A measuring wheel, as the name implies, is used to measuring distance. In most cases it’s not meant to be exact to the fraction of an inch, but to offer a very good approximation. It’s a device that’s been used for many years, although it does have its limitations. Surveyors, for instance, have their own variant which works on elevations.
If you want to know the size of your garden, but its contours make using a tape measure of any kind awkward, then a measuring wheel offers the ideal solution. You can wheel it around the perimeter of the property quite easily. Some measuring wheels are dual action, meaning they can operate backward or forward. This gives you the choice of either pulling or pushing the measuring wheel.
You can use a measuring wheel on a road or a construction site. They’re especially valuable here, where the surface can be rough and uneven. Some measuring wheels are made to be especially rugged for locations like this, while also being lightweight, as they’ll be subject to long use. In most cases, the measuring wheel will have a analog or digital recorder for the distance built in. These are more specialized models than the ones intended for home use, and consequently a great deal more expensive.
You can now find a measuring wheel intended to measure the interior of buildings. Out of necessity, this is smaller than the conventional measuring wheel and also more accurate. It works in very much the same way, but it’s intended for builders and contractors more than homeowners. It will measure the dimensions of an area much more quickly than a tape measure, and the new technology means it will be just as accurate.
The original name of the measuring wheel was the surveyor’s wheel, and they were first used to measure distances between places, such as cities and towns. You’ll still find road crews using them, and even some surveyors. It should be noted, though, that the sole intent of the measuring wheel is to note the distance. It doesn’t account for other factors, such as elevation. When a measuring wheel is used for a survey, absolute accuracy isn’t a vital factor.
You can buy a specialized measuring wheel that’s intended to measure a railroad track. By the nature of the surface that’s being measured, it will be easier to obtain a very accurate result with this measuring wheel. The surface will always be flat and even, with no obstructions that will necessitate moving the wheel or lifting it.
It’s construction is slightly different from other measuring wheels, as it has side plates made of metal that are intended to keep the wheel on the track. Where other types of measuring wheel would be usually used by people on foot, this is intended to be attached to a rail engine. It tends to be an expensive item, as its use is extremely limited.