Food truck businesses are great. It’s often rewarding when done right. If you’re a lover of food with an entrepreneur bone and a couple of great family recipes, then this might just be the business for you.
The business requires a few things. Most importantly are a great location with a lot of foot traffic, some skills behind the cooker, and of course the actual food truck.
Let’s talk about the last one.
Food Truck for a Food Truck Business
That sounds about right. Here, two things are key. The food truck equipment and the actual truck.
Purchasing a kitchen-equipped truck is likely the most expensive part of starting the business. It’s usually somewhere between $100,000 and $175,000 but can get up to $250,000 depending on how you customize it.
Buying a used truck is often less expensive. However, it comes with the risk of costly repairs, wear and tear, and a lower life expectancy.
Food Truck vs. Food Trailer
These are both great for the mobile food business. However, there are few differences, mostly in the size of the vehicles.
Food trailers are often larger at about 8ft to 53ft, thereby, providing more space for a kitchen and storage.
Food trucks on the other hand are much smaller. However, this can be an advantage as they can fit into smaller spaces.
Also, they can move on their own while food trailers need a towing vehicle to move them. Which to go for depends on the nature of your business.
Regardless of the one you go for, you’ll still need auto repair.
The Not-So-Tasty Part of Food Trucking – Auto Repairs!
Like every other truck, food trucks, are subject to damage and will need repairs. It could be anything from bodywork down to refrigeration system repairs and so much more.
Despite your best efforts to adequately maintain your food truck, you’re likely to run into a few issues down the line.
At TLC Auto and Truck Repair, fixing trucks of all sorts is a specialty of ours. We especially love food trucks and have got skills repairing them.
You can handle the cooling cooking part of the business, but let us take care of the truck part.
If you’re wondering what exactly these issues are, read on as we explain.
Possible Issues with a Food Truck
1. An Overheating Engine
Just as the kitchen is the heart of your food truck business, the engine is the heart of the truck. The worst part of an overheating engine is that it’s not easy to zero down the cause.
It could be a leaking radiator, damaged cooling fans, or even coolant leakage. All these could damage the engine, leading to more problems for you.
Without adequate treatment, engine repairs won’t cut it and you require a full replacement of the engine. This isn’t a cheap service.
Fortunately, engine repair is not a problem for us. All you have to do is keep an eye on the check engine light or watch out for signs of engine failure.
- Decreased performance of the truck
- Rough idling
- A drop-in fuel economy
- A knocking sound coming from under the hood that often rises or falls with the engine speed.
If you notice any of these, don’t hesitate to visit a food truck repair center.
2. Clutch or Transmission Issues
If your engine is working perfectly, your food truck can still be out of commission if the transmission is not.
The transmission transfers power from the engine to the wheels. Whether manual or automatic transmission, you must make sure the transmission system is functioning optimally.
The following are transmission problems your food truck or trailer could experience:
- Transmission leaks
- A worn or damaged clutch
- Shaking and grinding when you put the truck into gear
- Failure of the truck to go into gear
- Loose Clutch Pedal
Keep an eye out for signs of transmission failure such as a burning smell due to the transmission running hot, a dragging clutch, and issues starting switching into gear.
It’s a problem best left for the experts to handle. But you don’t have to wait until your food truck refuses to move to your spot before you ensure the transmission is working well.
Be sure to perform regular maintenance on the transmission. A transmission flush, either by the mechanic or you, with the proper transmission fluid is especially important.
3. Issues with the Wheel or Axle
With all that heavy kitchen equipment your truck is carrying, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the wheel or axle is at risk of getting damaged.
It’s even worse for mobile food trucks because all that moving around is constantly putting the trailer or truck at risk of hitting a pothole and other problems.
This could cause the bearing that connects the wheel to the axle to break, making for a particularly bumpy ride.
You definitely don’t want this as you might have some food items that have no business being on the floor of your truck.
The following signs should notify you of a possible issue with this:
- Vibration or a rumbling sound coming from under your food truck
- A wobbling set of wheels
- Failure of the wheels to move as you shift into gear or accelerate
- Loud clicking noises when you turn the truck.
- Signs of leakage such as grease on the edge of your tires or under the truck.
Proper maintenance of your food truck will extend the life of your wheel and axle. Also, ensure your wheels are properly aligned so that your tires are angled correctly.
To see a food truck mechanic in New York, bring your food truck over to TLC for every possible service the wheel and axle could require.
The above are some of the major issues a food truck could have as well as their possible solutions.
There are still a few other things that make a huge difference in the running of your food truck.
A particularly important one is the frequent inspection and replacement of the following components of your food truck trailer or truck:
- Air filter
- Brake fluid
- Brake pad
- Spark plugs and wires
- Timing belt
- Engine oil
- Power steering fluid
- Oil and fuel filter
It is worthy to note that when to change these parts or even what to change them with will mostly depend on the type of truck in question, as well as how you use it.
Find out a recommended timeline from your mechanic or truck manufacturer and stick to it.
Another great option is to come up with a regular preventative maintenance schedule and stick to it.
During these scheduled trips to your truck repair shop, you can have all these components checked out and replaced as needed.
Doing this will ensure your food truck has a long life span and you run the business to its full potential.
Failure to prioritize the repairs of your food truck or trailer is setting your business up for failure. This is due to possible unexpected trips to the mechanic and subsequent downtime in the business, as well as extra expenses incurred during these trips.
Food truck maintenance is a much cheaper and more efficient way of running your business.
Learn to do some basic truck repairs yourself such as replacing wiper blades, light bulbs, fuses, and air filters.
These are pretty simple, therefore, it would be a great help on your part if you can do them. You can use leave the technical or more complex ones for the experts.
Food Truck Repair near Me
Most food truck businesses focus all their attention on the food part of the business. While it’s very important, you must find a balance between that and the rest of your business.
The truck is the medium where you prepare the food and get it to your customers. Let a food truck mechanic in NY help you out.
Without it, well, there’s no food truck without a truck. For food truck and trailer repair and services, reach out to us at TLC Auto and Truck Repair.
We’ll get your food business running in no time and have you whipping out those yummy delicacies to your customers.
Contact us here or call (631) 201-5755 for more information.