If your construction company does not use a crane in your day-to-day operations, you may simply hire a crane service as needed when the occasion arises. If you go to hire one and they recommend you use a crane mat for this job, or you see a crane mat listed on the estimate for services, you may find yourself with many questions. You may wonder what a crane mat is and why the crane service is recommending one be used on this job and not the others they have done for you. Getting answers to the questions you have will help you to better understand what is going on and why it is needed. Here are a few questions you may have about crane mats.
What is a Crane Mat?
A crane mat is a stable, sturdy surface that supports the weight of the crane so that the ground doesn't have to do so. Crane mats may be one solid platform that looks similar to a deck, supporting the entire body of the crane, or piers that are placed under each leg of the crane, depending on the type of crane that is being used.
Why is a Crane Mat Used?
Crane mats are primarily used when the ground is not stable or sturdy enough to support the weight of a crane. If the ground cannot support the weight of the crane, the crane may collapse or tip over when in use. The mat is able to prevent this from happening by supporting the weight of the crane. Prior to renting a crane, a crane service will often visit your job site to get a feel for the site and what services you need. This helps them determine what type of crane is best for your job. However, during this visit, they will also ensure there is a level area for the crane and look at the ground or soil where the crane will be laid. If they feel that the soil is not packed tightly or stable, they will mandate the use of a crane mat.
What Factors Affect the Price of the Crane Mat My Company is Being Charged For?
If a crane service requires you to use a crane mat for your job, you will see this charge reflected on the estimate. However, if you obtain quotes from various crane companies, you may find that the cost of a crane mat varies from one company to another. This is because there are a variety of factors that affect the cost of the mat you are being charged for.
The first factor that will affect how much a crane company is charging you for the crane mat is what material the crane mat is made from. Most crane mats are made from either lumber, fiber-reinforced polymer or steel. The material that the mat is made from directly impacts the cost of the mat and how many times the mat can be reused. These costs are then passed along to companies such as you, who would rent the mat for use on your job site.
Another factor that affects the costs associated with the crane mat is whether a custom crane mat needs to be constructed, or whether a pre-made, standard-sized mat can be used. If you have a small work site, a smaller than standard mat may need to be constructed to accompany your job site. Likewise, if you are going to use a crawler crane that rolls from one side of the job site to the other, you may need a huge platform that creates a road that the crane can safely roll across.
The last factor that affects how much you are charged for the mat is how much work goes into laying the mat. Some mats are pre-constructed, whereas others are constructed at the job site. If the mat has to be assembled, the crane company will likely pass along their labor expenses associated with constructing this platform to you.
If a crane company feels that the soil or ground at your job site is unable to support the weight of a crane, they will advise you that a crane mat must be used in conjunction with the crane. If you have never had to use one on any of your other projects before, you may have questions. Researching this topic and getting answers will help you better to understand the importance of a crane mat and what factors affect its pricing should you find yourself in need of one at your next job site.
For more information and options, talk with different crane services, like Winslow Crane Service Co.