We’re getting into that part of the summer where it’s hopefully going to be a lot warmer. For businesses that use fridge and freezer vans, however, this can present a few logistical problems.
What happens if your van breaks down and your stock is put at risk?
Of course, it’s always good to be well prepared. In warmer weather, fridge van drivers have a few issues to deal with. Every time they open the door and take something out, for example, it lets the warm air in and can significantly raise the temperature of the storage compartment. If you’re carrying something like foodstuffs, this can have significant consequences.
Here we take a closer look at how to keep your fridge van suitably cool at all times during the hot summer months.
Pick the Right Van
The first thing you need to ensure is that you have the right van for the goods that you are transporting.
For example, if you run a florist business, you’ll probably have something like a chiller van to get bouquets to your customers. These can easily warm up if the door is opening and closing all the time. If you transport something like food products, choosing a van that has a good refrigeration or freezer unit is essential but so is having a strategy for keeping things as cool as possible during deliveries and transportation.
Pre-Chill the Van
Before loading up your van with products, it’s a very good idea to pre-chill it. This gets the temperature down low enough to meet the requirements of your industry in preparation for stocking up with products. During hot weather, this can take longer than normal, especially if there is a full load.
Keep Goods at the Right Temperature
Most industries using refrigerated vans have industry standards and complying with these is a legal requirement.
For transporting meat, for example, maintaining the cold chain, including when stock is in a refrigerated van, is critical.
Failure to do so can mean bacteria will start to grow. Inadequate chilling can quickly cause contamination of food and that could put people who consume the meat and poultry at risk. Again, where meat transportation is concerned during the summer months, using the right refrigerated van and pre-chilling is essential.
Keep Doors Closed as Much as Possible
One of the key factors with fridge vans in hot weather is how often the doors are opened. At particularly warm times of the day, reducing the amount of outside air that gets inside makes a big difference. Of course, much will depend on what you are delivering and how many customers during the day you are visiting.
Refrigerated vans have two levels of protection to help keep goods chilled. There’s the refrigeration unit itself and the insulation that is used in the storage cabin. The better the insulation, the more likely you are to keep your goods at the right temperature – that’s why it’s important to work with a specialist refrigerated van service, whether you buy or contract hire.
Use Rear Curtains to Keep in the Cold
One way to add a layer of protection against the hot outside air is to include rear curtains. This helps when you open the doors and take products out. Curtains are often used in larger freezer vans that are employed to transport cuts of meat and poultry but can also work in smaller vehicles.
Maintain Your Vehicle
The other big issue that you need a handle on during hot weather is the condition of your vehicle. It’s critical to maintain your fridge van, including the refrigeration unit, and ensure that it is serviced regularly so there are no underlying issues.
The biggest threat to goods that are carried in a refrigerated van is the potential for a breakdown. If this happens, it can also affect the refrigeration unit and if you can’t get access to a new vehicle or breakdown service quickly, chilled products like food can begin to spoil.
Breakdown or Replacement Van Service
Even if you properly maintain your refrigerated van, there’s always a chance that you might break down somewhere on the road. It’s a good idea, particularly in hot weather, to have a contact number for a replacement or breakdown service that can help get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Why Choose FridgeXpress?
FridgeXpress is a leading, specialist refrigerated van company, serving the whole of the UK.
The good news is that fridge vans are all that we do. Whether you want to rent, lease or buy, we have a selection of models designed to fit your needs. If you do break down in hot weather, we can get an emergency replacement out to you in a very quick time.