Shopping for a refrigerated truck for your food service business? If so, there are a few details to watch out for. Food service truck trailers need specific abilities, as they often carry loads of multiple products at once.

For instance, be certain the trailer and its doors is well insulated, and that the compressor and refrigeration equipment are rated sufficiently to freeze or chill a space slightly larger than the interior of the food cargo area. You want to be sure the equipment isn’t too taxed to do the job on a really hot day. For long trailers, you’ll need ductwork so that chilling or freezing takes place evenly through the length of the trailer.

Some other details to think about:

  1. Adding insulation will help keep your cargo cold enough, but comes with a cost. While you can’t afford to let temperatures fall to the point where your cargo stands a chance of being refused, added insulation will also take up limited cargo space. You may have to make some alterations in the trailer’s layout to accommodate for thicker walls and more heavy-duty trailer doors.
  2. Do you want an overhead truck door or swinging doors?
  • Roll-up doors are convenient when you have to open the truck doors frequently, going from stop to stop. But this type of truck trailer door can leak energy like wild, and you may find products near the door don’t stay as cold as they should, so the refrigeration system has to work harder to maintain temperature.
  • Insulated side-by-side truck doors will require more effort to open repeatedly, but are more energy-efficient. Installing plastic strip doors between the cargo and the doors will cut down on energy loss, but these doors can be subject to breaking as you load and unload.
  1. Transportation of food is regulated by the Food Safety Modernization Act. Among other requirements, FSMA mandates that the trailer must be sealed well enough to keep out insects and rodents; the set-up in the cargo area must be easy to inspect for temperature and cleanliness; and no vents or ductwork should drip condensation on food. Also, interior surfaces should be made of materials that can be easily washed and disinfected, such as stainless steel.

So when deciding the features you want in a food service cargo truck, a huge part of your process should be spent on assessing the quality, quantity and type of insulation in the trailer as well as the truck trailer doors. Up-front expenses for well-insulated freight spaces might be more, but energy efficiency and consistent, effective temperature control easily make the investment worth it in preventing food spoilage and waste.