In the trucking world, there are a lot of important decisions to be made. Anything from the type of trailer, to the size of a trucking fleet, and even where you want to offer your services. Many people wonder if they should choose a used reefer or buy new. Or in some cases, they are asking, “what is a reefer trailer?” These are all important questions to talk about for your trucking business.
So should you choose a used reefer trailer? Great question. Let’s start with some reefer basics. First of all, reefer units are pretty popular. From 2017 to 2018, reefer trailer orders increased by over 250%. That’s a lot of reefers! So why exactly are these trailers so popular?
The Growing Popularity of Reefer Trailers
There are a lot of bonuses that come with owning a reefer. First, there will always be a demand for fresh products (fruits, veggies, meat) and people need to hire reefer trucks to transport them. Whether its fresh beef, honey crisp apples, or delicious watermelon, a reefer is needed to safely transport the goods from location A to location B.
Also, reefers can easily double and haul both refrigerated and dry goods. However, a non-refrigerated truck cannot haul fresh products. A reefer makes it easy to continue to get full truck loads of product, as a reefer can mix and match dry goods with fresh goods. If you choose a used reefer, you can keep your costs down as you start getting new business rolling.
Reefers are also typically high profit hauls. Because fresh goods are generally being transported long distances, that means more profit for you. Fewer stops and starts. Less loading and unloading. Just nice, long, cross-country trips. More profit is always a good thing.
Because a reefer is super protected to keep the cool air in, it also means that it is protected from bad weather, theft, and other damage. Reefers at this point are sounding pretty good. Why would you choose anything else? Well let’s talk about some of the other things to note with reefers.
Reefer trucks come with additional responsibilities that the driver must attend to. For example, the trailer must be cleaned after every load. The thermometer and cooling equipment must also be maintained, and a second gas tank needs to be filled to keep the cooler running. Failure to do these things can lead to damaged goods, which means a big loss for your business. However, as long as you have responsible truckers who can handle these responsibilities, the reefer is still a good choice.
A couple other things to note — Because the reefer motor must always be running (to keep the goods cool), there will be constant noise coming from the truck. Nothing that some earplugs can’t take care of, but something to be prepared for. Also, if there are any breakdowns, it will lead to spoilage. So be sure to keep good maintenance records of your reefer trucks. If you are wondering about if you should choose a used reefer, make sure to look at the vehicle report so you know the condition it has been in. Check for any issues with the vehicles motor and with the cooling system. Generally, used reefer trailers for sale are great as reefers are built to last.
Experienced reefers can also give you some tips for general maintenance to make things easier. For example, many reefers recommend using a small leaf blower, instead of a broom, to “sweep” out the inside of the reefer between jobs. This saves a lot of time and keeps the reefer clean. Other experienced reefers will warn you to keep the longest pair of jumper cables around that you can find (usually 20 feet). Again, if the engine won’t start, that can quickly lead to spoilage. Getting the reefer jumped quickly is important to keeping the goods cooled to the right temperature.
Whether you choose a used reefer or a new reefer is up to you. However, we think it is a pretty good idea to have a few reefers available in your business. Not only does it give you more options to haul, but reefers are also known for high profit hauls.