Truck Tarps: Types, Benefits and Applications

Tarpaulins, or tarps as they are often called, are used in a wide variety of settings and industry. In the agricultural industry for instance, you can see tarps being used as covers for grain bunkers or livestock shelter. In the industrial sector, it is pretty common to see tarps being used as wall dividers or to cover items while in storage. In trucking and logistics, tarps are mostly used to cover the items being transported while on the road.

Covering truck beds and the items on them is just one of the many uses of tarps. They are used to cover the load on the truck, thereby protecting it from rain, sun, or snow and at the same time help to secure the load and keep them from falling off the truck bed. Sure, there are box vans or box trucks available, but there are certain items that only flatbed trucks are capable of transporting (e.g. lumber, construction materials, etc.) And when it comes to protecting the load on a flatbed truck, truckers generally rely on a good quality truck tarp.

Like many other items made from tarpaulins like factory dividers, bunker tarps, shelter cover and others truck tarps also come in different variants. More often than not, these classifications are based on the material the tarp is made from or the specific type of load it protects. However, most truckers generally classify tarps according to the following types: lumber tarps, steel tarps, and mesh tarps and each brings with it a certain versatility and suitability for hauling a specific type of cargo.

Type of Truck Tarps: Lumber Tarps

As the name suggests, lumber tarps are used by truckers who are involved in transporting lumber. They are generally made of heavy-duty material like Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or Polyethylene (PE), which are pretty much the same materials used in making other tarpaulin products like dam liners, temporary storage structures, and others. Obviously, these types of truck tarps are used to protect lumber from outdoor elements during transport; however, they can also be used for bulky and high-rising loads, and cargo that needs plenty of overhang.

Lumber tarps are designed quite differently from other types of truck tarps. In general, they are shaped and sized in such a way that that they are able to accommodate loads which can rise as high as eight feet above the truck bed.  Lumber tarps are usually sold in sets of two or three pieces, though they can also be bought individually. Lumber tarps, like other tarpaulin products (e.g. livestock shade structures, factory dividers, etc.) can also be custom-made, which is a perfect solution for truckers who have specific requirements and needs.

As mentioned earlier, lumber tarps can be made from different materials. Regardless of which material you choose, be sure to go for materials that are durable but not overly heavy. The weight of the material is an important factor to consider as the tarpaulin must be applied and tied down manually, and a heavy tarp is more challenging and more time-consuming to work with.

Type of Truck Tarps: Steel Tarps

As can be gleaned from its name, steel tarps are specifically made to cover steel products like pipes, cables, sheets, and others. Their design and the waterproof materials used in constructing the tarp should offer excellent performance when it comes to keeping the load dry and free from corrosion and rust. Most tarps used in hay sheds and temporary warehousing also have waterproof features as it is a necessity in keeping the bales of hay dry.

Like lumber tarps, steel tarps are also made from heavy-duty materials but are designed rather differently. One difference that you’ll immediately notice is that a steel tarp tends to be same in length as a lumber tarp but smaller in width. This is mainly because steel tarps are only intended to cover shorter and low-profile loads (loads that do not rise too high from the surface of the flatbed). A typical steel tarp is four-sided without flaps, have grommets and D-rings built in, and are generally secured with bungee straps.

Types of Truck Tarps: Mesh Tarps

One of the most commonly used truck tarps are heavy-duty mesh tarpaulins and are mostly seen on dump trucks and dump truck trailers. Unlike lumber tarps and steel tarps, mesh tarps aren’t made of solid materials, which means that they won’t be able to protect your cargo when it rains while you’re on the road. That said, mesh tarps are only used for covering cargo that isn’t damaged by moisture such as small rocks, gravel and sand. Aside from not being waterproof, truckers also have other issues with mesh tarps. For instance, mesh tarps tend to get snagged on debris such as nails or any protruding object in the truck.

Despite those issues, many truckers still use these types of truck tarps. They are lightweight which makes them easier to deploy and collect, durable, and available in a wide variety of colors. The holes in the mesh tarp also allows from ‘breathability’ which makes mesh tarps perfect for other applications like poultry curtains (although it can be rather challenging to find such a curtain in stores that sell poultry supplies in Australia).

For more information, contact us at Polytex today!

Buying Guide For Tarps

Tarps or commonly known as tarpaulins are widely used as protective covering against weather conditions like extreme sun exposure, heavy rain and strong wind. Most tarps are made from durable materials that have waterproof feature. Whether you are buying tarps for residential, commercial, agricultural, mining or industrial use here’s a buying guide for your reference.

Determine the thickness

Tarpaulins come in a variety of thickness. They are usually measured by manufacturers of tarpaulin products in millimeters ranging from 0.10 to 0.40 mm. The thicker the tarps the more durable they can be. So, if you are looking for a tarp that is intended for outdoor use, get the tarp with at least 0.40 mm thickness to ensure it can withstand strong wind, heavy downpour or scorching heat of the sun.

Check the mesh count

Another indicator that will tell how durable a tarp is the mesh count. The higher the mesh count indicated on a tarpaulin product the stronger the tarp.

Cut size and finish size

If this is your first time to buy tarps for your farming business know about the difference between the cut size as well as the finish size. Why? Cut size refers to the initial cut the tarp when it was produced.  When it comes to the finish size, it will be shorter than the cut size of at least 7.6 to 15.2 centimeters shorter. When making your first purchase, it’s imperative you ask the tarpaulin supplier or manufacturer the cut size and finish size of the tarp product you want.

Know the types of tarps available

Aside from the thickness, mesh count, cut size and finish size, you should also find time to know the different types of tarps sold in the market. Here are the types of tarpaulins that you may encounter online or from a direct supplier of tarpaulin products.

  • Black mesh tarpaulin – generally used for outdoor structures, patios and garden nurseries. They serve as protective covering from heat, wind, rain and frost.
  • Blue tarpaulin – most affordable tarps that come in various sizes. They are durable, water resistant and with reinforced edges.
  • UV protected tarpaulin – provide maximum protection against the harmful rays of the sun. They come in a variety of colours.
  • Flame resistant tarpaulin – these tarps are treated with special chemicals to resist or slow down the effect of fire. They also come in various colours.
  • Truck tarpaulin – made from heavy duty tarpaulin material and used on flatbed trailers. They have reinforced D rings.
  • Fence tarpaulin – mostly used by contractors and builders for their construction sites to serve as protection and privacy cover. These tarpaulins come in black and green colours.
  • Pool Tarpaulin – they serve as covering for pool owners to reduce debris and leaves from entering the pools. Pool tarps have 100 percent waterproof feature.
  • Sports tarpaulin – you can see these tarps in sports events and are used as a protective covering against external elements like heat, wind, and rain. They come in large to super-sized tarps.
  • Insulated tarpaulin – these tarpaulins are designed to have insulation feature during hot and cold weather conditions. The material component of insulated tarps is one side with insulating material while the exterior side is made from polyethylene.

What are the other uses of tarps?

Aside from the main use of tarps as a protective covering, these tarpaulin products function also as camouflage, ground cover and at times as temporary makeshift or shelter in the event of a natural disaster when most homes are destroyed.

For more information about the uses of tarps and pricing feel free to visit the official website of Polytex and browse the different categories of their wide range of tarpaulin products.

Advantages of Hoop Structures for Pig Shelters

Hooped structures are not really new, and have been in use by many hog raisers and farmers for quite some time now. Over the years, these structures have gained popularity among these folks, considering the many benefits that hooped structures have over the conventional pig shelters.

Quick and Low Cost Construction

One of the first reasons why many hog raisers are starting to consider using hooped structures is because they are often quicker and cheaper to build compared to conventional pig shelters. Hooped structures are mostly composed of low walls metals posts and frames and tarps, so they basically cost less compared to pig shelters made with concrete and metal roofing. In addition, they are much easier and quicker to construct, considering that the materials are easy to work with compared to conventional pig shelters. It is important to consider the quality of the material sot be used in the hooped structure to ensure that it will last long though, but even if you buy the best metal frames and tarps, you will see that the overall costs is still cheaper than conventional pig shelters. This is why many experts would actually recommend small scale hog raisers to make use of hooped structures instead as they will surely be able to work within their budget without compromising the quality and effectiveness of their pig shelters.