Custom rubber floor mats, flooring and floor matting protect floors from damage and personnel from slip-and-fall hazards. In farm, forestry, construction, mining and other types of heavy equipment, custom rubber flooring that’s laminated to acoustic insulation also absorbs noise from the engine compartment. Custom rubber floor matting can even be used as a kick-plate to protect cabin walls from boots.
For heavy equipment manufacturers, choosing the right type of rubber flooring is an important design consideration. The metal floors inside a cab are durable, but operators track mud, snow, dirt, and water inside. Custom rubber floor mats can protect these metal surfaces from rust, corrosion, and scratching. Sheet metal flooring can become slippery, but rubber surfaces can offer surer footing.
As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are discovering, custom rubber flooring is part of a complete cabin solution that promotes operator safety and provides numerous benefits. By understanding how custom rubber floor matting is made, OEMs can determine if a custom-fabricated solution is the right choice. First, however, it’s important to compare rubber to other flooring materials.
Custom Rubber Floor Mats vs. Carpets
In a heavy equipment cabin, an operator’s feet may stay in the same position for long periods of time. With carpet floor mats, heel wear can create holes that expose the subfloor, introducing a potential safety hazard and providing a path for engine sounds. Plus, unlike carpeting, custom rubber floor mats won’t stain. Custom rubber flooring is also easier-to-clean and provides greater wear-resistance.
Rubber is usually black, but heavy equipment manufacturers can choose colors such as gray or brown instead. Custom colors that complement larger equipment designs are also available. Some rubber is smooth, but floor mats and flooring can have a pebbled texture instead. Custom rubber floor mats can also have recessed, diamond-shaped features to catch the dirt, mud, snow, or water.
Fabric carpeting absorbs sounds, but custom rubber flooring is part of a complete noise-control solution. In heavy equipment like military vehicles, custom rubber floor matting can be laminated to acoustical foams that are 3/8” or 5/8” thick. These acoustic foams absorb or dampen loud sounds and can tune-out specific frequencies, such as the low-frequency rumble of a big diesel engine.
Custom Rubber Flooring: How It’s Made
In addition to promoting operator safety, custom rubber flooring can save OEMs time and money. Cutting rubber sheets with hand tools is time-consuming and may result in significant amounts of material waste. If an employee discards a poor-quality cut, purchasing personnel may never know how much rubber flooring a job actually used. That makes it impossible to order the right amount the next time.
Custom rubber flooring that’s water jet cut uses a form of digital manufacturing that works directly from a designer’s CAD files. For the rubber flooring that’s near the driver’s seat, water jet technology cuts precise openings for the arms that attach to gas and brake pedals. Water jet cutting can also produce bolt-holes for flooring near seats and smooth edges for where custom rubber kick plates meet cabin insulation.
The lamination that’s used with custom rubber floor mats also involves skill, speed, and precision. By combining layers of different materials into an “insulation sandwich”, a fabricator can deliver custom rubber floor mating that meets multiple requirements. A complete sealing and insulation like this can absorb sounds, protect metal subfloors, and reduce slip-and-fall hazards inside the cab.
How to Find Custom Rubber Floor Matting
Elasto Proxy fabricates custom rubber floor mats, flooring and floor matting for agricultural, forestry, construction, mining, military and other types of heavy equipment. In addition to water jet and abrasive water jet cutting, we provide lamination services. Our capabilities include design assistance and help with material selection. We also have an in-house laboratory for acoustical testing.
Would you like to learn more? Ask for the Elasto Bag and see some samples for yourself.