How a Reefer Unit Works

By on October 10, 2018

One of the most important things to our modern life is the ability to move refrigerated goods quickly and efficiently. This is accomplished mainly through a reefer unit, which is a kind of special truck used to transport any kind of temperature-controlled cargo, like meat or dairy, wherever it needs to go. To work, a carrier reefer unit has to be able to keep the right temperatures for as long as necessary, whether that is refrigerator temperatures or deep freeze. What is a reefer trailer, and how does a reefer unit work?

Cooled on the Bottom

Whether you get a new reefer trailer or a used Thermo King, a reefer unit will us a T-shape decking to blow cool air up from the floor. This arrangement means there’s a pretty consistent air flow over, under, and around the entire shipment. This air flow allows a reefer unit to keep shipments at a consistent temperature, no matter what temps are like outside.

What a Reefer Unit Doesn’t Do

A reefer unit doesn’t actually cool something down, and that’s important to know. The purpose of a reefer unit is to keep existing temperatures where they are: not to lower them. A reefer unit can also warm up a shipment, but it cannot cool things down to a lower temperature than they were when they arrived.

Cool Vs. Frozen

Reefer units work differently depending on whether a shipment needs to stay cool or whether it needs to be completely frozen. Chilled cargo needs air to flow through the cargo, in and out, so that all heat gets carried away. It’s very important that there be ventilation for chilled cargo so the warm air has a way to escape.

For frozen shipments, it’s crucial that there be no air flow between the walls and the cargo, so everything has to be loaded carefully in blocks.

Stowage Principles

There are a number of things that have to be taken into consideration when packing and driving a reefer unit. Cargo has to be loaded in the right direction and not above any of the important lines. A shipment also has to be stable, so it is very important that everything be packed up tightly and tied down so there is no shifting during transport.

Not only must everything be loaded and packed well, but it’s also essential that a reefer unit check all dehumidification, ventilation, and refrigeration components to make sure they are working properly. All controls should be working carefully and there should not be any unknown gaps where air might unexpectedly leak out.

Reefer units are how we can enjoy vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meats, ad seafood anytime, anywhere. They are even how we enjoy access to important medications no matter where we live. Have you ever thought about how important a reefer unit is to you?

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