More from: truck driver

What Does a Good Trailer Loading Ramp Kit Look Like?

Trailer loading ramps are yet another tool that flatbed truck drivers use to get cargo in place. But loading ramps for tractor-trailers are far different from the DIY ramps you might use on a small home utility trailer. They are much larger, much longer, and a lot stronger.

Mytee Products sells trailer loading ramps along with all the accessories truck drivers need to utilize them. If you are new to flatbed trucking, you might need an entire kit to start from scratch. Please note that our kits come with absolutely everything you need for loading ramp deployment. Other kits may not be as extensive as ours.

So what does a good trailer loading ramp kit look like? It contains the following:

Single Ramps

Obviously, every loading ramp kit will come with at least two single ramps; one for the left side and one for the right. Our kits come with two sets of 18″ x 96″ ramps with a capacity of 23,500 pounds. These ramps are sturdy enough to be used as load levelers for timber loads as well.

Adjustable Stands

Ramp stands provide the support underneath while loads are driven up the ramps. They are also sold in pairs; one for the left side and another for the right. Our ramp stands are adjustable from 18 to 24 inches to account for different trailer heights.

Aluminum Skid Seats

Skid seats are mounted on the back of a trailer to provide an anchor for locking ramps in place. Once locked, ramps cannot pull away from the trailer. They are also sold in pairs; one pair for the bottom deck and another for the upper deck.

Ramp Hangers

Ramp hangers make it possible to carry trailer loading ramps from one job to the next without taking up valuable space on the flatbed. They are mounted to the main trailer frame using heavy-duty bolts. The ramp hangers in our kit are double hangers, meaning there are slots for two ramps. Two sets of hangers would allow for carrying a total of four ramps; two on each side.

Ramps Stand Hangers

If you are going to carry loading ramps on the trailer, you’re going to have to carry ramp stands as well. A good trailer loading ramp kit includes one hanger for each stand. Again, these hangers are mounted on the main truck frame, either in front of or behind the ramp hangers.

Ramp Wedges

Finally, ramp wedges are fixed to the lower ends of ramps to provide a smooth transition between the ground and the ramp. This allows for smoother loading while also reducing the risk of ramp movement during loading. Most loading ramps require the use of a wedge.

Mytee Products offers flatbed truck drivers a trailer loading ramp master kit that contains all the above components along with a few extras. For example, we also include a lightweight dolly that makes moving ramps around nearly effortless. Using a dolly is a lot less strenuous than trying to carry unwieldy ramps without assistance.

Please feel free to check out our ramp kit at your earliest convenience. Our website details everything that comes in the ramp kit for your convenience. If you do not need the entire kit, we do sell individual pieces as well. Rest assured that all our loading ramps and accessories are made right here in the USA to the highest possible standards.

If you’re unsure about anything included in our ramp kit, please don’t hesitate to ask. We want you to be fully informed and completely comfortable with your purchase before you buy.


Tow Truck Drivers: Get Ready for a Busy Winter

When the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fly, tow truck operators know the busy season is coming. They know the coming months will have them towing cars that are blocking plows, pulling cars out of ditches, and rescuing stranded vehicles with dead batteries and alternators. It is all part of the fun of operating a tow truck for a living.

Our advice to tow truck drivers is to get ready for a busy winter. The season is still early, and we have already seen a number of pretty significant storms across the plains states, storms that left cars stranded in their wake. If these early storms are any indication, the winter of 2017/2018 is going to be a busy one.

Inspect All Your Equipment

The tools of the trade for tow truck drivers include ratchet tire straps, wheel nets, lasso straps, recovery and towing straps, axle straps, and bridal straps with hooks. It goes without saying that every tow truck needs to be stocked with an ample supply of these tools at all times. A driver never knows when something will be needed.

If you haven’t already done so, take the time to inspect all your auto towing and hauling equipment. You want to check the integrity of each piece along with knowing that you have an ample supply of everything you expect to need. Any straps or hooks that show even minor signs of wear should be addressed. Some will be repairable while others will have to be replaced.

We encourage tow truck drivers to be especially careful with recovery straps. You can make the case that they take the most abuse among all the tools in the tow operator’s toolbox, and it only takes one small defect to create a dangerous situation during a vehicle recovery.

Perform Ratchet Maintenance

Nothing is worse than trying to use a rusty ratchet on a cold winter day. Now is the time to go through and look at all your ratchets for signs that they need routine maintenance. Dirty ratchets should be cleaned and oiled to ensure they continue to function. Worn and damaged ratchets may have to be replaced.

Remember that when threading a ratchet, the strap should come in from underneath, then over the spool and out the top. If you come in from the top you risk jamming the strap in the spool mechanism to the point that you cannot get the ratchet undone on the other end. You would be forced to use a risky tactic that could damage your strap or cause injury. Remember: always thread straps through the bottom of the ratchet.

Get Plenty of Rest

The only tip we can offer above and beyond inspecting and maintaining your equipment is to make sure you get plenty of rest. There are going to be some long days and nights ahead, and you cannot afford to be unnecessarily tired during the peak of the winter season. So leave off the fun times and partying until spring. Your off time during the winter should be spent with family and getting as much rest as you can.

Mytee Products Has What You Need

Rest assured that we have everything you need for a busy winter towing season. Our entire inventory of towing equipment and supplies is available on our website for those who want to order online. If you are anywhere near Aurora, Ohio, we invite you to come visit us in person. One of our helpful towing experts will be more than happy to work with you to complete your towing supplies inventory.


Know Your Tractor Tires Before You Buy

Farmers are as foundational to the U.S. economy as truck drivers. In light of that, we are extremely proud to be able to offer a range of farming supplies for agricultural operations. This includes hay tarps, fencing materials, and tires for both wagons and tractors. This blog post will focus squarely on wagon and tractor tires.

If there is one piece of advice we would give to a farmer looking for tires, then it would be to make sure he or she knows the purpose behind each tire design before making a purchase. There are lots of different tire designs out there, three of which we carry at Mytee Products.

 

The four major categories of tractor and wagon tires are:

• Turf
• Industrial
• Field
• Ribbed

Turf Tires

Turf tires look a lot like standard truck and car tires. They may have a straight, zig-zag, or crisscross tread built on a wide tire surface. These are the tires you want to use if your tractor will be doing most of its work on grassy areas. The wide tire surface and multi-tread pattern provide adequate traction while minimizing damage to turf. Needless to say, these tires are not suitable in muddy conditions or out in the field.

Industrial Tires

Industrial tires occupy the middle ground between turf tires and the heavy-duty tires you would use in the field. Traction is provided by a tread design featuring a series of bars the start at the sidewall, descend diagonally for short distance, and then run horizontally across two-thirds of the tire surface. These tires are ideal for heavy-duty operations when you still want to minimize damage to underlying soil.

Field Tires

Field tires are the granddaddy of them all. These are the biggest, baddest, most heavy-duty tires you will find on the average American farm. They feature a very distinctive and aggressive tread pattern that consists of a series of bars that run diagonally from the sidewall to the center of the tire surface. The bars are offset from one another to provide continual traction.

These are the tires the farmer uses in the field. They work well whether the soil is soft and muddy or hard and frozen. It is not wise to use field tires on grassy areas though, as damage to the underlying turf can be significant.

Ribbed Tires

Finally, ribbed tires are those tires you generally use on the front axle of a 2WD tractor – with either one or two wheels. Ribbed tires are unusual in that they do not have a tread. Rather, they have either 1, 3, or 4 ribs that run parallel with the sidewall. Mytee Products only carries a 3-ribbed tire as it is the most commonly used.

These are the tires you want on the front of your tractor while out in the field. They provide excellent control in muddy and cultivated soil by digging into the soil and holding firm.

Note that ribbed tires are inappropriate for 4WD tractors in that they do not offer any amount of pulling traction. Owners of 4WD tractors will use either industrial or field tires on the front instead.

Get Your Tractor and Wagon Tires Here

Mytee Products is happy to be able to supply farmers with the tires they need for their tractors and wagons. Feel free to browse the entire inventory here on our website, or visit our Aurora warehouse and see them in person. We are confident you will be more than pleased with the quality and price. Our tires come from trusted manufacturers who have been serving the agricultural sector for years.


Canvas Tarps Are Tough Tarps

Vinyl is the material that makes up the vast majority of our truck tarp inventory. But Mytee Products also carries a selection of canvas tarps as well. We understand that canvas tarps are tough tarps, and sometimes drivers need that extra toughness. There are times when vinyl will just not do.

This post will explore just why canvas is such a tough material and what that means to truck drivers. So let’s start by first discussing the difference between plain and duck canvas. They may look the same to the naked eye, but they are distinctly different products.

A standard canvas tarp is made from a fabric constructed of heavy fibers (usually cotton) woven together in a plain weave. The weave is tight enough to be water-resistant and reasonably tough under most circumstances. Duck canvas uses a similar weave, but the density is greater. The advantage of duck canvas is that the tighter weave makes it more resistant to weather. The downside is that it is not as breathable.

Both types of canvas can be treated with wax to make them waterproof. This is obviously not necessary to protect the fabric itself, but it is a big plus for truckers who need to keep moisture out. Waxed canvas tarps do need to be retreated every now and again.

Why Canvas Is So Tough

The toughness of canvas is really a matter of physics. To understand this, first ask yourself what it is that causes damage to truck tarps. Usually it is things like sharp edges, airborne debris, and weather. All these things exert force on the tarp fabric that can lead to rips, tears, etc.

Resisting damage is a matter of resisting those external forces. What makes canvas so tough is the weave. By using a high concentration of fibers woven together in an over and under pattern (this is the plain weave pattern), canvas makers are creating a surface that absorbs energy and dissipates it across its entire surface. Each one of those little fibers handles some of the energy directed at the surface of the tarp. The more fibers there are, the more effectively energy is absorbed and dissipated.

As for the weave, it allows energy absorbed in one portion of the tarp to be transferred across the entire surface by way of the fibers touching one another. Furthermore, each fiber supports the ones around it through the over and under contact of the weave. When external force is exerted on the fabric, the fibers that initially absorb it are supported by the surrounding fibers even as the energy begins to dissipate across the entire surface of the tarp.

Life after Trucking

If you have ever wondered just how tough canvas is, consider what might happen to your tarps after they are no longer usable for trucking. Canvas tarps can be recycled and used to create all sorts of things. For example, there is a company in Europe that recycles rubberized canvas truck tarps by turning them into full size travel cases.

The tarps are cleaned, cut into smaller pieces, and sewn together into large travel bags with inflatable frames made out of bicycle tubes. Using canvas as the main material allows for rolling the bag up into a fairly compact package when not in use. When unrolled and inflated, the combination of bike tube and canvas creates a durable, water tight suitcase that rivals any hard-shell product on the market.

We love canvas tarps because they are tough tarps. If you need one or two to fill out your inventory, Mytee Products has what you need.


3 Things You Should Never Do with Bungee Straps

Bungee straps have been compared to duct tape in terms of their versatility. Truck drivers use them for everything from securing tarps to replacing a broken curtain rod in the sleeper cab. Their extreme flexibility, resistance to weather, and ease of use, make bungee straps one of the most important tools in the flatbed trucking industry.

Here at Mytee Products, we are thrilled to be able to offer bungee straps in various lengths along with solid core rubber bungee rope. You can purchase straps or rope in bulk to save on our already reasonable prices. And don’t forget replacement hooks; we carry those as well.

Given the popularity and necessity of bungee straps in flatbed trucking, we thought it might be helpful to address some key aspects of using these versatile tools. Below are three things you should never do with bungee straps. Avoiding them will minimize the risks associated with bungee strap use.

1. Shortening Strap by Tying Knots

There are times when the amount of distance between hook points is so short that the average bungee strap is too long. You might think about getting around this by tying a knot or two before deploying a strap. Don’t do it. Tying knots in bungee straps increases the stress on them while at the same time decreasing usable life. It is better to stretch the cord to a different anchor point on the trailer or load.

Bungee straps are designed to evenly distribute tension from end-to-end. When you tie a knot in the middle, that portion involved in the knot is only subject to minimum tension. You can tell just by observing how the strap stretches. The part tied up in the knot barely stretches at all, signifying there is very little energy or tension in the material. The free material on either end stretches more as it absorbs more of the tension and energy.

2. Hooking More Than Two Straps Together

The other side of the knot-tying coin is hooking multiple bungee straps together to create a single chain long enough to span the gap between hook points. We recommend never hooking more than two straps together. Even under tension, the hooks on the ends of bungee straps constitute their weakest link.

Remember that metal ‘S’ hooks do not stretch. To make up for this, bungee straps usually have to be stretched a little further to prevent the sag that results from hooking too many together in a single chain. This creates a safety concern as well as reducing the usable life of all the straps in the chain. If you need length, use bungee rope.

3. Cutting an End and Making a New Hole

Bungee straps wear out and break over time. Sometimes, the hole into which the metal hook is inserted breaks clear through. Do not be tempted by the idea of cutting off the end and making a new hole. Doing so compromises the strength of the strap.

If you look at the average bungee strap, you will notice that the two ends are thicker. They are reinforced with extra rubber material to absorb the additional tension placed on the material by the hook. Cutting off a broken end and making a new hole for the hook results in too much tension on the rubber at the point where the hook is inserted. This is just asking for trouble. Bungee strap altered in this way can easily break without warning.

Bungee straps are an invaluable tool for the flatbed trucker. Used correctly, they offer a tremendous amount of functionality and flexibility.