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It's no secret that water and moisture affect wood. When not finished, wood exposed to water can warp. Even when exposed to moisture, wood expands and contracts. If you are transporting wood on a truck, covering wood is necessary, as is any material that should not be exposed to water. Out of all the options for tarps, including canvas, polyethylene, mesh, and vinyl, which is the best for covering wood?

Typically, polyethylene is used for lumber tarps, although vinyl may be used in some instances. The material covering the wood needs to block out water, moisture, and UV rays and, at the same time, allows air to circulate. Heavy-duty polyethylene tarps, in general, are treated to be waterproof, UV resistant, mildew resistant, and rot proof, and this combination of qualities protects any investment underneath from UV and water damage.

Lumber tarps, however, have a different format from the typical polyethylene sheet. Instead, lumber tarps are applied around the load on a flatbed truck and have at least two rows of D-rings on all sides. Bungee cords go through the D-rings to fully secure the tarp, and then the load with the secured tarp is fastened to the flatbed.

When a lumber tarp is applied, the load of wood needs to be added to the flatbed first. Then, the tarp is added from the top. The tarp needs to be rolled out down the center of the load and then folded out to fully cover the top. After this, the sides are folded out and down, and as you do this, make sure the D-rings are always on the sides, not on top.

To secure the tarp, begin attaching bungee cords to D-rings on opposite corners. Do this until all sides are secure. Similarly to dump truck tarps, lumber tarps experience wind whip, which can weaken or tear the polyethylene or vinyl material. As you apply the D-rings, make sure all hooks face outward. Otherwise, the metal will rub against the material and create a hole. After all sides are secure, fasten thicker cables from the D-rings to the flatbed to keep the load in place.