A measuring wheel has plenty of names. Some people call it the trundle wheel, surveyor's wheel, and a few others, like a hodometer and perambulator, that can cause confusion to people who aren't knowledgeable of how this instrument was invented. Today, however, most people just call it a distance measuring wheel and a surveyor's wheel because of its common use in the land surveying industry.
Distance measuring wheels are estimators, which means that they aren't ideal for accurate or precise measurements. Rather, they are good for getting approximates of a wide piece of land or even an indoor space.
Digital Distance Measuring Wheel
The very first distance measuring wheels date back to the 17th century. Their design is linked to the mechanical design of odometers, except that odometers were initially made for ships while measuring wheels have to be manually rolled on a flat surface with the use of a handle.
Traditional measuring wheels look very similar to the modern ones that are available today. The only differences are some innovative components that improve the convenience and safety of the instruments. The materials used have also changed. While older designs were made with wood, modern designs are mostly constructed with metal, aluminum, and stainless steel.
In 1827, scientist and inventor Francis Ronalds improved the design of measuring wheels by inventing a device that recorded distances graphically. This device features several components, including a worm drive, a slider, a pencil, and a drawing board on which the distance travelled can be recorded. Today, modern measuring wheels have built-in counters or digital displays that quickly reveal the estimated measurement of the distance covered.
Measuring wheels were traditionally used to estimate the distances between territories, such as cities and towns. As for the present time, these tools are usually used to measure properties, like private lands, buildings, and government-owned premises, and to mark their boundaries. They may even be used by homeowners if they would like to survey their land or a portion of it.
Distance measuring wheels are staple tools for some professionals, especially for land surveyors, realtors, engineers, architects, remodelers, and construction workers.
The basic parts of a distance measuring wheel consist of a wheel and a handle attached to it. This tool is fairly simple to use because of its simple design. A person simply has to place the instrument on the designated starting point, ensure that the counter is at zero, hold the handle, then begin walking with the rolling tool until the designated end point is reached.
One full turn or revolution of a measuring wheel represents the circumference of that wheel. Thus, the distance covered is equal to the wheel circumference multiplied by how many times the wheel turned. Thankfully, users wouldn't have to calculate this manually as measuring wheel counters do it automatically.
To roll a wheel over a given distance, users can push or pull the device while they walk. Measuring wheels can also be used to measure perimeters. To do that, a user must simply change the position of the tool as needed, without resetting the counter.
However, despite this simplicity, users must remember and pay attention to certain things. First is the fact that measuring wheels are estimators. Thus, if a specific job needs highly accurate measurements, it would be better to use a tool that guarantees better accuracy.
Secondly, these instruments are designed for flat and smooth surfaces. If the wheel is rolled over a bumpy, elevated, or even a muddy surface, the resulting estimate becomes less reliable. The same thing happens when the user keeps changing their pace while walking. Ideally, a user should maintain an even pace throughout the rolling and estimating process.
Third, distance measuring wheels come in different sizes. The general rule is that larger wheels are for outdoor terrains while smaller wheels are good for indoor spaces. It's also important to know that different measuring wheel models use varying units of measurement. Thus, users can choose a particular model that can work with a unit they are comfortable with or something that suits their specific needs.
Keeping these things in mind can lessen the risks of having an estimate that seems too far off the exact measurement of the covered distance. This is especially important when measuring or marking boundaries, as mistakes could have serious legal implications. We are a digital distance measuring wheel supplier. If you are interested in our products, please contact us now!