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5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Tarp

5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Tarp

Selecting the right tarp for your flatbed truck is crucial for ensuring load protection and operational efficiency. With various materials, sizes, and features to consider, the decision can be complex. To help you choose the best tarp for your flatbed needs, consider these five expert-driven factors:


Accurate measurement is essential when choosing a tarp for your flatbed truck. Incorrect dimensions can lead to inadequate coverage, risking damage to your load. Flatbed tarps come in two primary size types:

  • Cut Size: This is the initial measurement before the hems are folded and stitched. Consequently, the final tarp will be slightly smaller than the cut size.
  • Finished Size: This represents the actual size after all finishing processes, ensuring you get the exact dimensions advertised.

For custom projects or specific coverage needs, knowing these differences can prevent mismatches and ensure optimal fit, providing full protection for your cargo.


The choice of material is crucial, as different materials offer varying levels of durability, protection, and functionality:

  • Polyethylene (Poly): Lightweight, waterproof, and cost-effective. Ideal for general use and short-term applications on flatbeds.
  • Vinyl: Extremely durable and resistant to tearing. Heavy-duty vinyl tarps are waterproof and suitable for demanding applications, such as long-haul transportation and industrial loads.
  • Canvas: Breathable and water-resistant. Canvas tarps are great for situations where ventilation is necessary, though they are not entirely waterproof.
  • Mesh: Allows airflow while providing containment. Perfect for loads that require ventilation, such as transporting landscaping materials.

Choosing the right material involves understanding the specific requirements of your cargo, including exposure to weather elements and the need for breathability or ventilation.


The color of your tarp can impact both functionality and visibility:

  • Poly Tarps: Available in a range of basic colors. Darker colors may offer better UV protection and are less likely to show dirt, while brighter colors can enhance visibility for safety.
  • Vinyl Tarps: Offer a broader spectrum of color options, including black, white, red, green, blue, gray, yellow, orange, tan, and brown. The color can be critical for branding, safety, and specific environmental blending.

If you have specific color requirements for safety or branding, our tarp experts can assist in finding the perfect match. Contact us at (630) 802-6434 or check the availability on our website.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

Understanding the difference between waterproof and water-resistant tarps is key to selecting the right protection for your load:

  • Waterproof Tarps: Poly and vinyl tarps are fully waterproof, making them ideal for protecting loads against heavy rain and water ingress.
  • Water-Resistant Tarps: Canvas tarps repel water but are not completely waterproof. They offer breathability, which can help prevent mold and mildew on certain types of cargo.

Consider the environmental conditions and specific needs of your load. Waterproof tarps are essential for full protection against moisture, while water-resistant tarps are suitable for applications where ventilation is also needed.


Balancing cost with quality is essential when purchasing a tarp for your flatbed truck. TarpHaus Inc. offers a wide range of products to meet various budgetary requirements:

  • Poly Tarps: Generally more affordable and suitable for temporary or light-duty use.
  • Vinyl Tarps: Although more expensive, they provide superior durability and longevity, making them a cost-effective choice for heavy-duty applications and long-term use.

When setting your budget, consider the lifespan and performance requirements of the tarp. Investing more upfront in a durable material can result in long-term savings and better protection for your loads.

Expert Recommendations

By carefully evaluating these five factors—size, material, color, waterproofing, and budget—you can make an informed decision tailored to your flatbed truck needs. Visit to explore our comprehensive selection of high-quality tarps designed specifically for flatbed trucks.

TarpHaus Inc. is a premier manufacturer and distributor of tarps, providing top-quality products at competitive prices. With a centralized warehouse in Chicago and multiple shipping locations, we efficiently serve industries across the United States, including transportation, construction, and others. Our dedication to excellence in product quality and customer service makes us the trusted choice for all your flatbed tarp needs. For expert guidance and superior tarps, rely on TarpHaus Inc. 

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