Flatbed Tarping – Are YOU Doing it Safely?

Tarping flatbed loads is more difficult and dangerous when it’s done manually. Walking on top of unstable or uneven loads is a risk that driver’s should never attempt because it can lead to fatal falls. Sometimes even the tarps themselves can be heavy, as much as 150 pounds, and hard to manage causing ergonomic issues. If it happens to be raining, sleeting or snowing a slippery plastic tarp can become deadly.

Flatbed truck drivers have a tough and dangerous job. Not only do they have to drive on America’s highways everyday but also many drivers must cover their load with a tarp to protect the contents from damage and/or protect other drivers from pieces that could fly off the flatbed. As a matter of fact, 60 percent of flatbed shipments require tarping. This increases the chance for fall hazards. Walking on the load is extremely dangerous and puts the driver at a height where if he/she falls, it can be deadly.

There are two major types of fall prevention for flatbed tarping. The first is a trailer tarping platform that allows drivers to stand above the danger on sturdy yet lightweight aluminum platforms with non-skid surfaces and side guardrails. These safety platforms are just higher than the bed of the truck. Once the flatbed is parked between two platforms, the operator can sandwich the trailer between the two using a remote that adjusts the platforms horizontally. Pretty simple. At that point a driver can safely reach the load for inspecting, tarping or sampling – all while ensuring fall prevention.

Flatbed tarping platforms have options allowing them to be customized according to your company’s needs:

• Fixed position or rolling designs.
• Single or double-sided systems.
• Optional canopy in case of inclement weather.
• Optional swing gates for an added level of fall prevention.

The safest solution for tarping a flatbed is the overhead tarping system. The reason is because the operator’s feet never leave the ground. The overhead system has an electric motor that pulls the tarp over the top of the flatbed’s load. No one has to climb on the load. The operator connects the tarp to the spreader bar and then guides the bar along the length of trailer using a hand-held control. This type of fall prevention saves lives, manpower, time and money plus it reduces ergonomic injuries because there’s no 150 pound tarp to wrestle with. Falls are eliminated as well. There’s no downside to this solution. Other pluses are that the overhead tarping system can be added to an existing structure. It can even be designed as a freestanding unit depending on each business’ needs. The overhead tarping system is easy to use and requires just one operator, which saves on manpower.

Prevent accidents and improve your company’s work environment by using fall prevention equipment from Carbis. Safety is of the utmost importance when working any job especially one that combines heights and moving vehicles. Tarping platforms and overhead tarping systems protect drivers so they aren’t forced to walk on top of a load and risk a deadly fall. Contact Carbis today and see how these safety solutions can help your workers streamline their job duties and possibly save their lives.


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