Vinyl Cement Is Not Your Typical Contact Cement

Flatbed truck drivers routinely have to repair torn and otherwise damaged tarps. It is part of the job. Here at Mytee Products, we sell both tarp repair kits and individual containers of vinyl cement. We believe it is important that truckers understand the difference between vinyl cement and typical contact cement. While contact cement can be used to make tarp repairs on a short-term basis, it is not recommended for permanent repairs. Suffice it to say that contact and vinyl cement are not the same things.

Vinyl Cement

Contact cement is a kind of adhesive that bonds two surfaces together after they have been coated with the cement. You apply the cement with a brush or roller, give it time to dry according to the specifications on the container, and then press the two surfaces together. The molecules in the cement bond rather quickly and almost permanently.

Differences Between the Two Types of Cement

Your typical contact cement, also known as the contact adhesive, is made either with natural rubber or polychloroprene. Both substances are elastomers that can be used to bond a lot of different surfaces including laminates, rubbers, and even fabrics. At a pinch, they can also be used to bond vinyl as well. However, repairing truck tarps with standard contact cement is not recommended.

The chemicals in vinyl are known to break down the elastomers in typical contact cement. A trucker may repair his or her tarps using contact cement only to find after just a few months that the repairs don’t hold. This is because the cement has been compromised by the chemicals leaching out of the vinyl.

Vinyl cement is a waterproof, solvent-synthetic resin that is unaffected by the chemicals in vinyl. In addition, it is highly resistant to a long list of chemicals found in the manufacturing and industrial environments. When a truck driver repairs his/her tarps with vinyl cement, he/she can be confident that the repairs will likely be permanent.

Vinyl Cement for Strong, Lasting Repairs

It can be hard to find vinyl cement at your local home improvement or hardware store. This is one of the reasons Mytee Products sells one-gallon containers. We know our customers don’t want to be caught on the road with damaged tarps and no means to repair them. And as we mentioned above, drivers should avoid using contact cement to repair tarps.

As explained previously, the chemicals in vinyl breakdown contact cement. But there’s another thing to consider: even when contact cement is fresh, it does not provide the same level of strength you get from vinyl cement. In other words, vinyl cement is so strong that it can be used on tensioned structures including tents, domes, and awnings. It will hold up just fine with truck tarps even at highway speeds. The same cannot always be said about generic contact cement.

As a truck driver, you invest a lot of money in the flatbed truck tarps that keep your cargo safe. You want repairs that are strong and long-lasting so that you are not constantly putting money into new tarps that could just as easily be repaired. For strong, long-lasting repairs, you need vinyl cement.

A tarp that is completely separated into two or more pieces will likely have to be sewn back together along with using vinyl cement. Also bear in mind that attempting to repair a truck tarp without cleaning it first may compromise the integrity of your vinyl cement considerably. When repairing tarps, always follow the instructions on your repair kit or the container of cement.


What Is a Grade 70 Towing Chain?

We recently took the decision to include auto hauling equipment to our product line. We are now in the process of building a solid inventory of auto hauling supplies to include chains, auto hauling straps, J hooks, winches and more. One of the items we already carry is the G70 tow chain. In this post, we will explain what the chain is used for and what the grade 70 designation means.

For starters, a tow chain in the 21st century is not used in the same way tow chains were deployed 30 or 40 years ago. A standard tow chain is not meant to be the primary means of securing a vehicle to a wheel lift or flatbed tow truck. It is intended to be a safety attachment to prevent a vehicle from being completely separated from its tow vehicle in the event the primary attachment fails or becomes detached.

G70

On a wheel lift tow truck, for example, the G70 tow chain is attached to the frame of the car being recovered after the car has already been secured to the hydraulic dolly with auto hauling straps. The tow operator may use axle or tire straps to tightly secure the vehicle. The tow chain is added as a secondary safety device. In the event of primary attachment failure, the tow chain allows for a safe and controlled stop.

Chain Grading

The G70 designation signifies that a tow chain’s tensile strength is rated at 70. A tow chain may be marked with a 7, 70, or even 700 to signify the G70 grade. With that out of the way, let us talk tensile strength for any of our readers who might not understand what that means.

Tensile strength is the maximum amount of force a chain can withstand before breaking. It is also known as break strength. The higher the grade, the greater the tensile strength of the material in question. Where tow chains are concerned, tensile strength is heavily influenced by the volume of carbon in the steel. A lower tensile strength indicates a lower carbon volume.

A typical G70 towing chain possesses enough tensile strength to safely handle a car in the event a tow truck’s primary attachment fails. But G70 chain is not strong enough for overhead lifting. This is why these chains are designated for towing rather than lifting and rigging.

Link Size and Finish

Industrial chains also come with labels indicating the chain-link size and finish. This is not necessarily important to tow truck operators, but we will discuss both just for information’s sake.

Chain-link size deals with the elongated size of each individual link. Chains with longer links might be more useful in some flatbed auto hauling applications because they make it easier to attach shackle bolts anywhere along the length. Chains with smaller links may limit shackle bolts to the ends.

As for the finish, one option is hot dipped galvanized steel. Hot dip galvanization is a process that creates chain capable of withstanding a variety of conditions, including exposure to road salt. Stainless steel and zinc-plated gold chromate finishes are additional choices for tow operators.

Now you know the basics of the G70 towing chain.  Mytee Products carries an excellent G70 safety chain manufactured by Ancra, in two different sizes. It has a working load limit of 4700-6600 pounds and conforms to ASABE and NACM standards.

For all your professional towing needs, Mytee is your leading supplier. Please contact us for anything you need, even if you do not see it on our inventory list.


Tow Operators: Do Not Let Winter Catch You Off Guard

We’re just over a month into winter (astronomical winter began on December 21) and we have already seen numerous winter storms pound much of the country. From the heavy rains of Southern California to the cold, snow, and ice that has pelted the Midwest and Northeast, winter weather has tow operators working overtime to rescue stranded vehicles. As a tow operator yourself, the last thing you need is to be caught off-guard by severe winter weather.

tow-operator

For many tow operators, the winter represents peak season when good money can be made on the heels of just about every storm blowing through. But to make that money, you have to be ready to work whenever the phone rings. And that means you need to have the right equipment on board – along with extra pieces just in case something breaks.

You need the following towing and auto hauling equipment, at a minimum, to make the most of your towing opportunities over the next several months:

  • Auto hauling straps – both tire straps and axle straps
  • Ratchet straps and ratchets
  • Grab hooks
  • Recovery tow straps
  • Cluster hooks
  • Towing chains with a selection of tow hooks.

We recommend tow operators audit their inventory and make sure they have a full set of everything necessary to complete the average recovery job. Then procure an extra set just in case. You might even purchase half a dozen or so extra auto hauling straps for those jobs that might require a little extra pulling or dragging.

Mytee Products also wants to remind you that quality is very important to the towing business. Quality often equates to safety, and safety is paramount in the dangerous world in which you operate. High-quality products also tend to cost less in the long run because you do not have to replace things quite as often.

Be Alert, Stay Safe

Above and beyond having the equipment you need to be a successful tow operator is the necessity to be alert in order to be safe. As you already know, working on America’s highways and byways is dangerous at any time of year. The danger is exacerbated by winter weather that can reduce visibility, create slippery roads, and so on. It only takes one second of carelessness to create potentially dangerous circumstances.

When you are a recovering vehicle during bad winter weather, do your best to position your truck in a way that will both aid in the recovery and protect you as much is possible. Also, always keep one eye on traffic during an operation. The simple act of being aware of what’s going on around you could make the difference should something unfortunate transpire during a recovery.

Lastly, remember that even your tow truck is not impervious to winter weather. Be sure to keep a few basic supplies on board until the weather improves. That includes extra gloves, hats, and boots along with a blanket or two and a basic first aid kit.

We Have What You Need

Mytee Products is proud to be able to support the towing industry with a full line of straps, chains and hooks. We have everything you need to make the most of the winter towing season regardless of where you operate. Furthermore, we are committed to offering our customers only the highest quality products at very competitive prices.

Before the next winter storm strikes, go through your equipment to make sure you are fully stocked. Then contact Mytee Products for any items you need to complete your inventory. Order online, and we will ship it to your location right away.


Flatbed or Wheel Lift: What Customers Should Know About Auto Hauling

It used to be that towing a broken-down vehicle meant wrapping a couple of tow chains around the frame, lifting one end of the vehicle off the ground, and dragging the car to its destination on the two wheels remaining in contact with the road surface. This form of towing was not really harmful to the big, heavy vehicles of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Today, things are different. Tow operators can now choose between flatbed and wheel lift options to transport vehicles.

hauling

As with just about any other industry, there is a lot of things customers do not know about auto hauling. For example, there is more to the question of make and model than just simply being able to identify the vehicle needing recovery. Make and model tell the dispatcher what kind of truck to send. Sometimes a flatbed truck is required while other times a wheel lift is the better option.

Flatbed Auto Hauling

A flatbed auto hauler is a heavy-duty truck with a movable platform that can be slid partially off the truck frame and lowered to ground level. From there, the car can be put on the platform under its own power or using a winch system. Once on board, the car is secured with towing straps and chains.

The biggest advantage of flatbed auto hauling is security. Tying down a car with strategically placed straps keeps it secure throughout its journey, thereby reducing the risk of damage. Furthermore, keeping all four wheels stationary during transport is better for a car’s transmission.

Flatbed auto hauling is the better option for all-wheel drive vehicles, for obvious reasons. It is also ideal for heavier vehicles and luxury cars. The key to safe and successful flatbed auto hauling is properly securing the vehicle with straps and chains.

Wheel Lift Auto Hauling

Old-school towing with the wheel lift method involves the previously mentioned tow chains secured around a car’s frame to lift it partially off the ground. Things are done differently today. Instead of suspending a car on a couple of chains, modern wheel lift tow trucks come equipped with a hydraulic dolly mounted on the rear.

To load a vehicle, the tow truck operator backs up to the front or rear, depending on the car’s transmission configuration. Once in place, the tow truck operator lowers the hydraulic dolly and moves into place. The car is then either driven or manually pushed onto the dolly and secured with tire or axle straps. Lifting the dolly and locking it in place prepares the car for towing.

Just Get It to the Garage

Whether a tow operator is driving a flatbed or a wheel lift tow truck often doesn’t matter to the car owner. From his or her perspective, the most important thing is to get a broken-down car to the garage as quickly as possible. What many car owners do not know is that tow operators carefully consider a number of different things when determining what kind of truck to send out.

As a tow operator yourself, you need to have the right equipment on board whether you drive a flatbed or wheel lift truck. That equipment includes a good supply of auto hauling straps, tire chains, and hooks. We have everything you need at Mytee products.

Your choice of towing equipment and supplies can mean the difference between success and failure as a tow operator. We encourage you not to take any chances with cheap equipment that may not last. Instead, avail yourself of the tough, reliable towing equipment found here at Mytee.


Basic Principles of Flatbed Rigging

Using a flatbed trailer to haul heavy construction equipment and other oversized loads is one of the simplest solutions for what can often be a tough problem. Still, the actual processes of rigging and loading are not so simple. Engineers take into account complex mathematical formulae applied to rigging and loading for the purposes of making sure everything stays safe for the duration of a move. Those mathematical equations are used to figure out everything from the best way to move a load to how to secure it effectively.

Mytee Products’ inventory of flatbed rigging supplies includes everything the flatbed trucker needs to work safely. In addition to standard cargo control equipment such as chains and straps, we also carry turnbuckles, rope clips, wire rope thimbles, block and tackle equipment, wire rope, and more.

 

wire-rope

So, just what goes into safe and effective flatbed rigging? A lot, quite frankly. Here are just a few of the basic principles engineers should pay attention to:

  •  Load Weight – Just about everything having to do with flatbed trucking starts and ends with the weight of the load. Tractors are only capable of hauling so much weight safely, and cargo control supplies are rated according to how much weight they can effectively handle. Before any oversized load can be configured for transport, engineers need to know how much it weighs.
  •  Permitted Axle Weight – America’s roads are rated according to how much. weight they can safely handle. That weight is expressed as a maximum permitted axle weight. Engineers preparing to move oversized loads have to consider the routes taken by truck drivers and the permitted axle weights on those routes. Unfortunately, sometimes a heavy load requires taking an indirect route in order to stay safe.
  •  Center of Gravity – Any experienced flatbed truck driver will tell you that getting the center of gravity right is critical to safe loading. Being off just a few inches can make hauling an oversized load more difficult and dangerous than it needs to be.
  • Road Surface Grades – Road surface grades can add to the challenge of hauling heavy loads. Flatbed rigging takes into account road grades for cargo control purposes. For example, a truck that will be traversing steep grades in the Sierra Nevada will need extra rigging to keep the load in place under additional stress.
  • Turning Requirements – Tight turns are another problem for oversized loads. Engineers have to account for turning radii along certain portions of the route with the knowledge that tight turns put additional stress on both trailers and the loads they are carrying.
  • Overhead Height Restrictions – Lastly, flatbed rigging must account for overhead height restrictions presented by bridges and overpasses. As with permitted axle weights, height restrictions may partially determine the route taken by a trucker hauling an oversized load.

As you can see, there is more to flatbed rigging than simply placing a load on the back of a trailer and tying it down. A lot of work goes into making sure loads get where they are going safely, especially when those loads are oversized or particularly heavy.

As a company specializing in the trucking industry and its associated equipment, we are committed to making sure flatbed truckers have the equipment and supplies they need for flatbed rigging and cargo control. We invite you to browse our entire inventory of rigging supplies and cargo control equipment before you make your next purchase.

All products sold by Mytee meet or exceed industry standards and regulations. We carry only the highest quality products from brands you trust.