If you own and operate a long-haul trucking business with a flat bed trailer, you may want to consider investing in a tarp system. These systems are custom made and designed to enclose the contents of your trailer, which can help reduce these common problems within your industry.
Problem: As an owner-operator, your time is valuable. The time it takes to manually cover your flatbed loads with a large, heavy tarp is time that is taken away from driving to your delivery destinations and unloading the materials. By the time you lay out the tarp and secure it, you could already be well on your way down the road.
Solution: A tarp system includes mechanized framing that makes it easier and faster to cover the loads on your trailer. Tarp systems can be customized to suit the specific needs of your business. There are side kits with square panels in sections or rolling kits that roll on tracks. These systems can be operated via a remote or by flipping a switch that will be installed by the tarp systems company.
Problem: In the trucking industry, most nonfatal injuries are not related to transportation at all. Instead, injuries are usually the result of overexertion, slipping and falling, or from coming in contact with equipment. Given the weight of tarps and the manual effort and dexterity that it takes to cover and strap down a load while perching on top of materials and/or equipment on the back of a flatbed truck, there's little doubt of the injury risks involved.
Solution: Tarp systems can help lower the risks of injuries simply because the amount of physical work that you have to do to cover your load will be drastically reduced. Also, tarp systems typically eliminate the need for climbing on top of a loaded trailer to lay out the tarp and secure tie-downs.
Loss of Material
Problem: Debris that flies out of your trailer or off of your vehicle can cause accidents, which you would be responsible for as the owner-operator. If you don't cover the load or the cover is not securely attached, you may find yourself looking in the rearview mirror more often than you should, especially whenever you hit a bump in the road and look to see if anything falls out. Also, most of the loads you deliver will likely be based on weight so losing any pieces along the way could result in a discrepancy that may not be suitable for your client.
Solution: Securing the contents of your trailer with a tarp system will keep the materials on the trailer thereby reducing the risks of losing material. And since your material will remain on the trailer, pieces of material and/or debris won't cause accidents and/or disrupt traffic behind you. Also, you should arrive at your destination with the same exact weight of materials that you had at your departure.
Problem: Heavy rain and/or snow can accumulate and add weight to your load and/or cause damage to the materials on the trailer. Another issue to be concerned with is whether or not rain and/or snow will make it more difficult to unload the materials at your destination. For example, a load of mulch or topsoil will be harder to work with when wet, which can make offloading take longer.
Solution: A tarp system creates a seal that is weather-tight, which will keep rain and snow off of the load. While it's true that a manual tarp system will help keep the weather elements out, it's difficult to create a weather-tight seal with them.
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