In addition to refrigeration units, cold-plate technology is another popular option for fleets. Hercules Manufacturing Co. says it is seeing an increase in requests for 5- and 6-in. foam all around the truck body, which is said to promote better temperature control and extended body life.

“The primary purpose of a refrigerated truck body is to provide good temp control. Some customers run longer routes with more stops; some carry more products, meaning drivers spend longer at each stop delivering multiple product lines,” says Jeffrey A. Caddick, CEO and owner of Hercules.

“We’ve devised foaming above the crossbars for maximum temp control, keeping floor height as low as possible, making it easier for drivers to get in and out.”

Hercules’ cold-plate system is a derivative of a system originally developed by the company in the 1930s.

“[Cold-plate refrigeration systems] are known for lower up-front maintenance [and] operation costs, eliminating refrigeration system diesel consumption, and project that coveted ‘green’ image,” says Caddick. “We’ve been working with many of our cold-plate customers to take advantage of the Dept. of Energy’s Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP) rebates.” Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies is also seeing interest in its coldplate technology, particularly due to the desire to reduce fuel costs and meet emissions laws.

“Our all-electric cold-plate systems comply with the STEP grant because they don’t require diesel fuel like conventional systems do,” says Mayo Rude, vice president of sales & marketing. “The recently introduced Guardian LT, with cold-plate refrigeration, allows customers to maximize payload without increasing operational costs.”

According to Rude, “cold-plate refrigeration systems…are the most reliable, low-maintenance option available today, [and are] powered by electricity instead of diesel.” Rude notes that Johnson customers have qualified for over $250,000 in STEP rebates to date. Johnson’s all-electric refrigeration solutions, cold plates and ElectriMax systems are diesel- and emissionsfree, making them exempt from transport refrigeration unit airborne toxic control measures, as defined by the California Air Resources Board.