How to Keep Your Refrigerated Van in Tip-top Shape
Whether you’re carrying flowers, blood or other perishable items, your refrigerated van is a crucial part of your business. Mechanical breakdowns can have serious consequences, not just for your client but also for you. To make sure that your goods maintain coolness throughout their trip, follow these basic maintenance guidelines to keep your refrigerated van in superior shape:
1. Set constant professional inspections.
Scheduling regular routine “checkups” for your refrigerated vehicle is a critical part of preventative maintenance. Newer models can typically go about 100,000 miles between inspections, but if you’re driving in notably harsh conditions, you may space them closer to every 25,000 miles. Mechanics have professional eyes and ears for minor issues that can become major ones if neglected, and are important in keeping your van running smoothly.
2. Conduct constant tune-ups.
Another essential maintenance routine is checking if your oil is clean, and whether or not your oil and coolant levels are fine. Oil need to be changed around every 3000 miles to achieve optimal performance. Refrigerated vehicles are particular sensitive to dirt, water and dust, which can keep them from maintaining a consistent temperature. During a tune-up, make it a point that no contaminants will reach the refrigeration unit. Bear in mind that any maintenance that requires the refrigeration unit components of to be disassembled must be performed by a skilled pro.
3. Perform checks before trips.
Prior to each trip, perform a quick check of your refrigerated vehicle to make sure that everything is well and good. A traveling loaded vehicle is way more pricey and demanding to repair than an empty one idling in the garage, so you can actually save time and cash by doing an inspection prior to loading your cargo.
Before each trip, make it a point to clean the inside of the vehicle and look for any cracks on the insulated walls. In addition, you’d like to check:
> lock and seals on the door;
> temperature as well as fresh air settings;
> drains; and
> oil and coolant levels.
4. Observe for warning signs.
Skilled refrigerated van operators are well aware that keeping an eye and ear on any changes to their vehicles is their first line of defense against mechanical issues. Whatever deviation is observed must be taken note of. If the refrigeration unit is taking too long to cool down, for example, or if you’re hearing very strange noises, schedule a trip to your mechanic as soon as you can.
Indeed, keeping your vehicle in stellar condition is critical; otherwise, your perishable goods could easily be rendered useless, leading to a loss of income on your part and frustration for your customer. Being a business owner, these are two scenarios you must avoid.