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Патент USA US3042319

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July 3, 1962
Filed June 6, 1958
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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July 3, 1962
Filed June 6, 1958
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
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United States Patent O ice
Patented July 3, 1962
Robert W. Smith and Robert A. Vaughan, Columbus,
Ühîo, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Dresser In
dustries, Inc., Dallas, rEen., a corporation of Delaware
Filed June 6, 1958, Ser. No. 740,252
3 Claims. (Ci. 23S-_4)
aligning Iapparatus which is of such a nature that the
approach angle of the car relative to the apparatus
may be substantial without interfering with the proper
aligning function of the apparatus.
Still another object of this invention is to provide ve
hicle-aligning apparatus of the type indicated which is so
arranged las »to compensate for the slight differences in the
spacing of the front and rear wheels of la vehicle.
This invention relates to vehicle-aligning apparatus. lt
Still another object of this invention is to provide align
has to do, more particularly, with lapparatus for co 10 ing lapparatus of the type indicated which will not sub«
operating with .the wheels of la vehicle for `aligning the
stantially interfere with movement of vehicles in any
vehicle laterally relative to a fixed axis, for example, that
direction over the surface in which it is located.
of the guide rail of -a vehicle-handling dolly of `a mechani
Various other advantages will be apparent.
cal parking garage, that of «a hydraulic lift or service pit
One example of this invention is illustrated in the ac
in a vehicle service station, or that of any other structure
companying drawings but it is to be understood that de
Where predetermined relative lateral alignment of a ve
tails o-f the structure may be varied Without departing
hicle is necessary or desirable.
from the basic principles of this invention.
ln the following description, this vehicle-aligning ap
In these drawings:
paratus will be described with reference to the alignment
FIGURE l is a plan view, partly broken away, of the
of a vehicle and specifically an automobile with a guide
vehicle-aligning apparatus of this invention.
rail for la vehicle-handling dolly of the type used in trans
FIGURE 2 is an isometric view showing the apparatus
ferring vehicles to and from the elevator of a mechanical
«disposed in parallel relationship to `a dolly guide rail.
parking garage, `but it is to be understood that this is
FÍGURE 3 is a vertical axial sectional view taken along
for purpose of illustration only and not in the way of
line 3-3 lof FIGURE l.
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view taken along
Vehicle parking garages of the so-called mechanical
line 4_4 of FIGURE l.
type employ la vehicle-handling or transferring dolly in
FÃGURE 5 is a transverse sectional view taken along
transferring a vehicle to and from »an elevator used to
line 5-5 of FIGURE 1.
move the vehicle between selected levels. Such -a >dolly
FIGURE 6 is a schematic view transversely through
is disclosed in the copending application of Robert W. 30 the aligning yapparatus and illustrating its action in the
Smith, Serial No. 626,045, tiled December 3, 1956, now
lateral shifting of a vehicle wheel.
US. Patent No. 2,846,186, issued August 5, l958. This
FIGURE 7 is a schematic plan view illustrating the
dolly operates on a single guide nail on the elevator
gradual shifting of a wheel as it moves onto »and along the
platform which is brought into alignment with similar~
‘aligning apparatus.
guide rails on the floor surfaces fat the various levels. At
the level where the vehicles `are received for parking,
This invention is illustrated in the drawings as com
prising a enadle 9 'for receiving the front and rear wheels
usually the ground floor, a rail is positioned adjacent the
disposed in tandem along one side of a vehicle, the cradle
elevator shaft and it is desirable to align the vehicle to
being disposed in parallel relationship with the guide rail
be parked laterally with this rail so that the dolly can
12 >or other structure with which the vehicle is to be
move onto the rail in proper position Ito lift the vehicle 40 aligned, Although in most installations ya single cradle 9
‘and move it onto 4the elevator. Therefore, it is irn
is suñicient, ~a pair of laterally spaced cradles may be
portent that each vehicle to be parked be quickly and
provided, if necessary, `for receiving the front and rear
accurately ,aligned with this dolly guide rail. Further
wheels at both sides of the vehicle. The sides of the
more, it is impontant that the kaligning means be such as
cradle preferably comprise a fixed guide flange 1t) iand
not only to quickly align the vehicle with the rail but
a roller unit 11 extending longitudinally thereof in spaced
also to accomplish this without damage and undue wear
relationship to the guide flange. This cnadle arrangement
on the tires of the vehicle. It has been attempted in the
is illustrated best in FIGURE l where the roller unit is
post to align the vehicle by means of ñxed curbs or
shown «as consisting of the `axially-:aligned rollers 11a and
guides projecting above «the ñoor which usually converge
11b, the roller 11b being the roller which will finally
at their forward ends to engage the tires of the vehicle 50 engage 'and position the front wheel and the roller 11a
as it moves over the guide rail so as to shift the vehicle
being the one which will ñnally engage and position the
laterally as necessary. Obviously, this causes consider
rear wheel.
table wear on the tires due to the sides of the tires en
ln FIGURE 2, the cradle 9 is shown associated with
gaging the ñxed curbs and rubbing thereagainst as well
the guide rail 12 for the dolly of a parking garage. rl`he
las to the bodily sliding laterally of the tires on the licor
cradle unit is disposed in parallel relationship with the
surface in the aligning operation. Furthermore, if the
rail i2. The rollers 11a and 11b are recessed within
angle of approach of `a vehicle relative to the aligning
the floor surface 13 and a plate 14 is mounted on the Hoor
curbs is too great, it is necessary to back the vehicle and
surface and suitably secured thereto.
try the aligning operation over. Also, the curbs or ñxed
Preferably, .the plate 14 is carried by the Lbeams 15
guides serve -as obstructions on the floor to hamper move 60 shown best in FIGURES 4 and 5. These I-beamsare
ment of vehicles thereabout. Thus, prior «art arrange
disposed in spaced, parallel relationship and form a pit
ments for aligning vehicles relative to the dolly guide nail
between them within which the greater portion of the
have not been >at all satisfactory.
rollers 11a and 11b are disposed. However, the cir
Ít is the main object of this invention to provide a
cumference tof each roller projects upwardly through a slot
vehicle-aligning apparatus which will automatically »align 65 16 in the plate. Each roller is carried by separate end
the vehicle as it moves into 'association with the apparatus
shafts 17 which are rotatably supported in end bearing 1S
and which will accomplish this ‘aligning quickly and -ac
yand a central bearing 19. The opposed ends of the rollers
are preferably tapered »as indicated tat 20. A substantial
Another object of this invention is to provide vehicle
portion of each roller projects radially above the surface
aligning «apparatus which will accomplish the aligning with 70 of the plate 14. The amount which the roller projects
substantially no wear on the tires of the vehicle.
Another object of this invention is to provide a vehicle
can be varied but it is preferably less than half the
diameter and more than one-fourth the diameter.
The apparatus will compensate for the slight diíîerences
As previously indicated, the one side of the wheel
receiving cradle ä is formed by the fixed flange lo. rl`his
flange is formed at the inner edge `of the plate ld extend-ing
throughout `the entire length thereof. The flange extends
outwardly and upwardly from the edge of the plate at a
in the spacing of the front ‘and rear wheels yby the use
ot' separate, axially-aligned rollers. Although the ap
paratus will have thc necessary Ialigning function, it will
not project from the lloor surface excessively so that it
will be possible to drive over the «apparatus crosswise if
suitable angle. The spacing between the adjacent edge
desirable in moving 'cars on the ground door of a garage
of the slot lo and the ñange lll is such that the tires
of the vehicle can be received therebetween. The rollers
in which it may be positioned.
According to the provisions of the patent statutes, the
principles of this invention have been explained and have
lla and lib will function to move the wheels towards
the ilange lll when ‘the wheels engage the rollers, each
'roller being rotated towards the llange lll, that is,
been illustrated and described in what is now considered
clockwise direct-ion, as indicated by the arrows in EPCn
URES 4 and 5. ln some installations it may be desirable
to provide at the outer end of each roller shaft l‘l' a
ratchet wheel ‘2l keyed thereon and an adjacent ratchet 15
pawl 22 which is provided for engaging the ratchet wheel
so :as to permit rotation of the roller in one direction, that
is, towards the ilange lll, but to prevent rotation in the op
to represent the best embodiment. However, it is to be
understood that, within the scope of Athe appended claims,
the invention may be practiced otherwise than las specifical
iy illustrated and described.
Having thus described this invention, what is claimed is:
l. Apparatus for bringing the front and rear wheels
along one side of a motor vehicle into relative alignment
posi-te direction.
during parking of the vehicle, comprising: an elongated
The plate 14 clos-ely ñts the outer tapered ends 2t) ot
the rollers and .their adjacent inner tapered ends
as well
cradle having ‘a relatively narrow, longitudinally extend
ing, flat, wheel-supporting surface upon which the -front
as 'the bearing structure i9 ,are covered by means of a
and rear wheels alone one side of a vehicle may be
suitable arcuate cover plate 23 whose edges termine-.te
driven; an elongated wheel-guiding member extending
substantially llush with the plate lll. The tapered ends
longitudinally of said cradle adjacent one side of the dat
suriace of said cradle and projecting gener-ally upwardly
above ‘the level of said fla-t surface for guiding engagement
Z0 of the two rollers are provided for engagement with
the tires of a vehicle, the tapering preventing damage to
the tires whether they enter at one end or the `other of the
FIGURES 6 and 7 are exaggerated illustrations of the
action of the rollers lla and lib. As 4the wheel indicated 30
at W enters -the cradle 9, it may enter `at a substantial
with one of the vertical yside surfaces or" Ia vehicle wheel
driven onto the dat surface of said cradle; elongated, gen
erally cylindrical roller means positioned ‘adjacent the
opporsi-te side of the dat surface of said cradle in trans
versely spaced relation to said wheel-guiding member,
As soon as the
said roller means having an axis of rotation disposed Ain
roller lla is engaged by the Wheel W, it will rotate
towards the flange lil and tend to shift the wheel towards
the llange. As `the wheel W continues its movement into
parallel relation to said wheel-guiding member Iand a
angle and will engage the roller 11a.
peripheral portion extending substantially above the level
of the ilat surface of said `cradle for engagement with the
opposite vertical side surface of a vehicle wheel driven
the cradle, the wheel will be gradually moved towards the
ñange Iliì and the ‘angular position thereof will be gradually
upon said llart surface; means supporting said roller means
for »axial rotation; and means connected with `said roller
decreased as indicated in FEGURES 6 and 7. Eventually,
means for preventing rotation of the peripheral portion
the wheel W will be positioned between the second roller
1lb and the i‘lange l@ in a plane parallel thereto. The 40 thereof which extends above the level of said dat surface
in a direction away from said wheel-guiding member.
second or roar wheel will engage the roller lla and will
2. Apparatus as defined in claim l, wherein said roller
be lbodily moved rin the same manner. Because of the
means comprises la plurality of axially aligned, independ
dillerence in spacing of the front and rear wheels, the
ently rotatable roller sections arranged in tandem for
use of two separate rollers lla and lllb is desirable.
Gradually shifting the wheels in this manner will result in 45 engaging different wheels of ‘a vehicle driven `onto said
the gradual shifting of the vehicle bodily to properly `align
sui-race, and wherein each of said roller sections is
It will be apparent from the `above description that
this invention provides for a vehicle-aligning apparatus
provided with means to prevent rotation thereof in a di
rection Iaway from said wheel-guiding means.
3. Apparatus as delined `in `claim l, wherein said roller
which consists of a cradle for receiving the front and rear
means includes opposite end portions tapering inwardly
wheels on at least one side of a vehicle.
toward ‘the axis of rotation of «said roller means.
and center it relative to the rail l2.
The wheel
receiving and aligning cradle comprises parallel `sides
References Cited in the ille of this patent
fonmed preferably of a movable roller unit and a iixed
ñange. However, if desired, the llange `can be replaced
with another `roller unit so that rollers form both sides
of the cradle.
The guide apparatus of this invention will accomplish
the aligning of `the vehicle quickly and `accurately with sub
stantially no wear on the tires thereof. This is true even
though the approach angle of the vehicle is substantial.
Renfroe _____________ __ June 16,
Kitchen ______________ __ Nov. 9,
Porte ________________ __ June 29,
Russell ______________ __ Iuly 2l,
White ________ __
Porter ________________ __ Aug. 5, 1958
__ Aug. 19, 1952
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