Figure 5-7. Sledgehammer, shovel, and pick
PART C - ASSOCIATED SURVEYING EQUIPMENT
5-3. Surveying Tapes. Tapes are used in surveying to measure horizontal, vertical, and slope
distances. They may be made of a ribbon or band of steel, an alloy of steel, cloth reinforced with metal,
or synthetic materials. Tapes are issued in various lengths and widths and graduated in a variety of
ways. Various types of surveying tapes are shown in Figure 5-8. View A shows a nonmetallic tape,
view B shows a steel tape on an open reel, view C shows a metallic tape on a closed reel, and View D
shows a special type of low-expansion steel tape (called an Invar tape or a Lovar tape) used for geodetic
work and for checking the length of regular steel tapes. The Invar and Lovar tapes are very precise and
will not react to temperature changes.
a. Metallic Tape. A metallic tape is made of high-grade synthetic material with strong wire
strands (bronze, brass, and copper) woven in the warped face of the tape and coated with a tough, water-
resistant plastic for durability. Standard lengths are 50 and 100 feet. Most metallic tapes are graduated
in feet and decimals of feet, but some are graduated in feet and inches to the nearest 1/4 inch, meters,
and centimeters. Metallic tapes are generally used for rough measurements, such as cross-sectional
work, roadwork slope staking, and side shots in topographic surveys.
b. Nonmetallic Tapes. Some surveyors prefer to use nonmetallic tapes that are woven from
synthetic yarn, such as nylon, and coated with plastic. Nonmetallic tapes are similar to metallic tapes in
their use, lengths, and graduations.
c. Steel Tapes. For direct linear measurements of ordinary or more accurate precision, a steel
tape is required. The most commonly used length is 100 feet, but tapes are also available in 50-, 200-,
300-, and 500-foot lengths. All tapes except the 500-foot tape are band-type; the common band widths
are 1/4 and 5/16 inch. The 500-foot tape is usually a flat-wire type. Metric steel tapes are available and
are commonly used overseas, with the most common lengths being 30 and 50 meters. Most steel tapes