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Publication numberUS3815517 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 11, 1974
Filing dateAug 20, 1973
Priority dateAug 20, 1973
Publication numberUS 3815517 A, US 3815517A, US-A-3815517, US3815517 A, US3815517A
InventorsPrzybylinski P
Original AssigneePullman Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automobile container
US 3815517 A
A three tiered automobile carrying container is provided comprising a soft skeletonized frame construction fitted within and about a series of interconnected sheet assemblies forming continuous longitudinally extending torsion tubes extending from the end wall to the open end of the container. The soft frame permits deflection of the frame unit to thereby utilize the torsion resisting characteristics of the interconnected wall sheet and deck sheet members.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 91 1111 3,815,517 1451 June 11, 1974 Przybylinski AUTOMOBILE CONTAINER [75] Inventor: Phillip G. Przybylinski,' Scherevi11e,


[73] Assignee: Pullman Incorporated, Chicago, 111. [22] Filed: Aug. 20, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 389,912

[52 us. c1. 105/368 R, 206/65 R 51 Int, Cl .B60p 7/08 [58] Field or Search 105/368 R, 367 369 R,

[56] v 6' References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,180,285 4/1965 Gutridgc 105/368 R 3/1966 DePodesta et a1. 105/368 R 3,739,906 6/1973 Cwycyshyn et a1. 206/65 R Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Michael Y. Mar Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Hilmond O. Vogel [57] ABSTRACT A three tiered automobile carrying container is provided comprising a softskeletonizedframe construction fitted within and about a series of interconnected sheet assemblies forming continuous longitudinally extending torsion tubesextending from the end wall to the open end of the container. The soft frame permits vdeflection of the framef unit tothereby utilize the torsion resisting characteristics of the interconnected wall sheet and deck sheet members.-

11 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUH 1 1 1974 3.8155 1 7 sum 2 or 5 PATENTEDJUNH m4 ale-145L517 SHEET 30F 5' PATENTEDJun 1 1 m4 v SHEET t 0F 5 1 AUTOMOBILE CONTAINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to containers capable of carrying a plurality of automobiles and said container being transportable from an on deck position on a railway flat car to an off deck unloaded position.

2. Description of the Prior Art Large containers which are transported on the deck of a railway flat car are subjected to swaying as well as vibrational forces during transit. Prior art containers have encountered structural frame failures caused by the motion of the container when loaded with automobiles, and, in some instances, failures have occurred on mpty containers during transit. Efforts to reinforce the corners located at the junction of the decks and attached side wall units have generally resulted in the undesirable addition of weight to the container. The additional weight is generally provided by increasing the cross section at the point of failure with the addition of reinforcing angles or gussets. The applicants invention provides a unique structural design which minimizes the container weight by utilizing the inherent torsional resistant capabilities of continuous tubes.

SUMMARY 1 This invention relates to an open ended container used in the transport of automobiles and having a roof and three associated walls connected thereto. Each container has an open end which may be positioned to abut the adjacent open end of another container to thereby provide a continuous enclosed structure surrounding the transported automobiles. The enclosed structure thus provided is intended to protect the automobiles during transit from vandalism, thefts, as well as damage from the elements. The container includes a skeletonized frame unit comprising a plurality of vertically extending wall posts. Attached to the wall posts is a triangular support structure including a wheel trough portion extending the lengtth of the container and adapted to receive and support the wheels of a transported vehicle. Shear stiffeners extend transversely across the frame unit to interconnect the triangular wheel support units associated with side posts. Attached to this soft skeletonized frame are wall sheets which extend along the outside of the container and are integrally attached to wheel trough sheet members which in turn are fixedly attached to centrally disposed shear plate members which are locatedbeneath the automobiles. Thus the invention provides a plurality of rectangular hollow tubes having a closed end and subject to torsional deflection during car movement resulting in the torsional load being transmitted through the soft frame member and into the side wall and horizonlightweight, high strength container for the transport of several automobiles and having a torsion tube construction.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a soft or deflectable skeletonized container framing structure which is -permitted a limited degree of movement during loading thereby utilizing the torsional resistance capabilities of the interconnected wall sheets and floor sheet units.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a wheel trough support structure defining a cantilever type reinforcing triangle comprising a diagonally extending flange member extending from a wall post and extending inwardly and upwardly of the container.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a container having floor sheet structure comprising trough sheets at the side margins of the container and being interconnected with a centrally disposed sheet member.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a plurality of longitudinally spaced and transversely extending shear stiffeners attached to the centrally disposed floor sheet of each level thereby dividing the floor sheet into a plurality of smaller reinforced apparent from referenceto the. following description,

attached drawings andappended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS. FIG. 1 is a pictorial illustration of a railway freight car loaded with four of the containers of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of one of the containers illustrated in FIG. 1;

. FIG. 3 is an end view of the open end of a container taken generally along lines 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken generally along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view taken generally along lines 55 of FIG. 3; I

FIG. 5a is a pictorial illustration of the wall to floor connection of the lower level of a container;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 2; v

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the splice plate taken generally along lines 7-7 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view showing the transverse reinforcing bar and taken along lines 8-8 of FIG.

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 9-9 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 10-10 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view taken along lines lll1 of FIG. 2; and,

FIG. 12 is an enlarged view of the structure contained in the circle designated by the numeral 12a of FIG. 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 there is disclosed a pictorial of the containers 10 involved inthe present invention and mounted upon a conventional railway flat car 12. As noticed from FIG. 1, there are four containers mounted on the deck of the flat car 12 and arranged with the end containers having heir open ends towards the two centrally 3 mounted containers thereby providing a completely enclosed automobile transporting unit. Each container includes four restraining corner brackets 14 which are conveniently positioned along the sides and at the ends of the flat car 12 to thereby provide a means for receivin and restraining the containers on' the deck of the flat car 12. Each container is semi-enclosed structure comprising a single end wall 16 including wall sheets 17, a pair of verticallyextending side wall units 18 having side wall sheets 19, and a roof unit 20 placed atop the end wall 16 and the spaced side wall units 18. Each container 10 also includes an open end through which the automobiles may be conveniently unloaded and loaded. Automobiles may be loaded into the containers at trackside or a location other than on the vehicle followed by lifting the loaded container with the automobiles onto the deck of the flat car 12. The containers 10 may be loaded by means of an overhead crane which may engage the lifting blocks 22 or the underside of the reinforcing side rail 24 which extends along each side wall unit 18. The roof unit 20 has a tapered side portion on each side thereof which extends diagonally from the top of the side wall unit 18 thereby conforming with AAR clearance diagrams.

The-construction of each container 10 includes a skeletonized soft frame assembly which includes corner posts 26 and 29 andtwo intermediate'vertically extending wall posts 27 and 28.

Extending transversely of the vehicle and'interconnecting the associated pairs of .both corner posts 26 and wall posts 27 and 28 is a bar unit designated generally by the numeral 30 and which includes a horizontally extending centrally disposed shear stiffener divider portion 30a which is structurally interconnected with the diagonally extending cantilever beam portion 30b which extends diagonally from the associated wall post member. The splice plates 32 are fitted about the underside of the cantilever beam portion 30b and insure a continuing and structurally sound connection between the cantilever beam portion 30b and the associated wall posts. The forward vertical wall posts 28 are interconnected by a transversely extending channel member 34 which includes a lower reinforcing flange 36 which ties the end portions of the channel 34 into the associated side wall post 28.

4 portion 46. Overlapping this connecting flange portion 46 is a central or drip sheet portion 48 which extends across the width of each tier of the container to interconnect with the associated connecting flange of the oppositely spaced trough sheet 43. At the point where each of the trough sheets is cut out or recessed to fit around the associated wall posts, splicer plates such as those indicated by the numeral 49 on the upper and intermediate levels, and splice plates designated by the numeral 49a on the lower tier, have been utilized.

With reference once again to FIG. 11, it is noticed that a Z-shaped mounting angle 50 is positioned at the junction of the connecting flange 46 and the associated diagonally extending trough sheet portion 45. This mounting angle 50 provides an attaching surface for the locking and guide rail 51 which is fixedly attached thereto. As noticed in FIG. 3, there are three such At the junction of the intermediate and upper tiers with the associated side wall unit 18 and triangular reinforcing structure as previously mentioned is formed with the cantilever beam'portion 30b along with the reinforcing gusset triangle 40 which is positioned beneath and in a supportive relationship with the wheel troughs 42 which include horizontally and laterally extending trough sheets 43. The trough sheet 43 combines with the side wall post and the side wall sheet along with the cantilever beam portion 30b to thereby form a reinforcing triangle which provides vertical support to the automobile when loaded into the container 10. The side margins of the trough sheets 43 include the depending connecting flange portion 44 which forms a unitary shear transferring connection between the horizontally extending trough sheet and the associated vertically extending wall sheet portions.

As noticed from FIG. 11, the trough sheet 43 includes an inwardly and upwardly extending diagonal portion 45 which is positioned to run along the cantilever beam plate portion 30b and then horizontally for a short distance to terminate with a connecting'flange guide rails positioned at the open end of each container and adapted to engage locking blocks fixed to the underside of an automobile for restraining the automobile during transport. In addition to the two side rails 51 there is also a centrally disposed channel shaped guide rail 52. The forward portion of the centrally disposed guide rail 52 near the-closed end of the container is comprised of a pair'of spaced guide strip bars which form an extension of the guide rail 52 and which extend to the end wall 17 where the guide strips 53 terminate with an attaching clevis 53a which ties the guide strip to the end wall 17.

Thus far, the structure disclosed has provided a skeletonized or soft frame unit for an automobile carrying container which includes the triangular reinforcing members positioned at the side wall posts and which will provide enough vertical support to support an automobile even in the absence ofthe transversely extending connecting plate portions 30a which interconnect the spaced reinforcing triangles. If the container were merely to undergo vertical loading there would be no need for the interconnecting structure which extends from each of the reinforcing triangles 30 across the width of the container. It is during transport when rocking of the railway vehicle occurs that a torsional load is applied to the container thereby giving rise to the need for additional structural members to be used in resisting this torsional loading. The structure provided in this invention essentially defines a reinforced torsion tube capable of supporting heavy loads internally thereof an yet having honeycombed structure which will also resist torsional loading applied to the container. The torsional load is distributed through the side wall sheets 19 and the sheets 43 of each trough up and into the transversely extending reinforcing drip sheets 48 which extend the length of the vehicle and interconnect the spacedreinforcing triangles 30. Associated with the drip sheets 48 are the shear stiffener plates 30a which divide the large drip sheets 48 into smaller reinforced sheet units capable of withstanding higher torsional loading, that is, higher shear loading. The soft skeletonized frame provided by the wall posts and corner posts along with their associated car supporting structure permits a limited container deflection during torsional loading thereby allowing the torsion tube sheet members to absorb and dissipate this torsional loading.

The lower level or lower tier, as it is generally referred to, does not utilize the Z-shaped mounting angle 50 which is present in the middle and upper levels, but

insteadwuses a hat-shaped channel member 54 which is formed integrally with the outer trough sheets 62 and extend the length of the container thereby providing both a convenient mounting surface for the guide rail posts 51 and 52, but also supplying a reinforcing channel strengthening the bottom floor portion of the lower level. As noticed from FIG. 5a, the floor of the bottom tier is comprised of three separate sheet sections including a pair of outer floor trough sheets 62 spaced about and interconnected with a centrally disposed floor sheet member 55. Formed integrally with the outer sheet 62 is the hat-shaped mounting section 54. Positioned transversely outwardly of the hat-shaped mounting section 54 is anupturned flange 54a which is formed in such a manner as to be seated atop the lower portion of the side rail bracket 68 and extends to the vertical portion of the side rail and continues upwardly along the side railfor a short distance to provide for an efficient and reliable interconnection with the side rail bracket 68. In the construction shownin FIG. 5a the outer floor trough sheets 62- are riveted to the sides of the container; however, it is also contemplated that welded connection may also be utilized.

As noticed in FIG. 5a, corner posts 26 as well as the verticalwall posts 27 and 28 have their lower flange portions cut off to permit the wall posts to fit snugly about the contour of the guide rail bracket 68. This connection provides a flat surface for more easily mounting the outside wall sheets.

The floor unit of the bottom tier is a generally horizontal unit extending between'the open end of the container and the first wall post 27. As noticed in FIG. 5a, the portion of the floor unit rearward of the wall post 27 and extending to the enclosed end of the container has an upward incline. A filler plate 69 is positioned atop the vertical portion of the side rail 68 in the area adjacent the vertical wall post 28 and fills in what would otherwise be an open space between the upturned flange 54a of the outer floor sheet 62 and the adjacent side wall sheet 19. Additionally stabilizing angles 71 may extend upwardly from the associated corner plate 71a which is designed to transfer and dissipate longitudinal force concentrations at the lower corner of the open end effectively into the side wall units. Additionally, thresholds or scuff plates 70 extend transversely beneath the bottom tier floor sheets 55 and 62 to thereby interconnect the transversely spaced associated wall posts and corner posts. ln the area of the wall posts 28 a transversely extending channel beam 72 extends across the container to interconnect the associated spaced wall post 280 and also to provide vertical support to the floor sheets in the area in which they are raised above the angle bracket 68. This inclined portion of the lower floor unit is provided to allow clearance between the bottom of the container and a hydraulic cushion or draft gear pocket which oftentimes extends above the level of a low deck flat car and would otherwise interfere with a container having a continuous horizontal bottom floor unit.

Likewise the structure of the upper portion of the container where the roof unit joins with the associated end wall 16 and side wall unit 18 includes a reinforcing and connecting flange provided to the roof unit 20 and designated by the numeral 56 and disposed in such a manner as to overlap and be easily connected with the top side rail 58. A connecting angle or clip 60 is also utilized to join the roof unit 20 with the associated side wall units 18 at the open end.

Thus it is noticed that with the structural elements provided, the-container 10 includes a pair of individual torsion tubes which surround both the lower and the 1 middle levels as well as a third torsion tube which surrounds both the lower and middle levels and thereby encircles the previously mentioned pair of individual torsion tubes. The torsion tubes are formed by the continuous sheet assembly provided by the central drip sheet 48 and trough sheet 43 of the upper level in combination withthe associated drip sheet 48 and trough sheet 43 of the middle level along with the interconnecting side wall sheets 19. By providing each trough sheet 43 with depending connecting flanges 44 to form a connection with the side wall sheet 19, lateral forces which are encountered during transport of the large bulky containers are efficiently resisted by this continuous sheet arrangement which has force characteristics to resist the torsional forces resulting from lateral forces in such a manner as would be done by any hollow tube member in resisting torsional loading.

A second torsion tube surrounds the lower level and is defined by the drip sheet 48 and trough sheet 43 of the middle level in combination with the vertically spaced lower level outer floor trough sheets 62 andthe central sheet portion which are interconnected with the associated side wall sheets 19 to thereby form a second torsion tube surrounding the vehicle of the lower level. Thus by providing a pair of adjacent torsion tubes a honeycomb structure is present which has inherent rigidity'and the lower two levels because of the attached torsion tube configuration sufficiently rigidify the upper level so as to permit the roof unit 20 to be positioned atop of the container without the use of heavy gusset beam and side plate members.

A third torsion ube is present and defined by the central sheet portion 48 of the upper level and the associated trough sheets 43 in combination with the floor sheets of the lower tier and with the side wall sheets which connect both the bottom and the upper tiers. In effect, this is essentially a large torsion tube having a longitudinally extending stiffening unit which is the intermediate floor sheet structure, extending the length thereof.

Thus, the container provides a torsion tube having a closed end and a spaced open end and rigidified by longitudinally extending floor stiffener sheets in such a manner as to, dissipate and resist shear loading caused by lateral forces which produce torsional loading on the container. By providing the soft frame which in effect is designed to eliminate heavytransversely extending members which would stiffen the frame thereby giving rise to points of high stress concentration, the applicant has provided what is called a soft frame designed to primarily resist the vertical load of the automobiles and also provided a torsion tube sheet structure which has the primary function of resisting torsional loading on the container.

The foreging description and drawings merely explain and illustrate the invention and the invention is not limited thereto, except insofar as the appended claims are so limited, as those skilled in the art who have the disclosure before them will be able to make modifications and variations therein without departing from the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

7 l. A container for transporting automobiles and including upper, lower and intermediate tiers,'and having a roof unit positioned atop spaced side wall units and atop a side wall connecting end wall unit, said container having a skeletonized frame attached to a torsion tube structure comprising wall sheets and interconnected floor sheets, the improvement comprising:

vertically extending post means including both corner posts and wall posts and having portions extending from lower bottom side rails to upper side rails; said wall sheets having portions attached to said post means to form a smooth container exterior; reinforced cantilever beam portions each positioned to support automobiles on said intermediate and upper tiers and having diagonal portions extending transversely inwardly and upwardly of said container from an associated post means; shear stiffener means extending transversely of said container and connecting the associated reinforced cantilever beam portions; floor sheet means positioned'atop said shear stiffener means and including both a central sheet portion contiguous with the shear stiffener means and a trough sheet portion extending horizontally above said reinforced cantilever beamportion and having a cutout portion attached to the associated post means and having depending flange portions attached to the adjacent side wall sheet, and further, said trough sheet portion combining with said cantilever beam portion and with-the adjacent post means to form an automobile support triangle; said lower tier having atransversely extending floor sheet including attaching flanges providing a connection with said side wall sheets of each side wall unit thereby combining with the floor sheet means and said side wall sheets to form said torsion tube structure. 2. The invention according to claim 1, and: said post means comprising a pair of comer posts spaced about the open end of said container and two intermediate wall posts, and further, end corner post means at the junction of the end wall unit and each side wall; said cantilever beam portions and the associated support trangle depending from each of said corner posts adjacent the open end and also depending from one of said pairs of intermediate wall posts; reinforcing means attached within said automobile support triangles. V 3. The invention according to claim 1, and: said lower tier including transversely extending reinforcing means; floor sheetmembers disposed atop said reinforcing means and including formed trough sheet portions having wall connecting portions andhaving integrally formed guide support portions and having attaching flange portions; said floor sheet members also including a centrally located sheet means having portions overlapping and joined with the attaching flange portions of said trough sheet portions. 4. The invention according to claim 1, and; beam splice plates attached to said diagonally extending cantilever beam portions and having leg portions fitted about the associatedpost means and fixedly attached thereto;

said trough sheet portion including a horizontally extending wheel support portion and also including an angled portion abutting and extending adjacent a portion of an associated cantilever beam portion;

an attaching sheet portion extending horizontally from said angled portion of the trough sheet and overlapping a portion of the central sheet portion.

6. The invention according to claim 3, and:

automobile hold down and guide means being mounted on each tier and including a center guide rail being attached to the central sheetportion of the intermediate and upper tiers and being attached to the centrally located sheet means of the lower tier;

said hold down and guide means also including side guide rails mounted adjacent the formed trough sheet portions of the lower level and adjacent the trough sheet portions of both theintermediate and upper levels,

7. The invention according to claim 3, and:

transversely extending reinforcing scuff plates attached to the underside of said floor sheet means and said floor sheet means of the lower tier having an end section adjacent the open end of the container and having an interior portion sloping upward from the end section inwardly of the container to said end wall unit to thereby provide an automobile supporting surface at an elevation above said lowerrail members.

8. A container for transporting automobiles and including a plurality of tiers including a lower tier and upper tier means adapted to receive said automobile, the improvement comprising;

a skeletal framing structure of wall post means having members with hat-shaped portions and being spaced about said container, and said post means having lower portions interconnected by transversely extending connecting members and associated pairs of said post means also having portions being interconnected by transversely extending shear stiffener members;

said post means having upper portions and having longitudinally extending top rail attached to said upper portion, and further, a bottom rail attached to the .lower portions of said post means;

continuous wall sheet members having portions attached to said post means to both the top rail and the bottom'rail;

said lower tier including continuous floor sheet means extending across the container and joining portions of the spaced bottom rails, and said upper tier means including floor support sheet means having central portions positioned atop the transversely extending shear stiffener members;

said floor sheet means of the lower tier having side margins including upwardly extending connecting flange means joined to the spaced bottom rails and including sheet cutout portions adapted to receive said post means;

'said floor support sheet means of the upper tier means also having side portions and including cutouts to receive the associated wall post means and having downwardly depending connecting flanges integrally attached to the adjacent side wall sheet member to thereby combine with said wall sheet members and with the floor sheet means of the lower tier to form a continuous torsion tube sheet unit attached to said skeletal framing structure and encircling said plurality of automobilecarrying tier means.

9. The invention according to claim 8, and: said floor sheet means of the lower tier including a said floor support sheet means of the upper tier means including a central sheet portion and including wheel trough sheet portions positioned in a horizon'tal plane below said central sheet portion, and said central sheet portion and the wheel trough sheet portion including overlapping sides;

a longitudinally extending connecting angle mounted atop the overlapping sides of the central sheet portion and the wheel trough sheet portion.

11. The invention according to claim 10, and:

floor splice plates attached to said wheel trough sheet portions and having receiving portions adapted to engage portions of the associated wall post means;

gle support structure.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3180285 *Nov 23, 1962Apr 27, 1965Pullman IncRailway vehicle deck structure
US3240167 *Feb 27, 1961Mar 15, 1966Paragon Bridge & Steel CompanyRailway carrier for automotive vehicles
US3739906 *Oct 8, 1971Jun 19, 1973Gen Motors CorpVehicle positioning and restraint apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4913061 *Sep 27, 1988Apr 3, 1990Youngblood Bernard JAuto rack side panel support system
US5255806 *May 3, 1991Oct 26, 1993Stoughton Composites, Inc.Reinforced plastic composite intermodal vehicle hauler
US5449081 *May 21, 1993Sep 12, 1995Stoughton Composites, Inc.Modular insulated intermodal container construction
US6244801 *May 22, 2000Jun 12, 2001Thrall Car Manufacturing CompanyMotor-vehicle carrying railcar with offset H-frame
US6551039 *Sep 11, 2000Apr 22, 2003National Steel Car LimitedAuto rack rail road car with reduced slack
US6615549 *Feb 3, 2000Sep 9, 2003John W. HodgeMovable double decked steel orchestra stage
US6821065Feb 12, 2003Nov 23, 2004National Steel Car LimitedAutorack rail road car with reduced slack
US7094013Sep 17, 2001Aug 22, 2006Jac Patent CompanyAluminum vehicle carrier railcar
US7360979Nov 16, 2004Apr 22, 2008National Steel Car LimitedRail road car with reduced slack
US7824140Jul 18, 2006Nov 2, 2010Jac Patent CompanyAluminum vehicle carrier railcar
US8302538Jul 21, 2009Nov 6, 2012Trinity Industries, Inc.Method of shipping automobiles, railcar for shipping automobiles, and method of manufacturing railcars
WO2002022394A1 *Sep 17, 2001Mar 21, 2002James D HartAluminum vehicle carrier railcar
U.S. Classification410/26, 220/1.5, 206/335
International ClassificationB61D3/00, B61D3/18
Cooperative ClassificationB61D3/18
European ClassificationB61D3/18
Legal Events
Mar 1, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840224