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Do’s and Don’ts of Reefer Truck Safety
April 2, 2024

Do’s and Don’ts of Reefer Truck Safety

Essential for delivering temperature-sensitive products safely, reefer trucks are no longer just for transporting food. Proper maintenance of the reefer unit is critical in ensuring that the product arrives undamaged, whether it’s perishable food, sensitive electronic equipment, or medical supplies.

Transporting refrigerated cargo can be hazardous since an entire product load could be ruined if the trailer’s temperature gets too high or dips too low. If temperatures rise above 45° F, bacteria can grow on perishable items, making people sick.

What to Do When Using a Reefer Truck white and green industrial machines

When it comes to working safely with reefer trailers:

  • DO wash out your reefer after each load. Blood may spread across the trailer floor if a pack contains meat, contaminating your next shipment. Some warehouses offer a hose to wash out the trailer.
  • DO ask the shipper at what temperature the load should be kept. Even a one-degree variation could spoil the shipment.
  • DO arrive at the shipper with a full fuel tank. Some shippers may not allow you to haul a load with less than ¾ of a tank.
  • DO pulp your load as it is being loaded. Given the sensitive nature of many reefer loads, you must monitor the temperature before, during, and after loading.
  • DO observe your reefer being loaded. Ensure that your load is high quality and will arrive at your destination in the same state. Note any irregularities on the bill of lading to reduce liability during transport.
  • DO make sure the reefer is defrosted several times a day. Moisture can damage certain products, resulting in wasted time and money.

What to Avoid When Using a Reefer Truck

Keep the following tips in mind when using a reefer truck:

  • DON’T use a leaf blower or any other blowing device to clean out the reefer. Sharp objects like nails or wood fragments could blow onto the ground and ruin someone else’s day.
  • DON’T rely solely on the temperature gauge. Pulp the air temperature during transit to ensure it remains consistent.
  • DON’T run a start/stop the cycle with sensitive loads. The extra cold air from the unit starting can ruin certain products, such as flowers and produce.
  • DON’T let the reefer run out of fuel. Many cooling units rely on a diesel generator, and a power loss could result in significant expenses.
  • DON’T let ethylene gas spoil your load by keeping in mind that green vegetables and floral products are vulnerable to ethylene damage. Whenever possible, keep these items separated from fruits.

Want More Trucking Safety Tips?

Keeping safety top of mind is essential. Trucking Insurance Services LLC is here to help simplify trucking safety. Contact us today to learn more.

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