Hauling Industry News

Guide to Dump Truck Tarp Maintenance: Everything You Need to Know

By Pulltarps Marketing | April 8, 2024

Dump truck tarps are indispensable assets in the hauling industry that facilitate the safe transportation of debris, gravel, and construction materials. They serve as a protective barrier and prevent spillage of materials onto the road that could lead to potential accidents and costly fines.  

However, the efficiency of these tarps greatly depends on their maintenance. With the right maintenance routine, the tarps not only ensure smooth and proper operations but also significantly extend their lifespan.  

So, in this comprehensive blog, we will uncover the top truck tarp maintenance tips that will help you keep your tarps in good standing and equipped to prevent damage.  

Understanding Your Tarp 

Before diving into maintenance practices, the first crucial step is to thoroughly understand your dump truck tarp. It involves understanding its size, dimensions, material composition, and specific characteristics. 

Size and Dimensions: Begin by accurately measuring the size and dimensions of your dump truck tarp. Ensuring proper fit and coverage of the tarp for your truck is crucial, as an ill-fitted tarp can lead to higher wear and tear.  

Learn to choose the right tarp size for your truck! 

Material of the Tarp: Next, decide which type of tarp material you need for your job. Generally, the  two most common materials used to create dump truck tarps are: 

  1. Vinyl Tarps: Vinyl tarps are known for their waterproof abilities, durability and weather resistance. Pulltarps vinyl tarps are suitable for transporting materials that cannot be exposed to rain, snow, or moisture. Use the grommets and bungee tie-downs to secure the tarp to the side rails of the dump truck bed. 
  2. Mesh Tarps: Mesh tarps are better known for their ventilation and versatility and are ideal for economically transporting materials. Pulltarps mesh tarps are designed to hold up under recurring and rugged usage on most dump truck bodies. 

Both tarps have different maintenance needs, which we will discuss below.  

Build a Custom Vinyl Or Mesh Tarp at a Cost-Friendly Price with Pulltarps!

Dump Truck TarpEssential Maintenance Practices for Dump Truck Tarps 

Dump truck tarp maintenance involves a series of essential practices aimed at ensuring optimal performance, durability, and longevity of the tarp. Here are some of the following:  

  1. Regular Tarp Inspection

Conduct routine inspections of your dump truck tarp to check for any signs of wear, tear, or damage.  Pay close attention to seams, grommets, and attachment points and promptly address any identified issues.  

  1. Cleaning the Tarp

Keep your dump truck tarp clean by regularly brushing dirt, debris, and other contaminants from its surface. It is recommended not to wash the tarps with water or cleaning agents that could damage the tarp.  

  1. Proper Tarp Storage

Ensure the tarp is rolled up neatly and properly stored in system housings, safeguarding it from environmental elements such as moisture, sunlight, and extreme temperatures.

  1. Tarp Replacement when there are Tears

Truck tarps are prone to a lot of wear during hauling operations. Regularly inspect your dump truck tarp for tears, punctures, or other damage. If you find any damage, replace it immediately so that you don’t lose time off the job site or have to pay a fine.  

  1. Weather Protection

Secure the tarp tightly when using it in adverse weather conditions. High winds and storms often lead to cuts and tears in the tarp. Therefore, ensure that your tarp is adequately secured and actively protects itself and the loaded material. Pulltarps tarps have grommets every 3 feet that can secure the tarp to the side rails of the dump truck bed.  

  1. Regular Maintenance Schedule

Be diligent about maintaining your dump truck tarp regularly. You can extend the lifespan of your tarp and ensure maximum performance by routinely checking for tarp maintenance.  

Tarp Maintenance Tips for Asphalt and Vinyl Tarps 

  • Cleaning: The optimal way to clean the asphalt and vinyl tarps is by brushing gently with a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris or dirt from their surface.
  • Storage: Enhance the longevity of your asphalt and vinyl tarps by implementing proper storage techniques and keeping them safe in system housings.
  • Loading and Unloading: Do not drag heavy or sharp objects over the vinyl tarp during loading and unloading. Proper tension of the tarp should be ensured to prevent flapping during transportation. 
  • Heaped Loads: The Asphalt Load Climber can prevent tears by lifting the tarp over the load, and it can easily be added to your tarp pull rod without modifying the tarp. 

Tarp Maintenance Tips for Mesh Tarps 

  • Cleaning: Mesh tarps can be cleaned by whisking away dust and debris from their surface using a brush. Remember, do not use any cleaning agents or water to clean the tarp that could lead to surface damage.
  • Storage: After each use, ensure the mesh tarps are adequately stored in system housing to prolong their life.  
  • Loading and Unloading: Handle mesh tarps very carefully during loading and unloading to avoid tears or snags.
  • Heaped Loads: If you are worried about tears, then the Load Climber can help you lift the  Pulltarps pull-bar up above heaped loads to make tarping easier. Our patented load climber is a simple solution to keep the pull-rod from digging into peaked loads. 

Explore Low-Maintenance Custom Truck Tarps at Pulltarps!  

Mastering dump truck tarp maintenance is crucial to ensure safe and efficient hauling operations.  With proper maintenance practices, you can optimize performance, minimize costly repairs, and extend the lifespan of your tarp. It is crucial to regularly invest in tarp maintenance to keep it up and running. To find efficient and reliable dump truck tarps or to build a custom tarp solution, contact our team.  

Explore the Pulltarps Store to Discover our Range of Truck Tarps

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a tarp on my dump truck?

Yes, in many US States, it’s a legal requirement to cover loads to prevent debris from falling on the road and causing accidents. Besides, having a tarp properly secured over your load ensures road safety and reduces the risk of potential accidents.

2. How do you change a tarp on a dump truck? 

Changing a tarp involves removing the old tarp, inspecting the tarp system for any damage, and installing the new tarp according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s essential to ensure proper alignment and tension for optimal performance.

3. What loads need to be tarped? 

Dump trucks typically need to tarp loads such as construction debris, aggregates (gravel, sand, dirt, asphalt), and other loose materials to prevent spillage and maintain road safety during their transportation.