In addition to wheel size, some wheels, such as Keson's MP415 RoadRunner, are solid and some, such as Rolatape Measuring System's 400 Series wheel, are open, with spokes like the wheel of a bicycle. The difference, again, is for where you plant to use the wheel. Solid wheels are beneficial if you're walking among grasses or weeds or anything else that might stick in the spokes, slowing or misdirecting the wheel. Solid wheels will not be affected by growth like that. But for parking lot measuring applications an open wheel is fine.
Other factors to consider include the location of the counter: Is it near the handle or near the wheel? Counters located near the ground are more difficult to read and cause greater operator fatigue because they force the operator to bend over to read the numbers.
- How large are the counter numbers? Number size affects ease of use as the smaller the numbers the more difficult they are to read.
- Is the LCD display easy to read?
- Does the wheel come with a kick stand?
- Does it have a brake so numbers it doesn't roll (and add) by accident?
- Will its counter subtract from the total when rolled backwards?
- How easily can you maneuver the wheel out the driver's window?
- How easy is the wheel to transport? Some wheels offer collapsible or telescoping handles or handles that can fold. Depending on where in your vehicle you will store your measuring wheel this could be important.
But if you're looking for the newest technology in the measuring market KTP Enterprises offers its FastMeasure Vehicle Measuring Device, which can be installed on a car, truck, or basically anything that rolls," according to Ernie Kaplan, former paving contractor and owner of KTP Enterprises.
Fast-Measure involves a display that mounts on a vehicle dashboard and sensors that install along the driveline on the vehicle. The screen displays the measurement as the vehicle travels the pavement. (And for contractors who want something with a little more zip to it, KTP offers its Fast-Measure scooter, an electric motorized scooter which has the device attached to a scooter for quick travel when measuring patches, painting out road butt joints or other longer-distance measuring. The package comes with a clip board, paint stick, seat, and battery charger, and the scooter folds up to fit into back of car.)
Fast-Measure uses a series of magnets installed on the drive shaft, wheel, axle or hub and a stainless steel sensor that mounts up to an inch away from the top of the magnets. A wire runs from the sensor to beneath the dashboard to a terminal block, where it's tied in to the dashboard-mounted display.
"Everything comes in a kit and a shop mechanic can install the first one in about an hour," Kaplan says. Calibration of the unit is straightforward. The unit features two screens - one for distance and one for speed, which can be set up in a variety of ways including miles per hour and feet per minute.
"Miles per hour doesn't tell an equipment operator much of anything," Kaplan says, "But feet per minute does. A feet-per-minute setting enables a road grinder, for example, to know when his truck is full. He sets it up so with a 2-in. grinding depth at X number of feet he knows how much of a load is in a truck, so then doesn't have to guess when the truck is full and he doesn't have to stop and check."
He adds that a distance measuring device mounted on a paver can help a paver operator monitor yield of material by tracking how many feet he has traveled since he started paving with the current truckload as well as the rate of speed the paver is traveling. A paver should only lay asphalt at approximately 150 lineal feet per minute. If a paver operator is laying mix at a speed over 175 LFP, he is smearing the asphalt on the substrate and not giving the asphalt time to tumble and roll out under the screed. Maintaining the proper speed will create a better looking mat as well as being able to achieve proper density.
Handy for sealcoating contractors bidding a job, Kaplan says Fast-Measure offers an added benefit for pavement marking contractors of being able to track how much material is put down. He says the device can be outfitted with an automatic activation switch that turns the meter on each time an operator applies paint and turns it off when paint is no longer being applied.
Your Business Is Based on Your Measurements