How to Set Up Crane Mats
Crane mats are major necessities for any construction job that uses a crane. Cranes apply immense downward pressure on soil that is not always stable. Sometimes it’s uneven, brittle, wet, or even waterlogged. Therefore, crane mats prevent accidents that can destroy your construction project and injure or kill workers.
It’s important to use crane mats successfully if you hope to have an accident-free project. These are some instructions on how to set up a crane mat and how to utilize your set of mats to the fullest.
Purchasing or Renting
First, you can buy or rent mats, including the always-reliable timber crane mats, from a matting company. Many companies specialize in creating the best mats at the best prices. This is preferable to finding lower-quality mats at a general construction supply wholesaler. Renting mats is also preferable, unless you plan on setting up the same cranes under the same conditions repeatedly.
Assessing the Ground
You must perform an assessment of any job site’s ground conditions. This will help you determine which mats you need, and how many are necessary. Even if the soil looks relatively level and dry, but not brittle, you still need to get an idea of the soil’s quality. Different combinations of ground and soil can be ruinous to a heavy piece of machinery like a crane. For example, a mixture of stone, clay, and dirt will be unstable, even if it appears flat. Also look for buried infrastructure like gas lines or sewage pipes.
Try to improve the ground as much as possible, including performing soil compaction or rock aggregation. Timber mats are ideal because they evenly distribute downward force to prevent slipping or tilting, all while acting as a flat surface for crane setup. You may also want outrigger pads.
Thankfully, crane mat setup is incredibly simple. Your crane mat provider can ship them to your site, then lay them in an interlocking position, which creates an extremely stable artificial surface for safe crane operation. Crane mats can even be dropped in a linear position to act as a temporary access road.