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Use Rubber Mats to Protect Your Track From Unnecessary Cleat Damage
Summer is approaching and football practice is starting for many high schools and colleges. Football practice means cleats on the feet – hundreds of feet every day – traversing the oval running track that often surrounds school football fields. Race tracks can cost a small fortune and they look great. The duration of their appearance depends on the measures taken to protect the surface of the track. Consider using rubber floor mats to protect your track.
Groundsheets can be used to prevent damage to the tracks that can be caused by football cleats, turf vehicles and other types of equipment that must travel across the track to get to the track. inside the field. Track protection is often an afterthought or not at all until damage occurs and costly repairs are required. Protection methods employed may include laying plywood over the track, carpet scraps, or any other product not designed to protect the substrate underneath.
Plywood is heavy, tends to warp over time, and is not very attractive. Coaches or athletic directors will need to “remember” to put the plywood down, take it down, and find someone to do this constant task. Plywood that warps presents a tripping hazard that can cause injury. Finally, if your school has invested heavily in a track, stadium, field paint and decorations for the big game, warped plywood tends to detract from the whole experience.
Using carpet scraps may work a few times, but not for long. Rugs subjected to the elements become heavy, waterlogged and begin to degrade. Wind gusts can also wreak havoc on carpets and plywood. It is difficult to control mother nature. The answer to this problem is to use floor mats or rubber mats that have certain characteristics:
Low profile – Rubber mats should be thin to prevent tripping and to prevent winds from picking up and blowing the product away in a whirlwind.
Portability – If floor mats are too heavy, the weight presents another barrier to use. It would be better if the floor mats could be rolled up for ease of use and grip.
Sustainability – Mats must withstand cleats, lawn equipment and tractors. Rubber mats provide this durability.
sure COF – The COF coefficient of friction means that floor mats should provide a safe walking surface that is not slippery, even when wet. Plywood can become slick just like carpet, especially in wet or icy conditions.
The use of floor mats can provide some protection for terrain tracks. Most floor mats are low profile, wearable and have an acceptable coefficient of friction (COF). Unfortunately, there are hundreds of rugs to choose from. Which type(s) of floor mats offer the best solution?
My suggestion would be to consider rubber mats only. Many floor mats have a backing that looks like rubber but is actually vinyl. Vinyl tends to degrade over time, becoming brittle and falling apart. Vinyl floor mats will lose their memory and fail to lay flat if rolled and unrolled multiple times (especially when cold). If you’ve seen floor mats with curled edges or cut edges, chances are it’s a vinyl mat and not a rubber mat.
Floor mats usually have a carpet or some type of fabric on their surface. This feature is great for adding colors, but does nothing for product functionality. My recommendation would be to use a rubber mat with no carpet or fabric on the surface.
Rubber mats provide an excellent coefficient of friction, are simple to roll up (portability), are very durable, and if used in 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch gauge, provide a very low profile. Rubber mats are heavy enough to stay in place, but not so heavy that they can’t be moved easily. Some rubber floor mats offer a ribbed or pyramidal surface for “safety”. This is a feature that is not necessary because the rubber already provides a safe walking surface. These nooks and crannies can actually hold water and freeze, posing a slip hazard in icy conditions, especially ribbed carpet.
When choosing a product to protect your track, you might consider a rubber mat like Track Shield or another type of thin laminated rubber floor mat. Products like these are durable and provide portability that allows floor mats to be used for a variety of applications whenever protection of a floor or substrate is desired.
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