Refrigerator truck

A refrigerator truck or chiller lorry is a van or truck designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Like refrigerator cars, refrigerated trucks differ from simple insulated and ventilated vans (commonly used for transporting fruit), neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus. Refrigerator trucks can be ice-cooled, equipped with any one of a variety of mechanical refrigeration systems powered by small displacement diesel engines, or utilize carbon dioxide (either as dry ice or in liquid form) as a cooling agent.

Most of the long-distance refrigerated transport by truck is done in articulated trucks pulling refrigerated semi-trailers. Research is done on fuel cell auxiliary power units.[1]

The first successful mechanically refrigerated trucks were introduced by the ice cream industry in about 1925.[2] There were around 4 million refrigerated road vehicles in use in 2010 worldwide.[3]

This type of truck or lorry was involved in the October 2019 Essex lorry deaths in Grays, England, in which the bodies were trafficked.

See also


  1. Fuel cell TRU
  2. "Chapter 30: Refrigerated Trucks and Trailers". The Refrigerating Data Book. American Society of Refrigerating Engineers. 1952. pp. 9–237. About 1925, the ice cream industry pioneered the first successful mechanically operated refrigerated trucks, which were operated by methyl chloride condensing units. A generator, driven by a gasoline engine, supplied the power for the compressor motor.
  3. "6.2.2 Road Transport". 2010 Report of the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee (PDF) (Report). UNEP. February 2011. p. 94. ISBN 978-9966-20-002-0.


  • Prentice, B. E., & Benell, D. (1992). Determinants of empty returns by US refrigerated trucks: conjoint analysis approach. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, 40(1), 109-127 (abstract)
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