If you’ve ever walked by a construction site, you’ll know there’s a lot of dirt around the site, which can easily turn into mud, trapping equipment and halting progress. It could be a huge mess to try and move large pieces of equipment around if they get stuck in the mud or have debris caught in their parts. So how do construction companies still manage to work in the rain or avoid creating huge ruts in the area they’re working in? The answer is simple: ground mats. These ground mats, whether they’re a steel crane mat, stabilizer pads for cranes, or poly crane mats, can work wonders for such a simple object. Crane mats are an important tool for using a crane and are even helpful in creating temporary road or walkways and work platforms.
What Are Crane Mats/Ground Mats?
Although these two things can often be the same thing, there is a bit of distinction between them. Crane mats are specifically designed for cranes, while ground mats can be used as a crane mat, they also provide other services. Crane mats are designed to make a surface for stable, even with a significant amount of weight placed on them from construction sites and equipment. Ground mats help protect a surface from ruts — so after your job is done, you don’t have dissatisfied customers complaining about giant ruts that won’t go away on their property — and can also be used as coverings to walk on in a muddy or cluttered worksite. They help prevent equipment from getting stuck and slowing down the building or demolition process.
What Can Crane Mats Be Made Of?
Crane mats and ground mats vary in material and prices. Hardwood is often favored for the construction of crane mats, because of its durable nature. It’s made compression resistant, to withstand the immense amount of weight put on it during its use. Other favorable material that’s used is steel and poly/plastic — the key of course, is their ability to withstand a lot of weight and not break. Some new advanced versions of crane mats offer a lighter plastic mat that’s simultaneously more durable and less expensive than other alternatives out there. The plastic mats can often be clear, which allows maximum UV penetration to occur, stimulating healthy turf growth even as the project is being completed.
What Are Crane Mats or Ground Mats Used For?
Perhaps one of the biggest uses of crane mats or ground mats is to provide level and stable ground for equipment to use. OSHA even mandates that cranes have to be put together or firm ground that’s been drained and graded to their satisfaction. They must also have supporting materials to make sure this stays true, such as blocking, cribbing, and any necessary pads or mats that offer support and a maintained level ground. Cranes may also require outrigger pads that are made from engineered thermoplastic. It’s seven times lighter than steel is and about four times lighter than aluminum. Before choosing an outrigger pad though, companies must consider the following factors: what the condition of the ground is, how big or small the outrigger foot is, and what the outrigger load of the equipment is.
Crane mats can also be used to provide temporary walkways or roadways for people or equipment to travel on. This is especially important in the middle stages of the construction process, when the worksite becomes more crowded with people and materials and there is less room to move easily. Workers might even use them for platforms to work on, to stay out of mud or other elements, and in some cases, these mats can be joined together to create a temporary parking area.
They’re also great at preventing equipment from being stuck, with slip-resistant and traction-grabbing design, no person or piece of equipment will ever get stuck on a worksite again! They’ll also keep ruts from forming when trying to get equipment unstuck or moving to another location on the worksite.
It’s amazing what inventions exist to keep jobs moving at a consistent pace. Ground mats are one example of that innovation that makes everyone’s life easier on the job.