Atran Freight is your mid-Michigan freight broker. As such, we make sure to stay on top of the various freight “seasons,” and spring has finally arrived in Michigan! You know what that means: it’s Produce Season. During this busy season, many freight companies make the switch from dry vans to reefers as they are made specifically for produce transportation.
Dry vans are more versatile than reefers; they can be used for a wide range of freight product, and that product is secured. Dry vans do not need straps, chains, tarps, or other means of protecting the cargo from things like weather or theft. Drivers spend less time at the loading dock with dry vans, all they have to do is drop their empty trailer and hook up a loaded one. However, dry vans are also very time consuming for the driver. They occasionally have to help unload the freight, and long wait times at the dock can get costly for carriers. Dry vans have hardwood floors as well which are incredibly vulnerable to moisture and, when not properly taken care of, can shorten the trailer’s life span. This vulnerability to moisture is one of the reasons many carriers choose to switch to reefers during the produce season.
Reefers are refrigerated trailers, and are always in high demand during produce season due to their ability to transfer both refrigerated and dry goods. Like dry vans, reefers do not need any additional means of protecting the freight being transported. Reefer trailers protect cargo from weather, theft, and they are safe for fresh products as the refrigeration prevents them from spoiling. However, reefer drivers have more responsibilities than dry van drivers. Drivers with a refrigerated trailer have to clean it after each load, control the thermometer and cooling equipment, and make sure the second gas tank is filled. Reefers have noisy motors, and drivers often have to sit through long wait times at the shipping docks.
Now that it’s spring time, many of the carriers Atran Freight works with are starting to do produce runs. Our company has access to various types of freight equipment, including both dry vans and reefers. So make sure to weigh the pros and cons of your trailer options to save you both time and money.