The invention relates to a storage and transport apparatus with a substantially rectangular base platform element which is provided, in each of four corner regions, with a locating socket for releasably receiving a supporting rod.
Storage and transport apparatuses of this kind are commonly used; mounting means are provided in the supporting rods received in the locating socket, in the form of cut-outs, openings or in some other form, and serve to releasably hold horizontal, shelf or tray-like storage platforms, which are mounted on them with a mutual vertical spacing and on which a very wide range of items can be placed.
If a storage and transport apparatus of this kind has to be moved or transported, the problem frequently arises that the supporting rods inserted into the locating sockets can unintentionally slip out, or, if a number of base platform elements are stacked one on top of the other, that they unintentionally come undone from one another.
The problem of the invention therefore consists in improving a storage and transport apparatus of the generic kind in such a way that the supporting rods cannot be unintentionally separated from the locating sockets and/or that a number of base platform elements stacked one on top of the other cannot come undone from one another.
In a first embodiment, this problem is solved in accordance with the invention in that at least one of the locating sockets is provided with a releasable locking means for co-operating in a positive and/or non-positive fit with a supporting rod, where the locking means prevents the supporting rod from being removed from the locating socket in a locked state and permits removal in a released state.
It can be provided that the locking means co-operates in a positive fit with a mounting means of the supporting rod. It is conveniently provided that the locking means has a locking member which engages in openings or holes drilled in the locating socket and the supporting rod. The locking member can be designed as a flexible tongue or hook or as a W-clip or folding split pin.
Alternatively, it can be provided that the locking member is designed as a spring-loaded or weight-loaded pivotable locking lever. The locking lever can be offset in a V-shape and have a locking arm that can be pivoted through an opening in the locating socket and an actuation arm projecting from the locating socket.
It can be provided that the locating socket (and also the supporting rods to be held) is round, polygonal, rectangular or square in cross-section, the locking lever being mounted on a side wall and pivotable about a pivot axis perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the locating socket.
It is preferably envisaged that the locking lever is provided with a weight on its actuation arm, or that a spring acts on the actuation arm.
The problem of the invention is solved in a second embodiment in a generic storage and transport apparatus by having at least one locating socket possessing a releasable base platform locking means for co-operating in a positive and/or non-positive fit with a locating socket of a further base platform placed on or beneath it and/or a supporting rod joined on beneath it, where the base platform locking means prevents the base platform from being removed from the further base platform and/or from the supporting rod in a locked state and permits removal in a released state.
It is preferably provided that the base platform locking means has a locking member which engages in openings or holes drilled in the at least one locating socket or supporting rod. The locking member can be designed as a flexible tongue or hook or as a W-clip or folding split pin.
In general, it can be provided that at least one locating socket is equipped, on the underside, with a centring shoulder for co-operating in a centring fashion with a locating socket of a further base platform located beneath it, or with a supporting rod joined on from below.
In a further development of the invention, it can be provided that at least one of the locating sockets has a supporting rod inserted in it, which is composed of two or more rod parts, wherein a releasable rod locking means is disposed on at least one connecting area between two rod parts in order to co-operate with the rod parts in a positive and/or non-positive fit, the rod locking means preventing the rod parts from being separated in a locked state and permitting their separation in a released state.
It can be provided that the rod locking means has a locking member engaging in openings in the rod parts. The locking member can be designed as a flexible tongue or hook or as a W-clip or folding split pin, U-shaped or C-shaped shackle or spring-locked plug-in member.
It can be provided that the rod locking means has a flexible tongue which is mounted, at an end portion, on a rod part and, with a free, resilient end portion, co-operates with an opening in another rod part.
It can also be provided that the rod parts are designed as hollow profiles and that the flexible tongue is disposed in the interior of a hollow profile.
At its free end portion, the flexible tongue can have a hook-shaped detent portion which, in the unloaded state of the flexible tongue, protrudes out of the hollow profile.
Further advantages and features of the invention will become clear from the following description of preferred embodiments, reference being made to a drawing.
FIG. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a storage and transport apparatus in accordance with the invention, with supporting rods inserted and two storage platforms;
FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a storage platform;
FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a base platform;
FIG. 4 shows an enlarged illustration of an insertion end portion of a storage platform;
FIG. 5 shows an enlarged illustration of a supporting rod;
FIG. 6 shows a view of an upper corner area of the apparatus and a supporting rod in an orientation rotated by 180° compared to FIG. 1, with a support member inserted;
FIG. 7 shows a view of an upper corner area of the apparatus with a supporting rod inserted, in an orientation rotated by 180° compared to FIG. 1, with a plurality of stacked storage platforms;
FIG. 8 shows a perspective, schematic illustration of a variant of a supporting rod;
FIG. 9 shows an alternative embodiment of a storage and transport apparatus, where two partial devices of low height are illustrated stacked one on top of the other;
FIG. 10 shows a perspective view of a partial device according to FIG. 9 with an orientation corresponding to the supporting rods according to FIGS. 6 and 7;
FIG. 11 shows a first embodiment of a locking means in a locked state;
FIG. 12 shows the locking means according to FIG. 11 in a released state;
FIG. 13 shows the locking means according to FIG. 11 in a released state;
FIG. 14 shows a base platform locking means in a lower end portion of a locating socket;
FIG. 15 shows a base platform locking means in an upper end portion of a locating socket;
FIG. 16 shows the base platform locking means according to FIG. 14 co-operating with a supporting rod attached from below;
FIGS. 17 and 18 show different variants of the supporting-rod part of the base platform locking means;
FIG. 19 shows a variant of the base platform locking means according to FIGS. 14-18;
FIG. 20 shows a rod locking means;
FIG. 21 shows an alternative embodiment to the (base platform) locking means illustrated in FIGS. 11 to 13 and 17, 18;
FIG. 22 shows a longitudinal section along line A-A in FIG. 20, and
FIGS. 23 to 25 show two further alternative rod locking means.
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a storage apparatus 1 in accordance with the invention, which in this example is designed specifically for the storage and transport of plant pots, with a substantially rectangular base platform 2 provided with rollers 4 on the underside. Two or all four rollers can be pivotable and at least one of them can be lockable. The base platform 2 has a substantially flat, horizontal floor 8, which serves as a standing surface for items to be stored or transported, e.g. plant pots, the base platform being designed in the form of a tray and including a peripheral closed side wall 10. An overflow 12 is disposed in each of two mutually opposing edge portions, the overflow being adjustable in order to adjust the height of a level of liquid (water level) on the floor 8. The overflows 12 are in each case disposed in the area of a protrusion 14 from the otherwise rectangular floor 8, so that a rectangular standing surface is left (cf. narrow side 15 in FIG. 3), in which no overflows are disposed. The protrusions 14 may be of any appropriate shape, such as rectangular, polygonal or freely shaped.
In each of the four corner regions of the base platform 2 there is a locating socket 16 with a square internal and external cross-section 2, which is aligned perpendicularly to the floor 8, the purpose of which in each case is to receive a supporting rod 20 in a releasable way.
Each locating socket 16 has a stop 22 at its lower end, which may be a solid part with a square cross-section or a square bushing with a smaller cross-section than the locating socket. The height and positioning of the stop 22 determine the depth to which the supporting rods 20 can be inserted into the locating sockets 16.
The floor 8 of the base platform 2 is provided with a reinforcement 18 on its longitudinal sides beneath the side wall 10 in order to increase its load-bearing capacity.
A series of storage platforms 40 are releasably mounted on the four supporting rods 20, one such storage platform being illustrated in greater detail in FIG. 2. The storage platform 40 has a substantially flat floor 41 and a side wall 44 enclosing it in the form of a tray. In the region of each of the narrow sides 43, the storage platform has a protrusion 54, which, as in the case of the base platform, serves to hold an overflow (not shown), so that a rectangular standing surface without overflows remains freely available. The protrusion 54 is in the shape of a sector of a circle in this example, but it can also be of any other shape desired.
Each storage platform 40 is equipped with four hook-shaped mounting members 42, which are inserted into the supporting rods 20. In this example, the mounting members 42 are disposed in the corner portions in the region of the narrow sides 43 of the storage platform. Each mounting member 42 has an insertion end portion 46, which ends freely, in this example in the direction of the adjacent longitudinal side 50 of the storage platform. In a different construction, the insertion end portion terminates parallel to the longitudinal sides 50.
Each insertion end portion 46 is provided with a recess 48 (or two, FIG. 4), which makes insertion into a hollow-profile wall of a supporting rod 20 possible in a positive fit.
FIG. 4 shows an insertion end portion 46 in an enlarged representation, where in addition to the recess 48 referred to, a second recess 48 a opposite is also shown, which makes it possible to hang the storage platform 40 in upside down (floor facing not upwards, but downwards).
FIG. 5 shows a first embodiment of a supporting rod 20, which is formed by a hollow profile that is a square, almost closed, C-shape in cross-section and which has a web portion 60, two parallel limb portions 61 and two edge portions 62 extending therefrom and pointing towards one another, forming a longitudinal slot 26. At each end of the supporting rod 20, there are two lands 70, which are spaced apart from one another and bridge the longitudinal slot 26.
In the web portion 60, over the entire length of the supporting rod 20, there are insertion recesses 28, which are spaced apart from one another, while on the opposite side, the continuous longitudinal slot 26 is formed between the edge portions 62.
The possibility exists of inserting the supporting rod parts into the base platform in such a way that the insertion recesses do not face each other, as illustrated in FIG. 1, but are in a position rotated by 180° relative to the illustration according to FIG. 1, so that the longitudinal slots 26 in the supporting rods face each other. This makes it possible to arrange a plurality of storage platforms in a space-saving manner, as will be explained below in connection with FIGS. 6 and 7.
The insertion recesses 28 can be disposed in any desired arrangement, number, mutual spacing etc. In two adjacent hollow-profile walls of a C-shaped supporting rod (corresponding to the web portion 60 and a limb portion 61 according to FIG. 5), insertion recesses 28 of different sizes and of the same size may be formed. As a result, in one and the same storage device, different storage platforms 40 can be inserted, such as those in accordance with FIG. 2, in which the insertion end portions 46 are aligned parallel to a narrow side of the storage platform, and also those in which insertion end portions are attached which are aligned in the longitudinal direction or parallel to the longitudinal sides of the storage platform (not shown), as a result of which variable use is possible in practice. It can be convenient to provide insertion recesses in all three hollow-profile walls 60, 61, which can be staggered relative to one another when seen in the longitudinal direction as required. For reasons of stability, it may also be convenient to arrange the insertion recesses in adjacent hollow-profile walls staggered in the longitudinal direction of the supporting rod, as is shown in FIG. 8.
FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate one possibility of arranging a plurality of storage platforms 40 on a base platform 2 in a space-saving manner, the supporting rods 20 being inserted in the locating sockets 16 rotated by 180° relative to the arrangement according to FIG. 1, so that the longitudinal slots 26 are directed towards one another (pointing inwards). In this case, the insertion end portions 46 of the storage platforms project into the longitudinal slots, whereas the insertion end portions of a storage platform lying on the base platform at the very bottom extend through the recesses 30 of the locating sockets 16, as a result of which the weight load is reduced.
FIG. 6 shows how a top-most storage platform can be hung in the lands 70, so that the supporting rods are stabilised in their opposed positions. In one embodiment of the insertion end portions 46 according to FIG. 4 (with two recesses 48, 48 a), the top-most storage platform, which is illustrated in FIG. 6, can be hung in upside down, which has the advantage that, when stored in the open air, it cannot fill up with rain water.
In addition, FIG. 7 shows reinforcement profiles 58, which are attached to the undersides of the storage platform 40 for reinforcement and centring purposes. The reinforcement profiles can be attached in the longitudinal and/or transverse direction of the storage platform.
In order also to be able to lay storage platforms of this kind, in which the insertion end portions end in the longitudinal direction of the storage platform, on a base platform in the weight-reducing manner described, it is appropriate for the locating sockets 16 to be provided in each case with cut-outs 30 on two or even three sides, which are each staggered by 90° relative to one another, see FIG. 3.
As FIGS. 9 and 10 show, when the supporting rods 20 are divided into two preferably identical parts 20 a, each of which is about as high as a table, the possibility exists, when they are being transported in a lorry or the like, of in each case arranging two low storage apparatuses 1′, each of which is about as high as a table, stacked one on top of the other if each supporting rod part, at the upper end, where it can be separably joined to a further supporting rod part, has a socket 90 attached from the outside, which can receive either a further supporting rod part or—as is the case here—a centring member 22 (cf. FIG. 7) of a further base platform 2. With an arrangement of this kind, four supporting rod parts 20 a, each of which is about as high as a table, are inserted in a lower base platform and hung in the one or more storage platforms 40, a further base platform 2 being placed on top of the upper ends of the four supporting rod parts, which is likewise provided with four supporting rod parts 20 a, into which a plurality of storage platforms 40 are hung (FIG. 9). In the process, the centring means or stops 22 of the upper base platform engage in a centring and securing manner in the upper ends of the sockets 90 attached to the supporting rod parts of the lower storage device 1′. After transportation, the staff concerned only have to remove the upper storage device 1′ and then they have two finished, rollable storage or presentation tables. In this way, a considerable amount of time is saved for each storage device, since, for example, plants stored on the storage apparatuses 1′ do not have to be transferred to watering tables. The two storage apparatuses 1′, both individually and in the arrangement according to FIG. 9, form a storage device for the purposes of the invention, and of course also in the arrangement according to FIG. 1, in which a storage device 1 is extended into a storage device 1 of greater height by means of four additional supporting rods 20 b, the ends of which are inserted from above into the sockets 90 of the lower supporting rods 20 a.
FIG. 10 shows an arrangement in which the supporting rods are inserted into the base platform in such a way that the longitudinal slots 26 of the supporting rods face one another, so that a relatively large number of storage platforms can be stacked on top of one another and lying on the base platform, while FIG. 9 shows an arrangement in which the longitudinal slots face away from one another, or outwards, so that a desired number of storage platforms can be hung in the supporting rods in accordance with the illustration shown in FIG. 1.
As can already be gathered roughly from FIG. 3 and in detail from FIGS. 11 to 13, which show a storage region of a base platform 2, a releasable locking means 100 is disposed on each locating socket 16 of a base platform 2, with which the possibility exists of locking a supporting rod inserted (from above) into the locating socket, to prevent it from being pulled out unintentionally. In the embodiment shown, the locking means 100 has a pivotable locking lever 102, which, by means of two lateral pivoting lugs 104 mounted in two mounting sockets 106, is pivotable about a pivot axis 108 running horizontally, or parallel to the floor 8. The mounting sockets may be C-shaped in cross-section and can be made from an elastic material, so that the locking lever can easily be replaced if the need arises. Alternatively a mounting socket can be provided into which the locking lever is inserted with a bearing axle, corresponding to one of the pivoting lugs 104, the bearing axle being secured at an end projecting from the mounting socket by means of an attached securing member, e.g. a clasp or snap-action lock.
At a free end opposite the pivoting lugs 104, the locking lever 102 is provided with a T-shaped weight 110, which is joined on so that the lever automatically drops into the fixed position shown in FIG. 11 under the force of gravity. The area of the locking lever 102 bearing the weight 110 forms an actuation arm 112, with which an operator can swing the locking lever into a released state as shown in FIG. 12 or 13 with one hand or foot. The locking lever 102 also has a locking arm 114, extending at an angle of approx. 90° to 120°, about 105° in the present case, from the actuation arm 112 and, in the locked position according to FIG. 11, projecting inwardly in the region of the slot 30 of the locating socket 16. A crossbar 116 above the mounting sockets 106 forms a stop for the locking arm 114 when the latter swings up and the weight 110 swings down.
According to FIG. 5, a supporting rod 20 inserted into a locating socket 16, as shown in FIGS. 11 to 13, has either an insertion recess 28 or slotted portion between two lands 70 in its lower end portion, so that even in two out of four possible insertion positions of the supporting rods, security is already provided against their being pulled out unintentionally, as a result of the fact that the locking arm 114 engages either in the region between two lands 70 or in an insertion recess 28 when the locking lever 102 is in its locked position according to FIG. 11.
If it is desired that the supporting rod 20 should be locked automatically in every possible insertion position, appropriate openings must also be provided in the area of the respective end portions of the side-wall regions, which are shown on the left and right in FIG. 5, and which do not normally have any recesses, so that the locking lever 102 can engage in those openings with its locking arm 114. In supporting rods which are provided with insertion recesses 28 on three sides, this is the case.
In a modification of the embodiment of the locking means 100, as is illustrated in FIGS. 11 to 13 a, it can be provided that the locking lever 102 is attached in a higher position, i.e. closer to the upper end portion of the locating socket 16, and that the centring member 22 is made longer, so that when one base platform is placed on another, the locking arm 114 of the locking lever 102 can engage in an opening created in the centring member 22 for this purpose. The opening necessary for this purpose is indicated by dotted lines in FIG. 11 and numbered 117. With an embodiment of this kind, in which the position of the locking lever 102 (locking means 100) is adapted to the position of the opening 117, the two members can co-operate with one another when two base platform elements are placed one on top of the other. Here too, an embodiment corresponding to FIG. 13 a is possible, i.e. with a locking means and a releasing means 180, as will be described in more detail below.
FIG. 14 shows a releasable base platform locking means 120, consisting of a centring member 22 with two or more openings 122 on the locating socket 16 (FIG. 3). The base platform locking means 120 co-operates with corresponding openings (corresponding to position 126 in FIG. 15) in the upper end region of a locating socket 16 of a further base platform 2, e.g. with a hook 124 (FIG. 16). Alternatively, the base platform locking means 120 co-operates with corresponding drilled holes or openings (corresponding to position 128 in FIGS. 16-18) in the end region of a supporting rod 20 onto which the base platform 16 can be placed from above, as is illustrated in FIG. 9 (openings not shown), where the upper base platform 2 is resting on the sockets 90 of the lower supporting rods 20 a.
As FIG. 16 shows, the base platform locking means 120 may, for example, comprise a hook 124, a W-clip or folding split pin, peg, bolt or the like, retained by a chain so that they cannot be lost, so that security is provided against the locating socket 16 and the associated base platform being unintentionally lifted off a supporting rod 20 disposed beneath it or off the corresponding locating socket of a further base platform located directly beneath it.
Because of the slot-like cut-outs 30 with which the locating sockets 16 are provided, a narrow corner region 32 is left in the upper end portion of the locating sockets 16 (FIG. 15), which does not contribute much to the mechanical stability of the locating socket and can therefore be omitted above the locking means 100. If this is the case, the openings 126 for locking purposes must be disposed in corner regions adjacent to or opposite the region 32, as illustrated in FIG. 15.
In order to ensure that, even with a supporting rod designed as in FIG. 5 or 8, it is possible to secure the supporting rod in any insertion position (four positions displayed by 90° relative to one another are possible in the case of a square rod cross-section), one or two drilled holes 128 (two smaller ones or one larger one) are provided in the end portions of the supporting rods, as shown in FIGS. 16, 17 and 18, for each side of the socket 90, in order to allow the apparatus to be secured with a hook 124 or the like, in accordance with FIG. 16. Those sides in which the recesses 28 or the longitudinal slot 26 are disposed do not necessarily have to be provided with an opening 128, since the stop can be achieved via the upper edge of the last recess 28 or the longitudinal slot 26, near the end.
FIG. 19 illustrates an alternative base platform locking means 150. FIG. 19 shows a corner region of a base platform 2 with a locating socket 16 and indicated side walls 10; below the locating socket 16, an upper end of a further locating socket 16 of a base platform disposed beneath it is indicated by dashed lines. In this case, the locking means 150 is intended to lock the two base platform elements together in a releasable manner.
At its lower end, as can already be seen from FIG. 11 by way of example, the locating socket 16 is provided with a stopping and centring member 22, which is attached at or in a lower end portion of the locating socket 16. Inside the centring member 22, which, like the locating socket 16, is formed as a piece of piping with a free square internal cross-section, a latch 152 is mounted so as to be pivotable about a pivot axis 154. The end portion 152 a of the latch 152 opposite the axis 154 projects out through an opening 156 provided in the centring member 22. The length of the latch 152 is dimensioned such that the end portion 152 a of the latch is approximately in a plane that is identical to an outer surface 16 a of the locating socket 16 opposite the axis 154. This ensures that the end portion 152 a projects by about the thickness of the wall of the locating socket 16 from the centring member 22, the thickness of the wall being about the same as the thickness of the wall of a socket 90 of the supporting rods 20. In addition, it ensures that the end portion 152 a does not project—or only projects insignificantly—beyond the outer surface of the locating socket 16, which has the advantage that the latch 152 does not disturb when a plurality of base platform elements or storage apparatuses are placed close together.
The latch 152 is connected with a locking or operating lever 160 via a drawing or actuation means 158, such as a wire or plastic cable or a straight or angled connecting rod, which passes through an opening 153. The operating lever 160 is attached laterally to the locating socket 16 so as to be pivotable about an axis 162 parallel to the axis 154 and is equipped at a free end portion with a weight 164.
When a base platform 2 is provided on one or more locating sockets 16, conveniently on two diagonally opposing sockets or on all four locating sockets, with one base platform locking means 150 in each case, as in FIG. 19, and when that base platform is placed, in the direction of the arrow 166, on top of another base platform, one locating socket 16′ of which is indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 19, first of all the centring member 22 engages in the upper free end portion of the locating socket 16′. With a further downward movement, the upper rim 16 b comes into contact with the free end portion 152 a of the latch 152 and begins to swivel it in the direction of the arrow 168 about the axis 154. In the locating socket 16′, aligned with the opening 156, an opening 170′ is formed, into which the latch 152 drops with its free end portion 152 a as soon as it has been swung sufficiently far upwards and into the interior of the centring member 22 to pass a web of material between the opening 170′ and the rim 16 b′.
The base platform locking means 150 thus automatically locks the base platform 2, which has been placed on from above, on a lower base platform or on sockets 90 of four supporting rods of a storage device terminating freely towards the top, provided the sockets are equipped with an opening corresponding to the opening designated 170 in FIG. 19.
Depending on whether the drawing means 158 is flexible or rigid, when the base platform locking means 150 is placed on top and engaged, the operating lever 160 is temporarily swivelled upwards in the pivoting direction 172 into the position shown by a dashed line in FIG. 19. In each case, it is possible, by swinging the operating lever 160 up in the direction 172, to raise the latch 152 via the drawing means 158 and thus to place it in a non-locking position, so that the base platform 2 can be lifted off the structure below it.
The operating lever 160 is preferably designed as shown in FIGS. 11 to 13, namely with a locking arm 114, which is likewise illustrated in FIG. 19 and which reaches through the opening 153 into the interior of the locating socket 16. In this way, the base platform locking means shown in FIG. 19 simultaneously forms both a locking means in the nature of the locking means 100, namely for supporting rods 20 inserted into the locating sockets 16 from above, and also a base platform locking means as described above for locking one base platform on top of another or on four supporting rods. With a single manual operation, namely raising the operating lever 160, which corresponds to the actuation arm 112, two locks can then be released at the same time.
Differently from what is shown in FIG. 19, the latch 152, the axis 154 and the openings 170 can be disposed in the locating socket or the centring member 22 in an arrangement rotated by 90° relative to the illustration according to FIG. 19, namely conveniently in an anti-clockwise direction when seen from above. In this case, the free end portion 152 a of the latch 152 would project in the region of a narrow side of the base platform 2, which would likewise be unproblematic. Only an arrangement which were rotated either by 180° or by 90° in a clockwise direction relative to the illustration in FIG. 19 when seen from above would be unfavourable, because, with a central arrangement of the latch 152 relative to the internal free cross-section of the locating socket 16, there would be no material in which the openings 170 could be made, since the slot-like recesses 30 are provided adjacent to the corner region 32.
Both with the locking means 100 according to FIGS. 11 to 13 and with the base platform locking means 150 it can be convenient to provide a restraining means for the released state so that the apparatus can still be operated with one hand when a storage device has two or four individual locking means. A restraining means of this kind could, for example, consist in selecting a position beyond dead centre for an operating lever in the released state or in providing a separate restraining means in the form of a hook, magnet or the like.
FIG. 13 a shows a variant of the locking means 100 according to FIGS. 11 to 13, in which a releasing means 180 is provided which causes the locking means 100 to return automatically from the released state maintained by the restraining means to the locked position when a supporting rod 20 is pulled out of the locating socket 16.
For this purpose, a releasing means in the form of a releasing arm 180 is attached on the pivoting lugs 104. With regard to the pivot axis 108, the releasing arm 180 is disposed rotated by such an angle relative to the locking arm 114 that, in the released state, the releasing arm 180 extends through the cut-out 30 in the insertion recess 28 of the supporting rod 20, as is indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 13 a. In this example, the actuation arm 112 is resting against the locating socket 16 and is held in this situation because of its position beyond dead centre, for example, or by means of a magnet 182 (restraining means). One single person can, for example, successively move a plurality of such locking means on one and the same storage device or one base platform into the maintained released state, as shown by dashed lines in FIG. 13 a. After that, one or more supporting rods 20 can be successively or simultaneously pulled out of one or more locating sockets 16. In the process, a lower rim 28 a of the insertion recess 28 into which the releasing arm 180 engages co-operates with the latter and thus swivels the locking lever 102, consisting of pivoting lugs 104, an actuation arm 112, weight 110, locking arm 114 and releasing arm 180, in an anti-clockwise direction according to the illustration in FIG. 13 a. As this happens, it may happen that the locking arm 114 slides a short distance along the outer side of the supporting rod 20, until it is completely released from its lower end and the weight 110 of the locking lever 102 can move completely into the initial position in accordance with FIG. 11, in which the locking arm 114 projects into the interior of the locating socket 16.
This embodiment has the advantage that no one can forget to move the locking means back into the position where it is ready to lock, once it has been maintained in the released state in order to remove the supporting rod.
FIG. 13 a shows one embodiment, merely by way of example, of a restraining and releasing means for the locking means 100, while similar solutions are possible for the other locking means 120, 150 described.
FIG. 20 illustrates a releasable rod locking means 129 in the form of a U-shaped or C-shaped shackle, which can be clamped over the portions of the rod between adjacent insertion recesses 28. Alternatively, insertable locking members are possible in overlapping insertion recesses, the cross-section of which corresponds completely or partially to the shape of the insertion recesses.
FIG. 21 illustrates an alternative rod locking means 130, which has a flexible tongue 132 attached in the region of an insertion recess 28 at the end of a supporting rod 20 b, which is inserted from above into an upper end of a supporting rod 20 a.
The flexible tongue 132 has two forked mounting limbs 134, which are attached laterally to the inside of the supporting rod 20 b adjacent to a neighbouring insertion recess 28, such as by spot-welding, in order to achieve a sufficient resilient length between the attachment points and a resilient, angled detent lug 136 of the flexible tongue 132.
The detent lug 136 is angled by about 90° vis-à-vis the longitudinal direction of the supporting rod and projects beyond the outer surface of the supporting rod by a distance corresponding approximately to the thickness of the wall of the supporting rod or socket 90 (or the locating socket).
FIG. 22 illustrates the locking action between the flexible tongue 132 and a socket 90 (this can also be a locating socket 16 of a base platform) in a sectional drawing.
In an extension of the detent lug 136, the flexible tongue 132 is provided with an angled guide slope 138 which ensures that, whenever the supporting rod 20 b is inserted into a socket 90 of another supporting rod 20 a, the flexible tongue 132 is deflected in the direction of the arrow 140 against its spring resistance and in the process is moved into the interior of the supporting rod. As soon as the detent lug 136 has reached the longitudinal slot 26 or an insertion recess 28, the flexible tongue 132 springs back in the opposite direction to the arrow 140, so that the detent lug 136 reaches the locked retaining position shown in FIG. 21, in which the supporting rod 20 b is secured against being pulled out of the socket 90 (or the locating socket).
When it is intended to pull the supporting rod 20 b out, it is sufficient to apply pressure, such as with a finger, to the free end of the flexible tongue 132, approximately in the region of the guide slope 138, in order to shift the flexible tongue and the detent lug 136 in the direction of the arrow 140 and to release the supporting rod.
Although the upper supporting rod 20 b is illustrated in FIGS. 21, 22 in a position in which it is inserted into the socket 90, in which the flexible tongue 136 engages in the part of the longitudinal slot 26 which is inside the socket 90, the locking effect is still achieved if the upper socket 20 a is rotated by 90° or 180° relative to the illustration and is inserted in the lower supporting rod 20 a or its socket 90 (or the locating socket), since the detent lug 136 then cooperates with a different opening in the socket 90, namely with one of the insertion recesses 28. If only one or two rows of insertion recesses 28 are provided in the supporting rods, it goes without saying that it is appropriate to provide openings in the lateral surfaces in the region of the socket 90 corresponding to the openings 128, so that a locking effect between two supporting rods joined together is possible in any relative orientation. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to the locating sockets.
As mentioned, a lock with a flexible tongue in accordance with FIGS. 21, 22 can also be used to lock a supporting rod in a locating socket 16 of a base platform (locking means 100) if corresponding openings are present in the locating socket 16 in which the detent lug can engage. With reference to FIG. 19, appropriate openings can, for example, be provided in the sides of the locating socket opposite the corner region 32. Alternatively, the flexible tongue can protrude from the supporting rod at the front, so that the detent lug engages behind a (lower) free rim of the centring member 22 facing away from the locating socket 16. An embodiment of this kind has the advantage that, in order to release it, the flexible tongue can simply be pressed down with the foot.
FIGS. 23 and 24 show a longitudinal section view and a view from above of a further alternative rod locking means 190, which can be used to lock a supporting rod on a locating socket 16 of a base platform (indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 23) or to lock two supporting rod parts (designated 20 a, 20 b in FIG. 21) together.
Pivotably mounted on one axle 194, which is mounted in drilled holes 195 of the supporting rod 20, is a locking lever 192 which projects outwards with its free end portion 192 a through an elongate opening 193 provided in the supporting rod 20. Discs 197 attached on both sides of the axle 194 hold the axle 194 and the locking lever 192 centrally within the free internal cross-section of the supporting rod 20.
A readjusting spring 196, which is indicated in FIG. 23, can be provided in order to maintain the locking lever 192 in its initial or locked position shown horizontally in FIG. 23 and with unbroken lines, or to move it back to that position. Alternatively, even the inherent weight of the locking lever 192 may be sufficient for this purpose.
A release rod 198 is pivotably hinged to the locking lever 192 at its pivot point 199 in order to move the locking lever by hand from below into its release position, which is indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 23, in which the end portion 192 a no longer projects out from the supporting rod 20.
When a supporting rod 20 is inserted into a locating socket 16, the locking lever 192 is automatically swung in the direction of the release position, which is indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 23, as a result of the fact that the end portion 192 a strikes the upper free edge of the locating socket 16, so that when the supporting rod 20 moves deeper into the locating socket 16, the locking lever 192 is swivelled.
The locking means 100 illustrated in FIGS. 11 to 13 a could be designed with a flexible tongue instead of with a locking lever in the nature of the alternative rod locking means 130 (FIGS. 21, 22). A flexible tongue with an angled detent lug can be disposed either in the interior or on the outside of the locating socket 16, much as is illustrated in FIGS. 20 and 21. The detent lug can be disposed in the region of a recess 30 in order to grip into an insertion recess 28 or behind a land 70 of a supporting rod when the latter is inserted in the locating socket 16.
- LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS
FIG. 25 shows a further variant of a rod locking means 200 to lock two supporting rod parts 20 a, 20 b together or one supporting rod 20 to a base platform 2 (shown). An arm 202 is hung inside the supporting rod 20, oscillating about an axis 204 and holding a cantilevering weight 206 at its upper end and an angled catch 208 projecting from the supporting rod at its lower end. The weight holds the catch in the position shown, in which it snaps beneath a rim of a locating socket 16 or a centring member 22. The catch can be unlocked (swivelled) by hand, and the rod can be pulled out. On its underside, the catch forms a guide slope 210 which makes it easier to insert a supporting rod into a locating socket 16 or a socket 90 of a further supporting rod part and to swing the catch automatically in the clockwise direction (FIG. 25). Instead of the weight, a spring can be provided.
- 1 Storage device
- 1′ Low storage device
- 2 Base platform
- 4 Roller
- 8 Floor
- 10 Side wall
- 12 Overflow
- 14 Protrusion
- 15 Narrow side
- 16, 16′ Locating socket
- 16 b′ Upper rim
- 18 Reinforcement
- 20 Supporting rod
- 20 a First part
- 20 b Second part
- 22 Stop/centring member
- 26 Longitudinal slot
- 28, 28′ Insertion recess
- 28 a Lower rim
- 30 Cut-out
- 32 Corner region
- 40 Storage platform
- 41 Floor
- 42 Mounting member
- 43 Narrow side
- 44 Side wall
- 46 Insertion end portion
- 48, 48 a Recess
- 50 Longitudinal side
- 54 Protrusion
- 58 Reinforcement
- 60 Web portion
- 61 Limb portion
- 62 Edge portion
- 70 Land
- 90 Socket
- 100 Locking means
- 102 Locking lever
- 104 Pivoting lugs
- 106 Mounting socket
- 108 Pivot axis
- 110 Weight
- 112 Actuation arm
- 114 Locking arm
- 116 Crossbar
- 117 Opening
- 120 Base platform locking means
- 122 Opening
- 124 Hook
- 126, 128 Opening
- 129 Rod locking means
- 130 Alternative rod locking means
- 132 Flexible tongue
- 134 Mounting limb
- 136 Detent lug
- 138 Guide slope
- 140 Arrow
- 150 Base platform locking means
- 152 Latch
- 152 a End portion
- 153 Opening
- 154 Axis
- 156 Opening
- 158 Drawing or actuation means
- 160 Locking or operating lever
- 162 Axis
- 164 Weight
- 166 Direction of stacking
- 168, 172 Pivoting direction
- 170, 170′ Opening
- 180 Releasing means
- 182 Magnet (restraining means)
- 190 Rod locking means
- 192 Locking lever
- 192 a End portion
- 193 Opening
- 194 Axle
- 195 Drilled hole
- 196 Readjusting spring
- 197 Disc
- 198 Release rod
- 199 Pivot point
- 200 Rod locking means
- 202 Arm
- 204 Axis
- 206 Weight
- 208 Catch
- 210 Guide slope