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Top Tips for Maintaining a Well-conditioned Refrigerated Van

Whether you’re carrying flowers, blood or other perishable items, your refrigerated van is a crucial part of your business. Mechanical breakdowns can have serious consequences, not just for your client but also for you. To make sure that your goods maintain coolness throughout their trip, follow these basic maintenance guidelines to keep your refrigerated van in superior shape:

1. Set constant professional inspections.

Scheduling frequent “checkups” for your vehicle is an indispensable part of preventative maintenance. Newer models can often go about 100,000 miles in between inspections, but if you’re driving in particularly harsh conditions, you may change this to every 25,000 miles. Professional mechanics have expert eyes and ears for trivial problems that can escalate if left unattended, and play an important part in keeping your van running well.

2. Conduct constant tune-ups.

Another essential maintenance routine is checking if your oil is clean, and whether or not your oil and coolant levels are fine. Oil must be changed around every 3000 miles to maintain optimal performance. Refrigerated trucks are specifically sensitive to water, dust and dirt, which can impact their ability to remain at a stable temperature. During a tune-up, make sure that no contaminants have found their way into the refrigeration unit. Remember that any maintenance that demands dismantling components of the refrigeration unit needs to be performed by an experienced pro.

3. Perform checks before trips.

Before each single trip, perform a fast check of your refrigerated truck or van, making sure that everything is doing well. A loaded vehicle on the road is way more expensive and tougher to repair compared to an one sitting in your garage, so you’ll actually save money and time if you do an inspection prior to cargo loading.

Before each and every trip, make sure the inside of the vehicle is clean and the walls of the insulated area have been inspected for cracks. In addition, you’d like to check:

> door lock and seals;

> fresh air and temperature settings;

> drains; and

> oil and coolant levels.

4. Observe for warning signs.

Expert refrigerated van operators are aware that being attentive to changes in their vehicles’ behavior is their best defense against breakdowns. Any observed deviation should be taken note of. For example, if the refrigeration unit takes a lot longer to cool down than usual, or if it’s making weird noises, visit your mechanic immediately.

Keeping your vehicle in good condition is, indeed, critical; if you are unable to do so, your goods can perish prematurely, leading to frustration for your customer and a loss of profit and integrity for you. As a business owner, you need to avoid these two scenarios.