If you regularly haul things around in the back of your dump truck, then you will absolutely want to invest in a tarp system. Such a system will protect your load from wind, rain, and the elements without you having to manually cover it with a tarp each time! But not all tarp systems are the same. Here are four key elements to look for in a good tarp system.
Aluminum Tarp Bow and Arms
The tarp arms, which are the mechanisms that extend the tarp out over your load, are exposed to the elements. If they are made from a material that rusts, such as steel, they will quickly start looking aged and battered. So, look for a tarp system with aluminum arms. Aluminum does not rust, and it will stay looking new and fresh for many years. A company may advertise that their tarp arms are made from "extruded aluminum" or "aluminum alloy." These are both good choices.
There are a number of ways for the tarp to be secured over the back of the truck. (It must be secured in some way to prevent the wind from blowing it off or catching underneath it.) Tarps secured with tension bows are perhaps the most secure, and the mechanism that secures them is the least prone to damage. The tension bow fits over the back of the truck like an elastic band. You do need a cab guard that's about a foot tall in order for the tension bow to attach properly, but most dump trucks do meet this standard.
A High Quality Motor
If the tarp system's motor breaks, it isn't any good! Look for a system with a motor that features heat-forged gears and precision bearings. These two features will greatly reduce your risk of having the motor quit prematurely. If you can find a tarp system with a spur-and-helical gear configuration, it's a great one -- this configuration is well suited to the wear and tear of heavy use.
A Good Warranty
Finally, make sure the system you choose is protected by a good warranty of at least three years. Five years is even better. Check that the warranty covers all parts, and not just the motor, as some tarp system warranties are for the motor only. If you happen to get a defective system that breaks down early, a warranty can save you thousands.
For more guidance in choosing a tarp system for your dump truck, contact companies like Glider Systems Inc.