Can Your Reefer Truck Beat the Heat?

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August 19, 2015 by Minuteman Trucks

The primary reason refrigerated loads are rejected is for temperature variances that are either too warm or too cool. The cost of not maintaining the appropriate temperature of the load goes beyond the cost of the load itself. There are less obvious impacts to business, including the time it takes to check a load, inspecting it to see if it is salvageable, the time it takes to unload the truck, and the delay getting the replacement shipment to customers.

DSC_0578_WebIdealease is a company that succeeds when our trucks are on the road being used by our customers, not in the shop being repaired.  Proper maintenance of the truck and the reefer unit will ensure that your business keeps running. Whether it is a Full Service Lease or Contract Maintenance, we will make sure to consistently provide peace of mind so you can focus on what you do well rather than worry about the truck.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of your Reefer Unit

Performing a proper Pre-trip on TK and Carrier Units

There is no doubt that refrigerated transport is a critical piece of our ongoing success.  And, part of that success is making certain the trucks in our care are functioning properly.

An easy way to determine the health of the refrigerated unit is to perform an automatic pretrip.  An automatic pretrip will test a variety of systems on the refrigerated unit.

Carrier Transicold truck refrigeration units are capable of performing an automatic pretrip that will automatically start the unit and move it through each of its operating modes:  Low Speed Cool, High Speed Cool, Low Speed Heat, High Speed Heat, and Defrost.

Thermo King truck refrigeration units are capable of performing the same test as Carrier, but with the addition of testing nearly 40 inputs and outputs of the system microprocessor as well.

These automatic pretrip tests are critical in validating the integrity of the refrigeration unit to keep product safe, and should be performed before product is loaded and after product delivery.

Loading and Delivery Best Practices
  • Pretrip your truck/trailer before pre-cooling and loading product:
    • Initiate an automatic pretrip to identify any operational concerns while the reefer cycles through all of its modes. Do not load trailer if alarm codes indicate service is needed.
    • Inspect the condition of the truck/trailer, noting any damage to the insulation, door seals, and defrost drains.
    • Clean inside of truck/trailer. To prevent contamination hazards and blockage of airflow, the floor channels and refrigeration unit air stream must be free of debris.
  • Pre-cool truck/trailer:
    • Always pre-cool truck/trailer to the temperature of the product to be loaded. Doing so will remove unwanted heat from the truck/trailer walls, floor and ceiling. Remember refrigeration units are not designed to lower product temperature.
  • Load product with the proper loading pattern:
    • Product should be loaded quickly and efficiently using the proper loading patterns that maximize air circulation around and through the product load. Product should never be loaded tightly against the evaporator housing, doors, walls, ceiling, or tightly against other pallets of product. All six sides of all pallets should be exposed to airflow.
  • Delivery Practices:
    • Inspect strip curtains (if used), report any damage to your supervisor.
    • Be certain reefer unit is off when opening doors, reefers will pull in warm, humid air if the door is left open while the unit is running.
    • Minimize door opening duration to further reduce this intake of warm outside air. Remember, the longer the doors are open, the longer it will take to regain the proper temperature.
    • Move product quickly when delivering to cross dock locations.



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