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Oliver Clothesoff

J. R. Simplot Company

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The J. R. Simplot Company, commonly referred to as Simplot, was founded in 1923 by 14-year-old J. R. Simplot near the small agricultural community of Declo in south central Idaho. J. R. Simplot led his company to tremendous growth in the period between its founding and World War II. The business truly flourished when it sold millions of pounds of dehydrated onions and potatoes to the U.S. military during that war.


Perhaps the most important and defining feature of the Simplot company was the invention by one of Simplot's chemists, Ray L. Dunlap, of the necessary processes to produce quality frozen french fries. By the early 1960s it was the primary supplier of french fries to McDonald's; by 2005 it supplied more than half of all french fries for the fast food chain. Simplot also produces fertilizers for agriculture.


Simplot is now one of the largest privately owned companies in the world (ranked 59th in Private Companies by Forbes magazine in 2004) and has branches in Australia, Canada, Mexico, China, and several other regions. One of the major plants is in Caldwell, Idaho.


Butch Otter, current governor of Idaho, was employed by the company for 30 years and at one time served as head of its international division.


J. R. Simplot retired as president of his company in 1973, but remained involved for many years. He stepped down as chair of the board in 1994, and held the title of Chairman Emeritus until his death in 2008. In 2001, Simplot received an honorary degree[1] from Utah State University, honoring him for his many contributions to the agricultural industry of America and, particularly, the mountain west.


J.R. Simplot, an Idaho agribusiness

company, exports reefer

containers full of frozen French fry

potatoes, chilled meat and beef by

the Columbia-Snake container barge


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benched that very first Kerse just a few hours ago...it was stuck behind an engine so I couldnt get a good shot. I'll post up some stuff later.

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benched that very first Kerse just a few hours ago...it was stuck behind an engine so I couldnt get a good shot. I'll post up some stuff later.


do that

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70' Cryogenic Reefer


The Cryo cars genrally refer to the CO2 refers that were common from the 1980's until a few years ago.

The early ones were rebuilds of 60' RBL's, insulated boxcars. Later Gunderson built 70' Smooth side Hi-Cube cars that Cryo Trans and GATX among others operated.

This was the car Walthers released in the 1990's with the Frost Cold Storage building. These cars were generally used with Frozen Foods loads, French Fries were a big cargo.

The liquid CO2 was pumped into a plenum in the top of the car, the pressure was lowered, and the CO2 changed to dry ice or "snow". The Dry Ice sublimed into CO2 gas which kept the contents cold.


The improvements in the Mechanical refrigeration systems, as well increases in the price of CO2, and the difficulty in getting the cars recharged in transit if delayed, killed the concept.

Most of the modern 70' Cryotrans fleet has been converted to Mechanical refrigerator cars, with conventonal refer units inset on the A end.

There are a few of the CO2 cars left in service, Simplott still uses them on shipments from Portage la Prarie Manitoba.


Another refrigeration system uses liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) for cooling.

This cryogenic concept was developed in response to rising fuel costs,

and was an attempt to find an alternative to the standard mechanical refrigeration systems requiring maintenance, fuel and creating emissions.

The CO2 reefer system can keep the container's cargo frozen solid as long as 30 days.


New "cryogenic" reefers are in service transporting frozen foodstuffs, but they have yet to gain wide acceptance (due, in part, to the cost of liquid carbon dioxide).

Since cryogenic refrigeration is a proven technology and environmentally friendly,

the rising price of fuel and the increased availability of carbon dioxide from Kyoto Protocol-induced capturing techniques may lead to common usage of cryogenic containers, especially in intermodal trade.


The cryogenic reefer container can be stored anywhere on any vessel that can accommodate "dry" (un-refrigerated) ocean freight containers.

This is vitally important to the vessel operator because a typical dry freight load does not generate nearly the revenue of a refrigerated shipment.

They can use many modes of transportation without an outside power source or a mechanical breakdown. Because a cryogenic reefer container doesn't need to be plugged in to a power source,

it can be shipped anywhere, without electricity or fuel.

This CO2 refrigeration technology has been used in railcars for years. The system has proven to be safe and reliable.

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