There are many challenges to the complicated process of refrigerated trucking. To keep customers safe, abide by regulations, and ensure food freshness, the proper temperature must be maintained at all times. But this is far easier said than done. For the successful execution of delivery, all functions of a refrigerated trailer must be knowledge that is embedded in a refrigerated goods transport driver’s mind. Facing the industry today are the refrigerated trucking challenges detailed below. Fortunately, good fleet management can go a long way in overcoming refrigerated trucking challenges.
Failure of Equipment
Even the most high-tech equipment is only reliable right up until it isn’t. Equipment breaks and malfunctions – it’s a fact of life. In the reefer business, the following are common malfunctions:
- Bulkhead blockage
- Damage to door seals
- Sensor malfunction
- Condenser issues
- Damage to air chutes
- Faulty calibration
- Faulty hoses and belts
- Fluid leaks
The quality of your load can be compromised when the inside temperature of your reefer unit is affected as a result of these problems not being dealt with in an expeditious manner! Over 200 fault codes and alarms are currently being used in modern refrigeration units to try to head equipment failure off at the pass. Conduct regular maintenance checks in addition to relying on alarm technology, to be safe.
Refrigerated Trucking Mistakes by Drivers
As long as drivers are only human, mistakes will happen. If you’re familiar with technology in any way, you know that mistakes will still probably happen when driving is done by robots, computers, and machines.
Regardless, the setting of reefer unit controls must be part of reefer truck operator training. Otherwise, confusion and mistakes can occur where continuous-run mode and start-stop mode are concerned. Additionally, when an alarm is triggered, the driver must be able to identify the problem and respond appropriately. Visual inspections are another hot button. They simply must be done – there are no two ways about it. A lot of the mistakes made by drivers can be rectified by simple instructional video viewing.
Issues with Compliance
To prevent food contamination while being transported, the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule was finalized by the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2016. Why was this done? It was in response to outbreaks of salmonella and listeria related to food handling. Unfortunately, sanitation and cleaning are left pretty much to the discretion of the driver because the document fails to clearly define either. The likelihood of food contamination increases as a result of this ambiguity. Be responsible – do your part to see to it that your transport vehicles are clean and sanitary. It’s good business and common sense.
Quality Carrier Identification
Thanks to all of the above challenges, and the one listed below, finding a knowledgeable and experienced carrier to transport refrigerated loads in a problem free manner is difficult, at best. Couple that with the still existing trucker shortage, and you’ve got a real problem on your hands.
Above all other challenges, this is the most obvious and very probably the most serious. If that temperature drops, you run the risk of losing the integrity of your load. Not only will your reputation suffer, you’re going to lose money in the process.
Need parts or maintenance for your refrigerated truck or some other type of trailer or shipping mode? Talk to the experts at Mickey Genuine Parts. We have certified service centers located throughout the United States as well as all the parts you’ll need, should you do your own maintenance. If you’re in the market for a new trailer but want to save some money, check out our used equipment. If you have any questions or would like to place an order, contact a representative at Mickey today.