For new and experienced truckers alike, it can get confusing trying to decipher the differences between flatbed and heavy-duty tarps when trying to choose what to buy.
Knowing some heavy-duty tarp selection tips when searching for the best tarp to fit your job can save you a lot of time and money!
There are many applications for heavy-duty tarps too, and this reason is both a pro and a con for truckers when choosing the best tarps for their needs.
There are several types of heavy-duty tarpaulin to choose from, so here are some tarps selection tips to help narrow your choices down before purchasing!
Things to Consider While Selecting a Top-notch Heavy-duty Tarpaulin
What makes a good heavy-duty tarp? A lot of truckers may narrow it down to preferences. However, as someone who may be new to the industry, you may not have a preference to go off of.
There’s a wide variety of tarp selection options available in the trucking market, but there are some details you can keep in mind while shopping. You can determine if a tarp is a heavy-duty and high quality through the following tips and factors:
Determine the Types of Heavy-duty Tarps
1. Mesh Shade Tarps
Mesh shade tarps are made out of heavy-duty PVC mesh which makes these tarps breathable. They withstand harsh UV and weather conditions, making them perfect for landscaping projects, covering patios or creating shade for gardens.
Mesh tarps let air circulate to reduce the risk of mildew buildup and protect living things, like plants, trees, or saplings. They’re also available in the colors green, black, or a unique blend of multicolored tarpaulin.
2. Canvas Tarps
Canvas tarps are made of an extremely versatile polyester fabric, and they are the best fit for agriculture projects – such as protecting or storing hay or covering large maintenance equipment.
You’ll often see them on construction sites too. The uses are extensive, but the soft and lightweight material also makes them non-resistant to stretching, tearing, and ripping if too much stress is put on them. They come in two colors and a variety of sizes: olive green and tan.
3. Demolition Tarps
Demolition tarps are a very unique and specific type of tarp typically used on construction sites for debris removal. Made of extremely durable, strong, and tear-resistant polyester material, demolition tarps are typically double-stitched in a criss-cross pattern for maximum strength and flexibility.
Unlike other heavy-duty tarps, these snow tarps have an impressive breaking strength of 10,000lbs. For this reason, they’re commonly used on construction and demolition sites during the tearing or repaving of roads, or for collecting snow in the winter months to keep the sites dry.
4. RV Trailer Covers
Designed to be fitted and to protect RV’s and trailers, trailer covers are made of durable polyester that protects your vehicle from sun, rain, and snow.
Available in a variety of sizes they are guaranteed to accommodate nearly every make, size, and model of a trailer or RV!
5. Drip Diverters
A helpful solution to overhead water leaks, drip diverters are waterproof vinyl-coated tarpaulins that can prevent water damage from becoming a nightmare.
If you find yourself dealing with a leak that cannot be fixed immediately, drip diverters are specifically designed to protect anything delicate from water damage. While not a permanent solution, drip diverters are a great tool for controlling a leak until it can be properly fixed.
6. Vinyl Utility Tarps
Made of lightweight vinyl, these heavy-duty tarps are UV-treated and 100% waterproof. They’re ideal for covering anything you don’t want to risk getting damaged or crushed under a ton of weight, like hay.
7. Check Tarps Quality
The quality of heavy-duty tarp selection is vital for the consideration and purchasing of a tarp. Good quality tarpaulins are frequently used in outdoor settings and should be built for protection against the elements.
High-quality tarps will not tear or rip if you do not exceed their working load limits, either. The best way to tell if a tarp is of good, high quality will be the thickness and the material used to design it.
For example, lightweight tarps should have a minimum thickness of 5 millimeters!
8. The Importance of Color
The colored choice of a tarp is so much more than just aesthetic preferences!
Tarps come in a variety of colors that each come with their own unique use, meaning, and visibility standard. Dark-colored tarps, like grey and the ever-popular black, will always offer more shade and keep items cooler compared to white or clear tarps.
Green and beige tarps are frequently used on landscaping or construction sites because they help cover any eye sores or equipment without them being a distraction! lightweight tarps and clear tarps are ideal for the creation of greenhouses or the protection of a patio all year long!
9. One Size DOESN’T Fit All
The size is an important detail with heavy-duty tarp selection tips, too. Knowing the size of your equipment or area where you plan to use the tarp is integral – you don’t wanna risk buying a tarp that’s too small and waste more money buying another set!
Reliable tarping companies will always have a wide variety of sizes per tarp available. And when in doubt, our tarps selection tips for sizes is to always go a little bigger rather than a little smaller.
10. Check Resistance
UV: When choosing the best tarps, they should have the ability to handle exposure to direct sunlight. Whether you’re keeping equipment covered and dry through the winter season or protecting a construction site, your tarp should be a shield from exposing ultraviolet light to your products.
Wear and Tear: The objects you may need to cover is another detail to consider as a tarps purchasing tip! Equipment, vehicles, and cargo comes in tons of shapes and sizes, including very sharp edges. These edges could easily tear through a tarpaulin that is too thin.
The best way to avoid this is to invest in a thicker tarp (which will weigh more) and/or to purchase corner protectors! Corner protectors are plastic molds designed to fit over sharp edges on products to protect straps and tarps from tearing open.
If you want to make sure your tarps last long, you need to make sure they face minimum exposure to any wear and tear damage.
Water: For a lot of people, tarps are their main tool for protecting their equipment or products from weather conditions like rain and snow.
Depending on the weather conditions and how fragile or dangerous it is for a product to get wet (mold and bacteria can form in dark, damp conditions), having a heavy-duty, water-proof tarp is one of if not the most important tarps selection tip! Most heavy-duty tarp manufacturers should be designing their tarps to be waterproof, so keep an eye out for that!
11. Applications of Tarps:
There are dozens of uses for tarpaulins! From agriculture, to construction, to household needs, there’s a near endless variety of ways you can benefit from purchasing a tarp:
- Boat/Vehicle/Motorcycle Coverage and Security
- RV/Trailer Protection
- Camping Necessities (tent)
- UV/Sunlight Protection
- Covering Lumber and Hay
- Dry, Water-Resistant Ground Cover
- Blocks Wind and Creates Shade
- Protection of Plants
- And much more!
12. Convenience to Use
The most important thing to consider while choosing the best tarps for you is how easy it is to use and install tarps! Reliable and high quality tarps often come designed with grommets around the edges for easy tie-down applications.
However, there are some tarps that are specifically designed for one job. Once you know the purpose of a specific tarp, it’s easier to use your heavy duty tarps selection tips and narrow down the right tarps for your needs!
No matter how you plan to use your heavy-duty tarps, it’s important to know the type of tarp you need before you buy!
Hopefully, you’ll now know not to undermine the importance of the color, thickness, usages, and the other heavy-duty tarps choosing tips we provided in this guide! A little research can go a long way – make sure you also have ways to tie down and secure your new tarpaulin once it arrives, too!