Drivers right out of trucking school can get refrigerated trucking jobs. There are many trucking companies who has refrigerated trailers in their fleet.
It may be easier to get a
refrigerated trucking jobs if you already have trucking experience
though. Pulling a refrigerated trailer requires you to be responsible and attentive to a greater degree than regular freight.
Produce and perishable goods often must be refrigerated. Then...there is stuff that you are not familiar with which must be hauled in a temperature controlled environment also! Some raw materials for instance have to be keep at a certain temperature.
You are give the temperature requirements and set the thermostat on the trailers reefer unit accordingly. You have to keep check to make sure the light is green. Being able to do a little troubleshooting in the event of problems will help. Don't worry though, you will be taught what is expected and how to operate the reefer unit when you are go to the company. Also, for maintenance, repairs, service that requires a mechanic, you will have to do the work. You would be sent to qualified mechanic by your company.
If you go owner operator, you can make even more money pulling reefer too.
However, it's very tricky. You can loose a lot of money pulling pulling for shady trucking companies or using trucking companies using outdated equipment. It's a good idea to pull reefer as a company driver first, if you have big plans on becoming an owner operator because you met some owner operator making a killing pulling reefer. You ask them questions, find out the do's, dont's, pitfalls, tips, and tricks to being successful.
You need to be more familiar about life as a reefer hauler.
O/O hauling reefer can pay off big time or you can loose big time. With some contracts or cheap insurance you can be on the hook for a lot of damaged goods if you reefer unit fails.
You don't have the luxury of waiting to fix your trailer or make decisions about what to do next. You might be hauling temperature controlled freight that can't drop below a certain temperature within a certain amount of time.
In a case like that, if your reefer unit broke over the road with a repair estimate too lengthy...would have to hire a company to either house the goods in cold storage or rent another reefer unit and coordinate the transfer of good ASAP.
All this is extra expense. So, you can get paid and you could lose, as an owner operator.
But you know what they say.....scared money don't make money! I don't know how much more you will get paid pulling reefer as a new driver but after you get your trucking experience, I know the reefer experience will help you get paid a little more money hauling refrigerated for the right company than pulling the dry van. With some companies you can get percentage of the load.