We almost figured out how to destroy World Forest Group’s Eucalyptus timber mats.
Start with mats that have been scraped and flipped 250 times, and dropped three times for product testing, then subject the same mats to 8000+ trips, five moves, and 565 million pounds of traffic over the course of a year.
We tried, but we couldn’t destroy those mats.
Here’s the bottom line in photos.
Background & Initial Testing
About 18 months ago, a customer, Todd (Thanks, Todd!), asked us to design and manufacture an access mat alternative –16’x7’x6” and 8” thicknesses. We tested both of those mats (aka “E7M6” or “E7M8”) for Todd’s use – street-legal USA concrete trucks on farmland soils. The goal was:
- To test the mats to make sure they’d suit the purpose, and
- To achieve Todd’s goal of 300 concrete truck passes on the 6” mats before they become unusable.
Todd’s crew is particularly tough on mats, especially using front-end loaders with forks to pick up and drop their mats. We geared our testing to Todd’s crew: Scraping the mat across the ground, picking it up, and flipping it down. If the new Eucalyptus mat product passed our first round of tests, we’d send out the mats for field testing.
That’s what happened with the E7M 6” and 8” mats we tested.
Each mat went through a scrape and flip test 250 times. Longer testing video here. Then we dropped each mat from about 15 feet three times.
We used this testing regime and extent for two reasons:
- The testing regime approximated the customer’s expected (“brutal”) mat handling, and
- We tried to estimate handling use that would be approximately 10x the normal handling use a mat might get in the field. (250 scrape / flips was our best estimate at 10x at the time. For subsequent testing we increased the number to 600 scrape /flips.)
11 Months Field Testing
For field testing, a neighboring concrete plant put our mats in front of their poor quality soils entrance. Over a year, those mats supported 8000+ trips and about 565 million pounds of traffic. Maximum load was about 99,000 pounds concrete truck. Minimum load was about 29,000 pounds. Majority of loads were concrete trucks. The mats are still going strong after roughly 30 trips/day for almost a year and having been moved, cleaned, and measured five times.
As expected, the worse results occurred on the mat that we had dropped multiple times and flipped and scraped 250 times. In that mat (Figure 2, above) you can see some damage on the first timber, some of which occurred from the bucket lifting the mat after the fifth move. You can watch a short video below to hear the quality of the mat dropping on timbers for both the E7M6 and the standard Eucalyptus pipeline mat.
New, Thinner Mats
We know our customers like our Eucalyptus mats. Special thanks to John for pushing us to make a thinner 5” and 4” mat. Shameless plug: Those mats survived 600 scrape / flip tests and then were dropped from about 15 feet.
Watch a video on scrape / flip / drop below.
We wrote a complete white paper with methodology, data points, more photos and commentary.
Use the button below to request our full White Paper.