3 Reasons Aluminum is a Great Choice for Truck Toolboxes

Mytee Products carries a range of aluminum toolboxes for both tractors and trailers. Aluminum is the material of choice for a lot of truckers as it has a number of benefits over steel. This is not to say that a stainless-steel toolbox is a bad investment. It’s not. In fact, a shiny stainless-steel toolbox can be key to winning a truck show. But for everyday use over the road, it is hard to beat aluminum.

Note that we carry both aluminum and steel toolboxes and headache racks. If you ever have questions about any of our products, please do not hesitate to contact us. We want you to be happy with anything you decide to purchase from Mytee Products.

1. Aluminum Has Malleability

Steel is definitely stronger than aluminum, which is why some truck drivers prefer the material for their toolboxes and headache racks. But aluminum has an advantage in that it is more malleable. In other words, it is more flexible than steel. It absorbs energy more effectively too.

How is this an advantage? In an accident, aluminum it is more likely to flex and bend than steel. This means it is less likely to break apart. You will also find it easier to bang out any dents after the accident. As for steel, it is more likely to crack or break at the seams. If a steel toolbox is dented, it is a lot harder to get those dents out.

As a side note, the malleability of aluminum makes it easier for fabricators to create toolboxes with unique shapes. Simply put, aluminum is easier to work with. You may find aluminum is a better choice if you need a custom toolbox with a nonuniform shape or size.

2. Aluminum is Lighter

Another advantage of aluminum is that it is lighter than steel. The difference in weight between the two metals may not be significant in terms of how much your truck can carry, but it might become important if you are trying to save every ounce so that you can carry heavier loads. Steel is heavier as well as being almost 2.5 times more dense.

If you are interested in raw numbers, a cubic foot of aluminum weighs in at just over 168 pounds. That same amount of stainless-steel weighs in at just over 494 pounds. That is more than twice the weight. When you are trying to keep the weight on your trailer down, choosing aluminum over steel for toolboxes could make an enormous difference.

3. Aluminum Will Not Rust

Aluminum’s biggest advantage as a toolbox material is the fact that it will not rust. Steel is corrosion resistant when treated, but it is still going to rust over time. That’s one of the reasons truckers who love stainless steel bumpers, headache racks, and toolboxes spend so much time caring for them.

A curious thing about aluminum is that it naturally oxidizes in open air. The oxidation process causes a slight film to build up over the surface of the metal. That film actually prevents rust. It is the same film that protects the bottom of aluminum canoes and rowboats. It is the same film that prevents a house covered in aluminum from rusting.

As previously stated, some of our customers prefer steel toolboxes and headache racks. That’s great. But if you prefer aluminum, we have a good selection of products for you to choose from. Aluminum is an ideal choice for truck toolboxes because it is malleable, it is lighter than steel, and it absolutely will not rust.


Why Are Only Some Loads Tarped

The sales staff at Mytee Products have the privilege of welcoming brand-new flatbed truckers to the industry by way of helping them figure out what kinds of cargo control supplies they need to keep on board. In so doing, it is not unusual for us to have conversations about the different kinds of truck tarps in our inventory. That leads to discussions about why some loads are tarped and others are not.

Needless to say that our tarp inventory is not limited to just one kind of tarp. We carry a full range of tarps for flatbeds including steel, lumber, coil, machinery, and smoke tarps. We also carry roll tarps for dump trucks and complete site kits. Anything that a new trucker could need we have.

With that said, you might be curious as to why some loads are tarped and others are not. Here is the whole story in four points:

1. The Type of Load

While it is technically possible to throw a tarp over any kind of load on an open-deck trailer, using a tarp is not always necessary. The truth is that some loads just do not need to be covered. For example, consider a load of cinder blocks. Unless there is some special circumstance dictated by the shipper, those blocks will make it clear across the country without needing to be covered.

On the other hand, there are certain loads that have to be covered every time. Industrial machinery is a good example. Things like multi-million-dollar CNC machines are covered during transport for obvious reasons.

2. Federal and State Regulations

Tarping is sometimes dictated by regulations. If you drive a dump truck, you know exactly what we mean here. Laws in all 50 states require that loose materials being transported in a dump truck be prevented from flying off in transit. While some states leave the decision of how to accomplish this to drivers, other states mandate tarps as the only method of load containment.

3. Shipper Requirements

There are times when tarping a load is dictated by the shipper. Despite the fact that truck drivers are ultimately responsible for protecting cargo, some shippers take it upon themselves to make sure their cargo is protected in a very specific way. They take no chances. As far as truck drivers are concerned, there is really nothing they can do when shippers make such demands.

Shippers know that the legal responsibility to protect cargo resides with drivers. All the same, they are reluctant to use drivers who resist their tarping demands. If they want tarps used, a driver either acquiesces or takes the chance of never getting another load from that shipper again.

4. Driver Preferences

Tarping can even be the preference of the driver. We have known some truck drivers who refuse to use tarps except when they are absolutely necessary. Yet we have also known drivers who would never think about transporting anything without covering it first. Different drivers have their own preferences in nearly every aspect of cargo control.

What is curious to us is that drivers do not get paid for the time it takes to secure their loads. They only get paid when the wheels are turning. And yet, there are drivers that tarp everything. It doesn’t matter whether they are hauling expensive lumber, steel pipes, or concrete road barriers, everything gets tarped.

The big take-away here is that there really aren’t any rules for what loads get covered. Drivers have to assess each load independently alongside federal and state regulations, shipper requirements, and their own tarping preferences.


Why Bees Are One of the Most Challenging Flatbed Loads

In the last couple of months we have seen an up-tick in demand for our bee nets (bee hauling tarps). It happens every spring. Beekeepers looking to transport large colonies over long distances rely on truck drivers and open-deck trailers. The bee nets we sell are intended to keep bees with their colonies and offer some protection against dirt and debris.

In thinking about it, we realized that hauling bees is one of the most challenging jobs in all of flatbed trucking. Right off the top, bees constitute live cargo. Truckers are not just hauling inanimate objects that could easily be replaced in the event of unforeseen damage. They are dealing with living creatures that beekeepers cannot afford to lose.

Dwindling Bee Populations

Honeybee populations have been dwindling over the last couple of decades or so. All around the world, researchers and beekeepers alike have been struggling to find out why colonies are collapsing. In the meantime, they have also been working to restore populations to previous levels. That is the reason truck drivers have to be so very careful when hauling bees.

Beekeepers cannot afford to lose even one hive. They certainly do not want to load a flatbed full of as many as 400 colonies only to have them all collapse before they reach their destination. As such, they are extremely strict guidelines beekeepers and truckers follow for preparing, loading, transporting, and unloading beehives.

From the Trucker’s Perspective

As you know, truck drivers are ultimately responsible for the safety of their cargo from the moment it is loaded until the moment it comes off the trailer. It is a lot of responsibility under normal circumstances, but the responsibility is even greater when a driver is hauling bees.

Truck drivers have to take great care to make sure hives are loaded gently and safely. He or she has to calculate weight to make sure the loaded rig falls within federal and state guidelines. The driver then has to check the height to make sure stacked hives are low enough to accommodate height restrictions. Finally, he or she has to tie down the load with straps in such a way as to secure each one without damaging the protective wood around it.

A bee net is put over the top of the load for reasons mentioned earlier in this post. If the beekeeper has done his/her job, very few bees will escape the hives during transport. Those that do will be kept in the general proximity by the bee net.

Once on the road, the driver has to stop at regular intervals to inspect the load. There can be no room for load shifting as this could upset the colonies. The driver also inspects the bee net to make sure it is still firmly in place. As for the driving itself, the trucker has to take it easy. He/she has to be easy on the gas, easy on the turns, and is consistent as possible with speed.

Good Driving Benefits All of Us

Provided the truck driver does everything by the book, we all benefit. Beehives reach their destination intact and full of healthy bees just waiting to get to work. Those bees are released to pollinate both farmlands and wild nature alike.

Did you know honeybees are among the most prolific pollinators in all of nature? They do the majority of the heavy lifting, so to speak, which is why we cannot afford to allow bee populations to fall any further. Those truck drivers who haul beehives do a difficult job for which we should all be grateful.


Tips for Finding the Right Cargo Control Supplies

Mytee Products sales personnel take a lot of pleasure in helping new flatbed truck drivers stock their trucks with cargo control supplies. We take immense pride in the fact that we have just about everything a trucker needs to keep cargo in place. Yet we get the fact that figuring out cargo control is a learning process. Drivers new to flatbeds may not necessarily know what they need.

We obviously want you to make good purchase decisions. It helps neither you nor us when you buy cargo control equipment you do not really need. It also doesn’t help you to be caught in the field without the right equipment. So to address both potential problems, we have put together a list of tips for finding the right cargo control supplies.

Figure out Your Loads

The very first thing to do is figure out the kinds of loads you are most likely to carry. As a new driver, you are probably willing to take just about anything that will fit on the back of a trailer. But realize that newbies do not have access to everything. It takes a while to work your way up to the more complicated loads. As a new driver, the bulk of your work is likely going to be things like lumber, pipe, building supplies, and other types of easy-to-manage cargo.

Visit Online Trucking Forums

Online trucking forums are a great resource for helpful information. You should join as many as you can even if you are not looking for cargo control advice. Having said that, feel free to post questions having to do with everything from tarps to ratchet straps and using blocks.

Veteran truckers should be happy to share their knowledge with you. And make no mistake, they are a wealth of information. The most generous among them will tell you everything you need to know down to brand name preferences. Some of them might even recommend us as a preferred supplier.

Ask Shippers Direct Questions

Next, do not assume to understand what a shipper expects. Instead, ask very direct questions about how they want cargo secured and protected. Some don’t really care as long as the load gets to its destination safely. Others are very particular. They expect you to use a specific number of straps, a particular kind of tarp, and a certain number of edge protectors.

Check out Other Rigs

You are going to encounter other flatbed rigs during your travels. Pay attention to them. Check out how other drivers are securing the same kinds of loads you carry. Not only will you increase your knowledge of cargo control equipment, you will also learn some of the best trade secrets. Always remember that observation is a great tool.

Talk to Our Sales Professionals

Lastly, we recommend speaking with Mytee Products sales professionals. We may not drive trucks for a living ourselves, but we have decades of experience in this industry. We know exactly how every piece of equipment we sell is supposed to work. We know what each piece of equipment is intended to do. We also know how to use our equipment and supplies according to federal and state regulations.

If necessary, one of our sales professionals can even demonstrate how to use a piece of equipment on your truck. We are more than happy to help if you need that kind of assistance.

At the end of the day, we have everything the flatbed trucker needs to keep cargo secure. It’s just a matter of figuring out what your loads require and then stocking your truck accordingly.


Summer is Mesh Tarp Season at Mytee Products

Some of the items we sell are considered seasonal for stocking purposes. Among them are mesh tarps. Although we sell these tarps year-round, we seem to sell more of them during the spring and summer months. If you are a regular mesh tarp buyer, you understand why.

Mesh tarps are particularly good tools for certain kinds of jobs. Four of those jobs are described below. If you ever have need of high-quality mesh tarps to go with the rest of your cargo control supplies, rest assured that Mytee Products has what you need. All of our tarps are made with high-quality materials and constructed to be tough and resilient.

1. Mesh Tarps for Dump Trucks

Dump truck operators appreciate a good mesh tarp as a means of containing loose loads. We carry a number of different tarps that are ideal for this job. For the record, we also carry a complete dump tarp kit intended for smaller trucks.

Getting back to mesh tarps in general, dump truck operators appreciate that they are lighter than solid tarps. That makes them easier to deploy – whether it is done manually or with a roll tarp mechanism. Mesh tarps are easier to fold, easier to store, and easier to move from one truck to the next if necessary.

2. Mesh Tarps for Hauling Bees

The fact that mesh tarps are quite breathable makes them ideal for hauling bees. For these kinds of jobs, we carry a number of different mesh tarps. We have purpose-built bee nets for tractor-trailer loads involving hundreds of colonies. These are large tarps designed to cover the entire length and back of a flatbed trailer.

Smaller loads using pickup trucks or light-duty cargo vehicles can be covered with one of our standard mesh tarps. These tarps are the same as bee nets for all intents and purposes, except for being smaller.

3. Mesh Tarps for Shade

Some of the tarps we sell have absolutely nothing to do with cargo control. Take our green shade mesh tarp for example. Along with its black counterpart, this mesh tarp is ideal for providing temporary shade during the sunny summer months. It is light enough to be deployed just about anywhere yet strong enough to withstand summer weather.

Green tends to be a better color for shade in that is doesn’t absorb heat; black does. Even so, our black mesh tarps can be used for shade as well. Use either one at home, on the job site, out on the lake, or down on the beach.

4. Mesh Tarps for Visual Barriers

Finally, mesh tarps are a great tool for erecting visual barriers. We sell a lot of these tarps to construction companies for this very purpose. A mesh tarp can obstruct a person’s field of vision so as to prevent seeing what is happening on a job site. A visual barrier might be installed for aesthetic or security purposes.

The nice thing about using mesh tarps for this sort of thing is that they are breathable. You do not have to install an excessive number of posts to keep them in place, and rain and wind doesn’t bother them either. With a well-planned installation you can set up visual barriers and then forget about them until the job is done.

Mytee Products carries a complete inventory of black and green mesh tarps. Our mesh tarps also come in a variety of sizes. Feel free to browse our website to find the perfect mesh tarp for your application. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.