International provides solution to keep food, beverages cold

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International Truck and Engine Corp., a Navistar company, and Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, a Carlisle company, are jointly launching a “cool” new product called RouteMax intended to provide a new alternative to refrigerated transportation. Together they have developed technology they say keeps food and beverage shipments cool – and as efficiently as possible – while in transit exclusively on International DuraStar trucks.

“Food service distributors throughout North America place their top priorities on keeping their shipments at the proper temperature in the most efficient and reliable manner,” says Steve Guillaume, general manager of medium truck for Warrenville, Ill.-based International. “With RouteMax, food service distributors and customers alike now have a reliable alternative that is more cost-effective than current options.”

RouteMax is a self-powered, extended-route cold plate refrigeration system used exclusively in Johnson truck bodies. It charges devices called “cold plates” – coated steel plates with tubing that contains a salt-brine solution – to facilitate a cool temperature inside the truck body. A traditional cold-plate refrigeration system requires overnight plug-in to refreeze the salt brine. With RouteMax, the plates also are recharged during the route by a condensing unit that quickly restores the body’s internal temperature and removes heat from the cold plates, according to Johnson.

The power to charge the condensing unit comes from International Diamond Logic PowerPack 3 – an OEM factory-installed 3,000-watt AC power solution. PowerPack 3, designed to offer fully integrated on-demand power, is available on International DuraStar and International WorkStar models. The companies say truck bodies with RouteMax provide distinct advantages for food transportation customers, including:

  • Savings of up to $6,000 per truck annually when using cold plates versus traditional mechanical refrigerated units;
  • Lower operating costs – 80 to 90 percent savings in overall operating cost when using the electric solution versus diesel fuel;
  • Virtually maintenance-free;
  • Ensures high reliability;
  • 15-year lifespan;
  • Quick temperature recovery to increase food/beverage protection; and
  • Environmentally friendly – significantly reduces CO2 emissions.
  • Johnson says that while traditional cold plate systems hold the body’s temperature during daily delivery runs of 10 to 12 hours, its RouteMax solution sets a new cold plate standard that serves customers who deliver cold products for 16 to 20 hours per day; with RouteMax, the temperature is continually maintained because the cold plates are charged when needed by the PowerPack 3 system.

    “Large customers and small customers alike should be able to appreciate the improvements to the product reliability and ultimately the bottom line with the launch of this new innovation,” says Ron Ricci, president of Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies.

    International says that as an additional feature, fleet managers or customers can monitor the truck body temperature remotely from a password-protected Internet site thanks to Aware Vehicle Intelligence, an optional GPS-based solution from Navistar Electronics designed to monitor truck and body performance.