Bog mats are a ground protection solution used to create long-term temporary access roads on construction sites located on or near fragile ground. They help to limit the project’s impact on the surrounding environment and provide access to hard-to-reach areas to heavy machinery.
As well as this, bog mats also help people who work on-site. Even if protection for environmental reasons isn’t a concern, as the ground becomes churned up, muddy and slippery, it becomes more difficult to traverse and can lead to accidents. All of this combines to allow projects to run in a smoother, more efficient manner, helping deadlines be met and decreasing costs.
Typically, bog mats will be manufactured from a variety of wood types, including:
Each type of wood has different strengths and weaknesses, meaning the bog mats used on one project may not necessarily be suitable for the next. If used properly, however, some bog mats can be used again and again for decades, making them a wise long-term investment for any business requiring them for multiple projects.
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Who are bog mats used by?
Although it is most common to see bog mats being used to protect the ground in the construction sector, they have a wide range of potential uses and can be applied in a number of ways:
- Providing temporary flooring for festivals and other outdoor events, ensuring minimal damage to the site
- Staging areas which are used to hold and sort materials
- Strengthen weak land, allowing access for cranes and other heavy vehicles
- Demarcating safe routes through and around sites for vehicles and pedestrians
- Reducing pressure points on land with buried utilities, basements, storage tanks and other cavities.
This wide range of applications for bog mats means they are used by a wide variety of businesses, including:
- Pipeline construction and maintenance companies
- Civil engineers
- Wind farm constructors
- Festival organisers
If you’re working on an outdoor project which is expected to have heavy vehicle or foot traffic, bog mats are the ideal solution to many common problems.
The different types of bog mat
Bog mats are made from a number of different types of wood, with each type suitable for different projects. Choosing the right wood for your project is vital if it is to be a success.
Some of the most common options include:
European hardwood timber mats have an expected life span of anywhere from 5 to 25 years, depending on the specific type of wood, how they are used and stored, and the conditions they are exposed to.
European oak timber mats are a relatively durable type of mat which you we would expect to last for 15-25 years if properly looked-after and are an ideal choice for light to medium traffic. Their low stiffness, high bending and crushing strength, and shock resistance make them suitable for a wide range of uses.
Alternatively, European beech timber mats are a stronger option, making them ideal for heavier traffic and more rugged use. These typically have a lifespan of around five years.
In addition to this flexibility, being much easier access makes European hardwood a popular choice throughout the UK.
Tropical hardwood timber mats are highly sought-after thanks to their durability, being famous for being containing some of the most durable species of wood in the world. Tropical hardwoods are expected to have a lifespan of over 25 years if cared for correctly, making them a great investment for any business requiring bog mats for consistent use.
In particular, Ekki timber mats are the most in-demand on the market at present. They are widely-renowned as the most durable mats on the market and have a lifespan of up to 50 years or more.
Dabema bog mats are another popular choice, also being suitable for the heaviest use. These have a typical lifespan of 15-25 years which, again, can be improved with proper care.
How keep bog mats in good condition
Good quality timber mats will give you years and even decades of service life, with only some simple maintenance needed to keep them safe from avoidable damage.
Following these four steps will ensure your bog mats will last as long as possible.
Know your type of timber mat
Different timber mat species have different service lifetimes, so make sure you know how long you can expect your timber mats to stay in peak condition.
Tropical hardwoods with the highest durability ratings can last for decades, whereas some of our European hardwood mats are rated for closer to 5-10 years.
How to keep timber mats clean
Bog mats are designed for outdoor use, so it is generally not a problem if they occasionally get wet or muddy, but you should avoid prolonged exposure to wet and dirty conditions.
Because of this, once you have finished using them on a job, you should clean any surface dirt and then allow the timber to dry out before storing them in a dry place – ideally somewhere indoors – until the next job.
Avoid damaged edges
The edges of timber ground mats are more exposed to damage, so try to keep vehicles in the middle of your temporary roadway or working platform whenever possible.
You can protect the edges of timber mats even more by using access ramps at the entry and exit point and ensuring adjacent mats are laid fully flush to one another and joined together using the designated connecting points where these are provided.
Replace damaged timber mats
When damage occurs, replace damaged timber mats at the first opportunity. This takes the damaged mats out of circulation so that you are always using safe and stable temporary roadways and crane platforms.
We have plenty of good quality timber mats for hire, so, if you find you are facing an unexpected need to replace damaged timber mats from your own stock, it could be a fast and economic option to hire some as a temporary solution.
What size bog mats do I need?
One of the key pieces of information you need when hiring or buying bog mats is what size you need. It is typically straightforward to decide, however, and our team is here to help you choose the perfect size for your project.
Standard bog mats come in a range of different sizes and thicknesses, and in terms of area you can usually choose between 3m or 5m in length and 1m in width.
But it is the thickness of bog mats that really affects how much load they can bear, and they range from 70mm thick up to the very thickest mats of 200 and 250mm thick.
At this thickest end of the range there are larger area bog mats to choose from two, at 1m width and 6m length, and these can help to cover a larger site with a thick, solid and stable ground protection layer.
How thick or thin does a bog mat need to be?
Thinner mats are still relatively solid, and 70mm bog mats should bear the weight of lighter construction vehicles like dumpers without any problems, at loads of up to 35 tonnes in total.
Go up to 100mm bog mats and you can expect your temporary roadway to withstand vehicle loads up to 45 tonnes, while 150mm bog mats can handle up to around 60 tonnes.
The thickest bog mats can withstand even heavier loads, but are also often used on very unstable ground, such as on sand or during works in tidal conditions.
For very poor ground conditions where heavy cranes need to pass over it, consider our Emtek laminated system, which measures in at 1.75m by 4.9m and 89mm thick, but is highly effective at spreading vehicle loads.
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