How to Fix My Curtainside Trailer

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 21, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson


Curtainsides have handled extreme loads over millions of miles... yet any freight vehicle is subject to wear and tear. Like a conventional flatbed or enclosed van, a curtainside trailer takes a beating during service on the road. Even though the construction of Roland Curtains are the best in the market, accidental damage or wear-related issues may need a fix.

Some manufacturers market curtain materials as “rip-proof.” The fact is, no curtain material resists all rips, tears or cuts from any and all sources. For demanding or high-security applications, a net of steel webbing is welded to the interior of the curtain for extra protection. Yet the standard, heavy-duty polyester curtain may be subject to rips or tears as a result of random "stuff that happens" in any busy fleet.

Fixing a damaged curtainsider is doable by the maintenance crew at most facilities. Gluing patches or stitching is not recommended because they present durability and cosmetic issues. The best practice for repairing small holes and tears is the heat gun method. Bonding the patch with heat provides equal strength and weather-resistance as a new curtain. Roland offers a heat gun curtain repair kit that should be on hand in the maintenance shop or carried in the truck. Here’s a basic overview of what’s involved in curtainside repair:


1. Check The Tear

First assess the extent of the damage. Check to see if the puncture has affected one of the post pockets, or has extended across any welded portions of the curtain. If so, the damage is generally not suitable for repair by fleet maintenance and should be returned to the manufacturer for repair.


2. Prepare For Patching

Turn on the heat gun to allow time for it to warm up to operating temperature, which at it's hottest setting will be 1500 degrees. Curtainside patching is a two-person job. Give the second person a clean, flat board to hold against the outside of the curtain to provide a firm base for the application of the patch inside.


3. Apply The Patch

Clean both sides of the curtain around the damaged area with denatured alcohol and allow the surface to dry. Cut a piece of the curtain patching material supplied with the repair kit large enough to overlap the damaged area by two to three inches on all sides. If possible, cut the patch in a circular shape to remove corners that cause weak adhesion. The patch is always applied to the interior of the curtain.

  • Center the patching material over the damaged part of the curtain.
  • Hold the flat board against the damaged area on the exterior of the curtain.
  • Insert the flat tip of the heat gun between the curtain and the patch. Take your time to heat both materials to the proper temperature.
  • Use the included silicone rubber roller to press the heated material together firmly. Apply intense, uniform pressure to ensure adhesion.
  • Gradually work your way from the center of the patch out to the edges with the roller.


Need more help?

Have an other than a curtain tear? Roland also stocks routine maintenance items and a complete line of replacement parts.

Contact a Roland Curtain representative for more advice with unusual circumstances or just ask a question here.

Request Info!

Topics: Curtainside Trailers, Fleet Maintenance

Pete Johnson

Written by Pete Johnson

Vice President, General Manager & Co-founder of Roland Curtains Inc. Pete was the first US employee for Roland International opening the US manufacturing business while creating sales in North, Central, and South America.

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