US 3672395 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Fuetsch [4 June 27, 1972 - CHAIN-HOSE ATTACHMENT CLIPS  Inventor: William Fuetsch, 77 Corte Ramon, Greenbrae, Calif. 94904  Filed Aug. 6, 1970  Appl. No 61,667
 US. Cl ...137/355.l6
[51 Int. Cl ..B65h 75/36  Field otSearch ..137/355.l2, 355.16, 355.17,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,892,535 6/1959 Cullen et a1 ...173/l47 X 2,866,474 12/1958 Gummere et a1. ...l37/580 X 3,161,205 12/1964 Merker ..l37/355.17 3,330,459 7/1967 Cullen et a1 ..137/355.25 X
3,399,909 9/1968 Ambrose ..137/615 X 3,439,700 4/1969 Preston.... .....137/6l5 X 3,534,766 10/1970 Barto ..137/355.17 X
Primary Examiner-Samuel Scott Attorney-Jerry B. Cesak [5 7] ABSTRACT A flexible hose is attached at longitudinally spaced points to a link chain by a plurality of clips, so that the hose is carried by the chain, as for example, around a sprocket. The hose is coplanar with the chain and located at the outside of the chain in relation to passage of the chain around the sprocket. Each clip is substantially U-shaped and includes a hose embracing bight portion with a pair of leg portions which are in supporting engagement with transversely spaced link members of the chain. The arrangement is particularly suitable for use on fork lift trucks having a chain actuated carriage with a hydraulically actuated device for moving the forks.
4 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures This invention relates to new and useful improvements in clip-like means for attaching a flexible hose at longitudinally spaced points to a link chain so that the hose follows the path of the chain, such as toward, from and around a sprocket or some other guide, and thus the hose does not become slack, displaced or otherwise left loosely positioned in an environment where it may cause hazardous-obstructions and may itself be damaged.
While the teachings of the invention are applicable to chainhose attachments in general, the invention particularly concerns itself with the environment of so-called industrial trucks or fork lift trucks which include a mast with a carriage movable thereon and forks provided on the carriage. In such trucks it is customary to raise and lower the carriage on the mast by link chains passing around sprockets on a hydraulically actuated cross head, and quite often the forks, rather than being rigid with the carriage, are movable relative thereto by a hydraulic cylinder which requires operative connection by flexible hoses to the hydraulic system of the truck. Since the fork actuating cylinder is mounted on the carriage, the hydraulic hoses connected to the cylinder must make allowance for vertical movement of the carriage on its mast, or in other words, the hoses must be long enough to facilitate vertical movement of the carriage and this presents many problems in that in some positions of the carriage the hoses may be too tightly drawn while in other positions they may be so slack and loose as to create obstructions and possible damage to the hoses themselves by entanglement with other objects.
In recognition of these disadvantages some efforts have been made toward substantially coordinating the length and movement of the hydraulic hoses with the carriage actuating chains, one example of such efforts appearing in U.S. Pat. No. 2,432,411 issued Dec. 9, 1947 to P. R. Guerin et al. In that patent the flexible hydraulic hoses are attached at longitudinally spaced points by clips to one side of the chains sothat the hoses are substantially coextensive with the chains and follow the chain movement without undue slack, including movement around sprockets on the cross head.
While the chain-hose attachment shown in the aforementioned patent of Guerin et al. is generally satisfactory for its intended purpose of overcoming the above outlined disadvantages which arise when the hoses are simply slack and loose without having any effective guidance at all, the arrangement still leaves something to be desired from the standpoint of attaching the hose to the chain in such manner that the flexible hose may properly follow the contour of the chain and be effectively supported by the chain, especially when the chain passesaround the sprocket and reverses its direction of travel by some I80".
In accordance with conventional practice, including that which is reflected by the aforementioned Guerin et al. patent, the flexible hose is attached by clips to one side of the chain and is thus disposed in a plane exterior to that in which the chain travels. As a result, when the chain passes around the sprocket and reverses its direction of travel, the clips which fasten the hose to the chain are relied upon for a transmission of forces necessary to bend and reverse the direction of travel of the hose along with the chain, and the chain itself does not afford any support for the hose during the bending movement.
It is the principal object of the present invention to improve upon the aforementioned conventional practice of attaching the hose to the chain so that the latter, particularly in its passage around the sprocket, provides effective support for the hose as the hose follows movement of the chain around the sprocket. This object is attained by placing the hose on the outside of the chain rather than at one side thereof as in the prior art, and by providing special clips for attaching the thus positioned hose to the chain.
The arrangement of the invention is simple in structure, highly efficient in operation, and readily applicable to link chains of different types without obstruction of either the chains or the sprockets.
With the foregoing more important object and features in view and such other objects andfeatures which may become apparent as this specification proceeds, the invention will be understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters of reference designate like parts, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a conventional fork lift truck, representing the environment in which the invention is used;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevational view showing the carriage actuating chain and sprocket of the truck, with the hydraulic hose attached to the chain by clips in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevational view of the chain with a clip thereon, the hose being shown by dotted lines;
. FIG. 4 is an elevational view taken from the right-hand side of FIG. 3;
5 FIG. 5 is a view, similar to that in FIG. 4, but showing the clip on a different type of chain;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view, taken substantially in the plane of the line 6-6 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to that in FIG. 6 but showing a modified embodiment of the clip; and
FIG. 8 is a plan view of a wire blank from which clips of the invention may be formed.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings in detail, reference is first drawn to FIG. 1 which shows a conventional industrial truck or fork lift truck 10 provided at the front thereof with the usual mast 11 on which is slidable a carriage 12, the latter supporting the forks 13. The carriage is slid upwardly and downwardly on the mast by a pair of transversely spaced chains, indicated at 14, the chains passing around sprockets 15 on a cross head in the mast 11, which cross head is raised or lowered by a hydraulic cylinder operatively connected to the hydraulic system of the truck. All this structure is well known in the art and does not require any detailed explanation or illustration herein, it merely being desirable to outline the environment in which the invention is primarily intended to be used.
It is also well known in the art to movably mount the forks 13 on the carriage 12, as for example, for transverse movement relative to the carriage, and this is usually effected by a hydraulic cylinder 16, mounted on the carriage and operatively connected to the forks. The cylinder 16, of course, must also be connected to the hydraulic system of the truck by flexible hydraulic hoses which must be long enough to compensate for movement of the carriage 12 upwardly or downwardly on the mast II. For various reasons already mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this specification, it is desirable for these hoses to be attached to the carriage actuating chains 14 so that the chains and hoses are moved in unison, and the invention concerns itself specifically with the attachment of a flexible hydraulic hose, indicated at 17, to a typical chain 14, as presently described.
A typical link chain 14, as shown in detail in FIGS. 3 and 4, has a set of links 18, 19 alternately connected together in series by pivot pins 20. The links 18 consist of a pair of transversely spaced link members 18a which overlap on the outside the corresponding link members 19a of the links 19. The transverse spacing of the link members 19a is such as to accommodate there'between the teeth of the sprocket 15 around which the chain passes.
In accordance with the invention the flexible hydraulic hose 17 is disposed at the outside of the chain 14, that is, at the. outer edges of the link members 18a, 19a, in the context that these link members have outer and inner edges with respect to passage of the chain around the sprocket 15. Thus, the hose 17 is located within the plane of the chain or coplanarly therewith, as distinguished from its possible location outside of the plane of the chain when the hose is attached to one side of the chain as in the prior art.
The hose 17 is attached at longitudinally spaced points to the chain 14 by plurality of clips 21, as is best shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6.
Each clip 21, which may be conveniently formed from wire, is substantially U-shaped and includes a curved bight portion 22 which embraces the hose 17, a pair of leg portions 23 which extend along the inside surfaces of the link members 18a, and a pair of hook portions 24 which are in supporting engagement with the inner edges of the link members 18a, as will be clearly apparent from FIG. 6. The wire thickness of the clip is substantially the same or somewhat smaller than the thickness of the link members 190, and since the leg portions 23 are disposed at the inner surfaces of the link members 18a in a space between the members 19a of the adjacent links 19, the presence of the clip does not in any way interfere with passage of the chain around the sprocket 15.
The clip 21 may be formed from mild steel wire having suffrcient malleability for the hook portions 24 to be formed by bending the same into a substantially U-shaped configuration after the leg portions 23 have been inserted into the chain, so that the hook portions 24 engage the inner edges of the link members 18a as already stated. On the other hand, the wire of the clip may be inherently resilient, as in the modified embodiment of the clip 121 shown in FlG. 7, in which the hook portions 124 are pre-formed as simple outturned ends of the leg portions 123. The latter are resiliently urged apart and thus biased against the inside surfaces of the links 18a, thus sustaining the hook portions 124 in engagement with the inner edges of the links. The links 121 are applied to the chain by simply squeezing the leg portions 123 toward each other, inserting them into the chain and permitting them to spread apart for engaging the hook portions 124 with the inner edges of the links.
FIG. 8 merely illustrates a wire blank such as may be used in forming the clips 21 or 121.
FIG. shows the clip 21 applied to a silent type of link chain 114 having alternate links 118, 119 each consisting of several parallel link members, but the arrangement is much the same as that already described in regard to FIGS. 3 and 4 in that the hook portions of the clip are applied to the outside members of the link 118. Manifestly, the clip 121 may be used with the chain 114 in place of the clip 21.
lt is to be particularly noted that in all instances the clips 21 or 121 attach the hose 17 to the outside of the chain (as distinguished from one side of the chain) and the hose is thus disposed coplanarly with the chain and within its plane of movement. This is especially important when the chain passes around the sprocket and thus reverses its direction of travel, since at that point the clips not only bend the hose so that it follows the bending of the chain, but the chain itself affords an effective support for the hose during bending. This assures that the hose is bent to the proper curvature along the entire arc of the bend, and avoids any possibility of the hose being displaced, or too sharply bent, or tending to move off at a tangent in its regions between the clips, as can occur in the prior art where the hose is attached to one side of the chain.
It may be added that although the chain has been described as passing around the sprocket 15, it may pass around any other conventional guide element, such as for example a roller with a raised center portion on its periphery, or the like.
While in the foregoing there have been shown and described the preferred embodiments of the invention, various modifications may be resorted to, falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed as new is:
l. The combination of a chain which passes around a rotatable sprocket and includes a plurality of links pivotally connected together with each link including a pair of transversely spaced link members having inner and outer edges with respect to passage of the chain around the sprocket, a flexible hose juxtaposed to said chain in coplanar relation therewith and located at the outer edges of said link members, and a plurality of clips attaching said flexible hose at longitudinally spaced points to said chain, each of said clips being substantially U-shaped and including a bight portion and a pair of leg portions, said leg portions being in supporting engagement with the respective link members and said bight portion extending transversely of the chain from the outer edges of the link members and embracing said flexible hose.
2. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said clips also includes hook portions provided at the extremities of said leg portions and engaging the inner edges of said link members.
3. The combination as defined in claim 2 which is further characterized in that said leg portions extend along side surfaces of the respective link members.
4. The combination as defined in claim 3 which is further characterized in that said clip is formed from resiliently yieldable material and the leg portions thereof are resiliantly biased against the side surfaces of said link members to sustain said hook portions in engagement with the inner edges of the link members.