Basket tipping apparatus
United States Patent 2260697

The present invention relates to a basket tipping apparatus and particularly to apparatus for handling large baskets for lettuce or other vegetables. In Patent No. 2,136,068 for "Means for handling harvesting apparatus," which issued to me on November 8, 1938, and in Patent No. 2,129,394 for...

Allen, Thomas F.
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Allen, Thomas F.
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The present invention relates to a basket tipping apparatus and particularly to apparatus for handling large baskets for lettuce or other vegetables.

In Patent No. 2,136,068 for "Means for handling harvesting apparatus," which issued to me on November 8, 1938, and in Patent No. 2,129,394 for "Basket tipping apparatus," which issued to me on September 6, 1938, there is disclosed, in connection with apparatus for handling lettuce and like vegetables, a system which includes the use of large baskets for transporting lettuce from the field where it is cut to trimming and packing sheds. The system also includes mechanism for tipping these baskets after they have been removed from the truck which transports them so that their contents are readily accessible to workers at the trimmers' benches.

Tipping apparatus of the kind disclosed in the above-mentioned patents forms the subject matter of the present invention. It has been customary, as described in said patents, to provide a pivoted cradle over which the baskets may be positioned and a pneumatic or hydraulic hoisting mechanism to engage the cradle, to tip it and the basket supported by it to suit the convenience of the worker who is removing the contents of the basket. In some cases the lifting mechanism is supported overhead by the roof structure of the packing shed, and in other cases it may be supported below the floor upon which the tipping apparatus stands, and usually secured to the beams which support the floor.

In both cases the strain of the tipping operation is placed upon the building, and as the baskets are large and very heavy when loaded, this has certain disadvantages, particularly in classes of buildings which are not sufficiently strong to stand this additional strain.

It is the object, therefore, of the present invention to provide a basket tipping apparatus which may readily be installed in any building without imposing the strain of hoisting or tipping on the building itself and which is so constructed that it will eliminate the necessity of bracing or remodeling of the building in which it is installed.

A further object of the invention is the provision of simple apparatus of inexpensive but durable construction that may be installed in all classes of buildings and that depends on nothing further than the floor of the building for its support.

A still further object is the provision of a basket tipping apparatus of the character described which may be conveniently transported from one building to another to facilitate packing of commodities which are grown at widely separated localities.

Further objects and advantages of the invention are made apparent in the following specification wherein reference is made to the accompanying drawing.

In the drawing: Fig. 1 is an end elevation of a basket tipping apparatus embodying my invention, parts of the apparatus being shown in section; Fig. 2 is a front elevation of the apparatus illustrated in Fig. 1; and Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a portion of the apparatus illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2.

Referring first to Figs. 1 and 2, the cradle which supports the basket to be tipped is shown as comprising spaced members 10 bent to conform to the front of the basket and to the bottom of the basket, the shape of the basket being illustrated in dotted lines in Fig. 1. The members 10, preferably formed of structural steel and shown as channel-shaped, are three in number and are joined in spaced relation by means of transversely extending bars shown at 11. The cradle is sufficiently narrow to permit a basket's being rolled over it with its casters, shown at 12 in Fig. 1, disposed outwardly of the two outermost members 10. This cradle is pivotally supported by means of a pair of bearings 13 secured to the two outermost members 10 (see also Fig. 3), which bearings are rotatably mounted on a horizontally disposed bar 14 supported by a floor stand. The floor stand is shown as comprising vertical posts 15, each having a horizontally disposed base member 16 extending therefrom, and a diagonal brace member 17 extending between the vertical post and the base member. Preferably a base plate shown at 18 in Fig. 3 underlies all of the base members 16 and this base plate extends forwardly at its central portion and is also centrally slotted, as indicated at 19, to provide space for operation of the tipping mechanism presently to be described. The floor upon which the cradle supporting stand rests is shown in section at 20.

The means for tipping the cradle about the axis of the bar 14 is here shown as a pneumatic ram 21. This, however, is by way of illustration only, and may be substituted by a hydraulic ram or power driven jack of any suitable type.

The lower end of the ram 21 is pivotally supported as shown between the lower ends of a pair of V-shaped braces generally indicated at 23.

These braces, which are formed of angular or other suitable type of structural steel, are supported from their upper ends by means of bolts 24 which extend through the floor 20 and through the base member 16 of the stand which supports the cradle. These bolts 24 therefore serve to secure the stand in position and to support the downwardly extending framework which carries the pneumatic ram 21. The piston of the ram is pivotally connected through the usual connecting rod 25 and a pin 26 at the outer end thereof to plates 27 and 28 which are welded to opposite sides of the central member 10 of the cradle.

Consequently, when the connecting rod of the ram is extended, the cradle and basket supported thereby will be swung upwardly to the position indicated in dotted lines in Fig. 1, or to any desired position between that shown in full lines and that shown in dotted lines. The upper ends of the upright members 10 are provided with I lips or hook portions 10a, which hook over the top edge of the carrier and act as stops to retain the carrier or basket when the apparatus is in dumping position.

In order to control the operation of the ram, a.three-way valve 30 is provided with direct air under pressure to the lower end of the cylinder.

This valve has a connection 31 leading to a source of supply of compressed air and is connected by a conduit 32 with the lower end of the ram. The valve also includes an exhaust port 33 and a control lever 34 is operable to manipulate it in such a manner that the compressed air will be directed into the cylinder or will be permitted to escape from the cylinder through the. exhaust port 33.

For convenience in operation foot pedals 35 are connected with opposite ends of the valve control lever 34 and project to a position just above the floor 20 .where they may be operated by the foot of a worker standing adjacent the basket tipping apparatus.

One of the principal advantages of the structure above described is that all strain resulting from the lifting or tipping operation of the ram 23 is confined to the apparatus itself and not imposed on any remote part of the building structure, such as the roof beams or floor joists. Plate 1.8, which is not necessary to successful operation, is desirable for the purpose of providing a good footing for the heavily laden stand and for distribution of the weight of the stand over a large area. The perforation 19 in the plate may be relatively small to accommodate the connecting rod of the ram while the basket is being tipped.

SWith this construction all of the parts may be fabricated without regard to the particular building in which they are to be installed and without the necessity of special bracing being applied in the building to withstand the strain and vibration of the basket tipping operation. The lifting ram is- disposed at such an angle by virtue of the support by the V-shaped brackets exposed beneath the floor that little space is required for a good leverage and this positioning of the ram also facilitates the use of a conveniently positioned, foot operated control valve.

Another important advantage of the structure described above is that the entire basket tipping apparatus may conveniently be moved from one building to another so that where the commodities which are packed with the aid of this apparatus are grown at widely separated localities, the equipment may be transported from time to time and the harvests of several localities may be taken care of with the single set of equipment.

The above description is illustrative of the invention but should not be taken as limiting the invention to the particular form thereof shown and described, as this form may be varied within the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is: 1. In a basket tipping apparatus, a cradle to receive and support a basket, a frame supported by and positioned above a floor to pivotally support said cradle, a second frame disposed below said floor and rigidly secured to the first frame by means extending through the floor, and power means supported by said second frame and engaging said cradle to impart tipping movement to 0 the cradle without imposing stresses of the tipping movement upon the floor.

2. In a carrier tipping device, an upright support, a cradle connected to said support for swinging movement thereon, a second support depending below said first support in approximate alignment therewith and rigidly connected thereto, a cylinder pivotally mounted on said second support having a piston therein pivotally connected to said cradle for swinging it, thereby tipping a carrier.

3'. A carrier tipping device, the combination of a pivoted cradle member consisting of a horizontal platform portion of such width as to be straddled by a wheeled carrier when the latter is rolled over said platform and an upright portion to support the back of the carrier to be tipped, the cradle pivoted at the back near its upper portion to permit the cradle to be turned from a loaded to a dumping position, and a power actuating cylinder disposed at an angle below the cradle and having a piston pivotally connected to the bottom of the cradle, said cylinder pivoted at its lower end to permit it to oscillate in unison with the tipping movements of the cradle.

4. In a carrier tipping device for use on the floor of. a packing shed and the like, the combination of a bed plate secured to the floor, upright members on the bed plate, a horizontal shaft carried by said upright members, a cradle member having a bottom portion to rest on the bed plate, an upright back portion pivoted to turn on said shafts through an arc of approximately 90°, the bottom portion of said cradle of such width as to extend beneath a wheeled carrier which is to be tilted, the upright back portion of the cradle terminating in a lip portion to project over the carrier and form a stop to engage and retain the carrier in position when tilted, and a cooperating cylinder and piston beneath the floor and secured to the bed plate, said piston extending through the floor and being pivoted to the bottom of the cradle and the cylinder being pivoted at its lower end to permit oscillation in unison with the tipping movements of the cradle.

5. In a carrier tipping device, the combination of a bed plate, an upright back portion springing from the bed plate and with the bed plate constituting an angular frame, a cradle pivoted on the upright portion of said bed plate so as to swing in a vertical plane and normally to rest upon the bed plate, a cylinder-supporting frame extending below the bed plate and bolted thereto and projecting rearwardly of said cradle supporting means, a cylinder pivoted to the lower end of said angular dependent frame, a piston operative in the cylinder and having a piston rod pivotally connected with the bottom of said cradle to tilt the latter, and stop means on the back portion of the cradle to engage with the edge of a carrier to hold the latter during tipping operations.