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What Are Refrigerated Trucks? State Its Importance And Challenges

Refrigerated trucks are used to transport perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, etc and pharmaceutical products. During shipment such types of products are chilled or frozen for preservation.

What are Refrigerated Trucks and How Do Reefer Units Work?

In the trucking industry, a "reefer" is a refrigerated trailer that gets attached to a semi-truck in order to transport perishables and other temperature-sensitive goods. It was originally the ice cream industry that gave birth to the reefer around 1925. Reefer Trailer can also be used for heated goods.

These units operate on a closed system. Refrigerated trailer system is all about removing heat and maintaining a stable temperature. These units operate by collecting and pumping heat throughout the system. Now we will discuss the core components of reefer units.

Components of Reefer Units and the Cooling Cycle

Compressor -A small engine within the reefer unit drives the compressor. The compressor draws into gaseous refrigerant and compresses it. The pressure that is generated through this liquefies the gas it gives off heat to the body of the compressor and the air itself. Then the temperature is fairly warm and the refrigerant goes through to the condenser.

Condenser - It receives the liquid from the compressor then the heat exchange process starts. The warmth of liquid flows through the walls of the tubing and then outside to the attached fins. The fins produce more surface area with which it cools outside air that comes in via condenser fan. This procedure is quite similar to how a radiator cools an engine.

Evaporator -Evaporator is inside the trailer. Right at this time, the refrigerant has given up most of its heat to the condenser and becomes a cool liquid. Then it goes into the evaporator via a meeting valve. This meeting valve controls the amount of cooling. Now the cool liquid refrigerant expands, turning back into a gas inside the evaporator. It absorbs a great amount of heat from the surrounding finned coils in the process. Air inside the trailer then blows over the evaporator. Then the air goes back into the compressor and the cycle starts again.

Next, I want to briefly touch on what parts make up the reefer trailer.

Parts of a Reefer Trailer

Reefer trailers have more parts than up to the mark shipping trailers. Here are the various parts:

  • Reefer unit
  • Air chute
  • Tire inflation systems
  • Insulated box
  • Air ride suspension

Most reefer trailers are 53 feet long, though they are available in other sizes too.

The Greater Impact on Reefer Transportation

Probably, by now it is clear how important reefers are to the industry of logistics. Imperative goods can only be hauled using reefer trucks. You will discover many branches to the tree of logistics services. The most pertinent is reefer freight.

To haul dry freight you can also use reefer trailers. As a carrier it allows terrific versatility. During the height of growing seasons dry freight runs can be key in getting your drivers to the higher paying reefer freight.

There is a higher degree of risk and responsibility that can come with refrigerated freight shipping services. Truck drivers must be highly vigilant in ensuring that the reefer unit is set to the right temperature. You should also be equally aware of the reefer unit whether it is properly maintained or not. There should be no failure that spoils the product or you may end up eating the cost of the entire load. As a Fleet Manager, you need to find and hire drivers who are diligent and trustworthy. To retain such drivers while keeping low costs, use a Fleet Management System to keep things running smoothly and ensure drivers receive their pay on time. Whether to run reefer trucks or not you should consider all of these important factors.

The Greater Impact on Reefer Transportation

Typically reefer trailers come in standard lengths between 28 and 53 feet and do not exceed 13.5 feet in height. The load on a reefer truck should never exceed 44,000 pounds Alternatively, for smaller loads of temperature controlled goods, refrigerated vans and sprinters can be used.Couriers often use refrigerated sprinters to transport goods quickly on a local level. In this case, the vehicle itself has a built-in refrigerated container rather than a removable trailer.

Types of Controlled Temperature Transports

The refrigerated trucks have a great variety depending on the characteristics they offer.

All trucks don't serve the same function. Depending on the temperature and merchandise the vehicles can be defined in the following ways:

  • Isothermal TruckThis type of truck does not have an engine that lowers the temperature inside the truck. It has insulating walls as well as the floor and ceiling inside the merchandise section. This makes the temperature noticeable between the exterior and interior.
  • Refrigerated Truck The isothermal vehicle manages to reduce the temperature inside the cargo area and preserve it in case the average temperature outside lies between 30 degrees to 20 degrees. Everything will depend on the vehicle.
  • Fully Integrated Refrigerated TruckThis truck has a device which provides cold to the inside of the cargo box. In this way, it reduces the temperature inside the merchandise and it keeps a stable temperature between 12 to -20 degrees depending on the vehicle being used.
  • Calorific Truck

    This isothermal vehicle generates heat and it manages to increase the internal temperature and keeps it stable for around 12 hours. The temperature is invariably above 12 degrees.

    These are the different types of refrigerated trucks that exist depending on the type of cargo carried. So, do you need a refrigerated truck service to transport your perishable goods? Get in touch with the professionals at National Freight Logistics. They provide temperature controlled delivery services to businesses and individual clients. We have the best refrigerated shipping companies across the USA for reefer loads.