slide 1

Back to the List of the Granted Patents                                      Click here to download KE000586 PDF
(11) Patent Number: KE 586
(45) Date of grant: 12/07/2013
(12) PATENT
(51)Int.C1.8: B 66F 9/19
 (21) Application Number: KE/P/2010/001049
(22)Filing Date: 12/02/2010
 
(73) Owner: MOSHE, TIRAN of P.O. BOX 59475-00200, Nairobi, Kenya and MOSHE, DORON of P.O. BOX 59475-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
(72) Inventors: MOSHE, TIRAN, P.O. BOX 59475-00200, Nairobi and MOSHE, DORON, P.O. BOX 59475¬00200, Nairobi
(74)    Agent/address for correspondence: Coulson Harney Advocates, P.O. Box 10643¬00100, Nairobi
 
(54) Title: A LOAD TRUCK AND A METHOD OF OFFLOADING A LOAD UNIT.
(57) Abstract:
The invention concerns moving of load units laden on pallets or load sheets. The invention provides a load truck (10) (Figure 2) for movind load units (40). The truck (10) includes a load support structure (12) and a travelling member (28) for pushing a load unit (40) from the structure (12). It includes also a hydraulic cylinder assembly (32), acting between the member (28) and a member (26) fixed with respect to the structure (12), for displacing the member (28). The invention further provides a method (Figure 6) of offloading a load unit (40) from aload truck (10). It involves anchoring the truck (10) during at least a last stage of forward pushing of the load unit (40) from the truck (10) by means of a load shifting mechanism (25) of the load truck (10), thereby to restrain the load truck 910) against reaward displacement and push the load unit (40) against an object (48).

A LOAD TRUCK AND A METHOD OF OFFLOADING A LOAD UNIT
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
THIS INVENTION relates to a load truck and a method of offloading a load unit. The invention relates, more particularly, to a load truck for moving load units laden on pallets or slip sheets.
BACKGROUND ART
A known method of moving load units for the purpose of transportation and storage is to  palletise them. A large variety of load trucks exists to move palletised load units. These  include low-lift pallet trucks and fork lift trucks. Pallet trucks may be propelled manually or by a motor. Some pallet trucks and fork lift trucks are operated by a ride-on operator and others by an operator on foot.
A more recently developed method of moving load units for the purpose of transportation and storage is to load them on slip sheets instead of pallets. Proper moving of load units laden on slip sheets requires specialised load trucks. These include fork lift trucks fitted with so-called push/pull mechanisms for pulling load units onto their forks and for pushing them from the forks, and so-called roller forks. In some such load trucks, the push/pull mechanism includes a travelling push/pull member which
is connected to a fixed part by means of a scissor mechanism, which maintains a fixed orientation of the push/pull member, and a hydraulic cylinder assembly acting between components of the scissor mechanism for effecting displacement of the push/pull member.
Typically, load trucks used for moving palletized or load sheet laden load units may be
classified into low-lift trucks and fork lift trucks. Low-lift trucks provide for only limited lifting of a load unit to clear the ground, whereas fork lift trucks provide for sufficient lifting of a load unit for inter alia stacking purposes. A low-lift truck may be either human propelled or motor propelled. Fork lift trucks typically are motor propelled. There are motor propelled, ride-on variants of both low-lift trucks and fork lift trucks. Walk-along load trucks, which are operable by a human operator on foot, may be either operator propelled or motor propelled. Operator propelled low-lift trucks, sometimes referred to as hand trucks, typically represent the low cost end of the spectrum of load trucks.
A disadvantage of commercially available load trucks for moving load units laden on pallets or slip sheets is cost. A first aspect of the invention aims to provide an economical load truck for moving load units laden on pallets or slip sheets.
It is sometimes required to place a load unit laden on a pallet or a slip sheet against an object, for example a front wall of a shipping container or another load unit. Such placement has two main advantages, namely assisting in load stability and optimising space utilization. In practice, the Applicant has found that, using a lightweight load truck, particularly a low-lift truck, for placing a load unit often results in a gap being left between the load unit and the object against which it was to be placed. A second aspect of the invention provides a method aimed at addressing this problem.
INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
Both the load truck and the method of the invention are applicable in moving load units
laden on pallets or slip sheets for the purpose of storage and transportation in a wide variety of industries.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention there is priivid66;a-loadAhick including:
       a load support structure for a load unit, the structure defining a front end, a rear end, and a longitudinal direction; and
       a load shifting mechanism including:
       a fixed member, fixed with respect to the load support structure at a position
rearwardly spaced from the front end of the load support structure;
        a travelling member defining an upright front face, above the load support structure and transverse to the load support structure, for operatively pushing a load unit from the load support structure, the travelling member being displaceable in the longitudinal direction between a rearward position, intermediate the front end of the load support structure and the fixed member and spaced apart from the said front end, and a forward position, at the said front end; and
           an actuation mechanism operable for displacing the travelling member 5    between the rearward position and the forward position,
characterized in that the actuation mechanism includes a hydraulic cylinder assembly having opposite ends thereof connected to the fixed member and the travelling member, respectively, and being operable to exert opposing forces between the members to displace the travelling member from the rearward to the forward position.
The applicant has found that the configuration of the actuation mechanism permits the use of a smaller hydraulic cylinder assembly and/or lower hydraulic pressure than is the case with a conventional push/pull mechanism in which a hydraulic cylinder assembly acts between components of a scissor mechanism. This results in a potential cost and weight saving in a load truck, in accordance with the invention.
The hydraulic cylinder assembly may have a central axis disposed in the longitudinal direction of the load support structure. The hydraulic cylinder assembly may be a telescopic cylinder assembly. The hydraulic cylinder assembly may be double acting. In this case, the actuation mechanism is a push/pull mechanism and may be provided with a slip sheet gripping mechanism for gripping a slip sheet for pulling a load unit laden on the slip sheet onto the load support formation.
The load shifting mechanism may include a scissor mechanism interconnecting the travelling member and the fixed member for maintaining a fixed orientation of the travelling member relative to the load support structure.
The load truck may be a low-lift truck, in which the load support structure is adjustable only within a limited height range near ground level. The load truck may be operable by a human operator on foot. It may be propelled by the operator. The applicant particularly believes that such a load truck may provide an economical and practical means for moving load units laden on slip sheets.
It must be appreciated that the load truck of the invention may be of any type essentially as herein envisaged, i.e. a low-lift truck or a fork lift truck, human propelled or motor propelled, and ride-on or walk-along.
According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of offloading a
load unit against an object, the method including:
         supporting the load unit on a load support structure of a load truck, the load support structure defining a front end, a rear end, and a longitudinal direction and the load truck including a load shifting mechanism operable to push the load unit from the load support structure in a forward direction of the load support structure;
         positioning the load truck for offloading the load unit adjacent to the object, with the front end of the load support structure facing the object; and
        by operation of the load shifting mechanism, pushing the load unit from the load support structure in the longitudinal direction,
characterized in that, during at least a last stage of the pushing of the load unit, the load
truck is anchored by means of anchoring means to a fixed securing formation in a configuration in which the load truck is restrained against displacement in a rearward direction of the load support structure, resulting in the load shifting mechanism pushing the load unit into abutment with the object.
The problem referred to above of a gap being left during offloading is thereby ameliorated by the method of the second aspect of the invention. Advantages include optimisation of space usage and load stability.
The load truck used in the method may be a low-lift truck, in which the load support
structure is adjustable only within a limited height range near ground level.
The load truck may be operable by a human operator on foot. It may be propelled by the operator.
In the method, the fixed securing formation may include a pair of securing members provided in a shipping container at opposite sides of a floor of the container. The anchoring means may include two lengths of tie element on opposite sides of the load truck and having respective ends thereof remote from the load truck releasably engaged with the respective securing members.
The two lengths of tie element may be two lengths of a single tie element. Each length of tie element may, for example, be a length of chain, rope, belt, cable, lashing, or the
like.
It must be appreciated that the method of the invention may be applied to any type of load truck essentially as herein envisaged, i.e. a low-lift truck or a fork lift truck, human 10    propelled or motor propelled, and ride-on or walk-along.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention is described below by way of example with reference to and as illustrated in the accompanying diagrammatic drawings.
In the drawings:
          Figure 1 shows a rear three-dimensional view of a load truck, in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, in a first operative configuration thereof;
          Figure 2 shows a rear three-dimensional view of the load truck of Figure 1, in a
second operative configuration thereof;
          Figure 3 shows a side view of the load truck of Figure 1, in the first operative configuration;
          Figure 4 shows a side view of the load truck of Figure 1, in the second operative 25    configuration; and
          Figures 5 to 7 show respectively three steps in a method, in accordance with the second aspect of the invention, of offloading a load unit against an object, in this example in a shipping container using the load truck of Figure 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
In the drawings, an embodiment of a load truck, in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, is designated generally by reference numeral 10. The load truck 10 is a low-lift truck.
 
With reference particularly to Figures 1 and 2, the load truck 10 includes:
          a load support structure in the form of a fork 12 including two fork beams 14, defining a longitudinal direction of the fork 12 and each having a series of load support  rollers 15;
         a bogie mounting assembly 16 mounted on rear ends of the fork beams 14; a bogie 18 including a pair of rear wheels 20;
         a pair of front wheels 21, supporting the respective beams 14;
         a lifting mechanism including a hydraulic jack 22, for lifting and lowering  the fork' 10    12 on the wheels 20 and 21; and
         a handle 24.
The load truck 10 is manually operated and propelled by a human operator on foot .The operator uses the handle 24 for actuating the hydraulic jack 22 for lifting and-lowering the fork 12.
Insofar as the above features and the operation of the load truck 10 are known in relation to pallet trucks, they are not elaborated on in detail herein.
 In accordance with the invention, the load truck 10 includes a load shifting mechanism
25 including:
           an upright fixed member in the form of a fixed frame 26 mounted on the fork beams 14 just in front of the bogie mounting assembly 16;
           an upright travelling member in the form of a travelling frame 28, supported on the 25    respective fork beams 14 by means of the two support wheels 38 which travel on the
respective forks 14;
            a scissor mechanism 30 interconnecting the frames 26 and 28; and
          an actuator mechanism 27 including:
                  a longitudinal double acting, telescopic, hydraulic cylinder assembly 32 acting between the fixed frame 26 and the travelling frame 28; and
                  a power pack 36 for powering the hydraulic cylinder assembly 32 by means of pressurised hydraulic oil.
The scissor mechanism 30 provides for displacement of the frame 28 between a rearward position, as shown in Figures 1 and 5, and a forward position, as shown in Figures 2, 4, and 7. The scissor mechanism 30 maintains the travelling frame 28 parallel to the fixed frame 26 so that a front face 29 (see Figure 3) of the frame 28 is maintained upright and transverse relative to the fork 12.
A front end of the cylinder assembly 32 is connected to a centre of the travelling frame
28 whereas a rear end of the cylinder assembly 32 is connected to the fixed frame 26.
More particularly, a rear portion of the cylinder assembly 32 passes through a centre of
 the fixed frame 26 and is connected thereto by means of two opposite brackets 34 projecting rearwardly from the fixed frame 26, with a dowel pin 35 releasably interconnecting a rear end of the cylinder assembly 32 and the brackets 34.
By operation of the power pack 36, the hydraulic cylinder assembly 32 is selectively 15    extended or contracted, thereby displacing the travelling frame 28 forwardly or rearwardly, respectively.
The load truck 10 may be used in the configuration shown in Figure 1, with the travelling frame 28 in its rearward position, for moving a palletized load unit in conventional fashion.
Alternatively, the load truck 10 may be used for moving a load unit laden on a slip sheet.
For this purpose, the load shifting mechanism 25 may be provided with a slip gripping
mechanism (not shown) along a bottom edge 37 (see Figure 3) of the travelling frame 28. Such a slip gripping mechanism may be essentially conventional and therefore does
not require illustration or description herein.
With reference now to Figures 5 to 7 of the drawings, a method of offloading a load unit, in accordance with the second aspect of the invention, will now be described. It is sometimes required to place a load unit laden on a slip sheet against an object, for example a front wall of a shipping container or another such load unit. Such placement has two main advantages, namely assisting in load stability and optimising space utilization. In practice, the Applicant has found that, using a lightweight load truck for placing a load unit often results in a gap being left between the load unit and the object against which it was to be placed. The method of the second aspect of the invention aims to address this problem.
In Figure 5, a load unit 40 has been laden on a slip sheet 42 and supported on the fork
12 of the load truck 10. The load truck 10, with the load unit 40 thereon, has been pushed into a shipping container 44, which has a floor 46 and an end wall 48, into the position shown in which the front end of the fork 12 abuts the end wall 48.
In Figure 6, by operating the power unit 36 (see Figure 5), the hydraulic cylinder
assembly 32 has been partially extended, causing forward displacement of the travelling frame 28. The travelling frame 28, with its face 29 bearing against the load unit 40, has pushed the load unit 40 and slip sheet 42 into a position in which they are predominantly supported on the floor 46 and only minimally on the front end of the fork 12. Such extension of the hydraulic cylinder assembly 32 has caused a rearward displacement of the load truck 10. A gap 50 has been inadvertently left between the
load unit 40 and the wall 48, as the applicant has found often happens in practice.

Anchoring means in the form of an anchoring accessory 52 is now used to anchor the load truck 10 to prevent further rearward displacement. The floor 46 of the container 44
has conventionally been provided with a number of securing lugs along opposite sides
of the floor 46, of which only one lug 54 is shown. Another such a lug 54 is at a
corresponding position on the opposite side of the floor 46 and of the load truck 10.
The anchoring accessory 52 comprises a tie element in the form of a lashing 56, two hooks 58 on opposite ends of the lashing 56, and a conventional manually operable tensioning mechanism 60 (not shown in detail). The hooks 58 are engaged with the respective lugs 54 and the lashing 56 has been placed around the back of the fixed frame 26 so that a length of tie element is defined on each side of the load truck 10. The lashing 56 has been nominally tensioned by means of the tensioner 60. The anchoring accessory 52 resists rearward displacement of the load truck 10.
In Figure 7, by operating the power unit 36 (see Figure 5), the hydraulic cylinder
assembly 32 has been completely extended. The load unit 40 and the load sheet 42
have been pushed by the travelling frame 28 into a position in which they are entirely
 supported on the floor 46 in front of the fork 12. The gap 50 of Figure 6 has been closed so that the load unit 40 is flush against the wall 48.
The load truck 10 may now be released by removing the anchoring accessory 52.
The Applicant submits that the configuration of the load shifting mechanism 25, particularly the configuration of the cylinder assembly 32 acting longitudinally between the travelling frame 28 and the fixed frame 26, provides a efficient, economical, and practical load shifting arrangement.
Although the load truck 10 in the above examples is a walk-along, human propelled, low-lift truck, it must be appreciated that different embodiments of a load truck, in accordance with the invention, may be of any type essentially as herein envisaged, i.e. a low-lift truck or a fork lift truck, human propelled or motor propelled, and ride-on or walk-along. So, for example, the load shifting mechanism 25 may alternatively be provided on a motor propelled fork lift truck. Similarly, the method of the second aspect of the invention may be applied to any type of load truck essentially as herein envisaged.

   
 
 
 
 CLAIMS
1.    A load truck including:
           a load support structure for a load unit, the structure defining a front end, a 5    rear end, and a longitudinal direction; and
          a load shifting mechanism including:
           a fixed member, fixed with respect to the load support structure at a position rearwardly spaced from the front end of the load support structure;
            a travelling member defining an upright front face, above the load
support structure and transverse to the load support structure, for operatively pushing a load unit from the load support structure, the travelling member being displaceable in the longitudinal direction between a rearward position, intermediate the front end of the load support
structure and the fixed member and spaced apart from the said front end,
and a forward position, at the said front end;
             a scissor mechanism interconnecting the travelling member and the fixed member for maintaining a fixed orientation of the travelling member relative to the load support structure; and
 an actuation mechanism including a hydraulic cylinder assembly
which is a double-acting telescopic hydraulic cylinder assembly and which is operable for displacing the travelling member between the rearward position and the forward position,
characterized in that the hydraulic cylinder assembly has opposite ends thereof
connected to the fixed member and the travelling member, respectively, and being operable to exert opposing forces between the members to displace the travelling member from the rearward to the forward position, the hydraulic cylinder assembly being and having a central axis disposed in the longitudinal direction of the load support structure.
2.    A load truck as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that it is a low-lift truck, in
which the load support structure is adjustable only within a limited height range near ground level.
3.    A load truck as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, characterized in that it is operable
by a human operator-on foot.
4.    A load truck as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that it is propelled by the
operator.
 5.    A load truck as claimed in any of the preceding claims, characterized in that it
includes anchoring means in the form of an anchoring accessory operable to anchor the load truck to opposite sides of a floor of a shipping container to prevent inadvertent rearward displacement thereof.
6.    A method of offloading a load unit against an object, the method including:
           supporting the load unit on a load support structure of a load truck, the load support structure defining a front end, a rear end, and a longitudinal direction and the load truck including a load shifting mechanism operable to push the load unit from the load support structure in a forward direction of the load support structure;
          positioning the load truck for offloading the load unit adjacent to the object, with the front end of the load support structure facing the object; and
          by operation of the load shifting mechanism, pushing the load unit from the load support structure in the longitudinal direction, such that during at least a last
 stage of the pushing of the load unit, the load truck is anchored by means of anchoring means to a fixed securing formation in a configuration in which the load truck is restrained against displacement in a rearward direction of the load support structure, resulting in the load shifting mechanism pushing the load unit into abutment with the object,
characterized in that the fixed securing formation includes a pair of securing members
provided in a shipping container at opposite sides of a floor of the container and the anchoring means includes two lengths of tie element on opposite sides of the load truck and having respective ends thereof remote from the load truck releasably engaged with the respective securing members.
 
ABSTRACT
A LOAD TRUCK AND A METHOD OF OFFLOADING A LOAD UNIT
The invention concerns moving of load units laden on pallets or load sheets. The
invention provides a load truck (10) (Figure 2) for moving load units (40). The truck (10) includes a load support structure (12) and a travelling member (28) for pushing a load unit (40) from the structure (12). It includes also a hydraulic cylinder assembly (32), acting between the member (28) and a member (26) fixed with respect to the structure (12), for displacing the member (28). The invention further provides a method (Figure 6) of offloading a load unit (40) from a load truck (10). It involves anchoring the truck (10) during at least a last stage of forward pushing of the load unit (40) from the truck (10) by means of a load shifting mechanism (25) of the load truck (10), thereby to restrain the load truck (10) against rearward displacement and push the load unit (40) against an object (48).

Newsletter

Join our newsletter for CIPIT news through subscriptions!

SEND

Social Media

    

Contact Us

TEL : (254) 703 034 612