Maintenance for the complete refrigerated trailer


Refrigerated trailers, or reefer trailers, transport temperature-sensitive freight all over the world.

A reefer trailer has the capacity to transport all sorts of temperature sensitive goods in a variety of environmental conditions, including:

  • Food
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Antiques
  • Art
  • Chemicals

Because these trailers deliver important, temperature sensitive goods, maintenance is incredibly important. An equipment failure can cost millions.

Simple maintenance protects your goods and operators

Most reefer trailers undergo regular cleaning after each shipment.

Floors accumulate all kinds of debris during transport, so remove all the dirt, wood chips, product wrap, cardboard and leftover products.

Wash the interior with a pressure washer and a high quality detergent if the shipment included:

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Fresh produce

Always perform an inspection before hitting the road

Operators should spend extra time on the pre-trip inspection making sure the components related to cooling are in good working order.

Inspect the temperature control panel by running it through an entire cycle and watching for any hiccups.

In addition to normal exterior inspection points, the operator should check the interior of the trailer:

  • Check the air chute for holes.
  • Inspect the walls for cuts.
  • Check the drains for clogs.

Always keep the fuel topped up

If fuel in the vehicle gets too low, the cooling unit will draw buildup from the tank into the lines, causing major mechanical issues.

Most shippers agree, carriers must have more than ¾ of a tank to move their cargo.

If the trailer is loaded with food…

The operator should monitor food temperature with a pulp thermometer. Pulping refers to the process of checking the internal temp of produce or meat to ensure the food stays within the Bill of Lading’s designated temperature range.

As the cargo is being loaded, the driver should pulp at least every other pallet or box and record the temperature on the Bill of Lading.

Never overload

Most reefer trailers have strict maximums to prevent goods from restricting airflow.

It’s up to the operator to ensure the team loading the goods doesn’t overload the trailer.

Don’t skip the regular maintenance

Routine maintenance helps avoid breakdowns during transit.

It puts your operators ahead of any impending issues, saving you the money associated with a complete loss of product if a breakdown does happen.

Your diesel engine starter and alternator are critical components that should never be overlooked during maintenance.

It’s important to inspect these units regularly so they can be replaced as soon as any degradation shows.

We supply a complete line of alternators for reefer units with the typical outputs of:

  • 37 amps
  • 65 amps
  • 90 amps
  • 120 amps

The two most common manufacturers of reefer units are Carrier Transicold and Thermo-King.

We stock replacement alternators and starters for both brands of reefer units.

For alternators, choose part numbers A1737BA1738B514-12223514-12224514-12333514-12334.

For starters, choose STR0027D, 516-17099, 516-18067, 516-18277, 516-18490.