More from: truck driver

You’re a Good Candidate for Parachute Tarps If…

A typical week here at Mytee Products sees us answering questions about parachute tarps from at least one flatbed truck driver. Sometimes we get half-a-dozen or more inquiries. One of the things drivers ask is why they should buy parachute fabric instead of vinyl. Maybe it’s because truckers have been so used to vinyl for so long that they just have no idea there are alternatives.

There is no single thing we can point to that says parachute fabric is better than vinyl or canvas. It has been our experience that truckers prefer different kinds of tarps for different kinds of jobs. The best we can do is offer a few suggestions that might help them figure it out.

Let us try that here. You are a good candidate for parachute tarps if…

1. You’re Not As Young As You Used to Be

It has been said that truckers never die, they just downshift. Whether or not that’s true, truckers do get old like everyone else. And with age comes aches and pains. We say that you might be a good candidate for parachute tarps if you are an older driver who no longer has the strength and stamina to wrestle with vinyl.

The biggest benefit of a parachute tarp is its weight. Parachute fabric is lighter, so you have a lot less weight to throw over the top of a load with a parachute tarp.

2. You’re an Expert at Tarping

It’s not unusual to caution new truck drivers against using parachute tarps given that they don’t offer the same kind of protection against moisture. By the way, that’s why parachute tarps have vinyl tops. The vinyl will hold back standing water where parachute fabric won’t.

Be that as it may, parachute tarps might be right up your alley if you’ve been trucking long enough to be a tarping expert. You know what works and what doesn’t. You don’t have to practice tarping overkill to protect your loads.

3. You Have a Tendency to Rip Vinyl

Next, you might also be a good candidate for parachute tarps if you have a tendency to rip vinyl. This is not to say that parachute fabric never rips or tears; it does. But parachute fabric is ripstop fabric. That means it is made with a special weave pattern that prevents rips and tears from growing.

Bear in mind that using edge protectors is still a wise idea even with the tarp made of ripstop nylon. But at least a minor tear or rip will not become a major disaster before you get your load to its destination. You cannot necessarily say the same thing about vinyl.

4. You Want to Try Something New

You’ve been on the road now for decades. In all your years you have used nothing but vinyl and canvas. Now you’re looking for something new, something that will shake things up a bit. Perhaps it’s time to give parachute tarps a chance. Parachute fabric certainly does take some getting used to, and you might welcome the challenge of tarping with a lighter material that can sail away in the wind.

Please note that all of our parachute fabric tarps offer the same quality and durability as our vinyl and canvas tarps. Parachute fabric tarps come in a variety of sizes and styles designed to meet the needs of the modern trucker. If you have any questions about our parachute tarps, don’t be afraid to ask. And if you need something you don’t see in our inventory, let us know. We’ll do what we can to get it for you.


A Grille Guard by Any Other Name Is Still a Grille Guard

The grille guards we sell to truck drivers are based on an idea that has been around for decades. In other words, grille guards are not new technology. But today they constitute one of the hottest trends among American truckers. Larger numbers of truckers are sporting grille guards to protect the front ends of their trucks and make them look better at the same time.

Did you know that the term ‘grille guard’ is not the only term used to describe these devices? There are other terms as well, used interchangeably around the country. We will look at some of those names in this post. If you are looking for a grille guard for your truck, we invite you to check out our inventory. We may have just what you’re looking for.

Grille Guards

The name ‘grille guard’ has really become a generic term that covers all the different kinds of guards you could mount on the front of a truck. This is what causes some confusion among consumers. Technically speaking, a grille guard is any kind of guard that covers the grill area of a four wheeled vehicle. However, the existence of some of the other names for this product has led to ‘grille guard’ being a bit more specific.

A grille guard, as opposed to a bull or cow guard, tends to go across the entire front area of the truck. It protects the grill, bumper, and front lights.

Bull and Cow Guards

Two other names for the grille guard are bull and cow guard. No one knows for sure where these names came from, but many speculate they come from ranching. The idea here is that you put a guard on the front of your truck to protect it against minor collisions with bulls and cows in the field. Given that pickup trucks have replaced horses on many modern ranches, this makes a lot of sense.

The one thing to note about bull and cow guards is that they may not cover the entire front area of the truck. Smaller guards cover only the grill area. Some even come with skid plates that protect the underside of the truck from things like rocks and tree stumps.

Brush Guards

The term ‘brush guard’ is another with unknown origins. It is believed that the term originated as a way to describe a piece of equipment that would protect the front of the vehicle as it moves through tall grass and brush. A brush guard may or may not cover the entire front of the vehicle on which it is mounted.

The Name Doesn’t Really Matter

At the end of the day, the name of the guard you choose doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your grille guard fits your truck properly and provides the kind of protection you want. To that end, note that grille guards do not require cutting or drilling to install.

Grille guards are designed for specific makes and models of vehicles. As such, a guard manufactured for one type of truck may not easily mount on another without modification. That’s why we recommend only buying a grille guard manufactured for your make and model.

If you have any questions about our grille guards, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to help you find a guard for your truck. And while we’re here, we would like to offer you a full selection of truck tarps, rigging supplies, towing supplies, and more. We are your one-stop shop for all your cargo control needs.


Drip Diverters: A Smart Solution to a Big Problem

A drip diverter is a purpose-built device intended to capture leaking water and divert it away from sensitive areas. Drip diverters come in many different forms, including the tarps we sell here at Mytee Products. Our drip diverter tarps are ideal for truck drivers, farmers, RV owners, and others.

The most important thing to know about the drip diverter is that it is offered only as a temporary solution to a potentially big problem. Relying on diversion for too long, rather than addressing the root of the problem, only leads to bigger problems down the road.

Drip Diverters on the Farm

We sell a lot of drip diverters to farmers. It turns out that these highly utilitarian products have plenty of great uses ranging from keeping tractor seats dry to making sure feeding areas are not deluged by summer rains. We have even worked with farmers who want drip diverters to protect their hay.

Imagine a barn filled with hay for the winter. Much to the farmer’s delight, the hay stays dry – unless the roof suddenly springs a leak. The last thing that farmer wants to do is climb on top of the barn in the middle of winter to affect repairs. Enter the drip diverting tarp.

The diverter can be hung from the ceiling directly underneath the leak. Then it can be angled in such a way as to divert the water away from the hay. This is not a solution we would recommend long-term, but it will get the farmer through until nicer spring weather allows for roof repairs.

Truck Drivers and Drip Diverters

If you think truck drivers do not have any use for drip diverting tarps, think again. Truck drivers are known for doing all sorts of ingenious things with limited resources. There is a lot they can do with a drip diverter.

For example, you might have a truck driver who likes to sit outside his rig at the end of a long day. A drip diverter makes a perfect canopy so that he’s not stuck inside the cab if it’s raining. That same drip diverter can be used as a temporary solution if the sleeper cab springs a leak in the middle of a trip. It will do the trick until the driver can get his rig in for repair.

We have seen truck drivers use their drip diverters as impromptu sun blockers as well. In the right position, a folded drip diverter can block portions of the side window, thus keeping the sun at bay without affecting the driver’s ability to view side mirrors.

The All-Purpose Tarp

Most of the customers we sell drip diverters to are farmers and truck drivers. But really, this is an all-purpose tarp that has plenty of uses beyond what has been described here. RV owners use drip diverters to keep rain off their picnic tables and grills. They use them to cover their gas tanks during travel.

At home, drip converters can be used in the garage the same way a farmer would use one in the barn. In short, drip diverters are a temporary solution to a big problem. By catching water and the diverting it away from sensitive areas, a drip-diverting tarp can save you a ton of money and a lot of hard work by preventing a minor leak from becoming a major disaster.

We invite you to check out our inventory of drip diverters. We offer three sizes: 10′ x 10′, 7′ x 7′, and 5′ x 5′. Each one is constructed with vinyl-coated material and heavy-duty grommets in the corners.


A Basic Guide to Parachute Fabric

Mytee Products recently introduced a line of truck tarps made of parachute fabric. Our parachute/airbag tarps are a great alternative to both canvas and vinyl thanks to their lower weight and greater strength. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about these tarps prior to purchase.

In the meantime, we thought a basic introduction to parachute fabric was in order. This guide should help you to better understand the fundamentals of parachute fabric and why it is such a great option for truck tarps. Feel free to browse our complete inventory of parachute/airbag tarps if you are ready to buy.

Multiple Textile Options

Contrary to common perceptions, parachute fabric is not a specific type of textile. Manufacturers can choose any number of textiles to make parachute fabric. Most frequently used textiles include canvas, Kevlar, nylon, Dacron, and silk. Our parachute fabric truck tarps are made with ripstop nylon.

This material is ideal for truck tarps for multiple reasons:

• It is lightweight but strong
• Ripstop nylon is interwoven with reinforcing threads for additional strength
• It is woven with strong warp and filling yarns to reduce tearing
• Ripstop nylon is water resistant, fire resistant, and tear resistant
• It offers an attractive strength-to-weight ratio compared to other materials.

The strength-to-weight ratio is very important to truck drivers tasked with covering their own loads. As you already know, tarping a load is a lot of work – even under ideal weather conditions. Throw in a little wind and rain and tarping can become a nightmare.

A lighter tarp is easier to handle and deploy under such conditions. Still, the driver does not have to compromise on strength with a ripstop nylon parachute tarp.

Characteristics of Good Parachute Tarp

All the parachute/airbag tarps we carry are of the highest quality and craftsmanship. You can depend on them just as you do any other product purchased from us. Should you decide to shop elsewhere, be very careful about what you buy. A good parachute fabric is identified by the following characteristics:

Strength – The strength of any material determines its usefulness as a truck tarp. Our tarps are made using ripstop nylon because it is one of the strongest options. It offers a rather high breaking strength that holds up well at highway speeds.

Tear Resistance – If there is one thing that truck drivers cannot afford during transit is a tarp that tears away. A good parachute fabric is extremely tear resistant. Even where a small tear already exists, it will not easily spread except under extreme conditions.

• Elasticity – The elasticity of parachute fabric influences how easily it unfolds. This is key when a truck driver is attempting to get a load tarped as quickly as possible. With a flip of the wrist and a quick swing of the arms, a good parachute tarp will generally unfold without issue.

• Low Permeability – Permeability is the characteristic of allowing liquids and gases to pass through a substance. Parachute fabric has low permeability, which is good for truck drivers. Tarps are intended to keep moisture and debris away. Parachute tarps do an excellent job.

We are thrilled to have been able to add parachute/airbag tarps to our inventory. Doing so was yet another way for us to serve our customers with the latest and greatest products in the industry. We invite you to take a serious look at parachute tarps as you prepare to restock your truck this winter. Give them a try. Who knows, you may decide to never go back to vinyl or canvas after using a parachute tarp just once.


Why Vehicle Inspectors Practice What They Do

Truck drivers across North America were subject to the annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Roadcheck inspections back in June (2018). You know exactly what we are talking about if you drive a truck for a living. But did you know that inspectors actually practice what they do? They do it to be better at what they do, though some practice in order to compete.

There’s a lot more that goes into truck inspections than meets the eye. In terms of cargo control, truck drivers are all-too-familiar with inspectors checking everything from the number of tie-downs to the actual physical condition of webbing straps and chains. They check hooks, winches, anchor points, bungee straps, and even whether truck tarps are secured well enough to keep them in place.

Inspectors also check the physical condition of the trucks they are looking at. They check everything from tires to breaks and operating lights. And of course, don’t forget hours of service rules and the new ELD mandate. They are looking for anything that could pose a danger on the road – no matter how minor.

Training to Compete

A large number of truck inspectors gathered in Columbus, Ohio this past summer to participate in the CVSA’s North American Inspectors Championship. According to news reports, there were more than four dozen inspectors representing the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, all competing by way of a written test and hands-on demonstrations.

They were competing alongside truckers involved in the National Truck Driving Championships. While truckers were practicing everything from cargo control to turning and backing, inspectors were practicing all the steps that go into doing what they do. When it was time for the competition to commence, both drivers and inspectors hoped to be at the tops of their game.

A truck driver uses chains and straps to securely tie down a load. Drivers practice load tie-down in order to increase their efficiency in the real world of work. The more efficient they are at cargo control, the more time they have to keep the wheels rolling. It is just common sense.

Inspectors are in a similar situation. They practice the skills necessary to conduct complete inspections that are simultaneously efficient. The more trucks they can get in and out of inspection stations, the more they can look at in a given day. This keeps the trucks moving and the roads safe.

Knowing the Regulations and Physics

For both trucker and inspector, the key to success is knowing the regulations and physics of cargo control. Federal law, at least in the U.S. and Canada, is very specific in detailing how truck drivers are supposed to secure cargo to their trailers. One look at the FMCSA’s trucker handbook says it all.

Truckers need to be familiar with the rules so that they maintain compliance. They also need to be familiar with physics. Why? So that they can deploy their cargo control materials in the right way. No webbing strap or chain will do its job if it is not deployed properly.

As for inspectors, they need to have that same knowledge of regulations and physics. It is their job to make sure truckers are complying. If they don’t know what’s going on, they cannot possibly do their jobs.

Truck drivers, you now know that those inspectors you deal with all the time practice what they do. They not only practice to compete, but also to make sure they always operate at the highest possible level. It’s probably not a good idea to put them to the test. They know what they’re doing.