US 3664273 A
The invention relates to stacking platforms for transporting goods, wherein there is a basal part and corner posts which are pivotally mounted on the basal part whereby a plurality of such loaded platforms can be stacked one upon another when said posts are locked in an upright position and a plurality of such platforms, when unloaded, can be stacked one upon another in a minimum of height with said pots in a collapsed condition, means being provided whereby a number of such platforms, stacked one upon another with their corner posts collapsed, can be releasably connected together so that when the uppermost platform is lifted the remainder are suspended beneath it. Releasable connecting means comprises a member 56 which can turn so that a head 58 which passes through a hole 54 in a platform above it can occupy either a locked or a release position.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Howe May 23, 1972  LOAD CARRY ING STACKING 3,147,860 9/1964 Kean, Sr. et a1 ..108/53 X PLATFORMS 3,157,424 11/1964 Hall ..108/53 X 3,247,982 4/ 1966 Burton...  Inventor: Theodore Howe, 17, Heyhouses Lane, St. 3,499,398 3 9 Annes-on-Sea, England 3,389,663 6/1968 Gutridge....  Filed: Nov. 14, 1969 3,521,845 7/1970 Sweda et a1. ..248/119 R  Appl. No.: 876,798 Primary Examiner-James T. McCall Related US. Application Data Assistant ExaminerGlenn O. Finch Attomey-Norris & Bateman ABSTRACT The invention relates to stacking platforms for transporting goods, wherein there is a basal part and corner posts which are pivotally mounted on the basal part whereby a plurality of such loaded platforms can be stacked one upon another when said posts are locked in an upright position and a plurality of such platforms, when unloaded, can be stacked one upon another in a'rninimum of height with said pom in a collapsed condition, means being provided whereby a number of such platforms, stacked one upon another with their comer posts collapsed, can be releasably connected together so that when the uppermost platform is lifted the remainder are suspended beneath it. Releasable connecting means comprises a member 56 which can turn so that a head 58 which passes through a hole 54 in a platfonn above it can occupy either a locked or a release position.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing figures PATENTEB mm 2 3 1972 3 664, 2 7 3 SHEET 2 OF 3 INVENTOR:
P E HOWE PATENTEBMAY 23 m2 3. 664,273
sum 3 OF 3 INVENTOR:
THEODORE HOWE LOAD CARRYING STACKING PLATFORMS This is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 870,156 filed June 27, 1969 for Load Carrying Bodies.
The invention relates to load-carrying stacking platforms and has for its object to provide an improvement therein.
It is well known for load-carrying stacking platforms, or flats or pallets as they are sometimes called, for the bulk transport of goods on rail vehicles and in ships, to be provided with upstanding collapsible legs. When transporting goods on this kind of stacking platform it is usual for the legs to be locked in their upright position so that several such platforms can be stacked one upon another. When the goods have been unloaded at their destination, the platforms can be returned empty with their legs collapsed so that they occupy less height on the transporter during the return journey and a correspondingly larger number of such empty platforms can be stacked one upon another than on the load-carrying journey.
According to the invention, there is provided a stacking platform having a basal part and corner posts which are pivotally mounted whereby a plurality of such loaded platforms can be stacked one upon another when said posts are locked in an upright position and a plurality of such platforms, when unloaded, can be stacked one upon another in a minimum of height with said posts in a collapsed condition, means being provided whereby a number of such platforms, stacked one upon another with their comer posts collapsed, can be releasably connected together so that when the uppermost platform is lifted the remainder are suspended beneath it.
In order that the invention may be fully understood and readily carried into effect, a preferred embodiment thereof will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of three stacking platforms embodying the invention, arranged one upon another,
FIG. 2 is a side view of the platforms in a collapsed condinon,
FIG. 3 is a perspective view on one corner of one of the platforms illustrating a detail thereof, and
FIG. 4 is a prespective view showing an alternative form of suspension device.
Referring now to the drawings, a stacking platform has a rectangular basal part incorporating a base frame made of welded steel channels and rolled steel joists on which a wooden floor is laid to support the goods to be transported. The platform is a convenient size for carrying on a lorry or trailer.
Side members of channel section and end members 12 also of channel section meet at a corner casting 14 to which they are welded. Each comer casting is of a standard size (arrived at by International agreement) and lateral and longitudinal spacing of the castings also conforms to a standard so that in this way a standard platform or container of any make can be stacked upon any other standard platform or container of the same nominal size. The corner castings are provided with apertures 16 through which chains or hooks can extend for lifting the platform.
Respective corner posts 18 are provided at the comers of the base frame and are pivotally mounted so that they can be arranged in upstanding condition as shown in FIG. 1 or in a collapsed condition as shown in FIG. 2. Mountings for the corner posts at the four corners of the base frame include respective plates 20 which are welded at the extreme ends of the side members 10, and blocks 22 which are welded in parallel with said plates. Portions of the channel section members 10 and 12 are cut away to accommodate the blocks 22.
Aligned pairs of holes 24 and 26 are drilled and reamed in the plates 20 and blocks 22, the holes 24 accommodating fitted bolts 28 about which the corner posts can be pivoted between upstanding and collapsed positions and the holes 26 being provided to accommodate locking pins 30 which can be slid axially to retain the corner posts in their upstanding positions. The locking pins are slidably mounted in respective brackets 32 within the channel members 12, and stops 34 are provided to prevent them being withdrawn completely from the blocks when the corner posts are being released. The locking pins are provided with respective levers 36 to facilitate sliding of said pins and respective stops 38 are provided for the abutment of said levers to prevent accidental withdrawal of the pins when the comer posts are in their upstanding positions. It will be seen in FIG. 3 that a lower part of each corner post is of L-shape configuration, an extremity of the foot of the L being pivotally connected to thebasal part of the platform whereby in its collapsed condition the corner post can lie flat or substantially flat upon the basal part of the platform as shown in FIG. 2 and in chain dotted lines in FIG. 3. The plates 20 then extend above the comer posts so that the corner castings 14 of a similar stacking platform can rest upon their upper edges and upon the upper edges of abutment plates 40 and 42. A number of stacking platforms can be stacked one upon another with their corner posts collapsed as shown in FIG. 2.
Means are provided whereby a number of such platforms, stacked one upon another with their comer posts collapsed, can be releasably connected together so that when the uppermost platform is lifted by a crane the remainder are suspended beneath it. These means include respective locking devices generally indicated 44 positioned adjacent the four corners of the platform. Each locking device includes a stout metal block 46 welded between the upper ends of the plate 42 and a furtherplate 48. A fixed key piece 50 of rectangular shape projects upwardly from said block, above the level of the upper edges of the plates 20, 40 and 42 on which a corner casting of another platform can rest. (A metal plate 52 has been inserted at each corner of the platform in the lower flange of the channel member 12, and has a rectangular aperture 54 complementary to the key piece 50 and it will be seen that whentwo such platforms are mounted one upon the other with their corner posts collapsed the key pieces 50 of the lower one will extend through the apertures 54 of the upper one).
A locking pin 56 extends rotatably through a vertical clearance hole in the block centrally of the key piece 50, and is provided with an integral head 58 of the same rectangular shape as said key piece. A collar 60 is securely fixed on the lower end of the locking pin and is provided with a projecting lever 62 by means of which the pin can be turned. The plate 48 is provided with a slot 64 to allow the lever to be pivoted through substantially a right angle from the position in which it is shown in full lines in FIG. 3. A slotted retaining catch 66 is pivoted above the slot 64 and is arranged to engage the lever when the head 58 of the locking pin has been removed to an operative position, that is to say, displaced through a right angle from the inoperative position in which it is shown in full lines in FIG. 3.
The arrangement is such that when a stacking platform of the kind just described has been brought into overlying relation with another such platform, so that the key pieces 50 of the lower one extend through the apertures 54 of the upper one, the locking pins can be turned so that their heads extend across the aperture as indicated in chain-dotted lines in FIG. 3. The platforms are thus connected together so that they can be lifted together by chains or the like attached only to the upper platform. Several such platforms can, of course, be connected together one upon another in this way.
Various modifications may, of course, be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, the manner in which the locking pins can be turned can be varied in numerous ways. Means for retaining said pins in their operative positions can also be varied.
The platforms illustrated in FIG. 1 are shown to be provided with upstanding posts 68 midway along their longitudinal sides, but these are merely slotted into apertures formed in the basal parts of the platforms and are simply laid flat upon the basal parts when the corner posts have been collapsed. The platforms illustrated are also provided with lifting lugs 70 which are slidably mounted whereby when not in use they can be retracted so that they do not protrude further than the flanges of the side members 10. Means are, of course, provided to ensure that they cannot be withdrawn completely from the apertures in which they slide. Furthermore, the platforms illustrated are provided with removable end panels made of wood or metal. Similar side panels could also be provided. However, the platforms could alternatively be enclosed by waterproof fabric sheets after loading in nonnal manner if preferred.
In the alternative locking means illustrated in FIG. 4, a locking pin 156 has a head 158 and functions to lock a lower platform to a superimposed platform as described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 3.
A collar 160 on the pin 156 has a flat 162 formed thereon, and a handle 164 in the form of a flat metal strip is loosely pivoted at 166 on the flat 162, and in its free position the handle 164 hangs in the vertical position shown in the drawing. A block 168 projects from the underside of the collar 160 and when the pin 156 is rotated into the locked position, this block 168 engages with a flange 170 welded to the plate 42 to prevent rotation of the pin beyond the locked position. The plate 48 has an opening 172 to receive the handle 164 when the latter is lifted to a horizontal position, and is notched at 174 so that the handle can be dropped into the notch and will be held there.
To operate the pin 156 to lock two platforms together, the handle 164 is raised to the horizontal, and then the pin can be easily turned until the handle can be dropped into its notch.
I claim 1. A load carrying platform structure comprising a relatively rigid base and corner posts pivotally mounted on the base for movement between an upright position during load carrying and a folded down collapsed position for minimum height stacking when unloaded, means providing a fixed axis pivot connection between each of said posts and said base providing for movement of the post between an erect upstanding position to a collapsed folded position substantially flatly overlying said base, axially slidable locking pins distinct from said pivots mounted on said base for displacement into corresponding apertures in the lower ends of said posts when the posts are in erect position, and means for releasably connecting a plurality of unloaded platforms in a stack so that when the uppermost platform is lifted the remainder are suspended beneath it comprising a plurality of sockets distributed about the periphery of the lower edge of said base each comprising a rigid plate formed with an opening of predetermined shape, means distributed around the periphery of the upper edge of said base providing a rigid projection of such size as to fit within the socket opening of a platform base stacked above it, and locking means comprising a pin rotatably extending through a platform bore and said projection and having on its upper end an enlarged head shaped similarly to said projection, means preventing axial displacement of said headed pin comprising said head at one end of the bore and an enlargement on said pin at the lower end of said bore, and means for rotating said headed pin between a position wherein said head is aligned with said projection and an angularly related non-aligned position, whereby when the pin head at a lower platform is aligned with its associated body projection both that pin head and projection may enter the socket opening in an upper unloaded platform stacked above it and rotation of the headed pin may then displace the head angularly into locking abutment with said plate above the opening.
2. A stacking platform as defined in claim 1, wherein each said socket opening is rectangular, and each pin head is of corresponding shape to slide through it, said socket opening being formed in a laterally extending plate rigid with said base frame.
3. A stacking platform as defined in claim 1, wherein said headed pin is rotatable within a bore in said frame and is restrained against axial displacement, a handle for rotating said headed pin, and means for releasably latching said handle in a rotated locking position of said pin head.
4. In the stacking platform defined in claim 3, abutment means arresting rotation of said headed pin with said locking head in looking position.