1. Wind whip is one of the biggest factors for tarp wear and tear. A loosely tied cover can be susceptible to such damage. At highway speeds, the entire wind pressure on a loosely tied tarp is exerted on just a few tie-down points. To prevent such damage, make sure your tarp is firmly tied over the load under slight tension. Use plenty of bungee cords and tuck all corners of the tarp under the load.
2. Always make sure that the metal hooks of the tarp/bungee straps are turned away from the tarp to prevent them from poking through the tarp.
3. Make sure you do not apply too much tension on the tie down points while securing the tarp over the load. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the cover is snugly over the load and the tie down points (D-Rings, Grommets) aren\'t pulled much lower than the hem of the tarp.
4. Use plastic tarp protectors or some padding to pad down sharp corners of the load. Pieces of foam, used tennis balls etc work great for this purpose.
5. Take special care while tarping or un-tarping your load. Be extra careful if you are using a forklift or overhead cranes with your tarps as they can easily damage your tarps.
6. Always carry a patching kit or some tarp tape while on the road. It is best to patch small holes or tears in your tarp early to prevent them from spreading. Most hardware stores, truck stops or tarp shops carry tarp tape, vinyl cement and vinyl fabric for small patch jobs.
7. It is best to keep truck tarp clean and dry. Vinyl Tarps are waterproof and mildew resistant but keeping them dry during storage extends their life. You should clean your tarp every 4-5 months with regular soap and water to get rid of the grime, dirt and chemicals that get stuck to them on the road.
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