Wondering what a reefer trailer fuel is and how it is different from tractor fuel?
If you already understand what is a reefer trailer, below I'll explain what is reefer fuel.
What is reefer fuel?
Reefer fuel is used to keep the trailer cool so that the refrigerated freight is delivered fresh and safe to the destination.
This type of fuel is also used in agriculture, construction, and other off-road equipment such as tractors and generators.
It's different from the fuel used in tractors.
What kind of diesel should be used in the tractor?
Any vehicle that uses on the US highways is required to use on-road diesel.
So, as you see reefers and tractors use different types of fuel.
Let's see what their difference is.
How are reefer fuel and tractor fuel different?
Technically, the reefer trailer fuel is chemically no different from the on-road fuel. But its purpose of the use is different.
Here is a list of differences:
In the United States, on-road fuel is subjected to road taxes but reefer fuel is not.
It's also an indication that the on-road fuel taxes associated with using the highway are paid.
The reefer fuel is usually cheaper than tractor fuel.
The reefer fuel is used to maintain the trailer cool. It's illegal to use it as tractor fuel.
Reefer fuel is marked with a red dye to differentiate it from the on-road diesel.
To prevent its use with incorrect purpose.
The red dye of the reefer fuel allows the government officials to easily notice when it is used on the road.
They use a black light to spot the presence of the dye in the fuel.
Also, to clear the reefer fuel red dye is very difficult because you'd need to add a lot of fuel to dilute it.
How much fuel does a refrigerated trailer use?
When running under normal conditions, a reefer tank with a capacity of 50 gallons can last up to 4 to 5 days.
How much fuel does a reefer unit use per hour?
Reefer units use between 0.5 and 1 gallon of reefer diesel per hour.
How many times you need to fuel the reefer tank?
If the driver or any staff member opens the door of the reefer trailer regularly, expect to fuel the tank daily.
If the trailer is opened once or twice a day, it can run for two days without a refuel.
If you go a weekend without opening the trailer if fueled on Friday, a reefer can run up to three days.
But any changes in the overall condition of the trailer can affect the reefer's fuel consumption.
What affects a reefer's fuel consumption?
Typically, a reefer unit isn't affected by the driving habits of the driver.
A reefer's fuel consumption increases if the trailer is poorly maintained.
Here is a list of things that may impact a reefer trailer fuel consumption:
- Are you running the unit on continuous or start/stop?
- What is the set temperature?
- What is the temperature of the load?
- And what is the ambient temperature?
These three temperatures determine how hard the unit has to work to maintain the temperature which affects fuel usage.
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Which is the best reefer diesel engine brand?
Among refrigerated trailer manufacturers, Thermo King is widely regarded as the best reefer diesel engine brand.
How to fuel a reefer trailer?
To understand how to fuel a reefer trailer watch this video from Driver Success Youtube channel.
In the video, he shows and explains what type of fuel should go where in real life examples.
How do you start a reefer unit that ran out of fuel?
Rob from Shaffer Rob Trucking Youtube channel demonstrates how to start a reefer unit that ran out of fuel. Please watch the video below.
Consider an electric reefer trailer
Fuel is the cost or variable that we use to maintain the proper temperature of the reefer trailer.
The reefer unit must remain in operation while the rig is loading or unloading.
In recent years the trend toward using trailers with hybrid diesel/electric cooling capabilities has been picking up momentum.
These electric standby refrigerated trailers (reefers) are providing trucking companies with flexibility in how they keep food and other temperature-sensitive shipments cold and delivering a number of business benefits.