Understanding Refrigerated Trailer Maintenance Best Practices

Do you run a beverage delivery business? Are you the fleet manager for a company that delivers beverages? Either way, you already know that, for nearly 150 years now, temperature sensitive freight has been delivered and distributed in a far more refined and efficient manner thanks to reefer trailers or refrigerated trailers. The terms are interchangeable.

You should also already know that without refrigerated trailer maintenance, business can come to a grinding halt. Downtime equates to money lost.

For the more convenient and faster shipping of computers, cosmetics, antiques, paintings, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and other products, thanks to reefer technology advances, the industry is booming. However, to avoid equipment failure, carriers must receive regular maintenance for temperature controls and more.

To make sure your refrigerated trailer stays in optimal condition, and to maximize its lifetime, we’ve got some helpful tips for you.

Keep the Interior Clean

After each shipment, because numerous temperature sensitive goods are transported, the interior must be cleaned. To remove shrink-wrap, leftover products, pallet wood, rocks, dirt, and anything else that could possibly inhibit proper airflow, sweep the floors. If the previous shipment was dairy, produce, or meat, to prevent cross-contamination, the trailer must be washed out. A pressure wash is a great idea.

Pre-Trip Inspections Are Critical

Before heading out on the road, to make sure everything is operating correctly, a pre-trip inspection should be done by drivers. The temperature control panel is a crucial component to the inspection. To see if it is functioning normally, it should be run through an entire cycle by the driver.

Interior and Exterior Checks

Interior checklist:

  • Check drains for clogs
  • Check walls for holes or cuts
  • Check for holes in the air chute

 Exterior checklist:

  • Look for oil leaks. Check hoses and belts for any faults.
  • Check the engine for out-of-the-ordinary noises.
  • Check the trailer body for damage.
  • Check the lights to make sure they work.
  • Check tire pressure to prevent flats.

Fuel Up

Before arriving at the loading dock, be sure the fuel tank is full. From the tank into the lines, the cooling unit will draw any buildup if there isn’t enough fuel. That’s going to mean mechanical issues of a major type.

Check Temperatures

Using a pulp thermometer, the driver should monitor the temperature if the trailer is carrying food. At least every other box or pallet should be pulp checked by the driver as the cargo is being loaded. On the BOL (Bill of Loading), the temperatures should be recorded.

Loading Guidelines Must Be Followed

How high the pallets and boxes are stacked should be monitored by the driver while shippers load the goods. Additionally, how close to the walls the shipment is should be monitored as well. Products will be better preserved and fresher – when airflow is NOT reduced – because maximum loading heights are adhered to.

Routine Maintenance Must Be Performed

Damaged crates, missed deliveries, and delayed deliveries are some of the problems faced by drivers and companies if, during transit, a reefer breaks down. Naturally, unexpected roadside issues do occur. But, with a routine maintenance plan in place (and adhered to) many can be prevented. Before they become serious issues, many problems can be fixed, and disaster averted when routine maintenance is performed.

Contact Mickey Genuine Parts Today For Fleet Maintenance

For full maintenance on your refrigerated beverage fleet, you can count on Mickey Genuine Parts. Throughout the entire United States, we have conveniently located service centers. If you do your own maintenance, repairs, etc., no problem. We have all the parts and accessories you will need. If you order your part by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time, we will ship the same day. If you part is not in stock, we will do all we can to begin shipping within the next three days.

 Contact us if you have any questions.

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