What’s on the market
The chassis made by almost all the automotive manufacturers are used as a base for refrigerator trucks. On top of that, other types of refrigerated vehicles such as trailers and semi-trailers have widespread popularity. The leading producers of the cooling units for the vehicles are Thermo King, Carrrier, Zanotti, Thermal Master and Alex Original.
Specifically, Carrier and Thermo King have an extensive service network .Their equipment is renowned for durability and high level of reliability. But the price of these products is also high as well as its operational costs, which include maintenance and spare parts. What concerns Zanotti refrigerator units, they guarantee top-quality performance characteristics, though its maintenance facilities are not numerous and spare parts cost a lot. Alex Original and Thermal Master represent another group of well-known brands with sufficient supply. Their units don’t leg behind those from the market leaders regarding reliability, but have shorter service life.
As for refrigerator truck manufacturers, Mercedes Benz and DAF have the largest market share. A wide range of choice is also provided by MAN, Scania, Volvo, Renault, IVECO. By the way, all these brands are recognized as the leading producers of tractor units.
What are the types?
Refrigerated vehicles consist of insulated bodies, equipped with cooling units. The body panels feature three-layer structure. Galvanized or plated steel is used for the inner layer which is covered by light synthetic heat insulation. Finally, the outer layer is made of steel or plastics. The doors are sealed up, so that air cannot get in or out (thus, eliminating energy losses). Adequate condition of the body is extremely important even in case of a used refrigerator truck operation.
There are 2 main types of refrigerator trucks according to interior temperature control mode:
- trucks with autonomous cooling units;
- trucks with eutectic plates, used as a cold source.
The vehicles of the second type deliver the products from large cool-storage warehouses. In all other cases the first type is taken advantage of. Special cooling air conditioners that complement insulated bodies operate by means of coolant evaporation and condensation. The reverse circulation is responsible for heating the cargo.
What requires thorough checking
The key elements of a refrigerator truck are a cooling unit and an isothermal body. Their operating state plays the dominant role while making the final decision.
During the cooling unit examination it’s necessary to find out the number of operating hours and compare it with the manufacturer’s warranty. Don’t forget to ask for a service book for the refrigerator equipment with the maintenance history records, made by an authorized body.
Then, it’s reasonable to check a vehicle for the presence and efficiency of the temperature recording devices, which register the data en route. Furthermore, make sure that they are compatible with your terminals as well as your business partners’ terminals.
Last but not least, to buy a reliable used refrigerated vehicle the primary attention should be paid to its compliance with the ecological standards. As many countries have regulatory norms restricting the use of the coolants that cause the ozone layer depletion.