Reefer tips

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by tmb0507, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. boredsocial

    boredsocial Road Train Member

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    Louisville, KY
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    If you haul any kind of produce that comes in bins on pallets make sure you block/brace the load correctly. Lazy deployment of load locks has cost trucks I've booked probably 25k since I started out. If shippers don't let you inspect the load make them write as much on the BOL.

    EDIT: This probably applies to all forms of trucking equally, but one of the most important skills a trucker can have is learning how to get empty early. Work on your ability to spot situations where you can slip someone a 20 to get empty faster. Reefer loads often take a long time to load/unload so finding shortcuts on that will raise your pay significantly. Learn enough spanish to make a dock worker laugh and act really grateful. You'll contrast really well with all the other drivers who aren't so likable.
     
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  3. tmb0507

    tmb0507 Medium Load Member

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    Well this sounds like it's going to be slot of fun my understanding is the company pulls a lot of ice cream for blue Bell I don't believe they do any meat which is a plus I think
     
  4. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

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    Longview, TX
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    Meat is okay if they have plenty of trailers spotted at a given packing plant. I would not want to work for an outfit that did a lot of produce hauling but you do what you got to do. Dairy, frozen, and candy is ideal IMHO.

    Try and never let fuel run below half and be aware many drop hook facilities demand tank is FULL when you come in to d/h
     
  5. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

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    Longview, TX
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    When loading or unloading, some places want the unit on, some want it off, some don't care. If not instructed, you can ask but understand how moist outside air will be drawn in at the dock plate and seal when unit is running and could lengthen the time required to get the box temperature to the set point once doors are closed. But some dock workers don't understand this.

    Walmart is notorious for leaving the dock door open while waiting hour or more for the receiving clerk count and verify while the other stop product is warming up but there's not much you can do about it.
     
  6. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

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    Longview, TX
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    Today's units are good about defrosting when needed and routinely but if the doors were open in warm moist air, it may be a good idea to initiate a manual defrost about 10-15 minutes after closing the doors.
     
  7. BaldHeadedCannonball

    BaldHeadedCannonball Bobtail Member

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    Jan 19, 2017
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    Usually we have a different trailer every day or every other day. Except on long hauls.

    That means you will often be dropping an empty trailer either in a drop yard or a D.C.

    D.C.s require your fuel to be a minimum 3/4 full before you can drop it off.
    Always make sure you plan ahead if you will be dropping somewhere.

    It's a PITA to be told you have to go fill the reefer tank . Especially if the nearest fuel is 10 or more miles away.

    Plan ahead on your fuel.

    As others mentioned, use load bars on produce loads. Particularly loads that do not come all the way back to swing doors.

    I learned a lesson when I spent an entire morning picking up loose green peppers that toppled by the pallet.

    All of them had to be tossed. We filled an Entire dumpster with them. Lost in all about 2 1/2 pallets stacked head high.

    If fuel is low, turn off reefer while fueling. It's possible to get air in the fuel line and loose fuel flow. Don't forget to turn back on !

    Download the Cat Scale app. It's a real timesaver. And weigh and adjust your tandems to your loads. It saves fuel, improves stability, and can save you from getting ticketed for being over-weight on trailer axels.
     
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  8. buzzarddriver

    buzzarddriver Road Train Member

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    Dallas, TX
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    Pulling ice cream requires -20 continuous and has to be down to -15 for most places to even start to load you. It's not to bad in the winter months but mid July can be a bear. If a receiver is knowledgeable, they won't have you open the doors until they are ready to pull the product off.
     
  9. jbatmick

    jbatmick Road Train Member

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    hastings, Fl
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    Rule #1 is pay attention to that unit. Every time you get in or out of the truck, look at the gauges. Do not wander off / leave truck alone for more than several hours with-out checking on it. Do not trust that unit to run perfectly, even brand new equipment breaks down. Keep an eye on it. Load your trailer correctly for proper circulation, as others said ask if you do not know what the shipper / receiver requires. All are different. Do not allow the air chute to be restricted. Reefer is more aggravation at times, you just have pay attention to the details.
     
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  10. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

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    Hot Springs, AR
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    Been said, but I will reinforce.

    NEVER EVER LET THE REEFER UNIT RUN OUT OF FUEL!

    In fact, just so you can see, open up the engine compartment and take a look at the primer pump. It's about 4-5" long. Now, look where the fuel tank is? Imagine how long it'll take to get fuel that far with that little plunger.

    TIP: Unscrew fuel filter (only hand tight) and pour fuel into it and screw it back on.
     
  11. jbatmick

    jbatmick Road Train Member

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    hastings, Fl
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    Loosen fuel filter, apply air pressure to fuel tank ( using an air hose and a rag to help seal it ) , air will push fuel up to unit. When fuel comes out, tighten filter and crank.

    I used to carry a fuel tank cap that had a hole drilled in it, and a tubeless car tire valve stem inserted in hole. I could screw the cap on tank, use air line to put air in tank by the valve stem.
     
    slow.rider and Frank Speak Thank this.
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