Several news articles published this past spring described the good work of a well-known online supermarket that donated refrigerated vans to local food charities. What the company did was both honourable and very helpful to the charities in question. From our perspective though, their donation clearly demonstrates the difference between refrigerated van hire and trailer rental from Icecool Trailers.
News reports explained that the purpose of the donations was to give food charities the means of delivering more fresh foods – like perishable fruits, vegetables, and meats – to recipients rather than just canned and dry goods. That is a great goal to pursue. Hopefully the food charities are not using the vans for storage as well.
In short, refrigerated vans are for deliveries while refrigerated trailers are for storage. There really is no comparison when you are looking at a cold storage solution for more than a couple of hours at a time.
One of the first things to note about refrigerated trailers is that, compared to refrigerated van hire, they offer more capacity in a smaller footprint. Remember that a refrigerated van is essentially portable cold storage with four wheels, an engine, and at least two seats. A refrigerated trailer is almost all storage capacity.
For a refrigerated van to fit in the same space as one of our trailers, the amount of storage capacity would have to be greatly reduced. You need to account for the engine and cab somehow. Likewise, if one of our trailers took up the same footprint as a refrigerated van, the capacity would be quite impressive.
Another significant difference between our trailers and refrigerated van hire is observed in maintenance. Our trailers are relatively maintenance-free from the customer's standpoint. Why? Because we deliver, set up, and make sure our trailers are in full operational condition before we leave the client's site. If there are any mechanical issues (and these are rare) one of our highly trained technicians will address the problem. And yes – we do offer emergency service.
When you are looking at refrigerated van hire, you're looking at maintenance of a vehicle in addition to portable cold storage. A long-term lease would indicate maintaining tyres, engine oil, running lights, and so on. That is an awful lot of trouble to go through just for storage.
If a company needs portable cold storage and delivery capacity in a single unit, vans might be appropriate. But when storage is all you're looking for, refrigerated vans cannot compare to the benefits of refrigerated trailers and walk-in cold rooms.
Before you consider refrigerated van hire, we urge you to contact Icecool Trailers first. Tell us what you need and let's see if we can provide it for you. We are confident we can. Icecool Trailers has been in the cold storage business for more than 20 years. We serve the entire Greater London area as well as most parts of southern England and Wales.