Vans to Box Cars: 5 Different Refrigerated Vehicles
Joe Dickman | December 9th, 2021
Refrigerated vehicles are essential to getting crucial supplies like food and medicine to places all over the country. The cold supply chain, which brings necessary products to our businesses and homes, comprises various distinct modes of transportation that all work together. Below, you’ll find five different refrigerated vehicles, from vans to boxcars.
You’ve undoubtedly seen these important vehicles roaring along the highway and pulling up into the warehouse of your local supermarket. Reefers (short for a refrigerated truck) have trailers attached and use an active cooling system for frozen and refrigerated products. They’re best for long hauls and big payloads while giving maximum control over chilling options in the back.
These can’t carry as large of a payload as trucks, but they still offer many of the same refrigeration capabilities. Comparatively, they’re more maneuverable and easier to park around cities, which is incredibly helpful when you’re making multiple stops a day. Small businesses like flower shops and local pharmacies can benefit from having at least one of these vehicles to deliver products around town.
Unlike their refrigerated counterparts, insulated vans don’t feature chilling units, but they can still offer climate control inside their cabins. When staff secure cargo inside, their 50-millimeter Styrofoam or polystyrene insulation prevents a simple thermal bridge from building and introducing heat by blocking off all possible heat and air entryways. As a result, these vehicles are ideal for carrying long-lasting and nonperishable items like paintings.
Refrigerated train cars make it easy to ship fresh and frozen products from coast to coast. You’ll find that most feature white paint to help reflect heat from the sun’s rays. Before the 1950s, this sort of chilled transportation was quite common, and the trains had actual ice packed inside before people invented refrigeration systems.
You may occasionally need to transport cargo over water, which necessitates the use of a refrigerated ship. Containers at the ship’s rear get their cooling power straight from the vessel’s engine. In turn, the various products have suitable climate-controlled environments to last them for days at a time until they reach their destination.
We hope this short guide has helped break down five different refrigerated vehicles and the variations between them. When you need reliable climate-controlled transportation, Emerald Transportation is your trusted refrigerated truck manufacturer with a comprehensive range of both trucks and vans. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our vehicles.
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.