An air chute on a reefer trailer is used to provide uniform airflow to prevent refrigerated freight damage.
You see, the 53' trailer is long.
The problem with such a trailer is that the cold air blowing from the reefer unit doesn't reach the back of the trailer before heating up. That leaves warm spots inside the refrigerated trailer where the product may start the spoiling process.
- Top-freezing: this issue occurs when temperature-sensitive products are damaged by frost due to placing them too close to the airflow source.
- Hot spots: occur when pockets within the trailer heat up and are cut off from the temperature-controlled airflow, actively cooling the rest of the load.
Let's see what is a chute on a reefer trailer and how they maintain a cost-effective airflow inside a reefer.
What is an air chute in a reefer trailer?
Air chutes are flexible air ducts attached to the reefer's ceiling that run toward the back doors to maintain an equal temperature in the whole reefer trailer.
Chutes act as a ventilation system that distributes chilled air throughout the refrigerated trailer.
Learn more about what is a reefer trailer.
Reefer air chute designs
1. Standard reefer air chute
A standard air chute runs the cold air that comes from the refrigerated unit through the middle of the trailer’s ceiling blowing it to the back of the trailer.
2. Two finger air chute
The two-finger air chute divides the airflow coming from the refrigerated unit into two pathways to provide uniform temperature throughout the trailer.
Also, by dividing the air chute into two tubes attached to the trailer's ceiling, possible damage by a forklift is prevented.
3. Tube air chute
This type of air chute design usually also comes in a two-finger design but is a more cost-effective option.
The entire air tube chute construction has three parts:
- The molded polyethylene part - It's a rigid polyethylene construction that diverts the air down the length of the trailer without losing a lot of air velocity. The divided air goes to the second component.
- The ducts - This part takes the air from the transition over to the sidewalls. The ducts are also molded polyethylene rigid constructions.
The duct is also a rigid component so that the air velocity is not lost going out to the side walls.
The duct is also a rigid component so that the air velocity is not lost while moving it to the sidewall.
- The vinyl material - The side ducts connect to the vinyl chute material that goes through the length of the trailer and provides full-length trailer circulation.
The tube chute allows users to better manage the airflow inside the refrigerated trailer, which maintains the product integrity and lowers the operating costs.
Unlike other two-finger chutes that run down the top sides of the trailer where the heat is transferred through the ceiling, the Tube Chute is installed flush to the right and left ceiling of the trailer. This makes a complete tube, therefore allowing the cold air to be distributed down the inside of the tubes.
When not in use, the Tube Chute collapses almost flush to the trailer wall keeping all forklifts and movement away from the hanging chute.