There are many different types of access mats, each one serving a special and unique purpose. Depending on what the situation calls for, contractors may use one or more types of mats to improve the functionality of their vehicles and equipment while reducing their ecological footprint. Because there is so much variation among the different types of construction mats, knowing how to choose the right access mat is critical for achieving the desired results. With that in mind, here is some basic information to help you choose the best access mats for your project.


Knowing how to choose the right construction mat for your job begins with understanding the differences between some of the most common varieties. These include:

  • Timber mats — Made of hardwood timbers, these mats can be linked together to create temporary roadways and platforms for heavy equipment. They enable vehicles to cross areas where there aren’t roads or stable ground, such as wetlands or swamps. They also can be used to create bridges over trenches and ditches.
  • Outrigger mats — Certain kinds of machinery, such as cranes, require a solid base to ensure workers’ safety and optimal performance. Outrigger mats provide a rigid surface to bear the weight of this equipment regardless of the soil conditions.
  • Transition mats — These mats help vehicles transition from roads to sites that use mat systems for access. They serve as ramps to allow trucks, excavators and other gear to reach matted areas easily. This makes them especially useful for civil construction work.
  • Track-out mats — Wheels and treads can carry a lot of mud and other debris out of a site and onto the road. This can violate local ordinances and create runoff that can pollute water supplies. Track-out mats feature textured surfaces that remove sediment and dirt from tires and tracks before vehicles leave the project area.


There are a number of factors you need to consider when comparing types of access mats for your job site. Thinking about this ahead of time will prevent you from making a mistake that could hinder your work. You should consider:

  • Site conditions — Overly wet or unstable ground requires added stability.
  • Equipment — Depending on the type of machinery you’ll be using, you may need to build temporary roads to handle all the traffic or simply place matting in a few strategic locations for exceptionally large units.
  • Environmental restrictions — If the area you’re working in includes wetlands or other ecologically sensitive habitats, you may need mats to protect them from the pressure exerted by wheels and treads. You also may need to ensure that you don’t carry mud or debris out of the site at the end of the day.


As a recognized leader in the industry, YAK MAT has an extensive inventory of more than 1 million products in virtually all categories. Whether you’ve already determined what you need or are having trouble deciding, we are here to help. Call us today to request a quote or receive more information.

A Complete Guide to Selecting the Right Ground Protection Mats for Your Next Project