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Tips For Tarping Loads On Flatbed Trailers

Monday, September 9th, 2019
prevent slips and falls with the Deckmate Ladder

Tarping loads on a flatbed trailer is important for protecting them from the elements. Whether you work on your own or drive a truck for a large company, getting cargo delivered in perfect shape is vital. But, your safety is just as important. Tarping can be a dangerous job, so every driver should know how to tarp well AND safely.

How is tarping a load dangerous for truckers?

Using these protective devices can pose risks for many reasons. They are large, weighing up to 150 pounds, so they can be difficult to move around. Injuries from improper tarping can include anything from muscle strains to fatal falls, especially in bad weather. There are regulations that require safe tarping practices, but not every company offers ways to follow these. Truckers should be sure to follow all laws and safety practices.

Wind is one of the biggest enemies of truck drivers in the middle of tarping a load. If the process is not done correctly, the tarp can come undone and flap around as the vehicle is moving. Another risk comes from climbing onto the trailer to cover a load. Slips and falls from flatbed trailers are common.

Loads that require tarping

There are many types of flatbed loads that need tarping. These include steel coiling and tubing, completed machinery like boilers, lumber, vehicle parts, and some construction and industrial equipment. Some loads have mixed cargo, with pieces that need tarping and some that don’t. No matter the situation, it is best to use high-quality tarps so you don’t deliver damaged goods.

Tips for tarping a load correctly

The first step in tarping a load the right way is to consider your location. If you are in a covered location, you can avoid wind, rain, and snow. If you are not able to tarp in a covered area, choose somewhere with wind blocks like trees. If you are checking a load or retarping on your route, do not stop on the side of the road. This is extremely dangerous. You should also avoid climbing your trailer if you don’t have a trailer safety ladder. Here are some other tips to help you tarp.

  • Check the weight of your load. If it isn’t distributed correctly, it can unbalance your trailer.
  • If you have access to a forklift, use it to set your tarp.
  • Wear non-skid boots to prevent slips and falls.
  • Never walk on a cargo load, but crawl.
  • Use the right tarping equipment, including hooks and tie-downs.
  • When taking a tarp off of your flatbed trailer, be careful of any cargo that has shifted.
  • When climbing into your load, access the flatbed trailer with a safety ladder. This is the best way to keep yourself safe and working efficiently.

The Deckmate Ladder from Gateway Supply

If you would like to learn more about trucker safety and how a trailer ladder can help you, Gateway Supply can help. We are the U.S. distributor of the Deckmate Ladder, a high-quality safety ladder designed with trucker safety in mind. Call us at (806) 665-7990 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Products.