When TW Transport drivers transport perishable cargo, they have a lot to think about. Whether it’s produce, meat, plants, frozen foods, or pharmaceuticals, operating a well-running refrigerated trailer is important for safety and FDA compliance.
Temperature control is a primary concern in refrigerated trucking, but there are a number of ways to prepare and operate your rig to get the most out of a reefer trailer and have a safe, efficient journey. Proper reefer maintenance both before, during and after hauling can help prolong the life of the trailer and avoid potential problems later.
To help you get the most of your TWT reefer, we’ve put together these 6 Refrigerated Trucking Tips for Drivers:
1- Monitor Temperature Carefully for a Variety of Freight
The purpose of refrigerated trucking is to safely transport perishable goods. Thus, it is essential that TWT drivers be vigilant in maintaining proper trailer temperatures, not allowing them to go above or below a certain point. Here are a few key trucking tips for keeping goods safe:
- Have a plan on paper: Plans should be agreed upon by TWT, the TWT driver, the shipper and the receiver so that each party is aware of safe temperatures to avoid the product entering unsafe conditions at any point during transport. This should include specified temperatures for upper control limits (UCL) and lower control limits (LCL). Plans should also specify temperature ranges, rather than simply stating something should be “frozen” or “chilled.” If direction is too vague, it could lead to unsafe conditions and lost product. TWT is on it!
- Check temperature: Checking the temperature just at the beginning doesn’t mean that those same temperatures are being maintained. So, it’s important that TWT drivers continue checking the temperature during transit and when they arrive so that shipments aren’t rejected or contaminated. Following TWT safety procedures at all times is required by all TWT Refrigerated drivers.
Did you know different kinds of fruits and vegetables require varying temperatures during transport? TWT Drivers do! Here’s our quick cheat sheet for drivers when hauling fruits and vegetables.
32-36 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Stone Fruit
38-40 degrees Fahrenheit
40-45 degrees Fahrenheit
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
45-50 degrees Fahrenheit
- Some Citrus
2- Ensure Your TWT Refrigerated Trailer is Clean and Safe At All Times
Our amazing terminal and crew team usually take care of this for TWT Drivers – but it’s good to know the basic tips for safety and cleanliness of a refrigerated trailer.
- TWT ensures the interior and exterior of the trailer are always clean before hauling a load.
- TWT follows all written procedures from shippers and ensures each load is cared for.
- TWT cleaning crews always use USDA approved detergents when cleaning our TWT Refrigerated trailers.
3- Conduct Regular Maintenance to Avoid Breakdowns
TWT follows a fleet asset management plan, which can make the process of managing a TWT truck simpler and more efficient. TWT Maintenance regularly conducts preventative check-ups on all TWT Refrigerated trucks to ensure they are running well and hitting the road safely. It’s crucial to conduct maintenance at regular intervals to ensure that equipment and vehicles abide by local, state, and national regulations, and for the overall health of the fleet and our valued TWT drivers.
4- Ensure Loading Guidelines are Followed for Proper Airflow
TWT is responsible for monitoring the loading and unloading process to make sure that goods are safely packed and moved, and can help to maintain proper temperatures. That’s why we ask that TWT drivers ensure they check the refrigerated truck’s maximum height and weight limits before loading and make sure that cargo and pallets are stacked with proper space to allow airflow.
5- Keep a Record of Shipments and Procedures
As set forth by the FDA, maintenance of records are required and should include “written procedures, agreements and training.” The time for keeping these records depends on what’s contained within them, but generally does not exceed 12 months. TWT provides all the necessary paperwork needed to our TWT Drivers for delivery.
6- Fill Diesel Tank for Proper Truck Refrigeration
Refrigerated truck units run off diesel so it’s important that fuel is always replenished. Many loading docks require a refrigerated truck to be at least ¾ full of fuel before they load. TWT Drivers need to be aware of fuel levels at all times. Additionally, low fuel may cause the cooling unit to take on residue from the fuel tank, which can cause mechanical problems that affect truck refrigeration.
Follow these 6 Refrigerated Trucking Tips for Drivers, and you’re bound to succeed!
Are you currently working for a carrier that doesn’t recognize and reward your accomplishments? Are you frustrated with your current pay package and lack of career opportunities where you are right now? Join TWT Refrigerated! We value our drivers and appreciate the essential work you do. If you’re a refrigerated or heavy haul truck driver in the western region or west coast with a CDL Class A License, apply for a TWT truck driving job today! We can’t wait to hear from you. APPLY NOW >