Refrigerated vehicles serve a number of purposes, from transporting produce, poultry and flowers to important medicines and vaccinations.
If you’re the owner or user of a refrigerated vehicle, it is crucial to ensure your vehicle is able to serve these purposes without spoiling produce, leading to wasted goods or unhappy customers.
This guide will help you to schedule and perform basic maintenance on your refrigerated vehicle.
Cool Chain Maintenance
The cool chain is the process of temperature management for perishable goods. It is so important to keep the cool chain in mind when maintaining your vehicle – without proper repair, any perishable items could become damaged.
Regular Vehicle Checks
There are a few simple checks any driver should make frequently, but these are especially important to carry out before long journeys.
Check door seals, walls and locks
Broken door seals may encourage moisture intrusion, which can lead to the insulating materials breaking down far more easily. Subsequently, more work and fuel is needed to keep your van cool, costing you more money in the long run.
Assess the walls of the insulated chamber for cracks – again, any break in the seals or walls of the chamber can cause heat contamination.
Giving the walls a quick glance before you load your vehicle will prevent this.
Check the interior is clean
Transporting meats and poultry, in particular, can cause blood leakage and contaminate any further loads in the vehicle.
It is recommended to empty your trailer and obtain an eye mask and rubber gloves to protect yourself from chemicals and debris.
Power washers are a crucial piece of equipment for cleaning refrigerated vehicles. When your van is empty, mix industrial refrigeration detergent with water and use the power washer to apply.
After this simply complete a thorough rinse with water only, and allow the vehicle time to dry.
Check coolant and oil levels
This speaks for itself; if the coolant is not topped up, there will not be enough to circulate the inner pipework and keep the refrigeration chamber cool.
In fact, leaving both of these elements out can cause engine failure due to overheating. Therefore it is potentially one of the most important factors to double check.
Review temperature settings
Ensure your temperature settings are correct for the load that you will be delivering and check with the client for the appropriate temperature.
Always double check this, don’t let this be the one thing to go wrong!
Don’t Forget to Schedule Inspections
Sometimes, the maintenance of your vehicle is best left to the professionals.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you should look to get your van serviced between every one or two years, or if you travel a lot of miles, every 20,000 miles.
Although it may put your vehicle out of action for one day, it will certify performance for much longer, and certainly be a return on investment.
Tail-lift inspections need to take place every 6 months, trucks need inspections every 6-8 weeks depending on customer preference and then it’s just your general MOT that is needed.
If you have any questions regarding the maintenance of your vehicle or need some advice on a certain aspect, please get in touch. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new refrigerated vehicle to rent or buy, take a look at our range.