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Car tips & advice | 21.09.2013 - 07:08

How to improve the efficiency of your refrigerated van

Owning or renting a refrigerated van can have significant benefits for your business, and is essential if you’re transporting food and other perishables.

Owning or renting a refrigerated van can have significant benefits for your business, and is essential if you’re transporting food and other perishables. To make a refrigerated van work more efficiently, you need to pay close attention to its insulation and refrigeration unit, while making sure that you have excellent contract terms and servicing options when you look for refrigerated vehicle contract hire deals. It’s worth looking at these areas in more detail when trying to enhance the efficiency of your refrigerated van.

Invest in a High Quality Van

This can’t be emphasised enough, as cutting corners with a refrigerated van will eventually cause problems. Moreover, not driving a van that abides by Accord Transport Perishable rules over food safety, or that doesn’t have ISO 9001: 2008 or ISO 14001: 2004 standards in place, can make you in breach of food transport laws. To this end, it’s crucial to check that a refrigerated van is fully fitted out and compliant when you buy or hire one - recent checks should also have been made to ensure that a van is unlikely to break down or suffer refrigeration unit problems.

Get the Right Financing and Servicing Deals

You can improve your chances of running a refrigerated van for an extended amount of time by investing in the right financing and servicing deals. By working with reputable van suppliers, you can ensure that you have a financing and servicing option for dealing with breakdowns and regular maintenance. Some contract hire schemes will require you to receive this attention as part of a long term agreement.

Develop an Energy Saving Routine

There are several everyday approaches that you can take to make your van more energy efficient when out on the road; these can include pre-chilling your van before loading, which means that your refrigeration unit won’t have to work as hard. It can also be a good idea to switch off your refrigeration unit while loading, while making sure that doors are checked and properly sealed. The temperature of stock being loaded into a van should also be lowered to room temperature or low to increase efficiency. It’s also worth taking the time to regularly clean out your refrigerator unit’s intakes and outlets, and to ensure there’s enough space between boxes to circulate air.

Regular Inspections

Again, it pays to have your refrigerated van inspected on a regular basis, even beyond recommended servicing from a supplier or manufacturers. You should pay particular attention to the state of your refrigeration unit and power leads. Specialist mechanics can work on re-connecting fridge units if they break or wear away. Similarly, if you’re converting a standard van into a refrigerated van, make sure that it’s checked for compliance with safety regulations before it is driven.

You can make things easier on yourself when trying to increase or maintain the efficiency of your refrigerated van by investing in temperature monitoring kits; these can be used to prove to buyers that your cargo is at the right temperature when dropping it off. Some retailers will also run their own temperature checks to make sure that stock hasn’t been damaged. Other options you might want to consider include running your fridge unit from an alternator, rather than from your engine.

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