Title:
Pallet table
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A table comprising a substantially flat base member having an upper surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device and a plurality of legs, each of which can be attached to the bored holes so as to create a table.



Inventors:
Korbonski, Jon (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/401830
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
04/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jon Korbonski (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A table comprising: a substantially flat base member having an upper surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device; and a plurality of legs, each of which can be attached to the bored holes so as to create a table.

2. A table comprising: at least two substantially flat base members, each having an upper surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device; and a plurality of legs which can be attached to the bored holes so as to create a table.

3. A portable shelving comprising: a first set of at least two substantially flat base members, each having an upper surface and a bottom surface, each said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device; a first plurality of vertical poles which can be attached to the bored holes at a first end and a horizontal shelf member matable on a first side with the first plurality of vertical poles; a second plurality of vertical poles which mate with the second side of the first shelf at the first end; and a second set of at least two substantially flat base members, each having an upper surface and a bottom surface, each said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device and having bores which mate with the second set of vertical poles at the second end.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit to provisional application 60/776,302 filed on Feb. 24, 2006 entitled “Pallet Table”, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to the field of pallets. In particular, the present invention is a pallet that converts to a table of the type that can be used in a trade show or the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Thousands of companies throughout the world participate in trade shows. Many of these entities utilize specially built furniture and the like which support their displays. One of the most difficult and expensive parts of trade shows is the assembly, disassembly and movement of the display. It would be described to have a table and platform system which could be collapsed as a pallet for easy movements and storage.

There have been a number of inventions directed to the area of shipping pallets. U.S. Patent No. 20050120921 dated Jun. 9, 2005 to Baechle discloses a single use disposable, recyclable paper pallet for supporting products during storage and shipping is provided. The pallet comprises a corrugated panel resting on multiple, parallel corrugated runners locked together by lateral supports. The runners are made from blanks folded into elongated open-ended box-like shapes. The folded runners have perforated tabs that extend upwards from the top surface of the runners and configured to receive the lateral supports. The lateral supports are formed from a sheet of convolutely wound, formed laminated paper and provide lateral strength so the pallet can be handled with a clamp truck.

U.S. Patent No. 20050081763 dated Apr. 21, 2005 to Ramirez von Holle discloses a collapsible shipping pallet incorporates a substantially planar deck with multiple stringers removably attached to the bottom of the deck. Shouldered holes arranged in linear spaced relation at predetermined stringer attachment locations on the deck engage resilient slotted pins extending from a top edge each stringer. Multiple slats, each extending perpendicularly to the stringers and removably received in a relief on a bottom edge of each stringer are attached to the stringers also using resilient slotted pins. The stringers support triangular jaws inserted in triangular recesses in an end portion of the stringer to receive and restrain pallet straps. An aperture in the side of the stringer allows insertion of a slotted crank to tension the pallet straps. The deck incorporates slots adapted to receive keys to extend above the surface of the deck engaging receiving slots in a first layer of stacking boxes.

U.S. Patent No. 20050036847 dated Feb. 17, 2005 to Brackmann et al. discloses a cargo transportation system comprising secure (fully closeable and lockable), sealable, stackable, trackable, universal, auto-latching “pallet boxes” that may be used in two main ways: 1) secured to the undercarriage transverse I-beams of over-the-road semi-trailers by means of loading alignment and hanger assemblies that provide positive locking-in-place; and 2) stackable, up to three or more high, inside the trailer bodies. The inventive pallet boxes are designed to be secured by auto-latching hanger assemblies that are retrofittable on individual types of semi-trailer undercarriages, both US and metric (European, Central and South American, and Asian) standard dimensions. The pallet boxes include vertical sidewall load-bearing channel members permitting stacking fully-loaded pallet boxes three or more high. The pallet boxes may be refrigerated, insulated, or atmospherically controlled, e.g., chargeable with preservative, security or disinfecting gases, during shipping.

U.S. Patent No. 20050029141 dated Feb. 10, 2005 to Cornelius et al. discloses a container for shipping screens for large screen television sets has a screen support platform with a top surface for supporting a plurality of the screens stacked thereon. A pallet is integrated with the screen support platform, and a tubular side wall having an open top end and an open bottom end is adapted to rest at its bottom end on the pallet, with the side wall disposed around a stack of screens supported on the platform. A cover is provided for placement over the open top end of the tubular side wall. The screen support platform, pallet, side wall, and cover are all constructed of corrugated cardboard. In a preferred embodiment, a tray forms the top deck of the pallet, and the support platform is received in the tray.

U.S. Patent No. 20050023168 dated Feb. 3, 2005 to Marnocha discloses a light-weight, disposable and re-cycleable base for shipping and displaying multiple product packaging units, and which may be capable of supporting relatively heavy product loads. Several corrugated fiberboard support units having an internal brace element may be secured to each other to create a base. The base is placed upon a pallet and one or more layers of product cases containing the product to be shipped and displayed are placed on top of the base. Advertising graphics advertising the product to be displayed and sold may be placed on the exterior of the base or on a sleeve or wrap secured to the base for that purpose. The base and products may be secured together by for shipping. The entire system may be loaded by forklift into a standard trailer and a second unit may be loaded directly on top of the first unit. The units may be shipped to the end user, unloaded and placed directly on a sales floor display and sale of the products.

U.S. Patent No. 20040251154 dated Dec. 16, 2004 to Kullbeth discloses a pallet assembly having a lid and a pallet, either or both of which can include one or more cam lock assemblies. A sleeve can be placed between the lid and pallet with the lid and pallet cam lock assemblies engaging the sleeve to secure the pallet for shipping things. Alternatively, the sleeve can be folded and placed between the lid and pallet with the lid cam lock assemblies engaging the pallet to secure the pallet assembly for empty return and later reuse.

U.S. Patent No. 20040226157 dated Nov. 18, 2004 to Isle discloses a reusable shipping pallet formed from plastic parts and a method of assembling the same. The pallet comprises at least two I-beam constructs, each of the I-beam constructs having a first beam end, a second beam end and a longitudinal beam axis extending therethrough, each of the I-beam constructs having a top beam portion and a bottom beam portion, and each of the I-beam constructs having a dovetail projection along the top beam portion and extending in a direction parallel to the longitudinal beam axis; and at least one deck board having a first board end, a second board end and a longitudinal board axis extending therethrough, the at least one deck board having a top board portion and a bottom board portion, the at least one deck board having at least two dovetail slots formed in the bottom board portion, the dovetail slots being substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal board axis and being configured to compliment a shape of the dovetail projection; wherein the pallet is assembled by inserting each of the dovetail projections into a corresponding dovetail slot of the at least one deck board.

U.S. Patent No. 20040107879 dated Jun. 10, 2004 to Schultz discloses a reinforcement plate for the bottom of a pallet-like support base supported on corner and center feet and on a base frame, especially for pallet containers, is provided with a stacking aid for stacking several reinforcement plates for shipping and storage purposes.

U.S. Patent No. 20030209172 dated Nov. 13, 2003 to Brennan et al. discloses a shipping pallet comprising a rectangular planar base member having two opposing ends and two opposing sides. Pivotally connected to one of the ends of the base member is a handle member that is adapted to be pivoted from a stored position, wherein the handle member is folded on top of the base member, to an operative position, wherein the handle member extends upwardly from the base member. The under surface of the base member includes a pair of elongated spaced apart pockets that extend the length of the base member on either side of the center line thereof. An elongated rail is associated with each of the pockets. Hydraulic rams or other power devices move the rails between a first position wherein they are within the pockets so that the planar base member of the pallet rests directly on a support surface and a second position where the rails extend downwardly to support the pallet thereon. The pallets and handle members are so configured and dimensioned so that the handle fits between the elongated rails of the pallet positioned directly above or within a recess of that pallet so as not to interfere with the ability to stack a plurality of pallets on top of each other.

U.S. Patent No. 20030005862 dated Jan. 9, 2003 to Halavais discloses a shipping pallet typically consists of slats and runners arranged to provide a top surface and open access underneath for a fork lift type device and is used to store and/or transport a variety of products. The modular ecological shipping pallet of the present invention offers significant advantage over present state of the art in the field. It is stronger, lighter, stiffer and more rigid, more economical, and ecologically sound. The present invention features a combination of design elements than utilize the most effective geometric shapes to increase strength and reduce weight. It allows manufacture from a multitude of potential materials and even allows combinations of different materials within the same component so as to enhance desirable features. With the above stated improvements in the art, the present invention satisfies a need in the marketplace and materially effects world commerce and preservation of the ecology.

U.S. Patent No. 20020139798 dated Oct. 3, 2002 to Beall discloses a shipping pallet is provided. The shipping pallet includes a bottom panel, side panels, end panels and a top panel. Hook rods affixed to supports of the side panels engage support hooks attached to cross-braces of the bottom panel. End connectors associated with supports of the end panels protrude through orifices defined in supports of the side panels to attach the end panels to the side panels. Top clips affixed to supports of the top panel engage a J-channel of each side panel, thereby connecting the top panel to the side panels.

U.S. Patent No. 20020078863 dated Jun. 27, 2002 to Marr et al. discloses a lightweight, high-strength metal pallet is provided that includes a deck and a plurality of runners. Each one of the runners includes either a box-like skin and cellular support members disposed therein or a vertical web disposed within the cellular support members. The deck may also be formed of plywood or similar material. The cellular support members are oriented substantially vertically within the runner skin, and preferably form hex-cells, such that the pallet may withstand some crushing or other damage without catastrophic failure. Preferably, the deck, the skins or the webs and the support members are formed of ungalvanized steel to enable the steel pallet to be disposed in a steel remelt furnace after a single service, such as shipping refractory bricks to a steel manufacturing facility. The pallet may be formed of coated or galvanized steel for re-use. Pallets formed of other metals are also disclosed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,938,557 dated Sep. 6, 2005 to Grigsby, Jr. discloses a top and end frame assembly (10) attachable to a pallet (12) for packing, shipping, and storing heavy articles, with a pair of stringers (20) made with open-sided U-shaped channels and connected together by transverse members (22, 24). Two pairs of opposing corner posts (50) each formed of an open-sided U-shaped channel pivotally attach at respective opposing distal ends of the stringers (20). Each corner post (50) moves between a folded position with the corner posts received in the respective stringer for shipping in a knocked-down position and an extended position for attaching to a pallet for a frame container. Two pairs of opposing side diagonal members (36) pivotally attach to a respective one of the stringers and move between a received position within the stringer and a diagonal position for pinning at an opposing end to a respective one of the corner posts. The corner posts being pivoted to the extended position attach at distal ends to the pallet (12) for containing heavy equipment.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,857,377 dated Feb. 22, 2005 to Herring, et al. discloses a shipping pallet that has a load bearing deck with a plurality of domes that provide high strength, stiffness, and rigidity to the deck, and an undercarriage for supporting the deck and for receiving a forklift, palletjack, hand truck, or other automated machinery. Each dome is defined by an apex located proximate to the upper surface of the deck and a plurality of legs extending from the apex and ending at the lower surface of the deck. The domes are arranged adjacent to each other and define an array such that a load applied to the upper surface of the deck, substantially on the apex of the domes, will cause the applied forces from the load to be transmitted substantially laterally along the legs of the arches thereby producing intersecting compressive forces between adjacent domes that enable the load bearing deck to have high strength, stiffness, and rigidity.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,996,510 dated Dec. 7, 1999 to Harpman, et al. discloses a shipping pallet having strong lightweight recyclable support surfaces and rigid reusable support stringers incorporated within. The pallet uses corrugated cardboard sheets that are precision cut and scored to be formed about the rigid reusable support stringers. A cardboard reinforcing surface sheet is secured by adhesive bond to the enclosed support stringers defining a completed pallet.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,911,179 dated Jun. 15, 1999 to Spiczka discloses a pallet including a ramp and two slide assemblies inserted between the pallet surface and the article to be shipped. The ramp is pivotally attached as part of the pallet structure and may be folded up during shipping and down during unloading. The slide assemblies include a strip of material with a low coefficient of friction to facilitate sliding on the pallet surface and the ramp.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,112,672 dated Sep. 5, 2000 to Heil discloses a selectively arrangeable pallet for supporting conventional and unconventional loads and for reducing shock and vibrations on the loads. The selectively arrangeable pallet includes a base and a tray. The base and tray are selectively arrangeable in an overlaying relationship relative to each other in a nested configuration and alternatively in an expanded configuration. The tray is capable of being inverted relative to the base into the nested configuration to permit a first load-bearing surface of the tray to support the conventional loads and into the expanded configuration to permit a second load-bearing surface to support the unconventional loads. The second load-bearing surface of the tray includes a plurality of relatively spaced support pads for reducing shock and vibration. The support pads correspond with a plurality of relatively spaced recess in an upper surface of the base. The recesses extend through the upper surface of the base down into a plurality of relatively spaced support blocks extending from a lower surface of the base. The support blocks also reduce shock and vibration. In the nested configuration, the support pads nest within the recesses and, in the expanded position, the support pads support the unconventional loads.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,907,515 dated Mar. 13, 1990 to Win discloses a shipping pallet comprising a load deck of plastic shrink wrap film, wrapped about a pallet frame, said film being in its heat shrunk condition. The method of preparing the same comprising, after wrapping the plastic film with heat shrinkable oriented thermoplastic film, subjecting the arrangement to a temperature sufficient to heat shrink the film to a taut product supporting condition.

U.S. Pat. No. RE32,344 dated Feb. 3, 1987 to Wind discloses a shipping container comprising a pallet as the bottom thereof, an inverted identical pallet as the top thereof, and a peripheral sleeve forming load-bearing side walls mating with each pallet via a peripheral sleeve-receiving groove defined by a peripheral rim. The unitary pallet is configured so that a bottom pallet of one container will mate with the inverted top pallet of a lower container, when containers are stacked, in such a way as to prevent shifting between containers. Said pallets are also self-nesting for transport or storage when unloaded. The containers will stack even if vertically adjacent mutually inverse pallets are rotated 180° in a horizontal plane with respect to each other. This ability to tolerate a 180° rotation is provided by depending members and platform members of the pallet feet, oriented so that (i) a 180° rotation of the pallet in the plane of the pallet results in a depending member/platform member pattern the same as the pattern prior to rotation and (ii) a 180° rotation of the pallet about a center line lying in the plane of the pallet results in a depending member/platform member pattern which engages the unrotated depending member/platform member pattern in mutually abutting relationship. The pallets also have their feet so disposed to permit fourway fork lift entry. An alternative embodiment is provided wherein said pallets are nestable and stackable at 90° intervals of relative rotation. The questions raised in reexamination request No. 90/000,636, filed Sep. 24, 1984, have been considered and the results thereof are reflected in this reissue patent which constitutes the reexamination certificate required by 35 U.S.C. 307 as provided in

U.S. Pat. No. 4,413,737 dated Nov. 8, 1983 to Wind discloses a shipping container comprising a pallet as the bottom thereof, an inverted identical pallet as the top thereof, and a peripheral sleeve forming load-bearing side walls mating with each pallet via a peripheral sleeve-receiving groove defined by a peripheral rim. The unitary pallet is configured so that a bottom pallet of one container will mate with the inverted top pallet of a lower container, when containers are stacked, in such a way as to prevent shifting between containers. Said pallets are also self-nesting for transport or storage when unloaded. The containers will stack even if vertically adjacent mutually inverse pallets are rotated 180° in a horizontal plane with respect to each other. This ability to tolerate a 180° rotation is provided by depending members and platform members of the pallet feet, oriented so that (i) a 180° rotation of the pallet in the plane of the pallet results in a depending member/platform member pattern the same as the pattern prior to rotation and (ii) a 180° rotation of the pallet about a center line lying in the plane of the pallet results in a depending member/platform member pattern which engages the unrotated depending member/platform member pattern in mutually abutting relationship. The pallets also have their feet so disposed to permit four-way fork lift entry. An alternative embodiment is provided wherein said pallets are nestable and stackable at 90° intervals of relative rotation.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,418,861 dated Jul. 16, 2002 to Flam discloses a modular pallet construction allowing the formation of storage pallets of varying sizes and configurations. The pallet includes a top deck formed from a plurality of plate members interconnected to create a storage platform. The number and orientation of the plate members dictates the configuration of the top deck. The top deck is supported by beams which create a space beneath the top deck into which lift forks may be inserted to transport the pallet and its contents. In order to reduce the weight of the pallet yet provide ample strength, the plate members are formed with a core of high density expanded foam encapsulated in a rigid coating material.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,860,369 dated Jan. 19, 1999 to John, et al. discloses an interlocking modular pallet apparatus and method of construction which includes plastic modular platform sections aligned in a two-by-two arrangement with interlocking flanges between the adjoining surfaces of the platform sections. A plurality of leg structures extend down from the lower surface of the platform sections. A center conical support structure with a locking lip or tab is formed by the adjoinment of the platform sections. A band or ring of durable material, e.g. metal, is placed onto the conical structure to draw and lock together, via the locking tab and ring, the adjoining platform sections. A series of upper and lower frictional, rubberized pads are aligned and interlocked through the lattice holes along the perimeter of the pallet lattice.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,007,352 dated Apr. 16, 1991 to Calkoen discloses a load bearing pallet construction which avoids problems associated with conventional wood constructions. The pallet construction consists of a plurality of pallet forming members, arranged in two layers and defining lift fork receiving openings between the two layers. Each of the pallet forming members has a length equal to a width dimension of the pallet construction with the direction of pallet forming members in one of the layers being crossed relative to the direction of the pallet forming members in the other of the layers. Fasteners connect together pallet forming members in the two layers.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,000,704 dated Jan. 4, 1977 to Griffin, Jr. discloses a shipping tray or pallet which can serve either as a top or bottom support tray for a shipping container that allows for nesting of one or more trays so that only a minimum amount of space is required when returning empty trays and an improved method for interlocking foot portions or legs of two stacked trays so that safer and more stable stacking is possible and lateral shifting of one tray with respect to another when in a stacked configuration is prohibited. Each of the foot portions of the trays is provided with male and female reinforcing ribs which will interlock with complementary legs on a similarly designed tray.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,006 dated Aug. 14, 2001 to Reutter discloses a pallet assembly including a main base pallet and at least one small pallet. The main base pallet includes alignment ribs and alignment recesses. The at least one small pallet is configured for removable placement in the alignment recesses of the main base pallet to be maintained in position by the alignment ribs of the main base pallet. The at least one small pallet includes a handle adapted for carrying the at least one small pallet and for laterally supporting objects resting on the at least one small pallet.

U.S. Pat. No. D388,931 dated Jan. 6, 1998 to Constantino et al. discloses an ornamental design for a set of pallet legs.

While there have been a number of pallet designs and related devices, there is a need for a system in which a table and the like can collapse into a pallet for ease of transportation and storage.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a system whereby a pallet can be converted to a table for use.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a system for a table and displays to be moved by pallet movers and forklifts.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a table with pallet openings.

It is further object of the present invention to provide a stacking or shelving system comprising pallet members.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first embodiment, the invention is a table comprising a substantially flat base member having an upper surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device; and a plurality of legs, each of which can be attached to the bored holes so as to create a table.

In a second embodiment, the invention is a table comprising at least two substantially flat base members, each having an upper surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device; and a plurality of legs which can be attached to the bored holes so as to create a table.

In still a further embodiment, the invention is a portable shelving comprising a first set of at least two substantially flat base members, each having an upper surface and a bottom surface, each said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device; a first plurality of vertical poles which can be attached to the bored holes at a first end and a horizontal shelf member matable on a first side with the first plurality of vertical poles; a second plurality of vertical poles which mate with the second side of the first shelf at the first end; and a second set of least two substantially flat base members, each having an upper surface and a bottom surface, each said bottom surface further having a plurality of bore holes and two parallel grooved tracks configured to receive the lift arms of a pallet moving device and having bores which mate with the second set of vertical poles at the second end.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the pallet table of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an underside view of the pallet table in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2a illustrates a pallet mover for use with the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates the pallet table of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a pallet table with a skirt.

FIG. 5 is a pallet table joined together.

FIG. 6 is a pallet table with a skirt.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the invention as a stackable system.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention is described with reference to the enclosed Figures wherein the same marks are used. In the most preferred embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1 to 5, the invention comprises of a substantially flat base member 10 comprising a pallet table 10 which can be easily constructed, assembled and disassembled. In a most preferred embodiment, the pallet table 10 may be constructed from a variety of materials, including polymers, woods and metals. As shown, the pallet table or rack comprises at least two sections which are joined together by joints 15. The two sections are rectangular 10a, 10b with two short sides and two long sides.

The pallet table has a top flat surface 12 which functions as a table top 12a. The bottom of the pallet has a plurality of bored areas 14. The bored areas 14 are designed to hold and support legs 16 which screw therein. The bottom surface further includes a pair of parallel grooves 18 which mate with the lift arms of a forklift or pallet mover 17 as shown in FIG. 2a.

In operation, the pallet surface 12 is converted into a table by screwing in the supportive legs 16 to the bores on the bottom of the pallet member and then turning the pallet over. The pallet can, for example, convert to a piece of tradeshow furniture for easy shipping, assembly and dis-assembly.

As shown, the pallet member can comprise a plurality of base members 10a, 10b which are joined together by one or more joints 15. The table comprises of the pallet sections with legs. The legs hold the table in an upright position. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the pallet can connect to form a table either by joining the long or short sides together.

FIG. 3 illustrates the pallet table in an upright position as shown. The pallet comprises of two pallet members 10 which are held together by two joints 15. As shown in FIG. 4, the table can be skirted 23 for use at a trade show. As shown in FIG. 5, the pallet 10 can be locked together lengthwise by joints 15. FIG. 6 illustrates the lengthwise embodiment with a skirt 21.

FIG. 7 illustrates a stacked embodiment in which the pallets can be used for shelving. In this embodiment, the system can be sold as a kit. Two pallet member sets 10 form the respective top and bottom of the shelving. The kit includes a plurality of vertical poles 30, and shelve members 32. The poles 30 mate with the bores 14 and with the support shelves which are situationally between the pallet members 10. When the system is no longer in use, the poles and shelves can be packed away.

The present invention has been described with reference to the enclosed Figures. The true nature and scope of the invention is to be determined with reference to the claims appended hereto. For example, the present invention has been described in the context of shelving and tables, the teachings of the invention are applicable to a wide array of products, including cabinets, podiums, lockable cabinets, desks, chairs and any type of furniture.