US20040040477A1 - Truck platform for 463L pallets - Google Patents

Truck platform for 463L pallets Download PDF

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Publication number
US20040040477A1
US20040040477A1 US10/462,382 US46238203A US2004040477A1 US 20040040477 A1 US20040040477 A1 US 20040040477A1 US 46238203 A US46238203 A US 46238203A US 2004040477 A1 US2004040477 A1 US 2004040477A1
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Prior art keywords
platform
truck
pallet
interface
deck
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US10/462,382
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Kenneth Neumann
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Engineered Support Systems Inc
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Engineered Support Systems Inc
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Priority to US38927202P priority Critical
Application filed by Engineered Support Systems Inc filed Critical Engineered Support Systems Inc
Priority to US10/462,382 priority patent/US20040040477A1/en
Assigned to ENGINEERED SUPPORT SYSTEMS, INC. reassignment ENGINEERED SUPPORT SYSTEMS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: NEUMANN, KENNETH M.
Publication of US20040040477A1 publication Critical patent/US20040040477A1/en
Priority claimed from PCT/US2004/010594 external-priority patent/WO2006022608A1/en
Priority claimed from US10/819,483 external-priority patent/US20040247422A1/en
Assigned to WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION reassignment WACHOVIA BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT Assignors: ENGINEERED SUPPORT SYSTEMS, INC.
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D88/00Large containers
    • B65D88/54Large containers characterised by means facilitating filling or emptying
    • B65D88/546Devices for loading or unloading and forming part of the container, e.g. rollers, conveyors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D88/00Large containers
    • B65D88/02Large containers rigid
    • B65D88/12Large containers rigid specially adapted for transport
    • B65D88/129Transporter frames for containers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D88/00Large containers
    • B65D88/02Large containers rigid
    • B65D88/12Large containers rigid specially adapted for transport
    • B65D88/14Large containers rigid specially adapted for transport by air
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D88/00Large containers
    • B65D88/54Large containers characterised by means facilitating filling or emptying
    • B65D88/542Ramps forming part of the container
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D90/00Component parts, details or accessories for large containers
    • B65D90/0033Lifting means forming part of the container

Abstract

Systems and methods for platforms designed to be loaded with pre-loaded 463L pallets or other pallets configured for use in a transport aircraft. The truck platform, once loaded with 463L pallets, is then loaded onto a truck (in particular a PLS truck or other truck utilizing a hook system such as those used to load traditional CROPs or flatracks) for ground transport.

Description

    Cross Reference to Related Applications
  • This application claims priority to United States Provisional Application Serial No. 60/389,272 filed Jun. 15, 2002 the entire disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.[0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0002]
  • This disclosure relates to the field of transport devices. In particular, to a platform allowing loaded and preconfigured pallets for use on an aircraft to be transported on a truck or other ground vehicle. [0003]
  • 2. Description of the Related Art [0004]
  • Militaries around the world use a wide variety of different transport vehicles for getting materials needed for effective combat operations from the plants or factories where those materials are manufactured or positioned for deployment to the point where those materials are needed to support a variety of operations. One of the most critical materials that needs to be transported is ammunition. Ammunition is, however, difficult to transport because it is usually strangely shaped, heavy, and explosive. In combat operations, these factors can lead to numerous logistical problems in getting ammunition from manufacture to the solder in the field. For instance, the ammunition will often need to be transported by aircraft to reach a distant theater, but usually transport aircraft cannot land at the forward edge of the battle area or other similar points where the ammunition is most needed. Instead, specialty trucks usually move the material to an Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) where it can be distributed to combat forces. [0005]
  • Traditionally, the transport of materials such as ammunition in aircraft has used specially constructed pallets generally referred to as 463L pallets (United States Air Force part numbers 7031843 (HCU-6E) and 7133047 (HCU-12E)). These pallets are of standard shape and size for loading and securing of the pallet in the aircraft through locking rail systems which interact with structures built into the pallet for that purpose. They are also specifically designed to be very strong for their weight. The pallets (platforms) used by transport trucks, on the other hand, are generally different because trucks are not as dependent on weight limits as aircraft, and instead generally utilize larger and more rugged transport pallets. In particular, the transport of pallets is generally performed by trucks with Pallet Load/unload Systems (PLS trucks). These trucks generally use platforms or “skids” such as those referred to as “flatracks” or “Container Ready On/off Platforms (CROPs).” Embodiments of these platforms are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,911,318 and 5,799,585 the entire disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference. These platforms are loaded using an overhead hook system which pulls the platform onto the back of the truck but is generally unusable by aircraft. [0006]
  • Because the two different transports generally use different pallets, in order to transfer ammunition from the aircraft to the truck (or vice-versa) it was necessary to remove the 463L pallet from the aircraft (often using what is commonly referred to as a K-loader), remove the 463L pallet from the K-loader, unpack the materials from the 463L pallet, repack the materials on a CROP, and then load the CROP on a truck for transport to the ASP. This series of steps is inefficient as having to unpack and repack the materials on the different types of pallet requires significant man-hours of labor and is a hindrance in getting ammunition to the ASP as quickly as possible. [0007]
  • SUMMARY
  • For these and other reasons known to those of ordinary skill in the art, described herein are truck platforms, pallets or skids designed to be loaded with pre-configured 463L pallets or other pallets configured for use in a transport aircraft. The truck platform, once loaded, is then loaded onto a truck (in particular a PLS truck or other truck utilizing a hook system such as those used to load traditional CROPs or flatracks) for ground transport. In an alternative embodiment, the 463L pallets may be loaded on the platform while it is in the standard transport position on the truck. [0008]
  • In an embodiment there is described herein a platform for use with a truck comprising: a deck having two spaced apart ends and two sides; a bail attached to the deck at a first of the spaced apart ends; and an interface comprising two guide rails one on each of the two sides, each guide rail including a plurality of locks; wherein the interface allows the platform to interface with a pallet designed to interface with an aircraft. This interface may occur in the same way the pallet would interface with the aircraft, or may utilize the connectors of the pallet used to interface with the aircraft in an entirely new way. [0009]
  • In an embodiment, the interface is 463L compatible and the pallet may be a 463L pallet. The platform may comprise a Container Ready On/off Platform (CROP) or include a plurality of rollers, which may be within a tray and convertible between two different positions either allowing or disallowing the rollers to interface with the pallets. [0010]
  • In an embodiment, the bail is foldable relative to the deck and/or removable from the platform. [0011]
  • In another embodiment, the two guide rails and the plurality of locks comprise the same system as those used on a K-loader and/or the truck is a truck including a Pallet Load/unload System (PLS) such as, but not limited to, a HEMTT-LHS truck. [0012]
  • In another embodiment the platform includes at least one tine trough extending into the deck from a second of the spaced apart ends. The platform may also include a ramp extending from the deck at a second of the spaced apart ends, which may be placed in a stowed position into the tine trough(s). The embodiment may also include a winch. [0013]
  • In another embodiment, the interface can interface with a pallet in a 88 inch biased configuration by spacing the guide rails a first distance apart, and can interface with a pallet in a 108 inch biased configuration by moving the guide rails a second greater distance apart. [0014]
  • In a still further embodiment, there is described a platform for use with a truck comprising: a deck having two spaced apart ends and two spaced apart sides; a bail attached to the deck at a first of the spaced apart ends; and means for interfacing, the means allowing the platform to interface with a pallet designed to interface with an aircraft. [0015]
  • In a still further embodiment, there is described a ground transportation truck comprising: a HEMTT-LHS truck; a platform lifted on the back of the truck; and a 463L pallet, the [0016] 463L pallet locked to the platform via interfaces on the 463L pallet designed to lock the 463L pallet to an aircraft.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 provides a side view of an embodiment of a truck platform. [0017]
  • FIG. 2 provides an end view of (from the ramp end) of the embodiment of the truck platform shown in FIG. 1 [0018]
  • FIG. 3 provides a perspective view of a portion of the truck platform of FIG. 1.[0019]
  • DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)
  • While the embodiments described below discuss truck platforms for use with a United States Army Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) including a Pallet Load/unload systems (PLS) or Load Handling System (LHS) (HEMTT-LHS) or other military trucks which utilize a PLS or LHS, one of ordinary skill in the art would understand how the discussion can be adapted for use with transportation vehicles of different types and/or used by different militaries or civilian organizations throughout the world. The system may also be used with any transportation vehicle utilizing an LHS or PLS system, having a system designed to operate like an LHS or PLS, or that is a modified LHS or PLS. [0020]
  • Further, one would understand that the term “platform” is used generally and may refer to any type of platform, pallet or skid which is used by a PLS or LHS configured vehicle while “pallet” is generally used to refer to any platform, pallet, or skid, used on an aircraft. Still further, while the embodiment described herein is designed to carry 463L pallets or pallets of similar design, one would understand that a platform configured to interact with a 463L pallet in substantially the same way as the locking system of an aircraft could be used in conjunction with any pallet configured to interact with the same or similar locking system whether known now or later developed. [0021]
  • FIGS. 1, 2 and [0022] 3 provide depictions of an embodiment of a truck platform. Generally, features found in the current CROP design are utilized with the platform (10) further including components so as to interface with current 463L compliant systems including 463L pallets and military cargo aircraft and aircraft loaders (K-loaders). Platform (10) will generally be presumed to be based on a CROP to allow for container use. However, one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the platform (10) can be a flatrack or any other skid or pallet and need not be a CROP. Generally, platform (10) would retain those features which make the current production CROP compatible with the PLS truck and ISO containers while incorporating interface components on the platform (10) to accommodate loading, carriage and off-loading 463L pallets. In particular, platform (10) can include mechanisms so that the pallet interacts with platform (10) in a manner that is substantially similar to its interaction with the aircraft systems for loading, unloading, and carriage of the same pallet.
  • FIGS. 1 through 3 provide for an embodiment of platform ([0023] 10). The platform (10) generally consists of a deck (101) with two spaced apart ends and two spaced apart sides. Attached at one end of deck (101) is a bail (103) which allows for the platform (10) to be picked up by a PLS or LHS. At a second end of deck (101), there may be a loading ramp (107). This loading ramp (107) may be separable from platform (10) or may fold and slide between a operative position where it provides ingress to the deck (101) and a stowed position where it is either stowed onboard the platform (10) or removed. The loading ramp (107) is shown deployed in FIG. 1, stowed in FIG. 2, and has been removed for clarity in FIG. 3.
  • Bail ([0024] 103) enables the PLS or LHS to lift the platform (10) in the same manner it lifts a traditional CROP. In an embodiment, the bail (103) may be rigidly attached or may be collapsible. If collapsible, the bail may be foldable such as the bail shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,799,585 or otherwise foldable onto the deck (101), may be retractable by “folding” underneath the deck (101) of the platform (10), may be removable and separately stowed, or may fold into another position. Generally, there will also be a series of truck rails (271) on the under side of the deck (101) to align the platform (10) with the truck and prevent lateral movement of the platform (10) when on the truck.
  • Looking particularly to FIG. 3, the components which provide 463L compatibility and which simulate the aircraft loading and securing systems are clearer. These interface components may comprise any or all of conveyor rollers ([0025] 201), guide rails (211) and/or locks (213). Conveyor rollers (201) in an embodiment, are included in deck (101) permitting on and off-loading of pallets without the need for any type of vertical lift. The rollers (201) are preferably installed into roller trays (203), which are positioned in troughs on the deck (101) running generally between the two ends. The trays (203) are preferably convertible between two different positions such that when they are in their first position, the rollers (201) interface with the loaded pallets, and while in their second position (where the roller tray (203) is generally flipped over from the position shown in the FIGS.), the deck (101) is generally flat surfaced and available for bulk cargo (e.g. when the 463L compatibility is not needed). With the trays so converted to their second position, the platform (10) effectively resembles a traditional CROP or flatrack.
  • In addition to ease of loading by rolling the loaded 463L pallets on the rollers ([0026] 201), the rollers (201) may also provide for additional functionality. In particular, rollers (201) also allow loads to be “dumped” off at the final destination. In particular, if the 463L pallets are not locked in place when the platform (10) is tilted at an angle (as generally occurs when a PLS truck loads or unloads the platform (10)), the 463L pallets can roll on rollers (201) to separate from the platform (10). As opposed to traditional methods, there is no need to include slipsheets to have this functionality.
  • In an embodiment, guide rails ([0027] 211) are included on the two sides of the deck (101) to guide 463L pallets onto the rollers (201) and deck (101) and to provide lateral (and potentially vertical, depending on design) retention of the payload and possibly to support the locks (231). In a preferred embodiment, the rails (211) stow when not required either by folding or by sinking into the deck. FIG. 2 shows, in dashed outline (251), a possible storage position with the rails inverted down. These guide rails (211) may also provide the mounting interface for locks (213) which restrain the 463L pallets on the deck (101).
  • Preferably, locks ([0028] 213) operate in the same fashion as those found on current K-loaders and cargo aircraft and such systems are well understood by those of ordinary skill in the art. The locking mechanisms may be designed to secure the pallets in either or both the horizontal dimension or the vertical dimension to maintain strength. Any type of lock or locking mechanism can comprise the locks (213). Those shown in the FIGS., which are designed to depress (or extend a portion of themselves) down from the guide rails (211) to retain the pallets both horizontally and vertically by clamping them downward into the deck, are merely exemplary and are in no way intended to limit the types of locks (213) which may be used.
  • In another embodiment, the locks ([0029] 213) and guide rails (211) in the interface may be the same as those used on a K-loader or similar aircraft loading vehicle. In still another embodiment, the interface may be configured to interact with the known positioning of the aircraft interface mechanisms on the pallets, but in a completely different manner from an aircraft. For instance, the locks (213) may be able to position or secure in a manner not allowed by the aircraft system or may operate in a manner completely different from the aircraft. The system does not require that the locking occur in any particular way (or even occur at all), the system is instead designed to allow for the truck platform to interact with the pallets based on the pallet's design. Specifically, the platform interacts with the portions of the pallet designed to interact with the aircraft's locking rail system. The two interactions (platform and aircraft) can occur in totally different manners or using totally different devices in an embodiment of the invention.
  • In an embodiment, the guide rails ([0030] 211) may be adjustable laterally. In this embodiment, the guide rails can be moved to positions to accept 463L pallets in either their 88 inch biased configuration or 108 inch biased configuration. Such an embodiment can allow for even more rapid loading/unloading as the bias of the pallets can be maintained and there is no need for rotation. In the depicted embodiment, the rails (211) and locks (213) could move from the solid line positions they are shown in when configured to accept an 88 inch biased pallet to the dashed position (261) to accept a 108 inch biased pallet.
  • In a further embodiment, deck ([0031] 101) may also include tine troughs (221) located within the deck (101). These troughs (221) are preferably located at the end of the deck (101) opposing the bail (103) but may be anywhere. Troughs (221) are generally designed to permit loading/off-loading of pallets with fork trucks. Sufficient space preferably exists between the bottom of the troughs (221) and the top of the rollers (which will correspond to the bottom of a 463L pallet on the platform (10)) to allow insertion of the tines of the fork truck without the need for blocking. This enables the pallets to be transferred, while still fully loaded, to or from the platform (10) by fork truck.
  • In still another embodiment of the invention, platform ([0032] 10) includes additional features preferably designed for use in the situation when a 463L pallet is positioned on the ground (or other surface) and there is no additional device available for transferring the 463L pallet to the platform (10). In this embodiment, the deck (101) includes a ramp (107) and preferably a winch (117) which may be mounted underneath the deck (101) (as shown) or elsewhere on the platform (or on the truck). The platform (10) is generally placed on the surface in close proximity to the 463L pallet to be transported (or vice versa). A chain or other attachment is connected from the winch (117) to the 463L pallet and the winch (117) is activated to drag the 463L pallet up the ramp (107) and onto the deck (101) where it may then be maneuvered and locked as normal. In an embodiment, the PLS truck can help support the platform (10) during this operation. The ramp (107) may also serve as the cover for the trough (221) by folding, sliding or otherwise being placed in the troughs (221), which, combined with inverted roller trays, can also help create the flat deck surface previously discussed.
  • The platform ([0033] 10) can be custom constructed to include the above features, or additional features can be added to existing flatracks or CROPs. A retrofit kit would preferably complement the existing platforms to allow direct interface with 463L pallets. The kit could be installed as part of the refurbishment of existing flatracks and CROPs. This approach would probably add approximately four inches to the height of the current platform. The kit would preferably be a bolt-on assembly requiring minimal platform modifications.
  • As should be apparent, since the kit is modifying an existing CROP or flatrack, the platform ([0034] 10), with the 463L compatible deck (101), can maintain the current CROP capabilities in terms of interfacing with the HEMTT-LHS truck and ISO container, stacking (such as for retrograde), and interface ability with other equipment. The modified flatrack configuration could also retain the current capabilities of a flatrack. Further, an originally constructed platform (10), can be built using current specifications as known to those of ordinary skill in the art to maintain the same functionality as the current system, but incorporating components to interact with a 463L pallet.
  • The platform ([0035] 10) can create a seamless interface for the military's cargo handling operations when air transport is involved. In essence, the platform (10), positioned onto a PLS truck via current methods, essentially creates a new 463L-system compliant vehicle for the military. The interface between the platform (10) and the PLS truck need not be changed. By utilizing this approach, cargo handling capabilities are improved without impact to current trucks or established aircraft cargo handling procedures and specifications. The operations described below envision that the PLS truck is permitted at or near the aircraft or landing area for loading and unloading.
  • The platform ([0036] 10) permits rapid off-load of pallets from all current military cargo aircraft, whether individual pallets or pallet trains. The platform (10), while on the PLS truck, can also accept 463L pallets from an aircraft via a K-loader or directly from the aircraft. Cargo, which has been air transported on pallets, can be downloaded to a PLS truck that has the platform (10) onboard. Pallets are offloaded from the aircraft using current methods, generally a K-loader or similar piece of equipment will accept pallets unloaded from the aircraft (the loader will usually be required to compensate for the various heights of the cargo aircraft.) in either the 108 inch or 88 inch bias. The K-loader may adjust the bias if necessary, and will then off load the pallets directly to the PLS truck platform (10) by aligning its load area to the platform (10) on the back of the truck. In another embodiment the PLS truck can be loaded directly from the aircraft (presuming correct height relationships or adjustability of the PLS truck with the platform (10) in place).
  • Once on the PLS truck, the pallets can be quickly locked into place (preferably by one hand operation of locks ([0037] 213)) and the PLS is ready to transport the cargo to the ASP. No reconfiguration of the cargo is required. Loading cargo onto the aircraft from the platform can also be performed without reconfiguration of the palletized cargo by simply reversing the above steps. Transporting a loaded platform (10) by aircraft is also not required, which allows for additional payload per sortie as the weight of the platform (10) is not transported. If required, the current method of transporting an existing CROP by air could be utilized to carry the platform (10).
  • Palletized cargo can be directly loaded onto the platform ([0038] 10) from a K-loader thereby eliminating the need for cranes and heavy fork trucks. With the platform (10) in position on the PLS, pallets can be directly loaded to/from a K-loader. If the platform (10) and/or the pallets are on the ground, loading/unloading can be accomplished using a fork truck or similar device. In either case, pallets may be locked onto the platform (10) using the same or similar methods used to lock them to the aircraft. In an embodiment, no additional tie downs, chains or netting is used, but such additional restraint is still at the discretion of the user.
  • Other options include offloading pallets from the aircraft utilizing a fork truck with roller tines and placing the pallets onto a PLS truck equipped with the platform ([0039] 10). Again, the pallets are locked into place, no tie downs or cargo nets are required. The platform (10) can also be positioned on the ground and loaded with pallets from fork trucks that pick the load up from an aircraft, terminal, ground or a K-loader. The platforms (10) can then be lifted onboard a PLS truck utilizing the current hook mechanism and hydraulic system without modification.
  • Although the platform ([0040] 10) will generally not be combat offloaded as it is generally not transported in the aircraft, pallets that have been combat offloaded to the runway surface can be loaded onto the PLS truck fitted with the platform (10). Typically, fork trucks are available at the drop site. Combat offloaded pallets can be lifted from the ground with a fork truck and positioned onto the platform (10) and locked into place; blocking and tie downs are again not required. The platform (10) can be either on the PLS truck, positioned near the pallet, or on the ground away from the offload area. Once locked onto the platform (10), the palletized cargo can be transported to the final destination.
  • If pallets are combat offloaded at a site that lacks devices for transferring the 463L pallets to the platform ([0041] 10) (there are no fork trucks or similar vehicles), the alternative embodiment discussed above which employs the ramp (107) and winch (117) maybe used. The platform (10) would be lowered by the PLS truck mechanism in proximity to the pallet. Although it may still be supported (retained) by the PLS hook, the platform is preferably grounded (lying with the deck (101) parallel to the ground). The ramp (107) is positioned toward the pallet. The winch (117) is attached to the pallet at a convenient point and the pallet is winched onto the platform (10) where it may be moved normally and locked into place. The positioning of the winch (117) may permit loading either two individual pallets or a pallet train. The platform (10) is then repositioned (lifted) onto the PLS truck, ready for delivery.
  • The platform ([0042] 10) will generally provide a means to ship configured loads from the depot level to the user without the need for reconfiguration. The platform (10) will facilitate current CROP/ISO container transport characteristics. The platform can be loaded with pallets that are locked into place, although pallets will generally need to be in the 88-inch bias position to fit in the container. If air transport is required following containerized shipment, the pallets are already configured to interface with the 463L cargo handling system found at terminals, on aircraft loaders and inside the aircraft. No additional reconfiguration would be required. Or, the platform (10) can be removed from the container by a PLS truck and delivered to the end user. The capability to pre-load supplies and transport via ISO container is not compromised by this concept, but enhanced. The current configuration for shipments can continue, with the roller trays inverted and the rails stowed providing a flat surface for tie down of bulk cargo.
  • Palletized cargo can be directly offloaded from the platform ([0043] 10) as described above. Additionally, the platform (10) can be lowered to the ground by the existing PLS truck mechanism, the pallet locks disengaged, and the pallets rolled off of the platform as it is raised back onto the PLS truck (alternatively the pallets can be pushed off by hand). Removal of cargo straps and tie downs will generally not be required for offloading the platform. Cargo, which was loaded onto the platform in the “flat deck” configuration (roller trays inverted and rails folded under), would be handled in the same fashion as today.
  • With the rapid offload capability, it is envisioned that pallets would be “rolled off” the platform ([0044] 10) which would remain with the PLS truck. Under this operating scenario, the truck maintains full cargo handling capabilities and retrograde would be limited to 463L pallets. If a platform (10) is left at a forward point, it can be retrograded in the same fashion as current production CROPs. The retrograde of modified flatracks can also be accomplished in the fashion of flatracks already known in the art.
  • While the invention has been disclosed in connection with certain preferred embodiments, this should not be taken as a limitation to all of the provided details. Modifications and variations of the described embodiments may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, and other embodiments should be understood to be encompassed in the present disclosure as would be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art. [0045]

Claims (20)

1. A platform for use with a truck comprising:
a deck having two spaced apart ends and two sides;
a bail attached to said deck at a first of said spaced apart ends; and
an interface comprising two guide rails one on each of said two sides, each guide rail including a plurality of locks;
wherein said interface allows said platform to interface with a pallet designed to interface with an aircraft.
2. The platform of claim 1 wherein said interface is 463L compatible.
3. The platform of claim 2 wherein said pallet is a 463L pallet.
4. The platform of claim 1 wherein said platform comprises a Container Ready On/off Platform (CROP).
5. The platform of claim 1 wherein said deck includes a plurality of rollers.
6. The platform of claim 5 wherein said plurality of rollers are within at least one roller tray.
7. The platform of claim 6 wherein said roller tray can be converted between two different positions, in the first of said positions, said rollers interface with said pallets and in the second of said positions, said rollers do not interface with said pallets.
8. The platform of claim 1 wherein said bail is foldable relative to said deck.
9. The platform of claim 1 wherein said bail is removable from said platform.
10. The platform of claim 1 wherein said two guide rails and said plurality of locks comprise the same system as those used on a K-loader.
11. The platform of claim 1 wherein said truck is a truck including a Pallet Load/unload System (PLS).
12. The platform of claim 11 where said truck is a HEMTT-LHS truck.
13. The platform of claim 1 further comprising a tine trough extending into said deck from a second of said spaced apart ends.
14. The platform of claim 1 further comprising a ramp extending from said deck at a second of said spaced apart ends.
15. The platform of claim 14 wherein said ramp can be placed in a stowed position where said stowed position comprises placing said ramp into at least one tine trough extending into said deck from a second of said spaced apart ends.
16. The platform of claim 14 further comprising a winch.
17. The platform of claim 1 wherein said interface can interface with a pallet in a 88 inch biased configuration by spacing said guide rails a first distance apart.
18. The platform of claim 17 wherein said interface can interface with a pallet in a 108 inch biased configuration by moving said guide rails a second distance apart.
19. A platform for use with a truck comprising:
a deck having two spaced apart ends and two spaced apart sides;
a bail attached to said deck at a first of said spaced apart ends; and
means for interfacing, said means allowing said platform to interface with a pallet designed to interface with an aircraft.
20. A ground transportation truck comprising:
a HEMTT-LHS truck;
a platform lifted on the back of said truck; and
a 463L pallet, said 463L pallet locked to said platform via interfaces on said 463L pallet designed to lock said 463L pallet to an aircraft.
US10/462,382 2002-06-15 2003-06-16 Truck platform for 463L pallets Abandoned US20040040477A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US38927202P true 2002-06-15 2002-06-15
US10/462,382 US20040040477A1 (en) 2002-06-15 2003-06-16 Truck platform for 463L pallets

Applications Claiming Priority (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/462,382 US20040040477A1 (en) 2002-06-15 2003-06-16 Truck platform for 463L pallets
PCT/US2004/010594 WO2006022608A1 (en) 2003-04-07 2004-04-07 Cargo roller system for cargo handling
US10/819,483 US20040247422A1 (en) 2002-06-15 2004-04-07 Cargo roller system for cargo handling

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