So I'm going back OTR on the 30th but I will be pulling reefer loads for the first time any tips I can get from guys who's been doing it a while?
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Prepare to get screwed over by lumpers. You will never step foot in a Albertsons store again.
Reefers only break down late at night or on weekends.
I'm sure others can add more.
If it is a temp controlled load, "ask the shipper" what the reefer set point should be. Do not depend on what your DM, broker or dispatcher tells you. The set point should be on the bills, but there are times when it isn't.
Got a year of reefer experience...
1) as stated above, follow what the shipper says. Should be clearly outlined on bills.
2) ask whether it should be set on continous or automatic.
3) Make sure the product (if it's produce) is at temp before loading. Reefers are meant to hold temp, not cool the product.
4) Be careful with the fuel gelling up if you are not running it for a couple days and are in extreme cold. Use antigel or keep it running.
There's probably more, but my brain is dead....Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
there are some warehouses that have you back in the dock with doors closed, they break seal and open doors from inside,(the dock doors are larger) be sure to ask them when your assigned a dock if your opening your doors or not, also they may have you back into a dock to wait but not open your doors untill they are ready. make sure to get instructions on how they want it done as they all have different procedures.
put a seal or lock on little inspection door so it doesnt open
if you think you may need a washout try and find a place near delivery ahead of time so you can get empty and to straight there.
if picking up frozen load pre cool it ahead of time so its ready to load when u arrive at shipper. some shippers wont load you untill its a certain temp.
make sure you get cash or a efs check for lumpers or unloading fees during business hrs as you may deliver at nite depending on how you company handles this.
depending on how big your tractor fuel tanks are i would never go in with much over half tank of fuel, many places will load you to the max and if your full on fuel your just asking to go back and get reloaded, you may not be overweight but you may not be able to comply with bridge law depending on what states your goin thru
get familier with the bridge laws and axle weight limits for states your driving in. some states allow 36k on an axle so that may make a difference in how much fuel you can get driving in certain areas. like i said alot of these food dist will load as much as they can.
get an empty weight of your truck so you will know how much you can load, some shippers may ask you how much you can load, some also require an empty weight scale ticket before loading.
always have 2 load locks as many shippers require it.
with the screwed up loading and unloading appt times, try to always get as close as you can to the delivery or see if they have parking, you will want as many hrs as possible if you deliver in the morn and pick up in the evening if your running elogs.Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
Always pretrip the reefer unit between loads and when you first get the trailet.
Always ask receiver if you can break the seal.
Get to appointments at least 30 minutes early.
Learn the control functions of the unit.
Make it a habit to check the temp when you stop somewhere.
Get two 50ft air hoses and a blow wand to clean out the trailer. I put quick connect fittings on mine so i can run one hose through the drain hole and toss the wand and other hose in the trailer then hook and go to work.
Take time to learn good loading patterns for pallet placement. Remember there is an extra 1500 lbs on the nose of that trailer. I generally do a single in the nose and rear when possable.
If your reefer accepts it put a password on it so drivers do not kill it in the night while you are asleep. Make sure you take pass word off before letting the trailer go.
You will never set foot in certain stores ever again, after learning just how bad the back side really is.
Markets are not. They are places where your life is depending on what happens around you in them when loading. Usually Felons are around trying to scratch out a living getting hired by you for cash to load your trailer. And whatever else they can get.
I can go on but the others have a good start in covering the situation with Reefers.
Some buildings on the east coast date to the 1920's backing a 53 footer may or may not be possible into them depending on your tractor. Have a stack of 10's ready for a yard jockey to get it in right quick under the table.
Lumpers in my time were 60 to 100 dollars, you usually pay if you do not get a solid reciept and written confirmation that the company will cover it. I understand it's 300 dollars. See if you can lump it for that money yourself.
Once you dock and start work in that trailer unloading, your 14 hour on duty rule is no good. You can work 30 hours back there and it's lawful. Only you cannot drive until you get your rest.
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