If you run a cold-delivery company, your trucks and vans—along with your drivers—form the backbone of your operation. Mismanaging your vehicle purchases is the surest way to waste thousands of dollars and hinder your work.
The trouble is, you have to make decisions about a vehicle’s refrigeration technology, insulation, rear door, chassis and body, and normal automotive components (engine, transmission, etc.). There are many chances for a misstep across these facets. To better understand the mistakes to avoid when buying refrigerated vehicles, read this brief guide.
Not Planning for Proper Airflow
First, it’s far too easy to get your truck trailer’s body spacing wrong. When you’re spec’ing your vehicles, one tip of many is to resist cutting costs by making the body too small. Though you may be able to fit your product in a small trailer, the refrigeration system inside requires overhead space as well as other open channels to allow for adequate airflow. Don’t cut corners here—you risk the integrity of entire shipments by trying to save a few hundred dollars up front. That’s never a winning strategy.
Mismatching the Chassis and Body
Another mistake to avoid when buying refrigerated vehicles is getting the chassis and body combo wrong. These two must align—the chassis must be long enough to fit the trailer and meet an appropriate gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Getting this wrong will likely mean higher maintenance costs throughout the life of the truck and compromised safety for the driver. Address this thoroughly with professionals if you feel overwhelmed by this step of the process.
Missing Technological Innovations
Our final piece of advice: Don’t overlook modern technological advances. Today, reefers have an arsenal of sensors to track temperature and humidity fluctuations—these allow for precise cooling that protects your products.
Not only that, but some trucks utilize electric-only or hybrid cooling that isn’t dependent on the engine being on. Electric processes cost less than consuming gasoline to cool, so going this route promises long-term savings. If you settle for the norm, though, you miss these and other technological innovations.