Proud Owner of a New Trailer Tool box ? Here’s How You Fill It

That shiny chrome tool box on the back of your neighbor’s pickup truck may very well be entirely for show. However, you are a professional trucker. You have a trailer tool box because you need to carry tools, not because you want to look good traveling down the highway. So fill it up. You have the space; use this space to assemble a collection of essential tools that could save you both, time and money out on the road.

We cannot stress enough the importance of having a well-stocked tool box for saving time. Even the smallest breakdown can leave you stranded on the side of the road for hours if you do not have the proper tools. Moreover, if your wheels are not moving, you are not making money. You will make more money by making an investment in tools.

tool box

Below is a short list of essential tools every truck driver should have in his/her trailer tool box. This list is by no means exhaustive; you will likely add more tools as time goes by.

Flashlight/Shop Lighting

The trucker never realizes how valuable a flashlight is until the first time he or she needs one. Some truckers buy heavy-duty flashlights similar to the ones used by law enforcement. Others purchase shop lighting that can be plugged into a truck’s electrical system. Still others use a combination of both. You are going to need adequate lighting if you break down at night.

Tire Tools

A selection of tools relating to tire care should be on board in every trailer toolbox. For starters, a tread depth gauge is essential. A pressure gauge is also a cheap and wise investment. Better yet, a compressor with a built-in pressure gauge that can be powered from your truck’s electrical system serves dual purposes. Lastly, a robust tire thumper made of oak or another hardwood is a good idea. That tire thumper could be your best friend if you need to quickly check inflation in adverse weather conditions.

Pliers and Screwdrivers

The most basic of hand tools, such as pliers and screwdrivers, can be most handy when you break down. Your screwdriver collection should include a full set of both Philips head and flat screwdrivers. Use a ratcheted screwdriver with multiple heads as an alternative. As for pliers, make sure you have needle nose, standard, and the all-important vice grip pliers. Vice grips could very well be the most important tool in your box.

Spare Parts

Veteran truckers know how frustrating it can be to be taken off the road for hours by a problem requiring only a minor fix. You can mitigate the downtime associated with these sorts of problems just by keeping a handful of spare parts on board. Keep some extra fuel line, some hoses and clamps, spare fuses, bulbs, wiper blades, and nuts and bolts of various sizes.

It is also a wise idea to carry extra rubber bungee straps and a vinyl tarp repair kit as well. The repair kit is especially important for flatbed truck drivers who have no interest in spending money to replace a tarp every time there is a small tear or puncture. A quality repair kit offers a lot of value for a little bit of money.

There may be other tools you believe necessary for your trailer tool box. It is entirely up to you. Whatever you do, do not invest in a great tool box and then leave it half empty. Load it up with everything you need to keep yourself moving down the road and making money.


Choosing the Right Truck and Trailer Tires for Your Rig

Trucking companies and owner-operators don’t have the luxury of choosing a single tire the way car owners do. In other words, car owners choose a specific make and model of a tire that is installed uniformly on all four wheels. Truckers have to consider different options based on drive position, traction position, and trailer position. They have to make their choices based on the kind of handling and traction they want as compared to how much they can afford to spend.

truck-tires

Mytee Products carries a range of tires in the All Position and Drive Position categories. Below is a brief description of all four tire categories offered by manufacturers of truck and trailer tires:

1.Steer Position – The steer position includes the two front tires of the tractor. This position takes its name from the fact that steering is the domain of the front axle. Tires made specifically for this position typically utilize a ribbed tread design to move water away from the tire as it rolls down the road. They provide the best handling under all weather conditions.

2.Drive Position – The drive position includes the four wheels at the rear of the tractor. This is where engine and transmission power are transferred to move the tractor forward. Traction is paramount in all conditions, but especially important in rain, snow, and ice. These tires tend to be wider, and they are manufactured with either lug or siped treads for maximum traction.

3.Trailer Position – The trailer position includes all of the free rolling wheels on the typical trailer. These tires do not necessarily need great traction performance, but they do need to withstand the heavy stresses of weight and braking. A good trailer position tire has a reinforced sidewall that can handle maximum lateral forces while withstanding the shock of coming in contact with curbs.

4.All Position – All position tires are manufactured to provide excellent handling, traction, and durability regardless of the position at which they are mounted. The all position tire is to the trucking industry what the all-weather radial is to passenger vehicles. It is a multipurpose tire that works very well under most driving conditions.

Is it possible to use all position tires across an entire tractor and trailer combination? In theory, yes. Practically speaking, however, reality is a bit different. Most American truckers prefer to stick with steer position tires on the front of their tractors in order to maximize handling. They may use all position tires on the rest of the rig depending on what is available and what they want to spend.

Larger trucking companies are more likely to use all position tires for financial reasons. As with anything else, a company can get a discounted price if they are willing to buy in bulk. Using all position tires at every position other than the steer position enables trucking companies to purchase large volumes of tires at more affordable prices.

Choosing Tires for Your Rig

Choosing the right truck and trailer tires for your rig does not have to be complicated. Choose your tires in the same way you would purchase tires for a pickup truck or passenger car. We believe it is better to spend a little more on a quality brand name, by the way. The most trusted names like Double Coin and Roadmaster offer very good quality at an affordable price.
Consider the wear and tear you are likely to put on them, the types of weather conditions they will probably be exposed to, and your overall budget when purchasing your truck and trailer tires.


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.


How Tarps Can Help Reduce Fatal Accidents [INFOGRAPHIC]

Unsecure cargos have caused many fatal accidents and this is a shame really because such accidents can easily be avoided by securing the cargo. All one needs to do, is use Truck Tarps to secure a truck’s cargo to ensure it doesn’t fall off in transit. Tarps not only keep the cargo secure but also keep it safe from inclement weather. This infographic takes a look at the use of Truck Tarps and the role played by them in reducing fatal truck accidents.

(Click to Enlarge)


5 Reasons Truck Drivers Prefer Steel Tarps

Flatbed truck drivers utilize several different kinds of truck tarps depending on the loads they carry. There are lumber tarps, smoke tarps, canvas tarps and the most preferred of all, heavy-duty steel tarps. Where the average driver may have only one each of the other kinds of tarps, he or she typically has a full inventory of steel tarps of different sizes. Steel tarps are easily the most preferred for all sorts of loads.

Originally designed for covering steel cable and other similar products, steel tarps have proved to be very valuable for all kinds of loads. Below are the top five reasons flatbed truck drivers prefer steel tarps to any other kind.

Steel-Tarp

1.Strength and Durability

The number one reason steel tarps are preferred is because truckers have come to rely on their strength and durability. Your average steel tarp is made of tough, 18-ounce vinyl that will stand up to a lot of wear and tear. The only caveat here is that the trucker must be careful to use edge protectors to prevent damage to the tarp from cargo underneath. However, with quality edge protectors and the right kind of securement equipment, a heavy-duty steel tarp can easily provide years of faithful service.

2.Load Versatility

Truckers appreciate heavy-duty steel tarps because these are pretty versatile. They can be used to cover just about any load requiring heavy-duty protection. By contrast, your average smoke tarp is much too small to be used on any load requiring more than just minimal protection against engine exhaust. Similarly, lumber tarps are rather large by design; they also come with built-in flaps for covering the sides and rear of a load. They are far too cumbersome for small loads.

The steel tarp is manufactured in a rectangular shape that can come in a variety of sizes. This makes it ideal for many different types of loads, as well as loads of all shapes and sizes.

3.Load Securement

A good quality steel tarp is constructed with a series of grommets evenly spaced along the perimeter and extra D-rings in strategic locations across the body of the fabric. The inclusion of both allows for multiple ways of loads securement using bungee cords, bungee ropes, straps, and even chains. You can never have too many options when it comes to loads securement.

4.Size and Weight

Steel tarps are smaller and lighter than lumber tarps, making them easier to apply, remove and fold. This is important inasmuch as truck drivers can easily be injured when working with tarps. The lighter and easier a tarp is to work with, the lower the chances of injury are. As an added benefit, the size and weight of a typical steel tarp make it possible to deploy and remove rather quickly.

5.Tarp Storage

Last but not least is tarp storage. When tarps are not in use, they need to be stored in the toolbox or on a cab-mounted rack. Maximizing storage means folding tarps as flat as possible with no air between layers. This can be challenging with a larger lumber tarp. The design, size and weight of the steel tarp make it fairly easy to fold up neatly for storage. Most truckers can manage on their own; those who cannot need the help of only one other person to fold and store their tarps.

Flatbed truck drivers prefer steel tarps because of the versatility, ease of use and durability. Every flatbed trucker in the business should have a good supply of steel tarps on board at all times.