Some states have strict tarping laws which require a tarp, while others don’t, but it’s important for heavy haulers to know that the federal government does. Drivers must be cognizant and compliant with tarping laws established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), along with those established by the state(s) through which they’ll be traveling.
It’s always assumed that dump trucks and certain types of trailers are hauling loose materials such as dirt, sand, gravel, tar-and-chip, trash, recyclables, and scrap materials. In Florida, it typically doesn’t apply to transporting agricultural products. There are 11 states that have no tarp laws for dump trucks, but there are also exceptions.
Tarps are used to keep loose materials in the trailer or dump truck and prevent them from spilling, leaking or blowing out of the vehicle. Loose debris from trucks can result in an accident if it hits a passenger vehicle. It’s one of the reasons why heavy haulers wash dirt and debris from heavy equipment before transporting it.
When hauling heavy equipment, a tarp may or may not be required as long as the load is secured with chains and straps. A tarp typically isn’t required for hauling heavy equipment and logs, along with girders, trusses and beams that require specialized securement methods. There are exceptions, depending on the weight of the load, and if it’s being transported on a pallet.
There are instances where a tarp may not be legally required, but the cargo may be sensitive to degradation due to UV rays. It’s critical that individuals understand the specific requirements for the cargo they’re transporting.
The laws governing the trucking industry, and even private individuals hauling items in a home trailer, are subject to change with short notice. It’s essential to keep advised of laws governing every aspect of hauling items on or in a trailer, even if they’re not professionals.
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