What is a reefer trailer? You have probably seen refrigerated shipping containers on the road. Yep! they are also known as reefer trailers and they are essentially used for transporting perishable and temperature-sensitive goods. The average size of a reefer trailer is between 28 and 53 feet in length and no more than 13.5 feet in height. Some of the common industrial application for reefers include.
- Emergency response and disaster planning
- Medical and correction facilities
- Government foodservice operations
Today’s refrigerated trailers are made of sturdy, lightweight and corrosion-resistant composite aluminum sheet and post. Consequently reducing trailer’s weight and increase its efficiency. As a fleet manager, you have probably thought of adding reefers into your fleet to expand your operations.
Here is a look at some of those key areas you need to consider to make an informed decision about the type of reefer unit to choose.
- The cost of maintaining your current trailers and refrigeration expense
- Maximum trailer weight
- Primary and secondary trailer application
- Customer’s current insulation packaging solutions and how efficient they are in thermo performance and fuel costs.
- How long trailers are expected to be on service.
Reefer Trailer Cost of Ownership
The cost of owning a refrigerated trailer is relatively high than a regular van trailer. This is due to overtime degradation caused by improper insulation of the box from outside contaminants such as water. This causes your new reefer trailer to lose its insulation capability, increasing your refrigeration fuel costs.
Additionally, the cost of maintaining and repairing reefer trailers is generally high because of the complexity of refrigerated boxes. And unlike normal dry boxes, refrigerated trailers don’t last many years. A typical reefer trailer can offer service for up to 7 years, 3 years hauling deep frozen goods and the rest running frozen and produce.
Refrigeration insulation capability of reefer trailers degrades with time, with a rate of 3% to 5 % per year. To maintain a consistent freight temperature, the reefer unit needs extra hours of operation, increasing fuel consumption. If you are investing in used reefer trailers or new ones, consider products such as stainless steel, undercoating and hot-dipped galvanizing to extend your trailer’s life.
What is a Reefer Trailer and the Latest Technical Advancements
- There have been numerous technological advances in the manufacturing of refrigerated trailers. One is the application of thermoplastic interior liners or fastener-free sideliners. They are used to insulate the walls of a trailer from water paths and minimizing interior air loss. They are also ideal in eliminating shearing and tear-out stresses of interior fastener heads.
- Another improvement is in the solar guard roof feature pigments designed to block UV ray absorption. This material prevents heat transfer when the trailer’s roof is subjected to the sun, reducing fuel consumption and reefer unit operating costs. Also, solar guard trailer roof helps maintain a constant freight temperature in transit.
- Improved thermal performance and fuel efficiency is the third advancement in reefer trailers. A reefer with good thermal performance positively impacts on overall fuel costs because it requires less fuel to sustain the required temperature.
What is a Reefer Trailer and how to Boost Its Fuel Efficiency
Lastly, customizing your trailer’s engine and reducing the load hauled can improve fuel efficiency, however, the results are small. Such an insignificant reduction in fuel consumption can’t justify engine customization. One of the most effective ways of making your reefer trailer is by using electric standby. For optimal savings, consider investing in a hybrid reefer unit that features an all-electric design.