A refrigerator truck is a van or truck designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Like refrigerator cars, refrigerated trucks differ from simple insulated and ventilated vans (commonly used for transporting fruit), neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus. Refrigerator trucks can be ice-cooled, equipped with any one of a variety of mechanical refrigeration systems powered by small displacement diesel engines, or utilize carbon dioxide (either as dry ice or in liquid form) as a cooling agent.
Most of the long-distance refrigerated transport by truck is done in articulated trucks pulling refrigerated semi-trailers. Research is done on fuel cell auxiliary power units.
The first successful mechanically refrigerated trucks were introduced by the ice cream industry in about 1925. There were around 4 million refrigerated road vehicles in use in 2010 worldwide.