Is reefer worth it?

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by BillyBobFrank, Mar 15, 2023.

  1. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    I found that reefer freight had very long lading/unloading times compared to dry van. I would starve before I pulled any reefer freight again. YMMV
    Speed_Drums, BillyBobFrank and Numb Thank this.
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  3. ‘Olhand

    ‘Olhand Cantankerous Crusty

    Jan 18, 2011
    Biggest misconception in transportation....Every penny of loading/unloading fees end up paid at the retail level...So we ALL pay this BS fees...& thanx to covid and the new normal of just a few National Unloading services handling most every grocery whse cold storage etc
    Biggest reason retail food products are thru the chain shortages my ###
  4. dave01282000

    dave01282000 Light Load Member

    Jun 16, 2021
    New England
    Having to pay the lumpers can be annoying, but at least nowadays they take fuel card or at worst you just get an express code from dispatch. I've heard back in the day you had to deal with them in cash or write an actual they text you the link and the receipt. Nothing out of your pocket...not a big deal.
  5. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    Memphis, TN
    I love paying it over the phone now, it's so much easier. I can't remember the last time I filled out a com check.
  6. The Railsplitter

    The Railsplitter Medium Load Member

    Jan 23, 2023
    "BFE... and lovin' it!"
    When I pulled reefer wagons, the part I disliked most was dealing with lazy or hostile dock workers... loading & unloading seemed to take forever, just because some wanker didn't like my face, his wife just left him, his dog done died, etc. I dragged IBP meat loads from IA and NE to the Left Coast, then backhauled produce... those multiple produce picks in CA & AZ burned a whole lot of time too, frequently a whole day just to get loaded. Otherwise, the work is steady enough, like some hands already mentioned, folks have to eat... and I never had any real problem with lumpers, they were usually ready, willing & able to do their job. Whenever there was a problem, a dock worker was involved... I don't miss dealing with those idiots, lol. :eek:

    P.S. By comparison, dock workers at registered treatment facilities would fork pallets of hazardous waste off my truck in Guinness World Record time... I ain't joking either, they'd often work in pairs with two lifts to fork everything off the truck in 10 or 15 minutes. A welcome change from the reefer industry, lol. :rolleyes:
  7. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    I laughed a lot when I first saw this meme because anybody hooked to a reefer can relate...


    That said, it still pays a lot better than van freight. And more consistently too. Sometimes reefer pays better than open deck, sometimes not. Right now, it's better. If you like longer runs reefer is where it's at. Multi-picks or multi-drops pay a little better when everything else is down. Sometimes the waiting is awful, sometimes not. You take the good with the bad. I like it, overall...
  8. mustang190

    mustang190 Road Train Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Florida Panhandle
    Refer has its advantages. Like even if the economy goes to hell people still have to eat.
    Other than that what others have said.
    I got out of the refer gig 20 years ago and never looked back. Tankers are much more relaxing and rewarding. No lumpers, no food warehouses, no jerk broker’s trying screw you out of a dollar.
    I digress.

    DRTDEVL Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Austin, MN
    Other thoughts: as said by others, its NOT the place for a solar-powered trucker. If you can't run at night, you will starve. It is definitely more stable and has a higher earning potential than dry van, but that also comes with more responsibility (time- and temp- sensitive freight) and more headaches (customers seem to treat the drivers a little worse than in other segments of the industry). It is a lot more stable than most types of trucking during hard times... we haven't slowed one bit since the freight crash.

    Find a company that moves direct (contract) freight and you will find better treatment at the customer, more stable/consistent operations, and never have to deal with a broker trying to get out of paying everything owed (detention, lumpers, etc.). Stay away from the tiny companies that run brokered loads and far away from anyone wanting you to lease a truck in reefer (you will find out quickly how much things cost on this side). I'd also avoid the megas for mega reasons. 50-500 trucks is where it's at.
  10. Soltaker

    Soltaker Bobtail Member

    Sep 4, 2016
    Deer Park, WI
    Aside from what others have said I'll add this. The really nice thing about hauling a reefer is that you don't HAVE to grab a refrigerated load. With a previous employer, only 50%-60% of my loads required the reefer to run. I pulled a ton of Coke loads out of Eagan MN to Chicago. Many backhauls were refrigerated. The flexibility to do anything was really a benefit.

    On a side note, you'll learn that the names Capstone and Lineage are as offensive to some as the word cxxt is to a 90 year old grandma
  11. hope not dumb twucker

    hope not dumb twucker Road Train Member

    Aug 23, 2022
    I’ll agree you get used to hearing the reefer and apu running. Sleep pattern can be all over the place, when loading or unloading take a nap. Doesn’t matter if it’s 15
    Minutes or 8 hours get the rest. We slowed down a bit but seems like things are picking up again. Night driving can be some of the best, less traffic. Usually easier to find a park in the day, especially closer to the bathroom. For when the roller dogs with chili and cheese decide to make and exit Some lumpers can be slow as hell others so #### fast but man they slam around in the trailer.
    dave01282000 Thanks this.
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