Savannah, GA,
03:37 PM

Everest Reefers Feature Industry's Most Advanced Foam Insulation Technology


Great Dane Everest reefers are engineered to stringent standards to be tougher, last longer and operate more efficiently than their predecessors and competitors.

Great Dane Everest reefers are engineered to stringent standards to be tougher, last longer and operate more efficiently than their predecessors and competitors. One of the key manufacturing processes that separates Everest reefers from less highly engineered alternatives is Great Dane's state-of-the-art modular panel foaming process—the product of many years of research, development and refinement.

At its heart, a refrigerated trailer's primary job is to keep the trailer's cargo at the required temperature from the time it's loaded until its delivery at the appointed destination. And perhaps no component is more critical in performing that job well than the trailer's insulation package, including the quality of the insulating foam in the sidewalls, floor and roof.

In the 1980s, Great Dane became the first trailer manufacturer to adapt a modern computer-controlled panel foaming process at its Wayne, Nebraska manufacturing plant. Before that time, Great Dane and other refrigerated trailer manufacturers relied on a 360-degree mandrel foaming process (sometimes called "foam-in-place") that required factory workers to manually fill trailer sidewalls, roofs and floors with expanding foam, relying only on rudimentary timers, look and "feel" to control the foaming application.

In addition to be being time consuming and very messy, this manual foam injection process often resulted in an inconsistent foaming application, and regularly created variations in the foam's density as well as concealed gaps in the insulation (voids)—both factors that degrade a trailer's insulation performance and thermal efficiency. This technique is especially problematic when the injected foam encounters barriers or turns corners, often causing the foam's cellular structure to compress or otherwise distort.

After adopting the new automated panel foaming process in our Wayne plant, the benefits of this precise technique were quickly realized, leading Great Dane to make a multi-million dollar investment to duplicate the technology in our other reefer plants located in Brazil, Indiana and Statesboro, Georgia.

Today, our modular panel foaming process eliminates the guesswork by employing computer-controlled technology to precisely control critical foaming parameters including temperature, mix ratios, pressures and foam metering during application. The result is void-free panels of unmatched consistency for each customer's specified insulation thickness. In other words, consistent thermal performance throughout each panel.

This advanced panel foaming process also enhances liner adhesion and produces consistently flat, smooth linings backed by equally consistent insulating foam. The result is not only improved thermal performance, but also a more aesthetically pleasing trailer with interior walls that are less susceptible to damage during loading and unloading operations. Another advantage is that in the event of a serious wreck, an entire trailer wall or roof panel can be replaced with another panel of equal appearance and insulating performance.

Leaving the Past Behind

As a leading producter of refrigerated trailers, Great Dane has abandoned the older foam-in-place mandrel process in favor of today's state-of-the-art alternative. As a result, these highly automated panel foaming methods are now producing smoother, more consistent reefer walls, floors and roofs; providing better thermal efficiency; and creating longer-lasting refrigerated trailers that help customers lower their cost of ownership.

From our perspective, why would customers want it any other way?


A History of Innovation

Great Dane's reputation for innovation in refrigerated trailers dates back to the 1940s when the company introduced the industry's first refrigerated trailer with a wet ice bunker and blower system for hauling produce in and out of Florida. That legacy of leadership in refrigerated trailer technology continues today, supported by Great Dane's exclusive thermal laboratory in Savannah, Georgia, the only ATP-certified thermal testing facility in the United States.

Thanks in part to the unique capabilities of this testing facility, Great Dane's reefer customers can rest assured knowing that their trailers have been designed and tested to provide the highest levels of thermal efficiency and performance. Not only at the time of manufacture, but for many years to come.