US 3871134 A
A rotatably adjustable rolling gate latch which eliminates the need to bring a translating gate into precise alignment with a fence post when it is desired to latch the gate.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Lening 5] Mar. 18, 1975 1 TRANSLATING GATE LATCH  References Cited  Inventor: George 0. Lening, Rowland UNITED STATES PATENTS Helghts, Callf- 219,502 9/1879 Mynatt 49/449 1,487,667 3/1924 Omler 49/394 X  Asslgnee' F'mngs 2,577,930 12/1951 Thomas 49/394 x I 3,583,738 6/1971 Uphoff 292/114 X  Filed: Mar, 16, 1973 3,698,752 10/1972 Edwards 292/34l.17 X
1211 Appl' 341893 Primary Examiner-Kenneth Downey Related, -S- Appli Data Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Knobbe, Martens, Olson,  Division of Ser. No. 156,320, June 24, 1971, Pat. No. H bbard & B631 52 US. Cl 49/425, 49/449, 292/114,  ABSTRACT 292/67, 292/238 A rotatably adjustable rolling gate latch which elimi-  Int. Cl E05d 13/02 nates the need to bring a translating gate into precise  Field Of Searc 49/394, 6, 7, alignment with a fence post when it is desired to latch 49/396; 292/67, 68, 109, 114, 302, 338, 216, the gate.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures TRANSLATING GATE LATCH This is a division of application Ser. No. 156,320 filed June 24, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,751,084.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Because of their ruggedness, durability, and low price, chain link fences have found great acceptance since their initial introduction to the marketplace. Industry has been quick to capitalize on the many inherent advantages afforded by the unique structure, and now uses chain link fencing almost exclusively for many applications.
Often where chain link and other types of fence are used in industrial applications, provision is made for gates wide enough to accommodate large trucks and construction vehicles. The gates so employed are necessarily very heavy due to their length and rigidity, and are therefore constructed many times with mechanisms to allow the gates to open by translation rather than by rotation about a hinge. The most common such mechanisms are rollers and wheels which engage either the supporting pavement or a portion of the adjoining stationary fence to form what is commonly termed a rolling gate.
Whereas most closure devices exhibit motion in only one direction, translating gates often exhibit motion in two directions or modes. For example, a dwelling window is typically constrained to move in only one direction, be that up-and-down or back-and-forth. Likewise, a swinging gate of the style used with decorative picket fences is typically hinged along a particular vertical axis, and therefore is only able to rotate about that axis. The swinging gate cannot be translated in the plane of the fence, and the window will not rotate.
The rolling gates made, for example, for use with chain link fences, can move to some degree in both of the abovedescribed modes. The gates are commonly mounted on wheels so that they may be pulled across their respective openings to effect closure of a yard. This motion is analogous to that of the typical house window described above, except that the gates are not usually guided by structural members throughout their translation. The translating gates therefore also exhibit what may be characterized as rotational motion. That is, since the gates are not constrained to roll along any particular straight line when being pulled closed, they can be pulled along various lines of approach to the opposing fence post that are displaced from the straightest line of approach by small angles.
The weight of such translating gates often causes difficulty in latching and locking the gates because, with the latches currently available, it is necessary to translate the gate into precise interlocking position with a latch assembly on a stationary fence post. Several attempts may therefore be necessary before proper alignment and latching are achieved, since a slight lateral displacement between the gate and the corresponding fence post is often sufficient to prevent operation of such prior latches.
The problem is aggravated when it is desired to latch and lock a gate comprised of two separate translating gates which is latched where the two are brought together, since the two gates must be rolled along the same line of approach, and the alignment difficulties may be exaggerated.
Presently available-translating gate latches also exhibit two other features that detract from their general usefulness. Often the receiver portion of the latch .is disposed on the fence member such that the receptacle portion extends perpendicular to the plane of the fence, and is therefore difficult to engage or disengage from one or another side of the fence. Present latches are also known that require the drilling of a plurality of holes during installation. This is time-consuming and therefore costly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention alleviates these shortcomings by providing a latch for translating gates that is effective even when the elements to be locked are not in precise alignment with each other. The latch of the present invention is also easily locked from either side of the fence; simply installed; and weatherproof.
The improved latch device comprises two members, both formed of a weather-resistant material, attached to a stationary fence post and the gate, respectively; each having a co-acting latching member, at least one of said latching members being adjustable in a direction perpendicular to the plane of said fence and gate. More particularly, the improved latch device comprises a female member or receiver rigidly secured to a stationary end fence post, and a male member or latch pin rotatably or slidably connected to the corresponding end post of the translating gate.
When the gate is to be locked, the end of the gate is translated into closed-spaced relationship with the end fence post to which the receiver is secured. If the gate moves out of line with the fence during this translation,
the lateral displacement caused thereby is automatically accounted for by the adjustability of one of the latch members, which is simply adjusted perpendicular to the plane of the fence and engaged with the corresponding latch member. Locking means may then be attached to prohibit disengagement of the latching members.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These, and other advantages. of the present invention,
are'better understood with reference to the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a detailed perspective view of the gate latch;
FIG. 2 is an elevation view showing the gate latch of the present invention installed on a fence and in the latched position; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along lines 33 of FIG. 1, showing the adjustment means of the present device.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to FIG. 1, there is shown the preferred embodiment of the rolling gate latch of the present invention, indicated generally by reference numeral 10, and comprised of two main interconnecting latch members, each formed of rigid, galvanized steel: A receiver portion 12; and a latch pin portion 13.
The latch pin portion 13, in turn, comprises two sections. The interconnecting or latching portion, which is formed as a latch pin 16 is a generally vertical cylindrical member which is dependent from and integrally formed with a front ring member-20. This front ring member 20 comprises a generally horizontal, arcuate,
flat plate 21 integrally formed with a vertical flange 22 v and an offset tab 23. The vertical flange 22 inludes a semi-cylindrical portion 223. which forms one half of the wall of a verticcal cylindrical aperture, as described below. This front ring member 24 comprises a vertical flange 26 which includes a semicylindrical portion 26a which forms the second half of the wall of the vertical cylindrical aperture. This flange 26 is connected to the flange 22 by means of a bolt 25 and interlocking tab 11 on the flange 26 which locks within a slot in the flange 22, such that the complete assembly forms a vertical cylindrical aperture which has an inside diameter which is always greater than the outside diameter of a vertical rolling gate member or post 14 at one extremity of the gate 32 (to which the latch pin portion 13 is to be attached). Thus, the latch pin portion 13 is free to rotate about or slide vertically on the post 14 even when the bolt 25 is fully secured. Rotation about the post 14, which is an axis remote from that of the latch pin 13, produces the lateral movement of the latch pin 13 needed for latch adjustment as explained below.
The receiver portion 12 includes an interconnecting or latching portion, which is formed as a receiver 17, in the form of a hollow vertical cylinder having an inside diameter which will receive the latch pin 16. Formed integrally with receiver 17 is a generally vertical, flat plate 28, attached to the outside circumference of the receiver 17 along a line running the entire vertical length of the receiver 17. The receiver 17 is secured snugly to the vertical fence member or post 27 at one extremity of the fence 33 by means of a pair of circular metal bands 18, which are attachedto the flat plate 28 by bolts 19. The circular bands 18 are fashioned from galvanized steel into a generally circular shape. An opening is provided in the circular bands 18, at which point the circular bands 18 are provided with integrally formed securing tabs 30. The securing tabs 30 are disposed perpendicular to the outside circumferential surface of the circular bands 18. The inside diameter of the circular bands 18 is such that when the bolts 19 are fully tightened, the circular bands 18 are secured to the fence post tightly enough to prevent any sliding or rotating movement ab o ut thefence post Referring now to FIG. 2, in which the present rolling gate latch is shown in the installed position, it may be seen that the latch pin portion 13 is positioned relative to the receiver portion 12 such that the latch pin 16 is engaged in the receiver 17. The latch pin 16 is of a suitable length with respect to the height of the receiver 17 that a significant portion of its length, namely that containing a hole 15, protrudes below the bottom of the receiver 17 by an amount sufficient to allow insertion of any well known locking means through the latch pin 16.
Referring to FIG. 3, the method using the latch of the present invention to alleviate problems due to imprecise alignment between the rolling gate post 14 and the fence post 27 will be explained. When it is desired to secure a fence opening, an operator rolls or pushes a The operator grasps the latch pin'portion l3 and I moves it, both by sliding and rotating itrelative to the gate post 14, until it is in such a position relative to'the receiver portion 12 that the latch pin 16 is directly above the receiver 17. The latch pin 16 is then engaged in the receiver 17 by lowering the latch pin portion 13 vertically on the gate post 14. Any suitable locking means may then be used in conjunction with the hole 15 to prevent unintentional or unwanted disengagement of the latch 10.
The effectiveness and ease of operation of the 15 22 and 26, respectively. The interaction between translating gate 32 across the opening. By guiding the leading edge of the gate-demarcated by the vertical gate post l4--as it is propelled, the operator is able to being the gate post 14 into a close-spaced, albeit imprecise, relationship with the vertical fence post 27, such as depicted in FIG. 3. Though the gate 32 is slightly out of alignment with the fence 33, latching is still possible with the improved latch of the present invention.
the vertical gate post 14 and the close-fitting cy-"" lindrical a pe rture insu res th at the cylind ficarap'ermre maintains a substantially vertical attitude at all times, thus further insuring that the offset tab 23 is maintained in a substantially horizontal attitude. Maximum efficiency of operation is obtained when the offset tab 23 is thus horizontally disposed, since the latch may be engaged more easily and since the amount of gate align-- ment imprecision which may be tolerated is a direct function of the horizontal distance between the vertical axis of the latch pin 16 and the gate post 14. In fact it is possible to increase the operating range of the present latch by lengthening the offset tab 23 and thereby causing the latch pin 16 to be disposed at a correspondingly greater distance from the gate post 14. Such an increase, however, necessarily increases the distance between the gate post 14 and fence post 27 when the gate is latched.
Installation of the present rolling gate latch requires only the tightening of three bolts to affect attachment. No drilling or machining of any kind is necessaryl When installing the gate latch, however, it is wide, but not strictly necessary, for the latch to be attached with the nuts facing the inside of an enclosed to be locked,
thus adding yet another degree of security. This does not affect the easy operation of the latch-from either side of the fence-which, it should be emphasized, makes it possible for the gate to be locked or unlocked regardless of the position of the operator.
It is contemplated that the gate latch of the present invention may-be used, for the reasons set forth above, with equal facility on either singleor double-rolling gates.
1. A fence having an opening and being erected above a horizontal surface, said fence comprising:
a. a first vertical member positioned adjacent one extremity of said opening in said fence;
b. a gate capable of blocking said opening by being translated across said opening, said gate including a second vertical member at one extremity of said gate;
- c. a wheel mounted on said gate adjacent the lower end of said second vertical member, said wheel in rolling contact with said surface in said opening during said translation of said gate, said wheel being the sole support of said gate adjacent said second vertical member, said gate being susceptible to lateral misalignment from said extremity of said opening in said fence when said gate has been: rolled across said surface on said wheel to a closed.
d. a latch for use in securing said translating gate in a closed position to block said opening in said fence by coupling said first vertical member at said extremity of said opening of said fence to said second vertical member at said extremity of said gate,
said latch comprising;
1. a latch pin mounted on one of said first and second vertical members;
2. a hollow receiver adapted to interconnect with said latch pin, said hollow receiver mounted on latch pin and said hollow receiver.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 3,871,134 DATED March 18, 1975 INVENTOR(S) George 0. Lening it is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Col. 1, line 39, "abovedescribed" should be --above-described--; Col. 3, line 4, "verticcal" should be --vertica].--; C01. 3, line 5, after "member" insert --20 mates with a rear ring member 24. The rear ring member--; Col. 3, line 6, semicylindricar' should be --semi-cylindrica1--; Col. 3, line 56, after method" insert --of--; Col. 3, line 62, "gate-demarcated" should be --gate--demarcated--; Col. 3, line 64, "being" should be --bring--; Col. 4, line 38, "wide should be --wise--; and Col. 4, line 40, "enclosed" should be --enclosure--.
Signed and Scaled this twenty-second Day Of July 1975 [SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH c. msou i c. masmu. DANN Altesting Officer Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks