Summary: Heavy lift customers may be able to save up to 40% on matting costs by using a stronger wood material (eucalyptus) and by segmenting mat requirements into heavy lift and walking mats.

Problem: Some heavy lift customers have voiced concerns to us about 12” mat costs rising, while availability and quality are decreasing.  

Solution: For one customer who uses 16’x12”x48” mixed hardwood mats underneath a Manitowoc 16000WA Series 4 – 292’, we built custom eucalyptus 16’x12”x48” mat with a very small lifting notch on one end only to improve safety. The smaller notch size reduces tripping hazard and increases mat strength as each bolt goes through every timber, not air. 

Custom 16’x12″x48″ Eucalyptus mats with single small lifting notch visible on bottom right side of photo

Our eucalyptus custom crane mats are stronger, standardized, and safer.  

  • Eucalyptus has about 40% greater bending strength than mixed hardwoods. They’re also stronger because the bolt goes through all four timbers, not through air.  
  • Because they are standardized, they’re easier to handle and there’s less wear and tear. 
  • They’re safer because there’s less tripping risk.  

The customer’s engineers determined that one layer of 16’x12”x48” eucalyptus mats could replace two layers of 16’x12”x48” mixed hardwood mats – saving 50% on mat cost for the heavy lift. They achieved additional savings through reduced handling costs and heavy lift machine rental hours.

Single layer of Eucalyptus 12″ mats. EPC replaced two layers of mixed hardwood mats.

We aren’t engineers but the material property numbers speak for themselves. (Source: The excellent Mobile Crane Support Handbook by David Duerr. For more information see ) 

Finally, we worked with the customer to understand how many of their mats they use for walking their 16000 out to the site and how many they use for the heavy lift. The walking mat percentage is significant.  

One alternative for mat walking is to make a custom 16’x8”x48” eucalyptus mat designed similarly to the 12” mat, and to use that mat for walking the crane to the pad.  

Because there’s 33% less wood in the 16’x8”x48” mat the potential savings are significant – about 30%. 

The combined savings from using a single layer of 12” eucalyptus mats for the pad along with 8” custom eucalyptus mats for walking are significant – up to 40% over mixed hardwood mats.