Troubleshooting A Truck Tarp System With Extension Or Retraction Issues

If you have a large dump truck and want to start hauling loads of asphalt long distances, then you will need to secure a tarp system on the truck to keep the asphalt from cooling off substantially before it is delivered. An electric front to back tarp system that automatically extends the tarp from the front to the back of your truck is the easiest way to make sure that loads are covered. The tarps come with a tarp kit that needs to be installed on your truck. You can complete the installation yourself. Once the installation is completed, you may find that the tarp will have difficulty extending or rolling back up when you are done with it. Keep reading to troubleshoot these issues.

Tarp Will Not Extend

When you install your electric tarp system, you will need to secure either a rotary or solenoid switch system that allows you to activate the movement of the tarp. Most tarps have rotary systems that attach directly to a battery secured in the engine compartment. The switch or rotary sits in the cab of the truck, and you can turn the switch knob to activate the tarp. When you do this, you should see the tarp arm moving back to the gate of the truck. The tarp should roll out over the top of the loader. If the tarp arm stops and does not make it all the way back to the gate, then you will have a stalling issue. You may also notice this sort of problem if you are trying to activate the arm when it is windy outside. 

In most cases, the stalling issue will occur when the pivot springs are not positioned correctly. The spring attached to the pivot arms are called flat spiral springs or spiral torsion springs. These springs retain the tension of the pivot arms so they can move freely and strongly when the tarp is extended. The torsion springs must have enough tension to move the pivot arms properly. This gives the arms the strength to move the tarp. If you did not index the springs before installing the tarp, then you will need to do this now. 

Release the pivot arms from the roller bar. Rotate each arm clockwise towards the front of the truck one rotation. Reattach the pivot arms and try to extend the tarp again. If the tarp does not extend, then rotate the arms once more to add even more tension to the spiral springs. 

Tarp Will Not Retract

If you have successfully been able to extend the tarp across the back of the truck, but the tarp will not retract, then this often means that the pullbar or roller bar is not square or directly perpendicular to the back gate of the truck. Look at the bar as it reaches the end of the gate to see if is is slightly crooked. If it is, then the bar is unable to retract the tarp straight across the back of the loader and it may get stuck as the tarp becomes crooked. This type of problem is likely if the pivot arms do not sit exactly parallel with one another on either side of the truck. Measure the position of each arm and move one pivot arm forward or backward if there is a need. 

Sometimes, the pullbar will have difficulty moving if it is too short, and it may get hung up on the gate or the side of the truck. Make sure that arm is just slightly longer than the length of the truck gate. About one-quarter to one-half inch of clearance on either side of the bar is enough to allow it to move freely. Measure the bar and order a longer one if it is not long enough. 

For more assistance with tarp systems, contact a company like Glider Systems Inc.