US 3738511 A
This invention relates to a container such as a railroad car or a truck having bottom hoppers for the discharge of loose bulk cargo which is equally usable for loose bulk cargo or pre-packaged stackable cargo. The conversion of the car from a form suitable for packaged cargo to one suitable for bulk cargo is accomplished through the incorporation of self-storing slope sheets or secondary floors for use with loose cargo and the incorporation of hinged covers for use over the hoppers when the car is being used for packaged bulk cargo. The self-storing slope sheets are secured in position against an end wall or adjacent the ceiling during the hauling of packaged cargo and are against an end wall for the hauling of loose cargo. The slope sheets are moved to a position where they form a continuous sloped floor to the hopper during the unloading of the loose bulk cargo sweeping the contents to the hopper. The use of the self-storing slope sheets enables the car to be filled to its entirety when both packaged and loose cargo is being transported.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Lemon et al.
[ CONVERTIBLE RAILWAY HOPPER CAR  Inventors: Lucien W. Lemon, Renton; Kristjan H. Palsson, Seattle, both of Wash.
 Assignee: Pacific Car and Foundry Company,
22 Filed: Mar. 12,1971
21 Appl. No.: 123,692
 US. Cl. 214/82, 62/39, 105/243,
 Int. Cl 860d 1/56, B6ld 3/06, B61d 7/32  Field of Search 62/39; 105/243, 280;
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Great Britain 105/243 June 12, 1973 Primary Examiner-Gerald M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner-Howard Beltran Attorney-Seed, Berry, Dowrey & Cross [5 7] ABSTRACT This invention relates to a container such as a railroad car or a truck having bottom hoppers for the discharge of loose bulk cargo which is equally usable for loose bulk cargo or pre-packaged stackable cargo. The conversion of the car from a form suitable for packaged cargo to one suitable for bulk cargo is accomplished through the incorporation of self-storing slope sheets or secondary floors for use with loose cargo and the incorporation of hinged covers for use over the hoppers wen the car is being used for packaged bulk cargo. The selfstoring slope sheets are secured in position against an end wall or adjacent the ceiling during the hauling of packaged cargo and are against an end wall for the hauling of loose cargo. The slope sheets are moved to a position where they form a continuous sloped floor to the hopper during the unloading of the loose bulk cargo sweeping the contents to the hopper. The use of the self-storing slope sheets enables the car to be filled to its entirety when both packaged and loose cargo is being transported.
10 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures PATENIEBJIN I 2515 FHGOZ FIG 3 INVENTORS. LUCIEN W. LEMON KRISTJAN H.PALSSON FATHER- 3.738.511
O O o O O l4 32 5 l I NVENTORS. LUCIE" W. LEMON BY KRIST'J AN PALSSON ATTORNEYS PAIENIEB JUN I 3 SlEEI'SIFS FIG, I 8
INVENTORS LUCIEN W. LEMON BY KRISTJAN H. PALSSON g 5 9 I M A ATTORNEYS PAIENIEU 3.738.511
SHEEI 5 0F 5 FIG 1L3 ENTORS 3 LUCIEN LEMON BY KRISTJAN H. PALSSON ATTORNEYS CONVERTIBLE RAILWAY HOPPER CAR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In view of the major investment made in a railroad car or other cargo carrier and the capital thereby tied up, it is inherently desirable to utilize this vehicle to the utmost. In the past there have been special cars for the hauling ofloose bulk materials, special cars for the handling of packaged bulk materials as well as special cars for the handling of items which need refrigeration as opposed to those which do not need refrigeration. In the event that one of the specialized cars was off loaded at a depot whereat there was no specialized return cargo available the car has either stood around unused until a suitable return cargo was accumulated or alternatively the carrier returned or was removed to another point in an empty condition. Either disposition of the car being wasteful of economy and prohibitorily expenslve.
In the past there have been many attempts to build a railroad car or like vehicle which is convertible from a form suitable for use in hauling pre-packaged goods to one suitable for use in hauling loose bulk goods. Historically, the conversion has involved placing secondary walls, floors or slope sheets within a boxcar having hoppers such that the loose bulk goods can be emptied by gravity through the hoppers in the bottom of the vehicle. The use of secondary walls, floors and or slope sheets has inherently reduced the capacity of the vehicle in that they generally extend from a position on the floor of the car adjacent the hopper opening to a position at the top of the car or near thereto and extend at an angle to the floor and walls thus removing the entire lower corner of the vehicle from use for transporting the cargo.
Vehicles of the type hereinabove described are illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 3,087,759 granted Apr. 30, 1963 to A. .I. Worchester; U.S. Pat. No. 3,413,032 granted Nov. 26, 1968 to J. W. Denbe; and U.S. Pat. No. 183,334 granted Oct. 17, 1876 to E. D. Shaffer.
With the above noted problems and prior solutions in mind it is an object of the present invention to provide a vehicle which may quickly and easily be converted from a form suitable for use for handling pre-packaged material to one which is suitable for use in handling loose bulk materials and yet allow full use of the interior of the vehicle.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a vehicle which has a capability of carrying a full load whether the vehicle is used for loose bulk material or packaged goods and includes as an integral part of the vehicle the equipment required to convert the car from one to the other.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a vehicle wherein a self storing slope sheet is included within the vehicle and this slope sheet, which is stored against the ceiling of the vehicle when hauling packaged goods, is used to assist in unloading loose bulk material by a sweeping action along the floor. When the slope sheet has its lower edge adjacent the edge of a hopper, it presents a sloping surface guiding the loose bulk materials towards the hopper through which the vehicle is being unloaded.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a vehicle which will provide an adequate and continuous, uniform circulation of conditioned air in and throughout the contents of the vehicle whether the contents be bulk in form or packaged.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a vehicle which is suitable for use as a refrigerated vehicle in that the entire vehicle including the unloading hoppers and their closures are insulated to assist in maintaining the vehicle at a proper predetermined temperature and to assure uniform cargo tem perature throughout the vehicle.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a vehicle wherein the design of the interior of the car permits circulation of conditioned air throughout the entire car.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the subject railroad car with the slope sheets in the position they would occupy during transport of bulk cargo.
FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the subject railroad car with one of the slope sheets in the position it would assume for discharge of bulk material and further showing a means for carrying the bulk material from the car following discharge from the car.
FIG. 3 is a partial isometric of the subject railroad car showing one possible means of loading bulk cargo into the car whereby a full load can be assured.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the subject car in a partially discharged condition showing the use of one of the slope sheets.
FIG. 5 is an isometric view partially broekn away showing one means for moving the slope sheet to the discharge position and detailing one possible method of covering the hopper opening when it is desired to use the car for pre-packaged cargo.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of a means of moving the slope sheet from the discharge position to a position adjacent an end wall and further detailing the preferred means of moving the slope sheet to the discharge posi- I tion.
FIG. 7 is a schematic showing another possible means for moving the slope sheet to the discharge position.
FIG. 8 is an end view of the subject car partially broken away, showing the relationship of the various elements.
FIG. 9 is a schematic view showing the various positions obtainable with the preferred slope sheet construction and another method of returning the slope sheet to its stored position.
FIG. 10 is a section through the hopper of the subject car showing in detail the construction, including the insulation, of said hopper.
FIG. 11 is an enlarged detail portion of the hopper showing the means for opening and closing of the bottom closure of the hoppers.
FIG. 12 is an isometric section of the subject vehicle showing details of the interior.
FIG. 13 is an isometric partially broken away of the subject vehicle showing the flow of cooling air.
FIG. 14 is a section through a hopper portion of the car more particularly showing the air flow.
FIG. 15 is a section through a rear hopper portion of the car more particularly showing the air flow.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 the preferred embodiment of the convertible cargo carrier is shown as a railroad car and is standard to the extent that it has a plurality of wheels 2 that ride upon tracks 4 and has generally elongated exterior shell 6 including coupling devices 8 and a section 10 at the end of the vehicle for air conditioning equipment. The car has a conventional sliding door 12 on each side of the car for universal access. The exterior of the car is likewise of a known configuration in that it includes a plurality of hoppers 14, 15, 16 extending from the bottom portion thereof. Whereas it is known to have hoppers to assist in unloading vehicles when they are used for hauling bulk cargo, specific structural details of these hoppers will be pointed out hereinafter.
The interior of the illustrative car is modified by the inclusion of a channel member 20 which extends, at a level generally below the level of the floor of the car, between the outer extremes of the hoppers. Likewise the interior of the conventional car is modified by the inclusion of a hinged slope sheet or false floor 22 having a lower portion 21 and an upper portion 23 to be described in greater detail hereinafter. Suffice it to say at this point that the slope sheet 22 is readily movable from the position shown in FIG. 1, which is the position which would allow the maximum utility of the carrier when carrying bulk cargo, to that shown as the unload position in the righthand portion of FIG. 2 as well as enabling ready movement to a stored position, hereinafter described. As shown in FIG. 1, and mentioned above, the preferred embodiment of the present invention includes three discharge hoppers on the bottom of the vehicle but it is not intended that the application be so restricted since it is equally feasible that the same modus operandi be used with either one, two or even more discharge hoppers if such were desired.
As can be seen in FIG. 3 the door 12 in the preferred embodiment has been modififed to include a trap door or auxiliary opening 13 in the upper portion thereof for ease in fully loading the car with bulk material. As can be seen in the Fig. the opening 13 is utilized by a conveyor 30 which carries bulk cargo, such as potatoes, from a central discharge point into the interior of the vehicle at which point it can be moved, either automatically or manually, to the extremes of the car thus enabling the entire vehicle to be filled with bulk cargo. Following the filling of the car, the opening 12 is closed by a door 31 (FIG. 4) resulting in a substantially airtight container.
Referring now to FIG. 4 which depicts the convertible car during the discharge operation it can be seen that the central hopper 14 is shown in an open position and the bulk cargo which normally would be carried in a position above the hopper has been withdrawn and removed. Likewise shown in FIG. 4 is a hopper 14 (to the left) with the discharge door open and including a conveyor 32 to carry the cargo away from the car as it is discharged from the vehicle. It is to be noted at this point that slope sheet 22 at the left end of the vehicle has been moved to a position intermediate the end wall and the edge of hopper 14 urging all of the material in that end of the car toward the open hopper. The righthand hopper 16 as seen in FIG. 4 is shown in closed condition and the slope sheet 22 shown in the position it occupies during transport of bulk cargo. Following the completion of the emptying of the cargo located in the left hand of the car through hopper 14 the cover for the hopper 16 will be opened and the remainder of the cargo discharged.
It is to be understood that the unloading of the cargo is not limited to the sequence as described heretofore but depending upon the unloading facilities, including storage accessability, one, two or all of the hoppers may be opened and used to unload the vehicle simultaneously. Both ends of the car will be swept by the respective slope sheet thus completely emptying the car through the hoppers and yet allowing the full use of the interior of the car during transport.
As can be seen in FIG. 5, one possible mechanism for moving the slope sheet 22 from a position adjacent the end of the car as shown in FIG. 1 to that where it assists in unloading the vehicle, i.e., its lower end adjacent the upper lip of a hopper, comprises a winch 40 having a drum 41 which includes a gear 42 secured to one end thereof. In mesh with the gear 42 is a gear 44 mounted upon a shaft 46 which is journaled in a plate 43 at an end and in a trunion 45 at the other. Shaft 46 is adapted to be driven by a portable motor 48 which can be either gas or electrically powered. For convenience the driving motor 48 is mounted upon a dolley 50 having a main frame 49 and a movable frame 51 which is adjustable in height to accommodate differences in the relative distance between the shaft 46 and the supporting ground.
It is to be noted that another gear 52 in mesh with gear 44 is mounted upon a shaft 54 which is journaled in plate to the other side of the vehicle through trunion 61. The inclusion of the secondary drive means permits the use of the sweeping action of the slope sheets from either side of the vehicle without any alteration thus eliminating loss of time in moving the motor 48 or the like. The channel member 20, hereinabove described, shields the cable and prevents the bulk material from being damaged by the cable and further, prevents the cargo from becoming lodged within the winch 40 as it winds cable 41. Cable 41 from the winch 40 extends to the end of the hopper within the channel 20 and then extends to the end of the car beneath the floor and is attached to the bottom of slope sheet 22.
When it is desirable to unload the car the motor 48 is connected to the shaft 46 or the shaft 54 and the winch 40 driven, thus winding the cable and pulling the bottom portion of the slope sheet 22 towards the edge of the hopper. As the slope sheet is moved toward the edge of the hopper it slides along the floor, moving all the material toward the hopper which is open for unloading. As the bottom of the slope sheet moves toward the open hopper, the surface presented to the bulk cargo presents a sloping surface thus further urging the cargo to move, as a result of the gravitation force, toward the open hopper.
Hinged cover 56, shown in the open position in FIG. 5, is secured in the open position when the vehicle is used to haul bulk cargo, allowing total access to the hopper for discharge. Hatch cover 56 is constructed such that when pivoted to the closed position it serves as a part of the floor of the car, presenting a uniform upper surface for stacking of packaged goods as well as the entry and exit of wheeled vehicles to load or unloadv the car.
Referring now in particular to FIGS. 6 and 7 it can be seen that there are at least two distinct methods of moving the slope sheets from a position against the end of the car as described hereinabove and the position whereat the slope sheet provides a continuous sloping surface to the hopper likewise described hereinabove.
FIG. 6 may be most easily read in conjunction with FIG. 5 which likewise shows a winch 40 adapted to wind a cable 41 which has its other end attached to the bottom portion of the slope sheet 22. As hereinabove described with reference to FIG. 5, a pair of driving gears 44, 52 are in mesh with a gear 42 mounted to the end of the winch drum 41 and provide the power necessary to wind the cable and thus pull the slope sheet to the discharge position. It should be noted and hereinafter pointed out specifically that the upper surface of the floor of the car is generally above the channel member thus offering further protection for the cable and winding mechanism and likewise as to be noted hereinafter providing extra space for the movement of cooling air through the vehicle. Although FIG. 6 has portions removed for clarity it can be seen that the winch 40 and the associated driving mechanism is located generally between discharge hoppers and the cable 41 extends through channel 20 to terminate at the bottom of slope sheet 22. Channel 20 is located beneath the floor level and terminates adjacent the edge of a hopper such that when the slope sheet is in its extended or discharge position it will abut the end of channel 20 and will present an essentially smooth surface to the cargo being discharged. Since the channel 20 terminates adjacent the hopper it is impossible for the slope sheet 22 to move beyond that point since the cable is contained within the channel and the slope sheet will not pass through the channel. To prevent damage to the vehicle or attachments, the vehicle will be provided with a limit switch or the like to automatically terminate movement of the slope sheet at the edge of the hopper or alternatively to signal the operator that it is necessary to terminate movement.
For convenience and ease of use, the bottom portion of the slope sheet 22 may be provided with suitable guides or equipped with permanent lubricant such as Teflon to assist in the movement of the sheet along the floor of the vehicle. Slope sheet 22 has a return mechanism secured to the face opposite the cable 41. One possible return mechanism consists of a second cable 70 adapted to be wound on a hand winch 72 which will pull the slope sheet to a position adjacent the end wall. Slope sheet 22 may well be provided with a locking pin 74 for securing the sheet against the end wall when the vehicle is being used for packaged cargo or when the vehicle is being transported in an empty condition.
It is to be remembered that when the slope sheet is moved from the position adjacent the end wall to the discharge positions it will in essence be sweeping the bottom portion of the vehicle thus moving agreat deal of weight. Because of the volume of cargo moved it is necessary to provide a power source to move the slope sheet to this position.
As an alternate to the method of moving the slope sheet as shown in FIG. 7 and described hereinabove there is schematically shown in FIG. 7 another method of moving the sheet wherein there is a worm 80 and a nut 82. The worm is powered and the nut is secured to the slope sheet enabling the worm to drive the slope sheet from a position adjacent the end wall to discharge position. The use of the worm and nut enables the same mechanism to be used to return the sheet to the position adjacent the end wall by simply reversing the direction of rotation of the worm.
A picture of the relative positions of the various elements hereinbefore described can be had with reference to FIG. 8 which clearly depicts a pair of main frame members F that underlie and support the entire vehicle. Mounted between the frame members are a plurality of cross members 84 which are a part of the standard under carriage for a railroad car. A plurality of hoppers I-I extend down below the floor and between the cross members. The hoppers are closed by a cover member described in greater detail hereinafter. Extending upwardly from the frame members F are the walls W, and the outer shell is completed by means of a roof R. Channel 20 described hereinabove and which serves to protect the cable in the preferred embodiment is mounted above the cross member 84. Above the channel 20 is the load supporting floor 86 having lateral supports and longitudinal floor slats 87. As seen in the lefthand portion of the Fig. the floor area above the hopper will be pivoted upwardly about elongated pin 83 and secured against the side wall by any appropriate means when it is desirable to carry bulk merchandise which will be discharged through the hopper. When it is the desire of the transporter to use the vehicle or packaged merchandise the floor area above the hopper will be pivoted back to the position shown in the right hand side of the Fig. where the upper surface of the floor slats 87 will coincide with the upper surface of the remainder of the floor of the car. As can be seen in this view the bottom most portion 21 of the slope sheet 22 is located in a position above the floor board whereat it can be moved by means of cable 41 without interfering with the floor boards. The upper portion 23 of the slope sheet 22 includes a pair of fixed pins 88 hingedly mounting the top edge of the slope sheet 22 to the walls of the car. A passage for the circulation of conditioned air is provided adjacent the top of the vehicle and generally above the uppermost portion of the slope 23 such that the slope sheet does not interfere with air circulation in any of its possible positions.
Reference now being had to FIG. 9, an alternative method of returning the slope sheet to a position adjacent the end wall and eventually to the stored position is shown in conjunction with a schematic showing of the various positions which the slope sheet will assume. The slope sheet 22 is shown in solid lines in the position against the end wall, the position it will have during transport of bulk material. When the slope sheet is moved forwardly to discharge the contents of the car it will pivot about its upper edge to the position denoted as A and will wind the torsion spring 99. When the vehicle is completely discharged and it is desirable to move the slope sheet back against the wall, the lowermost portion of portion 21 of the slope sheet 22 is released and the torsion spring will return the upper portion to the position shown in solid lines and thus the lower portion 21 will pivot about hinge 19 to again rest against the end wall. If it is desirable to use the vehicle for packaged goods the lower portion 21 of slope sheet 22 will be raised to its stored position adjacent the top of the vehicle as indicated at B. It is to be noted that it is well within the scope of this invention that the slope sheet will be provided with locking pins such as that shown at 89 in FIG. 8 enabling the sheet to be secured at the stored position, in a position against the end wall, and if so desired at the discharged position. It is to be understood that although the car is designedsuch that acquire, the car may be used as a conventional hopper car with the slope sheets in the discharge (A) position.
The details of the hopper mechanism can be seen in FIGS. 10 and 11 wherein the section for FIG. 10 is generally longitudinally of the car. The hopper has smooth sloping side plates 100 having a plurality of reinforcing members 102 coexistant therewith. The reinforcing members 102 extend in a sloping vertical direction out-- side the smooth surface 100 and extend-from approximately the bottom most portion of the interior hopper skin 100 to the point adjacent the uppermost portion where it is bolted to the underframe 104 of the vehicle itself. The uppermost portion of the reinforcing members 102 are secured together by means of a peripheral reinforcing member 106 and the lowermost portion of the reinforcing members 102 are secured together by a peripheral frame member 108. As can be seen in the Fig., the hinged cove rs 86 comprising the rigid supports 85 and the floor boards 87 are shown in their closed position. It is to be noted that when the hinged covers are in their closed position the upper surface coincides with the remainder of the floor of the vehicle such that there is a smooth surface for stacking the packaged goods to be carried. Referring now to FIG. 13 wherein the closure is shown in greater detail it can be seen that the closure comprises a plate 120 which serves to actually close the bottom of the hopper and rides upon the upper portion of the channel member 22 forming part of frame 108 and which likewise serves as a track for the wheels hereinafter described. It can be seen in this Fig. that the channel member 122 is formed as an integral part of a terminating element for the hopper itself. The terminating element 124 is secured by welding or the like to the slope sheet 100.
As can be seen, the entire surface of the hopper is insulated, the sides as at 140 and the cover as at 142. It is to be noted that the insulation 142 is an integral part of the hopper cover such that when the hopper is closed it is simultaneously insulated. The provision of a turned back lip 144 which is insulated and adapted to interlock with the hopper construction as well as the interlocking sides prevents air passage assuring constant temperature within the car. The cover for the hopper will be subjected to a fair amount of weight when the car is loaded and thus requires substantial force to open it to allow discharge of the contents. Provision is made for opening the cover by means of rack 150 and pinion 152 but the cover could be opened by any one of a number of conventional methods.
The construction of the interior of the car'aids in the circulation of air as well as providing the necessary strength and convenience required. As can be seen in FIG. 12, the hollow member 90 extends the length of the vehicle and is above slope sheet 22. The lower portion of 90 is perforated to allow conditioned air forced through the member to pass outwardly to the interior of the vehicle. The side walls of the vehicle have a corrugated surface allowing unhindered vertical movement of air along the surface. The upper surface of the floor is similarly corrugated to permit unrestricted flow of air longitudinally of the vehicle beneath the cargo thus assuring the maintenance of a uniform temperature throughout the entire vehicle. Channels 160 along the lower corners further assist in guiding the air through the desired flow pattern. The general pattern of the circulating air can be seen in FIG. 13 wherein blower 160 forces air through the passage 90 which has perforations therein allowing the cool air to fall to the cargo space. When the air reaches the end wall 162 opposite blower it follows the wall downwardly behind the slope sheet, to the floor where it is returned between the floor boards to be cooled again and recycled. The air which leaves the passageway intermediate the ends circulates downwardly through the cargo to the floor at which point it will follow the floor corrugations to be recycled. The air adjacent the side walls, having been heated by contact with this exterior surface rises to the ceiling whereat it joins the cooled air being circulated and falls to be recycled and recooled.
Blower 160 draws the air from behind the slope sheet, thus from the bottom of the vehicle, thus it can be seen that the continual circulation of air causes the cooling effect to be uniform throughout the car. Sections l2l2 and 14-14 depict the air circulation along the other dimension wherein as in FIG. 13 the cool air falls at approximately the center of the car, proceeds to the bottom of the hopper, returns upwardly beneath channels 162 at the upper edge of the hopper to the outside walls where it continues upwardly along the wall to be recirculated. FIG. 14 which is a cross section adjacent the hopper shows that the cooled air falling in this portion will fall through the cargo and follow the floor boards to be recirculated as described above.
As can be seen, the subject vehicle provides a means for using the entire interior of the vehicle whether used for bulk material or packaged goods. The movable slope sheet allows rapid discharge of the bulk goods without sacrifice of interior space and the location of the various elements allows efficient circulation of cooling air which remains within the vehicle because of the complete insulation.
The embodiments of the invention in which a particular property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A convertible covered hopper car; including upstanding vertical outer end and side walls, a floor,a ceiling and at least one discharge hopper provided in the floor, the improvement comprising: sectional slope sheet means pivotally secured adjacent the ceiling movable from a retracted position with a first section adjacent said outer end walls and a second section adjacent said ceiling to an extended sloping position, said slope sheet means having a lower edge moveable along the floor toward the hopper until the lower edge is adjacent the edge of the hopper as the slope sheet is extended, and means shielded from the interior of the car for moving the slope sheets to the extended position whereby the material may be swept to the edge of the hopper by the slope sheet during the movement to the extended position.
2. A vehicle of claim 1 wherein said moving means for said slope means includes power transmission means directly connected to the bottom of said slope sheet and a drive means independent of said vehicle but selectively engageable with said drive means for use with different vehicles.
3. The vehicle of claim 1 wherein said slope sheet means has the second section pivotally mounted to the side walls adjacent to top thereof and the first section pivotally joined to the lower edge of said second section for movement with said second section as a unit from the retracted position wherein said second section is generally parallel to the floor and said first section is generally vertical, to an extended position wherein the sections form a generally continuous co-planer surface from the hopper upwardly and outwardly to a line inboard from its respective end wall, adjacent the roof whereby all material within the vehicle is either pushed toward the hopper or flows by gravitational force to the hopper.
4. The vehicle of claim 3 including bearing means on the lower edge to said first section for sliding along the floor, means for retracting upper and lower sections and means for locking the slope sheet means in retracted position, said moving means for said slope sheet means including cable secured to lower edge and adapted to be wrapped around a winch drum located generally centrally of the adjacent end of the vehicle, transmission means coupled to said winch drum having a coupler extending outwardly of the vehicle and an independent power drive means selectively engagble with 'said coupler and completely removable from said coupler and said vehicle whereby a single drive means may be used for different vehicles.
5. A vehicle as in claim 1 wherein the slope sheet means is moved from the stored position to the discharge position by means of a worm and a nut.
6. A material handling vehicle capable of carrying bulk material to be discharged through an opening at the bottom of the vehicle and packaged material to be loaded and unloaded through side doors; comprising an exterior shell having a top, bottom, side and end walls, at least one of said side walls having a scalable opening therein and at least one opening at the bottom, discharge means mounted inside the shell movable from a first position adjacent the end wall bearing the bottom substantially free of obstruction to a second sloping position overlying the bottom and having the lowermost edge adjacent the bottom opening to assist in unloading the vehicle through the bottom opening; said discharge means comprising a substantially planer element serving as the interior end wall, occupying the first position during the transportation of the goods, whereby the vehicle has a substantially larger carrying capacity using the entire interior of the shell and as the discharge means moves from the first position to the second position the material is swept to the discharge opening, means for moving the discharge means from the stored position to the discharge position, and means for moving discharge means back to the stored positron.
7. A vehicle as in claim 6 wherein the discharge means comprises a rigid sheet pivotally mounted to the upper portions of the vehicle.
8. A vehicle as in claim 6 wherein the discharge means comprises a pair of rigid flat members hingedly secured together, one of said members being hingedly secured to the upper portion of the vehicle whereby the means can be stored with one member adjacent the ceiling and the other member adjacent the end wall.
9. A vehicle as in claim 6 wherein a discharge means is mounted adjacent each end of the car and when in the discharge position said means present a surface continuously urging the bulk material to the edge of the bottom opening whereby substantially all of the material may be discharged by gravity.
10. A vehicle as in claim 6 wherein the opening in the bottom of the vehicle comprises at least one hopper having a top cover which is open when the vehicle is used as a bulk carrier and closed when the vehicle is used to transport packaged goods.