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The trundle wheel is a measuring device, a simplified form of a surveyor's wheel. It is commonly used by people who need an easy way to find the rough distance from one place to another. The trundle wheel is composed of a wheel, a handle which is attached to the axle allowing the trundle wheel to be held easily, and a clicking device which is triggered once per revolution of the wheel. Trundle wheels are not as accurate as other methods of measuring distance but are a good way to get a rough estimation of a fairly long distance over a good surface. The Trundle wheel was invented by Hugh Boylan in the late 1970s when he worked as a Quantity Surveyor for a small Irish Engineering company. There were patent issues with the device and after court proceedings the company won the rights to the patent.
It works by having a wheel which has a circumference of exactly 1 metre, hence one revolution of the wheel equates to 1 metre of distance traveled on the ground if there is no slip. Every time the wheel makes a rotation, the wheel produces an audible click which is then counted and therefore the number of clicks that are counted by the user is approximately the number of metres traveled. Due to the design of the trundle wheel, it is not always moved in a straight line and this inevitably adds on extra distance to the final reading.
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