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An Encyclopedia of Reefer Trailers

Have you ever wondered how perishable goods are transported through the long trip and reach you safe and sound? Well, the answer is reefer trailers. Reefer Trailers, namely, refrigerated trailers, have an in-built system to control the humidity and temperature inside the carriage. We’ll go deeper into reefer trailers in this blog post and discuss how crucial they are to the cold chain business. We’ll also talk about the difficulties with reefer trailers and expose you to some of the top producers. So continue reading if you’re curious to learn more about reefer trailers!



A Brief Overview of Reefer Trailers

A refrigerated semi-trailer is known as a reefer trailer. Refrigerator is the root of the term “reefer.” To keep perishable goods chilled or frozen, utilize a reefer trailer. On the trailer’s front is a refrigeration unit. The trailer’s air is cooled by the refrigeration unit. The temperature inside the reefer trailer is managed by a thermostat. It also contains a backup power source in case of a power loss and a fan to circulate the air within the trailer.


The reefer trailer has a door on the front and is hitched to the tractor with a fifth wheel. The refrigerator compartment is accessed through the door. Additionally, there is a rear door that leads to the refrigerated carriage. A ramp for loading and unloading reefer trailers is located on the back of the trailer.



The History of Reefer Trailers

Reefer trailers were utilized in the early days of trucking to transport perishable items like fruit and dairy products. These trailers included an ice storage mechanism that allowed them to keep their load chilled for days at a time. The 1930s saw the construction of the first reefers, which swiftly rose to prominence in the transportation sector.


The development of refrigerated trailers, which could keep perishable goods cold for weeks at a time, changed the trucking industry in the 1950s. Due to this, truckers could transport cargo across the nation without being concerned about it going bad. These trailers are still used to transport perishable commodities today, but they are also used to transport a wide range of other goods, such as live stocks, flowers, and medications.


This is a component of “cold chain logistics,” a technique and technology that permits the safe delivery of goods that must maintain a certain temperature along the entire supply chain.



Different Parts of a Reefer Trailer

The majority of reefer trailers are 53 feet long, however, they come in a wide range of sizes. Evidently, they have more pieces than typical transport trailers. These components include:


  • The trailer refrigeration unit (TRU): A self-contained refrigeration device that draws diesel fuel from a tank that is tucked beneath the trailer. Additionally, it features a tiny diesel engine and a compressor for the refrigerant. While keeping track of the inside temperature of the trailer compartment, this gadget cycles as needed to maintain the predetermined temperature.


  • Insulated Container: The walls of reefer trailers are lined with foam insulation, and the doors are airtightly sealed. This ensures that the temperature remains constant throughout the voyage.


  • A Chute for Air: Reefer trailers require ample air movement to maintain a constant interior temperature, hence air must be able to circulate freely throughout the trailer. Because of this, some reefers have an air supply duct connecting to the inside ceiling. This chute distributes air from the front of the trailer to the back. The majority of reefers also have metal floor channels that allow air to circulate uniformly underneath the transported product.


  • Temperature Regulator: The temperature is managed and regulated to suit the needs of the user using a control panel on the TRU’s driver’s side. If necessary, a TRU can deliver warmth in addition to chilling to maintain the freight’s ideal temperature.


  • Air Ride Suspension: An airbag is normally found at each corner of a TRU air ride suspension. A compressor and air tank system that is operated by the driver inflates and deflates the airbags. It is possible to level the vehicle and improve the ride quality by adjusting the air pressure in the bags.


In addition to the fuel needed for the truck, reefer trailers require gasoline. About 50 gallons of fuel can fit in a reefer tank. However, a reefer trailer’s closed system means that a trucker’s driving technique has no effect on the fuel consumption of a reefer trailer.



How Does a Trailer Refrigeration Unit Work?

A refrigerated container called a “reefer unit” is used to ship perishable commodities. It has a refrigeration system that keeps the interior at a constant temperature between -40°F and 80°F. The refrigeration system is run by a diesel engine that consumes fuel to produce the necessary power, and it is controlled by a thermostat. The ventilation system of the reefer unit circulates air and keeps moisture from forming within the container. The reefer unit is frequently mounted on a chassis and can be shipped, railroaded, or transported by vehicle.



Components of a Trailer Refrigeration Unit

Perishable commodities are transported in reefer units, which are refrigerated trailers. They have a mechanism in place to control the humidity and temperature inside the trailer. A thermostat and a humidity sensor operate the system. In case of a power outage, it also features a backup power source. A reefer unit’s essential parts include:


· The Compressor: The compressor, which takes in and compresses the gaseous refrigerant to liquefy it and produce heat, is powered by a little engine.

· The condenser: When entering the condenser for heat exchange, the liquid from the compressor fills the tube all the way to the attached fins. These fins aid in cooling the outside air that enters the condenser, just like radiators do.

· The Evaporator: The trailer’s evaporator’s metering valve, which controls cooling, receives the liquid when it has cooled. The liquid refrigerant is heated by the finned coils as it expands and changes back into a gas. After the evaporator is exposed to the cooled air within the trailer, the compressor is employed to restart the cooling cycle.


The Challenges Associated With Reefer Trailers

Reefer trailers are among the most adaptable trailers on the market, but they have a special set of difficulties. The most important of these is the necessity to keep the trailer at a constant temperature, which can be difficult to achieve in hot or cold weather. The cargo may be harmed or spoiled if the temperature inside the trailer swings too far either way. Due to their unique cooling and heating requirements, reefer trucks are outfitted with these systems.


They must also be periodically cleaned and sterilized because they are frequently used to convey perishable goods. Although maintaining the trailer in good condition might be time- and labor-intensive, it is crucial.


Finally, reefer trailers can be costly to run and maintain, so it’s important to think carefully about whether or not one is appropriate for your company before making an investment. A reefer trailer, however, can be a useful tool for any company that has to carry goods that must maintain a specific temperature with careful planning and administration.


The Future of Reefer Trailers

The reefer trailer is a crucial component of the transportation sector, and it has a very promising future. As the transport of perishable commodities grows more and more widespread, the demand for reefer trailers is anticipated to increase.


The future of reefer trailers will be influenced by a number of different things. First, technical developments in the transportation sector are probably going to improve the efficiency and dependability of reefer trailers. They will become even more crucial for companies that carry perishable goods as a result. Furthermore, as the world economy expands, there will probably be more international trade, which will raise the demand for reefer trailers.


Transporting items that are sensitive to temperature across long distances is becoming more and more necessary as the world gets increasingly interconnected. Reefer trailers are useful in this situation. Perishable commodities are transported in reefer trailers, which are refrigerated trailers. They have a system that controls the humidity and temperature inside the trailer.

Kingclima is a professional vehicle cooling solution provider. We offer refrigeration unit and air conditioner for trucks, vans, trailers, and RVs. Being a leading manufacturer of vehicle referigeration unit and AC unit, Kingclima has dived into the industry for 20 years. Trucst Kingclima, follow the market trend, make perfect cooling solution.
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