How NOT to Fasten a Tarp on a Flatbed

flatbed truck tarp safetyA tarp is necessary in many instances for securing freight on a trailer. Think safety when fastening a tarp on a flatbed or step-deck truck. Flatbed truck tarp safety requires special care. Otherwise, you risk serious injury, not to mention improperly fastened freight that can become loose during transport. We’ll explain what NOT to do when working with tarps to secure cargo.

The WRONG Way to Fasten a Tarp

1. Neglecting Safety Gear

Every staff member fastening a tarp should be wearing the following safety gear:

  • hard hat
  • safety goggles
  • reflective vest
  • work gloves
  • long trousers
  • steel-toed work boots

2. Manually Lifting the Tarp Onto the Truck

A standard-size tarp weighs about 80 pounds and should never be lifted by hand onto the truck. Always use a forklift to get the tarp onto the trailer bed.

3. Using the Wrong Tarp Type

Tarps are meant to be reused. With that in mind, we recommend heavy vinyl tarps, which can withstand rain and ultraviolet radiation. These are more durable compared to tarps made from canvas or polyethylene.

Aside from tarp quality, you should also be sure you’re using the right kind of tarp for your cargo type. Tarps vary in use and include:

  • lumber tarp—for carrying lumber
  • steel tarp—for carrying steel freight
  • smoke tarp—placed in the front to protect freight from exhaust smoke

4. Unrolling the Tarp the Wrong Way

Tarps should be unrolled facing forwards and never backwards. When securing the tarp over the top of the load, be sure to stay within the load’s center line.

Arrange Your Next Outbound Shipping Via Certified Broker

Of course, your freight may not require a tarp at all if it’s being transported via LTL or other truck with an enclosed bed. Machine Transport will determine what kind of carrier or line-haul shipper is required and inform you whether a tarp for a flatbed transport is required.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Freight Brokers Serving North American Businesses

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico