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July 16, 1946. D_ A, WALLACE . ' 2,404,329 COUPLING UNIT Filed April 8, 1944 s Sheets-Sheet 1 _ /2 INVENTOR. J4 Vla’ /? Wallace. July 16, 1946. D. A. WALLACE 2,404,329 COUPLING UNIT Filed April 8, 1944 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. ?arz'ai /7. Wallace. ' BY/YM ?TTdKNEYS. July416, 1946. Q A, WALLACE ' > 2,404,329 COUPLING UNIT Filed ‘April 8, 1944 e Sheets;Sheet 5 IN VEN TOR. 5. “WMMWW July 16, 1946. D. A. WALLACE 2,404,329 ' COUPLING UNIT Filed April 8, 1944 .2. 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 ‘ “ INVENTOR. .Zm/Z'J I7.‘ Wallace. BY #W . July 16, .1946. ' D. A. WALLACE COUPLING 2,404,329 UNIT ‘ Filed Aprils; 1944 A5 4,5 e Sheets-Sheét 6 // 6 O O 0O 0 @45 .57 I /Z l / ' 1/‘ , INVENTOR. ' Wat/Z27 )7 144211266. Patented July 16. 1946 2,404,329 UNITED ‘STATES PArENro ‘ 2,404,329 " ' COUPLING UNIT David A. Wallace, Detroit, Mich., assignor' ‘to . Chrysler Corporation, Highland Park, Mich., a j " corporation of Delaware ' - Application April 8, 1944, Serial No. 530,215 7 Claims. (01. 114-235) 1 .. This invention relates to an improved coupling apparatus. More particularly, the invention pertains to . cated vertically with respect to each other and the respective vessels as to advantageously trans which may be used in towing or pushing one 7 .2 post ?xture on a pair of vessels which 'areso lo improvements in co-uplingvapparatus of the type vessel or vehicle by another. , from variations in the respective loads carried thereby and to provide a coupler and .coupling ~ mit either a pushing or towing force'from one One of themain objects of the invention is to provide an improved coupler in apparatus of this character which is adapted to receive and clamp ingly embrace a plain, cylindrical post-like ?x vessel to the other while the post and coupling unit are connected at any oneof a relatively wide range of vertically spaced positions; ture with a force which is increased by the tend ency of .coupler and post to vibrate or shift rela tive to each other. _ ‘ _ . Additional objects of the invention aretdpro vide coupling apparatus .which ‘may be applied singly or in tandem betWeenIapair of vehicles or vessels one of whichis to be towed or pushedby theother and to provide couplers which may be ' 7 Another object of the invention is to provide a coupler in apparatus of this kind which has‘a 15 readily released and reset to accommodatean self~closing action when engaged by-the post: angular disposition of one vehicle or vessel rela like ?xture it is adapted to receive and which tive to the other for'facilitating maneuvering may be manually conditioned to open in response during parking and docking. _ h M to relative separatory movement of the coupler Still further objects of thesinvention are to 20 provide a locking bar in a‘ coupling of this kind ‘A. further object of the invention is to provide which, when in oneposition,serves to positively and post. - V . relatively pivotally movable jaws in coupling ap lock the jaws thereof against opening and which, paratus of this kind which have a pivotal axis when in a different position, serves to yieldably so offsetv laterally with respect to the. central plane of the space betweenthe jawslwhen the latter are closed, as‘to provide a relatively wide entrance for admission of the post when the jaws are in their open position. ‘Another object of the invention is to provide oppose unintended closing of such ‘jaws from an open position; to provide coupling units of this character which are adaptedto be arranged in vertically aligned pairslfor ‘.coacting with‘ the same post of an associated?xture; and to pro vide interconnected jaw-locking ‘mechanism in in a pivotally movable jaw of a coupler of this 30 an assembly of coupling units of this kind by. character an extension which; projects into the which the clampingjaws ‘of the respective ‘units space between the jaws at a location spaced sub can .be simultaneously locked and unlocked. .. stantially from the ‘offset pivotal connection Illustrative embodiments, of the invention are thereof for engaging the post as theplatter is re. ceived between the jaws in, order to move the ‘ pivotal jaw toward its closed position regardless of the anglevof approach of’ the post and coupling. 'An additional object “of the invention is to . provide in coupling apparatus of this kind a uni versally pivotal mounting for the coupler jaw unit . which accommodates both rocking‘and pitching at relatively :widely, vertically spaced locations corresponding ‘to the draft of a vessel when I empty‘and‘under full load, respectively; to pro vide a coupler unit which may be released, with out uncoupling it from the post-like ?xture,v in order to adjust the-coupler unit onlthe post for changes in the‘ draft of one of the coupled vessels V H . Fig. 4 is a fragmentary plan view, showing cou A still further objectiof the invention is to .7 provide means in apparatus of this character for kind which may be embraced by'the .coupler jaws v ' .Fig. -2 is a view similar to Fig. l but showing the jaws of the coupling unit-in open position. Fig’. 3 is a fragmentary sidevelevational View of pling apparatus embodying the invention ap larly related axes respectively. uncoupling operations, as well as that which oc curs during towing or pushing operations. Other objects of the invention are to provide a post-like ?xture in coupling apparatus of this thereofin closed position. the coupling apparatus shown in Fig. 1. movements of one of a pair of coupled vehicles or vessels relative to the other and about angu ‘absorbing shock incident to both coupling‘ and shown in the accompanying drawings; in which: Fig. 1 is a plan viewofw a, coupling; apparatus embodying the invention and showing thejaws plied to a propelling and propelled device such as a tug and barge ‘or vehicle andtrailer, ' Fig. 5 is a side elevational viewoof the assembly shown in Fig. 4. A _ - ‘ Fig. 6_ is a fragmentary, vertical, sectional view taken 191141111? 5.?“5 .of ‘Fig,- 4. ~ . 1 _ Fig. '7 is a fragmentary, vertical, sectional view taken on line ‘1-1 of Fig-3, illustrating the rela tive positions of the locking bar’ and associated‘ parts of the coupling ‘when the jaw elements thereof are positively locked in closed position. 55 _ . Fig. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of the coupling shown in Fig. 1, j 7 . . , . Fig. 9 is a View vsimilar to Fig; 7-but showing the locking bar in position to accommodate initial opjeniirlgofrthe jaws of thecouplinag ' > ~ with ,‘re'spectto vthat-of the other which result 69 Fig. l0 isaview similar toFigs. 1'? and -9'but 2,404,329 3 the forward vertical wall 30 of theibarge. The I showing the locking bar in position to yieldably post 25 is preferably held in spaced relation from the bow of thebarge in order to accommodate oppose unintended closing of the jaws from their v open position. free access of the jaws to the post as well as rela Fig. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view of the locking bar and the jaw element of the coupling;v »tive movement of the jaws and post. The post ‘25 also preferably extends a substantial distance with which it cooperates. Fig. 12 is a fragmentary plan view illustrating‘. - ’ above and below the level of the deck 28 so as to facilitate attachment of the coupling to the . the manner, in which two vessels may be coupled post at Various elevations as required by varia together by a pair of laterally spaced coupling members embodying the invention; 7 i 10 tionsof the drafts of the vessels. Fig. 13 is a fragmentary elevational ‘view illus trating the manner in which two vesselsmay be coupled together by a vpair of vertically aligned coupling members embodying the invention. In the drawings is illustrated an adaptation of the improved coupling apparatus for coupling to gether ‘of a pair of vessels, one of which serves The axis for the p-ivotally mounted jaw I2 pro vided by the pin I3 is laterally offset with respect to, the central plane of the space between the , jaws when the latter are closed so as to provide a relatively wide entrance for admission of the post 25 when the jaws are in open position." The pivoted jaw I2Hhas a substantially semi-cylindri cal seat 3| which is formed in part by an exten . sion 32, that projects into the space between the nated by the numeral Ill, which includes a sta- _ jaws when the latter are open. The extension 32 has an inclined face 33. which is adapted to abut tionary body I I’ having a jaw I I and a relatively to impart propelling force to the other. The cou pling comprises a head portion, generally desige pivotally movablejaw I2 which is pivotally at the post as the latter moves into the entrance be tween the jaws. Engagement of the post 25 with the extension 32 promotes rotation of the pivotal 7 is pivotally mounted at I4 on the outer end of a bar I5 which is shiftably mounted in a cylin 25 ‘jaw I2 towards its closed position as the post 25 and coupling head portion I 0 approach each other ' drical casing ‘I6. The casing I5 is adapted to be during coupling operation. With this construc attached to the deck I‘! of a tug, barge, or other tion, approaching movement of the post and cou vessel by mounting brackets I3 and I9. The bar pling head portion throughout a wide range of I5 extends centrally of the casing is and is slid ably supported at the rear end of the casing by 30 angles of approach results in automatic closing of the jaws of- the coupling and ultimate disposition a bearing I9’ mounted in an aperture formed in of the post 25 in the semi-cylindrical seat‘ 3|. an end wall 20 of the casing I6. Fixed on the The pivotal jaw» member I2 has an outwardly inner end of the bar I5 is a collar 2| having a protruding segment 34 which is disposed about periphery which slidably‘ engages the inner sur face of the casing I6, thus supporting the inner 35 the axis of the pin I3 in a counter-clockwise direc tion,‘ as viewed in Fig. 2, from the extension end of the bar. A coil» spring 22 is biased between tached thereto by a pin I3. The head portion I3 32. The segment 34 is receivable in a channel 35 disposed between upper and lower wall por tions 36 provided on the stationary jaw member . and thefront end Wall 24 of the casing. The 40 I I which serve to support the pin I3. A substan tially vertically disposed locking bar 3'! is shift springs 22 and 23 serve to yieldably oppose shift ably mounted in registering passages 33 and 39 ing of, the bar I5 and the coupler head -I ll carried ' one side of the collar 2| and the reariend wall 20 of the casing and a similar coil spring 23 is biased between the opposite side of the collar 2| thereby in respectively opposite directions. ' These springs may, as shown in Fig. 6, vary in length so as-to accommodate different amounts of shift ing-movement of the bars I5 in respectively op ' posite directions and they may also vary in rate or stiifnessto meet required thrusts in such re formed in the upper and lower wall portions 36, respectively, of the stationary jaw member. ' As illustrated in‘Figs. 7 to 11,v the locking bar 31 is adapted to cooperate with the pivotal jaw mem ber I_2 in’ yieldably holding it in an open posi tion and in positively looking it in a closed posi tion. The lower end section of the locking bar spective directions‘. .The bar I5 is so supported by the foregoing structure as to accommodate os 50 31 is of less thickness than the upper end sec tion thereof and there is provided at the junc cillative movement of the bar about its longitudi tionof these two sections a shoulder 38’ which, nal axis as well as shifting thereof in the direc as shown in Figs. 10 and 11, is adapted to rest tion of this axis. Inasmuch as the rotativelaxis upon the upper surface of the segment 34 in order of the bar I5 is, as shown in- Figs. 1 and 2,»sub stantially'normal to the pivotal axis of the head I3 which is provided by the pin I4, the head por tion Iii is thus free to pivot universally-in all to yieldably hold the pivoted jaw I2 against un.-, intended displacement from an open position by embrace a purchase provided on a Vessel or ve Fig. 7. As illustrated in Figs. 8 and 11, the upper end section of the locking bar is tapered in width vibration and other actions to which it is sub jected. directions as well as to shift bodily against the The segment 34 is provided with a notch 40 ' actions of the springs 22 and 23. A spring I5’ having an intermediate portion coiled about ‘a 60 for receiving a portion of the upper section of the locking bar 31 when the pivotal jaw I2 is pin I6’ carried by an extension I'l' projecting in closed position. The notch 40 has a shoulder downwardly from the bar I5, has its opposite ends 4| at one end which is engageable with the side ' biased betweenrthe bar I5 and the head portion surface 42 of the bar 31 for positively locking It so as to normally yieldably retain'the latter 65 the jaw I2 against opening movement when the in longitudinal alignment with the bar I5. ' locking bar is‘ in its lower position, as viewed in The jaws H and I2 are adapted to clampingly hicle such as a post 25 of a ?xture, generally des from a maximum width at its upper end so as to ignated at 26. A The ?xture 26 includes an upper T bracket 21 which is adapted to be attached to. the 70 wedgingly engage between the shoulder!“ and deck 28 of a vessel and a lower bracket 29 which is preferably securable to an end wall of the Ves sel. When applied to a barge, for example, the bracket 29 may be attached to that portion of the hull which is normally inclined vWith reslpectcto awall'of each of the passages 33 and 39 through which the bar extends, thus tending. to urge the jaw ‘I2 toward a further closed position. This taper'of the upper end of the locking bar also accommodates closing the jaws into'gripping re-v 2,404,329 5 6 p . lationship with respect to ?xtures or posts of dif from longitudinal alignment bya cable. 51 have ferent ing its opposite‘ ends ?xed to one vessel at ‘lat erally‘ spaced locations and having its interme-. cross-sectional dimensions. . . . . A yieldable lining ‘material comprising,‘ :rub ber, sponge rubber, leather or the like is?xed to diate part coiled about a capstan. 58. The .ves sels may be ?xed in angular relation by releasing the coupling and turning the drum‘ of the capstan _' the concaved side faces of the jaws VH and 12 which engage the post 25 for coacting irictionally therewith. This yieldable lining material and the to selectively . predetermine, the lengths of. the wedging action of the locking bar 31‘ promotes sections: of cable leading from the capstan. working of the jaws into increasingly tighter grip .A pair of vessels may be coupled together, as il ping relation with’ respect to the post 25‘ as a 10 lustrated in Fig. 12, with the aid of two laterally result of relative turning of -the couplingand spaced couplings. In this use of couplingga'ppa post about the-axis of the-latter-due to vibration ratus embodying the invention, a cable 59 may be and‘ relative movements of ‘the vessels or vehicles ?xed at its opposite end,,as ‘shown in :Figs..~4 and 5,4t'olaterally spaced locations on one vessel and The lockingbar-3‘I- is normally urged down 15 looped over a spring pressed pulley, ' generally wardly by- its own weightand by'the gravity ac designated by the numeral 60, mounted on the tioneof a control lever 43 which-is pivotedat 44 other vessel. The cable is thus tensionedv and to a‘ bracket45 extending upwardly'fro'm the head serves to-prevent complete separation of the v._e's-, portion- Illof the coupling. The lever 43has .an'i ' sels during maneuvering. The vessels may .zbe arm 46 pivotally connected at 41- to the upper end 20 connected by only either one/of the coupling units of ~ the locking bar. ‘Pivotalmovement'off the when it is desired to dispose them in angular re-_ lever 43in a counter-clockwise direction about lation for purposes of docking and maneuvering. the pivot 44, as viewed in Fig. 5, liftsthe bar In Fig. 13, is illustrated the employment of ver from the position» shown in Fig. 7 to the position tically ‘aligned couplings of the character shown shown in Fig. 9. vLatch mechanism, generally 25 in Figs. 1 to 1-2 for connecti'onwith thesame post. designated by the numeral 48, is provided in The locking bars 31 of each of the couplings order that the lever 43 'may be released after shown in Fig. 13 are connected together by a link the-locking bar 31 israised to its upper position 6| so as to be simultaneously operated by manip without permitting ‘the latter ‘to’ return to its ulation of the lever 43 of‘the upper coupling,‘the ' lower -position.- This mechanism includesa latch 30 corresponding control lever of the lower coupling member 49 pivoted-on a-pin-50 mountedin ears being omitted. ‘ ' 5I-which protrude-from the body portion I0 of The improved coupling apparatus is pivotally . the coupling. The latch member 49 has a pointed as well as shiftably ?exible andespecially well connectedtherebyv ~ ~ -- >_ a . 4. edge portion 52 whiohis adapted to engage in a . suited for withstanding shock, vibration, thrust notch 53 formed in ‘the side of the locking bar 35 and all of the various forces to which a device of 31 opposite from the segment 34. The latch memthis kind issubjected by towing as well as wave ber 49 is biased by its weight in a clockwise di ' actions. The jaws may be preset in widely spaced rection about the-axis of the pin 50 and readily open relationship to facilitate‘ entry of a post‘ or engages in the notch 53 when ‘the latter isY-raised other purchase portion of ‘a .?xture therebetween. into registration with it. ~ ~ - - r ‘ - - >When the‘ lock-bar Blis thus held in- its upper . position, the pivoted jaw member is free- to‘be opened manually or in’ response to separatory 40 Closing of thejaws is entirely automatically pro duced by movement of the post into position to‘ be gripped by the jaws. The vw'edging action of ‘ the locking bar ‘assures ?rm gripping of the post movement of: the coupling member and post. ' by ‘the jaws and the yieldable frictional. lining of During opening movement of the pivoted jaw 45 thejaws assists in the attainment of an increased member I2- a lug 54- which projects upwardly from the ‘segment 34,‘1 at a location spaced from the shoulder 4|, engages a» ?nger 55 on thelatch member 49. The~lug154 has-‘an inclined-side, 55 gripping action; The locking bar can be preset in its released position to facilitate uncoupling of the unit in response to relative sep-aratory move . ment of the vessels; Full opening of the jaws whichv cams the latch member 49~in a counter so brings the locking bar into positionto yieldably clockwise direction aboutitslpivo'tal» axis; as illus oppose unintended closing of the jawsand into’ trated in Fig.- 10, until the edge~52 thereof be readiness for its next locking action. ‘ p . comes disengaged from thelnotch 53. The lock Coupling apparatus embodying the invention ing bar 31 is then permitted.- to descend until the may be employed to releasably'couple together shoulder» 3850f the locking bar rests upon the 68 vehicles and other objects, as well as vessels.x , upper surface portion of the segment 34 which Although but several speci?c embodiments of is located between the lug 54 andthe end‘w‘all the invention are herein shown and described, it 4| of the notch 40.’ The weightof the locking will be understood that various changes in the barthus applied on the segment 34 yieldably op sequence of operations, steps and materials em poses unintended closing of the jaw l2. Opening ployed may be made without departing from ‘the. of the jaw l2 islimited byengagement of an spirit of the invention. . upstanding flange 55 on thejaw l2 with a stop I claim: . . 65 protruding from the ear 36, as shown in Fig. 1. Apparatus for coupling one body to another 2. When the jaw is subsequently closed, as here , body having a member thereon providing a pur tofore setforth, the accompanying rotation of 65 chase comprising a clamping member including the segment brings the notch 40 into registration a pair of relatively movable jaws having, clamp with the bar 31 which drops into the notch 40, ing ends between which said purchase is receiv-. thus positively locking the jaw 12 against open able, 3, yieldable lining material on at least ‘one of the internal surfaces of said jaws having an‘ Two vessels may be coupled together, as illus 70 extensive surface area for frictionally contacting trated in Figs. 4 and 75, by a single coupling em with said purchase,.one of said jaws having a bodying the‘invention. The coupling unit and passageway therein and the other having an abut post are preferably located in the longitudinal ment .registerable with .said' passageway, ‘and ing. > I . central plane pi.’ the vessels which may be re means ,for releasably locking said jaws‘in ‘closed leasably held against unintended displacement 75 embracing relationship with respect to said pur 2,404,329 . 7 V ‘ ment with said shoulder. a latch element for re ' chase, comprising a wedge member ,shiftably leasably holding said , locking bar in said last mentioned-position, and means on one of said jaw elements engageable with said latch elementfor releasing the same to accommodate movement of said wedge portion into registration with said ‘mounted in said recess and having opposite di verging sides' directly engageable', respectively, with said abutment and a wall of said passage way, ‘said wedge member ‘being adapted to shift in response to relative movement of said jaws when ‘the latter are in closed position vIfor increas shoulder during initial relativeclosing movement of said jaw elements; ' , ing the grippingi action thereof upon said p'ur-é a 5..’ Coupling apparatus comprising a support, a chase. and. for 'retaining‘said yieldable material under compression between said jaws and said 1,0 pair of clamping units mounted on said support ‘in spaced relationship-,7 each including a pair of relatively movable jaw elements having clamp ingsjend portions formed to-embracingly partially jaw elements each having a clamping end por surround an object and having’ opposite overlap tion ‘adapted to embrace an object, sheet-like ping end portions, ,a pivot connecting said jaw 7’ 15' yieldable lining material on the internal surfaces elements; at a location intermediate said end ‘por of said clamping end portions having a substan purchase; 3J2. ' coupling comprising relatively movable tially extensive surface area adapted to friction- ' ' tions,- one; of ‘said jawv elements‘ of each unit hav ing a slot therein located on the side‘ of said pivot opposite fromvits clamping end ‘portion, and the a tapered portion adapted to cooperate with op 20 other'having a shoulder registerable ‘with said slot when said jaw elements are in closed position, posed surfaces on each ‘of said jaw elements for mechanism for releasably locking each of said opposing opening movement thereof from a closed clamping units, in closed position comprising a position, said locking, bar being s'hi'ftable during locking bar shiftably mounted in each of,‘ said slots vibratory movement of said jaw elements relative ally engage said object, and a releasable locking bar shiftably mounted on said coupling having ' to each other when closed for opposing. opening 25 having an abutment engageable with the asso ciated‘ shoulder respectively and a‘ member inter thereof from progressively more closed positions and for progressively‘increasing'compression of said yieldable material between said object and connecting saidlocking bars, and an operating member connected with one of said locking bars and adapted to shift both of said locking bars for 3. A coupling comprising relatively movable 30 bringing said abutments out of alignment with said shoulders in order to simultaneously vaccom jaw elements having clamping end portions modate opening of ‘both of said clamping units. formed to embracingly partially surround an ob 6. Coupling apparatus comprising a support, a ject and having opposite overlapping end por pair of clamping units mounted on said support tions, sheet-like yieldable frictional lining mate“ in vertically spaced relationship, each including rial on the internal sides of said clamping end 35 saidclamping end portions' , ' portions, having a substantially ‘extensive fric tional surface area, a pivot connecting said jaw - a pair of relatively movable jaw elements,’ a mem ber shiftably mounted on each of said units for releasabiy locking the clamping jaw elements‘ elements ‘at a location intermediate said end por thereof in closed position, means for intercom-7 tions, one of said overlappin'gend portions hav ing a slot therein located on the side of said pivot 40 necting said members, and an operating lever ~oppos‘1te’ from its clamping end portion, and the » connected with one of said members forsimul other of said superimposed end portionslhaving a shoulder registerable with said slot, and a lock taneously shifting said members to their jaw ele ment releasing positions. ' - ing bar shiftab-ly mounted in said slot havinga 45 7 . _A coupling comprising relatively movable jaw ' elements having clamping end portions formed to wedge-shaped portion engageable with said shoul embracinglypartially surround an object and hav Her and an end of said slot for progressively wedg ing opposite overlapping end portions, a pivot ing said overlapping end portions apart and said connecting said jaw elements at a location inter clamping, end portions together into ?rm gripping mediatesaid end portions, one of said overlapping engagement with said object during slight rela 50 end portions having a slot therein located on the ' ' t-ivemovements of said jaw elements. ' . sidejof said pivot opposite from its clamping :end e. A coupling comprising relatively movable portion, and the other of said superimposed end jaw I elements having clamping end portions portions having a shoulder registerable with said formed to embracingly partially surround an ob slotLa locking bar shiftably mounted in said slot jectzand having opposite overlapping end por 55 having a wedge-shaped portion engageable with tions, yieldable frictional lining material on the internal sides of said clamping end portions, a pivot connecting said jaw elements at a location intermediate said end portions, one of said over said’ shoulder and an end of saidslot for progres sively wedging said overlapping end portions apart and said clamping end portions together into firm gripping engagement with said object lapping end portions having a slot therein located on the side of said pivot opposite from its clamp 60 during slight relative movements of said jaw ele-V ments, said locking bar having a reduced end ing end portion, and the other of said superim portionladapted when aligned with said shoulder posed end portions having a shoulder registerable to accommodate opening of said jaw elements, with said slot, a locking bar shiftably mounted in said slot having a wedge-shaped portion engage 65 means for shifting said’locking bar to bring said reduced end portion thereof into alignment with able with said shoulder and an end of said slot said shoulder, a latch element for releasably for progressively wedging ‘said overlapping end holding said locking bar in said last mentioned portions apart and said clamping end portions to— position, and means on one of said jaw’elements gether into ?rm gripping engagement with said object during slight relative movements of said 70 engageable with said latch element for releasing the same to accommodate movement of said jaw elements, said locking bar having :a reduced wedge portion into registration with said shoulder end portion adapted when aligned‘ with said during initial relative closing movement of said shoulder to accommodate opening of said jaw elements, means for shifting said locking bar ‘to r ' DAVID A_. WALLACE. hringlsaid reduced end portion thereof into align jaw elements. , l ' j ‘ ' '