Winter Food Truck Safety Tips
You may not have noticed it yet but winter is upon us, and the snow will be falling on the streets of most of the country very soon. This cold weather affects your food truck maybe more than some think. Along with making driving more hazardous due to ice and snow, extreme winter weather can be stressful, especially on older vehicles.
Be sure to take your truck to your trusty mechanic and have them check the following items: battery, wipers, antifreeze levels, heating system, brakes and defroster.
You’ll want to make sure your battery is fully charged as cold weather starting is a heavy drain on your truck’s battery. You want to make sure that your windshield wipers start the winter season in good condition as they’ll get a lot of use brushing snow off your windshield. Make sure you have plenty of windshield washer fluid in the reservoir and carry an extra gallon in your truck (in a nice safe spot away from your food products). Your windshield washer fluid will get used up quickly keeping salt and road grime off the windshield.
You want to make sure that your antifreeze is at proper levels. Antifreeze can prevent the freezing of your engine to about 30 degrees below zero. If you have recently purchased your truck in a used condition, find out if the cooling system has been flushed recently. If not, have this step taken as antifreeze should be replaced every two years. When you have your heating system checked, be sure that this includes your defroster.
Make sure you have good winter tires on your food truck. If you live in an area where you get a good amount of snowfall you may want to make a seasonal change from all season to snow tires. All season radials will not give you the same performance in snow and ice that dedicated snow tires do.
There are things that you should keep in your food truck during the winter. Snow scraper, deicer, blankets, extra hat and mittens, small snow shovel, sand (to help with traction) and boots. Lupita Kuri, the owner of the Sweet Ride in Chicago suggests having an electric blanket in the truck for added protection from the cold. At all times, but especially in the winter you should have a small first aid kit, jumper cables, small tools such as screwdriver, wrench and pliers, a flashlight with extra batteries. Keep a can of deicer in your office or commercial kitchen so you’ll be able to get into your truck if the locks ice up overnight.
Remember that before leaving the area you park your truck overnight to make sure your truck is completely cleaned off. Clear all snow and ice from your hood, roof, and the sides of the truck. If you have to invest in a ladder to give you access to the roof, we suggest looking into it. Make sure your license plate, headlights and tail lights are clearly visible. Drive slowly. The posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. When driving leave plenty of stopping distance between you and any vehicle in front of you. You may need to keep more distance between you in icy conditions. Make any turns slowly and brake slowly.
By following these tips we hope you have a safe winter driving season. If you have any additional tips, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.