Title:
Debris removal container and method of removing debris from a construction site
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The debris removal container (10) includes interiorly projecting strengthening ribs, such as ribs (25-29) that reduce the frictional contact between adjacent containers when one container is being nestably stacked in a lower container. The removable fork receptacle feet (14 and 15) may be replaced when damaged. The nested containers are placed in an upright, nested, stacked relationship for transport by a truck (44) and the containers are formed of light weight material so that a rotary forklift can lift and manage a nested stack, by inverting or resting the containers on their sides on a horizontal surface and picking the lowermost container from the nested stack for distribution at a construction site.



Inventors:
Andrade, Jorge A. (Woodstock, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/274670
Publication Date:
05/17/2007
Filing Date:
11/15/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, NIKI MARINA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS | HORSTEMEYER, LLP (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A method of disposing of debris comprising: transporting on a vehicle a plurality of open top containers in an upright attitude and nested in stacked relationship with respect to one another; removing the plurality of containers from the vehicle while in their upright nested stacked relationship; tilting the plurality of containers while in their nested stacked relationship; depositing the plurality of containers on a horizontal surface while in their nested stacked relationship in a non-upright attitude so as to expose the bottom of the lower receiving container; pulling one container at a time from the nested stacked relationship on the horizontal surface; setting each container upright on a horizontal surface; and depositing debris into the container.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of pulling one container at a time from the nested stacked relationship comprises engaging the bottoms of the containers with the forks of a rotary forklift.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein each container includes a lower portion that has a receptacle for the forks of a forklift and the steps of removing, tilting, depositing and pulling are performed by engaging with the forks of a forklift the receptacles for the forks.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of depositing the nested containers on the horizontal surface comprises depositing the nested stacked containers on their sides.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of depositing the nested containers on the horizontal surface comprises depositing the nested stacked containers in an inverted attitude

6. A container for receiving, transporting and dumping debris comprising: a rectangular bottom wall having opposed inner and outer surfaces and a rectangular perimeter; four side walls each having opposed inner and outer surfaces, said four side walls extending upwardly and sloped outwardly from about the perimeter of the bottom wall, the side walls defining an upper edge with a rim and defining an upwardly facing opening for receiving and dumping debris; the side walls each including a plurality of strengthening ribs extending from adjacent the bottom wall toward the rim and projecting inwardly from the inner surface of the container; the container configured for nesting with duplicates of the container with the strengthening ribs of the nested containers engaging and supporting a duplicate container received therein; and a pair of fork receiving members removably connected to the bottom of the rectangular bottom wall configured for receiving the fork of a forklift vehicle.

7. The container of claim 6 and wherein said bottom wall and four side walls are formed of plastic material.

8. The container of claim 6 and wherein said side walls each include at least two strengthening ribs that slidingly receive a duplicate container.

9. The container of claim 6 and wherein opposed ones of the side walls are sloped at a different angle than the others of the side walls.

10. A method of collecting and disposing of debris comprising: moving a vehicle to a site where debris is to be collected with open top containers in a vertically nested stack in an upright attitude on the vehicle, engaging the lowermost container in the stack and lifting with the lower-most container and transporting the stack from the vehicle to a site for collecting debris, depositing the stack at the site in a non-upright attitude that enables the lower-most container to be retrieved from the stack, pulling in sequence the containers from the bottom of the stack, placing the containers pulled from the bottom of the stack in an upright attitude on a site, and placing debris in the containers placed on the site.

11. The method of claim 10, and further including the step of transporting a forklift with the vehicle, and wherein the steps of engaging, depositing, pulling and placing are performed by the forklift.

12. A container for receiving, transporting and dumping debris comprising: a bottom wall having opposed inner and outer surfaces and a perimeter, side walls each having opposed inner and outer surfaces, said side walls extending upwardly and sloped outwardly from about the perimeter of the bottom wall, the side walls defining an upper edge with a rim and defining an upwardly facing opening for receiving and dumping debris; the side walls each including a plurality of strengthening ribs extending from the bottom wall toward the rim and projecting inwardly from the inner surface of the container, the bottom wall including a pair of parallel recesses that extend across the bottom wall, from side wall to side wall, projecting into the interior of the body portion and aligned with the strengthening ribs of the side walls, fork receptacle feet for engaging a horizontal surface on which the container is to be supported, the feet each mounted in one of the parallel recesses and defining a channel that is configured for receiving a tine of a fork of a rotary forklift.

13. The container of claim 12 wherein the fork receptacle feet are bolted to the bottom wall of the body portion of the container.

14. The container of claim 12 wherein the fork receptacle feet are bolted in a recess to the bottom wall of the body portion of the container.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention concerns the removal of debris from construction sites and other areas where debris has been accumulated. More particularly, the invention concerns a novel container for receiving and dumping the debris, and the container is formed so that it is nestable with duplicate containers for transporting to and from construction sites.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Construction sites where homes and other building structures are being constructed usually are cluttered with debris from left over materials, such as insulation, portions of wood, roofing, stone and/or brick, electrical and plumbing materials, etc. Usually, the workers at the construction site will cut the materials to the desired size, frequently leaving the remaining portion of the original materials at the work site for later removal and disposal.

In some cases, large trash bins are brought to the work site that are progressively filled over a period of time with the discarded debris, and when full, the large containers are hauled away for dumping at a dump site.

In some construction areas, there may be several structures under construction at the same time, such as in a housing development where multiple homes are being constructed simultaneously. In sites of this type, one large trash bin will be provided for several construction sites, and the workers are required to deposit their debris in the single trash bin.

In some instances, smaller trash bins are placed on the site of each construction site and those bins are later hauled by front end loaders to a larger bin, tilted so as to dump the debris from the smaller bins into the larger bin, and then hauled back to the work site and left for further collection.

In order to provide the multiplicity of smaller containers to the work site, the containers can be stacked in a nested configuration and hauled to the work site and then distributed about the work site at the locations where individual structures are being built.

As shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,616,400, it has been known in the art that the small containers can be inverted and stacked in a nested relationship on a transport vehicle, such as a flat bed truck, and transported from the supply site to the construction site. A rotary fork lift truck is used to remove the containers, one at a time, from the top of the inverted nested containers, to transport the containers to the desired collection location, to rotate the containers to the upright attitude and to deposit the containers on the ground. While this procedure provides for expedient transporting of the small containers to the construction site, there usually is some delay required to pull each container from the top of the nested stack of containers, leaving the remainder of the containers on the truck while distribution of the containers is accomplished.

Also, the prior art small nestable containers have been made of heavy materials, usually of large gauge metal so that they are durable in the relatively harsh environment where they are used. Therefore, it is desirable to lift one of the small containers at a time from the truck that transports the containers to the construction site so as to not overload the rotary fork lift with a heavy load of several containers at one time.

Thus, the present invention concerns a light weight debris collection and dump container that can be lifted in multiple numbers while in a nested configuration with less danger of deterioration to the lifting equipment and less hazard to the operator. Also, this invention concerns an improved method of removing the nested containers from the transporting truck that reduces the time required for unloading the containers from the transporting truck, thereby freeing the truck for further activity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, the present invention concerns a method of disposing of debris that includes transporting on a vehicle a plurality of open top containers in an upright attitude and nested in a stacked relationship with respect to one another. The plurality of containers is removed from the vehicle while in the upright, nested, stacked relationship with one another. The containers are then tilted or inverted while in their nested and stacked relationship and deposited on the ground or other horizontal surface at a construction site. The bottom container is then pulled, one container at a time, from the stack while the remaining containers of the stack rest on the horizontal surface. Each container is placed in an upright attitude on a horizontal surface, such as on the ground, at a collection site so that debris can be deposited into the open top of the container.

The invention further includes the method of pulling one container at a time from the nested stacked relationship while the stack lies on its side or is inverted with the bottom surface of the lower container exposed, including engaging the bottom of the lower container with a fork of the rotary fork lift and pulling the container away from the remaining containers in the nested stack of containers.

Preferably, the containers each include fork receptacle feet for receiving the forks of a fork lift and the method includes the steps of removing, tilting, depositing and pulling the containers by engaging the fork receptacle feet of the lowermost of the stacked containers with the forks of a rotary fork lift.

Another embodiment of the invention is the container that receives and is used for transporting and dumping debris. The container includes a bottom wall, side walls, the side walls extending upwardly and sloped outwardly from about the bottom wall, with the side walls defining an upper edge with a rim that forms the upwardly facing opening that receives the debris. The side walls also include a plurality of strengthening ribs that extend from the bottom wall toward the rim and project from the inner surface inwardly of the container, so that when one of the containers is nested inside the other container, the strengthening ribs will slidingly receive the inner container.

The containers are configured for nesting with duplicate ones of the containers with the strengthening ribs supporting and engaging the duplicate container received therein. A pair of fork receptacle feet are removably connected to the bottom of the rectangular bottom wall land are configured for receiving the forks of a fork lift vehicle.

The containers are formed of light weight, strong materials, such as plastic, including polyvinylchloride and other multiple plastics.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the container for receiving, transporting and dumping debris.

FIG. 2 is a front view thereof.

FIG. 3 is a plan view thereof.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the removably attached fork receptacle feet of the container, showing how the fork receptacle feet are attached to the bottom of the container housing.

FIG. 5 illustrates how a rotary forklift engages the fork receptacle feet.

FIG. 6 shows how the containers are deposited on the ground, with the bottom container being removed from the nested stack of containers.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view showing the progression of the rotary forklift as it transports the container, rotates to tilt the container and dump debris from the container into a large trash bin.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now in more detail to the drawings, in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows the container 10 that is used for receiving, transporting and dumping debris. The container is shaped so that duplicates of the containers may be stacked in a nested arrangement with one another. An embodiment of the container includes a body portion 12 and a pair of fork receptacle feet 14 and 15. The body portion includes a bottom wall 16 that has a substantially rectangular perimeter, and four side walls 18, 19, 20 and 21. The side walls have their lower edge portions extending upwardly from the edges of the bottom wall, and the side walls are sloped outwardly from the bottom wall so that the bottom wall will fit into the body portion 12 of a duplicate container in a nested, stacked configuration.

The side walls define a continuous upper edge with a rim 23 extending thereabout. The side walls each include strengthening ribs, such as a pair of strengthening ribs 25 and 26 for side wall 18 and strengthening ribs 27, 28 and 29 for side wall 19. Side wall 20 that opposes side wall 18 has strengthening ribs 25B and 26B that are substantially identical to the strengthening ribs of side wall 18, and side wall 21 that opposes side wall 19 and has similar strengthening ribs 27B, 28B, and 29B.

It will be noted from FIG. 3 that the opposed side walls 18 and 20 are sloped at a higher angle than the other opposed side walls 19 and 21.

The strengthening ribs extend from the bottom wall 16 to the rim 23. The strengthening ribs project inwardly from the inner surface of the body portion of the container so that the strengthening ribs form a bearing surface for any other duplicate container when a duplicate container is moved downwardly into the interior of a container so that the container being moved into a lower container engages primarily only the strengthening ribs of the lower container and comes to rest on the bottom wall of the lower container.

Since the strengthening ribs protrude inwardly of the body portion 12 of the container, they are not readily exposed to the exterior of the container where they would be more likely to become damaged by external impact, etc.

As shown in FIG. 2, the bottom wall 16 has a pair of parallel recesses 31 and 32 that extend longitudinally across the bottom wall, from side wall 19 to side wall 21. The recesses 31 and 32 project into the interior of the body portion 12 and intersect the strengthening ribs of the opposed side walls, such as strengthening ribs 27 and 29. The recesses 31 and 32 form a receptacle for the fork receptacle feet 14 and 15.

As shown in FIG. 4, each of the fork receptacle feet includes a channel 34 that is configured for receiving a tine of a fork of a rotary forklift, and downwardly protruding support feet 36 and 37 that engage the ground or other horizontal surface on which the container is to be supported. The fork receptacle feet 14 and 15 are bolted to the bottom wall 16 of the body portion 12 of the container.

As shown in FIG. 5, the containers are shaped so that identical ones of the containers may be stacked in a nested relationship, with one container received in the interior of the next container below. Generally, when the containers are to be transported to a construction site, the containers are placed upright in a nested configuration as shown in FIG. 5 and are transported by a rotary forklift 40 that inserts its fork into the fork receptacle feet 14 of the lowermost of the stacked and nested containers 10, carries the containers to a transport vehicle, such as a flat bed truck 44, and lowers the nested containers until the fork receptacle feet 14 of the lowermost container rests on the flat bed of the truck. The operator then retracts the forklift from the containers, leaving the containers in their upright, nested, stacked configuration on the truck. The truck then transports the stacked and nested containers to the job site.

Once the containers are received at the job site on the truck 44, the rotary forklift 40 moves its fork 41 into the fork receptacle feet 14 of the lowermost container 10 and lifts the nested containers from the truck. The operator then moves the containers still in their upright attitude to the location where it is convenient to distribute single ones of the containers.

When the forklift operator has transported the stacked and nested containers to a convenient location, he tilts the stacked containers as shown in FIG. 6 so that the containers in the upper portion of the stack come to rest on their sides on the ground surface 45. Without withdrawing the fork from the lower container, the fork lift operator then withdraws the lowermost container 10A in the lateral direction as indicated by arrow 47, leaving the other containers 10B-10E on the ground surface. The operator then reorients the container 10A to its upright attitude and carries it to a convenient location where the container is available for receiving debris. This continues until all of the containers 10B-10E have been suitably relocated.

Once the containers 10 have been distributed at the building site, the fork lift may be mounted on the truck and moved with the truck to another job.

While the nested containers may be deposited on the ground on their sides as shown in FIG. 6, the operator has the option to invert the nested stack of containers and deposit the nested stack in an inverted attitude and continue with the removal of the containers from the upper portion of the inverted stack and transport the containers one at a time to their respective positions at collection sites.

The construction people at the construction sites will deposit debris, such as leftover building materials, remnants of building materials, sawdust, etc. into the containers 10.

After a time lapse in which it is anticipated that the containers will be substantially full of debris, the forklift operator will return with the truck and the forklift and retrieve the filled containers by inserting forks into the fork receptacle feet 14, 15 of the containers, lift them away from the ground and transport them to a trash bin, such as trash bin 50 of FIG. 7. The operator lifts and moves each container to a height that reaches over an adjacent edge of the trash bin 50 and then rotates the forks, resulting in the container becoming inverted as shown by the dash line position of FIG. 7. This effectively dumps all of the debris from the container 10.

The operator then returns the container 10 to its upright position and returns the container to a suitable collection site where it will be available for collecting additional debris.

A feature of the invention is the convenience of operation of the rotary forklift 40, the truck 44, and the nested and stacked containers 10. Usually the forklift is able to lift all of the containers in a nested stack of containers away from the truck, deposit the upper containers 10B-10E on their sides on the ground as shown in FIG. 6, or invert the nested stack, while continuing to support the lowermost container 10A, and then continue to operate to pick the containers one at a time from the stack and move them to the construction sites.

When another container is to be retrieved from the nested stack of FIG. 6 that rests on its side or from an inverted stack, the fork lift operator returns, reorients the fork and engages the container 10A that receives the other containers and then moves it away from the remaining stack of containers resting on the ground and transports the retrieved container to its collection site. This continues until all of the containers of the nested stack have been retrieved and distributed.

Likewise, when the containers are to be retrieved from their construction site and emptied in the trash bin 50, the rotary forklift slides its fork into the fork receptacle feet 14, lifts the container and transports it to the trash bin 50, then transports the container to an accumulation site where the containers will be nested. The next containers are likewise emptied and transported to the assembly area and lifted over the previously accumulated containers and lowered until the fork engages the rim 23 of a lower container, and then the fork is withdrawn laterally, pulling out from beneath the upper container and allowing the upper container to drop down into the lower container.

Once the containers have been so accumulated in a nested stack, the lowermost container is re-engaged by the fork of the rotary forklift and the nested stack is lifted and transported to the truck 44 where it will be deposited so as to travel with the truck and the fork lift to another location.

The containers are formed of a thermoset plastic, such as polyvinylchloride, polyethylene, or other plastics that are of relatively light weight in comparison to metal containers. This provides the forklift with the ability to lift, transport and handle more containers at one time. Further, the strengthening ribs 25-29 tend to bear the brunt of impact and friction between containers as they are placed in or retrieved from their nested stacked relationship. This tends to minimize the wear on the adjacent flat surfaces of the side walls of the body portion of the container. Also, the relatively small width of the strengthening ribs usually assures that the containers will not be stuck together in a nested configuration so that the containers can be easily separated.

The fork receptacle feet 14 and 15 of the container are bolted to the bottom wall of the body portion 12 of the container so that if the fork receptacle feet become damaged, they can be removed and replaced by substitute feet.

The terms “ground” and “horizontal surface” are used herein to designate any substantially horizontal surface on which the containers may be deposited. The rotary fork lifts that are used to handle the containers are of conventional construction.

Although preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of the disclosed embodiments can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.