Rubber tarp straps, sometimes called bungees or tie down straps, can be used in a variety of ways to secure and protect your load. These convenient, stretchable, versatile bungee straps can be attached to grommets, D Rings, pan fittings, or other anchor points to keep corners, ribs, flaps, and drops in place so your tarp remains tightly secured around your cargo. Good quality tarp straps extend the life of your tarp by providing extra give against wind resistance and preventing uneven wear. They are an invaluable tool, so stock up now!
Rubber Tie Down Straps: Natural or EPDM Rubber?
Tarp straps generally come in two kinds of rubber: Natural Rubber or EPDM rubber. Each have their pros and cons, and being familiar with each type can help save time and money when choosing the right one for the job. Natural rubber is made by processing latex collected from rubber trees. It is produced by the tree and tapped, similar to the harvesting of sap to make maple syrup. The resulting material can stretch father, retain original shape better, and hold up under cold conditions without issue.
EPDM rubber, on the other hand, is a synthetically produced polymer invented in the 1960s to meet the needs of higher industrial pressures. Natural rubber does not stand up well to heat or prolonged UV exposure. EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber has similar physical properties to natural rubber, but will likely become less and less elastic over prolonged use, and won’t return to its original length. In the trucking world, that is not a huge problem, because we are always trying to stretch bungees just a little farther (not recommended). EPDM rubber has a high resistance to heat and weather, making it the go-to solution for gaskets, seals, protective pads, or any application that requires give or elasticity while enduring industrial conditions.
The general rule of thumb is to use Natural Rubber for the winter, and EPDM for the summer. But depending on where you drive, you can stick with one or the other, or have both on hand. If longevity, length retention, or heat endurance are high priorities for you, then you will want to very aware of what type of rubber you are using. But for most of us, we just need to strap something down and keep moving. Under normal conditions, either material will work fine, but to get the most life out of your investment, it is recommended to be mindful of the properties for each type of rubber, especially so you don’t have a strap break while driving and have to deal with a billowing tarp. For most applications, we recommend EPDM tie down straps, but for drivers who live in or go through the north, especially during winter, it is a good idea to switch to natural.