Everything You Need to Know About Hauling Refrigerated Goods
Hauling refrigerated freight isn’t always as simple as picking up a load and dropping it off at its destination. In fact, there are a variety of challenges and roadblocks drivers may encounter or need to consider when hauling “reefer” freight. Hauling refrigerated goods can be quite challenging and are recommended for more experienced truck drivers, and often common in regional truck driving opportunities.
The following information are tips for reefer truck drivers to use when they’re out on the road to improve their safety and efficiency and create as little challenges as possible on your route.
Tips for Refrigerated Goods Truck Drivers
Delivering refrigerated freight can have its challenges, but truck drivers that have agreed to deliver this kind of freight can set themselves up for success by following these simple tips:
1. Plan your routes ahead of time.
Long-distance shipments can be difficult when hauling refrigerated freight. Reefer truck drivers should always avoid going off route and plan trips ahead of time to make sure they are on time for deliveries.
It’s also important to remember that longer trips lead to a higher chance of freight spoiling, thus why refrigerated good hauls are kept regionally for the most part, but there is a chance that you could have to deliver these refrigerated hauls OTR.
2. Monitor your trailer’s temperature.
Companies shipping perishable goods for public consumption are required to maintain specific temperature conditions for cold consumable goods. Check your trailer’s temperature throughout your trip to make sure it stays at the right temperature.
It is a good idea to look at your trailer temperature every couple of hours. Drivers should try to make it a habit to check the temperature every time they take a break or get out of their truck.
3. Monitor weather conditions in your route.
Although refrigerated trailers are designed to maintain the internal temperature of their trailer, it’s important to remember that the temperature and weather outside the trailer can still impact the internal temperature. Truck drivers may need to adjust their refrigerated trailer temperature slightly to compensate for different weather conditions.
If the weather is extremely hot, truck drivers may want to consider turning their trailer temperature down a bit lower to compensate for the impact the heat on the exterior of the refrigerated trailer. On the opposite spectrum, truck drivers may need to increase the interior temperature of their refrigerated trailer if the outside temperature is extremely cold or below zero.
4. Always make sure your trailer’s temperate is set properly.
There is nothing worse than arriving for a delivery and realizing that your reefer trailer was not turned on or was set to the wrong temperature.
Always make sure to double check that your trailer is turned on and set at the proper temperature for the freight you are hauling during your pre-trip inspection.
5. Clean your trailer after every delivery.
Some refrigerated truck deliveries may include products like meat that can leave behind hazardous bacteria if not cleaned up properly. You can avoid contaminating your next load by sweeping and disinfecting your refrigerated semi-trailer after every delivery. Be sure to clean up any spills or wet spots and watch out for anything that may have been left behind (e.g. debris, nails, screws, wood pieces).
6. Follow standard loading guidelines for proper airflow.
Always make sure that the refrigerated freight has been safely packed in a way that allows for proper air flow throughout the trailer. This usually means leaving enough space on either side of the freight to ensure that air can travel between products and evenly distribute throughout the trailer. If you don’t leave enough space between trailer walls or between products, the temperature of your freight may not stay consistent, causing spoiling.
7. Ensure your gas tank is full before picking up your load.
Refrigerated trailers need to keep running to maintain the proper temperature. It’s important to keep in mind that every extra stop you make can impact the temperature of your trailer and the freight inside of it. Running low on gas can cause your trailer to lose power, affecting the temperature of your load. So, be sure to fuel up before you pick up your load to avoid stops and ensure you have enough fuel to get to your destination.
Are you interested in hauling refrigerated goods? WDS Enterprises can help get you a truck driving job in Michigan. Consider joining our team today! Find out how, call our recruiter now at 989-828-4900 or apply here. Your future in truck driving could start now!