Title:
Whole house conveyance machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention comprises a plurality of steel framing members that are permanently or semi-permanently affixed to one another to create an integral frame that does not have to be completely recreated to perform successive home movements on different sized homes and has sufficient structural integrity and dynamic load support systems to transport a house without causing cracking and breakage of brittle finishes. Multi-tire transportation assemblies support the frame on its bottom side. An integral system of hydraulic jacks that have bending moment capability are affixed to the integral frame to allow the integral frame to be elevated and lowered while remaining stable so that the multi-tire transportation assemblies can either be spun or removed, the integral frame can be leveled, or the integral frame can be elevated and lowered to the required elevation of a foundation or the dock of the manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses.



Inventors:
Cohen, David L. (Englewood, CO, US)
Cohen, Roger B. (Lakewood, CO, US)
Dehmlow, Lee B. (Denver, CO, US)
Kersting, Lawrence M. (Buena Vista, CO, US)
Fordham, Alan L. (Castle Rock, CO, US)
White, Scott C. (Parker, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/804178
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/17/2007
Assignee:
Intellectual Property, LLC (Denver, CO, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/34
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ADAMS, GREGORY W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SQUIRE PB (DC Office) (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A whole house conveyance machine for efficiently transporting and placing standard size dwellings on a foundation at a delivery location, comprising: a plurality of framing members affixed to one another in a predetermined arrangement to create an integral frame which provides a planar surface and has sufficient structural integrity to support a house placed on the planar surface; and a plurality of transportation assemblies attached to an underside of the integral frame to support the integral frame on its bottom side and enable movement of the integral frame in a vertical direction, wherein at least two of the transportation assemblies are interlinked to enable the plurality of transportation assemblies to be cooperatively operative to maintain said planar surface.

2. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 1 wherein said integral frame comprises: a plurality of interconnected boxes, with each side of each of said plurality of interconnected boxes being formed of one of said plurality of framing members.

3. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 2 wherein said integral frame further comprises: bracing members that span a plurality of the boxes formed by the structural steel members to act as stiffeners for the integral frame.

4. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 1 wherein each of said plurality of transportation assemblies comprises: a multi-tire transportation assembly attached to an underside of the integral frame to support the integral frame on its bottom side and enable movement of the integral frame over a surface.

5. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 1 wherein each of said transportation assembly comprises: pivot means, connected to said integral frame or transportation assembly for enabling said transportation assembly to rotate about said pivot means.

6. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 5 further comprising: a steering linkage apparatus to interlink and coordinate the turning of several of the transportation assemblies about their respective pivot means.

7. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 4 further comprising: at least one transportation assembly leveling means connected to at least two of said transportation assemblies for dynamically regulating an equivalent vertical support force on at least two of said connected transportation assemblies to maintain said planar surface.

8. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 1 further comprising: a plurality of jack means, connected to the integral frame, to elevate and lower the integral frame while providing an ability to maintain a substantially planar positioning of the integral frame.

9. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 8 further comprising: at least one jack leveling means connected to at least two of said plurality of jack means for dynamically regulating an equivalent vertical support force on at least two of said jack means to provide a means to raise and lower said integral frame while maintaining a level or near-level status of said planar surface.

10. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 8 wherein each of said plurality of jack means is affixed to a side of a respective one of the structural beams of the integral frame and are activated in coordination with at least one of the other jack means thereby to enable the precise control of the vertical position and level of the planar surface of the integral frame.

11. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 8 wherein said plurality of jack means are arranged in pairs to enable the integral frame to be raised in a “stair-step” manner.

12. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 1 further comprising: design details located at the perimeter of said integral frame to facilitate the connection of roller beams to span the gap between the integral frame and the foundation and upon which the home is rolled from the integral frame to the foundation.

13. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 1 further comprising: roller means affixed to said integral frame to enable movement of said home across said planar surface.

14. A whole house conveyance machine for efficiently transporting and placing standard size dwellings on a foundation at a delivery location, comprising: a plurality of interconnected box frames affixed to one another in a predetermined arrangement to create an integral frame which provides a planar surface and has sufficient structural integrity to support a house placed on the planar surface; a plurality of transportation assemblies attached to an underside of the integral frame to support the integral frame on its bottom side and enable movement of the integral frame in a vertical direction; a plurality of pivot means, connected to said integral frame or transportation assembly, for enabling an associated transportation assembly to rotate about said pivot means; and at least one transportation assembly leveling means connected to at least two of said transportation assemblies for dynamically regulating an equivalent vertical support force on at least two of said connected transportation assemblies to maintain said planar surface.

15. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 14 wherein said integral frame further comprises: bracing members that span a plurality of the boxes formed by the structural steel members to act as stiffeners for the integral frame.

16. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 14 further comprising: a steering linkage apparatus to interlink and coordinate the turning of several of the transportation assemblies about their respective pivot means.

17. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 14 wherein each of said plurality of transportation assemblies comprises: a multi-tire transportation assembly attached to an underside of the integral frame to support the integral frame on its bottom side and enable movement of the integral frame over a surface.

18. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 14 further comprising: a plurality of jack means, connected to the integral frame, to elevate and lower the integral frame while providing an ability to maintain a substantially planar positioning of the integral frame.

19. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 18 further comprising: at least one jack leveling means connected to at least two of said plurality of jack means for dynamically regulating an equivalent vertical support force on at least two of said jack means to provide a means to raise and lower said integral frame while maintaining a level or near-level status of said planar surface.

20. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 18 wherein each of said plurality of jack means is affixed to a side of a respective one of the box frames of the integral frame and are activated in coordination with at least one of the other jack means thereby to enable the precise control of the vertical position and level of the planar surface of the integral frame.

21. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 18 wherein said plurality of jack means are arranged in pairs to enable the integral frame to be raised in a “stair-step” manner.

22. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 14 further comprising: design details located at the perimeter of said integral frame to facilitate the connection of roller beams to span the gap between the integral frame and the foundation and upon which the home is rolled from the integral frame to the foundation.

23. The whole house conveyance machine of claim 14 further comprising: roller means affixed to said integral frame to enable movement of said home across said planar surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This Application is a Non-Provisional Application of Provisional (35 USC 119(e)) Application No. 60/801465 filed on May 17, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an apparatus for efficiently transporting and placing standard size dwellings, which are constructed in a manufacturing facility that can be erected near a large housing development, on to pre-constructed permanent foundations in the housing development. These standard size dwellings, as defined herein, have an abundance of architectural and floor plan flexibility, high volume rooms and, typically, living areas of 1,000 square feet or more on one or two levels, not including basements.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is a problem that housing traditionally has been a production practice that occurs at each home construction location. As such, the transportation function that is associated with homebuilding (e.g., related to materials delivery) is accomplished with conventional trucks and trailers that operate within the constraints associated with public roadway operation.

It is known that a factory is a more efficient production environment than field production practices. Factory production is most often employed in the housing industry only for building materials, components of a home, and to some extent for larger factory built sub-assemblies. Examples of factory-built components for a home include: window units, door units, roof trusses, cabinets, mechanical units, stairs, etc. Examples of larger factory-built sub-assemblies include: wall panels, modular sections of a home, etc. All of these building materials, components, and larger factory-built sub-assemblies are transported to each home construction location on conventional trucks and trailers that are commonly in use in the transportation industry.

Public road shipping imposes significant dimensional constraints on what can be built in a factory, and is often the governing criteria which control the use of factories in the home building industry. As an example, the modular home industry builds products that are box-like, with widths typically less than 14 feet and heights typically less than 9 feet. This is because dimensions that exceed this infringe on public transportation standards, including established standards for oversize loads. Therefore, notwithstanding the advantages of a factory environment, the use of transportation devices for delivery in the homebuilding industry has been largely restricted to conventional trucks and trailers that are designed for widespread operation on public streets.

A departure from this traditional home construction paradigm is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 6,253,504, titled “Manufacturing Facility For Production Of Standard Size Dwellings” and U.S. Pat. No. 6,000,192, titled “Method Of Production Of Standard Size Dwellings,” which disclose both a manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses and a method of building a residential community with an onsite factory approach. However, a significant problem remains because there is a need for an effective mechanism for loading standard size houses at the manufacturing facility, moving them to their destination, and subsequently placing them on their respective foundations.

The moving of pre-existing structures is a well-established practice with common procedures and equipment. The standard practice of the structure moving industry is to place individual structural steel beams under the structure to be moved in a customized arrangement designed for each move and then lift the structure off its existing foundation. Multi-tire transportation assemblies then are affixed underneath the structural steel beams to allow the structure to be moved. This process is effective for singular moves, but it is a very time-consuming and complex process to determine the unique position of the multitude of individual structural steel beams and the associated multi-tire transportation assemblies for each move. In addition, the placement of the structure on a foundation at the final destination is likewise a time-consuming ad-hoc process that requires the precise positioning of the structure over the new foundation, which may have cutouts formed therein to accommodate the structural steel beams that support the structure being moved. The structure then is lowered onto the new foundation, the steel support beams are pulled out from under the structure, and the transportation assemblies are removed. This practice is economically prohibitive in a repetitive, fast-paced whole-house production environment and also fraught with danger to the workers moving and placing the structures. The precise positioning of the structure on the foundation is painstaking, and it is overly difficult to quickly adjust the height and alignment of the structure as it is being transported or placed on its new foundation.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above-described problems are solved and a technical advance achieved by the present Whole House Conveyance Machine that provides an efficient mechanism for the transportation and placement of standard size houses (also termed “whole houses” herein) from a factory to individual sites with pre-constructed foundations specifically designed to accept these standard size dwellings.

The Whole House Conveyance Machine comprises a plurality of steel framing members that are permanently or semi-permanently affixed to one another in a predetermined arrangement to create an integral frame that does not have to be completely recreated to perform successive home movements on homes with dimensions that can vary. The integral frame has a planar top surface and is of sufficient structural integrity to support a standard size dwelling (house) that has certain brittle finishes, such that the integral frame does not unduly deflect and cause cracking and breakage of the brittle finishes. Multi-tire transportation assemblies support the integral frame on its bottom side. The Whole House Conveyance Machine has an integral system of hydraulic jacks that have bending moment capability and that is affixed to the integral frame to allow the integral frame to be elevated and lowered while remaining stable so that the multi-tire transportation assemblies can either be spun or removed, the integral frame can be leveled, the integral frame can be elevated and lowered to the required elevation of a foundation, or which allow the integral frame to be adjusted to the proper elevation at the dock area of the manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses. The Whole House Conveyance Machine may have a steering linkage apparatus to interlink and coordinate the turning of several of its multi-tire transportation assemblies. The Whole House Conveyance Machine also has design details at the perimeter that facilitate the connection of the machine to the factory dock, as well as for the connection of roller beams that span the space between the machine and the foundation, and upon which the home is rolled from the machine to the foundation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a perspective view and a top plan view, respectively, of the Whole House Conveyance Machine of the present invention;

FIGS. 3A-3D illustrate a side view of the sequence of operations required to relocate a standard size dwelling from the Whole House Conveyance Machine of the present invention to a foundation;

FIG. 4 illustrates one of the multi-tire transportation assemblies;

FIG. 5 illustrates the integral system of hydraulic jacks that have bending moment capability affixed to the integral frame that allows the integral frame to be elevated or lowered while remaining stable so that the multi-tire transportation assemblies can either be spun or removed, the integral frame can be leveled, the integral frame can be elevated or lowered to the required elevation of a foundation, or which allow the integral frame to be adjusted to the proper elevation at the dock area of the manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses;

FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of the integral frame near the perimeter where it is “sculpted-up” to create more clearance below the integral frame, and a lesser thickness of integral frame at the perimeter, to allow the integral frame to travel more easily over fire hydrants and utility boxes that are frequently found in subdivisions as well as design details at the perimeter that facilitate the connection of roller beams that will span from the machine to the foundation upon which the home will be rolled from the machine to the foundation; and

FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate an example of the rollers that are used to transport the standard size dwelling from the Whole House Conveyance Machine to the foundation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,253,504, titled “Manufacturing Facility For Production Of Standard Size Dwellings” and U.S. Pat. No. 6,000,192, titled “Method Of Production Of Standard Size Dwellings,” a manufacturing facility can be used to bring standard size home building comprehensively within a controlled environment. The main structure of the standard size home building manufacturing facility is sufficiently tall enough to allow assembly and movement of standard size homes within. Materials and supplies can be efficiently purchased and handled in bulk for use within the standard size home building manufacturing facility. At least two production lines exist within the standard size home building manufacturing facility, each building and assembling different components for the finished housing product. All finishes, cabinets, appliances, roofs, paint, etc., can be installed in the partially completed dwellings prior to houses leaving the production floor. The standard size home building manufacturing facility allows a standard size home under construction to be advanced via a transport element from one production line to the next until complete. The completed homes are subsequently transported on the Whole House Conveyance Machine over a controlled access roadway to individual sites with pre-constructed foundations specifically designed to accept these standard size dwellings. The standard size house must then be relocated from the Whole House Conveyance Machine and placed directly onto the foundation.

Whole House Conveyance Machine Performance Objectives

The Whole House Conveyance Machine should address the following performance objectives:

    • a. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should efficiently support repetitive moving cycles that occur every day or few days with fewer labor hours and a shorter overall schedule than are typical in the present structure moving industry.
    • b. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should be able to travel on conventional streets of width 30 to 36 feet from curb to curb, with conventional pavement thicknesses, etc., even though the width and length of the houses frequently exceeds the width of the street from curb-to-curb.
    • c. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should be rapidly loadable with a house at the standard size dwelling manufacturing facility, and able to easily accept homes that vary significantly in width, length, height, and weight. This is a significant performance objective for the machine, and makes it unique from other transportation devices and practices. Standard size homes do not fit on conventional, over-the-road trucks and trailers, and the practice of creating custom, one-at-a-time steel beam frames does not work efficiently. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should be a standard machine for variable products, all of which are in the over-sized category when compared to standard movements in the industry today.
    • d. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should be rapidly unloadable for efficient delivery of the house to the foundation.
    • e. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should be moveable from project to project, because it is an expensive machine and its utility at any given site will most often range from three to eight years.
    • f. Even though its frame may be wider than the width of common residential streets, the Whole House Conveyance Machine should be able to travel upon such residential streets and have sufficient clearance to travel over common curbside improvements in a residential subdivision such as fire hydrants, electrical utility distribution boxes and transformers, sidewalks and curbs, etc.
    • g. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should have the ability to adjust and control its levelness. It also should have the capability to raise and lower its upper surface that supports the house (while maintaining a level or near-level status), so that it can be positioned at the correct elevation for a level movement of the house from the trailer to the variable height foundation. The typical difference in elevation from the top of the foundation to the asphalt in the street will range from 1.5 feet to 6 feet. This is a wide range, and the lower dimensions of 1.5 feet to 3 feet are difficult to provide for because this large Whole House Conveyance Machine should have the ability to lower itself to an extraordinary degree so that the top of it is low in a manner that corresponds with the elevation of these low foundations.
    • h. The Whole House Conveyance Machine operates outdoors where the wind is blowing. Wind loads on a surface as big as a house generate lateral loads in the thousands of pounds. When the Whole House Conveyance Machine integral frame is supported by its jacks or by other means, there is a need to have sufficient lateral capacity to resist the lateral wind loads. Without sufficient lateral capacity, the house and trailer combination could topple over when the wind blows on the house when it is supported on its integral system of hydraulic jacks. Typical hydraulic jacks and other forms of support do not frequently have moment capability so that the resultant machine would have lateral capacity. This is a difficult design objective because the elevation of the integral frame is variable, so the most typically used rigid lateral bracing system does not work.
    • i. The Whole House Conveyance Machine should have sufficient structural capacity to provide a flat surface of support for a house which includes certain brittle finishes without an amount of deflection that would result in undue flexure of the house and resultant damage to the brittle finishes. A related structural requirement is that the upper surface of the machine must remain planar (even though the machine travels on road surfaces with dips, crowns, and other differential surface conditions) because, if the upper surface of the machine twisted out of a planar condition, it could result in damage to brittle finishes within the home.
      Whole House Conveyance Machine Functional Features

To achieve the above-listed performance objectives, the Whole House Conveyance Machine is a new, unique, functional apparatus with the following design features and attributes in its preferred embodiment:

    • a. It is comprised of steel framing members permanently or semi-permanently affixed to one another in a predetermined arrangement to create an integral frame that does not have to be completely recreated to perform successive home movements on homes of different sizes. The degree of affixing the members can differ significantly from partial levels of being affixed, to steel members being affixed in sections of the trailer frame that are not permanently affixed to other sections of the trailer frame, to a fully affixed integral frame.
    • b. This integral frame has sufficient structural integrity to support a house that has certain brittle finishes in that this integral frame does not unduly deflect and cause cracking and breakage of the brittle finishes.
    • c. This Whole House Conveyance Machine integral frame is large enough to accept the size range of homes to be produced in a given community. Certain elements of the home could over-hang the integral frame, like porches, but the principle mass of a house is supported by the integral frame. Typically, there is something on top of the integral frame, like moveable roller beams, that allow homes of varying dimensions to be supported by the more fixed-nature of the integral frame.
    • d. Multi-tire transportation assemblies support the integral frame on its bottom side. The framing members that comprise the integral frame are positioned directly over particular support points on the multi-tire transportation assemblies. Concurrently, the outside tires on each multi-tire transportation assembly are typically no wider, in at least one direction of travel, than the available street width. This allows the Whole House Conveyance Machine to travel down standard residential streets with the tires remaining on the pavement between the curbs. The Whole House Conveyance Machine can be self-propelled if one or more of the multi-tire transportation assemblies are powered units.
    • e. The bottom of the integral frame near the perimeter may be “sculpted-up” to create more clearance below the integral frame, and to create a lesser thickness of integral frame at the perimeter, to allow the integral frame of the Whole House Conveyance Machine to travel more easily over fire hydrants and utility boxes that are frequently found in subdivisions.
    • f. The integral frame is able to be disassembled into sizes that allow it to be shipped over public roads to enable shipping of the machine from project to project.
    • g. The Whole House Conveyance Machine has an integral system of hydraulic jacks that have bending moment capability affixed to the integral frame that allow the integral frame to be elevated and lowered while remaining stable so that the multi-tire transportation assemblies can either be spun or removed, the integral frame can be leveled, the integral frame can be elevated and lowered to the required elevation of a foundation, or which allow the integral frame to be adjusted to the proper elevation at the dock area of the manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses. The hydraulic jacks that are detailed in the preferred embodiment are dual jacks in a specialized configuration where each has moment capacity. When the integral frame is concurrently supported on a sufficient number of these jacks, there is an adequate lateral capacity to resist design wind loads.
    • h. The Whole House Conveyance Machine has design details at the perimeter that facilitate connecting it to the dock at the manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses.
    • i. The Whole House Conveyance Machine has design details at the perimeter that facilitates the connection of roller beams or trusses that traverse the gap from the machine to the foundation and upon which the home is rolled from the machine to the foundation.
    • j. The Whole House Conveyance Machine allows its multi-tire transportation assemblies to be efficiently removed out from under the integral frame so that the integral frame can be lowered close to the asphalt in the street. This allows the placement of homes on foundations where the elevation of the top of the foundation is less than the height of the base of the house on top of the trailer on the multi-tire transportation assemblies when they are fully lowered.
    • k. The Whole House Conveyance Machine can be designed to travel down a roadway in any of four orientations to facilitate moving a house through a community and getting it into proper position for placement on its foundation.
    • l. The Whole House Conveyance Machine has a steering linkage apparatus to interlink and coordinate the turning of several of its multi-tire transportation assemblies (which allows the required travel through a community including turning corners, etc.).
    • m. The Whole House Conveyance Machine is supported by a number of multi-tire transportation assemblies in a manner that results in dynamic support of the integral frame by hydraulic or other means whereby the integral frame is not induced into a non-planar orientation. Interlinking the supporting hydraulic systems of two adjacent multi-tire transportation assemblies, in a machine utilizing four of such assemblies, produces the equivalent effect of a three-legged, free-from-racking support of the integral frame.
      Whole House Conveyance Machine Implementation

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a perspective view and a top plan view, respectively, of the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 of the present invention. The Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 comprises an integral frame 101 that supports the standard size dwelling that is being transported (not shown) and is connected to a set of multi-tire transportation assemblies 102A-102D. The integral frame 101 is formed as a plurality of boxes interconnected in a predetermined arrangement, with each of the sides of each box typically being formed of a structural steel beam. As shown in FIG. 1, this implementation is comprised of 24 boxes formed in a rectangular matrix of 4×6 boxes, with the lengthwise structural steel beams 103A-103E and the transverse end structural steel beams 104A, 104B, along with the five sets of intermediate transverse structural steel beams 105A-105E, which span the distance between adjacent lengthwise structural steel beams 103A-103E and are attached thereto at their distal ends forming these boxes. Preferably, the integral frame 101 also includes bracing members 106 that span a plurality of the boxes formed by the structural steel members to act as stiffeners for the integral frame 101. The Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 shown in FIG. 1 employs these bracing members in all of the boxes along both lengthwise sides of the integral frame 101, and the placement and number of these bracing members is a matter of design choice and the need for additional rigidity of the integral frame 101.

A plurality of pairs of jacks 107A-107F (such as hydraulic jacks) are attached to the integral frame 101 to enable the integral frame 101 to be raised and lowered to a selected height off the ground. The pairs of jacks that have bending moment capability are affixed to the integral frame 101 and allow the integral frame 101 to be elevated and lowered while remaining stable so that the multi-tire transportation assemblies 102A-102D can either be spun or removed, the integral frame 101 can be leveled, the integral frame 101 can be elevated and lowered to the required elevation of a foundation, or which allow the integral frame 101 to be adjusted to the proper elevation at the dock area of the manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses. In addition, the jacks 107A-107F are interconnected in groups of at least two, such that the integral frame 101 is maintained level as it is raised and lowered. Thus, the jacks 107A-107F in each interconnected group may be extended a different amount than the other jacks in the interconnected group to dynamically account for variations in the ground level. This interconnect prevents the racking of the integral frame 101.

Whole House Conveyance Machine Transportation Assemblies and Steering Mechanism

FIG. 4 illustrates an end view of one of the transportation assemblies 102A-102D. The Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 uses wheeled transportation assemblies and includes four sets of two-axle, multi-tire transportation assemblies 102A-102D that are attached to the bottom of the integral frame 101 and spaced apart to provide proper support for the whole house that is transported on the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100. The multi-tire transportation assemblies 102A-102D are also placed in a configuration such that the dimension from the outside tire on one assembly to the outside tire on an adjacent assembly is less than the curb-to-curb width dimension of a street, so that the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 can travel on that street. Each of the multi-tire transportation assemblies 102A-102D has a pivot near the integral frame 101 thereby to enable the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 to navigate along a roadway and turn around curves and corners in addition to moving in a vertical direction (via an attached jacking mechanism) to account for irregularities in the surface over which they travel. At least two of the transportation assemblies 102A-102D are interlinked to enable the plurality of transportation assemblies to be cooperatively operative to maintain said planar surface.

As shown in these Figures, the two axles 401, 402 are each equipped with four tires 411A-411D, 412A-412D, two on either side of the center pivot assembly 413. The center pivot assembly 413 is connected to the integral frame 101 via a pocket assembly that is attached to the integral frame 101 and that accepts the center pivot 413. This mechanism enables the two axles 401, 402 of the multi-tire transportation assembly 102A and their associated tires to rotate about the center pivot 413 and track the roadway as the integral frame 101 travels.

Hydraulic Jack Leveling System

FIG. 5 illustrates one pair of the plurality of hydraulic jacks that have bending movement capabilities and which are affixed to the integral frame 101 that allow the integral frame 101 to be elevated and lowered while remaining stable so that the multi-tire transportation assemblies 102A-102D can either be spun or removed, the integral frame 101 can be leveled, the integral frame 101 can be elevated and lowered to the required elevation of a foundation, or which allow the integral frame 101 to be adjusted to the proper elevation at the dock area of the manufacturing facility that produces standard size houses.

The hydraulic jacks 501, 511 are each affixed to the side of one of the structural beams 504 of the integral frame 101. Each of the plurality of hydraulic jacks 501, 511 are activated independently of the others thereby to enable the precise control of the vertical position and level of the top of the integral frame 101. The hydraulic jacks 501, 511 are arranged in pairs to enable the integral frame 101 to be raised in a “stair-step” manner, since a hydraulic jack typically has a limited range of piston motion (shown as 502A, 502B and 512A, 512B). Thus, when one piston is extended to its full range of motion as shown by the dotted line representation of 502B, blocks can be placed under piston 511, when its piston is fully retracted 512A. Hydraulic jack 511 can then be operated, moving integral frame 101 off of hydraulic jack 501, which is then fully retracted until hydraulic jack 511 is fully extended. This successive operation of the two jacks 501, 511 in concert with similar actions on other pairs of hydraulic jacks enables the integral frame 101 to be raised and lowered far beyond the limited range of motion afforded by the operation of a single jack.

Rollers

FIGS. 7A and 7B illustrate a typical set of rollers 112 that are used to transport the standard size dwelling 301 from the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 to the foundation 305. These rollers are commercially available from Hilman, Inc., 12 Timber Lane, Marlboro, N.J. 07746, US under the name Accu-Roll R System. These rollers 112 comprise a frame 701 to which is attached a set of guide rolls 702, located at the corners thereof, that function to keep the rollers 112 on top of a roller beam 704 and prevent sideways movement thereon. The rollers 112 include a continuous loop of roller elements 703 that function as a tank tread to roll along the length of the roller beam 704 on top of which they are placed.

These rollers 112 are placed on top of the machine roller beams 111, located on the integral frame 101 of the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 as shown in FIGS. 3A-3D. The standard size dwelling 301 is placed on top of these rollers 112, which are placed on top of the various of the transition rails 111 and rollers 112 which provide the low-friction mechanism that is used to slide the standard size dwelling 301 from the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 to the foundation 305 as described below.

Integral Frame and Whole House Unloading Mechanism

FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of the integral frame near the perimeter where it is “sculpted-up” to create more clearance below the integral frame, and a lesser thickness of integral frame at the perimeter, to allow the integral frame to travel over fire hydrants and utility boxes that are frequently found in subdivisions as well as design details at the perimeter that facilitate the connection of beams that span the gap from the machine to the foundation and upon which the home is rolled from the machine to the foundation. In particular, the transverse end structural steel beams 104A, 104B, along with the five sets of intermediate transverse structural steel beams 105A-105E, span the distance between adjacent lengthwise structural steel beams 103A-103E, and each comprise a plurality of sections that are joined together. The last length of each of these transverse elements is sized to be of lesser height than the sections located in the interior of the integral frame 101. This enables the outside edges of the integral frame 101 to more easily clear obstacles located along the side of the roadway along which the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 travels. In addition, the distal end of the transverse and longitudinal elements includes an apparatus 601 that joins with the bridge span 113 to enable the standard size dwelling 301 to be transported from the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 over the bridge span 113 to the foundation.

Furthermore, FIGS. 3A-3D illustrate a side view of the sequence of operations required to relocate a standard size dwelling from the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 of the present invention to a foundation. In particular, FIG. 3A illustrates a side view of a standard size dwelling 301 placed on the transition rails 111 located on the integral frame 101 of the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100. The Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 is moved into position on a street 302 adjacent to the sidewalk 303 (optional) and landscaping 304 (optional) that are installed in front of the foundation 305 on which the standard size dwelling 301 is to be installed. As shown in FIG. 3B, the hydraulic jacks 107A-107F are used to level the top of the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 with the top of the foundation, then a set of roller beams 114 are installed on top of the foundation 305 in a mating relationship with the tracks of the bridge span 113, with the tracks of the bridge span 113 being in a mating relationship with the transition rails 111 that are attached to the top of the integral frame 101 of the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100. The rollers 701 that are placed upon the top of the transition rails 111 are shown supporting the standard size dwelling 301 on top of the transition rails 111.

FIG. 3C illustrates the movement of the standard size dwelling 301 from the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100 across the bridge span 113 to the roller beams 114 located on top of the foundation 305. The rollers 701 roll along the “railroad track”-like path that is formed by the roller beams 114, which are installed on top of the foundation 305 in a mating relationship with the tracks of the bridge span 113, with the tracks of the bridge span 113 being in a mating relationship with the transition rails 111 that are attached to the top of the integral frame 101 of the Whole House Conveyance Machine 100. Once the standard size dwelling 301 is positioned on top of the foundation 305, the standard size dwelling 301 is jacked up and the roller beams 114 removed thereby to enable the standard size dwelling 301 to be set as shown in FIG. 3D on its foundation 305.

SUMMARY

The whole house conveyance machine uses a plurality of steel framing members affixed to one another to create an integral frame which provides a flat planar surface and has sufficient structural integrity to support a house placed on said planar surface. A plurality of multi-tire transportation assemblies is attached to an underside of the integral frame to support the integral frame on its bottom side and enable movement of the integral frame. The multi-tire transportation assemblies contain an integral hydraulic jack which interconnects the integral frame to the multi-tire transportation assemblies to elevate and lower the integral frame while maintaining the planar configuration of the integral frame.