More from: d-rings

Horizontal or Vertical: How Do You like Your E-Track Straps?

When you walk into a store that sells cargo control supplies and ask for e-track straps, and you’ll have to choose between horizontal and vertical. Yes, there are two kinds of e-track for different types of cargo control strategies. Both work the same way. The only difference is how the anchor points are presented in relation to the length of the track. The difference though, is important to certain types of loads.

 

etrack

Horizontal E-Track

The more commonly used of the two e-track options is horizontal. The track gets its name from the fact that it is designed to be mounted horizontally along the inside of a dry goods or a box truck, either on the walls or along the floor. As for the anchor points, these are engineered to be perpendicular to the top and bottom edges of the track.

Box trucks are the ideal environment for horizontal e-track because they tend to haul all sorts of loads that don’t necessarily take up all of the dead space in the box. Horizontal tracks offer the maximum number of anchor points for an unlimited combination of cargo control strategies.

For example, a truck driver could use load bars that stretch across the entire width of the box to keep cargo from moving front to back or vice versa. Provided that a load is secure from side to side, load bars may be all that’s necessary to keep things in place. The main advantage of load bars is that they can be deployed and removed in just seconds. They have specially designed ends that slip quickly into anchor points and snap into place.

Loads requiring a bit more control can be secured with bungee cords, ropes, or mesh straps. Drivers can use the built-in anchor points or attach D-rings, hooks, or other anchor points as needed. And because horizontal tracks can be secured quickly and easily with screws, it doesn’t take much to outfit a trailer or box truck with the appropriate number of e-tracks in just minutes.

Vertical E-Track

Vertical e-tracks are names so as they designed to be installed vertically. The anchor points are engineered to be parallel to the inside and outside edges of the track, making it possible to adjust the height of load bars, straps, and bungee cords. A vertical system is preferred when the height of hauled loads changes from trip to trip.

Some flatbed truckers have found creative ways to use vertical e-track by attaching it right to the bed of the trailer. This provides anchor points that run parallel to the outside edges of the trailer, giving drivers plenty of options for tying down cargo. Having said that, e-track should not be relied on as the sole means of anchor points for flatbed loads. They should offer only supplemental anchor points for extra anchoring or to secure tarps over loads that have already been solidly anchored.

We Carry E-Track

When shopping for e-track, look for a galvanized product made of high-grade steel. Mytee Products carries both horizontal and vertical e-track in 12-gauge galvanized steel with anchor points every 2 inches. We sell them in 5-foot lengths for easy configuration.

As with any of your trucking supplies, quality means something. Paying a little extra for a high-quality product goes a long way toward saving money in the future by not having to replace your products as often. Please take a look at our e-track along with related items such as ratchet straps, cam straps, load bars, and cam buckles. We have everything you need to keep your cargo safe and secure.


What to Look for When Buying a Lumber Tarp

Truckers know how important it is to protect the load, even if the load is a lumber only load. So, choosing the right product for the right load is essential. When buying your tarp, you can choose between being solely cost conscious or considering quality and functionality before you make your decision. Moreover, as with most purchasing decisions, getting the best possible quality might involve spending a little more than the intended budget for it.

Another thing to consider about lumber, is the fact that, a load can be very hard on the tarp that covers it. A light-duty tarp may weigh and cost less, but it will probably not last as long as you would like it to. Always go with heavy-duty tarps that can withstand the punishment of the load it covers.

lumber tarp

Here are three things you should look for when buying lumber tarps:

1. Material Weight

It can be tempting to choose a lightweight product to make applying and tying down a tarp as easy as possible. However, this could be a costly mistake if a new tarp is damaged after just a few loads. This scenario can be avoided by purchasing an 18 oz. vinyl tarp. Vinyl is lighter than canvas, 100% waterproof, and incredibly tough.

It is possible to choose three-piece parts that use a heavier vinyl on the top and a lighter vinyl on the sides. This sort of arrangement reduces the overall weight while providing the heaviest protection where you need it most – at the top of the load. As a side note, pay attention to the seams and hems. Heat-sealed seams and reinforced hems are best.

2. Drop

The amount of drop a tarp offers is an important part of protecting the lumber load. Not enough drop can leave too much of the load exposed to the elements; too much drop may mean an excess amount of fabric to be secured. Neither situation is ideal. Having said that, lumber loads are such that finding a tarp that fits perfectly, every time, is nearly impossible.

Most truckers will need tarps with multiple drops to account for different kinds of loads. You will soon enough know the specific tarps that are needed for the loads you tend to carry most frequently.

3. D-Rings and Grommets

D-rings and grommets make it possible for you to tie down your tarps in order to protect your load. First and foremost, any lumber tarp you purchase should have enough of both to make securing the tarp easy regardless of the size and shape of the road.

The second thing to pay attention to is how D-rings and grommets are attached to the tarp. Heavy-duty construction is important. D-rings should be attached with heavy-duty webbing, back stitched for maximum strength. They should also include a heavy-duty protection flap underneath. As for the grommets, these should be attached with heavy-duty webbing that are at least 2 inches in width.

When buying a lumber tarp the key is quality, in both construction and materials. It might be worth it to spend more on a high quality product that will last longer than to try to get by with a cheaper alternative. Remember, protecting your load appropriately will only be good for business. A high-quality tarp will pay for itself over time as it used to cover more loads.


Tarp Inspection Improves Driver Safety

Did you know that heavy-duty truck tarps present professional truck drivers with some of the most serious safety risks in the industry? We tend to think of things like bad weather and carelessness as top safety issues, and they are, yet how many of us stop to think about something as simple as covering a load with a tarp?

Any veteran truck driver can tell you stories about broken bones, chipped teeth, deep lacerations, and other injuries, all relating to load tarping. Accidents involving tarps are all too common in the trucking industry. If you are a trucker, you can help your cause by regularly inspecting your tarps and bindings.

As tough as heavy-duty truck tarps are, they do wear out over time. Seams can start to separate, grommets can develop rust and bindings can lose their strength. Regular inspection of your equipment is the only way you will know that both tarp and binding is suitable for the journey ahead.

Inspecting Your Tarps

The Alabama Trucking Association recommends drivers inspect their tarps at least once a month. This involves spreading them out on the ground completely and then going over them in detail. It is a time-consuming process but one that is necessary to ensure driver safety. During the inspection, one should be looking for:

  • Rusted Grommets – Rusted grommets can be a problem if the oxidation has progressed to the point of causing the metal to no longer be secured within the fabric of the tarp. It only takes one rusted grommet to give way in order to cause a significant injury.
  • Damaged D-Rings – Damaged or insecure d-rings present a real hazard on the road and in the yard. You really do not want to be on the receiving end of a bungee cord if a d-ring gives way. When inspecting, check both the ring and the fabric strap that holds it in place. If either one is worn, consider replacing or repairing it.

Tarp-Inspection

  • Seam Wear – Even the strongest heavy-duty truck tarps are subject to seam wear from time to time. Worn seams can burst at any time, causing a tarp to fly uncontrollably in the wind. On the road, this is dangerous to other drivers; in the yard, it is dangerous to truck drivers and other workers.

Most minor wear and damage can be repaired with a minimal investment. Older tarps might need to be replaced. Generally, it is better to invest in high-quality tarps even though they are more expensive. These offer longer life and greater durability.

Inspecting Your Bindings

Whether tarps are secured using ropes, straps, or bungee cords, bindings need to be inspected right along with the tarps themselves. When bindings fail, disasters happen. It is simply not worth risking driver safety by not regularly inspecting this part of the load securing system.

Bungee cords are the most susceptible to wear caused by exposure to the weather. When a cord begins to fray, replace it. Also keep an eye out for bent hooks and loss of elasticity. Both can be problems.

Drivers who use load straps should check both the straps and the winches used to secure them. Straps tend to be more durable than bungee cords and ropes, so they do not wear out as often, but check them regularly nonetheless. As far as winches are concerned, inspect them for rust, damage, or mechanical malfunction.

Inspecting your tarps and bindings every month will make it easier for you to detect and repair damage before an accident occurs. You owe it to yourself to do so.