Important Safety Tips for Auto Hauling

Economic indicators suggest that the remainder of 2016 could be relatively strong for the auto hauling sector. The biggest beneficiaries of the strong market will not be new car carriers; they will be smaller companies hauling used cars for wholesalers and individual car owners moving out of state. This suggests that new businesses could emerge in the sector.

If you are new to auto hauling, you may lack the necessary experience to have a competitive edge at the early stages of your operation. However consistently learning tricks about cargo control and ensuring cargo safely delivered will help grow your business. At the forefront of everything you do should be one word: safety. The safety of your customers’ vehicles and your workers comes before anything else. In light of that, we have put together a collection of safety tips compiled from various experts in the industry.


Know Your Equipment

Before you ever haul your first car, you need to be familiar with all of your equipment. That includes trailers, auto hauling straps, trailer winches, ratchets, slider winches, ratcheting winches and anything others you might use on the job. Familiarize yourself with their operation as well as how to spot signs of wear and tear. You might even take some time to practice loading and unloading your own vehicle before you contract with a customer.

Always Be Better Prepared

When you do start taking jobs, remember that preparation is everything. Be sure you have the right straps and ratchets before heading to a customer’s location. Once you get there, clear the trailer bed so that your straps and ratchets are not in the way as you load. If you are using detachable ramps, be absolutely sure they are correctly positioned and locked in place before you start the load.

Always Level Your Trailer

An important part of preparation is making sure your auto trailer and the vehicle you plan to move are both on a level surface. Working on surfaces that are not level increases the risk of accidents significantly. Should conditions make it impossible to achieve a level state, chock the trailer tires prior to loading.

Just the Car, Please

Small companies that haul individual cars may find themselves in a position in which a client wants to fill the car with household goods before loading. It would pay to protect yourself from possibly libelous situations by insisting that you will be hauling the car itself. There is no point in accepting the increased liability that comes with extra cargo.

Also keep in mind that the towing capacity of your trailer is based on the weight of empty vehicles you might carry on it. Webbing straps and ratchets don’t add much weight, but household goods do. Make sure to inform customers of this situation so they realize your sense of responsibility.You won’t have a way of knowing whether the weight of your load is safe if you allow customers to pack their cars with household goods.

Follow Common Securing Procedures

There are different ways to secure vehicles to trailers depending on the kinds of straps and ratchets you are using. Be sure to research your equipment thoroughly so that you know how to use it following common security procedures that are used industry-wide. If you do not know what you’re doing, don’t guess. There are plenty of online resources complete with instructions and diagrams that can help you figure out the best cargo securing practices.

An independent car hauling business can be a very lucrative business for the enterprising individual willing to give it a go. Here at Mytee, we have a range of equipment and supplies designed to make your job easier. From straps to winches to ratchets, we are growing our inventory of auto hauling supplies for professionals and hobbyists alike.


Understand the Physics Behind Beveled Lumber

Some of you might not consider it a worthwhile decision to purchase beveled lumber to secure your coil and pipe loads. We understand that however, at the same time, we know that beveled lumber is one of those things you do not realize the importance of, until, a piece of scrap woods fails at its job and the entire cargo is lost. High-quality beveled lumber made of hardwood is a lot like the wheel chock most car mechanics might use. It is seemingly insignificant, until it saves your life and your cargo.

Mytee recommends you purchase genuine beveled lumber rather than using scrap. To help explain why, we have put together a brief outline of the physics involved in blocking coil and pipe loads. We believe that once you know the physics, you will better understand the advantage of using hardwood beveled lumber over scrap.


It All Starts with Gravity

The need for some kind of block to hold piping or coil in place begins with the fundamental physical principle of gravity. Gravity is that which keeps a load firmly situated on the bed of your trailer. Where your load and the trailer meet, there is friction. The greater the friction, the more firmly the load will stay in place.

We run into problems with pipe and coil loads because of their circular shape. A circle making contact with a trailer bed creates less friction than a flat load. Why? Because there is less surface area in contact with the trailer. Less surface area means less friction; less friction means less grip. The friction between circular loads and flatbed trailers is so low that something else is needed to be placed to prevent the cargo from moving.

Creating an Opposite Force

Now that we understand how friction and gravity work together to keep a load in place, the second principle is that law of physics that says that for every existing force there is an equal and opposite force. This law is the whole reason behind using beveled lumber to block coil or pipe.

Picture a large piece of sewer pipe rolling across your trailer. Regardless of its direction from left to right, the rolling force of the pipe is always moving down. Therefore, stopping the pipe requires an equal or greater force moving upward. This is exactly what beveled lumber does. It provides an equal upward force to counteract the natural downward force gravity is applying to the pipe.

So why is beveled lumber better than scrap? It’s all in the bevel. Lumber with the beveled edge provides a larger surface area to make contact with the pipe above. Scrap lumber almost always has a square edge that provides less surface area for contact and friction. The less surface area, the less upward force the lumber applies.

Wood Quality Is Important

The last physics principle we need to understand is that of the distribution of force through the piece of lumber bearing the load. Too much force can cause lumber to crack or, in some cases, even shatter into small pieces. The beveled lumber you purchase from us is hardwood lumber; it is more than capable of handling all the force of a typical flatbed load. The same cannot be said for scrap lumber. There is a reason scrap lumber is scrap. Do you really want to trust it to hold up under the force of tons of pipe or coil?

Simple physics explains why beveled lumber is a better choice for blocking coil and pipe loads. And being that it is so inexpensive, we hope you will make a wiser choice. It’s obviously better to use hardwood beveled lumber made specifically for the purpose of cargo control.




Recoilless Lever Binder – What You Need to Know

There are two kinds of binders used by flatbed truckers in America: the lever binder and the ratchet binder. The latter option is increasingly becoming the preferred kind of binder because it is generally considered safer and easier to use. Yet there are times when the lever binder is the better tool for the job.

Mytee Products carries several different binder models that our customers can choose from. If you are new to the trucking industry, we certainly want you to be safe and It is for this reason that we decided to put together a blog post providing all the basic information you need to know about one of our more popular products: the recoilless lever binder from Durabilt.

recoiless lever binder

How Binders Work

Lever binders, in general, use the principle of leverage to tighten chains attached to cargo. For all practical purposes, both ends of the chain have to be fairly close together at the point of blinding in order to tighten them appropriately using the lever handle. Think of it in terms of an oil filter wrench or vice grips, if that helps.

By contrast, a ratchet binder uses the same principle as a pulley system. By combining the power of the lever with the energy distribution properties of a ratcheting system, the user can apply less force to the mechanism while still tightening chains to the same degree. There is also considerably less danger with a ratchet binder because resistance is distributed across a larger area.

We say all that to say that the first thing you need to know about recoilless lever binders is that they store a considerable amount of potential energy once chains are tightened down. That potential energy can do an awful lot of damage if it is released too quickly. This is why you have to be extremely careful with these binders.

Tips for Safe Use

A recoilless lever binder is safer than a lever binder without a recoilless handle. Still, you have to be careful. Below is a list of tips for the safe use of our recoilless lever binder:

  • No Cheater Bars – Never use a cheater bar on any lever binder, especially to loosen the handle. That potential energy we talked about could cause the system to come apart quickly and violently enough to injure you.
  • Stand Clear – Whenever tightening or loosening a recoilless lever binder, make sure everyone else is standing clear in case something goes wrong. Neither you nor anyone else should be standing on the load either.
  • One Man Job – You should be able to secure your load properly using a recoilless lever binder alone. If it takes two or more of you to tighten down chains, you need to rethink what you are doing.
  • Wear Protective Gear – It is a very good idea to wear gloves and safety glasses while tightening and loosening loads. Better safe than sorry should something give way.
  • Conduct Regular Inspections – Be sure to check every recoilless lever binder in your inventory before and after each use. Regular inspections make it easier for you to spot problems before something unfortunate happens.

There are times when the recoilless lever binder is the only tool appropriate for the job. Should you decide to use these binders, just be careful and let common sense prevail. You should have no problems as long as you do so.


The Difference between Tarp Repair Tape and Duct Tape

Mytee Products is happy to be able to supply truck drivers with tarp repair supplies, which include high-quality tarp repair tape. As with all of our products, customers can rest assured that this tape delivers as advertised. It is a product uniquely designed for its intended purposes which ideally should not be replaced by duct tape.Why, you ask? because tarp repair tape and duct tape are not the same things.



What Is Duct Tape

Duct tape is a pressure sensitive tape with a cloth or scrim backing for extra strength. The outside surface is usually coded in polyethylene while the glue on the inside surface is a rubber-based adhesive. The combination of all of these materials provides a relatively strong tape that holds up well to moisture. Interestingly enough, duct tape was a military invention created in World War II to seal ammunition boxes against the weather. However, that does not mean duct tape’s water-resistant properties make it appropriate for repairing tarps.

What Is Tarp Tape

Tarp repair tape on the other hand is better suited to repair poly and vinyl tarps. Rather than being a cloth backed tape coated in polyethylene, tarp repair tape starts as a poly fabric weave that is as strong and durable as a tarp. The manufacturer applies a strong, waterproof adhesive that provides maximum bonding between the tape and the tarp surface.

Not only is a tarp repair tape stronger than duct tape but it also tends to handle weather changes better. Tarp tape is UV resistant as well as being flexible under all kinds of weather conditions. Tape applied to a tear or hole according to manufacturer instructions will create a nearly permanent repair that should last as long as the tarp itself.

By contrast, duct tape tends to break down very quickly. It does not do well in the sun and gets rather brittle in cold temperatures. Additionally,it is subject to dry rot once the rubber adhesive ages long enough.

Repair or Replace

With the tarp repair tape question out of the way, you might be wondering whether you should repair or replace your tarps. That is a call only you can make. Having said that, tarp repair tape is fairly reliable for small to moderate holes and tears. You can even use it as a reinforcing measure if you have to join separated pieces of fabric by sewing them back together.

Common sense dictates that larger repairs require quite a bit more care when using tarp tape. You should check any such repairs often to make sure they are holding fast, especially during your journeys. Any repair that is not holding may need to be sewn or repaired a second time using tape and glue.

When it is time to eventually replace an older tarp, we recommend cutting it up and saving the pieces for future repairs. You never know when a piece of old tarp will come in handy to create a patch to get you to the end of a trip. A good, sturdy patch with a couple of pieces of tarp repair tape makes for an excellent emergency repair when you have no other options.

Mytee Products proudly carries a full line of tarp repair supplies durable enough to stand up to the punishment of the trucking industry. Feel free to browse our entire inventory at your leisure. You’re certain to find everything you need in our online store.

Tips To Remove Flatbed Tarps Easily

Applying and removing tarps is part of the job for the flatbed trucker. It can be a bit tedious when the wind is blowing or loads have sharp edges to contend with, so the best thing any trucker can do in this regard is pay attention to what works for other drivers and learn the little tricks that make flatbed tarp application and removal easier.

We have addressed applying tarps in other posts, however in this post, we will concentrate on tarp removal. Needless to say that most truckers get better at tarp removal with time and practice. Below are a few examples of little things you can do to remove tarps easily.


Fold Sides up First

After 500 miles of interstate driving, there is a big temptation to undo your straps, grab one corner of the tarp and start pulling. You may get lucky on a load that has no sharp edges and is not oddly shaped but more often than not, the “yank and hope for the best” method can cause more trouble than imagined. Before you do anything, your best move is to fold the sides of your flatbed tarp up onto the load.

Folding creates a flat surface on the top of the load that is much easier to deal with. As a side note, you may have to get on the load to do this. Be careful.

Move from Front to Back

The second thing you can do to make your life easier is to move from front to back as you pull the tarp. There are two ways to do this. First, if you have someone willing to help, you can both grab a corner on either side of the trailer where it meets the cab. Then walk toward the rear of the trailer, pulling up and pushing forward as you go. This will essentially fold the tarp on top of itself as you pull it off the trailer.

If you are working alone, start at the rear of the trailer and grab your tarp (with the sides already folded up) at the center. Slowly drag it off the load in an even, continuous motion. The idea behind both of these methods is to cause the tarp to move from front to rear across the top of the load, thus avoiding sharp edges that can rip tarp fabric.

Get Some Air Underneath

Experienced truckers know that getting some air underneath flatbed truck tarps can help considerably. This is obviously not a problem on windy days, but what if the weather is still or you in an enclosed terminal? Grabbing one corner of your tarp and flapping it a couple of times gets just enough air underneath to separate the fabric from the cargo. This will make dragging the tarp off a bit easier.

Always Use Edge Protectors

New flatbed drivers tend to stay away from edge protectors unless they have reason to believe they are in danger of ripping their tarps. Why take the time to apply edge protectors if there are no real sharp edges? There is actually a very good reason: it makes tarp removal a lot easier. Edge protectors create space between your flatbed tarp and the cargo underneath. That extra space reduces friction and makes it easier for you to get the tarp off.

Flatbed tarp application and removal are an integral part of the job for those who hauls flatbed loads. So rather than continuing to struggle, the trucker is better off learning all those little secrets that make tarp application and removal easier.