Purchasing new truck tarps constitutes one of those annoying expenses that can really add up over an entire career. If you spend $500 a year on tarps and work as a trucker for 40 years, you are looking at a total expenditure of $20,000. Doesn’t it make sense to extend the life of each of your tarps for as long as possible?
At Mytee Products in Ohio, they sell all sorts of truck tarps for a variety of cargo needs. Their tarps also come in a variety of material choices. You can purchase canvas, vinyl, and parachute fabric in configurations suitable for lumber, coil, machinery, and general use.
Regardless of the tarps you buy, taking good care of them will make them last as long as possible. Here are four ways you can do just that. Each of the suggestions described below will maximize the life of every tarp in your toolbox.
1. Never Store Wet Tarps
Wet tarps are part of the trucking game. However, be sure to dry out your tarps thoroughly before you store them away. Folding and storing a wet tarp will almost always lead to the growth of mold and mildew. That nasty stuff smells terrible, it looks terrible, and it reduces the life of the fabric.
Two good ways to dry your tarps are laying them out in the sun or draping them over a line. If time doesn’t permit you to do either one, at least make the effort to pull wet tarps out of storage as soon as you have down time. Getting them dried out as quickly as possible will keep them around longer.
2. Rotate Your Tarps
The typical truck driver folds a tarp into three sections along its length before rolling it up into a tube. That’s the best way to do it for easy deployment. But did you know that constantly folding tarps the same way can cause creases that affect the integrity of the fabric along those lines? The best way to deal with this problem is to rotate your tarps. Rotating tarps in and out of service can prevent creasing by keeping all of them in play.
3. Fix Minor Rips and Tears
A minor rip or tear can easily become a major problem. Do not let that happen. As soon as you notice a rip or tear, fix it. Companies like Mytee Products sell tarp repair kits that utilize patches and cement to take care of those minor problems. And by the way, a good patch properly applied is just as strong as the original material.
4. Replace Damaged Grommets
A good tarp features reinforcement around all the grommets. And yet, grommets still wear out and break. Said grommets should be replaced immediately. Just like fixing minor rips and tears, replacing damaged grommets will help you maintain the integrity of a tarp and maximize its life.
Also note that damaged grommets can cause additional damage to the tarp fabric. It only takes one sharp edge to cut into tarp material – even if the material is reinforced. Damaged grommets can damage cargo, cut into webbing straps, and even lead to tarps breaking loose at speed.
As a flatbed truck driver, tarps can be your very best friend by protecting cargo from pickup to delivery. Keep yours in tip-top shape so you never have to worry about the loads underneath. The better you care for them, the longer they will last. And the longer they last, the less money you will be spending to protect somebody else’s cargo.