The Reefer Tender Reject Score for the LA market increased dramatically between February 15 and 19, jumping over 20% from 30% to 51%. This abrupt spike parallels the initial hit of the arctic plummet, which brought subfreezing conditions down to the Gulf of Mexico. This series of catastrophic weather occurrences paralyzed Texas for weeks as the electricity supply went down in many locations, increasing demand for reefers following the disaster. Numerous commodities were left without a mechanism to maintain their environment due to the power disruptions, putting many perishable items and other commodities at risk of deterioration or damage.
Demand for reefer trailers has risen in Dallas, Texas, with the state’s Reefer Outbound Tender Volume Index growing by more than 50% over ten days, potentially creating a supply shortage in other parts of the country. As a carrier transporting refrigerated freight, conducting Reefer Repair in Dallas, TX, is a primary priority.
Maintaining your truck immediately translates into protecting the reliability of the reefer loads. Operating a refrigerated truck is made simple by adhering to the FDA rules outlined in the FSMA. Following these standards, below is some critical advice for refrigerated truck maintenance.
Maintain an Appropriate Temperature
The first criterion is that the container used to move food maintains the temperature necessary for the product’s safe transportation. The driver avoids food rotting or contamination by bacteria or mold by maintaining the proper temperature. This would cause damage to the freight and threaten the trailer’s overall sanitation.
Maintain Regular Inspections
In addition to pre-and post-trip evaluations required by the FMCSA, the driver should examine the reefer wagon and refrigeration unit regularly. This includes time spent in transportation and time spent before and following a trip. The driver must manually calibrate and measure the refrigeration system and inspect the compressor for appropriate operation. Additionally, drivers must grasp how the evaporator and condenser work to diagnose mechanical problems on the road. The driver must be alert for oil spillage from the compressor and engine during the inspections. Refrigeration units contain hoses and belts that must be replaced every 1,500 hours or according to the engine’s life cycle. This is critical for avoiding roadside failures and the loss of chilled freight.
Maintain a Full Diesel Tank
The reefer truck safety guidelines are related to a process that the driver is already familiar with. Since a refrigeration unit runs on diesel fuel, you should expect to use more gasoline than you’d with a standard dry van trailer. Indeed, shippers will not load reefer freight with less than 3/4th of a load of gasoline at some loading docks.
Wash-Outs for Trucks
When your drivers finish hauls containing food, particularly meat or cattle, they must clean their trailers. A truck wash-out might be as simple as cleaning the trailer floor or as involved as a full-scale power cleaning at the nearby truck wash. This prevents reefer maintenance problems from occurring.
Prevent Cross-Contamination and Contact
Reefer truck drivers should avoid cross-contamination or contact with raw food. This begins with keeping the trailer clean but continues with safe food hauling methods. Cross-contamination of substances that are recognized food allergens, like peanuts, is another growing worry that must be avoided.
Maintain Shipment Records
The FDA mandates carriers and drivers to maintain shipment records for written protocols and agreements about food safety transportation operations. Describe how reefer trailers are managed in the protocols, including how frequently your organization requires drivers to undergo trailer and truck inspections for Reefer Repair in Dallas, TX.
Having this documentation in place enables you to implement procedures and policies that will help extend the life of your reefer truck. These records should be kept for a specified period, depending on the kind and nature of the record. After one year, you may discard all of these records.