This week we had the opportunity to head to San Diego for some demonstration work with our most robust mat, I-Trac. We were asked by Beachmaster Unit One, a unit of the Navy that is based in Coronado, California, to create a drivable pad in the sand. As an amphibious beach unit, they run into the problem of getting vehicles stuck when they’re offloaded onto the beach. Keeping I-Trac on their ships would allow them to quickly throw down and assemble panels for an easy exit!
With the help of some hardworking Navy Seabees, we built a 657 square foot I-Trac pad in a total of 17 minutes. The pad was built roughly 50 yards out from the water in the softer sand where problems usually occur. After the 17 minute setup, I-Trac was ready to be driven on and tested.
Two vehicles were brought down to the beach and used for testing, driving back and forth across the pad multiple times at different speeds to make sure I-Trac can back the high durability it claims to have (86,400 pounds per square foot load bearing capacity). We watched in confidence during the procedure as they’re vehicles drove on I-Trac without any hiccups. When it was all said and done, the troops hastily disassembled the pad they had created.
Most mats aren’t suited for surfaces like sand when withstanding the weight of large, moving vehicles. Sand doesn’t make for a very flat or consistent surface unless it is damp and patted down. In fact, the area in which I-Trac was installed was very far from perfect. The ground was quite uneven, slightly slanted, and sporting clumpy spots.
I-Trac is the only mat of its kind because it has a light weight of 38 pounds per panel but can support extreme loads when assembled. All other mats on the market that have similar strength capabilities are very large square mats that require additional machinery to be lifted and placed. Having sand under these large mats causes weak spots in areas where there are dips and inconsistencies – especially along the seams where those mats are connected.
What makes I-Trac ideal for sand is its ability to contour to the ground. The pegs that insert and lock into adjacent panels are made of nylon, which is known for its elasticity. This allows I-Trac to bend slightly at the pegs when needed without damaging the panel. And in return, the pad is reinforced as it consistently remains closer to the ground!
We would like to thank Beachmaster Unit One for inviting us and taking us onto their base for the demonstration.
I-Trac can be found here: https://www.macrotrac.com/product/i-trac/