What Is A Reefer Trailer?

Reefer truck

What is a Reefer truck?

In trucking, a “reefer” is a refrigerated trailer that gets attached to a semi-truck in order to transport perishables and other temperature-sensitive goods. Cooling for reefers is achieved through different methods, which can include:

  • Diesel powered generators – These attach to the container being pulled
  • Cryogenic Cooling – Melts frozen carbon dioxide ice to keep contents cool

It was originally the ice cream industry that gave birth to the reefer around 1925. Reefers may also be used for heated goods.

Reefer truck 2

Forms also used:

  • Refrigerated truck

Examples of use:

  • Jamal realized one of the constant requirements of the reefer trailer was to clean it out after every load.
  • In order to expand into the fresh produce industry on a national level, the company began training for reefer hauls.
  • The Red Cross relies on reefers to transport blood from its donors to the hospitals and clinics in need.

Other Meanings of “Reefer”


  • Reefer (also “refer”) – A line printed in a newspaper referring to a column or story located somewhere else in the paper.
  • Reefer – A double-breasted coat often worn by sailors and yacht enthusiasts.
  • Reefer – A slang term for marijuana, often mentioned in context with the 1938 film, “Reefer Madness.”
  • Reefer – A coral reef enthusiast and collector, usually involving saltwater aquariums.

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