More from: dump trucks

3 Easy Steps To Replace Dump Truck Pull Tarps

Replacing pull truck tarps is not something dump truck drivers enjoy, but it is part of the game. The good news is that tarping system manufacturers do their best to make tarp replacement as easy as possible. A truck driver with a little bit of handiness can replace the pull tarp pretty quickly and without much effort. With the help of a partner, it’s even easier.

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Pull tarp replacement is a straightforward, three-step process:

Step #1 – Remove the Old Tarp

Tarping systems differ from one manufacturer to the next, so keep that in mind as you work through the replacement process. The first step is to obviously remove the old tarp. In order to do that, the tarp should be fully extended and pinned in place. If your system is a manual system, it is as easy as pulling the tarp all the way out and temporarily fastening it to the back of your truck so it doesn’t move.

Where the truck tarp meets the spool, there should be a steel rod that holds everything in place. Pin the spool in place so that it doesn’t retract, then you can release the tarp from the back of the truck. Now it’s time to slide the tarp out of the slot in the spool. It should be attached to that rod, so be careful that you don’t let the rod hit you as you are pulling the tarp out.

Step #2 – Clean and Lube the System

As long as you have everything apart, now is a good time to clean and lubricate the system. There is no need to disassemble it piece-by-piece; just clean surface areas and lubricate the joints. An all-purpose lubricant should do the trick.

If any of the components show excessive wear and tear, you may want to consider repair or replacement before you put everything back together. Mytee has a full selection of tarp system replacement parts if it turns out you need something.

Step #3 – Install the New Tarp

Some drivers attempt to install a new tarp without fully unfolding it first. We do not recommend that as it takes longer. Your best bet would be to have a partner help you to stretch the tarp out on a flat surface and install it. If that is not an option, unfold your tarp on top of the cargo area and get it as flat as you can. To install, simply reverse the process you followed to remove the old tarp. Your new tarp should slide right into the slot on the spool.

Once the tarp is slid into place, securely fasten the tarp to the back of the truck before you release the spool. Failure to do so, could cause the spool to snap back, potentially damaging your system and injuring you. Fasten the tarp securely, release the spool, and then retract the tarp as normal. That’s it; you’re done.

Repairing Dump Truck Tarps

Assuming you are replacing an old tarp because it is damaged, you may be able to repair it for future use. It really depends on how severe the damage is and what kind of tensioning arrangement your tarping system uses. If you are ever concerned about the integrity of a repaired tarp, do not use it on your dump truck. Use it for another purpose where tension is not a primary concern.

Under the right conditions, you should be able to replace your dump truck tarp fairly quickly and easily. As always, Mytee has a selection of replacement tarps that fit most systems. Our range includes PVC mesh, vinyl, and hot top asphalt tarps in multiple sizes.


Dump Trucks and Tarps: Make Sure You’re Obeying the Law

The average dump truck driver has a lot to worry about on a daily basis. It’s a job that not only requires getting material from one location to the next, but one that also requires moving a load in a way that is environmentally responsible and safe for other drivers. That is why each of the states has very specific regulations about how dump trucks can carry various materials.

As a dump truck driver, it is your responsibility to know the laws in the states where you work. Remember that motor vehicle law is not regulated at the federal level. Where one state might require you to use a tarp for certain sorts of loose materials, another state may not require it as long as a load is not likely to disperse en route. Be advised that there are also some state laws regarding how tarps are secured.

The Reasons for Tarping a Dump Truck

Unlike a conventional tractor-trailer, a dump truck is assumed to be carrying a load of loose material. For example, a big rig might carry a piece or two of heavy construction equipment. As long as it is secured with chains and straps, the load does not necessarily need to be covered. Yet a dump truck usually carries something loose; loads like gravel, stone, and sand. Dump trucks are also known to carry waste materials.

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The states have enacted tarping regulations for the following reasons:

  • Road Safety – Loose gravel and other material falling from the back of an open dump truck provides a serious road hazard for car drivers. Even the smallest piece of gravel can crack a windshield, surprising a driver causing and him or her to lose control of their vehicle. Larger pieces of debris can completely penetrate windshields or cut down tires.
  • Environmental Safety – In the case of certain types of hazardous or waste materials, dump truck tarps are required to contain the load securely. The last thing anyone wants is for these kinds of materials to fall from the truck and contaminate the local environment. Commercial waste headed for the local dump is a good example.
  • Surface Damage – Some materials carried by a dump truck may not necessarily pose an environmental safety issue but can still be damaging to road surfaces. Tar and asphalt are two good examples. If loose tar and asphalt were to fall from a dump truck it could quickly adhere to the road surface to create uneven pavement that could be dangerous in some weather conditions.

Penalties for Violations

A dump truck driver who considers ignoring tarping laws should think again. There are some pretty severe penalties that go along with violations, especially if accidents take plce. Let’s look at a few examples.

Arizona law requires dump truck drivers to use tarps on any loads that cannot be contained any other way. Furthermore, tarps must be securely fastened in order to prevent them from coming loose. Any violation that does not cause damage or injury is subject to a $300 fine. Violations resulting in property damage, injuries, or death could result in fines of up to $1,000 per offense.

In the state of Maryland, no vehicle can carry any loose materials (with the exception of agricultural products) without containing such materials. Loads must be contained by the truck bed, four solid walls, and a properly secured cover or tarp. Violations are subject to a variety of penalties.

Make sure you know the tarping laws in the states where you will be operating your dump truck. It’s better to be safe than sorry.