10 Different Types of Tarps: A Complete Guide to Tarping

For truckers, farmers, and anyone else who works outdoors, quality tarps are an important investment. So here we are with various types of tarps.

It’s important to have the tarp you actually need for the job at hand. It’s wise to be prepared to tackle new jobs that come up. But figuring out the best quality tarp for the price and which one will actually get the job done — can be tricky. Fortunately, at Mytee Products, we’ve got your back in the complex world of tarping.

Primary Types of Tarps

Though there are various types of tarps available. But here we are giving a brief idea about primary types of flatbed truck tarps and heavy-duty tarps.

1. Heavy-Duty Tarps:

Heavy-duty tarps are coverings designed to protect stationary things, typically stored outdoors. heavy-duty tarps might cover hay, machinery, boats, generators, furniture, or even camping materials and use a patio.

2. Truck Tarps:

Truck tarps are used to cover and protect loads on the backs of trucks as the loads are transported. Some tarps are created for specific types of loads (like steel tarps or bee hauling tarps), while others are made to protect loads from a particular type of damage (like smoke tarps). Click here to know more about the truck tarping system. Now that you know the broad categories of tarps, let’s jump into the specifics.

Types of Tarps: Your Ultimate Guide to Tarping

Now as you are aware of the broad categories of flatbed tarps, let’s jump into specifics. Just check out various types of tarps. It would be an ultimate guide to tarping.

types of tarps, materials and tarp uses

1. Lumber Tarp

Lumber tarps are, by far, the most popular flatbed truck tarps for truckers and haulers. They can be used to cover a wide variety of loads, including lumber. 14 oz or 18 oz vinyl is used to manufacture these amazing lumber tarps. For precise securement, there are three rows of D-rings.

Lumber tarps on flatbed

One key difference between steel tarps and lumber tarps is size. Steel tarps are smaller than lumber tarps. Steel is denser than lumber is, so steel loads are shorter – That’s why 4’ drop tarps are the most typical size for steel tarps, while 8’ drop tarps are more typical for lumber tarps.

2. Steel Tarp

Steel tarps are truck tarps designed to cover loads of steel during transport. Specifically, they’re made to haul stacked steel, not steel coils, and they’re a cost-effective method of meeting the safety requirements for hauling steel loads. Steel tarps and lumber tarps are both typically made of heavy-duty 18 oz vinyl, and they’re both used to cover loads on flatbed trucks.

Steel Tarps

Some steel tarps are made of lighter-weight materials, like our steel tarp made of 14oz vinyl and parachute fabric. These tarps are easier to fold, but they’re less resistant to cuts and tears from getting caught on the steel. So, it’s good to use corner and edge protectors when you’re using steel tarps with parachute fabric.

3. Parachute Tarp

Such parachute tarps are a popular variety of truck tarp that blends the durability and resilience of 18 oz vinyl with the lightweight flexibility of airbag fabric.

Parachute Tarps

Parachute tarps cover the tops of loads with waterproof, 18 oz heavy-duty vinyl, covering these loads from all kinds of potential weather hazards. But the sides of the tarp are made of parachute fabric, which is still wear-and-tear resistant. Since the sides of the loads are less likely to meet inclement weather directly, the weight trade-off is worth it for many haulers.

4. Machinery Tarp

Our machinery tarps are specialty truck tarps designed specifically to cover machinery and equipment loads. Machinery and equipment can come in odd shapes and sizes, making it a challenge to completely cover to load or to deal with excess fabric if the machine is covered with a larger tarp.

machinery tarps

Beyond that, machinery often has sharp edges, which can cause wear-and-tear on tarps over time, or even cut into the tarps if the equipment moves abruptly. Machinery tarps are made to fit equipment precisely, so there is less routine tension on equipment edges that can lead to this kind of tearing. Machinery tarps are made of heavy-duty 18 oz vinyl, have two rows of D-ring stitched into the seams for precise securement, and are highly customizable.

5. Demolition Tarp

Demolition tarps, also called snow tarps, are the strongest tarps on the market. They’re the only tarps designed to bundle and lift heavy-duty debris, including concrete, so it can be easily hauled away from construction sites.

Demolition Tarp

If you need to bundle, lift, and haul excess debris or snow at a professional demolition site, or for a personal home renovation project, check out Mytee’s demolition tarps. They’re 26 oz heavy-duty vinyl and can lift up to 10,000 lbs.

6. Canvas Tarp

Canvas tarps are breathable mesh tarps made to cover outdoor equipment and goods, like a riding mower, firewood, or a generator. These tarps aren’t completely waterproof if rainwater pools on the surface, but they are made of water-resistant polyester.

Waterproof Canvas Tarps

Lightweight and affordable, canvas tarps are champions when it comes to routine outdoor coverage. The durable double-stitched seams and evenly-spaced grommets allow for precise tie-downs to protect covered equipment from condensation and rust.

7. Bee Hauling Tarp

Bee hauling tarps, sometimes called bee nets or nursery tarps are the only tarps designed specifically for hauling live cargo. Bees, trees, and other animals and plants can be safely covered by these tarps in transit without risking overheating, dehydration, or suffocation.

bee hauling tarps

The PVC-coated mesh material lets air and water droplets through while still protecting hives from rain and other potentially damaging weather. The four rows of D-rings allow for ultra-precise securement, which prevents bees from escaping and reduces the tension of any given point on fragile cargo.

Need bee tarps in a unique size? Mytee Products will customize them for you!

8. Hay Tarp

Moisture damage can easily ruin the hay crops. Molds, mildews, and crushing snows can all render hay crops worthless– all that work down the drain. There are options for storing stacked hay bales indoors, but sometimes building a barn isn’t worth the investment, especially if you have extra hay on a particularly good year, or if hay is a change-up from your typical crop.


That’s where hay tarps come in. Hay tarps are a cost-effective way to protect your crop from damage. These tarps are made of 8 oz waterproof fabric. They’re UV-proof, heat-resistant, and have enough anchor points to tie them down precisely (leaving no gaps for water or weather to leak in).

9. Poly Tarp

Poly Tarps, short for polyethylene tarps, are by far the most popular kind of tarp. Even lay people have these iconic blue tarps to help them with yard work or cover outdoor equipment.

They can be tied down with bungees run through the aluminum grommets placed every three feet. These poly tarps are very lightweight and that is why flatbed loads cannot be covered with these tarps.

10. Smoke Tarp

Smoke tarps are also known as nose tarps. They are for truckers hauling loads that could get damaged by the smoke, soot, or exhaust from the truck’s cab. Some loads, like PVC pipes, typically require smoke tarps, and some shippers and receivers require them for all loads. While they’re not necessary every time, it’s good to have them on hand to make a particular client happy.

smoke tarps

Mytee’s smoke tarps are made from heavy-duty 18 oz vinyl. They’re smaller than other vinyl tarps because they only need to cover the elements of the load close enough to the exhaust to take damage. Our smoke tarps can be secured easily because they’ve got brass grommets clinched every two feet and a row of D-rings stitched with protection flaps.

At the end of the day, your covering storage needs will change depending on your work and your load. Stocking up on a wide range of tarps is a great way to stay prepared.

If you’re curious about any of the tarps in this post, or if you’re interested in a custom tarp for your unique haul or piece of equipment, give us a call on 1-888-705-8277 or explore all the tarps in our online store.