Question: What is the top priority of refrigerated freight handlers? Answer: proper reefer van maintenance. You can better ensure your load’s integrity by maintaining your truck. But what’s the best and recommended method for reefer truck/van/trailer maintenance? The FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) put forth by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has all you need to know. Below, you’ll see some essential maintenance tips for refrigerated trucks which are keeping in line with the FSMA.
Maintain Accurate Shipping Records
Regarding food safety transportation practices, for written procedures and agreements, shipping records are required for drivers and carriers, according to the FDA. Details covered in this procedure will be things like the handling of reefer trailers (i.e., how often trailer and truck inspections are required by your company).
Make Sure Safety Training Is Provided
Safety training is a requirement for carriers and drivers, also according to the FDA. Covered in this training will be sanitary transportation practices such as minimizing microbial food hazards, how to handle the bulk transport of juice concentrates, and more.
Prevent Cross Contact and Contamination
One real danger in the transport of food items is cross contact and contamination of raw food. This must be prevented at all costs. Employ safe food hauling practices and maintain a clean trailer to prevent cross-contamination.
Did you know that foods such as peanuts and others which are known allergens can cross contaminate other foods, potentially causing an allergic reaction in an unsuspecting individual who thinks they are eating food that is safe and not allergenic? It’s true.
Drivers are required to clean their trailers when they’re done handling food items – particularly livestock or meat. This can range from finding a truck wash and using a full-scale power wash to a simple sweep out of the trailer floor.
Make Sure Diesel Tanks Are As Full As Possible
Naturally, while you drive you use the gas from your tank. That’s understood. But because diesel fuel is used to power a refrigeration unit, compared to nonpowered dry van trailers, reefers use more fuel. The fuel level must be first and foremost in a driver’s mind.
Routine Inspections Must Be Conducted
One would think that this would go without saying but… here it is. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates post-trip and pre-trip inspections. A refrigeration unit and reefer trailer should routinely be inspected by the driver. As well as after a trip, this includes during transit.
Temperatures Must Be Kept Appropriate and Constant
Appropriate, constant temperatures are essential for transporting food that needs to be refrigerated or frozen at a certain temperature. There are no two ways about this! It’s the only way to prevent mold, bacteria, contamination, and food spoilage.
Mickey Genuine Parts For Reefer Maintenance
Do you need reefer van maintenance? If you need maintenance done on one or more reefers, or some other type of truck or trailer, there is no one better to trust with your valuable shipping/transportation concerns than one of our certified service centers. Throughout the United States, they’re conveniently located with one either close to you or along your route somewhere.
When you’re in the market for a new/used trailer, reefer, or other shipping/transportation need, check with Mickey Genuine Parts. If you’d like to speak to someone about an order or have questions, contact us today.