What is an access mat?

An access mat, as the name would suggest, is a portable piece of equipment that is designed to help people to gain access to certain areas. It’s often used to create a stable surface on the ground and is used by several industries like the construction and mining industries. It’s a common sight on helipads, drilling rigs and around roadways or other areas. An access mat can be known under a variety of different names depending on the industry or purpose it’s being used for. The differences in terminology occur because there is no standard design for an access mat and its uses tend to be industry-specific, so there are many different names for it.

There are however three basic categories of the product;


In the construction industry, an access mat would be used to create a smooth, debris-free surface that can be walked and driven on. This can be very useful when surfaces are unstable or dusty and might not otherwise be okay to work on. Using an access mat in this way can improve efficiency and help tasks to be completed more quickly. They are often used to create temporary roads, platforms, and might be used around terminals or facilities in oil and gas rigs. They are also a popular choice when power lines are being erected. It is also used a lot when erecting new buildings and is often seen in warehouses. Another use for it is around residential housing estates where it can help to prevent debris reach storm drains.

Temporary roads

A popular use for matting is to create a temporary road around a worksite. This can be a great solution for rough, remote areas or for areas where it’s important to be sensitive to the environment such as around wetlands or bogs. This type of access mat usually made from hardwoods and vary in thickness. The quality of them will be dependant on the kind of timber they’re made from and the manufacturer you choose.

Another kind is known as ‘rig mats’ which are made from wood and steel. They usually contain a steel frame although they can include fibreglass or bamboo as well. The steel strengthens the structure of the access mat and means that they can support much more weight.


Another category is ‘heavy equipment’ matting which is made to be highly durable and capable of bearing heavy loads. They are often used when heavy equipment is being transported. This has many different applications like mining, wind farms, repair of bridges and other infrastructure and for use around wharves or other areas with heavy equipment.

What’s it used for?

An access mat has a wide range of applications, from industrial uses to more non-traditional uses where it comes in handy. It can be a semi-permanent structure around worksites or used more temporarily by a variety of industries. It can also be used for things like providing access around homes and driveways, or for temporary parking or under the water troughs that livestock use.

It’s a product that is easy to install and often a very affordable solution for companies to purchase. Removal is often easy and getting rid of old and use-up products usually involves chipping. It’s a popular choice because it can help to protect the environment and the health and safety of workers. There are many different products out there to choose from so it’s well worth considering what your specific needs are and how heavy your equipment is to find something that will hold up to the demands you put on it.

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