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Old 07-02-2007, 02:02 PM   #1
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Rivet Infrared Thermometer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
Radio Shack sells an infrared thermometer that is accurate in the appropriate temperature range for under $100, IIRC. So I think that will be my next purchase.
I too have an infrared thermometer, bought for post forming laminate. What kind of tempratures should the tires have? I am familer with the concept, but specifically what is good and what is bad?

Not to knock Ratio Shack, but metersupersore.com has a Fluke for less than $90. Fluke is the gold standard of electronic instruments.
See http://metersuperstore.com/Merchant2...gory_Code=TE20

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Old 07-09-2007, 03:31 PM   #2
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I decided to return the Radio Shack IR thermometer and go with one from Sears. It has a range of 0F to 1,000F and is similar to the Fluke.

I used it over the 4th and the temps I got with 65 psi in the tires running 75 mph, (yes, I know everyone is gasping and chins are dropping) and on the shaded side of the trailer I measured approx. 120F and approx. 130F on the sunny side. In contrast, I measured approximately 10F higher on my tow vehicle tires. I run 77 psi in the front of the tow vehicle and 75 psi in the rear. The tires have a max psi of 80. The external temp guage on my truck said the air temp was approx. 93F to 95F each time I took a reading (approximately every three hours). I don't know if these are good or bad readings, but the trailer tires were running cooler than the tow vehicle tires so I think I was ok. My understanding is that semi tires blow at about 300F. The temps on the way home were about the same as the way down to FL.

BTW, the highest temp reading on the trailer tires was taken on the sunny side tires after sitting for about 15-20 minutes in a rest stop in bright sun. The side wall temp was 171F. I took a reading in the tread in the shade on the same tire and got 141F.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:03 PM   #3
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Heads Up!

Northern Tool has infrared thermometers on sale for $29.99.
Can't speak to the quality, I plan to buy one tomorrow.
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Old 08-24-2007, 04:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I decided to return the Radio Shack IR thermometer and go with one from Sears. It has a range of 0F to 1,000F and is similar to the Fluke.

I used it over the 4th and the temps I got with 65 psi in the tires running 75 mph, (yes, I know everyone is gasping and chins are dropping) and on the shaded side of the trailer I measured approx. 120F and approx. 130F on the sunny side. In contrast, I measured approximately 10F higher on my tow vehicle tires. I run 77 psi in the front of the tow vehicle and 75 psi in the rear. The tires have a max psi of 80. The external temp guage on my truck said the air temp was approx. 93F to 95F each time I took a reading (approximately every three hours). I don't know if these are good or bad readings, but the trailer tires were running cooler than the tow vehicle tires so I think I was ok. My understanding is that semi tires blow at about 300F. The temps on the way home were about the same as the way down to FL.

BTW, the highest temp reading on the trailer tires was taken on the sunny side tires after sitting for about 15-20 minutes in a rest stop in bright sun. The side wall temp was 171F. I took a reading in the tread in the shade on the same tire and got 141F.
Do a search on infrared thermometers and you'll find some of the readings I posted once before for my truck and trailer. It's a "relative" thing in my opinion. Look for sudden differences after you get to know what to expect. I also check the trailer hubs for hot bearings.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I decided to return the Radio Shack IR thermometer and go with one from Sears. It has a range of 0F to 1,000F and is similar to the Fluke.

I used it over the 4th and the temps I got with 65 psi in the tires running 75 mph, (yes, I know everyone is gasping and chins are dropping) and on the shaded side of the trailer I measured approx. 120F and approx. 130F on the sunny side. In contrast, I measured approximately 10F higher on my tow vehicle tires. I run 77 psi in the front of the tow vehicle and 75 psi in the rear. The tires have a max psi of 80. The external temp guage on my truck said the air temp was approx. 93F to 95F each time I took a reading (approximately every three hours). I don't know if these are good or bad readings, but the trailer tires were running cooler than the tow vehicle tires so I think I was ok. My understanding is that semi tires blow at about 300F. The temps on the way home were about the same as the way down to FL.

BTW, the highest temp reading on the trailer tires was taken on the sunny side tires after sitting for about 15-20 minutes in a rest stop in bright sun. The side wall temp was 171F. I took a reading in the tread in the shade on the same tire and got 141F.
You readings are not out of range. Yes you will see a higher reading on the sunny side and yes the tires will heat up a bit on the outer surface after you stop because the internal rubber temperature will be a little higher than the air cooled surface.

A comment for future testing. Do not take a temperature after extensive or hard braking. If you see an abnormaly high temperature take a reading at the hub of the wheel to make sure you are not seeing Brake Drum Heat or a hot Bearing.

I used a Radio Shack thermomator for a while but now just touch the tires as soon as I stop. If I can leave my hand on the tire they are within range. You will not be able to touch a tire much about 115.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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Report on the Northern Tool $29.99 infrared thermometer:

1. You will need to replace the battery. Maybe this is why they are on sale.

2. The sensor angle is pretty wide. It reads a 12" wide cone at 12" distance.

3. It's very small. You can hide it in your fist.

4. It has a fixed emissivity setting of .95. Great for reading tire temperature; not so good for reading aluminum temperature.

5. Can read Fahrenheit or Celsius. Has a hold feature, and will record the max temperature in a range.

All in all, not bad for $30, plus $4 for a new battery.
Sorry, picture not available.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:03 AM   #7
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thanks for the report. i was wondering if these could be used to check for leaks in the trailer by running heat or ac as a contrasting temp.?
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:53 AM   #8
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Equipment temperatures and safe trailering...

Having participated in racing motor sports of various varieties, observation of tire temperatures tells some important stories about tire alignment, loading and inflation. It is also a really nice tool to verify braking efficiencies and bearing temperatures.

I've been using an IR temperature gauge on my trailer since I purchased it. In fact, when we picked the Argosy up in Decatur for the trip to Tempe we had one along to verify the health of a bunch of systems.

Driving ten miles and then stopping for a bearing check only tells if any one of the hub centers is a lot different than the others. Reassuring at least.
Running down a long hill with just the trailer brakes on and then running a test of drum temperature (measured on the wheel) reveals if all of the brakes are exerting about the same amount of drag - or working at all or locked up. Checking the tread temperature of the tires can help with comparative measures to check for loading, inflation and alignment may be useful.

Operating under the premise of loading affects temperature assuming all of the tire pressures are the same (yes same tire type), I can change forward versus rearward truck set temperatures on the tires by changing hitch height. And yes.... nearly level results in similar truck set temperatures. It was interesting to note that at one point I had to make a long tight circle before stopping and the rearward truck tiers were about fifteen degrees hotter than they had been after a long run and straight stop.

Playing with inflation pressure is interesting. Starting a little tight (near maximum recommended inflation pressure) and lowering the pressure two pounds at a time reveals an inflection point. Tire temperature goes up a disproportionate amount relative to a two-pound reduction at some point. Pushing the pressure back up to the where the temperature was low is probably the optimum inflation temperature. That is, the inflation pressure on my tires on a 4000lb camper with two trucks is much lower to achieve optimum performance than a 7000lb two truck camper.

Anyway, having a mate with TB (tiny bladder) is less annoying due to frequent stops when I can play with a little pseudo-science.

I've probably violated some rule here with regards to the length of this post but this temperature-measuring thing has been really useful in maintaining the equipment and more importantly, reassuring that there isn't some disaster lurking in the running gear. Most catastrophic problems such as a dragging brake, an overtight bearing or a tire that has some serious problem are easily discerned and help to promote safe trailering.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richinny
thanks for the report. i was wondering if these could be used to check for leaks in the trailer by running heat or ac as a contrasting temp.?
Most likely no. Since the AC and the furnace both use the air in the trailer and either heat it or cool it, there is no pressure to push this air out any leaks you may have.

What you would see is the temperture difference where the ribs are located in the trailer. In the attached picture I had the furnace running, look at the smow below the awning. It is melted at the ribs, but still on the trailer between the ribs, where the insulation is located.

BTW, if you saw my "Who else sucks heads" thread and saw the pictures. This iis the same exact spot 5 months earlier.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:35 PM   #10
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Got my IR thermo at GRAINGER; small, fits in shirt pocket easily; @ $70.

Temps on these YOKOHAMA RY-215's are, after a run of 100 miles or more at 63 mph:

125F +/- 5F

On a 97F day, 92% humidity; between Corpus Christi and Houston.

I'm checking mine at, or a little below, the shoulder/tread "joint".

On cooler days the TT tires are still above 100F.

The truck tires, MICHELIN LTX A/S (stock) are about the same or a little warmer.

The trailer hubs are covered, so I'm not sure what to make of temps read there. Not "hot" certainly. I haven't felt like crawling on the ground to check drum temps, maybe someday soon.

One thing is certain: The temps I'm reading are consistent all around on the trailer, and only a slight variance on the rear. (I'm still playing with what is the best TV pressure f/r).
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:41 PM   #11
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Redmax

As far as the correct tire pressure goes look at the Goodyear inflation chart.

http://www.goodyear.com/truck/pdf/LoadInflLTMetric.pdf

Michelin has taken thier inflation chart off the web but inflation pressures are the same for the same tire manufacture to manufacture.

Go to a Cat sacle and weigh your truck with the trailer on and the hitch set up correctly. Use those axle weights to determine the correct inflation pressure. If your axle weighs 4000 lbs each tire is carring 2000 lbs. Look at the chart for the 2000 lb load and read up to the recomended pressure.

If you want a Michelin chart call them and ask for thier Truck Tire Data booklet.

Most individuals are running around with grossly overinflated tires on both there TV and trailer because the dealer inflated them to the MAX PRESSURE noted on the sidewall.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:23 PM   #12
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My wife bought one for at a flyfishing shop for about $40. They use it for the water temp.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:26 PM   #13
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great thread, hadn't been aware of tire temps before or how easy it is to check them. i'll add that to my christmas list.
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