Vinyl tarps are used by farmers, truckers, homeowners, contractors, and anyone else who wants a durable protective covering that is waterproof, tear resistant, and effective in heat and cold.
Vinyl is a synthetic plastic made from ethylene (from natural gas) and salt, so it is one of the more environmentally friendly and economical materials. It is actually the second most used plastic resin in the world. More durable than polyethylene, more waterproof than canvas, and recyclable, vinyl has numberless uses.
Vinyl tarps are used by farmers to cover hay bales, farm machinery, and piles of sawdust, topsoil, fertilizer, or anything else they want to protect from the weather. There live carts are specialized vinyl tarps for grain trucks and fertilizer carts, and mesh tarps that cut 50% of the sunlight, allowing enough light in to sustain shade loving plants.
Contractors use vinyl covers for protecting unfinished buildings, stacked lumber, and construction materials from the weather. Homeowners use them to cover firewood, make quick carports and equipment sheds, provide shade covering for decks and party areas, protect play sets, and a million other tasks. FEMA uses them as temporary roofs for damaged houses and mobile homes.
For the trucking industry, there is a fascinating variety of truck covers, all very specialized. There are side kit ‘covered wagon’ covers for flatbed trailers, steel tarps (made of vinyl to cover steel), lumber tarps, machinery tarps, and smoke tarps (that cover the front of the load to protect it from soot and dust). There are different ways to tie these down, roll them up, or fit them to a frame.
Vinyl, resistant to UV rays from the sun and able to remain flexible in sub zero weather, is suited to use in the home, being available in many colors and textures, and is tough enough for industrial purposes. It is very resistant to tearing, but can be repaired with a vinyl kit if small tears do happen. It resists moisture and humidity, so it is long lasting, and stands up to abrasion better than most materials.