How to Fit Truck Tarps Perfectly

You see a lot of interesting things traveling down the interstate. For example, flatbed trailers carrying all kinds of loads are commonplace. Some of those trailers looked to be carrying pretty impressive cargo, though you might never know what it is hidden under all those tarps. That leads to the following question: how do truck drivers get those tarps fitted so tight?

Covering a load with truck tarps is not as easy as it sounds. Anyone can throw a couple of tarps over the top of a load and secure them with bungee straps, but that does not mean the cargo underneath is safe from all that could potentially harm it. That’s why truck drivers go to such great lengths to guarantee their tarps are tightly secured. They do not want their tarps flapping in the breeze at 60 mph.

So, how do they do it? It is a combination of a number of things.

1. Years of Experience

First and foremost, there is no substitute for experience. Every truck driver learns on the job regardless of how much training he or she received in CDL school. Simply put, learning the best ways to deploy truck tarps for any given load is a matter of book knowledge, time, and plenty of time actually doing it.

Imagine hauling an oddly shaped load consisting of industrial machinery and supplies. You might get it wrong the first time out, failing to get your tarps tight and secure. Rest assured you would hear about it on delivery. Whatever mistakes you made that first time are unlikely to be repeated the next time. You will find a better way to do it on the next run. Load after load, you’ll get better at tarping.

2. Daily Observations

The laws of physics are a wonderful thing in that they can be learned through simple observation. A truck driver may not have taken high school or college physics prior to beginning his or her career but watching how loads and tarps respond during travel can make any truck driver a physics expert in no time at all.

Truck drivers with the best tarping skills are the same drivers who pay attention to the smallest of details. They pay close attention to how each load is tarped and then, during transport, how the load and its tarps respond. They pay attention to tarp movement at highway speeds; they pay attention to how tarps handle bad weather; they pay attention to how temperature extremes affect their tarps.

3. Advice from Others

Finally, the smart truck driver doesn’t turn away any advice offered by others. No trucker lives on an island, and no trucker knows everything about tarping. So receiving and offering sound advice is in the truck driver’s best interests. Drivers get advice from other truckers, from shippers, and even from police officers and DOT inspectors.

Imagine being at a roadside inspection when a state trooper notices one of your tarps isn’t as tight as it could be. If that trooper offers a word of advice based on his past observations, how would you respond? Smart truckers take the advice for what it is. If it is usable, great. If not, it is dismissed. No harm, no foul.

Next time you drive down the interstate and see a flatbed trailer with a tightly tarped load, don’t assume that the deploying of the tarps was an easy task. Truck drivers put a lot of work into securing their loads prior to departure. If you observe an exceptionally good tarping job, be confident that driver knows what he or she is doing.


Parachutes: Not Just for Jumping out of Airplanes

Jumping out of an airplane with nothing but a parachute to get you safely to the ground requires quite a bit of trust in the material and mechanics of that parachute. Common sense dictates that you would want a parachute material capable of withstanding the stresses of skydiving. Well, guess what? The same kinds of forces that put stress on parachutes also put stress on truck tarps. So why not use parachute material to make a better truck tarp?

We have good news in this regard: parachutes are not just for jumping out of airplanes. Manufacturers are now beginning to utilize parachute cloth for making stronger, lighter truck tarps capable of withstanding the punishment of the open road. Mytee Products has just introduced our own selection of parachute/airbag tarps.

We know, the industry has been using vinyl for what seems like an eternity. But as great a tarp material as vinyl is, parachute cloth is better. We encourage you to at least consider parachute cloth tarps when it comes time to replace your vinyl and canvas.

Basics of Parachute Cloth

Parachute cloth is as a ripstop nylon material. It doesn’t really have to be nylon, but most parachute cloth is. The ‘ripstop’ designation refers to the fact that the cloth is exceptionally resistant to rips and tears thanks to a special kind of weave.

Normal weaves go in just two directions. The warp goes in one direction, the weft in a perpendicular direction. Parachute cloth is different. Parachute cloth manufacturers employ a special technique that involves interweaving reinforcement threads throughout the fabric in a crosshatch pattern.

If you have ever seen a baseball diamond just prior to the first pitch, you should have a good understanding of what a crosshatch pattern is. The outfield displays a crisscross pattern left by a mower being run across it earlier in the day. If you were to take that mower and go across the infield one more time, perpendicular to the intersections of the crisscross pattern, you would wind up with a crosshatch pattern.

The extra weave essentially creates an extra woven ‘joint’, as it were, at every intersection of the warp and weft. This is what gives parachute cloth its exceptional strength. The mass of the extra thread provides additional reinforcement throughout the entire weave.

Lighter Is Better

Now that you understand the basics of parachute cloth, let us discuss why it is a better alternative for truck tarps. The benefits of parachute cloth can be encapsulated in a single word: weight. Simply put, lighter is better for most applications.

As a truck driver, you know that the point of tarps is not cargo securement. Your loads are secured by way of chains and straps. You deploy tarps to protect cargo from weather and road debris. As such, you need tarps strong enough to withstand highway speeds, rough weather, and temperature extremes. If you can get away with a lightweight material without compromising tarp integrity, that’s good for you and your physical health.

Let face it; vinyl tarps are heavy. They are unwieldy under windy conditions. A parachute tarp that is up to 40% lighter is a lot easier to deploy in any weather. It is easier on your back and arms, too. And don’t forget speed; a lighter tarp can be deployed faster because it requires less physical effort on your part.

Yes indeed, parachutes are not just for jumping out of planes anymore. Now you can use the same material skydivers trust their lives with to protect the cargo on the back of your trailer. It is a beautiful thing.


Electrified Fencing When the Power Goes Out

Cattle ranchers and hobbyists alike are discovering electrified fencing is a viable alternative to barbed wire for containing cattle. But no fencing product is perfect. Electrified fencing’s biggest downfall is a lack of power. What do you do when weather knocks out fencing by knocking out the power?

A loss of power is certainly not the end of the world. With the right preparations beforehand, a power outage does not need to disrupt a landowner’s operations at all. A few of those preparations are explained below. In the meantime, note that Mytee Products now sells electrified fencing materials including wire and several different kinds of energizers.

Start with Good Training

Cattle that have never been exposed to electrified fencing need to be trained before being put into the field. Training is fairly simple to do, and there are lots of online resources explaining how to do it. The point we want to make is that sound training is one of the best defenses against the power going out. Remember that cattle do not innately know when they are in the midst of a power outage.

Well-trained cattle rarely get close enough to electrified fencing to be shocked. In fact, they will stay several feet away from a fence line – at minimum. Some cattle are so leery of being shocked that staying 20 to 30 feet away isn’t out of the question. What does this tell you? That well-trained cattle might never know the power is out because they never get close enough to the fence line.

Keep Solar Energizers Handy

Another thing ranchers and farmers can do is keep a few solar-powered energizers on hand. During an extended power outage, cattle can be moved to a single field. The fencing can be temporarily disconnected from its hardwired energizer and connected to a solar energizer until power is restored.

This solution would require going out into the field to manually swap energizers in the midst of a power outage. But it is better than spending your days worrying about whether cattle have gotten out.

Run a Generator

In the absence of solar energizers, a farmer or rancher could run a generator or two to keep the fencing live. This is not the most desirable option as generators make noise and are subject to theft. But if it has to be done, it has to be done. Generators can run indefinitely as long as they are fueled.

The one advantage of using a generator is that energizers do not have to be swapped. A properly configured set-up would involve nothing more than placing a generator in a strategic location, plugging in the fencing system, and starting motor.

Keep One Barbed Wire Fence

Some farmers and ranchers maintain one field with a barbed wire fence just in case. In the event the power goes out for a while, cattle can be moved to that field. This may not be the best solution for somebody who cringes at the thought of cattle becoming entangled in barbed wire, but it is workable.

Power outages have been an inconvenience ever since electrified fencing was first invented. It is not a problem that spells doom and gloom for farmers and ranchers. If you know how to work with the tools you have, you can get by without power for an extended amount of time. Both you and your cattle will survive.

Mytee Products invites you to take a look at our hardwired and solar energizers for your next fencing project. Our electrified fencing materials are ideal for both permanent and portable containment systems.


Tips for Buying Headache Racks Online

Mytee Products is thrilled to be able to offer our customers a range of heavy-duty headache racks that offer both protection and extra storage options. Customers can purchase our headache racks in person, at our Ohio headquarters, or online. We make both options available because we understand that truck drivers need flexibility.

Perhaps you are thinking about a new headache rack for your truck. If so, we invite you to stop by and see us in Aurora next time you’re passing through Northeast Ohio. If you can’t get to our warehouse, you can still order what you need online. We have a great selection.

Buying a headache rack online does come with a few risks. Therefore, we want you to be smart about your purchase. Below are some tips you should find helpful. If you are not planning to buy from Mytee Products, we urge you to be extra cautious. It would be a shame to invest a lot of money in a headache rack only to find that what you purchased doesn’t suit your needs.

Measure Twice, Then Measure Again

The construction trades have a saying: “measure twice, cut once.” The point of the saying is to remind tradesmen to be absolutely sure about their measurements before they begin cutting materials. Otherwise, improper measurements can lead to all sorts of problems, including waste and poor fits.

There is a similar principle when it comes to headache racks. Although headache racks tend to be universal for the most part, your rig might be an exception to the rule. Perhaps you already have other pieces of equipment affixed to the back of your truck that could get in the way of a new rack. Or maybe you want your headache rack positioned a certain way. Here’s the deal: measure twice, then measure a third time – just for good measure, so to speak. Know exactly what you need before you place your order.

Choose a Trusted Brand

Brand means a lot in the trucking business. As such, your choice of headache rack should come from a brand you know and trust. The best brands generally offer the best quality and performance over the long run. And yes, the best brands cost a little bit more. But this is one area in which getting what you pay for is important.

Remember that your choice of headache rack could end up being a lifesaver at some point down the road. You can buy cheap, but then you might also be risking life and limb as a result. Just be willing to spend whatever it takes to give you the level of protection you are after.

Avoid Buying Used

You might be tempted to save a little money by purchasing a used headache rack from an online classified site for one of the popular auction sites. We won’t disagree that buying used can be a big money saver. But there are risks that come with doing so. First and foremost, you never know what you’re getting if you don’t have an opportunity to inspect the product first.

Another risk that comes with buying used is not being able to return the headache rack that’s damaged, malfunctioning, or just doesn’t fit your rig. Is that a risk you are willing to take to save a few bucks? Buying used is entirely up to you, but it’s not something we recommend.

A headache rack is an important piece of safety equipment every tractor should be equipped with. If you are in the market for a new one, please take a few moments to check out our inventory.


What Auto Hauling Amateurs Should Know

John needs to move an unregistered, uninsured car from one location to another. He can pay a professional to haul the car for him, or he can haul it himself. There is no shortage of amateurs that choose the latter option to their own detriment. Amateurs simply do not know what goes into hauling cars safely.

As a professional auto hauler, you know what it takes to do your job right. We would be willing to bet that you have chuckled in amusement more than once after coming upon a DIY hauler whose methods clearly demonstrate a lack of knowledge. If only amateurs knew what you know. Perhaps their efforts might be a bit safer and more efficient.

A Couple of Straps Won’t Do It

How many times have you noticed an amateur hauling a car – or any kind of vehicle for that matter – on the back of a trailer with only one or two straps keeping the vehicle in place. What a recipe for disaster this is. A couple of straps will not do it if things get ugly for any reason.

The professional uses multiple auto hauling straps and chains to secure the vehicle at as many locations as necessary to keep it secure. You might use wheel straps on each of the four tires along with a chain at the front and back. Even blocking the wheels is not out of the question if necessary.

DIY Hauling Isn’t Cheap

It should be obvious that DIY car haulers do what they do to save a little money. That’s fine. What they don’t know is that DIY hauling isn’t cheap if they are doing it correctly. There is more to it than borrowing your neighbor’s utility trailer, loading your car onto it, and heading down the highway in a state of ignorant bliss.

First and foremost, you need the right kind of trailer capable of handling the weight. Next, you need the right kind of trailer hitch. Next are the various straps and chains necessary to secure the vehicle to the trailer. And finally, there is the matter of informing your insurance company that you are planning to haul a car. DIY car haulers may have to add a temporary rider to their insurance to cover an accident.

There Are Federal, State, and Local Laws

If equipment and costs are not enough to dissuade the DIY car hauler, he or she is probably not aware that there are certain federal, state, and local laws that have to be followed. The starting point are federal and state laws that require cargo to be secured properly prior to transport. These rules apply to anyone and everyone on the road regardless of what they are driving.

Beyond secure cargo are additional rules covering everything from load limits to licensing regulations. Having a truck, trailer, and car to haul doesn’t necessarily mean a person is moving a car legally. And without a good knowledge of the law, a DIY car hauler is taking a risk. Being cited for improper hauling is actually more common than people realize.

As a professional, you know what you’re doing every time you load a car and carry it away. You also know how important it is to have an ample supply of straps, chains, and other tools on board whenever you go out on a new job. That’s where Mytee Products can help.

Our line of car hauling and towing supplies will keep your toolbox filled no matter what kind of work you do. From straps and chains to emergency lights, we have everything you need to safely haul cars.