It’s official! We want winter to be over. The start of spring food truck season is now constantly on your mind. You can’t wait to fire up your food truck and hit the streets. Unfortunately, before you get rolling, there is an important food truck spring checklist you should do to make sure your food truck survived the winter months (if you stored it) and is ready for that first shift.
10 Step Food Truck Spring Checklist:
Inspect Truck Exterior
The first step in our food truck spring checklist is focused on the exterior of your food truck. Water leaks are a big problem that are found after winter storage. Check your roof and all the caulking around the windows, vents, air conditioners, and doors to make sure there are no cracks or missing caulk. Even the smallest cracks and holes can cause serious water damage to your food truck.
Inspect your tires for cracks in the sidewall or between the treads. Any cracks should be treated seriously and replaced. Also, check your tire pressure. To find the right tire pressure recommended for your tires, and fill ‘em up.
Inspect all appliances for any foreign debris like spider webs, nests or dead insects or animals. Do a thorough cleaning with commercial kitchen cleaner to clean up all the dust and dirt from being stored.
Disconnect power and make sure all items in your truck are off. Now check and clean corroded terminals, connections, and battery trays. Hot water and baking soda work well to clean batteries.
Make sure to check battery fluid levels if possible. If you remove the battery for any reason, make sure to disconnect and reconnect it properly.
Liquid Propane (L.P.)
Follow these steps before checking your L.P.:
- Make sure all L.P. appliances and items are turned off.
- There is no open flames or sparks close by.
- The leak detector inside the truck is turned ON.
First, open the valves on your propane tanks. Smell around the area for any leaks. Next, check the valves and regulators by using a soapy water mixture. If you detect a leak, have a professional inspect and repair it for you. Sometimes the seals dry out over the winter months causing new leaks that didn’t exist before storage.
Water System Inspection
Now it’s time to test your water pipes and lines. Before filling your food truck with water, make sure the hot water heater bypass valve is in the normal position and all faucets are closed. Turn on a hot and a cold water faucet during the filling, allowing the air to escape until the water flows steady.
Inspect all faucets and pipes for leaks. Inspect the water heater over pressure safety valve and the water heater drain plug for leaks. After the water runs steady, turn off faucets and disconnect from your water source. Now, fill up fresh water in your on-board tanks.
Reopen a hot and cold water faucet until water flow stops. Close the faucets. Switch the fresh water pump on. After the pump starts running, wait 20-30 minutes to hear if the pump cycles on again. If the pump cycles on, it indicates a pressure drop or leak. If the pump does not cycle on, the system is ready to use.
After you have tested the L.P. and Water systems, and everything is up and running, it is time to test your appliances. Make sure your L.P. gas leak detector is on (you have one right?).
Start by lighting a stove top burner, filling the L.P. lines. Next, light another L.P. fired piece of equipment. Before testing your water heater, make sure it is full with water before igniting the pilot.
To get your generator ready, you will need to start it and also check certain functions on it. Getting your generator started can be tricky. Especially if it sat unused all winter. The lack of fuel in the lines is usually the reason why your generator won’t start.
If you have a prime feature, prime your generator until your indicator light turns on for the fuel pump. Run the pump for about 20 seconds to deliver fuel to the carburetor. If you do not have a prime feature on your generator, you will have to crank it until it starts. Let the starter rest to cool after about 15 seconds of cranking. Cycle the starter until it runs.
Once you have your generator started and it’s been running a while, check the oil level. Also, check the air filter to make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced.
Check Dump Hoses
Grey water hoses have a limited lifespan. Inspect your grey water hose for any tears or holes before using it.
Grey Water Tank Valves
The final step in our food truck spring checklist is to inspect the valve seal on your grey water tank. Carefully work the handle in and out in short increments to make sure it is opening and closing properly.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t feel comfortable conducting any of these checklist items, please find a professional. Don’t keep your truck off the road longer because you damaged or broke something while getting your food truck ready for spring.
Do you have any additional items included in your food truck spring checklist? We’d love to hear your tips. Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook