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International debuts cool new alternative to reefers

WARRENVILLE, Ill. - International has unveiled a new way to keep food and beverage shipments cooled without the use of a reefer.

WARRENVILLE, Ill. – International has unveiled a new way to keep food and beverage shipments cooled without the use of a reefer.

The truck maker has partnered with Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies to develop the RouteMax, which uses cold plate refrigeration technology to keep loads chilled. The self-powered, extended route system charges “cold plates” (coated steel plates with tubing containing a salt-brine solution) while the truck is in operation.

Unlike previous designs on the market, the truck does not have to be plugged in overnight to re-freeze the salt brine.

Instead, the cold plates are charged by a condensing unit via International’s Diamond Logic PowerPack 3 3,000 watt AC power system.

The PowerPack 3 system produces on-demand power and is available on International’s DuraStar and WorkStar model trucks.

“Food service distributors throughout North America place their top priorities on keeping their shipments at the proper temperature in the most efficient and reliable manner,” says Steve Guillaume, general manager, medium truck, International Truck and Engine. “With RouteMax, food service distributors and customers alike now have a reliable alternative that is more cost-effective than current options.”

Company officials claim operators can save up to $6,000 per truck compared to traditional reefer units.

They also boast a 80-90% savings on operating costs (thanks to the elimination of diesel fuel requirements for the reefer) and the system is virtually maintenance-free. The system is designed to last at least 15 years and is environmentally-friendly, the company says.

International officials say the RouteMax system keeps products cold for 16-20 hours per day, compared to a 10-12 hour limit for previous cold plate systems.

“Large customers and small customers alike should be able to appreciate the improvements to the product reliability and ultimately the bottom line with the launch of this new innovation,” said Ron Ricci, president, Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies.

Customers are also able to monitor truck body temperatures remotely using a password-protected Web site through International’s AWARE Vehicle Intelligence system.

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