Reefer Tips For Rookies

Topic 16411 | Page 1

Page 1 of 4 Next Page Go To Page:
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Two serious incidents happened this weekend involving rookies that cost the company big money. Both could have been avoided had the driver been careful. Both loads were rejected and a total loss.

The first:

Driver did not refuel the reefer properly A setpoint of -1 ran out of fuel and the box temp went up to 37 before the driver noticed.

Easy to prevent in several ways.

1). Always check the reefer levels at pick up and fill immediately if at half a tank or less.

2) check the tank at each stop when you walk around the truck

3) guage and understand the fuel usage. -1 is going to cause the unit to work harder and burn more fuel in 100 degree Atlanta than in 20 degree Wyoming. Older units also burn more than the newer trailers. Lower temp settings will burn more than higher temp settings. After 12 hours, if I only burned a quarter of a tank, then I might not fuel it til after my break knowing I'd still have half a tank. But if I burned more than that, my butt is fueling that reefer before break.

4) get into the habit of fueling after each 10hr break. I usually try to break at my fuel stops, so I have to fuel whether before or after break. I've made it a habit that even if it's still 3/4 full, I'll top it off. No reason not to.

5). Never ignore alarms. Our reefers will alarm at 7 gallons, 6 gallons and probably a lot more. This drivers QC must have been going crazy. But even if no alarms were sent, he should have been checking.

6). The fuel guages aren't always correct. If you have had a reefer running for quite some time and its still says full open the cap and check the fuel levels.

The second incident:

Driver picked up a load and was told it was -10. She precooled the trailer before getting to customer. Once loaded, the customer and BOL said fresh meat setpoint of 28. She set the trailer correctly at 28. After getting on the road she receives a message to check the reefer for the correct setting. She assumed this meant the -10 was correct after all. She changed it back.

Our reefers will send alerts on QC to tell us of various temp issues but there is usually a 30-60 minute delay. Instead of confirming what the BOL said or even calling dispatch as a newbie to advise.... She froze "fresh meat".

Something I realized not everyone does or knows about is running the reefer pretrip program. On our Carrier brand reefers, you can hit " menu" or "select" depending on the age of the trailer. Then you will see a "pretrip" option. It will run through 17 tests and will tell you at the and whether it passed or which tests failed. I would never load a trailer if it failed. But I have only ever run these tests on empty trailers, and then run it immediately after unload of a trailer I picked up loaded.

For you prime drivers, there is a video on our prime app under road assist that will show you with the older reefer.

This sounds like common sense but when drivers first go solo they are so worried about so many different things they forget and overlook things due to being overwhelmed. Form habits and write things down if need be.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jonathan T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Rainy!

Adam W.'s Comment
member avatar

New what is bol

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

Even a fully functional fuel gauge can be difficult to read. Some gauges, when completely full, or nearly empty, are extremely difficult to read because they 'bury the needle.'

If you pick up a reefer and can't read the gauge because the needle is buried, physically verify the fuel level by opening the cap and looking in. Normally there's room for your head to get in there and let you look in the fuel tank if you are careful. If you are near a fuel stop, and the needle is buried, simply fueling to verify that the tank is full is probably a good idea, since you likely need to scale anyway.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

New what is bol

BOL is bill of lading. All bills will day thebdesired temps and most shippers make you sign or initial that you know it.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Something else that should be said is that some customers ship both dry loads and refrigerated. A friend of mine had a dry load with a drop and hook. He never filled the reefer which was at half a tank. When he got to the customer he only had 10 min on his clock and they refused him entry for low fuel. He had to violate to go fuel the reefer at the same truck stop he just stopped for a restrrom break. Just one more reason to always fill that reefer.

Some drivers do not get washouts either. They think it is too time consuming and will sweep it out. I washout every trailer at a blue beacon if I can. Do I have to? No, but the likelihood of my trailer being rejected for low fuel or dirtiness is much less than someone else. And some customers are very picky. I have a friend who had a meat load and did not wash out after. The next shipper loaded him, not caring about the small amount of blood on the floor. Walmart rejected the entire load for blood contamination.

Some customers demand a washout and for the trailer to be dried after. To do this you can run it on "high air" setting at 35 degrees. I washed out a trailer once and sat overnight on break. The condensation on the walls got me rejected the next day!!! I had to run it about an hour before they were satisfied and would load me.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy D, Some fantastic information for new reefer drivers, the only thing I can add for you is if the shipper requests a different temp than on the BOL than contact dispatch immediately. They will get with sales and decide the setting and temperature and keep you out of trouble.

Also it takes 3 to 5 minutes for the reefer to send signals back and forth from the terminal , so if you've changed your settings you may still get a few messages until it catches up.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Even a fully functional fuel gauge can be difficult to read. Some gauges, when completely full, or nearly empty, are extremely difficult to read because they 'bury the needle.'

If you pick up a reefer and can't read the gauge because the needle is buried, physically verify the fuel level by opening the cap and looking in. Normally there's room for your head to get in there and let you look in the fuel tank if you are careful. If you are near a fuel stop, and the needle is buried, simply fueling to verify that the tank is full is probably a good idea, since you likely need to scale anyway.

There's an easier way, unless your company has it locked out for some reason.

Hit the "menu button" to bring up all the button options across the bottom row, then push "gauges." Scroll through the various gauge readings, and eventually you'll get to "fuel level." The display will tell you the fuel level. Very handy when you have a fuel gauge that is gunked over and set too far back in the trailer skirt to clean.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy D, Some fantastic information for new reefer drivers, the only thing I can add for you is if the shipper requests a different temp than on the BOL than contact dispatch immediately. They will get with sales and decide the setting and temperature and keep you out of trouble.

Also it takes 3 to 5 minutes for the reefer to send signals back and forth from the terminal , so if you've changed your settings you may still get a few messages until it catches up.

Definitely....I picked up Tyson once where prime told me it was frozen Tyson had the trailer loaded and set for fresh, and the bills said "circle fresh or frozen" and no one bothered to circle one.

I made the security guard break the seal and climb in the trailer. It was fresh but I was making sure lol

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Even a fully functional fuel gauge can be difficult to read. Some gauges, when completely full, or nearly empty, are extremely difficult to read because they 'bury the needle.'

If you pick up a reefer and can't read the gauge because the needle is buried, physically verify the fuel level by opening the cap and looking in. Normally there's room for your head to get in there and let you look in the fuel tank if you are careful. If you are near a fuel stop, and the needle is buried, simply fueling to verify that the tank is full is probably a good idea, since you likely need to scale anyway.

double-quotes-end.png

There's an easier way, unless your company has it locked out for some reason.

Hit the "menu button" to bring up all the button options across the bottom row, then push "gauges." Scroll through the various gauge readings, and eventually you'll get to "fuel level." The display will tell you the fuel level. Very handy when you have a fuel gauge that is gunked over and set too far back in the trailer skirt to clean.

Never saw this option but gonna look now thanks

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Page 1 of 4 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Hard Lessons Learned Refrigerated Tips for Parking
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More