How to Keep Your Carport Looking Like New

A portable, fabric carport from Mytee Products is a great tool for protecting your car or household equipment from the elements. We sell carports and storage buildings in a variety of styles and sizes that can accommodate everything from the family minivan to a full-sized RV. We encourage you to browse our inventory while you are here.

Like anything else, taking good care of your carport will keep it looking like new for years. Just a few, simple  maintenance practices will add years to the life of your carport by minimizing the damage caused by weather and time. Below are some helpful tips that we generally recommend to our customers.

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Cleaning the Canopy

The fabric used for manufacturing portable carports is usually either polyethylene (PE) or polyester. We prefer PE because of its strength, durability, and weather resistance. In either case, you are going to want to keep the canopy clean if you want your carport to look like new for as long as you own it.

Routine cleaning can be accomplished with warm, soapy water and a light detergent. Good detergent choices include things like laundry and dish soap. A gentle car wash detergent will also work well. The one thing you do not want to use on your canopy is bleach. Bleach damages all sorts of canopy fabrics along with stitching material.

Also make a point to stick with nonabrasive cleaning solutions. You should reserve abrasive scrubbing for persistent stains and mold or fungus growth.

Cleaning the Frame

Our carport frames are made of heavy-duty, galvanized steel for maximum strength and weather resistance. But even galvanized steel needs to be cleaned from time to time. Thankfully, doing so is simple.

Surface dirt can be washed away with a mild detergent and some warm water. You could clean the frame the same way you wash your car: gently wipe dirt with the soapy rag then spray everything off with a garden hose. If your cleaning has to take into account more aggressive stains or things like oil and grease, you will need more than just soapy water.

You can purchase commercial steel cleaners normally used in the kitchen. These can be applied with an old rag and gently wiped away. As an alternative, you can use distilled white vinegar and boiling water. Just be sure to use protective gloves so you do not burn yourself.

When you’re done cleaning, be sure to wipe away any remaining water so as to prevent rust or water stains. A thick, dry cloth is all you need. Vinegar can be used to remove water stains should you miss any water during the drying process.

Additional Carport Maintenance

The steel frame is the skeleton of your portable carport. You should be addressing general maintenance in addition to just cleaning the frame. This includes regularly inspecting all the fasteners and joints. Make sure to tighten any loose fasteners right away. You also want to check whatever means are employed to fix the canopy to the frame. Make sure all of them are secure.

Should the fabric of your canopy tear or develop a hole, don’t panic. PE fabric can be repaired with a commercially available patch kit. Just clean the area around the hole or tear and apply the patch according to the instructions on the packaging. It is fairly simple.

You have invested a significant amount of money in your carport. Do not let that money go to waste by not taking good care of your investment. By cleaning and maintaining your carport on a regular schedule, you will keep it looking and working like new for years.


What It Takes to Be a Good Tow-Truck Operator

On any given day throughout the country, an army of tow-truck operators takes to the roads with a single mission of helping stranded motorists recover their cars. It is often a thankless job that does not get enough attention when folks are talking about career options. Nonetheless, tow-truck operators contribute to the fabric of the U.S. economy by providing a very valuable service.

 

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What you may not know is that being a good tow-truck operator requires more than just knowing how to load a car onto a flatbed or hook it with a tow bar. It also requires the right equipment. It requires knowing how to use that equipment within a variety of  towing and recovery scenarios.

Towing and Recovery Equipment

There are many kinds of jobs that fall under the towing and recovery banner. The most common jobs involve towing broken down cars to the garage for repairs. Drivers need a full box of tools and auto towing and hauling equipment, such as:

  • Chain bridles with J-hooks
  • Long shank J-hooks
  • Tow chain clusters
  • Cluster hooks
  • Safety chains

Using any of the items listed above requires a good understanding of working load limits (WLL). Pieces should be stamped with a WLL, which should not be exceeded. Experienced tow drivers know that WLL can be maxed out when you are talking about securing a stationary vehicle for transport. The same cannot be said during a recovery operation when pulling a vehicle out of a ditch or through a snow drift adds to the load. A general rule dictates you need more equipment with higher WLLs for recovery than for transport.

Transport Equipment

In the arena of vehicle transport, there are multiple scenarios to account for, each with a unique equipment list. A tow operator may be hauling a wrecked vehicle on a flatbed or with a tow bar, and have no real need to protect the car due to it being a total loss. Then there are repossessions and basic transport of classic or exotic cars.

Other than hauling wrecks, vehicle transport is undertaken with the knowledge that the operator must deliver the vehicle in the same condition it was in at pick-up. Drivers use a variety of thing, including:

  • Tire straps with J-hooks
  • Side mount wheel nets
  • Axle straps with snap hooks
  • Cluster ratchet straps
  • Winch straps
  • Grab hooks

Like with towing and recovery, WLLs have to be part of the equation when securing a vehicle for transport. Additionally, tow operators need to know how to hook and secure cars without damaging anything underneath. This is not as easy as it sounds. One car may be okay with grab hooks on the axles and straps around the tires, while another should never have anything on the axles.

It should be clear that the best equipment in the business is only as good as a driver’s knowledge of how to use it. Therefore, the last thing the tow driver needs to be very good at what he or she does is a strong knowledge of how to use every tool in his or her box in the best way possible.

A good tow truck operator is like an engineer. He or she understands the mechanics, he/she has the tools, and he/she knows how to apply both to get the job done. Mytee Products is honored to be able to serve America’s tow-truck operators with a full line of auto towing supplies. We have everything tow truck operators need for towing, recovery, and transport – from chains to hooks to auto hauling straps.

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Hay Storage: 3 Reasons to Choose a Temporary Storage Building

The arrival of spring has farmers who grow hay already starting to think about the first cutting of the season. They are also thinking about hay storage at the end of the year, especially if what was left over from last season went bad. It turns out that a farmer’s choice of storage partially determines whether he/she will get full value for the crop throughout the late autumn and winter.

 

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Some growers choose to leave their hay completely unprotected. This is an option if you sell quickly enough not to have bales lying around for too long. However, when storage is needed, growers have several options:

•Permanent structures like barns and garages
•Temporary storage buildings
•Covering bales in large tarps.

Mytee Products sells a number of different models of temporary, freestanding buildings. We believe this is the best option unless you have a permanent structure like a barn or garage. Temporary buildings made of PE fabric and galvanized steel framing offer many advantages over storing hay under tarps.

Here are three reasons for choosing a temporary storage building:

Temporary Buildings are Flexible

You may purchase a temporary storage building with the intent of using it to store hay. That’s great. But you will likely not have a full crop stored throughout the year. Storage will be at a maximum just after cutting, but what you have in store will gradually diminish as hay is sold or used on your farm. The good news is that you can use the empty space for other things.

Temporary buildings are incredibly flexible. They can be used for storing a variety of things from hay to farming equipment. What’s more, they can be moved around your property as you see fit. You can erect your building where ever it makes the most sense for whatever purpose you need it.

Temporary Buildings Are Better for Airflow

It is important that stored hay is allowed to breathe. If a stack of hay is not exposed to good airflow, moisture can build up very quickly, leading to combustion or mold growth. Both can easily devastate a crop with little effort.

When you use tarps to cover your hay, airflow is always a concern. It is not a concern with a temporary storage building. You can stack your hay in such a way as to leave plenty of room on the sides and top to allow for the free movement of air.

Temporary Buildings Are Inexpensive

Let us say you have stored your hay under tarps in the past with unfavorable results. Now you are trying to decide whether to purchase a temporary storage building or erect a pole barn. Guess which option will cost the least?

One of the primary advantages of temporary storage buildings is their cost. They are relatively inexpensive when compared to permanent structures. Unless you absolutely know for sure that a barn or garage will pay for itself in the years after construction, it might be better to invest in a temporary storage building instead.

Another thing to consider is the cost of insurance. Constructing a new barn or garage is going to add to your property insurance – perhaps significantly depending on the size of the structure. There are no such insurance increases with temporary storage buildings. A temporary storage building would be covered under your current homeowner’s insurance.

Another haying season is now upon us. If you are looking for a new way to store your hay this season, we recommend a new temporary storage building from MyTee Products.


5 Things to Know About Carport Assembling

Purchasing a DIY carport from Mytee Products is an inexpensive way to provide ‘temporary’ shelter for your car, RV, boat, or outdoor equipment. Our carports come in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate multiple needs. From single carports to units capable of housing multiple vehicles, we have just what you need for temporary storage.

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As a courtesy to our customers, we have listed below five of the most commonly asked questions about carport assembly. The below answers should help you better understand the basic principles of installing and using a fabric carport built on a galvanized steel frame.

1. What tools are required for assembly?

Assembling your carport depends a lot on the model you choose. However, basic hand tools should be all you need in addition to a safe ladder and a few helping hands. Most of our carports can be assembled with the following tools:

• Tape measure
• Adjustable wrench
• Ratchet and socket set
• Rubber mallet
• Utility knife.

Be advised that the instructions that come with our carports include a list of the tools needed. Be sure to have a solid ladder and safety glasses and gloves for everyone who will be involved in the installation. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. How long does carport assembly take?

Again, this depends on the model you choose. The smallest carport for single car use can be installed in 2 to 4 hours. The largest units may take 6 to 8 hours, or longer, depending on the conditions you are working under. We advise setting aside an entire day regardless of the size of your carport. Setting aside this much time just makes it easier to address unexpected problems that may come up.

3. Are weight bags required for assembly?

Weight bags are usually only applicable to small canopies that will not be affixed to the ground or a concrete slab. In the case of our carports, no additional weight is necessary. Our carports are fixed to the ground using base plates and tent pegs. Tent pegs can be replaced by bolts for applications using a concrete slab or frozen ground.

4. Can carports be installed on sloping ground?

Technically, you could install a carport on sloping ground if you have the engineering knowledge to do so. We highly recommend you do not. Choose ground that is as level and flat as you can find. Flat, level ground makes it a lot easier to keep your installation square and the eventual load on the frame stable.

5. Are building permits required for installation?

The carports we sell are typically classified as temporary structures. Therefore, it is not likely you would need a building permit for carport installation on your property. But this is not a guarantee. You should definitely consult your local controlling authority for information regarding codes and permitting.

In the unlikely event that you do need a building permit, the documentation included with your carport will be of help. The building permit will probably require some sort of documentation of the land, where you intend to erect your carport, how it will be affixed to the ground, etc.

Mytee Products is thrilled to be able to offer our customers a full selection of temporary carports. Each of the carports we sell is constructed of high-quality materials including PE fabric and galvanized steel framing. Carports come with everything you need for complete installation – with the obvious exception of tools. For more information about our carports, do not hesitate to contact us to speak with one of our helpful sales representatives.


That Moment When Towing Chains and Hooks Are Your Best Friend

It is probably safe to say that we know very little about the daily job of a tow-truck operator. Sure, we know they drive trucks capable of getting us out of a jam in inclement weather or after an accident, but we don’t know much more than that. It’s also safe to say that we don’t know much about the towing chains, hooks and most auto hauling equipment truck operators invest in.

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Every profession has its ‘tools of the trade’, and towing is no different. Towing chains and hooks are among the many tools of the towing industry. You might even make the case that they are the most important tools. Without them, it would be impossible to tow a vehicle behind a truck, secure it on a flatbed, or even pull it out of the ditch. It is no stretch to say that the towing chain and hook have been a motorist’s best friend on more than one occasion.

Wherever There Is Bad Weather

Retrieving a broken-down car from a department store parking lot or a residential driveway is the easy part of towing. The hard part is heading out onto the interstate to recover vehicles lost in bad weather. No one knows this better than the tow-truck drivers of California. Wherever there is bad weather, you’ll see an army of dedicated drivers recovering vehicles in all kinds of conditions.

California’s recent weather has been all about torrential rains. After suffering through years of extended drought, it looks like Mother Nature is looking to make up the Golden State’s water deficit in one fell swoop. Motorists are paying the price.

One late January storm was significant enough to cause California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for several counties. The governor’s action proved wise. Between flash flooding, mudslides, downed trees and power lines, and a seemingly endless list of closed roadways, it was hard to get around during the storm. But the weather didn’t stop the tow truck operators.

With towing chains and hooks on board, the men and women of California’s towing industry hit the streets in an effort to help stranded motorists. Some cars were pulled out of ditches while others were rescued from raging floodwaters. It was all in a day’s work for the tow operators.

Sometimes Tow Trucks Need Help

That moment when towing chains and hooks are your best friend doesn’t apply only to stranded motorists. For example, parts of California were hit with a late December snowstorm that caused Caltrans to close state Route 38 near Big Bear.

Chains are required on all vehicles driving through this mountainous region of Southern California during the winter, but that particular night saw chains snap on multiple vehicles that were subsequently stranded. The snow was so deep and difficult that even three tow trucks got stuck trying to help. It was quite a scene.

The point to all of this, is that we average motorists rely a lot more on tow truck operators than we realize. Whenever there’s a breakdown or a stranded or wrecked vehicle, it is the tow operator who comes to the rescue. We rely on them just as they rely on their towing chains and hooks to get the job done.

If you are a tow-truck operator, you deserve our thanks and appreciation. Mytee Products invites you to browse our selection of tow chains, hooks, and other supplies for your operation. All our towing equipment is manufactured to the highest possible standards. You’ll find our products tough, reliable, and fairly priced.

Sources:

1. KTLA – http://ktla.com/2017/01/23/showers-to-continue-monday-after-weekend-downpours-break-records-prompt-evacuations/
2. KTLA – http://ktla.com/2016/12/24/more-than-100-cars-3-tow-trucks-stuck-in-snow-near-big-bear-on-state-route-38-road-closed/

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