All truck tarps are not created equal. The right waterproof tarp for the job can mean the difference between a successful haul and a trouble-filled trip. Trailer tarps for flatbed trucks include lumber tarps and steel tarps.
A lumber tarp is generally larger and has a flap at the end to cover the ends of lumber units.
A steel tarp is for lower-profile loads of steel and is usually 4-sided. Flatbed steel tarps are designed with no flap for efficient hauling of steel cables, rods, sheets, etc.
Both styles of cargo tarps are made from PVC-coated polyester, but in differing weights. A midweight tarp — or combo tarp — has an 18-oz. PVC-coated polyester top and flap, and 14-oz. PVC-coated polyester sides. Our lumber style is available as either a heavy-duty or a combo flatbed tarp. A lightweight tarp, also known as a 14 oz. tarp, is constructed entirely of 14 oz. material. These 14 oz. tarps are more portable and easier to handle.
All of our trailer tarps are professional-grade and used daily by national fleets. Each features two or three rows of D-rings that run the length of the tarp depending on the drop size, or height, of the tarp. Heavy duty tarps are fitted with 18-oz. PVC-coated polyester fabric on the top, sides, and flap. Fabric abrasion pads are stitched to the tarp underneath each D-ring for added thickness and abrasion resistance against wear from tarp strap hooks.
Our semi truck tarps are also designed with fabric abrasion strips that run the length of the tarp behind the D-rings, providing added thickness and protection at the main points of abrasion. These strips are made of the same material of the tarp for added durability and welded on for an extra level of security.
A smoke tarp is also a heavy-duty tarp for flatbed applications, but is generally smaller sized in a 10' x 12'. Also known in the industry as a “nose tarp,” it is used to cover the front of a load to protect it from exhaust smoke, dirt, and soot. It’s also excellent for preventing whistling from wind through pipe cargo. The smaller size also makes it great for protecting a smaller load of cargo, or for use in conjunction with other tarps to cover a full load.
In addition to traditional flatbed trailer tarps and a smoke tarp, we offer a roll-style tarp made specifically for dump trucks and trailers, such as grain carts, grain trucks, dump trucks, fertilizer tenders and hopper trailers.
Other styles of flatbed tarps include:
A coil tarp is a type of bag commonly used to keep steel coils tight and dry. The upper half of the tarp is fitted to match the coil’s rounded shape, allowing it to slip on more easily without so much excess material that needs to be folded and strapped down before hauling.
Machinery tarps are essentially larger versions of steel tarps to protect expensive machinery from the elements and road debris. These also are great for irregular-sized loads like manufacturing equipment.
A three-piece tarp splits the weight over three tarps instead of two when covering a full load on a standard flatbed trailer. Less weight per piece makes for easier physical handling.
How to Repair a Truck Tarp
Even the toughest heavy duty truck tarps can sustain damage from wind speeds if not secured properly to the truck. Our truck repair kits
are available in three different colors:Black Tarp Repair KitRed Tarp Repair KitBlue Tarp Repair Kit
Begin by cutting a patch slightly bigger than the tear. Smooth tarp on a flat surface, with the underside of the tarp facing up. (Patching the underside of the tarp will reduce the chance the patch will peel off since the edges will not be exposed to wind and weather.) Apply a heavy layer of adhesive to one side of the patch and place over the tear. Using a roller, smooth and remove any air bubbles. Allow three hours to dry.
If you have an old tarp, use that to cut patches, and simply purchase the HH-66 Vinyl Cement
Protecting tarps from sharp edges and corners on cargo is easy with corner protectors. The rounded corners of the durable, flexible plastic protector allow for the tarp to curve along the edge of a load rather than be pulled tightly.
Many different styles and sizes of these strap protectors are available, see our Corner Protectors
category for a full selection.
How to Tie Down a TarpTarp Straps
, Rubber Rope
, Shock Cord
, Bungee Cords
are the most common methods for securing tarps, but the best choice will depend on your specific application. For more information, see our Bungee Cord & Rubber Tarp Straps
category page which highlights each type of tie down.
Our 1/4" Diamond Braid Polyester Rope
is also a popular option with some drivers because the strong braided configuration of the tough polyester fabrication is ideal for lacing through the tarp's grommets and the rub rails or hooks on the trailer, instead of using only tarp straps. See all of our rope options in our Rope and Cordage category
How to Clean a Truck Tarp
In addition to regular inspections, keeping a flatbed tarp clean and in good working condition can also lengthen the life of the product. Clean your tarp every three to six months to remove build-up of dirt, mud, grime, mold and mildew. These elements can add to the overall weight of the tarp, as well as trap chemicals in that will degrade the tarp’s protective coating over time. Use a mixture of soap and water, and scrub with a brush (try using a long push broom). Avoid using stronger cleansing soaps or solutions, which can weaken a tarp over time. For step-by-step instructions, see our blog post: How to Clean a Truck Tarp
Flatbed Trailer Accessories
Different steel tarps and lumber tarps will require different equipment and accessories. We offer Flatbed Starter Kits
that include application-specific tarps, along with essential tie down straps and equipment. Or, purchase items separately. Like our flatbed tarps, all of our flatbed trailer products are priced to offer the very best value in the industry. Click over to those categories for more information on each:Winch StrapsWinch BarsWinch TrackHeadache RacksTrailer Tool BoxesFendersTruck Tie Down WinchesTransport Chain & Chain BindersBungee Cord & Rubber Tarp StrapsCorner ProtectorsRope
Flatbed Tarp Bulk Pricing & Quantities
If your company is in the market for several tarps or other equipment, we can help. Our Sales Team is always happy to create custom price quotes for bulk quantities and bulk pricing on tarps, tarp tie downs, and any other equipment you need to run your flatbed hauling safely and efficiently.
We’re here and ready to take your call today: 888-794-1737
. We’re also available by email: USCustomerService@USCargo Control.com