Composite Mats vs Wood: Why Switching From Wood Could Save You Thousands!
Using Plywood as Ground Protection
Plywood is the most popular and cheapest form of wooden ground protection. There are a number of different options for wood mats such as softwood or hardwood, and solid or laminated plywood. They are usually used for steel tracked vehicles and the load ratings are indefinitive and can vary from sheet to sheet, and the load capacity also deteriorates over time. Although plywood is a cheaper option, this type of ground protection has many downsides and are not cheaper in the long term due to their shorter life expectancy compared to polyethylene mats.
The Cons of Using Plywood
- Absorbs water/liquids which increases weight and accelerates rotting and de-lamination of ply mats
- Risk of cross-contamination from oils, chemicals, and fluids
- Very susceptible to fungi, bacteria, insects and rodents
- No traction creates an unsafe often slippery surface for equipment and personnel
- Safety hazard from splinters or debris
- Inconsistent strength properties from mat to mat
- Very limited lifespan resulting in a higher cost over time
Due to the porous structure of plywood, it can absorb a lot of water, and this water absorption leads to these mats becoming heavy, weak and leads them to rot more quickly and become infested with rodents, insects, and bacteria which further increases the risks of wooden mats failing.
The average load bearing capacity of plywood mats can vary from sheet to sheet due to the differences in the density, quality, ground, weather, and overall usage conditions of the wood.
The cost over time of replacing and maintaining plywood quickly adds up with the average lifespan of plywood being very short and dependent on where and how it is used but with our ground protection mats, you can rest assured that they will last for years.
TuffTrak® Composite Mats vs Plywood
|TuffTrak® Ground Protection Mats||Plywood|
|100% Recycled High Density Polyethylene is recyclable at end of life – lowering carbon emissions and landfill waste||Limited life span and must be replaced, maintained / repaired within a short life cycle resulting in a higher cost over time|
|Chemically inert – no contamination risk from chemicals oil, and fluids||Risk of cross contamination due to absorption and leaching of oils, fluids, and chemicals|
|Impervious to water absorption||Absorbs water and liquids which accelerates rotting and de-lamination of ply mats|
|Unaffected by mold, bacteria, and resistant to insect infestation. Easy to clean – no cross contamination risks||Vulnerable to insects, rodent infestation, and fungi and bacteria. Difficult to clean increases risk of cross contamination|
|Strength / performance guaranteed to be consistent from mat to mat||Inconsistent strength from sheet to sheet causing premature failure and unsafe working conditions|
|Load bearing capacity of up to 600 psi on our heavy duty mats and 120 tons on our medium duty||No definitnitve load bearing capacity available and differs from sheet to sheet|
|Incorporates an aggressive diamond cleat tread for impressive traction and grip even in the most adverse weather conditions||No traction – very slippery when wet. Mud or ice build up creates hazardous conditions for vehicles and personnel|
|Flexible construction of TuffTrak® mats molds to undulating or sloping ground conditions providing a secure trackway||Wood mats are unsuitable for use on slopes or inclines|
|Our medium duty mats are light in weight and can be man-deployed without risk of injury due to smooth material||Although light in weight, there is a risk of injury from splinters and debris|