How Much Does Refrigerated Trucks for Rent Cost?

Author: Rohan Paulos
Updated On:

In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about refrigerated truck rental including the uses, types on the market, and the costs of renting a refrigeration truck rental.

refrigerated truck control

Why Refrigerated Truck?

A refrigerator truck is a new or used truck with a body designed to carry perishable goods at low temperatures.

A refrigerated lorry or truck must have a refrigeration unit to keep working continuously and protect temperature sensitive cargo.

medium size cooling truck

A truck that is simply insulated to transport fruit is simply an insulated truck.

Trucks that have a refrigeration system in place are regarded as refrigerated vehicles or fridge / freezer cargo vans.

empty cooling van

The very first fridge trucks were designed for the ice cream industry.

Nowadays, many goods including fresh fish and meats are transported in rented freezer trucks.

Popular refrigerated box truck rental businesses include the PENSKE refrigerated truck rental services, the RYDER ice truck rental, Budget trailer rental, Hertz and U-HAUL companies!

heavy box trailer truck

And during road trip, there are emergency roadside assistance services with qualified tech and handyman across United States to avoid chilled items been delayed or destroyed.

As well as Canada, there are 100s of refrigerated box truck rental services, including refrigerated van rental Los Angeles, Illinois, Phoenix-Arizona, Chicago, San Diego, Fort Worth, Dallas, Denver, Boston etc.

long truck loading vector


How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Refrigerated Truck?

Used refrigerated truck models go for between $10,000 and $35,000.

New ones are more expensive because the truck comes with a refrigerator for keeping products cooler than the outdoor temperatures.

side door cooling truck

Therefore, on top of being used for transport, a refrigerated truck does the job of keeping things cool.

However, before you think you cannot afford to rent a refrigerated truck, check out the rental costs of different types of refrigerated trucks below…

parked refrigerated van

  • Refrigerated cargo vans



  • Refrigerated 16-foot trucks

Refrigerated 16-foot long trucks cost about $160 daily to rent. The weekly rental fee is approximately $680.

Most companies renting refrigerated trucks normally charge an additional fee per mile (about $0.2) plus diesel plus $1.2 per reefer meter hour.

refrigerated trailer containers

  • Refrigerated 20 foot trucks

These trucks cost about $180 a day or $750 a week to rent. In addition to the rental rate, they usually attract a per-mile charge, a reefer meter charge, and a fuel (diesel) charge.

The extra fees usually increase the rental fee by about $100 for intra-city rental.

man loading container

  • Refrigerated 26 foot trucks

Refrigerated 26-foot long trucks are probably the most popular big-size refrigerated trucks widely available for rent.

They cost about $200 a day and $850 a week to rent. They are perfect for transporting frozen or chilled food products over long distances.

long delivery truck

  • Refrigerated tow trailers

Refrigerated tow trailers are widely available across the country in two sizes – the 12-foot long size and the 16-foot long size.

Both cost about $190 a day to rent and about $800 a week to rent. They typically fit in regular parking stalls and come with locks and extension cords (for connecting to mains power).

truck gas cylinder section

How much does it cost to rent a refrigerated van?

It will cost you about $180 daily to rent a sizeable refrigerated van. The weekly rate is about $750 per week.

In addition to the daily or weekly rental rate, most refrigerated van rental companies usually charge an additional amount for every mile (about $0.4).

Therefore, always ask about the charge per mile when renting a refrigerated van or any other rental vehicle.

truck at loading dock

How Does A Refrigeration Truck Work?

All refrigerated trucks have a refrigeration system.

The manufacturers that build refrigerated trucks do so by first insulating the back compartment and making it a separate and air-tight compartment.

The insulation creates a separate self-contained atmosphere that is heat-tight.

heavy trucks at loading dock

Thus, by removing all heat remaining in the compartment using a refrigeration system, it can stay cold for a long time.

All refrigeration systems have three components – a condenser, a compressor, and an evaporator.

The condenser is basically a metal pipe filled a special liquid known as a coolant.

It absorbs heat very well. The systems work by circulating the fluid in the metal pipe leading to it absorbing all the heat in the freezer chamber.

truck on the move

This typically turns the coolant fluid into gas. This gas is then transported to the condenser where it is condensed (compressed under pressure) and transported into the evaporator.

The evaporator transports atmospheric area through the coolant resulting in the expulsion of all the heat it carries.

The expulsion of the heat causes cooling which turns the coolant back to gas. The coolant is then transported to the condenser to start the cycle again.

Each cycle of refrigeration causes the freezer or heat-tight compartment to become colder than before.

two delivery trucks

Major Functions of Refrigerator Trucks for Hire

They are frequently hired for four major uses, among to protect temperature sensitive goods.

First, they are hired for the delivery of perishable fresh foods.

Probably 90% of the time individuals or companies hire freezer trucks, they do it to transport fresh food such as seafood, fish, chilled food, and vegetables.

moving refrigerated van

Second, they are frequently hired for the transport of certain drugs. 

There are drugs like sedatives that can only be transported over long distances in low temperatures or they will go bad.

Third, they are frequently hired for the delivery of cold drinks during summer.

Lastly, freezer trucks are sometimes hired for the transport of chemical products, pharmaceutical products, and biological products that require refrigeration during transport.

Now, read on to find out much more about ice trucks for hire below.

double axle refrigerated van

Types of Refrigerated Van /Truck

There are several types available for rental on the market – with many extra features such as, rental single axle, tandem axle, rear axle, automatic transmission, increased power, fuel savings and lower emissions, air conditioning, power steering etc.

Therefore, when wanting to hire one, you should know the types available and the exact type (and specs) you want to ensure what you end up getting is exactly what you need, the height truck, either new or used truck.

liftgate refrigerated truck


  • Refrigerated Vans

Refrigerated vans aka cold van rentals, fridge van rentals, or reefer vans are small sized vehicles.

They are vans with refrigerated bodies and are designed to transport small sized cargo – mid size cooler.

Some Freezer or chillers have size of 12 ft, 14 ft and 20 ft, and generally carry goods weighing 3 tons / 6,000 lb, 5 tons / 10,000 lb, 10 ton / 20,000 lb and up to 26 tons / 52,000 lb.

Most cold van are simply refrigerated vans, and most companies have them for either short term hire or leasing.

mini freezer truck


  • Refrigerated Trailer Rental

Also refer to as reefer trucks or reefer trailers are large sized trucks up to 40 foot or more. They are literally big trucks with massive refrigerated trailers behind them.

In other words, a fridge / freezer lorry is simply a truck with a refrigerator.

They come in various sizes and capacities. The box trucks ranges from 20 ft, 24 ft, 26 foot, 28 foot, 30 ft and even 32 foot height truck and more.

refrigerated truck control


Other options are rear tandem axles, single axle and front axle, running refrigeration unit while the rig mobile, loading or unloading!

They are great for transporting large size cargo such as fish, seafood, or meat between great distances.

They are also perfect for use by food companies as extra storage space.

Many event organizers frequently hire refrigerator trucks from box truck rental companies to hold food and drink supplies for events.

heavy-duty truck loading


  • Insulation Vans

Insulation vans are not really refrigerated vans or trucks.

They are simply vehicles that have an insulated body meant to keep goods such as fruits from going bad by maintaining their temperature.

Essentially, what insulation vans do is they prevent heat from getting in.

mini refrigerated cargoe truck

The biggest difference between insulation vans and refrigerated vans is the fact that insulation vans have no refrigeration units and are light duty.

Most insulation vans have thick polystyrene or Styrofoam insulation to prevent goods from cooling off or heating up when they are properly sealed and locked.

Personal or commercial rental vans like Camper Vans, Sprinter Vans can be converted to 10 ton to 26 ton Insulation Vans.

empty cooling van

  • Chiller Conversion Vans

Chiller conversion vans are a special type of refrigerated vans. They are special because they are both insulated and have refrigeration units installed.

They are meant to bring cool air in and keep the heat out. This makes them perfect for transporting smaller cargo in low temperatures.

Many companies and individuals utilize chiller conversion vans to transport perishable products that do not need freezing temperatures for preservation e.g. flowers and certain meats.

heavy box trailer truck


  • Semi Freezer Vans

Semi freezer vans are advanced refrigerated vans. They have two things that set them apart when compared to normal vans.

long truck loading vector

First, they have thick insulated bodies. Their bodies have 7.5cm-thick insulation Styrofoam or similar material to keep the heat out. Second, they have powerful refrigeration units.

Unlike chiller conversion vans that are only powerful enough to chill goods/ products, semi-freezer vans are powerful enough to freeze items.

Many of them also have defrost technologies meaning that there is no need for users to purchase or hire defrost heaters.

side door cooling truck

  • Full-Freezer Vans

Full freezer vans are more powerful than semi freezer vans. They are more powerful in terms of freezing.

In other words, each freezer cargo van can keep items further below the freezing point compared to semi-freezer vans. They also have thicker bodies and heat blocking doors.

More common refrigerated box truck rental vehicle models are, Isuzu, Mercedes sprinter, Ford transit etc designed with Reefer chillers and Chest freezer for regional and nationwide delivery.

mini cooling truck

Cost of Renting Refrigerated Trucks in United States /Cities

The average daily cost of renting in a major city in United States is between $150 and $300, excluding extra cost such as, tractor rental, roadside assistance and insurance!

The price usually depends on the type of refrigerated vehicle you want to rent and duration.

Generally, it should cost you approximately $200 daily to rent a 12 foot reefer van and approximately $250 to rent a 14 foot reefer van.

white refrigerated mini truck

For a bigger refrigerated unit such as a 16-foot reefer truck, average price is usually $300 daily to rent one.

Compared to daily rental charges, weekly rental charges are typically cheaper and come with several advantages for free.

Many reputable companies offer very competitive rates, with good customer service. For example, according to many people, both PENSKE rental costs and RYDER rental costs are quite competitive.


Hertz refrigerated truck and trailer rental costs are also competitive.

trailer refrigerated container

FAQ About Refrigeration Truck Rental

What is the cost of a refrigerated truck – new or used?

How much does a refrigerated truck cost for used and new models will definitely throw us different prices. Used refrigerated truck models go for between $10,000 and $35,000.

New ones are more expensive. Another factors that determine cost of a refrigerated truck is the brand name it carries. 

man loading truck


The best quality refrigerated trucks manufactured by companies such as Kenworth, Hino, International, GMC, Isuzu, and Freightliner are generally more expensive than those made by ordinary or unknown manufacturers.

What are refrigeration trucks called?

Refrigeration trucks are also known as reefer trucks. This is because the slang word for refrigerated is reefer.

A typical reefer truck is made up of a semi-truck pulling a refrigerated trailer. The trailer is normally insulated and airtight and kept cold by an active cooling system.

heavy delivery truck

How does a refrigerated van work?

A refrigerated van works exactly the same way a refrigerated truck works. It has an insulated cargo hold that is heat tight.

This cargo hold is cooled using a refrigeration system made up of a condenser, a compressor, and an evaporator.

The refrigeration system in a refrigerated van is just the same as the one your refrigerator uses. The biggest difference is that it is much bigger in refrigerated vans.

truck gas cylinder section

By making the heat-tight cargo hold to become colder and colder with each refrigeration cycle, your refrigerated van will keep your goods at the temperature you desire even when traveling over a long distance.

Why can’t vans go in the fridge?

If you load a van with goods and then drive it into a fridge or refrigerated room to keep the goods cold before you live, you will not succeed.

heavy truck in loading dock

This is because the van will most likely be insulated making it difficult for the cold atmosphere in the fridge to cool the goods inside your van.

Are refrigerated vans insulated?

Yes, they are. Refrigerated vans are kind of like standard refrigerators.

The same way standard refrigerators have insulated walls to provide an air-tight and heat-tight environment, refrigerated vans also have insulated walls to mainly prevent exterior heat from getting in.

This is key to refrigeration because without insulated walls, most refrigeration systems will struggle to lower the temperature inside any van.

trucks in loading dock

How much does it cost to rent a Home Depot truck for a day?

To rent a regular Home Depot box truck, you will pay a base rate of $29 for the first 75 minutes (one hour fifteen minutes).

For every extra 15 minutes, you will need to pay $5. The company will deduct the due amount from your deposit. The deposit is $150. The capacity of the truck is 515 cubic feet in volume and has a maximum load capacity of 3,850 pounds.

long distance delivering truck

Is Budget cheaper than U-Haul?

In some instances, this is true. However, most people do not know that the average cost per mile for U-Haul is often cheaper than the average cost per mile for Budget.

This certainly means that U-Haul is generally cheaper than Budget. However, as mentioned above, this is not the case in some locations.

moving and delivery trucks

Is Penske cheaper than Budget?

No, it is not. Penske is not cheaper than Budget. In fact, it is more expensive especially when it comes to long moves.

However, unlike other truck rental companies, does not have additional mileage charges for one-way moves. 

Moreover, it does not have hidden charges like many truck rental firms. Therefore, while Penske is more expensive than Budget, it does have its advantages.

small freezer truck

Does Enterprise rent one way trucks?

Yes, it does. The Enterprise company allows one way truck rentals. You can rent pickup trucks and other types of vehicles one way.

What this means is that you can rent a truck from one Enterprise location and leave it at another location. However, please note that not all locations or vehicles are eligible for one-way use.

What kind of trucks does Hertz Rent?

Hertz rents various types of vans and trucks for convenient cargo transportation. In most Hertz locations across the United States, one of the most popular trucks you will find is the Ram 1500.

double axles freezer truck

This truck has a maximum load capacity of 1,700 pounds. It also has extended crew cabs. It is available as a two-wheel drive and as a four-wheel drive. This information shows that it is a beast that can transport truly heavy goods.

Refrigerator Box Truck Rental – Summary

There are many types of refrigerated vans and truck rental – ranging from light duty, medium and heavy duty trailers.

26 foot refrigerated truck

Many people hire the different types of vans and trucks for transporting food, medicine, drinks, and certain products.

In terms of truck rental costs, you need to be prepared to pay anything between $150 and $300 a day to rent a refrigerated van or truck.

Plus deal with service that offers roadside assistance to mitigate delays!

 refrigerated truck on delivery

Team Writers: Auto Renting Tutors!

refrigerated truck control


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