Portable road surfaces
- Guest Blog
- 5 years ago
During a construction project, as any veteran manager will know, adverse ground conditions can present serious problems. The inability to physically access a site or part of a site with heavy machinery can cause an expensive bottleneck, ground pollution that may lead to environmental compensation or simple time issues. A simple and (generally) cost effective solution to these issues can be found in the form of the various types and styles of portable road surfaces.
Most usually deployed on sites that have excess groundwater or marshy conditions, portable road surfaces are formed of interlocking wood or metal mats that can be placed by on-site heavy machinery to form a temporary road or surface that is designed to hold high loads. This surface can then be used for access or deployment, such as a crane or winch. Separately, they may be used to produce a temporary area for placement of temporary structures or in a number of other applications. These platforms have the advantage of being relatively low in cost, simple to use and re-useable. While there are a number of rental companies that will deliver specified portable road surface to a site, many larger construction companies (such as civil engineering firms or power distributors) have their own supply and methods to deploy these surfaces.
Portable road surfaces generally come in one of two materials: heavy wood or high-density plastic. These two types of road surfaces have separate strengths and weaknesses. The wood versions, more generally known as bog mats or crane mats, are built using a hard wood such as oak. These types of mat have the initial advantage of being much easier to install than the plastic version. This is due to the fact that the heavier wood variety has no attachments between mats, simply slotting into place, requiring very little manpower or expertise. This means that for sudden damp conditions, bog or crane mats can be applied effectively and quickly, minimising any potential down time on the construction project.
For environmental concerns, the bog mat has the advantage of being produced from sustainable stock and limiting onsite potential damage. This can also be of help in minimising local environmental concerns or potential pollution charges that may apply to a project. Finally, the bog mat also has a higher maximum support weight, advertised as up to 250 tonnes.
However, the heavy wood road surface has a few disadvantages. Being slightly more expensive than other versions, and certainly much heavier, the bog mat has to be compared with the high-density ground protection mats.
For further information on bog mats see www.gjbogmats.co.uk
This version, usually produced in a black or grey colour, is less useful in covering highly damp ground and has to be physically attached together by hand, but is also lighter and cheaper. The high-density plastic is more appropriately and more commonly used to produce large working surfaces that either protect the existing grass or environment, provide additional traction on loose or gritty soil and are commonly found at large events (such as the London Olympics) to provide additional access, parking or walkways. As they offer less maximum safe weight, the exact variety and manufacture must be consulted before dispatching a surface.