How Do I Properly Remove Crane Mats?

When crane mats are used to create stable areas for heavy equipment to operate on in wetland, swamp, and marsh areas, they should be both properly installed and properly removed. Proper installation helps ensure that they will do their job well and offer added stability and safety for equipment and workers. Proper removal helps ensure that the crane mats remain in good, useable condition after use and helps ensure that the area where they are used is restored to its original condition. Below are some recommendations for successful crane mat removal.

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Basics of Crane Mat Removal

Below are some of the basic things you should do to properly remove crane mats:

  • Remove One Mat at a Time – Crane Mats should ideally be removed cautiously, one at a time by backing out of a site.

  • Clean Mats After Removal – As soon as crane mats are removed, they should be cleaned to remove dirt, residue, plant growth, and plant material. Cleaning is especially important if crane mats are going to be sold or transported to another project. Generally, spraying the crane mats with water or air will do the trick. You may also want to drop or shake the crane mats with the help of machinery to knock off debris.

  • Load or Store Properly – Crane mats should be loaded with care if being transported by truck or train. Use lifting bolts to lift the crane mats and then stack them on top of each other. If they will be transported by truck, use hook straps or tie-downs to secure them once stacked. If the mats are going to be stored before they are used again, make sure to store them in a secure, covered area.

Restoration of Work Area

When crane mats are removed, you should also do your best to restore the work area. Below are some restoration suggestions:

  • Inspect Crossings – After crane mats are removed, you should carefully examine crossings to assess the amount of restoration you need to do.

  • Stabilize Soil Disturbances – This is particularly important near wetlands and streams. As best as possible, soil should be returned to its original condition prior to project activity.

  • Restore Wetland Areas – If crane mats were used within wetlands, these areas should be restored to their original conditions. Restoration may involve revegetation using existing roots and seed stock of plant species that are natural to the area. If mulch is used during restoration efforts, make sure it is weed-free mulch that will not expose the area to invasive plant species.

If crane mats are removed with care, cleaned, and transported/stored properly after their removal, they can be re-used for a different project or sold. Selling used crane mats can be a lucrative choice if they won’t be used for a future project. If you plan to sell them, spend some extra time cleaning them off and making sure they’re in good condition for a buyer. Until they are sold and transported to a new location, they should be stored in a safe place where they won’t be subjected to any damage.

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