More from: Machinery Tarps

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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Machinery Tarps: Great for Machinery and Irregular Loads

A flatbed trucker’s choice of tarps is important decision for every load he or she needs to transport. Nowhere is this more evident than when a trucker is hauling expensive machinery that could easily be damaged by the elements, road debris, or even the chosen tarp itself. It is a good thing manufacturers make machinery tarps designed specifically for these kinds of loads. Machinery tarps are an excellent choice for both machinery and irregular loads not easily covered with steel or lumber tarps.

For purposes of definition, a machinery tarp is usually a heavy-duty vinyl product manufactured with reinforced webbing and double stitching, evenly spaced grommets around the perimeter, and a series of strategically placed D-rings for more load securement options. What make these relatively different to steel and lumber tarps are the size and shape.

machinery

Machinery tarps can be purchased as either squares or rectangles. Rectangular tarps are different from their steel tarp counterparts in that, they aren’t as long. For instance, the rectangular machinery tarps sold by Mytee Products are 4 to 6 inches longer than they are wide. This design makes it easier to cover irregular loads without having to use multiple tarps. Because steel tarps are so much longer, they do not work as well for irregular loads.

Typical Uses for Machinery Tarps

Machinery tarps are used for all kinds of loads on either flatbed trailers or step decks. You will find that, they are most frequently used on the following types of loads:

  • Farm Equipment – Transporting farm equipment from manufacturer to customer requires load protection to ensure a non-damaged product is delivered. Machinery tarps are used to cover things such as combines, milking machines, harvesting equipment, etc.
  • Manufacturing Equipment – The equipment used in a manufacturing environment can be very expensive and sensitive to environmental conditions. A CNC lathe is one good example. Machinery tarps are ideal for this kind of load because they can be easily draped over machinery without damaging it.
  • Mining and Energy – The mining and energy industries are well known for needing all sorts of equipment and supplies of irregular shapes and sizes. A single flatbed load might include a piece of new drilling equipment along with a utility trailer and a load of concrete block. Putting so many different objects on a single trailer can create a challenge for load securement; machinery tarps fit the bill nicely.

Purchasing Machinery Tarps

Mytee Products recommends truck drivers be choosy about the tarps they purchase. We believe it is more important where machinery tarps are concerned, given the fact that the loads they cover are often rather fragile. We reckon it is worth spending the extra money to purchase high-quality tarps that the trucker can rely on load after load.

What makes a high-quality machinery tarp? For starters, 18-ounce vinyl should be the absolute minimum. Anything lighter may not offer the kind of protection the trucker needs. Next, seams should be double-stitched for extra strength around the entire perimeter and where two pieces of vinyl meet. Webbing and D-rings should also be double stitched.

Lastly, grommets should be made of solid brass for maximum strength and durability. The last thing a trucker needs is a tarp with grommets that starts to fail after just a few loads. Failing grommets can result in a torn tarp that begins flapping in the wind as the trailer moves down the road, offering a quick way to damage the cargo a trucker is supposed to be protecting.

Machinery tarps are great for all kinds of machinery and irregular loads. Mytee Products has a good selection of machinery tarps for truckers to choose from.