What could possibly be so hard about tying down the tarp on a semi-trailer? It looks so easy! Unfortunately, semi-trailer tarp hazards are many. Also unfortunately, the only people who are truly familiar with them are the truckers that have to deal with them day in and day out. But if you’re going to be moving something that needs to be covered with a tarp, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with the hazards that can be involved with trailer tarps. And if you’re not using an enclosed trailer, this is a distinct possibility.
Let’s take a look specifically at semi-trailer tarps and the hazards that can be involved when using them. Not only will this help you understand the plight of today’s trucker, but it will give you valuable insight as to what to watch out for if you ever need to cover the load on a trailer (or possibly the back of a pickup truck) with a tarp.
It’s Windy Back There!
This is possibly the most obvious hazard when it comes to tarps and semi-trailers. A tarp can be damaged by the flapping that occurs due to wind. And while you’re putting the tarp over your load and taking it off again, windy conditions can be a real treat – of course, we say that facetiously. Have you ever gone parasailing? If it’s windy the next time you are applying or removing a tarp, you may well be treated to that experience, albeit unexpectedly.
On rare occasion, some drivers are able to use an enclosed bay for loading, unloading, applying, and removing tarps. More often than not, however, an open yard is where the truck will end up for pickups and deliveries.
Things Like Grease and Oil
Solvents and chemicals such as grease and oil can destroy a truck driver’s day in any number of ways. If you’re on a dirty slab while trying to tarp a load, slipping and falling is a distinct possibility and danger. In an industrial or manufacturing environment, these types of falls can result in serious injuries.
These are also the kinds of substances that you do not particularly want on your tarp. Not only can they ruin the water-resistant properties of your canvas tarp due to the properties of solvents and other chemicals, they can end up staining the next load when the tarp rests upon it. Some of these stains might never come out.
The Shape and Size of the Load
To protect not only the tarp but the cargo as well, proper cargo control equipment is required. The size and shape of a load can determine whether you are going to experience unmitigated misery for several hours or have a smooth and easy tarping experience.
Here’s an example: it is quick and relatively easy to tie down a tarp over a load that has steel piping uniformly and nicely stacked. It could take 20 minutes for an experienced tarp user.
On the other hand, for a load of CNC machines, the tarping experience could be extensive and complicated. In this case, the tarps are heavier, there’s a lot of climbing and tiedowns involved, care must be paid so that machinery is not damaged or scratched, etc. In other words – it can be a real nightmare.
At Mickey Genuine Parts, we value the safety of our customers. That’s why we make articles like this available. Driver safety is also the reason that we insist upon selling parts with the highest quality and using service centers that are Mickey certified. Contact us today if you have questions or comments or would like to experience the Mickey difference for yourself.