More from: lumber tarps

It’s All Flatbeds and Lumber Tarps in Bitterroot

As the sun comes up on the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, the trucks are already lining up on one of several logging roads now active in the forest. Those trucks, and their drivers, are waiting for loads of lumber to be carried to a sawmill in Seeley Lake and other logging towns nearby. Up to 10 trailers haul between 40 and 45 logs out of the forest every day. It’s all flatbeds and lumber tarps in Bitterroot, as it has been for decades.

The section of forest being worked at the time this blog post was written covers 165 acres of ponderosa pine. It is but a drop in the bucket when you consider the more than 1.58 million total acres the forest covers. Every one of those acres is systematically thinned as part of the federal government’s forestry management strategy. By the time the entire forest is thinned appropriately, it will be time to turn around and start all over again.


Forestry management is an important part of keeping the trees in the Bitterroot National Forest healthy and productive. All trees need plenty of sunshine and nutrient-rich soil, but ponderosa pine is especially needful. When forests are not properly managed, overly-dense pine groves can fall victim to insects, disease, and lack of enough sunlight due to the thick forest canopy. And, of course, forests that are not properly managed are always prone to devastating fires as a result of lightning storms.

Every trailer of logs and lumber tarps represents another acre of forest land properly managed by thinning. It is a way of life that not a lot of people understand. For the professional trucker, driving a truck along the quiet and narrow logging roads of Montana is quite a bit different from hauling a dry goods trailer down the interstate. There is nothing quite like it to those who do it.

Hauling Lumber Not Easy

Hauling cargo such as machinery and steel coil is comparatively easy next to lumber taken directly from a place like Bitterroot. In terms of the former, you simply hook up your trailer and go once your cargo has been properly secured and covered. Hauling lumber is decidedly different.

Preparing for the journey is pretty straightforward: Secure your lumber tarps, do your pre-trip inspection, and make sure any necessary paperwork is in order. That’s the easy part. The real adventure is bringing your rig out of the forest and onto the main highway. The thing about lumber hauling is that the logging roads truckers must navigate are not always straight and flat. In fact, rarely are they so.

It takes a very skilled truck driver to successfully navigate logging roads without damaging equipment or the lumber itself. Once a rig makes it to the main highway, life does get easier. But that does not mean the trucker no longer has to pay attention. The section of Montana where the crews are now working is well known for dense fog and icy roads – especially during the morning hours. The trucker has to be at the top of his/her game until the sun comes up and melts away the fog and ice.

Indeed, it is all about flatbeds and lumber tarps in the Bitterroot National Forest these days. All across the forest regions of Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon there are logging crews and truck drivers working hard to harvest lumber as part of a responsible management program. At Mytee Products, we are proud to supply truckers with high-quality lumber tarps they need to keep things rolling.


  • Missoulian –

The Science behind Flatbed Truck Tarps

Flatbed truck tarps are one of the most important tools a flatbed trucker can own. However, the tarps in the trucker’s toolbox are more than just randomly manufactured pieces of fabric in different colors. There is actually a science behind their design, science you may not be aware of. Flatbed truck tarps are designed in such a way, as to provide maximum cargo protection in a package that is affordable and relatively easy to use.

The science behind flatbed truck tarps begins with the shape. Obviously, steel tarps are long and rectangular where machinery tarps tend to be squares or smaller rectangles. Lumber tarps combine long rectangles with additional flaps that come down over the sides of the trailer.


Rectangles Are Extremely Flexible

Rectangles are the preferred shape for flatbed truck tarps because the rectangle offers maximum flexibility. A rectangle allows significant coverage for loads of all kinds, but with a narrow profile that makes it easy to handle across the back of a flatbed or a dump truck box. You can still get very good coverage with a square, but squares need to be bigger to cover the same area. This makes them less flexible and harder to work with. It is for this reason that square tarps are usually reserved for covering machinery or acting as smoke protection. Rectangles are still the preferred shape for most flatbed loads.

Flat vs. Shaped Tarps

Campers and hikers are known to prefer shaped tarps because their catenary cuts and curves provide durability and strength, especially along seams. A good shaped tarp has a very strong spine that makes it ideal as a shelter or hammock. Nevertheless, shaped tarps do not work well for most flatbed applications.

A shaped tarp is limited in coverage by the shape it takes. On the other hand, a flat tarp has no such limits. It works equally well whether the truck driver is covering a set of steel coils or a load of construction materials. The tarp will conform to whatever shape it is applied to with maximum protection at all times. Not so with the shaped tarp. That is why you don’t see shaped tarps used by truckers except in very rare and specialized circumstances.

Material Choices Equally Important

The science behind flatbed truck tarps even covers the materials manufacturers choose to use. For example, all of the tarps we carry at Mytee Products are made with heavy-duty vinyl or canvas manufactured as a woven product. It is the weaving that gives the materials their incredible strength.

A woven vinyl material is as strong as any other commercial or industrial fabric yet still lightweight enough to be easy to handle. Woven canvas is somewhat heavier, but it offers the added benefit of breathability for applications where moisture is a concern. In either case, the fabrics are woven according to detailed specifications that make them ideal for tarp manufacturing.

Grommets and D-rings

Lastly, grommets and D-rings are built into flatbed truck tarps to make securing them to trailers as easy as possible. Nonetheless, neither grommets nor D-rings are placed randomly. Grommets are sewn into the outside edges at specific intervals that offer the maximum number of securement options without sacrificing material integrity. The same is true with D-rings. Designers also place extra D-rings on specific kinds of tarps that make covering loads easier. The D-rings found on your average lumber tarp are a good example.

Tarp design is anything but haphazard. There is a lot of important science behind flatbed truck tarps that make them the perfect tools for their intended purposes.

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.


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.

Roll Tarps : Making Life Easier for the American Trucker

Companies such as Mytee Products sell many truck tarps to flatbed and dump truck drivers. Tarps are tools of the trade for protecting loads and meeting the regulations of the various states. We carry all sorts of products ranging from standard steel tarps to the largest and toughest lumber tarps. Recently, we have noticed a trend among truckers buying more roll tarps. These tarps are being used with different motorized rolling systems to make life a lot easier for the American trucker.

A roll tarp differs from standard steel and lumber tarps in how it is applied. Rather than being manually deployed or lowered onto a load using a tarping machine, the roll tarp is connected to a mechanized frame that rolls and unrolls the tarp with either an electric motor or a manual crank. Deploying the tarp results in the system unrolling it down its length; the retraction process works just the opposite.


Roll tarps have traditionally been used on dump trucks and grain trailers where it is nearly impossible to safely use any other kind. However, the industry is coming up with new and creative ways to use roll tarps on standard flatbed trailers as well. Drivers choosing to go this route are finding tarping a lot easier.

Dump Trucks and Grain Trailers

Dump trucks and grain trailers usually carry loads that are not especially sensitive to environmental conditions. So why cover them with roll tarps? Because the states have laws in place requiring load securement in order to avoid anything flying off the truck or trailer and striking a car following behind. A dump truck carrying a load of gravel provides a good example.

If that gravel load is exceptionally dry, the wind could pick up a few pieces of rock, which could then fly off the load and strike a car. Even a small rock can break a windshield at 60 mph. At the very least, such an incident would result in damage to the car that needs repair. In a worst-case scenario, the shock of the event could cause the car driver to lose control and drive off the road. This is why the states require dump truck and grain trailer loads be secure.

Roll Tarps and Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed truckers can now use roll tarps by combining them with sidewall systems. Some of the most popular sidewall systems include a set of aluminum posts and panels that can be assembled around the perimeter of a flatbed trailer in mere minutes. Another popular system uses framing similar to what you might find on a covered wagon. In either case, once the sidewall system is in place the roll tarp can be deployed with little effort.

Flatbed truckers seem more willing to invest in these kinds of systems because they are:

•Easier to use than standard tarps
•Safer in terms of wind
•Safer in terms of walking on loads
•Less prone to damaging sensitive cargo underneath
•More than capable of withstanding bad weather
•More likely to last longer due to better deployment.

Another factor flatbed truck drivers have to consider is the time it takes them to deploy and remove a tarp. If using a standard tarp takes 30 minutes while using a roll tarp takes five, that’s an extra 50 minutes on each load the trucker isn’t spending on dealing with tarps. That time can be spent turning the wheels instead.

Mytee Products offers a selection of roll parts for truckers. All of our tarps are made with the highest quality materials and are compatible with most standard roll systems.

Flatbed Truck Tarps 101 : All You Need To Know

Flatbed truck tarps come in a wide variety of materials, sizes and even functionality. There is also no one-size fits all solution for these products. All this factors can make it extremely challenging for the uninitiated to effectively determine just what kind of tarp is ideal for their exact needs and preferences. To this end, this article has been specifically designed to briefly elaborate on some of the most common varieties of these items, and what use they are generally put through.

Lumber Tarps

These products are primarily used to protect lumber from exposure to the elements as well as been in contact with the flatbed truck’s exterior components. Despite of this fact, this type of tarps can also be used for safely transporting other kinds of cargo. Lumber tarps come with flaps at their ends that are meant to cover the nether regions of a flatbed truck’s load. These products generally come In the following sizes:


Smoke Tarps

These category of tarps are designed to effectually wrap around the front area of flatbed load. In essence, they are meant to protect cargo from accumulating soot, dirt and more importantly, the truck’s exhaust emissions while it is in transit. Smoke tarps can also be utilized to prevent the wind from generating the unnerving whistling sound that emanates from transporting cargos such as PVC and steel pipes. These tarps for the most part come with 10X12 dimensions.

Steel Tarps

This variety of tarps features a 4-sided severe steel construction that is totally devoid of flaps. This unique configuration makes steel tarps excellent for transporting:
· Cables.
· Steel rod
· Sheet metal.

Steel tarps come in the following sizes:
· 16X27
· 20X27
· 24X27

Dump Truck Tarps

This is a waterproof tarp that is primarily designed for protecting dump truck loads. However, it can also be used for with other similarly styled trucks like:
· Fertilizer tenders.
· Trailers.
· Grain carts.
· Grain trucks.

Dump truck tarps dimensions can be:

· 9’10X41
· 10’6X42

As would be expected there are also a number of accessories, which are necessary for properly using flatbed truck tarps in any kind of situation. This includes tie downs that secure these products in place. Let us now take a look at some of the most common of these accessories.

Bungee Straps

Also known as Rubber Tarp Straps, these are handy tie downs that come in two major types, natural rubber and EPDM rubber.The first variety is designed to be utilized in areas that are characterized by cold climatic conditions. Natural rubber tie downs cannot crack, tear or get brittle even when exposed to freezing temperatures for protracted periods of time.

On the other hand, EPDM rubber straps are meant for areas that experience hot weather. They can effortlessly withstand prolonged exposure to the scotching sunlight.

Shock Cords

This is a stretchy rope that comes with a heavy duty polyester fabric that encases a rubber core. A shock cord can be the best solution if you wish for a custom length tie down, which you can make use of by adding a bungee hook.

Rubber Ropes

Just like a shock cord, this type of tie down can be cut to the exact length you desire. It usually comes in two varieties, which are the hollow and solid core. The first type is designed for heavy-duty applications, while the second for lightweight applications.

By now you would have come to realize that tarps are unique to the type of load a trucker carries and come with a variety of accessories to secure cargo and safely transport it.Please make sure you buy the right tarp for your cargo needs that is also durable and gives you the best value for your money.