US 3740815 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
0 United States Patent 1 3,740,815 Campbell et al. 1 June 26, 1973 PALLET STRINGER FULLER  References Cited  Inventors: Thomas G. Campbell, 9253 Garland 7 UNITED STATES PATENTS Drive, Savannah, Ga. 31406; James 2,593,843 4 1952 Cannon 29 200 D x A. Purvis, Savannah, Ga. 3,512,242 5/1970 Harvis 29/252  Assrgnee: igigrgstlmpbell, by said Purvls, a part a y xgm fThqqgsfi ag I v A ttorney-Clarence A. OBrien and Harvey B.  Filed: Sept. 13, 1971 Jacobson  Appl. No.: 179,639  'ABSTR'ACT An assemblage for totally or partially dismantling the  US. Cl. 29/200 D, 29/252 deck boards and/or runners of conventional wooden  Int. Cl 823p 19/00 pallets whereby the deck board or runners, when dam-  Field of Search 29/200 D, 200 R, aged, may be replaced to renew the strength and life of a wooden pallet.
12 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Pmmznm 3.740.815
Thomas 6. Campbell James A. Purw's INVENTORS BY WWW PALLET STRINGER PULLER In many instances after one or more deck boards or a runner of a wooden pallet are broken, cracked or be come rotted the pallet is completely disassembled and discarded. On the other hand, it is possible that some of the deck boards or the runners or stringers of the pallet that is damaged may be in substantial new condition and in such instances these undamaged components of the pallet may be saved and utilized in the construction of new pallets.
However, the complete dismantling of wooden pallets, either for the purpose of discarding all of the pallet components or saving those components worthwhile saving and constructing new pallets, consumes considerable time and in the former instance represents a reasonable economic loss.
The machine of the instant invention has been specifically designed to enable one or more stringers or runners of damaged pallets to be easily replaced with a minimum of effort and consumption of time. The machine may also be utilized in removing all or certain of the deck boards on one side of the pallet for replacement, if desired.
The main object of this invention is to provide a machine which will be capable of removing the upper and lower deck boards of a pallet from anchored relationship relative to a damaged stringer of the pallet and with the adjacent portions of the upper and lower deck boards spread apart so as to enable a new pallet stringer to be inserted in its proper position and subsequently secured therein.
Another object of this invention is to provide a machine which will becapable of removing broken or otherwise damaged stringers or runners from wooden nailed shipping and warehouse pallets of all sizes without damaging the deck boards of the pallets for the purpose of replacing the stringers or runners and thereby reclaiming the damaged pallets at a minimum of cost.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a pallet stringer or runner puller constructed in a manner enabling its operation by a single workman.
A final object of this invention to be specifically enumerated herein is to provide a pallet stringer puller which will conform to conventional forms of manufacture, be of simple construction and easy to use so as to provide a device that will be economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become'subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the pallet stringer puller;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the pallet stringer puller as seen from the left side of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are fragmentary longitudinal vertical sectional views of the pallet stringer puller illustrating the components thereof downwardly displacing one side stringer of a pallet and the adjacent ends of the lower deck boards of the pallet in FIG. 3 so as to remove the side stringer from the corresponding ends of the upper deck boards and with a side stringer and the adjacent ends of the upper deck boards being upwardly displaced relative to the corresponding ends of the lower deck boards in FIG. 4;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the left side of the pallet stringer puller with portions broken away and illustrating an alternate position of the retractible supports for the ends of the pallet supporting tines over which the pallets are telescoped;
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view of the electrical and hydraulic circuitry of the pallet stringer puller; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a conventional nailed wooden pallet.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates a conventional nailed wooded pallet including transversely spaced opposite side wooden stringers or runners 12 and 14 as well as a central intermediate runner or stringer 16 disposed between the runners 12 and 14. The pallets 10 further include upper decking boards 18 which are disposed in slightly transversely spaced relation and nailed to the upper edges of the runners 12, 14 and 16. In addition, the pallet 10 includes lower decking boards 20 corresponding to the upper decking boards 18 and which are nailed to the under edges of the runners 12, 14 and 16.
With reference now more specifically to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawings, it may be seen that the pallet stringer puller of the instant invention is referred to in general by the reference numeral 24. The stringer puller 24 includes an upstanding frame 26 including four corner uprights 28 interconnected at their upper ends by means of opposite side longitudinal track members 30 and by an upper forward transverse member 32. Further, a rear transverse member 34 extends between the rear uprights 28.
A pair of opposite side front to rear extending brace members 36 and 38 are secured between the midportions of the corresponding corner uprights 28 and three channel shaped tines or arms 40, 42 and 44 have one pair of corresponding ends thereof supported from the brace member 36 with the tines extending toward the opposite side of the puller 24 and disposed above the brace member 36, in spaced relation relative thereto. The tines 40, 42 and 44 are laterally spaced apart longitudinally of the pallet stringer puller 12 and a pair of front and rear journal blocks 46 are supported from the left side front and rear uprights 28 and journal the opposite ends of an operating shaft 48 extending therebetween. The front end of the operating shaft 48 has an operating handle or lever 50 secured thereto and the portion of the shaft 48 disposed between the journal blocks 46 has a radial abutment flange 52 secured thereto.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIGS. 1 and 5 of the drawings, it may be seen that the abutment flange 52 may be pivoted between an upstanding position with the free edge portion thereof abuttingly engaging the undersurface portions of the free ends of the tines 40, 42 and 44 and a horizontal position such as that illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings with the free ends of the tines 40, 42 and 44 unsupported and there fore free to have a pallet such as the pallet 10 telescoped thereover with the remote tines 40 and 44 received just inwardly of the inner surfaces of the opposite side runners 12 and 14 and the tine 42 received between the runners 14 and 16 closely adjacent the runner 16, see FIGS. 3 and 4.
With attention again directed to FIG. 5, it may be seen that the under surface portions of the operating shaft 48 are disposed for abutting engagement with transversely extending front to rear spaced panels 54 supported from and extending between the brace members 36 and 38, see also FIGS. 3 and 4.
The forward corner uprights 28 include lower end rearwardly projecting support members 56 between which a forward lower transverse member 58 extends. A pair of hydraulic cylinders 60 are supported from and project upwardly above the transverse member 58 and have their upper extendable ends secured to a forward transverse vertically shiftable head 62 whose opposite ends include guide sleeves 64 slidingly engaged with vertical upstanding guide posts 66 carried by the opposite ends of the transverse member 58.
A pair of opposite end upwardly projecting journals 68 are carried by the opposite ends of the transversely extending head 62 and a center journal 70 aligned with the journals 68 is also supported from the head 62. A shaft 72 has its opposite end and center portions journailed from the journals 68 and 70 and shaft 72 includes longitudinally spaced radially outwardly extending pressure prongs 74 whose inner ends are supported from collars 76 shiftable along the shaft 72 and whose outer ends are interconnected by means of a guide rod 78 slidably extending therethrough. Accordingly, the pressure prongs may be simultaneously angularly displaced by swinging movement of the guide rod 78 and may be adjusted along the shaft 72 and relative to the guide rod 78 as desired.
The tine 40 is rigidly anchored to the brace member 36 and the tines 42 and 44 each include base end downwardly opening U-shaped slides 80, see FIG. 1, by which the tines 42 and 44 have their base ends supported from an upstanding flange 82 supported from the brace member 36 and extending between the right side corner upright 28. Accordingly, each of the tines 42 and 44 may be shifted relative to the tine 40 and it may also be seen from a comparison of FIGS. 1 and 2 that the left hand forward corner upright 28 includes a rearwardly projecting mounting portion 82 from which a depending abutment flange 84 is swingably supported as at 86. The flange 84 is of the free swinging type and its lower marginal edge closely overlies the upper surface of the free end of the tine 40 so as to brace the free end of the tine 40 against upward displacement whereas the flange 52 braces the free ends of all of the tines 40, 42 and 44 against downward displacement when the flange 52 is the upstanding vertical position thereof illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, it may be seen that the pressure prongs 74 include right angle notches 90 formed in their free ends adapted to engage the longitudinally spaced under surface portions of the runner 12 with which the pressure prongs 74 are registered when the latter are in their upright positions illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings and the pallet is supported from the prongs 40, 42 and 44. The specific operation of the pressure prongs 74 will be hereinafter more fully set forth.
With reference now more specifically to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, it will be seen that a transverse carriage beam 92 is provided and includes opposite end trolley assemblies 94 rollingly engaged with the lower flanges of the opposite side front to rear extending track members 30. The opposite ends of the beam 92 include front to rear extending cross heads 94 from whose opposite ends front and rear depending opposite side supports 96 are supported and the front and rear supports are interconnected at their lower ends by means of connecting pipes 98 extending and secured therebetween. Further, the opposite ends of the beam 92 include depending guide posts 100 and an upper head 102 similar to the head 62 is provided and includes opposite end guide sleeves 104 slidingly engaged with the guide posts 100 for vertical movement therealong. Also, a pair of fluid motors 106 corresponding to the fluid motor 60 have their upper ends supported from longitudinally spaced portions of the beam 92 and their lower extendable ends anchored to longitudinally spaced portions of the head 102. Accordingly, both the heads 62 and 102 may be vertically shifted, as desired, and are guidingly supported for vertical movement.
The opposite ends of the head 102 are provided with journals 108 corresponding to the journals 68 and a shaft 110 similar to the shaft 72 is supported from the journals 108. Additionally, a plurality of depending pressure prongs 112 are journalled from the shaft 100 and slidable therealong and include journal portions 1 14 through which longitudinally spaced portions of an operating shaft 116 are journalled. The operating shaft 116 includes a central radially outwardly projecting actuating lever 118 and U-shaped cradle 120 is supported from the mid-portion of the head 102 on the front side thereof and the actuating lever 1 18 is captive within the U-shaped cradle 120.
With reference now more specifically to FIG. 6 of the drawings, the numeral 120 generally designates a combined motor and fluid pump to which electrical current is supplied through conductors 122 and 124. The motor and fluid pump 120 includes an oil reservoir 126 and a four-way valve 128 which is electrically controlled. The four-way valve includes a pair of outlet pipes 130 and 132 and the outlet pipe 130 extends to the lower cylinders 60 via a pair of electrIcally actuated solenoid valves 134 and 136 controlled by mercurytype level switches 138 and 140, respectively, supported from the head 62. The outlet pipe 130 is also communicated with the upper cylinders 106 through two-way solenoid valves 138 and 140 controlled by mercury-type level switches 142 and 144 supported from the head 102 and the outlet pipe 132 is communicated with the lower ends of the top cylinders 106 and also the inlet for the oil reservoir 126 through a twoway solenoid valve 146.
A start-stop switch 148 is electrically connected to the four-way valve 128 by means of conductors 150 and 152 and also electrically connected to the top pressure push button switch 154, bottom retract push but ton switch 156, bottom pressure push button switch 158 and top pressure push button switch 160. Accordingly, the entire electrical system, and thus hydraulic system, is controlled by the switch 148 and the upper cylindersrmay be extended by pushing the push button switch 160 and retracted by pushing the push button switch 154. Further, the lower cylinders 60 may be extended by pushing the push button 158 and retracted by actuating the push button switch 156, the upper level switches 142 and 144 controlling the extension and retraction of the upper cylinders 106 and the level switches 138 and 140 controlling the extension and retraction of the lower cylinders 60.
In operation, a pallet 10 to have the runner 12 removed is first positioned in the pallet stringer puller 24 by telescoping the pallet over the tines 40, 42 and 44 from the right hand side of the puller 24 after the abutment flange 52 has been lowered to the position thereof illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings, the abutment flange 84 being freely swingable out of the way to allow the pallet to be telescoped over the tine 40. Then, the beam 92 is rolled forwardly until positioned so that the cylinders 106 are positioned as illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawings. Then, with the free end of the actuating lever 118 pulled downwardly to the limit of the eradle 120, the push button 148 may be actuated to ready the puller for operation. Thereafter, the push button switch 160 is pushed to cause extension of the cylinders 106. The latter will be extended substantially evenly due to the top level switches 142 and 144. As the cylinders 106 are extended, the upper pressure prongs 112, which have been previously shifted along the shaft 110 to conform to the spacing between the deck boards at their juncture with the runner 12, have their lower ends displaced downwardly between the deck boards 18 and engaged with the runner 12. Further downward extension of the cylinders 106 and causes the runner 12 to be downwardly displaced from the corresponding ends of the upper deck boards 18 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawings. Should one end of the runner 12 be initially separated from the corresponding upper deck boards 18 and that end of the runner 12 be sharply inclined downwardly before the opposite end of the runner 12 is disengaged from the corresponding upper deck boards 18, the ends of the lower deck boards 18 will engage the transverse member 52 disposed therebelow to limit downward movement of the first separated end of the runner 12. Of course, the pressure prongs 74 are retained in their inactive positions illustrated in FIG. 3 during the above mentioned steps.
After the runner 12 has been separated from the upper deck boards 18, the nails in the upper deck boards are removed and the beam 62 is rolled to the rear of the machine to an out-of-the-way position. Then, the lower pressure prongs 74 are swung to the upstanding positions thereof illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings and the bottom pressure push button 158 is actuated to extend the fluid motor 60 whereby the stringer 12 will be upwardly displaced relative to the corresponding ends of the lower deck boards 18. At this point, the stringer or runner 12 may be removed and if only the stringer 12 is to be replaced, the nails in the adjacent ends of the lower deck boards may be removed, the pallet 10 may be removed from the puller 24 and a new stringer or runner 12 may be inserted in its proper place and secured in position by nailing.
However, if the upper deck boards 18 are to be removed, the stringer 12 may be further upwardly displaced by the fluid motor 60 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings so as to pull the intermediate portions of the deck boards 18 upwardly from the center stringer or runner l6. Thereafter, the pallet 10 may be removed from the puller 24, reversed end to end and again placed on the tines 40, 42 and 44 so that the cylinders 106 may again be actuated to downwardly displace the stringer 14 from the corresponding ends of the upper deck boards 18.
The leveling switches 138, 140, 142 and 144 are extremely important in order to insure that the stringers l2, l6 and 14 may be substantially evenly downwardly displaced or upwardly displaced throughout their entire length. Further, the cross-boards or plates 154 are provided to insure that the stringers or runners will not be excessively canted when being forced from corresponding ends of the deck boards, and the pipes or bars 98 are provided in the event there are no bottom deck boards 18 on the pallet 10 to prevent upward tilt of the deck boards 18 when the cylinders 106 are actuated. Finally, should the pallets being disassembled by the puller 24 be completely disassembled, the boards or transverse members 54 serve as a catch tray for the stringers as they are removed from the deck boards 18.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A pallet disassembling apparatus comprising a frame having a pair of adjacent angularly disposed sides each including an open portion, a plurality of generally coplanar and parallel tines on the frame and adapted to enter a pallet and support a portion of the pallet, one set of corresponding ends of said tines being supported by the frame and with the other set of corresponding ends of said tines being free of continuous support from said frame, one of said tines extending along one of said open portions, power means supported from the frame and movable transversely of the plane in which said tines are disposed to engage unsupported portions of the pallet and separate the same from the portions of said pallet supported by said tines, one of said tines being stationarily supported from said frame and the remaining tines each being supported from said frame for lateral shifting in said plane relative to said one tine.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said plane is generally horizontally disposed and said power means are disposed above said plane.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said plane is generally horizontally disposed and said power means is disposed below said plane.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein all of the arms in addition to said one arm are disposed inwardly of said one arm in relation to said one open side of said frame, said one arm being stationarily supported from said frame and the remaining arms each being supported from said frame for lateral shifting in said plane relative to said one arm.
5. The combination of claim 1 wherein said plane is generally horizontally disposed and said power means is disposed below said plane, an abutment portion supported from said frame and shiftable between an operative position abutting an upper surface portion of the free end of said one arm and a retracted out-of-the-way position.
6. The combination of claim 5 wherein said power means is disposed adjacent said one tine.
7. The combination of claim 5 wherein said power means is supported from said frame for horizontal shifting transversely of said arms above the latter between an operative position between upstanding planes containing the remote sides of the remote arms and a retracted out-of-the-way position displaced to the side of the upstanding plane furtherest from said one tine.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein said plane is generally horizontally disposed and said power means is disposed below said plane.
9. The combination of claim 8 wherein said power means is disposed adjacent said one open side of said frame.
10. A pallet disassembling apparatus comprising a frame having a pair of adjacent angularly disposed sides each including an open portion, a plurality of generally coplanar and parallel tines on the frame and adapted to enter a pallet and support a portion of the pallet, one set of corresponding ends of said tines being supported by the frame and with the other set of corresponding ends of said tines being free of continuous support from said frame, one of said tines extending along one of said open portions, power means supported from the frame and movable transversely of the plane in which said tines are disposed to engage unsupported portions of the pallet and separate the same from the portions of said pallet supported by said tines, said power means comprising a pair of fluid motors spaced along a path generally paralleling said tines, valved fluid inlet means for said motors, controlled means for supplying fluid under pressure to said valved inlet means, and control means for said valved inlet means operative to automatically open and close the latter to control and in response to activation of said motor means at varying rates.
11. The combination of claim 10 wherein said fluid motors are elongated and extendable, said motors being disposed upright with their upper portions supported from an upper portion of said frame above a horizontal plane containing said arms, the lower extendable ends of said motors being pivotally attached to opposite end portions of a beam extending therebetween with the axes of the pivotal connections of said motors with said beam being horizontally disposed and extending transversely of said arms, said beam including longitudinally spaced depending portions receivable between adjacent deck boards of said pallet for ensaid arms.