Before considering the various features and differences between the two methods it is important to note that the FB chain wear gauge was designed to specifically address the common problems previously associated with the ‘Tape/ Steel Rule’ methods that existed at the time.
FB invented their chain gauge after they studied all the other versions that were available in the market. They noted with interest that several of these, sold and distributed by major OEMs, used measured lengths of between 12” - 15”. FB was determined to have a design that would be robust, easy to use and accurate.
It was felt that by making the FB chain gauge user friendly the measurement process would be simple, consistent and accurate. It was recognised that when measuring chain a compromise must be made in determining the length of chain to be measured. Too long a length and there will be a danger of diluting the true extent of the wear and too short a length will require far greater measuring accuracy than is generally available out in the field.
FB developed their ‘Professional Chain Wear Gauge’ incorporating “V”-jaws for positive pin location, removing the necessity for estimating the position of the pin centre line. There is strong evidence that it is rarely possible to accurately find the centre line by other ‘visual’ methods. The FB chain gauge has a window giving a direct reading of chain wear, eliminating any need for calculation as well as removing confusion and possible error with an arithmetical calculation.
FB Chain and HSE were closely involved in the drafting of the BITA guidance note GN15 and FB, therefore, has no hesitation in recommending that "Competent Persons" should follow all the guidelines contained within it.
It is considered that the FB Professional Chain Wear Gauge is an instrument designed to fully assist the “Competent Person” by ensuring complete compliance to the GN15 process.