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Publication numberUS3757680 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1973
Filing dateJun 28, 1971
Priority dateJun 28, 1971
Publication numberUS 3757680 A, US 3757680A, US-A-3757680, US3757680 A, US3757680A
InventorsJ Williams
Original AssigneeJ Williams
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Machine for compressing and flattening junked automobiles
US 3757680 A
Abstract
A machine for flattening junked automobiles includes a relatively lightweight but rigid horizontally extending rectangular flattening head mounted for up and down movement over a rigid, comparatively lightweight horizontal flattening bed, with such movement being effected by hydraulic rams mounted at the corners of the generally rectangular flattening head. The head may be lifted enough to accommodate, between the head and the bed, one or more flattened automobiles plus one automobile to be flattened, so that a plurality of automobiles may be flattened between unloadings. The flattening mechanism is mounted on a highway trailer, and vertically disposed hydraulic rams force the head downwardly on their retracting stroke so that the height of the rams, and consequently the height of the overall unit, will be at a minimum, within Federal and State maximum highway transport height limitations, when the head is in its downmost position. In one form of the invention, the hydraulic cylinder bodies are attached to the flattening head and the remote ends of the piston rods are secured to the vehicle. In a modified form, the hydraulic cylinders are fastened to the vehicle and the remote ends of the piston rods are secured to the flattening head.
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United States Patent [1 1 Williams 1 Sept. 11, 1973 MACHINE FOR COMPRESSING AND FLATTENING JUNKED AUTOMOBILES [76] inventor: Jerome Williams, 823 W. 17th St.,

National City, Calif.

22 Filed: June 28,1971

21 Appl. No.: 157,353

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,517,608. I 6/1970 Tezuka' 100/100 327,297 9/1885 McGovern 100/214 UX 2,343,167 2/1944 Bench 100/258 A 3,266,413 8/1966 Sharp et al... 100/53 3,404,622 10/1968 Flanagan... 100/100 3,273,493 9/1966 Smiltneek 100/269 X Primary Examiner-Billy J. Wilhite Attorney-Schapp & Hatch 5 7 ABSTRACT A machine for flattening junked automobiles includes a relatively lightweight but rigid horizontally extending rectangular flattening head mounted for up and down movement over a rigid, comparatively lightweight horizontal flattening bed, with such movement being effected by hydraulic rams mounted at the corners of the generally rectangular flattening head. The head may be lifted enough to accommodate, between the head and the bed, one or more flattened automobiles plus one automobile to be flattened, so that a plurality of automobiles may be flattened between unloadings. The flattening mechanism is mounted on a highway trailer, and vertically disposed hydraulic rams force the head downwardly on their retracting stroke so that the height of the rams, and consequently the height of the overall unit, will be at a minimum, within Federal and State maximum highway transport height limitations, when the head is in its downmost position. In one form of the invention, the hydraulic cylinder bodies are attached to the flattening head and the remote ends of the piston rods are secured to the vehicle. In a modified form, the hydraulic cylinders are fastened to the vehicle and the remote ends of the piston rods are secured to the flattening head.

18 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures Patented Sept. 11, 1973 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. JEKZJME WILL/AIMS BY 5 Z a ATTOkA/EVS .TE IT. T:

MM HA1 FIE- Patented Sept. 11, 1973 7 3,757,680

6 Sheets5heet 5 1%; FIE.- 58 65 BY JEROME W/LL/AMS 1 15- 35- Sa/WM ATTORNE V5 Patented Sept. 11, 1973 3,757,680

6 Sheets-Sheet 4 mu LJLJ w ATTOKNEl/S Patented Sept. 11, 1973 3,757,680

6 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR JEKOMZ WILL/AW 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 $5 EE 1 g we $1-- m-m mm S 5 q @325 Me Q Q Et/ $5 5 mmmgsiw mwmmm BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a Machine For Compressing And Flattening .lunked Automobiles, and more particularly to an automobile flattener adapted for transportation from place to place on the public highways.

Retrieval of various metals from junked automobiles as scrap has become an important factor in the metals industry. Increasing demand for these scrap metals has increased the demand for the junk automobiles. Unfortunately, however, such automobiles often are widely scattered around the country and hence must be transported considerable distances to the processing plants at which they are reduced to scrap and the various metals are recovered.

In recent years, the junked automobile bodies have been mashed down and flattened so they would occupy less space, would be easier to ship to the scrap metal plants and would be easier to slice up preparatory to sorting out the different metals. The flattener apparatus, howerver, has usually been provided in the form of permanent installations which could not be moved from place to place without being completely torn down and re-erected. This construction, of course, still made it necessary to ship junked automobiles considerable distances to the flattening machine.

Attempts have been made to mount automobile flatteners on vehicles for transport from place to place along the public highways. The resulting units have not been satisfactory because of the difficulties encountered in making an efficient automobile flattening machine which does not exceed height and weight limitations imposed by Federal and State statutes.

The priortransportable automobile flatteners utilize one or more hydraulic rams mounted vertically above the flattening head and formed to force the flattening head downwardly to squash the automobile on the extension stroke of the ram, that is, the stroke during which the piston rod is forced out of the ram cylinder by hydraulic pressure exerted behind the piston. In order to raise the flattening head up high enough to permit insertion of the automobiles between the flattening head and the flattening bed, the described hydraulic cylinders were necessarily mounted so high above the flattening head that their uppermost portions far exceeded allowable height limits for highway transport vehicles.

The prior art recognizes the necessity of reducing the vertical height of the apparatus caused by the upstanding hydraulic cylinders to permit highway transport. To reduce vertical height, the prior art patent describes a complicated structure wherein the hydraulic cylinders must be dismounted and lowered so the semi-trailer can legally move along the highway. Flatteners having dismountable or swingable cylinders require additional time to dismount and/or lower the cylinders each time the flattener is to be moved, and to raise and/or re mount the cylinders when the destination is reached. The structure making the crushing cylinders dismountable or swingable is subject to excessive wear and failure under the tremendous stresses encountered in flattening automobiles, including both bodies and engines, to a maximum height of about one foot.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The automobile flattening machine of the present invention is particularly adapted for highway transport from location to location and requires little or no preparation or special effort to place it in condition for automobile flattening operation when it arrives at a desired site. Likewise, the present automobile flattener requires little or no effort to place it in condition for highway transport when it is desired to move on to another site. The apparatus performs the automobile flattening function rapidly and efficiently and, by reason of its almost instant readiness for highway transport, saves a good deal of the operators time as compared to conventional automobile flattening apparatus.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a machine capable of efficient and rapid flattening of junked automobiles, with the machine being of relatively compact size and light weight suitable for travel on the public highways and conforming to F ederal and State height and weight limitations for highway transport.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a vehicle-mounted automobile flattening press adapted for movement from place to place, and which can be placed in its travel or flattening modes with the expenditure of little or no time or effort.

A further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the character described which is capable of accepting and flattening a plurality of automobiles between unloadings.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus of the character described having a flattening head forced downwardly by hydraulic rams toward a flattening bed so as to squash a junked automobile therebetween, with the downward movement of the flattening head being accomplished by the retracting stroke of the rams so that the overall height of the rams is at a minimum when the flattening head is in its downmost position.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus of the character set forth which includes side aprons for confining debris to the immediate area, with one of the side aprons being retractible to permit load ing from that side.

Other objects and features of advantage will become apparent from the following specification and from the claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a machine for compressing and flattening junked automobilies made in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially on the plane of line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and showing the flattening head in raised position.

FIG. 3 is a plan sectional view taken substantially on the plane of line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view on an enlarged scale of FIG. 1, showing the flattening head in down position, and with portions broken away to conserve space on the drawing.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the machine of FIG. 1, showing the flattening head in partially raised position, and with portions broken away to conserve space on the drawing.

FIG. 6 is a vertical cross sectional view taken substantially on the plane of line 6-6 of FIG. 2, but showing the flattening head in down position.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken substantially on the plane of line 77 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view similar to that of FIG. 1, but showing a modified form of the machine of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially on the plane of line 9-9 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a rear elevational view on an enlarged scale of the machine of FIG. 8.

FIG. 11 is a hydraulic flow diagram illustrating the DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings in detail, it will be seen that the machine for compressing and flattening junked automobilies of the present invention includes a flattening bed structure 21 having a generally horizontal, substantially flat upper surface 22; a flattening head 23 mounted for vertical movement toward and awayfrom the flattening bed 21 and having a generally horizontal, substantially flat undersurface 24 confronting the upper surface 22; and fluid actuated cylinder means 26 having extended and retracted terminal positions, with the cylinder means 26 being operatively connected to the flattening bed 21 and flattening head 23 in such manner that movement of the cylinder means 26 toward extended position urges the flattening head away from the flattening bed and movement toward retracted position urges the flattening head toward the flattening bed to crush flat an automobile positioned therebetween.

The upper surface 22 of flattening bed 21, and the undersurface 24 of flattening head 23 are generally rectangular and coextensive and are proportioned to receive an automobile therebetween, when the cylinder means 26 is extended, and to squash and flatten the automobile therebetween as the cylinder means 26 is retracted. The fluid actuated cylinder means 26 here includes individual cylinders A, B, C and D operable in unison and positioned adjacent to the corners of the rectangular surfaces 22 and 24.

Preferably, the cylinders A, B, C andD are operated hydraulically, and the cylinder means 26 also includes a hydraulic pump system 29 and associated control means 31 (see FIG. 11) for selectively'supplying hydraulic fluid from the pump system 29 to the cylinders A, B, C and D. Guide posts 32 and 33 are secured to the flattening bed 21, at its opposite ends, and extend vertically upward. Corresponding guideways 34 and 36 are provided on the flattening head 23 for loosely sliding movement up and down the guide posts 32 and 33.

In accordance with the present invention, the described elements are mounted on a highway vehicle 37 to provide for movement to different locations. As here shown, the highway vehicle 37 is in the form of a conventional semi-trailer adapted to be pulled by a conventional highway tractor unit (not shown), although it will be apparent that the vehicle 37 could be a full trailer or self propelled.

As may be seen from the drawings, the hydraulic cylinders A, B, C and D are mounted in upright position with their axes vertical so as to provide evenly applied downward pressure on the flattening head 23 to force it downwardly toward the flattening bed 21. The cylinders A, B, C and D are also long enough to provide a stroke of sufficient length to raise the flattening head 21 far enough to permit insertion of the automobile to be crushed. In order to speed up the operation of the apparatus, it is desirable to be able to insert and flatten a plurality of automobiles between each unloading operation. This, of course, requires that the flattening head 23 be lifted far enough to permit insertion of an uncrushed automobile on a stack of one or more already flattened automobiles supported on the flattening bed 21. I

It has been found that flattening of three automobiles between unloading operations materially increases the number of automobiles which can be flattened in a given period of time. Of course, the increased height to which the flattening head 23 must be lifted correspondingly increases the overall length of the cylinders A, B, C and D and their piston rods 27 when the latter are fully extended.

As an important feature of the present invention, the cylinders A, B, C and D are formed and arranged to move the flattening head 23 upwardly during their extension stroke and downwardly during their retraction stroke so that, when the piston rods 27 are fully retracted into their cylinders, the upper portions of the described structures will be within Federal maximum height limitations for highway transport vehicles. The prior flattening machines have used the extension stroke of their hydraulic rams as a power stroke to force the flattening head downwardly against the automobile being crushed. While this is in accordance with good engineering practice, because the piston rod reduces the effective area of the piston during the retraction stroke, the result is to have the piston rods fully extended when the flattening head is in its lowermost position, and this requires that the upper ends of the cylinders be supported at a height far exceeding allowable height limitations.

In the form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 7, of the drawings, the cylinders A, B, C and D are secured to the flattening head 23 and their piston rods 27 have their distal ends secured to the flattening bed 21. Hydraulic fluid under pressure is fed simultaneously to one end or the other of the cylinders through conduits 38 or 39 from the hydraulic pump system 29, as selectively determined by the control means 31.

As hydraulic fluid under pressure is fed into the cylinders behind the pistons 41 to force piston rods 27 out of their cylinders, the cylinders move upwardly, taking with them the attached flattening head 23. As hydraulic fluid under pressure is fed into the cylinders ahead of the pistons 41, and the fluid is vented from behind pistons 41, the pistons move back in the cylinders and retract piston rods 27. This action forces the cylinders and the attached flattening head 23 downwardly to accomplish the automobile flattening action. Even though the cylinders are capable of exerting greater pressure on the extension stroke, utilization of the retraction stroke as the pressure applying stroke can be equally powereful by making the cylinder bores large enough to provide the necessary effective piston area. This affords the highly desirable minimum height characteristics of the present apparatus without adversely affecting flattening ability.

In the form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 8 through 10 of the drawings in which primed numbers refer to the corresponding unprimed number in FIGS. 1 through 7, the cylinders A, B, C and D are inverted from the corresponding positions of cylinders A, B, C and D shown in FIGS. 1 through 7, and the cylinders are secured to the flattening bed 21. The distal ends of the piston rods 27' are secured, as by brackets 42 to the flattening head 23'. The function of the cylinders in this form of the invention is similar to that described in connection with the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 7 of the drawings, that is, the flattening head 23 is forced downwardly during the retraction stroke, and minimum overall height is provided when the flattening head is in its down position.

As a feature of the present invention, both the flattening bed 21 and the flattening head 23 are exceedingly strong and rigid, in order to resist the tremendous loads and stresses imposed when an automobile, engine and all, is flattened down to a height of approximately 12 inches. In the present invention, the required strength and rigidity is provided in a structure which is still light enough to conform to maximum weight limitations for highway transport vehicles. Basically, both units comprise a relatively thick, flat plate which provides the flattening surface, and this plate is stiffened and reinforced by a structure of interconnected longitudinal and transverse members.

As may best be seen in FIGS. 2 and 9 of the drawings, both the flattening bed 21 and flattening head 23 are relatively thick, when viewed from the side, and are deeper at the middle than at the ends. The interior of flattening bed 21 is occupied by a series of parallel girders 63 positioned in parallel spaced relation and interconnected by a series of transverse beams 44 under the flattening plate 46. Girders 43 extend between and are secured, as by welding, to plate 46 and to a bottom plate 47 to define a box-like structure of relatively light weight as compared to its great strength and rigidity.

The flattening head 23 is of somewhat similar construction, a flattening plate 43 and a top plate 49 connected by longitudinally extending vertical plates 51 to define a box-like structure of great strength and rigidity. Plates 51 are also connected by transverse vertical plates 52, which further reinforce flattening plate 46 against localized bending.

As here shown, the structure of flattening bed 21 is incorporated into and forms part of the trailer 37, the trailer being provided with the usual wheels 53 and front end structure 54 adapted for connection to a highway tractor unit. The hydraulic pump system 29 and the control means 31 are conveniently carried on platforms 56 and 57, provided by the structure at the front and rear of bed .21, and are protected from weather and flying debris by a suitable housing 55.

In the operation of the present apparatus to crush automobiles flat, different portions of the automobile bodies tend to collapse abruptly under the great pressure, sometimes spraying glass and metal fragments or other debris. In order to confine such debris to the area of the flattening bed 21, an upstanding apron 36 is mounted along one side thereof. As here shown, apron 58 is provided by a vertical plate 59, reinforced and held in upright position by structural members 60, and having spaced vertical guide plates 61 cooperative with flattening head 23. The automobiles to be crushed are inserted, and the flattened automobiles are removed, from the side of the flattening bed 21 opposite to the apron 5S.

Confinement of debris at the loading and unloading side of flattening bed 21 is here provided by an apron structure 62 consisting of a flat member 63 slidably mounted in vertical guides 6 on flattening head 23, on the side opposite to apron 56. During the automobile flattening operation,'member 63 hangs down from the flattening head 23 to intercept and confine debris. During loading and unloading operations, member 63 is slid upwardly out of the way to the retracted position of FIG. 1 by hydraulic cylinders 66, which are supplied with hydraulic fluid under pressure by the pump system 29 under the control of means 31.

A preferred form of the hydraulic system is illustrated schematically in FIG. 11 of the drawings, wherein insofar as practicable U.S.A. Standards Institute Fluid Power Symbol Standards graphic symbols have been employed. As may there be seen, the pump system 29 preferably includes a power source such as a gasoline or diesel engine 71, driving positive displacement pumps 72 and 73 which supply hydraulic fluid under pressure to actuate the various hydraulic cylinders. The control means 31 selectively supplies hydraulic fluid under pressure to the opposite ends of cylinders A-D, for extending or retracting the piston rods 27 to move the flattening head 23 up and down. A reservoir 741 supplies hydraulic fluid to the pumps 72 and 73 and receives spent fluid from control system 31.

As a feature of the present invention, the system operates at lower hydraulic pressure during the major portion of the up and down movement of the flattening head 23, and at higher pressure during the final stages of crushing. This makes possible a relatively high volume fluid supply at the lower pressure, enabling fairly rapid movement of the flattening head, and a lesser volume supply of fluid at the higher operating pressure to achieve maximum crushing force with the same power source 71.

As here shown, pumps 72 and 73 are'driven simultaneously by the engine 71, pump 72 having a pumping capacity of approximately 55 G.P.M. while pump 73 has a pumping capacity of about 29 G.P.M. The discharge side of, pump 72 communicates with reservoir 74 through an unloading valve 76 set to operate at a pilot pressure of about 1,000 psi. The discharge side of pump 73 is connected to reservoir 76 through a relief valve 77 set to operate at a pilot pressure of approximately 2,000 psi. Hydraulic fluid under pressure is supplied selectively to the front pair of cylinders A, B, and the rear pair of cylinders C, D, by conventional springsolenoid operated four-way valves 73 and 79, respectively. Check valves 31 and 82 are interposed in the discharge lines between pumps 72 and 73 and the fourway valves 76 and 79.

In operation, assuming the flattening head 23 is in raised position and a junked vehicle is on the flattening bed 21, valves 73 and 79 are actuated to supply hydraulic fluid under pressure from pumps 72 and 73 to the upper ends of cylinders A-D, and to vent hydraulic fluid to the reservoir from the lower ends of cylinders A-D. The combined volumetric output of pumps 72 and 73 causes comparatively rapid downward movement of the flattening head 23 toward the top of the vehicle being crushed. As flattening head 23 contacts the vehicle and encounters increasing resistance, the pressure at the discharge outlets of pumps 72 and 73 increases correspondingly.

In order to obtain a very powerful crushing action with an engine 71 of minimum size, the pilot line 83 of unloading valve 76 communicates with the discharge side of pump 73. Thus, when sufficient resistance to downward movement of the flattening head 23 occurs to cause back pressure at the discharge of pump 73 of approximately 1,000 psi, valve 76 opens and pump 72 merely pumps back to the reservoir against no resistance. In this condition, practically all of the power of engine 71 is utilized to operate pump 73, which pumps a lesser volume, but consequently is capable of operating at higher pressure with a given power source. Of course, as soon as valve 76 opens, the output of the pumping system drops from 55 G.P.M. to 29 G.P.M. and the downward progress of flattening head 23 slows accordingly. Relief valve 77 opens when pressure in the system exceeds about 2,000 psi, as occurs when the junked car is crushed as flat as possible in this apparatus. Safety pressure switches 84 are here connected to lines 39 and are operative to shut off engine 71 if pressure in cylinders A-D exceeds 2,000 lbs. per square inch.

Counterbalanced valves 86 are interposed in the lines 38 leading to the upper ends of cylinders A-D. The valves 86 perform the conventional function of providing back pressure during the initial portion of the descent of the flattening head 23 before it contacts the vehicle being crushed, and this back pressure prevents overrunning of the cylinders and too rapid drop of the flattening head.

The described hydraulic system is also used to actuate the door gate cylinders 64 and jacking cylinders 87 used to support the forward end 54 of the trailer and permit removal of the tractor. For this purpose, a selector valve 88 is connected to the output of pump 72 and selectively furnishes hydraulic fluid to control valves 89 and 91 supplying the jacking cylinders 87 to raise the trailer 21 from the tractor and level it. In the other position of selector valve 88, the discharge of pump 73 is communicated with the discharge of pump 72 for joint supplying of hydraulic fluid to the-four-way valves 78 and 79.

In accordance with the present invention, an equalizing or leveling action is provided to compensate for variations in the crushability of automobile bodies from one end to the other. Ordinarily the body and chassis portions are more easily crushed than the engine and transmission. Since flattening pressure is being applied to the flattening head 23 at its comers, the resistance to downward movement toward the flattening bed varies along its length, depending on the type of automobile being crushed and its orientation in the apparatus. Accordingly, one end of head 23 may descend faster than the other end, causing an unwanted tilting effect. Such tilting is avoided in the present invention by provisions for inhibiting the action of the cylinders at the higher end to supply more fluid under pressure to the cylinders at the lower end, thus providing a leveling effeet.

As here shown, the described leveling is accomplished by a pair of limit switches 101 mounted on guideways 34 and 36 in position to be contacted and activated by guideposts 32 and 33 when any longitudinal tilting of flattening head 23 occurs. The switches 101 actuate the solenoids of four-way valves 78, 79 to close the four-way valve connected to the cylinders A, B or C, D at the lower end of head 23. This immobilizes those cylinders until the other end is pressed down far enough to level the head and release the limit switches 101, letting the closed four-way valve return to open position.

From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the machine for compressing and flattening junked automobiles as shown and described herein operates rapidly and effectively to flatten junked automobiles, and provides for much more efficient use of the apparatus by making it movable from location to location over the highways without exceeding height or weight limitations and without requiring special and time-consuming operations to prepare the apparatus for highway travel, or to prepare it for automobile flattening when it reaches its destination.

I claim:

1. A machine for flattening junked automobiles, comprising a flattening bed having a generally horizontal substantially flat upper surface,

a flattening head mounted for vertical movement toward and away from said flattening bed and having a generally horizontal substantially flat undersurface confronting said upper surface,

fluid actuated cylinder means having extended and retracted terminal positions, said cylinder means being operatively connected to said flattening head and said flattening bed in such manner that movement of said cylinder means toward said extended position lifts said flattening head away from said flattening bed and movement of said cylinder means toward said retracted position urges said flattening head toward said flattening bed so as to crush flat an automobile positioned between said flattening head and said flattening bed, and

guide means cooperative with said flattening head and said flattening bed to maintain said flat under surface and said flat upper surface in substantially parallel horizontal position at all locations during said movement of said cylinder means, said guide means comprising a pair of upstanding guide posts supported on said vehicle at the opposite ends of said flattening bed and flattening head, and

a pair of guideways attached to the opposite ends of said flattening head and formed for sliding movement up and down said vertical guideposts.

2. A machine as described in claim 1, and wherein said upper surface of said flattening bed and said undersurface of said flattening head are generally rectangular and coextensive and are proportioned to receive an automobile therebetween when said cylinder means is in extended position and to flatten such automobile therebetween as said cylinder means moves toward said retracted position.

3. A machine as described in claim 2, and wherein said fluid actuated cylinder means includes individual cylinders operable in unison and positioned adjacent to the comers of said rectangular upper surface of said flattening bed and said under surface of said flattening head.

4. A machine as described in claim 3, and wherein.

said cylinders are operated hydraulically and saidcylinfluid from said hydraulic pump system to said cylinders.

5. A machine as described in claim 3, and wherein said flattening bed is mounted on'a highway vehicle with said cylinders upright, and with the uppermost portions of said flattening head and said cylinders within Federal maximum height limitations.

6. A machine as described in claim 2, and wherein said cylinder means includes a cylinder secured to said flattening head, and a piston rod vertically reciprocable in said cylinder and extending downwardly therefrom to a distal end, and means securing said distal end to said flattening bed.

7. A machine as described in claim 2, and wherein said cylinder means includes individual cylinders mounted on said flattening head adjacent to the corners of said rectangular undersurface, and wherein said cylinders have piston rods which extend downwardly from said individual cylinders and are secured at their distal ends to said flattening bed adjacent to the corresponding corners of said rectangular upper surface.

8. A machine as described in claim 7, and wherein the recited elements are mounted on a highway trailer and are formed so that the unit is of minimum height when said piston rods are retracted.

9. A machine as described in claim 1, and wherein said cylinder means includes a cylinder secured to said flattening head, and a piston rod mounted for vertical reciprocation in said cylinder extending downwardly therefrom, and means securing saiddistal end of said piston rod to said flattening bed.

10. A machine as described in claim 1, and wherein said cylinder means includes a cylinder secured to said flattening bed, and a piston rod mounted for vertical reciprocation in said cylinder and extending upwardly therefrom, and means securing said distal end of said piston rod to said flattening head.

11. A machine as described in claim 10, and wherein said cylinder means includes individual cylinders mounted on said flattening bed adjacent to the corners of said rectangular upper surface, and wherein piston rods extend upwardly fromsaid individual cylinders and are secured at their distal ends to said flattening head adjacent to the corresponding corners of said rectangular lower surface.

12. A machine as described in claim 10, and wherein the recited elements are mounted on a highway trailer and are formed so that the unit is of minimum height when said piston rods are retracted.

13. A portable'machine for flattening automobile bodies, comprising a wheeled highway vehicle,

a flattening bed formed with a generally rectangular and planar upper surface mounted in substantially horizontal position on said vehicle,v

a flattening head supported in overlying alignment above said flattening bed for vertical movement between raised and lowered positions, said flattening head being formed with a generally rectangular and planar undersurface confronting and generally co extensive with said upper surface of said flattening bed and movable up and down in parallel relation thereto.

a pair of vertically upstandingguide posts supported on said vehicle at the opposite ends of said upper and under surfaces, a

va pair of guideways attached to the opposite narrower ends of said flattening head and formed for sliding movement up and down said vertical guide posts,

pairs of hydraulic cylinders mounted at the narrower ends of said flattening head on opposite sides of said guideways,

a hydraulic piston formed for reciprocating vertical movement in each of said cylinders,

a piston rod extending vertically from each of said cylinders and having one end attached to said piston in said cylinder for vertical movement therewith and a distal end extending vertically from its cylinder, and

hydraulic means connected to said cylinders and formed for selectively supplying hydraulic fluid under pressure to said cylinders on opposite sides of said pistons in unison to effectuate extending and retracting strokes of said piston rods,

said cylinders and their said piston rods being operatively connected between said flattening head and said flattening bed to urge same together on said retracting stroke and apart on said extending stroke whereby the overall height of said cylinders and their associated piston rods is at a minimum when said flattening head is in said lowered position.

14. A machine as described in claim 13, and wherein said hydraulic cylinders are secured to said flattening head, and the distal ends of said piston rods are secured to said flattening bed, and said hydraulic means is formed for selectively supplying hydraulic fluid under pressure to the upper ends of said cylinders to cause said flattening head to rise, and for selectively supplying said fluid to the lower ends of said cylinders to cause said flattening head to descend toward said flattening bed.

15. A machine as described in claim 13, and wherein the lower ends of said cylinders are secured to said vehicle, and the distal ends of said piston rods are secured to said flattening head, and wherein said hydraulic means is formed for slectively supplying hydraulic fluid under pressure to the lower ends of said cylinders to cause said flattening head to rise and for supplying hydraulic fluid under pressure to the upper ends of said cylinders to cause said flattening head to descend toward said flattening bed.

l6.A machine as described in claim 13, and wherein said hydraulic means comprises a reservoir for hydraulic fluid, a pump having an inlet connected to said reservoir and an outlet, first and second two-way valves connected to said outlet, said first two-way valve being formed and connected to opposite ends of the pair of said cylinders at one end of said flattening head, said second two-way valve being formed and connected to opposite ends of the pair of said cylinders at the other end of said flattening head, and solenoid means connected to said first and second two-way valves for actu- 18. A machine as described in claim 13, and wherein said flattening head is formed for effecting sliding bed formed an upsPandmg movement of said door between a downwardly dependalong one of its long sides, a flat member mounted for vertical sliding movement on said flattening head on the side opposite to said apron, and power means on 5 ing operative position and a lifted position.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification100/100, 100/295, 100/269.8, 100/258.00A, 100/214, 100/901, 100/269.19
International ClassificationB30B9/32
Cooperative ClassificationB60P3/14, Y10S100/901, B30B9/32
European ClassificationB60P3/14, B30B9/32