Tarping tips for the new guys.

Discussion in 'Expediter and Hot Shot Trucking Forum' started by flatbedcarrier, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. flatbedcarrier

    flatbedcarrier Medium Load Member

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    For those of you that are new to hauling, that have never tarped a load before. You will want to read this. It could save you a lot of money and heartache.

    Be ready to use those brand new tarps you just purchased. It’s inevitable in the flatbed industry. How do you get ready? You start by having plenty of padding, and tape on your truck to protect your tarp from getting torn, and the freight from getting damaged. Any sharp edges, sharp corners, pointy parts on the load, you’ll want to pad them well so that they don’t poke holes in, or rip your tarps.

    it’s imperative that your tarp is kept tight while going down the road. If a tarp is loose, and flapping in the wind, you may not notice it but it’s getting damaged, and more importantly, the freight can be getting damaged. A flapping tarp can leave marks on the freight ruining the finish on it. As far as damage to the tarp, with a vinyl tarp especially, when it flaps in the wind going down the road, it gets small, hard to see spiderweb cracks in the vinyl. When that happens the tarp is no longer waterproof in that area of it, and water will get in and damage the freight.

    Bungee cords, these things can cause serious damage to the freight. Especially if the S hooks aren’t bent closed where they pass through the rubber bungee. With the S hook bent closed going through the rubber bungee, the other end of the S hook that you put through the d rings on your tarp, you need to make sure that end is facing outward away from the load. If you don’t do this the S hook can poke a hole in the tarp and eat into the freight as you travel down the road. I’ve seen freight get damaged because of these S hooks. Being new to the industry the last thing you need is a cargo claim. If you think your insurance is high now, you will not like it after a damaged cargo claim due to driver negligence. Next time you’re at the tie down gear store, trailer parts house, ask to see some rubber rope. It’s a great alternative to bungee cords. You can lace rubber rope through the d rings on your tarp and even roll the tarp up with it left on it. When I use rubber rope, I keep a coffee can full of S hooks for securing rubber rope to the sides of my trailer. How many times have you walked across a truck stop parking lot, or a loading zone and looked down and seen a metal S hook just laying on the ground? I pick them up and keep them. They’re handy to have when a trailer doesn’t have any hooks welded under it.

    The main reason why commercial trucking insurance is so high these days is because when new people get into trucking without any training, they make costly mistakes. My goal with this post is to help you avoid some of these costly mistakes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  2. Wespipes

    Wespipes Light Load Member

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    I'm switching from reefer to flatbed. Been soaking up as much info as I can. So I thank you
     
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  3. 6wheeler

    6wheeler Road Train Member

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    Stay away from tarping. Huge insurance risk with little extra pay
     
  4. crocky

    crocky Heavy Load Member

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    Thanks for the post.. Question though.. instead of using foam padding taped what are your thoughts on using "moving blankets" on that type of stuff? Like say double folded laying across the entire ends?

    edit.. also those pics with the bungee cords. Was that damage done with the tarp in place like it rubbed those holes with the tarp over the boxes or were those spots bare cardboard/plastic wrapped and the bungees vibrated in the wind?
     
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  5. flatbedcarrier

    flatbedcarrier Medium Load Member

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    I like using foam but you can use anything that won’t cause damage to the freight. I’ve even used cardboard.
     
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  6. JonJon78

    JonJon78 Road Train Member

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    Look up Tri-city canvas in the St.Louis area. They sell felt. I'd recommend getting that. Also 2x3 carpet pieces that they sell at Walmart or Homedepot work well if you only have a couple sharp things you need covered... I carry both...
     
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  7. flatbedcarrier

    flatbedcarrier Medium Load Member

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    Next time your at a shipper and have to tarp ask if they have any foam padding. We haul for a shipper that gives our guys all the thin white foam padding theywant. I tell them to get some extra, pack it in their tiedown box and save what they've used on their loads so that they always have plenty of it on the truck.

    Be careful what you use because some stuff can leave scuff marks on freight. The last thing you want is to scratch, or scuff the finish when trying yo protect it.
     
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