If your reefer truck has leakages, dents, or poor temperature control, you may need trailer repair services. However, the type of repairs and their cost will depend on the extent of the damage you have.
Refrigerator trucks transport intermodal goods that need to be kept at temperatures between -85 to 104 F. If your trailer isn’t functioning at optimum capacity, those items could go to waste. Refrigerated trailer repair services deal with all kinds of issues from vent door replacement to dent repair.
Read on to learn more about the most common issues reefer trucks face and the steps you can take to fix them. For minor issues, you can do the repairs yourself, but if there is a serious concern you will need to call in a professional.
What Are Most Common Reefer Repair Problems?
There are a number of things that can go wrong with your refrigerated trailer. Knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step to solving the issue quickly and with the least amount of expense.
Overall, the repairs are of two types. The first is the repairs to the trailer body. These include dents, punctures, and holes in the interior walls that damage your trailer’s ability to maintain its required temperature.
If the foam insulation is undamaged surface repairs to the wall skin are low-cost and don’t take up too much time. However, if there is a void in the insulation, you’ll need serious repairs done as soon as possible. The trailer may also require day-to-day repair and maintenance for its landing gear, suspension, accusation, drive axels, and lift gates.
Then you have the clearance lights in the front and back, as well as the front and rear reflectors. These are essential safety features. When it’s dark, the reflectors let other drivers know you’re on the road. If there’s an issue with your safety equipment, you cannot take your trailer out on the road.
The second type of repair is to fix the refrigerated units. Each unit has removable panels, also known as vent doors, that allow air to circulate. If these are broken, you’ll have to call in a professional to patch, weld, or replace the doors.
Your reefer also has a rail beam to support the lower case and a sand shoe to guard the reefer legs. A reliable repair service will have all the necessary, high-quality replacement parts to ensure that your unit is as good as new.
Is Your Refrigerated Trailer Damaged?
Reefer cargo damage is actually very common and can result in decay, thawing, over-ripening, bruising, freeze damage, or discoloration. There are many reasons why goods go bad during transport:
- The cargo was harvested at the wrong time but the vendor packed it for shipping anyways.
- Temperature settings were not properly adjusted before loading the cargo onto the reefer. You have to set them as chilled or frozen, depending on the items being transported.
- The wrong temperature was set, so +2C instead of -2C, or vice versa.
- During loading, the goods were stored improperly. When cargo is placed in a way that limits proper airflow there is a chance for goods to rot.
- Crushing because of improper dunnage.
- Using bad packaging material that doesn’t provide enough protection.
- Contamination from machinery, oil, etc.
- Inappropriate pre-cooling can also result in damaged goods.
- Insect infestation for agricultural products.
- Odor transfer when the same reefer is used to transport clothing or food products, as well as tobacco or coffee.
If none of these factors apply, then it is likely that you’re dealing with reefer equipment failure. At this stage, you should call in a professional to run a diagnostic and give you a quote.
Diagnosing The Problem
Professional repair and maintenance personnel are the best people to properly diagnose your trailer. However, there are a few common types of damage refrigerated trailers face.
Wet damage is the most common and occurs due to moisture, condensation, or rainwater seepage. One potential reason for wet damage is holes in the container walls or the door sealing gaskets. If you want to repair a reefer wall, you’ll need to call in professionals. This is especially important if the damage has gotten to the insulation.
Spray foam is the easiest way to insulate your reefer trailer. Alternatively, corrosion and oxidation of metal items can have a damaging effect on all types of cargo. If the air chute is damaged that means the airflow is restricted and you cannot carry any goods until it is fixed.
Fixing a refrigerated trailer is different from repairing a residential or commercial fridge because of the difference in scale and technology. That’s why it is best to entrust these repair tasks to experts. Most professionals will offer repair services from bolt-on body parts to structural welding, suspension work, insulation installation, wall repair, and framework.
Professional Trailer Repair Services
AR Appliance Repair provides complete refrigerated trailer repair services in the Washington DC and Virginia areas. We’ve been operating for around 50 years and all our technicians have decades of experience.
Whether you’re facing issues with your landing gear, panels, doors, roofs, or floors, we stock high-quality replacement parts. All these repairs come with a 3-year warranty because our goal is always to build trust with our customers.
Our extensive repair services include:
- Emergency Reefer Repair
- Refrigeration Unit Service
- Preventative Maintenance
- Unit Replacement
- Cargo Heater Repair
Additionally, when it comes to refrigerated trailer repair we deal with:
- Roof Repair
- Floor Repair
- Wall Repair
- Door Repair
- Liftgate Repair
- Suspension Repair
- Auxiliary Power Unit Repair
- Hydraulic Line Repair
- Airline Repair
- Brake Line Repair
- Break System Repair
- Aluminum Welding
- Trailer Landing Leg Repair
If there are any problems with your reefer’s cooling or ventilation systems, our technicians will come down and carry out a thorough diagnostic. Once they’ve gotten to the root of your problem, they will discuss your options and how much the repairs can potentially cost you. We encourage all our technicians to be open and helpful, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want.
And finally, at AR Appliance Repair, what you see is what you get! There are no hidden charges or questionable practices. Reach out on our website or call us at 703-969-4747 to get a quote today. If you’re looking for affordable, quality repairs we’ve got you covered.
How Many Hours Will A Reefer Unit Run?
Typically, a good-quality reefer unit will log up to 4000 hours a year. So if you’ve had your refrigerated unit for around 3 years, you can expect 9000 to 12000 cumulative hours. You’ll have to service your reefer every 1000 to 1500 hours. Here’s how to find the hours on your reefer trailer engine.
Running regular diagnostics will help you deal with any new issues as soon as they crop up. Smaller issues require less time and money to fix so you’ll end up saving in the long run. On the other hand, if you keep putting off repairs because you don’t want to disrupt your delivery schedule, eventually your refrigerated trailer will break down altogether.
How To Fix A Refrigerated Trailer Air Chute?
Most companies will provide extra rivets for repairs in a panel on the trailer. With the right training, you can carry out smaller maintenance issues like these yourself. You’ll need a ladder, a hammer, and a #2 Phillips screwdriver.
If the rivet is still attached to the shoot, put it back in the hole and hammer it in. Around 2 inches away, you can make a new hole with your screwdriver, put in the new rivet, and nail it in.
If the rivet is attached to the trailer and has made a hole in the chute, you should first line up them up and then make a new hole. Put the new rivet through it and nail it in.
How To Get Dents Out Off A Reefer Wall?
The easiest way to fix a reefer wall with a lot of damage is to replace the complete wall panels. However, if you have a few damaged sections, then only the damaged insulation needs to be removed and replaced.
A small section of the spray foam is cut up so it matches the size of the void. Then connections are made on all 4 sides for reinforcement and finally, the foam is put in. To properly lock in the foam, technicians will use specialized equipment to pressurize the foam from either side.
What Businesses Use Refrigerated Trucks?
A lot of businesses need to temperature control their goods during transport. These include catering companies, florists, butchers, frozen food suppliers, and beverage retailers. Other products that need to be kept at low temperatures during delivery include pharmaceuticals, tobacco products, coffee, and even paint.
How Do You Insulate A Reefer Truck?
If you want to insulate a new reefer truck the easiest way is to shim out the posts, lay the liner on top of it, and shore the interior walls. The technicians will then make holes in the wall panels and inject the foam insulation into the pockets with the shimmed posts. Different repair companies may use alternative methods to insulate your reefer truck.