Refrigerated Trailer, otherwise known as a “Reefer”

While waiting for Rush Truck Center to open so we can get our keys, hook up, and finally leave Flagstaff I thought you might like to know a little something about cargo trailers.

Conveniently enough, one is parked at Rush Truck Center.


This is the refrigeration unit on the front of the trailer.


This is the temperature display. The truck driver will be told the temperature setting for his load and he can set it, or adjust it here.


These “steps” enable the driver to check on the temperature of the load without opening the back doors.



There is a door, way up high, to stick a temperature probe in to do a check.


This is the “King Pin” that will connect the tractor to the trailer for transport.


These are the “Landing Jacks”. When the trailer is attached to the 5th wheel of the truck these legs will be raised using the odd shaped handle crank.



The handle will be lifted off the storage hook, pulled toward the operator, the he/she will turn the crank round and round until the landing gear is fully raised and ready for transport.

When dropping the trailer the driver will crank the other way to lower the landing gear to support the trailer when the tractor pulls out from under it.

This is the “Fuel Tank” that supplies fuel to the generator to run the refrigeration unit. Diesel fuel is what is put in this tank.


This is the axle of the trailer it has the capability of sliding forward and backward to adjust the axle position for the load carried.



To see how the “Axle Slide” works and why it is a part of the trailer, sorry, you will have to either petition Joe to tell you or ask a truck driver in a truck stop the latter I don’t recommend. Some of these drivers will either proposition you or tell you to get lost.

This is the “ICC Bumper”. What the ICC stands for is something Joe will have to tell you.


What I do know is at big distribution centers there are giant sized fingers that hold onto this bumper, when the trailer is backed up to a dock, to keep it secure for forklifts to drive in and out while loading the trailer.

These are the loading doors. They swing wide open to allow the entry and exit of pallet movers, like forklifts and/or pallet jacks to enter and exit while loading or unloading.


These little chains…


Hook the doors fully open at the sides of the trailer.



Lastly, this little door is for temperature control.


If the inside of the trailer gets too cold the door can be opened to circulate the air – or something like that. Another question for Joe.

Chances are you have been behind one of these trailers and seen water drip out the back of the trailer. There are some loads, particularly produce, that gets ice spread over the pallets. As the ice melts the water runs out the back of the trailer.

Okay, this is the end if another boring post about the truck driving industry. Have an excellent day.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

11 responses to “Refrigerated Trailer, otherwise known as a “Reefer”

  • Jann Gray

    Not boring at all…I feel like I learned something today….and since it is morning – I am checking “learn something” off my list for today as the list is already too long to actually accomplish! LOL

    You know I am teasing…I LOVE learning about what you and Joe do…and this has answered questions I have had while driving behind “reefer!”


    • Message In A Fold

      Woo hoo! An item checked off your To-Do list 😀

      Thanks Jann :-). You can count on me to fill your head with knowledge that you would not otherwise desire to have cluttering the landscape 😀

      At least you can rest assured now knowing what is leaking out of a reefer is harmless water 😀

      Love you – Leslie

  • Maureen Mathis

    This is NOT boring! I really like this info; it helps me drive my kids crazy as I explain things to them as we drive down the road!

    • Message In A Fold

      Now THAT is awesome news. Driving your kids crazy! :D. Giving back some of what they give to you 😀

      I’m glad I could be of assistance in your endeavor to keep your kids thinking you know everything. They don’t need to know how you know it all 😀

      Love you – Leslie

  • aspot2stamp

    not useless info. some inquiring minds like to know this stuff. I always enjoy your posts makes me feel as if I were along for the ride. Hope you are staying cool and getting closer to your destination. Been thinking about you.

  • Pati Mishler

    I agree, not useless information at all. Kinda neat actually. Am enjoying reading all about you and your adventures, I must have gotten busy doing something else and forgot to check to see where else you went. I noticed i missed all about these last two posts. Take care, going to see what the other post is all about. Love you sis.

  • gardenpinks

    See similar ones on our roads from time to time and we actually considered buying a small decommissioned refrigerator unit before we had our mains generator to keep our food cool and fresh. One of the establishments I worked as a waitress at had two of these units where all the huge pots of cooked soups and meats were kept during closing time. The freezers were kept in a seperate room but the units were for keeping desserts and cooked meats fresh and cool.

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Was it a 53 foot trailer as well? The one used to keep the soups and desserts fresh.

      What a stroke of genius to have one of these on site. With your fuel costs, the restaurant must have done a good table turn over to make the costs worth it.

      What were you and Rod going to do with one of these trailers, if I may be so nosy?

      You have quite the life full of adventures to tell :D. Awesome.

      Love you – Leslie

      • gardenpinks

        It was the days before our mains generator and deep freeze and we thought we would use it to keep our fresh meat and dairy products chilled as we didn’t have access to a refrigerator …still don’t! Also when we had our fruit and veg business we thought we could use the unit to store some of the fruit and veg in as it was a problem during summer keeping it all cool before selling it. In winter we had problems trying to keep the bananas and mushrooms warm enough!!!!!!!!! Bananas especially hate being cold and the skins go a grey colour.
        No the one used for soups, desserts and cooked meats was approximately 25 feet long.

        Several old units were used by the local farmer to store hay in so that if the weather was bad and he couldn’t get to the top barn then he still had accessible hay for the cattle 🙂 Those old units have since been scrapped but they gave years of service!

        Love and hugs
        Lynn xx

      • Message In A Fold

        I know, from seeing them as we pass, many farmers and ranchers use trailers for their hay or horse tack. There are also a lot of them that use old train cars for the same reason.

        There is a lot of room in “Pups”, which are the 25′ trailers. Set up some shelving in them and take advantage of the space available. Lights would be a bit more complicated since the trailers are unlit and there are no outlets inside to use. You guys would have to be quite handy and creative to make use of one of these trailers.

        I made the mistake of putting bananas in the refrigerator one time, long ago when I was young and thought I knew everything 😀 I never saw a yellow banana turn entirely black in such a small amount of time 🙂

        If you don’t have a refrigerator, what do you use to keep your milk cool?! As well as your other perishables, meat for your meals?

        Girlfriend, you are just chock full of surprises 😀

        Love you – Leslie

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