If you pick up or deliver items that need to be kept cold, such as flowers, food, or cologne, you likely do so in a refrigerated van. This allows you to easily place the items in the back of the van and keep them fresh until they reach their destination. It is important that you keep up with regular maintenance on the refrigerated portion and the van itself so you don't end up with spoiled goods.
Check the Thermostat Often
One of the most important things in your refrigerated van is the thermostat. This is what helps to control the temperature and keep it from getting too warm, even when it is a hot day. If there are any issues with the thermostat, you might have expensive meat or custom flower arrangements at risk of spoiling fast. Make sure you are checking the thermostat often, not just to see that it is at the right temperature but that it seems to be working properly. Some signs of a faulty thermostat include having the temperature 'stuck' in one position without ever moving, frozen goods in the truck, or signs of ice around the walls of the truck that weren't there before.
Keep Cold Goods Organized
In order to avoid spoiled foods and other goods and avoid cross-contamination, you should also focus on proper organization of the goods in your van. With regular maintenance checks, you will be able to rearrange goods so that they continue to be stored properly. This also makes it easier to clean inside the refrigerated van as needed. Here are some tips for organizing the refrigerated van:
- Never place items on the floor. Even though the floor is also refrigerated in this type of van, this puts it at risk of pest infestation and spoiled food.
- Keep produce away from any fans in the refrigerated van. This can quickly ruin fresh produce.
- Make sure there is enough space between items. You don't want different types of items touching or overlapping one another, or portions not being kept as cold as other portions of those goods.
- Store meat on the opposite side of other food items. Meat should never be placed directly next to dairy, produce, and other goods.
Do Van Checks Before Each Delivery
You also don't want to assume the van is working fine and store items in the refrigerated portion. Before every trip, make a quick inspection of the van and the refrigerated portion. Check that there aren't cracks that might indicate an insulated problem, that the locks and seals are working properly, and that the temperature is set correctly. Also take a look at some of the goods, ensuring they still look and smell fresh.
Get Regular inspections
Don't underestimate the importance of professional inspections of the van. Get someone qualified not just with vans, but refrigerated vans. This person should know about the mechanical systems of this type of vehicle so they can let you know when a tune-up or repair is needed, but also know how to inspect the quality and condition of the refrigerator in back.