In many areas across the country, it's time to discuss a few basic tips for winterizing food trucks. If you're a food truck operator veteran, you know the drill; however, if you're new to the growing food truck industry, read the below basic tips for winterizing food trucks as we approach the cold winter months. If you're still deciding on a food truck builder, we hope this informational post will help with your business plan as you anticipate the winter months, maintenance and operational schedule.
Basic tips for Winterizing Food Trucks
If your food truck business plan includes operating and maintaining service throughout the winter months, you will need to be very disciplined about maintaining your food truck on a daily basis, while focusing on water drainage, pipes, heater and storage tanks.
According to FoodRevolt.com, "Water is the enemy. You will need to ensure the pipes, water heater, & storage tanks in your truck are completely empty or the water will freeze and expand, cracking and destroying them. If you have steam tables installed, and they require water make sure to drain them as well."
Breaking that down a step farther, if there is even a slight chance that the temperature will dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit that day or evening, the food truck water system will need to be drained, including your waste water tank. This will eliminate the chance of freezing, expanding, cracking, and ruining your water system in your food truck.
Just how do you accomplish draining the water system in your food truck? Check out this specific step by step guide on FoodRevolt.com that outlines an effective method for removing water from your truck is using an air compressor.
Let's Take a Look at a Few Other Basic Tips for Winterizing Food Trucks
It's important to care for the parts that keep your wheels spinning and your business in motion... the truck tires. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly as the temperature fluctuates during the winter months. According to foodtruckr.com, "you could lose up to 1PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature drops." Tires should be properly inflated to ensure the truck equipment and weight is properly distributed. A tip for checking tires is to add that task to your morning routine list, as that is the coldest part of day.
Another basic tip is to check your truck's battery throughout the winter months. Your truck is operating harder to keep everything operating and functional, so your battery can experience additional wear and tear during the colder months, so be mindful of that. It's easy to get your battery checked one of two ways:
- You can test it yourself with special equipment like a voltmeter.
- Bring your food truck to any basic auto repair shop for a free battery check
The last basic tip for winterizing food trucks is to check your truck fluids. This may seem obvious, but in the midst of the winter months, it's critical to keep the fluids filled, cleaned, and maintained to ensure the truck continues to operate smoothly. According to foodtruckr.com, check out the list of fluids to replenish and monitor:
- Oil: Make sure your oil is changed regularly. This is especially important during the winter, as cold temperatures can thicken the oil and prevent it from circulating fully throughout the engine. When your engine isn’t lubricated properly, it will have trouble starting in the cold. Ask your mechanic what type of oil you should be using during the winter. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll typically want thinner oil that is less viscous.
- Antifreeze and Water Levels: Ask your mechanic to check the antifreeze and water levels in your radiator to make sure they are at the correct ratio to prevent the coolant from freezing. You can buy a small antifreeze tester to check the levels yourself, but you should always have an experienced mechanic recommend the initial ratio rather than trying to determine it yourself.
- Transmission & Power Steering Fluid: Finally, have your mechanic check the transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. You don’t want to be out on the road and suffer a breakdown that could have been easily avoided with such a simple fix!
As the seasons begin to change and winter slides in, food truck owners need to be more aware of preparing their mobile business for the freezing temperatures. Would you like to view a few projects for inspiration? Start here!