What Size is Right? Choosing Road Mats for Heavy Equipment
July 17, 2023

Do you need to protect the surface beneath your heavy equipment? If so, it's important to understand the different sizes of road mats available in order to make sure your machinery operates safely. From wooden blocking panels for temporary stabilization to larger access matting that can support up to 80 tons, there is a level of protection suitable for any application. Whether you're protecting landscaping or setting up for heavier construction projects, choosing the right mat is no small job. In this blog post, we'll explore the all-important questions surrounding sized road mats when it comes to offering ultimate stability and safety on job sites where large vehicles are used.

Why Are Road Mats for Heavy Equipment Necessary?

Using road mats for heavy equipment is a must for heavy equipment operators. Whether you are using mats to create a temporary pathway for construction vehicles, or trying to preserve a lawn or field while transferring heavy machinery, road mats keep your equipment stable and protected from sinking. Site managers must carefully consider the weight of their equipment, the thickness of the ground, and the size of the working area to determine the right size of road mat for the job. Luckily, we’re here to outline the considerations that must be addressed when choosing the right mat.

Points to Consider When Selecting Raod Mats for Heavy Equipment

Weight Capacity of Road Mats

When selecting road mats for your heavy equipment, you'll need to know their weight capacity. The weight limit of mats vary and depend on the intended use of the mat. A general-purpose mat can handle between 10 and 30 tons, while a more specialized mat has the capacity of up to 120 tons. It's essential to choose a mat that can handle the weight of your equipment to prevent damage to the mat and the ground beneath it. Finally, remember that the load capacity of a road mat increases with size. Therefore, the more weight a road mat will bear, the bigger it should be.

Length and Width

The length and width of the road mat must align with the size of your equipment. Ensure that your mat is long and wide enough to accommodate your heaviest and widest machinery. A general guideline is that a mat should be at least 1.5 times the width of the vehicle and 10-12 feet longer than the length of the vehicle. Longer and wider mats provide greater stability and a more substantial platform, increasing the safety of both the equipment and the operator. Keep in mind that using a larger road mat will minimize the gaps that occur between individual mats, providing a smoother and more continuous surface.


The thickness of your mat is critical to its durability and efficacy. Choose a mat with a thickness of at least 1 inch. The thicker the mat, the more weight it can handle. Mats can come in thicknesses of up to 4 inches for heavy-duty needs. Thicker mats also offer more insulation and can be used to protect sensitive landscape features, making them ideal for environmentally protected areas.


The size of the road mat will affect its portability and ease of use. Smaller mats are easier to transport and maneuver, but they may not be suitable for heavy equipment. If your project requires multiple installations that need to be moved several times, smaller mats might be more practical. On the other hand, larger mats are more stable, provide better support, and are more appropriate for long-term installations.

Soil Permeability

Apart from the size of the mat, it is crucial to evaluate the ground where you will be using the mat. Soils with different water contents call for different sizes of mats, despite their similar weight. In soft soils, for example, wider mats are needed to spread the weight of the equipment across the mat to prevent sinking. A wider mat will ensure your heavy equipment is positioned correctly to prevent it from shifting or tilting.


Another important factor to evaluate when choosing the perfect size of road mat is the type of terrain you will be working on. If the ground is sloped or has an uneven surface, using smaller mats makes it easier to navigate through obstacles and steep terrain. Smaller individual mats are also easier to maneuver, especially if the equipment needs a tight turning radius.

Trust the Experts for Road Mats for Heavy Equipment

When it comes to protecting your heavy equipment during transport, on construction sites, and on challenging terrain projects, the right road mats make a huge difference. Road mats are used in various ways to protect ground and equipment by providing adequate support. The appropriate support is crucial to ensuring that vehicles can maneuver safely and cause minimal damage to the surface below them. Whether you're working on a single-day job or a long-term project, selecting the right size of road mat ensures your success without compromising safety. When you need to select the best mats for the job, contact the experts at Phoenix Mat. Get in touch with us today.

What Size is Right? Choosing Road Mats for Heavy Equipment