US 3688968 A
A composite package is provided for accommodating bulky, heavy products such as garden tractors, snowmobiles, etc. The package includes a bottom member subtending the product, bracing members overlying the product and supported by the margin of the bottom member, and a film of moisture-resistant material enveloping in shrink fit relation the bottom and bracing members.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Sept. 5, 1972 United States Patent Rathfon, III
CCXC X 34U35S5 QHMQWS M 99 916 2262 0. 2242 2 "H u r u 1 u 0 N u u 1 1: m m m 5 m m m m m m ma 8 m mw f. mm m m McmwRKM 3 msafiwmm 9999999 1111111 4 53w89 599387 9 368 9387229 2783722 3333333 M m, m Em m. G M 1 1 m L cu m C M n l A .w o P n a M E 0 a m e mNn PE J 0m w m n m. m 0 w m m C .m A F 1 4 2 3 2 5 7 7 2 [rll Primary Examiner-Davis T. Moorhead Attorney-Albert H. Pendleton et al.
:1 Appl. No.: 156,361
 US. Cl. .............229/23 C, 206/46 M, 206/65 S,
ABSTRACT A composite package is provided for accommodating bulky, heavy products such as garden tractors, snowmobiles, etc. The package includes a bottom member subtending the product, bracing members overlying the product and supported by the margin of the bottom member, and a film of moisture-resistant material 6 ww lm fi w 4w mww W m m i. P MW 0 2 m m m m m R m m...
mm o 55 w enveloping in shrink fit relation the bottom and bracing members.
8Claims, 11 DrawingFigures 1,798,779 3/1931 Bowersock...............229/14 C 2,260,181 10/1941 Hollingsworth..........229/14 C 2,534,010 12/1950 Frye.........................108/55 X PArEmEnstP m: A 3.688.966
I SHEET 1 BF 3 mm; I NOR/IAN LRATHFONM ATTORNEYS PATENT En SEP 5 I SNEEI 3 0F 3 INVENTOR NORMAN L. RA THFO/V m ray $14M, UM
ATTORNEYS COMPOSITE PACKAGE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Because of the size and weight of various products such as garden tractors, snowmobiles, lawn mowers, etc. storage thereof and shipping thereof to the dealer or retailer oftentimes become a problem. Substantial storage space is normally required to accommodate such a product and thus, it is not uncommon to store such product outside until it is sold or placed on display. Unless proper precaution is taken, the product is oftentimes exposed to severe weather conditions, which adversely affect the operation, appearance, and/or marketability of the product.
Various modes of packaging such products have heretofore been proposed; however, because of certain design characteristics, they have been beset with one or more of the following shortcomings: (a) they are ineffective in providing protection for the product both from weather conditions, when in storage, and from defacement during handling; (b) the packaging is unsightly and insecure; and (c) the package is costly and difficult to assemble.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a package of the type described which avoids the aforenoted shortcomings.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a package of the type described which includes a minimum number of component parts, the latter being readily collapsible for compact storage when not in use.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a package of the type described which is adapted to ac-. commodate products varying widely in size and shape.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a package of the type described which is capable'of being handled by fork-lift trucks and the like, without adversely affecting the accommodated product.
Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawings, and appended claims.
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention a package of the type described, is provided which includes a bottom member having reinforcing elements mounted on the upper and lower surfaces thereof. The upper elements are engaged by the underside of the accommodated product. Bracing members overlie the product and each is provided with a top panel spaced above the product, and depending side panels engaging and being secured to marginal portions of the bottom panel. Each bracing member has mounted on the interior surface thereof elongated inflexible struts which are adapted to interfit with one another so as to provide substantial reinforcement when the members are set up to form an inverted substantially U-shaped unit. A film of moisture-resistant material envelops in shrink fit relation, the bottom and bracing members subsequent to the latter being assembled with the product.
DESCRIPTION For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective top view of one form of the improved package.
FIGS. 5 and 6 are top plan views of the bracing mem-.
bers forming a part of the package of FIG. 1; said members being shown in an unfolded condition.
FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 1,-but showing a modified form of the improved package. I
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary, perspective view of the package of FIG. 7, but showing the components thereof, except the outer film of moisture-resistant material, in exploded relation.
FIG. 9 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 4, but taken along line 9.9 of FIG. 8.
FIGS. 10 and 11 are top plan views of two of the components of the package of FIG. 7; said components being shown in an unfolded condition.
Referring now to the drawings, one form of the improved package 20 (FIG. I) is shown which is adapted to accommodate a' heavy, bulky product P, such as a garden tractor, snowmobile, etc., see FIG. 2. Package 20 comprises a bottom section 21; a pair of longitudinally spaced bracing members 22 and 23; a cover member 24; and a moisture-resistant outer wrapping 25, see FIGS. 1-3.
The bottom section 21, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, includes an elongated rectangular lamina 21a preferably formed of double-faced corrugated fiberboard a plurality of elongated reinforcing first elements 21b arranged preferably in spaced parallel relation and secured to the upper surface of lamina 21a"; and a plurality of reinforcing second elements 21c transversely disposed relative to elements 21b and secured to the under surface of lamina 21a. Elements 21c may be arranged in spaced parallel relation with the spacing therebetween being such as to accommodate a tongue of a fork-lift truck, not shown. The shape of lamina 2 1a will depend upon the configuration of the product P being accommodated. The product P may be anchored to the bottom member 21 by straps, bolts, clamps, etc.
First elements 21b are substantially coextensive with the length of lamina 21a and engage the underside of the accommodated product. Elements 21b and c are generally formed of wood or the like and may be adhesively secured to the lamina surfaces.
THe bracing members 22 and 23 are of like construction except that member 23 may have a longer longitudinal dimension. Each member I is preferably formed from a blank 22a or 230 of double-faced corrugated fiberboard or the like. The blank is provided with a first set of foldlines F, which define side panels S separated by a top panel T, and a second foldline F which cooperates with cuts C to form end flaps E along one edge of the side and top panels.
Adhesively secured to the interior surface of blank 22a or 23a are a plurality of elongated reinforcing struts 22b or 23b. The struts are preferably disposed adjacent eachend of panels S and T (top' and bottom edges as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6). Additional struts may be utilized, if added bracing strength is desired. The
struts along corresponding edges of the top and side panels are disposed in spaced aligned relation. The ends of the struts, mounted on the top panel T of each blank 22a or 23a, terminate in close proximity to the foldlines F interconnecting the side panels to the top panel. The struts 22c or 230 mounted on each side panel S has one end thereof spaced from the foldline F by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of the strut mounted on the top panel, so that, when the bracin g member is set up to form an inverted U-shaped unit, the corresponding struts will interfit so as to provide effective reinforcement of the members 22 and 23.
At the time members 22 and 23 are set up, the flaps E are folded inwardly so as to provide added reinforcement for the outer end of each member 22 and 23.
It will be noted in FIGS. 5 and 6, that corresponding ends of the reinforcing struts 22b and 23b terminate at the adjacent edge of the blank 22a and 23a so that when the bracing members are set up, the ends of these struts will engage and be secured to marginal portions of the bottom member 21.
In addition to the bottom and bracing members, package 20 includes the aforementioned cover member 24 and the overwrapping film 25. Member 24 is preferably made of double-face corrugated fiberboard and includes side and end walls 24a and 24b which are foldably connected to one another so as to form a sleeve or tube, the cross-sectional shape of which conforms substantially to the peripheral configuration of bottom member 21. Side walls 24a have a height substantially the same as the height of the bracing member side S when said bracing members are set up to form inverted U-shaped units, see FIG. 3. The upper edges of the side and end walls of the cover members 24 have foldably connected thereto, closure flaps 24a and 24'b. The flaps, when folded, are adapted to close off the upper end of the package and thus, conceal from view the accommodated product. Subsequent to the flaps being folded to a closed position, the cover member 24 is overwrapped by the moisture resistant film 25. The film 25 is preferably of a transparent plastic which will heat shrink into engagement with the exterior of the cover member and the periphery of the bottommember 21. The lower portion of the overwrapping film should subtend and positively engage the underside of the margin of the bottom member. The film, besides being moisture resistant, should be flexible and capable of withstanding abusive handling without tearing and should not be adversely affected by variations in ambient temperatures. By reason of the heat-shrinking characteristics of the film, it will readily conform to the exterior configuration of the cover member 24.
A modified form of the improved package 26 is shown in FIG. 7, which is similar in many respects to package 20 except there is no cover member 24. As seen in FIG. 8, package 26 includes a bottom member 27, which may be of the same construction as member 21 and on which the product is secured in place; and a pair of bracing members 28 and 30 which cooperate with one another to serve as a cover member as well.
separated by a top panel T. Foldably connected to the outer (upper edges in FIGS. 10 and 11) edges of the side and top panels of each blank are end closure flaps E. The closure flaps are of such size and shape that they close off the end of the package 26, when the flaps are folded into overlapping relation.
Secured to the interior surface of each blank and disposed adjacent to and in substantial parallel relation with the foldlines connecting the closure flaps to the side and top panels are elongated, inflexible reinforcing struts 28c or 300. The struts are arranged in axially aligned relation.
Blank 28a is provided with a second set of axially aligned elongated reinforcing struts 28d which are secured to the interior surface of the blank and are arranged in substantially parallel coextensive relation with the struts 280. A substantial portion of each strut 28d projects beyond the corresponding edge (lower edge, see FIG. 11) of the respective side and top panels. When package 26 is assembled, the projecting portions of the struts 28d will be inserted into the end of blank 30a, see FIGS. 8 and 9. Thus struts 28d serve to reinforce the abutting ends of bracing members 28 and 30. Adhesive or fasteners may be utilized to retain the bracing members in abutting end-to-end relation. The reinforcing struts of the bracing members 28 and 30 interfit with one another when said members are set up to form inverted U-shaped units and thus, provide effective bracing for the package 26. I
Once the bracing members 28 and 30 have been set in place with respect to the bottom member and the product positioned thereon, an outer plastic film 31 is heat shrunk into encompassing relation with respect to the bracing members and the bottom member in a manner as previously described with respect to package 20.
With either embodiment of the. improvedpackage, the product P accommodated therein is protected against moisture and dirt, even when stored outside for prolonged periods of time, and against defacement even when subjected to abusive handling while being transported. The package components are of simple and inexpensive construction and are easily handled when the package is being assembled. Furthermore, the package components may be readily collapsed for storage when not in use.
1. A composite package for accommodating a bulky product, said package comprising a bottom member I having a plurality of elongated first reinforcing elements mounted on the upper surface thereof and upon which the product rests and a plurality of elongated second reinforcing elements mounted on the under surface of said bottom member, said first and second elements being in angularly disposed relation; a pair of bracing members, each bracing member having a top panel disposed in overlying spaced relation with respect to the accommodated product and depending side panels spaced from the product and engaging and being secured to marginal portions of said bottom member, said top and side panels being provided with reinforcing means; and a film of moisture-resistant material enveloping in shrinkfit relation said bottom and bracing members.
2. The composite package of claim 1 wherein each bracing member has flaps disposed at one end and foldably connected to said top and side panels, said flaps being relatively folded and cooperating with one another to reinforce an end of said bracing member.
3. The composite package of claim 2 including a sleeve unit disposed in telescoping relation with respect to said bracing members, said sleeve unit having a closed end overlying the top panels of said bracing members, said unit being interposed said bracing members and said film.
4. The composite package of claim 1 wherein said bracing members have inner ends thereof in abutting relation, said abutting ends being reinforced by inflexible means carried by one of said bracing members, the outer end of each bracing member being provided with foldable closure flaps disposed in overlapping end closing relation.
5. The composite package of claim 4 wherein the inflexible means carried by said one bracing member comprises a plurality of elongated strut sections, one strut section being secured to the interior surface of said top panel and the remaining strut sections being secured to the interior surfaces of said side panels, said strut sections being in interfitting relation and forming an inverted substantially U-shaped support, said support having a marginal portion thereof projecting beyond the abutting end of said one bracing member and in sliding engagement with the interior surface of the abutting inner end portion of the other bracing member.
6. The composite package of claim 1 wherein the bottom member includes a moisture-resistant lamina interposed the first and second reinforcing elements.
7. The composite package of claim 5 wherein said bottom and bracing members cooperate to conceal the product accommodated within said package.
8. The composite package of claim 2 wherein the reinforcing means for each bracing member includes a plurality of elongated inflexible strut sections secured to the interior surfaces of the top and side panels and adjacent the ends thereof to which said flaps are foldably connected; said strut sections being in interfitting relation and forming an inverted substantially U- shaped support.