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Measuring Wheels

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Olylawnboy, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. Olylawnboy

    Olylawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Oly Wa
    Messages: 311

    In another post it was sugested that one use a measuring wheel to figure out linear and sq. footage, and sure, I too have one. But do you use them all the time or do you know your own pace and can walk off a property and accuratly come to a realistic sq. or a linear footage? I've been able to walk things off, +/- a few feet per K, since my days in Boy Scouts a long time ago. So do you guys walk things off or rely on a wheel?
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    I think tha tmost guys use them to start and then begin eyeball estimates over time but it may seem more professional to a customer to see you measure it out. Your perceptions may be different than theirs. Kind of like when you go to a mechnaic with the tricked out tool box vs the guy with a beat up set of crapsman tools. Both may be equally skilled and if their prices were about hte same you'd be more inclined to go with a professional looking guy (or maybe not :p )
  3. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    The property i walk on to estimate fert the measuring wheel comes with me........
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yep, I ALWAYS use one. In fact I wear them out. I need a new one now.

    The reason being is, one I've found by trial that my years of experience and my paces are not accurate enough. Sure it's close enough for a good guestimate, but not accurate enough for applications and such. As a matter of fact, I measurements for two adjoining accounts laying right here on my desk that I just took and did the math on today. Lets call them property #1 and property #2.....

    At first glance, I had assumed property #2 would have more turf area than property #1. Now it takes a man to admit it, but I was wrong. Property #1 measured 42,800 sq ft total. Property #2 measured 31,135 sq ft total. Not only was my first glance assumption wrong, property #1 was 11,665 sq ft larger... dead wrong!!!

    Secondly, hey were adjoining, and I was tempted to guess the bed front to street distance because they faced the same street and appeared to all line up perfectly. Glad I fought that off and gave into the walk. I was off 5 feet and I sure couldn't see how. I measured it again on the return. Off 5 feet. It's a good thing I didn't guess because the property had 279 ft of road frontage, which would have put me off by 1395 sq ft.

    Basically I've found that all the variance I can stand already lies in the odd shaped and hard to measure areas of a property.

    This is coming from me, who can lay a brick wall, including a corner, without a level and come out closer on all tolerances with no aids, than most veteran masons can with all the tools of the trade. I have keen eyes.

    Aside from this, I think the task of measurement with a wheel is a positive activity for your company. It looks good to the customer, looks professional, draws curious attention from others, shows effort on your part, and it forces you not only to get correct measurements, but it forces you to get out ON the property to get them. You step in that hole you can't see from afar, feel the ground contours, stub your toe on those rocks, or step on that marshy poorly drained area. You learn a little more about the property and if you get it, you learn a little more about exactly how much production you can put out for various tasks.

    It's a win-win!
  5. Olylawnboy

    Olylawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Oly Wa
    Messages: 311

    Yea but can you or would you do it? Sure it may seem to be more like a pro if you were seen useing a wheel but than again, wouldn't you also be seen as a real pro If you just walked it off? or am I too old? :)
  6. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    that is what I use a measuring wheel for
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Ahhh.... I dunno :D

    I guess some people prospects might even be more impressed with you and your experience if you could just step out of the truck, ask where the property lines are, eyeball it and say.... "you have a half acre here, minus the drive, house, garage, and out building you have X sq ft, that'll be $26.95 not a penny more, and not a penny less of course."

    I challenge you to audit one of your pace-offs with the measuring wheel. I'd be surprised if you actually find you are close enough for applications, ect.
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    You might want to consider a digital roller. No more messing with carrrying a pen, paper and wheel and having to write down measurements and then having to go back to the truck and add all the areas up. I have been using the Digiroller II Plus for a couple years and highly recommend it. It measures up to 8 different areas and then saves them. You can then recall each area and then the total. You can measure the entire property save it. Measure the house and subtract that from the previous measurement. Most places will sell it for $169.....I had found it for $129 online. With a quick search, I found a link that has it for $117.....that is super cheap. A digital roller will save you time on each estimate....I love mine!

  9. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    I keep a measuring wheel in my truck at all times. I think it looks better to the customer when I use it. They see that I am actually taking the time to take accurate measurements, and not close guesstimates.
  10. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I carry a measuring wheel with me at all times, as well. Actually, I have two in my truck! I have actually been seen measuring in monsoons before, just me.... my wheel.... and a digital tape recorder. I actually find that the recorder is helpfull on large commercial properties, especially when dealing with multiple sheets of paper. Plus you can make comments on the property as you go and just jot them down once you get back to the office.

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