Canvas Vs Vinyl Tarp For Flatbed Trucks

Posted on: 18 July 2016


Tarps are used for a wide variety of applications that range from the covering of transit goods on a flatbed truck to the construction of temporary shelters during camping expeditions.

Flatbed trucks are perhaps the most commonly used in the transportation of construction materials/equipment to and from a construction site. Thus, there is great importance attached to investing in the right tarp if these materials are to be covered for protection.

This article compares two materials used in the fabrication of truck tarps with novice truck operators in mind.

Tarps Made Of Canvas

Tarps made of canvas often have a rugged look and they're coarse to the touch.

Advantages associated with the use of canvas truck tarps include, but they're not limited to, the following:

  • Breathability: This means that a canvas tarp will not absorb excess heat from the sun, and it won't trap moisture from the atmosphere. Thus, construction materials covered on a flatbed using a canvas tarp are protected from moisture damage and from damage due to exposure to excess heat.
  • Durability: The coarse nature of canvas truck tarps is an indication of their strength. With proper maintenance, a canvas tarp can have commendable durability.

Disadvantages associated with the use of canvas truck tarps include the following:

  • Non-water proof: Standing water left to accumulate on the tarp for long enough will eventually seep into the tarp and reach the covered construction materials.
  • Canvas tarps made of cotton may exhibit shrinkage over time.
  • Canvas tarps have a relatively low resistance to tear when compared to truck tarps made of other materials (e.g. vinyl).

Tarps Made Of Vinyl

Vinyl is also a common material used on the fabrication of truck tarps. The texture on vinyl truck tarps can be compared to that of a rubber sheet. These tarps also often have a slightly shiny appearance.

Advantages of vinyl truck tarps include, but they're not limited to, the following:

  • An increased tear resistance as compared to tarps made of canvas. A vinyl tarp is likely to outlast its canvas counterpart when used under similar conditions
  • Vinyl tarps are fully waterproof as compared to canvas tarps which are water-resistant. Thus, construction materials covered using vinyl tarps are less likely to get into contact with water during transportation. This explains why vinyl tarps are preferred for use in areas that are pre-dominantly rainy
  • The fabrication of vinyl tarps often involves having the tarps treated so as to increase their resistance to the potentially damaging effects of exposure to ultra-violet rays from the sun

The main disadvantage of choosing a vinyl tarp over one made of canvas is that truck owners/operators would have to dig deeper into their pockets for the chosen tarp material.