It is critical to load your truck correctly, regardless of the type of truck you are hauling. Improper loading can cause a variety of issues, such as damage to the freight or the trailer, injuries to those tasked with unloading the trailer at your destination, and so on.
The proper loading of a refrigerated truck (also known as a reefer trailer) is critical. Not only can items shift or fall if the trailer contents are not properly arranged, but cooled items can reach unsafe temperatures and spoilage can occur if you are not cautious.
The eight steps listed below should be followed every time you use a reefer trailer, whether it’s one in your fleet or a leased or rented truck.
When loading a reefer truck, do the following to help ensure that the goods you’re transporting stay properly cooled and that your equipment doesn’t have to work overtime to keep them that way.
Reefer trucks are not intended to chill warm goods; rather, they are intended to keep chilled goods cool. To put it another way, if items are supposed to be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit during their journey, they should be at that temperature when they’re loaded. This is best for both them and the truck’s refrigeration unit.
Having your cargo pre-cooled is useless if it is then allowed to sit on a warm loading dock for an extended period of time. Time your loading as much as possible so that cargo can be moved from cold storage to your cold truck quickly and efficiently.
The residual heat in a reefer truck’s floor, walls, and ceiling can transfer to the cargo you load. As a result, it’s critical to get the trailer to the desired transport temperature before loading it. Warming may occur during the loading process, but it will be minimal, and the trailer’s cooling unit will easily catch up.
Airflow is essential for keeping goods cool in a reefer truck. Anything that restricts airflow increases the likelihood of hotspots forming in the trailer. As a result, you should position your cargo with at least 2 inches between the goods and the trailer sidewalls, 4 inches of clearance from the rear doors, and 9 inches of overhead clearance.
If the floor of the trailer is flat, load cargo onto pallets so that air can easily flow beneath the goods. Again, unrestricted airflow is critical.
You must be aware of how your reefer truck’s cooling system functions and take care to prevent cargo from getting in the way. For instance, objects shouldn’t obstruct the evaporator output of the cooling system.
An air chute is a flexible polyethylene, vinyl, or mesh conduit that extends from the front to the back of the trailer above the cargo. It helps guarantee even cooling by facilitating uniform air movement throughout the area.
When you get to your location, it is preferable to turn off the air conditioning. After a journey, if you leave it running with the doors open, it may draw in warm, humid air that could cause the evaporator coil to freeze. As a result, the cooling unit may frequently enter the defrost mode, which prevents it from cooling and can reduce cooling performance.
If you’ve never driven a reefer truck before, be sure you are familiar with all of its features and capabilities. For instance, several reefers offer automatic or continuous chilling. When in automated mode, the device runs as required. The engine runs faster and uses less gasoline in this mode. The engine and cooling system are continually functioning in continuous mode. When a load requires accurate, consistent temperature control, this mode—which consumes more fuel—is required.
Additionally, you must hit Enter after changing the temperature setting on the majority of reefer vehicles. A cooling device requires you to click Enter to confirm the change, unlike a home thermostat, which only requires you to touch the up or down button.
These are merely a few pieces of advice. Before you leave, familiarize yourself with your reefer trailer so that you may make quick adjustments or take on other activities without having to stop and risk damaging your payload. The last thing you need is a problem that you don’t know how to solve when transporting perishables on a scorching summer day!
Even on a long journey, a well-kept reefer truck will have no trouble maintaining the coolness of your goods. However, even neatly loaded cargo might occasionally shift, so it’s crucial to check on your load from time to time to make sure it’s remaining cool. The cooling dynamic in the trailer might change, for instance, if a portion of a pallet buckled and its contents later turned into a “roadblock” to ground-level airflow.