Installing anti-fatigue matting in your milking shed pit is a game changer. When a milker continually works in an overstretched or physiologically unsuitable position for extended periods, musculoskeletal problems may occur. Soft matting helps take the pressure off the milker’s feet, legs and back, providing a smart alternative to cold, hard concrete.
If you’ve been thinking about installing pit matting, this post is for you. In this week’s video, we look at the cost of pit matting, the options available at NumatAGRI, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Here at Numat, we have two different pit matting options. Both are purpose-built to provide comfort for your milkers and withstand the high traffic diary pit environment so that you don’t have to replace your mats every few years.
As the name implies, the Comfortzone mat is the optimal pit mat if you’re looking to prioritise comfort in your shed. The mats are structured from EVA foam sheets, which is a closed-cell, waterproof foam material that is easy to clean and hygienic. The foam sheets come in two width variations, which are all a meter long and 20mm thick. The interlocking sides are precision cut using a water jet to ensure a tight fit in your pit.
Comfortzone mats come in a range of different colours that you can use to customise your shed space. With the options of blue, red, black, white, green, and gold, you can easily match your favourite rugby team and add some colour.
The next pit mat option is Ergomat. Ergomat is the top of the range when it comes to herringbone pit matting. The rubber mats are close to bulletproof and are sure to last 10-20 years if not more in your shed. Ergomat only comes in black, so no rugby teams here, unless it’s the All Blacks.
Ergomat features a 17mm thick profile topped with a diamond-studded surface pattern that works as an anti-slip feature to prevent slips and injuries. Although an Ergomat surface might not be as soft as the ComfortZone, the rubber mats provide sufficient cushioning to ease tension in the legs and has proven to last the test of time, plus it’s a far more comfortable surface than concrete.
How long does the rubber surface last?
Although Comforzone is the softer surface and might be comfier to stand when compared to Ergomat, the Comfortzone mats don’t last as long in your pit.
Comfortzone is proven to last 4-5 years. Although we have known it to be down for 9-10 years and still be in good condition. Ergomat, on the other hand, is built to last. The mats have a 10-year guarantee, but we have farmers that have had it down for longer than that and the surface still looks great with no issues.
If you have a drain in the middle of your pit…don’t worry. We can easily cut a drain slot in the mats using a water jet cutter, leaving you with a seamless and clean finish. This customization might cost you an extra hundred dollars, but it does mean you won’t have any trips on your surface and your water will still go down the drains leaving you with a clean, hygienic surface.
Are there any downsides to having matting in your pit?
The only complaint we hear is that farmers just wish they’d installed pit matting sooner. Milkers spend a lot of time in the pit, 2-4 hours in the morning, and the same in the afternoon, so it’s important to look after their health and wellbeing. Standing on concrete for hours at a time takes a toll on your back and legs. Matting can help relieve some of that fatigue and stress on the body.
Installing a non-abrasive surface also makes your equipment and gear last longer. Your gumboots can push through a little bit longer if you’re standing around on rubber as opposed to concrete.
We have worked with many farmers across New Zealand, who have seen some great results by installing rubber matting on their farms. If you’d like to know of somebody using our matting that might be near you, give our friendly support team a call on 0800 686 119 and we can put you in touch. Likewise, if you are looking for a rubber matting solution for your farm give us a call, flick us an email, or fill in the form on our contact page.