How To Properly Set Up Access Mats At A Construction Site

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Protecting ecologically sensitive areas such as wetlands is one of a builder’s most important responsibilities. This is why so many developers choose heavy-duty ground mats for construction sites where the presence of large equipment would otherwise damage fragile ecosystems.

By creating temporary roadways with these products, crews can move cranes, bulldozers, trucks and other equipment around the job site without worrying about the enormous pressure exerted by their tires and treads.

Although ground mats can be extremely useful for accessing sites with wet areas, swamps and bogs, contractors need to use them properly to get the maximum benefit. Here are some tips to help ensure that the mats you use perform as designed.

  • Create a plan — Before beginning work, take time to draw up a plan of how your mats will be installed on the site. You will want to consider the most efficient routes for machinery to get to and from the job site, so you don’t buy more mats than you need.
  • Choose appropriate products — You have several options when it comes to access mats in terms of materials and construction. For example, you may not require as much protection if your heavy equipment has a relatively small footprint. In that case, outrigger mats may be the best solution. For areas where the soils are especially soft, lighter composite products may be the way to go.
  • Ensure sufficient protection for the area — When setting up access mats, make sure they cross the entire wetland area to serve as a bridge between more stable areas. This will provide the most protection.
  • Arrange access mats correctly — When placing temporary roadways, be sure to lay the mats with the ends of each timber running parallel to the direction of traffic. Doing so will enable them to better disperse the pressure and keep the ground beneath them safe.
  • Use machinery to place mats —Using skid steers and track excavators to place access mats makes the installation process as easy as it can be. Typically, a timber mat will feature lifting bolts on either end to make the procedure easier.

When you choose YAK MAT for your access mat needs, you’ll benefit from our decades of experience. No one knows more about ground mats for construction and their uses than we do, so get in touch with us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

Builders: How To Create Your Environmental Protection Plan

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Builders already have tremendous responsibilities to their clients and their crews. A successful project has to be cost-effective, efficient and safe for all involved. But they also have a responsibility to do their work with as much care for the environment as possible. This is especially true for projects that are built on or near sensitive wetland areas.

The impact of construction work can be harmful to these fragile ecosystems and, if damaged, they can take decades to heal. However, with the proper environmental protection plan in place, contractors can meet all their obligations without major disruptions to their operations. Here are some of the key factors to consider when creating such a plan for your next construction project.

  • Habitats — The presence of personnel and heavy equipment can create severe problems for wildlife in the area. Working without care can destroy animals’ habitats, causing them to flee the area and break the food chain of the local ecosystem. This is why builders should be prepared to encounter nests and burrows and have a plan for relocating or avoiding them.
  • Waste products — Most construction job sites generate their share of hazardous waste. If not disposed of properly, this waste can pollute the area’s soil and water. Containing and safely disposing of materials such as asbestos, lead and mercury should be a high priority for any contractor.
  • Soil compaction — The pressure exerted by cranes, bulldozers and other large-scale machinery can impair the soil’s ability to support plant life, impacting the larger ecosystem. One of the best methods of mitigating this sort of damage is by using construction mats for heavy equipment. The timber mats are used to create temporary roadways and access points that allow machines to travel the site without directly impacting the ground. As a leader in access mats, YAK MAT can provide ideal solutions for building in fragile environments.

Protecting People

In addition to the attention given to a job site’s wildlife and vegetation, plans also need to consider the health of the people who work and live there. This includes removing hazardous waste as well as designating specific access points for equipment.

Being mindful of the ecological impact of construction is just one of the many responsibilities contractors must meet. Having a comprehensive plan is the key to success in any aspect of building and this is no different. Follow these steps to ensure your next job is done responsibly in every regard.

How To Transport Construction Vehicles Through A Swamp

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Construction is challenging enough without dealing with difficult terrain. Crews often have to tame the landscape before they can begin the hard work of building. In certain situations, they also need to leave a minimal impact on the land. In swampy terrain, builders must contend with wet ground that won’t support heavy equipment while also doing their best to protect these ecologically sensitive areas. Fortunately, hardwood wetland mats can offer a solution, provided you know how to utilize them.

How Timber Mats Work

Swamp mats made of durable hardwood timbers or lightweight composite materials allow contractors to create temporary roadways over excessively muddy areas. The slats of the mats easily lock together to provide support for cranes, loaders, trucks, forklifts and other large machinery, enabling them to traverse sites that ordinarily wouldn’t be accessible. Without them, the equipment could become stuck or sink into the marsh.

Protecting the Environment

One of the most perplexing elements of working in protected wetland areas is the ecological considerations project managers face. Heavy equipment exerts a lot of pressure on the ground, even where the soil is stable enough to move freely. Wheels and treads can tear up the land and cause damage to sensitive root systems under the surface. Driving through wetlands can cause harm to the ecosystem that may take decades to heal naturally. Mats protect the land because they prevent the full weight of vehicles from being applied to it.

How to Deploy Wetland Mats

Before deploying a temporary roadway, it’s essential to do some necessary prep work. Crews will need to:

  1. Choose the most stable ground – Look for a clear path that forms as straight a line as possible. Tree stumps and boulders could cause slats to warp and bend, so remove any large ones before laying down the mat. It is recommended that the grade not exceed 4 percent, and the area should be free from cross-slope to ensure the best results.
  2. Use geotextile materials – Placing geotextiles under the mats provides a number of benefits. They will help improve drainage around the roadway, as well as providing better traction.
  3. Choose your mat Timber products provide the most stability and capacity. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) mats are lighter, making them easier to install and remove. The mat you select for your project will depend on your requirements.
  4. Install – Once they are laid on the ground, the mats can be connected easily using finger joints or cabled loops at the end of each panel.

With these solutions in place, transporting construction vehicles through wetlands and swamps becomes easier and more environmentally sound.

2018 Recipient of OutSystems Innovation Award

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YAK MAT is pleased to announce we are the 2018 recipient of OutSystems Innovation Award for the “Best Custom Solution”.

U.S. supplier of access mats, YAK MAT, along with OutSystems Elite Partner Do iT Lean, used the OutSystems platform to customize a new ERP solution to manage inventory that is in constant motion—a unique situation. The custom YAK MAT Tracker streamlines the company’s ability to track inventory and create shipments for customers. By capturing more data from the field, YAK MAT can issue daily status reports to customers, which increases customer satisfaction. The system has 250 active users, with 150 to 180 concurrent users on any given day in the office and out in the field.