Trailer Focus: Refrigerated Trailers

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Updated Jan 13, 2010

In many ways, refrigerated trailers have the hardest job in the business. They must not only be structurally sound, but they also need outstanding insulation. And while minor damage to other trailers often is superficial, it can quickly ruin a refrigerated trailer by allowing in moisture that wrecks the insulation and adds weight to the trailer.
The following are standard or typical specifications for popular 53-foot refrigerated trailers marketed by leading suppliers.

SuperSeal Refrigerated

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
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
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


Floor: Extruded aluminum 1.25-inch-high duct type; rear gutter flush with top of floor; last 4 inches of floor reinforced for forklift use 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, “2” cam-operated automatic slack adjuster
Sidewalls: 0.40-inch prepainted white aluminum side sheet
Rear frame: Stainless steel; hot-dipped galvanized high-tensile steel; bolt-on under-ride protection
Lining: 0.50-inch Bulitex Hybrid sides; 0.65-inch Versitex front; 0.65-inch Versitex rear doors; 0.65-inch Versitex ceiling
Roof: One-piece 0.032-inch-thick aluminum; corrugated roof sheet design to allow for expansion and contraction without foam delamination or structural weakening


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
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; 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


Floor: 1.375-inch extruded 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
Brakes (ABS): Meritor WABCO 2S-1M
Sidewalls: 1-inch heavy-duty Z-posts; computer-controlled high-pressure foam injection
Lining: Series 70 Bulitex Hybrid thermoplastic liner with extruded aluminum scuff
Rear frame: Brushed stainless-steel rear frame
Rear doors: Modular door design with inner and outer door seals; nylon hinge and lock rod
Roof: UV-resistant SolarGuard roof