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9 Important Maintenance Tips for Food Truck

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Food trucks are exciting ways to bring your cuisine to your adoring fans. The great thing is that you can follow the demand – you’re not stuck in a brick-and-mortar building all day. You may even have fans following you to see where they can find you every day.

However, in the rush of the daily grind, there’s one thing many people forget: maintenance for food trucks. Like any other vehicle, food trucks need to be checked regularly to ensure they’re running to the best of their ability. If you operate a food truck service, you should know and pay attention to a few things to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

1. Change Your Filters

Just like any other vehicle, your food truck has to have clean filters to function correctly and allow for the making and distribution of food. You might choose to change your filters when you change the fluid they correspond to, especially in the cases of oil and transmission fluid. That way, you can keep everything together and know how long you’ve gone between changes.

Keep your owner’s manual handy. It will let you know how often you should change the filters and fluids in your truck. Since this maintenance for food trucks is a bit difficult to keep up with, you should take notes somewhere or set a reminder for yourself so you don’t forget. You want to keep your vehicle running in tip-top shape, after all. You can’t work without it.

2. Keep an Eye out for Leaks

You may not think that simply looking over your vehicle can be a form of maintenance for food trucks, but it can help you understand when to take your vehicle in for help. Every day, you should give your truck a once-over. Check to make sure no unusual streams are dripping from your truck. You don’t need to do a deep inspection. Merely walking around your truck and making sure nothing is amiss is good enough.

The second you notice something new, you should bring your truck in for maintenance. This practice is also a way to get to know your truck a little more. If you didn’t before, you’ll soon see the difference between dripping fluid due to the air conditioner being on and a stream you should be concerned about.

3. Check Your Food Equipment

Working in a food truck means you’ll need several pieces of equipment, both to prep your food and to keep it warm after you’ve made it. These items can be costly, so you must learn how to best care for them.

At the end of each day, you should be cleaning your equipment. Some devices require more frequent cleanings, which you can tend to during breaks. While you should care for the vehicle part of your food truck, you also need to take care of its interior. Change out your food equipment regularly or your service starts to get unsanitary.

4. Winterize Your Truck

Chances are good you plan to be serving food to valued customers every season. You should prepare your truck ahead of the colder weather by winterizing it. Winterizing a vehicle prepares it for frigid weather and ensures it’ll get you through the season without any major mishaps.

You may opt for winter tires that will help you handle your vehicle easier through ice and fresh windshield wipers so you can navigate through any bad weather. This way, you can keep reaching your customers.

5. Keep a Log

When considering maintenance for food trucks, you need to remember the times in the past when you’ve taken it in to be serviced. If you’re like most people, you may find it difficult to have several dates floating around in your head. You should keep a log – whether physical or on a device is up to you – of all the dates you’ve taken your truck in for maintenance and what you got done for it.

While this work might seem tedious, you have to remember that your food truck is the way you make money. This truck is your livelihood, so you have to treat it well. Having these dates written down can also help you determine when you should go back for a certain type of checkup.

6. Try Preventive Maintenance

Getting your truck checked routinely can help prevent big disasters that will upset your wallet and fans of your food truck as you wait for your vehicle to be fixed. When you’re so busy, you may forget about the basic needs that your truck requires to function correctly, such as checking up on your transmission and oil.

Following regular maintenance is an excellent way to perform preventive maintenance, as you won’t be waiting for a problem to bring your truck in for service.

7. Test Your Appliances

Remember, the appliances you install in your food truck are an investment for your business. They might be a more miniature version of the appliances you see in a home, but they can pack just as much power.

Certain appliances can cause stress on your power system. Smaller appliances, like coffee makers, should be replaced every five years so you don’t have to worry about constant repairs and can optimize for the best energy-saving device.

You should always want to test your appliances to make sure they’re working as you want them to. They may expire faster than larger appliances of the same kind. Consider how many times you’ve had to repair an appliance. When it becomes more trouble than it’s worth, consider upgrading to a newer and better version.

8. Clean Your Headlights

Dull headlights are a great way to get into an accident by not seeing what’s ahead of you. Even though it’s on the outside of your vehicle, keeping up with the brightness and visibility of your headlights is a crucial part of maintenance for food trucks.

Unclean headlights can block 90% of the road in front and around your vehicle, making it doubly dangerous for you and your food. If you want to keep the freedom of driving at night or coming home after feeding your patrons dinner, make sure your headlights are sparkling.

9. Be a Smart Driver

Not taking risks and following the rules of the road can keep your food truck thriving for years to come. One of the best ways to avoid excessive maintenance for food trucks is to follow the rules of the road and not push it with your driving. Given how bulky your truck likely is, driving recklessly could endanger your life and business. Not to mention, you may receive fines for reckless driving that could set you back in terms of revenue.

Drive smoothly, especially when you’re catering an event. Your food should arrive both warm and neat. If you’ve been swerving and speeding, your food’s presentation will be off. Worse, it could spill out of your containers. To keep up appearances as a professional, you should take care even when driving. You are your business – and the way you drive could convert new customers or change the opinions of old ones.

Keep Up With Maintenance for Food Trucks

Food trucks are unique vehicles that delight everyone when they enter the area. You’ll always have people seeking out where your food truck will be next so they can get a taste of your menu.

Remember, maintenance for food trucks isn’t optional. You should always pay attention to your truck and take it in when you notice the slightest trouble. It always pays to have a backup plan, but since your food truck is your livelihood, you should protect it as if it’s the most important thing in your life.

Author Bio: Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about food, fitness and more. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates of his work.

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about food, fitness and more. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates of his work.

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