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Old 07-03-2009, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fiberglass sand ladders?

They seem very appealing for me since I'm only running 31" tires, and sand is very prevailing around here. Also, they seem strong enough to support it, for say, loading it onto a trailer. Willys weighs like 2500 lbs. What do you guys think?
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IE:
http://www.okoffroad.com/stuff-waffleboards.htm

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Old 07-03-2009, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They seem very appealing for me since I'm only running 31" tires, and sand is very prevailing around here. Also, they seem strong enough to support it, for say, loading it onto a trailer. Willys weighs like 2500 lbs. What do you guys think?
Thanks

IE:
http://www.okoffroad.com/stuff-waffleboards.htm

Thx
IMHO if it'd suppor the actual weight in the middle while only being supported on the ends, then it should be strong enough...
now, how long they'd last in a sandy/wind/tire spinning environment, that's another story.

You wanting to go non standard materials just to save weight? seems that aluminum ones wouldn't be much more
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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IMHO if it'd suppor the actual weight in the middle while only being supported on the ends, then it should be strong enough...
now, how long they'd last in a sandy/wind/tire spinning environment, that's another story.

You wanting to go non standard materials just to save weight? seems that aluminum ones wouldn't be much more
That's about it, plus the aluminum ones wont support the weight, just aid in traction. I don't see the glass as being a problem, my tires aren't too gnarly
Now, the bridging ladders that are aluminum are a different game. They're a full half a grand
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Save your money for onboard air, so you can air down when you hit the sand.
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ive got that.
But when I hit rocks, they're nice to bridge gaps since my tires aren't large (and I like it that way)
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Save your money for onboard air, so you can air down when you hit the sand.

All well and good if you actually have large enough tires to provide enough flotation for your rig at whatever your trail weight will be. His jeep might be light, but it might not be so light after he throws a bunch of junk in it and a 4 day supply of beer (or whatever). Not to say that airing down isn't a good idea, it's basically a must anyways... And OBA is a good thing too.

Also, these can be used in a variety of crappy situations, as they are bridging ladders.

From what I've seen they are plenty durable too.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All well and good if you actually have large enough tires to provide enough flotation for your rig at whatever your trail weight will be. His jeep might be light, but it might not be so light after he throws a bunch of junk in it and a 4 day supply of beer (or whatever). Not to say that airing down isn't a good idea, it's basically a must anyways... And OBA is a good thing too.

Also, these can be used in a variety of crappy situations, as they are bridging ladders.

From what I've seen they are plenty durable too.
Thank you!
I'm running 700-15 NDT tires, not wide at all. I'm 18 so I won't be drinking beer on any trips... Lol. I know it's a must, but, when you get stuck with aired down tires, then what? I agree, I may order them now, thank you
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Those platforms have been around for years in industrial aplications.Mainy used for catwalks, worker platforms etc etc..That being said the are strong but keep in mind that its a composite..I have a 4x4 section im gonna use soon for the rear bed of my rig.

If you spin one out from a tire and it shoots off and hits an object it will have cracks,frays and other damage that you cant see..Comprimising its capacity.

For 31s id look into serrated catwalk planks..They are extra grippy and with some square tubing under them they will be super strong.I use two on my trailer for ramps.Mine are 2 ft wide and 5 or 6 ft long..I have loaded over 9500 lbs rolling weight on them and have used them as bringes while working at my last job too.If you stand on these and twist you will break your ankles they grip so good.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#catwalk-flooring/=2lrx7m
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Those platforms have been around for years in industrial aplications.Mainy used for catwalks, worker platforms etc etc..That being said the are strong but keep in mind that its a composite..I have a 4x4 section im gonna use soon for the rear bed of my rig.

If you spin one out from a tire and it shoots off and hits an object it will have cracks,frays and other damage that you cant see..Comprimising its capacity.

For 31s id look into serrated catwalk planks..They are extra grippy and with some square tubing under them they will be super strong.I use two on my trailer for ramps.Mine are 2 ft wide and 5 or 6 ft long..I have loaded over 9500 lbs rolling weight on them and have used them as bringes while working at my last job too.If you stand on these and twist you will break your ankles they grip so good.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#catwalk-flooring/=2lrx7m
My exhaust man used catwalk planks for his ramps too, has 1 1/2" schedule pipe under them, each one weighs about 150 lbs. Then again they're 20 feet long. I'll swing by our local Cornado Salvage I think it was like 2 bucks a foot for the stuff, I'll get 10 feet of it. The Jeep can climb, not sure about the dune buggy yet...
I like the sand ladders to carry in the Jeep as well, just to be on the better side of 'oh shit', don't you agree?
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I def agree..Ive been stuck bymyself a few times and justt needed a plank or something to help me.

Your lucky you have a sdalvage yard that has them on hand..Theres nothing like that in NYC..I have a 2 hour drive just to hit a pull a part.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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FYI Good discussion going on here: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ad.php?t=17223

even has some pics etc
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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That's about it, plus the aluminum ones wont support the weight, just aid in traction. I don't see the glass as being a problem, my tires aren't too gnarly
Now, the bridging ladders that are aluminum are a different game. They're a full half a grand
The website says $275 for 2 aluminum ladders....I'd go with those cause if the bend/brake you can reapir them.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Those waffle boards have been used for a long time in the UK as sand and bridging ladders with good results. They usually come in two thicknesses, 1.5" and 2".

The first time that they are used they can make some rather disconcerting crackling noises but seem to hold up well. Use gloves when you handle them otherwise the rough fibreglass edges can cut your hands.

A someone else has said, they are just industrial floor gratings although that doesn't stop some sellers claiming that they are specially made for 4x4 use. In the UK a pair of 1.5" boards can be had off Ebay for the equivalent of $56

Ebay: Waffle-Boards
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't like how they are open straight through. Seems like they'd just sink into sand or mud.

Another option is those rubber mats made of the interlocking links of recycled tires. They aren't rigid though so they'd spread force much less. Although this weekend my friend's Civic got stuck in sand at the beach and putting floormats under his tires helped (would have taken my XJ but we weren't expecting a foot of sand on the parking lot)
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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That piece is four foot long and four inches wide. That one front tire should have around 1500# on it. Somewhere around 30# per square inch. It did flex, as you can see it bowed in the photo. I jumped on the front bumper to bounce it and rolled the truck back and fourth to see if I could break it. No luck. It held up just fine. Once the weight was removed it returned to shape with no bowing. Grip is good. It moved about an inch during the test. The tire was not centered very well and It did not look bad. I did hear some creaking, like stressed fiberglass can do. It was probably the gravel as it moved a little . I could see no deterioration of the material.
My 12" wide mats spread the load better and are more than enough.

This video shows them used in a recovery with and exhaust jack: YouTube - Discovery 3 / LR3 self recovery with air jack

I carry mine under my side bars.



They mount using spare tire winches.


I have had no problems with them mounted there. They only rubbed one once while in Moab. No harm , no foul.

Maxtrax is a good looking product. They have a US distributor, but are expensive.

I will stick with the ebay grating material. It is still the best bang for the buck.

There is another good thread here: Expedition Portal - Sand Ladders

Another option for "mud mats" might be used snowmobile track. Seems like someone was using those.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Any one use aircraft runway interlocking plates (the military stuff) for sand ladders? I'm not sure how heavy they are but they sure are plentifull.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Any one use aircraft runway interlocking plates (the military stuff) for sand ladders? I'm not sure how heavy they are but they sure are plentifull.
Nope, no one has ever thought of that. You are the first person ever to think of that.

The biggest problem with using those is their weight and bulk.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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They do make alum pierced plank as well as the steel (PSP) stuff.
Look on the side of any Camel Trophy truck and you will see it.
But it is not strong enough to use as a bridge. Great traction mat, but no real structural strength like some of the newwer products.
The fiberglass grids have been used in RTV events in the UK for years now.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Any one use aircraft runway interlocking plates (the military stuff) for sand ladders? I'm not sure how heavy they are but they sure are plentifull.
kind of. i aquired 2 of them to use as sand ladders, however they are heavy and are probaly 9 or 10 feet long which means they won't fit in my 8 foot bed, even diagnaly, which really eats up space. therefore i don't take them with me but theres been times i wish i had. i should probaly cut them down to 8' but even then i would probaly only bother with them if i was planning on driving in mud or sand.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I work for a company that makes/installs that fiberglass grating. Like some have already noted they are used as catwalks in chemical plants. In my opinion they are the worst thing to use in a sandy environment. The reason is that fiberglass will be "sanded" down every time it slides. Fiberglass is very easy to sand down to nothing even with just hand sandpaper.
On someones link, the person using them writes that there was minor creaking sounds. Those sounds are the fiberglass delaminating. The instant fiberglass makes that sound, its compromised and can no longer hold what ever weight it was designed for. They will still work but, it can break at any given moment.
The company I work for has been making fiberglass products since 1978. We specialize in structural components made of fiberglass (they don't corrode in chem. plants). I showed this link to some co-workers and the response was the same, stupid idea. I can easily say that any company that sells that grating for the purpose listed on this thread has no idea what the properties of fiberglass are.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:13 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Beat , bridged, buried in the muck. They are still doing "grate" nearly two years later.
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