That is one question I hear a LOT! I don’t mind, of course and I try to give a realistic answer based on the type of truck tarp system the customer is inquiring about. My answers cover a wide range of responses from “pretty easy” to “it will take about 20 man hours to complete”. Often, I’ll suggest “If you are mechanically inclined then it shouldn’t be that difficult for you to install”. I honestly believe that statement to be true, especially in the heavy hauling industry where many of the owner/operators and even large corporations service the trucks they drive and the equipment they use. Installing a heavy-duty dump truck tarp system or roll-off tarp system… No big deal, right? Right!
So, with that in mind I’d like to offer the following, based on my personal experience as an installer of many, many truck tarp systems. This includes front to back flip tarp systems (Aero Easy Cover for example), Cable Tarping Systems (Merlot Panel Tarp or Mountain Tarp, Tarp-N-Go), Roll-Off Auto Tarpers (Donovan HY-Tower ) and Side Roll Tarps (Shur-Co, Shur-Lok ) just to name a few.
Over the past 25 years, I have dirtied my fingernails on dozens and dozens of dump bodies, dump trailers and roll-off trucks installing the various tarping systems. Here are a few things I have learned… Every single installation is different. Heck, it seems like the installation on identical units is often different! Be prepared to think a little bit about the best way to perform the installation. Think before drilling those first holes. Ask yourself, where and how is the best way to install each component? For example; the Tarp Motor, Tarp Roller Bars, Tarp Swing Arm Assembly, Tarp Arm Mounting Brackets, Hydraulic Gantry or Tarp Stops just to name a few off the top of my head. Oh, and ALWAYS read the instructions BEFORE you begin the tarp system installation. If your new tarp system, regardless of what you purchased, did not come with an installation manual, you can usually find one on my website for the specific truck tarp system you now own. Or call me and I’ll get one to you…either way, please read the installation manual first! You can also view my How-To Video page for help with installing truck tarp systems and components.
Here is one piece of advice, or better yet one more nugget of experience that I have learned. No matter what, you will be making at least one run to the hardware store for supplies. I carry a comprehensive set of tools, specifically for installing virtually any load covering tarp system, yet I inevitably have to make a trip to the hardware store for something! Drill bits, wire ties, electrical tape, longer bolts, or extra washers…it’s always something, usually small, but something. Be prepared and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The good news is this; every tarp system offered by LoAlbo Enterprises, Inc. and sold at tarpguy.com comes with virtually everything you will need to complete the installation, specifically brackets and fasteners. Also, different systems and different manufacturers include differing items for similar tarp systems. One manufacturer may provide a bag of fasteners that will meet every application, yet the next manufacturer may only provide fasteners for the most common installations. Again, usually not a big item, but you will, more than likely be making the trip to the hardware store…But hey, we all love tools, so while you are there you can pick up that new cordless drill or ratchet set you have been thinking about buying, right? Right!
Questions? About installing truck tarp systems Call Dan LoAlbo, the Tarpguy at 757-615-4379.