Since the transport of iron and steel products, especially coils, rods, wires, and flats are usually done on flatbeds due to their oversize nature, there are chances of corrosion, and more importantly accidents due to flying debris of shifting loads. A quick look at the benefits of using steel tarpaulins to protect and secure steel goods in transit:

What Are Steel Tarps and Why Do Transporters Use Them?

A typical steel tarp is a four-sided tarpaulin without a flap specially designed to transport low-profile steel product loads on flatbed trucks like cables, rods, sheets, and coils. These PVC-coated polyester tarps are designed to secure heavy loads but which do not have much height. Typically, they come in two sizes; 12-foot and 16-foot. In both the versions, the D-rings are placed in such a way to leave an eight-foot space in the center that allows transporters to cover even short and heavy loads while still being able to effectively bungee. It is important to keep in mind that when placed properly, extra bungees help to minimize the effect of wind whip and thus extend the life of the tarp considerably.

Given that the task of covering loads with tarpaulins can take much effort and time, people not having an insight into the industry are liable to wonder if tarping is worth the effort and the investment. However, the nature of steel products is such that they cannot usually be transported in a box trailer but need to be carried on open flatbeds instead. Using flatbeds also makes the task of loading and unloading heavy products like steel coils easier with heavy lifting equipment like forklifts and cranes.

Why Use Tarps on Flatbeds?

The reason why tarps are used to cover flatbed loads is that firstly they protect the load from exposure to the elements and becoming dirty with road debris and second, the large tarp helps to keep the load secure on the flatbed by improving its profile and contributes to road safety.

An improved load profile: One of the main reasons for using flatbeds is to be able to carry unusually-shaped profiles, which when left uncovered can be hazardous to other road users. According to, 50,658 crashes annually can be attributed to road debris. Debris can get caught in the load being carried on an uncovered flatbed and damage vehicles behind the flatbed once they suddenly become dislodged. The use of a steel tarp allows for a more uniformly-shaped profile that is less likely to catch debris while the tarp itself helps to deflect flying road debris.

Better load securing: Even though steel products like coils are typically braced with timbers to prevent them from rolling as well as steel chains to secure them to the flatbed, the use of a properly secured heavy-duty tarp helps to keep the load secure long enough for the driver to attend to any issue of the load becoming loose and causing an accident.


As is evident, using steel tarps not only helps to keep the load protected from the weather and debris but also to prevent highway accidents due to cargoes becoming loose on the go.