Fuel Logic’s Tales from the Road: Saving Thanksgiving … One Turkey at a Time

October 30, 2023

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When long-time Fuel Logic customer Walmart called the Fuel Logic team late in 2022, the situation was dire. It was a call that no one with perishable stock or cargo ever wants to make.

The Maryland Walmart store was bustling amidst the fall holiday season, and the store manager discovered that one of its refrigerated trailers had run out of fuel during the overnight hours.

This meant that the storage trailer’s refrigeration generators had shut down, and a truckload of turkeys, hams, and other holiday delectables were at risk of being compromised or lost due to inadequate temperature control. To make matters worse, a refrigerated trailer with no fuel may try to restart over and over, adding insult to injury by eventually draining the unit’s battery.

reefer fuel delivery

How cold is a reefer?

A refrigerated trailer, or “reefer,” typically maintains temperatures that range roughly anywhere from 70 degrees to -13 degrees Fahrenheit, although some specialized refrigeration units can chill to even lower temperatures.

Ideally, a reefer’s 50-gallon fuel tank could run for four to five days but must be monitored closely and diligently maintained. See more detailed info on refrigerated trailers here.

Driving does not impact fuel consumption because a reefer uses a closed-loop fuel system that is independent of the truck. However, it is generally considered best practice to keep a close eye on a reefer’s fuel gauge, refuel every day that it is in use, and keep the tank from going below ¼ full.

But as we all know, life happens. And, on occasion, a reefer may run out of fuel, which is generally considered a fuel emergency.

Empty reefer = Fuel emergency

In this situation, the Walmart store in Maryland had several reefer trailers storing extra food, but through an unfortunate oversight, one trailer had run out of fuel … and time was of the essence.

The company contacted Fuel Logic for mobile fuel assistance since Fuel Logic offers service 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The mobile fuel order process was greatly expedited since Walmart was an existing Fuel Logic customer and was already in the system. And within a matter of hours, Fuel Logic had fuel en route to the empty reefer.

However, restarting a reefer that has run out of fuel is not always as simple as it might seem.

When the Walmart manager had difficulties getting the reefer engine going after it had been refueled, he called Fuel Logic, and Brandon Ward, fuel consultant, sprang into action.

Understanding that every minute mattered, Brandon remotely guided his client from 1,300 miles away by Facetime by restarting the unit’s engine.

After instructing his client how to climb up the catwalk to access the cooling unit safely, Brandon explained how to prime the fuel system, which would eventually help bring the engine back online.

“Most refueling drivers aren’t usually mechanics and typically won’t do anything beyond refueling, such as priming the fuel pump, due to liability reasons,” Ward explained.

Save the turkeys

Fortunately, Ward’s extensive fuel industry experience has afforded him a comprehensive understanding of what it sometimes takes to get a temperamental reefer back up and running.

“I walked him through turning off the trailer, loosening the fuel filter, unscrewing and carefully opening the bleeder valve, and then depressing the manual fuel pump plunger to get fuel flowing back into the fuel filter,” said Ward. “This is known as ‘priming the pump’, and it can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour – depending upon how long the engine has been off – to get the engine restarted.”

Thankfully, after a brief time, the reefer engine cranked up, the trailer’s cooling system was humming, and a costly food cargo crisis was averted.

“We will always go the extra mile – literally and figuratively – to help our clients,” said Ward. “At Fuel Logic, we fully understand and appreciate how unexpected fuel challenges can critically impact our customers’ operations, especially during the holiday season. We take immense pride in going above and beyond to do everything we can to help our customers.”

Fuel Logic: Beyond Fuel Delivery - Saving Thanksgiving, One Reefer at a Time

In the world of reefer fueling services, where precision and reliability are paramount, Fuel Logic stands out as the trusted partner that goes above and beyond. This Tale is not just a story of crisis averted; it's a testament to our unwavering commitment to our customers.

When Walmart faced a perilous situation with a refrigerated trailer running out of fuel, they turned to Fuel Logic, and we answered the call swiftly and decisively. Our 24/7, 365-day-a-year service ensured that help was on the way in no time, and our existing customer relationship expedited the process. But what truly sets us apart is the dedication of our team, like Brandon Ward, a fuel consultant who went the extra mile—1,300 miles, to be precise.

Brandon's expert guidance from afar exemplifies our team's deep understanding of the complexities of reefer systems. He didn't just deliver fuel; he delivered a solution. Brandon's knowledge and hands-on instructions in priming the pump ensured that the reefer engine roared back to life, saving not only turkeys and hams but also the day for our valued customers.

At Fuel Logic, we understand that unforeseen fuel challenges can have a critical impact on our customers, especially during the holiday season when time is of the essence. Our dedication to exceeding expectations, our willingness to tackle the unexpected, and our commitment to ensuring the success of our clients are what set us apart. We take immense pride in being more than just a fuel provider; we are your reliable partner in keeping your operations running smoothly, even in the face of adversity.

So, when you think of reefer fuel delivery services that truly go above and beyond, think of Fuel Logic. Give us a call if you need reefer fuel delivery or just have a question about our service. We're not just delivering fuel; we're delivering peace of mind. Trust us to be there for you when it matters most because at Fuel Logic, your success is our mission.

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