately coplanar in a horizontal plane may rely on the precarious, relatively weak height-adjusting bolt and nut members on the piers to support the trailer, after the final levelling has been effected. Heretofore, when the trailer is moved from one location to another, and is again to be supported on piers, and the contour of the ground at the new location is different, it may be necessary to acquire new piers of different heights, and in any event, the procedure of excavating and filling must be repeated in most instances, for the pier pads that are part of the pier assembly.
One of the objects of the present invention is the provision of pier structure enabling the positioning of the supporting piers for a trailer directly on the ground at different points that are at different levels, with a minimum of excavating or filling, and which structure comprises from one pair to a plurality of adjacent pairs of superposed pier elements, in which the elements of one pair, in each instance, provide a relatively large, horizontal upper surface for adequate wedge supports, and a conventional height-adjusting bolt and nut assembly. Also, the base of one element of said one pair has a large, continuous, horizontal lower wall and surface, except for a central drain aperture. adapted to support the pier structure directly on the ground, and said one pair, and adjacent pairs where more than one pair are required, have complementarily formed interfitting projections and recesses for maintaining the pier elements in vertical alignment. Furthermore, where only one pair of superposed elements are used, the laterally facing surfaces are tapered to extend continuously convergently upwardly from a rectangular base on the lowermost element, and where more than one pair of elements are used in a pier the uppermost, and lowermost elements are the elements of said one pair and are hollow and vertically open ended.
By the above-described structure, a trailer owner having pier elements for forming the different piers is enabled to form different combinations to support the trailer level on ground that slopes or has different levels at the desired positions for the piers, irrespective of the surface contour of the ground at different locations.
In most instances, substantially less than a supply of pier elements for maximum height at all points of support are sufficient to enable positioning the piers, with minimum excavation or filling to meet the different conditions encountered, for supporting a trailer elevated above the surface of the ground.
Other objects and advantages will appear in the description and drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded view isometrically showing three of the pier elements of one pier in vertical alignment, with the near portion of each element broken away and in cross section, a set of supporting wedges on the uppermost element and with an adjusting nut and bolt device in position on the uppermost element.
FIGS. 2, 3, 4, respectively, show a simplified fragmentary end view of a trailer supported on different assemblies of the pier elements of FIG. 1 to illustrate a few of the arrangements for different conditions.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The dimensions hereinafter specified are only by way of examples of dimensions that have been found to be practical for meeting the demands of trailer owners.
Also, it is to be understood that the word trailer as used herein is intended to include mobile homes and other buildings capable of being similarly supported.
Referring to FIG. 1, a lease pier element, generally designated 1, has a rectangular base portion 2, preferably square, providing a continuous, fiat, lower horizontally disposed surface adapted to be positioned flat on the ground. Cast or molded integrally with said base portion are four side walls 3. The inner surface 4 and the outer surface 5 of each side wall extend convergently upwardly from said base portion 2, to a horizontally disposed, flat, continuous upper surface 6, and the surfaces 6 of the four side walls are coplanar and define the four edges ofa central, square upper opening in element 1.
An upwardly projecting, horizontally extending rib 7 of inverted V-shape cross-sectional contour is approximately centrally formed integrally with element 1 on the upper surface 7 of each side wall 3 extending longitudinally of each surface 7, and a unitary, endless reinforcing wire 8 is horizontally imbedded in walls 3 in the element 1, adjacent to the base portion 2.
The central part 9 of the base portion 2 that extends between the lower ends of the side walls 3 is relatively thick, vertically, compared to the vertical width of the vertically disposed outer surfaces of base portion 2 along the lower edges of side walls 3 and said part 9 is formed with a centrally positioned drain opening 10. The part 9 provides a bottom wall for the element 1 that extends to the outer edges of said base portion, and the upper surface of said bottom wall and inner surfaces 4 of side walls 3 define the surfaces of an upwardly opening recess in said element 1.
The upper element of the pier is generally designated 13. This element is preferably square in horizontal contour, having an upper rectangular end wall 14 formed with a horizontal, flat, upper surface 15, and four corresponding side walls 16 having outer surfaces 17 that extend divergently downwardly from opposite edges of the upper surface at the same degree of inclination relative to horizontal, as the surfaces 5 on base element 1.
The outer dimension of the upper element 13 at its lower end corresponds to the outer dimension of the upper end of the base element 2, and the thickness of each wall 16 at the lower end of element 13 is the same as the thickness of the upper edge of each wall 3. Also, a continuous horizontal reinforcing wire 81, corresponding to wire 8, may be imbedded in the side walls 16 of the pier unit.
The lower edges 18 of the sides 16 of the pier element 13 are horizontal and coplanar, and are respectively of a width approximately equal to the width of the upper edge 6 of each wall 3 on the lower element. Also, each lower edge 18 is formed with an inverted V-shaped recess 19 extending longitudinally thereof that is complementary in cross-sectional contour to a ridge 7. The recess 19 receives ridges 7 therein when the upper element 13 is positioned on the base element, and when so positioned, the outer surfaces 5, 17, respectively, on the base element 1 and the upper element 13 will be continuous to form a pyramidal pier.
The top wall 15 of the upper element is formed with a central aperture 20 for removably receiving the lower end of a vertical adjusting bolt 21. The upper wall 14 of the element 13 is relatively thick, thus providing both strength and a support for said bolt, and rigid on the upper end of said bolt is an angle piece generally designated 22, having a horizontal base leg 23 adapted to engage the lower edges of a lower trailer frame member which may be an inverted channel strip. A vertical leg 24 at one end of the base leg 23 is adapted to be positioned against a side of such channel strip.
A nut 25 is threaded on bolt 21, which nut is adapted to bear on the upper flat surface of a solid bell washer 26 having a relatively large diameter lower flat side adapted to bear on the upper surface of top wall 14 around the central aperture 20. Upon rotation of nut 25 the angle piece 22 will be raised or lowered.
When the upper pier element 13 is supported on the lower pier element 1, the two elements will form a single pier, and when the ground on which the trailer is to be positioned is relatively level, the two elements may be positioned adjacent to each of the four corners of the lower trailer frame, and elsewhere along the frame, if desired, with the angle pieces 24 in a position below the trailer frame, so that one side of such frame is against the upstanding legs 24, and with the lower edge of the channel frame extending across the upper side of the lower leg 23.
The base portion of the base pier element 1 may be 16 inches X 16 inches and the height 6 inches, while the upper end of the upper element 13 may be 8 inches X 8 inches and the height 6 inches. In such a case, the total height of each pier will be 12 inches.
The 8 inches X 8 inches upper surface of the upper element 13 provides ample breadth for supporting wedge elements 28 alongside the washer 26, which wedge elements, in turn, support the trailer independently of the bolt 20.
An endless, horizontally disposed reinforcing wire 29 imbedded on the side walls 16 adjacent to, but spaced above, their lower edges reinforce said side walls.
in supporting the trailer on said piers the area for each pier may be levelled and, assuming the ground below the trailer is substantially level, a pair of said pier elements 1, 13 is positioned on the level spots and the trailer is lowered, the angle pieces 22 being against nuts 25. One or more of the nuts 25 may then be rotated to level the trailer, after which the wedges 28 may be positioned on top surface 15 to extend across the lower trailer frame-member and the nuts released so the weight of the trailer is directly transmitted onto the upper pier element independently of the adjusting bolts.
The present pier structure also provides an intermediate pier element generally designated 31 (FIG. 1 This element is preferably square, having four vertical side walls 32 having bottom edges 33 and top edges 34 of the same width and dimensions as the top edges 6 of the base element 1, and the lower edges 18 of the top element 13.
Edges 33, 34 respectively are formed with recesses 35 and ridges 36 that are complementary in cross-sectional contour to ridges 7 on base member 1 and to recesses 19 on the top or upper pier element 13. Vertically spaced, endless horizontally disposed reinforcing wires 37 are imbedded in the side walls 31.
These intermediate sections may be of any desired height. If provided in 6 inches heights, which is normal, the total height of each pier will be 18 inches where each of the three elements 1, 13, 32 are of 6 inches height. These elements may also be 3 inches in height, to enable closer approximation to conditions in certain localities.
A trailer owner having four complete sets of three elements each, each element being 6 inches in height, may support a trailer 40 on level ground 18 inches off the ground, (H6. 3), or it may be positioned level on a relatively gentle slope by using a pair of three-element piers on the lower side and a pair of two-element piers on the upper side, (FIG. 4). On a steeper slope, a pair of four-element piers may be used on the lower side of the trailer and a pair of two-element piers on the upper side. Obviously, sets of pier elements of different numbers may be used at each corner where the contour of the land requires it. However, in each instance the lower and the upper pier elements are used.
It is apparent that while the three elements may be of different dimensions, the same basic advantages will be obtained, and this is particularly true of the intermediate element 37, which may be of lesser height, such as 3 inches, for example, in which one or more may be used where desired.
1. A pier set for supporting a trailer at each of its four corners on the ground, comprising:
a. a base element adapted to be positioned on the ground below each corner of such trailer, an intermediate element adapted to be positioned directly on said base element in vertical alignment therewith, and an upper element adapted to be positioned directly on said intermediate element in vertical alignment with said base and said intermediate element, each of said elements having horizontal, upper and lower surfaces providing horizontal seating surfaces for seating the upper element of each set directly on said base element or directly on said intermediate elernent when the latter is seated on said base element, and for seating said base element on the ground and for seating the trailer at each corner on an upper element according to the distance between the comer and the ground,
b. said upper and base elements having lateral surfaces extending convergently upwardly at the same angle from their lower to their upper surfaces with said lateral surfaces on said upper element being in continuation of the lateral surfaces of said base element when the upper element is seated directly on said base element,
c. said intermediate element having parallel vertical lateral surfaces that are coincidental at the upper and lower ends of said intermediate elements with the lateral surfaces said upper element at its lower end and with the lateral surfaces of said base element at its upper end respective ly, whereby one or more of said intermediate elements may be supported on said base element in vertical alignment with said upper element on the upper end providing a longer and shorter trailer support pier at each of dif ferent corners of a trailer, each such support having one of said upper elements at its upper end with its lateral surfaces extending convergently upwardly from the upper ends of the lateral surfaces of the intermediate member on which it is positioned and each trailer support having one of said base elements at its lower end having lateral surfaces extending divergently downwardly from the lower ends of the lateral surfaces of the intermediate element directly supported thereon,
. said elements of said set being free from securement to each other for lateral insertion and removal to a position below any corner of a trailer when the trailer is over the site to be supported with the corner elevated a sufficient distance to provide a relatively slight clearance between the upper element and the corner of the trailer thereabove, and said upper element including an upper wall the upper surface of which is the said upper seating surface thereon providing a wide unobstructed surface for conventional removable levelling wedges, and said base element having a bottom wall on which its lower seating surface is formed.