Summertime Reefer Maintenance

Summertime reefer maintenance

Reefer Maintenance Checklist

In trucking, a reefer refers to a refrigerated trailer that attaches to a semi-truck. Its purpose is to
transport perishable goods and other temperature-sensitive items. Originally, the ice cream
industry gave birth to reefers around 1925. These trailers have insulated walls and self-powered
refrigeration units, making them ideal for transporting food, fresh produce, dairy, and medicines.
Reefers operate on closed systems to maintain a steady temperature, ensuring the safe
transport of goods along the supply chain.

Maintaining a reefer (refrigerated container or unit) during the summer months is crucial to
ensure it operates efficiently and reliably. Here is a checklist to help ensure a complete
maintenance routine is conducted:

Regular Inspections

  • Check Seals and Gaskets: Ensure door seals are intact and gaskets are not worn
    out. Damaged seals can lead to temperature fluctuations and energy inefficiency.
  • Inspect Temperature Controls: Verify that temperature controls are accurate and
    responsive. Calibrate them if necessary to maintain consistent temperatures.
  • Examine Exterior for Damage: Inspect the exterior of the reefer for any signs of
    damage, such as dents or rust, which could compromise insulation.

Cleanliness and Hygiene

  • Clean Interior Surfaces: Regularly clean the interior surfaces to remove dirt, mold,
    and debris that could affect food safety and unit efficiency.
  • Check Drainage: Ensure drainage holes are clear to prevent water buildup, which
    can lead to mold growth and odors.
  • Sanitize Regularly: Use approved sanitizers to disinfect the interior to maintain
    hygiene standards.

Temperature Management

  • Set Correct Temperatures: Adjust the reefer temperature settings according to the
    specific requirements of the goods being transported or stored.
  • Monitor Temperature Continuously: Utilize temperature monitoring systems to track
    temperature changes in real-time. This helps in early detection of any anomalies.
  • Pre-cool before Loading: Pre-cool the reefer to the required temperature before
    loading goods, especially during hot weather, to minimize temperature fluctuations.

Airflow and Ventilation

  • Ensure Proper Air Circulation: Check that air vents are unobstructed to facilitate
    proper airflow within the reefer.
  • Inspect Fans and Evaporators: Clean and inspect fans and evaporators to ensure
    they are functioning correctly and efficiently.

Power and Fuel

  • Maintain Power Source: Ensure a reliable power source is available, whether
    through the reefer unit’s own generator or external power supply. Test the generator
  • Check Fuel Levels: If using a diesel-powered reefer, maintain adequate fuel levels to
    avoid interruptions during transit or storage.

Preventative Maintenance

  • Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended
    maintenance schedule for routine checks and servicing.
  • Replace Filters and Fluids: Regularly replace air filters, oil filters, and fluids as per
    maintenance guidelines to optimize performance and longevity.
  • Inspect Electrical Components: Check electrical connections and wiring for signs of
    wear or corrosion.

Emergency Preparedness

  • Have Contingency Plans: Prepare contingency plans for unexpected breakdowns or
    power failures, including access to repair services and alternative storage options if

Documentation and Record-Keeping

  • Maintain Records: Keep detailed records of maintenance activities, inspections, and
    temperature logs. This helps in identifying trends and ensuring compliance with
    regulatory requirements.

Maintaining a reefer (refrigerated container) is crucial to ensure the safe transport of perishable
goods. Remember, proper maintenance helps prevent spoilage and keeps your cargo in peak

By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure your reefer operates efficiently
throughout the summer, preserving the quality and safety of goods transported or stored within
it. Regular monitoring and proactive maintenance are key to preventing costly breakdowns and
ensuring smooth operations.

In the event you do have issues with your reefer, Proreefer is just a quick call away, and one of
our expert technicians will gladly assist you.


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