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Tips to Avoid Spoilage or Rejected Loads

Truckers and spoiled refrigerated loads

Spoilage and rejected loads are potential risks when hauling refrigerated loads. Various factors can lead to a cargo loss if you are not careful. To help reduce the risk of a loss, read the information below and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to prevent a refrigerated load from spoiling or being rejected.


  • Is the refrigeration unit operating properly?
  • Are the fuel, oil, and coolant levels of the refrigeration unit sufficient?
  • Is the thermostat calibrated?
  • Are the refrigeration air chutes and ducts properly installed and in good repair?
  • Do the trailer doors seal tightly when closed?
  • Are the trailer walls free of cracks and holes?
  • Is the front bulkhead installed?
  • Do floor drains open?
  • Is the inside of the trailer clean and odor free?
  • Are floor grooves free of debris?
  • Are the trailer’s interior height, width, and length adequate for load?
  • Is the load properly secured?
  • Has the trailer been adequately pre-cooled (or pre-warmed)?
  • Does the trailer have proper ventilation?



  • Inspect the vehicle thoroughly before each trip.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures.
  • Check the load’s required temperature on the bill of lading.
  • Use a pulp thermometer to test the temperature of the product before loading to make certain it matches the required transit temperature.
  • Do not accept a load unless the product’s temperature matches the required transit temperature.
  • Document any discrepancies on the shipping papers and report the issue before accepting the load.
  • Upon delivery, verify and document the temperature of the load on the bill of lading again.
  • To avoid temperature fluctuations during loading/unloading, keep the refrigeration unit turned off.
  • Ensure the product does not obstruct airflow inside the trailer.
  • During stops, monitor the refrigeration unit to ensure it maintains the desired temperature.
  • Do not leave temperature-sensitive cargo unattended while parked.
  • Utilize a temperature recording device, if available.
  • In the event of a vehicle accident while transporting refrigerated products, report the incident immediately to help prevent cargo damage.

As always, you can count on the commercial truck insurance professionals at The Daniel & Henry Company to assist you through challenging claims and all of our insurance, risk management, and safety issues. Contact us today to discuss solutions for your transportation risk management program.