Anyone who says that the appearance of refrigerated trucks and trailers does not matter has never worked in the maintenance shop of a prominent grocery chain, food or beverage manufacturer or other hauler of refrigerated and frozen goods. Most of these companies know all too well that a fleet that is well-maintained and well-cared-for sends a powerful message about the brands it hauls.
Companies that take good care of their trucks and trailers probably take good care of their customers, too.
That kind of thinking extends beyond trucks and trailers to the transport refrigeration units (TRUs) that equip today’s refrigerated fleets. Form follows function and today’s most advanced and capable TRUs are designed with a focus on quality, reliability, sustainability and fuel-efficiency.
They also use modern design elements to make them as attractive as they are practical.
For example, the latest units from Thermo King were designed with an “aesthetic personality.” The Thermo King design process included work to assure the unit had a “design personality” which reflected long-standing Thermo King strong suits such as quality, reliability and performance.
To further enhance their appearance and allow for owner-operator customization, chrome packages and light emoting diode (LED) lighting are available. The use of LED lighting on a TRU is a first for the refrigerated trailer industry.
From a maintenance standpoint, the new generation of TRUs incorporate a variety of advanced control and electronic diagnostic features that make them easier to operate and maintain than earlier-generation systems. This same philosophy extends to maintaining the unit’s appearance.
Today’s advanced units are designed and manufactured using highly durable advanced plastics and other materials. Unit exteriors are fade-resistant to ward off the effects of constant exposure to the elements. They also are chemical-resistant and impact-resistant to protect them from the hazards of the road.
TRUs do not require special care and can be cleaned and maintained on the same schedule as the rest of the truck or trailer.
The goal is to have the TRU look just as good as the truck or trailer it is attached to and to have it look as good after 10 years of service as it does the day it is delivered. Your brand image may depend upon it.
Tom Kampf is product manager for Thermo King, a leading provider of transportation temperature control systems for mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand. Kampf has more than 20 years of experience in product and program management with in diversified industries.
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