Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/608

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A Lift Deck for Automobile Freight Cars

It doubles the automobile capacity of a car and
does not interfere with the shipping of other goods

IN shipping automobiles in car load lots at the present time, a temporary deck or floor is built within the car at the time of each shipment. On this, one row of automobiles is placed above another row loaded on the main floor of the car. In this way the capacity of the car is practically doubled. But this method of utilizing space is expensive and it injures the car to have the decks continually installed and removed. Consequently the automobile shipper is up against a serious problem.

Joseph C. Youngblood, of Atwood, Kansas, has invented a lift deck which seems to meet all requirements. The mechanism necessary to operate the deck will in no way interfere with the shipping of goods other than automobiles. The deck can be lowered to the car floor so that automobiles can be loaded upon it with ease. It can then be raised to its elevated position and automobiles loaded into the lower portion of the car without interfering with it.

The lift deck is raised by means of pistons traveling within four cylinders. The lower ends of the four cylinders extend below the car floor and are connected with a pipe that extends to a tank containing oil and a pump.

The upper lift deck for automobiles and the mechanism that elevates it

An electric motor and the pump which it operates are contained in a separate compartment carried under the car floor. The oil supply tank is situated next to the pump.

When the deck is to be raised the motor is started and the pump forces oil from the storage tank into the pipe line and thence into the cylinders to force the pistons upward. When the deck, with its load of automobiles, has been raised to its uppermost position, pins are inserted in the cylinders to hold the deck permanently in position. This prevents any possible back-flow of the oil from the cylinders and relieves the cylinders and pipe line from continued pressure. When the deck is to be lowered, the pins are removed to permit the free movement of the piston rods.

After reaching its destination the car can be unloaded without any additional equipment or tools. The automobiles on the car floor are first removed and when they are all out the upper deck is lowered and the cars on it removed as were the cars on the deck floor. Spaced floor plates support the automobiles while they are being shipped, but wooden beams can be substituted. The supply tank, pumps and motor may be placed in any part of the car that is convenient.

The lift deck takes the place of the expensive temporary upper deck and does not interfere with the carrying of goods other than automobiles. It can be raised or lowered in a minimum of time