Truck tarps are designed to last; however, they are bound to wear out if proper maintenance is not provided. Taking care of your truck tarp is actually quite easy, and will not only keep it in good repair but also extend its longevity. While it may be more of a challenge to clean steel and lumber tarps due to their weight and size, it is well worth the effort. Removing excess mud and muck can also help to lighten your load, which is always beneficial. Use the three tips here to take care of your truck tarps and ensure they last.
Ensure the Tarp is Fastened Securely
The main factor that contributes to the wear and tear of truck tarps is the wind. If you quickly tie the tarp without securing it, the wind may tear it up. Also, the effect of the blowing wind can create a vacuum under the tarp, which attracts moisture and dust. This means if the tearing doesn't ruin the tarp, the dust will eventually wear it down. When the tarp is secure, it will also prevent it from filling with air, which may reduce a truck's fuel efficiency.
Use the Right Type of Tarp for the Job
It is important not to carry loads that are considered too abrasive for the tarp. Sharp edges and rocks can tear through a number of materials, including polyethylene plastics. The ideal material for truck tarps will be versatile and tough. Vinyl, for example, is able to handle virtually any heavy duty job and stand up to all types of abrasive materials; however, it is not indestructible. If you drive in freezing conditions, laminated vinyl is not the best option since it may become cracked if exposed for an excessive amount of time.
Keep Tarps Clean
If you are always on the road, truck tarps can accumulate quite a bit of dirt. The dirt may consist of various pollutants and chemicals that can degrade the UV coatings present on the tarp. These layers of grime can shorten its lifespan and add weight to it. A brush with soft bristles and a mild soap solution can be used to clean the surface. This will also ensure no damage occurs to the material. Harsh, industrial grade solutions can damage the tarp coatings.
Keeping truck tarps dry and clean and using them properly will help ensure they do not become damaged. If damage does occur, in most cases, the only solution will be to replace the tarp.