While many of our renters have been using refrigerator vans for their business for years, some of our customers will be loading up a van for the first time. Loading a reefer van is, in general, similar to loading any sort of cargo, but there are a few important aspects to consider. The following tips for loading a reefer van will help to make sure that your cargo stays cool and you both get to the destination safely.

How To Load Your Refrigerated Van

  • Ensure that the van is pre-cooled: While our vans are insulated, just like any refrigerator, it needs a power source to stay cool. Before you load the food, make sure that you have the van either plugged in to enable electric standby, or have the engine running to provide power to the cooling elements.
  • Keep the van turned off while doors are open: If your van is parked and sitting with goods in it, then keep it plugged in to a source of power. However, if you are delivering a load and will be on your way in a few minutes, it is actually better to shut the van off completely. This is because the cooling fan can draw in warm air when the doors are open and circulate it through the unit. Even though some heat may get pulled in naturally when the doors are open to unload, it is still better to keep the refrigeration unit off.

  • Don’t over pack: You’re not playing Tetris here, you’re trying to safely transport chilled goods. Ensuring that there is enough space for air flow through and around your goods will help to keep them more evenly chilled. Make sure that your cargo is not blocking any fans, vents, or other refrigeration parts. Also, it is best to leave at least an inch of room between your cargo and the interior walls of the van, especially if your product is packaged in cardboard boxes that do not allow air to flow through. If you are, for example, transporting produce or bottles that are in slatted crates, this at least allows for air to move around the products. When there is no airflow to certain areas of the van, these areas have the potential to become warm spots.
  • Load heavy items first: You may have heard this advice when loading a trailer to ensure even weight distribution. In a trailer, if you load heavy items at the back of your trailer, you’re more likely to fishtail. This is less likely to happen in a van, but loading heavy items first is still a good idea. This is because if you break suddenly, items in the cargo area are likely to shift forward. Loading heavy items first will keep your lighter items from being crushed.

Have More Questions About Loading? No Problem!

Our dedicated team at CoolVans would love to answer your questions. Whether this is your first time loading up a refrigerated van, or you’re an expert looking for a few more tips, we’d love to help out. Contact us today to reserve your reefer van rental, or let us know if you have any questions about what our vans can do for you!