How to Tarp a Load Safely and Effectively


Tarping a load is an important task that ensures the safe and efficient transportation of goods. However, with so many options available on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right tarp for your needs. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting and using a tarp correctly, as well as provide tips for optimizing your load’s safety and efficiency.

Selecting the Right Tarp:

When choosing a tarp, it is important to consider the following factors:

  1. Size and shape of the load: Tarp size should be large enough to cover the entire load without any overhang. The shape of the load will also affect the tarp’s design; for example, an irregularly shaped load may require a custom-made tarp.
  2. Material type: There are several types of materials available, including polypropylene, vinyl, and canvas. Polypropylene is lightweight and durable, while vinyl is waterproof and resistant to UV damage. Canvas is heavy-duty but not as waterproof or UV resistant.
  3. Strength and durability: The tarp’s strength will determine how much weight it can safely support. Look for a tarp with a high load capacity, and choose one that is reinforced with extra layers of material in areas prone to wear and tear.
  4. Weight and ease of use: Tarp weight affects its ease of use, transportability, and storage. Choose a lightweight tarp that can be easily secured and stored.
  5. Safety features: Look for safety features such as reflective stripes or fire-resistant materials to ensure the tarp meets regulatory requirements.

Tarping Techniques:

Once you have selected the right tarp, it’s time to learn how to use it effectively.

Here are some tips to help you tarp your load safely and efficiently:

  1. Lay down a protective layer: Before placing your load on the tarp, lay down a protective layer such as cardboard or a piece of fabric to prevent damage to the tarp.
  2. Use the right attachment methods: Tarp attachments vary depending on the type of load and material used. Use the appropriate method for your load, such as ratchets, straps, or ropes.
  3. Secure the corners and edges: Make sure the tarp is securely attached to the vehicle and the load. Use additional straps or ties to secure the corners and edges of the tarp.
  4. Check the load periodically: During transportation, check the load periodically to ensure it is stable and secure. Adjust the attachment methods as needed to prevent any movement or damage.
  5. Store the tarp properly: Once you arrive at your destination, store the tarp in a dry and protected area to prevent damage.


Tarping a load is an essential task that requires careful consideration of the right materials and techniques. By selecting the right tarp and using it effectively, you can ensure a safe and efficient transportation of goods. Remember to always prioritize safety when tarping your load and store it properly for future use.