More from: trailer tarps

Gifts to Fill the Trucker’s Tool Boxes

The average 18-wheeler is equipped with multiple aluminum tool boxes packed full of equipment and supplies. This time of year, truck drivers appreciate receiving the kinds of gifts that can fill their tool boxes for the coming year. Below are some suggestions of items you can purchase here at Mytee Products.

Bear in mind that each of the items on our list is something a flatbed trucker needs on a regular basis. Unfortunately, truckers can get so busy at times that they forget to restock their supplies. If you have a trucker in your life that you are planning to buy for this holiday season, why not get some of the items he or she needs to keep his/her tool boxes fully stocked?

Sliding Winches

Sliding winches run across rails fixed below the bed of a flatbed trailer. Truckers use them to attach the winch straps they use to tie down cargo. Sliding winches do not break all that often, which is why a lot of truckers fail to keep a couple of spares on hand. You can save your favorite trucker hours of frustration by gifting a few sliding winches.

Chain Binders

Chain binders are another specialty item truckers don’t have to replace all that frequently. Having said that, there is a varierty of chain binders for different purposes. The trucker in your life might appreciate you asking if there is a specific binder he or she needs. You could then make the purchase and surprise your loved one on Christmas morning.

Tarp Repair Kits

A trucker’s aluminum tool boxes are likely to include a selection of truck tarps for all sorts of loads. What might be missing is a tarp repair kit. This may not seem like a big deal, but having a tarp repair kit on board could mean the difference between getting a load right away and having to wait until repairs can be made. Truck tarps are an important part of the trucker’s livelihood, so a good repair kit can be invaluable.

Corner and Edge Protectors

It might be hard to imagine that something so seemingly insignificant as a plastic corner protector is like gold to a truck driver. But it is. Truckers use corner and edge protectors of all shapes and sizes to keep cargo safe during transport. Furthermore, the truck driver can never have enough of these handy little devices lying around. Consider stocking your favorite trucker’s tool boxes with a good selection of corner and edge protectors.

Reflective Tape

Reflective tape is another seemingly insignificant item that people just don’t think about. Even truckers do not give reflective tape much thought until they actually need it. You can help your favorite trucker avoid unnecessary down time by throwing a roll or two of reflective tape in his/her stocking this Christmas.

Air Brake Hose

A failing air hose can mean big problems for truckers. That’s why it’s common for them to carry extra hose on board. At the first sign of a potential air brake failure, it doesn’t take much to swap a hose. Thus, gifting air brake hoses to your favorite trucker this holiday season means one less thing he or she needs to worry about on the road.

Bungee straps

If all else fails, the tried and true bungee strap is a fail safe gift for your favorite trucker. Truckers can never have too many bungee straps in their tool boxes. Bungee straps are used every day for a long list of purposes, but they wear out and break all the time. We are positive the trucker in your life would appreciate a bag of bungee straps.


How to Identify Different Types of Flatbed Trailer Parts

One of the things we’ve come to learn over the years with regards to flatbed trucking, is that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for every kind of load. Just browse our inventory of truck tarps and you will see what we mean. Lumber requires one kind of tarp while steel coil is better protected with another. The differences in load carrying and cargo control go beyond just tarps, though. There are even different types of flatbed trailers that carriers and drivers can choose from.

load-leveler

People with some flatbed experience tend to think of the standard flatbed trailer most often. This trailer is typically no more than 48 feet long with a bed that is between 4 and 5 feet off the ground. Standard flatbed trailers are suitable for all kinds of loads that do not qualify as wide or tall.

Carriers and drivers have several others to work with:

Removable Goosenecks

Also known as RGNs, these trailers have removable goosenecks that allow them to drop down so that the front can be used as a ramp. It is a good trailer option for construction equipment.

Step Decks 

Step deck trailers have a lower deck to accommodate loads that are too tall to fit under standard overpasses. These trailers can be coupled with trailer loading ramps to allow construction equipment to be driven into place before being secured.

Side Kit Trailers 

The side kit flatbed trailer is one with removable sides. The sides can be deployed for loads that would normally fit inside the width of a dry goods van, then removed again for loads that do not work well in confined spaces. They are very popular for transporting steel.

Stretch Trailers

Stretch trailers are usually removable goosenecks with built-in extensions that can be deployed to carry extra-long loads.

Double Drops

A double drop trailer has higher decks at the front and rear and a lower deck in the center. Like step decks, they are ideal for loads that are otherwise too tall based on legal limits.

Each of these trailers can accommodate unique loads that do not fit well inside dry goods vans. But the cargo being hauled still has to be protected. That is where the different kinds of truck tarps come in.

Securing and Protecting Cargo

Truck tarps are just one component of a much larger system of cargo control and protection. State laws require truck drivers to properly secure their cargo prior to departing on a journey. Cargo must be routinely inspected to make sure it remains secure throughout. As for protection, it is up to drivers to make sure their cargo gets to its destination in good condition.

Truck tarps serve to provide the protection drivers need. A good, high-quality truck tarp will provide years of reliable service protecting cargo from road debris, sunlight, moisture, and other sources of potential damage. Yet maximum protection means choosing the right tarp for the right kind of load.

Mytee’s inventory includes every kind of truck tarp the flatbed trucker needs. We carry lumber tarps, steel tarps, coil tarps, and machinery tarps. We also offer smaller smoke tarps designed to protect cargo from exhaust stack soot. All our tarps are made with high-quality materials and to the most stringent standards.

Flatbed trucking is by no means a uniform enterprise. There are different kinds of trailers used to carry different types of loads, and a full range of truck tarps that drivers can deploy to protect those loads. Here at Mytee we have all the truck tarps and cargo control supplies you will need. You’ll have to handle the trailers yourself.


Why You Should Consider Covering Your RV or Travel Trailer

With summer now in bloom across most of the country, America’s RV and travel trailer owners are out on the roads in full force. Most are not even thinking about what they plan to do when it comes time to store their rigs in the fall. Nonetheless, now is the time to start thinking about it, especially if you plan to use an RV or trailer cover.

There is plenty of debate over whether or not to use recreational vehicles (RV) and trailer covers. Those against the practice site numerous problems including moisture damage, mold, damaged finishes, and bent framing. Those in favor of covers will insist they have never had a problem. So here’s the question: should you cover your RV or trailer, or should you leave it to the elements over the winter?

We believe covering your rig is the better option. Here are four reasons why:

1.Sun Damage – The roof on your RV is certainly not as durable as the one on your home. Constant exposure to the sun wears down the roof material, ultimately drying out the caulking used to seal vents and air conditioning units. While a cover does not provide 100% protection, it can cover can significantly slow down sun damage.

2.Moisture Potential – Moisture is the enemy of the typical RV or travel trailer. Water can pool on the roof due to sags or dimples, or it can be collected and absorbed by pine needles, leaves, grass, and other sorts of debris. During the hot summer months, this is usually not a problem. However, during the fall and winter, any moisture on the roof may not evaporate. This can lead to mold and mildew come spring.

rv-cover

3.Snow Damage – RV owners that live in northern environments have to think long and hard about the snow. Just a couple inches of accumulated snow on your rig could cause pretty significant damage. It is especially problematic if you have a couple of quick thaw/freeze cycles during the season.

4.Window SealsA good RV or trailer cover will be large enough to cover all of your windows as well. Keeping them covered during the off-season protects the seals around the windows from dry rot and thaw/freeze cycles. You will get longer life from your seals and caulking.

We should note that we favor covering your rig with a specially designed cover that fits well. We do not endorse the use of generic poly tarps. Why? Because tarps and improperly fitting covers can cause more problems than they solve.

Tips for Using Covers Properly

Any type of cover you use for your RV or travel trailer has the potential to damage the vehicle if not used properly. Here is what you need to know about using covers properly:

  • Sizing – You need to choose a cover for your rig that matches its size. Covers need to fit snugly in order to keep out moisture, bugs, and debris. Your cover should be large enough to protect the entire unit, from top to bottom, but not so large that it moves freely in the wind.
  • Securing – The most important thing you can do to protect your rig is to make sure the cover is tightly secured. If the cover is not tight, it can cause damage by flapping in the wind, allowing moisture underneath, and even allowing precipitation to pool in various locations. This is a good way to damage your RV or trailer.

When a cover is sized appropriately and used properly, it offers you maximum protection for your RV or travel trailer. A good quality cover from Mytee Products is an excellent investment that will extend the life of your rig.


The Hazards of Semi-Trailer Tarps

To someone who has never done it before, the process of tying down semi-trailer tarps seems pretty easy. But it’s actually not. The process, also known as “tarping a load,” can be extremely difficult thanks to weather, load sizes, and environmental conditions. Some truckers say the best way to avoid the hassles of tarping a load is to just not accept loads requiring tarps.

Unfortunately, tarped loads are part of the freight hauling trade and are better paying loads. Every truck driver ends up having to learn how to tarp a load at some point in his career. The best ones learn to identify hazards and work around them; the rest injure themselves or generally make their own lives miserable.

Here are some of the more common hazards of semi-trailer tarps:

#1 – Wind

The first and most obvious hazard relating to the use of semi-trailer tarps is wind.It causes flapping and flapping causes tarp damage. Wind is a problem when you are putting the tarps on, while you are driving down the road, and when you are trying to get the tarps back off again. More than one truck driver has learned how to para-sail on a windy day.

truck-with-tarp

The problem with wind is that truck drivers are rarely able to load and unload in enclosed bays. Trailers are typically out in the yard when drivers come to pick them up; they deliver them same way at the other end. That means any little bit of wind can cause a major problem. Being able to tarp a load under windy conditions is a very valuable skill to have.

#2 – Oil, Grease, Etc.

Oil, grease and a variety of chemicals and solvents can ruin your day if you are a truck driver. These things present problems in a number of ways. First and foremost is the very real danger of slipping and falling when you’re trying to tarp a load on a dirty slab. Such falls can result in serious injuries in a manufacturing or industrial environment.

The other problem comes by way of getting any of these undesirable substances on your tarp. Chemicals and solvents can damage canvas and vinyl to the point of ruining their water resistant properties. That may sound counter-intuitive, given that oil and grease repel water, but it is true nonetheless. A tarp stained with solvents can be a real problem after the stains have had time to dry out.

#3 – Load Size and Shape

Tarping requires proper cargo control equipment to be in place to protect the cargo and the tarp.The shape and size of a load can mean the difference between easy tarping and several hours of unmitigated misery. For example, a nice, uniform stack of steel piping can be covered and tied down very quickly. The entire tarp can be applied in 15 to 20 minutes. That is not the case when a truck driver is transporting something less uniform – like a load of CNC machines.

This kind of load might mean several different machines of varying shapes and sizes. The tarps have to be applied in such a way as to protect each of the machines without scratching or otherwise damaging them. Maybe the driver can climb on top of them, maybe he can’t. It all depends on the size and frailness of the load. Unusual loads can be a real nightmare to tarp. Heavier tarps are harder to manage and can cause injury which results in some fleet companies moving over to super light tarps

Using semi-trailer tarps to cover a load might seem fairly straightforward and easy. However, it’s not. So next time you see a truck driver going down the road with a tarp or two securing his cargo, remember that preparing the load for transport might have been a nightmare. Just be glad your job is not so difficult.


Understand the Basic Types of Tarps for Truck or Trailers

Trailer tarps

For flatbed haulers, Tarping is perhaps the most arduous part of the job, the chief reason why Flatbed Driving Professionals command a premium over others. Flatbeds, by their very definition, are open topped. Loads being hauled on flatbeds need to be tarped frequently to protect the load from the elements. Given the significance of Tarps to the flatbed hauler, it is important to understand various Tarp types and Tarping Systems.

Tarp itself is a commonly used term for plastic coated fabric. We can broadly divide Tarps into four categories: Mesh Tarps, Poly Tarps, Vinyl Tarps and Canvas Tarps. Of these four categories, only Poly and Vinyl Tarps are supposed to be totally waterproof. The Mesh Tarp is designed to let water and air pass through but hold back debris. Of the two waterproof tarps, those with polyethylene coating (Poly Tarps) are what one generally finds at Home Depot or Wal-Mart. These are cheaper tarps with reduced durability. Poly Tarps have various uses but are not suitable for Trucking applications. Vinyl Tarps are the most commonly used material for Trucking applications. Vinyl is the best material for Heavy Duty Truck Tarps. They tend to be more expensive but have the necessary strength to handle the strain from exposure to winds on the highway and also the tension from bungees exerted on the D-Rings of the Tarp.

Tarping can be done manually by the driver. Different sizes of finished tarps such as the Heavy Duty Lumber Tarp, Steel Tarp, Coil Tarp, Machine Tarp or a Three Piece Tarp can be kept rolled up above the Headache Rack or in the Toolbox. Once the Steel Coil or other load is placed on the trailer bed, secured with Tie-Downs or 3/8 x 20 G 70 Transport Chains and Ratchet Chain Binder, a Moving Blanket can be thrown on top of the load, the necessary Plastic Tarp Protectors Placed and then the Coil Tarp or Heavy Duty Lumber Tarp can be laid above the load. The tarp is then secured in place with 21 Inch Rubber Bungee Straps pulling down on the D-Rings. This is the most common yet manual method of Tarping a load. It is required for loads of unpredictable sizes, loads such as Machines.

For consistent loads, load of predictable dimensions, Mechanical Tarping systems are also available in the Market:

  1. Front to Back Tarp Systems
    The most common examples of such systems are Asphalt Tarp  and Dump Truck Tarping systems. The Tarp has two long pockets along the Trailer length. The system has two metal arms that are inserted through the side pockets of the Tarp. The tarp is rolled up into a cylindrical roll at the front of the trailer. At the time of deployment, the tarp is unfurled from its rolled position and extended out to cover the open area of the trailer. Asphalt Tarps are made of Vinyl while Dump Truck Tarps are made of PVC Coated Mesh. There are other sliding Tarp systems as well available which fall under the category of Front-to-Back systems.
  2. Side to Side Tarp Systems
    Side to Side systems are generally synonymous with Roll Tarp systems. The tarp is fixed on one end and free on the other. The open area of the trailer is covered with bows that act like a system of ribs on which the tarp can roll back and forth. The mechanism drives the free end to roll and simultaneously curl toward the fixed end. Such systems are common on Gran Trailers. For flatbed trailers, a Side-Kit system is used. It is similar to the Roll-Tarp system but the drop height is provided by a combination of Stakes inserted in the Trailer side pockets and 4 foot high panels inserted through the sides of stakes along specially grooved channels.

Automatic Versus Manual Drive

All mechanical Tarping systems can be driven by a manual crank or an electrically automated motorized drive. The automated systems, while more convenient, can be more expensive and complex. Manual systems can be effort intensive, especially during the winter months, but tend to be simpler and robust.