How to Keep Your Refrigerated Van in Tip-top Shape
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. Schedule regular professional inspections.
Scheduling regular routine “checkups” for your refrigerated vehicle is a critical part of preventative maintenance. Newer models can typically go about 100,000 miles between inspections, but if you’re driving in notably harsh conditions, you may space them closer 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 consistent tune-ups.
Another fundamental maintenance requirement is seeing if your oil is clean, and if your oil and coolant levels are good. Oil must be changed around every 3000 miles to maintain optimal performance. Refrigerated vans are specially sensitive to dirt, dust and water, which can hamper their ability to keep to a constant temperature. During a tune-up, make it a point that no contaminants will reach the refrigeration unit. Take note that any maintenance that necessitates separating components of the refrigeration unit has to be performed by a skilled professional.
3. Perform inspections prior to trips.
Before each single trip, perform a fast check of your refrigerated truck or van, making sure that everything is doing well. A traveling loaded vehicle is way more pricey and demanding to repair than an empty one idling in the garage, so you can actually save time and cash by doing an inspection prior to loading your cargo.
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. Also, you’d like to check:
> the door’s lock and seals;
> temperature and fresh air settings
> drains; and
> oil and coolant levels.
4. Look out 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 instance, if the refrigeration unit is taking longer than usual cool down, or if you’re hearing strange noises, schedule a visit to your mechanic right away.
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.