WORLD LEADER IN CONSTRUCTION MATS WITH OVER 89 LOCATIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What’s the best mat to use for my application?

Choosing the right wood mat or composite mat for your project application can actually be more complicated then you think.  There are many factors that need to be considered, including what are the ground conditions, what equipment will be going on top of the mats or composite mats, how long will your project go for, are your vehicles tracked or rubber tire, and many other things to consider as well. With the answers to these questions, Spartan Mat can help identify the best laminated mat, crane mat, bridge mat, pipeline mat, excavator mat, interlocking composite mats or non-interlocking composite mats. Having the right temporary road mat or permanent mat on your project makes all the difference for performance, durability, and cost.

 

What’s the least amount of mats I can use to accomplish my job or how many mats should I bring to my job site?

There are a few different schools of thoughts to consider when choosing the number of mats needed for a project. If you are building a temporary mat road, where lots of traffic will be going back and forth, and for a long-term matting application, then considering an interlocking composite mat, like System7®, usually makes the most sense. However, there are less expensive options in wood mats, such as three-ply laminated mats to consider too. The other thought process is to not mat the entire area needed to but to only put enough mats down and then leapfrog them around on the job. While this saves on the total amount of hardwood mats or composite or poly mats needed, this also requires much more handling and slows the job down significantly.

 

What are the main differences in wood mats versus composite mats?

Wood mats of all types, whether It’s crane mats, bridge mats, hardwood mats, laminated mats, oak mats, two-ply laminated mats, swamp mats, and so forth, are less expensive than any type of composite mat. While wood mats are less expensive than composite mats, they will, however, rot and degrade in a relatively short amount of time when compared to the composite alternatives. Unlike these wood mats, composite mats will never rot and will last indefinitely. Composite mats also save significant money over time from not having to repurchase wooden mats. Composite mats are 35-65% lighter than wood mats which also means there are significant savings on freight costs. Every time you pick up and transport the mats, you’ve saved on logistics. Over the lifespan of the mat, these savings can be very substantial. Another significant different of wood mats versus composite mats is that wood mats tend to hide or retain foreign material contaminants, noxious weeds, and seeds, while composite mats do no as composite mats are inert and do not give off or absorb anything. Lastly, composite mats have known engineering data and values, while wooden mats cannot be guaranteed for ratings such as shear, psi, deflection, etc.

 

Where is Spartan Mat located?

Finding composite mats or wood mats as close to your project location as possible is one way to save money on transportation costs. Spartan Mat has strategically built it’s sawmills and composite manufacturing plants with this in mind. With over 89 production and stocking locations, our composite mats and wood mats are closer to your project than you think.

 

Is there any engineering data for crane mats or bridge mats?

Since industry standard wood mats, of nearly all types, are not engineered, there is no data that can be provided for them. However, since most composite mats are engineered, testing data and design values can be shared. This is certainly true for Spartan’s composite mat portfolio, including but not limited to System7®, STRUXURE®, and STRUXURE SR® composite crane mats, Advance Mat®, Scout Mat® and Strong Mat®.

 

What’s the lifespan of a mat?

Depending on what environment a wood mat goes into, as well as how the mat is handled by equipment when being moved, what equipment is going on the mats and how the mats are stored when not being used, what species of wood the mats are made out of, where the project is located (humidity versus no humidity or salt water versus fresh water), will determine the longevity of all wood mats. The general rule of thumb is approximately 18 months for wood mats. The danger with wood mats in certain applications is not being able to tell where the mat is in the life cycle. Internal dry rot and structural unknowns are always a major concern that needs to be considered.

Composite mat lifespan is also dependent on what environment it goes into, as well as how the mat is handled by equipment when being moved, and what type of vehicles are going on the mats. There is no general rule of thumb of how long a composite mat will last as they are inert to the environment and elements.  Some composite mats have been in service use for over 30 years. Composite mats are known as the mat an owner can always trust and rely on no matter when it is used.

 

What type of mat would you recommend for use with a large excavator?

Most large excavator operators tend to use an 8”x4’x16’ hardwood mats. Some hoe operators with very large equipment will bump up in length to 8”x4’x18’ or even 8”x4’x20’ excavator mats. And in extremely poor conditions, a 12”x4’x16’ or 20’ hardwood mats are also something considered due to the additional stiffness of these mats from their increased thickness. Composite STRUXURE® and STRUXURE SR® mats also have been used with excavators for those who want a mat that doesn’t rot. A general recommendation to consider when buying wood or composite mats is to decide whether your mats tend to be destroyed from your grouzered machine destroying the mats over time or if the mats rot out on you first. If your mats rot out before they are destroyed by equipment, then composite is the obvious answer. If not, then wood mats make sense.

 

What’s the lightest mat made but can still hold large weight equipment?

If weight is the number one consideration then there’s only one choice to consider: composite mats. While composite mats are significantly lighter than wood mats, that doesn’t mean they are any less stronger than wood mats. In most cases, a composite mat of similar size will have the same or often times greater compression values than oak mats. Composite mats come as light as 15 lbs for some outrigger pads, and 80 lbs for a Scout Mat that is ½”x4’x8’, up to 420 lbs for the Advance Mat ® or closer to 1,000 lbs for the System7 ® mat up to 3000+ lbs for STRUXURE ® and STRUXURE SR ® crane mats.

 

Are there any mats made that can be moved by hand and work with small to medium sized equipment?

The Scout Mat ® is an all composite ½”x4’x8’ size, and 80 lbs each. This Scout Mat ® has hand holes around the outside perimeter edging for ease of moving by hand. While they are only 80 lbs, they are very strong and durable and rated to 60 tons. Many landscape, building, utility and tree contractors use the Scout Mat ® for many applications, including turf protection and rutting prevention.

Scout Mat 4’x8′

What’s the least amount of mats I can use to accomplish my job or how many mats should I bring to my job site?

There are a few different schools of thoughts to consider when choosing the number of mats needed for a project. If you are building a temporary mat road, where lots of traffic will be going back and forth, and for a long-term matting application, then considering an interlocking composite mat, like System7®, usually makes the most sense. However, there are less expensive options in wood mats, such as three-ply laminated mats to consider too. The other thought process is to not mat the entire area needed to but to only put enough mats down and then leapfrog them around on the job. While this saves on the total amount of hardwood mats or composite or poly mats needed, this also requires much more handling and slows the job down significantly.