How Do I Properly Install Crane Mats?

Crane mats assist heavy equipment like cranes in remaining stable with sufficient bearing while they are in operation. They are an excellent addition to project sites with uneven ground and in wetland, marsh, and swamp areas. Proper installation of crane mats is essential to ensure that they add to the safety and security of a project. Fortunately, crane mat installation is generally quite simple. Below you’ll find some helpful suggestions to aid in the successful installation of crane mats:

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  • Use High Quality Crane Mats – Before you begin installation, inspect the crane mats to make sure that they are not damaged or degraded in a way that may interfere with their ability to provide adequate support for heavy equipment.

  • Minimize Installation Over Wet Areas – When in installing in wetland, marsh, and swamp areas, do your best to place mats in a formation that will minimize the amount of them needed directly over wet areas.

  • Avoid Gaps Between Mats – No matter where crane mats are installed, this is incredibly important. In wet areas, be sure to run the mats across wet sections until they reach the solid ground. Gaps between mats can lead to safety issues and environmental damage.

  • Situate Mats Efficiently – Mats should be installed along the intended travel area in a manner that allows individual boards to rest perpendicular to the direction in which traffic will flow.

  • Utilize Lifting Bolts – Each crane mat should have lifting bolts at each of its ends. These allow for easy lifting and moving of mats. Be sure to use these lifting bolts as you lift, move, and situate the mats, whether you are doing so manually or with the help of machinery.

  • Employ Machinery If Possible – This can be particularly helpful for projects that require the installation of a large number of crane mats. Skid steers or track excavators can be an asset and speed up/simplify installation.

  • Install Sediment Controls – Put down erosion and sediment controls at entrances to crane mat installations to allow machinery smooth transitions to mats.

  • Avoid Restricting Natural Flow of Streams – In applicable areas, avoid placing mats in locations that will thwart or restrict the natural flow of water.

  • Consider Layering Mats When Necessary – In areas with particularly deep and moist wetland soils, it may be a good idea to layer mats to create extra support.

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In the event that crane mats are employed to create a temporary bridge over a stream for vehicle and machinery access, sections of mats should be placed in and along the water parallel to the flow of the water. Additional mats should then be situated perpendicular to the stream so that they rest atop the first layer of mats. This will create adequate support for the mats to serve as a bridge.

As mentioned, acquiring high quality crane mats is an important component of ensuring installation success. Crane mats that are in excellent working condition can be bought both new and used. Used crane mats in good shape can be a particularly attractive investment because of their lower cost. Before making a purchase, make sure crane mats have been inspected and their condition has been reported. Additionally, you should make sure they have the correct dimensions and load bearing capabilities for your project.

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Did you know that Eiffel Trading is an online marketplace designed for heavy civil contractors? Our marketplace allows you to both buy and sell used and surplus materials and equipment, including materials such as used crane mats, used crane access trestle, brand new steel plates, and more. Furthermore, our equipment inventory ranges from used sectional barges, to used concrete formwork, to used shoring towers, and everything in between.

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

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