US 3683463 A
Cargo containers used on shipboard and also for rail and truck transport are provided at each of eight corners with hollow corner blocks each having a vertical opening (either top or bottom, depending on location of the block at top or bottom) and two outward-facing side openings. Each side opening is oval, having a horizontal minor and a vertical major dimension. The shore at at least one end has a fitting formed of an oval inner member which is dimensioned to fit into a side opening, an outer member which is at least as large as the inner member and a connector between these members having a diameter less than the minor dimension, and a length equal to the wall thickness of the block. Thus, the inner member may be inserted through the side opening so that the connector is in the opening. When the fitting is turned 90 DEG , the fitting is affixed to the block. A tongue may be associated with the fitting to extend through the side hole and prevent the fitting from twisting and working out of place. The fitting may be internally threaded and used with an oppositely threaded, similarly shaped fitting which engages the block of an adjacent container. A double-ended, oppositely threaded screw is threaded into both fittings and may be tightened to hold the containers in position. Alternatively, each fitting may be connected by a swivel to a turnbuckle which is attached at its opposite end to a fitting, an arrangement useful when the containers are somewhat out of alignment. A pear-shaped ring may also be formed on the fitting to receive the eye of a cable lashed to a deck or other support.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited States Patent 1 3,683,463
Siefer et a1.  Aug. 15, 1972 1 INTERSTACK BRIDGE AND SHORE and truck transport are provided at each of eight cor- FOR CARGO CONTAINERS Inventors: Paul E. Sieier, 449 Midway, San Mateo, Calif. 94402; Claudis R. Bryant, 26222 Coleman Ave., Hayward, Calif. 94544 Filed: Jan. 11, 1971 Appl. No.: 105,252
 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS ll/l93l Tremblay et a1 ..105/369 S 9/ I962 Abolins et a1 ..24/22l R 4/ 1963 Harlander et al.. 105/366 B UX Primary ExaminerDonald Grifiin Attorney-Julian Caplan [5 7] ABSTRACT Cargo containers used on shipboard and also for rail ners with hollow corner blocks each having a vertical opening (either top or bottom, depending on location of the block at top or bottom) and two outward-facing side openings. Each side opening is oval, having a horizontal minor and a vertical major dimension. The shore at at least one end has a fitting formed of an oval inner member which is dimensioned to fit into a side opening, an outer member which is at least as large as the inner member and a connector between these members having a diameter less than the minor dimension, and a length equal to the wall thickness of the block. Thus, the inner member may be inserted through the side opening so that the connector is in the opening. When the fitting is turned 90, the fitting is affixed to the block. A tongue may be associated with the fitting to extend through the side hole and prevent the fitting from twisting and working out of place. The fitting may be internally threaded and used with an oppositely threaded, similarly shaped fitting which engages the block of an adjacent container. A double-ended, oppositely threaded screw is threaded into both fittings and may be tightened to hold the containers in position. Alternatively, each fitting may be connected by a swivel to a turnbuckle which is attached at its opposite end to a fitting, an arrangement useful when the containers are somewhat out of alignment. A pear-shaped ring may also be formed on the fitting to receive the eye of a cable lashed to a deck or other support.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEOAUBIS m2 3.683.463 sum 2 or 2 INVENTOR. PAUL E. SIEFER BY CLAUDIS R. BRYANT TiORNEY INTERSTACK BRIDGE AND SHORE FOR CARGO CONTAINERS This invention relates to new and improved bridging and shoring means for cargo containers. At present, much shipboard, and also truck and rail transport, use cargo containers. Particularly on shipboard, such containers are stacked upon each other in columns; and as the ship moves, the columns tend to sway since it is rarely that the columns of containers can be positioned so close to each other that there is no space permitting such swaying. The present invention provides means whereby corners of the container may be bridged with respect to adjacent containers or shored with respect to a support such as a deck, bed of a truck or rail car, and thus resists swaying.
The containers are fabricated with corner blocks at each of the eight corners which are used to support the containers during vertical stacking. In addition to vertically outward openings in each block, the primary purpose of which has been to provide access to the coneshaped connectors which fit through the vertical openings, the present invention uses the horizontal openings for a different purpose, namely to provide a shoring means to resist horizontal swaying. The horizontal openings are oval in shape; and accordingly, the fittings on the ends of the shore of the present invention are each formed with an inner and outer member and a smaller-sized connector, the connector having a length equal to the thickness of the wall of the block. The inner member is dimensioned slightly smaller than the side opening of the block and hence may be inserted in the block when the major dimension of the inner member is aligned with the major dimension of the opening. After insertion, the fitting is twisted 90 and so long as it is maintained at such alignment it cannot be withdrawn. The fitting may be connected to a similar fitting in the block of an adjacentcontainer and by various length adjustment means such as oppositely threaded, double-ended bolts or turnbuckles the two blocks may be adjusted in spacing so that there is a resistance to sway when the transport is in movement.
Thus a principal advantage of the present invention is the fact that a bridging means is provided that is easily inserted and withdrawn even under difficult conditions of deck-loading of vessels.
Another principal feature of the invention is the simplicity of the device which allows it to be used by relatively unskilled labor.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of a tongue which fits into the opening and prevents unintentional displacement of the fitting from the block.
Still another feature of the invention is the fact that the conventional blocks are employed in a new manner, and hence the cost of fabrication of the container is not increased and it is possible to use the present invention without alteration.
A still further feature of the invention is that it provides great flexibility in adding and removing con-' tainers as a ship travels from port to port. Containers may be removed from the tops of several stacks or only one stack with little disturbance of adjacent stacks.
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings in which similar characters of reference represent corresponding parts in each of the several views.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the comer block of two adjacent containers connected by one form of shore of the present invention, the right-hand block being broken away in section to reveal internal construction.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. I of a modification wherein the two container blocks are offset relative to each other.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 66 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a top view, broken away in section of a further modification.
Directing attention to FIGS. 1-3, two cargo containers 11, 11a are positioned side-by-side substantially in alignment. It will be noted that there is a gap between the two containers; and, in view of the fact that the containers may be stacked on the deck of a vessel several rows high, there is a tendency when the ship rolls to cause the stacks of containers to sway relative to each other. The present invention employs means which resists the relative movement of the stacks of containers in a horizontal direction. Container 11 is initially fabricated, in accordance with conventional practice, with a comer block 12 at each of its eight comers. Each corner block 12 has a vertical opening (13a on the left-hand side of FIG. 1) and two outwardly facing side openings 14. The present invention is used in conjunction with one of the side openings 14 of each of the blocks 12, 12a. Each opening 14 is formed in the sidewall 15 of a block 12 in oval shape, the opening having a major dimension l6 and a minor dimension 17. The fact that the dimensions 16, 17 are different is used in attachment of the bridge 21, hereinafter described, to each block.
Bridge 21, in the form shown in FIGS. l-3, has substantially identical internally threaded fittings 22, 22a at either end, the elements of fitting at the left-hand end being designated by the same reference numerals as the right-hand end followed by the subscript a. Fitting 22 has an inner member 23 of an oval shape substantially identical to the opening 14 and slightly smaller than the dimensions 16, 17 so that the member 23 will fit through the opening 14. To facilitate insertion of inner member 23, the comers 24 thereof are chamfered or rounded so that even under difficult conditions the workmen may insert the member 23. Attached to member 23 is a connector 26 which is preferably round and which has a diameter slightly less than minor dimension l7 and has a length slightly greater than the thickness of wall 15. Attached to the outer end of connector 26 is an outer member 27 which is preferably identical in shape to member 23, but in any event has a length greater than dimension 17. Extending into the opening 14 above connector 26 is a tongue 28 which is angularly bent as is shown in FIG. 2 having an apertured outer end 29 which lies immediately outside outer member 27. The tongue 28 is held in place by a nut 31 which is threaded onto screw 32 which fits through the internally threaded fitting 22. At the opposite end of bridge 21 is an oppositelythreaded screw 33 which mates with fitting 22a, and at the juncture of screws 33 is a head 34.
In use of the device, a bridge 21 is used to interconnect blocks 12, 12a by insertion of the opposite ends thereof through aligned openings 14 of the corner blocks. The head 34 is turned so that the fittings 22, 22a are approximately the proper distance apart. Prior to insertion of the bridge, the nuts 31, 31a are backed off so that the tongues 28 are relatively loose. The opposite ends of the bridge are then installed, by locating the inner members 23 so that their major dimension is parallel to dimension 16. By reason of the rounded ends 24, it is possible conveniently to insert the fittings in the openings 14. Thereupon, the bridge is twisted 90 to the position shown in the drawings. This prevents the member 23 from being withdrawn from the opening 14. With the device in this position, the nuts 31, 31a are tightened, causing the tongues 28, 28a to enter the openings 14 and to prevent twisting of the shore. The head 34 is then turned in the proper direction to either bring the blocks 12, 12a toward each other or away from each other, whichever movement is required to properly brace the containers relative to each other. Thus, movement of the containers in a horizontal direction is inhibited. Disassembly of the bridge is readily accomplished by reversal of the operations hereinbefore described.
In the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 4-6, two adjacent containers are slightly out of line and the adjacent comer blocks 12b are offset as is best shown in FIG. 4. The fittings 22b are substantially identical with those shown in the preceding modifications with the exception that the fittings are not internally threaded; but on the contrary, the outer member 27b is provided with an outwardly extending eye 41. The aperture in member 29b is rectangular rather than round so that the eye 41 can fit through it. In other respects, the fittings of the two modifications are identical and the same reference numerals followed by subscript b are used to designate corresponding parts.
The bridge of FIGS. 4-6 involves a turnbuckle arrangement. Thus a clevis 42 is shaped to receive eye 41 and a shackle bolt 43 is threaded into the aligned holes in the clevis 42 and eye 41. Clevis 42 is fixed to one end of turnbuckle screw 44. At the opposite end is an oppositely threaded turnbuckle screw 46. The screws 44, 46 are received within the turnbuckle housing 47 which may be formed with flats or with apertures so that the workmen may turn the housing 47 and then draw the fittings 28b together or force them apart depending upon the direction of turning housing 47. The bridge 21b of this modification is installed in essentially the same manner as in the preceding modification except that the shackle bolts 43 are removed while the fittings 22b are being installed. When they have been installed in the openings 14b and turned 90, the tongues 28b are slipped on to the eyes 41 and thereupon the turnbuckle is installed and the shackle bolts 43 screwed into place.
The housing 47 may be of considerable length to bridge between containers spaced apart. The housing may be formed in two telescoping sections so as to be adjustable.
Directing attention to the modification of FIG. 7, it is occasionally necessary to lash the container to a deck or the bed of a truck or flat car. For such purpose, a shore 210 which has at its end a fitting 220 which is essentially the same as in FIGS. 13, except that it is not threaded and the exterior of opposite member 27c is provided with a pear-shaped ring 51. A cable 52 is attached to ring 51 by means 53 formed therein either by splicing or other convenient means used on shipboard. The cable may be of any convenient length and may extend from the ring 51 in any direction. Although not shown in FIG. 7, a tongue similar to the tongue 28 may be used in conjunction therewith.
What is claimed is:
l. A device for bracing corner blocks of cargo containers of the type comprising hollow rectangular blocks having walls of uniform thickness formed on three adjacent sides with oval openings, each said opening having a major and a minor dimension, comprising an integral fitting having a flat oval inner portion shaped to fit into said opening when in one position and to be held within the hollow of said block when turned from said position, an outer portion and a connecting portion, said inner portion having a flat outer face and said outer portion having a flat inner face parallel to said outer face, said outer face and inner face being spaced apart the thickness of said wall, said inner portion having a major dimension greater than the minor dimension of said opening and less than the major dimension of said opening, said fitting having a minor dimension less than the minor dimension of said opening, said connector having a cross section less than the minor dimension of said opening and a length slightly greater than the thickness of said wall, said outer portion being larger than said minor dimension of said opening, and means for fastening said fitting to a support, said means being adjustable in length to move said block both toward and away from said support.
2. A device according to claim 1 in which said fitting is internally threaded and which further comprises a second fitting similar to said first-mentioned fitting and internally threaded oppositely threaded screw in threaded engagement with both said fittings, whereby, upon rotation of said screw, said fittings and the blocks to which they are attached may be moved toward and away from each other.
3. A device according to claim 1 in which said inner and outer members are substantially the same in shape and are integral with said connector.
4. A device according to claim 1 which further comprises a tongue having a base positioned outside said outer member and having a bent portion extending over said inner and outer members to fit within said side opening to restrain twisting of said fitting and means for securing said tongue in position relative to said outer member.
5. A device according to claim 1 in which said means comprises a turnbuckle and means pivotally connecting an end of said turnbuckle to said outer member.
6. A device according to claim 5 in which said lastnamed means comprises an apertured ear, a clevis, and a bolt through said ear and clevis.
7. A device according to claim 5 which further comprises a second fitting similar to said first-mentioned fitting and means pivotally connecting the end of said turnbuckle opposite said first-mentioned fitting to said second fitting.
8. A device according to claim 1 in which said means comprises a ring fixed to said outer member and a cable fitting through said ring. 5