Freezer Issues Again

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    I have a trailer with two 25 cu foot freezers in it, plus 3 other freezers in the garage.

    I need more capacity. Far more. I have to do a lot of shuffling around. Take everything out the trailer freezers to pick up finished meat, then shuffle it all around to be ready for sales again. PITA.

    I could buy a walk-in, but I have nowhere to put it. Won't be keeping this house long enough to justify putting it here. Don't want it at the farm ,but if I did, I'd have to build it it's own building. Can't put it in the barn! Portable outdoor units run $10000, plus I still have to put in some concrete for it. I'd have to satisfy the health department. So far all health departments have really liked the trailer deal.

    I CANNOT buy a reefer truck. Insurance issues that would cost an arm and a leg.

    I just stored about 50 cu. feet worth of stuff at the locker for one week. Cost was $15 and it's only if they have space. They don't always have space and I can't depend on that.

    I found a good trailer....8x16...will fit 5 freezers(125 cu feet). $7000 for trailer (includes insulated/finished walls, A/C/heat, wired with outlets and lights). Another $2000 for freezers. I'd keep my little one for marketing, use the big one for storage, pick-up and large deliveries.

    Freezer trailer with double the capacity (total, not usuable) is about $7000. I'd have to build or install some kind of shelving system in it. Since I can't build very well, let's assume I'll be buying. Probably $500?

    It seems like a no-brainer, but...

    If I quit selling meat, the resale on my enclosed trailers is good. Re-sale on used chest type freezers is ok. Re-sale on used freezer trailers is very iffy.

    I don't know how much power that freezer trailer will use. The chest freezers use about $5/month. I also can shut off the ones I don't need at the moment. Can't shut off the freezer trailer, even if it's mostly empty and using more power.

    Repairing the freezer trailer scares me. If the box ever gets damaged, it's done. If the unit goes out, I'm sunk. I imagine that repairs and upkeep on the unit will be costly.

    I borrowed money for the first trailer, but it is all paid back. I'd have to get another loan to pay for this, but should be able to pay it back within a year, two at the most. I don't think getting a loan on either will be a problem. Insurance would be similar on either.

    Any thoughts?

    Jena
     
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    Location:
    PA
    Jena,

    Been there with many chest/upright freezers. PIA thats for sure.

    I own a raw pet food business and ship frozen meat so I can relate. I ended up buying initially an 8x8x8 walk in freezer off of ebay. This is a Cold Pak blast freezer [-20 degrees] and I got it for $2,000. delivered. This unit was a snap to put up [all interlocking walls] and came with floor. Very easily could be moved.

    I ended up outgrowing this freezer so had to put a second walk in in [10X10x10].
    Between both these freezers I have plenty of room. I sold all my chest and uprights except one and am very pleased with this set up.

    My electric bbills are less now then when I was runnning all the other freezers. Inventory and shipping is much easier as well. Look on Ebay, you can get some good deals if your patient.

    Good luck
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    I think your enclosed trailer and chest freezers is a reasonable next step but you'll hopefully grow to the freezer trailer. Keep in mind the chest freezers are not meant to be constantly shaken in a trailer so spen a little more on a trailer with good suspension. Tracy is right walk ins can be easier to set up and cheaper to run that multiple chest freezers.
     
  4. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
    On big festival catering gigs the food supply company drops a reefer trailer on the spot, usually one of those tractor trailer types but shorter--I would guess about 20 feet long. The unit runs on gasoline and 3/4 of the interior space is a fridge and the other quarter is a deep freezer. The unit runs for a week to 10 days on one tank of gas, and I can't imagine the tank's all that large. Maybe you could find something like that, but with more freezer space?
     
  5. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    Location:
    PA
    I looked into renting a reefer truck a year or so ago. It might be different but here in PA it was not cost effective. They charge a rental fee by the week and also the "run hours". The way I understood the run hours is there was a meter on the unit and they charged for the actual time the compressor was running on top of the weekly fee. If I remeber correctly it was over $200 for one week when all was figured plus you had to pay for the diesel to run the generator.
     
  6. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
    I suppose you're right about that. As I recall, since we also had $11,000 worth of groceries in the truck when they dropped it, they probably threw that in for free... :rolleyes: But I bet they turn them over pretty frequently and they can be had for less than $7000, which seems to be the only other option right now.
     
  7. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    I read about a guy who bought an old reefer trailer and set it up at his farm. He processed his own chickens and only used it on processing days, not for continuous operation. He was real happy with it.

    I think continuous operation would start to get pricey and I'd also have to find one in better shape to begin with.

    I guess I'll call the health department and see what they think about a walk-in in the garage. I'm pretty sure they will make me remove all my junk, or at least build some kind of partition for the freezer area.

    I have boxes in there I have never opened since moving from CA seven years ago. Guess it's time for a garage sale!

    Jena