I love a reefer! Never a problem waiting for a load as dry freight fits just as well!
I do not sweep out a reefer! I have a small battery operated leaf blower! But Blue Beacon does a great job also when water is needed! Not ALL meat loads bleed on the floor.
Yes, jumper cables are great, just get the LONGEST ones you can find such as 20’+. and the smallest gauge you can 3 gauge or smaller. I also have a long 3 gauge wire with heavy duty alligator clips for using when needing to run with a cable between the unit and the tractor. I got mine from a commercial construction site and works great for an emergency. You only need one as the ground between the truck and trailer is all that is needed. You use this setup when your alternator in either the truck or trailer is bad. It will work in a “jump” situation but it takes a lot longer for it to juice up a set or batteries but when it’s all you have go with it!
Ask your mechanic how to “pump” up a unit that has run out of fuel! Some are different than others. Get a tennis ball and an air chuck or air valve from a tire to make a device that will help to blow fuel up to the injectors if you run out of fuel. Someone will show you how to make it. But you’ll run out of fuel one time and then you’ll learn to keep better watch on that fuel gauge on the reefer tank! It’s a PITA pumping up or “jacking off” that fuel pump!
A milk crate is the best think to hold your jumper cables,siphoning hose, oil, fuel additive,rags, polish and other things. The 9/16″ combo wrench you should keep in your tool bag!
ScooterDawg warns about weight issues to consider when hauling dry freight in a refrigerated trailer:
Sometimes you will have a reefer hooked to your truck and you get dispatched to pick up a dry load. Typically, shippers sending out a dry load plan on a heavier load that what you would be used to with a reefer load.
Obviously a reefer trailer weighs more than a dry van. And if you are picking up a dry load that weighs 43,000 lbs or more, you could have a problem with exceeding the 80,000 lb gross weight restriction.
I have run both and I couldnt count on both hands and feet the number of times that a dry load, put in my reefer, forced me to run light on my fuel and re-fuel with 50 gallons of fuel every 325 miles. I have lovingly coined it as “the 50 gallon giggle”. The advantage is that I can bank a bunch of showers in a short period of time, but the disadvantage is that I have to stop a lot.
Reefers usually have longer unload times (and lumpers…. argh!), and there are maintenance issues as well. But on the flipside, they are somewhat more versatile when it comes to hauling either cold loads or dry loads.
- If you’re having trouble finding cold freight, reefer trailers can just as easily accommodate dry freight
- Steady freight market as a result of consistent demand for fresh produce from supermarkets
- Less waiting around trying to find a load, more time driving means higher pay
- Constant noise produced by the motor in the reefer trailer
- Cleaning out trailers after every load
- Refrigerated trailer breakdowns are an emergency maintenance issue to prevent spoilage
- Long waits to get loaded at the shipper docks