What to Know Before Buying a Food Truck

Embarking into the flourishing food truck industry is an exciting adventure for any new food inspired entrepreneur, especially finding the food truck that will help make it all happen. We understand that the custom built food truck doesn't always fit the budget -which is why we have created a checklist to help assist in the buying process when looking at used/premade food trucks. Check out the buying checklist that helps bring peace of mind:

✔Once a food theme or truck idea has been decided it is important to identify the proper class (1,2 3,4) category for your food truck. This code may vary city by city, state by state so it is important to do your due diligence here because you don't want to purchase a class 2 (light assembly, no cooking) capable truck by mistake when you really need a class 4 truck (commercial food operation). This step helps save money from having to renovate.

✔Check equipment and confirm if it is commercial approved equipment -not residential. Many who are attempting food truck builds don't understand the hot and cold side for equipment, and we have seen many instances where the builder installs residential kitchen equipment like hoods and fridges because commercial equipment isn't in their ballpark. Many people think a fridge is a fridge, but in reality commercial fridges have different door seals, different refrigeration mechanics in it where it can operate in more intense conditions -like constantly being opened and closed, bi product heat from any hot equipment, etc. An average household fridge opens 15-20 times a day whereas the commercial fridge could open more than 100 times a day -the equipment is made the way it is to be used in the environment it's intended for.

✔Get records on who built the truck or renovated it, and make sure you trust the source! If it looks like it might fall apart, chances are it will. One of the top calls we get is fixing someone else's defective work. We've included photos and videos below from one of our repairs we received regarding a hood, re running gas line and rewiring electrical in a brand new cart. Unfortunately the “professional” he hired did not live up to his word and left the truck owner to deal with the shotty work. Luckily he was able to find Peace of Mind and a “FUCK YES” after we got through with the repair. You can see in the photos and videos below that the hood doesn't even touch the wall, is unsecured and uneven. The gas line ran inconveniently across the walk path (which is not very large in a food truck -resulting in tripping or an accident) has 2 different types piping mixing galvanized and black iron, not ideal or correct. The electrical is not ran properly -wires with foil tape, external wires running from the box through and out the door (pinching it every time the door is closed) and up the roof fully exposed. The wiring used is indoor romex which is not suitable for exterior use.  We are comfortable sharing these photos as a way to educate and assist others in the buying process and to prevent others falling into the wrong hands!

✔Check the sink size! We've seen small residential sinks in busy commercial food truck kitchens, you can guess how long that really lasts before a new sink install is at the top of their list. It's also important to check local codes for tank sizes -check hot water tank size to ensure you are able to do what you need to do. 

We recommend:

  • 15x15x12 minimum bowl size for dishes. 

  • 12x16 for handwashing sinks -these are required by city code (codes may vary state by state). It is also a bonus if the handwashing sink is near your serving window that way you don't have your back to the customer and customer can see you washing hands while you interact. 

✔Check the power supply, we run a standard 240 volt 50 amp so you will always have capability for any needs. What we see a lot is 125 volt 30 amp being ran, which for some trucks is fine, but for the long haul it just isn't enough.

✔Last item on the checklist is if there is a serving window, opt for a horizontal slide over vertical -there will be less hovering since the vertical window doesn't allow a lot of head space as it the window itself cuts your space in half and the horizontal sliding window has a wider opening.

**Note on Plexi Glass in Window: Plexi cracks, leaks, gets cold, does not slide efficiently, it may end up as a constant replacement on a food truck.

Through our experience of building, servicing, maintaining and renovating the food trucks here in Central Oregon and beyond we've seen some pretty botched work, which has allowed us to understand and identify many of the problems food truck owners run into to help and advocate for this blossoming industry. We’re done with seeing truck owners sink their money into trucks that were promised to perform and they end up having to either dump more money into repairing them or have to shut down the whole operation completely -no more! At Peace of Mind Customs our services are built to last and we are here to advocate for the food truck community to create something greater than just a badass food truck, we're interested in helping others thrive and assist in making their food truck dreams come true. 

To learn more about more about food trucks check out Tips For Building A Food Truck or give us a call today at 541-728-3511.

The Food Truck Guy Article Feature

Known around Central Oregon as “The Food Truck Guy”, Mike (Founder of Peace of Mind Customs) was recently interviewed by Keely Damara from The Source Weekly to shed some light on the food truck industry, building food trucks, and the history of Peace of Mind.

Mike, whose background includes commercial maintenance/construction & residential remodeling/building, started Peace of Mind Contracting in 2018 with every intention of being a general residential contractor, but quickly found himself in the renovation of Thailandia’s new truck after their fire in March 2018. After he spent some time within the food cart community he realized the demand for good quality affordable work in the food truck industry.

At Peace of Mind Customs customer relations is first, and this is where we believe a lot of the bigger guys are missing the bar. Whether it’s a renovation or a custom build, it’s all about hearing your customer out, understanding their needs, concerns, wants and executing that. From there we can develop the right plan tailored to their requirements -and beyond! In addition, Peace of Mind Customs offers maintenance & service contracts to assure prolonged equipment life and save costs in the long run.

The knowledge, understanding, and community allowed Peace of Mind Contracting to branch out into Peace of Mind Customs offering fully custom food trucks/carts constructed from the ground up, built to last.

Peace of Mind Customs continues to renovate, maintain, advocate, and service food trucks in Central Oregon, in addition to the Western Coast. As city and state codes vary wherever you go, we believe it is important to conduct business close to home to ensure proper equipment/structure/maintenance.

The article feature touches on Peace of Mind’s beginning and how food trucks became the niche, food truck functionality, and industry trends. To view the full article head over to The Source Weekly!

Where The Mobile Business Industry Is Headed

As we enter an era of high priced commercial spaces, oversaturated markets, elevated cost of living and pricey student loan debt, the dream of becoming a small business owner seems a little bit more distant than imagined… or is it? Today we service several business owners in various states on the west coast, but not just any business owners -mobile business owners.

Inspired and big minded, small business owners all over the globe have been reinventing the wheel when it comes to providing a stand up service for their community by going mobile. A mobile business is a business that has the ability to venture the open road and provide services and products to their customer basis while on the go or stationary. These businesses aim to deliver and transport their equipment, goods/services to their customer’s home or in a specific location.

The mobile business industry is booming with all sorts of great ideas like:

  • Mobile Dentistry

  • Mobile Food Trucks

  • Mobile Groomer

  • Mobile Automotive Detailing

  • Mobile Personal Training / Yoga Studio

  • Mobile Salon / Barbershop

  • Mobile Glass Blowing

  • Mobile Locksmith

  • Mobile Cleaning Services

  • Mobile Landscaping

  • Mobile Seamstress

  • Mobile Bookstore

  • Mobile Photographer

  • Mobile Retail Shop

  • Mobile Gunsmith

  • Mobile Florist

  • Mobile Catering

  • Mobile Tutoring

  • Mobile Sports Medicine / Xray

  • Mobile Naturopathy

  • Mobile Massage Therapist

  • Mobile Bike Repair

-and so much more!

Mobile businesses are notoriously known for small overhead costs that supply quick ROI and profitability, but mobile business owners offer more than just their hope for an easy start. These innovative entrepreneurs are interested in encouraging local economic stimulation, showcasing their creativity, and cultivating a community -all while leaving memorable impressions on their customers. And mobile business patrons are taking notice, a survey conducted on food truck customers showed that just about ever patron interviewed would continue supporting food trucks and used descriptions like, “fun, exciting, new, different, unusual and unique”. Mobile Cuisine

These mobile business owners, although diverse, all have one thing in common -their vessel. Whether it be cart, truck, trailer, RV, their vision incorporated into their vessel draws the crowd, creates community and ensures a successful mobile business. Working with a company/manufacturer that produces high quality work for specific mobile needs is crucial when designing, building, or modifying a mobile vessel. Peace of Mind Customs builds, services, modifies, and maintains just about any mobile business need. We find value in working closely with our customers to achieve their mobile business dreams that are built to last.

Give us a call or email today to learn more about making your mobile business dreams come true, and leaving your brick and mortar businesses vision in the past!