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TMC Readies Study on Reefer Trailers

Paul Menig
Menig says the upcoming reefer trailers report will include information on maintenance locations, technicians and technician training. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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ORLANDO, Fla. – American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council said its upcoming report on refrigerated trailers can help fleets stay competitive and regulatory-compliant.

The Refrigerated Trailer eSMARTT report will include various information collected from reefer fleets on their trailers and related internal practices.

The report is set for release April 27.

“What’s this report good for?” Paul Menig, a TMC taskforce member and CEO of business consulting company Business Accelerants, said during TMC’s 2022 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition here. “Well, from what we’ve seen, this is going to be really good for fleets to benchmark themselves against other fleets in terms of where they’re putting their focus, what they’re doing and some of the practices that they’re doing.”

The Refrigerated Trailer eSMARTT report will be the latest in a campaign to gather information on trailers and emerging technologies going back to 2019. The initial eSMARTT report identified refrigerated carriers as early adopters of technology because of the need to track temperatures and the high cost of failures when it was released in June of 2021.

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Menig noted the information will help fleets trying to stay up to date on technology, be environmental-friendly or stay ahead of regulatory changes by seeing what the rest of the reefer sector is doing.

“For instance, we will be providing information on how many people are using which types of doors, what types of floors, suspensions, axle configurations,” Menig said. “I’ve already let you know that there is a high level of SmartWay compliance. We have information on trailer life.”

Menig added it also will include information on maintenance locations, technicians and technician training. The report will include data on 60,173 refrigerated trailers from the fleets that were surveyed. The carriers that participated includes 70% for-hire and 30% private. Those carriers are also 70% highway, 12% intermodal and 18% mixed.

“The next steps are to complete the full report, the executive summary,” Menig said. “The executive summary will be available for free to TMC people at that time. And then the full report will be available for a price yet to be determined.”