The Wonderful World of Refrigerated Trailers

Refrigerated Trailer Hire

A refrigerated trailer is a compact, mobile refrigeration unit often used to provide additional cooling capabilities for businesses or for specific events such as festivals and other events.

What’s the Difference Between a Trailer and a Van?

The key differences between a small refrigerated trailer and a refrigerated van are as follows:

  1. Purpose and Flexibility:
    • Small Refrigerated Trailer: Designed for stationary use or short-distance moves, these trailers are perfect for on-site refrigeration needs. They can be parked at a location to serve as an additional cold storage unit for events, or at business premises requiring extra refrigeration capacity.
    • Refrigerated Van: Primarily used for the delivery of goods from one location to another. Refrigerated vans are better suited for businesses that need to deliver temperature-sensitive products directly to customers or retail outlets.
  2. Capacity and Space:
    • Small Refrigerated Trailer: While smaller than the large trailers used for cross-country transport, these units still offer significant space, making them suitable for storing quantities of products temporarily. They can be a practical extension of a business’s existing refrigeration facilities.
    • Refrigerated Van: The interior space is limited by the size of the van. While it’s sufficient for deliveries, it may not accommodate the bulk storage needs of a business during high-demand periods or for large-scale events.
  3. Operational Use:
    • Small Refrigerated Trailer: Ideal for situations where the refrigeration unit needs to remain in one place for an extended period, such as during festivals, outdoor events, or as temporary overflow storage for businesses.
    • Refrigerated Van: Best suited for active delivery services, allowing for the direct transport of chilled or frozen goods to various locations.
  4. Accessibility:
    • Small Refrigerated Trailer: These trailers can be equipped with features like walk-in ramps or step access, making them easily accessible for loading and unloading large quantities of goods or for use as a walk-in cooler at public events.
    • Refrigerated Van: Access is generally through the rear doors, and space is more constrained, making it less convenient for frequent loading and unloading of large items or quantities.

Refrigerated trailers provide a flexible, accessible, and convenient solution for businesses and events needing temporary or additional refrigeration capacity. They are distinct from refrigerated vans, which are designed with mobility in mind for the regular transport of goods.

They are versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications, offering temporary or supplementary refrigeration capacity. They are particularly valuable for events, seasonal demands, or as additional storage solutions.

What Businesses Can Benefit from a Refrigerated Trailer?

Here are the types of businesses and scenarios that can benefit from hiring a smaller refrigerated trailer for a short period:

  1. Catering Companies and Event Organisers: For outdoor events, weddings, festivals, and corporate functions where fresh food and beverages need to be kept at safe temperatures.
  2. Restaurants and Cafés: Especially those with limited on-site refrigeration or those hosting special events off-premises, needing extra cold storage space.
  3. Florists: To keep flowers fresh, especially during large events like weddings or funerals, or in peak seasons like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
  4. Butchers and Meat Processing Plants: For additional storage during peak hunting seasons or when there is a surplus of stock that exceeds the capacity of their permanent facilities.
  5. Farmers and Produce Vendors: To store fruits, vegetables, and dairy products during harvest times or for farmers’ markets to ensure freshness and reduce spoilage.
  6. Pharmaceutical Companies: For storing medications and vaccines that require refrigeration, especially during transport to medical facilities or during health drives.
  7. Seafood Suppliers: To keep seafood fresh, particularly when transporting to markets or during outdoor sales events.
  8. Dairy Producers: For storing milk, cheese, and other dairy products, especially when there is an increase in production or a need for temporary storage.
  9. Confectioners and Bakers: To preserve the quality of chocolates, pastries, and other temperature-sensitive products during transport or events.
  10. Breweries and Beverage Distributors: For chilling drinks, especially during festivals, outdoor events, or in situations where additional cold storage is required.
  11. Grocery Stores and Supermarkets: For overflow storage during peak shopping seasons or when in-store refrigeration systems are undergoing maintenance or upgrades.
  12. Emergency and Disaster Response Teams: To store perishable food supplies and medical supplies that require cooling in disaster-struck areas or during relief operations.

Hiring a smaller refrigerated trailer offers these businesses and organisations the flexibility to scale their operations up or down as required, ensuring that their products remain fresh and safe for consumption or use, without the need for permanent investment in additional refrigeration equipment.

Energy Efficiency in Refrigerated Trailers: Myths and Facts

The operation of refrigerated trailers, especially the smaller models used for festivals, extra storage for businesses, and other temporary needs, often comes with questions about their energy efficiency. Understanding the myths and facts surrounding this topic can help businesses make informed decisions when hiring or investing in these units.

Myth 1: Refrigerated Trailers Are Always Energy Intensive

Fact: Modern refrigerated trailers are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Many are equipped with advanced refrigeration units that use less energy, thanks to improvements in insulation materials and refrigeration technology.

Additionally, some models incorporate energy-saving features like solar panels to power the refrigeration unit, reducing the reliance on diesel or electric power.

Myth 2: All Refrigerated Trailers Use the Same Amount of Energy

Fact: The energy consumption of refrigerated trailers can vary widely depending on the size of the trailer, the age and condition of the refrigeration unit, the type of goods being stored, and the external temperature.

Smaller trailers or those designed for specific goods (like flowers versus frozen foods) can be more energy-efficient due to their tailored refrigeration requirements and better insulation.

Myth 3: Refrigerated Trailers Cannot Maintain Temperature Efficiently in Hot Weather

Fact: While extreme temperatures can pose challenges, high-quality refrigerated trailers are capable of maintaining the necessary internal temperatures even in hot climates. This is achieved through the use of advanced cooling systems and high-grade insulation that prevents external temperatures from affecting the inside of the trailer.

Myth 4: Operating a Refrigerated Trailer at Full Capacity is Less Energy Efficient

Fact: Contrary to what some might believe, operating a refrigerated trailer at or near full capacity can actually improve energy efficiency. A fully loaded trailer will retain cold temperatures more effectively than an empty one, as the goods inside help to absorb and retain the cold, reducing the amount of work the refrigeration unit needs to do to maintain the set temperature.

Myth 5: Frequent Opening of Trailer Doors Leads to Significant Energy Waste

Fact: While it’s true that opening the doors of a refrigerated trailer can lead to some loss of cold air, modern trailers often come equipped with rapid recovery cooling systems designed to quickly restore the internal temperature. Additionally, strategic loading and unloading practices, as well as the use of curtain strips at doors, can minimise cold air loss.

Should I Buy or Hire a Refrigerated Trailer?

When it comes to acquiring a refrigerated trailer for your business needs, the decision to buy or hire is pivotal.

While owning a trailer offers certain advantages, hiring a refrigerated trailer is often the more practical and cost-effective choice, especially for businesses that require it for short periods or on an occasional basis. Here’s why leaning towards hiring rather than purchasing might be the better option for your business.


Hiring a refrigerated trailer provides unparalleled flexibility. You can select the exact size and specification needed for each job or event, ensuring you’re not paying to cool unused space or finding yourself with insufficient capacity. This adaptability is crucial for businesses with seasonal peaks or varying demands.


The initial outlay for purchasing a refrigerated trailer can be substantial. When you hire, you avoid this upfront cost, freeing up capital for other aspects of your business.

Additionally, hiring eliminates ongoing maintenance, repair, and depreciation costs, making it easier to manage your finances with predictable expenses.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Owning a refrigerated trailer comes with the responsibility of maintenance and repairs to ensure it remains in optimal operating condition.

When you hire, the rental company takes care of all maintenance, servicing, and repair work, ensuring the trailer is in excellent condition when it arrives, and you won’t face unexpected costs or downtime.

Latest Technology

Rental companies typically offer the latest models with advanced features and better fuel efficiency. This means you can benefit from the most efficient and environmentally friendly options without investing in new equipment every few years.

Hiring gives you access to the latest refrigeration technologies that can offer better performance and energy savings.

Short-term Needs and Trial

For businesses that only need refrigeration capacity occasionally, such as for events, peak seasonal demands, or temporary replacements during equipment breakdowns, hiring is unequivocally the best option. It allows you to meet your refrigeration needs without the long-term commitment or cost of ownership.

Moreover, hiring provides an opportunity to trial different models and sizes, helping to inform future purchasing decisions should your business need to change.

Regulatory Compliance

Refrigerated trailers must comply with strict regulations concerning temperature control and safety. Rental companies ensure their fleets meet these standards, relieving you of the burden of compliance. This peace of mind is invaluable, especially for businesses that might not have the in-house expertise to navigate these regulations.

While purchasing a refrigerated trailer may seem like a worthwhile investment for continuous, high-volume use, hiring is a significantly more flexible and cost-effective option for businesses with short-term, seasonal, or variable needs.

It offers the advantages of flexibility, reduced financial burden, no maintenance worries, access to the latest technology, and compliance assurance. Before making a decision, consider the specific requirements of your business, the frequency of use, and the financial implications to determine whether hiring is the most prudent choice.

Why Working with a Company like FridgeXpress is a Great Option

Choosing the right partner for your refrigerated transport needs is crucial for the success of your business. Working with a reputable and specialised company like FridgeXpress offers numerous advantages that can significantly benefit businesses requiring reliable and efficient refrigerated transportation solutions. Here’s why opting for a service like FridgeXpress stands out as a superior choice.

Specialisation and Expertise

FridgeXpress focuses exclusively on refrigerated vehicles, which means they offer a level of expertise and understanding unmatched by general vehicle rental services. Their specialised knowledge ensures that clients receive tailored advice and solutions that perfectly fit their unique refrigerated transport needs.

Comprehensive Fleet

With a diverse fleet of refrigerated vehicles, including small vans to larger trucks and trailers, FridgeXpress can cater to a wide range of business needs. Whether you require a compact van for local deliveries or a larger trailer for transporting goods across the country, FridgeXpress has the right vehicle to match your requirements.

Flexibility and Responsiveness

Understanding that business needs can change rapidly, FridgeXpress prides itself on its flexibility and responsiveness. Whether it’s an unexpected demand spike or a last-minute event, they can quickly provide the appropriate refrigerated transport solution, ensuring your business remains agile and responsive.

Maintenance and Reliability

Vehicles from FridgeXpress are meticulously maintained and serviced to ensure they operate at peak efficiency and reliability. This attention to maintenance not only guarantees the safety and reliability of the transport but also ensures compliance with all relevant regulations, giving businesses peace of mind.

Nationwide Coverage

Offering nationwide coverage, FridgeXpress can support businesses across the UK, ensuring that wherever you are, you can count on reliable and efficient refrigerated transport solutions. This extensive coverage is particularly beneficial for businesses that require a consistent service quality across multiple locations.

24/7 Support

Recognising the critical nature of refrigerated transport, FridgeXpress provides 24/7 support to address any issues or emergencies that may arise. This round-the-clock assistance ensures that businesses can rely on continuous operation and swift resolution of any challenges.

Customised Solutions

FridgeXpress understands that one size does not fit all when it comes to refrigerated transport. They offer customised solutions that consider the specific requirements of your goods, from temperature sensitivity to space requirements, providing a tailored service that ensures the integrity of your products throughout the transport process.

Environmental Commitment

With a commitment to sustainability, FridgeXpress invests in the latest eco-friendly vehicles and technologies to reduce environmental impact. Partnering with them means contributing to greener logistics and demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility.

Working with a company like FridgeXpress provides businesses with a reliable, efficient, and specialised refrigerated transport solution that meets their specific needs. From their comprehensive fleet and nationwide coverage to their 24/7 support and commitment to sustainability, FridgeXpress stands as an exemplary partner for businesses looking to optimise their cold chain logistics.

Want to find out more about refrigerated trailer hire at FridgeXpress? Contact our expert team today.

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