How Do I Improve the Lifespan of My Crane Mats?
Crane mats are large, flat platforms placed underneath heavy equipment, such as cranes, to protect the ground and provide a stable platform for the machinery to function. Crane mats are made from one of two main materials: heavy-duty wooden planks (which are known as timber crane mats) or a blend of virgin High-Density Polyethylene (which are called composite crane mats).
The lifespan of your crane mats will depend on a number of factors, including the mats’ material (timber or composite), what kinds of stress the mats endure (heavy duty or lighter duty), the condition of the mats at the time of purchase (rated on a scale from Grade A to Grade C), and how you care for the mats when they’re being stored, used, and transported.
How To Extend the Lifespan of Timber Crane Mats
1. Plan Your Purchase
The lifespan for timber crane mats ranges from one to five years. To help your mats last longer, start by purchasing a high-quality product made to exacting standards that’s treated with a protectant to prevent wood rot and decay. The mats with the longest lifespan are usually new mats (purchased directly from the manufacturer) or Grade A or Grade AB used crane mats, which is the highest rating available for used timber crane mats. However, depending on your budget, it’s sometimes necessary to purchase Grade B timber crane mats. These mats will come with more wear and tear, but there are still ways to extend their lifespans.
2. Check the Mats’ Density and Strength
To help timber crane mats of any grade last longer, make sure they’re the appropriate density and strength for the job. Employing the wrong mats on a project is a quick way to wear the mats out faster than if the proper mats were chosen for the workload.
3. Handle the Mats with Care
To extend the life of your timber and composite crane mats, consider how the mats are transported and installed. Timber crane mats that are transported and installed correctly will last longer than those handled haphazardly, since careless handling can lead to drops, accidents, damage, and a decline in integrity.
4. Don’t Store Timber Crane Mats Outside Between Projects
Timber crane mats will rot if they’re left outside unprotected. To extend the lifespan of wooden crane mats, store them in a covered, dry location between projects.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Composite Mats
Because they’re made of HDPE, composite crane mats won’t rot like timber crane mats will, meaning they can last for years without deterioration. However, composite mats do need to be handled carefully when moving or installing because they run the risk of chipping, cracking, etc.
Furthermore, just like timber crane mats, it’s important to keep the maximum loadbearing capacity of composite crane mats in mind when choosing them for a new project. By doing both of these things, you can prevent unnecessary damage to composite crane mats and help them last.
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