What is BAM!?

From landscapers to roofers and everyone in between, a variety of contractors need an efficient way to protect the lawns, driveways, patios and sidewalks they’re working around. Unfortunately, laying out traditional ground protection can be a costly source of aggravation.

But it doesn’t have to be that way — just ask Scott Erickson, owner of Rustic Road Landscaping in Burlington, Wisconsin.

Rustic Road Landscaping had always used 4×8 plywood sheets. They even tried fiberglass like a lot of tree care companies use. Those methods worked alright, but their weight and clumsy handling were burdensome to employees.

Erickson wanted a better solution. So a couple of years ago, he did a web search for “lawn protection mats near me.” He happened upon another Wisconsin-based company, Allied Plastics. After getting in touch with them, Erickson found out they were in the process of developing a new product.

“They asked if my company would be willing to help design their new ground protection mats,” Erickson says. “I said we would be happy to. Then we ended up placing the very first order in March 2022.” 8 ways BAM! mats are better

After using them for an entire season, Erickson says the new Bad Ass Mats (BAM!) have checked all the boxes he and his crews were looking for in a better ground protection solution.

  1. Lighter at just 56 lbs. per 4×8 sheet or 28 lbs. per 2×8 sheet
  2. Stronger with a robust 160,000-lb. rating
  3. Longer-lasting thanks to all-season HDPE material that resists cracking and fading
  4. Easy to handle, even wearing work gloves, with large 5-inch-wide handholes
  5. Easier to transport thanks to their lighter weight and interlocking tread pattern that resists shifting
  6. Easy on all site surfaces including established, manicured lawns
  7. “Safety green” color provides a clean, professional-looking work surface
  8. Easier to clean by just hosing off

The secret is the twin-sheet design

BAM! mats are made of HDPE plastic which is strong and durable, resists cutting and fading, withstands extreme temperatures, and will not absorb moisture. That results in a product that maintains its integrity a lot longer. And because the mats are made by Allied Plastics, they benefit from the company’s unique thermoforming capabilities and expertise.

“We use a twin-sheet design where two sheets of plastic are joined together during the thermoforming process,” says Mike Sheridan, business development manager at Allied Plastics and BAM!. That’s different than some manufacturers that simply extrude a 1/2” thick slab of plastic. Because Allied Plastics uses a twin-sheet design, each mat is just 3/8” thick and each side (sheet) has its own unique work surface.

BAM! mats feature an aggressive equipment tread on one side and a smoother pedestrian tread on the other.  

Since they are typically driving trucks and equipment over their BAM! mats, the Rustic Road Landscaping crew tends to have the equipment tread facing up. There’s a side benefit to that, especially when doing a lot of turning with the equipment. “When the finer side (pedestrian tread) is against the ground, it won’t dig into the lawn if the mat slides a little,” says Buck Bonham, construction foreman.

BAM Blog What is Bam tractor on mats

Bonham says the pedestrian tread does come in handy when his crew is running countless wheelbarrow loads of mulch or dirt through a lawn. Then his crew will put down a string of 2×8 BAM! mats with the pedestrian tread facing up. They’ll do the same thing on a driveway or sidewalk they’re having to repeatedly walk on.

Whichever tread pattern is chosen, it sure beats a completely flat surface that becomes slippery when wet or muddy.

One other benefit of the unique integrated tread design comes into play when transporting the BAM! mats from job to job. BAM! mats are designed to interlock so they hold together well on a truck or trailer and won’t shift easily. Better protection boosts professionalism

Ease of use is a big deal to busy contractors. But when you get down to it, the primary function of a product like BAM! is to protect the worksite. BAM! mats deliver here, too.

Both sizes of BAM! mats, 4×8 and 2×8, are rated for 160,000 lbs.

“In our landscaping operation, our heaviest truck is 26,000 GVW and our skid loaders are way less than that,” Erickson points out. “In a typical situation where the lawn isn’t sopping wet, we run a fully loaded, single-axle dump truck on a single layer of BAM! mats and you almost wouldn’t know the truck was even in there. On one project we did, we had a load of dirt brought in on a quad axle. We doubled up the mats just to be safe and had no problems whatsoever.”

Even the color of BAM! mats provides several benefits. As Erickson points out, green looks professional and is easy to see. Additionally, green helps dissipate heat much better.

“You cannot leave a black mat on a sunny lawn all day during the summer because it will kill the grass,” Erickson says. “BAM! mats are much better and help keep things cooler.”

Want to learn more about how BAM! can help your crews protect the lawns, driveways, patios and sidewalks they’re working around?

Visit BamGroundPro.com today!