System7™ Composite Mats vs CLT Mats

System7™ is a composite mat system made of materials perfected in a lab. CLT — cross laminated timber — is a ‘mass timber’ product. Both have their advantages as access solutions.

However, System7™ mats are a superior product for heavy duty uses. Here’s what you should know before you buy mats for construction projects and other big-rig work sites.

Composite Mats vs CLT Mats


CLT access mats provide an alternative to heavy timber mats. Lumber yards fashion CLT mats from multiple pieces of wood rather than one solid slab of wood. The layers are alternated in direction to achieve greater strength. Southern yellow pine is a common choice for cross laminated timber.

Cross laminated timber mats can have a 3-ply, 5-ply or 7-ply construction. Since they are wood, they are stiff enough to be used for temporary walls or roofs.

Composite Mats, such as System7™, are made of a proprietary material that is tested and refined for maximum durability and strength. Considered the most modern option compared to CLT mats and wooden mats, they come in a single size and style. Traction is built into the mat design.

Do Road Mats Have PSI Ratings?

CLT mats may have PSI ratings of 40 to 80. They are meant to cover flat terrain and handle big rigs and trucks moving over the surface.

System7™ Composite mats have PSI ratings of 650. With that much strength, they can handle bigger trucks and heavy equipment more often than cross laminated timber can.

How Much Do CLT Mats Weigh?

A 3-ply mat weighs around 2000 to 2,850 lbs, according to one manufacturer website. The size is 8 x14 or 8 x 16. That’s significantly higher than the weight of a single System7™ mat. Each 8 x 14 mat weighs 1,050 pounds.

By weighing so much less, a Spartan composite mat saves on transportation costs. More can be loaded per truck than CLT mats of the same size. That’s more ground covered with fewer trucks.

So, if you really want to save on transportation costs, System7™ is the best bet for all types of heavy duty job sites.

Which Access Mat is Easy to Clean?

When mats get covered in gunk, it’s nice to wash them off and start over again. That’s easy with System7™ since it cannot absorb water. Even if it is punctured — a rare occurrence — it will only allow water into a single compartment and not the whole mat.

Furthermore, when it’s time to move to the next worksite, System7™ mats can wash truly clean.

In general, a composite material is better for ground protection than any wood or wood-product mat. Contaminants won’t cling to composite construction mats like they will to the wood. Wood will absorb liquid and simply absorb contaminants along with the water.

Which Road Mats are Hard to Destroy?

If you treat System7™ mats gently, they can last you for 10 years or even 20 years. That’s because they don’t tear or puncture easily. They can’t absorb water and become bloated. They don’t rot, splinter or crack.

On the other hand, CLT mats will rot and splinter over time. It’s just inevitable with a natural wood product. This will mean buying new mats about every two years. It may mean buying some new mats in the middle of a project.

Basically, you’ll need a new set of access mats every two years or so. That means buying them five times over ten years. In that same decade, you will have bought System7™ mats just once.

Which One is Best for Muddy, Wet Terrain?

Unless you only work in the desert, you’ll experience rain at your site. In many cases, you’ll be dealing with muddy or boggy earth. You can use CLT mats but they will absorb the water and lose their shape and strength.

System7™ mats keep their shape and strength under any condition. True swamp mats, they can keep trucks and equipment moving over wet terrain, and you won’t have to stop to replace a broken mat.

Sizes and Systems

CLT mats come in many sizes, and that can be an advantage for some worksites. This includes the 8-ft x 14-ft size that matches the System7™ composite mat.

However, CLT mats do not have the same locking mechanism as System7™ mats. They don’t have edge lip testing to make sure that even the ends are as strong as the middle.


As you can see, System7™ access mats are a sure thing. They excel over CLT Mats through their proven strength, durability, flexibility, and incredibly long lifespans.

Find out more with a quick call to our road mat experts. We’ll help you with finding the right mats for your next job. Use this contact form for more information.

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