Trailer Focus: Refrigerated

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Great Dane

In a sense, refrigerated vans have the toughest job of all the common trailer types. Like dry vans and flatbeds, they must keep their cargo physically secure. But that’s only the beginning. They also must keep their freight cold or frozen despite ambient temperatures that often exceed 90 degrees.

Obviously, much of the work rests with refrigerated units supplied by Carrier Transicold or Thermo King, but the trailers themselves – built with today’s stronger, lighter floors and sidewalls, and with UV-resistant roofs – are an increasingly large part of the equation due to rising diesel costs incurred by fleet owners and greater environmental regulations imposed on manufacturers and fleet owners alike.

The following are standard or typical specifications for popular 53-foot refrigerated trailers marketed by leading suppliers.

SuperSeal Refrigerated

Gross vehicle weight rating: 65,000 lbs.
Floor: 1.38-inch heavy-duty aluminum duct for maximum air return; flush rear gutter; four drains
Crossmember: Front – 4-inch aluminum I-beam; bay area – 5-inch-deep aluminum I-beam; side area – 4-inch-deep steel I-beam; all on 12-inch centers
Suspension: Hendrickson HKANT40K 49-inch spread tandem slide
Brakes: 16.50-inch x 7-inch extended service linings
Lighting: All lights Grote LED except midship turn signal and license lights; Grote Long Life Light System
Sidewalls: 1.13-inch aluminum J upright on 8-, 16- and 24-inch centers; 0.040-inch prepainted white flat or corrugated aluminum side sheets; 0.035-inch corrugated stainless steel (optional)
Lining: 0.06-inch high-glass-content flat white fiberglass lining; for temperature control, front – 3.5 inch, doors – 3 inch, sides – 2 inch, roof – 2.9 inch, floor – 2.5 inch, all urethane foam
Rear frame: Stainless steel
Rear doors: Aluminum frame swing; prepainted white aluminum cover sheets (standard); stainless steel (optional)
Roof: 0.04-inch aluminum sheet with aluminum bows on 32-inch centers

HT Thermotech

Gross vehicle weight rating: 65,000 lbs.
Floor: Extruded aluminum 1.25-inch-high duct type; rear gutter flush with top of floor; last 4 inches of floor reinforced with extruded aluminum inserts and 43-inch-deep x 96-inch-wide composite bearing sheet
Crossmember: 4-inch-deep extruded aluminum I-beams on 12-inch centers from end of upper running gear rails to support gear; 3-inch-deep high-tensile aluminum I-beam on 12-inch centers between upper coupler and support gear; 4-inch-steel 80,000-lb.-yield I-beams on 12-inch centers over support gear and upper running gear rails; two additional I-beams added in rear 4 feet of trailer for impact resistance
Suspension: Hutchens H9700 with H9711 slider assembly
Brakes: Nonasbestos lining, 16.5-inch x 7-inch quick change type, “S” cam-operated automatic slack adjuster
Sidewalls: 0.40-inch prepainted white aluminum side sheet
Lining: 0.50-inch Bulitex Hybrid sides; 0.65-inch Versitex front; 0.65-inch Versitex rear doors; 0.65-inch Versitex ceiling
Rear frame: Stainless steel; hot-dipped galvanized high-tensile steel; bolt-on under-ride protection
Rear doors: Extruded aluminum frame-type swing doors with dual durometer seals and .040-inch prepainted white aluminum outer sheets
Roof: One-piece 0.032-inch-thick aluminum; corrugated roof sheet design to allow for expansion and contraction without foam delamination or structural weakening

3000R Refrigerated Van

Gross vehicle weight rating: 65,000 lbs.
Floor: 1.375-inch heavy-duty extruded aluminum duct; 16,000-lb. dynamic fork truck capacity
Crossmember: 5.5-inch aluminum 16,000-lb. I-beams; 12-inch centerline in bay
Suspension: Hendrickson HKANT 40,000- lb. Vantraax air-ride sliding tandem
Brakes: Outboard-mounted cast-iron drums; 16.5-inch x 7-inch brakes; anti-lock brake system (optional); 10 stud hubs
Axle/wheel end: Hendrickson LDA; N-spindle; Stemco Platinum Performance 5-year wheel-end system
Electrical: Water-resistant, internally grounded proprietary design wiring harness with 10-year warranty; LEDs in top rail, stop/turn/tail lights
Sidewalls: 0.04-inch prepainted white aluminum side skins
Lining: Kemlite FRP interior lining; 0.06-inch one-piece ceiling lining; tapered 0.06-inch, 100-inch one-piece sidewall lining; exclusive Foam-In-Place insulation system with 2008 EPA-compliant foam; 4-inch front wall insulation; 2-inch sidewall insulation; 3-inch roof and floor insulation
Rear frame: Brushed-finish stainless-steel rear-door case
Rear doors: Utility barrier-type with external hardware
Roof: 3-inch-thick foam-in-place technology

ArcticLite Reefer

Gross vehicle weight rating: 68,000 lbs.
Floor: 1.375-inch-deep heavy-duty aluminum duct floor; outer aluminum floor extrusion interlocks with scuff angle; corrosion-proof composite stringers; single-piece thermoplastic sub-pan
Crossmember: 5-inch aluminum I-beams on 12-inch centers in bay area; 4-inch steel I-beams on 12-inch centers over slider; 4-inch steel I-beams on 8-inch centers in rear 4 feet
Suspension: Hendrickson HKANT-40 Vantraax 40,000-lb. air-ride sliding tandem
ABS: Meritor WABCO 2S-1M
Wheel end: Hendrickson HP axle including parallel spindle, preloaded bearings, castellated nut, long-life wheel seals, Abex extended-service brakes
Lighting: LEDs upper front and rear marker; modular-sealed main cable with Truck-Lite SureSeal plug-ins; all lights with return ground
Sidewalls: 1-inch heavy-duty Z-posts; computer-controlled high-pressure foam injection
Lining: 0.50-inch Bulitex Hybrid thermoplastic liner with extruded aluminum scuff; optional Bulitex liner with integral scuff
Rear frame: Brushed stainless-steel rear frame
Rear doors: Modular door design with inner and outer door seals; nylon hinge and lock rod bushings
Roof: UV-resistant SolarGuard roof