More from: Ratchet straps

Tow Operators: Do Not Let Winter Catch You Off Guard

We’re just over a month into winter (astronomical winter began on December 21) and we have already seen numerous winter storms pound much of the country. From the heavy rains of Southern California to the cold, snow, and ice that has pelted the Midwest and Northeast, winter weather has tow operators working overtime to rescue stranded vehicles. As a tow operator yourself, the last thing you need is to be caught off-guard by severe winter weather.

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For many tow operators, the winter represents peak season when good money can be made on the heels of just about every storm blowing through. But to make that money, you have to be ready to work whenever the phone rings. And that means you need to have the right equipment on board – along with extra pieces just in case something breaks.

You need the following towing and auto hauling equipment, at a minimum, to make the most of your towing opportunities over the next several months:

  • Auto hauling straps – both tire straps and axle straps
  • Ratchet straps and ratchets
  • Grab hooks
  • Recovery tow straps
  • Cluster hooks
  • Towing chains with a selection of tow hooks.

We recommend tow operators audit their inventory and make sure they have a full set of everything necessary to complete the average recovery job. Then procure an extra set just in case. You might even purchase half a dozen or so extra auto hauling straps for those jobs that might require a little extra pulling or dragging.

Mytee Products also wants to remind you that quality is very important to the towing business. Quality often equates to safety, and safety is paramount in the dangerous world in which you operate. High-quality products also tend to cost less in the long run because you do not have to replace things quite as often.

Be Alert, Stay Safe

Above and beyond having the equipment you need to be a successful tow operator is the necessity to be alert in order to be safe. As you already know, working on America’s highways and byways is dangerous at any time of year. The danger is exacerbated by winter weather that can reduce visibility, create slippery roads, and so on. It only takes one second of carelessness to create potentially dangerous circumstances.

When you are a recovering vehicle during bad winter weather, do your best to position your truck in a way that will both aid in the recovery and protect you as much is possible. Also, always keep one eye on traffic during an operation. The simple act of being aware of what’s going on around you could make the difference should something unfortunate transpire during a recovery.

Lastly, remember that even your tow truck is not impervious to winter weather. Be sure to keep a few basic supplies on board until the weather improves. That includes extra gloves, hats, and boots along with a blanket or two and a basic first aid kit.

We Have What You Need

Mytee Products is proud to be able to support the towing industry with a full line of straps, chains and hooks. We have everything you need to make the most of the winter towing season regardless of where you operate. Furthermore, we are committed to offering our customers only the highest quality products at very competitive prices.

Before the next winter storm strikes, go through your equipment to make sure you are fully stocked. Then contact Mytee Products for any items you need to complete your inventory. Order online, and we will ship it to your location right away.


Securing Your Flatbed Trailer with a Heavy Duty Truck Tarp

Securing a flatbed trailer and its load with a heavy-duty truck tarp is just part of the routine for the American trucker. For new truckers, or those who have never hauled flatbed loads before, learning how to effectively tarp is not the easiest thing in the world. It is an acquired skill that takes time and experience to master.

Before tarping ever begins, the trucker must purchase the right kinds of tarps for the loads he or she intends to haul. It is best to choose heavy-duty tarps that can withstand the punishment of the open road; we usually recommend 18-ounce vinyl or a PVC product. Canvas and poly tarps do not tend to hold up very well over multiple long hauls.

With the correct tarp in hand, securing your trailer is a three-step process:

1. Load Balance

Making sure a load is balanced does a number of things. First, it keeps the trailer evenly weighted for maximum safety and fuel efficiency. Second, it allows for tarping the load in such a way that it provides as much protection as possible. Experienced truckers know that how a load is placed on a trailer goes a long way toward determining how it is tarped.

If you have any say in how your trailer is loaded, try to make sure the profile is as even as possible across the entire surface. Also, try to make sure that no part of the load sits higher than the top of the tractor if at all possible. Doing so reduces drag and protects your tarp against unnecessary wind.

2. Tarp Application

Despite the introduction of automatic tarping machines, many of today’s drivers still apply their tarps manually. The key is to make sure a tarp is spread evenly across the load to ensure as much protection as possible on all sides. The amount of drop a tarp offers plays a big role in this, so having enough drop to completely cover your load is usually beneficial.

securing-tarp

3. Tarp Securing

Flatbed trailer tarps come with both grommets and D-rings. Securing a tarp with bungee cords and the D-rings is okay for short trips across town – provided the load itself has been secured by other means – but it is an inappropriate way to secure a tarp for a long-haul trip. Such trips require the use of ratchet straps, ropes, or chains.

Ratchet straps are preferred because these are very easy to use and strong at the same time. A hook on one end of the strap is connected to a D-ring, while the fabric of the strap is pulled through a winch system. This enables you to get the straps as tight as they need to be to secure the tarp. They can also be used to provide extra strength for securing the load.

As always, it is important to make sure there is no loose material able to flap around in the wind. If any of the surfaces of the tarp will be exposed to sharp edges, it is wise to use other materials to soften the edges. The idea is to protect your load and your tarp at the same time.