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 Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks

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KelTam2

  • Total Posts: 2
  • Joined: 1/26/2010
  • Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 01/26/10 7:58 PM (permalink)
Hi there!
I am looking into starting a concession business and I was curious what most people use to tow their trailers.  I was originally thinking of using a pick-up truck, but read that box trucks are indispensible for storing products.  Are there any pros or cons to either style?  Has any one make or model worked really well for anyone (Dodge/Chevy/Ford?  Diesel instead of gasoline?)  I look forward to hearing back - thanks for your help!
Kelly
 
#1
    holdem

    • Total Posts: 411
    • Joined: 5/8/2006
    • Location: thornville, OH
    Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 01/26/10 9:14 PM (permalink)
    Kelly,
    I do small to mid-size events. I use a tent so I can't help too much. I do see the guys with trailers using both pick-ups and box trucks. The bigger vendors have the box trucks so they can store extra food etc. Many of them have refrig. and or freezers in them. I would caution you on spending a lot of money upfront until you establish your business. In my neck of the woods it's hard to get into the good shows. Easy to get in the bad ones. Good luck with your venture.
     
    #2
      chefbuba

      • Total Posts: 1955
      • Joined: 6/22/2009
      • Location: Near You, WA
      Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 01/26/10 9:14 PM (permalink)
      What size trailer are you considering?  What type of events are you doing? How much stuff do you need to cart around with you? Pick up...open bed, no security, no shelter from the elements. Cube van, stuff it to the gills and close the door.  All depends.
       
      Gas/Diesel....Personal preference... I prefer diesel.. I have a 20' trailer.. weighs 10-12,000
      depending on how much inventory I have stuffed in it.  Pull it with a Ford Diesel, no problems, does 65-70 in the flats, 45 up steep hills. 
      Buddy had v10, both have  TT's about 8k, he beat me off the line every time, I blow him away on the hills & straights.
       
       
      #3
        Rootsman

        • Total Posts: 235
        • Joined: 7/9/2005
        • Location: Orlando, FL
        Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 01/26/10 11:41 PM (permalink)
        I tow a 24', 9,000+lb trailer with a GMC 2500 Savana Cargo van (V8 6 Liter) with the towing axle ratio and weight distribution kit.  Fortunately, there are no steep hills in Florida, but I syill only get about 6 miles/gallon.  Love the versatility of a cargo van for catering, but do miss seating for 4 or 5 for jobs requiring staffing that are far away.  For food concessions I suspect you need to travel far on occassion and will need the extra seating or an additonal vehicle for the crew.

        Unfortnately the Duramax diesal GMC 3500 Cargo Van wasn't available in 2005.
         

         
        I always have tow straps though for days like this when getting out from a non-hard surface is a challenge.
        <message edited by Rootsman on Wed, 01/27/10 10:09 AM>
         
        #4
          chefbuba

          • Total Posts: 1955
          • Joined: 6/22/2009
          • Location: Near You, WA
          Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Wed, 01/27/10 12:29 AM (permalink)
          Roots...I get 10-12mpg pulling with the Power Stroke.
           
          #5
            AZdog

            • Total Posts: 202
            • Joined: 2/11/2009
            • Location: Southwest, AZ
            Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Wed, 01/27/10 3:48 AM (permalink)
            My trailer is about 5,000lbs (6x14) - I use a 2001 Dodge ram 1500 V8 5.2 with a reinforced hitch and a 2" ball and it does just fine.  Gets about 10mpg.



            I bought the truck used just for this trailer.  Before, I had to pull it around with a '99 supercharged Toyota 4runner - and it could do the job as 4runners are damn near indestructible but I rather tax a hunk of junk rather than my daily driver.

            My trailer can only really accommodate about 3 people working it. One on the grill, one as a cashier, and 1 prep and boxer/bagging.

            A box truck I would think has a lot of added expenses, from maintenance, fuel, insurance etc. I suppose if you have a 20'+ trailer with a handful of workers and anticipate selling a 1,000+ of your main item, then a box truck would be necessary.

            You can get a locking hard top for your truck bed for added security.
            <message edited by AZdog on Wed, 01/27/10 3:54 AM>
             
            #6
              Curbside Grill

              • Total Posts: 3916
              • Joined: 10/11/2007
              • Location: Lawrenceburg, TN
              Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Wed, 01/27/10 4:20 AM (permalink)
              Shower and bunks can be added to box trucks. Saves in a season. Even seen this in High cube vans.
               
              #7
                kman160

                • Total Posts: 160
                • Joined: 12/8/2005
                • Location: Syracuse, NY
                Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Wed, 01/27/10 8:44 AM (permalink)
                I've had A 2500 GMC Savannah since '04.
                Pulls good on most hills depending on weight. 
                Good overall vehicle plus gives me a place to crash on the long smokes. Used to have p/u with cap. Sucks trying to get equipment all the way up front. 
                 
                #8
                  KelTam2

                  • Total Posts: 2
                  • Joined: 1/26/2010
                  • Location: Kalamazoo, MI
                  Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Thu, 01/28/10 7:15 PM (permalink)
                  Hi Guys!
                  I appreciate all the answers - I'm not sure what size trailer I'll be pulling yet, ideally 16 - 20ft.?  I figured it might be easier to buy a truck first - that way when I find a trailer I like, I could get it, rather than having to hurry up and buy a truck to pull it home with.  =)

                  I'm looking to sell cotton candy, slushies, pop, pretzels, nachos, hot dogs - I hesitate to get into "cooking" like hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza because right now there are only two of us who will be working in the trailer.  If I were to do cooking, I'd probably lean towards elephant ears and fried dough?  But that still takes someone to keep an eye on it, so I might hold off.  Any recommendations on what does well or what to avoid?

                  Not sure on events yet either - ideally I'd like to stay around west and central Michigan doing local festivals?  This will be kind of a fun part-time job for me - I didn't want to to invest more than $50k starting up, so I'm looking to buy used - but nicer quality used, especially for the truck.  Diesel Dodge Rams, which seem to have the best towing capabilities, are around $20k and then there are Uhaul F350 diesl box trucks for a couple thousand.  I'd like the extra space, but not at the expense of the truck conking out on the freeway.  

                  I'm curious about having freezers in a box truck - do you just set them up connected to a generator and let them run?  Do events usually let you keep the truck nearby, or do they require you to park elsewhere?

                  I'm a complete newbie, so anything on any of the above would be greatly appreciated.  
                  Thanks!
                  Kelly
                   
                  #9
                    AZdog

                    • Total Posts: 202
                    • Joined: 2/11/2009
                    • Location: Southwest, AZ
                    Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Thu, 01/28/10 10:12 PM (permalink)
                    You could just go for something like this.  It's a refrigerated truck - and this one is used and goes for about $12k. 


                    Inside it is partitioned as a walk-in refrigerator - shelves line the rest. 


                    There's a generator system built in, or you can idle the engine in a special position, I believe the same like 18 wheelers when they are at truck stops sleeping.
                    <message edited by AZdog on Thu, 01/28/10 10:16 PM>
                     
                    #10
                      lornaschinske

                      • Total Posts: 1610
                      • Joined: 3/4/2009
                      • Location: Roswell, NM until we leave for another place
                      Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Thu, 01/28/10 11:41 PM (permalink)
                      We use a 4WD Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Our cart is pretty small but my Jeep will pull up to 5K (what my old Apache pop-up weighed and I pulled it all over).  We sold our Dodge Ram (full size PU) to keep the Jeep because we can tow "4 down".  I love my Jeep... it's my "little green tractor"! We flip either 2/3 or all of the rear seat and can fill up the rear with supplies.
                       
                      #11
                        paceflchick

                        • Total Posts: 198
                        • Joined: 8/27/2009
                        • Location: pace, FL
                        Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Thu, 02/4/10 12:01 AM (permalink)
                        We use a TOUGH.. 1985 Ford F250.
                        We don't travel far, she does a great job, BUT we also don't have many hills.
                        If you plan on doing big huge long events,far away from home, a van or box truck, with equiptment and backup.
                        We also do smaller events, longest coming up 6 days, 5 miles from my house, and my suppliers. And my cart is completely self contained, I dont buy more than fits in my trailer..

                        The organization factor in this is BIG and keeping everything in place..a whole other angle...
                         
                        #12
                          Dr of BBQ

                          • Total Posts: 3716
                          • Joined: 10/11/2004
                          • Location: Springfield, IL
                          • Roadfood Insider
                          Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Thu, 02/4/10 1:11 AM (permalink)
                          A box truck offers a chance to carry a reach in and or a freezer to store product in. Keeps you from running back and forth trying to buy more product or running out of something.
                          Jack
                           
                          #13
                            Ridgeviewbbq

                            • Total Posts: 41
                            • Joined: 1/12/2009
                            • Location: Charleston, WV
                            Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Fri, 02/12/10 11:49 AM (permalink)
                            I find that they pull better with a pick-up,,,but we use a box truck for all the reasons listed above
                             
                            #14
                              jeffroz1

                              • Total Posts: 126
                              • Joined: 11/10/2007
                              • Location: Mifflintown, PA
                              Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Sun, 02/14/10 8:10 PM (permalink)
                              We use a van simialr to Rootsman's to haul our concession stand. Ours is a 1997 Dodge, extended van. It does an OK job for us, but we don't go more than 40 miles. We have one show where there is a pretty big mountain to go over, so I use my Ford F-150 for that drive.
                              Our van has shelving on one side, a freezer and plenty of space for whatever we need.
                              The more space you can hav the better, IMHO

                              Jeffro

                               
                              #15
                                BigRedLunchbox

                                • Total Posts: 154
                                • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                • Location: Midland, TX
                                Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Mon, 02/15/10 11:14 PM (permalink)
                                I currently use a Dodge Cummins diesel to tow mine ... but I'm considering upgrading to used "Medium-Duty" ambulance built on a International or Freightliner chassis  . The thinking behind it is they are well maintained, have plenty of storage, reasonably cheap and in a pinch you could sleep in it.
                                 
                                #16
                                  lornaschinske

                                  • Total Posts: 1610
                                  • Joined: 3/4/2009
                                  • Location: Roswell, NM until we leave for another place
                                  Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 02/16/10 11:00 AM (permalink)
                                  KelTam2
                                  How far are you will to go for a truck?   there is a 1997 Dodge 3500 Club Cab truck for sale in Austin TX used to haul fifth wheels only... $13,500.

                                  I know of a place that has many trucks for sale on it that are used to pull some big trailers.  Only down side is the listings are all over the country and some of them change locations periodically.  PM me and I will send you the link.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    BigRedLunchbox

                                    • Total Posts: 154
                                    • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                    • Location: Midland, TX
                                    Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Mon, 03/22/10 11:35 PM (permalink)
                                    I know I'm resurrecting an old thread but this is what I picked up last week to tow my trailer, 2004 Freightliner M2. Tows as smooth as butter ....



                                     
                                    #18
                                      Curbside Grill

                                      • Total Posts: 3916
                                      • Joined: 10/11/2007
                                      • Location: Lawrenceburg, TN
                                      Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Mon, 03/22/10 11:51 PM (permalink)
                                      Man that is stepping up. What type drive train. Automatic, powerplant?
                                       
                                      #19
                                        THE WILD DOG

                                        • Total Posts: 1465
                                        • Joined: 1/12/2010
                                        • Location: Hunt Valley, MD
                                        Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Mon, 03/22/10 11:57 PM (permalink)
                                        Do they even make those anymore ??? I read about them coming out a few years ago, but never actually seen one in person. I LOVE LOVE these babies... I'd love to tow my lil 10footer down the road in one of these.   OH wait.. I'm thinking of the Freighliner pick ups.. My bad... but still a bad arse rig !
                                         
                                        #20
                                          THE WILD DOG

                                          • Total Posts: 1465
                                          • Joined: 1/12/2010
                                          • Location: Hunt Valley, MD
                                          Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Mon, 03/22/10 11:58 PM (permalink)
                                          I will be towing my trailer with a Jeep Grand Cherokee as well. Though I am looking for a black econoline van on the cheap. I don't wanna kill my jeep just yet.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            chefbuba

                                            • Total Posts: 1955
                                            • Joined: 6/22/2009
                                            • Location: Near You, WA
                                            Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 03/23/10 12:06 AM (permalink)
                                            Nice!
                                             
                                            #22
                                              BigRedLunchbox

                                              • Total Posts: 154
                                              • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                              • Location: Midland, TX
                                              Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 03/23/10 7:52 AM (permalink)
                                              It has a Mercedes Benz inline 6 260hp/700 lb torque - 6 speed manual. They still make them with an optional pickup truck bed, they are called a "sportchassis".
                                               
                                              #23
                                                BillyB

                                                • Total Posts: 2851
                                                • Joined: 2/4/2009
                                                Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Tue, 03/23/10 8:29 AM (permalink)
                                                Wow, looks like lunch is going over well in Texas. Then again you can never get to big in Texas..................................
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  joefood

                                                  • Total Posts: 1
                                                  • Joined: 9/12/2011
                                                  • Location: dunn, NC
                                                  Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Mon, 09/12/11 1:00 PM (permalink)
                                                  i have been vending food for 2years now i been using my 3/4 ton pick up to tow my 25ft concession trailer . i just got a 16ft ford e450 box truck with a 7.3 L Diesel. i also have to tow my 30 ft camper wood it be better to tow my camper whith my truck or box truck and i need to find ha hitch for my box truck any one know whair ican find one?
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    BackAlleyBurger

                                                    • Total Posts: 1077
                                                    • Joined: 1/30/2011
                                                    • Location: FAYETTEVILLE, NC
                                                    Re:Concession Trailer Transportation - Pick-Ups vs. Box Trucks Mon, 09/12/11 8:23 PM (permalink)
                                                    joe,
                                                    you may have to have one custom built for the box truck...one thing to look at is the overhang of the body and bumper to the frame, the leverage a tow hitch will have is a big concern for a happy tow !
                                                     
                                                    #26
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