Title:
Universal mounting bracket for dry stick lubricators
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mounting bracket for dry stick lubricators for railroad wheels is adapted for universal application and orientation to different configurations of rail cars and locomotives. A base plate fits on any of several configurations of journal boxes on the rail axle, and attached components allow swiveling adjustment, length adjustment and adjustment in several different axes for the dry stick lubricator itself, at a position spaced from the base plate.



Inventors:
Chalmers, Michael S. (Sandpoint, ID, US)
Application Number:
09/919745
Publication Date:
02/21/2002
Filing Date:
07/31/2001
Assignee:
CHALMERS MICHAEL S.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61K3/02; (IPC1-7): E04G3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEINHOLD, INGRID M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomas M. Freiburger (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A universal mounting bracket for dry stick lubricators which apply lubricant to railroad wheels, comprising: (a) a base plate having openings positioned to accept fasteners in different positions, to fit a plurality of different journal boxes or journal adaptors on railroad wheel trucks, (b) an extension bracket secured to the base plate so as to extend generally upwardly from the base plate when placed in service, the extension bracket being adjustable in length, (c) a swivel head secured to an end of the extension bracket remote from the base plate, and (d) a plurality of fastener openings in the swivel head, allowing for connection of a dry stick lubricant tube to the swivel head in a plurality of different rotational orientations.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, including a swivel joint connecting the extension bracket to the base plate, allowing for swinging adjustment of the extension bracket relative to the base plate.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the extension bracket comprises a pair of lapped plates, one of which has an elongated slotted opening, providing length adjustment.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the swivel head is secured to said remote end of the extension bracket in a pivot joint, providing for rotation of the swivel head about a first axis.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, further including means in the swivel head permitting adjustment rotation of the swivel head about a second axis.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the swivel head includes a generally flat plate, and wherein the openings in the swivel head comprise a pair of arcuate slot openings permitting a dry stick lubricant tube having a pair of fasteners to be secured in many different rotational orientations, for adjustment about a third axis.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the openings in the base plate are slotted so as to fit with different hole patterns in journal boxes.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the slotted openings are in a curved configuration.

9. A mounting bracket for dry stick lubricators which apply lubricant to railroad wheels, for use on a locomotive tire, comprising: (a) a base plate having at least one opening positioned to accept a fastener to fit into a journal adaptor of a locomotive, (b) an extension bracket secured to the base plate so as to extend generally upwardly from the base plate when placed in service, the extension bracket being adjustable in length, (c) a swivel head secured to an end of the extension bracket remote from the base plate, and (d) a plurality of fastener openings in the swivel head, allowing for connection of a dry stick lubricant tube to the swivel head in a plurality of different rotational orientations.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, including a swivel joint connecting the extension bracket to the base plate, allowing for swinging adjustment of the extension bracket relative to the base plate.

11. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the extension bracket comprises a pair of lapped plates, one of which has an elongated slotted opening, providing length adjustment.

12. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the swivel head is secured to said remote end of the extension bracket in a pivot joint, providing for rotation of the swivel head about a first axis.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, further including means in the swivel head permitting adjustment rotation of the swivel head about a second axis.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the swivel head includes a generally flat plate, and wherein the openings in the swivel head comprise a pair of arcuate slot openings permitting a dry stick lubricant tube having a pair of fasteners to be secured in many different rotational orientations, for adjustment about a third axis.

15. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the openings in the base plate are slotted so as to fit with different hole patterns in journal boxes.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the slotted openings are in a curved configuration.

Description:

[0001] This application claims the benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 60/223,833, filed Aug. 8, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention concerns dry stick lubricators for railroad wheels, for the purpose of lubricating the wheel flanges just prior to entry into a curve, which greatly reduces wear on the wheel flanges. More particularly, the invention concerns a universal mounting bracket permitting accurate and effective positioning of such dry stick lubricators, for a number of different configurations of railroad car wheel trucks and locomotive wheels.

[0003] It is well known that rail wheels will wear significantly less, and last much longer in service, if the wheel flange is lubricated prior to passing through the outside of a curve in the track. For this purpose, several different types of lubrication have been used, one of which is a dry stick lubricator. The dry stick lubricator is within a tube, typically having a pair of metal studs or other fasteners for securing to an appropriate bracket. One manufacturer of such lubricators is Kelsan Technologies of North Vancouver, British Columbia. However, no universal or even widely applicable type of mounting bracket has been known, to allow such a dry stick lubricator to be secured to a number of different configurations of wheel trucks or locomotive wheels.

[0004] The apparatus of the present invention provides a universal mounting bracket to address this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In accordance with this invention, a universal mounting bracket for dry stick lubricators which apply lubricant to railroad wheels, includes a base plate having openings positioned to accept fasteners in different positions, to fit a plurality of different journal boxes on railroad wheel trucks; an adjustable20 length extension bracket secured to the base plate so as to extend generally upwardly from the base plate when placed in service, the extension bracket being adjustable in length; a swivel head secured to an end of the extension bracket remote from the base plate; and a plurality of fastener openings in the swivel head, allowing for connection of a dry stick lubricant tube to the swivel head in a plurality of different rotational orientations.

[0006] A preferred embodiment has a swivel joint connecting the extension bracket to the base plate, allowing for swinging adjustment of the extension bracket relative to the base plate.

[0007] The extension bracket preferably comprises a pair of lapped plates, one of which has an elongated slotted opening, providing length adjustment.

[0008] It is thus the objective of this invention to improve the efficiency of use and the breadth of application for such dry stick lubricating devices, through provision of a universal mounting bracket which fits a wide number of railroad situations. These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description of preferred embodiment, considered along with the accompanying claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view showing a mounting bracket for dry stick lubricators, accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0010] FIG. 2 is a similar exploded perspective view showing the mounting bracket, but also showing a portion of a railroad wheel truck, including a journal box to which the bracket is secured.

[0011] FIG. 3 is a somewhat schematic elevation view showing several possible locations for the bracket, relative to a railcar wheel.

[0012] FIG. 4 is a schematic view, partially in section and partially exploded, viewed in the longitudinal direction relative to a railcar, indicating the bracket of the invention and a dry stick lubricator tube supported by the bracket.

[0013] FIG. 5 is a view showing a plate forming part of a toggle joint of the bracket assembly.

[0014] FIG. 6 is a view showing the same plate and a further assembled component.

[0015] FIG. 7 shows an alternate form of toggle joint.

[0016] FIGS. 8, 9 and 9A show alternate forms of base plates for different applications.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] FIG. 1 shows in exploded perspective an adjustable dry stick lubricator mounting bracket 10 of the invention. FIGS. 2-4 show the bracket's application to a railroad wheel and axle. FIG. 1 shows a base plate 12 with slotted holes 14 that may be curved or sinuous, as shown, for universality of application. The base plate attaches to the inner side of a journal box 16 (FIG. 2) that receives and journals the end 17 of a wheel truck axle 18 for roller-bearing effected rotation. The railcar carriage sits on the journal boxes. Usually the journal boxes have threaded holes on the back side, toward the railcar wheel 19, and the base plate slots 14 are positioned such that machine bolts can be passed through these openings to be received in the threaded holes of the journal box, accommodating several different threaded hole patterns of journal boxes. The drawings show an arcuate recess 12a at the bottom of the base plate, to help avoid interference with an axle collar or a water guard on the wheel truck. Note that the base plate 12 may be installed either vertically or along one side or horizontally along the top of the journal box, the latter being indicated in FIG. 2.

[0018] Above the slots 14 on the base plate 12 are several holes 20 for connection to an extension bracket 22, shown as lower and upper lapped plates 24 and 26. A lower fastener hole 28 of the lower extension bracket plate 24 is secured to a selected one of the holes 20 in the base plate (fastener not shown). The extension bracket 22 allows length adjustment via a long slotted opening 30 in the upper bracket plate 26, by which the component 26 is secured to the lower component 24 via bolts through two holes 32 near the top of the lower plate 24, thus locking this joint against pivoting. Again, the fasteners are not shown. In this way, the installer can select an appropriate length for the extension bracket 22. The upper end of the upper bracket component 26 is secured to a toggle joint and swivel head assembly 34, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The swivel head 36 is secured via a toggle joint 38 to a plate member 40 that is bolted via a hole 42 to an upper-end hole 44 in the extension bracket plate 26 (bolt not shown). The toggle joint allows rotation of the swivel head 36 about an axis which is generally horizontal with the bracket configured as shown in FIG. 1, but, as shown in FIG. 3, can be generally parallel to a tangent of the rail wheel 19 where the bracket 10 is closest to the rail wheel's rail-contacting surface. In other words, the bracket itself may not be oriented vertically.

[0019] In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the toggle joint is constructed by welding a circular member 46, having a threaded hole 48, onto the plate member 40. The plate member may be stepped on its outer edge 50, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 5 and 6, and the circular member 46, somewhat like a very thick, tapped washer, is welded on the middle step, the weld being made more secure by presence of a leg 52 of this plate member 40. FIG. 1 shows this tapped circular member 46, positioned immediately adjacent to a similar member 54. The component 54 has a slightly larger hole, not tapped, and is welded to the swivel head 36. Thus, a bolt 56 can be inserted through the member 54, and threadedly received in the adjacent member 46 as shown in FIG. 1, to secure the toggle joint 38 at a desired angle.

[0020] FIG. 4 shows a typical assembly in exploded view (without fasteners), with a dry stick lubricator tube 60 shown in dash lines as attached to the swivel head 36. As shown, the lubricator tube has a lubricant stick 62 extending out and in contact with the railroad car wheel 19. The lubricant tube 60 should be at an oblique angle relative to the wheel truck access as shown, so that the lubricant is angled directly at the flange 19a of the wheel. The swivel head 36 preferably has a pair of arcuate slots 64 for use in securing the lubricant tube to the swivel head, these slots being clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Typically the lubricant tube 60 will have a pair of spaced apart studs, and these studs are inserted through the respective arcuate slots 64. This gives the installer the opportunity to put a leading or trailing angle on the lubricant tube, as can best be envisioned from the elevation view of FIG. 3. Generally a trailing angle is preferred in forward travel of the wheel, such that the stick angles back from its application point on the wheel. The lubricant tube 60 has a spring constantly pushing forward the lubricant stick or block 62, so that lubricant continues to be fed to the wheel flange 19a as the lubricant is consumed, and the trailing angle causes the wheel motion to add the spring in drawing out the lubricant.

[0021] When the installer has the bracket assembly 10 set up as desired, with the lubricant pushing against the wheel flange and all joints lightly tightened, the joints can then be tightened down securely to fix the position of the lubricant tube 60 as retained by the bracket assembly. Generally railroads require welding of such joints. For the bracket of the invention, it is recommended that the two circular members 46 and 54 of the toggle joint be tack-welded together; that the plate member 40 of the toggle joint be tack-welded to the adjustment plate 26; that the extension plate itself be tack-welded once set; and that the bottom of the extension plate 24 be welded to the base plate. The base plate can be welded to the journal box if desired or required for a particular application.

[0022] FIGS. 7 and 7a show an alternate construction for the toggle joint assembly. In this form of the toggle joint assembly, a solid component 68 replaces the plate member 40 and thread-tapped circular piece 46 shown in FIGS. 1 and 6. This component in one preferred form has tapped holes 70 and 72. A recess is included at 74 for receiving the circular member 54 which is welded to the swivel head 36 as shown in FIG. 1. The hole 70 receives a bolt which secures the member 68 to the upper extension bracket via the hole 44 shown in FIG. 1.

[0023] FIGS. 8 and 9 show modified forms of base plates. In FIG. 8 a base plate 12b is generally similar in shape to the base plate 12 of FIGS. 1 and 2, but has arcuate recesses 12a at both upper and lower sides. Slotted holes of various patterns are shown at 12c, 12d, 12e and 12f, with alternate configurations shown in dashed lines. This base plate has hole 20 at a similar location to those of the earlier described base plate, to be secured to the extension bracket 22. In this case, the base plate can be used either in the configuration shown, or inverted, and this is the reason for the slotted openings at both upper and lower sides. This gives a greater universality of application.

[0024] FIGS. 9 and 9A show another modified form of base plate 80. In this case, the base plate is for use on a General Motors EMD radial locomotive wheel truck. An upper hole 82 is for securing the extension bracket 22 shown in FIG. 1. The larger 84 receives a pin 85, which may be about one inch diameter, welded into the plate with preferably equal extension of the pin out both sides of the plate. A large hole (e.g., about 1⅜″) 86 receives a bolt that screws into a threaded hole in a journal adaptor on the back side of the locomotive wheel truck (not shown). The pin 85, extending perpendicular to the plate 80, contacts the side of the journal adaptor and prevents rotation of the plate. The plate can be used on either left or right side of the locomotive. Generally the dry stick lubricators with the mounting bracket of the invention are installed at the number 1 and number 6 axle positions (first and last axles), both sides. Lubricant transfers from the wheel to the rail and thus the lubricant need not be applied to each wheel.

[0025] Variations of this base plate can be made for other locomotives, any of which can receive the bracket of the invention.

[0026] The above described preferred embodiments are intended to illustrate the principles of the invention, but not to limit its scope. Other embodiments and variations to this preferred embodiment will be apparent to those skilled in the art and may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.