America’s flatbed truckers rely on waterproof tarps to protect loads as they transport cargo from shipping yard to receiver. They cannot afford to use tarps that have tears or small holes which let in dirt, debris and the exposes the cargo to the elements, which in turn, could potentially cost the trucker his/her reputation and a paycheck or two. Keeping a supply of tarp repair tape on board goes hand-in-hand with always having reliable tarps to cover a load.
Today’s tarps are made from high-quality materials designed to withstand the harshness of trucking. Yet every tarp can still wear out over time depending upon, its exposure to weather conditions and the shipment is protects. Resilient tarps too can suffer punctures or tears caused by just about anything. Tarp repair tape is valuable to truckers because it makes repairing seams, holes, and tears easier, thereby reducing the amount of money truckers have to invest in their tarps.
To be clear, repair tape is not intended to fix extensive damage that compromises the integrity of a tarp. For example, you would not use it to join two halves of a tarp that separated at the seam. Such a repair would be far too stressful to hold up, even under normal conditions. But for everything else, repair tape is a less expensive option than buying new tarps.
Repairing Small Holes and Tears
Tarp tape is designed to be strong and waterproof. Therefore, a single-sided repair is usually sufficient for small holes and tears no bigger than a few inches. Repair tape is cheap enough that you could hit both sides if you were concerned about repair integrity.
There are factors to making sure your repair is watertight. First, the surface of the tarp should be clean and dry. The trucker must be careful to remove all dirt, grease, and anything else stuck to the surface. Second, the repair should be made on a flat, hard surface to ensure the tape can be applied with no wrinkles or bubbles. Tape should be pressed firmly into place so that no air is trapped between it and the surface of the tarp.
Repairing Larger Breaches
Larger breaches can still be repaired with tarp tape as long as the overall strength of the tarp has not been compromised. Gashes and seam tears are routinely repaired this way. Before applying tape to a larger breach, make sure to pay attention to the same two factors listed above. Start by applying tape to the outside first, then flip the tarp over and repeat the tape application on the inside.
Double taping larger breaches ensures strength and provides a near-impermeable waterproof seal. Having said that, tape applied to the inside of the tarp has a tendency to suffer damage from cargo over time. These kinds of repairs should be checked regularly to make sure the inside surface remains strong and waterproof.
In closing, some truckers recommend using a heat gun on tarp repair tape to ensure better adhesion. This is not recommended by manufacturers. The tape is strong enough by itself to adhere to tarp material without any need for additional heat.
Tarp repair tape offers an excellent option for repairing damaged tarps in order to extend life. Unless a tarp is severely damaged, you can add years to its life by repairing minor holes and tears with tape. Mytee now carries 2-inch tarp tape from BAC Industries in both black and silver. We recommend you keep an ample supply on your truck. You can use it to repair your tarps as well as making similar repairs to other materials at home.