What to Look For in a Reefer Truck

The truck carrier industry is a big one throughout the United States and in its northern neighbor Canada. The concept of a carrying service is broad and also includes trains, planes, and ships, but in many cases, only trucks are needed. Most carrier companies are small and only have trucks to offer, but often, that’s all that’s needed. After all, trucks are flexible since they can drive on regular roads and can visit many areas that trains or planes cannot even reach. These trucks are perfectly affordable for smaller carrier companies and the shippers who hire them, meaning that trucks may come in a variety of shapes and function. Some have generalist trailers, and others are reefer units. What is a reefer trailer, and how can a carrier manager choose a used reefer for sale? To choose a used reefer for one’s truck fleet is to make that fleet more flexible in job opportunities, and care can be taken to choose a used reefer. Carrier reefers can be a great investment in many cases, and when you choose a used reefer, a new reefer trailer or a gently used one may be a fine purchase.

On Reefer Trailers and Their Industry

Just what is a reefer trailer, and how big is this business? Put simply, a reefer trailer is a semi truck trailer with insulation in its walls and a refrigeration unit that keeps the interior cool. A reefer unit is essentially a refrigerator unit on wheels, and this is very important for some shipper clients to make use of. Clients such as grocery stores, for example, have some items in stock that would be ruined in an ordinary truck’s trailer due to heat exposure, such as meat, dairy products, frozen foods, and more. Instead, dry goods such as cereal and canned items are transported in regular trucks, and a grocery store will pay for the use of reefer trailers to deliver cold-sensitive items. Once those trucks arrive on the premises, staff there can transfer the items from that reefer’s cold interior to on-site cooler rooms. This also means that reefer trucks typically arrive at and depart from warehouses that also have on-site cooler units.

Reefer trucks may vary in size and shape, though they all have the same function. On average, these trucks are 28 to 53 feet long, and they may be up to 13.5 feet tall. They vary in weight as well, with some of the biggest weighing in at 44,000 pounds for delivering large loads for shipper clients. Meanwhile, depending on the cargo, the temperature inside these reefer trailers may be -20 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The demand for reefer trailers is great, and these units are selling better than ever. For a recent example, the number of refrigerated trailer orders grew a massive 250% between January 2017 and January 2018, and the market value for all this around the world is growing. The worldwide refrigerated trailer market is due to reach a value of $7.6 billion by the year 2022, and it may enjoy a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.8% between 2016 and 2022. Some 40,000 of these units were ordered across the United States in January 2018 alone, according to data from FTR Transportation Intelligence. Nearly 500,000 such units are in use across the USA today.

Buying One

No ordinary citizen will choose a used reefer to buy. Rather, it is truck carrier company managers who will be on the market for them, and such units may be found wholesale in either new or used condition. Newer units might cost more, but they will be in great condition and may last a long time. By contrast, used trailer may need an inspection to prove their quality and condition, but they may be bought at a steeply discounted price. Either way, a carrier company manager may want to add a few reefer units to their truck fleet to make it more flexible, and open up the option of delivering for grocery stores and similar clients. A growing truck carrier company may want to diversify the types of trucks it offers and the training and qualifications of the staff, and adding reefer units may be typical of this business expansion.