Swamp Mats: What You Need To Know

Is your worksite in need of solutions when it comes to access and transportation? Home to major developments for the oil & gas, petrochemical, and energy sectors, Western Canada features several notable projects, many with remote sites that can be difficult to access due to rugged terrain and rapidly shifting weather patterns. Access mats, frequently referred to as swamp mats pave the way for safe transportation of materials to and from your site, allowing things to proceed on pace and on budget. Learn more about the benefits of access mats, including the differences between access, swamp and rig mats, below!

Conquering Confusion

One of the biggest sources of confusion in the matting industry is the difference between three main types of products: access, rig, and swamp mats. While each of these have a different meaning to manufacturers, consumers tend you use the terms interchangeably when referring to the same general product. In order to get the best results from your mats, and to avoid costly confusion by ordering the wrong items, it’s important to know the specifics of each model per industry standards. The following is a brief explanation of each category as defined by manufacturers:

Access Mats (commonly called Swamp Mats): refer to standard matting solutions that are often used to create temporary roads and on-site infrastructure to facilitate the safe transportation of goods and equipment. Sometimes called swamp mats (typically regionally specific), these mats can handle a wide range of weights and are available either in traditional bolted forms, as well as the increasingly in demand CLT designs.

Rig Mats: While technically another form of access mats, rig mats are designed to handle much heavier loads than standard models. This makes them ideal for handling heavy machinery and equipment like cranes. Rig mats usually feature a steel frame that reinforces the mat in order to prevent sudden breakages. As a result of these steel frames, rig mats tend to cost more, meaning that you’ll want to ensure you know exactly what you need prior to ordering to avoid sticker shock.

Why Choose CLT Mats Over Bolted Models

As an innovative alternative to traditional bolted mats, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) mats have a wide range of benefits to offer your job site. Such benefits include:

  • High impact resistance and durability.
  • 3-5 times the lifespan of bolted mats.
  • Glue lamination and wax sealed on all 4 edges of the mat make it less vulnerable to moisture and rot.
  • Able to withstand the Canadian climate, all year round.
  • Solid matting top reduces tripping hazards, as well as the tired damage to vehicles.
  • Lower shipping costs due to the lightweight nature of the mats (more CLT mats can be shipped compared to bolted products), and more.

GFI Solutions is a proud distributor of Sterling Solutions’ range of TerraLam® products, including both their 300 and 500 model access mats, access bridges and more. Built from the highest quality Yellow Southern Pine wood fibres, which are up to 30% stronger than Douglas fir trees, TerraLam® CLT mats are bonded together with an environmentally friendly adhesive and distribute weight through the entire mat for superior performance.

Looking For Access Mats? GFI Solutions Is Here To Help

GFI’s team of experts is available for 24/7 support including sales and rentals all throughout Canada. Contact us now to learn more!