Crane mats—often paired with outrigger mats—are used on construction sites to provide a stable platform for heavy equipment and cranes. When working with cranes, it’s crucial to ensure a level work surface because the load shifts as it is moved.
You need durable, well-maintained mats to protect your crews. However, whether you should purchase or rent these mats depends on various factors.
Pros and Cons of Buying Crane Mats
Just like any other construction equipment and materials, mat ownership provides advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Buying Crane Mats
One of the primary advantages of owning your own mats is always having them when needed—unless they’re tied up in another project. Additionally, one-time costs give you more control over your budget. However, if you don’t accurately estimate what you need, you could find yourself stuck without matting or purchasing more than needed. As assets that are expected to last longer than a year, crane mats can often be depreciated over time, allowing you to claim a tax deduction for multiple years.
Cons of Buying Crane Mats
When you choose to buy, you only have the mats you purchased on hand, no matter what your next project demands. When project needs change, your mat inventory might not be suitable. Also, you must consider the costs for storage when mats are not in use and build this into your budget. Depending on where you operate, you may also need to travel far distances to get your mats to the job site. And although there are benefits to upfront investment, not all companies have the cash on hand to make this type of purchase.
Pros and Cons of Renting Crane Mats
Under the right circumstances, renting crane mats can be an excellent alternative to purchasing.
Pros of Renting Crane Mats
When you rent with a provider that operates nationwide, you have access to a variety of mats from storage yards across the country, allowing you to access the right mats whenever you need them. The mat provider also handles mat inspection, maintenance, disposal, and recycling, taking these important tasks off your team. Additionally, mats are installed and removed by experts, so you don’t have to worry about training your team to handle those tasks.
Cons of Renting Crane Mats
In many cases, renting requires you to get a quote every time you need mats. However, securing a long-term contract with a mat provider can eliminate this hurdle. Depending on the frequency and duration of your matting needs, the overall costs could be higher, but when you factor in the benefits, it often makes financial sense to rent.
How to Get the Most Value from Crane Matting
Whether you rent or buy will depend on the specifications of your current and future projects. Consider these factors when weighing your options:
Are all your projects the same? Are they all on the same terrain? If so, it might be more cost-effective to buy. If your project needs change, so will your mat needs, meaning renting might be the way to go.
Crane Mat Lifespan
The lifespan of a crane mat depends on what it is made of, the conditions it’s subjected to, and the loads it must bear. Because of the heavy loads they endure many crane mats must be replaced after use as unstable mats can be dangerous.
Crane Mat Inspection
A rental company takes care of mat inspection for you. If you choose to buy, you bear the responsibility and liability of ensuring your crane mats are in acceptable condition.
Crane Mat Storage
Access mats take up space. If you don’t already have a storage yard, you might have to rent one, so factor this into your overall budget when deciding whether to rent or buy.
Crane Mat Disposal
When a mat has reached the end of its life, proper disposal—ideally recycling—is key. A rental company will handle this for you, so you can keep your resources focused on what they do best,
Find the Right Fit with YAK ACCESS
Whether you rent or buy, YAK ACCESS offers a wide range of access matting solutions. We’ll help you decide which mats make the most sense for your project and budget.
To learn more about various types of access matting, check out our free guide today.