What You Should Do If Your Food Truck Breaks Down

What You Should Do If Your Food Truck Breaks Down

Food Truck Breaks Down
So you’re headed to your next event or parking stop and your food truck breaks down. What are you going to do now?

If your food truck starts sputtering while you’re driving, the first step you need to take is to try to get to the right-hand shoulder of the road as soon as you can. Especially if you’re on a highway.

After your food truck breaks down and as you pull your vehicle over, keep the following safety procedures in mind:

  • Coast along shoulder until you’re away from curves in road behind you. This placement pays off when you’re ready to get back onto the road because you can spot oncoming traffic before it’s on your tail.
  • If the engine dies and you can’t get off the road, don’t get out of the truck! Sitting in a dead vehicle while traffic is building up behind can be unsettling, but attempting to cross a freeway on foot is suicide.

If your food truck breaks down after dark, put the interior light on so that you’re more visible. If the engine is operable, keep it running.

Most heavily traveled highways are also heavily patrolled, and a highway patrol officer should be along shortly. Whether you’ve managed to park at the side of the road or you’re stuck in a traffic lane, remember these additional safety precautions:

  • Open the driver’s side window, hang out a white cloth: The cloth alerts drivers that your vehicle is in trouble and that they should proceed around you.
  • If you need roadside assistance, use your phone to call: If you don’t have a phone, and you see a call box only a few feet away, use the call box to call for help, and get right back in the vehicle. If there isn’t a call box nearby, you’re better off just hanging the white cloth out the window and waiting for the police.
  • Never work on your food truck from the side that’s exposed to traffic. If you can, drive farther off the road to a safe, well-traveled place, and try to reach into the trouble area from the front or the side that’s away from traffic.
  • If it’s daylight, put on your emergency blinkers to alert oncoming traffic. This is not a good idea at night because motorists coming up behind you may think that your vehicle is still rolling along the highway and run right into the rear end of your food truck.
  • If it’s nighttime and you’re not stuck in traffic, quickly place warning lights or reflective markers about six feet behind the vehicle to alert traffic, and then get back in the truck.
  •  If you get a flat tire, don’t attempt to change it unless you can get to the side of the road where the tire is safely away from traffic. Because driving on a flat tire for any longer than it takes to park safely can destroy the tire, you need to replace it close to where it went flat.

We hope this article helps you in the case if or when your food truck breaks down so you can be safe and make sure you and your staff are able to get back on the road once it’s been repaired.

Do you have any additional tips for those times when someone’s food truck breaks down? We’d love to hear them. You can share them via email, Twitter or Facebook.

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.