how to prepare your truck for winter

How to Prepare Your Truck for Winter

As a food truck owner, most of your time and energy goes into what happens inside your kitchen. You make sure that your equipment is clean and in good repair so that you can provide your customers with the best gourmet street food out there. However, when all is said and done, your food truck is still a truck. As winter approaches, here are three ways to prepare your truck for the cold weather.

Check Your Battery

Cold weather puts a lot of strain on your battery. When temperatures hit freezing, your battery will only work at about 65% capacity. Add to that the fact that your engine takes double the power to start when the temperatures plummet and you could be in for some trouble. The problem is that the chemicals that power your battery slow down when exposed to freezing temperatures. The good news is, a full battery is much harder to freeze than a discharged one. Make sure that your battery is fully charged before the cold sets in. You can also install a battery blanket for added protection.

Top Off Your Fluids

Winter is no time to run out of fluids. When snow and sleet come, you will depend on windshield wiper fluid to keep your windshield clear and safe. You also don’t want to run out of antifreeze. Fluid levels tend to deplete during the summer months so it’s important to have them checked before winter sets in. Generally, you want to have a 50/50 ratio of water to antifreeze in your truck. And while you’re dealing with fluids, make sure that any pipes, tanks, etc that hold fluids are being kept warm from freezing. Blankets, heating elements, and additives (depending on the fluid and the use) are a few ways to prevent freezing.

Check Your Tires

Tire tread is always important, but it’s especially critical during the winter months. You can operate your truck much more safely on wet, slick, and icy roads with the proper tread depth. One way to check tire tread is to do the penny test. When you insert a penny into your tread you shouldn’t be able to see Abe Lincoln’s hair. If you can, it’s time for new tires. It also might be time to rotate your tires. In general, tires need to be rotated about every 5,000 miles. Finally, you should check your tire pressure regularly throughout the winter. Fluctuating winter temperatures can cause fluctuating tire pressure, so check it at least once a month.

Your food truck is still a truck. It needs regular maintenance just as much as your kitchen does. Keep your truck running smoothly this winter by doing some basic winterizing. Ideally, this will be done before the temperatures plummet too low. 

As winter approaches, you may be wondering how to stay productive as business slows. Click here for ideas!

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