Fridge Vans For Sale

Qualities To Look For in a Refrigerated Vehicle

Joe Dickman | May 11th, 2021

If you need to transport flowers, produce, pharmaceuticals, or any other products, a refrigerated vehicle may be right for you, as they are designed to maintain consistent temperatures while on the road. Finding the right one can be a challenge, especially if it is your first time buying one. To help your search, we’ve created a guide on the qualities to look for in a refrigerated vehicle.


It’s always smart to have a budget in mind when buying a big-ticket item for your business. It can be a big hit to invest in a refrigerated vehicle only to find it’s either low quality or doesn’t provide for your cooling needs. It’s also important to know that while refrigerated vehicles run a broad gamut of price points, a more expensive option doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best one for your needs. Spend some time reviewing different options across your budget to find the right vehicle for you. You may find that while a vehicle may be cheaper, it can still deliver on all your climate-control needs.

Fuel Efficiency

Refrigerated vehicles tend to use more gas than regular trucks. The cooling equipment is customarily powered directly by the engine, which in turn consumes more fuel. Also, the same materials that keep your product cold, such as the insulation, tend to be heavy and, combined with large loads, add a considerable amount of weight. Different trucks might have lighter materials to help lessen the weight and other features that can save on gas. You should also make sure the insulation is in good condition and prevents as much heat from escaping as possible.


Refrigerated vehicles will differ in the material of the body depending on the use. Higher quality materials can slow down typical wear-and-tear or help protect against rust and corrosion. Depending on what you need to transport, there may be other elements that can spill out into the truck’s body. Check to see if you’re buying a vehicle built to withstand these kinds of spills and stave off damage.


If you’re investing in a brand-new vehicle, you probably don’t need to be concerned about its condition. However, if you’re looking to buying a used vehicle, you will want to make sure it can perform to your standards. Check to see that its previous owner has properly maintained it and if it has the proper cooling hardware. Since you will be taking it on the road often, you also want to confirm it can drive accordingly.


Are you a local flower shop owner who needs to deliver in your neighborhood? Or do you have a warehouse that ships across the country? The geography of where you need to travel can significantly impact which refrigerated vehicle is right for you. If you know you’ll need to maneuver around sharp turns and be able to back into close fits, a van might make more sense than a large truck. If there are many stops that the vehicle needs to make, a more fuel-efficient truck can help reduce gas waste. These will typically be newer models that have more modern thermal insulation and cooling equipment.


Whether it’s you or your employees, someone is behind the wheel. You will want to think about how long your drivers will be on the road. It can be a rough trip if you’ve got an unreliable steering wheel that constantly pulls to the right, or it feels too cramped on the inside. While your focus should be on safely securing your products, keep in mind that it takes a human being to get them there.


You’re going to want to make sure you have the right amount of space to carry your products. Do you think the vehicle you’re looking at has the correct dimensions to fit everything you need safely? While a smaller vehicle may be all you need for now, if you plan for your company to grow soon, you might want to invest in a bigger vehicle that’ll have the capacity to handle the expanded needs of your business. That can make life much easier for you in the long run.

Refrigeration Type

The temperature you will require for any vehicle will depend on the product you need to ship. If you’re transporting frozen food, for example, you need to be able to keep it at a safe temperature so it doesn’t begin to thaw while traveling. It can be a good idea to record in a notebook or on a computer the different temperatures your produce or other products are to be maintained. Then, when you are ready to buy a refrigerated vehicle, you can match one that offers a suitable range of climate control. You don’t want to invest only to find your stock has withered or melted away along the way due to the inside being too warm. There are several main types of refrigeration to think about listed below.


A single temperature refrigerated container maintains a constant temperature inside the cabin. These containers are usually lighter and more inexpensive compared to a multi-temperature container. This option may be more practical if you’re consistently transporting the same types of products. They’re also the more customary ones you’ll find.


When you need to move multiple types of products, such as fresh produce and frozen foods, you should consider buying a multi-temperature truck. These refrigerated containers allow the partition of the body into multiple compartments, and these compartments are kept at different freezing conditions. They can also help save time by requiring few back-and-forth trips since you’ll be able to transport a wider variety of products together.


In addition to the more common vehicle-powered units, there are also diesel engine refrigeration units. These are powered separately from the vehicle’s engine and tend to be higher in price. Since they independently generate electricity for the refrigeration unit, they’re helpful if you’ll be transporting materials across long distances.

If you’re looking for the right refrigerated vehicle with all the qualities to suit your transportation needs, Emerald Transportation Solutions can help you. We have a wide variety of refrigerated vehicles for sale and we can find the one that meets your requirements. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email us.

Qualities To Look For in a Refrigerated Vehicle

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Feel Free To Contact Us If You Have Any Questions

What does under DOT mean?

Questions regarding DOT requirements come up often. 10,000 lbs GVW (gross vehicle weight) and over are commercial vehicles that fall under the Department of Transportation regulatory requirements.

What is the difference between GVW and payload?

GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight is the entire weight of the vehicle including the payload. The payload weight represents the amount of cargo you are hauling.

What is a self-powered unit and a vehicle-powered unit?

A self-powered unit has its own fuel source and will run independent of the truck. This is the heaviest and most expensive option. While vehicle-powered units run off the engine via a compressor mounted on the engine. These are less expensive and lighter in weight but you must run the truck or plug the electric standby into shore power.

What does K-factor mean and why is that important?

K-factor is a term that stands for the overall insulating value of the container (truck body). Quite simply the lower the K-factor the better the truck body will be able to maintain a given temperature and require less energy to do so.

How much lighter is a Poly Van vs a US spec body?

Poly Van bodies are very light. On average we estimate we are 75-150 lbs per foot lighter than a traditional sheet and post foamed in place body. These weight savings translates to less fuel burn and less CO2 emissions, along with added payload, the most important benefit.

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