Now that you’re planning on buying a custom food truck or trailer, are you prepared for the process? Do you know what to ask potential manufacturers to ensure you get the best build results? Below are ten questions to ask any food truck builder before you sign a contract.
1. What is the company's design philosophy?
The design of a custom food truck or trailer is the single most important element of the project. The design determines the efficiency and success of your future mobile food business. Therefore, it’s important to ask about the company’s design philosophy. How much planning is involved during the design phase? Do you get to see your design before committing to the build? At Apex, we believe design is so important, we provide 40-60 hours of design work prior to our customers spending a penny with us. We focus on our client’s best interest, which is why our building process begins with a 3D design during our quotation process. Yes, you heard that correctly. We staff experienced design engineers who will work directly with you to create a 3D design of your future custom food truck or trailer.
2. What is the customer's experience like?
We believe a positive customer experience should be at the forefront of our focus. Throughout the entire build process, you will be matched with a project manager that will be your main point of contact. We want to make sure that every question you have is promptly answered and that you are constantly aware of your build’s progress. Our relationship with our customers is not only important from our first meeting, but through your project build, delivery, during your 5-year warranty period, and into the future.
3. How are your food trailers created?
Most food trailer manufacturers purchase pre-built trailers as the starting base for the trailer manufacturing process. Our concern with using a pre-built trailer is the quality. Longevity is an issue with respect to pre-built trailers. For example, the trailer starts to break down or degrade, your food trailer then becomes a total failure. At APEX, all of our trailers are custom-built from the ground up with the thickest and strongest materials available on the market. Every piece of the trailer is built in our professional production facility. As with our food trucks, clients will receive a 3D design during the quotation process. When your trailer is built from scratch, it is built around your needs as the customer. Instead of trying to fit equipment into a pre-fabricated trailer, we build the trailer around the customer constraints.
4. Does the food truck or trailer have a manufacturer's warranty?
At Apex, we offer a nationwide, 5-year limited warranty on our workmanship. If you experience an issue with your truck or trailer, no matter where in the country you are located, simply call our APEX support team. We’ll find a certified technician near you to repair your truck or trailer in a timely manner to ensure your business can continue without issue. All equipment warranties are fully transferred to our buyers.
5. Do most builds stay within their proposed deadline?
For most food truck and/or trailer builders, meeting build deadlines can be an unpredictable situation. We have heard from many customers at APEX who have previously purchased a custom food truck or trailer from another manufacturer that the reason they did not use the manufacturer again was because of deadline delays. At APEX, we guarantee a 98% on-time delivery rate. APEX understands that hard deadlines can be extremely vital to a company, which is why we’ll keep you informed throughout every step of the process.
6. Does the company have a quality control system?
Most companies don’t have a quality control system in place. Apex has a Quality Management System and an Enterprise Resource Planning System in place at our facility. This allows us to provide on-time deliveries, be customer-focused, and enables full traceability among all departments from the design, to the engineering, to purchasing and throughout the build process of your food truck or trailer.
7. Can I visit the manufacturing facility?
Absolutely! You want a manufacturer to welcome you. Some custom food truck manufacturers like to keep their processes hidden from their customers and don’t encourage factory visits. At APEX, we feel the exact opposite! We encourage you to come, meet our team of professionals that will support you while bringing your build to life, talk to our associates, and tour our plant. Our 50,000 square foot production facility is climate-controlled and houses our sales team, designers, engineers, graphics staff, custom fabrication team, and more. We keep everything within our doors so there’s nothing to hide.
8. Can I receive a new or used truck?
You can choose from a variety of new and used trucks! Some custom food truck manufacturers are only willing to build on a new truck platform, which can really stretch a budget. At APEX, we work alongside MAG Trucks to offer cost-effective new and refurbished trucks that are readily available to be customized for your business. All vehicles are covered by our warranty.
9. Can I get a list of references?
Yes, we encourage you to ask for references. No matter who you select as your builder you should be able to talk to previous customers.
10. What are my financing options?
It can sometimes be overwhelming to try to find a lender that is willing to write a loan for a custom food truck or trailer. Because this is such a specialty industry, many banks are unfamiliar with the returns from a typical vehicle and are therefore unwilling to write these types of loans. At APEX, we work with our in-house financing company, Sapphire Capital, to offer our clients easy and convenient financing options. Of course, APEX customers also have the option to pay for a truck and build directly, or finance with your local bank, if that suits your situation better.