Reefer roundup

Reefer roundup

A look at new products and technologies introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show

The recent Mid America Trucking Show was the perfect venue for reefer unit and trailer manufacturers to show off new innovations and products. Showcased were new products designed to help refrigerated transporters do their jobs better and more efficiently. Here’s what’s new:

Carrier Transicold introduced a trailer-mounted hybrid refrigeration unit, Vector 6600MT, which the company said is identical to the Vector 6500 (unveiled last year), except it’s designed for multi-temp applications, hence the “MT” in the name. According to the company, the Vector 6600MT offers up to 20% greater fuel efficiency than the previous generation multi-temp system, the 1800MT, Carrier’s first such product. oth 6000 series Vector models employ Carrier’s latest Deltek diesel-electric technology, which the company said provides higher operating efficiencies, reduced maintenance requirements and an electric standby option for stationary use. They both feature “next-generation” hardware and software enhancements that boost their performance beyond that achieved by the 1800MT, which was introduced in 2006, the maker added.

According to the company, the Deltek system uses a 2.2-liter direct-injection diesel engine to drive a 20-kVA (kilo volt amperes) generator that powers an all-electric refrigeration system. Carrier officials say the diesel engine surpasses requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4-interim standard, has up to 2% better fuel efficiency and is quieter than engines used in the company’s earlier trailer units.

At 100 degrees F ambient temperature and a set-point of 35 degrees F, the Vector units reportedly deliver 59,000 Btu/hour of cooling capacity—a 9% increase, comparing the 6600MT with its predecessor.

Great Dane Trailers showcased its latest reefer innovation, a new all-aluminum platform trailer, some of its environmental initiatives and a new national account service and parts program. Combining strength and long-lasting dependability, Great Dane’s new 53-ft. CTL reefer features the company’s ThermoGuard and CorroGuard, which help extend the useful life of refrigerated trailers and combat equipment deterioration and corrosion, according to the trailer maker.

CorroGuard, with technology by GatorHyde on its CTL model, is the company’s exclusive spray-in-place thermoplastic elastomeric coating applied to suspensions and landing gear for long-term protection from road abrasion and corrosion. The ThermoGuard interior lining, said the company, “has proven through extensive testing to maximize the useful life of the trailer by significantly reducing the thermal degradation that occurs with conventional reefer linings.”

The new trailer features two-piece bolted aluminum main beams, and like the popular GPL—the aluminum
/steel combination platform—has extruded aluminum side rails, and an aluminum floor, rear assembly and crossmembers. At 8,260 lbs. when equipped with aluminum wheels, the new trailer weighs about 1,000 lbs. less than a comparable combo steel-aluminum unit, the company said.

In addition, Great Dane introduced its AdvantEdge national account service and parts program, which connects customers to a nationwide network that fulfills their parts and service needs. AdvantEdge allows customers access to Great Dane’s extensive branch and dealer network throughout the U.S. and Canada so they can arrange for service and/or parts purchases at more than 130 participating locations.

Thermo King Corp. introduced two reefer-related products at the show; the T-1000 Spectrum multi-temperature refrigeration unit for truck bodies and a high-performance version of its SmartPower electric standby for trailer-mounted units. The T-1000 Spectrum is a self-powered multi-temp unit employing Thermo King’s latest scroll compressor technology. It’s available in two- and three-compartment configurations. The SmartPower electric standby option, together with the T-1000’s fuel saving technology, reportedly provide maximum operating economy in all ambient conditions. A Tier-4-compliant diesel engine powers the unit, and it is said to emit 38% less particulate matter and 54% less carbon monoxide than previous engines.

For trailers, the company is now offering a high-output version of its SmartPower electric standby system, a technology Thermo King pioneered more than 50 years ago. Dubbed SmartPower HO, the new system features 24 horsepower operation—nearly twice as much as the existing 14-horsepower product. The higher output delivers faster pre-cooling, less run time and greater capacity for customers hauling larger frozen loads. The device’s electric motor reduces emissions and noise—and minimizes diesel engine run time and wear, resulting in lower operating and maintenance costs. The SmartPower HO is available for SB-210+ and Spectrum SB units.

“Our customers need technology that…meets and evolves with regulatory and environmental requirements,” said Chris Casazza, president of Thermo King. “They also need technology that reduces costs…Our innovations are designed to help them achieve both goals now and throughout the lifecycle of their fleets.”

The company also showed off its new TriPace electric auxiliary power unit for cab comfort control.

Utility Trailer’s MATS introduction centered on its two new van and reefer side skirts—officially called USS-120 and USS-160—which will be important accessories for anyone pulling a box to or through California nowadays. The skirts were created with galvanized high-tensile steel braces that are impact-resistant and can simply be bent back to their original shape if damaged. For optimal durability, the company designed a bracing system to allow side skirts to flex both inward and outward.”

The skirts were developed in-house and are offered with factory installation and a five-year warranty. The USS-120 and USS-160 are made from a UV protected fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) material. They cost $1,000 to $2,000 per pair, depending on available tax incentives. Both devices are California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant, but the USS-120 is for refrigerated trailers only.

The USS-120 is SmartWay verified to achieve greater than 4% fuel savings, and the USS-160 is verified to achieve greater than 5% fuel savings. (Actual fuel economy will vary for both designs, depending on driving practices). Also, EPA’s SmartWay has classified the USS-160 as an “Advanced Side Skirt,” which allows truckers to use it without other aerodynamic devices on dry vans.

Both side skirt designs are now available as factory-installed options for new Utility vans and reefers. Retrofitting for existing trailers is available through the company’s aftermarket department.

“Fleets are looking for ways to reduce tare weight, improve fuel economy and make [equipment] more repairable and durable,” said Craig Bennett, Utility’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. In offering the USS-120 and -160, Bennett said, Utility was trying to help its customers and re-ignite languishing trailer sales.
Reefer unit and trailer technology continues to increase efficiencies.  FE

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