4 Types of Construction Mats
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Work sites can be dangerous places, as there are literal tons of heavy machinery operating in a confined space with human beings at the controls or working on the ground. With so many moving parts, the potential for injury goes up even higher if construction vehicles are forced to operate on uneven, unsteady or slippery ground, which is why contractors do everything they can to reinforce footing and increase traction for vehicle treads and wheels. One of the ways this happens is through the use of hardwood mats and other similar devices. Here’s a brief overview of four different mat styles and the purposes that they serve.
While heavy machinery is necessary for any construction project, there are times when contractors need to tread lightly to avoid damage to landscape, roadways and other features that need to be traversed on the way to the work site. Instead of forgoing proper equipment that might be lighter, workers put down matting that allows bulldozers and similar vehicles to enter the area while preserving the integrity of the adjacent landscaping. These designs are commonly made out of wood, and are laid side-by-side to form a makeshift road across obstacles.
Cranes require especially stable footing because of the way that weight gets balanced by the machine. If one side of the machine were to sink into the ground, it’s possible that the entire rig could tip over and threaten the lives of construction workers. To achieve stability and traction on a work site, contractors put hardwood mats down to provide a stable base that can handle the mass of the machinery as well as the loads that are being lifted.
As the name implies, composite mats are made out of a plastic-like material instead of wood, which makes them more environmentally-friendly while also providing for a longer serviceable lifespan through all types of elemental exposure. One additional benefit to this design is that they’re significantly lighter than their wooden counterparts, which not only cuts down on transportation costs and fuel consumption, but also makes them easier to deploy and recover quickly. Depending on the specific components and project demands, these can either be hollow or solid blocks.
Instead of relying on solid blocks of wood, laminated mats use layers of three wooden planks bonded together with bolts or nails to provide strength and stability. While these models are commonly used in an access fashion to help machinery traverse untamed ground, they can also be used to preserve landscaping features like lawns during backyard projects such as swimming pool or construction of building additions. The versatility provided by this design is what makes them exceptionally popular with contractors.
Stability for Construction Equipment
Now that you know a bit more about hardwood mats and other stabilizing devices used by contractors, you’ll have a greater appreciation of the level of detail that goes into every major project. Not only do these important components do a lot to preserve the health of the surrounding environment, but they also help to keep construction workers safe from capsizing equipment.