I can’t stress the importance of research and having the trailer properly checked out before you buy it. That includes having a licensed refrigeration mechanic check out the cooling systems, especially if you are buying used.
This is the key question everyone wants to know before jumping into something new. Well, the simple answer it is very profitable. It has been estimated that the average reefer load gets 20% more than the standard dry van load! So, as you can see it is.
Now just like with anything else do your homework first. Check your standard rates (based on per mile), and compare them to your competition. Then do the same with the reefer. The longer the run the more you charge, obviously, but if you can tack on an extra 20% to run the same route, why wouldn’t you?
Keep in mind it does cost a bit extra to purchase a reefer. But they long term payout more than compensates for the cost. But like any piece of equipment, a reefer does you no good if it sits empty in the yard. Or if it runs the highways unloaded. So make sure you consider this before you purchase any.
This is another good question. And it is the best one asked before you invest in additional equipment of any kind. But the simple answer is, no. You would be surprised just by just how great the need for reefer trucks can be. Actually it’s a huge need.
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Products need to get to market and as the US population increases so does the need to get food stuffed to the store shelves. Not everything can be transported in dry van trailer. Some items must be transported at the correct temperature. For example, certain seasons see an increase of flower shipments (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.). So for as long as there are products that need to be maintained at a precise temperature, there will be a need for reefers, and there are always product with a sensitive temperature, I mean always!
If your company is already established then this is the obvious next step in your company’s growth. If you are just starting out, now is the right time to have reefers in your fleet inventory. The more service you can provide to potential clients the better chances of getting runs. If you work with a broker, it makes it easier for him/her to find potential customers.
Well I could have bored you with technical aspects about refrigeration, such as explaining how cold merely the absence of heat is. Or by stating the BTU rate per hour of the average unit, or other such things that are important but just not that exciting.
Reefers are an important piece of equipment. They are also an essential part of any major carrier’s fleet. They do require like and the other types of trucks if not even more a proper maintenance scheduled. Then again, so does every piece of equipment, from the copier to the rig.
As I have always said, look into your options. You can get used or new. You can get a wide variety of extras. For those of you who have either looked into this or already own a reefer, what suggestions do you have? What are some of the things to watch out for?
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