What Is a Reefer Trailer?

As the name implies, a reefer trailer works in a similar way to a refrigerator, being able to control the temperature. This is why it is often used to transport temperature-sensitive goods such as dairy products, flowers, meat, fruit, vegetables and pharmaceuticals. These goods are prone to spoilage or deterioration, so they are often transported in refrigerated trailers.

What is the purpose of a reefer trailer?

Reefer trailers keep the internal temperature constant. It is set to the temperature at which the goods are suitable for storage. During transport, the goods will not be damaged or lose quality due to the temperature.

When transporting, a reefer trailer can be set to the temperature of the load. For example, if the load is ice cream, the temperature of the reefer trailer can be set to -18°C to maintain its quality.

The following are typical cargoes that are transported in reefer trailers and why they need to be transported in reefer trailers.

  1. Fruits and vegetables: fresh fruit and vegetables are perishable items and maintaining a specific temperature can extend their shelf life. The temperature of a reefer trailer will usually be set at 0°C to 4°C.
  2. Frozen foods: they need to be kept frozen during transport, otherwise they may melt and cause the product to spoil. The temperature of the reefer trailer will usually be set at -18°C.
  3. Meat and seafood: meat and seafood are prone to spoilage at room temperature, so they need to be maintained at a lower temperature by refrigerated trailers. When transporting meat and seafood, the temperature of the reefer trailer will also be set at -18°C.
  4. Dairy products: Milk and cheese are all dairy products and the use of reefer trailers will keep them fresh. The temperature of reefer trailers is usually set between 5°C and 10°C.
  5. Medicines: Many medicines, including vaccines, are temperature sensitive and need to be kept at a specific temperature.
reefer trailer transport

How to load cargo?

When loading goods, you need to be aware of the following points.

  1. Set the temperature in advance: You need to set the temperature in advance before loading. For example, if the load needs to be transported at 4°C, then the temperature in the compartment needs to be regulated to 4°C before loading the load. This will ensure that the load is always at the right temperature and prevent it from deteriorating.
  2. Maintaining spacing: Reefer trailers rely on airflow to keep the load cold. Restricting airflow may cause hot spots to form in the trailer. So, leave at least 2 inches between the product and the trailer walls, and maintain a 4-inch clearance to the doors and a 9-inch clearance to the top of the trailer.
  3. Turn off the refrigeration unit: When you are unloading, you need to turn off the refrigeration unit. If you leave the refrigeration unit on while unloading, air will freeze on the evaporator coils of the unit. This will have an effect on the trailer’s refrigeration unit.

If you would like to purchase a reefer trailer, contact Three Horses Trailer and we will provide you with a great service and recommend the right refrigerated trailer for you.

1 thought on “What Is a Reefer Trailer?”

  1. It seems like my mother’s homemade ice cream has gotten popular lately, so we’re planning to do deliveries for the tubs as well once we find a refrigerated transport service to book. I appreciate your tip when you told us that reefer trailers rely on airflow to keep the cold temperature for the load, which is why we should at least leave 2 inches between the product and the trailer walls to avoid creating hot spots. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for a refrigerated transport service to contact soon.

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