Having a tarping system on your dump trucks helps to keep your load secure and dry. While it’s true that they have a large upfront cost, they’re well worth the investment. To ensure that your tarp lasts as long as possible, we highly recommend performing the five vital maintenance tips below.
Don’t Let It Flap In The Wind
The best maintenance tip that we can give you to ensure the longevity of your dump truck tarp is to never let it flap in the wind. This happens all too often as truck drivers get too busy to stop and fix the problem. When a tarp is flapping in the wind, it means that it wasn’t tied down securely. You need to stop the truck and resecure the tarp so that it’s no longer flapping in the wind. This will protect the tarp against unnecessary tearing. It’s important to remember that wind can be a nasty force that can damage even the toughest of tarps in minutes.
Clean Your Tarp Regularly
It’s probably no surprise to you that your tarp gets very dirty. Taking the time to clean off your tarp once a week is a great maintenance practice to have. This helps to ensure that your tarp is free from grime build-up. If you don’t clean your tarp, the stuck-on grime can start to deteriorate the outside coating of the tarp. This can lead to premature wear of the tarping material. When cleaning your tarp, be sure that you use a product that is specifically designed for tarp cleaning. Some chemical cleaners can be too harsh and end up removing the protective outer layer of the tarp.
Remove Snow And Ice
Depending on how far you’re going to be traveling, you may end up dealing with some adverse weather conditions. When this happens, it’s vital that you take the time to remove excess snow and ice from your tarp. This helps to remove the added weight and keep your tarp safe. If you let the snow and ice build-up on the surface of your tarp, its weight could be damaging. Not only does it stretch the tarp itself, but it also stresses the bows that it relies on for support.
Patch Tears When They First Appear
The last thing that any driver wants to deal with on a busy day is a tear in their tarping system. It can be easy to just let little tears go until you get some extra downtime to fix them. However, it doesn’t take long for a small tear to turn into a large one. For this reason, it’s imperative that you patch up a tear as soon as you see it. For best adherence of vinyl tape or a similar patch, you’ll want to clean the area around the tear first. Always follow the rule of patching the tear from the inside. This ensures that it’s less likely to rip off due to wind, moisture, and other factors that are more common on the outside of the tarp.
Install A Wind Deflector
Every tarp system can do with an added tarp deflector. These metal units get installed at the front of the tarping system. Their job is simply to deflect erratic wind from your tarp. These are highly recommended for dump trucks that travel in areas that are constantly windy. Without a deflector, the wind can drastically wear your tarp and require premature replacement.
Taking care of your dump truck’s tarping system isn’t too difficult. Once you start putting these maintenance tasks into action, they’ll become a regular routine. Just remember that each maintenance task that you perform can drastically help to enhance the overall longevity of your tarp.