More from: flatbed tarp

Used Parachutes or New Parachute Fabric Tarps?

Not long ago we ran across a post asking opinions about purchasing old parachutes from an army surplus store and converting them into truck tarps. The poster wanted to know if it was a good idea and, if so, what drawbacks there might be.

So, is it okay to convert used parachutes into truck tarps, or should you buy new parachute fabric tarps from a company like Mytee? Sure, it’s okay. But there are some definite benefits to going new instead of trying to cobble together a few old parachutes just to save some money.

Fabric Weight

As far as the weight of the parachute fabric is concerned, it is a wash whether you utilize used parachutes or buy new tarps. Parachute fabric is generally ripstop nylon of very low weight. That’s what you want for your truck tarps anyway. A 1-ounce parachute fabric is the same weight whether it is found in a used parachute or a new truck tarp.

Water Resistance

Depending on how the parachute was used during its normal life, the fabric may or may not have been treated for water resistance. This matters to truckers for the simple fact that standing water will almost always leak through parachute fabric at some point. That is why even new parachute fabric tarps purchased from Mytee are constructed only with parachute fabric on the sides, back, and front. Manufacturers use a standard vinyl material on the top to keep water out.

Even if you were to construct a few truck tarps out of used parachutes, you would have to do something about the top. So that means purchasing vinyl tarp material or utilizing discarded tarps with enough usable fabric. Is it worth the trouble?

Durability

Another thing to consider is durability. You can bet that the seams on both your used parachutes and new tarps are going to be pretty strong. But if you’re making your own tarps, you will be sewing multiple pieces of fabric together. Can you make the seams strong enough to withstand the punishment of the open road?

If you own a commercial sewing machine that is up to the task, you have nothing to worry about. But we suspect most truck drivers are not equipped with that kind of machinery. As such, constructing your own tarps is risky business. You’re probably better off buying new parachute tarps instead.

Usable Life

One last consideration is the usable life of homemade tarps. Unless you find used parachutes in excellent condition and you have the right equipment to construct your tarps, they are probably not going to last as long as professionally made tarps. So while you may save money in the short term, you’ll probably spend more over the long term simply because you have to replace your tarps more often.

New is a Better Choice

We understand the trucker’s desire to save money wherever possible. These days, margins are tight for both carriers and independent contractors alike. Unfortunately, attempting to save money by skimping on tarps is one of the worst decisions a trucker can make.

It is our belief that going new is the better choice. Brand-new tarps are constructed by industry professionals who know what they are doing. The products they make are intended to last, offering years of reliable service under all kinds of driving and weather conditions. Should you opt to make your own tarps of used parachutes instead, you’re probably not going to get the same kind of quality.


5 Reasons Truck Drivers Prefer Steel Tarps

Flatbed truck drivers utilize several different kinds of truck tarps depending on the loads they carry. There are lumber tarps, smoke tarps, canvas tarps and the most preferred of all, heavy-duty steel tarps. Where the average driver may have only one each of the other kinds of tarps, he or she typically has a full inventory of steel tarps of different sizes. Steel tarps are easily the most preferred for all sorts of loads.

Originally designed for covering steel cable and other similar products, steel tarps have proved to be very valuable for all kinds of loads. Below are the top five reasons flatbed truck drivers prefer steel tarps to any other kind.

Steel-Tarp

1.Strength and Durability

The number one reason steel tarps are preferred is because truckers have come to rely on their strength and durability. Your average steel tarp is made of tough, 18-ounce vinyl that will stand up to a lot of wear and tear. The only caveat here is that the trucker must be careful to use edge protectors to prevent damage to the tarp from cargo underneath. However, with quality edge protectors and the right kind of securement equipment, a heavy-duty steel tarp can easily provide years of faithful service.

2.Load Versatility

Truckers appreciate heavy-duty steel tarps because these are pretty versatile. They can be used to cover just about any load requiring heavy-duty protection. By contrast, your average smoke tarp is much too small to be used on any load requiring more than just minimal protection against engine exhaust. Similarly, lumber tarps are rather large by design; they also come with built-in flaps for covering the sides and rear of a load. They are far too cumbersome for small loads.

The steel tarp is manufactured in a rectangular shape that can come in a variety of sizes. This makes it ideal for many different types of loads, as well as loads of all shapes and sizes.

3.Load Securement

A good quality steel tarp is constructed with a series of grommets evenly spaced along the perimeter and extra D-rings in strategic locations across the body of the fabric. The inclusion of both allows for multiple ways of loads securement using bungee cords, bungee ropes, straps, and even chains. You can never have too many options when it comes to loads securement.

4.Size and Weight

Steel tarps are smaller and lighter than lumber tarps, making them easier to apply, remove and fold. This is important inasmuch as truck drivers can easily be injured when working with tarps. The lighter and easier a tarp is to work with, the lower the chances of injury are. As an added benefit, the size and weight of a typical steel tarp make it possible to deploy and remove rather quickly.

5.Tarp Storage

Last but not least is tarp storage. When tarps are not in use, they need to be stored in the toolbox or on a cab-mounted rack. Maximizing storage means folding tarps as flat as possible with no air between layers. This can be challenging with a larger lumber tarp. The design, size and weight of the steel tarp make it fairly easy to fold up neatly for storage. Most truckers can manage on their own; those who cannot need the help of only one other person to fold and store their tarps.

Flatbed truck drivers prefer steel tarps because of the versatility, ease of use and durability. Every flatbed trucker in the business should have a good supply of steel tarps on board at all times.


5 Reasons to Invest in Moving Blankets

One of the most important tools of the trade for a flatbed truck driver is the flatbed tarp. In fact, most truck drivers have a collection of tarps used for different kinds of loads. If, on the other hand, you own a moving company or a local courier operation utilizing box trucks, you probably do not need tarps. You do however, need moving blankets.

The moving blanket is as important to your business as the tarp is to the flatbed hauler. Without a good collection of blanket and pads, you will not be able to provide the high quality service your clients are looking for. Here are five reasons to invest in high quality, long-lasting moving blankets such as those found on our site:

moving-blanket

1. Cargo Protection

Your number one priority as a mover or courier is to make sure your customer’s property makes it from one location to the next completely unscathed. New movers often fail to realize how easily things such as furniture and antiques can be damaged during the process. Moreover, that damage is not just confined to loading and unloading. Property can be damaged moving in and out of a building and in transit to the new destination. Moving blankets reduce the risk of damage.

2. Your Reputation

Equally important to the idea of cargo protection is the reputation of your company. Even if you were the most conscientious mover with a perfect track record of never damaging customer property, not using moving blankets gives customers the perception that you are not concerned about the value of their property. In the era of online reviews, the last thing you need is to develop a reputation as a careless courier or moving company.

3. Liability Concerns

Every moving company and courier in the U.S. is required to carry liability insurance. Your insurance company may refuse to satisfy certain claims if it can be demonstrated that you or your staff did not take the proper precautions to protect customer property by using moving blankets and pads. Do not take that risk. Moving blankets are a reasonable investment and part of doing business.

4. Load Security

Moving blankets provide an extra benefit when in transit by way of maintaining a more secure load. To understand this, just step back and think about how a moving truck is packed. There is no possible way to fill in all of the empty space, especially where furniture is concerned. Using moving blankets allows you to fill in some of that dead space so that cargo does not move as the vehicle travels down the road.

5. Road Vibration

Damage to customer property is not limited to hard knocks and drops. Road vibration is also a concern. The longer the trip between pickup and drop-off, the more potential damage can be done. Moving blankets act as shock absorbers to some degree, lessening the potential risk caused by road vibration. As an added benefit, these also cut down on the amount of noise caused by moving and shifting cargo. For smaller moving vans and trucks in which the cab is not separate from the cargo area, reducing noise can be a godsend.

We offer a number of different moving blanket options to fit your needs and budget. As always, we do not recommend going cheap only for the sake of saving money. Invest in moving blankets that meet your needs and that will last as long as possible. After all, this is an investment in your business. Spending the money now will pay off in the future.