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Dump Trailer Tarp Roller – Useful And Easy To Use

The dump trailer tarp roller is an important part of the dump trailer in our Tree Pruning and Removal business! The tarp has an important job when the trailer is loaded. When the tarp is stretched over the loaded trailer it will prevent anything from blowing off while driving on the highway!

I just recently bought a new dump trailer tarp roller kit to put on my SURE-TRAC dump trailer! The old tarp had served it is job for quite a while, but some holes were starting to get too big.

The roller was also bent because when we loaded heavy logs onto the trailer a log must have hit the dump trailer tarp roller and bent it. I was able to bend it back into working condition, but it still wasn’t perfect.

To prevent another log from bending the new tarp and roller there will be a small modification to the front of the trailer. Mostly that will consist of the tarp being mounted inside an enclosure with the open side facing back. This will be strong enough to hold up a log and keep it away from the tarp roller.


The Dump Trailer Tarp Roller Kit

dump trailer tarp roller

After ordering, the dump trailer tarp roller kit arrived in a few days. It comes with mounting brackets which are a vital piece. The mounting brackets are used to mount the tarp on a trailer or truck bed that previously had no tarp. I am replacing my tarp on the dump trailer but still chose to use the new mounting brackets. Using all new parts will help the assembly process go smoother!

Within the 2 mounting brackets are bearings. These bearings hold each end of the tarp roller in place and securely fastened to the trailer! The one is just a bracket and bearing, the other is bracket, bearing and has the crank locking mechanism on it. This lock is needed to keep the tarp from unwrapping while driving. Imagine sixteen feet of tarp billowing behind a trailer and the sight that would be!

The aluminum roller axle is a telescoping axle made to fit a wide variety of trailer widths! It will perfectly fit your trailer. However, you do need to measure the width and length for the tarp you need. The hand crank and other needed hardware all comes with the kit.


Mounting The New Dump Trailer Tarp Roller

Now we are ready to put on the new dump trailer tarp roller!

  1. First mount the brackets where the old brackets were or at a new spot of your choosing. Make sure the brackets are mounted directly across from each other.
  2. Pick up the aluminum roller axle, this is what the tarp wraps onto! Put the passenger side on first by sliding the end of the roller axle through the bearing. Push until it goes in against.
  3. Slide the telescoping roller axle together until it fits perfectly between the two bearings. Then hold the drivers side of the roller axle against the bearing.
  4. Pick up the handle and from the outside of the trailer slide the handle through the bearing and into the roller axle you are holding. Then add the connecting bolt to keep the handle and roller axle together!
  5. Finally, get the tarp and screw or bolt the end of it to the axle roller. These screws will hold the end of the tarp to the roller so when the handle is cranked the tarp will wrap up! One of these screw should go through the telescoping part of the roller axle to keep it from moving in or out.

dump trailer tarp roller


Mesh Tarp On The Dump Trailer Tarp Roller

I’ve chosen the mesh tarp for my trailer! It is what was on before, but I really prefer the mesh tarp over the solid tarp. First of all the mesh tarp is lighter than the solid tarp which helps make it a bit easier to pull out and wrap up.

But another important difference is the small holes in the mesh allow the wind to pass through. So while the tarp is in use and I am driving down the road it will not be as liable to flop in the wind as a solid tarp!

The tarp is made from black mesh fabric that is UV treated and has PVC coated polyester fibers! In the corners and along the sides are rust-proof brass grommets. Those are where I fasten tarp straps or ropes to hold down the tarp after the trailer is loaded! The grommets are inside reinforced 2″ double stitched hems for extra strength.


Securing The Tarp Over A Loaded Trailer

There are several ways to go about covering my load and different options can be used depending on how full the trailer is or what is on the trailer. First I need to unlock the handle so the tarp can be pulled out and to the back of the trailer.

If the trailer is not very full I can grab the corner of the tarp and walk along the side toward the back. For a full trailer I need somebody else on the other side of the trailer or usually it is easier to go into the trailer and pull the middle of the tarp.

When I am in the trailer I can lift the tarp up and over any sticks or logs it could catch on. I pull the tarp to the back of the trailer then get the tarp straps or bungee cords and put one in each rear corner. Now I will go to the handle and crank up any loose tarp.

After the tarp is snug, make sure the handle locking mechanism is in place to prevent it from unrolling. Then use more tarp straps and put them wherever is needed. Two or three in the back and two to four along the side will usually be enough to keep the tarp secure. More or less may be needed depending on load conditions!

Why Do I Use A Dump Trailer Tarp Roller?

A tarp is required on some loads to prevent things from blowing off while driving. If I didn’t have a dump trailer tarp roller then I would need another tarp stored in the toolbox. It would be a hassle to always pull it out of the toolbox and stretch it above the load. Plus it would need more tie-downs because it wouldn’t be fastened to the roller axle.

Then when I dump the trailer I would need to wrap up the tarp and put it back in the toolbox. With a dump trailer tarp roller all that hassle is eliminated. Storage for the tarp is as simple as several cranks on the handle! And when I need the tarp again it is right there waiting for me!


How Long Should A Replacement Tarp Be?

These tarps are usually made in two foot increments. I ordered the tarp that was two feet longer than our trailer. Two feet longer is what is recommended so there is enough tarp when the load is sticking above the trailer sides. To haul high objects you may need a tarp four feet longer than the trailer.

The width of the tarp is important as well. Widths are manufactured in six inch increments from four and a half feet up to 8 feet. You will need to know the measurement between the walls on the inside of the trailer. Then select a width that is a few inches less. A tarp that is too wide will cause bunching along the edges and make it harder to roll and unroll!

This tarp could go on a flatbed trailer. I would measure the distance between mounting brackets and have the tarp a few inches narrower. On a flatbed trailer it is probably best to use a tarp four feet longer than the trailer.


Anti-Sail Tarp Retention Bow Set

An optional accessory for the dump trailer tarp roller kit is the anti-sail retention bow. This goes into end of the tarp and slides all the way through. During covering the load, this retention bar is fastened to the rear of the trailer.

Since it is a heavier rod and reaches through the tarp it will prevent the tail from flapping in the wind while driving. Besides preventing flapping using this bar would require less tie downs in the back.

The anti-sail retention bar has it is purpose, especially for long hauls on interstate roads. The retention bar works best when hauling heavier condensed loads like dirt, sand, or gravel that are level or below the trailer side walls.

Since I work in a Tree Pruning and Removal business most of the loads we haul will be logs, firewood, or tree branches and those often stick above the sides of the trailer. It would be a bit harder covering those loads with an anti-sail retention bar in the tarp. Plus I usually don’t travel far while loaded, just to our local dumping areas.

Do you have any questions about the dump trailer tarp roller? Be sure to ask them in the comment section below. I look forward to answering any questions you may have or providing any other information you are looking for!

Your Arborist Friend