Newbie reefer questions

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by Canadianhauler21, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Canadianhauler21

    Canadianhauler21 Medium Load Member

    May 15, 2017
    Ontario, Canada
    I recently started pulling reefer this week, I only drove dry van prior to this. I had a few questions regarding reefers in general since my employer basically just told me how to turn it on and that was it.

    1. Do reefers have some kinda DEF system or something similar that a driver would have to worry about?

    2. What does pre-cooling a load mean exactly? I'm guessing its something along the lines of cooling your trailer before arrival?

    3. I've heard that you should pre-trip your reefer before every trip, what does that mean? (Like how is it done)

    Any other tips of reefers in general will be appreciated as well. The company runs thermo king trailers, not sure of the models but it says smart reefer 3 on the panel.
    D.Tibbitt Thanks this.
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  3. LoSt_AgAiN

    LoSt_AgAiN Medium Load Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    No def system on the reefer units. Precooling means cooling the reefer trailer to the desired temp while it’s empty before being loaded. And to run the pretrip on the reefer unit, right after you turn it on, when you first see the number display pop up…hit the menu button, pretrip, equal sign to select, and start Pretrip. It will run thru all the functions and circuits etc and show you the progress as a percentage until its 100% complete. Then the display will say either “pretrip pass” or “pretrip completed and failed” . If it fails it will display a code that your breakdown dept or thermo king technicians will need to help determine what is faulty with the unit. Also you need to know how to check oil and coolant on the unit and check for loose belts, look over the wires etc. there are inline fuses on some wires. One door is also for battery access. You can jump start a dead reefer battery from your tractor if you have jumper cables. Reefers must be washed out before loading any food product. Make sure the chute is intact on ceiling with no large tears or holes etc.
  4. bad-luck

    bad-luck Road Train Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Question #1 no they do not

    Question #2 Yes you are correct. Generally pre cooling is for frozen loads. The shippers want the trailer ready to load when you arrive for pick up

    Question #3 You don't have to, but there is a pre trip in the menu that will run the unit through a test.

    You can get an operator's manual on the unit that you are running by googling it
    Canadianhauler21 Thanks this.
  5. buckeyetrucker

    buckeyetrucker Light Load Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Your trailer does not have to be washed out before all food loads. Not really sure where he got that from. We haul some of the highest quality meats and we don’t even have to do that. Some shippers require it but not very many.
    nredfor88 and Canadianhauler21 Thank this.
  6. LoSt_AgAiN

    LoSt_AgAiN Medium Load Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    My bad. I guess it depends on the load. But I wouldn’t want to eat food out of your trailer that has Last weeks salmonella growing in it. Just sayin.
    buzzarddriver and MBAngel Thank this.
  7. hookster359

    hookster359 Light Load Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    I've hauled many loads of food in a reefer and never had to have it washed out before putting the next load on. Now if you haul a load of fresh chickens or meat with blood running on the floor than you will have to wash it out before they will load it or bulk potatoes and you will have to wash it or if you hauled something with a bad odor time to go to the trailer wash.
  8. mustang190

    mustang190 Road Train Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Florida Panhandle
    Mostly it depends on the shipper if it needs to be washed out.
    I remember hauling meat for military commissaries and they just about white gloves the trailer!
    But I always kept my trailer clean.
    Another hint is to keep a can of coffee grounds handy. Throw a couple of handfuls of coffee grounds on the floor to cover up odors.
    Drama304 and Canadianhauler21 Thank this.
  9. gpf87

    gpf87 Heavy Load Member

    Feb 2, 2017

    Another tip is to carry a cordless blower with you . This and coffee grounds like suggested above really helped me . Sometimes washouts are out of route and or backed up for hours
  10. mud23609

    mud23609 Medium Load Member

    Mar 9, 2015
    I love my dewalt leaf blower. I bought the more expensive 60 volt one. I haven’t used my broom in months. Best money I have spent on a tool.
    LoSt_AgAiN and TallJoe Thank this.
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