Dry Van Trailers vs Reefers

When it comes to comparing a dry van to a reefer trailer, there are many similarities. What sets them apart, of course, is the ability to refrigerate their contents. That is oversimplifying the matter, however. In the United States today, there are roughly 400,000 reefers on the road and approximately 1.7 million drive vans. That’s a lot of trailers!

Let’s take a look at each of these hauling options so that we can better understand both of them.

The Drive Van Trailers Up Close and Personal

Sometimes referred to as a box trailer, a dry van is one of North America’s most common types of semi-trailers in the commercial road transport business. When a trailer is uncoupled from the fifth wheel attachment, it has legs that support its weight. Measurements for dry vans are usually 53 feet in length and 48 feet in width.

Normally they’re used to transport electronics, furniture, appliances, and other dry freight. Some trailers require a portable loading ramp or a lift gate to accommodate certain loading docks. Additional dry van trailer features can include an e-track system, aerodynamic skirts, rub rails, roll-up doors, and heating and/or installation.

Examining a Reefer

This refrigerated trailer is basically a dry van with refrigeration capabilities and installation. Normal measurements are between 55 feet and 48 feet in length. These units are made to haul, within one run, multiple LTL shipments.

The basic components in a reefer are a condenser, evaporator, compressor, and the engine. Additional parts can include a heater access panel, controller keypad/display, temperature recorder, and fresh air flow valve.

The design of referrer units makes them ideal for transporting temperature sensitive, perishable goods like chemicals, pharmaceuticals, produce, and frozen food products. To ensure excellent condition of the goods within, reefers need to be pre-cooled prior to shipment. This is a crucial point because a refrigeration unit such as this is not made for the initial cooling of a product; but simply to maintain the required temperature. Some reefers even allow for various temperatures within different sections of the trailer.

A refrigerated trailer’s physical features can consist of the following: scuff plates, impact absorbing sidewall liner, a translucent roof that is tear-resistant, and UV wave reflecting roof to discourage the generation of heat from the sun.

To Sum It All up

You can move a lot of bulk and protect your freight against theft, damage, and the elements with a dry van. But the hardwood floors that come with most dry vans are susceptible to damage from leakage and moisture.

Refers, on the other hand, offer the added bonus of being able to transport perishable goods that need cooling, while still having many of a dry van’s advantages. If, however, malfunctions occur within the reefer, your product could spoil. Operating costs are a little bit higher with the reefer, as well, because of the extra fuel consumption required.

Whether you need a dry van, bulk trailer, reefer unit, or party trailer, you need look no further than Mickey Genuine Parts. We have new and used vehicles, trailers, and parts. Contact one of our knowledgeable and experienced customer service representatives today to find out more.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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