Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a useful tool to evaluate the cost of owning a timber mat. You get lowest TCO with Eucalyptus timber mats. TCO is especially important with thinner mats because freight savings may seem to be large, but you may not get the longevity you expect. See TCO videos here.
The three drivers for TCO are purchase price, lifetime transport cost, and timber mat lifespan. Lifespan is by far the most important. Depending on your average truck cost, life of mat transport cost can add up.
Steps to evaluate a Eucalyptus 14’x4’x4” mat and Mixed Species 14’x4’x4.5”:
- Determine if the strength characteristics are equivalent. 4” Eucalyptus is roughly equivalent to 4.75” oak timber mat or mixed species. Slight strength advantage Eucalyptus; 12-15% freight advantage Eucalyptus.
- Obtain purchase price, mats/truck and lifespan estimates.
- Standardize your variables around the longer-lived timber mat. For example, in the example below a Eucalyptus mat has a 30 month lifespan and a mixed hardwood/softwood mat has an 18-month expected life. For the mixed mat, you’d need to buy another 12 months of lifespan to equal 30 months of Eucalyptus timber mat. (12/18 * $345 = $230 Longevity cost).
Total Cost of Ownership Analysis. Eucalyptus mats cost a little more but deliver greater transport and longevity savings.