United States Patent 3592294

A construction elevator including an elongated structural framework incorporating a pair of laterally spaced tracks upon which a material and personnel carriage operates. The framework is adjustable so as to extend between the ground and a construction platform located at varying heights above the ground through a variation in the angle of the framework. The carrier is angularly adjustable on the framework so as to assume a horizontal positioning thereof regardless of variations in the angle of inclination of the framework. A counterweight unit is engaged with the carrier and mounted within the framework for track-guided movement therealong in a direction opposed from the direction of movement of the carrier so as to act as a counterbalance therefor. The carrier and framework are so orientated as to allow free access to and egress from the carrier at both ground level and at the construction platform.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
182/103, 187/245
International Classes:
B66B9/16; B66F9/02; (IPC1-7): B66B9/06
Field of Search:
187/2,6,10--14,94,95 182
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3178048Portable elevator1965-04-13Bergnan
2563260Inclined elevator1951-08-07Miller
2249900Extension ladder and elevator1941-07-22Honig
2232890Derrick elevator1941-02-25Stillwagon
2212711Hoist for building material1940-08-27MacIsaac

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Hornsby, Harvey C.
What I claim as new is as follows

1. An elevator comprising an elongated framework said framework including a pair of laterally spaced generally parallel elongated units, each unit having an upper elongated track-defining beam, a lower beam paralleling said upper beam in spaced relation therebelow, and brace means interconnecting said upper and lower beams, transverse brace means extending between and interconnecting said lower beams in spaced relation below said upper beams, a carrier mounted on the track-defining upper beams for travel therealong, drive means mounted between said units and in engagement with said carrier for moving said carrier along said track beams, said carrier including a generally horizontal base, upstanding generally encircling walls on said base, and means for angularly adjusting the orientation of the carrier relative to the framework so as to maintain a generally horizontal orientation of the carrier base throughout a range of angular adjustment of the elongate framework, said carrier base including a rear edge portion immediately adjacent the track beams, said base projecting horizontally forward from the rear edge portion, and wheel means on said rear edge portion rollingly engageable with said track beams, said carrier being generally cantilevered forward from said track beams, upper wheel means engaged with said track beams above said first wheel means and longitudinally spaced therealong, and arm means engaged with and between said upper wheel means and the rear portion of the carrier in spaced relation above the base, said arm means including telescopically adjustable sections which, through an adjustment thereof, can rotatably position the upper position of the carrier about the track mounted lower wheel means, thereby defining the means for angularly adjusting the orientation of the carrier relative to the framework, terminal column means affixed to the upper ends of said track beams and depending therefrom into engagement with the upper ends of said lower beams so as to define a structure-abutting surface, and base-forming means rigid with the lower end of said track beams and projecting rearwardly therefrom into attached engagement with the lower ends of said lower beams so as to define a ground-engaging base, said drive means comprising a pair of endless drive chains, one located laterally inward and below each of said track beams between said track beams and said lower beams, power means mounted on said base-forming means, drive sprockets on said power means receiving said drive chains thereover for a synchronized driving thereof, and upper sprockets mounted on said column means immediately below the point of engagement of the track beams thereof, said drive chains generally paralleling said track beams, and a platelike walkway pivotally mounted to said framework generally between said track beams, said walkway projecting laterally through said column means whereby movement from the track beams through the framework thereover can be effected.

2. The elevator of claim 1 wherein said column means engage and depend from the upper ends of said track beams at approximately a 30° angle thereto, said base forming means projecting rearwardly from engagement with the other end of said track means at approximately a 45° angle thereto.

3. The elevator of claim 2 including a counterweight mounted on said framework for movement therealong, and flexible cable means engaged between said counterweight and said carrier for counterbalancing the weight of the carrier during the movement thereof.

4. The elevator of claim 3 including elongated track means mounted in said framework vertically between said upper and lower beams and laterally between said framework units, said track means extending longitudinally along said framework, said counterweight including means thereon engaged within said track means for guided movement of the counterweight therealong.

The instant invention is generally concerned with power elevators, and is more particularly directed to a construction elevator for transporting both material and personnel between the ground and an elevated construction platform of any type, including elevated drilling rig platforms, floors of buildings under construction, and the like.

While elevators for use at construction sites are known, such units are frequently awkward to position and adjust to varying heights. In addition, movement to and from the associated carrier or carriage is, in many instances, difficult due to interference from various of the operating components by which the vertical travel of the carrier is effected. Accordingly, it is a primary object of the instant invention to provide an elevator wherein free passage to and from the carrier is possible both at ground level and at the construction platform.

In providing for the desired free passage to and from the carrier, the instant invention contemplates the orientation of the support and operating components below and to the sides of the carrier, the carrier traveling thereover by means of wheels engaged within elongated laterally spaced tracks which constitute portions of the supporting framework.

Other significant objects of the instant invention reside in the provision of a construction elevator which is angularly adjustable, provide for a positioning of the carrier floor level with the elevated construction platform, incorporates a counterbalancing system for the carrier, and engages the ground in outwardly spaced relation to the construction whereby movement of the carrier between ground level and the desired height is effected without passing close to any structural or construction framework.

Basically, the advantages of the instant invention are derived from the provision of an elevator including a material and personnel carrier mounted on and traveling along a pair of elongated subjacent tracks which constitute portions of a subjacent inclined framework orientated to provide a clear exposure of the carrier for simplified passage thereinto and therefrom. The carrier is moved along the tracks by means of power-driven endless chains engaged thereto, the weight of the carrier being counterbalanced by an appropriate track-guided counterweight. Both the supporting framework and the carrier are angularly adjustable so as to accommodate construction platform of varying heights while retaining a substantial horizontal orientation of the carrier itself.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the elevator of the instant invention in an installed position;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial front elevational view of the elevator;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 4-4 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 5-5 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a partial longitudinal cross-sectional view taken through the supporting framework and illustrating the track mounted counterweight;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 7-7 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 8-8 in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 9-9 in FIG. 4.

Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral 10 is used to generally designate the elevator comprising the instant invention. This elevator comprises basically a supporting framework 12 and a personnel and construction material carrier 14 travelable thereon, normally between ground level 16 and an elevated construction platform or deck 18.

The framework 12 includes a pair of elongated laterally spaced track-defining I-beams 20 defining in effect the top chord of a pair of laterally spaced truss units which additionally include an approximately full length tubular bottom beam 22 and appropriate tubular diagonal bracing 24 extending between the track beam 20 and lower beam 22 of each truss unit. The bottom beams 22, and hence the opposed truss units, are interconnected by transversely extending tubular braces or beams 26 at spaced points along the length thereof.

With reference to FIG. 4 in particular, a braced powerplant mounting base 28 rigidly affixed, as by welding or the like, to the lower ends of the track beams 20 and projects rearwardly therefrom at approximately a 45° angle thereto, the rear end of the base 28 being engaged with and supported by the adjacent foreshortened ends of the lower beams 22. Thus, at the lowest normal range of adjustment of the elevator, such being at an angle of 45 to the ground, the base 28 will sit flat on the ground 16, providing a stable support therefor. As will be readily appreciated, appropriate ground anchors or blocking means can be utilized, such being readily releasable so as to retain the portable nature of the elevator.

Attention is now specifically directed to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 for the framework construction at the upper end of the elevator 10. A vertical column 30 is welded to and depends at a 30° angle from the upper end of each of the track beams 20, the lower end of each of the columns 30 in turn being rigidly affixed, as by welding, to the slightly foreshortened end of the corresponding lower beam 22. The 30° orientation of the columns 30 relative to the upper track beam 20 is deemed significant in that upon an inclination of the elevator 10 at a 60° angle to the ground 16, such constituting the preferable maximum of the elevator 10, the columns 30 will be orientated at 90° to the horizontal and abuttable in face-to-face contact with the vertical edge of a construction platform 18 whereby the maximum force transferring bearing area is effected. A second column 32 parallels each of the columns 30 and is located in inwardly spaced relation thereto, the column 32 being preferably a channel member. Each column 32 is rigidly engaged with the laterally spaced corresponding column 30 by means of a transverse beam section 34 extending between the upper end of the beam 32 and the beam 30 at a point slightly below the extreme upper end of the track beam 20, and by a diagonal brace 36 extending between the lower end of the column 32 and the lower end of the corresponding column 30, the lower end of the column 32 being positioned above the lower end of the column 30. Appropriate cover plates 38 enclose a pair of columns 32 and 34 across the top thereof, along the opposed sides thereof, and across the back thereof, leaving the forwardly directed or track side thereof open for the reception of the various operating components as shall be described subsequently. An adjustable floor plate 40 is provide between the opposed inner columns 32. This plate 40 includes a series of depending ears 42 thereon, adjacent one end thereof received between the tracks 20, these ears in turn being pivotally pinned to a series of upwardly projecting ears 44 rigid with a transverse bar 46 located below the tracks 20. The plate 40 is adapted to project horizontally between and beyond the inner columns 32 into overlying relation to the construction platform 18 to which it will be releasably bolted so as to provide in effect a direct walkway between the carrier 14 and the platform 18. A pair of inwardly directed angle supports 48 are provided on the inner columns 32 in underlying relation to the opposed edges of the floor plate or walkway 40, these angle supports 48 being so orientated as to support the horizontally positioned plate 40 when the elevator 10 is inclined at its maximum angle, approximately 60°. At any lesser angular orientation of the elevator 10, the walkway 40 will still of course be firmly supported between the transverse bar 46 and platform 18. By the same token, the angle supports 48 can be adjustably mounted, for example through the provision of a series of mounting holes, for adjustment so as to effect a supporting engagement with the walkway plate 40 regardless of the angle of the elevator 10. The bar 46 is stabilized by means of a first pair of diagonal braces 50 extending between the columns 32 and the bar 46, and a second pair of diagonal braces 52 extending between the bar 46 and the next lower transverse brace 26.

Referring now specifically to the personnel and material carriage or carrier 14, such includes a platform or deck 54 supported on a rectangular channel iron framework 56. Opposed screenlike safety sidewalls 58 are affixed to the opposite side Edges of the platform 54, rising to a height of approximately 4 feet so as to provide a proper retaining barrier. In addition, partial front and rear walls 60 project perpendicularly inward from the opposed edges of the sidewalls 58 along the front and rear edges of the platform 54, the partial walls 60 along both the front edge and the rear edge of the platform 54 terminating in spaced relation to each other so as to provide for clear access to and from the carrier 14, these access openings being selectively closed by a releasable chain guard 70.

The actual means by which the carriage 14 is mounted on the opposed parallel tracks 20 includes a first set of two pairs of wheels 72 affixed to the lower rear corners of the carrier 14 and angled rearwardly and downwardly therefrom for tracking engagement within the tracks 20. With particular reference to FIG. 9, in conjunction with FIGS. 3 and 4, the two wheels 72 of each pair of wheels are mounted on a yoke 74 and are inwardly directed relative to each other so as to rollingly engage within the opposed channels defined by the corresponding I-beam track 20. The yoke 74 extends from the wheels and has the opposite end portion 76 thereof bolted to an outwardly bowed mounting plate 78 rigidly affixed diagonally across the lower rear corner of the carrier 14 whereby a lateral positioning of the yoke-mounted wheels, relative to the carrier 14, is effected, resulting in a positive clearance between the carrier 14 and the adjacent wheel-receiving track 20.

A similar pair of yoke-mounted wheels 80 are mounted in each track 20 above the first pair of wheels 72, the yoke 82 of each of these second pair of wheels 80 being rigidly affixed to a first rod section 84 which telescopically receives a second rod section 86 adjustable relative thereto. The second rod section 86 is pivotally engaged at the forward or free end thereof, generally indicated by reference numeral 88, to the rear edge of the adjacent sidewall 58 toward the upper end thereof, and more particularly to a rigid vertical postlike member 90 to which the screenlike material of the sidewall 58 is secured. Referring to FIG. 5, in conjunction with FIG. 4, the inner adjustable member 86 includes a series of adjusting holes 92 therein which are selectively alignable with a pair of similar holes in the outer member 84 for the reception of a pair of locking bolts 94 therethrough whereby 84 and 86 can be effected, this in turn resulting in the pivoting of the carrier 14 in a vertical plane and a variation in the angle thereof. In this manner, the carrier 14 can be maintained in a horizontal orientation regardless of the particular angle of the framework 12 of the elevator 10, of course within suitable limits, normally between 45° and 60° as previously indicated. As will be readily appreciated, the upper wheel units and the associated adjustment arms are located at the lateral extremes of the carrier 14 and in no way interfere with free passage into and out of the carrier.

The movement of the carrier 14, both up and down, along the tracks 20 is effected by means of a pair of endless drive chains 96, each located inward of and slightly below one of the track beams 20. The upper end of each of the drive chains 96 is is engaged about a sprocket 98 mounted on an appropriate shaft rotatably support between pillow block bearings 100 affixed between the corresponding pair of columns 32 and 30 immediately below the transverse column brace 34, such being a sufficient height above the walkway plate 40 whereby a movement of the carrier 14 so as to align the platform 54 with the walkway 40 is possible. The lower ends of the two drive chains 96 are in turn engaged about appropriate sprockets 102 mounted on a common or synchronized shaft 104, also appropriately supported within pillow block bearing units 106, the actual power being transmitted from any appropriate power unit 108, such for example a hydraulic, gasoline or electric motor, to the shaft or shafts 104 through an appropriate gearbox 110. The control of the power unit will preferably be effected from three points through suitable control boxes 112, one being at the base of the elevator 10, the second being at the upper end of the elevator 10, and the third being on the carrier itself. As will be readily appreciated, appropriate safety brake means are to be associated with both the power unit and the carrier itself. Incidently, with regard to the operation of the carrier 14, attention is directed to the fact that the aligned pairs of wheels 72 and 80 are maintained in the proper spaced relation to each other by means of rigid spreaders or spreader bars 114 engaged therebetween, noting FIG. 5 in particular, in a manner whereby the angular orientation of the carrier 14 is adjustable while providing for a fixed distance between the aligned pairs of rollers.

The actual engagement of the carrier 14 with the drive chains 96, and more particularly the upper runs of the drive chains 96, is effected by the means of a pair of attaching links 97. Each link 97 has one end thereof bolted or otherwise affixed to one of the chains 96 is spaced relation above the lower rear roller supported edge of the carrier 14, and the other end thereof pivotally engaged with the corresponding rear edge corner of the carrier 14 by means of a pin 99 received through the end of the link 97 and mounted on the carrier 14 through a pair of rearwardly projecting mounting ears 101. Thus, the pull on the carrier 14 is effected substantially directly at the lower tracking rollers 72, the upper tracking rollers 80 acting so as to retain the desired orientation of the carrier 14 during the travel thereof.

With reference to FIG. 1, a pair of bracket mounted guide sprockets 103 are rigidly mounted on the framework and orientated so as to engage beneath the lower run of each of the chains 96 at spaced points therealong. In addition, a spring-loaded idler sprocket 105 is associated with the lower run of each of the drive chains 96 between the guide sprockets 103, this idler sprocket 105 being biased downwardly by an appropriate biasing spring 107 engaged between the idler sprocket pivot arm 109 and a portion on the lower face of the framework 12, for example one of the cross braces 26. Thus, it will be appreciated that each of the drive chains is both properly guided and tensioned.

The elevator of the instant invention also includes an enlarged slab or block counterweight 116 track mounted for guided rolling movement along the lower portion of the framework 12 beneath the traveling carrier 14. The counterweight 116 is of a relatively low height so as to move freely below the traveling carrier 14 in spaced relation thereto, the counterweight including bracket mounted wheels 118 located at the four corners thereof and traveling within a pair of upwardly opening channel tracks 120. The tracks 120 are laterally spaced from each other and affixed directly to the cross beams or braces 26, the tracks extending along substantially the full length of the framework 12. The engagement of the carrier 14 with counterweight 116 is effected through a pair of elongated flexible cables 122. Each of the cables 122 is engaged with a rigid component of one of the rear wall portions 68 in slightly spaced relation above the carrier platform 54 in laterally spaced relation to the passage therethrough so as to not interfere with movement through the rear wall opening. Each cable 122 extends upwardly in parallel overlying relation to the framework 12 about a pulley 124 mounted by appropriate bracket means 126 on the upper corresponding crossbeam 34 slightly inward of and adjacent the drive chain sprocket 98. The cable then extends downwardly and forwardly about a second pulley 128 bracket mounted on one of the uppermost crossbeams or braces 26, the cable 122 then continuing downward into encircling engagement with the corresponding rear corner of the counterweight 116. The cable then reverses its direction and extends up the framework 12, terminating at the end 132 thereof tied to a fixed point on the framework adjacent the intermediate pulley 128. Thus, it will be appreciated that the counterweight 116 acts so as to counterbalance the weight of the carrier 14. Incidently, it will of course be appreciated that the upper limit of travel of the counterweight 116 is substantially below the walkway plate 40 so as to maintain the area between the upper ends of the tracks 20 clear and free of any encumbrances to the free passage to and from the carrier.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that a highly unique elevator, particularly adapted for use as a construction elevator, has been defined. The framework of the elevator is to be adjustable between approximately a 45° angle and a 60° angle, depending upon the height of the construction platform, with the carrier of the elevator being likewise adjustable so as to maintain a horizontal orientation along the path of travel, the uppermost limit of which positions the floor of the carrier at a common level with the construction platform in view of the unique orientation between the drive chains and the carrier itself. This relationship includes a specific engagement of the drive chains with the lower rear edge portion of the carrier 14 and a mounting of the upper end portions of the chains for travel to an elevated position relative to the walkway plate 40, the tracks 20 themselves also continuing upwardly beyond the walkway plate 40 for the accommodation of the upper pairs of carrier rollers 80 as the carrier moves to the level of the walkway 40 and platform 18. Further, the carrier and the supporting framework, including the carrier tracks, are so constructed as to provide for free passage to and from the carrier at both ground level and at the elevated construction platform.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.