Infrared Thermometer, keeping it handy

travel trailers blog

The first one that I saw, I liked, and thought that the it’s uses were many. I just couldn’t resist, I bought it. And, I have been glad I did ever since !Here is a look.

This pistol grip, digital read out, lazer pointer, infrared thermometer, lets us get precise and accurate readings. It operates on a single 9 volt battery.

The red lazer dot lets you accurately point between wheel spokes to read the temperature on the brake drum, or the axle hub. After a bit of experience you become accurate enough that pointing is instinctive and when the battery gets low enough that the lazer won’t light, you are able to still hit the right spot.

Accurate, powerful and simple to operate, it wasn’t long before I wouldn’t step out of the truck without grabbing it from it’s place on the turn signal lever, to begin my quick check of every rolling tire.  As many tires as we have on the ground it takes a extra few minutes to complete, but, it pays big dividends and the peace of mind it gives is priceless.

The digital read out is easy to read, even in bright sunlight. The yellow button on the left turns the lazer on and off and the one on the right will switch the reading from C* to F*

Here are the readings that I usually take, and the reasoning behind that check.

Tire tread = If it’s hot, a tread may be about is about to blister and separate. A close inspection is in order.

Tire sidewall= If it’s hot, the sidewall is flexing and the tire is probably low.

Brake drum= If it’s hot, there may be a brake shoe dragging.

Bearing hub= If it’s hot, the bearing is wearing and likely needs immediate replacement.

Final check= This one isn’t with the lazer thermometer, but is simply a quick shake of the tire and wheel assembly to see if the bearings have excessive slack.  Excessive slack means to me that the bearing needs disassembly and inspection. Most likely replacement is in order.

Now, as you proceed around the trailer each tire will begin to read slightly higher because the air flow is no longer present. After a few stops and checks you will have a good feel for that slight temperature increase.

Final thoughts on sealed “lifetime Bearings”. If the owner buys into that mindset, he is most likely going to never check the bearings and will run them until A catastrophic failure happens. Now as technology constantly changes, I may have to change my thoughts on that, but, I’ll wait to see.

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