Too often, tarp systems are damaged not by ordinary wear and tear, but abuse. Loading operations account for the majority of damage. This includes the loader operator dumping large rocks or debris on the tarp system, as well as running into the system with the loader. Damage prevention should include both the loader operator and the truck driver.
Wind is also an enemy of tarping systems. Keeping the tarp fabric taut increases its lifespan. It is also important to face the truck into the wind before deploying a tarp system. When deploying an automatic system, try to keep speeds to 10 mph or less. Tarp systems should never be run down the road while open. The wind will whip the tarp around and shred it prematurely.
In addition to making the tarp last longer, extending the tarp will increase your fuel economy. Some studies have shown that fuel economy can improve up to 10% by extending the tarp.