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United States Patent Application 20170241084
Kind Code A1
ELSE; Robert Arthur ;   et al. August 24, 2017

SUPPORT UNIT FOR FORMING A TEMPORARY ROADWAY

Abstract

A support unit (10) is connectable together with similar such units to form a temporary roadway. A plurality of upwardly extending and tapering recesses (18) are provided on a lower surface (20) of the support unit (10) to provide engagement with the ground. Locking arrangements and respective flanges and corresponding recesses are provided on the sides of the support units (10), for interconnecting adjacent such units (10).


Inventors: ELSE; Robert Arthur; (Castle Donington, GB) ; SHUERT; Lyle; (Birmingham, MI)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

LINEBACKER UK LIMITED

Stansted

GB
Family ID: 1000002650419
Appl. No.: 15/504959
Filed: March 12, 2015
PCT Filed: March 12, 2015
PCT NO: PCT/GB2015/050727
371 Date: February 17, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: E01C 9/086 20130101; E01C 5/001 20130101; E01C 11/02 20130101; E01C 5/20 20130101; E01C 5/22 20130101; E01C 5/006 20130101
International Class: E01C 9/08 20060101 E01C009/08; E01C 11/02 20060101 E01C011/02; E01C 5/22 20060101 E01C005/22; E01C 5/00 20060101 E01C005/00; E01C 5/20 20060101 E01C005/20

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Aug 21, 2014GB1414866.2

Claims



1-64. (canceled)

65. A support component, comprising: a support unit having an underside surface, a first pair of sides, a second pair of sides, and a plurality of connection arrangements; the first pair of sides comprising a first side and a second side, the first side and the second side being positioned opposite each other on the support unit, the second pair of sides comprising a third side and a fourth side, the third side and the fourth side being positioned opposite each other on the support unit, the plurality of connection arrangements being positioned on at least one of the first side, the second side, the third side, and the fourth side; the underside surface comprising a plurality of recesses are engageable with a ground surface and the plurality of recesses tapering inwardly into the support unit in an upward direction.

66. The support component of claim 65, wherein the plurality of recesses each comprise a first portion and a second portion, the first portion extending from the underside surface at a first angle, the second portion extending from the first portion at a second angle, the second angle being greater than the first angle.

67. The support component of claim 66, wherein the second portion is axially offset relative to the first portion.

68. The support component of claim 65, wherein the plurality of recesses are substantially square in plan view.

69. The support component of claim 65, wherein the plurality of recesses each have a closed top surface.

70. The support component of claim 65, wherein the plurality of recesses limit sinkage of the support unit into the ground surface when material from the ground surface enters the plurality of recesses.

71. A support component, comprising: a support unit having an underside surface, a first pair of sides, a second pair of sides, and a first plurality of connection arrangements, the first plurality of connection arrangements each comprising a cam surface, the underside surface comprising a plurality of recesses engageable with a ground surface, the plurality of recesses tapering inwardly into the support unit in an upward direction; wherein a second plurality of connection arrangements on a second support unit is engageable with the first plurality of connection arrangements to urge together the support unit and the second support unit.

72. The support component of claim 71, wherein the plurality of recesses each comprise a first portion and a second portion, the first portion extending from the underside surface at a first angle, the second portion extending from the first portion at a second angle, the second angle being greater than the first angle.

73. The support component of claim 71, wherein the plurality of recesses each have a closed top surface.

74. The support component of claim 71, wherein the plurality of recesses limit sinkage of the support unit into the ground surface when material from the ground surface enters the plurality of recesses.

75. The support component of claim 71, wherein the first plurality of connection arrangements are positioned along at least one side of the support unit.

76. The support component of claim 71, wherein each of the second plurality of connection arrangements is rotatable relative to each of the first plurality of connection arrangements to connect the first plurality of connection arrangements to the second plurality of connection arrangements.

77. The support component of claim 71, wherein the second plurality of connection arrangements is insertable into the first plurality of connection arrangements.

78. The support component of claim 71, wherein each of the first plurality of connection arrangements comprises a diametrically extending opening, wherein a portion of each of the second plurality of connection arrangements is insertable into the diametrically extending opening.

79. A support component, comprising: an underside surface, the underside surface comprising a plurality of recesses engageable with a ground surface, the plurality of recesses tapering inwardly into the support component in an upward direction; a first pair of opposing sides, the first pair of opposing sides comprising a first plurality of connection arrangements, the first plurality of connection arrangements each comprising a cam surface, wherein a second plurality of connection arrangements on a second support component is engageable with the first plurality of connection arrangements to urge together the support component and the second support component; a second pair of opposing sides, the second pair of opposing sides comprising at least one recess, the at least one recess comprising at least one mounting hole, the at least one mounting hole containing a trapped nut.

80. The support component of claim 79, wherein the plurality of recesses each have a closed top surface.

81. The support component of claim 79, wherein the plurality of recesses limit sinkage of the support component into the ground surface when material from the ground surface enters the plurality of recesses.

82. The support component of claim 79, further comprising at least one strap positioned in the at least one recess.

83. The support component of claim 82, wherein the at least one strap comprises at least one hole aligned with the at least one mounting hole of the at least one recess.

84. The support component of claim 82, wherein the at least one strap is connectable to a recess in the second support component.
Description



[0001] This invention concerns a support component, and particularly a support component connectable to similar components to form a temporary roadway, and also a roadway made up of such components.

[0002] Temporary roadways are required in a number of situations. For instance these may be required in a construction project, and particularly when installing a large product such as a wind turbine or the like, which following construction will not require heavy duty road access thereto. A temporary roadway can therefore prevent the requirement of constructing a conventional permanent roadway or other access.

[0003] A number of temporary roadways have already been proposed. Metal systems have been used, but these often require the installation of security, or require securing to avoid potential theft of the metal roadway for scrap value. Arrangements using plastics materials have been proposed, but these are often proved extremely heavy and/or liable to water ingress meaning that once wet the products can be very heavy.

[0004] According to the first aspect of the invention there is provided a support component connectable to similar components to form a temporary roadway, the support component including a plurality of recesses provided in the underside in use thereof to provide engagement with the ground, which recesses taper inwardly in an upwards direction, with a plurality of connection arrangements being provided for selectively connecting the support component to adjacent such support components.

[0005] The recesses may extend over at least 30%, preferably more than 40%, 50% or 60%, of the surface area of the underside of the support component.

[0006] The recesses may be provided in a uniform pattern.

[0007] The recesses may comprise a first portion extending from the underside which tapers at a first angle, and a second portion extending from the first portion at a second angle which is greater than the first angle.

[0008] The first angle may be between 5.degree. and 20.degree., may be between 5.degree. and 15.degree., may be between 8.degree. and 12.degree. and may be substantially 10.degree.. The second angle may be between 30 and 60.degree., may be between 35 and 50.degree., may be between 40 and 50.degree., may be between 43 and 47.degree., and may be substantially 44.35.degree..

[0009] The recesses may extend for between 60 and 95%, may be between 70 and 90%, 80 and 90%, 85 and 90% and may be substantially 88.2%, of the depth of the tile.

[0010] The tile may be between 50 and 150 mm thick, may be between 50 and 100 mm thick, may be between 70 and 80 mm thick, and may be substantially 75 mm thick.

[0011] The recesses may be at least generally square in plan view. The second taper may have an at least generally square in plan view configuration, and may be axially offset relative to the first taper, and may be offset by substantially 45.degree..

[0012] Formations may be provided on the upper surface of the support component to enhance grip.

[0013] A plurality of locking arrangements for retaining connected adjacent support components together may be provided. The locking arrangements may be arranged to be selectively movable between locked and unlocked conditions, and may be arranged to urge adjacent support components together when moving to the locked condition.

[0014] The locking arrangements may include one or more male units with a rotatable member on a support component, rotatingly engageable with female units on adjacent support components. The female units may comprise cam surfaces such that as a rotatable member on a male unit engages therewith and is rotated, this urges together the respective support components.

[0015] The rotatable member may comprise a head with a stem extending therefrom, and a crossbar extending from the end of the stem spaced from the head. A formation may be provided on the head which can be engaged by a tool to permit rotation of the rotatable member relative to a respective support component.

[0016] The female units may include an elongate opening through which the rotatable member crossbar can pass when in a parallel alignment, with the crossbar engaging against the female unit cam surfaces when rotated from a parallel alignment after passing through the elongate opening.

[0017] The male units may be made of a plastics material such as for example nylon, and may include an inner metal reinforcement. The female units may be made of a plastics material such as for example nylon.

[0018] The support component may be at least generally rectangular in plan view and may have one longer pair of sides and one pair of shorter sides. The longer sides may be between 30 and 70% longer than the shorter sides, and may be substantially 50% longer.

[0019] A main flange may be provided extending along a one of the sides of the support component, and a corresponding main recess may be provided by extending along the opposite side of the support component. The recess may be dimensioned so as to receive a main flange on an adjacent support component, such that the adjacent components extend at least generally coplanar to each other.

[0020] The main flanges and recesses may be provided on the longer pair of sides of the support component.

[0021] The male units may be provided on the main flanges, with the female units provided on the main recesses.

[0022] Minor flanges and respective recesses may be provided on the other sides of the support component.

[0023] Formations may be provided on or adjacent to the minor flanges and minor recesses to permit adjacent support components to be mounted together. The formations may comprise recesses, and one or more openings may be provided through the recesses.

[0024] Lifting attachments may be provided on the support component. The lifting attachments may comprise formations mountable in openings in the support component. The lifting attachments may be provided adjacent corners of the support component. The lifting formations may be made of metal.

[0025] According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a temporary roadway, the roadway comprising a plurality of support components according to any of the preceding twenty one paragraphs, connected together.

[0026] An embodiment of the present invention will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:--

[0027] FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view from above of a support component according to the invention, with areas of increased detail;

[0028] FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic perspective view from below of the component of FIG. 1, with areas of increased detail;

[0029] FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic plan view from above of the component of FIG. 1;

[0030] FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic cross sectional side view along the line A to A of FIG. 3, with areas of increased detail;

[0031] FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic exploded perspective view from above of the component of FIG. 1;

[0032] FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic perspective view from above showing two components as shown in FIG. 1 being mounted together;

[0033] FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic side view showing two components as shown in FIG. 1 being connected together;

[0034] FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic plan view of two components as shown in FIG. 1 connected together with a third component being connected thereto;

[0035] FIGS. 9 to 11 are sequential perspective views from above of parts of two components as shown in FIG. 1 being connected together;

[0036] FIGS. 12 and 13 are diagrammatic views from beneath of the parts shown in FIGS. 10 and 11 being connected together, and correspond respectively to the positions shown in FIGS. 10 and 11;

[0037] FIG. 14 is a diagrammatic exploded view of one of the parts shown in FIG. 9;

[0038] FIG. 15 is a diagrammatic perspective view from beneath of a section of the component of FIG. 1;

[0039] FIG. 16 is a diagrammatic view from beneath of a smaller part of the component of FIG. 1;

[0040] FIG. 17 is a diagrammatic view from beneath of a feature of the component of FIG. 1;

[0041] FIG. 18 is a diagrammatic cross sectional side view of the feature of FIG. 17;

[0042] FIG. 19 is a diagrammatic side view of the feature of FIG. 17;

[0043] FIG. 20 is a diagrammatic perspective view from above of the feature of FIG. 17; and

[0044] FIG. 21 is a diagrammatic perspective view from below of the feature of FIG. 17;

[0045] The drawings show a support unit 10 connectable together with similar such units to form a temporary roadway. The units 10 may be made from any suitable materials such as a plastics material which could be high density polyethylene.

[0046] The support units has a generally rectangular configuration, and in this example have a pair of longer sides 12 which are 3 m long, and a pair of shorter sides 14 which are 2 m long. The support member 10 provides an upper support surface 16 which may be provided with a plurality of projections or other formations or finishes to enhance grip. A plurality of upwardly extending and tapering recesses 18 are provided on a lower surface 20 of the support unit 10 as will be hereinafter described.

[0047] A one of the longer sides 12 has a flange 26 extending along the length thereof whilst the other of the longer sides 12 provides a recess 28. The recess 28 is of a size to receive the flange 26 on an adjacent such unit 10 such that adjacent support units 10 will be substantially coplanar.

[0048] Five locking arrangements 30 are provided along the longer sides 12 with five male units 32 provided on the flange 26 and five corresponding female units 34 on the recess 28. Five spaced openings 36 are provided in the recess 28 to each receive a female unit 34. The female units 34 have a square base 38 with an upstanding circular portion 30 which is a sliding fit in the openings 36. Openings 42 are provided near each corner of the base 38 to permit mounting by screws or otherwise to the underside of the recess 28. The circular portion 42 has a diametrically extending opening 44 which has a wider central portion 46. Sloped faces 48 provide arcuate downwardly facing cam surfaces 50.

[0049] The male units 32, as best illustrated in FIG. 14, comprise a head part 52 with an upstanding hexagonal shaped projection 54 which can be engaged by an appropriate tool. A metal reinforcement 56 is embedded in the head part 52, and the reinforcement 56 comprises a planar head 58 wholly located in the head part 52 with a shaft 60 extending therefrom and downwardly from the head part 52 as shown in FIG. 14.

[0050] On the underside of the head part 52 as shown in FIG. 14, an upstanding circular castellated formation 62 is provided with smaller and larger recesses 64, 66. The male units 32 also includes a second part 68 with a central circular section 70 which has a castellated circular formation 72 which faces towards the castellated formation 62 and is engageable therewith with smaller and larger projections 74, 76 engageable respectively in the recesses 66, 68.

[0051] A central opening 78 is provided through the formation 72 through which the shaft 60 is extendible. At least the distal end of the shaft 60 is threaded and a washer 80 can fit thereover engageable against the underside of the section 70, with the male unit being held together by a nut 82 engaging on the threaded shaft 60.

[0052] The second part 68 also comprises a cross piece 84 extending radially on opposite sides of the central circular section 70. A profiled metal reinforcement 86 is provided within the second part 68 extending across the cross piece 84 with a through hole to receive the shaft 60.

[0053] Five circular recesses 88 are provided in the flange 26 in positions corresponding to the openings 36. A smaller central hole 90 is provided through each of the recesses 88. The male units 32 can be fitted together with the head part 52 located in the respected recess 88, with the formations 62, 72 and shaft 60 extending through the hole 90.

[0054] A smaller flange 92 and corresponding recess 94 are provided respectively along the shorter sides 14. Three elongate recesses 96 are provided in the upper support surface 16 adjacent the smaller flange 92 and three corresponding elongate recesses 98 are provided in the upper support surface 16 adjacent each of the smaller recesses 94. The recesses 96, 98 extend parallel to the longer sides 12. The recesses 96 which extend over the top of the flange 92 are longer than the recesses 98 which extend adjacent to the recess 94.

[0055] Two mounting holes 100 are provided in the recesses 96 extending over the flanges 92, whilst one mounting hole 100 is provided in the recesses 98. A trapped nut 101 may be provided immediately below the holes 100. A plurality of straps 102 are provided which are sliding fits in the recesses 96, 98, and can wholly locate in the recesses 96 when not required. A pair of holes 104 are provided in the straps 102, with spacing corresponding in position to the holes 100 in the recesses 96 when not in use. To connect adjacent units 10, the holes 104 can be located over the outer mounting holes 100 in the recess 96, and the mounting holes 100 in the recess 98. Bolts (not shown) are provided for retaining the straps 102 in position.

[0056] Profiled openings 106 are provided adjacent each corner of the support unit. Each opening 106 comprises a relatively narrow entry leading to a wider part, and to a further distal narrower part. The profiled openings 106 can receive metal lifting members 108 which are profiled to locate in the openings 106 and with a cross member 110 extending across the wider part of the openings 106 to which a line means can be connected.

[0057] As indicated a plurality of recesses 18 are provided in the underside of the support unit 10. The recesses 18 have a generally square profile and have a first portion 112 which tapers inwardly upwards at an angle of 10.degree. and extends for 47.63 mm. A second tapering portion 114 extends from the first portion 112. The second portion 114 is again of a square cross section but is rotated through 45.degree. relative to the first portion. The second portion 114 tapers at 44.35.degree. for a further 18.52 mm. These dimensions are for a unit 10 which is 75 mm thick.

[0058] In use, adjacent support units 10 can be mounted together by the respective male units 32 engaging with the female units 34. When initially engaged this provides a loose fit between adjacent units 10 which can be important, and can be particularly so on uneven ground where it is not possible to accurately align adjacent units 10.

[0059] The locking arrangements 30 can then be moved to a closed position by rotating the male units 32 such that the cross piece 84 engages against the cam surfaces 50 progressively urging the two support units 10 closer together. A lip may be provided towards the end of the cam surfaces 50 such that when the cross piece 84 moves therepast this retains the locking arrangements 30 in a locked condition.

[0060] With the support units 10 mounted together along their longer sides 12 this may provide a temporary roadway of required width. It may though be required to mount further support units 10 to the side to provide an increased width roadway or a particular location. In this instance with the respective smaller flanges 92 engaging in the respective smaller recesses 94, the support units 10 can be held together by the straps 102 being mounted extending across adjacent support units 10, and engaging in the respective recesses 96, 98.

[0061] There are thus described support units for forming a temporary roadway, and a temporary roadway formed from such support units. The recesses 18 provide good grip on underlying ground, but their tapering profile has been found to provide sinkage to a certain degree only in the ground, and thereafter further material cannot enter the recesses 18 thereby retaining the support units 10 in a required position at a required height relative to the surrounding ground.

[0062] As noted the fact that the locking arrangements can be interconnected in a relatively loose condition and then fully tightened, means that adjacent support units 10 can readily be interconnected even on uneven ground. The lifting members 108 permit the units 10 to be mechanically moved, or handled using appropriate tools engaging with the lifting members.

[0063] It is to be realised that various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For instance different locking arrangements could be provided, and arrangements other than straps described above could be used. The recesses in the underside of the support units could take a different form. The support units may be a different size.

[0064] Whilst endeavouring in the foregoing specification to draw attention to those features of the invention believed to be of particular importance it should be understood that the Applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination of features hereinbefore referred to and/or shown in the drawings whether or not particular emphasis has been placed thereon.

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