What Is A Reefer Truck And What Is It Used For

parked red reefer truck

When transporting goods, the ultimate goal is to keep the freight safe. That’s why there are various types of transport vehicles designed to carry different kinds of goods. For instance, a different type of vehicle is used when transporting oversized freight instead of perishable freight.

So, a refrigerated truck – a reefer truck for short – is a type of transport vehicle most commonly used to offer transportation services of various perishable goods. This truck type usually consists of a trailer unit – the only refrigerated part and a semi that the trailer is attached to.

Now, you may be wondering what makes reefer trucks different from dry vans. Well, the fact that the refrigerated trailer contains a cooling system makes it the perfect choice when transporting goods that need to remain at a specific temperature.

How do reefer trucks work?

As mentioned earlier, reefer trailers are a type of closed trailer that contains a cooling system. They ensure that the conditioned air inside the closed trailer doesn’t mix with the outdoor air. Now, reefer units are comprised of the compressor, condenser and evaporator. So, the compressor’s role is to compress the gaseous refrigerant. During this process, the refrigerant becomes liquid. Since this process alone is not enough to keep the unit cool, the liquid refrigerant is then sent to the condenser.

While in the condenser, the liquid refrigerant begins its cooling process. The evaporator unit is located on the inside of the trailer. Once the – still warm – liquid refrigerant reaches the evaporator, it is then sent through a metering valve to cool even further. Once cooled, the liquid refrigerant expands and turns into gas once more. Only this time, the gas is cool. The warm air from the trailer blows over the evaporator and gets sucked back into the compressor. This is the repeating process.

What are reefer trucks used for?

Now that we’ve explained how the cooling system in reefer trucks works, you may still be wondering what is a reefer truck and what is it used for? Well, as a mobile refrigerated unit, a reefer truck is commonly used to transport temperature-sensitive goods. Of course, this does not mean that the only goods that are transported by a reefer truck are the ones that require low temperatures.

Instead, the major thing to understand here is that reefer trucks are great for maintaining a specific temperature. So, this means that you can easily set the temperature of a reefer truck at a certain point without changing the temperature of the goods inside.
Aside from the meat and food industry, reefer trucks can also be used to transport goods that are not perishable in that sense and require a temperature-controlled environment. As an example, pharmaceutical and medicine industries use reefer trucks to transport their goods.

Wine and other beverages sensitive to temperature changes are also regularly transported with these types of vehicles. Additionally, floral industries also use this type of vehicle when transporting their goods – such as cut flowers, because they are extremely sensitive.

It is imperative to note, however, that reefer trucks have their limits. This means that you’ll be able to safely transport meat. As an example – by using a reefer truck if the product was correctly treated before the transport. So, if transporting frozen meat, make sure that the meat is already frozen before you load it in. Reefer trucks will be able to keep the indoor temperature at the optimum level, but they won’t be able to freeze the unfrozen meat.

To sum up

Hopefully, by now we’ve managed to explain what reefer trucks are and why they are so crucial for the transport and logistics industry – having a tool that will enable you to transport sensitive freight safely and efficiently is a real game-changer.

Moreover, thanks to modern tech, you can find reefer trucks that offer more than just a single compartment. More precisely, you now have the option to choose between 1 to 3 compartment reefer trucks. This allows the transport of more than one type of goods with different temperature requirements to be done simultaneously.

Knowing all of this, it becomes pretty clear why reefer trucks are so sought-after. Knowing that your goods will reach their designated destination in perfect condition makes things so much easier. And not only do these trucks offer that additional dose of security, but using them significantly reduces the risk of having any unexpected severe costs in the long run.