A rolling truck is an effective way to keep the load on you trailer protected, but if you drive through a lot of snowy conditions, you may want to choose your tarp carefully and have a few strategies at the ready to deal with snow. Whether you do this for a living, or could use extra help around your property, here are some ideas to help:

1. Skip the mesh and opt for quality.

When selecting your sliding tarp, stay away from mesh. Instead, opt for a heavy duty canvas, vinyl or other material designed for use in all weather conditions. If you frequently park your truck in uncovered areas at home or on the road, look for a tarp with the highest quality ratings possible.

2. Remember the weight of snow.

In most cases, the load bearing capacity of the rolling tarp isn't important, as you aren't carrying anything on the tarp. However, if snow settles on the tarp, it can be quite heavy, and you need to ensure that the tarp can handle the weight without ripping or tearing. The weight of snow can vary depending on how wet it is, but in many cases, a cubic foot of snow can weigh 20 pounds.

When choosing your tarp, think about the snow falls you are likely to encounter, calculate their estimated weight on your trailer, and make sure that your tarp can withstand that much weight.

3. Find ways to clean off the snow.

Even if your tarp can hold the weight of the snow, the melting snow can be hard on the fabric, and in some areas, you can potentially get a ticket for having snow on the top of your trailer because the snow can blind other drivers when it flies off the trailer.

Climbing on to the top of a trailer to sweep or shovel off snow can be dangerous, and in most cases, you shouldn't walk on your sliding tarp anyway. If possible, use a step ladder to elevate yourself, and then, brush the snow off before hitting the road. If you have an end dump or tilt trailer, you may be able to shake the snow off by raising and lowering the trailer.

4. Consider spraying the tarp to stop the snow from sticking.

If you find snow removal difficult because the snow tends to stick to the tarp, you may want to spray the tarp. Check with the tarp manufacturer first to ensure that the spray you select works with your tarp, and also make sure that using certain products doesn't negate the warranty on your tarp. Depending on your tarp, a variety of sprays can work. Some people use a silicone lubricant, while others use automotive deicers, and still others use oil-based sprays.

5. Check tarp frame and rollers for signs of snow damage.

In some cases, the moisture from snow can cause the tracks or rollers of your sliding tarp to get rusted. Additionally, exceeding the weight bearing capacity of the system could lead to issues such as bent tracks. Look over your sliding tarp and all of its components on a regular basis, and in particular, after coming into contact with a lot of snow. To prevent issues from getting worse, always take your tarp in for a repair at the first sign of trouble.

Theses are just a few examples of ways to choose and use sliding tarps for your tough jobs during the winter. For more information to maintain or purchase a sliding tarp, contact local suppliers such as Glider Systems Inc. before making your final selection.