Reefer Trailer Specs for Produce

Today our topic is How to Spec a Reefer Trailer for Hauling Produce, and it is part of our video series on How to Buy the Best Refrigerated Trailer.

If you’re buying a trailer for hauling produce, you’re also considering your airflow and floor options to keep your product fresh. In this article, we’ll review options for:

  • Trailer Refrigeration Units
  • Airflow
  • Vents
  • And the Advantages of Flat Floor or Duct Floor

Read: How to Buy the Best Reefer Trailer


Trailer Refrigeration Units

The standard refrigeration temperature for hauling produce is about 36 degrees. We recommend the C600 from Thermo King and the X4 7300 from Carrier.

Check out our Thermo King and Carrier models.

Two Options for Continuous Airflow in your Reefer Produce Trailer include: 
  1. Fresh Air Option: There’s a fresh air option with the reefer unit that will allow airflow to go through the unit and hit the back doors, where it will exit through the rear vent door.
  2. Front Vent Door: Consider a Front Vent Door (if you don’t have the fresh air option) to allow for airflow.

* Two product types that you want constant airflow for requirements are watermelon and potatoes. You don’t need the reefer unit as much, and the airflow will take care of that product.

Floor Type Options

What type of floor do you need to haul produce in your reefer trailer?

To answer that question, you’ll need to know:

  1. What type of product are you hauling?
  2. Understand the pros and cons of each type of floor, flat floor, or duct floor

Duct Floor Option:

This 1 1/2-inch deep aluminum duct floor will allow airflow to travel through the ducts and allow boxed floor loading or palletized loading. 

Comes standard on reefer trailers. 90% of owners use a duct floor.

Example: Meat or yogurt is a boxed product that goes right on the floor on a slip sheet. The duct floor allows air to flow through the grooves in the floor under the product without needing the product to be elevated on a pallet.

  • Improved airflow
  • It does not require palletized product
  • Lighter weight than the flat floor
  • Cleaning is more difficult than a flat floor
  • Some pallet jacks have small wheels that could get caught in the duct floor

Flat Floor Option

Flat floors typically require you to palletize your product so the air can flow through the pallet. The flat floor is easier to clean out. It is stronger and allows your product carts to move around easier without getting stuck in the duck floors.

But It is heavier and it will cost more than a duct floor.

Extruded aluminum flat floor.

  • Easier Clean Out.
  • Stronger: Added aluminum in the stress areas. The floor planks are heavier and stronger.
  • Smooth Cart Operation. Allows your product carts to move around more easily without getting stuck in the duct floors.
  • Heavier: Adds approx. 539 lbs. to the weight of the trailer.
  • Costs More: Approx. $1000 more than duct floors.
  • Typically requires you to palletize your product so the air can flow through the pallet.

* Product sits atop the pallet 3 ½ “off the ground. The air flows through the ceiling and hits the back doors. The evaporator sits 12″-18” off the ground at the front of the trailer.  It pulls air back through the pallets, keeping the product at the desired temperature throughout the trailer.

If you’d like more information on High Cube Trailer designs, give us a call or click the link below.

Read more in this series, How to Buy the Best Reefer Trailer.

How to Buy the Best Reefer Trailer
Options and Upgrades to a Standard Reefer Trailer.
Multi-Temp Design Strategies and Perspectives for Single Temp Operators.