What is a Refrigerated Truck – How Does it Work and Benefit?

refrigerated truck

The term “reefer” is derived from the word “refrigerator.” A refrigerated or reefer truck is a truck that is specifically designed to transport goods that need to be kept cold.

The refrigeration system in the truck can keep the temperature at a consistent level, regardless of the weather conditions outside. This is what makes them a necessary part of many businesses, as they can transport perishable items without spoiling them. 

Knowing which type of truck is best for your needs can be confusing; however, this article will help you understand the basics of how refrigerated trucks work and what benefits they provide.

Types of Refrigerated Trucks

Chiller trucks, frozen trucks, fridges for trucks, diesel refrigerators, refrigerated truck trailers, tractor fridges, etc. there are various names for them, but they all serve the same purpose: to keep goods cool during transport.

There are several types of refrigerated trucks, each with its unique benefits. These include:

1- Walk-in Refrigerator Truck

A walk-in refrigerator truck is a refrigerated truck that has a built-in walk-in cooler or freezer. This type of truck has a large refrigerated compartment accessed through a set of doors at the back of the truck.

The compartment is big enough to walk into, which makes it easy to load and unload large items.

These trucks are typically used by businesses transporting perishable goods, such as food or flowers.

The walk-in fridge allows businesses to keep their products at a consistent temperature, ensuring they will not spoil during transport.

Walk-in refrigerator trucks can also store products that need to be kept cold but do not require refrigeration, such as ice cream or beer.

These trucks are an essential part of the food industry, and they can be found in many different sizes and configurations to meet the needs of any business.

2- Reefer Truck

Another type of refrigerated truck is the reefer truck. This type of truck has a refrigerated compartment accessed through a small door on the side of the truck.

These trucks are outfitted with special cooling units that keep the cargo at a specific temperature, preventing it from spoiling during transport.

Reefer trucks are commonly used to ship food, other perishables, pharmaceuticals, and other temperature-sensitive goods.

In recent years, reefer trucks have become increasingly popular for transporting fresh produce, allowing farmers to get their products to market quickly and without damage.

Reefer trucks are also used to ship flowers, other plants, and live animals.

With the help of these trucks, farmers and producers can get their products to customers quickly and safely, ensuring that they arrive in perfect condition.

The reefer truck is smaller than the walk-in refrigerator truck.

3- Van-Type Refrigerated Truck

The van-type refrigerated truck is the smallest type, but it can transport a significant amount of goods.

A refrigeration vehicle like this is used to transport perishable goods long or short distances without damaging them during transportation.

benefits of refrigerated trucks

How are Refrigerated Trucks Powered?

Refrigerated trucks are powered by either an electric motor or a diesel engine. The electric motor is used to run the compressor, which is what keeps the air inside the truck cool.

The diesel engine powers the entire truck and provides the energy needed to run the compressor.

A refrigerated truck then works by circulating cool air throughout the box. The compressor cools the air and then circulates it with a fan. The cool air circulates through the box and keeps the goods inside at a consistent temperature.

The temperature inside the box can be set to whatever is necessary to keep the goods being transported fresh.

A refrigerated truck typically has a white exterior with a large, green “reefer” unit on the back. The reefer unit is where the compressor and cooling coils are located.

The truck’s interior is typically divided into two sections: the cab and the box. The box is where the goods being transported are stored. And the cab is where the driver sits.

What’s the Benefit of Transporting with a Cold Storage Unit?

A cold storage unit inside a refrigerator truck can keep goods chilled or frozen during transport. This is especially important for perishable items, such as food, flowers, and pharmaceuticals.

Aside from that, there are various other benefits of transporting with a cold storage unit and reefer vehicle. These include:

  1. One of the main benefits of using a refrigerated truck is that it helps to extend the shelf life of perishable goods. This means that items can be transported long distances without fear of spoiling them.
  2. They can maintain a consistent temperature regardless of the weather conditions outside.
  3. Reefer box trucks are available in various sizes to accommodate different needs.
  4. They can be used to transport both perishable and non-perishable items.
  5. The truck cooler box can be powered by either an electric motor or a diesel engine.

Are There Any Disadvantages of Shipping with a Truck Reefer Container?

Besides the various advantages, there are some disadvantages of shipping with a truck reefer container which you should keep in mind.

These include:

  • Trucks with reefer are more expensive than traditional trucks.
  • These reefer coolers require more maintenance than traditional trucks.
  • They can be more difficult to operate than traditional trucks.

Despite these disadvantages, reefer containers offer many benefits that make them worthwhile investments.

What Should I Look for In A Refrigerated Truck – How Much Does It Generally Cost?

When you are looking to buy a refrigerated truck with a fridge box for your business or services, you should consider various factors.

Some of these factors include the following:

1- The size of the truck. First, you will need to decide how much space you need for your cargo.

Depending on that purchase, a small or large-sized freezer reefer that’s most suitable for you.

2- The type of cooling system. You must choose a truck with a cooling system appropriate for your cargo.

3- The power source. When picking the right refrigerated box truck, you will also need to decide whether you want an electric or diesel-powered truck.

4- The price. You must compare prices from different suppliers to find the best deal.

5- The warranty. You should always check the warranty before you purchase a refrigerated truck.

The cost of a refrigerator truck varies depending on the size of the truck and the features it offers.

Smaller trucks can start at around $30,000, while larger trucks can cost more than $100,000.

Refrigerated trucks are a significant investment, but they offer many benefits that make them worth the cost.


Who makes refrigerated trucks?

There are several refrigerated truck manufacturers around the world. However, some of the most popular brands in the US include Carrier, Thermo King, and Great Dane.

A Few other brands also include Prime Inc., KLLM Transport Services, Swift Refrigerated, and more. Before you purchase a truck, it is important to do your research to find the best manufacturer for your needs.

How cold can a refrigerator truck get?

The temperature in a refrigerator truck can be set as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is necessary for transporting certain items, such as ice cream and other frozen goods.

The truck’s cooling system is designed to maintain a consistent temperature regardless of the outside conditions.

Can the refrigerator truck be a freezer unit?

The refrigerator truck can be a freezer outfitted with the proper cooling system.

Freezer trucks are typically used to transport frozen goods, such as ice cream, frozen food, and other items that need to be kept at a freezing temperature. These trucks are outfitted with special cooling units that keep the cargo at a specific temperature, preventing it from thawing during transport.