Tips For Tarping A Load Safely
Tarping your load may seem like a straight forward process, but it can actually be dangerous if it isn't done correctly. The danger isn't just on the road—the process of putting the tarp on can lead to falls, trapped limbs, and other concerns if you don't follow certain safety protocols. The tips in this article can help you tarp safely, while also ensuring that your load is properly protected.
Tip #1: Warm the tarp
During the winter, tarps can freeze or at least become stiff in the cold weather. This makes them difficult to fold, manipulate, and control. When tarps are hard to manipulate, the danger of an injury is increased. Take the tarp off the truck and throw it in an empty warehouse bay to warm up while your truck is being loaded. By the time your load is ready, the tarp will have warmed up sufficiently to handle more easily.
Tip #2: Find a windbreak
Wind can be even more dangerous than cold because the wind can turn your tarp into a dangerous sail. Before tarping but after loading, locate the closest building that is positioned correctly to act as a windbreak, and then carefully move the truck to this sheltered area. If this isn't possible, have a second vehicle park next to you to act as a windbreak as you tarp.
Tip #3: Anchor first
When putting the tarp over the load, begin by anchoring the rear two corners. Then, pull the tarp forward and over the load until you can anchor the front two corners. By anchoring these four points, the chances of the tarp flapping or causing an entanglement that leads to an injury are reduced. You can then safely work to anchor the tarp along the length of the load.
Tip #4: Face seams forward
Some loads require more than one tarp. If this is the case, working from the back to the front is especially important. Secure the rear corners of the first tarp and the secure the forward corners where they cut across the load. Place the second tarp on so it overlaps the first by a foot or so, and then secure its rear corners followed by the front corners. This way the open seam between the tarps isn't facing into the wind as you drive your truck, which minimizes flapping and lifting of the tarp on the road.
If you need more help in choosing the right tarp or installing it safely, contact tarp specialists like Lehman Awning Company in your area.