When it comes to maintaining the right environment for temperature-sensitive loads—especially considering the upcoming FSMA Sanitary Food Control & Transportation Rules — thermal efficiency of trailers plays a key role. Trailers designed and built with the required thermal efficiency to effectively protect cargo are a must, but thermal efficiency is just one part of the equation, properly maintaining trailers is the other.
Spec’ and Maintain
First of all, to get and maintain optimum thermal efficiency, fleets need to spec equipment to reduce the probability of damage. Then they need to be committed to regularly scheduled inspections and timely repairs of that equipment. The next step is to ensure proper loading and airflow in the trailer. This includes making sure units are correctly precooled and that the cargo is at the proper temperature when loaded. Temperature sensing and recording equipment—and diligence in using that equipment—is going to be necessary to prove compliance with shipper specs. High performance linings like PunctureGuard and ThermoGuard don’t provide insulation performance per se, but rather protect the insulation from bad things like moisture intrusion, outgassing (ThermoGuard), and to some extent, mechanical damage. So choosing the right linings is important.
Remember to spec the right options. Consider using protective measures or materials that can prevent the scars, scrapes and holes. Various scuff specs and materials, and logistic track, etc., can help protect the trailer interior. Careful floor and scuffband specs are critical. Load restraint may be helpful to maintain airspace around the load. For certain loads (chilled/produce) air distribution is critically important, so fleets transporting those products need to focus on the specs for bulkheads and the air delivery system.