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Old 02-25-2011, 10:02 PM   #1
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Default Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Maybe this tool is too small and too basic really to matter much, but does anyone care to recommend one before I randomly grab one from Amazon? They have Miltons on there, which I don't know anything about.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I was at Town Fair Tire last week, and the fellow there just gave me one. It is plastic, but it works as well as my 1960's vintage metal one that is AWOL in the garage somewhere. I would just ask at the local tire shop if they have one to sell you. When he gave me his, he reached into the drawer and there was a box full of them. They must loose them all the time, so they buy the least expensive ones........ or you could use the old penny trick... if you can't see the top of Lincolns head, you have plenty of tread left... Junk..
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I've been wanting one for a while, but can't get myself to pay the $10 or whatever they want for them.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I have 4 of this style:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...i_sku=16910044
that I bought at a used tool store years ago
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Can't see spending $11,000 for a box that does the same damn thing as a box that's just as big and does the same exact thing as one for $1,000....

What y'all think?
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I'd say just get a cheap one. This is kinda like asking for ruler recs. I'm sure they're all fine.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

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Originally Posted by BQuicksilver View Post
I'd say just get a cheap one. This is kinda like asking for ruler recs. I'm sure they're all fine.
We'll you never know when your dealing with the chinese, they might discover a way to make a ruler wrong.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

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Originally Posted by TireTracks View Post
We'll you never know when your dealing with the chinese, they might discover a way to make a ruler wrong.
Such as the compound on this Chinese Enco lathe?



http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/...p?f=42&t=89194

If you haven't spotted it, there are two "30" degree markings.



Can't really comment on the tread gauge thing. I got mine .5 seconds before it landed in Mitch's trashcan.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Bull, they are cheap I got mine off the truck it's a Blue Point
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

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Bull, they are cheap I got mine off the truck it's a Blue Point
Yeah super cheap. I got a Mac one off the truck for around $5. It's a real simple tool. I can't see how one could be much better than another.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I got mine from a tire shop years ago - like was mentioned above they had a whole drawer full of them.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I have no idea where I got mine. Pepboys? Walmart? Had to be less than $5.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I was just in one of our local stores to pick up one of these Acme tool. I saw the Acme Tire depth gauge and it looked real good to me. I'll probably get one next time I drop by again. Made in USA.

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Old 02-26-2011, 03:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

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I was just in one of our local stores to pick up one of these Acme tool. I saw the Acme Tire depth gauge and it looked real good to me. I'll probably get one next time I drop by again. Made in USA.

* that's just a valve core tool, I bought 1 @ wally world for $1.50
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Thanks for the reminder, as I have suddenly found my self doing a lot of "border inspections" around 2am, no joke. Trailers en route to mexico require them. Forgot the one I have been using is borrowed, and meant to go pick one up. Snappyman just never seems to be around that time of night.

(along with that ullman lighted mirror I keep meaning to buy, to help read the tire brands of the inner wheels)

Maybe I'll be able to find an amazon super save deal by combining the 2 and some other small crap I'm forgetting.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:28 AM   #15
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Small metal ruler + thumbnail.

Or am I missing something totally vital in the world of measuring tyre tread depths here?
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

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Small metal ruler + thumbnail.

Or am I missing something totally vital in the world of measuring tyre tread depths here?
Yes. When you are just doing it for your personal vehicles that is fine. When the DOT asks you to document specific depths at night time on a bunch of tires that are hard to reach, it is easy for fingers to slip or miscount the graduations. I need fast, easy to read (at night), and measurement stays put. Those guys are usually carrying some heated toxic substance that needs to arrive within a 10* temp window, so I don't have time to fiddle around with a ruler, have a bunch of other more important things to inspect like chemical discharge valves ect ect.

The difference between a 32nd or 2 is the difference between them being fined, down time for a tire change, or significant cost to the company; whether that is cost of replacing tires that aren't at the end of their life, or lost profits due to late/cold loads.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:15 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Ok well, as I thought might be the case, it seems that this is so basic a device that folks don't really care where theirs came from. I thought maybe I'd get at least one response about a high-end model, but I guess not.

Thanks fellas.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Not a hgh end model but, the one I use from Snap on is color coded. Green for lots of tread, yellow for about 4-5 32nds, then red for 3 32nds and less. No squinting required to read the 32nds. Fowler also makes a digital version which seems like overkill to me but, it's out there.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:57 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I bought the all metal (milton?) and it's marked USA.
I like this one a lot, it doesn't seem to slip as easy as the plastic versions floating around the shop.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:24 AM   #20
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

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Originally Posted by demographic View Post
Small metal ruler + thumbnail.

Or am I missing something totally vital in the world of measuring tyre tread depths here?

This was kinda what I was thinking. My "gauge" has a few readings, ranging from "junk" to "good enough" to "that'll make the winter" and "holy crap".

But then of course we had to find the one guy that actually has a goverment specified need to measure tread depth to the .001".
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:53 AM   #21
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

LOL.

Any of our OTR guys know that DOT does not play around.

ALSO the bean counters have a role in this

Our fleet consists of approx 10,000 trucks and 33,000 trailers.

A tire costs between $88-$650 a piece depending on size/quality. Throwing one away a few 32nds before it's "legal" end of life results in an actual cash loss. Letting one slide too long results in a combination of property damage, lost wages due to late loads, DOT fines, extra costs due to expensive road side service (could be $300 labor depending on attitude, time of day, weather, or location) maybe even loss of life if you happen to be anywhere near the truck. Plus can be used to monitor various factors. Not to mention a truck can be out on the road for quite a while after inspection before returning to a service facility, and some drivers are real lazy.

Breaking down in mexico could also be real bad news...

I just found that color coded one, it's a lil cheaper and snappy free shipping.

Like I said I don't check my own with a gauge, I tend to err on the safe side, even if it results in a lil unnecessary spending. For those who live in areas with state inspections and like to ride it out to the last mile, it might not be a bad investment if you still want to be able to get tags next year.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:01 AM   #22
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I would recommend getting a metal version, not one with a plastic gauge; on the plastic ones the tip of the gauge tends to slip into the shaft over time, resulting in readings that are no longer accurate.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:03 AM   #23
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

My one's metric.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:18 AM   #24
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Got mine from Matco, it was $7 but it's made in the USA.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:37 AM   #25
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

For cars I can look at a tire and tell if its decent and since we are seasonal come winter a worn tire is getting replaced.
I only have my own trucks, light pickups and 3 dot ones but it would be a long time before I work out a tire so the man is wasting his time to even get out and measure mine. Can see plain as day lots of tread with new looking steer tires. The annuals, the stickers, the names, looks service worthy at a glance.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:37 AM   #26
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

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Not a hgh end model but, the one I use from Snap on is color coded. Green for lots of tread, yellow for about 4-5 32nds, then red for 3 32nds and less. No squinting required to read the 32nds. Fowler also makes a digital version which seems like overkill to me but, it's out there.
My Mac one is the same way. They are probably identical. It figures someone had to make a digital gauge. Total overkill.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #27
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Ok well, as I thought might be the case, it seems that this is so basic a device that folks don't really care where theirs came from. I thought maybe I'd get at least one response about a high-end model, but I guess not.

Thanks fellas.
High end?

Anything having to do with the hot, black, sticky parts of my car comes from Longacre.

http://www.longacreracing.com/index.asp

http://www.longacreracing.com/catalog/index.asp

No need to get the $220 digital gauge, the $20 dial-type is accurate to 1/128.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #28
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I usually just use my eyes. It usually goes like this..."Fukkk, man I need some new tires."
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:41 PM   #29
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

I like the dial gauge with silver case. But, I don't see any COO info in the item description. Do you know where it comes from?

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High end?

Anything having to do with the hot, black, sticky parts of my car comes from Longacre.

http://www.longacreracing.com/index.asp

http://www.longacreracing.com/catalog/index.asp

No need to get the $220 digital gauge, the $20 dial-type is accurate to 1/128.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:48 PM   #30
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I have 4 of this style:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...i_sku=16910044
that I bought at a used tool store years ago
+1. It does the job.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:30 PM   #31
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

i just bout mine at walmart for like 99c of course the only time i have to use one is when the shop foreman wants to be an ass about some crap
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:01 PM   #32
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

handy for brake pad and shoe thicknesses too............
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #33
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I like the dial gauge with silver case. But, I don't see any COO info in the item description. Do you know where it comes from?
I don't know. I don't actually have that gauge. Tread depth isn't an issue for me. I've got their cheap ($100) pin pyrometer and one of their mid-level non-fluid air gauges. Both say China.

Frankly, their stuff is good enough and unique enough that I don't really care about COO. I'm not aware of USA made products that will even do what they can do. Some of their stuff may be USA... call 'em.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:10 PM   #34
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LOL.

Any of our OTR guys know that DOT does not play around.

ALSO the bean counters have a role in this

Our fleet consists of approx 10,000 trucks and 33,000 trailers.

A tire costs between $88-$650 a piece depending on size/quality. Throwing one away a few 32nds before it's "legal" end of life results in an actual cash loss. Letting one slide too long results in a combination of property damage, lost wages due to late loads, DOT fines, extra costs due to expensive road side service (could be $300 labor depending on attitude, time of day, weather, or location) maybe even loss of life if you happen to be anywhere near the truck. Plus can be used to monitor various factors. Not to mention a truck can be out on the road for quite a while after inspection before returning to a service facility, and some drivers are real lazy.

Breaking down in mexico could also be real bad news...

I just found that color coded one, it's a lil cheaper and snappy free shipping.

Like I said I don't check my own with a gauge, I tend to err on the safe side, even if it results in a lil unnecessary spending. For those who live in areas with state inspections and like to ride it out to the last mile, it might not be a bad investment if you still want to be able to get tags next year.
Some good explanation of production numbers there. One time I was doing some work for outfit and when I order some stuff I order a new inflater gage. Owner asks,, who's is that? I told him,,, you paid for it, I am going to check tires until I find one low, fill it and then its mine.
One of the sharp guys here, must have had 20 or 30 trucks, some of them ran a regular route around the clock, this guy finally got up on the curve where he negotiated a deal from factory or someone and bought whole load of new tires at a time and sold the cases back, ran all virgin rubber.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:31 AM   #35
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Default Re: Tire Tread Depth Gauges

Every chance they can get to pinch a penny, they will try. It is similar concept to the movie "office space" where they were skimming fractions of a cent off each transaction and rounding down. Seems petty and menial until you extrapolate on a large scale.

I'm not sure how many tires the company at whole goes through in a month, but our small branch (one of 28) goes through about 600 a month. That is also a minimum of 180 extra labor hours in a month. More like 200+ in real world figures. The bill quickly adds up especially if you take into account the other 27 locations, many of which are larger.

I know when it comes time to sell a tractor/trailer, they will pay close attention to tread depth and condition, and remove any tire even close to half way ok, in exchange for the crappiest bare minimum tires possible. Those fresher trade tires will go on to replace a future flat if they can be height matched. Many garage journal members probably do that with pickup trucks as well.
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