Flatbed trailers are perfect for carrying all types of loads whether heavy, unusually shaped, or oversized. When the load consists of product that could be damaged by grit, grime or weather, tarps are used as protection.
Flatbed trailers are perfect for carrying all types of loads whether heavy, unusually shaped, or oversized. When the load consists of product that could be damaged by grit, grime or weather, tarps are used as protection. Surprisingly, there is a vast array of tarps. Some tarps are made specifically for use with a certain product, or may be made from different materials, and tarps are available in different thicknesses: heavy-, medium- and light-duty.
As you can probably surmise, a light-duty tarp is lightweight making it easy to spread across a load. However, this type of tarp cannot stand up to heavy usage because they are easily punctured and torn. Medium- and heavy-duty tarps have a longer service life but they are heavier, weighing anywhere from 80 to 150 pounds. Add a little rain for slickness and some wind to test a driver’s balance, and you can imagine the hazards these tarps create.
• Water-resistant or sealed vinyl tarps are used for product that can be damaged by water.
• Wind-resistant polyester mesh keeps gravel and waste contained.
Some tarps are made to protect specific items:
• Machinery tarps come in various shapes to suit different size loads.
• Lumber tarps are waterproof to prevent warping.
• Steel tarps are made of durable waterproof vinyl.
• Coil tarps cover steel or aluminum coils of varying sizes and need to be waterproof.
• Smoke tarps protect products from discoloration when located near the truck’s exhaust.
• Top tarps are used for waterproofed flatbed loads tarped with universal flap tail for the back end.
• Polyethylene tarps also known as “poly tarps” are for light-duty use with pickup trucks and everyday household needs.
• Non-flammable vinyl or neoprene asphalt tarps cover hot loads.
While a heavier tarp is more durable, handling it requires more physical force, which in turn creates ergonomic stressors that will get worse over time. In addition, there is an increased possibility of serious impact to shoulder, neck and head due to falling backward off the trailer.
Flatbed Safety System
How can a driver tarp a load without risking death? Carbis has two solutions. The first is a flatbed safety system. A platform that allows drivers to work above the danger by placing them higher than the flatbed where they can safely inspect loads, tarp flatbeds and perform other job duties knowing they are protected from deadly falls. Aluminum construction, non-skid surfaces and side guardrails all provide durability and safety. It only requires one operator using the remote to sandwich the trailer between two platforms adjusting them horizontally.
Overhead Tarping System
The ideal safety solution for tarping a flatbed is an overhead tarping system. The overhead system has an electric motor that drags the tarp over the flatbed covering the load. There is no need to climb on the load or try to lift and maneuver a heavy tarp by hand. All the operator has to do is connect the tarp to the spreader bar, then guide it over the load with the hand-held control. Another plus is that an overhead tarping system can be added to an existing structure or designed as a freestanding unit to meet unique specifications for each business.
Saving lives, manpower, time and money while reducing ergonomic injuries and eliminating falls from the flatbed – fall prevention this easy is a no-brainer. Call Carbis today at 1.800.948.7750 to discuss how we can help prevent falls and keep drivers safer when accessing their flatbeds.