This class is the locus for apparatus (i.e., elevator) for shifting a discrete load, in its entirety, from an entry level to a vertically spaced exit level along a fixed path when the apparatus includes (1) a reciprocating, load-underlying, support surface (e.g., car), (2) rigid or semirigid means for contacting and limiting the travel of the load support surface to the fixed vertical path, and (3) either (a) drive means* (e.g., fluid motor, manually operated linkage) for transmitting to the load support surface the force necessary to shift the load between the levels or (b) motion resisting means (e.g., counterweight) for slowing the travel of the load supporting surface when moving from a higher load entry level to a lower load exit level.
In addition, this class is the locus for a fixedly mounted apparatus (i.e., vehicle lift) which elevates a discrete vehicle, in its entirety, from a lower entrance and exit level to a significantly higher upper level where the vehicle is intended to be repaired or inspected when the apparatus includes both (1) a vertically reciprocating, vehicle-underlying support surface and (2) drive-means* for transmitting to the support surface the force necessary for it to elevate the vehicle.
Further, this class is the locus for a mobile wheeled or tracked apparatus (e.g., forklift) which travels to, picks up, and shifts a discrete load, in its entirety, from one level to another vertically spaced level and then carries the load, while still fully supported thereby,a short horizontal distance (e.g, length of a warehouse) to a load discharge point; when the apparatus includes (1) a vertically reciprocating load support surface (e.g., forks) which travels only along a confined linear path and (2) drive-means* for transmitting to the support surface the force necessary for it to elevate the load.
This class also provides for a subcombination of one of the above types of apparatus when (1) no specific locus for the subcombination exists in another class and (2) the subcombination is limited to use with the above types of apparatus by a structural modification.
Finally, this class also provides for an ancillary device (e.g., call registration system) which is (1) used exclusively with and (2) has its operation either influencing or being influenced by the operation of one of the above types of apparatus when no particular locus exists for the device in another class.
Lines with other classes and within this class
Elevating apparatus otherwise proper for this class which is either (a) specially modified for use with or within another disparate apparatus (e.g., machine tool, furnace), (b) in combination with structure for treating the discrete load or vehicle in some manner (e.g., work cutting) or (c) claimed in combination with specific details of a distinct disparate apparatus (e.g., endless feeding belt) or distinct structure (e.g., rack) is classified in other classes (e.g., Class 414, subclass 564, Class 414, subclasses 592+).
Elevating apparatus which is constructed in such a manner that the support surface for the load or vehicle is inherently self-charged or self-discharged during movement along its fixed generally vertical path of travel is excluded from this class and is classified in other handling classes (e.g., Class 414, subclasses 595+).
An apparatus including a load or vehicle support surface which travels in a circuit around a fixed pathway having both a vertical and a horizontal segment is excluded from this class and is found in other handling classes (e.g., Class 198, subclasses 321+).
The load or vehicle support surface of an apparatus proper for this class is intended to support the load or vehicle only for a short period of time during handling and is not intended for either (a) supporting an article in a nonuse storage location (e.g., Class 312, subclass 247 vertically moveable cabinet) (b) supporting a useable machine or tool (e.g., Class 248, subclasses 646+ movable machinery support) or (c) moving one portion of a machine or article relative to another portion thereof (e.g., an operator). In the situation when a vehicle is supported, the surface may also support the vehicle during the time necessary for its repair or inspection.
The line between an elevator proper for this class (187) and a jack proper for Class 254, Implements or Apparatus for Applying Pushing or Pulling Force is as follows:
(A) Class 187 provides for elevating apparatus which (1) lifts the entire load a significant distance, (2) is either stationary, nonmanually transported as a unit between use locations, or supported, at least in part, by a building it services in use, and (3) has a load supporting surface intended to be guided along or confined to (e.g., located within a shaft) a linear path; and
(B) Class 254 provides for "jacking" apparatus which either (1) elevates only one portion of the load, (2) is manually pulled as an assembled self supporting unit between use locations or carried and is also positioned under the load, or (3) is stationary mounted at a particular location and is capable of lifting the load only a relatively short distance (e.g., far less than the distance between the floor and ceiling of a room).
The discrete load proper for this class (187) is either (a) an animal, (b) an article, (c) a unitized bulk material (e.g., cotton bail, ice block) or (d) a group or mix thereof moved as a unit between levels.