What Is a Reefer Trailer?

The trucking industry uses a wide variety of niche terms. Some of these terms may arise when you present a claim for an accident involving a large truck. One of the most common terms is a reefer trailer, which refers to a refrigerated trailer on a semi-truck. Understanding industry terminology can help you during the claims process, but you don’t need to learn and understand every single term. Your truck accident attorney can also help explain any unfamiliar terms you run across.

What is a Reefer Truck?

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A reefer trailer is industry slang for a refrigerated trailer connected to a semi-truck. Its primary function is to transport perishable items and other goods that require a specific temperature to remain viable. And while most associate these trailers with cold goods, they’re also equipped to transport items that can’t get too cold.

How Does a Reefer Trailer Function?

A reefer trailer can maintain a constant temperature, irrespective of external conditions. Its operation relies on several critical components, including the need for a closed system. The reefer operates on a closed system, pulling in and pumping out heat to stabilize the internal temperature.

Power sources are also a vital element of the refrigeration system. Often, diesel-powered generators are attached to the trailer to ensure the refrigeration unit runs smoothly. Some modern reefers employ cryogenic cooling, which might use melted solid carbon dioxide to cool the trailer’s contents.

A typical reefer’s truck and trailer’s integral parts include the following:

  • The refrigeration unit itself;
  • An insulated box to ensure temperature maintenance;
  • An air chute for circulation;
  • Advanced suspension systems; and
  • Tire inflation systems to maintain tire pressure.

It’s also worth noting that these trailers require their own fuel source separate from the truck. The fuel tanks can hold approximately 50 gallons, which can last a few days before needing a refill. Because it’s a separate closed system, the way a trucker drives won’t impact consumption.

What Is a Reefer vs. Dry Van?

It’s important to distinguish a reefer from a dry van trailer. Dry vans lack the sophisticated refrigeration system that defines reefers. The flooring also has a significant distinction. Dry vans sport metal or flat wood floors, while reefer trucking trailers might have grooved metal floors. These grooves aid in consistent temperature maintenance through improved airflow.

What Goods Travel in a Reefer?

Reefers are versatile trucks and can transport a variety of items, including:

  • Fresh produce and meats;
  • Pharmaceuticals and some hazardous materials;
  • Wines and other beverages;
  • Delicate items, like artwork or certain electronics; and
  • Everyday products like candles, paint, or even chewing gum.

In colder months, the heating capability of reefer trailers ensures that products don’t freeze.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Near You

If you hear the term reefer trailer in the context of your claim, it’s all about the refrigerated trailer. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in an accident with a reefer trailer, please contact Starpoint Law. These claims can be complicated, which is why you should hire an experienced lawyer to assist you. Attorney Aidin Ghavimi previously worked as an insurance defense lawyer, so he understands the tactics trucking companies and insurance companies use to undervalue your claim. Please schedule a consultation with our office to learn how we can assist you after a truck accident.

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Starpoint Injury Law Staff

Starpoint Law was founded on a number of core principles that allow us to help our clients and develop deep and meaningful relationships. If you have suffered injuries or facing an issue with your employer, reach out to our legal team and we can sit down for a free consultation and start the process immediately.

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