Hot!Food truck set up

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Tasty Dogs
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2010/10/08 10:50:58 (permalink)

Food truck set up

I have a friend who is considering setting up a step van for a mobile food truck. Has a chance to serve several larger work places. They intend to serve the standard sandwiches along with specials everyday. Would need the standard grill, fryer, etc.
Expects to spend 8-10,000 on used truck. Can do some of the rehab theirselves.
Intends to search for buys on good used equipment when possible. I realize this info far from complete and is subject to many variables. My questions are;
 
1. Is it feasible to rehab and equip this in the $15-20,000 range? Am I too high or too low?
2. They were told to be sure and get a diesel truck and diesel generator! How important is that?
Any comments or suggestions are welcome. They are pretty experienced in food service but new to mobile food service. I told them I would check with my friends on Roadfood. And please remember, I'm dumber than dirt on food service. Just a hot dog cart guy.  Thanks for all input.
 
Jerry
Tasty Dogs
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33 Replies Related Threads

    Tasty Dogs
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/08 10:52:42 (permalink)
    I'm off to sling dogs, but will check back in around 5.
    Jerry
    #2
    localnet
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 03:38:49 (permalink)
    I would figure twenty minimum and plan on thirty to be safe. You can load it up with used equipment, plenty of nice stuff out there. But you will more than likely need a pro plumber and electrician to set up the truck along with the need to bring in the local building inspector to make sure it is to code. And don't forget the genset, the Ansul fire suppression system, custom vent hood with exhaust, etc. And then if you do a custom wrap on the outside, that can be around $6 to $8 grand easy.
     
    Mike
    #3
    chefbuba
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 11:50:47 (permalink)
    If they have 15-20k to put into the truck, should be able to build something simple. Are they required to have a hood and Ansul system?..$$$$$ That will eat up a good chunk of change.
    As far as gas/diesel, never drove a diesel catering truck, all gas w/454. Deffinetly don't want a 350, way under powered...
    Generators were gas,  built in honda's....quiet and reliable.
     
    Some of the used Snap on Tool trucks will be diesel, and have generator built in, but will most likley be a longer, wider truck than your friend might need or want.
     
    I have a friend that just ordered a new movie catering truck......to the tune of $195 GRAND!...Glad I'm not in that racket anymore.
    #4
    localnet
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 12:07:43 (permalink)
    Watch the diesel, as the fumes will choke your customers, even from a diesel gen set if not plumbed properly. I would go with gas if possible like chefbuba stated.
    #5
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 12:58:14 (permalink)
    Any of you guys running a generator needs to also be using a Genturi or the similar homemade version (with works every bit as well and costs less than $100 to build). Doesn't matter, diesel or gas... exhaust fumes are nasty!
    #6
    localnet
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 13:23:14 (permalink)
    Good idea on the genturi, I forgot about those. The little 2000 watt Yamaha gas generator I use puts out next to zero emmissions in the exhaust department, and you can barely hear it even running. I find myself checking a few times a day if it is still going.
    #7
    Tasty Dogs
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 17:25:30 (permalink)
    lornaschinske

    Any of you guys running a generator needs to also be using a Genturi or the similar homemade version (with works every bit as well and costs less than $100 to build). Doesn't matter, diesel or gas... exhaust fumes are nasty!


    Lorna,
     
    What's a Genturi?
    #8
    localnet
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 17:54:27 (permalink)
    A genturi is a smoke stack for an exhaust system, big in the RV community. Just do a search on "gen turi" for plenty of photos. They work to a point, depending on wind volume and direction.
    #9
    Tasty Dogs
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 18:00:23 (permalink)
    Thanks
    #10
    Tasty Dogs
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 18:00:24 (permalink)
    Thanks
    #11
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 21:41:46 (permalink)
    localnet ... They work to a point, depending on wind volume and direction...

    It's got to be a pretty good wind to prevent them from working. Many areas/events/rallies that have a "generator" section in the Boondocking sections will insist that you use a genturi type stack.  gets the fumes up above the RVs.
    #12
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 22:48:08 (permalink)
    there is a thread for this in the restaurant section. Started a few weeks ago...  http://www.roadfood.com/F...uild-info-m614481.aspx
    #13
    JacksSnacks
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 23:01:07 (permalink)
    There are no regs. its a food truck , its not a commercial  kitchen , its a food truck, you dont have to have an ansul system , its a food truck. By the way its a food truck, you just have to have 3 sinks, a hand sink, a fresh water tank, a heater for water and a grey water tank, then anything else you want, it comes under a food truck. JacksSnacks
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    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/11 23:37:53 (permalink)
    @ Jack,  HUH ??? Is your statement for a CERTAIN county ? or is this for the entire US ???
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    BillyB
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/12 07:02:05 (permalink)
    JacksSnacks

    There are no regs. its a food truck , its not a commercial  kitchen , its a food truck, you dont have to have an ansul system , its a food truck. By the way its a food truck, you just have to have 3 sinks, a hand sink, a fresh water tank, a heater for water and a grey water tank, then anything else you want, it comes under a food truck. JacksSnacks

    Hey Jack, 50 States, over 3000 Counties, How can you make a statement like that. The last time I checked, Fire is just as hot in a Food truck as it is in a B&M kitchen. The Regulations are different in every state......................BillyB
     
     
     
    post edited by BillyB - 2010/10/12 07:03:14
    #16
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/12 09:03:20 (permalink)
    every county even... 
    #17
    JohnL08
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/12 11:51:10 (permalink)
    It is different all across the nation, but we have plenty of regs here where I intend to operate...
     
    Any business serving food to the public must prove that their facility meets the local HD adopted criteria for approval (some FDA standard, some more stringent). We have a special category for mobile food vendors and I don't understand half of it. So I call them a lot, send drawings, questions.  
     
    In some areas, any business with employees must meet certain criteria in regards to the work environment... workplace safety, fresh air (make up air), temperatures, restroom facilities, ADA accomodations, etc etc etc etc. Here, you can skirt some of this and some of it you cannot.
     
    In some areas, the Fire marshall has an inspection for mobiles very similar to the what he does before a B&M is allowed occupancy... means of egress, proper extinguishers, grease control, chemical storage, propane storage and protection, etc etc etc.
     
    I'm sure there's even more regs out there that I have no clue about.
     
    So, I am finding, there CAN definitely be a lot to it. It's a repeated theme on this site, but it's true... I think after calling around and asking up front what approvals you must have, you will have a much better idea of a budget, whether it's $5000 or $100,000+.  
    #18
    JacksSnacks
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/12 19:11:01 (permalink)
    Ok, how many fairs and carnies pass through ? Just look at the waymatic or hitchhiker trailer sites, you will see everything from fryers to cotton candy machines. Its a truck, the only thing I have seen is a association of RV builders that has any conformity to any standard.
    #19
    localnet
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/12 22:23:08 (permalink)
    If I would have had a fryer installed in my trailer, Ansul system required, at least here in MI. And, the nanny state is in full swing, install the Ansul system, because it only takes one anal fire marshal or even HD inspector to shut you down.
    #20
    JacksSnacks
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/13 16:25:27 (permalink)
    A bunch of you are confusing the Health Dept. with the fire department or the local planning board. The health dept. is not interested in ansul systems, only the insurance/fire prevention dept would be interested, and thats if youre a brick building. JacksSnacks
    #21
    chefbuba
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/13 18:49:49 (permalink)
    Ansul systems are a requirement in food trucks in my state and many others.
    If there is flame and or grease laden vapors.....no way around it.
    #22
    JacksSnacks
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/13 19:14:52 (permalink)
     
    Although this was the only "quick " link I found for washington state it has no-where that a food truck has to have an ansul or other fire system.
     
     
    klickitatcounty.org/Health/FilesHtml/PacketMobileTruck.pdf
    #23
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/13 23:25:23 (permalink)
    Jack. Actually NO ... My health dept clearly has the right to tell me if I need an ansul system. My fire dept doesn't inspect me or clear me to sell food. My health dept goes by a county code. So what may be ok in your world might not be right for everyone elses.  Where is OD when you really need him to inform someone of how each county is different.  LOL
    #24
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/13 23:26:49 (permalink)
    * that post may seem like it has some attitude but it doesn't.  Just an FYI LOL :-D
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    BillyB
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/14 09:13:37 (permalink)
    THE WILD DOG

    * that post may seem like it has some attitude but it doesn't.  Just an FYI LOL :-D

    The post should have some attitude, if people are going to give advice on this forum, it should be the right advice. Like everyone on this post has said, "Except Jacks" every State and County has different regulations when building a Food Truck or trailer. It doesn't matter if its the City, County HD or Fire dept that signs off on your Food truck, If its not up to code, your not getting a permit or licensed to run your business...................BillyB
     
    #26
    JohnL08
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/14 11:44:22 (permalink)
    Unless we have a cross section of actual code authors and inspectors (interpretors) participating here I don't think we will ever get a definitive on it... and not even then.  
     
    I do belive that many fire Marshals that are inspecting concessions, mobiles, and even carts against certain provisions of a fire code (NFPA, local or otherwise) are written for a brick and mortar facility.. and therefore a rejection may be challenged based upon that. But I don't think you will have much luck arguing and might be better to start with the good old boy approach.  
     
    I tried to find "concession" reference in NFPA but could not. I have found many HD codes that mention something to the tune that "the unit must comform to any relevent national, state, local, jurisdictional, etc. fire codes and inspections, etc etc etc". So, based on this, I kinda assume that most folks that have to provide ansul system in their unit have been at the mercy of a local inspectors interpretation of a NFPA brick and mortar code.
     
    Jack is right, RVIA a bunch of motorhome manufacturers that printed a very loose industry standard (possibly just to keep the DOT and liability insurance companies off their tails for tossing the keys to a 30,000 lb flammable box of propane, diesel, or gas to some old timer like myself).  
    #27
    Chowda Head
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    Re:Food truck set up 2010/10/14 17:32:50 (permalink)
    I would take any given rainy day and go to the fire dept, town hall and health dept. Let them know who I was and inquire about what the codes would be for a food truck. That way all the "T's" are crossed. Now all three depts. know what a swell guy you are and what a great menu you offer. They cant wait to get you set up somewhere so they all can become regulars!! 
    #28
    kebamo
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    Re:Food truck set up 2014/03/26 18:16:27 (permalink)
    I am in the process of setting up a food truck. I purchased a 1989 ford e350 with a p90 4 cyl diesel,and auto got it for 2300.00 I then purchased a hood system used from eBay with suppression system,for 205.00 had to,go,to pa and get it but was a good deal I then purchased a 1975 cfm updraft exhaust fan from craigslist for 50.00. A new hot water heater tankless propane fired for 76.00. A 35 gal water tank 70.00 and a 50 gal tank for gray water for 100.00 from eBay. Looking at a grill used on Craig's list 300.00 picked up a new window for 65.00 at a mobile home store 42wx30tall side slider will build my counters and laminate found a 25 cruft fridge for 200.00 on Craig's list macco will paint and bake it for 600.00 and I found a sign shop to decal it out for about 300.00 if you shop around and do most of the work yourself as I have and I have a few friends that do electrical and plumbing ( no charge there just a couple 6 packs I will have about 5000.00 in it when done and it will be paid for. I at this time have a roach coach that is making good money and am using that to finish this unit which will be a BBQ truck when done. We are at this time writing the rules and laws for them in Horry county and I and on the board as well. Good luck with your dream!!
    #29
    Foodbme
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    Re:Food truck set up 2014/03/27 04:44:51 (permalink)
    JacksSnacks
    A bunch of you are confusing the Health Dept. with the fire department or the local planning board. The health dept. is not interested in ansul systems, only the insurance/fire prevention dept would be interested, and thats if youre a brick building. JacksSnacks

    Based on all the comments, the only one who is confused is you.
    What part of "Regulations and requirements vary all over the country. Every town, county, state can be different and even vary by inspector" don't you get?
    #30
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