Emergency Food Truck Repairs – What Every Owner Should Know

Taking the time to perform routine maintenance and servicing on your food truck can save you from being stranded with hungry customers in the middle of nowhere. Having even rudimentary vehicle maintenance skills can also prevent costly repairs in the future. Food trucks are equipped with generators to power kitchen appliances and refrigeration systems. They must be professionally inspected and serviced to ensure they meet varying local codes and regulations.

Know Who to Call

Although food truck owners can fix some simple problems on their own, most require the expertise of a certified technician at GoHome Port. This is especially true for more complex issues that could cause a health inspection to fail. Food trucks are constantly on the road, putting them at risk of damage to their wheels and axles. Regular tire changes are essential to avoid damaging these parts. Overheating is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a food truck’s engine. It can lead to a breakdown and cost you lost revenue.

Check your cooling fans, radiator, and oil levels to help prevent an overheating engine. Changing the air filter in your truck can improve fuel efficiency and performance. It’s easy to do if you follow the proper steps. Replacing spark plugs can also help you save money on gas and improve your engine’s performance. Finally, replacing headlight bulbs is another easy DIY repair. Then, don’t forget to test the air pressure in your tires regularly.

Know Your Vehicle

A food truck is a significant investment, requiring year-round maintenance to keep it functioning correctly. A few important things to remember include Changing fluids, which is one of the most common, but checking belts and hoses for wear is essential. If they’re stretched or cracked, it’s time to replace them. Cold winter temperatures can strain the belts and hoses inside the truck, making them more likely to stretch or snap. Inspecting kitchen exhaust systems regularly for grease buildup is also essential.

This can help keep the cooking area safe and clean and avoid unpleasant odors. Finally, if you use a generator to power your appliances, ensure a licensed electrician installs it and follows all local health codes. Otherwise, it can pose a fire hazard and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or electrical shock injuries. The generator should also be parked 10 feet from buildings, structures, means of egress, or other vehicles.

Know the Area

Unlike the restaurants that sit on brick-and-mortar sites, food trucks operate in a highly mobile environment. Whether it’s an unexpected venue cancellation or running out of food, a business interruption can devastate any food truck owner. It may not only hurt the bottom line but could cause irreparable damage to your reputation. As such, a food truck should be prepared with a list of reliable repair facilities and safe stopping locations to visit for maintenance, emergency repairs, or other needs.

It’s best to park away from busy roadways and always work on a vehicle with the parking brake engaged, in neutral, or park with the engine shut off (unless you need it for work). In addition to having an emergency plan for food truck repairs, it is also essential that a mobile kitchen schedule regular ventilation system inspections and cleanings. Like any fire and life safety equipment, these systems must be professionally inspected and serviced routinely to ensure functionality and NFPA code compliance.

Know the Vehicle’s History

Propane tanks are responsible for 68% of all food truck fires. Vehicle movement and bumps loosen gas connections, which leads to leaks or splits. When these are not immediately corrected, they cause explosions, injury, and even death. Food trucks must properly secure tanks, avoid using yellow propane connector hoses, and tighten fittings regularly. Propane and gas appliances must be professionally inspected regularly to ensure functionality, safety, and regulatory compliance. In addition, these systems must be regularly cleaned to prevent grease buildup and restrict airflow.

Food truck owners must partner with a professional fire protection service provider to perform inspections and cleaning on a routine basis to ensure consistent and efficient system performance. Food truck ventilation systems also need to adhere to NFPA regulations. This is a complicated process and requires constant monitoring and maintenance. Unlike the equipment at brick-and-mortar locations, food truck ventilation systems must be inspected professionally by trained fire protection specialists every quarter.

ILR Author Bio
About the author

Jay Patton is a serial traveler and adventure seeker, based in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys hiking, running, and traveling the world, and is always on the lookout for the next big adventure.