TIMBER MAT USE: COMMON QUESTIONS FOR USE IN WETLANDS
When planning a construction, forest harvesting, or maintenance project in low-level wetlands, it is important to incorporate the use of timber mats in your plan. The benefits of costs and environmental effects are definitely on your side; however, there are also many more beneficial outcomes companies don’t always consider. We have developed a list of 5 common questions people ask when using timber mats.
- What are the advantages of using timber mats?
- Working in wetlands causes great difficulty maneuvering heavy machinery across rugged & swampy terrains. In these situations, it is best to use timber mats to gain traction and reduce the chance of getting your expensive equipment stuck in the mud. Another advantage of using timber mats in wetlands is the flexibility and convenience of being able to cross swamps, mud, and unstable ground without having to build a permanent structure.
- Which equipment works best for these mats?
- Built of hardwood timber 8, 10, or 12-inches thick and 8 to 40 feet long, these mats are made to support heavy machinery. Common equipment ideal for use with mats includes cranes for oil rigs, timber harvesting equipment, and most track equipment.
- How easy is it to install/remove timber mats?
- Installation and removal is streamlined when dealing with high quality timber mats. Any new or slightly used mats (grade A or B) will have two good pick points to help with removal. When dealing with grade C used mats, they will be slightly more difficult to remove, however they should still have one good pick point to use for removing the timber mat.
- How do timber mats effect the environment?
- Timber mats are a great alternative to building permanent structures when planning a construction or maintenance project in wetlands. Often times, in timber harvesting situations, you might need to get your harvesting equipment across a stream in order to finish the job. If you don’t use timber mats as a temporary stream crossing, there can be direct as well as indirect consequences on fisheries and water quality such as destruction of habitat, channel changes, vegetation removal, and land clearing that could lead to erosion and sedimentation in the waterway. These can be minimized with the use of timber mats when installed and removed correctly after harvesting is completed.
- How do you clean them?
- Cleaning timber mats is crucial when using them to preserve the environment around the working area, as well as the endurance of your mats. Once the project is complete, make sure to remove all debris, small and large at the development site. Pressure wash thoroughly using water or air, and finish with a proper sweeping of the entire area of the mat. This will ensure that no insects, viruses, or fungal spores common to wetlands will be transported outside of their natural environment.