Things to Know about Temporary Access Mats

By Mike Krieger | Apr 27, 2018

Construction zones often temporarily reroute traffic to areas that aren't easy to access. This traffic could be pedestrian, passenger vehicle, heavy-duty pickup trucks, or heavier construction equipment like bulldozers and cranes. Temporary access mats are an affordable and practical way to create a temporary path or road to allow necessary traffic in the construction zone in order to protect people, vehicles, machinery, and the underlying ground itself. Here are some things to know about these composite or wood access mats.

Mat Material

Temporary roadways and access mats are usually made of hardwood, like oak or a mixture of different hardwoods. This material is very durable and can withstand extreme amounts of pressure without flexing or breaking. The wood is treated to prevent rotting and splitting. There are also composite mats that are made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These mats can be either solid or hollow and can be interlocked with steel bolts or other fasteners. Composite mats are often used in environmentally sensitive areas or areas at higher risk of oil spills because the mats don't absorb spills and keep the underlying ground safe.

Uses of Mats

There's a wide range of uses for access mats, which means there are different types of mats better suited to the load they'll support. A light duty mat is designed to support small machinery up to 15-20 tons, but the weight limit varies depending on the ground condition. Light duty mats are a great option for rerouting pedestrian traffic. A medium duty mat can support up to 40 tons of weight, so most commercial vehicles, cars, and four-wheel drive vehicles can travel on this type of mat. A heavy-duty mat is able to support cranes and other heavy-duty machinery. These various types of mats make them a great choice for swamps, oil fields, staging areas, temporary roadways to construction sites, and other construction needs.

Reasons to Use Mats

Temporary access mats are beneficial not only because they make it easier for traffic to get around and through a construction site. These access mats protect the ground to prevent erosion, compaction, and destruction. They also prevent the disruption of agricultural and other environmental operations that are currently in the area. Access mats also increase the safety of the job overall. They provide a stable surface for heavy machinery to work and travel to prevent accidents that might results from unstable ground.

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