Title:
Apparatus and method for in-ground framing
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A framing device enabling formation of an in-ground reinforced concrete structure and a method thereof, wherein the preformed structure of beams, rods, and plates is placed into a prepared site, removable platens are placed therein, concrete is poured therebetween, resulting in a reinforced concrete structure of which the framing device is an integral part. The framing device and resulting concrete structure is especially useful for installing therewithin a loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device for the load-bearing support of the device.



Inventors:
Gibson, Thomas W. (Tifton, GA, US)
Application Number:
09/957836
Publication Date:
05/30/2002
Filing Date:
09/21/2001
Assignee:
GIBSON THOMAS W.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/294, 249/13, 52/126.1
International Classes:
E02D27/02; E02D27/44; E04C5/06; (IPC1-7): E04C5/01
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A structural framing embedment for use in association with a loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device, comprising: (a.) a plurality of elongated beams structurally interconnected to securely define a three-dimensional framework; and, (b.) a plurality of elongated rods structurally interconnected to said framework, at least one of said plurality of elongated rods positioned between at least one of said plurality of beams; said structural framing embedment being suitable for placement into the ground prior to the pouring of concrete, and, thereafter, forming a part of a resulting concrete-encased structure for reinforcement of said concrete, said loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device subsequently being installed within said concrete-encased structure for the load-bearing support of said device.

2. The structural framing embedment of claim 1 wherein said framework comprises three substantially rectangular-shaped vertical walls, a first vertical wall thereof representing a rearward wall of said framework, and second and third vertical walls thereof representing spaced-apart sidewalls of said framework.

3. The structural framing embedment of claim 2 further comprising a first front plate interconnected perpendicularly to one of said vertical sidewalls in confronting relationship, a second front plate interconnected perpendicularly to the other of said vertical sidewalls in confronting relationship.

4. The structural framing embedment of claim 1 wherein said framework comprises four substantially rectangular-shaped vertical walls.

5. The structural framing embedment of claim 1 wherein said framework further comprises a plurality of horizontal beams and rods structurally interconnected beneath said framework to form a flooring framework thereof.

6. The structural framing embedment of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of leveling and supporting feet.

7. A structural embedment for use in association with a loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device, comprising: (a.) a plurality of elongated beams structurally interconnected to securely define a three-dimensional framework; (b.) a plurality of elongated rods structurally interconnected to said framework, at least one of said plurality of elongated rods positioned between at least one of said plurality of beams; and, (c.) a concrete matrix encasing at least a portion of said framework; said structural embedment being suitable for installing therewithin said loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device for the load-bearing support of said device.

8. The structural framing embedment of claim 7 wherein said framework comprises three substantially rectangular-shaped vertical walls, a first vertical wall thereof representing a rearward wall of said framework, and second and third vertical walls thereof representing spaced-apart sidewalls of said framework.

9. The structural framing embedment of claim 8 further comprising a first front plate interconnected perpendicularly to one of said vertical sidewalls in confronting relationship, a second front plate interconnected perpendicularly to the other of said vertical sidewalls in confronting relationship.

10. The structural framing embedment of claim 7 wherein said framework comprises four substantially rectangular-shaped vertical walls.

11. The structural framing embedment of claim 7 wherein said framework further comprises a plurality of horizontal beams and rods structurally interconnected beneath said framework to form a flooring framework thereof.

12. The structural framing embedment of claim 7 further comprising a plurality of leveling and supporting feet.

13. A process for the formation of a structural in-ground embedment for use in association with a loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device, comprising the steps of: (a.) excavating an area in an earthen ground; (b.) placing a framing device comprising a plurality of elongated beams structurally interconnected to securely define a three-dimensional framework, said framework having an inside portion and an outside portion, and a plurality of elongated rods structurally interconnected to said framework, at least one of said plurality of elongated rods positioned between at least one of said plurality of beams; (c.) placing platens adjacent said inside portion of said framework; (d.) pouring concrete on said outside portion of said framework between said platens and the ground; (e.) allowing said concrete to set; (f.) removing said platens; and, (g.) pouring and finishing concrete within said framework to provide a floor thereof; said formation of said structural in-ground embedment being suitable for installing therewithin said loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device for the load-bearing support of said device.

14. The process of claim 13 wherein step (b.) further includes the step of leveling said framework with respect to the horizontal.

15. The process of claim 13 further comprising the step of: (h.) installing within said embedment a loading dock leveling device, scale, or other platform-mounted device.

15. The process of claim 13 wherein the framing device of said step (b.) further comprises three substantially rectangular-shaped vertical walls, a first vertical wall thereof representing a rearward wall of said framework, and second and third vertical walls thereof representing spaced-apart sidewalls of said framework.

16. The process of claim 15 wherein said framing device further comprises a first front plate interconnected perpendicularly to one of said vertical sidewalls in confronting relationship, a second front plate interconnected perpendicularly to the other of said vertical sidewalls in confronting relationship.

17. The process of claim 13 wherein said framing device of said step (b.) comprises four substantially rectangular-shaped vertical walls.

18. The process of claim 13 wherein said framing device of step (b.) further comprises a plurality of horizontal beams and rods structurally interconnected beneath said framework to form a flooring framework thereof.

19. The process of claim 13 wherein said framing device of step (b.) further comprises a plurality of leveling and supporting feet.

20. The process of claim 13 wherein said step (b.) further includes the step of structurally interconnecting said framework to an outlying structural flooring framework overlying or adjacent to said excavated area.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The inventor hereof claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/234,733, filed on Sep. 22, 2000.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates generally to in-ground framing embedments and, more specifically, to a pre-formed steel framing device enabling formation of an in-ground steel reinforced concrete structure. The present invention is particularly useful in, although not strictly limited to, framing for dock-leveling devices for truck loading docks, in-ground scales, and platforms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Most concrete in construction work is reinforced with steel. Steel provides the underlying strength for concrete structures, embedded in the concrete in the form of a mesh or as roughened or twisted bars. Such pre-stressing of concrete increases the load that a concrete structure can bear because as the steel pulls along its length, the concrete is compressed; thereby, reducing its submission to opposing forces.

[0004] Steel reinforced concrete is a necessity for structures that are routinely subjected to heavy weight or shock. Examples include enclosed scales, open levelers, signage footers, dock units, and building reinforcements, such as knockouts in a building for column construction. The form for all of these structures has in common externally disposed, concrete penetrating rebar to disburse shock and weight in the concrete structure.

[0005] Traditional methods of forming such structures are labor intensive and time consuming, and, in view of the present invention, are disadvantageous. The construction of a truck loading dock leveling platform, for instance, involves many steps. First, an appropriately sized pit must be dug into a foundation. This pit is typically square or rectangular shaped and has vertical walls often extending over one foot.

[0006] After the properly shaped and sized dock pit is excavated, underlying steel reinforcement rods are added. This time-consuming process is difficult. It involves cutting, bending, and shaping twisted steel rods to line the base and the walls of the dock pit; thereby, forming an interlocked grid. The steel rods must extend up and out of the dock pit and then must again be bent to lie substantially flush with the surrounding surface. Within the grid, each intersection of a bar with another bar must be secured either by weld or looped steel wire. By completing this step, the dock pit is essentially overlaid with a closely fitting, steel-grid inner frame that extends up and out of its edges. This entire, complex network of steel rods is constructed manually. Such a process is clearly tedious, labor intensive, and disadvantageous.

[0007] Upon completion of the steel grid within the dock pit, a wooden structure must be constructed to fully line the pit base and extend vertically from the pit walls. This wooden structure has at least three walls and a base, and must integrate heavy steel bars that have two flat outer edges at a right angle to one another. Each of the three walls of the wooden structure has at least one of the steel bars extending horizontally along its length above the upper edge of the dock pit. One flat edge is placed flush against the outside of the wooden structure wall, with the open angle facing toward the ground, and the other flat edge extending from the angle, perpendicularly to the wooden structure wall. Shorter steel bars, with the same two-edge right-angle design, are employed vertically for corner support of the horizontally placed steel bars and the wooden structure.

[0008] The handling of the heavy, two-edged steel bars is difficult. They must be nailed to the wooden structure. Each nail must be installed through the steel. This is further complicated by the fact that additional, larger nails must first be soldered within the angle between the two edges of the steel bar and at an angle thereto. This is to enable subsequent removal of the steel bars. Thus, with the correct placement of the steel bars on the wooden structure walls, the soldered nails extend downwardly at approximately a 45-degree angle, and the nails to attach the bars to the wooden structure must be driven underneath the overhanging steel edge, adjacent to the extended soldered nails. Such work is cumbersome, at best, and is clearly undesirable.

[0009] Finally, the wooden structure must be provided with floor cross-bracing, as well as angled wall bracing. This is accomplished with cut-to-fit wooden boards that are nailed into place. After this last step in the laborious framing process, concrete is ready to be poured into the space surrounding the pit frame; thereby, forming a steel-reinforced concrete pit. Before the concrete pit is complete, however, the additional, and no less cumbersome, job of removing the steel bars from the wooden structure and then removing the wooden structure from the newly poured concrete pit is required.

[0010] Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for an in-ground framing device enabling easy formation of a steel-reinforced concrete pit, and a method thereof, wherein a preformed steel frame is provided; thereby, obviating the above-discussed disadvantages.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device by providing an in-ground framing device wherein a preformed steel frame acts to support formation of an in-ground steel reinforced concrete structure and becomes an integral part of the reinforced concrete; thereby, enabling easy formation of a steel-reinforced concrete structure.

[0012] According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention is an in-ground framing device having a preformed structure of steel bars, plates, and rods, wherein the steel frame is placed into a prepared site, wooden platens are placed therein, and concrete is poured therebetween; thereby, creating a reinforced concrete structure.

[0013] More specifically, the present invention is a framing device with elongated steel beams outlining a rectangular base and three vertical walls. Steel plates are positioned at the end of the two side walls, extending away from the frame at a right angle thereto. Twisted steel rods extend from the outer edge of the steel plates, at an angle thereto, toward the rear wall. Additional steel rods extend underneath the base of the frame, passing the angled rods, and bending and extending upwardly toward the top of the side walls. Similarly, steel rods extend underneath the base of the frame from the front edge to the rear, bending and extending upwardly toward the top of the rear wall. This formation of steel rods provides a grid-like support pattern that essentially covers the steel beam frame.

[0014] The reinforced steel frame is placed into a desired foundation wherein the earth has been removed. Wooden platens with cross-braces are placed into the frame. Concrete is then poured into the open space between the wooden platens and the earthen walls; thereby, covering the in-ground steel frame. When the concrete hardens and the wooden platens are removed, a steel reinforced concrete structure is provided wherein the in-ground framing device resides integrally therewithin.

[0015] Thus, an object, feature, and advantage of the present invention is to provide an in-ground framing device to enable easy formation of an in-ground reinforced concrete structure.

[0016] Another object, feature, and advantage of the present invention is to provide an in-ground framing device having a preformed steel frame; thereby, alleviating difficult and time-consuming steel rod assembly.

[0017] A further object, feature, and advantage of the present invention is to provide an in-ground framing device to reinforce a concrete structure; thereby, providing a steel embedment.

[0018] These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing Figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a framing device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a top view of the framing device of FIG. 1;

[0022] FIG. 3 is a side view of the framing device of FIG. 1;

[0023] FIG. 4 is a front view of the framing device of FIG. 1;

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the framing device of FIG. 1 showing a rear support; and,

[0025] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the framing device of FIG. 1 showing a front support.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

[0026] In describing the preferred and alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in the drawing Figures, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

[0027] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the present invention is an in-ground framing device 10, preferably comprising substantially rectangular-shaped base 20, substantially rectangular-shaped rear wall 30, first substantially rectangular-shaped side wall 40, second substantially rectangular-shaped side wall 50, and front wall 60.

[0028] Base 20 preferably is defined by elongated and substantially “L”-shaped beams 22, 24, 26, and 28. Beam 28 has first outer side 28a, second outer side 28b, first inner side 28c, second inner surface 28d, right-angle 28e, first end 28f, and second end 28g. First outer side 28a defines substantially vertical front edge 20a of base 20, wherein the length of beam 28 is greater than the length of front edge 20a of base 20; thus, beam 28 extends outwardly therefrom in opposing directions. Preferably, extended portions 28h and 28i of beam 28 are substantially equal in length. Second outer side 28b of beam 28 extends from right-angle 28e, defining substantially horizontal inner front edge 20b of base 20.

[0029] Steel beam 22 has first outer side 22a, second outer side 22b, first inner surface 22c, second inner surface 22d, right-angle 22e, first end 22f, and second end 22g. Proximate to first end 22f, outer side 22b is preferably welded onto second outer side 28b of beam 28, wherein right-angle 22e aligns with the juncture between front edge 20a of base 20 and extended portion 28i of beam 28. Preferably, beam 22 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 28; thereby, defining substantially horizontal bottom edge 42 of side wall 40.

[0030] Beam 26 has first outer side 26a, second outer side 26b, first inner surface 26c, second inner surface 26d, right-angle 26e, first end 26f, and second end 26g. Proximate to first end 26f, outer side 26b is preferably welded onto second outer side 28b of beam 28, wherein right-angle 26e aligns with the juncture between front edge 20a of base 20 and extended portion 28h of steel beam 28. Preferably, beam 26 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 28; thereby, defining substantially horizontal bottom edge 52 of side wall 50.

[0031] Beam 24 has first outer side 24a, second outer side 24b, first inner surface 24c, second inner surface 24d, right-angle 24e, first end 24f, and second end 24g. Proximate to first end 24f, outer side 24a is preferably welded onto second end 22g of beam 22, wherein beam 24 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 22. Proximate to second end 24g, outer side 24a is preferably welded onto second end 26g of beam 26, wherein beam 24 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 26; thereby, defining bottom edge 32 of rear wall 30.

[0032] Preferably, beam 29 is generally “U”-shaped with substantially flat rear surface 29a, first end 29b, second end 29c, first edge 29d, and second edge 29e, as best seen in FIG. 1 and FIG. 3. The length of beam 29 is preferably approximately equal to the length of beam 24, wherein proximate to right angle 24e, outer side 24a of beam 24 is preferably welded to first edge 29d of beam 29. Proximate to second end 29c, rear surface 29a of beam 29 is preferably welded to outer side 22b of steel beam 22, proximate to second end 22g thereof. Proximate to first end 29b, rear surface 29a of beam 29 is preferably welded to outer side 26b of beam 26, proximate to second end 26g thereof.

[0033] Vertical support is preferably provided by substantially “L”-shaped beam 34 and 36, as best shown in FIGS. 1, 3, and 4. Beam 34 has first outer side 34a, second outer side 34b, first inner surface 34c, second inner surface 34d, right-angle 34e, first end 34f, and second end 34g. Proximate to second end 34g, outer side 34a is preferably welded, substantially vertically, onto inner surface 22c of beam 22, proximate to second end 22g, wherein beam 34 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 22. Also proximate to second end 34g, outer side 34b is preferably welded, substantially vertically, onto outer side 24a of beam 24, proximate to first end 24f, wherein beam 34 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 24; thereby, creating first rear corner 44, and wherein rear corner 44 is a juncture between side wall 40 and rear wall 30.

[0034] Beam 36 has first outer side 36a, second outer side 36b, first inner surface 36c, second inner surface 36d, right-angle 36e, first end 36f, and second end 36g.

[0035] Proximate to second end 36g, outer side 36a is preferably welded, substantially vertically, onto inner surface 26c of beam 26 proximate to second end 26g, wherein beam 36 is substantially perpendicular to beam 26. Also proximate to second end 36g, outer side 36b is preferably welded, substantially vertically, onto outer side 24a of steel beam 24 proximate to second end 24g, wherein beam 36 is substantially perpendicular to beam 24; thereby, creating second rear corner 54, and wherein rear corner 54 is a juncture between side wall 50 and rear wall 30.

[0036] Rear wall 30 is defined by bottom edge 32, first rear corner 44, second rear corner 54, and top edge 38. Top edge 38 is formed by elongated and substantially “L”-shaped beam 39. Beam 39 has first outer side 39a, second outer side 39b, first inner surface 39c, second inner surface 39d, right-angle 39e, first end 39f, and second end 39g. Preferably, inner surface 39d of beam 39, proximate to first end 39f, is welded to inner surface 34d of beam 34, proximate to first end 34f thereof, wherein beam 39 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 34. Preferably, inner surface 39d of beam 39, proximate to second end 39g, is welded to inner surface 36d of beam 36, proximate to first end 36f thereof, wherein beam 39 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 36.

[0037] First side wall 40 is defined by bottom edge 42, rear corner 44, top edge 46, and first front plate 62. Top edge 46 is formed by elongated and substantially “L”-shaped steel beam 47. Beam 47 has first outer side 47a, second outer side 47b, first inner surface 47c, second inner surface 47d, right angle 47e, first end 47f, and second end 47g. Preferably, inner surface 47d of beam 47, proximate to second end 47g, is welded to inner surface 34c of beam 34, proximate to first end 34f thereof, wherein beam 47 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 34.

[0038] First front plate 62 is preferably substantially rectangular shaped with a substantially flat front surface 62a, substantially flat rear surface 62b, upper peripheral wall 62c, first peripheral side wall 62d, second peripheral side wall 62e, four corners 62f, 62g, 62h, and 62i, and bottom edge 62j. Preferably, upper peripheral wall 62c of front plate 62, proximate to corner 62i, is welded to inner surface 47c of beam 47, proximate to first end 47f thereof. Second side peripheral wall 62e of front plate 62, proximate to corner 62i, is preferably welded to inner surface 47d of beam 47, proximate to first end 47f thereof, wherein front plate 62 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 47. Second side peripheral wall 62e of front plate 62, proximate to corner 62h, is preferably welded to outer side 22a of beam 22, proximate to first end 22f thereof, wherein front plate 62 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 22. Bottom edge 62j of front plate 62 is preferably welded to outer side 28b of beam 28, wherein front plate 62 is aligned substantially parallel with beam 28 and wherein the width of front plate 62 is substantially equal to the length of extended section 28i of beam 28.

[0039] Second side wall 50 is defined by bottom edge 52, rear corner 54, top edge 56, and second front plate 64. Top edge 56 is formed by elongated and substantially “L”-shaped beam 57. Beam 57 has first outer side 57a, second outer side 57b, first inner surface 57c, second inner surface 57d, right angle 57e, first end 57f, and second end 57g. Preferably, inner surface 57d of beam 57, proximate to second end 57g, is welded to inner surface 36c of beam 36, proximate to first end 36f thereof, wherein beam 57 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 36.

[0040] Second front plate 64 is preferably substantially rectangular shaped with a substantially flat front surface 64a, substantially flat rear surface 64b, upper peripheral wall 64c, first peripheral side wall 64d, second peripheral side wall 64e, four corners 64f, 64g, 64h, and 64i, and bottom edge 64j. Preferably, upper peripheral wall 64c of front plate 64, proximate to corner 64i, is welded to inner surface 57c of beam 57, proximate to first end 57f thereof. Second side peripheral wall 64e of front plate 64, proximate to corner 64i, is preferably welded to inner surface 57d of beam 57, proximate to first end 57f thereof, wherein front plate 64 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 57. Second side peripheral wall 64e of front plate 64, proximate to corner 64h, is preferably welded to outer side 26a of beam 26, proximate to first end 26f thereof, wherein front plate 64 is aligned substantially perpendicularly to beam 26. Bottom edge 64j of front plate 64 is preferably welded to outer side 28b of beam 28, wherein front plate 64 is aligned substantially parallel with beam 28 and wherein the width of front plate 64 is substantially equal to the length of extended section 28h of beam 28.

[0041] Front wall 60 is generally “U” shaped and is defined by first front plate 62, second front plate 64, and front base edge 20a formed by beam 28, wherein front wall 60 defines opening 66 thereby providing frontal access to interior space 68 of in-ground framing device 10.

[0042] First elongated rod 70 is preferably twisted and has first end 70a and second end 70b, wherein first end 70a of rod 70 is preferably welded to rear surface 64b of front plate 64 proximate to corner 64g thereof. Rod 70 extends substantially horizontally, angling inwardly toward side wall 50, to rear wall 30 and is preferably welded to outer side 24a of beam 24 proximate to second end 24g thereof. Second elongated rod 71 is preferably twisted and has first end 71a and second end 71b, wherein first end 71a of rod 71 is preferably welded to rear surface 64b of front plate 64 proximate to peripheral side wall 64d at a position preferably between upper peripheral wall 64c and the vertical midpoint of peripheral side wall 64d. Rod 71 angles inwardly toward side wall 50 and upwardly toward top edge 38 of rear wall 30, extending to rear wall 30 wherein rod 71 is preferably welded to outer side 39b of beam 39 proximate to second end 39g thereof.

[0043] Third elongated rod 72 is preferably twisted and has first end 72a and second end 72b, wherein first end 72a of rod 72 is preferably welded to rear surface 62b of front plate 62 proximate to corner 62g thereof. Rod 72 extends substantially horizontally, angling inwardly toward side wall 40, to rear wall 30 and is preferably welded to outer side 24a of beam 24 proximate to first end 24f thereof. Fourth elongated rod 73 is preferably twisted and has first end 73a and second end 73b, wherein first end 73a of rod 73 is preferably welded to rear surface 62b of front plate 62 proximate to peripheral side wall 62d at a position preferably between upper peripheral wall 62c and the vertical midpoint of peripheral side wall 62d. Rod 73 angles inwardly toward side wall 40 and upwardly toward top edge 38 of rear wall 30, extending to rear wall 30 wherein rod 73 is preferably welded to outer side 39b of beam 39 proximate to first end 39f thereof.

[0044] Fifth elongated rod 74 is preferably twisted and has first end 74a, second end 74b, first angle 74c, second angle 74d, and third angle 74e. First end 74a of rod 74 is preferably welded at the midpoint of steel beam 28 to right-angle 28e thereof, wherein rod 74 extends therefrom preferably equidistant from inner surfaces 28c and 28d of rod 28 to first angle 74c of rod 74. Rod 74 extends substantially horizontally from angle 74c toward rear wall 30 to second angle 74d. Rod 74 extends substantially vertically from angle 74d to third angle 74e, abutting beam 24. Rod 74 extends from third angle 74e to beam 39, angling inwardly toward rear wall 30. Second end 74b of rod 74 is preferably welded to right angle 39e of beam 39.

[0045] Sixth and seventh elongated rods 75 and 76 are preferably twisted and have first ends 75a and 76a, second ends 75b and 76b, first angles 75c and 76c, second angles 75d and 76d, and third angles 75e and 76e, respectively. Rods 75 and 76 are preferably positioned on equidistant, opposing sides of steel rod 74, wherein rod 75 is positioned between rod 74 and side wall 40, and wherein rod 76 is positioned between rod 74 and side wall 50. Preferably, rods 75 and 76 are generally positioned at a location approximately two-thirds the distance from rod 74 and respective side walls 40 and 50, proximal to side walls 40 and 50. First ends 75a and 76a of rods 75 and 76, respectively, are preferably welded to right-angle 28e of beam 28, wherein rods 75 and 76 extend therefrom preferably equidistant from inner surfaces 28c and 28d of rod 28 to first angles 75c and 76c, respectively. Rods 75 and 76 extend substantially horizontally from angles 75c and 76c, respectively, toward rear wall 30 to second angles 75d and 76d. Rods 75 and 76 extend substantially vertically from angles 75d and 76d to third angles 75e and 76e, respectively, abutting beam 24. Rods 75 and 76 extend from third angles 75e and 76e to beam 39, angling inwardly toward rear wall 30. Second ends 75b and 76b of rods 75 and 76, respectively, are preferably welded to right angle 39e of beam 39.

[0046] Eighth elongated rod 77 is preferably twisted and has first end 77a, second end 77b, first angle 77c, second angle 77d, third angle 77e, and fourth angle 77f. First end 77a of rod 77 is preferably welded at the midpoint of beam 47 to inner surface 47d thereof, wherein rod 77 extends downwardly at an angle therefrom, passing under rod 73 without contact thereto, to first angle 77c. Rod 77 extends substantially vertically from angle 77c toward base 20, passing between rod 72 and beam 22 to second angle 77d. Rod 77 extends substantially horizontally from angle 77d to third angle 77e, passing above and abutting rods 74, 75, and 76, substantially perpendicular thereto. Rod 77 extends substantially vertically from third angle 77e to fourth angle 77f. Second end 77b of rod 77 is preferably welded at the midpoint of beam 57 to inner surface 57d thereof, wherein rod 77 extends downwardly at an angle therefrom, passing under rod 71 without contact thereto and passing between rod 70 and beam 26, to fourth angle 77f.

[0047] Ninth and tenth elongated rods 78 and 79 are preferably twisted and have first ends 78a and 79a, second ends 78b and 79b, first angles 78c and 79c, second angles 78d and 79d, and third angles 78e and 79e, respectively. Rods 78 and 79 are preferably positioned on equidistant, opposing sides of rod 77, wherein rod 78 is positioned between rod 77 and front wall 60, and rod 79 is positioned between rod 77 and rear wall 30. Preferably, rods 78 and 79 are generally positioned at a location approximately two-thirds the distance from rod 77 and respective front and rear walls 60 and 30, proximal to front and rear walls 60 and 30.

[0048] First end 78a of rod 78 is preferably welded to inner surface 47d of beam 47, wherein rod 78 extends downwardly at an angle therefrom to first angle 78c. Rod 78 extends substantially vertically from angle 78c toward base 20, passing between rods 73 and 72 and beams 47 and 22, to second angle 78d. Rod 78 extends substantially horizontally from angle 78d to third angle 78e, passing above and abutting rods 74, 75, and 76, substantially perpendicular thereto. Rod 78 extends substantially vertically from third angle 78e to fourth angle 78f. Second end 78b of rod 78 is preferably welded to inner surface 57d of beam 57, wherein rod 78 extends downwardly at an angle therefrom, passing between rods 71 and 70 and beams 57 and 26, to fourth angle 78f.

[0049] First end 79a of rod 79 is preferably welded to inner surface 47d of beam 47 wherein rod 79 extends downwardly at an angle therefrom, passing under rod 73 without contact thereto, to first angle 79c. Rod 79, positioned wherein rod 72 is between rod 79 and beam 22, extends substantially vertically from angle 79c toward base 20, to second angle 79d. Rod 79 extends substantially horizontally from angle 79d to third angle 79e, passing above and abutting rods 74, 75 and 76, substantially perpendicular thereto, whereby the positioning of rods 77, 78, and 79 relative to rods 74, 75, and 76 creates a grid-like pattern in base 20, as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. Rod 79, positioned wherein rod 70 is between rod 79 and beam 26, extends substantially vertically from third angle 79e to fourth angle 79f.

[0050] Second end 79b of rod 79 is preferably welded to inner surface 57d of beam 57, wherein rod 79 extends downwardly at an angle therefrom, passing under rod 71 and, to fourth angle 79f.

[0051] Preferably, framing device 10 has four adjustable supporting feet 80, 82, 84, and 86, best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, wherein framing device 10 is adjusted to a level position thereby. Each foot 80, 82, 84, and 86 preferably includes a substantially flat, substantially square shaped base 80a, 82a, 84a, and 86a, respectively, wherein an elongated, threaded shaft 80b, 82b, 84b, and 86b is centered thereon and welded substantially perpendicular thereto.

[0052] Threaded shaft 84b of foot 84 is adjustably secured through aperture 84c of beam 24, passing through outer side 24b and extending upwardly from inner surface 24d, whereby bottom surface 84d of base 84a rests flush with the ground. Foot 84 is preferably positioned along beam 24 and inserted therethrough proximate to outer side 34b of vertical beam 34. Threaded nut 84e is adjustably tightened around threaded shaft 84b, wherein nut 84e is positioned proximate to inner surface 24d of beam 24; thereby, securing desired placement of foot 84.

[0053] Threaded shaft 86b of foot 86 is adjustably secured through aperture 86c of beam 24, passing through outer side 24b and extending upwardly from inner surface 24d, whereby bottom surface 86d of base 86a rests flush with the ground. Foot 86 is preferably positioned along beam 24 and inserted therethrough proximate to outer side 36b of vertical beam 36. Threaded nut 86e is adjustably tightened around threaded shaft 86b, wherein nut 86e is positioned proximate to inner surface 24d of beam 24; thereby, securing desired placement of foot 86.

[0054] Preferably, vertical portion 88a of substantially “L”-shaped plate 88 is welded to outer side 26a of beam 26, positioned between rod 78 and front plate 60. Threaded shaft 80b of foot 80 is adjustably secured through aperture 80c of plate 88, passing through substantially flat, substantially horizontal bottom surface 88b and extending upwardly from substantially flat, substantially horizontal upper surface 88c, whereby bottom surface 80d of base 80a rests flush with the ground. Threaded nut 80e is adjustably tightened around threaded shaft 80b, wherein nut 80e is positioned proximate to upper surface 88c of plate 88; thereby, securing desired placement of foot 80.

[0055] Preferably, vertical portion 89a of substantially “L”-shaped plate 89 is welded to outer side 22a of beam 22, positioned between rod 78 and front plate 62. Threaded shaft 82b of foot 82 is adjustably secured through aperture 82c of plate 89, passing through substantially flat, substantially horizontal bottom surface 89b and extending upwardly from substantially flat, substantially horizontal upper surface 89c, whereby bottom surface 82d of base 82a rests flush with the ground. Threaded nut 82e is adjustably tightened around threaded shaft 82b, wherein nut 82e is positioned proximate to upper surface 89c of plate 89; thereby, securing desired placement of foot 82.

[0056] In an alternate embodiment, additional angled rods could be positioned between rods 73 and 72, or 71 and 70, to provide additional support.

[0057] In another alternate embodiment, framing device 10 could be formed from a different metal or rigid material, or a combination thereof.

[0058] In yet another alternate embodiment, additional twisted rods could be included for additional support.

[0059] In still another alternate embodiment, additional steel bars or beams could be included for additional frame support.

[0060] In yet still another alternate embodiment, framing device 10 could have a different shape to allow formation of a variety of reinforced concrete shapes.

[0061] In another and further alternate embodiment, facings and bumpers could be provided along front wall 60.

[0062] In use, framing device 10 is placed into a desired foundation wherein the earth has been removed. Feet 80, 82, 84, and 86 are adjusted, as needed, for leveling of framing device 10. Wooden platens are placed into frame 10, vertically along side wall 40, rear wall 30, and side wall 50, with cross-braces placed as needed for support. Concrete is then poured into the open space between the wooden platens and the earthen walls; thereby, enclosing in-ground framing device 10. Front plates 60 and 62 prevent undesired passage of wet concrete from the perimeter of framing device 10. Concrete is also poured into base 20 and smoothed. After the concrete hardens and the wooden platens are removed, a reinforced concrete structure is revealed, wherein in-ground framing device 10 resides therein. If desired, a conventional dock-leveling device, scales, or other platform-mounted device may be placed therein.

[0063] Advantageously to the installation and use of the present invention, a universal foundation may be prepared and poured. Accordingly, there is no open or unencased rebar within the construction area to result in a safety hazard. Furthermore, the owner is given additional time and flexibility in selecting and installing a platform-mounted device, without concern for adverse impact upon the construction schedule.

[0064] Through the installation and use of the present invention, the platform-mounted device may be reconfigured, maintained, and replaced repeatedly over the lifetime of the building without need for demolition of the foundation, reconfiguration or replacement of flooring rebar, and without the need for repouring of the concrete foundation.

[0065] Through the installation and use of the present invention, loads upon the platform-mounted device are spread more uniformly throughout the concrete foundation, as are impact-based loads applied to the foundation from the front of a dock area, as from truck impacts. As a result, stress induced cracking within the concrete foundation may be reduced or eliminated.

[0066] Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.