The future of truck tarps has arrived. Thanks to a breakthrough in fabric technology, truckers can finally purchase lightweight tarps that are fully waterproof and just as strong as standard tarps. Remarkably, these new tarps cost the same as the old ones — yet they weigh almost half as much.
Every hauler will be using these tarps someday, and every manufacturer in the industry will sell them. But for now, you can only buy them at D.S. Sewing. "For the drivers that have been complaining for years, finally a truly 100 percent lightweight tarp," says Dave Steinhardt, the company owner. Steinhardt knows what a pain heavy tarps can be — he drove a truck for 15 years. You've got to fold the tarps and carry them over to your deck plate when you drop off a trailer. When you pick up freight, you have to climb on top of the load and drop the sides of the tarp down over the cargo. This cycle repeats itself as often as you change loads, and it can be murder on your back. You're getting paid to transport cargo, not carry tarps around — so why make it any harder than it has to be?
Standard tarp fabric weighs 18 oz per square yard, meaning finished tarps can tip the scales at nearly 150 lbs each. Workers at the D.S. Sewing factory don't even like lifting them onto the warehouse shelves. The company's new tarps are made of fabric that weighs just 10 oz per square yard. Other companies claim to sell lightweight tarps, but their fabrics are inferior. Some places make tarps that have 10 oz fabric on the sides but 18 oz fabric on top — and the lighter material is only coated on the outside, making it water resistant but not waterproof. You can even buy a lightweight tarp made from rip-stop nylon, the same fabric used for parachutes. But how many miles of highway driving will it last when it's rubbing against a rough surface like lumber at 60 mph?
D.S. Sewing's new lightweight tarps are as strong as standard tarps, and are coated with polyvinyl chloride on both sides so they're completely waterproof. Unlike tarps that are sewn together — a process that makes tiny holes in the fabric where water can seep through — the new tarps' seams are heat-sealed. "The driver's going to like it because they're light," Steinhardt says. "But they're the same quality as the 18 oz, at the same price."