Your handsome lawn is in danger if you are embarking on a renovation. In fact, many contractors of all kinds — from plumbers to tree cutters — can ruin your lawn by running a truck or heavy equipment across the grass just one time.
After damage from a truck or heavy machine, there may be ruts and dead spots that can take considerable time and money to restore your lawn to the way it looked before. Yet there is a way to prevent this problem almost entirely.
This is one place where small business needs to be imitating big business. Crane mats are in use on big construction sites around the globe. These are used to protect the dirt from being churned up. It is an environmental tool that makes life easier for everything from utility trucks to industrial building contractors.
Contractors who must make their way across fields or forests will put down composite crane mats to create temporary roadways. This gives trucks an easy way to go back and forth with a minimum of damage to the topsoil and grass.
These access systems should be in use by everyday home contractors. Projects such as roof installation, new windows, tree removal, and more can lead to workers driving equipment across the grass. If an access mat has been laid down, then there is no problem. If not, then they are systematically destroying the lawn even as they are making their improvements.
Just like big business developers, homeowners can avoid this unnecessary damage by asking their contractors to use composite crane mats.
What Is an Access Mat System?
An individual access mat can be quite useful, but it is even more useful when it is part of an interconnected system. This allows the crane mats to be joined together to create a work surface or roadway that is even and unmoveable. Large equipment, such as diggers, cement trucks, and bulldozers, can roll easily over the access roadway. These enormous tools have a stable place on which to rest and can operate more safely than if they were on uneven ground.
With the right crane mats, a construction crew can move them into place and link them together. The composite material is not porous, which means it can be rinsed and moved without moving environmental contaminants. Furthermore, if a chemical or oil spills, it is easier for a crew to clean it up. On wooden mats, the material soaks in, and cleaning up is difficult.
How to Determine Which Access Mats are Needed
Crane mats are often given different names, based on the type of job they do. These names often overlap since, in the case of composites, the same mat can have many different uses.
On oil and gas exploration sites, pipeline mats tend to be made of sturdy wood and steel. These are needed to distribute the equipment’s weight and to provide protection for the tundra, sand, or topsoil underneath. Also known as rig mats, these wooden mats have a bigger individual surface area and the ability to join together to ensure that the pressure of truck tires doesn’t push them apart.
Crane mats are more and more likely to be made of composite. While these are not lightweight, they do weigh far less than a similarly sized wooden mat. Furthermore, they can withstand the same punishment as wood mats. These heavy-duty mats can also be used on barges and platforms to provide a cushion against the weight of heavy machinery.
Access mats can handle similar heavy equipment. The matting system, usually composite, allows for trucks to travel to and from a remote worksite. It keeps vehicles from getting stuck and protects the valuable topsoil from erosion.
How Do Access Mats Earn Their Keep?
Today’s access mats have been moving from big industrial sites to smaller ones. That’s because composite crane mats are more efficient than wood. Contractors can afford to keep 20 access mats because the composite material is such a good investment for long-term use. Wooden mats fall about by two years whereas the composite mat system lasts for a decade or more.
Since these mats are lighter, the contractor doesn’t need heavy equipment to move them into place. They can use a forklift to put them into and take them off of a truck. In the case of true light-duty composite access mats, there is the possibility of moving the mat into place by hand.
The environmental benefits of composite access mats have become more and more obvious over the years. These systems protect topsoil from erosion. They can protect the ground from a spill. When they are removed, access mats leave the area in much better shape than it would be without them.
For homeowners, this means that their lawn looks better and any grass die-off can spring back quickly because the topsoil has been preserved. For the environment, it means that the area can return to a natural state more quickly, providing habitat for the animals there.