What to Look for When Buying Crane Mats
March 18, 2021

Whatever projects you have underway or environments you’re working in, crane mats are essential for the safety of your workers. They’re also crucial for absorbing force from the crane and minimizing the risk of breakdowns.

But a crane mat is only as useful as its compatibility with your situation. If the mat has the wrong dimensions or is poorly adapted for the project you’re carrying out, its effectiveness is severely limited.

Our experts at Phoenix Mats have built crane mats for different types of uses, giving us insight into what matters most when buying one.

These are the important factors you’ll need to check for.


The size of a crane mat impacts how effective it is at supporting the crane and leveling it to create a safer work environment.

You’ll need to look at both the length and width of a mate you’re considering, as well as the thickness.

The right size is influenced by multiple things, including the size and weight of the crane itself and the type of terrain it’s on. Also, you’ll need to consider the average weight you’re planning to lift on an ongoing basis.

Arriving at precisely the right dimensions is often complicated. Our experts help clients figure it out by calculating the factors mentioned above, in addition to force, pressure, and ground bearing capacity.

Once you’re aware of the right size, you’ll also have to think about whether a standard-sized crane mate can fit your needs. In most cases, you can maximize the mat’s effectiveness by getting it custom-made and tailored to your exact situation.


Different materials are used to make crane mats, including wood and timber, rubber, fiberglass, and plastic. Making a decision on the right material comes down to the nature of your operations.

An advantage to opting for timber is that you’ll get a strong crane mat that also takes a comparatively shorter time to make. And mats made of wood are also easy to customize, making it likelier that manufacturers are able to achieve exactly the right proportions for your unique requirements.

And timber is a readily available resource, so you always have the assurance of being able to easily get new mats when your current ones wear out.

As a plus, timber is the most environmentally friendly material for matting. It breaks down and decomposes naturally.

Fiberglass makes for lightweight crane mats that are easy to transport. But there’s also a significant spike in cost which isn’t reflected in the day-to-day effectiveness of the mat.


Another important consideration is the type of terrain you’re working on. Different types of crane mats are suited to various terrains.

Outrigging pads, for example, are the best fit for muddy, rocky, and mountainous landscapes.

Three-ply laminated mats are ideal for heavy traffic use, while dragline mats are uniquely effective at stabilizing large track equipment on uneven surfaces.

The important thing to remember is each terrain presents its own risks, and the most severe is the crane tipping over and endangering workers.

Determining the threats that your specific terrain poses can guide you toward a type of crane mat that ensures both safety and efficiency.

Getting the most appropriate matting for a particular terrain also reduces crane maintenance costs, contributing to lower overall project expenses.

Buy customized crane mats from experts

We have over a decade of experience in the wood business here at Phoenix Mats. Much of our work involves making crane mats for businesses like yours. Our experts can help you accurately decide on the exact type and size of matting that best supports your operations. Afterward, we’ll create the mats in our manufacturing centers located in the Midwest.

Call us today at 812-362-3350 or reach out through our contact form.

Crane mats at construction site