When planning to purchase a refrigerated food van for your business, it is crucial to be familiar with the maintenance associated with owning such vehicles. Undoubtedly, having your refrigerated food van can come with lots of benefits for a full host of different businesses. However, for it to remain an essential asset to your company, you should carry out proper, regular maintenance.
Generally speaking, transporting any perishable goods, including flowers and pharmaceuticals, needs a huge deal of responsibility from both the means of transport as well as the operator. The key to making sure that your product is delivered safely and in the exact condition it was in when being loaded to the refrigerated food van is a reliable temperature-controlled vehicle.
A poorly performing refrigerated food van could lead to the spoiling of produce when stored in improper temperatures, which can be an expensive mistake for businesses, resulting in a much heftier bill compared to what it would cost actually to maintain the vehicle.
But what exactly does maintaining a temperature-controlled vehicle involve? Fridgexpress put down some of our top tips of keeping your refrigerated food van in check.
Generally speaking, essential basic maintenance tasks involve making sure your oil is clean and checking your coolant and oil levels regularly. That is the key to making sure of the smooth operation of your refrigerated vehicle at any time. To guarantee optimal performance, ideally, the oil must be changed around every 3,000 miles.
In comparison, refrigerated food vans are quite different from conventional vehicles in that they’re very sensitive to water, dirt, and dust. It can negatively impact their ability to maintain a steady temperature in the load area, and this is a major reason for concern. Conducting routine tune-ups must involve ensuring that no contaminants have passed into the refrigeration unit, which could affect its temperature performance.
For those who have no experience with this sort of thing, it’s recommended that any maintenance that needs disassembling the refrigeration unit and its parts must be performed by an experienced professional, to avert any problems later down the line.
It is recommended to have your vehicle booked in for a routine check-up with a professional mechanic. For those who are operating a newer vehicle, you could generally go approximately 100,000 miles without having an inspection; however, this all relies on various aspects as well. For those who have been driving in very harsh conditions, you will want to get routine checks sooner, approximately every 25,000 miles is recommended.
Routine check-ups will make sure that the vehicle is in proper working condition since it is crucial with any motor. By taking it to a professional, you will be making the difference between noticing minor issues that could deteriorate over time when not resolved soon enough. It is one of the most fundamental steps to maintaining your vehicle and making sure it’s in perfect running condition.
Keeping off from contamination is vital. If you’re transporting food products, it is crucial to carry a thorough cleanout of all surfaces within the load space after each haul, especially critical if raw meat/food is involved. This transfers over to the same point of inhibiting cross-contamination of ingredients that are well-known food allergens, a key factor to take into consideration every time.
Pre-trip checks, every time
Although this sounds like a time-consuming task, we have to stress the significance of giving your vehicle a check-over before every trip to make sure everything is functioning as it should be. Undoubtedly, the last thing you’d want is to encounter an issue during a delivery involving a fully loaded refrigerated food van, and this could have been avoided had it been checked before being loaded and set off.
In general, there are certain key checkpoints to consider before loading your goods into your particular vehicle, before every individual trip:
- Make sure that the interior of the container is clean, to prevent contamination
- Keenly examine the skin/walls of the insulated area for any cracks that might affect the temperature control
- Inspect all locks and seals on the door
- Review the fresh air and temperature settings
- Inspect the drains
- Inspect oil and coolant levels (as aforementioned)
By keeping all these in mind before every journey, it will be an easy way to ensure that you are on track for a smooth ride, and the most suitable preventative measures to take every time.
Is your refrigeration unit taking an abnormally long period to cool down? Or your vehicle is making strange sounds? When you notice anything out of the ordinary in terms of vehicle performance, make sure to take it to an experienced mechanic as soon as you can to have it checked out.
It is essential that you always be on the lookout for any deviations from usual performance and any warnings of a possible breakdown, and fix such issues before it can be too late.
If you want to well-maintain your refrigerated food van, all of the above tips are vital considerations. Keep the mindset that any major or minor fault can have a serious effect on your business, and this could have possibly been avoided.