Sometimes You Just Want Canvas

A tarpaulin is to a flatbed truck driver what packing materials are to a shipper. And just like packing materials, tarps protect valuable cargo and come in different varieties for different kinds of jobs. Sometimes, you just want canvas tarps. Tarps made of woven cotton, linen or polyester offer great protection, breathability, and durability.

Canvas is a material that was in use long before there were trucks. In the 13th century, medieval warriors were using canvas to cover their Pavise shields. By the early 15th century, artists were using the material as a medium for painting. Over centuries, canvas has been used for everything from shelter to clothing to sails.

The strength of canvas is the tight plain weave used to produce it. By weaving the threads as tightly as possible, weavers can achieve a very strong material that is water resistant and breathable at the same time. Modern canvas used for things such as tarpaulins and tents are given an extra wax treatment to make them waterproof.

Canvas Truck Tarps

As a material for truck tarps, canvas is woven in varying weights and strengths, graded by number in descending order. This means that the lower the number, the heavier and stronger the material. Truckers prefer heavy-duty duck canvas because of its extremely tight weave.


The following are some of the benefits of canvas for truck tarps:

  • Less Abrasion – Poly and vinyl tarps aren’t as responsive to temperature fluctuations as canvas. As a result, they can be somewhat abrasive in colder weather. A big advantage of canvas is that it remains soft and supple regardless of the weather. When you are protecting cargo that is easily scratched, canvas is a better option.
  • Breathability – One of the main reasons for choosing canvas over poly or vinyl is its breathability. Even with a wax coating for waterproofing, canvas allows for airflow more readily than other materials. This is one of the reasons it is preferred in agricultural settings. Canvas is a very good option for loads with which there are some concern about mold and mildew forming.
  • Long-Term Strength – Mankind has been using woven materials for centuries because of their strength. Canvas is no exception. A canvas tarp that is properly cared for can last for decades – potentially even a trucker’s entire career if he/she is careful. As long as you are putting money into tarps, you might as well put some of it into canvas that will last.
  • Application – Canvas tends to be a bit heavier than poly or vinyl which adds to its advantage as it makes canvas tarps easier to apply in breezy conditions. A canvas tarp is less susceptible to catching the wind and taking off when you are trying to tie it down.

It should be obvious that canvas is not the right choice for every job. Nevertheless, when it is, it is hard to beat the benefits it offers. Our best advice to truckers is to look around before you purchase new canvas tarps. Choose a heavy-duty product, such as those we sell here at Mytee, made from a 100% duck cotton canvas. Grommets should be fabric reinforced and hems and seams should be double stitched.

The canvas tarps you purchase will be an investment in your business as a trucker. Therefore, do not be afraid to spend a little more to get the best possible quality. Your investment in heavy-duty canvas tarps today will pay off in the long run by protecting your loads from everything the open road can throw at them.

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