How bog mats can prevent damage to underground infrastructure
Bog mats provide protection on many levels – quite literally. Above ground, they help to keep vehicles, personnel and materials safe while work is carried out, while at ground level they prevent unnecessary damage to exposed soil and other surfaces.
However, it’s below ground where the benefits of bog mats are often overlooked, despite the potential for massive costs and disruption in the event of damage to underground infrastructure, most notably in civil engineering works.
Laying bog mats provides a physical barrier between above-ground activities and any pipes and conduits buried beneath the surface. Ground protection mats dissipate pressure and other forces more evenly, and reduce the risk of penetrating any undetected voids.
Types of underground damage prevented by bog mats
It’s quick, easy and affordable to lay bog mats across an entire site, to create a stable working platform, support the forces exerted during lifting operations, and keep feet and wheels out of the mud.
All of this helps to reduce disruption underground too, preventing several different potential kinds of damage to underground infrastructure:
- Heavy plant tyres, tracks or outriggers breaking through into underground voids.
- Excessive forces leading to cracks and leaks in underground water mains.
- Dangerous disruption to utilities including gas pipes and electricity conduits.
In addition, there is an increasing amount of high-value data infrastructure hidden below ground, ranging from copper cables to fibre optics, all of which can be time-consuming and costly to repair in the event of an interruption due to damage from above.
How do bog mats prevent underground damage?
Bog mats distribute forces over a larger area – think of them like snowshoes for your heavy plant, to prevent it from sinking into the ground where the earth is soft or fragile.
During transportation of wide or heavy loads, you should assess the route for any such risks, e.g. underground fuel storage tanks or basements, and use appropriate ground protection mats to reduce the pressure exerted on any one part of the ground above.
However, it’s a good idea to create a solid working platform no matter what underground infrastructure you have detected, as this can also prevent interruptions due to bad weather, or costly work to ‘make good’ the terrain when a project is complete.
If you are looking for more information or wish to contact us regarding our ground protection mats please get in touch here.