Tarps for Covering Equipment on Flatbed Trucks
Tarps are essential for protecting goods, machinery, and equipment during transportation. They provide a large sheet of flexible, strong, and waterproof material that shields the cargo from external elements. When it comes to covering equipment on flatbed trucks, it is crucial to choose the right type of tarp that meets the specific requirements of the job. In this article, we will explore the various types of tarps commonly used for this purpose, highlighting their features and benefits.
Types of Tarps for Covering Equipment
- Heavy-Duty Tarps:
Heavy-duty tarps are designed to protect stationary items that are typically stored outdoors. They are suitable for covering hay, machinery, generators, boats, furniture, camping materials, and patios. These tarps are made from materials such as canvas, vinyl, or polyester coated with polyurethane, providing excellent durability and water resistance.
- Lumber Tarps:
Lumber tarps are the most commonly used type of flatbed truck tarps for trackers and haulers. They are specifically designed to cover loads that include lumber. Manufactured using 14 oz or 18 oz vinyl, these tarps feature three rows of D-rings for secure attachment. Lumber tarps differ in size from steel tarps, with steel tarps being smaller. Steel tarps are denser, making them ideal for shorter steel loads. The drop size for steel tarps is typically 4′, while lumber tarps have an 8′ drop.
- Steel Tarps:
Steel tarps are specifically tailored to cover stacked steel loads during transportation. They are made from heavy-duty 18 oz vinyl and are a cost-effective solution for meeting safety requirements when hauling steel. Some steel tarps are constructed with lighter materials, such as 14 oz vinyl and parachute fabric, which makes folding them easier. However, it is essential to use corner and edge protectors to prevent tearing or cuts when using steel tarps with parachute fabric.
- Parachute Tarps:
Parachute tarps combine the durability of 18 oz vinyl with the lightweight flexibility of airbag fabric. These tarps are commonly used to cover loads on flatbed trucks, providing protection against various weather hazards. The tarp sides are made of tear-resistant parachute fabric, ensuring longevity and withstanding inclement weather conditions. Parachute tarps are favored by many haulers due to their weight trade-off benefits.
- Machinery Tarps:
Machinery tarps are designed to cover equipment and machinery loads. Since machinery comes in various shapes and sizes, it can be challenging to find the right fit. Machinery tarps are customized to precisely cover the equipment, minimizing tension and reducing the risk of tearing. These tarps are made of heavy-duty 18 oz vinyl and feature double rows of D-rings stitched into the seams, providing secure attachment points.
- Demolition Tarps:
Also known as snow tarps, demolition tarps are the strongest tarps available. They are specifically designed to bundle and lift heavy-duty debris and concrete, making it easier to haul them from construction sites. Demolition tarps are ideal for professional demolition projects or private home renovations where excess debris and snow need to be lifted and transported.
- Canvas Tarps:
Canvas tarps are breathable mesh tarps suitable for covering outdoor equipment and goods like firewood, mowers, or generators. While they are not completely waterproof, they are made of water-resistant polyester material. Canvas tarps are lightweight, affordable, and ideal for routine outdoor coverage. The double-stitched seams and evenly spaced grommets allow for precise tie-downs to protect enclosed equipment from rust and condensation.
- BEE Hauling Tarp:
BEE hauling tarps, also known as bee nets or nursery tarps, are designed specifically for transporting live cargo, such as bees, trees, and other animals. These tarps ensure the safety of plants and animals during transit by allowing air and water droplets to pass through the PVC-coated mesh material. They protect against the sun, rain, and other potentially damaging weather conditions. The rows of D-rings enable secure attachment and minimize tension on fragile cargo.
- Poly Tarps:
Poly tarps, also referred to as polyethylene tarps, are among the most popular types of tarps. They are recognizable by their iconic blue color and are commonly used by laypeople for yard work or outdoor equipment coverings. These tarps feature aluminum grommets placed every three feet, allowing for easy attachment with large bungees. Poly tarps are lightweight but are not suitable for covering flatbed loads.
Choosing the Right Tarp
When selecting a tarp for covering equipment on flatbed trucks, it is crucial to consider the specific requirements of the job. Factors such as load type, weather conditions, and equipment dimensions should be taken into account. Consulting experts or conducting thorough research on the available options will help ensure that you choose the right tarp to meet your needs effectively.
In conclusion, tarps play a vital role in protecting equipment and goods during transportation. Understanding the different types of tarps available for covering equipment on flatbed trucks allows you to make an informed decision. Whether you require heavy-duty tarps, lumber tarps, steel tarps, parachute tarps, machinery tarps, demolition tarps, canvas tarps, BEE hauling tarps, or poly tarps, selecting the right tarp for the job is essential to ensure the safe and secure transportation of your cargo.