Title:
Reinforcement kit for protecting pallet rack frame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An integral pallet rack post reinforcement kit for protecting the lower pallet rack frame from forklifts, etc. which takes the place of the lower six to twelve inches of the front frame post and fastened in its place. The kit is, for example, square tube welded to a three-sided outer clamp which bears a front angle deflector. These components are welded to a four inch by twelve inch by three-eighths inch footplate with two three-quarter inch by five inch by half inch wedge bolt anchors for attachment to the warehouse floor. Accordingly, this footplate replaces the original footplate. By using the reinforcement kit with the angle deflector, frontal impacts are deflected off to one side. The front post of the original pallet rack the present reinforcement kit would, over time, fail from cyclical or repeated impacts.



Inventors:
Macdonald, Shawn D. (Joliet, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/295837
Publication Date:
05/20/2004
Filing Date:
11/18/2002
Assignee:
MACDONALD SHAWN D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/183
International Classes:
A47B91/00; B65G1/02; (IPC1-7): A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An integral reinforcement kit for protecting pallet rack frame comprising: an upright, vertically oriented clamp having an upper portion and a lower portion: a rectangular anchor base having a front portion a front end and a rear portion; said clamp being supported by and extending vertically from said anchor base front portion; and a leg support upright supported upon said front portion of said anchor base and extending upward within clamp lower portion; said integral reinforcement kit being made of a substantially heavier gauge of metal than said pallet rack frame; whereby said leg support upright supports a truncated lower upright leg of a pallet rack; and whereby said upper portion of said clamp engages said pallet rack so as to clamp said reinforcement kit to said truncated lower pallet rack upright leg.

2. The reinforcement kit of claim 1, wherein said leg support has a leg support cap located at the upper end thereof.

3. The reinforcement kit of claim 2, wherein said clamp is “U”-shaped in cross section having a front wall and opposing side walls.

4. The reinforcement kit of claim 3, wherein said front wall of said clamp faces forward relative to said kit and extends upward from a point near said front end of said anchor base, said opposing side walls extending rearwardly therefrom.

5. The reinforcement kit of claim 4, wherein said leg support upright extends rearwardly beyond said lower clamp portion.

6. The reinforcement kit of claim 5, wherein said leg support is generally square in cross section.

7. The reinforcement kit of claim 6, wherein said pallet rack upright is welded in place relative to said lower portion of said clamp and said anchor base.

8. The reinforcement kit of claim 7, further comprising a vertically oriented front deflector extending the substantial length of said clamp and located on said front wall thereof.

9. The reinforcement kit of claim 8, wherein said front deflector is an angle segment having two equal sides extending forward from said clamp front wall and meeting at an apex spaced forward of and generally bisecting said clamp.

10. The reinforcement kit of claim 9, wherein said deflector is a right angle segment having a cap extending to said clamp front wall.

11. The reinforcement kit of claim 5, wherein said rear portion of said anchor base defines at least one anchor bolt bore for receiving a respective floor anchor bolt.

12. The reinforcement kit of claim 5, wherein the remaining portion of the pallet rack truncated upright leg is generally coextensive with said leg support cap, said upper portion of said clamp partially encasing said remaining portion, and said remaining portion is welded to said upper portion of said clamp to form a reinforced extension thereof.

13. The reinforcement kit of claim 12, wherein the remaining portion of the pallet rack truncated upright leg has spaced bores therealong and is generally coextensive with said leg support cap, said clamp partially encasing said remaining portion and having corresponding bores through said opposing walls for receiving leg support bolts to thereby form a reinforced extension of said truncated upright post.

14. The reinforcement kit of claim 1, wherein said truncated upright leg with said reinforcement kit secured thereto is equal in length to the remaining upright legs of the pallet rack.

15. In combination with a pallet rack having a truncated lower upright leg, an integral reinforcement kit for protecting a pallet rack frame comprising: an upright, vertically oriented clamp having an upper portion and a lower portion: a rectangular anchor base having a front portion a front end and a rear portion; said clamp being supported by and extending vertically from said anchor base front portion; and a leg support upright supported upon said front portion of said anchor base and extending upward within clamp lower portion; said integral reinforcement kit being made of a substantially heavier gauge of metal than said pallet rack frame; whereby said leg support upright supports a truncated lower upright leg of a pallet rack; and whereby said upper portion of said clamp engages said pallet rack so as to clamp said reinforcement kit to said truncated lower pallet rack upright leg.

16. The combination of claim 15, wherein said leg support of said reinforcement kit has a leg support cap located at the upper end thereof.

17. The combination of claim 16, wherein said clamp of said reinforcement kit is “U”-shaped in cross section having a front wall and opposing side walls.

18. The combination of claim 17, wherein said front wall of said clamp of said reinforcement kit faces forward relative to said kit and extends upward from a point near said front end of said anchor base, said opposing side walls extending rearwardly therefrom.

19. The combination of claim 18, wherein said leg support upright of said reinforcement kit extends rearwardly beyond said lower clamp portion.

20. The combination of claim 19, wherein said leg support of said reinforcement kit is generally square in cross section.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to pallet racks. More particularly, the present invention relates to pallet rack reinforcement kits for protecting the lower pallet rack front legs.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] The use of pallet racks is common in warehouses a warehouse stores. They are designed to receive product bearing pallets from a fork lift truck. The normal use of fork lift trucks around the pallet rack commonly results in damage to the lower front legs due to collisions with forklift forks, tires, and outriggers. Storage of pallets of materials in floor locations also results in damage to the lower front legs. It would be desirable to provide an easily installable, heavy duty reinforcement kit which may be installed in the factory or in-place such as in a warehouse to protect the lower legs of an industrial pallet rack frame from damage from placing pallets of materials in floor locations on either side of the frame and to protect the lower section of the front post from damage by forklift forks, tires, and outriggers.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 6,298,537 B1, issued Oct. 9, 2001, to Dion, describes a pallet rack repair kit for replacing the damaged lower front post.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 4,239,122, issued Dec. 16, 1980, to Klein, describes a reinforced pallet rack for resisting forklift impact, bending, and deflection from fork lifts.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 4,113,110, issued Sep. 12, 1978, to Mittag, describes a pallet rack and post protector assembly.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,369,925, issued Dec. 6, 1994, describes pallet rack lower post protectors supported on the floor and partially surrounding each post from damage by fork lifts.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 6,332,549 B1, issued to the present applicant on Dec. 25, 2001, describes a repair kit for a damaged pallet rack frame having front and intermediate uprights and upper and lower cross members for attachment to an undamaged rear post.

[0010] Canadian Patent No. 2,280,645, published Feb. 25, 2001, to Dion, describes a reinforcement unit for a pair of pallet rack lower posts.

[0011] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singularly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus, a reinforcement kit for protecting pallet rack frame solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The present invention is an integral pallet rack post reinforcement kit for protecting the lower pallet rack frame from forklifts, etc. The reinforcement is done by removing the six to twelve inches of the front frame post and fastening the heavy gauge reinforcement kit in its place. The reinforcement kit is, for example, three inch by three inch by a quarter inch square tube welded to a quarter inch, three-sided outer clamp which in turn is welded to a two inch by two inch by quarter inch front angle deflector. These components are welded to a four inch by twelve inch by three-eighths inch footplate or anchor base with two three-quarter inch by five inch by half inch wedge bolt anchors for attachment to the warehouse floor. Accordingly, this footplate replaces the original footplate. By using the reinforcement kit with the angle deflector, frontal impacts are deflected off to one side. The front post of the original pallet rack without the reinforcement features of the present kit would, over time, fail from cyclical or repeated impacts.

[0013] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a heavy duty pallet rack lower post reinforcement kit.

[0014] It is another object of the invention to provide a pallet rack post reinforcement kit which may be installed at the rack factory or in-place in a warehouse.

[0015] It is a further object of the invention to provide a post reinforcement kit as above which is simple in design and installation.

[0016] Still another object of the invention is to provide a post reinforcement kit as above which may replace the lower portion of a damaged post in-place.

[0017] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0018] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is an environmental, front perspective view of a reinforcement kit for protecting pallet rack frame according to the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the kit of FIG. 1 having bolt attachment bores.

[0021] FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the kit of FIG. 1.

[0022] FIG. 4 is an environmental rear perspective view of the kit of FIG. 1 as welded in place.

[0023] FIG. 5 is an environmental front perspective view of kit of FIG. 2 as bolted in place.

[0024] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] The present invention is an integral pallet rack post reinforcement kit for protecting the lower pallet rack frame from forklifts, etc. The reinforcement is done by removing from six to twelve inches of the front frame upright post to form a truncated upright post and fastening the reinforcement kit in its place.

[0026] Referring to the Figures, the inventive integral reinforcement kit is generally referred to as 10. Reinforcement kit 10 includes a “U”-shaped upright clamp 12 for clamping to post upright U of pallet rack P, the upright clamp 12 having an upper end 14 and a lower end 16 resting on a rectangular base or anchor 18. The rectangular anchor base 18 has a front end portion 20 supporting upright clamp 12 and a rear end portion 22 and defining one or more floor engagement bores to receive floor anchor bolts.

[0027] Leg support upright tube 28 has an upper end 30 having a post support cap 32, defining a clamp upper portion 33 extending to upper end 14, and a lower end 34, defining a clamp lower portion 35 extending to anchor base 18, resting on the front portion 20 of rectangular anchor base 18 and placed and sized to partially fit within the clamp lower portion 35. The shortened end of pallet rack post upright U rests on the post support cap 32, thus bearing the weight of the loaded pallet rack P. The “U”-shaped upright clamp 12 has side walls 40 and a front wall 42 to which a front deflector 36 (preferably in the form of a right angle steel segment) extends along its substantial length, having a deflector cap 37 covering its upper end and extending downward around the base or anchor front end 20 to the floor. The front deflector 36 is attached to the front wall 42 of upright clamp 12 along vertical attachment edges 38 near the respective edges of upright clamp front wall 42 and extends outward from the front wall 42, forming two equal sides, to an apex formed by a vertical corner edge spaced apart from and midway between attachment edges 38, bisecting front wall 42 so as to deflect an approaching forklift tine to one side to protect the post structure.

[0028] The lower truncated end portion of post upright U is fitted within and partially surrounded by the upper portion of upright clamp 12 to which it may be welded as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 at weld lines 44 or attached by providing bores 46 in upright clamp side walls which receive leg support bolts through aligned bores in post upright U. Such bores are commonly provided in pallet rack posts or uprights U at spaced intervals. Leg support front wall 52 is flush to the inside of upright clamp front wall 42 and leg support side walls extend back substantially beyond the attached upright clamp side walls 40 to end at leg support rear wall 50.

[0029] In operation, about 6 to 12 inches of the existing post upright of the pallet rack is removed from the lower end thereof to form the truncated post upright. The inventive integral reinforcement kit, made of a substantially heavier gauge of steel than the existing post upright and pallet rack frame is then placed over the front and sides of the remaining pallet rack post or upright such that “U”-shaped upright clamp 12 extends over and partially around the remaining lower portion of pallet rack post upright U and leg support cap 32, and leg support square upright 28 bears the weight supported by the end of the pallet rack post upright U. The assembly is then welded or bolted together to form a reinforced structure as describe above. The rectangular anchor base is then bolted to the warehouse floor.

[0030] The reinforcement kit is, for example, three inch by three inch by a quarter inch square tube welded to a quarter inch, three-sided outer clamp which in turn is welded to a two inch by two inch by quarter inch front angle deflector. These components are welded to a four inch by twelve inch by three-eighths inch footplate with two three-quarter inch by five inch by half inch wedge bolt anchors for attachment to the warehouse floor. Accordingly, this footplate replaces the original footplate. By using the reinforcement kit with the angle deflector, frontal impacts are deflected off to one side. The front post of the original pallet rack without the reinforcement features of the present kit would, over time, fail from cyclical or repeated impacts. The integral reinforcement kit of the present invention is made of any appropriate material, and preferably steel.

[0031] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.