Refrigeration system puts Manitoulin on top of the world

MANITOULIN ISLAND, Ont. — Manitoulin Transport outfitted its trailers with the hybrid Vector 1800MT multi-temperature systems from Carrier Transicold and their choice of refrigeration system was as much about heating as cooling.

Although the Carrier Transicold hybrid units on Manitoulin Transport’s rigs serving Northern Canada provide ample refrigeration capacity, they were chosen specifically for an exceptional heating performance that protects cargoes even when outside temperatures drop to – 40C.

Featuring Carrier’s patented Deltek diesel-electric technology, the Vector 1800MT unit is a departure from conventional mechanical refrigeration. It integrates a diesel engine with a high-performance generator and an all-electric refrigeration system to deliver reliability, longevity, performance and environmental benefits on the road.

The hybrid units are used by Manitoulin’s Northwest Transport division, which serves B.C. and Alberta, as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories, including Inuvik north of the Arctic Circle.

In those remote long-haul routes, equipment reliability is crucial. The Vector 1800MT system’s streamlined Deltek technology, maintenance-free electric components and heating capacity are important to Manitoulin.

“When hauling groceries on top of the world in January, maintaining proper trailer temperature is less about cooling than heating,” according to Bob Chatwell, Manitoulin’s director of maintenance. “With the older style reefer units, refrigeration performance was okay, but the heat in the wintertime was where we were having difficulty. Temperatures get down to 40, 45 or 50 below.”

Even with four inches of insulation on Manitoulin’s 53-foot, two- and three-compartment trailers, ambient temperatures like that are still a challenge. Electric heating overcomes the obstacle that extreme cold creates for conventional refrigeration systems.

“In our first winter with the units, some guys wanted to run extra heaters in the back, but it wasn’t necessary,” Chatwell said. “The Vector units were more than adequate for the job. They also performed well cooling in the summer, so we’ve got all the bases covered.”

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