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What Is a Reefer Trailer?

You may not realize it, but you have likely relied on reefer trailers your whole life. A reefer trailer is one that is refrigerated to carry goods that must remain cold. They may be as simple as the ice cream truck that travels through your neighborhood, or they could be a large semi-truck with a refrigerated trailer transporting fresh or frozen foods.

In some cases, the reefer truck may also carry vaccines and other life-saving pharmaceuticals across the country — and across the globe. In some cases, reefer trucks can also be used to carry heated goods. The invention of the reefer trailer has made globalization a much more feasible goal.

While reefer trucks have become a vital part of our economy, there are some risks. The components on these trucks can be very dangerous, especially in the event of an accident. If you are involved in a wreck with a refrigerated truck in the Carolinas, Georgia or Florida, you have legal options. Call Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers at (855) 969-5624 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

How Do Reefer Trailers Work?

Reefer trailers work as a closed system that removes heat to maintain a steady system. Besides the truck itself, there are three main components to a reefer truck. First is the compressor. This is driven by a small engine, and it draws in gaseous refrigerant, which it then compresses into a liquid. That liquid refrigerant gives off heat to the compressor and any air nearby.

Second is the condenser. The condenser takes the warm liquid refrigerant from the compressor and exchanges the heat. Basically, all of the liquid travels to the outside of the unit to the attached fins. These fins draw in air from outside to cool to liquid before it goes to the evaporator.

The evaporator is the last stop for the refrigerant, and it’s located within the trailer. By now, the refrigerant is a cool liquid. At this point, the refrigerant becomes a gas and expands. It absorbs heat within nearby coils, which cools the trailer. This entire process is repeated over and over until the right temperature is reached.

The History of the Reefer Trailer

Refrigerated vehicles have been around since before cars were invented. Horse-drawn carriages would carry cold goods for short distances using large chunks of ice. In the 1920s, vehicles with cooled containers were used to transport items like fish and meat over short distances, generally to different nearby cities.

In the ‘30s, the first vehicles with built-in cooling systems were invented. By 1939, the first portable air cooling unit was created. Since then, the technology has been continually improved to increase efficiency, allow for better temperature control, and increase the distances goods can be transferred.

How Big Are Reefer Trucks?

Like we mentioned before, reefer trucks come in all shapes and sizes. Typically, they are between 28 and 53 feet. They generally don’t exceed 13.5 feet in height. In addition, the load weight for reefer trucks is limited to 44,000 pounds.

How Do the Elements of Reefer Trucks Affect Your Case?

Because reefer trucks often carry very specialized goods, a collision with one of them can be devastating. In some cases, the goods may not be properly loaded, causing a truck to roll over or jackknife. If the truck spills its contents, it may cause a massive traffic pileup while the mess is being cleaned up.

In addition, the elements used to keep the trailer cool can be a major issue in a wreck. For instance, the refrigerant may spill on your car or on the road, which can cause major damage. Of course, just the damage from colliding with the truck itself can be devastating, leading to major injuries and property damage.

If you’re involved in a wreck with a reefer truck, call us at (855) 969-5624 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.