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Publication numberUS3802103 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1974
Filing dateJan 15, 1973
Priority dateJan 15, 1973
Publication numberUS 3802103 A, US 3802103A, US-A-3802103, US3802103 A, US3802103A
InventorsL Neff
Original AssigneeTransipal Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sign
US 3802103 A
Abstract
A frame for holding an advertising display mounted on the rear of a trailor. The rearmost portion of the frame includes a translucent protective panel. The advertising display is sandwiched between that protective surface and a similar translucent panel. A fluorescent tube is mounted behind the advertising to illuminate the sign when the ignition circuit of the tractor-trailor is closed. Means are provided for allowing the frame to pivot about both a vertical axis at the approximate center-rear of the sign and another vertical axis at one edge of the trailor. Locking means are provided to hold the frame in operative, relatively fixed position when the trailor is ready for movement.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Neff SIGN

lnventor: Lee M. Neff, Zanesville, Ohio Assignee: Transipal lnc., Malta, Ohio Filed: Jan. 15, 1973 Appl. No.: 323,850

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1955 Norfleet 40 129c 7/1956 'McConnell 40/132 R 4/1932 Koch 40/129 R UX. 12/1964 Hastings '40/129 C [111 1 3,802,103 1451 Apr. 9,1974

Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-John F. Pitrelli A frame for holding an advertising display mounted on the rear of a trailor. The rearmost portion of the frame includes a translucent protective panel. The advertising display is sandwiched between that protective surface and a similar translucent panel. A fluorescent tube is mounted behind the advertising to illuminate the sign when the ignition circuit of the tractor-trailor is closed. Means are provided for allowing the frame to pivot about both a vertical axis at the approximate center-rear of the sign and another vertical axis at one edge of the trailor. Locking means are provided to hold the frame in operative, relatively fixed position when the trailor is ready for movement.

16 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures ATENTEDAFR 9 I974 SHEEI 1 0F 6 Fig. l

PAIENTEDAPR 9 I974 I SHEET 3 BF 6 Fig. 7A

PATENTEDAFR 9 I974 SHEET If 6 Fig. IO

cam-2.1%

IATENTEBAPR 9 m4 SHEEI 5 BF 6 SIGN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The front and therear surfaces of large trailors used by commercial freight haulers on highways have not been utilized for advertising purposes to the same extent that similar spaces onmunicipal buses and like commercial vehicles havebeen used. The reasons for this are many but, some are as follows:

1. The best sign advertisements are illuminated and traditional illumination on trailors used on rough and bumpy roads does not last for any sustained-period of time.

2. Advertising, once painted on a trailor will last a long time and often an advertiser is unwilling to pay fees for long-term advertising. As a consequence,

- he gets free advertising for a long period of timeor else the trailor owner must charge a higher price because of thefrequent repainting necessary.

3. The large tires of tractor-trailors throw up mud, dirt and debris which tends to give the painted display an unsightly appearance and often chipsthe' paint or breaks any translucent covering used as a shield i a j 4.Sign displays not painted directly on the truck but,

mounted as a separate unit, require such complicated bolting and unbolting to remove and install that the labor costs become prohibitive. The sign of this inventioncompletely overcomes the objectionable features of prior signs indicated above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The display of advertising material in this invention comprises drawings, lettering, etc. which printed, painted or otherwise attached to a translucent sheet,

which is in turn sandwiched between twotransluccnt or transparent LEXAN panels'mounted in a frame work In both types of openings the illuminated sign of this invention includes some means for pivoting the sign about a vertical axis lying in a plane bisecting the sign itself and also pivoting about a vertical axis at the edge of the opening. Where a roll-top? type of opening is provided, a box frame means extends from one side edge of the trailor to the centerline of the sign, its extremes extend through the two pivot axes. Where swing-out type doors are included, a bracket pivotally connects the sign to the face of one door and the hinges of the door provide the pivot axis at the side edge of the trailor. I

The reason for the two pivot points or axes is very important to the industry and in some cases two axes. are critical to the use or nonuse .of such sign displays. Where trucks are continually lined up to be loaded and unloaded, there is a limited space available for such trucks. Thus, a sign such as the one disclosed in this invention and extending substantially completely across the opening, could not be rigidly attached to one or the other of the swing-out doors involved nor could it be rigidly attached so as not to pivot with respect to the box frame where a roll-top"type opening isused. The. swing arc would betoo great to clear adjacent trailors. However, providing the pivoting axis near the centerline of the-sign allows the sign to pivot such that, when the door or box frame-has been swung 180 from the closed position, the sign itself will have rotated only 90. In other words, the 180 rotation of the door would provide its widest extension beyond the sidewall of the trailor; whereas, with the sign pivotable at that point,

, it can be turned such that only its narrow side edge is immediately infront of a fluorescent tube. The frame cent tube is connected directly into the electrical system of the tractor itself.

While the signas disclosed in this case could be mounted on the cab or the tractor or on the front end of the trailer above the tractor cab, it will be described hereinafter as being mounted on the rear of the trailor. Certainly, those having ordinary skill in the art, would recognize other commercial applications for the herein disclosed sign other than on the rear of a trailorand such applications are clearly within the concept of this invention.

Theframe itself ismounted to extend substantially .completely'across the door opening in the rear 'of a trailor, Some trailors have a roll-top" type of door which is a segmented, hinged door to be lifted upward for sliding along the top, inside of the trailor. The raised door provides the opening for loading and unloading the trailor. a 7

Other trailershave two rear doors which are mounted at the lateral edges of the openingand swing outwardly and for convenience and proper utilization of the interior and exterior space. Exterior space is inherently limited at loading and unloading docks, thus, the doors are adapted to swing completely out of the enclosure and back around alongside the sidewall of the trailor itself.

extending outwardly from the door edge. Thus, the pivoted sign can swing past the sidewalls of adjacent trailors and not obstruct the passageway therebetween. Without this pivoting feature, one could not open and close such doors without moving adjacent trailers; ob viously, an undesirable situation.

. Thereis a distinction between the box frame mountingand the swinging door mounting. Th'e sign must rotate relative to the door such that its translucent side will still face away from the trailor when the door has been swung 270 intocontactwith the sidewall .of the trailor; To accomplish this, a flange or bracket extension must be providedwhich spaces the sign itself from the rear outer wall of thedoor by an amount not substantially less than the thickness of the door itself. Thus, with the proper spacing and turning of the pivotable sign, it can lie flush with the inside surfaceof the pivoting door when said door is swung 270 from its closed position. This will be explained in more detail subsequently but, it will become clear that no such structure is necessary with thelarge box frame used for mounting the sign on a iroll-toptype opening, unless the box frame itself is of considerable thickness which i is not contemplated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tractor-trailor having the sign of this invention mounted on the rear end of the trailor and particularly illustrating a roll-top type rear door in the trailor.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of the sign of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3'is a fragmentary elevational view of the sign of FIG. 2 pivoted 180 from FIG. 2, illustrating the rear side of the sign.

FIG. 4 is a plan'view of the sign mounted on the rear of the trailor and showing in phantom the pattern described by the sign and box frame during its pivoting to a position alongside the trailor sidewall.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view partially in section, taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 2.

FIGS 7A and. 7B illustrate alternative means for locking the sign of FIG. 2 against pivoting while the trailor is in motion.

1 FIG. 8 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 2 but, illustrating a trailor having two swing-open type doors.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 99 of FIG. 8. g

FIG. 10 is an elevational view of the rear surface of the sign illustrated in FIG. 8 and taken along line 10-10 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a plan view similar to FIG. 4 but, illustrating the sequential opening of one door of FIG. 8 and the movements of the attached sign.

FIG. 1-2 is a side elevational view of the sign of this invention in section and particularly illustrating the bumpers affixed to the back of the sign and designed to abut the outside face of the rear doors.

FIGS. 13A and 13B illustrate alternative designs for the mounting bracket extending between the rear face of the door and the sign frame.

FIG. 14 illustrates one additional modification of the bracket of FIG. 13A and 138, in that, it shows an ad ju stmentfeature for changing the spacing between the door and the sign frame. I

FIG. 15 illustrates the electrical circuit system for exciting and illuminating the fluorescent tube mounted between the advertising display.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS.

- tallic frame with fluorescent tube 22 mounted therein, see FIG. 12 for a cross-sectionalview illustrating the placement of tube 22. The translucent wall 24 facing away from the rear of the trailor consists of a sheet of LEXAN (General Electric trademark for a polycarbonate plastic material having the property of being particularly tough and being difficult to fracture) The light transmitted from the tube 22 passes sequentially through the advertising copy 28 and subsequently the translucent rear face of the sign 24 and this particular combination is unique in its combination with a trailor. The inventor is aware of alternate structures having illumination from above, below or the sides with the light reflected from the surface of the advertising copy toward the viewer. But the inventors design is superior because (I) the sheet 24 protects the illuminating means, (2) transmitted light provides superior reso lution without glare and (3) the fluorescent tube 22 has no filaments to be shaken loose by rough handling or road surfaces.

Very simple means are designed for removing and inserting new advertising material. Observing FIG. 12, it

. wil be seen that a flanged bar is held to the lower and between the LEXAN layer 24 and another inner LEXAN sheet 26 is sandwiched a sheet of advertising copy 28. Obviously, to get the right effect, an illumiportion of the frame 20 by screws or bolts 32. There may be two or more bolts for holding the bar 30 or the bar may be hinged at one corner. Unscrewing the bolts 32 allows the bar 30 to be removed and the two panels 24, 26 slide downwardly from the frame with the advertising copy 28 between the two. The original sheet of copy 28 can be removed and another inserted, then the sandwich can be lifted back into place and the bar 30 reattached. Note that an inwardly extending flange 34 extends periphen'cally around the rear opening in the frame 20 and serves to hold the edges of the panel 24 in place A similar flange 36 on the bar 30 serves the same function.

Now observing FIGS. 2 and 3, the box frame or mounting bracket and holding structure will be described. A bracket 38 or roughly a block A-shape is mounted for pivoting at each end. Pins projecting through eyelets in the bracket, the frame plates 40 and body plates 42 serve as pivot points, best illustrated in FIG. 3. No detailed explanation appears necessary as it appears any competent mechanic could assemble and operate the device in the intended way, once he is shown how to assemble the-apparatus and FIG. 3 does that.

Note thewires 44, leading from the sidewall of the trailor into the frame structure. No detailed explanation appears necessary on this point, however, thecircuit diagram for the apparatus will be explained subsequently as illustrated in FIG; 15.

A handle 46 extends downwardly from the sign to allow an operator standing on the ground to munipulate the sign in its proper pivoting movement. The handle 46 itself is really an F-shaped metal framework with the cross pieces 48 serving as part of the lock mechanism for holding the sign in placewhen the trailor is in motion. The lock mechanism itself includes two L- shaped channels 50,52 welded to the lefthand, rear face of the trailor, which channels serve to limit upward and downward movement of the cross pieces 48, see particularly FIG. 5. A vertically extending rod 54 is pivotable in straps 56 to rotate lugs 58 to a position to cover one end of each cross piece48. Pivoting of the rod-54 is accomplished by handle 60, which is in turn pivoted on pin 62 in the well known manner. A latch 64 holds the handle 60 in locked position, see FIG. 7A. With the rod 54 pivoted to locking position the lugs 58 hold cross pieces 48 against the trailor and between the channels 50,52. Thus, the sign cannot move.

FIG. 7B is a similar but alternative structure to FIG. 7A but, with the different latch 66.

'A double or second lock is provided in the well known manner of a slotted plate 65, U-shaped projection 67 and pin 69 to prevent relative movement between the box frame 38 and sign. frame 20, see FIG. 2.

Turning now to the alternate embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8 which includes two doors 68'pivotable on hinges 70 from opposite sides of the trailor, an identical frame is mounted on the rear of the trailor but, this time by a slightly different mechanism which isbest illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10. Plates 72 and 74 are attached by bolts or other means to door 68 and frame 20, respectively. It will be noted particularly that in FIGS. 9 and 13A a flange 76 integral with-plate 74 spaces the frame 20 a given distance from the rear outside face of the door 68; this is to allow the kind of piv oting best illustrated in FIG. 1. The spacing itself is approximately the same as the thickness of the door 68. This allows the flange 76 to bridge past the inside face of the door 68 as the door pivots in one direction and the frame 20 pivots in the other direction, such that the final resting position is as illustrated at 78 in FIG. 11, with the outside face of the door lying substantially flush with .the sidewall of the trailor l2 and thesign pivoted just less than 180 with respect to the door itself.

FIG. 13B illustrates a modified shape for the spacing flange 7 6. It will certainly be recognized by anyone having ordinary skill in the art that the U-shape or de pression of the flange 76 in FIGS. 9 and 11 is not absolutely necessary as' the flange could extend directly back to the frame 20 from the pin illustrated in FIG. 13B. it i Observing FIG. 14, which is another modification of flange 76, it is seenthat flanges 82 and 84 project from the doorplate 72 and the frame plate 74 respectively and that each has a plurality of apertures 85 therethrough. Two bolts 86 project through apertures 85 to hold thebrackets and flanges rigidly in place and the frame 20 properly spaced from the door 68. Thepur poseof the-plurality of apertures and bolts is toallow for the adjustment in spacing between the frame'and the door 68. Certainly, refrigerated trucks. have thicker rear doors than dotrucks for hauling light bulbs. The intent, of course, is to have a uniform mounting'bracket which may be used to mount the sign on all rear doors. The only adjustments necessary, from one truck to another is .the spacing of the frame 20 from the rear outside surface of the door and this is accomplished by proper placement of the bolts through particular matched apertures;

It will be recognized that in fact, only one needed for the plurality of apertures, provided appropriate cooperating lug or guide means are included on the edges of the flanges 82 and 84. One bolt is merely to Prevent pivoting of one flange relative to the other. Appropriately spaced lugs can serve the same purpose as the second bolt. One of the flanges 74 or 76 could be made from a U-shaped channel with the other one sliding into thechannel in a tongue-in-groove type arrangement to prevent the pivoting action. No doubt, other modifications of this particular structure will be obvious to those having ordinary skill in the art but, the concept is the same.

FIG. 15 is the circuit diagram for the sign. Power for operating the sign lighting circuit is supplied from the tractors-electrical system and delivered through wires 80 without the offset bolt is 'froma low voltage D.C. source such as the 12 to 48 volt systems commonly used in truck electrical systems, rather than the 1 10-120 voltA.C. supply voltage used in most stationary lighting applications. Such ballast systems are well known to those having ordinary skill in the art and no detailed explanation of system 90 appears necessary. i

I claim: i l. A frame for holding anadvertisingdisplay, said frame being mounted on the rearof a trailor across an opening used for loading and unloading the trailor,

said frame including a vertically extending translucent side, i t means for supporting the frame for (l) pivotal movement about a first vertical axis lying in a vertical plane substantially bisecting the frame perpendicu lar to the translucent side and (2) pivotal move axis near one side of means for holding the frame against pivoting with the translucent side facing away from the opening.

2. The frame of claim 1 wherein the supporting means comprises a bracket pivotally attached at both one edge of the opening and the middle portion of the frame, i v 1 t the holding means comprises a locking means fixed to the side of the-openingopposite said bracket attachment. t v g 3. The frame of claim 2 wherein the illuminating means comprises a. fluorescent electric tube energized by direct current.

4. The frame of claim 1 wherein the illuminating means comprises a fluorescent electric tube energized H by direct current.

5. The frame of claim 1 wherein the supporting means comprises a door extending half the width of the opening and bracket means mounted on both the outside surface of the door and one surface of the frame.

6. The frame of claim 5 wherein the first vertical pivot axis lies substantially closer to the outside surface of the door than to the frame. I

7. The frame of claim 6 wherein the illuminating means comprises a fluorescent electric tube energized by direct current. i

8. The frame of claim 5 wherein the bracket includes plates attached to the outside surface of the door and the opposing surface of the frame,

a first transversely extending flange being pivotable about an axis adjacent the door plate,

a second transversely extending flange projecting substantially perpendicular to the frame plate and in a vertical plane,

the two flanges being connected by bolt means extending through aperture means in each flange,

each flange including a plurality of spaced apertures for allowing adjustment of the spacing between the outside door surface and the frame.

9. Theframe of claim wherein with the door closed the bracket means supports the frame in operative position spaced from the outside surface of the door by an amount not substantially less than the thickness of said door.

10. The frame .of claim 9 wherein the bracket includes plates attached to the outside surface of the door and the opposing surface of the frame,

a first transversely extending flange being pivotable about an axis adjacent the door plate,

a second transversely extending flange projecting substantially perpendicular to the frame plate and in a vertical plane,

the two flanges being connected by bolt means extending through aperture means in each flange,

eachflange including a plurality of spaced apertures for allowing adjustment of the spacing between the outside door surface and the frame.

11. The frame of claim 9 wherein the first vertical pivot axis lies substantially closer to the outside surface of the door than to the frame.

12. The frame of claim 11 wherein the bracket in-.

cludes plates attached to the outside surface of the door and the opposing surface of the frame,

a first transversely extending flange being pivotable about an axis adjacent the door plate,

a second transversely extending flange projecting substantially perpendicular to the frame plate and in a vertical plane,

the two flanges being connected by-bolt means extending through aperture means in each flange,

each flange including a plurality of spaced apertures for allowing adjustment of the spacing between the outside door surface and the frame.

13. The frame of claim 11 wherein the illuminating means comprises a fluorescent electric tube energized by direct current.

14. The frame of claim 13 wherein the bracket includes plates attached to the outside surface of the door and the opposing surface of the frame,

a first transversely extending flange being pivotable about an-axis adjacent the door plate,

a second transversely extending flange projecting substantially perpendicular to the frame plate and in a vertical plane,

the two flanges being connected by bolt means ex- I tending through aperture means in each flange,

each flange including a plurality of spaced apertures for allowing adjustment of the spacing between the outside door surface and the frame.

15. The frame of claim 5 wherein the illuminating means comprises a fluorescent electric tube energized by direct current.

16. The frame of claim 15 wherein the bracket includes plates attached to the outside surface of the door and the opposing surface of the frame,

a first transversely extending flange being pivotable about an axis adjacent the door plate,

a second transversely extending flange projecting substantially perpendicular to the frame plate and in a vertical plane, the two flanges being connected by bolt means extending through aperture means in each flange, each flange including a plurality of spaced apertures for allowing adjustment of the spacing between the outside door surface and the frame.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1854654 *Jun 8, 1931Apr 19, 1932Jr Louis A KochElectric sign
US2724917 *May 21, 1952Nov 29, 1955Charles M Norfleet JrFrame for displaying advertising material on motor vehicles
US2753640 *Sep 9, 1953Jul 10, 1956Taxineon IncIlluminated sign for vehicles
US3161973 *Nov 27, 1963Dec 22, 1964Hastings Warren SSign mounting means for a vehicle bumper
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3958350 *Jul 25, 1975May 25, 1976Kux Manufacturing CompanySign board for truck trailers, semi-trailers and shipping containers
US4087124 *Feb 6, 1976May 2, 1978Rudkin-Wiley CorporationIlluminated drag reducing system
US4094083 *Jul 20, 1977Jun 13, 1978Modular ProductsVehicle placarding apparatus
US4622494 *Feb 19, 1986Nov 11, 1986Johnson Robert MFor utilization on vehicles
US5355117 *Nov 18, 1992Oct 11, 1994Jefferson Len BVehicle warning sign
US5415451 *Nov 10, 1993May 16, 1995Stanton; Ralph A.Advertisement mounting system for semi-trailers and the like
US6114954 *Apr 1, 1999Sep 5, 2000Palett; Anthony P.Luggage carrier with illumination means
US6122850 *Nov 12, 1998Sep 26, 2000Strzeletz; HenrykMobile billboard system
US6145230 *Apr 2, 1999Nov 14, 2000Holmberg; Larry AllanRemovable advertising display for pickup trucks
US6598327Aug 10, 2000Jul 29, 2003Henryk StrzeletzMobile advertising system
US6769726Aug 18, 2003Aug 3, 2004Patrick Frank ClarkTruck mounted advertising system
US6789833 *Apr 18, 2003Sep 14, 2004Frank R. AlberTailgate advertising apparatus and methods
US6918200Apr 25, 2003Jul 19, 2005John PenaBillboard manufacture and support assembly
US6945584 *Sep 3, 2004Sep 20, 2005Alber Frank RTailgate advertising apparatus and methods
US6988761 *Jul 14, 2004Jan 24, 2006Brian StidhamInterlocking channeled trailer side panels with integrated sliding outer panel inserts
US7051465 *Aug 23, 2003May 30, 2006Slesinski Steven GTrailer door advertising system
US7287349 *Apr 13, 2005Oct 30, 2007Autoflex, Inc.Low speed electric vehicle mobile advertising system
US7444771Mar 26, 2007Nov 4, 2008Enrico RaccahDisplay device for use with vehicle
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US7882653 *May 31, 2005Feb 8, 2011Frog Marketing, Inc.Mobile billboard advertising system and apparatuses
US20110084164 *Oct 8, 2010Apr 14, 2011Mag Aerospace Industries, Inc. D/B/A Monogram Systems, Inc.Panel inserts for aircraft and other vessels
US20110215199 *May 20, 2011Sep 8, 2011Mag Aerospace Industries, Inc. D/B/A Monogram Systems, Inc.Panel Inserts for Aircraft and Other Vessels
US20120011000 *Jan 6, 2011Jan 12, 2012Eslee Buckley BarlowMobile billboard advertising system and apparatuses
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/591, 40/606.15, 40/564
International ClassificationG09F21/04
Cooperative ClassificationG09F21/04, G09F21/048
European ClassificationG09F21/04