A quick and easy guide to Trackway Hire for temporary access
Ground-Guards stocks the widest range of ground protection mats, enabling us to meet all your temporary access requirements.
Whether you work in the construction, civil engineering, energy or events sector, we can provide portable roadways and temporary walkways tailored to your specific needs.
In 2003 Ground-Guards introduced the first composite plastic, ground protection mats to the UK. Our ever-increasing range of innovative track mats has ensured that we remain market leaders in the temporary access hire market.
Aluminium trackway, plastic trackway or timber bog mats - which is best?
Aluminium, plastic, and timber are the three main materials used for temporary roadways.
Timber is the cheapest material to buy. Therefore timber bogmats are the preferred product for use with heavy steel tracked plant which can cause permanent damage to the more expensive aluminium trackway systems. The downside is that timber bog mats are bulky and expensive to transports, so their use tends to be limited to jobs which specifically require them.
Conversely, aluminium trackway is thinner and comes in larger panel sizes, which makes it more efficient for covering large areas. It is therefore popular with festivals, where the traffic is lighter, and damage is unlikely. Due to its high scrap metal value, good security is necessary, but this is not usually a problem at festivals. The biggest problem with aluminium trackway is sometimes a lack of availability, particularly at short notice, as it is often heavily booked long in advance.
The third option is composite plastic systems. There are a wide range of composite plastic systems, tailored to specific purposes, so we will cover them in a little more detail.
The best plastic ground protection mats for a temporary walkway
For temporary walkways, the best matting systems are made out of 100% recycled PVC. This is a totally green material made from recycled electrical cable insulation which would otherwise potentially go to landfill when the copper core is recycled.
This recycled PVC is used for the FastCover walkway mats as it has a degree of flexibility which allows it to follow undulating ground. For more uneven ground, the FastCover PLUS system has interlocking connecting lugs, which ensure it provides a trip-free surface.
Ground-Guards stocks a wide range of plastic track mats of different brands. MultiTrack, the original product from 2003 is still the undisputed market leader for ground protection mat rental, but we also stock Dura Deck, EuroMat, Liberty Mat and Budget Mat for sale. Because of their supreme quality and unbreakable durability, it is the MultiTrack that we predominantly use on our own hire fleet. These are ideal for traffic up to 30 tonnes on short or medium term projects.
These type of mats are almost all made form HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and weight around 39kg in a size of 2.4 x 1.2 x 13mm (8’x 4’ x 1/2”). We stock a variety of different types of connectors to connect the mats together side by side or end to end.
For longer term projects or with heavier traffic up to 50 tonnes the Ground-Guard MaxiTrack system is unique. Whilst still a man-handleable system weighing just 40kgs per mat, it is thicker and more supportive, with overlapping flange connectors. These connectors bolt the mats firmly together, but are specially designed to enable them to expand without buckling in hot weather.
Temporary car parks need special matting systems that can cope with the specific challenges that this job poses. These including buckling in summer, and puddling in wet weather.
To cope with heat expansion, we recommend either the Dura Deck system which is light beige in colour to help it reflect the heat, or the MaxiTrack system which has overlapping flanges which accommodate expansion, and also provide better support in wet weather.
As a further measure, these systems can be installed over a layer of free-draining crushed stone to avoid puddles during wet weather on longer term car parks.
Temporary haul roads for construction sites get very heavy traffic, and are typically constructed by excavating to a depth of 300-600mm and backfilling with crushed stone. However, this involves a huge amount of work plus the expense of purchasing the stone then removing it and paying for it to be tipped off site and the end of the job. In addition, there can be dozens of lorry journeys significantly adding to the project’s carbon footprint. Many sites are therefore anxious to minimize the use of crushed stone. This can be done by using a very heavy-duty composite plastic trackway system on top of a lesser thickness of stone. Or for short term haul roads, just the trackway with no stone at all.
Two trackway systems which are ideal for temporary haul roads are the SignaRoad 3X2m mats or the Xtreme 4X2m mats. Both can be self-installed if you have a telehandler with long forks available, or we can arrange installation for you if preferred.
Without doubt, the best temporary roadway mats for use on soft boggy ground are XtremeMats. These huge 4X2m mats are 100mm thick and filled with a hard buoyant foam core which literally makes them float on water! They are therefore the ideal portable roadway system for use on soft ground, mud, or peat bogs.