Check the Temperature

Refrigerated Semitrailer Cargo. Adjusting Temperature by Caucasian Truck Driver.

When picking up preloaded refrigerated freight, it is imperative that you check, double check and even triple check that the temperature the reefer is set at matches what the paperwork says, and that the box (interior) temperature is within the required range.  If there is any difference between the set point and the required temperature stated on the bills, alert the shipper and your dispatcher, otherwise you and your company could be held responsible should there be a claim filed due to incorrect temperature setting. The box temperature should be no more than 5ºF above or below the set point.  

Another area that can cause issues is most loads originating and delivering in North America use degrees Fahrenheit, while overseas loads use degrees Celsius.  Where the issue arises, is the paperwork for an overseas load will list the temperature in Celsius, but the trailer will display degrees Fahrenheit.  So a fresh load of meat going to Japan, for example, the bills will say to maintain a temperature of -1º, and the reefer will be set at 29º.  These temperatures are the same, except the bills are showing degrees Celsius, and the trailer is showing degrees Fahrenheit.  Do not EVER change the set point on the trailer without contacting the shipper and your dispatcher.  I know of one person who did, and it cost his company over $200,000 for a meat load that was destroyed, and had to be disposed of.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.