How to Reproof Canvas Tarps

Canvas truck tarps are used by flatbed truck drivers when vinyl tarps are not an appropriate form of protection for the transported cargo. When it comes to keeping cargo dry with canvas, there are a couple of things you need to know. We will discuss those things in this blog post along with suggestions for addressing canvas tarps when they leak.

To start with, poly or vinyl tarps should be considered over canvas if the number one priority is to protect cargo from moisture. Both poly and vinyl are waterproof materials. If you do need to use canvas, bear in mind that there are two different material categories: natural and synthetic. The material of choice will affect waterproofing.

Natural vs. Synthetic Materials

Canvas tarps made with natural materials like cotton are water-resistant without the need for extra treatments. Take cotton, for example. Cotton fibers swell when they come in contact with moisture. This property, combined with the tight weave that defines canvas material, provides adequate moisture protection.

Tarps made with synthetic materials such as polyester do not have that same benefit. Therefore, manufacturers apply a thin coating of wax to the material in order to create the moisture barrier. Wax coating can begin to wear out over time. Three years is about average before a canvas tarp wears enough to start leaking. Provided a leaking tarp is still in good condition, there is no need to discard it. A new layer of wax can be applied.

Reproofing Canvas Tarps

Applying a new layer of wax to canvas is known as reproofing. It is fairly common among experienced flatbed truckers, farmers, and boaters looking to get the longest possible life out of their tarps. Thankfully, the process is also relatively easy.

Owners can purchase commercial grade reproofing materials or make their own. A commercially available material will come as either a liquid or solid product. You have the same options if you choose to make your own. Though we will not offer any DIY recipes here, they are abundant across the internet.

To reproof with a solid product, you simply rub the product into the canvas just as though you were coloring it with large, wax crayon. It helps to get the coat as even as possible across the entire tarp. Once completely coated, the tarp is suspended on a line or a set of four polls. A heat gun is used to gently heat the material to set the wax. This heating will also even out the new layer of wax.

A liquid reproofing material can be applied with either a brush or roller. The main disadvantage of using a liquid is that you have to stretch the tarp out on a flat surface while you apply the material. The tarp must remain flat and stretched out until the material dries. At that point, the same heating process described previously is employed to properly set the new wax layer.

Extend the Life of Your Tarps

You can extend the life of your canvas tarps by learning a simple reproofing process. If you have never done it before, ask your fellow truck drivers. You can also find online tutorials that include step-by-step instructions along with videos. Whatever method you choose, always be sure to thoroughly clean and dry your tarps before reproofing.

Mytee Products is happy to sell both green and tan canvas tarps. We invite you to browse our entire inventory of tarps intended especially for truck drivers. If we do not carry the size you are after, please contact us by e-mail or via our toll-free telephone number, and we’ll see if we can source it for you.

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Aluminum Toolboxes: Organization Tips for Truckers

The average flatbed trucker has at least one toolbox affixed to his or her rig. Some have a large trailer toolbox and two aluminum step boxes to maximize storage space, and some drivers have even more. The thing to remember is that proper organization of aluminum tool boxes maximizes storage space and reduces the frustrations of not being able to find the tool you’re after when you need it.

What constitutes the right number and size of toolboxes isn’t for us to say. Every flatbed trucker has his or her own preferences. But Mytee can offer a few organizational tips to help truckers make the most of their storage space. Keep in mind that we carry a full inventory of aluminum toolboxes for truck drivers and pickup truck owners.

 

Organizing Tarps

Assuming you are the kind of trucker who stores tarps and toolboxes, the first rule of thumb is to consider which tarps you use most often. Let’s say you regularly haul lumber loads that require coverage on all sides. You are going to want those tarps easily accessible at all times.

You may have a selection of smaller smoke tarps or general purpose canvas tarps that you only use every once in a while for machinery loads. Because they are used less frequently, you can store them on the bottom of your toolbox in favor of putting your lumber tarps on top.

One thing to note is that tarps should never be put away while still wet. If throwing a wet tarp into a tool box is unavoidable at the time, it should be retrieved and dried out as soon as possible. Leaving tarps in long-term storage with moisture trapped in the folds is a good recipe for mold.

Organizing Tools

When it comes to tools, truckers need to separate things like ratchet straps and binders from the hand tools used to perform regular maintenance. It’s a good idea to keep them in separate toolboxes if you have the space. If not, divide existing toolbox into two separate compartments using a piece of scrap wood or metal.

Ratchet straps can be rolled up and stacked very neatly in one corner of the box. Chains can be coiled and stacked in another corner. Binders, hooks, and other similar tools can then be placed in the center of the compartment. As for those hand tools, keep them separated according to tool type. Put all your sockets in one location, all the wrenches in another, etc. Organizing hand tools is a lot easier if you invest in some shelves and smaller boxes that can fit inside your main toolbox.

Everything in Its Place

It should be obvious that the strategy we are promoting here follows that old adage that says, ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’. The hard part is not necessarily finding a place for everything that needs to be stored. It is finding the most efficient place and then making sure that the items are returned to their places after use.

Few things are as frustrating as having a journey interrupted by some sort of failure and then not being able to find the tools you need to fix the problem. Equally frustrating is the task of securing a load and having to dig through your toolbox looking for the right straps or chains. Organizing your toolboxes changes all that.

An organized toolbox – where everything has a fixed place that never changes – is one that lends itself very well to efficiency and productivity. Take it from us; you’ll be glad you organized your equipment once you do it.

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Why Headache Racks: The Definitive Answer

If we earned $100 every time a new flatbed truck driver asked us how the headache rack got its name, we might not have to sell trucking supplies to stay in business. Be that as it may, the question about the name of headache racks is as old as the rack itself.

For the record, a headache rack is a large piece of steel or aluminum mounted on the back of a truck cab. You see them on 18 wheelers and larger pickup trucks. Professional truck drivers often use their headache racks as a place to hang their chains and bungee straps.

For the remainder of this post, we want to talk about the name ‘headache rack’ and where it came from. If you are looking for a definitive answer, we have it: there is no definitive answer.

Protecting the Driver from Renegade Cargo

The first explanation of the headache rack name has to do with renegade cargo crashing through the back of a truck cab and injuring the driver. For a long time, there was a popular article circulating on the internet claiming that both the name and the device itself goes back to the days when surfing first became popular.

As the thinking goes, the racks were installed on pickup trucks to prevent harm to drivers if a surfboard were to break loose and crash through the back window. There’s only one problem with this theory: headache racks were around before surfing became popular. Second, you can spend all day traversing the roads of California and Hawaii, and you will probably never see a pickup truck with a headache rack carrying a load of surfboards.

There are other stories that use the same general theme without specifically referencing surfboards. The general idea being that headache racks are really the domain of pickup truck drivers attempting to protect their own heads.

Giving the Driver Headache

The second explanation is one that makes more sense where truck drivers are concerned. This explanation suggests that drivers, while working around their rigs securing cargo or doing maintenance, have a tendency to hit their heads on the metal racks. Unwittingly striking your head on such a large piece of metal would undoubtedly result in a headache.

If you are a professional truck driver, you are familiar with the scenario described here. Every truck driver has done it at least once, and many of you know drivers who do it routinely. Some hit their head so often that they have permanent marks. It is not a pleasant experience, to say the least.

We Have What You Need

The definitive answer about why headache racks are called as such is clear: there is no definitive answer. Therefore, there is no need for truck drivers to dispute or debate any longer. Far better to put your energies into being better drivers capable of delivering loads on time and in good condition.

As for the headache racks themselves, rest assured that Mytee Products has what you need. We have seven different models to fit a variety of needs and styles. We also carry installation kits, chain hangers, light brackets, and even tarp trays.

Your headache rack does not have to give you a headache at the time of purchase. Just shop the Mytee Products inventory to find what you’re looking for, make a quick purchase, and relax while we ship it right to your door. You’ll be protecting your head, or injuring it, in no time at all.


Ratchet Straps and Palletizing Strategies

On a beautiful spring day in central Florida, a flatbed truck was seen traveling down the road with a load of pallets packed with decorative paver stones. The pallets had been completely wrapped with shrink wrap before being loaded onto the trailer. To keep them secure, the driver ran two ratchet straps over each pallet row with large, plastic edge protectors between the straps and the cargo. This was the perfect setup for this kind of load.

Key to the driver’s strategy was securing the pallets from movement without damaging the paving stones. Now, it might seem a bit of overkill to use the edge protectors in light of the fact that the pallets were wrapped in shrink wrap, but shrink wrap does not cover the tops of pallet loads – just the sides. The highest layer of paver stones was fully exposed on the top surface. Edge protectors were necessary to protect the stones and ratchet straps alike.

Every Situation Is Different

The scenario described here is a perfect illustration of how wide the variation can be in palletized loads. For example, just because the shipper in this case used shrink wrap on the pallets doesn’t mean every shipper will do likewise. Paver stones are heavy enough that they will stay in place pretty much on their own, so some shippers will use a couple of aluminum straps along with large pieces of cardboard rather than shrink wrap.

How cargo is palletized really depends on the cargo itself and what the shipper believes is necessary to provide adequate protection. It is still the driver’s responsibility to get cargo to its intended destination without damage, regardless of how it is palletized. Therefore, it is not wise for drivers to rely on shippers and their palletizing strategies. Every situation is different.

In this case, all the driver needed to do to properly secure and protect the pallets was to have them stacked in rows before securing them with ratchet straps and corner protectors. If the palletizing method had been different, the driver might have had to choose another means of securing them.

This solution was relatively simple because all the pallets were of uniform size and height. Indeed, securing this load was probably one of the easiest things the driver ever had to do. There were no tarps involved, the weight of the pallets prevented them from being stacked, and the cargo itself was heavy enough that it was not prone to excessive movement.

The Right Kind of Equipment

As cargo and palletizing strategies are different, a flatbed driver has to keep a good supply of all the right equipment on board. In this case, it means ratchet straps and edge protectors. In other cases, drivers will need bungee straps, tarps of various sizes and materials, and even wood blocks to prevent cargo from moving. The inventory of necessary equipment can be rather extensive for truckers who are willing to haul just about anything.

Here at Mytee Products, we do our best to maintain a solid inventory of all the equipment and supplies to flatbed truck needs. We also strive to ensure that all the products in our inventory come from trusted brand names truckers know and recognize. This helps us to ensure quality with every product sold.

We have no way of knowing where the trucker in the scenario described here purchased his ratchet straps. But we can say that if they were purchased from Mytee Products, they were made with high-quality bedding material built to last. They were the perfect tool for securing that kind of load.


What a Good Cargo Control Inventory Looks Like

America’s truck drivers rely on Mytee Products for high-quality cargo control equipment and supplies. Why? Because we have everything that the average truck driver needs to get the job done. Furthermore, we might be able to find a unique piece even if it is not included in our standard inventory.

If you are building an inventory of cargo control supplies for your truck, it is a good idea to sit down and assess what you would need for the kinds of jobs you normally take. Visit a couple of trucking forums and ask for advice too. Other truckers will be happy to tell you what they recommend.

We can offer a bit of advice thanks to the time we have spent serving the trucking industry. We believe the items listed below make up the foundation of a good cargo control inventory. Keep in mind that we carry all of them. You can purchase online or visit us in person.

Winch and Ratchet Straps

Winch and ratchet straps are straps used to secure heavy cargo to flatbed trailers. Both are made of heavy duty webbing material and come in a variety of lengths and working load limits. The only difference between the two is how they are applied.

winch-strap

A winch strap is attached on one side of the trailer and secured to the other using a winch. Ratchet straps are secured using ratchet devices. The average trucker will need an adequate supply of both due to the fact that both winch and ratchet systems are used throughout the logistics industry.

Chains and Binders

Exceptionally heavy cargo that needs to be secured with something more than winch and ratchet straps may require heavy-duty chains with higher working load limits. G70 chains are standard in the trucking industry. Truckers can use these chains to secure everything from concrete piping to steel coils.

G70

Along with chains are the binders needed to make sure they are tightened down. There are several different styles of binders to choose from, so drivers have to consider what works best for them. Once again, Mytee has a full selection of chains and binders to choose from.

Bungee Straps

Truckers typically do not use bungee straps as a means of securing cargo firmly to the trailer. Rather, bungee straps are deployed for keeping tarps in place.

bungee-straps

Having an ample supply of bungee straps is always a good idea given that you never know when one will break or be lost. And because they are inexpensive, buying them in bulk is generally not a problem.

Corner and Edge Protectors

A good cargo control inventory is not without a complete selection of corner and edge protectors. These seemingly small and inconsequential pieces can actually be critical to getting certain kinds of cargo to its destination undamaged. Corner and edge protectors keep individual pieces of cargo safe from damage that could otherwise be caused by road vibration, cargo shifting, and the application of chains and straps.

 

Corner and edge protectors come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is up to the trucker to determine what he or she needs for the kinds of loads typically carried. We are happy to say that corner and edge protectors are very inexpensive, like bungee straps, so buying in bulk ensures you always have enough on hand.

So there you have the basics of what a good cargo control inventory looks like. Feel free to add to your own inventory as you see fit. Whatever you do, remember this: the supplies you use to secure cargo matter. So choose wisely.