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Publication numberUS3750814 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 7, 1973
Filing dateOct 1, 1971
Priority dateOct 1, 1971
Also published asCA952150A1
Publication numberUS 3750814 A, US 3750814A, US-A-3750814, US3750814 A, US3750814A
InventorsAllegri T, Chelin C, Evans D, Thompson N
Original AssigneeTowmotor Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Expandable top-handling container attachment
US 3750814 A
Abstract
An expandable, top-handling container, lift frame attachment for lifting and moving large cargo containers of varying lengths is provided. The lift frame attachment is adapted for easy attachment to, or detachment from a carriage of a large-size fork-lift truck, and includes telescoping, transverse beam members that can be extended or retracted in length to fit intermixed containers of various lengths.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Allegri et al.

[451 Aug.7, 1973 EXPANDABLE TOP-HANDLING CONTAINER ATTACHMENT [75] Inventors: Theodore Henry Allegri, Peoria, "1.;

Charles R. Chelln, Dallas, Oreg; Dalydd W. Evans, Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Norman D. Thompson, Dallas, Oreg.

[73] Assignee: Towmotor Corporatlon, Cleveland,

Ohio

[22] Filed: Oct. 1, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 185,698

[52] U.S. Cl. 214/621, 214/730, 294/67 DA, 294/81 SF [51] Int. Cl B66f 9/18 [58] Field of Search 214/620, 621, 730; 294/67 D, 67 DA, 81 SF [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,499,563 3/1970 Forry et al. 214/621 3,552,557 1/1971 Green 214/621 3,576,269 4/1971 Shaffer 3,514,002 5/1970 Allcgri et al.

3,387,729 6/1968 Hindin et a],

3,589,540 6/1971 Kinroas 214/621 Primary Examiner-Robert l. Spar Attorney-Fryer, Tjensvold, Feix, Phillips and Lempio [57] ABSTRACT An expandable, top-handling container, lift frame attachment for lifting and moving large cargo containers of varying lengths is provided. The lift frame attachment is adapted for easy attachment to, or detachment from a carriage of a large-size fork-lift truck, and includes telescoping, transverse beam members that can be extended or retracted in length to fit intermixed containers of various lengths.

12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures mammals 1m INVENTORS BY NORMAN D. THOMPSON EXPANDABLE TOP-HANDLING CONTAINER ATTACHMENT CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION At the present time, large cargo containers are handled by various means including: lift cranes; fork-lift trucks when the containers are equipped with fork-lift pockets; straddle carriers; straddle cranes; and, a proliferation of U-frame or sliding-bed devices, all of which do not permit the most efficient handling of containers to be achieved.

Attachments that are adaptable to fork-lift truck carriages are also being used, but lack versatility in handling containers of intermixed sizes without removing one attachment and replacing it with another one of a size suitable for the container to be handled. This has posed serious limitations on their acceptance by industry. It can be understood that the need to change attachments to accommodate different length containers is expensive from the standpoint of equipment investment, the cost of labor to accomplish the changeover, and the loss of production that is caused by having the vehicle idle during the changeover of attachments.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a top-handling con tainer attachment for a fork-lift truck that is operatorcontrolled to adjust itself to fit intermixed cargo containers of varying lengths with little or no loss of vehicle operation time. The subject lift frame is easily attached to or detached from a standard fork-lift carriage. This has the benefit of having economic advantages of a truly versatile lift truck that can function either as a fork-lift truck or as a container carrier machine.

By the use of a hydraulic control means and hydraulic lines connected to hydraulic cylinder means, located either outside or inside of the telescoping transverse beam member, the adjustment of the load-supporting beams and associated container twist locks to handle various length containers is achieved.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a top-handling container attachment for industrial fork-lift trucks.

It is another object to provide an attachment for forklift trucks that will handle cargo containers of various lengths.

Also, it is an object of this invention to provide an attachment for fork-lift trucks that will handle intermixed cargo containers of various lengths.

It is a further object to provide a fork-lift truck, liftvarious length containers and having containergripping means for engaging and top-handling containers.

Another object of this invention is to provide a liftframeattachment that can be easily mounted to or removed from a fork truck carriage.

Additional advantages and features of the present invention are made apparent in the following description and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is aplan view of the container lift-frame according to the present invention mounted on a suitable fork-lift truck;

FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the container lift-frame of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an end view of the container lift-frame of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an illustration of one of the means on the device for coupling and locking to a container;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the slide member located between each pair of inner and outer cylinders; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, partial, front sectional view of a second embodiment of the instant invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the primary embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 5, there is illustrated a partial view of a lift truck 10 which includes a standard fork-lift truck mast and a fork carriage 12 (with forks removed) upon which is mounted the container liftframe attachment 14. A suitable attaching and retaining means, such as described in U. S. Pat. No. 3,499,563 to .I. E. Ferry ct al., and assigned to the assignee hereof, may be used to attach the frame to the carriage. The lift-frame of this invention comprises a vertical frame 16 having two outwardly extending, horizontal support arms 18 that are attached to the transverse box-beam member 20. The entire lift-frame attachment I4 is removably mounted] on fork carriage 12 which is conventionally attached to the mast structure of a lift truck 10. In the preferred embodiment shown, the lift forks are removed from the fork carriage 12 before mounting the attachment l4 thereon. Alternatively, lift-frame attachment 14 could be directly mounted on the lift forks (not shown) of the carriage 12.

The transverse beam 20 is of a hollow box beam shape, within which telescope the extensible transverse beam members 22 of a similar shape. These beam members are adapted to slidably travel outwardly and inwardly. The load support beam members 24 can thus be positioned to connect with cargo containers 54 of varying lengths. Appended to the outer ends of each transverse beam member 22 are downwardly extending lugs 28 and 30, fixed thereto to pivotally support the extending load support and lift beams 24.

The load support and lift beams 24 are pivoted to the lugs 28 and 30 by pin 32, that passes through the longitudinal mid-point of beam 24 and is retained within bearing holes in the lower portion of the depending lugs. Thus, support and lift beams 24 are free to rotate in the vertical plane about the point fixed by pin 32. However, the support and lift beams 24 are limited in their extent of rotation by resilient load stops (not shown) and by a load damper means 34, it being rotatably attached by known means to load support and lift beam 24 and the cross beam member 22.

As most clearly illustrated in FIGS. 3 4, a pair of standard twist locks 26 depends from support and lift beam 24, one at either end thereof.

If a more complete description of the structure and operation of the load support lift beam is desired, reference may be had to aforementioned US. Pat. No. 3,499,563 to J. E. Forry et al. The disclosure of that patent is expressly incorporated by reference herein.

The transverse movement of the extensible cross beam member 22 within beam member is best shown in FIGS; 1 and 5. The head end of hydraulic cylinder means 36 is pivotally attached to brackets 52, with said brackets being fixed within the box beam member 20. The rod-end 40 of the cylinder means 36 is pivotally attached by means of pin 48 to the sliding link assembly 42.

As seen in FIG. 5, pin 48 thus acts to secure the rod 40 to the slider assembly plate 46, which in turn is welded to two slider plates 44. Pin 50 is located in the opposite end of plate 46 from pin 48, with the pin 50 rotatably securing the head end of hydraulic cylinder means 38 to the slider assembly 42. The rod end 49 of cylinder means 38 is pivotally secured to a plurality of brackets 51 which are secured to the outer end of the box beam member 22.

Typically, the beams are dimensioned so that when transverse beam members 22 are fully retracted to provide a minimum length transverse beam, a standard 20 foot long minimum length cargo container can be accommodated. When a container of greater length is to be lifted and moved, the lift truck operator can actuate a plurality of hydraulic control valve means 29 of known construction to introduce hydraulic fluid under pressure to a plurality of hydraulic cylinder means 36, 38, which will, in turn, cause beam members 22 to slidably travel in a transverse, outward direction.

The operation of adjusting the instant invention transverse beam member from its minimum length to a length that will accommodate longer cargo containers, such as those having lengths of 24 or 27 feet, will be further described.

With the attachment l4 transverse beam assembly at its basic minimum length, the operator can actuate a hydraulic control valve means 29 of known construction that will, in turn, provide hydraulic fluid under pressure to the two hydraulic cylinders 36. This action will extend cylinder rods 40, the two slide assemblies 42, and cylinders 38, thus positioning the adjustable transverse members 22 and the associated support and lift beams 24 for attachment to the next longer size cargo container, e.g., 24 feet. lfa still longer cargo container is to be lifted, e.g., 27 feet, theoperator can actuate a hydraulic control valve of known construction, to provide hydraulic fluid pressure to the two hydraulic cylinders 38, thus further extending transverse beam members 22 and their associated support and lift beams 24. The control valve means 29 previously mentioned is understood to be such that either one valve control lever or pedal actuates cylinders 36 and a similar lever or pedal actuates cylinders 38, or a single valve and control means actuates both cylinders 36 and 38.

An alternate means is presented in which the hydraulic control valve means initially actuates the hydraulic cylinders 36 and when greater extension of the transverse beam is desired, it then actuates the hydraulic cylinders 38.

An alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 6 which would accommodate very long containers of 30 or 40 feet. It may be parenthetically noted that primes are used throughout the following discussion to denote structure having its analogous numerical counterpart in the primary embodiment.

In this embodiment, additional telescoping beams 64 are provided intermediate beams 20' and 22. Hydraulic cylinders 36' are fixed to these slidable beams 64 by means of brackets 52'. In addition, a plurality of hydraulic cylinders 56 having their head ends pivotally secured to beam 20' and their rod ends 58 to beam 64 by means of brackets 60 and 62, respectively, are provided. Hydraulic control means 29' is used to provide hydraulic fluid under pressure for actuating these hydraulic cylinders. While only one-half of the entire structure is shown in FIG. 6, it is to be understood that the other half is identical with the first half.

While a preferred embodiment and an alternate embodiment of the invention have been shown and described, it is apparent to any one skilled in the art that various other forms would be possible without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the following claims. It is further understood that the scope of the invention is not to be limited to the thus illustrated embodiments, but is to be determined by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A cargo container lift frame comprising an upright frame,

extensible transverse beam means mounted on said upright frame,

first and second lift beams pivotally secured to said transverse beam means, wherein said transverse beam means comprise,

a plurality of extensible beams wherein said plurality of extensible beams comprise,

a first transverse beam member having means associated therewith slidably securing a second transverse beam member, and

a third transverse beam member to opposite ends of said first transverse beam member, wherein said means slidably securing said beam members comprise,

means defining a transverse opening in each end of said first beam member slidably receiving said sec- 0nd and said third beam member in opposite ends of said first beam member, container engaging means mounted on said lift beams at locations for mating with top corner fittings on a cargo container,

power means for extending and retracting said transverse beam means whereby said lift frame may aecommodate containers of various lengths, wherein said power means comprise, hydraulic cylinder means associated with said beams for extending and retracting said beams, and

control valve means for controlling said hydraulic cylinder means, wherein said hydraulic cylinder means comprise,

a first hydraulic cylinder means operatively connected between said first and second transverse beam members, and

first slidable link means, and wherein said second hydraulic cylinder means comprise,

third and fourth hydraulic cylinders, said third and fourth cylinders being operatively connected by second slidable link means.

2. A cargo container lift frame comprising an upright frame,

extensible transverse beam means mounted on said upright frame,

first and second lift beams pivotally secured to said transverse beam means, wherein said transverse beam means comprise,

a plurality of extensible beams, and

wherein said plurality of beams comprise,

a first Transverse beam member mounted on said upright frame member,

means defining an opening in opposite ends of said first transverse beam member,

second and third transverse beam members, each being slidably received in one of said means defining an opening whereby said second and third beam members extend outwardly from said first transverse beam member,

means defining a transverse opening through each of said second and third beam members, and

fourth and fifth transverse beam members being slidably received in said second and third beam members, respectively, and extending outwardly therefrom,

container engaging means mounted on said lift beams at locations for mating with top corner fittings on a cargo container, and

power means for extending and retracting said transverse beam means whereby said lift frame may accommodate containers of various lengths, and wherein said power means comprise,

hydraulic cylinder means associated with said beams for extending and retracting said beams, and

control valve means for controlling said hydraulic cylinder means.

3. The lift frame of claim 2 wherein said hydraulic cylinder means comprise,

6 a first and asecond hydraulic cylinder operatively connected between said first and second and said first and third transverse beams, respectively.

4. The lift frame of claim 3 wherein said hydraulic cylinder means further comprise,

a first hydraulic cylinder means operatively connected between said second and fourth beams, and

a second hydraulic cylinder means operatively connected between said third and fifth beams.

5. The lift frame of claim 4 wherein said first hydraulic cylinder means comprises,

third and fourth hydraulic cylinder, said first and second cylinders being operatively connected by first slidable link means, and wherein said second hydraulic cylinder means comprise,

fifth and sixth hydraulic cylinders, said fifth and sixth cylinders being operatively connected by second slidable link means, and wherein said first and second hydraulic cylinder means are located internally of said transverse beams.

6. The lift frame of claim 4 wherein said container engaging means comprises twist locks adapted for engagement into container corner castings and means for locking and unlocking said twist locks from container corner castings.

7. The lift frame of claim 5 wherein said control valve means comprise, a plurality of control valves for selectively actuating said first and second, said third and fourth, and said fifth and sixth hydraulic cylinders, respectively,

8. The lift frame of claim 1 wherein said control valve means comprise, control valves for selectively actuating said first and second, and said third and fourth hydraulic cylinders, respectively.

9. The lift frame of claim 1 further including a cushioning member on said upright frame.

10. The lift frame of claim 9 wherein said cushioning member is mounted in a transverse direction on the lower portion of said upright frame.

11. The lift frame of claim 1 wherein said container engaging means comprises twist locks adapted for engagement into container corner castngs and means for locking and unlocking said twist locks from container corner castings.

12. The lift frame of claim 1 further including load damper means for damping motion of said first and second lift beams.

t i 4 k

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3387729 *Jul 25, 1966Jun 11, 1968Strick CorpContainer lifting frame for use with forklift truck
US3499563 *Dec 21, 1967Mar 10, 1970Towmotor CorpContainer lift frame
US3514002 *Oct 16, 1967May 26, 1970Thompson Norman DAntiracking container lift frame
US3552557 *Aug 30, 1968Jan 5, 1971Lancer Boss LtdLifting apparatus
US3576269 *Mar 12, 1969Apr 27, 1971Towmotor CorpVehicle for handling containers of varying lengths
US3589540 *Apr 25, 1969Jun 29, 1971Lancer Boss LtdForklift attachments
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4017110 *May 19, 1975Apr 12, 1977Clark Equipment CompanyCylinder and piston assembly
US4373755 *Oct 27, 1980Feb 15, 1983Klaus HerberholzLifting device for the transportation of flasks
US5052734 *Apr 17, 1990Oct 1, 1991Paceco Corp.Lifting spreader compensating mechanism
US5236238 *Sep 16, 1991Aug 17, 1993Sea-Land Service, Inc.Apparatus for securing shore crane spreaders to auxiliary frames
US5350210 *Sep 16, 1992Sep 27, 1994Sea-Land Service, Inc.Apparatus for securing shore crane spreaders to auxiliary frames
US20140232127 *Feb 14, 2014Aug 21, 2014Terrafirma Roadways LimitedCrane crab head
Classifications
U.S. Classification294/81.21
International ClassificationB66C1/00, B66F9/18, B66F9/19, B66F9/12, B66C1/10
Cooperative ClassificationB66F9/186, B66F9/19
European ClassificationB66F9/19, B66F9/18H