Since the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations, all dry-van and refrigerated trailers 53-feet and longer are expected to take an ecological initiative in order to reduce their fuel emissions. This initiative is one of the many recent trends in the trailer industry that revolve around sustainability innovations.
Hot temperature trends
There are many recent temperature trends and innovations ranging from new temperature software to improved lining. Thermo King Corporation, Bloomington MN, utilizes a control system known as an electric throttling valve, which can save customers up to 30 percent in fuel costs while reducing maintenance. This electronic throttling valve, which is new to multi-temp reefers, is known as OptiSet.
“It allows carriers to configure the temperature to meet specific customer needs, so they can customize the cargo space temperature based on what cargo they are carrying and what the specific temperature control requirements the customer has,” says Doug Lenz, director of product management and marketing for Thermo King.
Thermo King also introduced temperature control units, the V-520 RT, which provides the customers with an increase of energy and cooling capacity that allows a user to manage their temperature usage.
PLM Trailer Leasing of Dallas, TX, employs a helpful web-based program called Cold Link that monitors the reefers temperatures and much more. Cold Link can remotely monitor your fleet and show historical data. “Cold Link helps our customers identify hazards, potential breakdowns or operating inefficiencies that would hurt sustainability and temperature monitoring,” says Don Durm, director of agency development of PLM Trailer Leasing.
Recently in Utility trailers they installed a high impact lining made out of polypropylene, which is designed to prevent wear and tear from occurring. “The new standard high-impact lining is an excellent vapor barrier and is significantly stronger, which prevents most of the damage caused by forklift impacts,” says Chuck Cole, manager of technical sales and product training at Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company, City of Industry, CA. “Preventing those cuts and tears in the lining helps keep the foam insulation dry and optimizes thermal efficiency.”
Some other improvements include temperature hardware and software, which includes Carrier Transicold’s APX control system. The APX control system helps to make transportation easier by gaining more control over the refrigeration system. The units’ software is easy to use and has USB access for bringing information on the go. To fully make the most out of the APX control system Carrier Transicold recommends also utilizing their application software, such as IntelliSet and Range Protect.
IntelliSet helps a customer choose which product they will be hauling with an easy select-and-set option. This app also lets you customize temperatures and configurations for a specific product. Range Protect is another easy to use temperature control option. “For less sensitive loads we allow people to set one set point down low and then set another one up higher,” says David Kiefer, director of marketing and product management of Carrier Transicold, Farmington, CT.
“In between the range the unit won’t run because you don’t need to keep the product at any particular temperature. That saves people a lot of fuel.” Fuel savings are an important ongoing trend in the trailer industry.
“A lot of sustainability issues revolve around reducing the fuel consumption, and lowering the greenhouse emissions to reduce that carbon footprint,” says PLM’s Durm. Fuel economy to the trailer industry is a very popular ongoing trend. Although there is an ongoing effort to lower greenhouse emissions, some of the newer innovations such as ultra low sulfur fuel have actually caused some issues.