How to Tarp a Trailer Safely and Other Commercial Tarping Tips

A commercial truck driving on a road

When working on the road, it’s important to get your load where it needs to go safely and securely. The easiest way to protect your cargo is with a tarp. But how do you correctly tarp a trailer? What do you need to know about truck safety to make sure your goods are protected and secure?

This guide will walk through tarping a trailer and tell you everything you need to know to be road-ready.

When Do You Need a Tarp?

As a semi truck driver, it’s important to know when to tarp your cargo. If you are transporting open material, for example, lumber, vehicle parts, drilling equipment, and construction equipment, consider tarping. These materials are high cost and can be susceptible to damage from the elements.

Tarping will not only protect your load from bad weather, dirt, and other conditions that can cause damage during transport. A tarp can also help contain what you’re transporting. This keeps both you and the drivers around you, safe.

How to Tarp a Trailer

The first thing you want to do is make sure your goods are evenly distributed. A balanced load is easier to cover. This will also help prevent damage to the tarp.

Parking next to a building or structure that can block the wind will make tarping easier. We recommend using a forklift to place the tarp on top of your cargo. This is both easier and safer than using a ladder to place the tarp.

Next, you want to unroll the tarp. Crawl versus stand on top of the tarp to unroll it, to prevent back strain and reduce the risk of falling. Cover the load entirely.

Different loads will have different rules and regulations. When tieing down a tarp, it is best to use rubber tie-downs to reduce the chances of your tarp tearing. There should be at least one tie-down for every 1.52 meters of load.

Attach each tie-down to the flatbed. A loose tarp or tie-down is a driving hazard. Folding and securing any loose flaps will prevent the tarp from loosening, tearing, and flapping around in the wind.

A lighter tarp will help reduce the weight of your load. This can help improve your heavy truck’s fuel economy.

Tarp Removal

When removing a tarp, check for loose areas and sharp edges. This will prevent tearing. Remove the tie downs and let the wind flow under the tarp. This or flapping the tarp a few times will help shift the tarp off your load.

Roll the tarp up and return it to its storage space. A forklift can make this step easier.

Get the Right Parts for Your Tarps

You now know everything you need to properly tarp your trucks! Securing everything properly will get your cargo where it needs to go safely and damage free.

When looking for commercial truck parts and services in British Columbia or Alberta, RJames Management Group LTD has the expert knowledge to find what you need, when you need it. Contact RJames today to get started!

Back to RJames Blog »