Dry Van, Reefer,Advantages And Disadvantages

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tarheel59's Comment
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Hi everyone, what do you like about your particular freight you pull ? I have read and listened to pod casts about dry van , reefer and flatbed on this site. Mainly interested in your perspective of dry van and reefer. From research and listening and reading on TT, flatbed is not the best choice for a new driver, though some.do make it work. Would like fresh input from drivers. Thanks

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Cold War Surplus's Comment
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The biggest differences are noise, time and attention to detail.

Dry van is often drop and hook. You don't need to wait your turn for a live load/live unload. This can take hours on both ends of your trip and you often earn a fraction of what you could be earning if your wheels were turning. If you like watching tv I guess that could be an advantage.

I pull dry van, but I've parked next to a reefer truck at truck stops. Reefer units are loud enough from several feet away. I can't imagine trying to sleep while hitched to one.

A sealed dry van requires little supervision. A refer has to be set to the proper temperature for the load every time. The internal combustion engine that keeps the reefer cool is running more than the truck's engine so breakdowns are a fact of life. One more thing that can break, take you off the road and take money out of your pocket. If your load shifts and a box blocks a vent that was keeping the load cool an entire load could be rejected. In a nutshell, more work, less pay, more hassles with reefer.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

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.

Heavy C's Comment
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Yea hauling refer is certainly unique. They're loud for sure. I've heard some guys say though that eventually it just becomes white noise to them. Some even go as far as to turn it on even when MT just to go to sleep. On top of the additional maintenance, there's other things to consider. First you'll be hauling mostly food products. So there's the sanitary conditions of the trailer. Your responsible for doing trailer wash outs. I've known a few shippers through my work that won't load you unless your trailer is washed out. Second is temps. Pick up and drop off temps usually have to be perfect. I've had shippers refuse to load unless the refer was already running and at temp. Same with delivery. Most receivers take temps before they unload. If it's not within the tolerances given they refuse the loan and your stuck with a trailer full of parishables. Then there's the possible trailer fire. You better learn how to properly keep it maintained it something like this can happen. ..

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Dry van is just a lot easier for all the reasons mentioned above.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
tarheel59's Comment
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Thanks Cold War Surplus and Heavy C for your input. I've been around a few reefers. They are loud!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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From what I've read (and I'm just a rookie dragging a dry wagon) flatbed can involve a bit more of, er, let's say a hands-on experience. Setting up your trailer, supervising the load, securing the load, and tarping the load (maybe multiple times from various angles.) A little bit extra to do... And probably some out of the way delivery points.

Some companies pay their drivers for tarp-time, other drivers are just creative with their hours. One thing for certain, flat bedders are a different category of truckers.

Something you didn't ask about is tankers. And probably a good thing you didn't ask because if you think flatbeds aren't for rookies, tankers REALLY aren't for rookies! 😎

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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Can someone define reefer madness

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Heavy C's Comment
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From what I've read (and I'm just a rookie dragging a dry wagon) flatbed can involve a bit more of, er, let's say a hands-on experience. Setting up your trailer, supervising the load, securing the load, and tarping the load (maybe multiple times from various angles.) A little bit extra to do... And probably some out of the way delivery points.

Some companies pay their drivers for tarp-time, other drivers are just creative with their hours. One thing for certain, flat bedders are a different category of truckers.

Something you didn't ask about is tankers. And probably a good thing you didn't ask because if you think flatbeds aren't for rookies, tankers REALLY aren't for rookies! 😎

Jeremly, tankers can certainly be tricky and probably wouldn't be recommended for rookies. However just about every job that involves tanker I've seen has required a couple years experience.

tarheel59's Comment
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Jeremy, I know enough not to even think about tankers. Don't want to deal with that surge learning to drive. Heavy C no tankers for sure. 😁

Dave Reid's Comment
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Flat bed guys are crazy. (I'm sure I'll hear it for that one...maybe Old School will miss this post!)

I pulled reefer for too long. Now I'm pulling dry van. Between that and having an APU now versus not having one before, the improvement in quality of life is tremendous.

Reefer sometimes pays slightly more per mile than dry van , but as others mentioned you lose a lot of time in docks and delivery appointments are usually very specific times often early morning or middle of the night. Cold storage warehouses in urban areas are often in ridiculous locations with ridiculous backing. Really the only way you'll actually earn more income (vs just considering the cpm) is if you're willing to do a lot of your live loads/unloads during what should be your break.

Now that I'm doing dry van work, enjoying the mostly nice wide open spaces, open window D&H, more time to actually sleep, no reefer noise, etc.....well, I can't believe that I previously did reefer instead of this.

One potential advantage for reefer, and this I miss - longer average length of haul and many nice coast to coast trips. Dry van work is typically shorter length of haul and not much coast to coast stuff for solo drivers. But in exchange for shorter trips, you're often in and out of shippers/receivers in a half an hour instead of several hours. Heck, I had a live load a few days ago that took less than half an hour. I'd no sooner backed into the nice dock when they started shoving bird seed into the trailer and 20 minutes later they signaled me to come put my load straps on and then I was gone. That was an Iowa to Penn run so I didn't have to see another place for awhile and then that was D&H. The pickup was a show up anytime 08:00-17:00 and the drop was a anytime at all on the third day. No way we'd see anything like that in the reefer world.

I'm sure I'll encounter some things about dry van that I won't like. I haven't had any unpleasant experiences yet, but of course, there will be some. Nothing is perfect.

Hi everyone, what do you like about your particular freight you pull ? I have read and listened to pod casts about dry van, reefer and flatbed on this site. Mainly interested in your perspective of dry van and reefer. From research and listening and reading on TT, flatbed is not the best choice for a new driver, though some.do make it work. Would like fresh input from drivers. Thanks

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

tarheel59's Comment
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Thanks Dave, I have heard from reefer drivers I have talked to about waiting at distribution centers and crazy delivery times.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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