K-Factor in Refrigeration Transport! | Eurocold Refrigerated Trucks (2023)

K-Factor in Refrigeration Transport! | Eurocold Refrigerated Trucks (1)

K-Factor in Refrigeration Transport! | Eurocold Refrigerated Trucks (2)
(Video) Thermal efficiency for refrigerated trucks [TMC Online 2021]

Safe Food, Why you should give a K!

Food security is crucial to the health of any community. The whole supply chain has an impact on the health of food, from production and how it is handled to the outlet where it is consumed. There is significant risk in food transport. For most food, refrigerated transport is the only way to de-risk food health.

The Australian Institute of Food Safety states that a critical control point (CCP) is a step in the food production process where measures can be applied to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard. These include bacterial growth or chemical contamination. Critical control points exist at every stage of the process, from production to the moment the food is consumed. The thermal consistency and controlled environment of refrigerated transport is critical to this safety. For frozen foods, this target is below -20oC and for chilled goods less than 40oC. Vehicle telematics and tracking are designed to monitor this.

Challenges in the Industry

Some of the challenges faced in refrigerated transport are:

(Video) Multi-Temp Operations | Temperature Ranges and Zones - Ep. 1 of 9
  • That everything is at its optimal temperature throughout the journey. Being too cold can be a disastrous as being too warm.
  • Ensuring the internal space is at the required temperature before loading.
  • When the doors are opened the temperature for the load is consistently maintained.
  • When the vehicle is parked with the engine off that the temperature is maintained

What is the Solution?

How do you know that your transport solution is doing the right job?

There are two main factors that determine this efficiency. Firstly, the insulation of the panels in the body, how they have been installed, the number and quality of doors and their seals. Secondly, the refrigeration unit’s performance. For both, the key measurement is the K-Factor. In this article we are dealing with the body specifically.

(Video) 2021 Freightliner Refrigerator Removal

The K-Factor for the body’s insulation represents the material’s thermal ability to conduct heat. How easily the heat passes across it. The lower the K-Factor the better the insulation.

A good K-Factor will mean less load on the refrigeration unit, and so reduced fuel consumption.

World Health Organisation Recommendations

The World Health Organization issued regulations that state that for frozen transport the thermal insulation of the refrigerated compartment should have a K-coefficient of heat transfer of ≤0.4W/m2K, For chilled transport it needs to be a value of ≤0.7W/m2K. They recommended that all new vehicles should have an insulation coefficient <0.4W/m2K.

Exclusive Distribution

(Video) Refrigerated transport goes green | DW English

Eurocold has the exclusive distribution in Australia of ISOKIT bodies which they assemble onto all truck types. The ISOKIT solutions guarantee insulation coefficients below 0.34 W/m2K.

In addition, they are 20% lighter that other commercially available bodies. This allows for more payload and lower fuel costs.

So, when considering the best solution for your needs go with the best, Eurocold’s ISOKIT.

Key takeaways are:

(Video) How Shell Diesel Extra Helps Scott's Refrigerated Freightways

  • Food safety must prevent, reduce, or eliminate potential bacterial growth or chemical contamination.
  • Refrigeration particularly during transport is one of the highest risk areas.
  • The body of the vehicle must provide the best insulation in order to reduce the risk and cost of maintaining the right temperature.
  • The K-Factor is a measurement of the insulation effectiveness and should deliver below ≤0.4W/m2K.
  • Everyone in the refrigerated transport should consider this number when selecting vehicles for their business.


What are common issues with reefer trucks? ›

Just like any other piece of equipment, a reefer unit can experience problems and stop working. Some of the most common malfunctions include fluid leaks, faulty belts and hoses, faulty calibration, damaged air chutes, condenser issues, sensor malfunctions, door seals damaged, and bulkhead blockage.

What is transported in refrigerated trucks? ›

Refrigerated Transport

Basically, the trucks are used for transporting perishable products such as meats, fruits, vegetables and sausages, pharmaceutical products, etc. These kinds of trucks are insulated refrigerated superstructure that ensures coolness and maintain the quality of the products being transported.

What temperature are refrigerated trucks? ›

A refrigerated truck rental can maintain temperatures between 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 degrees below zero. Most trucks and vans can maintain a wide range of temperatures. Note that refrigerated trucks do not have to maintain the same temperature in all areas.

What types of refrigeration units are used on larger trucks? ›

Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs), also called Truck Refrigeration Units, are climate control devices that allow you to heat or cool the trailer when the engine is shut off. TRUs typically run off the main diesel engine while running down the road.

What makes more money dry van or reefer? ›

Reefer freight is often perishable and in non-cyclical categories like food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals, leading to steady demand throughout the year. Reefer freight also tends to be higher value than dry van freight, which translates to higher rates for you.

What is the average life of a reefer trailer? ›

A common rule of thumb is a reefer trailer should last for an average of 40,000 hours of use which equates to about 8 years on the open road. These values are based on an average of 4,000 to 5,000 hours of use per year. Keeping your hours under 4,000 annually will then extend the lifespan of your trailer considerably.

Why are refrigerated trucks called reefers? ›

“Reefer” is slang for refrigerated. The truck is your standard semi-cab. However, the reefer really is just the trailer. A “reefer truck,” then, is a semi pulling a refrigerated trailer, designed to haul perishable goods.

What is the advantage of refrigerated truck? ›

Protection: The biggest benefit of refrigerated cargo transportation is the protection it provides for the perishable goods being shipped. These trailers are equipped with the capability to protect from deterioration, spoilage, and loss of value, no matter the weather conditions.

What is the difference between truck and reefer fuel? ›

Reefer fuel can only be used in off-road vehicles or for the purpose of maintaining refrigeration in reefer trailers. Tractor fuel can be used in any vehicle that can take standard number two diesel.

What temp should a reefer be set at? ›

Here are general guidelines to consider for reefer truck temperature ranges:
  • 32˚F – 36˚F: greens, berries, apples, cruciferous vegetables, grapes, stone fruits.
  • 38˚F – 40˚F: avocadoes, cranberries.
  • 40˚F – 45˚F: potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes.
  • 45˚F – 50˚F: watermelon, cucumbers, some citrus, bananas, tomatoes.
Oct 14, 2019

What temperature should a reefer van be? ›

The temperature range varies as per the container type: 20' Standard Reefer: -30C to +30C. 40' High Cube Standard Reefer: -30C to +30C.

How do refrigerated trucks stay cold? ›

Most reefer trailers are 53-foot-long attachments to semi-trucks and are powered by diesel engines. The cooling system in each unit contains a compressor, condenser, and evaporator that work hard to ensure cold temperatures. Refrigerated trailers also include air delivery chutes to help circulate the cold air.

What refrigerant is used in refrigerated trucks? ›

The most critical Freon™ refrigerants for transportation refrigeration include: Freon ™ 134a (R-134a) Freon™ 404A (R-404A) Freon™ 507 (R-507)

How do you transfer a large refrigerator to a truck? ›

Ratchet straps are the best way to secure your fridge, but you can also use bungee cords in a pinch. The first strap should be secured over the top of the fridge. The second strap should go around the front. Tighten the straps by pulling them and the fridge towards the cab.

How much weight can a refrigerated truck hold? ›

Refrigerated or Reefer Trailers

A refrigerated or reefer trailer's maximum freight weight is 44,000 pounds. Refrigerated or Reefer Maximum Freight Dimensions: Max length 48 ft.

What is the average reefer load rate? ›

Reefer Freight Rates – January 17, 2023

Reefer freight rates are averaging $2.91 per mile, a $. 09 increase from the December average. Reefer rates are highest in the Midwest, averaging $3.43 per mile. The lowest rates are in the Southeast, with an average of $2.64 per mile.

What is the most profitable freight to haul? ›

The type of freight

Flat-bed loads are good-paying loads because they're usually heavier or larger cargo, and the driver often has to help secure and cover the load. Dangerous goods, such as fuel, chemicals, or other unstable cargo, are better-paying as well.

What pays more reefer or flatbed? ›

You know that not all loads are created equal: a van shipment will pay less than a flatbed, and a flatbed will pay less than a reefer.

Which reefer is better Thermo King or carrier? ›

The Thermo King units have a smaller, but more reliable compressor, while the Carriers tend to have better electronics and microprocessors.

How long can reefer run continuous? ›

If everything is running close to normal, a reefer's 50-gallon tank could last up to 4-5 days. Simple habits, such as maintaining your reefer trailer can pay big dividends year after year.

How long can a reefer container be unplugged? ›

Our Technicians will only leave a unit unplugged for a maximum of 3 hours so please ensure you arrive at your requested time as we cannot risk leaving reefers unplugged for longer periods of time otherwise this puts your valuable cargo at risk.

Who is the largest refrigerated trucking company? ›

Prime Inc.

How long does it take a reefer to cool down? ›

The average reefer takes approximately two hours to cool down with the doors closed.

What size truck is a reefer? ›


Typically reefer trailers come in standard lengths between 28 and 53 feet, and do not exceed 13.5 feet in height. The load on a reefer truck should never exceed 44,000 pounds.

Do reefer trucks make more money? ›

Typically, reefer loads pay more money. Since fresh food and medicine is always in demand, there's a consistent need for refrigerated trucking services. Many require long-haul transport, which also usually means more money.

Which is better dry van or reefer? ›

If you need to move goods such as clothing, furniture, appliances or any pallet-based commodities not requiring temperature control, the dry van trailer is right for you. If you need to transport any type of goods requiring temperature control the reefer trailer will perfectly address your needs.

How much fuel does a reefer use per hour? ›

Modern reefer units use between 0.4 and 1.1 gallons of diesel per hour of engine run time.

Can you use red diesel in a reefer trailer? ›

Red dye diesel can also be used to run refrigeration units on trailers known as “reefers.” But the vehicle it's attached to must use green-dyed, taxable, diesel. Just remember – stop and think before you use red-dyed diesel.

Can you run off-road diesel in a reefer trailer? ›

Yes, refrigerated trailers are off-road equipment. The diesel fueled refrigeration trailer is off-road equipment as its engine is not powering something actually driving down the road. These trailers can use any ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (dyed or clear).

Can you run dry loads in a reefer? ›

The answer to that question is, yes, of course. Dry freight shippers don't often remember that they can actually make good use of reefer trailers to ship their goods.

What temperature should a frozen truck be? ›

The Do's of Refrigerated Transport

Frozen items should stay at a constant temperature of about 0 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Refrigerated goods, on the other hand, should stay at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the lowest temp for a reefer trailer? ›

Refrigerated trailers can maintain temperatures between 65 to -20 degrees F. In addition, some trailers consist of multiple temperature zones, allowing you to transport different kinds of cargo within the same trailer.

What is the temperature of chilled cargo? ›

Chilled Cargoes

Temperatures maintained around 6°C to -2°C. It is more critical to maintain right temperatures of chilled cargoes as condensation of moisture due to variation of temperature encourages bacterial growth.

Do refrigerated trucks have to idle? ›

Thanks to advances in technology, refrigerated trucks and trailers no longer have to keep their engines on to keep their refrigerators running.

Are refrigerated trucks insulated? ›

Insulation for refrigerated truck bodies varies depending on your application. There are two primary forms of insulation, including block foam and sprayed foam. The thickness of the insulation is dependent on the truck body's application.

Why are refrigerated trucks insulated? ›

Keep cool. Our insulation makes sure that fish, fruit and vegetables, beverages, pharmaceuticals and other temperature-sensitive goods are kept cold when they're transported in refrigerated trucks.

Which refrigerant is most commonly used in current refrigerated reefer trailers? ›

HFC refrigerants have been the refrigerant of choice for the majority of refrigerated containers, refrigerated vans, trucks or trailer-mounted refrigerated systems and refrigerated railcars.

What refrigerant was used in vehicles before 134a? ›

In the 1930's the refrigerant R12 or Dichlorodifluoromethane was used in vehicles until the mid 1990's when concerns about its large impact to the ozone layer led to the creation of R134A or Tetrafluoroethane.

What are the 2 types of refrigerant used in our refrigerator? ›

While R-12 was once the go-to choice for residential/domestic refrigeration systems, Freon™ R-134a refrigerant is now most commonly used. Its versatility allows it to work in home systems ranging from small under-the-counter refrigerators to family-sized refrigeration/freezer systems with multiple cooling compartments.

How do you move a 300 pound fridge? ›

Use an Appliance Dolly with Cargo Straps

Tilt your fridge on its side rather than front-to-back, then carefully slide the dolly underneath the fridge. Once the fridge is placed onto the dolly, use moving straps and automatic tighteners to wrap the entire length of the appliance and secure the doors.

What is the proper way to transport a refrigerator? ›

Secure the door shut using either tape or rope. You might want to wrap the appliance in bubble wrap, a blanket, or anything to absorb shocks it may suffer during the move. Secure the appliance to the trolley or truck it's going travel in with heavy-duty ropes. Refrigerators travel best standing up.

How much weight can a 53 foot reefer haul? ›

53-foot refrigerated trailers can usually haul between 43,000 to 45,000 pounds.

What is the weight of a 53 foot reefer trailer? ›

15,900 lbs.

How much heavier is a reefer than a dry van? ›

A standard dry van typically can be loaded up to 44,000 to 45,000 pounds, where a temp controlled reefer can only be loaded between 42,500 and 44,000. The reason for the lower weight is because of the thicker walls lined with insulation and the refrigeration until used adds more weight to the trailer.

How do you troubleshoot a reefer? ›

Maintaining and Troubleshooting a Reefer Trailer
  1. Check hoses, belts, and seals for cracks or wear.
  2. Check for any visible leaks around or within the reefer or its compressor unit.
  3. Ensure that doors close tightly and lock.
  4. Check that displays are functioning and represent accurate measurements and temperatures.
Oct 9, 2019

What is the very important thing regarding reefer container? ›

They are designed to maintain the temperature, humidity and atmosphere of the container at a constant value during the whole transit time. There are 4 settings that must be considered when shipping reefer cargo: temperature, ventilation, humidity and drainage.

How much does it cost to replace a reefer unit? ›

How much does it cost to replace a reefer unit? In most cases, a replacement reefer unit will cost between $20,000 and $26,000 by the time it has been installed.

What do I need to know about reefer trailers? ›

Reefers are used to move any freight requiring temperature control. This fact, coupled with their insulated walls makes them the only type of trailer that's properly-suited to haul perishable items. Products like fruit, pharmaceuticals and ice cream are commonly moved using these trailers.

How fast should a reefer cool down? ›

Always Pre-cool the Reefer Trailer

It can take two hours to cool an empty trailer with the doors closed. Make sure the trailer has reached the appropriate temperature by the time you get to your loading appointment.

What is the most most common problem in refrigerated shipping containers? ›

Most common Problem in refrigerated shipping containers – Leakage.

What is the most important factor to consider while loading containers? ›

The most important factors to consider when loading containers are weight distribution and ease of loading and unloading.

What is the R value of a reefer container? ›

All refrigerated containers are insulated and have an R30 thermal resistance rating. This means that heat does not transfer easily from the outside in and vice versa. Thus the internal temperature is maintained despite external temperature.

How much can a reefer truck haul? ›

Refrigerated or Reefer Trailers

A refrigerated or reefer trailer's maximum freight weight is 44,000 pounds.

What is high hours for a reefer unit? ›

There is no hard fast number, but we generally consider a reefer to be “older” at 20,000 hours, and wouldn't rely on anything above 30,000 hours. Manufacturers routinely claim their reefer units will last 40,000 hours, but that's a lot like a car with 300,000 miles.

What are reefer loads paying? ›

As of Feb 21, 2023, the average annual pay for an Owner Operator Reefer in the United States is $164,168 a year.

How many pallets fit in a 53 reefer truck? ›

Dependent on the type of freight, shippers can typically fit between 24 and 30 pallets in a full 53′ van or reefer trailer. It is important to note that weight will dictate how much freight can be transported in the trailer, along with whether or not the pallets are stackable.

How many gallons per hour does a reefer trailer use? ›

Modern reefer units use between 0.4 and 1.1 gallons of diesel per hour of engine run time. In automatic mode, the engine runs a fraction of the time that the unit is switched on and protecting cargo, so fuel consumption per hour most likely will be at the low end of the estimate.


1. Carrier Transicold - The Cool & Sweet Cheese Experience
2. Air curtain for refrigerated vehicles: trailers, trucks, vans etc.
(BlueSeal air curtains, by Brightec)
3. Refrigeration | Wikipedia audio article
(wikipedia tts)
4. Insulation, Lights, & Stainless Steel Upgrades & Options | How to Buy the Best Reefer Trailer
(Utility Keystone)
5. How to Set a Carrier 7500 XL Reefer Unit
(K&B Transportation)
6. Webinar (Full): Policy Forum | Creating a Sustainable Cold Chain in the Philippines
(Cold Chain Innovation Hub Philippines)


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