No one needs to tell you that truck tarps are an expensive part of doing business as an owner-operator. So the longer you can continue using the same tarps, the better it is for your budget. We suggest installing new grommets when the factory-installed grommets begin to fail. This will lengthen the life of your tarps considerably.
It is fairly easy to install new grommets. All you need is a grommet kit and a little patience. Where the patience is concerned, take the time to follow all of the instructions provided by the kit manufacturer. Failing to do so will likely result in new grommets that are not as durable as the ones installed by the factory.
How to Install New Grommets
The first rule of thumb is to never replace a grommet by putting a new one into an old hole. If a grommet is failing, you are better off installing a new grommet to take its place. Having said that, look for a kit that includes multiple sized grommets plus a hole cutter and anvil. You will also need a hammer, a block of wood, and a permanent marker.
Here are the steps for installing new grommets:
1.Mark New Locations – Determine where you want to locate your new grommets, marking those locations with a permanent marker. Always install a new grommet along an outer edge at a place the material has not been compromised. Where possible, install new grommets in hem areas with extra back stitching for strength.
2.Create the Hole – The next step is to place your block of wood underneath the tarp, below the center of where the new hole will be. Then place the beveled edge of the hole-cutting tool on the tarp, at the point where you want the center of the grommet. You “cut” the hole by striking the tool once with a hammer.
3.Insert the Grommet – Insert the tall portion of the new grommet by pushing it up through the underside of the hole. Next, place a washer and the second half of the grommet on the anvil as shown in the instructions that came with your kit. Some kits also include a grommet tube that keeps everything centered.
4.Attach the Pieces – With everything in place, gently place the anvil on top of the lower half of the grommet and gently strike it with a hammer until all the pieces are tightly fit together. If your kit came with a tube, you might want to rotate it a quarter turn before every strike. This ensures a uniform fit all the way around.
That’s all there is to it. With just the few minutes of your time, you could breathe new life into your old tarps. One word of caution though – make sure you fully inspect and test your new grommets prior to using the tarp to secure a load. If any of your new grommets are not fitted together properly, they could fail on the road. That is a liability we assume you are not interested in dealing with.