5 Important Tips on Using Flatbed Tarps to Cover Loads


Tarps can be very useful for heavy vehicles like trucks, trailers and motor homes. They hold the cargo in place when it is been transported through bumpy roads, hilly terrains and other challenging road trips. Their main purpose is to protect the cargo from weather conditions like rain, snow, wind and harmful sun rays. Depending upon the size of the flatbed tarps it can be very easy or very tricky to cover the tarp on the vehicle & cargo.

Tips on Using Flatbed Tarps to Cover Loads

Here are some tips that can help you to cover your loads with flatbed tarps

1. Purchase an All Purpose Flatbed Tarps

Let’s start with a tip on how to purchase a truck tarp. A tarp should be waterproof, UV treated and wind resistant. These characteristics are important for a durable and all purpose tarps and you can be assured that these tarps will withstand the forces of external elements over a long haul. Vinyl tarps are preferable for such purpose.

2. Arrange Cargo in A Proper PatternArrange cargo

To efficiently cover the cargo with a tarp, it is necessary that you arrange your cargo in proper pattern. The best way is to evenly distribute the cargo on the flatbed trailer. Try to keep the cargo low and avoid any uneven heights, sharp points. Because this will not allow a trap to lay flat.

3. Cover the Load EvenlyLumber tarps

Pull the flatbed truck tarps over the cargo load. Make sure that your cargo is evenly covered on both the sides with the tarp. You can fold the extra material of the tarp and place it under the cargo. Then use straps or bungee cords to tie down the tarp with the trailer bed.

5. Final Check on Flatbed TarpsFlatbed Tarps

Once you have covered your load and tied it down with the straps you must walk around the load and vehicle that you have just secured. Check the tie downs and security of your tarp to make sure everything is in place as you wanted it. You can pull the tarps to check how much it gives; don’t allow even a negligible gap in the perfect tie down.

5. Other Necessary Tips and Warnings

truck tie-down

  • It is easier to tie a tarp for the first few times with a help of friends to properly understand the tie down process.
  • Tarps will help you to figure out the difference between a slack and a perfect tie down when your tarp is evenly draped on a load.
  • It is important for you to know that you should never stand on a tarp no matter how secure it may appear to you.
  • Tarps are made to withstand harsh weather conditions but not withstand weight and might give away.
  • Do not tie down your tarps using pipes, wires and other small things like antennas; thin objects like these could easily break if the tarp pulls.
  • Use only standard tie down straps.


Flatbed lumber tarps and steel tarps are essential items for the truck drivers and if used and maintained in proper way they could last of many years as they are made from heavy duty durable materials.