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Idealease Safety Bulletin – Helpful information for Refrigerated Truck Owners or Operators

Great information from Idealease Safety Bulletins

Food Modernization Safety Act


The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it.

The FMSA is about more than simply another set of rules to follow. It’s about coordinating the efforts of everyone in the cold chain, from farm to fork. From the folks that regulate where the food comes from (farms, imports), to who receives them (retail grocery, restaurants), to the people that transport the food, and most importantly the people that rent and lease the trucks that do the transportation.

All of this costs money. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that, to implement FMSA effectively, the FDA would need a cumulative increase of $583 million over the first five years following enactment. Due to this funding concern, full implementation is not expected until fall of 2016 or early 2017.

Regardless of the timetable, we at Idealease have prepared for this implementation by making certain we have the technical expertise and capabilities of ensuring we comply with the legal requirements of the FMSA. This allows Idealease to provide the stability, responsiveness, and expertise that define us.

Refrigeration and Food Safety Challenges

In addition to impending legislation, there are many other challenges facing the transportation industry. According to an internet based study conducted by RWI Transportation at the beginning of the fiscal year 2012, the two biggest challenges facing shippers of refrigerated products today include capacity, and temperature control.

Capacity – 76 percent of those surveyed indicated they have experienced issues with lack of available refrigerated trucks during peak seasons. It has been reported that there is often a shortage by as much as a 15 percent of the trucks available to customers. A common approach to overcoming this challenge is seeking leasing companies that can provide a reliable means to transport refrigerated products to their customers. Customers need help in getting their goods to market and Idealease has a significant opportunity to provide to them the trucks and maintenance services they require. In short, there is a growing demand that is rising quickly and the investment in training made by Idealease is allowing us to stay ahead of it.

Maintaining Temperatures – The primary reason loads are rejected is for temperature variances that are either too warm or too cool. The cost of not maintaining the appropriate temperature of the load goes beyond the cost of the load itself. There are less obvious impacts to our customers’ business, including the time it takes to check a load, inspecting it to see if it is salvageable, the time it takes to unload the truck and the delay getting the replacement shipment to their customers. But the biggest cost is the affect on the relationship with their truck leasing company, which could cause the leasing company to lose the account. Idealease is a company that succeeds when our trucks are on the road being used by our customers, not in the shop being repaired. Proper maintenance of the truck and the reefer unit will ensure our PM Currency is where it should be, continuing to provide the high level of service that our customers have come to expect.

“As we look at the future of our industry it is apparent that refrigeration will be an expanding market as more and more leasing customer’s use refrigeration to transport their products… refrigeration technology, product requirements and regulations are changing and becoming more demanding on the service providers.”
Dan Murphy
Idealease, Inc.
President & CEO
Performing a proper Pre-trip on TK and Carrier Units

There is no doubt that refrigerated transport is a critical piece of our ongoing success. And, part of that success is making certain the trucks in our care are functioning properly.

An easy way to determine the health of the refrigerated unit is to perform an automatic pretrip. An automatic pretrip will test a variety of systems on the refrigerated unit.

Carrier Transicold truck refrigeration units are capable of performing an automatic pretrip that will automatically start the unit and move it through each of its operating modes: Low Speed Cool, High Speed Cool, Low Speed Heat, High Speed Heat, and Defrost.

Thermo King truck refrigeration units are capable of performing the same test as Carrier, but with the addition of testing nearly 40 inputs and outputs of the system microprocessor as well.

These automatic pretrip tests are critical in validating the integrity of the refrigeration unit to keep product safe, and should be performed before product is loaded and after product delivery.

Loading and Delivery Best Practices

Pretrip your truck/trailer before pre-cooling and loading product:
Initiate an automatic pretrip to identify any operational concerns while the reefer cycles through all of its modes. Do not load trailer if alarm codes indicate service is needed.
Inspect the condition of the truck/trailer, noting any damage to the insulation, door seals, and defrost drains.
Clean inside of truck/trailer. To prevent contamination hazards and blockage of airflow, the floor channels and refrigeration unit air stream must be free of debris.

Pre-cool truck/trailer:
Always pre-cool truck/trailer to the temperature of the product to be loaded. Doing so will remove unwanted heat from the truck/trailer walls, floor and ceiling. Remember refrigeration units are not designed to lower product temperature.

Load product with the proper loading pattern:
Product should be loaded quickly and efficiently using the proper loading patterns that maximize air circulation around and through the product load. Product should never be loaded tightly against the evaporator housing, doors, walls, ceiling, or tightly against other pallets of product. All six sides of all pallets should be exposed to airflow.

Delivery Practices:
Inspect strip curtains (if used), report any damage to your supervisor.
Be certain reefer unit is off when opening doors, reefers will pull in warm, humid air if the door is left open while the unit is running.
Minimize door opening duration to further reduce this intake of warm outside air. Remember, the longer the doors are open, the longer it will take to regain the proper temperature.
Move product quickly when delivering to cross dock locations.

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