Trailer Talk


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Is There a 'Great Future' in Plastic Trailers?

Plastics -- specifically, molded structural composites -- might constitute the future of trailers. Some are used in Europe, and Wabash National is ready to build them here.

Dustin Hoffman's character, Ben Braddock, listens as Mr. McGuire (Walter Brooke) advises him to seek a future in "plastics." Photo: Tom Berg, from "The Graduate" (Embassy Pictures, 1967), via

December 9, 2016

Plastics -- specifically, molded structural composites -- might constitute the future of trailers. Some are used in Europe, and Wabash National is ready to build them here. Werner Enterprises, K&B Transportation, Combined Transport, and Leonard’s Express will acquire some MSC trailers for testing, and three dealers will help bring the trailers to market.

Tags: Reefers, Wabash National, Composites, Refrigerated Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, December 9, 2016 11:19 AM | » Comments(0)

Keeping Ice Cream Cold’s Especially Important This Month

July is National Ice Cream Month. Act now or act soon to get special deals on this happy food. Of course it comes by truck.

For many years, Ralphs rigs have carried all manner of foodstuffs to the chain's stores throughout southern California. It's now owned by Kroger. Image: Ralphs Grocery Co.

July 17, 2016

Barry, a Ralphs driver, rejected a load because it was too warm. He was especially conscientious, but his action exemplifies care shown by workers all along the "cold chain."

Tags: Reefers, Food and Beverage Fleets, Transport Refrigeration

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, July 17, 2016 12:01 AM | » Comments(0)

Thermo King Solar Panels Keep Batteries Charged

Got Power? ThermoLite panels make sure you do.

A single 26-watt panel is the smallest one, but two larger panels are available to generate addiational wattage, hermo King says. Photo: Thermo King

April 1, 2016

Devices are aimed at reefer use, but there's almost no limit on how they can be employed, the company says.

Tags: Solar Power, Thermo King, Reefers, Solar Charging

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, April 1, 2016 10:36 AM | » Comments(0)

CO2, Bad as a GHG, Becomes Good as a Refrigerant

NaturaLine CO2 reefer units go to sea on containers hauling perishables. Photo: Carrier Transicold

October 9, 2015

The same CO2 that government regulators work to control as a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming might be embraced as a more environmentally friendly compound to keep our perishables at safe temperatures.

Tags: Carrier Transicold, Transport Refrigeration, Reefers, Refrigerated Trailers, GHG

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, October 9, 2015 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Founders of Failed ‘Cold Train’ Blame BNSF Railway, Sue for $41 Million

Cold Train containers being handled at the Port of Quincy's BNSF intermodal rail line. Photo courtesy Port of Quincy.

April 7, 2015

Claims made by Cold Train founders in their $41 million suit, announced on Tuesday, illustrate how the railroads, like truckers, can’t handle all the business being thrown at them.

Tags: Trailers, Lawsuits, Intermodal, Reefers, BNSF

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, April 7, 2015 4:46 PM | » Comments(0)

Liquid Nitrogen – How Cool is That?

Guest post: Toss the diesel and pump in some liquid nitrogen for super-cold cooling.

The Cryometrix CB-40 pollution-free reefer.

August 8, 2014

Reflect Scientific says a Cryometrix CB-40 transport refrigeration unit made history by delivering its first commercial load of frozen foods using a new pollution-free refrigeration technology.

Tags: Reefers, Transportation Refrigeration Units, Trailers

Author: Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor | Posted @ Friday, August 8, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Solar Panels Cure Problem of Run-Down Liftgate Batteries

There are various remedies for weak batteries, but Darry Stuart, a contract fleet manager, looked to the sun for a solution.

June 23, 2014

A single 100-watt solar panel keeps the trailer's four Group 31 batteries charged and the liftgate operating reliably.

Tags: Trailers, Idle Reduction, Reefers, eNow, Solar Charging

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 23, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Reefer makers say they're ready for new emissions rules

August 22, 2012

Clean air is neither cheap nor simple

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:10 AM | » Comments(0)

Witte Bros. plugs in to keep cold cargoes cold

Fuel savings have more than paid for installation of 460-volt, 3-phase wiring and outlets at the fleet's home terminal in Troy, Mo. Trailer TRUs run on electrical stand-by power while they're parked on weekends.

May 2, 2012

You won't hear many reefer diesels running in the yard at Witte Brothers Exchange in Troy, Mo., because the trailer-mounted units are plugged into electrical outlets and running on so-called standby power

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:01 AM | » Comments(0)

Forget the evils of CO2. It's actually an environmentally safe refrigerant, Carrier says

First NaturaLine units will be for use in temperature-controlled sea containers. Later, the CO2 concept might be used in trailer reefers.

December 28, 2011

The way that environmentalists bad-mouth carbon dioxide, it should be a four-letter word. Of course it is abbreviated to three characters - CO2.

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, December 28, 2011 9:33 AM | » Comments(0)

England's Containers Travel Far Even Before They Begin Working

C.R. England’s new containers go from China to the American Midwest to be outfitted with Thermo King reefer units. Drayage tractors are Freightliner M2-112s with DD13 engines.

December 13, 2010

The domestic refrigerated containers used by C.R. England in its award-winning TempStack intermodal operation enter service only after a long journey from Asia to the American Midwest. And their typical hauls are likewise lengthy

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, December 13, 2010 7:03 AM | » Comments(4)

England's Double-Stack Operation Saves Fuel, Cuts Emissions, Wins Energy Award from TK

C.R. England is building a fleet of 53-foot-long refrigerated containers that will total 300 by early 2011

December 7, 2010

Long-hauling of perishable commodities by rail using advanced temperature-controlled 53-foot containers last year saved C.R. England more than 3.5 million gallons of fuel compared to over-the-road operations. For that, the carrier won Thermo King's Energy Efficiency Leader Award, with a ceremony set for today

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, December 7, 2010 8:30 AM | » Comments(0)

Minnesota to Honor Thermo King's Fred Jones, Who Invented Early Mechanical Transport Reefers

Weight was a problem even when Fred Jones invented his early transport refrigeration equipment, and he found ways to wring out many pounds from Thermo King units while making them hold up to road vibrations.

November 3, 2010

It's been 72 years since Fredrick McKinley Jones devised what is claimed to have been the first successful mechanical refrigeration system for truck-trailers, and his story goes beyond invention

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, November 3, 2010 6:27 AM | » Comments(0)



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