How are Used Crane Mats Graded?
Crane mats are large, flat platforms made of heavy-duty wooden planks that are placed underneath equipment, such as cranes, to protect the ground and provide a stable platform for the machinery to function. Crane mats have excellent loadbearing capacity to support the weight of heavy machinery; they enable machinery to operate effectively by creating a solid foundation, which prevents the equipment from digging tracks into the ground or becoming mired in mud.
When purchasing crane mats, you’ll have the choice between buying new or used. Crane mats are rated according to standards set by the National Hardwood Lumber Association and are graded on a letter scale from A (the highest rating) to C (the lowest usable rating). In addition, they can also be between two grades (i.e. grade AB or BC). Crane mats are graded based on the type of hardwood used, coloration, quality of bolts, and overall standard of construction. In order to earn their rating, crane mats must be graded by a licensed grader.
Grade A is the highest rating for used crane mats. Mats rated Grade A are in excellent condition and look like new. The timbers in Grade A mats are still square and in like-new condition, and all the mat bolts are fully intact. Grade A mats must be less than nine months old and contain minimal wear with no timber chunks missing.
Grade AB is between the standard crane mat grades of A and B, meaning they are not quite in the excellent condition of an A, but still superior to grade B.
Grade B is the middle rating for used crane mats. Grade B crane mats are slightly more worn than Grade A mats, but they’re still in solid condition. Grade B mats may have a few broken or missing bolts, stains, or other signs of use. It should be noted that Grade B mats have no structural faults; their “wear and tear” must be purely visual. Timber edges of Grade B crane mats are still square and timbers are sound and free of rot.
Grade BC mats are an in-between grade between B and C. They are not quite as damaged as grade C, but don’t make the cut of grade B.
Grade C crane mats are serviceable but have the most allowable wear of all used crane mats. Grade C crane mats may have damaged bolts or sections that have been rebuilt. These mats are not expected to last as long as Grade B or Grade A mats, which is why they’re best suited for single, short-term projects. Grade C mats can have a missing or pulled rod on one end of the mat, and timbers may be broken within two feet of either end (but no timbers can be broken inside this range). Grade C mats are usually over 18 months of age and are the least expensive of all types of crane mat.
The crane mat grading system allows buyers to narrow down their search when purchasing used crane mats. The best grade will depend on a project’s specific budget and requirements. A perk of buying used crane mats through Eiffel Trading is that you have the option to do an in-person inspection before buying, which ensures that the used crane mat quality is up to your personal standard!
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