Refrigerated trailers, also known as reefer trailers, are a fundamental piece of equipment in the transportation industry. Understanding how these trailers work will help you select the best option for your business. Keep reading to get the ultimate guide to using reefer trailers for temperature control.
Why You Need a Reefer Trailer
Of course the primary advantage of a refrigerated trailer is temperature control. Having an insulated truck with refrigeration lets you pick exactly what temperature your items are transported at. When most people think of reefer trailer uses, they consider food. It is true that a refrigerated truck is an excellent way to transport meat, dairy, produce, and other food items that will spoil if they get warm, but that is not their only use. They can also transport sodas, juices, and beers, so you get ice cold beverages ready to serve as soon as they arrive.Another of the uses of refrigeration is for products like makeup, scientific equipment, or medicine that may spoil if it gets too hot. Even if you do not need items to remain extremely cold, refrigerated trucks are useful for transporting items that cannot manage the high heat from a normal trailer. Thanks to the insulation in the trucks, your items will also be protected from dust, debris, snow, and rain. Having a refrigerated trailer helps you expand your business to carry a variety of products associated with very lucrative transportation contracts.
How to Choose the Right Type of Reefer Trailer
When you start looking for a reefer trailer for sale,
you will quickly find that there are multiple types to choose from. The first thing to consider is size. Trailers can come anywhere between 28 and 53 feet in length, so there is a lot of variation in cubic feet of storage. If you need something smaller, there are also refrigerated vans or sprinters to consider. Sprinters have the refrigeration unit built into the vehicle, so they do not require a separate truck to haul the trailer. This can work well for short trips with smaller loads, but it is not ideal when hauling large amounts of refrigerated beverages on a regular basis.Next you need to think about temperature levels. Some trucks get cold enough to transport frozen or refrigerated items while others are strictly for items that need refrigeration without freezing. Finally, you can pick from a variety of refrigeration types. Some systems use a system involving liquid nitrogen or frozen carbon dioxide to cryogenically cool without external power supplies. Other styles may have refrigeration powered by fuel or even back-up refrigeration units to provide steady climate control for as long as you need.
Care and Maintenance for Reefer Trailers
Care and maintenance for reefer trailers is a little different than the care of a traditional trailer. Of course drivers and owners do need to routinely deal with things like batteries, tires, starters, and all the other parts that regularly need maintenance on any truck or trailer. However, there are also some unique things to consider. One big thing to keep in mind is that many refrigerated trailers rely on the truck’s fuel for power, so you may need more frequent stops for gas when hauling a reefer trailer.The refrigeration unit needs to be regularly calibrated to ensure that it is running properly, and belts and hoses on the unit should be replaced every 1,500 hours to keep wear and tear from damaging the unit. The condenser and evaporator from the refrigeration unit may occasionally cause problems, so it is important to know how this equipment works too. When transporting food, there are all sorts of additional regulations in place by the FDA. Proper cleaning is essential to keep mold, moisture, or other problems from contaminating food. Reefer trailers may need to be regularly swept to remove food debris, and occasionally power washing and sanitizing routines may be recommended. Reefer trailers that transport common food allergens like peanuts may need to be kept separate to avoid cross contamination.Reefer trailers are a must-have if you are transporting food or other temperature sensitive items. Picking the right style of reefer trailer for you will help you make sure all your transportation needs are fulfilled.