Mud Mats for Heavy Equipment – 4 Tips to Preserve

Whether you choose to buy or rent mud mats for heavy equipment, you need to take care of them as best you can. Replacing mats costs money, so you’ll want to do what you can to avoid unnecessary damage or wear-and-tear.

Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to get the most out of your road mats. This post lays out 4 key practices that will help you maximize the life of your road matting. Taking these simple steps can save you a lot of money in the long run.

As always, feel free to contact Select Mat if you have any questions at the end or want a quick quote for buying, renting, or installing road mats. We’re always happy to help you out however we can.

Best Use Tips for Mud Mats for Heavy Equipment

#1 – Drive With the Grain 

Driving against the grain of your wood mats will significantly reduce their longevity. To preserve mud mats for heavy equipment, get them properly installed. That way all of your vehicles and machinery will be driving in alignment with the boards.

#2 – Powerwash Your Mud Mats

It’s important to clean your mats to get the contaminants out and (in the case of wood mats) prevent rot. Make sure you pressure wash your mats and stack them properly so they can dry out after you wash them, as well as after each time it rains.

#3 – Stack Them for the Forklift

One of the fastest and most common ways that mud mats break is from the fork on the loading machinery. If the loading fork isn’t inserted properly under a stack of mats, it can damage the boards.

To prevent this, stack your mats 3 high and putting 4×4 boards (or anything a few inches thick) in between them. This will help create the right amount of space when the mats are being picked up and loaded. It will also help dry them out after they are power washed at the end of the job.

#4 – Use the Right Mix

Some jobs may only require one type of mud mat. However, the odds are that your job site will require a combination. For one thing, the terrain is not going to be the same everywhere. What’s more, any T&D or pipeline work is going to involve both rubber-tired and tracked machines. 

Sometimes road mats fall apart because they were set up for failure. There was simply a better type of mat for the job they were purchased or rented for. 

So make sure to keep track of the following when you want to buy or rent mud mats:

For Tracked Equipment:

Crane, timber, and composite mats are the mud mats that best support tracked equipment like cranes and bulldozers. The specific type that’s best for you will depend on your site’s environment. It will also depend on the specific machinery and access required. 

Crane mats are generally the most versatile because they’re the thickest. However, they also cover a smaller surface area per mat than some of their counterparts.

Timber mats are similar to laminated mats or CLT mats. The biggest difference is their thickness. Timber matting is significantly thicker and therefore more capable of bearing the stress of the equipment tracks.

Composite mats are made of high-density polyethylene. As such, they have a high reusability ratio compared to other types of mud mats in general. They can well-support tracked equipment in certain circumstances, and they link together firmly, meaning there are no gaps in between them.

For Rubber Tires:

Any type of road mat can support rubber-tired equipment. Again, the best mat for the job is going to depend on other factors such as the slope, surface area, terrain, and whether or not any potential gaps are acceptable for the access road. 

For Air Bridges:

The only construction mats we recommend for supporting air bridges are crane mats. You need the thickest mats possible to provide the foundation so that your bridge is stable.

Contact Select Mat for More Info

We hope this post gave you some helpful information on how to preserve your mud mats for heavy equipment so you can reuse them as many times as possible. 

If you want to buy or rent road matting or would like help installing road mats for your pipeline or T&D project, contact Select Mat here or click the button below.