In these unprecedented economic situations, wise business managers look for any opportunity they can find to reduce costs. One obvious target for shipping costs is the elimination of trailer tarps. It seems like they are expensive to purchase, time-consuming to place on a load, and unlikely to produce economic returns. On closer examination, though, you’ll find that even the slimmest of margins is improved when loads are tarped.
The most obvious reason tarps are used is to protect loads from the elements. Yet we may incorrectly assume that applies only to rain and snow. Direct sunlight can be very damaging to certain goods, so it’s important to keep loads not just dry but in the dark. When the product is offloaded, the results of good tarping will be obvious even if the driver never saw a cloud the whole trip.
The road can be a filthy place, with dust and all kinds of debris blowing onto your freight. Products can be contaminated by automotive fluids like oil and antifreeze. It can be struck by flying gravel or glass, or the load can be covered in ordinary dirt from the road’s surface. Using custom fitted tarps keeps all that messy material away from the load.
The most fundamental way to keep thieves out of your cargo is to keep them from knowing what it is and how to get to it. A load without tarps is very easy to identify, and criminals can easily examine it from a distance to plan the fastest way to access and remove its contents. When your load is properly tarped, would-be thieves don’t know how to open the load and if what you’re shipping is even worth their effort. They’ll move on to an easier target, leaving your load undisturbed.
The most basic thing any truck driver knows is to secure the load. This typically requires more than just tightening the ratchet straps and hitting the road. Containers can tear or break, allowing contents to blow out onto the highway and create a safety hazard–and liability for you. Proper tarping keeps your load on the trailer at all times.
There are good ways to cut costs, and there are bad ways to cut costs. Going without essentials like trailer tarps is a bad way in both the short term and the long term. Identify some better options for improving your bottom line and keep tarps in your shipping budget.