Bron: Collitax Transport

With an EN 12642 code XL structure, you can transport cargo in a form-fitting manner. The tarpaulins of a code XL trailer are extra strong because clamping straps and other accessories are incorporated in them. But will the tarpaulin still suffice if it contains a tear or damage? Our load insurance specialist, Niels Bouwmeester, is asked this question every day. He wrote this blog about it.


To answer the question whether the tarpaulin of a code XL trailer will still suffice if it has been cut, I will first briefly explain the difference between the tarpaulins of a Code L and a Code XL structure.

Years ago, there was only a Code L structure, and the tarpaulin was unable to secure any lateral forces. The tarpaulin offered protection against weather influences and you could put advertising slogans on it. Nothing more and nothing less. The tarpaulin of a Code L structure (for form-fitting securing of loads) can now secure 15% of lateral forces, but that’s by the by.

In around 2006, the first Code XL structures entered the market with extra-strong tarpaulins. These XL tarpaulins are therefore perfect for partly securing loads. I use the word ‘partly’ here, because in practice, I regularly see cargo in an XL structure not being secured at all. Because clamping straps have been incorporated in a Code XL tarpaulin, people believe that the tarpaulin is strong enough to retain the load, but this is not the case. In order to reap the benefits of the tarpaulin when securing loads, you need to observe the values of form-fitting load securing.


In a previous article, I advocated a retesting of the Code EN 12642 XL certificate. When the vehicle is delivered, the buyer receives a Code XL certificate in which the manufacturer confirms the stability of the structure. The manufacturer also states the conditions under which the Code XL certificate remains valid. Only with this documentation may the certificate be used as values for securing cargo. It is thereby recommended that all parties involved in the transportation check the validity of the certificate. Another part of this is whether the tarpaulin still satisfies the conditions under which the certificate has been issued.

It may make sense to issue a certificate of the repair once an XL tarpaulin has been repaired. This certificate states that, after repair, the tarpaulin still satisfies the values on which the certificate was originally issued. This certificate then proves to everyone that the repair was carried out correctly. In order to prevent certificate fraud, a drawing of the side view with the repaired parts can be added, along with the date of the repair, of course.


But what happens if the tarpaulin of an XL structure contains a tear and it needs to be repaired? Is the tarpaulin still strong enough to partially secure the load?

Please see a picture of the statue of Hans Brinker below, who is better known among the Dutch as the hero of Haarlem. It is a story about a boy who plugs a hole in a dike with his finger, thereby protecting the Dutch population from flooding. This is fiction, of course, but it is the right comparison for the proper repair of an XL tarpaulin. Because it isn’t enough to simply stick a “plaster” on the wound (or in this case, the tarpaulin). The tarpaulin must be repaired properly. But what exactly does that mean?

Please find below a summary of how to repair the tarpaulin, the straps and the connecting parts of an XL tarpaulin properly.


When repairing the tarpaulin, only the same quality of tarpaulin may be used. Code L tarpaulins, for example, have a mass per surface unit of less than 650 g/m2 and Code XL tarpaulin materials have a mass per surface unit of more than 850 g/m2.

A tarpaulin repair plaster must overlap the tear or damage by at least 150 mm on all sides. For an optimal molecular structure, because that is what is reduced in the process, the cut must be thermally welded too.


Even when being used as repair parts, the vertical straps must have a minimum tear strength of over 2300 daN. If three or more adjacent vertical straps or more than five vertical straps in total are damaged, the faulty tarpaulin must be completely replaced with a new tarpaulin.


Even when being used as repair parts, the horizontal straps must have a minimum tear strength of over 1,200 daN. If three or more adjacent straps or a total of more than five horizontal straps in a tarpaulin are damaged, the faulty tarpaulin must be fully replaced by a new tarpaulin.


An essential criterion for a load-securing tarpaulin is that the elastic material (tarpaulin and straps), such as the runners and the tarpaulin tension fasteners, is carefully attached to the metal parts. These connecting parts may only be made on the so-called strap crosses. Adequate surface pressure must be applied here by screwing and/or rivetting the connecting parts.

The rivets approved by TÜV NORD are draw bolts (6 mm) with a stainless steel washer and plate ring or counter plate. When using screws, M6 quality class 8.8 with self-locking nuts and convex rings or counter plates are used. The torque for this is at least 12 Nm.

Conclusie; kan een gerepareerd zeil de krachten nog steeds weerstaan?

Zoals je hierboven hebt gelezen bestaan er dus instructies om reparaties deugdelijk uit te voeren. Alleen zijn deze nog niet opgenomen in een norm. Wel is het zo, dat er in de Nederlandse wet onder Artikel 5.18.6 lid 5 staat dat vastzetsystemen, zekeringssystemen, stuwagemiddelen en onderdelen daarvan goed moeten functioneren en geschikt moeten zijn voor het doel waarvoor ze gebruikt worden.

Samen met bekende zeildoekfabrikanten zijn er reparatieadviezen ontwikkeld voor de zeilen conform EN 12641-2. Zelfs rijtesten met drankkratten (apart XL certificaat), hebben aangetoond dat een goed gerepareerd zeil de krachten van de lasten nog steeds kan weerstaan.

Een gerepareerd zeil kan dus nog steeds voldoen mits je de reparaties deugdelijk en vakbekwaam verricht of laat verrichten.

Want to find out more?

Niels Bouwmeester

Niels Bouwmeester

Want to find out more about cargo securing? Take a look at our cargo securing page for solutions and products and check cargo coaching for specialist training on cargo securing. Naturally, you can also contact me directly on 06 – 53 32 95 23.

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