US 3691964 A
A pallet with single or double decks detachably fastened to pallet feet. The feet are anchored to an upper deck by twisting them into place. The upper deck is apertured on its under side to present tabs for anchoring the feet. The feet are hollow conical frustum bodies and may be stiffened by internally carried cores.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Larson et a1.
[s41 PALLET  Inventors: Louis P. Larson, Glendale; Edward F. Repking, St. Louis, both of Mo.; Gary L. Wagner, Covington, La.
 Assignee: Crown Zellerbaeh Corporation, San Francisco, Calif.
[22 Filed: Oct. 19, 1970 21 Appl. No.: 81,803
 US. Cl ..108/51, 108/58  Int. Cl. ..B65d 19/18  Field of Search ..248/188; 85/1 L;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS [151 3,691,964 I451 Sept. 19,1972
Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay
Assistant Examiner-Glenn O. Finch Attorney-Kolisch & Hartwell  ABSTRACT A pallet with single or double decks detachably fastened to pallet feet. The feet are anchored to an upper deck by twisting them into place. The upper deck is apertured on its under side to present tabs for anchoring the feet. The feet are hollow conical frustum bodies and may be stiffened by internally car- 3,407,758 10/ 1968 v Simkins ..108/51 fled cores.
2,398,374 5/1946 Hartman ..151/41 2,255,649 9/1941 Burke ..-......l5 1/41 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTED I972 3.691. 964
sum 1 or 2 GARY L..WAGNER LOUIS I? LARSON EDWARD F REPKING INVENTORS BY km 1 HM HHys.
PATENTED E? I 9 I SHEET 2 [IF 2 GARY L.WAGNER LOUIS P. LARSON EDWARD EREFKING INVENTORS BY KM 4 NM PALLET This invention relates to a pallet, and more particularly, to a pallet having detachable feet supporting a deck or platform therein in an elevated position.
A general object of the invention is to provide a new and useful pallet with detachable feet. With the construction contemplated, the feet are readily attached to a platform or deck in the pallet to provide a serviceable unit.
Another object of the invention is to provide a pallet which may be constructed'primarily of fiberboard and the like, rendering the pallet producible at relatively low'cost. The pallet contemplated can withstand normal wear and tear over a substantial period of time.
Another and more specific object of the invention is to provide a pallet with detachable feet, where a foot is secured in place projecting from the underside of a platform in the pallet through means which becomes interengaged through applying a twisting action to the foot. This eliminates the need for gluing, taping, stitching, or using other auxiliary fastening means in securing a foot in place.
Pallets may be constructed according to the invention which require little space during storage. Thus, the feet in the pallet may be stored separately from the platform with multiple feet fitting one within another to form a nested stack. The platforms, which are substantially flat with the feet removed, may be stacked one against the other in a pile.
Not only may the feet be readily secured to a platform, but they also may easily be removed at some later date if it should be desired to break down the pallet, or in the event replacement of a foot is necessary.
A further feature and object of the invention is the provision of a pallet which may be produced either as a single or a double deck unit, the particular type of construction which is selected depending upon the conditions under which the pallet is used.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention, will become more fully apparent as the following description, read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a double-deck pallet constructed according to an embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view of the bottom of the pallet shown in FIG. 1, with portions of the bottom deck in the pallet broken away and a foot removed to illustrate details of construction;
FIG. 3 illustrates, on a somewhat larger scale, one of the feet in the pallet, with portions of such foot broken awa FIG. 4 is a view looking at the base of the foot illustrated in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view, on an even larger scale, further illustrating how a foot is secured in place.
Referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 2, the pallet illustrated is a double deck, four-way entry pallet including a top deck or platform 10 upon which the load to be supported is deposited, multiple feet 12 anchored to the top deck and serving to support the top deck in an elevated position, and a lower deck or platform 14 secured to the bottom of feet 12. The pallet is referred to as a four-way entry pallet, since the distribution of the feet, as shown in FIG. 2, permits the usual tines or forks of a lift truck to be inserted under the upper deck with such moved inwardly from either of four sides of the pallet.
As indicated earlier, the pallet may be'constructed primarily of material such as fiberboard with such a construction resulting in a relatively lightweight, and economies in the production of the pallet. A construction such as might be utilized is perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 5, where portions of the upper deck or platform are shown in cross section. Referring to this FIG. the construction illustrated comprises a panel made up of a solid fiberboard sheet 16, and bonded to the underside of the sheet one sheet of doublewall corrugated fiberboard shown at 20. These various sheets normally are imperforate', and collectively constitute what is referred to herein as an upper layer in the platform or deck. Suitably bonded to the lower face of sheet 20 is another solid fiberboard sheet 22. This sheet, which formsthe underside of the platform, is apertured in a manner to be described, for the purpose of enabling the anchoring of feet to the platform. Sheet 22 is also referred to herein as a lower layer in the platform.
Considering now in more detail the construction of a foot, and referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, each comprises a hollow, conical frustum body 24 having an open top, as perhaps best illustrated by the edge 26 in FIG. 3 which defines such opening. The body is closed off at its bottom or base by a wall 28. Such body is preferably made of a light weight, stiff material, such as a polyethylene or polystyrene plastic. Such material is scuff and wear resistant, and has a limited degree of flexibility.
Integrally joined to the larger diameter or upper end of body 24, and equally circumferentially distributed about the bodys axis are multiple, arcuate, peripheral thread segments 30. These are carried radially outwardly on the body. In the particular embodiment of the invention herein described, as shown with reference to foot 12a in FIG. 2 which is shown in its entirety by reason of breaking away portions of the underside of deck 10 in FIG. 2, three of such are provided. Each resembles the thread segment shown in its entirety and in a larger scale in FIG. 4. Each thread segment takes the form of an arcuate flange or flange portion, the major portion 30a of which lies in a plane disposed normal to the axis of the body. This plane is common for all the thread segments. Each thread segment terminates in an inclined, partially freed lead end portion, represented by portion 30b shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Each inclined portion inclines axially outwardly of the larger diameter end of the body 24, and the lead ends of the three flange portions terminate in a common plane extending normal to the axis of body 24.
Formed along the side of body 24 are channel regions 36, with one being located between the trailing end 300 of a thread segment and the lead end 30b of a circumferentially adjacent thread segment. Each channel region terminates adjacent the larger diameter end of the hollow body in a skirt such as that shown at 38, which parallels major portions 30a of the segments but is spaced a slight distance axially inwardly on the body 24 from the larger diameter end of the body. Each skirt at one end joins with the trailing end of a thread segment which is immediately adjacent one end, through a shoulder 40 (see FIG. 3). The opposite end 41 of a skirt is unjoined.
Continuing with a description of a foot, wall 28 at the smaller diameter or lower end of body 24 is formed with a substantially cylindrically shaped recessed region or indent 42. As seen in FIG. 3, extending about the interior of the indent is an annular ridge 44.
A foot may be stiffened by including within the interior of its body 24 a core, such as the one shown at 46 in FIG.- 3 in dashed outline. The core may take the form of a winding of corrugated board, the winding having a hollow center48 whereby it may sit as shown in FIG. 3 with its lower end seated over the protrusion within the body formed by indent 42. The core when seated within the hollow body has atop face lying substantially in the plane of the tops of portions 30a of the thread segments and edge 26.
Considering again the panel forming the upper platform or deck in the pallet, and referring to FIG. 2, the lower layer in the panel, i.e., fiberboard sheet 22, is apertured in the region where a foot is to be anchored, by a cutout 50. As shown in FIG. 2, such includes arcuate sweeps 50a curving on. a common radius about point 51, and notched regions 50b. By the provision of such a cutout, between adjacent notched regions cir-' cumferentially spaced tabs 52 are formed. In the region of these tabs sheet 22 on the underside of the panel is left unjoined to the layer formed of sheets 16, 18 and 20.
- A foot is detachably anchored to the panel forming the upper deck in the pallet by placing the larger diameter end of the-body in the foot over cutout 50, with inclined lead end portions 30b disposed over notched regions 50b. The foot portion is also properly centered, by placing the axis of its body 24 over point 51 at the center of the cutout. Prior to placement of the foot, the stiffener, if it is to be used, may be properly seated within the interior of body 24. If the foot is then turned by twisting the body about its longitudinal axis, the thread segments are caused to be advanced under the tabs- 52. The lead end portions, by inclining outwardly beyond the plane of portions 300 facilitate initial movement of the thread segments under the tabs. Such movement is continued until skirts 38, which have substantially the outline of notched regions 50b, move into registry with these notched regions. On this occurring, shoulders 40 move up against edges 52a of the tabs, to limit further movement. Such shoulders, therefore, function as stop portions in the construction. At this time, edges 52b of the tabs are in approximately the plane of skirt ends 41 whereby they function to inhibit turning in the opposite direction.
With a foot detachably anchored as described, the top face of a core 46 snugly engages the under surface of inner sheet 20. In this way, when the stiffener core is used it provides additional support for a load.
In constructing a single deck pallet, i.e., one that includes only the top deck or platform 10, once the various feet have been anchored to the panel forming the platform the pallet is complete. To prepare a doubledeck pallet including lower deck or platform 14, another panel is secured to the bottom of the various feet, using fastener devices of the type illustrated in FIG. 3.
Referring to FIG. 3, lower deck 14 may take the form of a panel constructed of the same type of material as the panel making up upper deck 10. The panel is provided with a circular cutout 56 in the region of the panel which is to underlie indent 42 of a foot. Shown at 58 is a fastener plug, which may be made of the same material as body 24. The plug comprises a post portion 60 which is substantially cylindrical but slightly tapered, and a terminating flange 62 extending circumferentially about the base of the post portion. Such plug is inserted within the circular aperture, with the post extending therethrough and flange 62 coming up against the bottom face of the panel. The plug is insertable into indent 42, with the posting functioning as a detent when so inserted. To produce a faster grip, an annular groove, such as that shown at 64, may be provided about the post, which register with inner flange or ridge 44 about the interior of indent 42 with the parts in their finally seated position.
From the above, it should be apparent that a very unique pallet has been described, having a number of features and advantages. The same is really assembled from panels and separated feet, through a mechanical anchoring system wherein relative twisting produces interengagement of the parts. The pallet is versatile, being constructible either as a single or double-deck unit. The detachable feet provided are extremely durable, and well enabled to take heavy loading. The'pallet is susceptible of being manufactured from low cost materials, such as the fiberboard material described. The pallet is light, is easily decorated or painted, and can be made moisture resistant by treatment. Once assembled, it can be as easily disassembled with reverse twisting of the various feet. 1
Because the feet are formed of hollow, conical frustum bodies, which are open at the top ends, and because the thread segments or flanges are carried radially outwardly of the larger diameter ends of the bodies, the interior of the bodies are left unencumbered and multiple bodies may be readily stacked one within another in a nested relationship. This is also a contributing factor in space saving during storage periods.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been described, it is appreciated that changes and variations are possible. It is desired to cover all such modifications of the invention as would be apparent to one skilled in the art.
It is claimed and desired to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A pallet comprising a platform including at least two sheet layers lying against each other with one forming the underside of the platform, an aperture in said one layer defining tabs circumferentially distributed about a point on the pallet platform, and a detachable foot for the pallet including peripheral flange portions at one end thereof insertable under said tabs to hold the foot in place, said foot comprising a hollow conical frustum body and said peripheral flange portions being carried radially outwardly on the larger diameter end of said body, said body being open at its larger diameter end thus to accommodate nesting of multiple bodies, one within the other.
2. The pallet of claim 1, which further comprises another platform disposed against the smaller diameter end of said body in said foot, said foot includes an indent at its said smaller diameter end, and detent means on said other platform fits within said indent to secure said other platform to said foot.
3. The pallet of claim 1, wherein said foot further comprises a stiffener core mounted within said body which bears against the other layer in said platform, and the smaller diameter end of said body has a wall closing it off to retain the core within said body.
4. A pallet comprising a platform providing a worksupporting surface in the pallet and having an underside, and
feet adapted to be anchored to said plateform serving to elevate the platform during use of the pallet,
a foot in said pallet including a body having an axis which is normal to the platform with the foot in operative position, and thread means extending about said axis of said body, said thread means comprising multiple thread segments equally circumferentially distributed about the axis of the foot having lead ends terminating in a substantially common plane normal to said axis,
said platform including thread complementing means exposed on the underside thereof engageable with the thread means of the foot for the purpose of detachably securing the foot to the platform, said thread complementing means of the pallet platform comprising radially projecting tabs equally circumferentially distributed about a point on the underside of the platform engageable with the thread segments of a foot, said platform including portions overlying said tabs cooperating with said tabs in engaging sides of said segments.
5. The pallet of claim 1, wherein a foot includes stop portions interspersed with said thread segments limiting turning movement of the foot. 1
6. The pallet of claim 1, wherein the thread means in a foot comprises thread segments carried extemaily thereon and the complementing thread means of the pallet platform comprises tabs projecting radially inwardly and providing an internally engaging construction for said thread means of a' foot.
7. The pallet of claim 1, wherein the underside of the platform is formed by a sheet apertured to present said tabs.
8. The pallet of claim 1, wherein the platform comprises at least two sheet layers lying against each other, one forming the underside of the platform and such one layer being apertured to present said tabs, the other layer forming an abutment surface which the foot bears against.
9. A pallet comprising a platform including at least two sheet layers lying against each other with one forming the underside of the platform, an aperture in said one layer defining tabs circumferentially distributed about a point on the pallet platform, a detachable foot for the pallet including peripheral flange portions at one end thereof insertable under said tabs'to hold the foot in place, said foot comprising a hollow body and said flange portions extending radially outwardly of said body at said one end of the foot, said body being opened at said one end of the foot and the opposite end of said body forming the opposite end of the foot having a wall closing off said body, the foot further comprising a stiffener core mounted within said body which bears against the other layer in said platform and which is retained by said wall in said body, said wall having an indent and said core being recessed to receive the indent of said wall, and another platform disposed against said opposite end of said foot, said other platform having a detent which fits within said indent.