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How to Increase Efficiency Outside the Truck

It is no secret that truck drivers are not all that thrilled about having to do work that doesn’t keep the wheels turning. They are not getting paid for the time it takes to load a trailer, secure the load, and cover it with tarps. They only get paid while the truck is in motion. So it should be obvious that efficiency outside the truck is key to making money.

The most efficient truck drivers limit the amount of time they spend doing things other than driving. The more efficient a trucker is, the more miles he or she can cover in a given day. It is with this in mind that we want to offer a few suggestions for increasing efficiency outside the truck.

1. Use Better Tools

We are fortunate enough to be part of an industry that continues to evolve. We are seeing all sorts of new tools entering the market every year, including the revolutionary ratchet winch bar. This tool takes the basic concept of a winch bar and makes it even better by combining it with the ratchet.
A ratchet winch bar works just like a ratchet wrench. Pulling up resets the bar; pushing down creates the force necessary to tension winch straps. Just reverse the action to use the ratchet winch to safely release straps on the other end.

2. Learn How to Use Your Tools

All the best tools offer only limited efficiency if you don’t know how to use them. So with every new tool you buy, make the effort to learn the best ways to use it. Read owner’s manuals; watch videos online; ask other drivers about their own experiences.

A good example of this principle is using the winch winder. The winch winder is a tool that reduces the time it takes to wind your winch straps after unloading. Using it is a lot faster than manual winding. But beware, you can create bigger problems for yourself if you’re careless. There is a right and wrong way to use the winch winder. Use it the right way and you will also increase your efficiency.

3. Think Things Through

One of the worst things a truck driver can do is jump right into securing a load without thinking things through. Time tends to be a major factor which could make a driver attack cargo control without giving ample thought to what he/she is doing.
It takes a minute or two to logically think through the best way to secure and cover a load. The few minutes it takes could save you a lot more time by giving you the opportunity to plan what it is you’re going to do before you start doing it.

4. Eliminate Unnecessary Steps

Last but not least, eliminate every unnecessary step from your work. Whether you are working with a ratchet winch bar, a winch winder, or heavy chains, there is no point in creating extra work for yourself. Let’s use tarping as an example.

As long as the conditions are right, don’t unfold a tarp on the ground. Put it on top of the load and unfold it as you go. This eliminates the unnecessary step of having to haul the tarp over the load after unfolding in on the ground. Unfolding from the top of the load is far more efficient.

Increased efficiency reduces the amount of time a trucker spends outside of the truck. It should be every truck driver’s goal to be as efficient as possible, so that more time is spent driving.


Flatbed Lumber Tarps – A Great Protector of Goods

Firstly let us check the meanings of what a lumber is and what a tarp is. A lumber in the simplest language is a load of raw wood material. Have you ever seen trucks carrying wood? Have you noticed the wood covered with a waterproof polythene or nylon tarpaulin sheet? That is exactly what we will discuss about in this article. A tarpaulin sheet in short is what you call a Tarp. So that’s how we get the two words conjoined as Lumber Tarp.

How are Lumber tarps manufactured?

You must have heard the name of nylon or polyester. The material used for manufacturing lumber tarps is polyester which is PVC coated. 6oz nylon fabric is used to make the lumber tarpaulin. This assures that the tarps are light weight. The weight of tarps depends on how much ‘oz’ they are made up of. While tarps made of 6oz fabric are light weight, 10oz and 14oz fabric tarps are heavier.

What is the name of the stitch and what is the name of the thread?

Though heavy duty tarps are welded, but mostly tarpaulin is stitched. The edges are double locked that means each stitch is twice locked by the next stitch. The hem stitch pattern is used to stitch tarps. #207 bonded threads are used to stitch tarpaulins. At the underside edge of the tarpaulin brass grommets are fixed.

Two additional rows of D rings are adjusted by hem stitch on the inner edge of the tarp border at a gap of 30 inch and 60 inch.

What are Light weight tarps and heavy duty tarps?

Broadly tarps can be categorised into two types— the light weight tarps and the heavy duty tarps. Light weight tarps are made of 6oz nylon fabric. Heavy duty tarps mean the tarpaulin covers made of 10oz, 12oz or 14oz vinyl fabric that is heavier.

If we go to the bottom of the discussion, there are many subtypes of the tarpaulin. Both light weight and heavy duty tarps have their respective subcategories. For example, the light weight tarps are also available in super light type which in texture feels nothing heavier than the parachute material. On the other hand, the heavy duty tarps are available in different subtypes depending on whether they are three pieces or two pieces. Light weight tarps usually don’t weigh beyond 90 lbs. The super light one weighs approximately 65 lbs. The heavy weight tarps weight over 100 lbs and the very heavy ones that are two pieces or three pieces weight up to 215 lbs.

For flatbed lumber tarps the flap on the rear side edge is a mandatory part. The flap is necessary to overlap the edges so that the tarps wraps around the lumber underneath.

What are the uses of lumber tarps?

From the name you can well understand that tarpaulin sheets are used to cover lumber that is load. It can be any kind of load, but mostly it is wood that is transported. The main purpose of the lumber tarps is to protect the wood being carried in the truck. The tarpaulin sheets protect the goods from rain water and sunlight. They are acid resistant so there are fewer chances that they will be affected badly. Also the tarps are fungus free so even in moisture or humidity or after rainfall, they don’t allow mushroom or fungi to grow on the wood and spoil its quality. The tarps are manufactured by double layered polyester so that they attain a certain thickness. Tarps are not fully waterproof but they don’t usually allow water to seep through the material.

Are all tarps waterproof?

Tarps are made waterproof as much as possible during the time of manufacture. But tarps cannot be made fully water resistant because in case of very heavy rainfall, sometimes rain water seeps through the tarps into the wood underneath. But usually tarps are made with a bi-layer of polyester which disallows water to seep through the two parallel sheets.

What to do if tarps get torn? Can they be repaired?

Tarps usually last longer if you can take adequate care of them. Do not leave tarps in water or dirt like in a go-down kind of area for a long time unused. If you keep using tarps, they last longer. Tarps always last a long life if you keep them clean and they don’t usually get torn easily. But in case tarps get torn, they can be re-stitched if they are of the light weight type. The heavy weight 10oz vinyl fabric is difficult to stitch so these tarps get welded in case they tear off.

Tarps are repairable but re-stitching repeatedly may harm their quality and hey would anyways wither off after a certain period of time. The light weight tarps are more durable.

What are D rings and what is the utilization?

D rings or Dee rings as they are called are the brass grommet like things that are hem stitched on the edge of the tarps so that the ropes to tie the sheet over the wood can be entangled through. The D rings are stitched in rows and sometimes in fact in double rows to ensure safety.

So what do you have to keep in mind before buying tarp?

When we talk about tarpaulins we are reminded of its versatile use. Sometimes not only to cover goods on flatbed trucks, but the material is also used even to cover construction sites in days of monsoon. From here we understand that this is a very useful material. So the next time you need a tarpaulin sheet, you know what it is made up of, how to take care of it, what are D rings, which type to buy according to your requirement, which is light weight and which is heavy duty and how to select your choice.

Do not compromise on quality and always make it a point to buy a branded tarp. Branded material lasts longer and can be relied upon for its durability.


6 Essential Accessories Worth Buying For Your Pickup Truck

Truck accessories are the best way to enhance the existing utility of your light motor vehicle. These accessories allow you to do anything right from protecting cargo to improving the overall looks of your vehicle. So, let’s find out which truck accessories are worth while for your pickup truck.

Camper shell

If you want to extend the capacity of your vehicle, go for Camper shell. Similar to a canopy, it proves to be highly useful during camping. The Camper shell, made out of aluminum and fiberglass, protects your cargo from external elements including theft. Large-ones often overlap the top of your truck’s cab.

Tonneau covers

There are a multitude of tonneau covers available in the market, today, coming in different sizes, shapes and colors. Besides offering the best looks to your pickup truck, these offer protection against theft. Most of the tonneau covers can be locked. Acting like truck bed covers; these also protect your cargo from sunlight, rain, snow, wind, leaves and vermin.

Mud Flaps

Mud flaps are nothing but rubber mats to be attached at the rear of the rear wheels of your pickup truck. These offer immense protection against nicks, outcome of road salt and thrown gravel. Another useful function of mud flaps is that these protect other vehicles from mud thrown by your truck. Mud flaps are highly recommended when you are out during rainy days. Go for mud flaps having an anti-spray and anti-sail design which is more than your truck’s tires.

Tie-downs

If you are not buying a camper shell, do invest in tie-downs and cargo nets. These are quite handy in protecting the cargo from sliding or flying out of the truck. Go for ratchet straps in case you are carrying a heavy object. Not having tie-downs in your truck can be disastrous for other road users. Also, don’t hesitate in buying straps and tarps.

Tow hooks & tailgate

If you want to pull a boat or move hay bale, consider including tow hooks in your trucks accessory list. You can also go for tailgate, a very useful truck accessory. However, don’t forget to lock and put your vehicle identification number on it for protection against thieves.

Tool box

This is a must-have truck accessory if you are camping in remote areas. A tool box consisting of some screw drivers, drill and hammer comes to your rescue if something goes wrong. There are a myriad of options available when it comes to buying a tool-box. It can be attached on the truck bed or near the rollout system.
The above list does not end here. There are many other useful truck accessories available in the market depending on your personal preferences. All you have to do is just figure out your needs and see what each truck accessory has to offer.


Maintenance Of Your Truck Straps And Other Truck Accessories

We know it is absolutely inescapable to use tie down straps while moving a heavily loaded truck. Straps ensure that your cargo is properly secured on the truck bed and your load will not move or fall off from the truck. If such incidents happen it could damage your cargo and disturb other drivers on the road, sometimes leading to serious consequences.

While it is essential to use appropriate tensile strength truck straps in accordance with the weight of the cargo it is also important for the truckers to know how to maintain these straps and other accessories used for the optimum tie down strength.

Inspection

Inspect your accessories from time to time for any sign of wear and tear. You should fix the items that are defective and not use the items that cannot be fixed. The problems that you generally find in ratchet straps are rust, broken ratchet assemblies and frayed nylon material. If you are using tarps to protect your cargo you should check that your tarp is not torn from anywhere. Once you make sure all your accessories are repaired and ready, you should evaluate their strength before using them on the trucks.

Storage

While storing your materials, you must follow the guidelines given for each material and product. For storing truck straps you must first sort them out according to their width, length, strength and color. This will help you to use the right strap for the right purpose. You must clean all your equipments before you store them, they should be free from dirt. If you have washed your equipments make sure that they are completely dry before you store them. Lubricate the parts where it is necessary.

Storage of your accessories is easy and will help you save lot of time and money. Proper storage will ensure that your equipments will be in good condition for a long period of time. It will only take a moment of your time and keep your products from rust, jam and getting lost.

Tagging

You might think that tagging the accessories is not at all important, but this helps a lot. Tagging your equipments will save a lot of time. If you have tagged all your straps and tie down materials with their weight holding capacity it becomes very easy for you to choose the right strap for tie down. If you have not tagged all your straps and by mistake use the wrong strap or light weight strap to tie down your heavy load it could result into a disaster. Apart from damaging your cargo and strap you could cause serious harms to yourself or other drivers on the road. Better tag your equipments with necessary information it saves a lot more than time.

These are a few basic maintenance tips for your truck straps and other important tie down tools. If you follow these tips, it becomes very easy to store and organize your gear.