Standard Reefer Trailer Specs

Welcome! This article discusses standard reefer trailer specs and the maximum weight it can haul without exceeding the federal GVWR.

If you are looking to buy a standard reefer trailer, you might ask yourself, “How much weight can I haul?”

Here, we’ll review a standard reefer trailer and answer how much product weight you can haul without exceeding the federal maximum allowable weight.

Standard Specs of a Reefer Trailer

0-55 degrees. Standard trailer is 80% of all applications.

  • Payload Capacity: 55,000 lbs. Evenly Distributed
  • Tare Weight w/ Tires and Wheels: 12,455, plus an additional 2000LBS for the reefer unit.
  • Floor: 1 1/2” Deep Heavy-Duty Aluminum Duct Floor
  • Insulation: 4” on the front wall, 3’ in rear doors, 2” inside walls
  • Standard reefer units: CA X4 7300 or TK Precedent C-600 (Standard for 80% of hauls)
  • Trailer: 53×102, 13.6” H
  • Lights: LED Standard is (2-0-1-5): 2 on Front, 0 on Top Rail, one on Bottom Rail, five on Rear
  • Wheels: 22.5 Steel Disc Wheels & 22.5 Low Profile Tires
  • Wearband: 10” High Heavy-Duty Extruded Aluminum Wearband/ Floor End Plank
  • Side Panels: Flat, Smooth, pre-painted white

How Much Product Weight Can I Haul in a Standard Reefer Trailer?

80,000 lbs. GVWR is the federal maximum allowable weight. If exceeded, you will receive a fine unless you have a permit to exceed the limit. (Example: Adding a 3rd axel to your trailer will permit you to haul 90,000 lbs.)

Total combined weight includes:

  • Truck and driver and all personal materials
  • Trailer and product inside the trailer
  • All fuels for truck and reefer unit

Lightweight Scenario:

If you’re driving a Peterbilt day cab that weighs 13,500 lbs. with driver, fuel, and your product weighs 15,000 lbs. You can put 49,000 in that trailer and be under the 80,000 GVWR limit.

Truck Weight: Truck, Driver, Fuel (13,500 lbs.) 

+ Trailer Weight: 53′ x 102′ Utility Reefer (+ 15,000 lbs.)

+ Product Weight: (+ 49,000 lbs) 

= Total GVWR (Max 80,000 lbs.): 77,500 lbs. GVWR

Overweight Scenario:

Truck Weight: Truck, Driver, Fuel (20,000 lbs.)

+ Trailer Weight: 53′ x 102′ Utility Reefer (+ 13,500 lbs.)

+ Product Weight: (+ 49,000 lbs)

= Total GVWR (Max 80,000 lbs.): 82,500 lbs. GVWR

So, we’re going to sit down and figure out how we can make the trailer light while maintaining the structural and strength capacity and not reducing the warranty.

That means we’ll come up with lightweight options: 

  • Aluminum products (wheels, floor)
  • Less insulation
  • Lightweight drums or disc brakes (saves 20 lbs.)
  • Ultraa-K suspension (105 lbs. lighter)

Read: Lightweight Savings Options
Read more in this series, How to Buy the Best Reefer Trailer.
Multi-Temp Design Strategies and Perspectives for Single Temp Operators.