More from: smoke tarps

When To Use Smoke Tarps

It is fascinating to dig around in trucker forums to see what flatbed drivers say about smoke tarps. This is one area with lots of differing opinions, that’s for sure. Truckers generally agree that smoke tarps are easy to use and cheap to buy. What they do not tend to agree on is whether or not to use smoke tarps for particular kinds of loads. From our perspective, it comes down to this: use smoke tarps when your customers want and or need them.

A good case in point is a load of PCV pipe. Most receivers are incredibly picky about the condition of the pipe when it arrives in the freight yard. The last thing your customer wants is a load of pipe covered in soot from your exhaust stacks. If it gets inside the pipes, that’s even worse. This is why PVC pipe almost always requires the use of some kind of smoke tarp, be it a flat tarp or a fitted one.

smoke-tarp

‘Must Tarp’ Loads Not Always a Must

Nearly every flatbed trucker has been dispatched to pick up a load deemed a ‘must tarp’ load, only to see the receiver take the load and leave it out in the yard fully exposed. In such cases, it is not uncommon for drivers to blame receivers for unnecessarily requiring smoke tarps. Yet often, the problem lies with dispatchers or the trucking companies themselves.

It is easy for a trucking company sales associate to promise to tarp every load, whether it needs it or not, at no additional charge. This is a sales tactic to gain new customers. Experienced truckers know enough to check with the shipper and receiver prior to accepting a ‘must tarp’ load to see if it really does need to be tarped. If it does, the driver should tarp it without question. If not, it is up to the preferences of the driver.

Fitted and Flat Tarps

Smoke tarps come in two basic styles: fitted and flat. Fitted smoke tarps are often known as nose tarps because they fit over the front nose of the load to guarantee all of the necessary surface area is covered. Unfortunately, fitted smoke tarps do not always work well with loads that are not perfectly rectangular, square, or circular. Irregular loads tend to be better protected with flat tarps secured with bungee cords or straps.

A typical flat smoke tarp is a 10 x 12 or 12 x 12 piece of vinyl. Some truck drivers recommend going to your local big box store and purchasing one or two cheap blue tarps for use as smoke tarps; we do not recommend this practice at all. Why? Because blue tarps are not meant to withstand the punishment of the open road. They fall apart very quickly and, in the end, cost more money by having to be replaced so often.

Mytee Products carries a 10 x 12 heavy-duty smoke tarp made with 18-ounce vinyl. It is rugged enough to withstand a good deal of punishment and sufficiently durable to last for years. If you regularly transport loads requiring smoke tarps, we highly recommend this product.

In the end, drivers use smoke tarps because the load they are driving requires it and that’s what their customers want. If that’s what it takes to keep the customer happy, that is what you do. Happy customers mean repeat trips and additional business. It is just that simple.


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:
·16X27
·20X27
·24X27

flatbed-tarps

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.


How To Identify The Perfect Poly Tarp

Purchasing your poly truck tarps from Mytee Products ensures you will be getting a high-quality product capable of performing as you expect it to. From lumber tarps to steel to smoke tarps, we make it our mission to carry only those products that provide truck drivers with the quality they need.

Experienced drivers who have been using them for years, know exactly what type of poly tarp they require, however new drivers who might be looking to save some money might miss out on the key qualities of a good poly tarp.These are essential characteristics for poly tarps one should pay attention to when making purchase decisions as they go a long way in determining how well a tarp will perform and how long it will last:

Tarp Color

Shopping for tarps reveals you can purchase them in a variety of colors including blue, black, red, green, yellow, and silver. There are canvas tarps as well. Please be aware that manufacturers do not choose colors at random. The color of a tarp will tell you its general strength without you having to look at the specifications. This can help you weed out undesirable products so you can concentrate only on the ones capable of doing the job.

Truck drivers will typically be looking for black, blue or red tarps, depending on their needs. Stay away from anything that is green, yellow, silver, or camouflaged unless you are looking for something for light duty work.

poly tarp

Tarp Construction

Tarp construction is a big one. Just like a building, a tarp manufactured according to best practices is the one that will last the longest and do the best job. To begin with, you are looking for poly tarps using a woven fabric. A woven polyethylene is a plastic fabric that is incredibly durable. Woven is better than non-woven because any tears or holes one might incur are not likely to spread.

Other factors to consider include double stitched seams, reinforced grommets and box stitched D-rings. Where the grommets and D-rings are concerned, you can never go wrong with quantity. There should be an ample supply of both, properly spaced all around the outer edge. For lumber tarps, D-rings are especially important on drop downs.

Fabric Strength (thread size)

When you are dealing with linen products or canvas, fabric strength is determined partly by thread count. In terms of poly tarps, it is thread size that matters. Take one of our heavy-duty steel tarps for example. We use a base cloth of 1,000 x 1,000 Denier in a heavy-duty, 18-ounce vinyl. This makes for an exceptionally strong fabric that holds up very well.

The absolute minimum for most flatbed trucking jobs is 700-800 Denier. The higher the thread size, the stronger the fabric. Fabric can also be made stronger by applying a laminate.

Environmental Exposure

The average poly tarp is treated to provide UV protection. It is also moisture resistant as well as resistant to both mold and rot. Such environmental exposure standards should be the bare minimum when purchasing flatbed truck tarps. In regards to lumber tarps specifically, the driver needs to go one step further to make sure tarps are heat-sealed to make them waterproof. This is non-negotiable. Lumber must be kept dry, or it could be rejected by a receiver upon delivery.

Knowing what to look for will make your shopping experience easier and more productive. As always, we encourage you to purchase your truck tarps from Mytee Products. We offer competitive pricing, fast delivery, and high quality. You will find everything you need for load securement and cargo protection in our online store including tarps, straps, and edge protectors.


Smartly Tarping Your Cargo To a Great Truck Driving Career

America’s over the road truck drivers have three primary kinds of work to choose from: refrigerated (refer) hauling, dry van hauling, and flatbed hauling. Few drivers would argue that sometimes flatbed truckers have the most challenging of roles to fulfill. The primary reasons arises when drivers have to drive in extreme weather conditions and gauge what changes in climate at their point of destination. The secondary reason could be that an inexperienced driver would not be knowledgeable enough to utilize his tarping gear to secure the cargo and have a safe trip.

What does flatbed driving appear to be such a difficult task? The answer to this is – load securing is key to a drivers track record and the company’s reputation in protecting their customers cargo. Drivers are responsible for the security of their loads from the moment they drive out of the shipping yard to the moment the receiver unloads the cargo. Not only do they have to ensure cargo remains securely on board, they also have to take the necessary steps to prevent damage along the way. And in most cases, that means applying tarps both, efficiently and effectively. Considering the following tarps allows a driver to determine which ones are best suited to protect their load:

tarping

Steel Tarps – steel tarps are the most commonly used in flatbed trucking. They are quite large and generally flat and rectangle so that they can be used to cover virtually any cargo. The average flatbed trucker will own several of these, all stored in a utility box or a rack behind the cab.

Coil Tarps – coil tarps are smaller tarps designed primarily to cover loads of coil, cabling or other similar products. A good coil tarp is dome-shaped in order to accommodate the coils with a tight fit that reduces drag and flapping.

Lumber Tarps – lumber tarps can be a bit more challenging to apply as they are the heaviest and due to their side and back flaps. Lumber tarps are designed in this way to protect an entire load from top to bottom.

Smoke Tarps – The smallest in tarp family are smoke tarps. These are used at the front of the load when the load requires protection from exhaust. As they are smaller, these can be applied quickly and easily.

Based on these four choices, that the means of covering a load are not universal. A driver must assess each load to determine the best way to protect it. Then comes the crucial process of applying and securing tarps.

The Smart Flatbed Driver

For drivers to do a good job of securing tarp over their cargo, one must consider the profile of the driver.Those who choose flatbed driving as a career have the ability to think of solutions to a problem ( weather, load size etc) and also have the physical disposition to haul an average tarp that generally weighs between 50-100lbs.

It is due to these factors that Flatbed truck drivers get paid handsomely compared to their counterparts in other sectors of the trucking driving industry. Better pay also results in a better retention rate, so understanding tarps and efficiently using them can result in a long term flatbed trucking career


Slick New Trailers Still Need Tarps

The 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show held in early April was quite a show. Independent contractors, carriers and shippers from all over the country descended on the show to see the latest and greatest in new equipment. Among the highlights of the show were new flatbeds from companies such as Great Dane. Yet no matter how technologically advanced flatbed trailers become, the need for tarps will always be crucial to the game.

Great Dane unveiled a brand-new all-aluminum trailer that they have named the Freedom XP. No, it has nothing to do with your computer’s OS. Rather, it is a completely new concept in 48-foot flatbed trailers designed from the ground up. Designed with an emphasis on visibility, sporting LED lights, polished filler plates, additional mud flaps and the options to include a single coil package perfect for loading on and secured quickly.

As impressed as visitors to the Mid-America Trucking Show were with Freedom XP’s features, an experienced trucker knows that, it would only take a few cross country trips before that shiny new trailer begins to look worn. No amount of sparkle or polish can change the punishment the open road dishes up. And that is why truckers still need flatbed truck tarps alongside slick new trailers.

flatbedtarp

Platform on Wheels

The Freedom XP offers a 22-disc brake system that is as good as anything Great Dane has ever produced. Even so, the trailer is just a platform on wheels intended to carry everything from steel coil to factory equipment to pallets of landscaping materials. This means the tarps drivers choose to protect their loads is as important as the platform underneath them.

Truck tarps do not get a lot of media attention at equipment shows because they are, quite frankly, not nearly as glamorous as an all-aluminum flatbed trailer. Additionally, tarp technology has not changed all that drastically over the years. It is hard to put together a flashy presentation that impresses show participants and convinces them to purchase. Nevertheless, this does not diminish the importance of truck tarps for flatbed hauling.

Tarps Make the Difference

The versatile yet utilitarian truck tarp makes all the difference between a successful flatbed trip and an unsuccessful one. From the truck driver’s perspective, not having the right kinds of tarps on board is a quick way to lose jobs. From the standpoint of shippers and receivers, tarps are the link that cargo stays safe from point A to point B. Some will not even consider using a driver until that driver first proves he/she has the necessary tarps on board.

Mytee Products carries a full range of steel, coil, lumber and smoke tarps for flatbed truckers. Most of the tarps we sell are made of high-quality polyethylene with reinforced webbing and brass grommets. We also carry canvas tarps as well. Our tarps offer exceptional durability at affordable prices.

The two keys to using tarps successfully are choosing the right tarp for the job and not buying new tarps on the cheap. Insofar as the former is concerned, not every tarp in a trucker’s toolbox is suitable for every job. That is why manufacturers make different kinds. Having at least a few of each makes the trucker’s job a lot easier.

In terms of buying new tarps, going cheap is never a good idea. You get what you pay for. By spending a little more on a high-quality product you can rely on, you will actually spend less over the course of your career by purchasing fewer total tarps. The extra money you spend on quality is well worth it.

Sources:

1.Fleet Equipment – http://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/great-dane-aluminum-flatbed/