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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1852566 20.12.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001852566
Titel Doppelverriegelungssystem für Behälter
Anmelder Mobile Mini, Inc., Tempe, Ariz., US
Erfinder Lemley, Russ, Tempe AZ 85284, US;
Keating, Jon, Tempe AZ 85284, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 16.08.2006
EP-Aktenzeichen 060170800
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 07.11.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 20.12.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse E05B 67/38(2006.01)A, F, I, 20071009, B, H, EP
IPC-Nebenklasse E05C 9/00(2006.01)A, L, I, 20071009, B, H, EP   E05B 65/02(2006.01)A, L, I, 20071009, B, H, EP   B65D 90/00(2006.01)A, L, I, 20071009, B, H, EP   E05B 65/14(2006.01)A, L, I, 20071009, B, H, EP   

Beschreibung[en]
Technical Field

This invention relates to an improved locking system for containers, in particular, for storage containers.

Background of the Invention

Although the prior art shows locking systems for containers, none are believed to illustrate the type of device disclosed and claimed.

Storage containers referred to in the present specification are generally large, walk in boxes similar in size to semi-trailer trucks. The containers can be stacked and shipped by rail and by ship easily. In addition, such containers are used as storage devices by end users.

With any such container, maintaining security for the contents is a prime concern. Because such containers are often left unattended, they become targets for thieves and other criminals. Thus, the manufacturers and users of such containers continue to seek and develop better security techniques while the criminal element continues to develop methods for attacking and circumventing those security measures.

In addition, some storage applications require a seal around the doors to prevent entry of water, insects and other environmental elements. For example, paper and furniture storage is best served by a sealed container.

Various types of locking systems have been described in the prior art.

U.S. Patent No. 5,029,909 entitled "Door Lock Assembly" which issued on July 9, 1991 owned by assignee of the present invention discloses a protective device for locking the doors of a storage container using a two bar configuration.

U.S. Patent No. 5,261, 258 entitled "Padlock Protector" which issued on November 16, 1993 owned by assignee of the present invention discloses a security device, which consists of an exterior mounted housing for a latch bar, which defines a recess. The recess provides access to an aperture in the bar by a circular shackle of a disk shaped padlock. This device operates in much the same fashion as the present invention. However, it is also believed to be less effective because of its exterior mounting and structure allows some access to the locking mechanism and the shaft by drills and hammer devices.

U. S. Patent No. 5,509,700 entitled "Latch and Lock for Trailer Doors" which issued on April 23, 1996 to Kennedy, Jr., and owned by assignee of the present invention, discloses a concealed latch with an arm attached to a pivot operatively connected to a pair of locking bars.

However, the devices of the prior art described above are not completely satisfactory. For example, such devices often require a great deal of effort to close and latch. In one system, the user is required to bend over and operate the lever system in a particular sequence. In addition, the devices are often difficult to operate if the container is not level. Further, these devices often provide only one locking mechanism making it possible, once the locking system has been circumvented, for thieves and other criminals to gain entry to the storage container.

Thus there is a need for a door locking system that is simple to operate, provides the necessary sealing action and provides a second locking mechanism that would require additional time to circumvent. The present invention meets this need.

None of the known prior art disclose the device set forth herein.

Summary of the Invention

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved locking system for storage containers which provides additional security therefore.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved locking system for storage containers which provides a tight seal against the elements therefore.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize this invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The present invention may be more readily described by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

  • Fig. 1 is a perspective front and side view of a storage container embodying the present invention;
  • Fig. 2 is a front view of the embodiment of Fig.1;
  • Fig. 3 is a rear view of the embodiment of Fig. 1 in a locked position;
  • Fig. 4 is a rear view of the embodiment of Fig. 1 in an unlocked position;
  • Fig. 5 is a close up perspective view of the present invention;
  • Fig. 6 is a cross sectional front view of the embodiment of Fig. 5;
  • Fig. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along line 7-7 in Fig. 6;
  • Fig. 8 is a cross sectional view taken along line 8-8 in Fig. 6; and
  • Fig. 9 is a close up perspective view of the present invention showing the use of a padlock and circular lock therewith;
  • Fig. 10 is a close up view of the circled area 10 in Fig. 3; and
  • Fig. 11 is a cross sectional view taken along line 11-11 of Fig. 10.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment

Referring more particularly to the drawings by characters of reference, Figs. 1-11 disclose one embodiment of an improved locking system 10 mounted to one door 11 of a cargo storing container 13 or other door assembly and the floor thereof. Door 11 and its companion door 12 overlap and open outwardly with door 12 being closed first and door 11 being closed thereafter. The operation of such doors 11 and 12 are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art and will not be further discussed herein. Note that some doors 11 and 12 do not overlap. In that event, tabs must be added to door 12 to create an appropriate overlap for locking system 10 to function properly.

As best seen in Figs. 3 and 4, locking system 10 operatively engages a top rod 14 extending upwardly therefrom, a bottom rod 15 extending downwardly therefrom and a side lock rod end 16. Rods 14 and 15 and lock rod end 16 are mounted on the interior side of door 11. Rod 14 engages the upper lock rod end 17 and rod 15 engages the lower lock rod end 18. Lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 have a locked position illustrated in Fig. 3 wherein the lock rod ends extend just beyond the periphery of door 11 to engage the interior side of door 12, a ceiling 19 and a floor 20, respectively, and an unlocked position illustrated in Fig. 4 wherein the lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 do not extend beyond the periphery of door 11. Locking system 10 slides rods 14 and 15 and lock rod end 16 between the two positions as desired. To open system 10, lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 must be disengaged.

To align lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18, a side lock rod guide 21, a top rod guide 22 and a bottom rod guide 23 and are provided mounted on door 11 proximate to the periphery thereof. Lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 preferably engage a side lock rod guide 21, a ceiling lock rod guide 22 and a floor lock rod guide 23.

Preferably, each lock rod end 16, 17 and 18 include a sloped edge 24, 25 and 26, respectively, which facilitate alignment of each lock rod end with a respective lock rod guide 21, 22, 23. In addition, preferably, lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 are doubled in thickness at the distal end thereof. The extra thickness provides further security by strengthening an inherent access point where lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 cross the periphery of door 11, i.e. where thieves often employ cutting tools. In the presently preferred embodiment, the rods are comprised of solid square steel bar and the lock rod ends are cast as a single piece or may be manufactured by welding two square bars together.

Turning now to Figs. 5-8, the operation of locking system 10 is further detailed. As seen in Fig. 5, locking system 10 includes a box like housing 27 having a front panel 28. Front panel 28 includes an integral flange 29 extending outwardly from housing 27, which provides for mounting said housing on an opening in door 11. Housing 27 and integral flange 29 are, preferably, made from heavy gauge metal. For those storage containers 13 made of aluminum or a like material, locking system 10 is secured to door 11 by bolts extending through flange 29 which are secured to door 11 by nuts which are, most preferably, welded to the bolts for security.

A handle 30 rotatably engages an axle 31 extending through front panel 28. One feature of the present invention is to utilize a relatively short handle 30 to minimize the prying leverage available to a potential thief. In the most preferred embodiment, locking system 10 is positioned on door 11 whereby handle 30 is at a height convenient for users in a normal standing position.

Another ergonomic feature is that the direction of rotation of handle 30 to close door 11 is, preferably, a downward motion. Such a downward motion affords a user the ability to bear down on handle 30 with their entire body weight to assure engagement of lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18.

Further, in the presently preferred embodiment, the lock rods 14 and 15 and the lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 are designed and weighted to fall to the open position thereby preventing doors 11 and 12 from accidentally locking a person inside, and further allowing operation of same with a minimum of force.

As best seen in Fig. 6, axle 31 operatively engages a lower cam plate 32 mounted within housing 27, which extends laterally therefrom. In the illustrated embodiment, lower cam plate 32 is trapezoidal though those skilled in the art will recognize that the particular shape is not important.

The lower cam plate 32 engages cam link 33. Cam link 33 engages upper cam plate 34. This establishes an operative link between handle 30, axle 31, lower cam plate 32, cam link 33 and upper cam plate 34.

At two corners 35 and 36 of lower cam plate 32 a side rod link 37 and bottom rod link 38, respectively, are mounted, preferably by bushing 39. Additionally, at corner 40 of upper cam plate 34 a top rod-locking link 41 is mounted, preferably by bushing 39. The use of rod links 37, 38 and 41 permits the user to adjust the length of the rod/link combination to compensate for dimensional variations in storage containers.

Further, lower cam plate 32 includes an anti-torque spacer 42 which maintains lower cam plate 32 in parallel alignment to housing 27 even if excessive force is applied to lower cam plate 32 via axle 31 and handle 30. Anti-torque spacer 42 also restricts the entry of outside elements into housing 27.

As best seen in Fig. 5, rod links 37 and 38 and rod-locking link 41 extend through openings 43 in sidewalls 44 of housing 27. In the presently preferred embodiment, rod links 37 and 38 and rod-locking link 41 are all comprised of steel flat bar and are joined via welding to lock rods 14 and 15 and lock rod end 16. Those skilled in the art will recognize the suitability of other materials for the use described herein.

In Fig. 6, locking system 10 is shown in the locked position. To unlock, a user rotates handle 30, and hence lower cam plate 32, via axle 31, which rotates upper cam plate 34 via cam link 33, counter clockwise as shown by arrow 45 wherein rod links 37 and 38 and rod-locking link 41 are pulled inwardly into housing 27 as shown by arrows 46 thereby retracting lock rods 14 and 15 and lock rod end 16 to the unlocked position.

A further advantage of locking system 10 is that retraction of rod links 37 and 38 and rod-locking link 41 into housing 27 affords installation of locking system 10 onto doors 11 and 12 through the opening, which is cut into the front of door 11. Such a construction assists in installation since housing 27 is a one-piece installation.

Extending forwardly from lower cam plate 32 is a single piece, thick locking tab 47 having a lock hole 48 extending therethrough. Tab 47 extends through an arcuate gap 49 into a recess 50 extending inwardly from front plate 28 to center plate 51 parallel to front plate 28. Tab 47 passes through a slot in lower cam plate 32 and is welded to the back of lower cam plate 32. The ends of arcuate gap 49 provide stops, which limit the travel of tab 47, and hence cam plates 32 and 34, thereby providing the end points for the locked and unlocked positions.

Additionally, a secondary lock tab 52 extends forwardly from rod-locking link 41 having a lock hole 53 extending therethrough. Lock tab 52 extends through a slot 56 in center plate 51 into a recess 57 extending inwardly from front plate 28 to center plate 51 and is welded to the face of rod-locking link 41. A stationary lock tab 54, having a lock hole 55 extending therethrough is welded to the face of center plate 51 in recess 57 where lock hole 55 is aligned with lock hole 53 in lock tab 52 with locking system 10 in the locked position.

As best seen in Fig. 9, a circular lock 58 engages lock hole 48. Recess 50 is adapted to engage circular lock 58 and thereby prevent movement of tab 47, and hence lower cam plate 32 and upper cam plate 34, when circular lock 58 in engaged with tab 47. Thus the entire body of circular lock 58 and recess 50 act to prevent movement from the locked position to the unlocked position until circular lock 58 is removed. Thus, movement of lower cam plate 32 and upper cam plate 34 and lock rod ends 16, 17 and 18 are not solely dependent upon the structural integrity of tab 47. A padlock 59 engages lock hole 53 and lock hole 55 in tabs 52 and 54, respectively, preventing movement of rod-locking link 41, and hence lower cam plate 32 and upper cam plate 34, preventing movement from the locked position to the unlocked position while padlock 59 is engaged. Recess 57 is partially covered by lock pocket cover 60 and lock pocket cap 61 preventing access to tabs 52 and 54 and padlock 59. Recess 50, lock pocket cover 60 and lock pocket cap 61 also provide weather protection for locking system 10.

As seen in Fig. 10, locking system 10 may alternately be made utilizing an elongated cover plate 62 and back plate 63 to create a recess 64. Handle 30 is replaced with a longer handle 65, which is mounted to the lower cam plate 32, and extends into recess 64. Guard plate 66 allows the handle to be operated and prohibits access to the locking systems inner workings by potential thieves.

Although only certain embodiments have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or from the scope of the appended claims. For example, the present invention can be used in construction of new storage containers but also can be provided in a kit form for use in retrofitting existing storage containers.


Anspruch[en]
A locking system for use with a storage container, the locking system being mounted into a door of the cargo storing container, the locking system comprising: a housing mounted to and extending through a door, at least one rod extending from the housing, the at least one rod having a locked position extending beyond the periphery of the door and an unlocked position not extending beyond the periphery of the door, a handle extending from the housing, the handle rotatably engaging cam plates contained within the housing, the cam plates being operatively engaged with at least one rod, the handle rotating the lower cam plate, which in turn operates the upper cam plate, to move at least one rod from one of the locked position and the unlocked position to the other of the locked position and unlocked position, a locking tab extending forwardly from the lower cam plate into a recess in the housing, the locking tab adapted to be engaged by a circular lock, the recess adapted to prevent movement of the circular lock and the locking tab whereby the integrity of the locking system is not dependent upon the integrity of the locking tab, a secondary locking tab extending forwardly from the rod-locking link into a second recess in the housing, the locking tab to be aligned to a stationary locking tab and both engaged by a padlock preventing movement of the cam plates whereby the integrity of the locking system is not dependent on the integrity of the circular locking device. The locking system of claim 1 wherein the locking tabs include a circular locking hole extending therethrough, the hasp of the circular lock or padlock extending through the circular locking holes. The locking system of claim 1 wherein the locking tab extends through an arcuate gap into the recess, the ends of the arcuate gap providing stops for the locking tab, the stops defining the unlocked position and the locked position. The locking system of claim 1 wherein the housing is box like in shape with a front panel having an integral flange, the adapted to flush mount to the exterior of a door with the housing extending inwardly therefrom. The locking system of claim 1 wherein the handle rotatably engages an axle extending through the housing, the axle engaging the lower cam plate, the lower cam plate engaging a cam link, the cam link engaging the upper cam plate. The locking system of claim 1 wherein at least one rod is mounted to a cam plate at a corresponding corner thereof. The locking system of claim 6 wherein each of the at least one rod is mounted to a corresponding rod link extending through the housing, the corresponding link being mounted to a corresponding corner by a corresponding bushing. The locking system of claim 7 wherein the corresponding link and the at least one rod are comprised of steel flat bar and steel square bar, respectively, joined by welding. The locking system of claim 6 wherein the at least one rod comprises three rods, a top rod extending upwardly from the housing, a bottom rod extending downwardly from the housing and a rod end extending horizontally from the housing. The locking system of claim 9 further comprising links interposed between the cam plates and each of the two rods or one rod end, the links receiving each of the rods or rod end whereby the combination of the rods or rod end and links being adjustable in length. The locking system of claim 9 further comprising rod guides mounted proximate to the periphery of the door, the rod guides adapted to align the rod ends. The locking system of claim 9 further comprising two lock rod guides mounted beyond the periphery of a door and an overlap between doors, each of the rod ends engaging either the lock rod guides or overlap when in the locked position. The locking system of claim 12 wherein each rod end includes a sloped edge adapted to facilitate alignment of each rod end with the corresponding lock rod guide or door overlap. The locking system of claim 12 wherein each rod end is thicker at the distal end thereof. The locking system of claim 12 wherein all three of the rod ends must be compromised to gain access to the container. The locking system of claim 1 wherein each of the at least one rod is biased to the unlocked position. The locking system of claim 1 further comprising anti-torque spacers interposed between the lower cam plate and the housing to maintain the lower cam plate and the housing in a parallel relationship. A locking system for use with a storage container, the locking system being mounted to a door of the storage container, the locking system comprising: a housing mounted to and extending through a door, the housing being box like in shape with a front panel having an integral flange, the flange adapted to mount said housing on a door, two rods and one rod end extending from the housing, the two rods comprising a top rod extending upwardly from the housing and a bottom rod extending downwardly both having rod ends attached, the rod ends having a locked position extending beyond the periphery of the door and an unlocked position not extending beyond the periphery of the door, a short handle extending from the housing, the short handle rotatably engaging an axle, the axle rotatably engaging the lower cam plate contained within the housing, the cam plate being operatively engaged with a cam link mounted within the housing, the cam link being operatively engaged with the upper cam plate mounted within the housing, the cam plates being operatively engaged with the corners of the rods and rod ends, the short handle rotating the cam plate to move the rod ends from one of the locked position and the unlocked position to the other of the locked position and the unlocked position, a locking tab extending forwardly from the lower cam plate through an arcuate gap into a recess in the housing, the ends of the arcuate gap providing stops for the locking tab, the stops defining the unlocked position and the locked position, the locking tab including a circular hole extending therethrough, the circular lock hole adapted to engage the hasp of a circular lock, the recess adapted to prevent movement of the circular lock and the locking tab when said circular lock is engaged by the locking tab, a locking tab extending forwardly from the rod-locking link through a slot into a recess in the housing, the recess having a stationary locking tab aligned to the locking tab attached to the rod-locking link in the locked position, both locking tabs including a circular hole adapted to engage the hasp of a padlock, the recess including a partial cover to minimize access to the locking tabs and padlock by potential thieves. The locking system of claim 18 wherein the rods and rod end are mounted to corresponding rod links extending through the housing, the corresponding rod links being mounted to the two corners of the lower cam plate and one corner of the upper cam plate. The locking system of claim 19 wherein the rod links, rods and rod ends are comprised of solid bar and castings joined by welding. The locking system of claim 19 further comprising rod guides mounted proximate to the periphery of the door, the rod guides adapted to align the rod ends. The locking system of claim 21 further comprising two lock rod guides and one overlap mounting beyond the periphery of the door, each of the rod ends engaging one of the two rod guides or the overlap when in the locked position. The locking system of claim 18 wherein each rod end is biased to the unlocked position.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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