Typical Installation in New or Old Barn
(Free stall or Tie stall)
In new construction, Mayo Mats are easily installed in a few minutes. They are lightweight and one person working alone can usually install as many as 20 mats per hour. These installation instructions assume that your stalls are 48 inches wide. If your stalls are narrower, slice off the appropriate width of mat (e.g. for 46 inch stalls slice off two inches).
- You will need a hammer drill and a hammer. In most installations the mats may have to be shortened so you will also need a sharp knife and a chalk line. We recommend a low cost utility knife with snap-off blades. It is also helpful to use some kind of 2 inch spacer to ensure mats are always at least 2 inches apart.
- Lay the mats in the stalls a minimum of 2 inches apart. The gap is absolutely essential to allow for the expansion which occurs in the first few months. Don’t
worry about the gap filling with bedding…the Mayo Mat material is rigid enough that bedding does not work its way under the mat.
- Use good quality concrete anchors with 1 inch washers. We like the 1/4 inch x 3.5 inch mushroom head spikes from Power Fasteners because their rounded
tops cannot hurt cows and they are easy to install. Just drill a 1/4 hole and bang them in with a hammer. Take care not to drive them too far into the mat…just dimple the mat slightly.
- Finally, snap a chalk line down the entire row of mats 2 inches in from curb. See back panel for detailed cutting instructions.
Additional Instruction for Greenhouse Buildings
(Free stall or Tie stall)
Greenhouse barns allow a lot of light to reach the surface of Mayo Mats and so we need to guard against curling of the mats due to sunlight.
Follow this step after completing the first four steps:
Fasten a Mayo Plank over the space between the mats. This is a 1 x 4 plastic board made from recycled plastic and rounded slightly on the edges. This keeps material from getting under the mat by preventing it from curling in very high intensity sunlight.
Mayo Mats need very little maintenance. However, over the course of the first year you will notice that the mats expand. In some instances the mats will expand slightly over the end of the stall. If this should happen, use your Stanley knife to slice off another inch of material.
A few of the mats may also expand at the back corners and start to touch each other. It is a good idea to slice out a wedge of each of these mats to restore the gap.
All stalls, regardless of bed type, should be cleaned out twice or three times per day. Use a metal or plastic scraper to pull manure off the mat into the alley. It is also good practice to spray with an approved disinfectant spray.
CUTTING MAYO MATS
Despite their immense strength and toughness, Mayo Mats are easily cut using a sharp utility knife. We have had good luck with the Stanley knife (available from Mayo Mats or from your local hardware store in many cases).
- Cut at an angle with about 4 or 5 sections of blade exposed. Snap off and discard blunt sections as soon as cutting becomes difficult.
- To avoid unnecessarily blunting the tip of the knife, cut only about three quarters way through the mat. This can usually be done in a single pass with a new blade. It helps if you place something under the mat that allows you to bend the mat over to spread the cut as you go.
- With the mat cut three quarters way through, it is easy to snap the rest of the way. Then simply tear off and discard the excess.
For cleanliness Mayo Mats recommends the use of a brisket board at about 66 inches from the alley in free stalls. This helps to ensure that soiling of the stall is minimized and helps with the control of somatic cell counts and mastitis as well as reducing cleaning requirements at milking time. Here are two suggestions. There are, of course, many other acceptable ways to build brisket boards.
1) The first image is a 4Â” schedule 80 PVC pipe. The bracket is made from a 1 to 2 inch length of steel pipe welded to a flat steel plate with two holes for anchors at the bottom. One bracket per mat. The fastener at top is only needed at the end of each run to keep the pipe from sliding left or right.
2) 2 x 8 brisket board from treated lumber great for new construction. The area behind the brisket board is leveled off to the height of the board with concrete
GENERAL INSTALLATION RULES
1) Stalls must be made of concrete and in good condition with a straight fall-off to the alley (i.e. no lip at the back of the stall). The concrete should be free from cracks or holes.
2) If the mats are being installed where the back pipe of the stall partition goes down into the concrete, sometimes the concrete has been “mounded” around the pipe. If this is the case, either the mound should be leveled off and smoothened with new cement or the mat will have to be cut out around the mound. It is very important that mayo mats be in direct contact with the surface beneath them throughout their entire area.
3) Mayo Mats swell slightly over the first 10 months or so, so it is absolutely imperative that you leave a 2 inch expansion space between mats. If the last mat in a row is up against a wall, a space of 1 inch should be left between the wall and mat. If you have to cut out the mat around any obstacle, remember that the mat expands away from the anchors and cut a 2 inch expansion space to the front of the obstacle.
4) Mayo Mats should not be left in direct sun for more than fifteen minutes. Sun tightens the skin on Mayo Mats and causes them to curve upward slightly. This can cause bedding to get under the mats while in use.
5) These installation instructions are not expected to answer all questions in all circumstances. Should you have an unusual installation requirement not addressed by these instructions, please contact us directly. We will be happy to guide you through the job by phone.