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Publication numberUS3752511 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 14, 1973
Filing dateJun 4, 1971
Priority dateJun 4, 1971
Publication numberUS 3752511 A, US 3752511A, US-A-3752511, US3752511 A, US3752511A
InventorsRacy S
Original AssigneeLine Fast Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container coupler
US 3752511 A
Abstract
This invention pertains to a container coupler having a housing which acts as a spacing means and in which is journalled for rotation a locking element. The locking element is provided with tapered elongated heads at each end thereof for engagement within the standard corner fitting of a freight container. The locking element is provided with offset bosses intermediate the ends thereof which are manipulatable to lock and unlock the container coupler.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Racy [ CONTAINER COUPLER [75] Inventor: Stanley Racy, Valley Stream, NY.

[73] Assignee: Line Fast Corporation, Farmingdale,

[22] Filed: June 4, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 150,058

[52] US. Cl. 287/2, 105/366 B, 248/361 R [51] Int. Cl. F16b 7/00 [58] Field of Search 287/2; 105/366 B,

105/366 R; 248/361 R; 280/DIG. 8

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,963,310 12/1960 Abolins 280/D1G. 8

[451 Aug. l4', 1973 3,367,615 2/1968 Turpen 248/361 3,389,663 6/1968 Gutridge 105/366 R Primary Examiner-Andrew V. Kundrat Attorney-Krafft & Wells [57] ABSTRACT This invention pertains to a container coupler having a housing which acts as a spacing means and in which is journalled for rotation a locking element. The locking element is provided with tapered elongated heads at each end thereof for engagement within the standard comer fitting of a freight container. The locking element is provided with offset bosses intermediate the ends thereof which are manipulatable to lock and unlock the container coupler.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUB 14 ms 3. 752.51 1

sum 1 0F 4 STANLEY RACY INVENTOR PAIENIED MIR 14 9 SHEET 2 OF 4 Pmmmumma 37152511 sum 3 a: 4

l Nil CONTAINER COUPLER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION utility in lock-positioning a standard freight container on a suitably equipped cargo carrier such as a railway car, truck body or ship. Standard freight containers conform to specific construction details as adopted by The International Organization for Standardization. These are found in ISO Recommendation R 668 which has been published in the United States under the title Freight Containers by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, February 1968. These standard freight containers are provided with standard corner fittings at each corner thereof. These standard corner fittings have uniform cylindrical apertures in the horizontal surface thereof. Positive positioning and engagement of adjacent containers is achieved through the use of coupling devices which interengage the adjacent apertures of adjacent corner fittings.

2. Description of the prior art Heretofore the container couplers which have been used to vertically connect adjacent containers have employed an integral operating handle to lock and unlock the coupler. Such devices are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 2,963,310.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention a container coupler is provided for joining together in vertical arrangement standard freight containers. The coupler also acts as a spacing device between adjacent freight containers. In addition, the device of the present invention has utility in securing standard freight containers to the bed ofa prime mover such as a ship, freight car and the like.

The container coupler of the present invention consists of a housing in which is journalled for rotation a locking element. The locking element is provided at each end thereof with a tapered elongated head. These heads are engageablewithin the standard corner fitting of a standard freight container. The locking element is provided with offset bosses at a point intermediate the heads thereof. These bosses are manipulatable by a suitable key or pin to lock and unlock the heads of the container coupler from the standard corner fittings of standard freight containers. The key or pin used to manipulate the bosses on the locking element to lock and unlock the heads is removable, eliminating troublesome projections from the sides of freight containers. This also eliminates the problem of breakage of the heretofore known permanently attached levers used with consequent disabling of the container coupler.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded fragmentary view of adjacent standard freight container corner fittings showing the placement of the container coupler of the present invention for indexing and locking the adjacent corners of two containers;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the structure of FIG. 1, showing the container coupler in position between corners of adjacent containers;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the structure of FIG. 2, taken along the lines 3-3, showing the container coupler in unlocked position;

FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view of the structure of FIG. 2, taken along the lines 3-3, showing the container coupler in locked position;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the structure of FIG. 2, taken along the lines 4-4, showing the insertion of the pin to engage the container coupler in locked position; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the structure of FIG. 2, including provision for a lash lug.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown part of the standard top 11 and bottom 12 corner fittings of a standard freight container. These standard corner fittings II, 12 have an internal cavity 13 and an aperture 14 in the horizontal surface thereof. The aperture 14 is shaped to receive the lock heads 15 ofa container coupler 16 when in unlocked position, as will be hereinafter described.

The container coupler 16 of the present invention comprises a body portion 17 which is preferably formed in two mating parts I8, 19 which are secured together by suitable fastening means such as bolts 20 and nuts 21. The body portion 17 has an intermediate, outwardly extending flange 18 which acts as a uniform spacer between two adjacent standard corner fittings ll, 12. A rotatable locking element 22 is journalled in the body portion 17. This locking element 22 is provided with elongated locking heads 15 at each end thereof. These locking heads 15 are shaped to be received in the aperture 14 on the horizontal surface of the standard corner fittings ll, 12 of freight containers when in unlocked or indexing position. The locking heads are tapered to a peak 23 as an aid in indexing the container coupler into engagement with the corner fitting. Intermediate the locking heads 15, the locking element 22 is provided with positioning bosses 24. These positioning bosses extend outwardly from the locking element 22 and are each provided with cam surfaces 25 upon which a force can be applied to cause rotation of the locking element 22 between unlocked and locked position as hereinafter described.

The flange I8 of the body portion 17 of the container coupler has provided therein passages 26 through which access is obtained to the cam surfaces 25 of the positioning bosses 24 of the locking element 22. A suitable elongated tool, such as a pin 27, is inserted through one of the passages 26 to contact the appropriate cam surfaces. The body portion 17 of the container coupler 16 is also provided with internal limit stops 28, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 3A. These stops 28 limit the travel of the positioning bosses 24 of the locking ele ment 22 between unlocked and locked position. When the cam surface 25 of the appropriate positioning boss 24 is urged from one position to another by contact of the pin 27, the extent of travel is limited by the contact of the terminal portion 29 of the positioning boss 24 with the stop 28. It can readily be seen that the stops 28 are positioned to permit rotation of the locking element 22 together with the lock heads 15 over an arc of approximately between locked position and unlocked position relative to the aperture 14 in the horizontal surface of the standard corner fitting 11, 12. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the container coupler 16 of the present invention can readily be used to secure a container to deck sockets and the like to eliminate or substantially reduce lashing requirements.

Each lock head is preferably provided with a pin engagement hole 29. The end of each standard corner fitting 1 l, 12 is provided with a side aperture 30. When the container coupler 16 is in position between adjacent container corner fittings 11, 12 and the lock heads 15 of the container couple 16 are in locked position, the pin 27 can be inserted into the pin engagement hole 29 through the aperture 30 in the corner fitting 11, 12. The heel 31 of the pin 27 can then be positioned to contact the side of the aperture 30, retaining the pin in position to prevent movement of the lock head 15 from locked position.

As shown in FIG. 5, the container coupler 16 may be provided with a lash lug 40 extending from one side thereof. The lash lug 40 can be formed as an integral part of one of the two mating ports 18, 19 of the body portion 17 or, as illustrated, one-half of the lash lug 40 may be formed integral with one-half of the body portion 17. The provision of the lash lug 40 on the container coupler 16 permits the ready attachment of a lashing device such as the cable eye 41 to secure the container coupler 16 relative to a tie down point (not shown), thus securing the coupled containers in fixed position on the carrying vehicle.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as those skilled in the art will readily understand. Such modifications and variations are considered to be within the purview and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A' container coupler adapted to securely intercon' nect adjacent corner fittings of standard cargo containers, said fittings having an elongated aperture in the facing surfaces thereof, said container coupler including a housing having an intermediate outwardly extending flange portion, a shaft element rotatably mounted within said housing and being provided at each end thereof with a lock head, each said lock head being tapered for engagement in the elongated aperture in the fitting surface, a positioning boss on said shaft intermediate said lock heads and within said housing, said positioning boss operable to rotate said shaft within said housing whereby each lock head is rotated within the fitting so as to engage beneath the underside of the elongated fitting aperture securely interconnecting said fittings, said positioning boss being operable through an aperture in said coupler to be positioned in closed position whereby said coupler is contained within said facing surfaces, and wherein each lock head includes an aperture adapted to be engaged by pin means to prevent rotation of said lock head relative to said fitting.

2. The container coupler of claim 1, wherein the outwardly extending flange acts as a spacer to position the coupler relative to the container fittings.

3. The container coupler of claim 2, wherein the housing includes an aperture through which the positioning boss positioned within said housing can be operated by external means.

4. The container coupler of claim 3, wherein one side of said outwardly extending flange is provided with a lash lug whereby securing means can be readily affixed to said container coupler.

5. The container coupler of claim 3, wherein said housing includes stop means to limit the extent of rotation of the positioning boss.

III l IV

Patent Citations
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US3367615 *Jan 19, 1966Feb 6, 1968Russell L. TurpenUniversal bolster
US3389663 *Aug 1, 1966Jun 25, 1968Pullman IncContainer car construction
Referenced by
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US3972425 *Jun 5, 1974Aug 3, 1976Martino John M DiTandem midlock
US3972439 *Jun 5, 1974Aug 3, 1976Dimartino John MHorizontal connector for shipping containers
US3973684 *Jun 5, 1974Aug 10, 1976Martino John M DiVertical locking system for shipping containers
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Classifications
U.S. Classification24/287, 410/82, 206/512, 403/292
International ClassificationF16B21/02, B65D90/00, F16B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16B21/02, B65D90/0013
European ClassificationF16B21/02, B65D90/00B2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 26, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BENEFICIAL COMMERCIAL CORP., 200 BENEFICIAL CENTER
Effective date: 19870716
Owner name: LINE FAST CORPORATION
Aug 26, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BENEFICIAL COMMERCIAL CORP., A CORP. OF DE, NEW JE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:LINE FAST CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005006/0493
Effective date: 19870716
Jul 11, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, 35 PINELAWN RO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BENEFICIAL COMMERCIAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004914/0572
Effective date: 19880129
Jul 11, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BENEFICIAL COMMERCIAL CORPORATION
Effective date: 19880129
Owner name: U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, 35 PINELAWN RO
Jan 22, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BENEFICIAL COMMERCIAL CORP., 200 BENEFICIAL CENTER
Effective date: 19870716
Owner name: LINE FAST CORPORATION
Jan 22, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BENEFICIAL COMMERCIAL CORP., 200 BENEFICIAL CENTER
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:LINE FAST CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004822/0704
Effective date: 19870716