Buying a used reefer can obviously be a money-saver. But you’ve got to check it out carefully to make sure you won’t have any surprises down the road. In addition to all the usual checks of wheels, tires, lights and wiring, here are some special tips for checking out a used reefer.
1. Check The Floor
Jump on it, walk all around it from corner and corner and every which way. Make sure nothing’s loose or damaged. Check the area closest to the rear doors for damage from forklifts, and the floor over the rear bogie for cracks.
2. Look For Leaks
On a bright day, get inside and have a trusted companion shut the doors. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness and then check all the corners, seals and floors for any light seeping through.
3. Crawl Underneath
Grab a powerful light and check the frame rails for any rust, corrosion, fractures or damage.
4. Check The Reefer Unit
Look for oil leaks, and frayed or damaged belts. Check the freon level. Fire it up and listen to it for a while. Set a low temperature and see how well and how quickly it cools down. If you drive in California, keep CARB regs in mind, and make sure it’s compliant.
5. Look For Excess Weight
Look up the weight specs and then run it over a scale. Water can get under the skin of the panels, adding hundreds of pounds of weight. More weight means you’ll be using more fuel.
6. Buy From A Trustworthy Seller
Buy from a trusted source, not some guy who has a sign by the side of the road. Not only will you have peace of mind based on the dealer’s reputation, but you’ll have a trustworthy business to go back to if you have problems