There is no avoiding the fact that construction projects can be disruptive to the surrounding environment, but the impact can be minimized with a simple, cost-effective approach to site access. Environmental matting solutions are designed to allow people and equipment to safely move to and from the site while protecting the ground below.

Whether the project requires access through a protected sensitive environment or a private right of way, using the right access mats is essential for sustainable construction. 

Why Environmental Matting Solutions Are Important

Heavy construction equipment can be damaging to the terrain, including relatively rugged areas that can withstand the occasional vehicle coming through. Because of its weight, heavy equipment often leaves tracks or creates ruts, especially when the ground is soft or muddy. This not only destroys any plantings in the terrain, but it can also have long-term effects on the soil by compacting it and potentially changing its natural appearance. 

For sensitive terrain, like wetlands, forests, or prime agricultural areas, heavy equipment can also bring in unwanted contaminants that affect water quality, soil quality, or plant health. Even when regulations don’t require some type of ground protection, it’s the responsible approach if sustainable construction is your goal. 


Unique Environmental Matting Solutions for Every Project

Access matting protects the terrain below by spreading out the load to support the weight of heavy equipment. When the matting is removed, the soil and plants sustain minimal impact, and little or no rehabilitation is required. In many cases, the benefits of matting outweigh the resources required to return the land to its previous state if matting were not used. 

Access mats create a barrier between equipment and the ground below. In addition to protecting the soil from disturbance, this also reduces the potential impact of pollutants, weeds, and invasive species.

Every project requires a custom matting solution, and it’s not safe to assume that the mats you used for your last project will work for the next one. When choosing the right combination of mats for your project, some of the factors to consider include:

  • Safety requirements

  • Regulatory requirements

  • Site terrain

  • Weather conditions

  • Equipment size and weight

  • Mat size

  • Mat material

Understanding the different types of mat options available will help you decide which combination is right for your project:

  • Timber mats: These are used on level or uneven ground for heavy equipment, crane, and vehicle traffic.

  • 3-ply laminated mats: These are used on level or uneven ground for heavy equipment and vehicle traffic.

  • Cross-laminated timber (CLT) mats: These lightweight mats are used on level terrain or flat surfaces. 

  • Bridge mats: These are used as decking on existing temporary bridges to provide additional traction and support heavy equipment and vehicles.

  • Crane mats: These are used on level or uneven ground to create roadways and platforms for heavy cranes and equipment.

  • Outrigger mats: These are used on level or uneven ground for large cranes and large-scale machinery.

  • Transition mats: These connect roadways from one level to another.

  • Composite mats: These are used in high-traffic construction areas to create portable roadways, pads, and walkways.

  • Track-out mats: These are used to remove soil and debris from heavy equipment as it transitions from one area to another. 

Given the diverse materials and use cases, it’s easy to see that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to access matting. 


Consult with YAK ACCESS

You might be able to find product details online or in a mat catalog, but what you really need when choosing environmental matting solutions is expertise. The team at YAK ACCESS has supported access planning projects across every type of terrain.

When you work with us, we take the time to learn more about your project so we can suggest the most cost-effective solution. 

Whether it’s a combination of light- and heavy-duty mats in different sections or an installation method that allows you to rent fewer mats, we’re here to find solutions. Learn more about our products and services and the different types of projects we support. 

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