Dry van and reefer trailers – Stunning differences

dry van and reefer trailer

What are the differences between dry van and reefer trailers?


The available options that best suit your transportation needs will determine if you should employ a dry van or a reefer trailer. Learn about various kinds of freight transportation and the criteria before you can transfer freight effectively. A variety of trailer choices are available, including dry van and reefer trailers.

You’ll discover that opinions are entirely subjective when comparing the differences between dry van and reefer. Each has advantages and disadvantages that depend on the kind of cargo you intend to transport.

So how do you pick between a dry van and reefer trailers and which one suits you the best? In any case, the first step is that you’re here conducting research. Today, we’ll discuss the differences between a dry van and a reefer trailer and how to choose which is best for your transportation business.


What is a Reefer trailer?

A refrigerated trailer is another name for a reefer trailer. In the trucking sector, the word “reefer” is jargon. In essence, a reefer sometimes referred to as a refrigerated trailer, is a dry vehicle that has insulation and refrigeration. Dimensions for dry van and reefer trailers are typically equivalent. They have a length of 48 to 55 feet and are designed to carry a lot of LTL cargo in a single run.

These vehicles typically weigh one ton or more and are equipped with a refrigeration unit that is either built-in or hauled within the trailer. To keep everything cold, they employ diesel-powered generators and liquid carbon dioxide (CO2).


What is a reefer trailer used for?

Shippers of perishable and temperature-sensitive commodities, such as fresh fruit, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, use reefers, which are expressly designed to meet their needs.

To ensure that the goods arrive in excellent condition, a reefer must be pre-cooled before the transport. Reefers allow different temperatures to be controlled for various areas of the trailer. Diesel engines operate the refrigeration system over the whole route. It’s important to keep in mind that reefers aren’t intended to cool or heat the cargo. Instead, they are intended to maintain a certain temperature for reefer trailer loads.

What Is a Dry Van trailer?


The dry van is frequently the primary trailer in the transportation sector because of its adaptability. It features an enclosed box with a length of 48 to 53 feet. As you might have guessed, a dry van trailer isn’t refrigerated. They transport goods that do not require temperature regulation and are the most prevalent kind of trailer on the road. Most of the time, they deliver merchandise in pallets or boxes.

Depending on the vehicle, you may have features like an e-tracking system, an aerodynamic skirt, and loading ramps that can fit practically any loading dock.


What is a dry van trailer used for?

Dry van cargo often consists of non-perishable and dry products including non-perishable foods, equipment, clothes, and other things that are frequently transported on pallets. Shipping loads are fairly easy and offer a variety from food and drinks to farming machinery, with a weight capacity range of 42,000–45,000 pounds.


Dry Van and Reefer Trailer Comparison

When comparing dry van and reefer trailers, there are a lot of similarities. The number of vehicles on the road for each type of vehicle is one of the major variances. There are currently 1.7 million or more dry vehicles and barely 400,000 reefers on the road.


Since reefer trailers are refrigerated, this is the primary and most evident distinction between a dry van and reefer trailer. Although they are almost comparable in size to dry vans, they feature insulation and refrigeration capabilities. This implies that they must also be pre-cooled before to shipping. If not, it’s possible that the goods will get damaged in transit.


A dry van is cheaper for transportation businesses to purchase since it has a lot fewer parts. These trailers do not need the fans, compressors, or other engine components that reefers do. They have a cheap, basic hardwood floor, and they don’t need a lot of insulation. Dry van trailers end up being less expensive as a result of these considerations.


The security of these two trailers is another feature. Both are simple to lock down. Additionally, they are just as effective in stopping theft and damage that might otherwise be brought on by the elements. These trucks can, of course, suffer damage from weather conditions just like any other vehicle, but they effectively block out rain and snow.


There is no denying the need for the transportation business! There will thus always be a demand for both reefer and dry van trailers. However, refrigerated loads are typically simpler to locate because there are far fewer reefer trailers on the road.