When Every Degree Counts

Reefer units keep holding temperature at the touch of a button.


“If you want to monitor temperatures 24/7, you can do that with your wireless network,” says Aguerrevere.

A report function produces customized performance graphs for the driver and manager to assure customers of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) compliance and to help avert load claims. Those reports can be printed out for the driver to hand to a receiving clerk using an optional StripPrint battery-powered printer that can be plugged into the Advance unit.

The system also offers a complete pre-trip inspection, capable of performing 15 critical system tests.

On Thermo King’s SmartReefer 2, an optional CargoWatch data logger records temperature changes and other trailer events with six temperature sensors, four door switches and a humidity sensor. The ServiceWatch logger provides improved diagnostics and keeps track of overall system performance and preventive maintenance schedules. The keypad features a lock-out mode, diesel/electric auto switching, setpoint warning and more. Continuous monitoring control unit provides ongoing display of cargo temperature. Troubleshooting alarm codes are displayed to provide the driver with immediate unit operating discrepancies.

These units “take quality and reliability to a new level,” says Lenz. “We work very hard to understand our customers’ businesses and the commitments they have with their own customers. Their primary concerns are protecting the load, on-time delivery performance and minimizing operating costs.”

One such customer was specialty foods manufacturer T. Marzetti, Columbus, OH, which recently purchased 25 new Thermo King SB-210 refrigeration units to replace other Thermo King units that had been in service for at least 13 years.

The new units are equipped with the SmartReefer 2 controller.

“The new technology of the SR-2 was a big selling point for us,” says Pat Toler, the company’s food group distribution center manager. “These units are both advanced and intuitive, and our drivers enjoy the controller’s user-friendly operation.”

The SR-2 also helps T. Marzetti trucks stay on the road longer with reduced maintenance requirements. “The controller definitely assists our technicians in finding problems faster,” says Rodd Hott, general manager of Transport Specialists-Central Inc. “We understand the importance T. Marzetti places on delivering fresh products to customers in a time-effective manner, and it’s an advantage to be able to diagnose a maintenance problem quickly.”

Savings Add Up
Carrier tested the IntelliSet option on a live load of 20,000 pounds of lettuce in conditions simulating a two-day trip through the desert, with outside temperatures as high as 115 degrees. A setpoint of 32 degrees was used for the trailer reefer and the unit veered an overage of 0.1 degrees only. In high-air mode, fuel savings of 36 percent were achieved and product protection was never compromised.

According to Fragnito, a fleet using 100 of these refrigeration units could expect an annual savings of about $225,000. Those numbers could be even greater using the Econo Start/Stop setting because it will automatically shut the unit down when the system achieves setpoint and the outdoor temperature falls within a user-specified range.

In other tests, Carrier found that its units also work in multi-temp trailers. A single unit can control multiple zones and set the operating parameters for each. “Each compartment has its own sensors and the control unit intuitively knows what to do based on the sensor readings in that compartment,” says Aguerrevere.

“You can have an IntelliSet that keeps the front compartment at minus-20 [de-grees], the middle one at 40 and the back one at 20,” explains Fragnito. “They are all set automatically and the driver does not have to worry about anything. He can even see the settings for each compartment at five-second intervals.”

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