Ultimate Buyer’s Guide To Tarps And Tarp Straps
The transportation industry frequently uses tarps and tarp straps to protect cargo from the elements. They include rolling tarp systems that are fully customizable for any type of trailer and capable of meeting the needs are various loads, including steel, lumber and irregularly shaped cargo.
However, truck tarps represent only a small fraction of potential applications. There are many tarp uses that have nothing to do with trailers — everything from camping to yard work — but it’s essential to know which kind of tarp is right for each job. If you’re looking for tarps, this buying guide should help you get the ones that work best.
Types of Tarps
There are a few types of tarp material that you should know about if you’re in the market for a tarp. The most common are:
- Poly — Made of plastic sheeting, this inexpensive option is waterproof and lightweight. Poly tarps are a good choice for covering vehicles or equipment and also work well when you’re putting a tarp under a tent to keep out moisture. On the other hand, they are more easily torn and don’t hold up as well in extreme cold.
- Canvas — These tarps are most frequently used as drop cloths for painting projects because they’re absorbent and offer better traction on floors. But because they don’t repel water, they’re not suitable for protecting items that will be exposed to the weather.
- Vinyl — Constructed of heavy plastic, vinyl tarps offer the best protection from moisture. Although they are the most expensive option, they will last much longer than other varieties.
Types of Straps
Many jobs require tiedowns to keep your cargo or belongings in place. If you need tarp straps, this buyer’s guide can help you choose the right ones.
- Rubber — These straps have metal hooks at the ends. They are versatile, inexpensive and easy to use.
- Ratchet straps — Made from a durable woven material, these use ratchets to keep cargo and tarps held tightly in place.
- Chains — Sometimes metal chains must be used because the tarp material is too heavy, or the winds are too strong for other kinds of tiedowns.
Choosing the Right Tarp
There are several factors you should consider before buying any kind of tarping. These will ensure that you get a tarp that will address all your needs.
- Size — You will want to cover the item or area as completely as possible without having a lot of excess material. If you are using a tarp for camping, for example, you don’t want to carry a larger (and heavier) one than you need to cover the area underneath your tent.
- Waterproofing — If you want to keep equipment or vehicles dry, you should select the correct poly or vinyl tarp to do the job.
- Weather conditions — If your area experiences extreme heat or cold, the tarp you choose should handle the weather without deteriorating or becoming brittle. Also be aware that intense winds can shred thin plastic tarps.