How Are Crane Mats Used on Barges?

Crane mats (also called timber crane mats) are flat platforms made of heavy-duty wooden planks. They are placed underneath large equipment, such as cranes, to protect the surface underneath from damage and to provide a stable platform for the machinery to function. Though crane mats are commonly used on landscapes like marshes and wetlands, they can also be used on barge decking to create a solid barrier between the ship’s surface and heavy cargo that might otherwise damage the decking, like concrete pieces, heavy machinery, and bulk items such as sand, gravel, timber, coal, and grain.

Do Crane Mats Work on Barges?

Traditionally, crane mats protect wetland areas, swamps, marshes, and locations with uneven ground from becoming damaged by heavy machinery. However, crane mats can protect any kind of surface, including the decking on barges.

Can Crane Mats Support Barge Cargo?

Due to their high loadbearing capacity, crane mats can support many of the bulk items barges transport, including agriculture, coal, oil, and construction supplies.

Will Crane Mats Fit on a Barge?

Yes. Crane mats come in many sizes. They are commonly between 15’ and 50’ in length, 4’ to 8’ wide, and 8” to 1’ thick, and they can be custom-purchased to fit onto barges.

Used Crane Mats for Sale

Are Crane Mats on Barges a Smart Investment?

Crane mats on barges are a smart investment because:

  1. Crane mats have good longevity, and most mats can be used for years.

  1. Crane mats protect a barge’s surface, which reduces maintenance costs and increases the lifespan of the barge.

  1. When the crane mats are eventually uninstalled from a barge, they can be resold to recoup some of the original investment. This is especially true if your used crane mats are in favorable condition (Grade A or Grade B). If your used crane mats are of Grade C condition, there are occasionally buyers for those as well.

Buying Used Crane Mats for Barges

Buying used crane mats can help save money without sacrificing performance. Used crane mats come in three main grades: Grade A, Grade B or Grade C. In addition, they can be between grades, such as AB or BC. Grade A mats are in like-new condition. Grade B mats have minor wear and tear that does not impact their usability. Grade C mats have more significant damage but are still useable in some applications, and are the most budget-friendly of all the crane mat options.

What Crane Mat Grade is Best for Barges?

Crane mats are rated according to standards set by the National Hardwood Lumber Association and are graded on a letter scale from A to C based on the type of hardwood used, the coloration, the quality of the bolts, and the overall standard of construction.

  • Grade A is the highest rating for used crane mats, and mats rated Grade A are in excellent condition and look like new.

  • Grade B is the middle rating for used crane mats; these mats are more worn than Grade A mats but are still in working condition.

  • Grade C crane mats are serviceable but have the most allowable wear of all used crane mats; these mats are not expected to last as long as Grade B or Grade A mats and are best suited for projects requiring less function. Typically, we do not sell Grade C crane mats.

You can use this crane mat grading system to narrow your search when purchasing used crane mats for barges. The right grade will depend on your budget and how long you plan to use the mats.

When you’re ready to purchase a crane mat for use on a barge, Eiffel Trading has a large marketplace of active sellers with a wide choice of crane mats to choose from.

Click for Crane Mat Listings

Buy and Sell with Eiffel Trading

Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace is a trusted source for contractors to buy and sell used materials and equipment, including used crane mats, used truckable marine equipment, used crane access trestle, and much more.

All of our listings are constantly being updated, but if you don’t see what you’re looking for, create a wanted listing.

Ready to sell your used heavy equipment or construction material? List your products today on Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at 1-800-541-7998 or email