Title:
Foldable shipping shelf
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable shipping shelf comprises: a loading part, two supporting parts, continuous hinges, and at least two first and second limiting parts. Each supporting part is connected to the loading part through at least one continuous hinge, and the two supporting parts are respectively connected to two opposite sides of the loading part. The first limiting parts are respectively fixed to the supporting parts at a place near to the loading part and keep the loading part in position. The second limiting parts are respectively fixed to the loading part at a place near to the supporting parts and keep the supporting parts in position. The two supporting parts rotate through the continuous hinges, and the first and second limiting parts limit a range for rotating the two supporting parts.



Inventors:
Wang, Oliver (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
10/153018
Publication Date:
09/25/2003
Filing Date:
05/20/2002
Assignee:
WANG OLIVER
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/125, 108/129, 108/130
International Classes:
A47B43/00; (IPC1-7): A47B3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090174234EXPANSION AND RETRACTION MECHANISMS FOR MOVEABLE TRAY TABLESJuly, 2009Vignal et al.
20060180057Wall mounted elevating mechanismAugust, 2006Hallman
20080028997Personal Health Care ApparatusFebruary, 2008Gramke
20080168929Trailer hitch and detachable winch mounting assemblyJuly, 2008Thompson
20070157856Foldable display tableJuly, 2007Skoog et al.
20070089646Lap trayApril, 2007Duncan
20020074304Storage unitsJune, 2002Hardy
20050279258Table with pull-out footrestDecember, 2005Westendorf et al.
20040237857Combination tableDecember, 2004Refsum
20060137578Pivoting stowable work table for parking space in garageJune, 2006Noding
20060130711Recyclable palletJune, 2006Lin



Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
J.C. Patents, Inc. (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:

What claimed is:



1. A foldable shipping shelf, comprising: a loading part, substantially being a rectangle frame; two supporting parts, wherein each supporting part is substantially a rectangular frame; a plurality of continuous hinges, wherein each supporting part is connected to the loading part through at least one continuous hinge, and the two supporting parts are respectively connected to two opposite sides of the loading part; at least two first limiting parts, respectively fixed to the supporting part at a place near to the loading part, wherein each first limiting part has a first side and a second side, and where the first side is fixed to the supporting part, and the second side keeps the loading part in position; and at least two second limiting parts, respectively fixed to the loading part at a place near to the supporting part, wherein each second limiting part has a third side and a fourth side, and where the third side is fixed to the loading part, and the fourth side keeps the supporting parts in position, wherein the two supporting parts rotate through the continuous hinges, and the first and second limiting parts limit a range for rotating the two supporting parts.

2. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 1, wherein each first limiting part has a first hole, and each second limiting part has a second hole, while each first hole corresponds to each second hole, and the foldable shipping shelf further comprising a plurality of fixing member sets, wherein each fixing member set goes through the first hole and the second hole, in order to fix the first limiting part and the second limiting part together.

3. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 2, wherein each fixing member set comprises a bolt and a nylon nut.

4. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 1, wherein each continuous hinge comprises: a first connecting part, fixed to each supporting part; and a second connecting part, fixed to the loading part.

5. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of strengthen trusses which are fixed to at least two sides of the loading part.

6. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of strengthen trusses which are fixed to at least two sides of the supporting parts.

7. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 1, wherein the first limiting parts are substantially right triangles.

8. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 1, wherein the second limiting parts are substantially right triangles.

9. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 1, further comprising at least two strengthen trusses which are fixed beneath the loading part, wherein the two strengthen trusses are parallel L shaped angle irons that are face-to-face or back-to-back.

10. A foldable shipping shelf, comprising: a loading part, substantially being a rectangle frame; two supporting parts, wherein each supporting part is substantially a rectangle frame; a plurality of continuous hinges, wherein each supporting part is connected to the loading part through at least one continuous hinge, and the two supporting parts are respectively connected to two opposite sides of the loading part; at least two first limiting parts, respectively fixed to the supporting part at a place near to the loading part, wherein each first limiting part has a first hole; at least two second limiting parts, respectively fixed to the loading part at a place near to the supporting part, wherein each second limiting part has a second hole, while each first hole corresponds to each second hole; and a plurality of fixing member sets, wherein each fixing member set goes through the first hole and the second hole, in order to fix the first limiting part and the second limiting part together.

11. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 10, wherein each fixing member set comprises a bolt and a nylon nut.

12. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 10, further comprising at least two strengthen trusses which are fixed beneath the loading part, wherein the two strengthen trusses are parallel L shaped angle irons that are face-to-face or back-to-back.

13. A foldable shipping shelf, comprising: a loading part, substantially being a rectangular frame; two supporting parts, wherein each supporting part is substantially a rectangular frame; a plurality of continuous hinges, wherein each supporting part is connected to the loading part through at least one continuous hinge, and the two supporting parts are respectively connected to two opposite sides of the loading part; and at least two limiting parts, respectively fixed to the supporting part at a place near to the loading part, wherein each first limiting part has a first side and a second side, while the first side is fixed to the supporting part, and the second side keeps the loading part in a position, wherein the two supporting parts rotate through the continuous hinges, and the limiting parts limit a range for rotating the two supporting parts.

14. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 13, further comprising a plurality of strengthen trusses which are fixed to at least two sides of the loading part.

15. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 13, further comprising a plurality of strengthen trusses which are fixed to at least two sides of the supporting parts.

16. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 13, wherein the limiting parts are substantially right triangles.

17. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 13, wherein the supporting part rotates from 0 to 270 degrees.

18. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 13, further comprising at least two strengthen trusses which are fixed beneath the loading part, wherein the two strengthen trusses are parallel L shaped angle irons that are face-to-face or back-to-back.

19. A foldable shipping shelf, comprising: a loading part, substantially being a rectangle frame; two supporting parts, wherein each supporting part is substantially a rectangle frame; a plurality of continuous hinges, wherein each supporting part is connected to the loading part through at least one continuous hinge, and the two supporting parts are respectively connected to two opposite sides of the loading part; at least two limiting parts, respectively fixed to the loading part at a place near to the supporting part, wherein each limiting part has a first side and a second side, while the first side is fixed to the loading part, and the second side keeps the two supporting parts in a position, wherein the two supporting parts rotate through the continuous hinges, and each limiting part limits a range for rotating the two supporting parts.

20. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of strengthen trusses which are fixed to at least two sides of the loading part.

21. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 19, further comprising a plurality of strengthen trusses which are fixed to at least two sides of the supporting parts.

22. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 19, wherein the limiting parts are substantially right triangles.

23. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 19, wherein the supporting part rotates from 0 to 270 degrees.

24. The foldable shipping shelf of claim 19, further comprising at least two strengthen trusses which are fixed beneath the loading part, wherein the two strengthen trusses are parallel L shaped angle irons that are face-to-face or back-to-back.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the priority benefit of Taiwan application serial no. 91203414, filed Mar. 20, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates in general to a shipping shelf, and more specifically relates to a foldable shipping shelf.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] In the prior art, when loading goods onto a container, heavy goods are usually put on the lower layer. However, if the outline of the heavy goods is irregular, the stacking of the goods on the upper layer is therefore affected.

[0006] If other heavy goods are further stacked on the upper layer, the outline of the heavy goods in the lower layer may be damaged (ex. paint peeling) or some parts may be deformed (ex. oil pipe broken) as a result of the imbalance in the weight.

[0007] However, if only light goods are stacked on the upper layer, the legal loading amount will be wasted, and because of the irregular outline of the heavy goods in the lower layer, the light goods can't be put in order. Some space is therefore wasted, it makes unloading the goods troublesome, and has bad influence on efficiency.

[0008] With respect to the problems described above, a shipping shelf of reversing U shape has been proposed. Its width is a little narrower than the width of a standard container. A user can use this shipping shelf to stack light goods or heavy goods on the upper layer. The efficiency of shipping can therefore be improved. However, the shipping shelf itself has other problems.

[0009] The shipping shelf in the prior art is not foldable, and the shipping space will be wasted when only the shipping shelf itself is shipped, or when the shipping amount of return shipping is different from that of the going shipping. In view of storage management, the shipping shelf occupies lot of space, and so the cost of storage is relatively high.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] According to the foregoing description, an object of this invention is to provide a foldable shipping shelf which reduces shipping cost and storing cost.

[0011] Another object of this invention is to provide a foldable shipping shelf which can be assembled easily and rapidly.

[0012] To attain the foregoing and other aspects, the present invention proposes a foldable shipping shelf, comprising: a loading part, two supporting parts, a plurality of continuous hinges, at least two first limiting parts, and at least two second limiting parts, wherein the loading part and the supporting parts are substantially rectangular frames. Each supporting part is connected to the loading part through at least one continuous hinge, and the two supporting parts are respectively connected to two opposite sides of the loading part. The first limiting parts are respectively fixed to the supporting parts at a place near to the loading part, wherein each first limiting part has a first side and a second side, and where the first side is fixed to the supporting part, and the second side keeps the loading part in position. The second limiting parts are respectively fixed to the loading part at a place near to the supporting part, wherein each second limiting part has a third side and a fourth side, where the third side is fixed to the loading part, and the fourth side keeps the supporting parts in position. The two supporting parts rotate through the continuous hinges, and the first and second limiting parts limit a range for rotating the two supporting parts.

[0013] In the foldable shipping shelf described above, each first limiting part further has a first hole, and each second limiting part further has a second hole, where each first hole corresponds to each second hole. The foldable shipping shelf further comprises a plurality of fixing member sets, wherein each fixing member set goes through the first hole and the second hole, in order to fix the first limiting part and the second limiting part together.

[0014] Furthermore, in the foldable shipping shelf described above, the first and the second limiting parts are not necessary to respectively keep the loading part and the supporting parts in position. It is only required that the first holes of the first limiting parts correspond the second holes of the second limiting parts in order to let the fixing member sets go through them and fix them together.

[0015] In the foldable shipping shelf described above, either the first or the second limiting part can be eliminated. If either the first and the second limiting part is eliminated, the fixing member sets can also be eliminated. In this structure, the supporting parts rotate through the continuous hinges and are limited by the left limiting parts.

[0016] According to a feature of the present invention, when the fixing member sets are not used or have been taken off, each supporting part rotates through the continuous hinges, and its rotating range is limited by limiting parts from 0 degrees (when the supporting part is folded and stacked on the loading part) to 270 degrees (when the supporting part stands under the loading part).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention, the objects and features of the invention and further objects, features and advantages thereof will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0018] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a foldable shipping shelf (after being assembled) in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of parts in FIG. 1;

[0020] FIG. 3 is a schematic front view of a foldable shipping shelf in accordance with a first preferred embodiment when the supporting parts are folded and stacked on the loading part;

[0021] FIG. 4 is a schematic right side view of a foldable shipping shelf in accordance with a first preferred embodiment when the supporting parts are folded and stacked on the loading part;

[0022] FIG. 5 is a schematic partially showing an example of fixing the first and second limiting parts;

[0023] FIG. 6 is a schematic partially showing another example of fixing the first and second limiting parts;

[0024] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the present invention showing another example of the supporting parts;

[0025] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a foldable shipping shelf in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention after being assembled;

[0026] FIG. 9 is a schematic front view of a foldable shipping shelf in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention after the supporting parts are folded and stacked on the loading part;

[0027] FIG. 10 is a schematic front view of a foldable shipping shelf in accordance with a third preferred embodiment of the present invention after the supporting parts are folded and stacked on the loading part;

[0028] FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram partially showing one type of the strengthen trusses for loading and unloading goods with a forklift; and

[0029] FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram partially showing another type of the strengthen trusses for loading and unloading goods with a forklift.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0030] FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 are perspective views of a foldable shipping shelf and its parts in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0031] The foldable shipping shelf 200 comprises a loading part 202, two supporting parts 204, a plurality of continuous hinges 206, at least two first limiting parts 208 (four are drawn for example), at least two second limiting parts 210 (four are drawn for example), and a plurality of fixing member sets 212.

[0032] The loading part 202 and supporting parts 204 are substantially rectangular frames which are formed by connecting a plurality of high carbon steel tubes, and the connecting method is welding for example. Each supporting part 204 is connected to the loading part 202 through at least one continuous hinge 206 (two are drawn for example). The two supporting parts 204 are respectively connected to two opposite sides of the loading part 202. Each continuous hinge 206 comprises a first connecting part 206a and a second connecting part 206b. Each first connecting part 206a is fixed to each supporting part 204. Each second connecting part 206b is fixed to the loading part 202.

[0033] A plurality of strengthen trusses 203 are fixed to the rectangular frames of the loading part 202 and supporting parts 204. The strengthen trusses 203 are fixed respectively to at least two sides of the loading part 202 and supporting parts 204. The strengthen trusses 203 are formed by welding high carbon steel tubes in order to strengthen the loading part 202 and the supporting parts 204, and shear the loading stress. Besides, two of the strengthen trusses 203 can be fixed in a parallel way beneath the loading part 202 and set apart by a same distance as a forking distance of a forklift. Therefore, a forklift can use these two strengthen trusses 203 to load and unload goods.

[0034] These two strengthen trusses 203 that are used by the forklift to load and unload goods are not necessarily formed into an O shape. As long as these two trusses 203 can prevent the sliding of the shelf 200 when they are being moved by the forklift. Therefore, these two trusses can be two face-to-face L shaped trusses or two back-to-back L shaped trusses as shown in FIG. 11 or FIG. 12. FIG. 11 shows two face-to-face L shaped angle irons 603 welded beneath the loading part 202, while FIG. 12 shows two back-to-back L shaped angle irons 703 welded beneath the loading part 202.

[0035] Each first limiting part 208 is respectively fixed to the supporting part 204 at a place near to the loading part 202. Wherein each first limiting part 208 has a first side 208a and a second side 208b which are perpendicular to each other, and the first limiting part 208 is substantially a right triangle for example. The first side 208a is fixed to the supporting part 204, and the second side 208b keeps the loading part 202 in a position. Each first limiting part 208 has a first hole 208c.

[0036] Each second limiting part 210 is respectively fixed to the loading part 202 at a place near to the supporting part 204. Wherein each second limiting part 210 has a third side 210a and a fourth side 210b which are perpendicular to each other, and the second limiting part 210 is substantially a right triangle for example. The third side 210a is fixed to the loading part 202, and the fourth side 210b keeps the supporting parts 204 in position. Each second limiting part 210 has a second hole 210c. Each first hole 208c corresponds to the second hole 210c.

[0037] Each fixing member set 212 comprises a bolt 212a and a nylon nut 212b. The bolt 212a of each fixing member set 212 goes through the first hole 208c and the second hole 210c, and is combined with a nylon nut 212b to fix the first and second limiting part 208, 210.

[0038] According to a feature of the present invention, with the fixing member sets 212, the first limiting part 208 and the second limiting part 210 can be fixed together. Because the second side 208b of the first limiting part 208 keeps the loading part 202 in position, and the fourth side 210b of the second limiting part 210 keeps the supporting part 204 in position, the foldable shipping shelf 200 can remain standing.

[0039] FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 are schematic front and right side views of folding foldable shipping shelves in accordance with a first preferred embodiment after the supporting parts are folded and stacked on the loading parts.

[0040] When a length H of a supporting part (204 or 204′) is a little smaller than a half length L of a loading part (202 or 202′), the total height of stacking foldable shipping shelves 202 and 202′ can be further reduced after the supporting parts 204, 204′ are folded and stacked on the loading parts 202, 202′. According to a feature of the present invention, when the fixing member sets are unfixed, the supporting parts 204, 204′ can rotate respectively through continuous hinges 206, 206′, and the range for rotating the supporting parts 204, 204′ can be respectively limited by the first limiting parts 208, 208′ and the second limiting parts 210, 210′. The supporting parts 204, 204′ can be limited to rotate from 270 degrees (the supporting parts 204, 204′ standing respectively under the loading parts 202, 202′) to 0 degrees (the supporting parts 204, 204′ respectively folded and stacked on the loading parts 202, 202′). The way of folding and stacking is easy and rapid.

[0041] According to a feature of the present invention, when assembling the foldable shipping shelf 200, it is only needed to rotate the supporting parts 204 from 0 degrees (the supporting parts 204 are folded and stacked on the loading part 202) to 270 degrees (the supporting parts 204 stand under the loading part 202), and then use fixing member sets 212 to fix the first limiting part 208 and the second limiting part 210 together. The way of assembling is easy and rapid.

[0042] FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 are schematics partially showing two examples of fixing the first and second limiting parts.

[0043] With reference to FIG. 5, the first limiting part 208 and the second limiting part 210 are substantially right triangles which overlap each other. Then the fixing member sets 212 are used to fix them.

[0044] However, with reference to FIG. 6, in accordance with a feature of the present invention, the first limiting part 308 and the second limiting part 310 each doesn't necessarily have two perpendicular sides (308a, 308b and 310a, 310b). It is only required that the first limiting part 308 and the second limiting part 310 partially overlap, so that the first holes 308c can correspond to the second holes 310c, and the fixing member sets 312 can be used to fix them together.

[0045] Besides, with reference to FIG. 2, when the first side 208a is fixed to the supporting part 204, and the second side 208b of the first limiting part 208 keeps the loading parts 202 in a position, and when the third side 210a of the second limiting part 210 is fixed to the loading part 202, and the fourth side 210b keeps the supporting part 204 in a position, only with the continuous hinge 206 and with the first and second limiting part 208, 210, can the supporting parts 204 be kept in a position and then stand under the loading part 202 without using the fixing member sets 212.

[0046] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the present invention showing another example of the supporting parts.

[0047] With reference to FIG. 7, holes 303a, 304a are respectively provided in the inner and outer tubes 303, 304 of the standing supporting part. The positions of holes 303a correspond to that of holes 304a. Then with a fixing level 305, the height of the supporting part 304 can be adjusted and fixed suitably.

[0048] Furthermore, for preventing light goods that are on the shelf to slide or to fall from the shelf, two protruded sidewalls can be added to two opposite sides of the loading part where the supporting parts are absent. For example, two steel plates can be welded onto the loading part in order to extend about 6 mm high from the surface of the loading part.

[0049] FIG. 8 and FIG. 9 are perspective views respectively showing a foldable shipping shelf in accordance with a second preferred embodiment when the foldable shelf is assembled, and after the supporting parts are folded and stacked on the loading part. The same numbers represent the same elements as in the first preferred embodiment, the related detail description is therefore omitted.

[0050] The differences between the first and second preferred embodiment are that the second preferred embodiment doesn't have second limiting parts and fixing member sets as in the first preferred embodiment.

[0051] In the foldable shipping shelf 400, limiting parts 408 are fixed respectively to the supporting parts 204 at a place near to the loading part 202. Each limiting parts 408 has a first side 408a and a second side 408b, which are perpendicular to each other. The limiting parts 408 are substantially right triangles for example. The first side 408a is fixed to the supporting part 204, and the second side 408b keeps the loading part 202 in a position.

[0052] In this structure, the supporting parts 204 rotate through the continuous hinges 206, and limiting parts 408 limit a range for rotating two supporting parts 204. When the supporting part 204 is at a position of 0 degrees, it is folded and stacked on the loading part 202. However, when the supporting part 204 is at a position of 270 degrees, it stands under the loading part 202. The assembling and folding are easy and rapid.

[0053] FIG. 10 is a schematic front view of a foldable shipping shelf in accordance with a third preferred embodiment of the present invention after the supporting parts are folded and stacked on the loading part. The same numbers represent the same elements as they are in the first preferred embodiment, and the related detail description is therefore omitted.

[0054] For the same reason as described in the second preferred embodiment, in the third preferred embodiment the first limiting parts and fixing member sets can be omitted as in the first preferred embodiment.

[0055] In the foldable shipping shelf 500, limiting parts 510 are fixed respectively to the loading part 202 at a place near to the supporting part 204. Each limiting part 510 has a first side 510a and a second side 510b which are perpendicular to each other. The limiting parts 510 are substantially right triangles for example. The first side 510a is fixed to the loading part 202, and the second side 510b keeps the supporting parts 204 in a position.

[0056] In this structure, the supporting parts 204 rotate through the continuous hinges 206, and the limiting parts 510 limit a range for rotating two supporting parts 204. When the supporting part 204 is at a position of 0 degrees, it is folded and stacked on the loading part 202. However, when the supporting part 204 is at a position of 270 degrees, it stands under the loading part 202. The assembling and folding are easy and rapid.

[0057] While the present invention has been described with a preferred embodiment, this description is not intended to limit our invention. Various modifications of the embodiment will be apparent to those skilled in the art. It is therefore contemplated that the appended claims will cover any such modifications or embodiments as fall within the true scope of the invention.