Using tarps for shipping

truck driving on a country roadSelecting the right industrial packing for your cargo is of paramount importance. The right shipping crates can make or break the shipment, protecting it from the elements and ensuring that the cargo gets to its destination not only in one piece, but undamaged from the rigors of travel and the ravages of nature. When shipping cargo on flatbed trailers using long-haul trucking, tarps have been a time-honored method of protecting shipments from dirt, grit, temperature, and precipitation. Choosing the right tarp to complement your shipping crates is essential to the transportation process.

Ensuring a safe and secure transport process for your cargo

Types of Tarps

There are many different varieties of tarp on the market, ranging from light to heavy, with each kind having its own advantages and presenting its own potential hazards. A few examples of tarps for specific purposes are as follows:

  • If you are shipping on an open flatbed and expect to encounter rain, snow, or other precipitation, you should use a sealed, water-resistant tarp to protect your product.
  • If you are traveling in an area of high debris, a wind-resistant mesh will help you to protect against gravel, grit, dirt, and the like.
  • Use a machinery tarp if you’re transporting heavy equipment of any type
  • Lumber tarps will help to keep wood cargo from warping due to moisture or the elements.
  • If your cargo is situated too close to the exhaust pipes of the truck, a smoke tarp will prevent damage and discoloration from the exhaust smoke.

Tradeoffs: Utility vs. Risk

While heavier tarps clearly provide greater protection for your load, there are risks in using these. They require a lot more strength and force to handle, and if they are not properly secured, the sheer weight of the tarp can be a risk of danger, should it come loose.

In addition, there is the risk of injury from tarping the cargo, and of falling from the flatbed during the process. Shippers will want to do everything they can to reduce the risks of injury resulting from improperly secured tarps, and from the effort of pulling the tarp over the cargo.

Safety Systems

It’s important to carefully inspect all areas of your industrial packing to ensure that the tarp is locked down and the cargo is properly secured. This can be done by using a platform that rises above the flatbed, ensuring that the load can be safely inspected, and the use of such a platform equipped with safety rails can help to prevent injury from falls.

These platform systems are often combined with an automated tarping system that uses a motor to pull the tarp over the load and hold it in place for securing.

Using an automated tarping system and a safety platform for inspection can reduce the risk of physical injury while pulling the tarp over the load, and will provide a more secure means of locking the tarp down.

Combining a tarp with the right shipping crates will ensure a safe and secure transport process. If you are looking for the right containers for your shipment, drop us a line. We’re glad to help!