More from: canvas tarps

Canvas Tarps Are Tough Tarps

Vinyl is the material that makes up the vast majority of our truck tarp inventory. But Mytee Products also carries a selection of canvas tarps as well. We understand that canvas tarps are tough tarps, and sometimes drivers need that extra toughness. There are times when vinyl will just not do.

This post will explore just why canvas is such a tough material and what that means to truck drivers. So let’s start by first discussing the difference between plain and duck canvas. They may look the same to the naked eye, but they are distinctly different products.

A standard canvas tarp is made from a fabric constructed of heavy fibers (usually cotton) woven together in a plain weave. The weave is tight enough to be water-resistant and reasonably tough under most circumstances. Duck canvas uses a similar weave, but the density is greater. The advantage of duck canvas is that the tighter weave makes it more resistant to weather. The downside is that it is not as breathable.

Both types of canvas can be treated with wax to make them waterproof. This is obviously not necessary to protect the fabric itself, but it is a big plus for truckers who need to keep moisture out. Waxed canvas tarps do need to be retreated every now and again.

Why Canvas Is So Tough

The toughness of canvas is really a matter of physics. To understand this, first ask yourself what it is that causes damage to truck tarps. Usually it is things like sharp edges, airborne debris, and weather. All these things exert force on the tarp fabric that can lead to rips, tears, etc.

Resisting damage is a matter of resisting those external forces. What makes canvas so tough is the weave. By using a high concentration of fibers woven together in an over and under pattern (this is the plain weave pattern), canvas makers are creating a surface that absorbs energy and dissipates it across its entire surface. Each one of those little fibers handles some of the energy directed at the surface of the tarp. The more fibers there are, the more effectively energy is absorbed and dissipated.

As for the weave, it allows energy absorbed in one portion of the tarp to be transferred across the entire surface by way of the fibers touching one another. Furthermore, each fiber supports the ones around it through the over and under contact of the weave. When external force is exerted on the fabric, the fibers that initially absorb it are supported by the surrounding fibers even as the energy begins to dissipate across the entire surface of the tarp.

Life after Trucking

If you have ever wondered just how tough canvas is, consider what might happen to your tarps after they are no longer usable for trucking. Canvas tarps can be recycled and used to create all sorts of things. For example, there is a company in Europe that recycles rubberized canvas truck tarps by turning them into full size travel cases.

The tarps are cleaned, cut into smaller pieces, and sewn together into large travel bags with inflatable frames made out of bicycle tubes. Using canvas as the main material allows for rolling the bag up into a fairly compact package when not in use. When unrolled and inflated, the combination of bike tube and canvas creates a durable, water tight suitcase that rivals any hard-shell product on the market.

We love canvas tarps because they are tough tarps. If you need one or two to fill out your inventory, Mytee Products has what you need.


Tips for Hauling Sensitive Industrial Machinery

As a flatbed trucker, have you ever had the experience of hauling sensitive industrial machinery that the shipper expects to arrive with nary a scratch? If so, you know how challenging this can be. Road vibration can be an absolute killer when it comes to industrial machinery. Just a little vibration can do a lot of damage, even if you are not going thousands of miles.

To say that hauling industrial machinery is more than just tying it down with bungee straps is to state the obvious. These kinds of loads require a little TLC along with a basic understanding of how road vibrations affect different kinds of cargo. It can take years to learn all the tricks of the trade for protecting sensitive machinery.

If you are new to the flatbed industry, don’t be afraid to take sensitive industrial machinery loads. Consider such loads a challenge. Then do what you can to learn how to transport them safely, including heeding the tips explained below.

Prepare Machinery Properly

The first step in hauling sensitive industrial machinery is to prepare the cargo for loading. The good news is that shippers often take care of this stuff themselves. It is fairly common for truckers to arrive at the yard and find machines already wrapped in cardboard and plastic, and secured to pallets. If that is not the case, the driver should insist that the shipper prepare the machines properly.

Loading and Positioning

Once the loading process begins, the truck driver is in control. The driver is ultimately responsible for the cargo from the moment it touches his/her trailer to the moment it is taken off, so make the effort to protect yourself by taking the lead in the loading process. The idea is to guarantee machinery is loaded in a way that allows you to protect it through your cargo control procedures.

The general rule for sensitive industrial machinery is to keep individual pieces from making direct contact with one another, if possible. Keep them as far apart as you can. If the number of pieces being loaded dictates that they have to be placed relatively close to one another, you’ll have to use your best judgment.

Edge Protectors, Blankets, and Tie-Downs

This next part of the process is the most critical of all. After machinery has been put into position, it’s now up to you to eliminate all risk of damage. You should immediately begin thinking about corner and edge protectors. Wherever you can place one, you should. Use corner and edge protectors to prevent direct contact among multiple pieces of machinery. You also want to prevent contact between machinery and your tie-downs and tarps.

If need be, you may want to throw moving blankets over the top of the machinery and into empty spaces. Then securely tighten everything down with ratchet straps. There should be something between every strap and the machinery it secures, whether that be an edge protector or blanket.

Keep Tarps Taught

Our last tip is to keep your tarps taught throughout the entire journey. There is nothing more frustrating than going to great lengths to protect sensitive machinery only to find that a tarp left flapping in the wind caused some damage.

The trucker’s best friend for this job is the bungee strap. Tarps can be secured to the bed of the trailer using bungee straps at every grommet. The driver can then use bungee rope or a series of straps connected to go around the perimeter of the cargo. Securing the perimeter at the top and bottom will keep tarps tight and in place.

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Canvas Tarps and Cargo Control

Here is a hypothetical scenario between a customer and truck driver who have a slight difference in opinion of how to control and protect cargo. A truck driver arrives to pick up a load from a well-paying customer who insists on using canvas tarps. The trucker is no fan of canvas, being that it is a much heavier material and can be a bit tedious to manage without assistance. But canvas is what the customer wants, so canvas is what the truck driver uses.

Truck drivers may spend some time and energy mulling over their difference in view points with shippers about cargo control and tarping. From our point of view, it is wasted time and energy. Shippers and receivers are paying for the service that truckers provide. Without those shippers and receivers, it would be hard to imagine how cargo management would take place smoothly.Also building a trusting relationship with both, shippers and receivers results in more trucking business.

The Shipper’s View of Cargo

One of the reasons truck drivers struggle with cargo control and carving requirements is a lack of understanding of how shippers and receivers view cargo. This is understandable as each is a subject matter expert in their own right. In fact, truckers view cargo in an entirely different way – as we will explain in the next section. As for shippers and receivers, they see cargo in one of several ways.

First, the cargo a shipper sends on the back of a flatbed truck can be viewed as a source of income. Let’s say the shipper is a manufacturer of paver stones and bricks. Every load sent out on the back of a truck represents a revenue stream. Maximizing revenue is about making sure loads get to their destinations fully intact and without damage. Cargo control and tarping are seen as tools for maximizing revenue streams.

Receivers view cargo in much the same way, though a bit more indirectly. A retailer receiving a load of paver stones and bricks may see those individual pieces as revenue generators, but they are also viewed as part of a much larger inventory that speaks volumes about the retailer’s reputation as a supplier. The retailer cannot afford damaged or blemished products that could harm the business’s reputation.

A third way of viewing cargo is a bit more personal. Take the owner of several classic cars as an example. Those cars are more than just frames with four wheels and an engine. Classic car collectors often treat their vehicles as parts of an extended family. They are investments that are highly personal and, as such, involve an emotional attachment. Truckers would expect a classic car owner to require canvas tarps instead of poly. Canvas is safer for a car’s delicate finish.

The Driver’s View of Cargo

Conflict between truckers and shippers/receivers can arise because of the driver’s different view. For the average truck driver, there is no personal or emotional attachment to cargo. The cargo is not seen as a direct revenue stream either. The trucker is being paid for a service, not for the product on the back of the trailer.

Finn Murphy, a veteran truck driver and mover interviewed by FleetOwner this past July, refers to this view among truckers as the ‘Buddhist view of attachment’. He explains that drivers do not attach any intrinsic value to the cargo they are carrying. It is just freight. Still, Murphy recognizes the trucker’s responsibility to protect that freight at all costs for the benefit of shippers and receivers.

A shipper or receiver may require the use of canvas tarps for any number of reasons. That’s fine. It’s really up to them to decide how they want their cargo protected from point A to point B. Despite the Buddhist view of attachment, it is up to truck drivers to do what makes customers happy.

Sources:

FleetOwner – http://fleetowner.com/driver-management-resource-center/high-end-bedbugger-and-buddhist-view-attachment


5 Things to Know about Canvas Tarps

Mytee Products is proud to carry a selection of canvas tarps alongside our much larger selection of vinyl products. Though vinyl is the clear choice for truck tarps,canvas is a more appropriate material in some circumstances. It is a good idea for flatbed truckers to carry at least a couple of canvas tarps on board just in case shippers or receivers require them.

It could be that you do not know much about canvas because you have no need to know. Well, we want to help you expand your knowledge. There are five things to know about canvas tarps that may influence your decision to use them for cargo control.

1. Canvas Tarps Are Breathable

Canvas is a very breathable material even after being treated for water resistance. By ‘breathable’, we mean it allows air to flow between the individual fibers. Why is this important? Because some flatbed loads are moisture-sensitive. For example, a farmer shipping fresh fruits and vegetables may require the truck driver to use canvas tarps in order to prevent sweating that could cause premature spoilage.

Canvas is also an excellent choice on loads where rust is a concern. Once again, the breathability of canvas prevents moisture from building up underneath. Breathability reduces the risk of rust on loads that will be covered for a considerable length of time.

2. Canvas Tarps Are Environmentally Friendly

Most truck tarps are made of vinyl, polypropylene, or polyethylene. While all three materials are rather strong and able to withstand the punishment of flatbed trucking, neither is necessarily environmentally friendly. Canvas is. Canvas is made from cotton or linen duck fibers. As such, it will not harm the environment even after a tarp wears out and has to be disposed of. Given enough time, a discarded canvas tarp would completely decompose.

3. Canvas Tarps Are Extremely Versatile

We sell canvas tarps primarily to flatbed truckers to help them meet their cargo control needs. Yet canvas is an extremely versatile material that can be used in other ways. Canvas tarps are good for agricultural applications like storing hay or protecting equipment. They are appropriate to the construction industry for transporting and storing lumber, gravel, and other materials. The possible uses of canvas tarps beyond flatbed trucking are extensive, to say the least.

4. Canvas Tarps Can Be Treated or Untreated

Tarp manufacturers sell both treated and untreated products. A treated canvas tarp will be resistant to water, mold and mildew, UV exposure, and more. An untreated product will simply be straight up canvas. Untreated canvas is not 100% waterproof, so truckers need to keep that in mind. It is water resistant thanks to the exceptionally tight weave used in creating canvas tarps.

5. Canvas Tarps Are Easy to Handle

Canvas is known for a number of inherent properties that make the material easy to handle. We have already mentioned the tight weave; this property makes canvas tarps easier to fold than their vinyl counterparts. Canvas is also more slip resistant as well, making it a great material for flatbed trucking at times when snow and ice are a concern. Lastly, because canvas is heavier than vinyl or poly, it also does not blow in the wind as easily. A canvas tarp can be a lot easier to secure under windy conditions than a poly tarp.

Canvas tarps are not the right solution for every cargo control need. But canvas does have a place in the flatbed trucker’s toolbox. If you are in need of a couple of canvas tarps, Mytee Products has just what you’re looking for.


Canvas Tarps: To Treat or Not to Treat

One of the main advantages of canvas tarps is that they are made with natural fibers tightly woven together to create a strong, breathable material suitable for a variety of uses. Truckers sometimes use canvas tarps for certain kinds of loads that demand breathable tarp protection.

The question for truck drivers purchasing new canvas tarps is whether to get treated or untreated material. Canvas is an excellent material for truck tarps by itself, but manufacturers do offer tarps that have been treated for water resistance, UV protection, and even fire retardation. So, which is better; treated or untreated canvas?

There is no right or wrong answer here. Both materials have their strong and weak points. For the trucker, it is a matter of understanding those points and then determining which choice is better most of the time. Some truckers carry tarps of both types in order to be prepared for anything.

Water Resistance
Untreated canvas is naturally water resistant thanks to the extremely tight weave of the fibers. But water resistance does not mean waterproof. Treating canvas for water resistance also does not make it waterproof. Rather, the chemical treatment is a wax-like material that causes water to bead up and roll off rather easily. A canvas tarp treated for water resistance is less likely to allow water to pool.
On the positive side, a water-resistant treatment also reduces the risk of mold and mildew. As long as a treated tarp is properly dried before being folded and stored away, mold and mildew should never be a problem. On the downside, treated canvas is somewhat less breathable. If breathability is a concern, untreated canvas may be a better option.

Fire Retardation
It would be unusual to find a canvas tarp treated for fire retardation but not water and UV resistance. This dictates that fire retardation involves an extra treatment above and beyond a water-resistant coating. This extra protection is probably not needed except in cases where a canvas tarp may be accidentally exposed to open flame or sparks.

UV Resistance
The third kind of treatment also applied to canvas tarps is an anti-UV treatment. Because canvas is made of natural fibers, it is subject to break down as a result of UV exposure. Natural UV breakdown can lead to rot if a canvas material is also exposed to mold and mildew.

The reality is that all canvas materials break down over time. It is unavoidable for natural materials. But treating canvas for both water and UV resistance slows down the process of wear and tear. A properly treated material is less likely to fall victim to rot. In addition, retreating canvas every few years can extend its life.

Treating Tarps Yourself
The truck driver who has chosen treated canvas tarps would do well to apply a new treatment on a regular schedule, according to the manufacturers recommendations. A premium finish coat product specifically designed for canvas is the best option. Finishing products can be found at boating and RV centers, trucking supply centers, and even sporting goods outlets that carry canvas tarps and tents.

Our selection of canvas tarps is limited to just two. Furthermore, both products have been treated for water resistance. Our canvas tarps are very good general-purpose tarps that you could use for a variety of purposes. Canvas is an excellent choice for fruit and vegetable loads, exterior building products, highly sensitive machinery, and virtually any other kind of cargo that requires breathable tarp.

To treat or not to treat? That’s entirely up to you. Either way, canvas is great tarp material.