Dry Van Vs Reefer - Work Differences?

Topic 32263 | Page 2

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The Pelican's Comment
member avatar

So it sounds like there's more to doing reefer work than dry Van work? You have to monitor all sorts of things, correct?

Does the driver do the trailer washouts? About how often does an OTR driver have to get into the trailer, reefer and dry Van?

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So in terms of work, what does a reefer driver have to do that maybe a dry Van truck would not?

Is it a more complex job than dry Van?

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Set temp and mode settings for the reefer. Monitor trailer temp during transit. Report any variances in temp that are outside acceptable range. Majority live load and unload freight. Lots of detention at shippers/receivers. Trailer washouts after some loads, meat loads and plant loads, especially.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

In my experience, extremely rare. Reefers just take longer to unload for some reason. Maybe they have to be more thorough and inspect each pallet more carefully bc often the merchandise is perishable. IDK

No, reefer loads aren't inspected as a rule because they have thermometer recorders that keep track of temps.

I picked up cheese in CA for US Foods in CO. It looked like 3 different items on the BOL. It was and I was out in 40 mins with all case count there. 😁 Next load was the fresh beef to the Port of Oakland CA. Got that off and went to pick up Gallo wine.

Do you know how many flavors of wine there are? It went to a place in Albuquerque that distributes it to smaller stores, so apparently it is palletized by the stores for this receiver, not by flavor. 40 ft trailer and it took 4.5 hrs!! Even palletized by flavor and size, it takes forever, because receivers insist on counting the products before releasing the truck.

Just the joys of running reefer....even cans have those issues.

Laura

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

So it sounds like there's more to doing reefer work than dry Van work? You have to monitor all sorts of things, correct?

Does the driver do the trailer washouts? About how often does an OTR driver have to get into the trailer, reefer and dry Van?

Yeah, I suppose if you want to look at it that way. I don't consider reefer more work than a dry van.

Reefer is washed out at Blue Beacon where many companies have an account or other private washouts. You can be outside the truck or sitting in the seat. YOU do not wash the trailer.

Dry van, I had to sweep or blow (bought a Stihl leaf blower) it out between every trip. Dry vans have wood floors.

Laura

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

Klutch's Comment
member avatar

All depends really.

For instance for VTL with Schneider I have not done a single hand unload but some companies or accounts will require it. The megas you shouldn’t see that unless your going dedicated on specific accounts.

Only time I get in my trailer is to sweep it out if needed which is rare.

So it sounds like there's more to doing reefer work than dry Van work? You have to monitor all sorts of things, correct?

Does the driver do the trailer washouts? About how often does an OTR driver have to get into the trailer, reefer and dry Van?

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

So in terms of work, what does a reefer driver have to do that maybe a dry Van truck would not?

Is it a more complex job than dry Van?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Set temp and mode settings for the reefer. Monitor trailer temp during transit. Report any variances in temp that are outside acceptable range. Majority live load and unload freight. Lots of detention at shippers/receivers. Trailer washouts after some loads, meat loads and plant loads, especially.

double-quotes-end.png

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

BK's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

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So in terms of work, what does a reefer driver have to do that maybe a dry Van truck would not?

Is it a more complex job than dry Van?

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Not that much difference. You need to learn how to push a few buttons on the reefer control device mounted on the reefer unit. Like programming a microwave. Important to monitor the fuel level in the trailer tank and the box temp of the trailer (fuel gauge mounted on tank, digital display on the control device for temp). Always checking the set point temperature found on the bills of lading for each load. When at the fuel pumps, first fill the tractor tanks, DEF if needed, then pull ahead to fill the reefer tank. Easy to learn, easy to do.

I like pulling a reefer trailer more than a dry van. The extra weight of an empty reefer trailer is a better ride than an empty dry van, in my opinion. And you have to learn how to get trailer wash outs, especially after meat loads.

All in all, I am glad I switched to a reefer company. I like the longer trips OTR and it’s cool to pull a reefer (pun intended).

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Bruce, when you left Schneider you wrote that you preferred not to pull a reefer. Was it because of the noise and anticipated difficulty in sleeping? Or because of anticipated longer unloading times? Glad it has worked out for you.

Michael pulls a reefer for Marten and most of his deliveries are live unload, anywhere from 15 minutes (!) to about 5 hours, but usually 2-2.5 hours. He usually drops an empty trailer and picks up trailer already loaded, maybe 75% of the time. Last week he hauled a dry load in his reefer to help out another fleet in his company and he had to make 4-5 stops to unload that which he has never done with refrigerated loads at Marten. He sleeps pretty well in most conditions but says when it's very hot he would prefer to park overnight up by Truckee where it's cooler so that he doesn't hear so many reefers running constantly. When he drops off a trailer he is required to make sure that the fuel is at least half full (I believe) as the customer might not get to unloading it right away. He's had to take reefer units in for repairs a few times because of problems with the refrigeration units (sometimes the trailer he was pulling but at least once when he was just asked to take in a problem trailer from a drop yard).

Harvey and Pelican, reefer work is nothing to be afraid of. As FDR said: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. It’s true that I was nervous about doing 100% reefer work. But as things worked out, I decided to jump in the deep end. Now I know that going reefer after dry van is no big deal. It’s really not complicated and if you can tie your shoelaces, you can learn to run a reefer. I’m still working on the shoelace thing, lol.

I experience more detention time with reefer than I did with dry van. More live loads and unloads with reefer. But at my advanced age, I actually enjoy the detention time for rest and watching cartoons. Now, after driving reefer, I would definitely hesitate to go back to dry van. This reefer gig is much more challenging and interesting to me.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

You definitely should be washing before and after meat and produce. I have almost every trailer washed. Many shippers will inspect the inside of the trailer and reject it if not clean. A receiver can refuse an entire load if they find any contaminants because you didn't wash it before hand.

It's not a big deal to run reefer. Pick up the load, push a button for temp. Fill the fuel tank. If anything goes wrong with the engine I take it to a dealer for service.

One reason they take longer unloading is yes they are inspecting every produce pallet. We also have various items on pallets. Imagine an entire pallet of Ellios pizza. If the entire pallet is cheese, no problem. But if they are all mixed flavors, the pallet is broken down and separated then counted. I once delivered over 7000 boxes on 34 pallets. They had to sort and count by hand

One cool thing is if my truck battery dies I can jump it from the reefer or vice versa

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.

Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

Michael rarely washes out his trailer (just sweeps) but he said he just washed it because his next stop will be at a Sam's DC which is very picky about clean trailers. He usually is hauling packaged prepared foods (Hot Pockets, for example). He sometimes gets some very thick BOLs (30 pages) which he has to take pictures of and submit. He just helped out another fleet and did a Smart & Final run from their DC to several stores and says the BOL didn't even give the weight and they were very slow (maybe 5 hours to load). He gets paid detention but he still got frustrated watching them move about as fast as snails. Sometimes he gets more of an odd load like this when his DM is fitting in something to work around his scheduled home time (tomorrow's delivery will probably be his last for this period).

I think I posted before when he drove for CR England to Dollar General stores and several times their rolltainers with milk fell over (one time even before leaving the DC and a manager had to come back to work and fix that load. I imagine hose had to get washed out. CR England was more picky about where he bought fuel and sometimes he had to get an emergency authorization to get fuel for his reefer because of delays at stores.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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