In a perfect world, the American trucker could pull his or her rig into the yard, hook up a trailer in mere minutes, and be on his or her way down the road. However, we do not live in a perfect world. Truckers are responsible for securing their own loads prior to departure. When truck tarps are used, part of securing a load is putting corner protectors in place.
Corner protectors can be a nuisance for a trucker on a tight schedule. Nevertheless, they provide valuable protection in a number of different ways. Corner protectors are used to protect:
- Fragile or sensitive cargo
- Webbing and straps
- Tarp material.
Truckers always have to be aware of the loads they carry and any potential risks involved. They also need to be aware of the law. For example, any load in which friction between cargo and strap could cause abrasive damage to the strap is required to be secured with corner protectors. An accident resulting from a failure to use corner protectors could result in penalties to the trucker.
Of course, truck drivers also have a responsibility to the customers they serve. A sensitive load such as drywall or decorative brick is a prime candidate for corner protectors. The last thing the driver needs is to deliver a load with damage caused by unprotected corners.
Different Types of Corner Protectors
There are different types of corner protectors corresponding to the different kinds of loads the trucker might carry. Here is a list of the ones used most often:
- V-Boards –The most common type of corner protector is known as the V-board. This protector is nothing more than two flat surfaces joined at a 90° angle to provide cargo protection against straps. Most of the time these protectors are lightweight plastic. They offer inexpensive, easy-to-use protection for most loads.
- Flexible Rubber – The flexible rubber corner protector is a small, rubber patch. It provides both cargo and webbing protection for loads in which 90° angles are not the norm. These are not recommended for use with chains.
- Steel Protectors – Loads requiring the use of heavy chains need steel protectors designed with a divot or channel to keep the chain in place. There really is no substitute for this type of protector when chains are being used to secure a load.
- Cardboard Edge Boards – Cardboard edge boards are just as popular as the plastic V-board. They are more suitable for fragile cargo and can be used to stabilize pallet loads as well. Best of all, they cost next to nothing.
- Friction Pads – The friction pad is the ideal solution for coil loads. It lies between the coil and the tarp to reduce abrasion and stress. Friction pads can extend the life of steel tarps considerably.
- Wear Sleeves – Your lumber tarps and cargo are not the only things needing protection. Your webbing straps also need to be taken care of with wear sleeves. Wear sleeves easily slip over the webbing to provide abrasion resistance. They are easily adjustable on the fly as well.
Corner protectors are cheap enough that the average trucker can keep plenty on hand at all times. At the same time, they provide important protection for cargo, truck tarps, straps, and chains. No trucker can do his or her job without them.