Installation and Handling Instructions for TRAKMAT®
1. TRAKMAT® is made from HD Polyethylene plastic, a very durable material. Polyethylene is very flexible, enough so, that it will bend and twist under heavy loads instead of breaking. Because it is so flexible, TRAKMAT® is not suitable as a “bridging” device. We have other products for that purpose.
2. TRAKMAT® will not break, even with extreme loads; such as 60 ton cranes. They are best suited for vehicles working on ground that has enough integrity to support load. Here’s how to tell: If the ground will support a man walking without leaving a footprint, then TRAKMAT® will support a vehicle that is “Road Legal” (weight per axle).
Ground with a high water table may not maintain it’s integrity if multiple trips are required because of the pumping action.
3. Mats are made in several sizes; width and length. We recommend the mat should be at least 1/3 wider than the widest tire on the vehicle. That gives the driver a mat size they can stay on so the load can be distributed to the ground. (Widths 22.2”, 36”, 44.5”; lengths 4’, 6’ 8’)
4. One-side smooth mats are used to drive over sidewalks, asphalt driveways, tile floors and to work on flat roofs; smooth side down. They work very well as “dirt boards”, smooth side up. They do NOT work well as a traction mat on hillsides and slopes, smooth side has no traction. And, the smooth side is slippery to foot traffic when wet.
5. We use light colors to keep mats cool in summer heat. Light color mats will be no more than 8% above the ambient temperature. Dark colors can get hot enough to wilt grass. If your business requires you to work on lawns, mat temperature is going to be important.
6. Custom color can be used to “brand” mats to your company color. Minimum Quantities. We can also add Logo Labels or plaques with your Company Name & Phone Number. Minimum Quantities.
7. TRAKMAT® will not absorb water or dry rot; are not affected by oil, gas, or other chemicals.
8. Note – If a lawn has been recently fertilized, keep in mind that heat can build up even under light colored mats from the chemical reaction. Keep moving the mats to avoid heat damage.
9. We use hand cutouts. If you want to use a hook, there are plenty of holes along the sides and ends to do that. To add rope handles, just drill a couple of holes, won’t hurt the mat.
10. Mats stiffen in cold weather, but do not become brittle. If they take a “set”, lay them on a flat surface in the sun, they will flatten out.
11. For continuous trips in and out, you must connect mats together, or they will move around. We have 2-way and 4-way connectors. We have Heavy Duty Urethane Connectors and ASC (All Steel Connectors), if extra strength is required for large trucks. We have “U” Pins for securing mats on steep hills. Remember to order Connectors and pins to maintain your trakway.
12. Double-sided mats have traction on both sides; tire to mat & mat to ground. You will almost always have better traction tire to mat. Therefore, be aware of the potential to spin mats out. If you gun the motor, truck wins every time. It may be necessary to bolt and/or pin mats to the ground. If mats won’t hold in mud or on a hillside, there is nothing wrong with the mat; it’s a physics problem. You’ll have to find a way to secure them to the ground. Call us if you need help. Driver should be aware of where the members of his crew are standing. DO NOT STAND BEHIND THE TRUCK. Unplanned things can happen very quickly.
13. Mats have a quality chemical UV inhibitor in them. The sun will not make them brittle.
14. We recommend the use of a Geo-Fabric under the mats in severe mud conditions to keep the mats from sinking into the mud. Call us if you don’t know where to get it.
15. Mud sticks to mats, use water and elbow grease to clean them.
16. Steel track machines with “grousers” (steel traction bars) will eventually tear up anything the machine drives over.
The most common machines are “excavators” and “skid steers”. Both can have aggressive steel tracks. The horizontal bars will fit in between the nubs on the mats. If the purpose for the mats is to provide access for the machine to drive straight in and out of a location, then the steel tracks will scratch the surface, but the mat will survive for a considerable time. If the machine twist and turns on the mats, it will cut the nubs off. Consider using the “smooth one-side” version with smooth side up because it is more tolerant to aggressive action by steel track machines.
17. Dozer Mats. If the purpose of the mat is to provide a means for the operator to load and unload a steel track machine on the street, then see our Dozer Mat product, made from rubber, smooth on both sides. Does not spread load, but does protect the streets, concrete shop floors, and sidewalks.
18. TRAKMAT® was designed to move vehicles. Also, workmen on a job site can use them for walking and pushing equipment; such as wheel barrows. For “pedestrians”, or the general public, we have models with less aggressive traction surface that are suitable for sidewalks, tent floors, and special events. (See item # 19 below)
19. The PED (pedestrian) Series is designed as a walking surface for the general public. The nubs are smaller, lower in height, closer together, and there are no hand cutouts on the surface. One surface is the PED Series, and the opposite surface is the standard TRAKMAT® nub series. They can be used for both applications by flipping them over to the appropriate surface. There are Connector Holes on the sides of PED mats to keep the sides from lifting up on uneven fields. PED mats are available with standard Color and Logo options. Leather soled shoes are slippery on any surface including PED. Use PED mats in applications involving casual or sport foot wear.
20. TRAKMAT® is designed to be handled by men in the field. The full size mat only weighs 78 lbs. Local safety and health laws and common sense provide suitable instruction as to what one man can handle.
21. TRAKMAT® is everything you wish plywood was. Fits in your truck, easy to handle, traction surface, hand cutouts for lifting, connector holes, durable, doesn’t absorb water, doesn’t rot, doesn’t get hot, flexible so they don’t break, etc. In the long run, TRAKMAT® are what you’ve been looking for to get your work done. They are the perfect TOOL for the professional. Plywood is no longer a cost effective road building material.
22. Floating on water. Yes, TRAKMAT® will float. Be aware that the mats can float away in areas where high water is possible. Take precautions to anchor the mats or weight them down. In potential flood areas where fast moving water is possible, consider there is a lot of energy working on a very large flat surface.
23. High winds. Summer storms, tornados, hurricanes, etc. can produce extreme wind bursts that can lift a flat panel, or panels connected together, even if laying flat on the ground. User is cautioned to take appropriate action to remove or secure TRAKMAT® to the ground to avoid potential high wind issues. Keep in mind, high wind situations can occur at night with little or no warning. Be alert for weather forecast after work hours.
24. TRAKMAT® has hand cutouts for lifting, but heavy usage can throw up sharp edges anywhere on the mat. For that reason, we recommend the use of good work gloves.
25. Safety starts in the field. User is responsible for pre-planning against what can happen, and prepare for it.