Title:
Portable Equipment Container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An equipment container for use with heavy machinery, the equipment container having a base, opposing lateral ends, back wall and front lip defining an internal carrying space, wherein one or more vertical dividers separate the carrying space into two or more compartments. The portable equipment container may be use with an industrial vehicle, and is adapted to carry in separate compartments a fuel tank, a ground packing machine, and a bucket, each accessible to an operator from the operator's position in the vehicle.



Inventors:
Slack, Gene C. (Burnaby, CA)
Application Number:
12/512860
Publication Date:
02/04/2010
Filing Date:
07/30/2009
Assignee:
VANPORT ENTERPRISES LTD. (Burnaby, CA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/751
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDWARDS, BRETT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEPHEN R. BURRI (Nanaimo, BC, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An equipment container for use with heavy machinery, the equipment container having a base, opposing lateral ends, back wall and front lip defining an internal carrying space, wherein one or more vertical dividers separate the carrying space into two or more compartments and a brace connects the top of each end or divider to the next adjacent end or divider.

2. The equipment container of claim 1, wherein the equipment container is divided into three compartments.

3. The equipment container of claim 2, further comprising one or more attachment means for attaching thereto a chain or similar connection device attached to a lifting machine to enable lifting of the equipment container.

4. The equipment container of claim 3, wherein the attachment means comprises a hook.

5. The equipment container of claim 2, wherein each compartment is adapted to house a piece of machinery selected from the group of machinery comprising fuel tanks, ground packing tools, and buckets.

6. The equipment container of claim 5, wherein at least one compartment is adapted to house a bucket, the equipment container further comprising a pair of forks reversibly attachable to a bucket to form a fork lift attachment for a machine.

7. The equipment container of claim 5, wherein each compartment further comprises a bracket for retaining the housed machinery.

8. The equipment container of claim 7, wherein each bracket is removable.

9. The equipment container of claim 7, wherein each bracket is rotatable between an open position and a closed position.

10. The equipment container of claim 9, wherein at least one bracket may be rotated simultaneously with at least one other bracket.

11. The equipment container of claim 9, wherein at least one bracket may be locked in a closed position.

12. The equipment container of claim 11, wherein the locking of at least one bracket locks at least one other bracket.

13. The equipment container of claim 5, wherein the base is a solid plane.

14. The equipment container of claim 5, wherein the base is a grid having a plurality of openings therein.

15. The equipment container of claim 5, wherein the base further comprises at least one opening to permit drainage from the compartments.

16. The equipment container of claim 5, wherein the equipment container is manufactured of steel.

17. The equipment container of claim 5, wherein the base, back wall and front lip are manufactured of a unitary piece of sheet metal.

18. The equipment container of claim 17, wherein the base, lateral ends, back wall and front lip are manufactured of a unitary piece of sheet metal.

19. The equipment container of claim 5, adapted to fit within a heavy machine bucket.

20. A portable equipment container for use with an industrial vehicle, wherein the equipment container is adapted to carry in separate compartments a fuel tank, a ground packing machine, and a bucket, and wherein the fuel tank, ground packing machine, and bucket are accessible to an operator from the operator's position in the vehicle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to containers. In particular, the present invention relates to a container device for portable equipment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the challenges facing companies operating equipment at remote worksites is security. Often, such worksites may be far from populated areas, and lack adequate lighting, security personnel, security fencing or other enclosures. Such site conditions may make it easier for thieves or vandals to steal or damage valuable equipment. In particular, equipment which is relatively portable and light weight may easily be removed by unscrupulous individuals.

Theft and vandalism may be reduced by installation of lighting, fencing or other enclosures, or patrolling security personnel or dogs. However, such measures may be costly and may not be justified in view of the replacement cost of small pieces of equipment.

It would be desirable to provide a device for secure containment of relatively portable, lightweight worksite attachments for heavy duty construction machines. Ideally, such a device would be relatively simple to manufacture, and would permit workers to access, store and service attachments in place. Further, it would be desirable to provide such a device which would itself be portable using available heavy duty equipment, for example, heavy duty construction machines.

The container device would ideally be able to carry attachments for heavy duty equipment in a manner in which such attachments are easily accessible and arranged such that they may be accessed and installed by an operator from within the cab of the heavy duty equipment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is provided an equipment container for use with heavy machinery, the equipment container having a base, opposing lateral ends, back wall and front lip defining an internal carrying space, wherein one or more vertical dividers separate the carrying space into two or more compartments and a brace connects the top of each end or divider to the next adjacent end or divider.

The equipment container may be divided into three compartments, and may have one or more attachment means for attaching a chain or similar connection device attached to a lifting machine to enable lifting of the equipment container. The attachment means may comprise a hook.

Each compartment may be adapted to house a piece of machinery selected from the group of machinery comprising fuel tanks, ground packing tools, and buckets. At least one compartment may be adapted to house a bucket, the equipment container further comprising a pair of forks reversibly attachable to a bucket to form a fork lift attachment for a machine.

Each compartment may include a bracket for retaining the housed machinery. Each bracket may be removable and rotatable between an open position and a closed position. At least one bracket may be rotated simultaneously with at least one other bracket. At least one bracket may be locked in a closed position. The locking of at least one bracket may lock at least one other bracket.

The base of the equipment container may be a solid plane, or it may be a grid having a plurality of openings therein. The base may further comprise at least one opening to permit drainage from the compartments. The equipment container may be manufactured of steel.

The base, back wall and front lip of the equipment container may be manufactured of a unitary piece of sheet metal. Alternatively, the base, ends, back wall and front lip may be manufactured of a unitary piece of sheet metal.

The equipment container may be adapted to fit within a heavy machine bucket.

There is further provided a portable equipment container for use with an industrial vehicle, wherein the equipment container is adapted to carry in separate compartments a fuel tank, a ground packing machine, and a bucket, and wherein the fuel tank, ground packing machine, and bucket are accessible to an operator from the operator's position in the vehicle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A detailed description of the preferred embodiments is provided by way of example only and with reference to the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of the device of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates another perspective view of the device of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates yet another perspective view of the device of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the device of the present invention containing equipment and held in a front bucket of a heavy duty equipment machine.

In the drawings, one embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood that the description and drawings are only for the purpose of illustration and as an aid to understanding, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As depicted in FIGS. 1 to 4, the equipment container 2 of the present invention includes three compartments 4, each designed to hold specific pieces of equipment. A first compartment 6 is of a size and shape selected to contain an industry standard fuel tank 8, a second compartment 10 is of a size and shape selected to contain a ground packing tool such as a hoe pack 12, and a third compartment 14 is of a size and shape selected to contain a twelve inch bucket 16 or an eighteen inch bucket. Other bucket sizes may also be carried in the container. In some embodiments, three buckets may be carried in the container at the same time.

Each of the compartments may include brackets which may be fixed in place or removable but which are designed and positioned to prevent removal of equipment from the container when the container is in a locked position. A tank bracket 20 may be provided to secure the fuel tank in one compartment. A valve bracket 22 may be added above the tank bracket to protect the gas valve 24 of the fuel tank from damage. Various other metal brackets 26 may be provided to prevent removal of the various equipment from the compartments. The container, in one embodiment, may not have hold down brackets.

One or more of the brackets may be rotated between a locked position 28 and an unlocked position 30. When the bracket is in a locked position, the equipment contained in the corresponding compartment or compartments may not be removed. A bracket may be fixed, independently movable, or movable with one or more other brackets. One or more of the brackets may be lockable individually or together with one or more other brackets. With a bracket or brackets in an unlocked position, the equipment in the corresponding compartment may be removed for use.

The base 32, back wall 34, and front lip 36 of the container preferably may be formed of a single primary piece of sheet metal to provide optimal strength. The ends 38 and compartment dividers 40 may be individual pieces of sheet metal welded to the primary piece of sheet metal.

The container may also contain a pair of forks (not shown) for use with a bucket in forming a forklift device. Brackets are attached to the container to prevent removal of the forks when the container is in a locked position.

The container may be provided with a hook 42 at a central position along its top surface positioned to allow lifting of the container into the front of a bucket for transport. A hook or other attachment means on the bucket may be inserted into the hook to permit lifting of the container. Alternatively, a pair of hooks may be disposed on opposing sides of the top surface of the container.

Preferably, the base of the container is of a solid planar construction. In an alternative embodiment, the base of the container may be a grid to reduce material weight of the container.

The purpose of the container of the present invention is to permit equipment to remain at a worksite without supervision while preventing its theft or relocation. A further purpose of the present invention is to permit equipment to be readily transported to and from a worksite, and between locations at a worksite. The container of the present invention permits equipment contained therein to be used with the machinery without the operator needing to leave the seat of the machinery, including the forks which may be lifted from a storage position in the container and set into an operating position in the bucket by the operator from his position within the cab.

The size of the container may be selected to permit it to be carried within a large bucket of machinery to permit ease of transport. The design of the container may permit refuelling of the machinery from the fuel tank, even when the fuel tank is secured in the container and the container is disposed within the bucket of the machinery.

In one embodiment of the device each compartment may be separately locked. In an alternative embodiment two or all three may be commonly locked. The locking mechanism may comprise a set of brackets rotatable about the top edge of the container, which mechanism may be lowered to a locked position to secure equipment in the container compartments or raised to an unlocked position to permit removal of the equipment from the container compartments. Openings (not shown) may be cut into the base of the container to permit drainage of water or other fluids.

While a preferred material for construction of the equipment container is steel, other high strength metals or other materials may also be used.

Variation in the size of the container as well as in the dimensions of each compartment within the container are understood to be within the scope of the invention. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other variations of the preferred embodiment may also be practiced without departing from the scope of the invention.