A reefer trailer might be on your radar if you need a safe, cool way to haul products or cargo. However, you may be unsure if this is something that you really need. Take a look at the fast facts about when to use a reefer trailer.

What Is a Reefer Trailer?

A reefer trailer is a refrigerated trailer. You may already know that the inside of a standard trailer can become hot pretty quickly. Heat builds up in trailers both when they are parked for loading and during transport. Transporting goods in the winter months won’t necessarily save you from needing a refrigerated trailer. It’s not uncommon for the inside of a trailer to be a solid 30 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. That can be dangerous for the integrity of a product on a year-round basis.

What Are Reefer Trailers Used for in the Trucking World?

The short answer is that reefer trailers are used whenever shippers need temperature-controlled settings. In fact, it may be critical to use a refrigerated trailer if you need to meet FDA compliance. Yes, reefer trailers are often used when transporting obvious products like perishable foods. However, they are also commonly used when transporting delicate products that are sensitive to temperature changes. This can include everything from technical equipment to medical products. Here’s a rundown of the most common uses for reefer trailers:

  • Produce
  • Meats
  • Dairy products
  • Chemicals
  • Florals/plants
  • Photography chemicals/supplies
  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Biohazard materials

There’s a little bit of range when it comes to the interior environments of reefer trailers. The temperature can be adjusted to meet the requirements for each individual load. What’s more, most trailer configurations actually allow for “zone” cooling that makes it possible to transport different cargo types within the same overall trailer. This is both convenient and good for cost management.

A Reefer Trailer Is Often the Best Option When Consistent Temperatures Are Required

The bottom line is that many different types of products spanning a variety of industries and markets require consistent temperatures for product integrity. The temperature changes that can occur during the course of transport can ultimately reduce product integrity, create health hazards and result in losses from damaged products. Of course, it’s not in every company or individual’s best interest to invest in a reefer trailer. The retail price, storage requirements and maintenance needs can certainly put this proposition out of reach for many individuals and business owners who sometimes require refrigerated transportation options. Fortunately, you can simply rent a reefer trailer when operating a haul that requires temperature control.

There’s No Taking Chances with Product Integrity

The bottom line is that it’s not safe or good for business to take chances with trailer temperature. It’s important to utilize the right type of trailer if a product requires refrigeration or consistent temperature. Ultimately, doing things right the first time is the most cost-effective strategy.