What the Heck are Rig Mats?

Rig Mats


I have always liked to know about all kind of things.  I guess you could say it’s a bad habit.  Or a good habit, I’m not sure anymore.  My brain is filled with all kinds of little factoid kind of bits of knowledge.  I like to call it brain lint.

Over the weekend, I heard people discussing rig mats.  Did I mention that eavesdropping is another hobby/bad habit?  Anyhoo, after listening for a couple minutes, I still had no clue what they were talking about.  I decided to look it up when I got home.

So what are rig mats?  Rig mats are portable platforms used to support machinery.  They’re frequently used in construction, drilling, tanks, and even helipads.  Well, then, that’s pretty cool.  Rig mats can also be used to form a temporary roadway over uneven or unstable ground.


Rig Mats

Types of Rig Mats

According to ol’ Wikipedia, there are several variations:

  • Solid Plastic Mat systems  – Sturdier than Hollow Rig.  Also puncture resistant for longer use.
  • Hollow Rig Matting systems.  – Lighter weight, but can get punctured.
  • Access Mats – Wooden mats, usually made from soft woods like pine.  Also known as swamp mats.
  • Interlocking Mats – These are a patented mat that is held together with a proprietary interlocking system.
  • Wood and Steel mats – These are a larger, sturdier version of the Access mat.  Sometimes the wood will break or the steel frame will bend, due to the weight of the machinery.
  • Webfoot mats – A proprietary style of wood and steel mat made by one company in Canada.  It uses a steel rod to hold the planks together, rather than a nut and bolt system.
  • Rubber mats – These are made from recycled vehicle tires.  They’re used mostly in the gas and oil industry.

So, to sum up what I learned this weekend.  Rig mats come in several varieties and are used to create roads or stable platforms for heavy machinery.  The more you know, eh?

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