A truck driver’s road is not easy to walk (or drive). With long hours stranded on the road and the responsibility of delivering products across the country, it’s easy to forget the other responsibilities of these road warriors.
These obligations are increased when perishable goods are transported in temperature-controlled vehicles. Drivers must be able to identify a variety of potential problems on their trucks. These issues can lead to product damage during transit. Here are just a few of the most common refrigerated car issues drivers should look out for.
Leaks are generally bad in any situation, but they are especially dangerous when transporting materials that require specific temperature safety zones. Leaks can come in many forms, but the two drivers to watch out for are fluid leaks and air leaks. If your refrigerated container refrigeration unit is not functioning properly, checking for leaks is the first step in solving the problem.
Like any other part of your vehicle, fluid leaks are one of the fastest ways your refrigerated truck loses time on the road. Keep an eye on normal engine fluid levels such as oil, engine coolant, and transmission oil. Although not directly related to the refrigeration unit, keeping the vehicle running is just as important as keeping the refrigeration unit in good working order.
If the problem is caused by the cooling unit, the two most likely causes are the balance tube and cooling hoses and belts. If there are noticeable temperature variations in the rear of the truck, these two areas should be examined first. The balance tube is the component that controls the flow of refrigerant liquid to the evaporator. Leakage in this area is cause for concern and should be addressed immediately.
The same applies to cracked, broken, or worn hoses and belts. There are various belts and hoses that make up the system that keeps your refrigerator running. A hole or crack in one of them can cause serious problems with your cooling system and should be fixed as soon as possible.
As with liquids, air leaks can quickly lead to product degradation if not handled properly. The biggest problem area when looking for air leaks is near the vehicle’s gaskets. If the track is not sealed, cold air can escape and warm air can enter. One of the greatest ways to mitigate this threat is to perform preventative maintenance and regular audits on refrigerated containers.
The most common place for air to escape is a broken seal. They are used elsewhere on the trailer, but doors are the most common place seals are used. Another common way for air to escape is through cracks in the air ducts that run along the trailer roof. Finally, watch out for loose, damaged, or defective door hinges that can compromise the integrity of the seal.
Calibration is important in refrigeration because it ensures that the refrigeration unit is supplying the correct amount of air required to safely transport the cargo. Problems with machine calibration can cause the system to heat up or cool down improperly, causing contamination problems. This is a problem that has gone undiagnosed for a long time because people generally think their tools are always right. After checking all other possible causes, try reconditioning the refrigerator and see if that fixes the problem.
The next common problem with refrigerated trucks, somewhat related to poor calibration, is sensor failure. A sensor informs the driver of temperature changes in the refrigerated container. However, when problems occur with these sensors, it is difficult to determine the actual cause beyond trial and error. The sensors should be checked each time the vehicle is serviced to ensure that they are correctly reporting the temperature inside the refrigerated container.
A condenser is important refrigeration hardware that acts as a heat exchanger for the entire vehicle. They work in a refrigeration unit to maintain a stable temperature, much like a truck engine radiator. A leak or damage to any of the components within the condenser can put a huge strain on the rest of the cooling system that it may not be able to overcome. Common components to inspect inside the condenser include the many coils, clamps, bolts, and tubes that make up the system.
Many refrigerated trucks are fitted with bulkheads to transport goods with varying temperature requirements. Done properly, they can divide the interior of the truck into different temperature zones. However, if there is a problem with the voltage divider, there can be some issues that cause problems with temperature control.
The first problem is the blockage of the septum. These can lead to temperature fluctuations around the track and endanger the product. Drivers must ensure a clear path through the track to avoid any blockages that can block airflow. Speaking of airflow, another common problem with partitions arises from damaged seals or bulkhead doors. This can introduce warm air into areas that can cause problems with the product.
When purchasing a new refrigeration unit, contact the air-conditioned transportation experts at Emerald Transportation Solutions. We have a wide range of refrigerated trucks to meet all your needs.
|Refrigeration Units Not Working||Evaporator Fans Work Normally||Condenser fan not work, compressors work||Check to see if the fan contacts are loose, if the fan is damaged, and if the ground wire is working.|
|Both condenser fans and compressors not working||Check for damage to the temperature detection switch (TDS), energization of electrical relays, and loose contacts.|
|Condenser fans work, compressors not Do Not Work||Check if the clutch is damaged, if the connector tab has fallen off, and if the belt is loose.|
|Evaporator Fans Do Not Work||Both condenser fans and compressors work||Check if the speed controller is working, if the fan wiring is broken, and if the blower ground wire is broken.|
|Both condenser fans and compressors Do Not Work||Check if the fuse is blown and if the electrical relay is working.|
|Compressors Work Normally||Evaporator Fans and Condenser Fans Work Normally||Overcharge the refrigerant and check if the reference amount is met on the high and low-pressure regulators|
|Do not use the truck refrigerator for a long time and check for ice packs.|
|Refrigeration Units Refrigerating Not Cold Enough||Compressors Work Normally||Evaporator Fans, Condenser Fans/
Evaporators and Condensers Work Normally
|The inlet and outlet of the liquid collector are connected in reverse. Check the expansion valve for ice or dirt and replace the liquid receiver.|
|Fans and other parts Work Normally||Make sure that the surface of the condenser is not blocked with dirt.|