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Title:
CONVERTIBLE VEHICLE BODY AND AUXILIARIES
United States Patent 3692363
Abstract:
A truck-trailer body is converted to transport granular bulk cargo by raising a pair of central floor panels from over discharge hoppers to form the front and rear walls of a bin area over the hoppers. The raised panels are secured against removable sealing poles, which are engaged within the side walls by insertion of projections into sockets in the roof and floor of the body. The panels are clamped to the poles and the poles are sealed to the sidewalls and panels by a cushioning strip projecting in two directions from the pole. The space between the ends of the panels and the roof is sealed by a resilient flap which may be rotated into contact with the roof by a projection extending from the sealing poles through holes in the corners of the panels or which may be fixed to and extend downwardly from the roof. The rotatable flap drops down below and within the edge of the partitioning panel into the hopper in the horizontal floor position. A winch pole for raising and lowering the panels by winding and unwinding a flexible strap on a ratchet reel is also removably installed by engagement into sockets in the roof and floor fore and aft of the panels. The sealing and winch poles are stored out of the path of movement of discrete cargo in a storage rack in the front of the body. The partitioning panels are supported without imposing a load on their hinge pins by a series of brackets laterally spaced under their hinge plates. Other lateral support ribs contact the spaces between the hinge plates to substantially seal them against passage of dust upwardly through the hopper into the body. Structural cross members spanning the hoppers have a minimum peaked horizontal surface area to shed granular material. The multiple plies of the partitioning panels and the resilient seals about their peripheries also help seal them against upward passage of any dust.


Inventors:
Tenebaum, Paul (Glenside, PA)
Seng, Paul J. (Langhorne, PA)
Application Number:
05/144545
Publication Date:
09/19/1972
Filing Date:
05/18/1971
Assignee:
Strick Corp. (Fairless Hills, PA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
105/243, 254/376
International Classes:
B60P1/56; (IPC1-7): B60P1/56
Field of Search:
298/24,8H 105
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3324595Movable closure for car bodies1967-06-13Lomis
3087759Convertible vehicle body1963-04-30Worster
2977079Hoist, aircraft seat removal1961-03-28Calandra
2812077Wall jack1957-11-05Proctor
2808009Retractable bulkhead1957-10-01Rogalla
2725827Compartmentalized vehicle1955-12-06Wehby
Foreign References:
GB672784A1952-05-28
Other References:

German printed App. No. 1,921,491 Oct. 1970.
Primary Examiner:
Johnson, Richard J.
Claims:
We claim

1. A convertible vehicle body for transporting loose, bulk or discrete cargo comprising a substantially rectangular chassis, a floor, sidewalls and a roof mounted upon said chassis to form said body, a hopper mounted below a portion of said floor for collecting and discharging bulk cargo loaded above it, said floor including a movable partitioning panel disposable above said hopper for optionally sealing off its entrance and for supporting discrete cargo above it, a hinge mounted on said chassis adjacent one side of said hopper and having a laterally disposed axis, said movable partitioning panel being connected to said hinge whereby it is rotatable from a horizontal floor position over said hopper to a wall position in which it forms a lateral partitioning wall within said body, a pair of removable sealing poles substantially equal in height to said sidewalls, each of said poles having a longitudinally elongated resilient sealing strip thereon, socket means in said roof and floor adjacent the top and bottom of said wall position, projection means extending above and below said sealing poles for removable engaging said socket means and removably locking said sealing poles with said sealing strips in intimate sealing contact with the sides of said body, clamping means on aligned portions of the sides of said movable partitioning panel and said sealing poles which detachably lock them together against said sealing strip when said panel is in said wall position against passage of said bulk cargo between them, and a storage rack on a portion of said body outside of the normal path of movement of discrete cargo for receiving and storing said sealing poles when said movable partitioning panel is in said horizontal floor position for receiving discrete cargo.

2. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sealing poles each comprise an elongated beam, said elongated strip comprising a strip of resilient material substantially equal in length to said beam, and said strip of resilient material projecting on two sides of said beam.

3. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 2 wherein said beam includes a longitudinal groove extending along the length of said beam, said strip being disposed within and projecting from said groove, and fastening means retaining said strip within said groove.

4. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 3 wherein said fastening means comprises an elongated sheet of flexible material, and securing means connects the sides of said elongated sheet of flexible material to said beam.

5. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 4 wherein said securing means comprises elongated welted edges on the sides of said elongated sheet of material and slots on said beam within which said welted edges are inserted.

6. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein said projection means includes a stationary and a retractable projection.

7. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein said clamping means comprises a rotatable latching lever on said sealing poles.

8. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein the end of said partitioning panel remote from said hinge is disposed a short distance from said roof in said wall position, a flexible extension panel is mounted on said end of said movable partitioning panel, movable connecting means attaching said flexible extension panel to said end of said partitioning panel whereby it is movable from a position extending the length of said partitioning panel into contact with said roof to a retracted position, actuating means connected to said flexible extension panel, and projection means on said sealing pole disposed in line with said actuating means when said partitioning panel is in said wall position whereby said flexible extension panel is moved into sealing contact with said roof of said body when said partitioning panel engages said sealing pole.

9. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 8 wherein the end of said flexible extension panel contacting said roof comprises a resilient flap which makes a substantial seal with said roof between said end of said partitioning panel and against passage of said bulk cargo and said movable connecting means comprises a hinge connection.

10. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 9 wherein said hinge connection is mounted below and within said end of said partitioning panel in said horizontal floor position for dropping said extension panel under and away from said end of said partitioning panel, and a hole is disposed in the outer corners of said partitioning panel through which said actuating projection on said sealing pole extends for contacting said actuating means and raising said resilient flap into sealing engagement with said roof and said end of said partitioning panel.

11. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein the end of said partitioning panel remote from said hinge is disposed a short distance from said roof in said wall position, and a resilient flap being attached to depend substantially vertically from said roof adjacent said end of said partitioning panel in said wall position whereby said end of said partitioning panel contacts said resilient flap in said wall position to provide a seal therebetween.

12. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein said storage rack is mounted at an end of said body, and said sealing poles being insertable in said rack when removed from said sockets in said roof and in said floor.

13. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 12 wherein said storage rack is disposed in the front end of said body out of the path of movement of said discrete cargo.

14. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 13, wherein said storage rack includes storage socket means and said projection means on said sealing poles are insertable in said storage socket means for mounting said sealing poles in said rack.

15. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 14 wherein said storage rack includes lateral ribs for compressing said elongated sealing strips on said sealing poles to prevent said poles from rattling in said storage rack and for firmly contacting said sealing poles to reinforce the front end of said body.

16. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 15 wherein said lateral ribs comprises short laterally disposed channels mounted upon the front end of said body.

17. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 16 wherein said body adjacent said storage rack includes indentations for receiving said actuating projections on said sealing poles.

18. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein a winch pole is provided for moving said movable partitioning panel between said horizontal floor and said wall positions, winch socket means in said floor and roof of said body, winch projection means on the ends of said winch beam for engagement in said winch socket means for mounting said winch pole in operating position in said body, said winch pole comprising an elongated winch beam, a ratchet reel mounted upon said winch beam, said ratchet reel including a linear flexible strap, fastening means on the end of said strap, and attaching means on the end of said partitioning panel remote from said hinge for connecting said fastening means on said strap to said end of said partitioning panel whereby said partitioning panel is moved between said horizontal floor and wall positions when said ratchet reel is operated.

19. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 18 wherein a pair of said movable partitioning panels are disposed in a mid-portion of said body with said hinges being disposed on the ends of said panels remote from each other; and pairs of said sealing poles, said winch poles and corresponding socket means being provided for each of said partitioning panels.

20. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 19 wherein a hopper is provided under each of said partitioning panels in said horizontal floor position.

21. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 18 wherein said storage rack also includes means for storage of said winch poles.

22. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein a pair of said movable partitioning panels are disposed in a mid-portion of said body with said hinges being disposed on the ends of said panels remote from each other, and pairs of said sealing poles and socket means being provided for each of said partitioning panels.

23. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 22 wherein a hopper is provided under each of said partitioning panels in said horizontal floor position.

24. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 1 wherein a hinge support is disposed on said chassis under said hinge, said hinge having a movable and a fixed hinge plate connected by a hinge pin, and said hinge support including a supporting bracket means disposed under said movable hinge plate when said partitioning panel is in said horizontal floor position whereby loads transmitted to said movable hinge plates are supported without imposing them on said hinge pin.

25. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 24 wherein said hinge plates have a space therebetween and said supporting bracket has an edge contacting said hinge plates at said space to substantially seal it against the passage of dust upwardly through said hopper into said body.

26. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 24 wherein said hinge support bracket under said movable plate of said hinge is discontinuous to prevent bulk material from collecting under said partitioning panel in said horizontal floor position and springing said hinge.

27. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 26 wherein said discontinuous hinge support bracket comprises a series of angle brackets.

28. A convertible vehicle body as set forth in claim 24 wherein said hinge support is connected to one side of said hopper.

29. A sealing pole assembly for converting a vehicle body having a floor, sidewalls and a roof, a hopper below a portion of said floor and a movable partitioning panel hinged above said hopper to transport loose bulk cargo, comprising a pair of removable sealing poles substantially equal in height to said sidewalls, each of said poles having an longitudinally elongated resilient sealing strip thereon, projection means extending from each end of said sealing poles for removably engaging said roof and said floor with said sealing strips in intimate sealing contact with the sides of said body and with a surface of said sealing strip engageable by said panel, and clamping means on said sealing poles for engaging a raised partitioning panel to lock them together against said sealing strip against passage of said bulk cargo between them.

30. A sealing pole assembly as set forth in claim 29 wherein said sealing pole assembly comprises an elongated beam, and said strip of resilient material projecting on two sides of said beam.

31. A sealing pole assembly as set forth in claim 30 wherein said beam includes a groove extending along the length of said beam, said strip being disposed within and projecting from said groove, and fastening means retaining said strip within said groove.

32. A sealing pole assembly as set forth in claim 31 wherein said fastening means comprises an elongated sheet of flexible material, and securing means connecting the sides of said elongated sheet of flexible material to said beam.

33. A sealing pole assembly as set forth in claim 32 wherein said securing means comprises an elongated welted edge on both sides of said elongated sheet of material and a slot in said beam within which said welted edges are inserted.

34. A sealing pole assembly as set forth in claim 29 wherein said projection means includes a stationary and a retractable projection.

35. A sealing pole assembly as set forth in claim 29 wherein said clamping means comprises a rotatably latching lever on said sealing poles.

36. A winch pole assembly for converting a vehicle body having a floor, sidewalls and a roof, a hopper below a portion of the floor and a movable partitioning panel hinged above said hopper to transport loose bulk cargo, and interfitting means on said roof and floor comprising a winch pole for moving said movable partitioning panel between horizontal floor and upright wall positions, longitudinally extending projection means on each end of said winch beam in removable engagement with said interfitting means on said roof and said floor for installing said winch pole in operating position in said body, said winch pole comprising an elongated winch beam of a length slightly less than the distance from the floor to the roof, a ratchet reel mounted upon said winch beam, said ratchet reel including an upper guide means a linear flexible strap movably engaged with said guide means, fastening means on the end of said strap for attaching said strap to the end of movably engaged said partitioning panel remote from said hinge whereby said partitioning panel may be moved between said horizontal floor and wall positions when said ratchet reel is operated.

37. A winch pole assembly as set forth in claim 36 wherein said elongated winch beam comprises an elongated channel having a pair of parallel walls, and said ratchet reel being mounted between said parallel walls.

38. A winch pole assembly as set forth in claim 37 wherein several braces are mounted along the open end of said parallel walls to strengthen said channel.

39. A winch pole assembly as set forth in claim 38 wherein the upper projection means is a rectangular plate attached to the top of the base of said channel and the lower projection means comprises a pair of projections mounted upon the bottom of said parallel walls of said channel adjacent said base.

40. A winch pole assembly as set forth in claim 38 wherein a retaining ring is mounted upon one of said braces for attachment of said strap fastening means when said winch pole assembly is inoperative to facilitate compact storage thereof.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a vehicle body which is converted for either transporting discrete cargo (such as boxes) or loose bulk cargo (such as grain) by lowering or raising partitioning panels over a substantially central discharge hopper. Preexisting convertible vehicle bodies for railroad cars, truck-trailers or trucks have had the disadvantage of permanent rigid projections into the interior, which interfere with the passage of discrete cargo and do not adequately seal the bulk cargo. There have also been problems in storing cable wound winches for raising and lowering the partitioning panels from horizontal floor to raised wall positions. One convertible body for a railroad car is described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,648,293 and a convertible body for a truck-trailer is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,087,759. An object of this invention is to provide an efficient convertible vehicle body having unobstructed passage for discrete cargo. Another object is to provide such a body which is effectively sealed against passage of granular bulk cargo or dust.

SUMMARY

In accordance with this invention removable sealing poles support and seal the partitioning panels in the raised wall positions. These sealing poles are locked into sockets in the roof and floor adjacent the sidewalls and have resilient strips projecting into two directions into sealing engagement with both the sidewalls and panels. Clamps on the poles secure the panels to them. The strips are secured and protected in covers secured in slots on the poles. The ends of the panels are sealed to the roof by resilient flaps. These flaps may be rotatably attached to the ends of the movable panels and urged into engagement with the roof by plungers on the sealing poles extending through holes in corners of the panels. The rotatable flaps drop below and within the panels and into the hoppers when the panels are lowered. Stationary resilient flaps may alternatively be attached to the roof and contacted by the ends of the panels. The panels are moved between floor and raised wall positions by removable winch poles having flexible straps wound on ratchet reels, which are safe and dependable and compact. The sealing and winch poles are conveniently stowed in a rack in front of the body out of the path of movement of discrete cargo. This frees the interior of the body from any obstructions which might interfere to the passage of discrete cargo through it. The stowed poles also reinforce the front end of the body against impact by moving loads. The panel hinges are supported on a lateral series of brackets to prevent loads from being imposed on the hinge pins and which prevent bulk material from collecting under the hinge and springing it. Lateral support ribs contact the spaces through the hinge to seal them against the upward passage of any dust through the hopper into the body and discrete cargo being transported in it. The peripheries of the panels are also accordingly sealed against the hoppers by resilient gaskets.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Novel features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art from a reading of the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein similar reference characters refer to similar parts and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view in elevation of one embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear view in elevation of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view in elevation of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken through FIG. 1 along the line 4--4;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken through FIG. 4 along the line 5--5 of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 being used for the transportation of discrete box cargo;

FIG. 6 is another enlarged cross-sectional side view in elevation of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 being used for transporting granular bulk cargo;

FIG. 7 is a partial broken cross-sectional view taken through FIG. 5 along the line 7--7;

FIG. 8 is a front elevational cross-sectional view corresponding to FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken through FIG. 4 along line 9--9;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross-sectional view through one of the lateral chassis ribs shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 11 is a view in elevation of one of the sealing poles shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view in elevation of the sealing pole shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a side view in elevation of the sealing pole shown in FIG. 11 installed in a vehicle body used for transporting loose bulk granular material as shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view taken through FIG. 13 along the line 14--14;

FIG. 15 is a left-hand cross-sectional view of the upper corresponding portion of FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a side view in elevation of one of the winch poles shown in use in FIG. 6;

FIG. 17 is a right-hand view in elevation of the winch pole shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a top plan view of the winch pole shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is an inside view in elevation of the front end of the vehicle body of FIG. 1 showing sealing and winch poles stowed in a storage rack;

FIG. 20 is a top plan view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is an enlarged and broken cross-sectional view taken through FIG. 19 along the line 21--21; and

FIG. 22 is a fragmental cross-sectional view in elevation of a modified sealing arrangement between panel end and roof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In FIGS. 1-4 is shown a convertible truck trailer body 10 for transporting discrete box cargo as shown in FIG. 5 or granular bulk cargo as shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 1 shows movable partitioning panels 11 and 12 in two positions. Their horizontal floor positions, designated 11A and 12A, are used for supporting discrete cargo, and their raised substantially vertical wall positions 11B and 12B are used for retaining granular bulk cargo. Their paths of swinging movement between these positions are designated by arcs 14. Trailer body 10 includes substantially rectangular chassis 16, floor 18, sidewalls 20 and roof 22. Front and rear hoppers 24 and 26 are mounted below the approximate mid-section of floor 18 for collecting and discharging bulk cargo loaded above them as shown in FIG. 6. As shown in FIG. 5, movable partitioning panel 11A seals the entrance to hopper 24 in the horizontal floor position for supporting discrete cargo above it. Movable partitioning panel 12A covers hopper 26. The bottoms of hoppers 24 and 26 are controllably closed by gates 28 of conventional discharging nature. Trailer body 10 shown in FIGS. 1-3 has various other conventional features such as front access door 30, ladder 32, rear loading doors 34, support 36 and rear wheels 38. Hatch 40 provides a means for loading granular material into body 10 from chute 39 as shown in FIG. 6.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show the general arrangement of body 10 for transporting discrete type cargo cartons or boxes 42. Partitioning panels 11A and 12A are in the horizontal floor position with hinges 44 connecting them to front floor section 46 and rear floor section 48 of conventional planked construction. Hinges 44 have laterally disposed axes, and panels 11A and 12A in the horizontal or lower floor position fully close the space over hoppers 24 and 26. Lateral structural ribs 50 and 51 (shown in FIG. 5 but omitted in FIG. 4) brace the portion of chassis 16 over hoppers 24 and 26. Ribs 50 are tubular as shown in FIG. 10 and have peaked or curved tops 52 to shed any granular material that might drop upon them. The remainder of chassis 16 is strengthened by brackets 54 and cross members 56. Panels 11A and 12A in the lowered floor position (as shown in FIGS. 5, 7 and 8) are supported between mid hopper cross member 58 and angular support brackets 60. Angular support brackets 60 are spaced about 6 inches apart across outer hopper wall 62 to support the portion of panel 11A connected to movable hinge plate 64. The vertical portion of hopper wall 62 contacts one of the spaces 88 between movable hinge plate 64 and fixed hinge plate 66. This directs all of the load imposed on hinge 44 to hopper wall 62 and chassis 16 and prevents such loads from being imposed on hinge pin 68. The spacing of hinge support plates 60 causes granular material to pass through them, thus preventing a build-up under movable hinge plate 64, which might spring hinge 44.

FIGS. 7 and 8 also show extendable resilient flaps 70 swung under and within the ends of panels 11A and 12A within hoppers 24 and 26 on seal support member 72 having pivot pins 74 inserted within eye bolts 76 secured under the ends of panels 11A and 12A. Actuating ends 78 of support members 72 are disposed in front of holes 80 through the corners of panels 11A and 12A through which projections extend to contact actuating ends 78 as later described. Flaps 70 are made of fiber-reinforced neoprene to make them strong, durable and resistant against roof heat. Support members 72 are made of sheet steel.

FIG. 9 illustrates the multi-ply structure (about twenty ply) of panels 11A and 12A and their resilient gasket 82 for example polyurethane sponge against side hopper lip 84 which prevents the passage of dust upwardly through hoppers 24 and 26 while body 10 is being used for transporting box cargo, which must be kept clean. This sealing is also facilitated by the contact of end lips 86 of panels 11A and 12A on central cross member 58 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 8. FIG. 8 also shows how dust proofing of hinge 44 is completed under hinge space 88 by contact of the vertical edge of hopper wall 62 and under hinge space 90 of movable hinge plate 64 by the vertical edge 92 of panel edge angle reinforcement 94.

FIG. 6 shows the arrangement of body 10 for transporting loose granular bulk cargo, such as grain. Sealing poles 100 and winch poles 102 are installed fore and aft of raised panels 11B and 12B. Sealing poles 100 have upper movable projections 104 inserted into upper sockets 106 in roof support channels 108 and lower projections 110 inserted into lower sockets 112 in floor 18. This is more clearly shown in FIGS. 11-15. Upper projection 104 is movable by operating plunger assembly 114 including a spring 116, which urges rectangular projection 104 upwardly into engagement with socket 106. A downward pull on bar end 118 retracts projection 104 to permit removal of sealing pole 100 from the installed position shown in FIGS. 6, 13 and 15. Lower projection 110 on sealing pole 100 includes a shoulder 120, which holds it on top of floor 18. As shown in FIGS. 11-15, elongated sealing strips 122 of for example polyurethane foam are secured to and project into two directions from groove 124 in longitudinal beam 126, which is for example an aluminum extrusion, forming the structural portion of sealing pole 100. Elongated resilient strips 122 are secured in grooves 124 by elongated flexible cover sheets 128, of for example, nylon, whose welted edges 130 are inserted within slots 134 down the length of beam 126. Cover 128 holds strip or pad 122 in its operative position for sealing in two directions, protects it and facilitates replacement.

FIG. 11-15 show how clamping levers 136 engage retaining sockets 138 in the raised faces of panels 11B and 12B to hold them in forceful contact against resilient strips 122. The other or outer side of strip 122 is, as shown in FIG. 14, squeezed into firm resilient engagement within sidewall 20 of body 10. This double engagement provides a dependable seal preventing the passage of granular bulk material between panels 11B and 12B, sealing poles 100 and sidewall 20.

The space between the tops of raised panels 11B and 12B and roof 22 is sealed by the urging of resilient flap 70 into forceful contact with roof 22 and contact of seal support member 72 with the bottom edge of chin 87 extending downwardly within the outer edges of panels 11B and 12B as shown in FIG. 13. The necessary force is provided by the insertion of actuating projection or pin 140 through hole 80 against actuating end 78 of pivoted support member 72. Lip 86 and chin 87 conveniently comprise the upper and lower extremities of a boot casting 89.

FIG. 6 also shows winch poles 102 installed fore and aft for moving partitioning panels 11 and 12 from horizontal floor positions 11A and 12A to substantially vertical wall positions 11B and 12B. Winch poles 102 are installed fore and aft of raised partitioning walls 11B and 12B by insertion of upper winch projection 142 up into upper winch socket 144 in roof channel brace 146 and subsequent dropping of lower winch projections or feet 148 into lower winch sockets 150 in floor 18. Shoulder 152, more clearly in enlarged FIGS. 16-18, holds winch pole 102 high enough to maintain upper projection 142 within socket 144. Clearance 154 between the top of the main body 156 of winch pole 102 and the bottom of roof brace 146 permits the previously described lifting engagement of a slanted winch pole assembly 102 first into upper roof socket 144 and then into floor socket 150 to maintain winch pole 102 vertical.

As shown in FIGS. 16-18, winch body 156 comprises an elongated structural channel of for example structural extruded aluminum, within which is mounted ratchet reel assembly 158 including drum 160. Linear flexible strap 162, of for example strong nylon webbing, is wound upon drum 160. Spring clip fastener 164 is attached to free end of webbing or strap 162. FIG. 16 shows the deployed position of clip 164 in solid outline at the upper right, and shows the stowed position of clip 164 (near the bottom) clipped to D-ring 166.

Semicircular pawl 168 engages ratchet wheel 170 when reel 158 is being wound up to raise partitioning panels 11 and 12, and pawl 168 is held out of engagement for lowering partitioning panels 11 and 12 by retainer 172 which engages pawl pin 174 extending outwardly through hole 176 in the side of channel 156. Winch assembly 158 is accordingly compact, light and efficient. Nylon web 162 is also resilient, shock-absorbing and safe in operation in comparison to previously used steel cables which whip dangerously about if they break. Such steel cables are also bulky and difficult to compactly store. The open end of winch channel 156 is strengthened by a series of bolted tubular braces 178. FIG. 6 shows the connection of spring clip 164 at the end of nylon web or strap 162 to sockets 180 (also shown in FIG. 4) in the outer portion of panels 11 and 12.

FIGS. 19-21 illustrate the stowed positions of sealing poles 100 and winch poles 102 in storage rack 182 in the front end of truck trailer body 10. Storage rack 182 is just in back and to one side of a front access door 30 and includes upper socket plate 184 and a series of lower socket holes 186 through floor 18, which are large enough to allow lower projection shoulders 120 of sealing poles 100 and 152 of winch poles 102 to drop completely through them. This rests the lower ends 188 of sealing poles 100 and 190 of winch poles 102 on floor 18.

The upper projections 104 of sealing poles 100 are inserted within socket plate 184 in the same manner previously described by actuation of locking plungers 114. The upper projections 142 of winch poles 102 are, however, free of connection to rack 182. Sealing poles 100 are firmly secured against rattling by the compression of resilient strips 122 within grooves 124 to obtain metal-to-metal contact between extruded beams 126 against three horizontal channel ribs 194. This also reinforces the front end of body 10 against rough handling and thus creates an auxiliary bulkhead, which can be further reinforced by removable plywood panels, if desired. FIG. 21 shows actuating projections 140 on sealing poles 100 extending into indentions 206 in body 10 to conserve space.

Winch poles 102 are secured against movement by the clamping of channel flanges 196 between fixed clip 198 and rotatable clip 200. Handles 202 for rotating ratchet reels 158 on winch poles 102 stored in U-shaped holders 204.

FIG. 22 illustrates a more simple alternate roof sealing arrangement. Resilient flap 70C (of for example fiber-reinforced neoprene) is attached (for example by rivets 208C) to let 210C of roof channel 108C for contact by the upper edge of boot casting 89C on the free end of raised panel 11C. Flap 70C is easily deflected out of the path of traffic when discrete cargo, such as boxes, are moved through body 10.

OPERATION

FIGS. 4 and 5 show the arrangement of truck-trailer body 10 for transporting box cargo 42 when partitioning panels 11 and 12 are down in the horizontal floor position in which they are designated 11A and 12A. Discrete box cargo 42 is accordingly loaded within body 10 in the conventional manner. The inside of body 10 is substantially smooth and clear of obstruction with sealing poles 100 and winch poles 102 securely stowed out of the way in storage rack 182 within the front end of body 10.

FIGS. 19-21 show the stowed arrangement of sealing poles 100 and winch poles 102 in storage rack 182 together with operating handles 202 for operating winch poles 102. Body 10 is thus completely unobstructed for transporting bulk cargo. Sealing poles 100 are released from storage rack 182 by operating plungers 114 to remove upper projections 104 from upper plate 184 of rack 182. The tops of sealing poles 100 are then rotated back clear of upper plate 184 and lower projections 110 of sealing poles 100 are lifted out of floor 18. Winch poles 102 are removed by swinging rotatable clip plates 200 out of engagement with outer flanges 196 of winch beam 156. Lower projections 148 with shoulders 152 are then lifted clear out of floor 18 to free winch poles 102 for installation and use. Winding handles 202 are lifted out of holders 204.

FIG. 6 shows the arrangement of body 10 for transporting bulk cargo 208 such as grain or gravel. Both partitioning panels 11 and 12 are raised into the wall positions in which they segregate an area 210 in the mid-portion of body 10 over discharge hoppers 24 and 26 and in communication therewith. These raised wall positions of partitioning panels 11 and 12 are designated 11B and 12B. This bulk cargo area 210 is filled through opened hatch 40 from chute 39. The mid-portion of body 10 is usually sufficient for receiving the vehicle's rated weight load of such cargo.

The phantom illustration of lower panel 11A in the right-hand side of FIG. 6 with winch strap 162 and clip 164 engaged in socket 180 shows how winch strap 162 is connected to panels 11 and 12 for raising them.

In converting vehicle body 10 to transport bulk cargo, lower projections 110 of sealing poles 100 are inserted in floor sockets 112 with shoulders 120 engaged above floor 18. Upper projections 104 are retracted by pulling down on plungers 114 and then releasing them to insert upper projections 104 in upper roof sockets 106 in roof channels 108. FIG. 14 shows how sealing strip 122 is compressed between sealing pole beam 126 and sidewall 20 to dependably provide a seal against the passage of bulk cargo between them.

Winch poles 102 are installed as shown in FIG. 6 by first raising upper projections 142 into sockets 144 in indicated roof channels 108 in a slanted position and then swinging lower projections 148 into floor sockets 150 with shoulders 152 engaging the top of floor 18. Upper projections 142 are long enough to maintain themselves engaged in upper sockets 144 and thus hold winch poles 102 in the vertical position.

Operating handles 202 are connected to ratchet reels 158 on winch poles 102 (with pawls 168 engaged) and operated to cause straps 162 to raise panels 11 and 12 from the horizontal floor position shown in phantom to the solid representations of panels 11B and 12B at the front and back ends of bin area 210.

Panels 11B and 12B engage sealing poles 102 against resilient strips 122, which were previously compressed against the sidewalls 20 of body 10 when sealing poles 100 were installed. The double compressive sealing of strips 122, shown in FIG. 14, seals panels 11B and 12B against passage of bulk cargo between them and sealing poles 100. Panels 11B and 12B are secured to seal poles 100 by locking with rotatable clamps 136, as shown in FIGS. 11, 13 and 15.

When panels 11B and 12B are raised into firm contact with sealing poles 100, projections 140 on sealing poles 100 pass through holes 80 in the upper corners of panels 11B and 12B and into contact with actuating ends 78 of pivoted support member 72 upon which resilient flaps 70 are mounted. This urges resilient flaps 70 in close contact with roof 22 and support member 72 into sealing engagement with extending chin 87 within the free ends of panels 11B and 12B. This securely and dependably seals the space between them against the passage of bulk cargo material. FIG. 22 shows the more simple seal of panel end boot 89C against roof supported flaps 70C. Bulk cargo material 208 is unloaded by actuation of gates 28 at the bottom of hoppers 24 and 26. Any granular material striking lateral ribs 50 is cleanly shed by their peaked or curved upper surface. The spaces between hinge support brackets 60 also allows granular particles to run through them. This avoids a build up of such material under hinge 44 which might spring it.

After bulk cargo 208 is unloaded and the next cargo is of the discrete variety, body 10 is easily converted back to the arrangement for transporting bulk cargo as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 by operating winch poles 102 to drop partitioning panels 11 and 12 to the floor positions over hoppers 24 and 26. Prior to the lowering of the panels 11 and 12, they are unlocked from sealing poles 100 by releasing clamps 136. When panels 11 and 12 drop back to the lower floor positions, flaps 70 are free to rotate under the influence of gravity to the retracted positions shown in FIG. 8 to lie within hoppers 24 and 26. Panels 11A and 12A are sealed against the passage of any residual dust upwardly through them by their multiple ply structure (20-ply), the polyurethane sponge gaskets 82 along their sides, front sealing lips 86 on central gusset 58 and the contact of the edges of vertical hopper wall 62 and panel reinforcing angle 92 under spaces 88 and 90 in hinge plates 44. This prevents dust from contaminating a clean box cargo.