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The Different Types of Swamp and Timber Mats

Timber and swamp mats are a great way to prevent heavy machinery from destroying underlying vegetation. There’s a variety of mat types that are better suited for different uses and environments. Here are the basic differences between different swamp and timber mats that you need to know about.

Hardwood Mats

Timber mats are often called crane mats when they’re made of hardwood because they’re strong enough to withstand the load of a crane. But, they also withstand heavy machinery like bulldozers and other heavy construction equipment. These mats, as the name implies, are made of solid hardwood. They are usually either oak mats or mats made of a hardwood mix. The hardwood makes it possible for the mat to withstand such heavy loads without damaging the ground underneath. These mats are up to 12 inches thick and 4-5 feet wide.

Laminated Mats

Laminated mats are sometimes called swamp mats or truck mats because they’re better suited to lighter traffic, like vehicles with rubber tires, temporary roads for logging or pipelines, or turnouts for staging. Laminated mats can be half the weight of traditional timber mats, and even less than half in some cases. The reason laminated mats are lighter weight is because they’re not bolted together; instead, the laminate holds the mat together. The top is strong and solid so it’s easy to clean so that the worksite isn’t contaminated. These mats are usually 4-6 inches thick and 8 feet wide.

Engineered Composite Mats

Engineered wood mats are made of treated wood that’s glue laminated. These mats can be engineered to a number of specifications depending on your needs, so they can be useful in settings requiring unique capabilities. Not only is the material in an engineered composite mat made to certain specifications, some composite mats actually have a specially engineered connections system to make it stronger as well. Many of these mats have extra tread on the surface of the mat for better traction. Composite mats are often used in the oil and gas industry because they provide superior protection for the ground against oil and chemical spills. They last longer than other types of mats because they contain steel bolts and aren’t subject to rot, breakage, and warping that can occur with typical hardwood mats.