Hand held pavement/ air temperature readers

Snow7669

Junior Member
Location
Maryland
I know some of you guys have to be using these things, However I don't know anybody that does. I interested in purchasing a couple of them, but don't know squat about them. Anybody want to offer any recomendations. Manufacturers names and prices would be great, along w/ any other info you might like to share, like how accurate have you found yours to be?
Thanks, Bill Harrison
Wm. T. Harrison Ent.
Washington Grove, Maryland
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
Those guns are nice however, there is a better route. If you are running a truck that salts several sqft go with the road watch temperature sensor. Granted it cost 500 bucks vs 150, but it well worth it. Road watch measures Road temp and Air temp and displays them both. Every DOT truck in the state of Maine has 1, they work that well. We also have them on every one of our salt trucks.

Geoff
 

Lawn Lad

Senior Member
Location
Cleveland
This is the one we use. We shoot almost every property when we have a gun in the truck. I just bought a couple more since I want to track pavement temps relative to air temps on the various properties. Figure it will be good info for when we start using liquids.

http://gemplers.com/a/shop/product.asp?UID=2002121715012571&GEN2=&GEN3=&GEN9=0&T1=78900

When I get a new salt truck we'll look at the Road Watch, but until then the hand held is cheaper.

I also tried the hand held Kestrel's for wind/temp, etc. They're okay, but it takes a minute for the unit to acclimate to the air temp outside after sitting in the truck. So I'll sometimes hang it on the outside mirror of the truck while I'm filling out paperwork. But more regularly I'll take the radio announced temp or the one off the computer when I leave the office. If I'm in the truck for a while I'll call time and temperature (local call to TV station weather).
 

BRL

PlowSite.com - Veteran
Location
Somerset, NJ
I would be real wary of using those particular hand held units - especially the one Lawn Lad refers to. That one has a + or - accuracy of 9 degrees. That's a BIG potential mis read of the actual pavement temps when ice is an issue. Plus that one only goes down to 30 degrees, so it is really not for snow & ice contractors' needs, it's really for people who need to measure hotter items & with not exact precision. The Gemplar's one that JD posted is more suited to our needs as it goes down to 14 degrees and is accurate to + or - a little over 3 degrees. Personally I think that's also too much of a variation for our needs. So I am saving up to buy the more expensive models like Geoff mentions, which have a much higher accuracy & are designed for measuring the cold temps accurately. Taking a reading of 34 degrees and thinking things are OK when the actual temp is 31 could create a catastrophic problem. Until I can afford the correct one I will continue to get out of the truck & slide my boots across the pavement to check for ice when in doubt. I can't wait to get one though, because it will really come in handy for those tricky temperature situations we encounter often.
 

Lawn Lad

Senior Member
Location
Cleveland
Well, this stinks. Here I thought I was doing the right thing. There are two models, I believe I clicked on the right one. The gauge does read down into the teens, as I was reading pavement temps two weeks ago at about 16 F at some locations.

The package says the temp range is -18 to 260 C or (0 to 500 F)

Accuracy: -1 to 260 C (30 to 500) +/-2% of reading or +/- 2 C (+/- 3.5 F), whichever is greater; -18 to -1 C (0 to 30) +/- 3 C (+/- 5 F).

I think you're right that the accuracy leaves a little to be desired. However, I'm not aware of other alternatives than to Road Watch. What do you do with sidewalk crews who are applying liquids. I'm open to other suggestions.

I just got off the phone with Raytek and the only model they make for very cold temperature readins is their MX series (starts at $650) and reads to I think -60 F (don't recall exactly, I was still stumbling after hearing $650). Sounds like Road Watch is better option for more accurate readings.
 

HerkFE

Member
With regards to accuracy....I could not find anything on the Road Watch site that gives this info. And depending on where the beam hits the pavement there can actually be slight variances between road that is constantly traveled vs. roads that aren't. Just look at the interstates..... Tires+friction=heat You would have to take that into account on your lots too if we are going to haggle over 1-2 degrees for the $500 difference. Me, I think take several handheld readings and average.

The handheld model would allow you to take reading of sidewalks etc.

I like the versitility the handheld offers. But then again what I use is kind of along those lines anyway.

I use my trusty Fluke Digital Multimeter and an assortment of probes. It's calibrated (for the aircraft use) so I'm sure I'm pretty close on the temps. I have bounced my readings with a friend who has a handy dandy handheld IR gun and we are usually within a degree. Close enough that I feel with two readings it's probably correct. But he doesn't have to get out of the truck!! For that reason alone I like them!
 

OBRYANMAINT

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
ohio
I use the raytek mini temp....works wonders and it was like 100 bucks from my snap on guy ...seen them at napa also never had a problem and reads lower than 32 degrees...so i am good
 

BRL

PlowSite.com - Veteran
Location
Somerset, NJ
OK Lawn Lad, the link you gave was not for that model, and if I was to get one of the cheaper ones, that's what I'd go for. :nod: I'll look around again as I had found in the past some hand held laser ones that were in the 3-4 hundred dollar range with a +\- of 1 or 2 degrees. I hadn't looked into the Road Watch, but I agree with other comments that a hand held would be better for most of our applications also (sidewalks is a great example of that). Because I move around from truck to truck to machine at various points during a storm, I'd rather have it with me & not tied to a particular unit. I like what HerkFE said about taking the average of multiple readings, just like we do for a true snowfall accumulation measurement. I hadn't thought of that, though I might have figured it out if I had bought one & was actually using one. One thing to make sure of is to calibrate them often, especially the ones with the lower accuracies. It doesn't take much to get those to uncalibrate, hence their cheaper prices.
 

ceaman

Senior Member
Location
Central Indiana
I use the raytek mini temp as well.
Seems to work good.
It works below 0°F.

(makes a great dog toy as well because the dog chases the laser pionter)
 

SLC1

Senior Member
We use the Raytech mini-temp gun and have had good luck with it, it reads below 0 degrees, we bought it through autosport.com and think we paid about $100 with shipping, ordered it on a saturday had it by wednsday, ordered on line. Just my two cents
 

Brian Akehurst

Junior Member
Location
Joppa, Maryland
From one Marylander to another. It is worth its weight in gold. We have Raytek. It helps you make your decision whether or not to apply. It has saved our fanny many times. We have decided not to apply when other companies have and looked like they were ripping of the client. It has helped us make the call to pre- treat before freezing rain hit which helped us stay a head of the storm. Great Investment!

Brian
 
OP
S

Snow7669

Junior Member
Location
Maryland
I want to thank all you guys for your info on the guns.

Today, I went out and bought 3 of the Raytek's

I opted for the ST 20 series just a little more accurate. So often around here in mid-Maryland we seem to deal w/ more and more icy situations. so for the extra cost ( list for $190.00, gave them to me for $160.00 ea. for 3) the accuracy is within 2 degrees F as compared to 3.5 degrees for the mini Rayteks.

Again, thanks to all, and to all, a Merry Christmas!!!!!!!
 

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