When you were a little kid, there was no better sound than the song the ice cream truck played as it rolled down the street. Now that you are older, you are more sophisticated and you listen for the sound of the doorbell because you know your Schwan's Delivery will arrive soon.
Have you ever been curious about what enables such wonders to occur? When food or medicine is delivered by a truck and it needs refrigeration, it will be delivered in a reefer truck. This amazing technology has enabled people to enjoy foods they never would have gotten to try in their hometown. It helps to feed frontline soldiers and help to transport critical supplies to the military. It also helps patients get life-saving medicine in certain cases
What's a Reefer Truck?
“Reefer” isn’t only slang for a relaxing herb, it is also short for a refrigerator truck. Reefer trucks are simply standard cab trucks with a trailer that is refrigerated. In a nutshell, it is a semi with a refrigerated trailer attached, It is designed to transport goods that are perishable.
These trailers differ from cooling vans, which are just insulated and vented.
What makes a reefer truck special?
Unlike cooling vans, reefers include an active cooling system. This is very beneficial because it enables drivers to transport frozen as well as refrigerated cargo. There are even some rare reefer trucks that haul heated goods.
There are two main kinds of cooling methods that reefer trucks use. There are cryogenic systems and diesel-powered vehicles.
How Reefer Units Operate
A refrigerated trailer system removes heat and maintains a steady temperature. They collect and pump heat within the system. There are a few basic parts and principles that make a reefer truck work.
Parts of a Reefer Truck
- The Compressor: The compressor draws in a gaseous refrigerant and compresses it. It is driven by a small engine inside the reefer unit.
The pressure from the compression turns the gas into a liquid. This results in the body of the compressor and the air heating up. The temperature is still warm, at this point and the refrigerant goes travels into the condenser.
- The Condenser: The condenser takes in the refrigerant from the compressor. The process of heat exchange begins. The heat from the liquid flows to the tubing walls, then it flows to the outside of fins that are attached to it. The fins make for a bigger surface area to lower the temperature of outside air that enters through the condenser fan. It works in the same fashion as a radiator cooling an engine.
- The Evaporator: There is an evaporator inside the trailer. Once the refrigerant has released the majority of its heat to the condenser it becomes a cool liquid. It travels into the evaporator via a metering valve. This valve regulates the level of cooling.
The cool liquid refrigerant expands and becomes a gas again. It soaks up a great deal of heat from the neighboring finned coils when this happens. The air that is inside the trailer blows over the evaporator. The air returns to the compressor, and the process begins again.
There are also a few parts that make up the trailer. Reefer trailers are around 53 ft long, but some are a bit longer.
They include an Insulated box, air chute, Air ride suspension, and a tire inflation system.
Most reefer trailers are 53 feet long, though they are available in other sizes as well.
The reefer unit needs fuel to operate and that makes it more expensive to run. Not only do you need fuel to operate the truck, have to fuel the reefer separately. this is why frozen meat and other perishable foods are so expensive to deliver.
The average reefer tank holds around 50 gallons of fuel. A full tank may last about five days.
Good maintenance and the proper temperature are key to the optimal performance of a reefer truck.
A well-running reefer unit will not consume as much fuel as a poorly-maintained unit. Since reefer fuel works on a closed system cycle, where the driver operates a vehicle will not affect its fuel consumption.
What makes reefer units exceptional is their temperature range. You can find units that have temperatures ranging from as low as negative 85 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
What are Reefer Trucks Used For?
If you want to transport temperature-sensitive or perishable products across a long distance, you must have a reefer truck. Fresh meats, imported products, and fresh produce are the most common examples of these.
Reefer units are generally used to maintain a product’s temperature. You will not be able to freeze a product in a reefer truck. The degrees can vary depending on the product and the distance.
To give an example, a package of shrimp needs to be shipped at 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The reefer trailer can maintain this temperature if it is at that temperature when it is loaded on the truck. If a product is not frozen when it goes into the reefer truck, the truck is unlikely to freeze it for you. The cycle does not have the capacity to make something colder and therefore you may end up with a truckload of rotten shrimp.
Reefers are a very significant means of transportation these days. Grocery stores, restaurants, and other companies rely on them heavily. The trucks have been around longer than you might think.
The Story of Reefers
In the 1850s, food companies struggled to find a good way to transport fresh goods. They relied on freight trains for food transportation. They often took days to get where they were going and that was not an effective way to get food from one place to another, Companies and farmers wanted an alternative to freights that would be less expensive and faster.
Companies would have to wait because the man who would make everything possible, Frederick McKinley Jones, would not be born until 1893.
A World War I veteran, Jones was self-trained in the mechanical and electronic fields. He invented one of the most significant machines in cinema history. His device finally allowed motion pictures to incorporate sound. He also invented portable air-cooling units to be used on trucks.
He eventually introduced the first fully refrigerated truck. This was significant because it was used for cooling food during World War II. Thanks to Jones, the United States government was able to transport perishable goods to military hospitals and even tents on the battlefield. The course of history might have been changed if it were not for Jones’ invention.
The Greater Impact
Today a big portion of the economy is dependent on the use of reefer trucks. In terms of logistics, reefers are very important.
If a company can only afford one truck, it is important to know that reefer trucks can be used to haul dry freight. This allows for terrific versatility as a carrier. Dry freight runs are very important to trucking companies because such runs are very lucrative. A trucking company can make a lot of money during the harvesting season.
Transporting reefer freight can be risky and it involves a lot of responsibility. A Trucking Company could get sued if a product is not properly refrigerated. Trucking companies need to be very conscientious when it comes to the reefer trucks. They make sure the temperature is set appropriately before every run.
You would be surprised how much meat arrives at the grocery store spoiled. An enormous amount of food is wasted every year because of faulty refrigeration.
If the load is spoiled, the trucking company will have to absorb the cost of fuel and labor.
How Much do Reefer Trucks Cost
The cost of a reefer truck will depend on size and capabilities. Another thing to take into consideration is installation. Insulation is important in a refrigerated truck and will make a big difference in the price.
If you need to maintain very low temperatures or even a freezer compartment, it is worth it to spend more on the installation.
There are several different types of cooling systems available in refrigerated trucks. Most refrigerated trucks have an evaporator system. It is similar to a home refrigerator. The larger a refrigerator system in a reefer truck is the more it will cost.
Some refrigerated trucks use a system that uses huge frozen beams of a heat-absorbing gel. They are frozen overnight using off-peak electricity. This is called an “eutectic cooling” system. They may not work for all kinds of products. However, they are more economical.
Buying a Reefer Truck
If you are thinking of buying a reefer truck, be sure to do your brand research online. Research your market and find out what your potential clients will need in terms of refrigeration. You will need plenty of insurance and a back-up plan if things go wrong.
If you are looking to update your fleet, you will probably need a way to get rid of your old trucks. There are a few different options for monetizing your old trucks.
Sell Your Trucks Online
You can sell anything online nowadays and trucks are no exception. There are many automobile sales sites that will let you lift the specs and pictures of your trucks online for a monthly fee. If you list your truck on a site like this, you will be in competition with many other sellers. You may have to list your truck for many months before you even get one potential buyer.
The internet might not be the best place to sell a commercial truck. There are not that many people who are interested in buying used commercial trucks online. If you do get a potential buyer, you will have to take time out of your day to show them the trucks. You may have to show the trucks multiple times before you get a buyer.
Buying a commercial truck is a major transaction and you are likely to have to hire an attorney to write up paperwork for the sale.
Sell Your Car to Us
Cash Cars Buyers can give you a great price for a used vehicle. All you have to do is fill out our simple form and wait for a call. Our form asks for your name, email address, and phone number. We will also ask for the make, model, year, VIN number, and mileage of your vehicles.
If you sell your truck online or use a broker, you will have to have the title. If you do not have the title, you will have to go to the DMV to get a new one. They charge you a fee and it may take weeks to get the title in the mail. By the time you get the title, the buyer might not be interested in buying your truck anymore.
In most cases, no title is no problem for us. We can usually buy a vehicle so long as you have the registration.
When we receive your online forms, we will call you back with an offer. If you accept the offer we will make an appointment with you to come and get your truck.
Our friendly team member will arrive right on time, inspect your truck, and tow it away for free. It really is just that easy.