6 Tips for Greater Reefer Truck Safety
Refrigerated transport is essential for distribution of perishable goods like produce, dairy, and meat. Drivers must take care to ensure that the goods they haul remain within safe temperatures, otherwise consumers can get sick, and clients can lose thousands of dollars in spoiled products. To ensure that your cargo arrives as intended, practice these tips for safe reefer truck transport.
Clean Your Trailer – When transporting meat, blood can accumulate on the floor of the trailer, potentially contaminating your next haul. Remember to rinse out your trailer after each delivery to prevent cross contamination. Ask warehouse staff if there is a hose you may use for this purpose.
Know the Temperature – Find out from the shipper what temperature the goods must remain at during transport. A single degree too warm, and your load can spoil. Temperatures greater than 45 degrees allow for bacteria growth, so check the temperature before, during, and following transport. Refrigerated trucks can maintain cool temperatures, but not lower them, so it is best to load products into a precooled trailer.
Gas Up – Be sure to top off your tank before picking up a refrigerated load. Typical cooling units run on diesel and will power down when fuel gets low, causing your cargo to spoil. Many shippers will not let you move cargo with ¾ a tank or less.
Check the Pulp Temperature – Read and record the pulp temperature of your cargo on the bill of lading (BOL) during loading, and recheck the temperature when you reach your destination to ensure there has been no change.
Clean with Consideration – Refrain from using leaf blowers, or similar methods to clean out the trailer because doing so can deposit nails and sharp pieces of wood from packaging on the ground and potentially injure someone, or damage property.
Guard Against Ethylene Gas – Refrigeration can slow the breakdown of perishable goods, but it does not prevent damage from ethylene gas. Fruits produce ethylene gasses which can damage flowers and green vegetables, so know what products can and cannot be transported together.
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