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A Better Timber Mat

Updated: Nov 18, 2019


Summary: A Better Timber Mat: Same mat design, better materials.*


We may not make the “best” hardwood timber mat in the world but, we do make a better timber mat than is usually available. We call it “A better timber mat” because it’s the same mat design with better materials.


What are better materials? Better raw material (trees) and equally good or better steel (bolts). Our mats are made with one improved species grown on the best plantation sites available. The trees and logs are all the same. Same log means we can stand behind our product because we know what our product is made out of.


Typical hardwood mats are usually made with lots of different species (sometimes in the same mat). And, these different hardwood species come from different growing conditions, log sizes and grades.


One problem is, “How strong is a particular species”; the other problem is, “What happens if I don’t know what species I’m getting in my mat?”


Engineers and wood scientists have grappled with this problem for a long time. [1] They have come up with two general solutions:

· If you don’t know the species used, then use the lowest common working characteristics for most of the species.

· And, once you have that lowest common denominator, take the available data and apply lots of safety factors so that a wood mat is safe to use.


Or, as one professional engineer says, “The actual species of the timbers normally will not be known to the mat user, so we must…select basic allowable stresses that can be applied universally.” [2]


The universal values [3] for USA hardwoods (compared with Eucalyptus) are:


Eucalyptus outperforms common hardwood species.




You can see pretty clearly that Eucalyptus is a lot stronger than common hardwood species.

And, it’s lighter, too.

A stronger mat combined with less weight contributes to Eucalyptus making A Better Timber Mat.



* Note: Revised November 2019 to include latest published engineering values.

[1] In fact, ancient Egyptians developed plywood because the native woods available in Egypt were not very strong. Someone figured out that if you put pieces of wood perpendicular to each other and glued them together that they would be stronger than larger pieces of wood. And, this was back in the days of really old growth trees too!

[2] David Duerr PE excellent and highly recommended Mobile Crane Support Handbook. p 65 (Note: This is first edition. New second edition referenced separately.)

[3] Mobile Crane Support Handbook. p 76

[4] Mobile Crane Support Handbook, Second Edition p 115.

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