Start/Stop vs Continuous

Discussion in 'Refrigerated Trucking Forum' started by Yoster, Jan 31, 2023.

  1. Yoster

    Yoster Bobtail Member

    May 16, 2011
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    So logically for loads that are not kept at a drastically different temp than the outside air, the start/stop mode would save fuel by drastically reducing runtime. However what I'm wondering is on a load that is say set at -10 when the outside air is 30-40 F, is it still more efficient if the reefer has to kick on every 10 mins or so? Thanks.
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  3. ‘Olhand

    ‘Olhand Cantankerous Crusty

    Jan 18, 2011
    Really depends on product and required temps,....but as a general rule(depending on type of reefer unit
    You will use less fuel in continuous mode
    Especially if you have a hi speed cut off
    rollin coal and aussiejosh Thank this.
  4. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Yes, because if it gets too warm, it takes forever to cool it back down. I tried that with my apt. thermostat. If I let it get too cool, it takes forever, it seems, to get it back warm. Doesn't hurt it to cycle like that, and probably better.
    Chinatown Thanks this.
  5. gokiddogo

    gokiddogo Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    If it's a -10 load and it's even 40 or 50 outside cycle should work fine. If it's summer it will spend more time on anyways so continuous at low idle is better then. It depends on the thermal efficiency of the trailer, it reduces with age. Depends also on product, all your leafy greens and berries are more sensitive to smaller swings in temp so they should be on continuous regardless of outside temp. Heartier products, potatos, lemons, oranges, carrots, even apples, etc have a wider acceptable range, you can get away with cycle for the most part.
    Space Truckin, Speed_Drums and Yoster Thank this.
  6. Yoster

    Yoster Bobtail Member

    May 16, 2011
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Yeah I was aware of the hvac scenario and that was what made me wonder if it was still economical to start stop often. I have a -10 load and with outside temp around 40 it's about 7 mins on 7 mins off. Only thing is the belt squeaks when it fires up so I set it on continuous while I slept, gotta change that.
  7. jbatmick

    jbatmick Road Train Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    hastings, Fl
    If you have ever been stuck out in no-where with a unit that won't start, you learn once it is running , you leave it running until un-loaded.
  8. abyliks

    abyliks Road Train Member

    May 2, 2010
    ludlow MA
    I don’t do -10, usually either 0 or 15* and leave it on start/stop unless it’s 70+ degrees out
  9. aussiejosh

    aussiejosh Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Airlie Beach QLd
    Ran reefer for around 3 years in total in all that time I very rarely used auto -start stop, about the only time I'd use auto start was if I was running goods at higher temps, like fruit and veg, one time I hauled a load of pine trees so temps were kept at around 15 c (60f) so the lower the temps the reefer needs to be run at the more often I would use continuous run. Or anything lower than about 38 f.
  10. Short Fuse EOD

    Short Fuse EOD Road Train Member

    Jul 29, 2015
    Fortuna Faviet Fortibus
    mine may come on once an hour or two for about 5 min at those temps. You got issues with your trailer and/or your product is warmer than -10. Unless you have subpar spec trailer or damage, cycle is always best at fuel unless there is about a 100 degree difference in outside temp and product. I’m not surprised by your story. There is allot of junk on the road as many are trying to get on the reefer bandwagon. Equipment is limited and folks are unwilling to throw money for good kit. Lots of amateurs trying to survive the market these days.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2023
  11. Mnmover99

    Mnmover99 Light Load Member

    Oct 22, 2022
    The only problem with the stop start is when hauling soft fruit like cherries or asparus when the unit starts it will sometimes freeze the top rear of the load because of the extra cold air at startup to get the trailer temp back down.
    Short Fuse EOD Thanks this.
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