Aug. 11, 1953 Filed Feb. 12, 1949 F. H. KAYLER 2,648,544
RESILIENTLY MOUNTED FIFTH WHEEL MEMBER 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. 7322221; flfigykz Aug. 11, 1953 KAYLER RESILIENTLY MOUNTED FIFTH WHEEL MEMBER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 12, 1949 INVENTOR. flaizl flfi gyfej' jy I Patented Aug. 11, 1 953 STATES QFtFl-CE 2,648,544 RESILIENTLY MOUNTED FIFTH WHEEL MEMB Application February 12, 1943, ScrialNo. 75,990 16 Claims. (01. 280 33.05)
This invention relates to tractor-trailer coupling means and more particularly to a novel fifth wheel mechanism commonly known as the side oscillating type and comprising a plate or platform member pivoted to a support.
A general object of the invention is to provide an improved coupler wherein side oscillations of the plate member are stabilized by yieldable means arranged to absorb twisting strains between the tractor, the trailer, and the coupler to protect the same from shock damage and prevent free rocking and excessive trailer roll.
The invention contemplates the provision of a plurality of resilient units or cushions on the plate at each side thereof, the units at each side being arranged to engage the support in series during lateral oscillations of the plate to afford a light spring action for controlling minor lateral oscillations of the plate and heavy spring action for resisting major oscillations. The cushions are spaced from the support when the plate is in normal horizontal position whereby slight lateral tilting of the plate is accommodated without stressing the parts or the cushions and thus considerably prolonging the life of the cushions.
A further object of the invention is to arrange and secure the cushions on the plane at points where they will be most effective and yet accessible and readily removable for replacement without dismantling the fifth wheel assembly.
A different object of the invention is to arrange the cushions so that they will engage the strongest parts of the support.
A still further object of the invention is to provide stop means on the plate engageable with the support to prevent over-compression and permanent distortion of the cushions.
An additional object of the invention is to provide an improved slack-free connection between the plate and the support to insure proper functioning of the resilient units.
These and other objects of the. invention will be apparent from the specification and the drawings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a side elevational view of a fifth wheel assembly embodying the invention;
Figure 2 is a sectional view taken substantially on the line 2-2 of Figure 1, with the beam shown in side elevation;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary view comparable to Figure 2 and showing the plate in extreme laterally tilted position, with the block illustrated .in end elevation; I
Figure 4=is a fragmentaryv view similar to Figline -l1 of Figure 2 ure 2 and illustrating the construction of the plate member; Figure 5 is a bottom view of the portion of the plate 'me'mber shown in Figure 4;
Figured is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 66 of Figure 5; and
Figure -'7 is a longitudinal vertical sectional viewof the assembly taken substantially on the 2. Describing the invention in detail, the coupler includes a fifth wheel member or top plate 2 of conventional form, having a peripheral strengthening flange 4. The plate 2 is provided with a pair of spaced depending transverse webs '6 and -8 adjacent the center portion thereof, the webs terminating at their lower ends in lugs l0 and 12 (Figure 7), respectively, adjacent the center of the plate. The lateral ends of the webs-Sand -8 are made integral with flange 4 and, intermediate their ends adjacent the center'of the plate above the lugs I 0 and I2, are joined by a housing !4 (Figures 2 and 3) adapted to contain a locking mechanism (not shown). The locking mechanism forms no part of the presentinvention and may be of the type shown and described in Patent No. 2,015,313, issued by the United States Patent Office on May 14, 1932, to Edmund P. Kinne.
The housing comprises spaced side portions l6 and l8 which are'formed integral with webs 6 and 8 and the underside of the plate 2 and the :side portions are connected by an intermediate web which is provided with a downwardly facing bearing surface 22 curved transversely of the fifth wheel.
The fifth wheel is supported to oscillate side- Wise on a substantially horizontal axis extending longitudinally of the fifth wheel on a pin or bolt 24 which extends through complementary openings in the lugs H) and I2 and through a bearing portion 25 provided at the center of 'a beamQZB, said beam extending transversely of the plate.
The bolt 24 comprises a head at one end with flattened sides 32, 32, one of the sides seatingagains t a ledget l extending outwardly from the external side. of lug 10 to prevent the bolt from turning. The other end of the bolt has a threaded portion on which is mounted a castle nut 36 engaging the external side of lug I2. ThegnuttB. may. be locked to the bolt by a cott r e 3 Theb earingts is provided with spaced bushings lll fllil' (Figure 7) press-fitted into an open- ,ing 42 therein. The bushings are sleeved on 3 bolt 24 and define a lubricant cavity 44 (Figure '7) therebetween around the bolt and communicating with a transverse branch 46 of a lubricant passage 48 extending longitudinally of the pin through the head thereof. The end of the passage at the head of the bolt may be provided with a conventional grease fitting 50 The provision of the lubricant passage and cavity assures proper lubrication of the pin and the bushings to reduce wear.
It will be noted from a consideration of Figure 7 that the bearing surface 22 is fitted over a complementary surface 52 on the top of the bearing 26 and that the web it is offset upwardly adjacent web 8 to form a grease cavity be interrupting surface 22 and open to the surface 52 of the bearing 25. Web 8 may be provided with a grease fitting t communicating with cavity 5s.
The beam 28 is preferably H-shaped in cross :section, as best seen in Figure '7, and is provided at each end with a bushed cylindrical trunnion 58, extending into a complementary socket 5G in a bracket 62 designed to afford a support for the fifth wheel assembly from an associated tractor frame (not shown). It will be noted that the beam accommodates longitudinal tilting or oscillation of the fifth wheel member on a horizontal axis extending transversely of the plate 2 and together with brackets 62 constitutes a support for the plate 2.
Each socket Ell may be disposed centrally of the related bracket and may be provided with a grease fitting communicating with a slot 85 (Figures 2 and 3) within the socket and open to the bushing on the trunnion fitted within the socket, It will be understood that the bushings may be press fitted into the sockets and provided with openings communicating with the slot 64 and the trunnion which may turn within the bushing. Each socket Gil may comprise a tubular portion is surrounding the adjacent end of the related trunnion, the portion 66 being closed by a substantially vertical web 68 at its outer end and at opposite sides merging with spaced vertical ribs or web ill, which are made integral with fiat .mounting webs l2, 12 of the associated bracket.
Side or lateral oscillations of the plate are 'yieldingly restrained by resilient units or blocks 14 and it at each side of the plate, which are secured to the plate, as hereinafter more fully described, and spaced from the beam and the bracket in order to accommodate normal slight lateral oscillation of the plate without stressing the resilient units, whereby the life of each unit is considerably prolonged and unnecessary stressing of the parts of the fifth wheel assembly is avoided.
Each unit 14 comprises a block of resilient material received at its upper end within a pocket 18 formed on the underside of the plate 2, the pocket being defined by the spaced Webs 6 and 8 and intervening ribs as and 82 depending from the plate 2 and interconnecting the webs 6 and 8. The upper end of each block i l is provided with laterally extending tongues 8% received between the underside of the plate member 2 and the top sides of lugs 86 formed at the corners of the pocket 18. It will be noted that the blocks M, M at opposite sides of the plate are disposed angularly with respect to each other and lie in upwardly converging planes and that the portions of the plate affording seats for the upper ends of blocks. 14 are depressed below the normal top surface of. the plate 2 and diverge upwardly lat- 'erally of the plate. Each block it has its lower the pockets 99 4 end arranged to engage a diagonal surface 88 at the adjacent end of the beam, each surface 88 sloping upwardly laterally of the coupler structure substantially normal to the compressional axis of the associated block M.
The blocks "it, which may be of rubber material, are spaced outwardly with respect to the inner blocks '54 and each block "3G is received at its upper end within a pocket so in the underside of the plate, each pocket 52] being defined by the spaced webs 6 and 8 and by the flange 4 and a rib 9 l. Each block 18 is secured within the associated pocket 96 by laterally extending tongues 92 on the block tightly fitted between the undersurface of the plate 2 and lugs 94, 94 formed at the corners of the associated pocket 92. The blocks it are disposed above the respective brackets 62, 62 and extend substantially vertically, and each block 16 is cut out at its lower end ,to provide a cavity 96 which is complemental to the top surface of the portion 56 of the adjacent socket. The lower end of each block F5 is provided with an arcuate surface 98 which is designed to have complemental engagement with the top surface of the associated socket portion 66. It will be noted that the urfaces 96 and 66 are concentric whereby substantially full face engagement between these surfaces is had during lateral oscillation of the plate member even when the plate member is tilted forwardly or rearwardly from the horizontal.
. Referring now to Figure 3, it will be seen that by spacing the units M and it, ample room is provided around each unit to accommodate flow of the material constituting the units and it will be realized that under minor lateral oscillations of the plate, the units l t are alternately compressed between the plate and the surfaces 88, 88 on the beam 28, and that when the plate 2 tilts laterally a sufficient'distance, the unit it on the side toward. which the plate is tilted is caused to engage the associated socket portion and to be compressed with the associated unit 74. To accommodate enough bulging space for the unit 16, are made purposely sufficiently large. To prevent overcompression of the units .14. and is, flange 4 provides abutment means which are engageable as at its (Figure 3) with the associated socket portion 56 under maximum lateral tilting of the plate member 2. The units it and it are distortable and are compressible transversely to disengage the lugs therein with the lugs in the pockets, whereby the units are readily insertable or removable from the respec-'- tive. pockets. v a
1. In a coupling device, a plate member having spaced transverse webs, a wall between said webs presenting a bearing face curved transversely of member, a beam extending transversely of saidmember between said webs and having a surface adapted for, complementary engagement \Vith'said bearingface, a pivot element extending through said webs and beam, said wall being off! set upwardly away from said, surface on said beam. to-provide a lubricant cavity open to said surface, bushings interposed between said element and said beam and spaced axially of the former and defining a lubricant cavity therebe tween, and a lubricant passageway extending through said elementfrom one end thereof to said last named cavity. V
2. 'In a fifth wheel assembly, a .plate member, spaced supports, a beam extending transversely of said plate member journaled to said supports,
member and engageable with the adjacent support after predetermined compression of the adjacent resilient element.
3. In a tractor-trailer coupling device, a fifth wheel member, a support, a connection therebetween accommodating lateral oscillation of said member, resilient units spaced laterally of said member, a tongue and groove interlock between each unit and said member, the compressional axes of certain of said units being arranged angularly with respect to the compressional axes of th other of said units, and surfaces on said support arranged substantially normal to the compressional axes of respective units and engageable therewith during lateral oscillation of said member for compression between said member and said support for yieldingly resisting lateral oscillation of said member.
4. In a tractor-trailer coupling device, a fifth wheel assembly including a plate, a support at each side of said assembly, a beam extending between said supports and journaled thereto, a pivotal connection between said plate and said beam intermediate the ends of the latter and aecommodating lateral oscillation of said plate, and resilient means carried by said plate at opposite sides of the axis of pivot thereof, certain of said resilient means being engageable with said beam and other of said resilient means being engageable with respective supports and :being compre. sible to resist lateral oscillations of said plate.
5. In a tractor-trailer coupling device, a fifth wheel member, a support, a connection therebetween accommodating lateral oscillation of said member, spring means carried by said member at each side thereof, reversely arranged vertically converging surfaces on said support disposed at opposite sides of said member and extending substantially normal to the compressional axes of respective spring means, said spring means being spaced from and arranged to engage respective surfaces for compression between said member and said surfaces to yieldingly resist lateral oscillations of said member.
6. In a device of the class described, a plate member, a support, a connection therebetween accommodating lateral oscillation of said plate member, and resilient means carried solely by said plate member at opposite sides thereof engageable with said support for compression between said member and said support for yieldingly resisting lateral oscillations of said member, the means on each side of said member comprising spaced units, one of said units being spaced closer to said support than the other of said units.
7. In a device for coupling tractor-trailer combinations, a fifth wheel member, a support, a connection therebetween accommodating lateral angling of said member, and resilient blocks interposed between said member and support for compression therebetween for yieldingly resisting said angling of said member, and interengaging means on said blocks and member comprising lugs on said blocks interposed between said member and lugs on said member.
8. In a device for coupling tractor-trailer com- 6" bina'tion's, a plate member, a support, a pivotal connection between said member and said support accommodating relative lateral angling therebetween, and resilient means interposed between said member and support at opposite sides of the axis of pivot thereof for compression therebetween during lateral angling thereof, each of said independent resilient means comprising a plurality of resilient elements spaced radially with respect to the axis of pivot of said member and formed and arranged for successive compression between said support and said member during angling therebetween.
9. In a tractor-trailer coupling device, a fifth wheel member, a support, a connection therebetween accommodating lateral oscillation of said member, and means for yieldingly resisting later al oscillation of said member, said means compris= ing a plurality of resilient units mounted solely on said member at each side thereof and normally spaced different distances from said support and successively engageable with said support forcompression between said member and said sup-- port during lateral oscillation of the former.
10. In a device for coupling vehicles, a fiftha wheel, a support, a universal connection there-- between accommodating longitudinal and later-- al oscillation of said member, and means for' yieldably controlling lateral oscillations of said: wheel comprising a plurality of resilient units; spaced different distances from said support and. mounted solely on each side of said wheel and. successively engageable with said support for' compression between said wheel and support during lateral oscillation of said wheel.
11. In a device for coupling vehicles, a fifth: wheel member, a support, a universal connection therebetween accommodating longitudinal. and lateral oscillation of said member, andv means for yieldingly resisting lateral oscillations of said member comprising spaced resilient units at each side of said member spaced different distances from the support to successively engage said support for compression between said member and support to progressively increase the resistance to oscillations between said mem-- bers as said oscillations increase.
12. In a tractor-trailer coupling device, aplate member, a support member, a connection between said members accommodating lateral oscillation of said plate member, and a plurality of resilient units carried solely by one of said members along each side thereof and normally spaced different distances from the other of said members and engageable with the latter successively during lateral oscillation of said plate member for compression between said members.
13. In a vehicle coupling device, a plate member, a support member, a pivotal connection therebetween, and means for yieldingly resisting pivotal movement between said members beyond certain limits comprising a plurality of resilient means carried on each side of one of said members for successive engagement with the other member only after said limits are exceeded for compression between said members, the resilient means being carried solely by one of said members and comprising spaced units on each side thereof spaced different distances from the other of said members.
14. In a vehicle coupling device, a top plate member and bottom support member pivoted together, and means for yieldingly resisting pivotal movement of said members beyond certain limits comprising resilient means interposed between said members and fixed to only one thereof and spaced different distances from the other thereof and engageable with the other thereof when said members pivot beyond certain limits, said resilient means comprising a plurality of independent spring elements at each side of the axis of pivot of said members and spaced different distances from said axis and arranged to be successively compressed between said members at different angles of pivot between said members.
15. In a fifth wheel assembly, a pivoted top plate member, and means for yieldingly resisting pivotal movement of said member beyond certain limits, comprising a plurality of resilient means carried solely by said plate and arranged to be successively compressed by said member only when it pivots beyond said limits, said member being accommodated for substantial predetermined pivotal movement without restraint by said resilient means.
16. In a fifth wheel assembly, a support, a plate, a universal connection therebetween accommodating pivoting of said plate on axes extending transversely and longitudinally of said assembly, and resilient means carried solely by the plate at opposite sides of the longitudinal axis and comprising a plurality of elements normally spaced difierent distances from the support for successive compression between the support and plate when the plate pivots on said longitudinal axis beyond prescribed limits, said support and said elements having engaging surfaces substantially concentric with said transverse axis whereby said surfaces are engageable along substantially the full areas thereof when said plate angles on said transverse axis.
FRANK H. KAYLER.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS