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Ground Protection Mat - 4' x 8' - Tan

$347.50

FREE SHIPPING
SKU GPM-BGMT4.8

Ground Protection Mats are the ideal solution for preventing accidental soil and turf damage from equipment/ vehicles during construction or landscaping projects.

Each 1/2" thick made is constructed of durable HDPE Plastic and is engineered to last up to 5 years of heavy use.

These mats improve safety by increasing traction for equipment while also reducing rutting and mud at a project site.

***Minimum Order = 14 Mats***

PRODUCT SPECS

Model: Blue Gator

Dimensions: 8' L x 4' W (32 SF)

Materials:
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) with special impact modifiers that incorporate UV resistance and anti-static properties

Weight: 81 lbs

Weight Loading: Up to 80 tons depending on sub-surface

   
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        $  Volume Pricing on Large Orders

       ❔ Questions? Call (800) 583-4891
 

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  • 100% Recyclable & Waterproof
  • Lightweight, Easy To Transport & Assemble
  • Flexible - Won't Crack or Peel
  • Protection — prevents ruts & damage to the environment
  • Traction — maximum grip for equipment & crewmen
  • Flexible — bends but won't break
  • Waterproof — won't rot, crack, or peel
  • Lightweight— easy to transport, install, and store
  • Durable — a lifespan of 5+ years!
  • Made in America

Need Connecting Links or Bolt Plates? See below:

Blue Gator - Single Link
Blue Gator - Single Link

Blue Gator - Single Link

$8.00
Blue Gator - Double Link
Blue Gator - Double Link

Blue Gator - Double Link

$12.00
Blue Gator - 2 Bolt Plate Connector
Blue Gator - 2 Bolt Plate Connector

Blue Gator - 2 Bolt Plate Connector

$11.99
Blue Gator - 4 Bolt Plate Connector
Blue Gator - 4 Bolt Plate Connector

Blue Gator - 4 Bolt Plate Connector

$15.99

SHIPPING

✔  All items ship for free

☏  Call: (800) 583-4891 for pricing and shipping questions.

Shipping estimates shown on the map pertain to this specific product only. Orders typically ship within 1-2 business days if the order is placed before 2PM Eastern Time. Transit times displayed in the map are listed in business days, and are approximate. The day that the order is shipped is not counted as a transit day.

Ground Protection Mats

Erosion Control Landscape Fabric

Tan Ground Protection Mat applied on Temporary Road

What are Ground Protection Mats?

Ground protection mats are used when moving machinery onto grass or dirt areas to help protect the turf or soil from getting torn up from heavy machinery. A common application is for landscape contractors who are conscientious of preventing damage to existing turf and lawn as machines are moving into the backyard. It’s profitable to maintain the looks of the  front yard and reduce the cost of having to repair any damaged turf. 

Protection matting is used in a variety of other applications such as large outdoor event gatherings, concerts, temporary pedestrian sidewalks, and as construction foundation platforming. 

How do I protect my lawn from heavy equipment?

Protection of your lawn  from heavy equipment during construction or renovation is a concern for many homeowners. The easiest solution is to use some version of a Ground Protection Mat with the goal being to enable heavy equipment and vehicles the ability to drive over a lawn without creating ruts, or making a muddy mess out of your yard. The following are the most common residential options

Inexpensive plywood sheeting

OSB/Plywood Sheeting

Is a cheap option, typically costing less than the professional heavier-duty ground protection mat on the market. This style of matting gets damaged from repeated use and breaks apart quite easily when the wood absorbs water. Plywood has the shortest lifespan when compared to a plastic or composite mat that can be recycled for multiple projects. Since this is a throwaway product after use it’s not the most sustainable or long-term solution. Once the water soaks into the sheeting the fibers will break down underweight and you will need to throw it away. 

As one of the most accessible and common forms of mud control plywood is what most homeowners and contractors tend to initially start out using and can be placed down quickly in a pinch if there are no other alternatives.  

OSB and Plywood ground protection will absorb water and quickly break down during continuous use leaving the ground beneath exposed and prone to mud, rutting, and damage of the grass and soil beneath. 

The High-Density Polyethylene sheet mats are typically laid directly on the ground over the top of each other and do not interlock or prevent the wood from shifting out of place under a load of trucks or heavy machines. 

As construction materials continuing to and wood in particular using OSB/plywood sheets as mud or yard protection can also be an expensive use of resources for a one-time protection mat. As a last note, it’s not recommended to use anything less than ½” width on plywood as it will almost guarantee to blow out during use. 

Rugged 1/2" HDPE Plastic Ground Protection Matting

The most popular size of ground protection matting is the 4’ x 8’ rectangular sizing. These units mimic the standard size of plywood and function as a very similar yet more durable and long-lasting solution. However, because they are popular doesn’t mean they will be the best for your situation. 

The 4’x8’ mats weigh  86 lbs. and if you are doing most of the work alone without help it may be more advantageous to use the slightly smaller 3’ x 8’ mats as they are more portable and easier to handle without help. The 3’ wide mats are a bit more manageable by a single person as they can be weigh approximately 64 lbs/mat. 

How Many Ground Protection Mats Do I Need For a Residential Project? 

The minimum recommended quantity of the 3’x8’ duradeck or alturnamats style mats for a residential job where you’re moving heavy machinery from the front yard to the back is going to be 12 mats. This is the minimum that will enable you to easily drive machinery over. Of course, you may want more depending on the size of the yard or if you plan on having multiple projects going on at the same time. 

Diagram of Ground Protection Mat locking bolt plates vs. other flimsy connectors

Metal pins connecting two ground protection mats

Connection Option 1: Metal pins

When your ground mats will be trafficked by machines and vehicles for the most part then you can opt for the ground connection pins. These pins are very fast and secure the side of the mats so that they don’t slip out of place when driven over. A benefit of using the connection pins is that its very fast and the pins pop right into place

Connection Option 2: Pedestrian Use

For installation where there will primarily be walked on by pedestrians than the plate an bolts can be used. This is also applicable for heavy vehicle traffic in addition to pedestrian as the metal plates provide greater support and reduce the incidents of mats coming apart. 

These bolts take a bit more time to install as you need to place the connection plate and ratchet them down in place. The benefit is that the bolts are not as noticeable and have less protrusion and thus do not have a tripping hazard. 

Ground Protection Mat Connection Bolt

What Side of the Ground Protection Mat Faces Up?

Many ground protection mats come with a dual sided pattern, so the question arises about which side should be facing up. As each mat is dual-sided having a larger spaced grid pattern and also a smaller grid pattern It all depends on its use.

The larger spaced diamond cleat pattern is to be facing up should there be more heavy equipment vehicle traffic using the matting. If the mats are going to primarily be used for pedestrian traffic, then the smaller more tightly patterned grid is to be placed facing up to facilitate better traction.  

What Color Ground Protection Mats are Best?

The best color matting depends more on what is beneath it and what your end goal is. Most mats come in Black, Tan, White, “Clear”, White, and occasionally Blue. The following is a typical color breakdown for which color type goes with a particular application. 

Clear, Tan, or White are best for residential areas or grassy areas. The light color works to reflect the heat and this will help to keep the grass from getting burnt. Also since the heat is somewhat reflected these make the surface of the mats cooler to walk on for pedestrian use. 

“Clear” mats are not truly see-through, but typically look like a light tan hue. These mats have a translucent property that enables light to pass through to the grass below. 

White-colored mats are also ideal in dark locations such as underneath bridges or in tunnels. These help to reflect and illuminate areas for safety.

Black is one of the more popular universal colors and is commonly found in commercial construction areas and projects.

Blue matting is fairly niche and found commonly near beaches or as access paths to sandy areas for golf carts or wheelchairs. 

What Types of Applications are Ground Protection mats Best Suited For?

Tan Ground Protection Mats on grass field

Ground Protection Matting used on a grass field for an event

Ground protection and mud control mats are widely used in a variety of applications and industries. The goal is to provide traction and stability for vehicles and pedestrians in all-weather scenarios without rutting the ground, or damaging the area while a project or event is taking place. These mats enable a structurally stable work area or a path for egress to and from a site. 

The following are some of the more popular applications for Ground Protection Mats:

  • Over Grass for Residential Landscapes
  • Protecting playing field turf (football, soccer, and baseball fields)
  • Creating temporary roads
  • Access roads
  • Short-term, or event parking areas
  • Protecting historic sites during construction and renovations
  • Oil and Gas sites and rigs
  • Concerts and Music Festivals
  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Stadium Flooring
  • Temporary Sidewalks
  • Sand Beach Access Matting

Can the ½” ground protection mats handle very heavy equipment such as cranes and outriggers?

The weight of very large equipment such as outrigger equipment and cranes may not be the best for the 4’x8’ ½” HDPE ground protection mats. Depending on the subsurface these style mats have a weight loading of up to 80-ton capacity or (200) psi rating. The 1/2" HDPE ground protection mats are perfect for a lot of projects, and for creating temporary road access, however, if your project has very heavy equipment on it you may want to look at other ground protection solutions. The following are thicker solutions that have a higher weight load rating such as Signaroad (400 psi) or Megadeck (600 psi).

Any investment from a football stadium to an oil and gas field that you wish to protect a ground protection mat is a good solution for ground protection.  

Ground Protection Mats 101

Having a nice, manicured ground surface ruined by heavy equipment or misuse is a nightmare. However, sometimes you can’t avoid subjecting your floor or lawn to being tread or rolled over by heavy traffic or machinery. For that reason, ground protection mats have become indispensable. 

Ground protection mats are essential to keep ground surfaces from getting ruined and can be useful in multiple situations like construction work. There are different types of ground protection mats and other ground protection options. However, mats have the best durability and cost relationship.

Think of this article as a crash course where you can learn everything you need to know about ground protection mats. Let's get started.

Ground protection mats are large pieces of sturdy material meant to keep the ground protected. The mats are primarily used to protect grassy areas from tire treads during construction.

Ground Protection mat black on grass

black ground protection mat

What Are Ground Protection Mats?

Ground protection mats are large pieces of sturdy material meant to keep the ground protected. The mats are primarily used to protect grassy areas from tire treads during construction.

The protection mats can be used for different purposes and come in different sizes and materials. However, they’re primarily made of heavy material that can withstand weight while still keeping the ground or floor beneath them safe.

Hence, while technically throwing a tarp on the floor during a painting project is some sort of ground protection, it’s not the sort of protection considered in ground protection mat contexts.

Where Are They Used?

Ground protection mats are often used on construction sites to protect the ground or floor from damage caused by heavy machinery as well as the work being done.

Contractors and construction workers who have to cross or drive over manicured lawn areas to get to their worksites are the kind of people who primarily use primary use ground protection mats.

For example, if a homeowner were to hire a contractor to build a guest house in their backyard, the contractor would most likely have to drive trucks and forklifts into the backyard.  Ground damage is almost inevitable in this case as the turf is subjected to the pressure of foot traffic and machinery. However, ground mats could be used to create a firm surface to walk and drive building machinery over. This way, a home’s green grass doesn’t get torn up and ruined.

In Areas Requiring Additional Traction

In cases where ground protection mats are used to protect the ground from tires ripping up the dirt and plants in an area, they also add an extra bit of traction. 

Since tires need traction to move and not just spin in place, making sure your wheels have enough grip is necessary. Grass and dirt don’t always provide the sort of traction necessary for these sorts of machines because they aren’t designed to be used on such surfaces. 

Instead, ground mats simulate the sort of ground a forklift of a work truck might have been built to drive on. This allows the forklifts to move with more ease and, in turn, tear up less of the ground. Since the mats used in these situations tend to provide a surface for large machines to roll over, they tend to be large in size. It wouldn’t be uncommon to see a single mat being carried by two construction workers because it’s too big and bulky to be carried by one person.  

For Indoor Construction Work

Ground protection mats aren’t always used for outside construction work. While less common, they are, sometimes, used for inside work as well. 

This is most often the case when construction work is being done inside a building—particularly one that has otherwise been completed or has, at least, had its floors installed. 

For example, ground mats might be installed if a building must undergo extensive work on one of its ceilings. In such a case, the ceiling would require a lot of heavy equipment that could scuff and scratch the floor.

bulk ground protection mat in warehouse

Indoor floor protection mats for construction

To keep the floors from getting damaged, the contractor hired for the job will most likely lay down ground protection mats. By doing so, they don’t have to worry about their tools ruining the floor.  Such ground protection mats tend to be a lot smaller because they are used for smaller areas. In any case, they are unlikely to be too large, otherwise it would be unlikely that they’d fit through most standard doorways. 

Other Situations Requiring Ground Protection Mats

Ground protection mats are often used on construction sites to protect the ground or floor from damage caused by heavy machinery as well as the work being done.

While ground protection mats are usually used to protect the ground during construction jobs, they can also be used in other situations.

For example, any situation where heavy equipment will be temporarily used, driven over grass, or finished flooring is a situation where you can expect to find ground protection mats. 

These situations can range from sporting events where bleachers will be constructed to temporary carnival rides. Furthermore, even events and ceremonies might lay down ground protection mats to protect a grassy lawn from being destroyed by crowds of people. 

If a paved lot hasn’t been completed yet, mats can also be used as temporary parking areas to keep a building’s lawn area looking pristine. 

Essentially, while you might not need to use ground protection mats every day, they’re still incredibly versatile and helpful in multiple situations.

Other Situations Requiring Ground Protection Mats

While ground protection mats are usually used to protect the ground during construction jobs, they can also be used in other situations. For example, any situation where heavy equipment will be temporarily used, driven over grass, or finished flooring is a situation where you can expect to find ground protection mats. 

These situations can range from sporting events where bleachers will be constructed to temporary carnival rides. Furthermore, even events and ceremonies might lay down ground protection mats to protect a grassy lawn from being destroyed by crowds of people. 

If a paved lot hasn’t been completed yet, mats can also be used as temporary parking areas to keep a building’s lawn area looking pristine. Essentially, while you might not need to use ground protection mats every day, they’re still incredibly versatile and helpful in multiple situations.

4' x 8' Black Ground Protection Mat

What Types of Ground Protection Mats Are There?

Ground protection mats are a bit of an umbrella term that includes mats made of several different materials. However, while the exact composition of a mat can change, they tend to have the same main components.

Most ground protection mats are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a type of strong but flexible plastic. You might recognize the shortened version of this material if you’ve ever looked at the back of a detergent or shampoo bottle.

This plastic is flexible enough to be squeezed, like you would a bottle, but can also withstand a lot of force before it cracks or collapses completely.

For example, while a plastic water bottle, which is typically made of polyethylene, can be crushed into a small, flattened disk without much trouble, HDPE needs a lot more force for the same result.

Many mats are called “composite” mats, which means they’re made of a mix of different materials. 

Typically, the main “ingredient” in these mats is HDPE plastic. However, the other elements contained in these mats can vary depending on the type of conditions a mat is intended to be used for. 

What Other Ground Protection Options Are There?

Other than ground protection mats, plywood boards are also applicable ground protection options. Protective tarps, sheets, or even thick cardboard can also be used for indoor projects. 

Ground protection mats might be the most common and best value long-term, but they aren’t the only option

Before ground protection mats were invented, wooden boards, specifically plywood boards, were often used for this purpose. Plywood boards are still used today, especially for one-time or short-term DIY projects. This is often because they tend to be a cheap option. 

That’s because, while ground and floor protection mats can also be made smaller in size, as we’ve pointed out, they tend to come in a single shape; either square or rectangular. This means you might not be able to properly fit a floor with mats and create a surface that can be worked on easily.   

In such cases, if the risk of damage can be minimized with a more flexible option like a tarp, or a customizable cardboard, then that might be the preferred option. Also, these options tend to be chosen over actual mats by people doing DIY projects who don’t foresee having much future use for ground protection mats. 

What Is the Price Comparison Between Ground Protection Mats and Plywood?

Ground protection mats are generally more expensive than Plywood boards. That said, they are more durable and offer superior quality, while plywood boards sport a shorter lifespan and, with time, end up costing more in maintenance or replacement.

Plywood is typically deemed useless after a single cycle. Its limited lifespan translates to more dollars so if you need something that’s more long-lasting, opt for ground protection mats. 

Why Should You Use Ground Protection Mats Over Other Options?

You should use ground protection mats instead of other options because they are sturdy, durable, easy to work with, and cost-effective. Besides, despite having alternative options , these mats are still the favorite option among many construction workers. 

Let’s explore these reasons a little further.

Durability

Plywood boards are the main alternative to ground protection mats. However, while plywood is a fairly durable material, it doesn’t last well over time. 

Wood is flexible but will eventually crack or splinter if it bends and undergoes pressure in the same places over time. Mats, on the other hand, don’t have this problem.

Durable HDPE Construction Mat

Durable HDPE Construction Mat

Considerations When Choosing Mats For Ground Protection

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  • It may no longer create a level surface which can make resting equipment or driving on it difficult. 
  • Whether you rest your wooden board such that it’s curving up or down, it could damage the ground it’s resting on because the board would be digging into it.
  • It could create a hazard if the warping is accompanied by splintering or forms an uneven surface to walk on that could promote tripping and injury.

Once wood starts to warp, it essentially becomes unusable, especially by professional contractors. Since warping can occur quickly, that means that plywood boards aren’t a durable option. 

On the other hand, ground protection mats don’t have these problems. 

It’s possible that, over time, a mat could start to become misshapen. However, this is unlikely. It’s not like HDPE plastic to warp like this. Besides, you’d need to put the same type of pressure on the exact spots on your mat, repeatedly and over a long time before this would even become a remote possibility. This possibility would also be more likely with thinner mats. 

Ground protection mats are available in different thicknesses which might be more prone to showing signs of wear and tear sooner than their thicker counterparts - depending on their intended use. However, these mats still tend to outlive plywood boards.

Ease of Transport and Assembly

Ground protection mats are also easy to transport and set up. This is primarily due to the range of sizes available for ground protection mats. While there are mats available that are too large for one person to move on their own, there are also smaller mats that can be transported easily by a single person. Because these mats tend to be more flexible than an alternative option like plywood, they can bend a little, which makes them easier to grip and transport. 

Ground protection mats are also easy to set up. Interlocking ground protection mats which simply fit together like puzzle pieces can offer a sturdy surface because there’s less risk of mats moving over time. However, regular mats are also just as easy to use. You simply lay them where you need them. While they might have to be readjusted if they move, they are the simplest ground protection options to set up.

Final Thoughts

Ground protection mats are necessary to keep floors and lawns looking as close to pristine as possible after a construction job. They’re versatile and are available in various sizes and material composites. So, there’s sure to be one to suit any project where you would want to keep your ground from getting damaged. 

With their easy assembly and cost-per-use potential, there’s no question that ground protection mats beat other ground protection options by a landslide.

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