Reefer Foam Methods

In this edition of the Badger Blog, we will talk more about Reefer Trailer repairs.  In the first installment called Delamination Explanation, we talked about the quality of interior liners, how they have changed over the years,  their mode of failure and different ways to repair the punctures and cuts associated with normal wear and tear. While liners are important, we want to take this time to focus on two different foam processes used for reefer trailer repairs where exterior side panels and or side posts have been replaced. Both repairs are acceptable, however, one provides superior strength at a small premium.  We will expand on both of these methods of repairs.

The Big Repairs…

Image of Big RepairsTrucking companies strive to hire and train professional drivers and operate safe trucks and trailers on our Interstate highways. Inevitably accidents occur and structural repairs are required. On refrigerated trailers most structural repairs will include refoaming at least a portion of the sidewall.

The most popular foaming method used in reefer trailer repairs is called spray foam.  In the video Todd Scheffler discusses the process of spray foam where a technician will repair the support structure (side posts, side panels and even bottom rails) before spraying foam over the replacement parts. They shave the excess foam to the proper thickness and glue the liner to the foam.  This method is the most common across the industry and is an adequate repair

For those willing to pay a small premium the pour foam or foam injection method provides a superior repair and results in a longer life trailer. Only a few trailer dealers offer this repair because it is labor intensive and costs more money than a traditional repair. The pour foam method is really worth the added expense when repairing a reefer trailer in the early stages of its useful life. The foam injection process allows the foam to fill the cavity between the interior liner and side panels surronding the side posts and bonding all three components exactly as they were in original production. There is no need for an adhesive or glue because the foam is the adhesive providing superior strength and rigidity.

The Differences

Image of the DifferencesBoth repair methods will get the reefer trailer back on the road and hauling freight. The most common, spray foam, is a good way to repair your trailer.  It is less costly and is a less labor intensive so your trailer is down for a shorter period of time. The trade off is a little less thermal efficient and shorter life repair. As Todd points out in the video, there is a big difference in the stiffness of the walls between a pour foam and spray foam repair.

So What’s the Right Method?

We perform both repair methods regularly at Badger Utility. It’s our customer’s decision to choose the repair that provides the best value for their specific trailer. The spray foam method is widely accepted and many fleet and owner operators are unaware of the unique pour foam method. We encourage you to ask for the pour foam option as an alternative in the future. You can see the difference illustrated in our video that follows. While it costs more upfront, it can prove to be the better decision over time.

Watch the video below as it captures how much more rigid a pour foam trailer is. The difference is meaningful. Contact any one of our experienced service managers for more information on these two repair methods.

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