10 Simple Preventative Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Food Truck/Trailer Business and Crew Rolling Through the Coldest Months of the Year.
Invest In Quality Snow Tires
If the streets in your area are frequently covered in snow, you might want to switch your truck’s regular tires with snow tires during the winter. Snow tires have special tread patterns that make it easier to avoid slipping and sliding during inclement weather. They are also made with softer rubber than typical tires which help to stay more flexible on the cold days.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure Regularly
A flat tire can become a devastating loss to your food truck business. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, you could lose up to 1 PSI. When your tires are low on air you are more likely to get a flat tire. Properly inflated tires also distribute the weight of your truck more effectively and help you get better traction on the road in order to keep you safe during snowy, wet or foggy driving conditions.
Maintain Belts and Hoses
In cold temperatures belts inside your truck can get tight. That can add extra strain that makes them likely to stretch and snap. Have a mechanic look at all of your belts and hoses to make sure everything is still in good shape.
Check or Replace Your Battery
During cold temperatures your battery is working extra hard. When your engine needs even more power to get started on cold days, your battery can easily give out on you without any warning. If you have the battery tested ahead of time, you’ll know when it is starting to run out of steam. This will help you know in advance when it is time for a new battery.
Fill or Replace All Fluids
Make sure your oil is changed regularly. This is very important during the winter, as cold temperatures can thicken the oil and prevent it from circulating fully throughout the engine. When your engine isn’t lubricated properly, it will have trouble starting in the cold.
Ask your mechanic to check the antifreeze and water levels in your radiator to make sure they are at the correct ratio to prevent the coolant from freezing.
Finally, have your mechanic check the transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid.
Make sure you have antifreeze in your P traps.
Winterize Your Water System
Make sure you empty your water tanks after the day’s work. This will ensure no freezing water in your tanks overnight that will cause cracks in the tanks.
Treat Your Windshield
Slush, salt and snow combined create that gray sludge that quickly impairs your visibility and decreases your safety. To wipe away the toughest dirt and keep the glass looking clear and bright, fill your truck with a heavy-duty brand of windshield wiper fluid and replace the wiper blades.
Prepare For Frozen Locks
Be prepared for frozen locks by keeping some de-icer handy. Remember to NOT keep the de-icer inside your truck; if the locks freeze you will not be able to get the de-icer.
Build an Emergency Kit
Your emergency kit should include a first-aid kit, a blanket, road flares, reflective triangles, jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, a radio, spare oil and coolant, windshield wiper fluid, some non-perishable snacks and water and a flashlight. You should also carry a portable charging system for your phone. In addition, you should make sure you have a spare tire and the tools you’ll need to change the tire in the event you get stuck somewhere.
Plan For Food Storage Alternatives
If you store some non-perishables and cooking supplies on your truck, you may want to reconsider once Winter comes around. Bottled water can quickly turn to a solid block of ice as well as cookies, canned goods and bottles of soda. These items will not taste the same once they have thawed back to normal temperatures.
These 10 simple steps will help to keep your business rolling through the winter season!