Disadvantages of Agricultural Hail Netting for Vehicles

02.15.22

When it comes to covering your parking lots and protecting your vehicles, you're looking for hail protection that will last. Unfortunately, for many automotive manufacturers, dealers, and commercial parking providers, traditional hail protection netting often fails to deliver lasting results and could leave your vehicles vulnerable to catastrophic damage.

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Importance of Agricultural Hail Protection

If you're looking for the best way to protect your fleet, read on to learn more about the disadvantages of agricultural hail net structures for auto dealers and other automotive applications — and what you can do instead to protect your inventory or fleet.

What Is Hail Netting?

Since the mid-1990's, automotive hail damage has been on the rise, not only in the Central and Southeast regions of the U.S., but also across large portions of Europe. Auto assembly plants, auto dealerships, airports, and other areas with high-vehicle volumes report multiple cases of lost revenue every year during hail season, but few have sufficient hail protection in place.

Today, many logistic and risk mitigation professionals are turning to agricultural hail netting to combat disruption to their respective supply chains. Too often, these nets are modified products designed specifically for the agricultural industry to protect crops from hail. They are lightweight in design, are deployed when inclement weather is in the forecast, and require regular maintenance. Manufacturers of these products claim they can effectively protect vehicles from the damage caused by hail storms, but these designs fail to provide the durable weather protection you demand.

Disadvantages of "Ag Netting" for Automotive Applications

Modified agricultural hail nets may appear to provide adequate protection from hail, but the lightweight nature of their design often won't hold up to today's inclement weather, much less the building codes of your local municipality. Some of the disadvantages of "ag netting" for vehicles include:

  • Lifespan: Most ag-based hail net products are not intended to be used as long-term solutions. Very few are designed to support large vehicles fleets over the long term. Hail protection products that aren't designed, engineered, and built to withstand exposure to the elements over a long period of time will need to be maintained or replaced often, thus becoming a costly and time-consuming effort. When it comes to using these hail nets for cars, consider alternative protection solutions that can last much longer.
  • Durability: Lightweight ag netting can rip and tear across the seasons, opening your staged inventories to inclement weather. If you manage large vehicle staging areas, you might not notice failures in this type of netting until it's too late. If you're looking to protect your fleet, a sturdier, longer-lasting option is the way to go.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Sub-par ag netting products are one of the cheapest solutions for hail protection — at first glance. However, excessive maintenance and a short lifespan quickly make these cheaper products not worth the money you save upfront.
  • Compliance: Regions prone to inclement weather outline specific building codes for all types of structures. If these codes aren't followed, the people or property inside the structure could be severely hurt or damaged. Most ag netting products are not designed to meet local building codes and simply cannot withstand moderate to significant weather events.

Alternative to Hail Netting for Cars

An Alternative Solution — Automotive Hail Protection Structures from VPS

Hail causes billions of dollars of damage to agricultural vehicles each year. However, commercial hail netting may not adequately protect a business's inventory. Hail protection canopies are more durable than agricultural hail protection netting, which may not be able to withstand more severe storms. A range of markets can use hail protection canopies, including airportsauto assembly plants and dealershipscar rental facilities, and rooftop parking lots.

Using hail protection canopies offers many benefits, including:

  • Better protection from the elements: The most obvious benefit is, hail canopies can provide more comprehensive protection from the weather. They're more durable than netting, as they can last for years, and they can cover large areas for widespread coverage. Plus, businesses can reduce the chance of liabilities by helping to minimize the risk that a visitor's car becomes damaged and potentially decrease insurance premiums..
  • Attractive hail protection solution: Commercial hail netting may be unsightly. However, hail protection canopies are an attractive solution for shielding vehicles from the elements. Cantilever structures are attractive and can be designed to match brand identity. They also have fewer columns for quicker installation, allowing for a free, unobstructed area underneath. They can even be designed for internal wiring to support lights and surveillance cameras. VPS offers many designs, including the HeritagePanoramaCypress, and Crescent series. 
  • Lower commercial energy costs: Hail protection canopies with solar panels can help cut commercial energy costs while protecting vehicles. Many customers value sustainable, environmentally friendly design. Parking canopies with solar panels can help a business become Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified, attracting new business and reducing energy costs. Many new structures with solar panels also qualify for tax incentives, saving a business even more money.
  • Reduced downtime: When hail damages vehicles, companies must take the time to make repairs. Canopies protect vehicles from hail damage, keeping them in working operation so businesses can rest assured their inventory is protected from the elements. They can put their energy toward tasks related to operating their company instead of frequently checking the weather forecast.
  • Sunlight shading: Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage vehicles, fading their interiors and causing exterior paint to peel and fade. The sun also can cause the inside of vehicles to become uncomfortably warm. Canopies shield vehicles from the sun to help maintain a cooler, more consistent internal temperature while keeping them looking new for longer.

Contact VPS for Commercial Hail Protection Structures

If commercial hail netting products aren't the answer, then how can you prevent massive losses to your inventory during a hail event? The answer is simple — VPS.

For more than 25 years, VPS has helped auto assembly plants, auto dealerships, and commercial parking owners keep their vehicles safe. Instead of traditional hail netting, VPS uses a durable, heavyweight HDPE fabric to provide permanent solutions for parking areas both large and small.

Due to the modular nature of our designs, VPS products can cover up to thousands of vehicles at one time, and are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional. Choose from a variety of colors and designs to match your unique preferences — each custom solution offers the same level of durability and protection that make us the preferred choice of auto manufacturers and auto dealers.

VPS represents more than 95% of all automotive hail protection across North America, and we're confident we can help you discover the difference in industry-leading automotive hail protection technology from VPS. For more information or to receive a free quote, contact us today.