More from: lumber tarps

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.


It’s All Flatbeds and Lumber Tarps in Bitterroot

As the sun comes up on the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, the trucks are already lining up on one of several logging roads now active in the forest. Those trucks, and their drivers, are waiting for loads of lumber to be carried to a sawmill in Seeley Lake and other logging towns nearby. Up to 10 trailers haul between 40 and 45 logs out of the forest every day. It’s all flatbeds and lumber tarps in Bitterroot, as it has been for decades.

The section of forest being worked at the time this blog post was written covers 165 acres of ponderosa pine. It is but a drop in the bucket when you consider the more than 1.58 million total acres the forest covers. Every one of those acres is systematically thinned as part of the federal government’s forestry management strategy. By the time the entire forest is thinned appropriately, it will be time to turn around and start all over again.

lumber-tarps

Forestry management is an important part of keeping the trees in the Bitterroot National Forest healthy and productive. All trees need plenty of sunshine and nutrient-rich soil, but ponderosa pine is especially needful. When forests are not properly managed, overly-dense pine groves can fall victim to insects, disease, and lack of enough sunlight due to the thick forest canopy. And, of course, forests that are not properly managed are always prone to devastating fires as a result of lightning storms.

Every trailer of logs and lumber tarps represents another acre of forest land properly managed by thinning. It is a way of life that not a lot of people understand. For the professional trucker, driving a truck along the quiet and narrow logging roads of Montana is quite a bit different from hauling a dry goods trailer down the interstate. There is nothing quite like it to those who do it.

Hauling Lumber Not Easy

Hauling cargo such as machinery and steel coil is comparatively easy next to lumber taken directly from a place like Bitterroot. In terms of the former, you simply hook up your trailer and go once your cargo has been properly secured and covered. Hauling lumber is decidedly different.

Preparing for the journey is pretty straightforward: Secure your lumber tarps, do your pre-trip inspection, and make sure any necessary paperwork is in order. That’s the easy part. The real adventure is bringing your rig out of the forest and onto the main highway. The thing about lumber hauling is that the logging roads truckers must navigate are not always straight and flat. In fact, rarely are they so.

It takes a very skilled truck driver to successfully navigate logging roads without damaging equipment or the lumber itself. Once a rig makes it to the main highway, life does get easier. But that does not mean the trucker no longer has to pay attention. The section of Montana where the crews are now working is well known for dense fog and icy roads – especially during the morning hours. The trucker has to be at the top of his/her game until the sun comes up and melts away the fog and ice.

Indeed, it is all about flatbeds and lumber tarps in the Bitterroot National Forest these days. All across the forest regions of Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon there are logging crews and truck drivers working hard to harvest lumber as part of a responsible management program. At Mytee Products, we are proud to supply truckers with high-quality lumber tarps they need to keep things rolling.

Sources:

  • Missoulian – http://missoulian.com/lifestyles/hometowns/productive-ground-lake-como-logging-underway-in-area-first-cut/article_554a8b49-3004-5544-bc4b-beb72a1e6270.html

Slick New Trailers Still Need Tarps

The 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show held in early April was quite a show. Independent contractors, carriers and shippers from all over the country descended on the show to see the latest and greatest in new equipment. Among the highlights of the show were new flatbeds from companies such as Great Dane. Yet no matter how technologically advanced flatbed trailers become, the need for tarps will always be crucial to the game.

Great Dane unveiled a brand-new all-aluminum trailer that they have named the Freedom XP. No, it has nothing to do with your computer’s OS. Rather, it is a completely new concept in 48-foot flatbed trailers designed from the ground up. Designed with an emphasis on visibility, sporting LED lights, polished filler plates, additional mud flaps and the options to include a single coil package perfect for loading on and secured quickly.

As impressed as visitors to the Mid-America Trucking Show were with Freedom XP’s features, an experienced trucker knows that, it would only take a few cross country trips before that shiny new trailer begins to look worn. No amount of sparkle or polish can change the punishment the open road dishes up. And that is why truckers still need flatbed truck tarps alongside slick new trailers.

flatbedtarp

Platform on Wheels

The Freedom XP offers a 22-disc brake system that is as good as anything Great Dane has ever produced. Even so, the trailer is just a platform on wheels intended to carry everything from steel coil to factory equipment to pallets of landscaping materials. This means the tarps drivers choose to protect their loads is as important as the platform underneath them.

Truck tarps do not get a lot of media attention at equipment shows because they are, quite frankly, not nearly as glamorous as an all-aluminum flatbed trailer. Additionally, tarp technology has not changed all that drastically over the years. It is hard to put together a flashy presentation that impresses show participants and convinces them to purchase. Nevertheless, this does not diminish the importance of truck tarps for flatbed hauling.

Tarps Make the Difference

The versatile yet utilitarian truck tarp makes all the difference between a successful flatbed trip and an unsuccessful one. From the truck driver’s perspective, not having the right kinds of tarps on board is a quick way to lose jobs. From the standpoint of shippers and receivers, tarps are the link that cargo stays safe from point A to point B. Some will not even consider using a driver until that driver first proves he/she has the necessary tarps on board.

Mytee Products carries a full range of steel, coil, lumber and smoke tarps for flatbed truckers. Most of the tarps we sell are made of high-quality polyethylene with reinforced webbing and brass grommets. We also carry canvas tarps as well. Our tarps offer exceptional durability at affordable prices.

The two keys to using tarps successfully are choosing the right tarp for the job and not buying new tarps on the cheap. Insofar as the former is concerned, not every tarp in a trucker’s toolbox is suitable for every job. That is why manufacturers make different kinds. Having at least a few of each makes the trucker’s job a lot easier.

In terms of buying new tarps, going cheap is never a good idea. You get what you pay for. By spending a little more on a high-quality product you can rely on, you will actually spend less over the course of your career by purchasing fewer total tarps. The extra money you spend on quality is well worth it.

Sources:

1.Fleet Equipment – http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/great-dane-aluminum-flatbed/


The Importance of Lumber Tarps

At first thought, it may seem that applying tarps to lumber loads is a waste of time. We just assume lumber is durable enough to handle a trip up the interstate without too many problems. However, that isn’t the case. There is one silent villain of lumber that could cause monstrous levels of damage and ruin the entire load long before it reaches its destination. And that enemy is – moisture. Keeping lumber dry is the primary reason for using lumber tarps.

To be clear, hauling lumber is normally associated with carrying cut wood from the harvest location to the processing location. Nevertheless, hauling lumber can also mean carrying finished products, such as 2x4s, to a construction site. Regardless of the stage of production, all lumber is still susceptible to moisture.

Fungal Growth Equals Worthless Wood

Wood is a pretty durable product, capable of taking a lot of punishment. Nonetheless, under the right conditions, fungus can grow within a load of lumber. Substantial fungal growth can make an entire load worthless. This is why flatbed truckers have to be very careful about protecting lumber on the road.

lumber

In order for fungus to grow, three things need to be present in just the right proportions: moisture, warm temperatures, and air. Any two can be just right and you will still not get fungus if the third is not. This is why rough cut lumber can sit in the bottom of a river for hundreds of years without ever growing fungus or decaying. There is simply not enough oxygen to sustain fungal growth.

On the back of a flatbed trailer however, it is not difficult at all to reach optimum conditions for fungal growth. There is obviously plenty of air, and a fairly warm day with sunshine satisfies the temperature requirements. Add a little moisture from a short rainstorm and you have the perfect conditions for fungus.

The main problem with lumber loads is that any water managing to seep through open spaces can then become trapped between individual pieces of lumber. If allowed to sit long enough in this condition, fungus can grow. Therefore, the best way to avoid the risk is to cover the load with lumber tarps. Tarps keep away moisture and, in the case of finished lumber, prevent any damage from flying debris and insects.

Tarp Quality Important

Providing maximum protection for a lumber load is a matter of using a high-quality lumber tarp. A good tarp will be large enough to cover the top and sides of the load, with flaps on the front and back to completely encase the lumber. Vinyl or poly are the two most common fabric choices, though it’s not unheard of for some truckers to use canvas.

We recommend a high-quality tarp from a reputable manufacturer. The driver will pay a little more for quality, but the higher price is worth it over the long term. A quality tarp will offer maximum protection and last longer than a cheaper alternative. Moreover, given that lumber tarps are one of the most important tools of the trade for the timber hauler, there is no point in doing business on the cheap.

Protecting lumber from moisture is an important part of the job. This makes lumber work the most labor-intensive and time-consuming in all of the industry. Truckers should consider what is involved in order to make sure they are getting paid well enough to make the work worth their while. Considering that the pay is good, applying those lumber tarps is no big deal.


What to Look for When Buying a Lumber Tarp

Truckers know how important it is to protect the load, even if the load is a lumber only load. So, choosing the right product for the right load is essential. When buying your tarp, you can choose between being solely cost conscious or considering quality and functionality before you make your decision. Moreover, as with most purchasing decisions, getting the best possible quality might involve spending a little more than the intended budget for it.

Another thing to consider about lumber, is the fact that, a load can be very hard on the tarp that covers it. A light-duty tarp may weigh and cost less, but it will probably not last as long as you would like it to. Always go with heavy-duty tarps that can withstand the punishment of the load it covers.

lumber tarp

Here are three things you should look for when buying lumber tarps:

1. Material Weight

It can be tempting to choose a lightweight product to make applying and tying down a tarp as easy as possible. However, this could be a costly mistake if a new tarp is damaged after just a few loads. This scenario can be avoided by purchasing an 18 oz. vinyl tarp. Vinyl is lighter than canvas, 100% waterproof, and incredibly tough.

It is possible to choose three-piece parts that use a heavier vinyl on the top and a lighter vinyl on the sides. This sort of arrangement reduces the overall weight while providing the heaviest protection where you need it most – at the top of the load. As a side note, pay attention to the seams and hems. Heat-sealed seams and reinforced hems are best.

2. Drop

The amount of drop a tarp offers is an important part of protecting the lumber load. Not enough drop can leave too much of the load exposed to the elements; too much drop may mean an excess amount of fabric to be secured. Neither situation is ideal. Having said that, lumber loads are such that finding a tarp that fits perfectly, every time, is nearly impossible.

Most truckers will need tarps with multiple drops to account for different kinds of loads. You will soon enough know the specific tarps that are needed for the loads you tend to carry most frequently.

3. D-Rings and Grommets

D-rings and grommets make it possible for you to tie down your tarps in order to protect your load. First and foremost, any lumber tarp you purchase should have enough of both to make securing the tarp easy regardless of the size and shape of the road.

The second thing to pay attention to is how D-rings and grommets are attached to the tarp. Heavy-duty construction is important. D-rings should be attached with heavy-duty webbing, back stitched for maximum strength. They should also include a heavy-duty protection flap underneath. As for the grommets, these should be attached with heavy-duty webbing that are at least 2 inches in width.

When buying a lumber tarp the key is quality, in both construction and materials. It might be worth it to spend more on a high quality product that will last longer than to try to get by with a cheaper alternative. Remember, protecting your load appropriately will only be good for business. A high-quality tarp will pay for itself over time as it used to cover more loads.