When thinking of buying a refrigerated van for your business, it’s important to be aware of the maintenance involved with owning such vehicles.
Of course, having your own refrigerated van can have many benefits for a whole host of different businesses, but in order for it to remain a valuable asset to your company you must carry out appropriate, regular maintenance.
Transporting any type of perishable goods – from flowers to pharmaceuticals – requires a great deal of responsibility from both the method of transport and the operator. A reliable temperature-controlled vehicle is the key to ensuring that all produce is delivered safely and in the same condition it was in when loaded on to the van.
A poorly performing refrigerated van can result in the spoiling of produce when kept in improper temperatures which can be a costly mistake for businesses, totalling a much heftier bill than what it would cost to simply maintain the vehicle.
What exactly is involved in maintaining a temperature-controlled vehicle? We’ve put together some of our top tips to keep your refrigerated van in check…
1. Conduct routine tune-ups
Essential basic maintenance tasks include checking your oil and coolant levels regularly, and making sure your oil is clean – this is key to ensure the smooth running of your refrigerated vehicle at all times. Ideally, to guarantee optimal performance, oil should be changed roughly every 3,000 miles.
Refrigerated vans differ to regular vehicles in that they are especially sensitive to dust, dirt and water. This can negatively affect their ability to maintain a consistent temperature in the load area, which is a major cause for concern. Performing regular tune-ups should involve checking that no contaminants have gotten into the refrigeration unit which could impact its temperature performance.
If you have no previous experience with this type of thing, it is recommended that any sort of maintenance that requires disassembling the refrigeration unit and its components should be carried out by an experienced professional, to avoid any issues later down the line.
2. Schedule regular expert inspections
It is advisable to get your vehicle booked in for a regular check up with an expert mechanic. If you’re running a newer vehicle, you can generally go aroung 100,000 miles without an inspection, but this all depends on different aspects too. If you’ve been driving in particularly harsh conditions, you’ll want to get regular checks sooner – around every 25,000 miles is recommended.
Regular check ups will ensure that the vehicle is in sound working condition, as is important with any motor. Taking it to an expert mechanic will be the difference between spotting minor problems which could progress over time if not rectified soon enough. This is one of the most vital steps to maintaining your vehicle and ensuring it’s in perfect running condition.
3. Pre-trip checks, every time
While this sounds like a time costly task, we have to stress the importance of giving your vehicle a once-over before every trip to ensure everything is running as should be. The last thing anyone wants is to incur a problem during a delivery with a fully loaded van, which could’ve been prevented had it been checked before loading and setting off.
There are some key check points to cover before loading your goods into your vehicle, before each individual trip:
- Ensure that the inside of the container is clean, to avoid contamination
- Carefully examine the walls/skin of the insulated area for any cracks that could affect the temperature control
- Check all seals and locks on the door
- Review the temperature and fresh air settings
- Inspect the drains
- Check oil and coolant levels (as mentioned in previous point)
Keeping all of these factors in mind before each journey is an easy way to make sure you’re on track for a smooth ride, and the best preventative measures to take each time.
4. Regular clean-outs
Avoiding contamination is critical. When transporting food produce, it is important to perform a thorough clean out of all surfaces inside the load space after every haul, – particularly important if raw food/meat is involved. This transfers over to a similar point of preventing cross-contamination of ingredients that are known food allergens, a crucial factor to take into account every time.
5. Don’t leave it too late
Refrigeration unit taking longer than usual to cool down? The vehicle making odd sounds? If you notice anything out of the ordinary in regards to the vehicle performance, be sure to take it to an experienced mechanic as soon as possible to get it checked out.
You should always be on the look out for any deviations from standard performance and warning signs of a potential breakdown, and address such issues before it could be too late.
All of the above points are key considerations in maintaining your refrigerated van, with the mindset that any minor or major fault could have a serious impact on your business which could have possibly been prevented.
Looking to buy a refrigerated van?
We always have a great selection of refrigerated vans for sale here at Cool Running Rental, regularly adding new additions from our rental fleet. Our vehicles for sale come directly from the vans that we rent out and have usually been replaced by later models. Due to this, we sell our vans on at great prices and ensure that they are in great working condition before leaving our forecourt.
In terms of variety, we often have a wide selection of different sizes with a range of maintainable temperatures to suit different business needs and job type requirements.
Don’t want the hassle of maintaining your own vehicle?
A lot of our customers prefer the option of being able to hire, rent or lease their temperature-controlled vehicles because, quite simply put, they don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining the upkeep of the vehicle, which can sometimes be a costly chore if any problems occur.
With our van rental service, you have peace of mind knowing that our vehicles are all late moels that have been fully serviced and valeted beforehand, so are in perfect condition. Renting for short or long periods at a time mean that you won’t have the burden of scheduling regular expert inspections or have to exhaust your budget on repairs if a problem occurs.
It’s a great, cost-effective way to take the load off, in the knowledge that you have access to a reliable van whenever you need it, and however long you need it for.
For more information on refrigerated vans from Cool Running Rental, or to get a free tailored quote, simply contact us here and we’ll be happy to help.