What You Need To Know About Trailer Tarping

Trailer tarping serves a couple of purposes. First, of course, it covers your load. This protects the load from inclement weather and high winds. Secondly, it can be used as a source of securement. A tightly covered load is less likely to shift or blow off of (or out of) a trailer.

Do All Loads Require Tarps?

Keep in mind that whether a load requires a tarp or not, it’s not a bad idea to cover what you’re carrying.

Tarps are commonly required on the following loads:

  • mining and drilling equipment
  • vehicle parts (unless for scrap)
  • certain kinds of construction equipment
  • construction materials or lumber
  • tubing or steel coil
  • finished machinery (i.e., CNC machines, boilers, etc.)

And not all tarps are created equally. The condition of your load could depend on the quality of the tarp and how much you’ve invested in it.

Securing Your Tarp

If you can park your vehicle in a place that is protected from gusting winds, you will have an easier time tarping off your load (this also applies to when you’re removing it later). If you’re protected from rain, sleet, and wind, all the better. Tarps are difficult enough to handle without having to worry about wind gusts or heavy storm and blowing conditions. Handling a tarp in heavy winds can be like flying a giant, oversized kite – minus the fun.

Do your best to make sure that the top of your load is even and balanced so that no tears or holes end up poking through your tarp. Balancing will also help protect against load shifting.

It is recommended that a forklift be used in order to properly and safely place a tarp. If there is no forklift, you’re probably going to need some help. And do yourself a favor – do not use a ladder to carry a tarp up the side of a load.

If you have to move around on top of your tarp, crawl, do not walk. Never stand on your load or on the tarp.

Four-inch ratchet straps are a good choice for securing tarps. If, at the corners, any part of the tarp is sticking out, fold them down and secure them. This helps to make sure that the tarp does not flap around or come loose in the wind. One of the major hazards on the road today in the trucking and trailering industry is loose tarps.

What Happens If You Do It Wrong?

You have to be careful with tarps. Some of them are hard to handle because they are large and exceedingly heavy (some go 150 pounds). Particularly if you’re hurrying due to inclement weather, fatal falls and muscle strains can occur. That’s why it’s so important to place and remove tarps properly and carefully. Rather than being tedious, problematic, and unwieldy, the tarping process should be utilitarian and safely executed.

Of course, tarps are just one piece of the kind of equipment needed in the transportation industry. You can rely on Mickey Genuine Parts for accessories, parts, and even used trailers for the frugally minded. Order the parts you need by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time, and we can expedite your order the same day. Or rely on one of our certified service centers conveniently located throughout the nation to order your part and install it. Contact us today to speak to one of our knowledgeable, experienced customer service representatives.

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