More from: truck

Key Features to Look for in Your RV Cover

In your quest for an RV or trailer cover, note this: the features you choose are important. An RV or trailer cover is not just a piece of canvas you throw over the top of your rig at the end of the season. It is a tool for protecting your RV or trailer whenever it’s not in use. The better the tool, the better job it will do.

You can purchase generic RV and trailer covers or covers custom-made for your particular make and model. Whether generic or custom, you should be looking for certain features. Those listed below are the ones we believe are most important.

1. Adequate UV Protection

We assume you are purchasing an RV or trailer cover because you will be storing your rig outside. As such, we recommend not settling for something that doesn’t offer adequate UV protection. Ultraviolet rays can damage seals around windows and doors. They can be harmful to your AC unit and fade the finish.

A good cover offers adequate UV protection, especially on the top panel. If you do not understand how UV protection is rated, do some online research before you buy. You will do better with a cover that has a higher UV rating.

2. Built-In Air Vents

One reason for using a cover is to keep out moisture that would otherwise promote mold and mildew growth. As such, look for a cover with built-in air vents. A cover with no vents will allow moisture to be trapped inside. And yes, you can end up with trapped moisture due solely to condensation. You need vents that promote air circulation and allow moisture to evaporate.

3. Zipper Access to Doors and Windows

From a practical standpoint, a good RV or trailer cover offers zippered access to at least the rig’s a side door. Access to windows – and motor compartments on RVs – doesn’t hurt either. Zippered access lets you get into the unit without having to remove the entire cover.

A lot of generic trailer and RV covers offer multiple access points on the sides. That way, you don’t necessarily have to measure exactly where doors and windows are. You have access all the way around the unit.

4. Reinforced Seams and Corners

An RV or trailer cover without reinforced seams and corners is one that is more likely to tear. Need we say more?

5. Adjustable Tension Panels and Elastic Corners

An RV cover is only as good as its fit. As such, look for one with two key features: adjustable tension panels on the front and rear and elastic corners.

The adjustable panels allow you to apply the appropriate tension at the front and rear of your rig in order to keep the cover securely in place. You do not want it flapping in the wind. As for the elastic corners, they tuck around the bottom of the rig the same way a fitted sheet tucks under the bottom of a mattress. Elastic corners keep everything in place.

We personally recommend RV and trailer covers made with ripstop polyester fabric. Others prefer canvas, but ripstop polyester is lighter and easier to deploy. It is also easier to keep clean.

Mytee Products is proud to carry multiple models of RV and trailer covers. Once you know the measurements of your rig, feel free to browse our inventory of covers suitable for your particular setup. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us before you purchase. Our goal is to make sure you get the right cover for your RV or trailer.


What to Look for in a Grille Guard

Take a good look around and you will probably notice more truck drivers installing grille guards on the fronts of their tractors. Grille guards are one of the hottest items in the trucking industry right now. Why? Because they are functional, affordable, and aesthetically attractive.

A well-built guard can mean the difference between preserving the front of your rig and having to pay thousands of dollars to repair it after a collision with an animal. A grille guard also minimizes damage in collisions with other vehicles, and it makes your rig look better at the same time.

Are you in the market for one? If so, here’s what to look for as you shop:

1. Grille Coverage

The number one reason for installing a grille guard is to protect the front of your truck. So grille coverage is really the first priority. You have to ask yourself how much of the front of your rig do you want to protect with the guard. Then consider the actual size of your tractor in relation to the amount of area you need to protect.

The largest trucks will not get much coverage with a small guard. The other side of that coin are large grille guards that would be too big for smaller trucks. You can have too much of a good thing, especially if a grille guard is wider than the front of your rig.

2. Strength and Durability

Stainless steel is the go-to material for manufacturing high quality grille guards. Do not settle for anything less. You want something that is strong and durable, something that will last for as long as you keep driving.

Look for a grill guard manufactured with heavy-duty steel; 14-gauge steel should be sufficient for most needs. Also check to make sure the guard is of tubular construction. Geometry dictates that tubes are a lot stronger for this kind of application than rectangular shapes.

3. Compatibility

You ideally want a grille guard that attaches easily without any modification on your part. Guaranteeing that is a matter of buying a guard that is compatible with your particular truck. Yes, there are compatibility issues.

Each of the grille guards we carry has its own dedicated page on our website. On each page you will find a product description that includes compatibility information. If you cannot locate your truck model and year on the compatibility list of a particular guard, please contact us before purchase. We would rather help you find the right grill guard than have you buy one only to find out it will not work.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

Finally, we wouldn’t think about explaining what to look for in a grille guard without talking about aesthetic appeal. As a professional truck driver, you take great pride in your rig. We get that. We wouldn’t want you to settle for something that makes your truck look less than appealing.

The reality is that a good grill guard can truly enhance the looks of your rig. We trust this is important to you even if you never enter your truck in competition. And if you are a show competitor, it goes without saying that not just any grill guard will do. You want one that fits correctly, provides an appropriate amount of coverage, and looks spectacular when cleaned and polished.

Grille guards are all the rage right now. If you are in the market for one, we hope you’ll consider the Mytee Products inventory. And while you’re here, feel free to take a look at all the other cargo control and general trucking products we carry.


Good Truck Tires: More than Just a Brand

Your tractor is equipped with 10 of them. Every time you drive, you sit on a platform mounted directly over them, trusting they will get you where you need to go. We are obviously talking about tractor tires. What may seem insignificant to people who do not drive a truck for a living are objects that are incredibly important to you. Good truck tires can be lifesavers.

It is with that knowledge that a quick perusal of tire discussions on trucker forums becomes a fascinating endeavor in anthropology. It can be quite entertaining to read comments left by trucker’s arguing over who makes the best and worst tires. One guy will swear by Yokohama while another prefers Goodyear and so on.

Still other truck drivers argue over whether to buy cheap tires more often or expensive tires less often. At the end of the day, it all boils down to choosing the tire that gets the job done safely. Unfortunately, though, there is no black and white rule for saying one brand of tire is better than another.

It’s All about Traction

Peeling away the manufacturer claims and dealer promotions reveals that tire safety is really all about traction. Isn’t that why you put deep tread tires on your tractor anyway? Of course. You are depending on those treads to channel away water, snow and ice, and debris that could throw off the handling of your truck. You are expecting that tread to give you the traction you need to get going from a full stop on a slick road.

Manufacturers and dealers are fully aware of how important tread is to tire sales. As such, they make a lot of noise about tread depth and pattern. Deeper treads essentially mean longer-lasting tires while specific tread patterns are more advantageous under certain weather conditions. But note that traction and safety do not stop there.

There is television programs which  feature truck drivers who make their living on the icy roads of Alaska and northern Canada. If you’ve ever watched the show, you may have observed drivers reducing the air pressure in their tractor tires. They do this for a reason.

Lower air pressures increase the amount of tire surface that comes in contact with the road. Under icy conditions, this affords extra traction that could be a lifesaver in an emergency. Of course, you wouldn’t want to drive on dry pavement with low tire pressure but running a rig on an icy road is another matter.

Your Driving Habits Matter

Another thing that is frequently lost in the discussion over which tires are best is the reality that driving habits matter. How fast a trucker accelerates and brakes partly determines how quickly his tires wear. The same is true for cornering and backing. Tractor tires are under a tremendous amount of stress even when the driver drives perfectly. But how many drivers do that all the time? Very few.

How a driver drives also affects the rest of the rig in ways that indirectly affect tire wear. That previously mentioned TV program featured a driver in its first season who was extremely reckless with his equipment. The way this guy ran his rig had him spending more time in the repair shop than on the road. The damage he caused would have undoubtedly affected tire wear had it not been repaired.

Tractor tires are indeed lifesavers. When you choose new tires for your truck, consider more than just the brand. There is more to tire safety than a mere name emblazoned on the sidewall.


Could a Modified Headache Rack Make Trucks Safer?

We are always trying to stay one step ahead in terms of safety here at Mytee Products. In light of that, there was a news article published on an Australian website late in 2017 that warrants further investigation. The article is causing some people to wonder if a modified headache rack could make U.S. trucks safer.

The article in question was published by Wildfire Today. This is a website dedicated to those brave Australian firefighters who battle wildfires down under. Like their American counterparts, these men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect the rest of their country’s citizens.

The point of the article was to highlight a brand-new firefighting vehicle introduced by the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning. One look at the vehicle clearly shows how much effort designers put into safety. It features a modified headache rack along with a roll bar cage to protect the cab of the truck from collapse in the event of a rollover or a tree falling on it.

The Headache Rack

Previous models of Australia’s firefighting trucks were built with a standard headache rack to protect the cab from horizontal penetration. The new model has been extended to include vertical protection as well. Attached to the top of the rack is a frame with a large plate that covers the top of the truck cab. The frame extends rearward over the front portion of the bed as well, thus offering extra protection for what appears to be a toolbox.

In testing, the modified headache rack did very well. When combined with the internal roll bar cage, it proved itself more than capable of preventing a complete cap collapse. The Australian government is so pleased with the design that they are now thinking of other ways they can implement it.

U.S. Tractor Trailers

Looking at the design of the Australian truck leads some to wonder whether we can do something similar with U.S. tractor trailers. We obviously can build modified headache racks that include an extra plate over the top of the cab. The question is, how effective would such a plate be? Moreover, is the extra protection necessary?

Headache racks on U.S. tractor trailers are designed to provide the same protection against horizontal penetration. When used in concert with a bulkhead, the chances of a tractor trailer cab being impaled by moving freight is slim to none. And yet cab roofs are left unprotected against vertical penetration and rollovers.

Photographs of trucks damaged in rollover accidents tend to make it to the front page of newspapers for many to view. Tractor trailer cabs are just as vulnerable to collapse as smaller trucks and even passenger cars. It would seem as though a modified headache rack coupled with a roll bar cage would be more than adequate for most accidents of this type.

Let the Market Decide

At this point, there doesn’t seem to be much demand among truck drivers for a modified headache rack or an internal roll bar cage. Perhaps they’ve never thought of it before, or perhaps the number of serious accidents involving cab collapse is so low that the extra reinforcement really isn’t warranted.

In the end, the market will ultimately determine whether headache racks are ever modified in the future. Manufacturers will make what their customers want. We know that here at Mytee Products. Among all the headache racks we could stock, we have chosen those models most in demand by our customers. If demand is ever there for modified headache racks with overhead plates, we will have to consider them.

 


Canvas Tarps: To Treat or Not to Treat

One of the main advantages of canvas tarps is that they are made with natural fibers tightly woven together to create a strong, breathable material suitable for a variety of uses. Truckers sometimes use canvas tarps for certain kinds of loads that demand breathable tarp protection.

The question for truck drivers purchasing new canvas tarps is whether to get treated or untreated material. Canvas is an excellent material for truck tarps by itself, but manufacturers do offer tarps that have been treated for water resistance, UV protection, and even fire retardation. So, which is better; treated or untreated canvas?

There is no right or wrong answer here. Both materials have their strong and weak points. For the trucker, it is a matter of understanding those points and then determining which choice is better most of the time. Some truckers carry tarps of both types in order to be prepared for anything.

Water Resistance
Untreated canvas is naturally water resistant thanks to the extremely tight weave of the fibers. But water resistance does not mean waterproof. Treating canvas for water resistance also does not make it waterproof. Rather, the chemical treatment is a wax-like material that causes water to bead up and roll off rather easily. A canvas tarp treated for water resistance is less likely to allow water to pool.
On the positive side, a water-resistant treatment also reduces the risk of mold and mildew. As long as a treated tarp is properly dried before being folded and stored away, mold and mildew should never be a problem. On the downside, treated canvas is somewhat less breathable. If breathability is a concern, untreated canvas may be a better option.

Fire Retardation
It would be unusual to find a canvas tarp treated for fire retardation but not water and UV resistance. This dictates that fire retardation involves an extra treatment above and beyond a water-resistant coating. This extra protection is probably not needed except in cases where a canvas tarp may be accidentally exposed to open flame or sparks.

UV Resistance
The third kind of treatment also applied to canvas tarps is an anti-UV treatment. Because canvas is made of natural fibers, it is subject to break down as a result of UV exposure. Natural UV breakdown can lead to rot if a canvas material is also exposed to mold and mildew.

The reality is that all canvas materials break down over time. It is unavoidable for natural materials. But treating canvas for both water and UV resistance slows down the process of wear and tear. A properly treated material is less likely to fall victim to rot. In addition, retreating canvas every few years can extend its life.

Treating Tarps Yourself
The truck driver who has chosen treated canvas tarps would do well to apply a new treatment on a regular schedule, according to the manufacturers recommendations. A premium finish coat product specifically designed for canvas is the best option. Finishing products can be found at boating and RV centers, trucking supply centers, and even sporting goods outlets that carry canvas tarps and tents.

Our selection of canvas tarps is limited to just two. Furthermore, both products have been treated for water resistance. Our canvas tarps are very good general-purpose tarps that you could use for a variety of purposes. Canvas is an excellent choice for fruit and vegetable loads, exterior building products, highly sensitive machinery, and virtually any other kind of cargo that requires breathable tarp.

To treat or not to treat? That’s entirely up to you. Either way, canvas is great tarp material.