Understanding Refrigerated Truck Specifications

Having a refrigerated truck or fleet of trucks is a great way to earn more money for your trucking business. In Gainesville, Georgia, refrigerated trucks are always in high demand, and they often pay more than dry trucks because of the sensitivity of the product being delivered and all that goes into it.

If you’re considering purchasing a refrigerated truck, you should educate yourself on the best practices for it, including the specifications you’ll need to meet in order to do the job properly.

If you’re creating a refrigerated truck body, you’ll need to know exactly how to do it so that you ensure you’re able to provide your customers with exactly what they want and need.

Dry Freight

If you’re transporting dry freight, you don’t have the same temperature requirements to consider. It’s much easier in these cases to purchase a truck that would fit your needs, since you don’t have to worry about maintaining any temperature. 

Dry freight is an easier entry into the industry, but it also pays lower than refrigerated loads. At the same time, if you don’t want to be concerned with the delicate nature of refrigerated loads, then you can just stick to dry freight.

Load, Haul & Delivery Considerations

With refer loads, it’s always important to consider not just the product that you’re delivering, but where you’ll be delivering it and how long it will take to transport it. 

Let’s start with the load itself. Some refrigerated loads will be very sensitive to temperature control. Pharmaceutical products, for example, often need to be kept at a constant temperature with very little variance in degrees either way. Some loads that are frozen, by contrast, may be able to withstand more variation in temperature. The type of load you are delivering, therefore, will determine what type of refrigeration you’ll need.

How long your haul is will also determine the type of equipment you’ll need. If you’re only delivering shorter routes that can be done same day, then you won’t need to worry about storing the product overnight. In these cases, you could opt for a refrigeration unit that’s powered by the engine.

If you need to store something overnight or for a few hours while you sleep, you’ll need to have equipment that will allow the refrigeration to operate on its own battery unit. This will keep the load at its temperature even when the vehicle isn’t running.

Refrigeration & Insulation Requirements

What type of refrigeration and insulation you need will again depend on the load and where you are delivering it. A cycle refrigeration unit runs in cycles, which in the end helps you cut down on the consumption of diesel fuel. This is great, of course, but there is more variance in the temperature. 

Continuous units will always be pumping air into the refrigeration unit, which allows you to keep the constant and stable temperature. Again, depending on the load, you may be forced to go with one type of cooling versus another.

All refrigerated trucks will need insulation. One thing to keep in mind is that you might need extra insulation if you’re driving through very hot climates. For example, if you’re driving through the dessert of the American southwest, you’ll need more insulation on your truck than if you’re driving through the northern states.

Also, know that as your truck ages, the insulation will need to be upgraded. Consider the insulation, in this case, as a mechanical part of the truck.

Upfitting

 

One option that you will have if you want to start delivering reefer loads is to upfit a truck you already own. In this case, you will be taking the existing body of the truck and adding the components that will convert it into a usable refrigerated truck.

Depending on the age and condition of the truck, this could be a decent option. It will either cost some money for you to hire a mechanic to do the upfitting, or it will take some know-how on your part if you’re going to do it yourself.

Keep in mind that upfitting to a refrigerated truck is very sensitive. If you don’t have all the proper parts and they aren’t installed properly, you can ruin an entire load.

The Advantages of Buying a New or Used Refrigerated Truck Body

 

When you buy a new or used refrigerated truck body, you don’t have to worry about doing any of the upfitting yourself or hiring somebody to do it for you. You will get the peace of mind knowing that the unit is built to the correct specifications to handle the loads that you are looking to get.

While purchasing a new refrigerated truck body will be more expensive than a used one, it does come with some benefits. This includes a longer shelf life, less maintenance upfront and probably even a warranty as well.

You might be able to save some money upfitting an existing dry truck, but purchasing a new or used refrigerated truck body will make your business more flexible and diverse, too.

Here are some things you should consider in your truck body.

Chassis Selection

The chassis is extremely important when choosing the body, of course. It’s best to go with a light truck chassis if you’re delivering shorter routes and either trailer chassis or heave truck chassis if you’re taking long-distance routes or have relatively large hauls. 

Also consider the road conditions and the weight of your typical cargo when choosing your chassis.

Rear Door Configuration

Do you want the rear door to swing open or roll up? The more secure option for refrigerated trucks is typically a rear door that swings open from the center. It’s also much easier to insulate than a rear door that pulls down from overhead. You also lose a lot of space with that door, which doesn’t make it cost effective.

Truck Body Wall Construction

The truck body wall is extremely important in maintaining temperature. You need enough insulation to be able to protect your loads, of course, but you also need a truck that’s big enough to be able to accommodate how you’re going to load and unload the cargo.

So, again, consider your typical load and the delivery mechanism so you can choose the proper wall construction for the truck body.

Aluminum Truck Body Wall Construction

Going with a truck body wall that’s made of aluminum is one of the most cost-effective things you can do. Since it is so light, it helps reduce the consumption of fuel, which is obviously one of the top costs in trucking. At the same time, aluminum is such a great choice because it doesn’t compromise strength for being light.