The Magic Is In The Stitching

When you take a look at any of the tarps we stock, you will notice double-stitched seams and heavy-duty box stitching. An average driver will assume these stitches are for added strength, which to an extent is true, however few are familiar with the physics behind it. One should be careful when purchasing truck tarps, be it lumber, steel or coil tarps that haven’t been manufactured using these kind of stitches.

A truck driver needs tarps to protect cargo from the weather and road debris. However, he/she also requires durable tarps that withstand the wear and tear of daily driving for as long as can be. That is why we recommend spending a little more on a high-quality tarp that offers years of reliable service. Opting for a cheaper alternative could end up costing more in the long run as the tarps might need to be replaced more often.

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Spreading the Load Evenly

The idea behind double stitched seams is one of spreading the load across a larger piece of fabric for added strength. By ‘spreading the load’ we mean taking the stress created by pressure (in this case, the pressure generated by both the cargo and the straps used to secure the tarp) and spreading it across the entire seam rather than just concentrating it at the point of a D-ring or grommet.

The laws of physics dictate that the immediate surface area around a pressure point carries the most amount of stress at any given time. Nevertheless, threads running through the fabric of a tarp take some of that stress and distribute the energy across a larger area. It stands to reason that greater stress distribution is achieved by using more thread. That is precisely the point of double stitched seams.

The double stitched seam increases the amount of thread and fabric used to absorb the energy placed on high stress points. Instead of one small piece of fabric and a grommet carrying all the energy of a tie down strap, the energy is dispersed and the overall stress reduced.

The Box Stitch

The box stitch is used to secure D-rings based on the same principle. The only difference here is that the load is not being spread across a greater amount of the tarp surface. Rather, it is being evenly distributed within the webbing that holds a D-ring in place. If you are not sure what we are talking about, look at one of your lumber tarps next time you are tying one down.

A D-ring is held in place by a piece of heavy-duty nylon webbing. If that webbing were stitched in place around the outside edges only, all of the stress put on the D-ring would be absorbed by the edge seam and the small amount of fabric it is attached to. Box stitching distributes the stress across the entire piece of webbing to hold it more firmly in place. Having said that, using the box pattern is important.

A box stitch essentially divides the webbing into smaller pieces that each carries its portion of the load. Even if one part fails, there are up to a dozen others capable of absorbing the energy. A properly stitched webbing is one that could last almost forever under the right conditions.

As you can see, designing and manufacturing lumber, steel and coil tarps requires more than just cutting a piece of nylon to size and putting a nice, cosmetic stitch in place. Tarp designers put a lot of work into the physics of the matter, making sure that stress does not pull a tarp apart, literally at the seams. A well-designed tarp is one that provides cargo protection and stands up to the stresses of flatbed trucking.


Add Truck Tarps to Your Hurricane Kit

The Atlantic hurricane season has begun and, with it, all of the hurricane experts offering their advice as to how residents in threatened areas can prepare for an eventual storm. Most advice deals with what to do in the days before and during a storm; oftentimes the weeks and months following a hurricane are not mentioned. We will address the post-hurricane period in this blog post by specifically recommending residents in affected areas add truck tarps to their hurricane kits.

The coastal areas of the American Southeast have not been hit with a serious hurricane in nine straight years. Even so, experts are warning local residents to be prepared for both, the coming of a storm and dealing with the aftermath. They recommend storing a supply of tarps, plywood and basic survival supplies capable of providing a family’s needs for at least 3 to 4 days. Tarps are especially important in hard-hit areas where hurricane force winds can easily damage roofs.

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A heavy-duty steel tarp is an ideal tarp to use for dealing with post-hurricane damage until repairs can be made. Residents in hurricane-prone areas need to remember that the most severe storms could damage enough roofs that it could take months to get them all fixed. Homeowners cannot afford to deal with a leaky roof in the interim.

Residents can hope that FEMA has enough tarps to go around, but doing so is not a wise idea. And waiting until two days before a storm to run to the local hardware big-box may also leave one wanting. Far better to order two or three truck tarps from a company such as Mytee long before any storm is predicted. If you do not need your tarps this year, you can store them until next year. You can store them indefinitely in their original packaging.

Protection from the Weather

Should a hurricane damage your roof, your insurance company will expect you to do whatever you can to minimize further damage until repairs can be made. In simple terms, they will expect you to cover your roof with a tarp. Doing so accomplishes several things.

First and foremost, it keeps the rain out of your house. This is obviously no small matter. Rain in your house leads to further damage that your insurance company may not be willing to pay for. Not covering your roof with a tarp also increases the likelihood of mold, insect infestation and so on.

A tarp will also protect the damaged area of your roof from the hot sun. In a state like Florida, this is essential. The hot sun can do serious damage to exposed timbers as well as anything in your house including carpets, draperies, and furniture. A heavy-duty steel tarp is ideal for sun protection because it is UV treated.

Additional Storms

One last reason to consider adding heavy-duty steel tarps to your hurricane kit is the potential for further storms. Let us assume your roof is damaged and it takes four weeks before a repair crew arrives. During that time, you are likely to get quite a bit more rain. A light duty tarp purchased off-the-shelf from your local DIY store may not be strong enough to stand up to the daily rain and wind Florida is known for. A heavy-duty truck tarp is.

Remember that truck tarps are designed to withstand driving speeds of up to 65 mph, hour after hour. They are made with heavy-duty, reinforced seams, brass grommets and reinforced webbing. If a truck tarp cannot withstand a typical Florida thunderstorm while you wait for your roof to be repaired, the light duty tarps you buy it at local DIY store will not hold up either.

An investment in truck tarps is a good investment in your hurricane kit. Do not be lulled to sleep by the fact that we haven’t had any significant storms in quite a while. Prepare now so that you are ready for any storm. You can order your truck tarps directly from our website for delivery right to your door.


How To Identify The Perfect Poly Tarp

Purchasing your poly truck tarps from Mytee Products ensures you will be getting a high-quality product capable of performing as you expect it to. From lumber tarps to steel to smoke tarps, we make it our mission to carry only those products that provide truck drivers with the quality they need.

Experienced drivers who have been using them for years, know exactly what type of poly tarp they require, however new drivers who might be looking to save some money might miss out on the key qualities of a good poly tarp.These are essential characteristics for poly tarps one should pay attention to when making purchase decisions as they go a long way in determining how well a tarp will perform and how long it will last:

Tarp Color

Shopping for tarps reveals you can purchase them in a variety of colors including blue, black, red, green, yellow, and silver. There are canvas tarps as well. Please be aware that manufacturers do not choose colors at random. The color of a tarp will tell you its general strength without you having to look at the specifications. This can help you weed out undesirable products so you can concentrate only on the ones capable of doing the job.

Truck drivers will typically be looking for black, blue or red tarps, depending on their needs. Stay away from anything that is green, yellow, silver, or camouflaged unless you are looking for something for light duty work.

poly tarp

Tarp Construction

Tarp construction is a big one. Just like a building, a tarp manufactured according to best practices is the one that will last the longest and do the best job. To begin with, you are looking for poly tarps using a woven fabric. A woven polyethylene is a plastic fabric that is incredibly durable. Woven is better than non-woven because any tears or holes one might incur are not likely to spread.

Other factors to consider include double stitched seams, reinforced grommets and box stitched D-rings. Where the grommets and D-rings are concerned, you can never go wrong with quantity. There should be an ample supply of both, properly spaced all around the outer edge. For lumber tarps, D-rings are especially important on drop downs.

Fabric Strength (thread size)

When you are dealing with linen products or canvas, fabric strength is determined partly by thread count. In terms of poly tarps, it is thread size that matters. Take one of our heavy-duty steel tarps for example. We use a base cloth of 1,000 x 1,000 Denier in a heavy-duty, 18-ounce vinyl. This makes for an exceptionally strong fabric that holds up very well.

The absolute minimum for most flatbed trucking jobs is 700-800 Denier. The higher the thread size, the stronger the fabric. Fabric can also be made stronger by applying a laminate.

Environmental Exposure

The average poly tarp is treated to provide UV protection. It is also moisture resistant as well as resistant to both mold and rot. Such environmental exposure standards should be the bare minimum when purchasing flatbed truck tarps. In regards to lumber tarps specifically, the driver needs to go one step further to make sure tarps are heat-sealed to make them waterproof. This is non-negotiable. Lumber must be kept dry, or it could be rejected by a receiver upon delivery.

Knowing what to look for will make your shopping experience easier and more productive. As always, we encourage you to purchase your truck tarps from Mytee Products. We offer competitive pricing, fast delivery, and high quality. You will find everything you need for load securement and cargo protection in our online store including tarps, straps, and edge protectors.