When you’re selecting access matting for temporary roads and work platforms, one of the most important considerations is the type of equipment that will be using the matting. Heavier equipment requires heavier-duty mats, and when cranes are used, the movement of the machinery must also be taken into consideration. Cranes move heavy loads, and the weight is distributed unevenly. When you have cranes at your job sites, it’s critical to have the right types of access mats.
What Are Timber Crane Mats?
Timber crane mats are made from hardwood to create a heavy-duty access matting solution for cranes and other heavy equipment. They are used to create a stable work surface that can handle the shifting weight of heavy loads without moving or buckling.
Timber Mat Specifications
Timber crane mats are extra thick, which makes them more durable and less likely to break. A typical timber mat is eight inches thick, whereas a crane mat is 12 inches thick. Crane mats are also long, typically 20, 30, or 40 feet long, compared to other types of mats that are 14-18 feet long. This extra length helps create a more stable surface for crane operation. The timbers of crane mats are connected with steel bolts, which also contributes to their durability and stability.
Benefits of Timber Crane Mats
The No. 1 reason to use timber mats for heavy equipment is to ensure a safe work environment. When you have cranes on the jobsite, you need mats that can accommodate the transfer of heavy loads. Crane mats are uniquely designed to offer the following benefits.
Thicker timbers are able to withstand more weight for longer periods of time, making crane mats durable and reliable. Depending on how much wear and tear they sustain, crane mats can be safely used for long periods of time, and they can often be reused on other projects.
When the ground below is unstable, there is a risk of cranes tipping over. Crane mats provide a stable work surface that allows operators to work with confidence. Whether they’re on level ground, soft soil, or uneven terrain, crane mats reduce hazards by creating an even road or platform.
Like any other type of timber mat, crane mats distribute weight to protect the ground below. This helps you minimize damage to the work site, prevent erosion, and reduce environmental restoration costs. Crane mats can be used on a range of terrain, including wet or muddy conditions, and across streams.
Use Cases for Timber Crane Mats
Crane mats can (and should) be used for any type of project that requires the use of cranes. Three of the most common types include wind, commercial, and civil projects.
Installing wind turbines requires lifting extremely heavy components like blades and generators at the project site, sometimes with the use of multiple cranes. Even when the ground is relatively firm, the additional weight of a crane, plus the heavy materials, could cause it to become unstable. The extra weight also compacts the soil below, which contributes to erosion and could cause long-term damage to plants and root systems. Using crane mats for renewable energy projects helps protect the ground below and the people performing the work.
When cranes are used for the construction of large commercial buildings, they need a stable platform from which to work. Crane mats can be placed on any type of surface to provide stability while protecting the ground below. Even in developed areas with hard, level surfaces, it’s important to distribute the load of heavy equipment to protect buried water and gas lines.
Crane mats can be used when building highways, overpasses, tunnels, and dams, and for other industrial projects that require cranes. Whether in the built environment or remote areas, crane mats are essential for site safety and ground protection.
YAK ACCESS: A Leader Among Crane Mat Companies
YAK ACCESS provides not only high-quality crane mats and access mats of all varieties but also the expertise needed to help you select the right solutions for your projects. With deep experience in infrastrastructure projects in the renewable energy, pipeline, and utility industries, our crews are able to handle access for any type of terrain.
If you’d like to learn more about crane mats and how they fit into total access solutions, check out this resource: A Complete Guide to Selecting the Right Ground Protection Mats for Your Next Project.