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Donovan Sidewinder II Automatic Lid Style Tarp System on a Steel Walking Floor Trailer.

I have previously discussed Transfer Trailer Tarp Systems in prior posts, but for this post, I’d like to dig in a little deeper and unpack more details on the various tarping solutions available for these large open-top trailers.  One note before moving on…”transfer trailers” are NOT the only open-top trailers covered in this post, meaning the systems discussed can be used on a variety of open-top trailers including; tipper trailers, trash trailers, walking floor trailers or chip trailers as well. Basically, any trailer with high sides (generally about 8′ sides or higher) and an overall length of generally 45′ and longer are a perfect fit for the Transfer Trailer Load Covering Systems outlined in this post.


Ok, with that said, this post will cover the two most popular open-top trailer tarp systems we offer at LoAlbo Enterprises and tarpguy.com.  The first is a Side Roll Tarp System.  This system can be manually operated (Donovan Belt and Rachet or Shur-Co, Shur-Lok) or have an electric drive tarp motor (Shur-Co 4500 Series).  The Side Roll Tarp System can be secured with a “latch plate” (Shur-Lok) or tie-down straps (belt and ratchet-style).  Regardless of how the system is set up, the Side Roll System offers excellent load containment in an economical package.  The second system is the fully automatic “lid” style system such as the Donovan Sidewinder, Aero Lid, and Donovan Double Flip.  All of these systems make load covering easy, convenient, fast, and secure!  Let’s take a look at these two styles of Transfer Trailer Load Covering Sytems…

Side Roll Tarp System:

Donovan Belt and Ratchet Side Roll Tarp System on Steel Waste Trailer

Donovan Belt and Ratchet Side Roll Tarp System on Steel Waste Trailer

The Side Roll Tarp System is used on a wide, wide range of trailers.  This includes small grain carts, belly dumps, and flow boys all the way up to the transfer trailers discussed in this post.  The Side Roll Tarp System is easy to use and easy to install.  This is especially true of the fully manual system such as the Donovan Belt & Rachet.  The Side Roll Tarp System can be configured with flaps that extend over the front and rear of the trailer or a front and rear cap can be added to the trailer to provide a surface for the front and rear edge of the tarp to rest. The manual system is operated with a manual hand crank either from the rear of the trailer (most common) or from the catwalk on the front of the trailer (less common).  The tarp is “rolled” from side to side (not front to back) to deploy and retract the tarp.  The system can be set up to be mounted on the passenger side (most common) or driver side (less common) depending on which side the trailer may be loaded over.  Adding a swing arm and an electric tarp motor increases the ease of operation and speed of coverage.  The electric system can even be upgraded to include a remote control operation allowing the operator to walk around the trailer as the load is covered to ensure proper containment and operation.  Both the manual or electric systems can utilize a heavy-duty mesh tarp or solid vinyl tarp depending on the actual application.  The bottom line, the Side Roll Tarp System is an excellent, economical option for all open-top trailer load covering applications.

Fully Automatic Lid Style Tarping Systems:

Donovan Double Flip, PN - 1800161. Transfer Trailer Tarp System on a Blue Trailer

Donovan Double Flip, PN – 1800161. Transfer Trailer Tarp System on a Blue Trailer

Lid Style Tarping Sytems for open-top trailers make covering a load as simple as the flip of a switch.  Loads can be covered or uncovered in less than 30 seconds saving time and effort.  The “lid” covers the full length and width of the trailer providing full load containment.  Toggle the operation switch and the lid flips fully over and rests flush against the side of the trailer safely keeping the lid out of the way for loading.  Single lid style systems such as the Donovan Sidewinder or Aero Lid-2 can be mounted on either the driver side or passenger side.  Double lid systems such as the Donovan Double Flip have two lids, one mounted on the passenger side and one on the driver side.  The single lid system uses a mesh tarp while the double lid tarp system can use the heavier vinyl tarp.  The bottom line, the Lid Style Auto Tarp System for Transfer Trailers offers excellent coverage, ease of operation, and increased productivity.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this video of the Donovan Sidewinder.

Have questions about Transfer Trailer Tarping Systems?  Call me directly at 757-61504379.  Thanks for reading, Dan LoAlbo “tarpguy”