How to Cover a Trailer With a Tarp

by Cody Sorensen
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Truck,trucking image by Greg Pickens from

Tarps are designed to protect cargo from wind and moisture damage. Many companies that ship freight require tarps on a load before it can leave the loading docks. You can place a tarp on top of cargo, then wrap the tarp tightly around the front, back and sides of the load. Tarps are equipped with metal rings sewn into the fabric, to which you can hook bungee cords and attach the tarp to the trailer of your truck.

Step 1

Set the tarp on the front of your load of freight directly in the center. Unroll the tarp toward the back of the trailer. Unfold the tarp so it falls down on both sides and the front and back of the load.

Step 2

Hook bungee cords into each metal ring around the sides of the tarp. Run the bungees down through the side rail of the trailer and then back up to the same ring, or to an adjacent ring.

Step 3

Tuck the front and back overhanging flaps of the tarp in towards the freight. Toss one cargo strap over the front flaps of the tarp. Toss the second cargo strap over the rear flaps of the tarp. Hook the hook end of each strap to the guard rail of the trailer on one side and then thread the straps through the trailer mounted winches on the other side. Twist the winches by hand until the straps are snug. Insert a winch bar into the ratchet holes on the winches and tighten the straps down over the excess tarp flaps.

Step 4

Drive as you normally would, keeping an eye on the tarp in your side mirrors. Add more bungees to hold the tarp down if you notice any section blowing excessively.

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