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Truck Tarping Applications

Truck Tarping Applications -One of the most common questions I am asked by my customers is “what tarp material is best for my truck”.  What they really mean is what material is best for my application.  Generally speaking, there are three tarp materials that are used in nearly all truck tarping applications.  (1) Mesh, (2) Vinyl and (3) RFL or Hot Top or Asphalt Tarp.  All three materials (and please note that each material has a variety of styles, colors, strengths, and weaves) are Heavy Duty and designed to handle the rigors of truck tarping applications.

Heavy Duty Black Mesh Tarp

Heavy Meash Truck Tarping Applications

Let’s start with Mesh. Heavy Duty Black Mesh (as pictured here) is easily the most common material used in the truck tarping industry encompassing 60% (by my estimation) or more of all truck tarp applications. Although a multitude of mesh materials are used across the industry under a variety of “trade” names such as; Multi-Mesh, Mighty Mesh, and Gator Mesh, just to name a few…Heavy Duty Black mesh remains the king. Used on Dump Trucks, Dump Trailers, Roll-Off Truck, Side Dumps, Bottom Dumps and Transfer Trailers, Heavy Duty Black Mesh covers sand, gravel, trash, landscape and construction debris with ease and longevity. Pros and Cons of Mesh; Pros: lightweight, breathability, multiple applications, durable, color variety. Cons: not watertight, tends to “catch” on debris such as shrubs, nails or fencing.

18 oz Vinyl Tarp Material

Vinyl Truck Tarping Applications

Vinyl material is most common in the 18oz version. This means the material weighs approx. 18oz/square yard. Other weights of Vinyl used include 14oz and 22oz. 18oz Vinyl, as it is commonly referred, is used for truck tarping applications where the material being covered needs to remain dry or hot (such as asphalt). Vinyl is used on virtually every style of Dump Truck and Dump Trailer. Pros and Cons of 18oz Vinyl; Pros: waterproof, heavy duty, large variety of colors. Cons: becomes stiff in cold weather, and hot asphalt has been know to stick to vinyl.

RFL or Asphalt Tarp Material

Asphalt Tarp Truck Tarping Applications

Finally, we come to RFL, Hot Top or Asphalt Tarp material (all three names refer to a similar type of material). This material is most commonly used for hot asphalt applications as the material is chemically treated and can handle the extreme temperatures of hot asphalt…common grades are heat rated between 375 and 425 degrees. Also, these materials are tightly woven and have a “canvas” appearance and feel. They are very, very durable and I often recommend them for construction debris applications. Unlike Mesh and Vinyl, RFL and Asphalt tarps are usually Black or Tan in color. Pros and Cons; Pros: high heat resistance, very durable, stays more flexible than vinyl, water resistant. Cons: limited color selection.

RFL Tarp With Flaps

All of the tarp materials discussed above can be manufactured into virtually any shape or design. For example, dump trucks that regularly haul asphalt will often utilize an RFL tarp with “flaps”. Flaps are extensions on each side of the tarp that can be pulled over the sides of the dump body and secured with rubber straps to create a semi-waterproof enclosure that will retain the heat of the asphalt in the truck.

Hopefully, this brief overview has provided some insight to help you determine what tarp material is best for your truck tarp application. If you would like more information on truck tarping applications and other tarping materials please call me, text me or email me.

Dan LoAlbo
LoAlbo Enterprises, Inc.