In summer 2016, the transportation information provider DAT Solutions, found that demand for refrigerated trucks suddenly spiked for weeks in a row, leaving some fleet managers out in the cold due to their own lack of advanced planning.
The lesson here: To land opportunistic summer contracts, fleets need to have properly spec’d refrigerated trucks selected and signed for—before the last snow melts. For businesses that rely on rented vehicles to fill out peak season fleets, here are three valuable refrigerated truck solutions for this summer.
1) Refrigerated City Van – The refrigerated van is the workhorse of “last mile” delivery, and it’s impossible to find a good one after Memorial Day if you haven’t planned ahead. The most popular refrigerated sprinter vans measure 16 ft. and have a load capacity of up to 7,000 lbs. If there’s one thing to look for, it’s heavy-duty insulated interiors and rear doors to maintain temperatures. That, and a powerful lift-gate.
The Takeaway: From flowers to poultry to produce and more, the crucial last mile in the cold chain is the province of refrigerated sprinter vans. It may be the most important link in your summer season cold chain—so proper spec’ing is everything.
2) Refrigerated Trucks – A big mistake when spec’ing refrigerated trucks is to underestimate interior dimensions and other hardware details. That gets down to things like deciding whether you plan to load pallets with a forklift—which in turn determines how thick the interior insulation on a reefer can be—and other small details. Much smaller than a refrigerated truck trailer, larger refrigerated trucks (22 feet to 26 feet) offer up to 1,600 cubic feet of cargo space and a load capacity of up to 13,000 lbs. Features like automatic start-stop of the refrigeration unit trigger fuel savings and lower emissions. Electronic standby is another major benefit to operators. Also look for automatic transmission and power steering, side doors for easier loading/unloading, E-Track for securing loads, hydraulic lift gates with 60″ x 80″ platform and 3,000 lbs. of capacity, and a wide temperature range.
The Takeaway: Refrigerated trucks come in all sizes, and one of the most useful is the large refrigerated truck, which your rental partner can spec for the way you work.
3) Refrigerated Trailers – Many long-haul trucking operations make the lion’s share of their revenues in summer months by filling warehouses with perishable goods. Between the demands of shippers, inspections at the point of delivery, and heavy government regulations, the humble trailer carries a huge responsibility. Here again, good spec’ing makes it all work. A valuable rental partner will be able to provide reefer trailers in lengths from 28 ft. to 53 ft., at widths of 96 inches or 102 inches, and inside heights up to 110 inches. Reefer trailers require heavy-duty duct floors and 3-inch insulation to increase temperature control. Flexible multi-compartment reefer rentals are also available.
The Takeaway: Refrigerated trailers, like all refrigerated trucks, take a beating during peak summer months, and must still operate flawlessly. When renting this equipment, the right partner will be able to spec a reefer trailer for your exact requirements.