Title:
Cargo securement, cargo shift stop
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pallet or piece of freight on a surface such as the floor of a dry van or flat bed trailer, will shift or move while in transit. The cargo shift stops will prevent the movement of the pallet or freight much like a door stop that holds open an opened door.



Inventors:
Becker, Greg (Foristell, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/149559
Publication Date:
12/14/2006
Filing Date:
06/10/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61D3/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GUTMAN, HILARY L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHARLES C. MCCLOSKEY (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cargo shift stop assembly comprising: a stop having an outside collar; a plunger located inside said collar; and fastening means located in said collar to secure the stop to a structural support.

2. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 1 wherein said fastening means comprise screw holes.

3. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 1 wherein slots in the top of the plunger are used to rotate said plunger.

4. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 1 wherein said device is made without screw holes in said collar.

5. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 1 wherein said device is adapted to be inserted directly into a hole in the floor surface.

6. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 1 wherein at least one spring is recessed into the bottom of said plunger.

7. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 6 wherein said spring is mounted in the flooring of a typical flatbed or dry van trailer

8. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 7 wherein said spring is mounted on top of one of the cross members in siad flatbed or dry van trailer.

9. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 8 wherein at least one key slot is provided in said collar.

10. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 9 wherein a pair of key slots are provided in said collar for a pair of cooperating keys.

11. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 1 wherein a tapered bottom is provided in said plunger.

12. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 11 wherein said tapered bottom in operation stops said plunger at a pre-determined height.

13. A cargo shift stop assembly comprising: a plurality of cargo shift stops mounted in a strip of solid material adapted to be recessed into a preexisting floor.

14. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 11 wherein said strip is made of a material selected from steel, aliminum alloy, and composite material and combinations thereof.

15. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 14 wherein said strips are mounted in a transportation vehicle.

16. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 15 wherein said strips are mounted continuous from the front to the rear,

17. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 15 wherein said strips are mounted continuous longitudinally from the front to the rear,

18. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 15 wherein said strips are mounted continuous transversely from the front to the rear. typical dry van trailer, or other floor, the floorboards are continuous from the front to the rear, or are longitudinal from the front to the rear.

19. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 15 wherein said strips are laid side by side next to each over cross-members of the floor.

20. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 15 wherein said strips are laid in a way engineered for that particular trailer or flooring platform.

21. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 20 wherein said strips are laid longitudinally or parallel to the floorboards and secured into place.

22. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 21 wherein said strips recessed into said stop strip.

23. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 22 wherein said strips are formed with keyed slots in the wall of the hole the stop strip.

24. A cargo shift assembly comprising: a sliding stop strip having tabs on said sliding strip; whereby as said sliding stop strip is moved forward or backward, said tabs on said stop strip activate and deactivate a plunger into active and passive positions.

25. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 24 wherein said sliding stop strip is made of a material selected from lightweight metal and composite material and is

26. A cargo shift stop assembly according to claim 25 wherein said sliding stop strip material is durable enough to last the normal life of the transport vessel.

Description:

I FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to moving freight by all modes of transportation. This invention will prevent movement or shifting of freight or cargo, in or on a vessel, while in transit, and thus prevent damage to the freight and equipment being used to move the freight from one point to another.

II BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Since freight has been moved by containers in trucks, trains, boats and aircraft, there has been a problem of freight moving or shifting while the freight is in transport. This movement is due to the surface on which the freight is being transported on, in combination with the movement of the vehicle in which the freight is being transported. With the stopping, starting, turning, and yawing of the vehicle, the freight being transported will slide or tip when a change in direction of the vehicle takes place.

Depending on the severity of the event, this dynamic will cause the freight to come in contact with other freight on the same vessel, or with the waklls of the container, or will cause the freight to leave the vessel. This constitutes a great danger to people and equipment in it's proximity.

Current methods of restraint for cargo require the use of straps to hold the cargo into place, or blocking material nailed to the floor to stop the pallet or piece of freight from moving. Other forms of restraint include the placement of horizontal retaining bars from one side of the trailer to the other that prevents the forward movement of the freight. This movement can damage the flooring of freight vessel over time

III SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A: Objects of the Invention

One object of this invention is to limit the travel of freight or cargo to a point where it does not move beyond specified points. The will prevent damage to the freight when it comes into contact with other freight on the floor or platform on which it is transported.

Another object of the invention is to prevent a catastrophic outcome of heavy freight shifting on the floor or platform. Whether this be over the road transport or air transport, these extreme weight shifts can cause the operator to loose control of the vehicle.

Another object of the invention is to prevent the overloading of an axle of a dry van or flat bed trailer. State and Federal laws allow certain maximum weights on the axles of these trailers which can be exceeded when the cargo shifts forward due to a hard braking event.

Another object of the invention is to substantially reduce the amount of labor required to utilize existing methods cargo restraint. This includes the nailing or blocking of wood or other material to the floor or platform.

Another object of this invention is to reduce or eliminate the need to carry or stock materials and supplies to secure the cargo.

B. Summary of the Invention

In one embodiment this invention may be installed in the floor of a cargo vessel, such as a dry van or flat bed trailer pulled by a semi truck. When installed in the floor of trailer, be it metal or wood, it may be a retractable, floor protruding assembly, when installed as a system, will stop the movement of the freight as it tries to move across the floor of the cargo vessel. When not needed, the plunger or the entire device may be retracted and secured inside the floor.

This invention is not limited to the installation in a dry van or flat bed trailer. Other application areas include rail cars, cargo ships, airplanes, cargo transport platforms, and barges. This device will work on any surface upon which it can be installed.

This device can also be used on surfaces that are not part of a cargo vessel. This device can be installed on any surface in which movement from some outside force is not desired. This includes warehouse buildings, floors, and dock areas.

Other objects will be apparent from the following SUMMARY, DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS, DRAWINGS AND CLAIMS.

B: Summary

In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a collar or plunger is recessed into an existing floor or platform. The collar or plunger version can be installed as new equipment, or be retrofitted to older floors and platforms.

In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, the plunger is part of a strip of metal or composite material recessed into the flooring material. It can be installed as new OEM equipment or can be retrofitted to older floors or platforms.

IV THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of the device from the top.

FIG. 2 is a schmatic side elevation view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a schematic side elevation view of the invention mounted in the flooring of a typical flatbed or dry van trailer in extemded vertical position.

FIG. 4 is a schematic side elevation view as it appears in FIG. 3, but showing the invention in the recessed position.

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view showing some examples of workable dimensions for the invention.

FIG. 6 is a schematic bottom view of how the plunger can be locked into a recessed position, showing the collar from the bottom.

FIG. 7 is a schematic side elevation view showing keyed slots in the side of the collar in relation to the keys in the side of the plunger.

FIG. 8 is a schematic perspective view of the keys on the side of the plunger, showing the keys as they appears on the side of the plunger.

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of an alternative to the keyed slot version of the invention, and shows the device without the keyed slots in the side of the collar and the key on the side of the plunger.

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view showing another version of the device which shows the device mounted in a strip of material (such as steel or composite material) that will produce the same advantages as being recessed into the flooring material.

FIG. 11 is a schematic plan view of the top of the stop strip version.

FIG. 12 is a schematic plan view of another stop strip version of the invention.

FIG. 13 is a plan view of the stop strip with possible hole locations.

FIG. 14 is a plan view of one of the holes in the stop strip, showing the placement of machined keys slots from the top.

FIG. 15 is a schematic side elevation of the side of the stop strip showing the placement of the machined keyed slots on the side of each hole.

FIG. 16 is a schematic side elevation view of another embodiment of the invention in which a sliding strip is positioned inside the stop strip, under the plungers, and illustrating how the sliding strip can move forward and backward, activating and deactivating each of the plungers in the stop strip.

FIG. 17 is a schematic plan view which shows the stop strips installed between the floorboards in a typical dry van trailer.

FIG. 18 is a plan view of a typical dry van trailer or a platform, illustrating the device recessed into the floor or platform.

FIG. 19 is a plan view illustrating the same stops as in FIG. 18 recessed into the flooring material, with the cross members transversely mounted in a manner that many, if not most, typical dry van trailers are presently rconstructed.

FIG. 20 is a plan view illustrating stops recessed into the flooring material, with the cross members transversely mounted.

FIG. 21 is a plan view which shows a pallet or cargo piece placed directly on the floor.

FIG. 22 is a plan view showing the directions of travel that a pallet or piece of cargo can take when in transit.

FIG. 23 is a schematic side elevation view of another embodiment of the invention showing the construction of a typical van trailer.

V DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows the outside collar 5, the inside plunger 10, and the screw holes 15 located in the collar to secure the stop to a structural support. This figure also shows the slot 20 in the top of the plunger 10 that is used to rotate the plunger 10 clockwise or counter clockwise to lock the plunger 10 into an active or inactive position. As an alternative to this structure, the device can be made without the screw holes 15 in the collar 5. This device may be inserted directly into the hole in the floor surface if desired. FIG. 2 shows a side view of this embodiment. This view shows the plunger 10 in its extended position with a spring 25 recessed into the bottom of center plunger 10.

FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of the invention mounted in the flooring 30 of a typical flatbed or dry van trailer in its fully extended or active position. This cross sectional view shows this embodiment mounted on top of one of the cross members 35. FIG. 4 shows this embiodiment as it appears in FIG. 3, but shows this embodiment in the recessed position. FIG. 5 shows some possible dimensions for this embodiment. These dimensions are given as examples and may be reduced or increased depending on the particular application in which this embodiment will be used.

Several factors come into play when the size of a particular embodiment is determined. The material used to produce the embodiment may be steel, aluminum alloy or any of the known composite materials. The size of the embodiment will depend highly on the strength of the material used and or the application in which it is used.

FIGS. 4-8 demonstrate how the plunger 10 in FIG. 4, can be locked into a recessed position. FIG. 7 shows the collar 5 from the side. This figure shows two keyed slots 40, 45 on the inside of the collar 5. These slots 40, 45 are for the key 50a that is on the side of the plunger 10 to fit into. When the plunger 10 is pushed downward and turned, the key 50 in the side of the plunger 10 will fit into the secondary keyed slot 45, FIG. 7. This will lock the plunger 10 into the recessed position.

When the plunger 10 is rotated in the opposite direction, the key 50 on the side of the plunger 10 will move into the primary keyed slot 40 in the side of the collar 5 and will lock in the active position shown in FIG. 7, which shows the device in the active position, and shows the keyed slots 40, 45 in the side of the collar 5 in relation to the key 50 in the side of the plunger 10. It also shows additional space machined into the side of the collar 5 to allow a fuller rotation to further prevent the plunger 10 from rotating out of the locked position.

FIG. 8 gives a more detailed view of the key 50 on the side of the plunger 10. This figure shows the key 50 as it appears on the side of the plunger 10. The size of the plunger 10, and the size of the key 50 on the side of the plunger 10 depend on the material used to construct the device.

FIG. 9 is an alternative to the keyed slot embodiment of the invention. This version can be used when an active version of the device is desired. In this figure is the tapered bottom 11t of the plunger 11. This tapered effect on the bottom of the plunger 11 will stop the plunger 11 at a pre-determined height.

FIG. 10 shows another embodiment of the device. Up until this point, the assumption has been made that the device or invention will be recessed directly into the flooring material such as in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4.

In FIG. 10 the device 10 is mounted in a strip 100 of solid material (steel or composite) that will produce most if not all of the advantages as being recessed into the flooring material. The device 10 is mounted in the strip 100 itself. On a typical dry van trailer, or other floor, the floorboards are continuous from the front to the rear, or are longitudinal from the front to the rear. If floorboards are used, they are typically laid side by side next to each over the cross-members of the floor.

They are then secured to the trailer or frame of the trailer in a way engineered for that particular trailer or flooring platform. For example, the stop strips 100 are set longitudinally or parallel to the floorboards and secured into place. This version allows for ease of replacement of the stop strips or removal of the device if they are no longer needed in the application. FIG. 11 shows the device from the top. It shows how that device 10 is recessed at 5 into the stop strip 100. The strip 100 is then secured to the cross members 35 under the floor 30 or to the flooring material itself. The stop strip 100 can be of any length depending on the application.

In another embodiment shown in FIG. 12. In this embodiment the collar portion 5 of the device FIG. 11 is replaced by the stop strip 100 itself. In this embodiment, the stop strip 200 is machined, casted, or manufactured with the keyed slots 40, 45, FIG. 14 in the wall of the hole manufactured into the stop strip 200. In one embodiment of the device, the user may select the plunger 10/collar 5 version shown in FIG. 10 secured in the stop strip, so as to change one plunger 10/collar 5 device at a time. In another embodiment, the user may select the plunger 10/stop strip 200 version shown in FIG. 12 and change the stop strip 200 when desired.

FIG. 13 shows another embodiment in which the stop strip 200 with the hole 202 in it. The keyed slots are not shown in FIG. 13. FIG. 14 is a bottom detail view of the hole in the stop strip 200. This bottom view shows the keyed slots 40, 45 machined into the side of the hole in the stop strip 200. In this application, the plunger is inserted from the bottom of the stop strip 200. The stop strip 200 with the plunger 10 inserted, is then installed into the specific application. FIG. 15 is a side view of the stop strip 200 which shows the machined slots 40, 45 in the side of the hole in the stop strip 200. Note that in this embodiment the plunger 10 is not inserted into the hole 202.

FIG. 16 shows another embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment version, the spring 25, FIG. 9 is replaced with a sliding stop strip 250. As this sliding stop strip 250 is moved forward or backward, the tabs 252 on the stop strip 250 activate and deactivate the plunger 12 into active 254 and passive positions 256. The sliding stop strip 250 is made of very lightweight metal or composite material and is durable enough to last the normal life of the transport vessel. The sides 150 and bottom 152 of this version of the stop strip are made of a very lightweight metal or composite material. The top of the stop strip 154 is made of a heavy metal or composite to withstand the pressure of freight against the plunger 12.

In another embodiment shown in FIG. 17 the stop strips 100, 200, or 250?? installed between the floorboards 255 in a typical dry van trailer. This figure shows the stop strips 100 or 200 installed between two floorboards.

However, in another embodiment 280 the stop strips 100 and/or 200 are installed between all of the floorboards to produce a better effect. FIG. 18 is of a typical dry van trailer or platform. On a typical dry van trailer or a platform, this figure shows the collar 5/plunger 10 version 280 recessed into the floor or platform. The location of the stops in the trailer is determined by the application needed and can be placed anywhere on the floor.

In another embodiment 290, FIG. 19 shows the same collar 5/plunger 10 version recessed into the flooring material as FIG. 18 shows. However, this figure shows the cross members 35 under the floorboards 30 of a typical dry van trailer. In this embodiment, the stops 292 are mounted in the floorboards 30 and on top of the cross members 35. The stops 292 are mounted on top of a cross members 35 so as to allow the spring 25 on the bottom of the plunger 10 to come in contact with a surface. This surface allows the spring 25 to active the plunger 10.

FIG. 20 is a plan view illustrating stops recessed into the flooring material, with the cross members transversely mounted In another embodiment 300, FIG. 20 shows that on some dry van trailers or platforms, the cross members 335 may be installed longitudinally from the front to the rear of the trailer. On some dry van trailers or platforms, the cross members may be installed longitudinally from the front to the rear of the trailer In this figure, it shows the cross members 35 installed in this way. Here again, the collar 5/plunger 10 version or stop strip 100, 200, or 150 can be recessed into the flooring material 30 and on top of the cross members 35.

In another embodiment FIG. 21 illustrates the benefits of this invention. In FIG. 21 a pallet 300 or piece of cargo placed directly on the floor. If a shifting event occurs, the bottom edge of the pallet 300 or piece of cargo will come in contact with the stops 302 in the floor and prevent the movement of the object. FIG. 22 shows the direction of travel that a pallet 300 or piece of cargo can take when in transit. As noted, the direction of travel can be in any direction.

In another embodiment FIG. 23 shows an example of the construction of a typical dry van trailer. This figure shows how the van trailer is constructed. The cross members 35 under the flooring material 30 are secured to “posts” 310 on the bottom rail 320, which are secured to a “top rail” 330 at the top of the trailer. This suspended effect is not clearly shown and at least one additional view is required. how a typical dry van trailer is constructed. Other platforms may have an actual frame under the cross members 35 that is used to support the floor of the dry van trailer or platform.