Canvas Tarps; The Old Tarp is Becoming New Again Due to the Cost of Oil

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Canvas tarps are back in style.

The prices on poly tarps have gone up enough to where it would be that much more for me to buy a canvas tarp that will last a little longer. If I can get another month of use out of the canvas tarps, the extra cost will pay for itself

In the early 1950s there were no polyethylene tarps. The main application that farmers, military and construction workers would use was canvas. Due to the cost of oil, the price of poly tarps is starting to go up. canvas tarps still cost more to make and are more difficult to handle but there is a considerable percentage of cross over users that are starting to choose the old fashion standby. The canvas tarps have durability against puncturing that the poly tarps do not have.

As the gas prices go up some poly tarp users are starting to factor in a little more cost for durability. Many mid size trucking companies for example are starting to use canvas tarps instead of poly tarps. The larger trucking companies seem to be staying with the super heavy duty poly truck tarps but the smaller companies that depend on every dollar find they can get a canvas tarp that will last longer than a regular poly tarp and can not afford the super heavy duty truck tarp. Jean Brodie of Brodie trucking says, "The prices on poly tarps have gone up enough to where it would be that much more for me to buy a canvas tarp that will last a little longer. If I can get another month of use out of the canvas tarps, the extra cost will pay for itself".

Poly tarps require resin within the material and resin equals oil. Oil is at an all time high right now and when the price of oil goes up so does the cost of steel, polyethylene and transportation. The trucking companies are the most vulnerable. The three top major expenses for a trucking company is the cost of vehicle maintenance, fuel and covering the load they are shipping and truck tarps are an expendable item because of wear and tear.

The increase can be seen in the private sector as well. The general public is also starting to use canvas tarps for car covering, boat tarps and lumber tarps. The poly tarps have been very popular ever since it's inception in the early 1960s. The public and industry alike used canvas tarps before the polyethylene material replaced it due to the lower cost, waterproof capabilities and artic flexibility. Gas was very cheap in the early 1960s and although cotton is still more expensive than poly, the gap is starting to close in to the point where the consumer is starting to question, "Is it worth it".

Michael Stein, the CEO of Tarps Plus, the largest tarps supplier in North America, predicts, "The forecast of poly tarps and canvas tarps for the rest of the 2008 season is an intensified version of what happens every year. Oil prices always rise in spring and summer and start to drop in fall and stay low for the first half of winter. The cost of poly tarps can always be predicted in this way.. With the exception of a U.S. natural disaster or other outside influences that would alter oil prices".

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Michael Stein
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