Thermo King vs Carrier: What Is the Difference?

Continuous innovation in cold chain technology and logistics has created a vastly improved international transport network. At the heart of this vital industry are transport refrigeration units, such as those available from Thermo King and Carrier. But which of these is best, and what differentiates them?

Thermo King and Carrier create some of the highest quality reefer units in the business, but their offerings are not exactly alike. Read on to learn more about each of these brands and the differences between their commercial offerings.

Thermo King Transport Refrigeration Unit Options and Advantages

Fred Jones, one of Thermo King’s founders, is credited with inventing transport refrigeration in the 1930s. Years of expertise have allowed this brand to build increasingly better reefer units, leading up to their current, industry leading designs.

For Trucks

Thermo King offers a complete lineup of self-powered truck units that run on diesel. Among their latest releases are models such as the T-90, which features an intelligent electric standby mode for better fuel performance. This line of refrigeration units also comes complete with functioning telematics systems to transmit vital status information to operators for scheduled maintenance and more.

For Trailers

Thermo King offers both a single-temperature line of reefer units and a multi-temperature line as well. Although these lines are similarly designed, they are best suited to different applications.

Among their single-temperature product line, models such as the PRECEDENT S-600 trailer unit offer high fuel efficiency ratings and a real-time fuel monitoring system. This type of reefer unit is also designed to work without a separate diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The PRECEDENT S-610M is one of the many multi-temperature models built and sold by Thermo King. It’s also designed to function without a DPF and offers precise temperature controls for each section of your trailer. This is a great choice for multi-item hauling operations where two or more perishables with unique needs are to be transported in a single trailer.

For Urban Distribution

Thermo King offers its highly tailored line of SL reefer units for urban distribution applications. The latest SLXi Local model optimises city food transport with a significantly lighter and thinner build than most competing brands. This particular unit is also designed to leverage online connectivity to transmit critical data to and from your company’s HQ.

Carrier Transport Refrigeration Unit Options and Advantages

Carrier offers a highly performant and versatile range of refrigeration units fit for commercial use. All modes of transportation are covered and the models they currently sell offer powerful features for demanding applications.

For Trucks

Carrier’s range of reefer units fit for use in refrigerated trucks are designed to be easy to maintain and simple to install. This can translate to low costs for new acquisitions if your business is looking to expand its fleet or upgrade existing units.

Carrier’s Supra models, such as the “900 U”, deliver on performance demands with high capacity evaporators and improved load protection. These units are built for reliable service in trucks with multiple doors.

For Trailers

Trailer refrigeration requirements are more difficult to satisfy. Carrier’s Vector line of reefer units tackles the challenge with hermetic compressors, flexible power options (diesel engine and electrical/standby) and more.

Trailer-grade units from Carrier are compatible with engineless technology to maximise efficiency, and they also feature an APX control system.

For Light Commercial Vehicles

Light commercial delivery vehicles used for urban deliveries pair nicely with Carrier’s Citimax reefer models. These small units draw power from the vehicle’s engine to cool perishables over shorter journeys. 

These units are designed to be lightweight and very simple to operate, making them fairly versatile. With a maximum length of only about 141cm by 50cm, they are compact enough to ease installation, plus they offer fairly high cooling capacity, despite their diminutive dimensions.

For Shipping Containers

Intermodal units offer exceptional durability and reliability, which is essential as maintaining temperatures inside large shipping containers as they move across nations, territories and environments is fairly difficult.

These types of refrigeration units work under the most rigorous conditions and are designed to hold up to demanding requirements without stopping or breaking down. That being said, Carrier’s intermodal units are designed to be used with shipping containers, not trucks or trailers.

Choosing the Right Transport Refrigeration Unit

Although there are many options currently available to businesses looking for quality transport refrigeration units, Thermo King and Carrier have come to be known as two of the best brands to choose from. 

You can’t go wrong with either of them — it will just come down to your business’s unique needs. Here at Iceman, we specialise in servicing both brands and will help you take proper care of your units to ensure that they go the distance — no matter which brand you choose.

Leave a Comment