What are the planning steps to build my concession truck or trailer?
The first step is to decide what you plan to cook and where you plan to do business. This will determine whether you need a trailer or truck.
Trucks are more expensive to set up and operate but easier to move and fit in tight places. Trailers are cheaper to startup and operate but harder to move into tight places. See “choosing a trailer or truck” below.
Once you have decided to go with a truck or trailer, then you need to determine the equipment you need create the foods you plan to sell. A typical concession will have a fryer, griddle and burners. These three pieces of equipment will allow you to cook just about anything. The next two most used items is an oven or charbroiler. Depending on your specific needs you may want to include these as well. If you are a BBQ’er we can build you a smoker to sit on a porch which will add a whole other dimension to your concession.
You then need to consider refrigeration and storage. Coolers, freezers, sandwich preps., proofers, steam tables etc. need to be decided on. Be careful with adding to much electrical equipment because you will need a generator large enough to power these items. If you need help with this step we will be glad to help you determine what will work best for you.
After these decisions are made then we go to work. We will design your kitchen to your specs. and determine what size of trailer or truck you will need. We will also create a design of your kitchen and an itemized cost sheet showing you where the costs are and how your equipment will fit. This is only a preliminary stage in the process and it will allow you to change the design or size to what will make your concession work best for you. This process may go back and forth many times until you are completely happy with the end results.
You will also need to check with your local healthcode dept. to understand the requirements in your area. Every state and county has their unique requirements that must be met. We have concessions all over the country, including Hawaii, and we understand most of the requirements needed but there may be additional considerations to fulfill your local government requests.
Call us at 904-397-0246 and we can get started designing your concession truck or trailer today!
If you build my concession can I provide my own equipment?
Yes. We have no problem using your equipment if you are looking to save money using pre-owned equipment or if you already have some. But if you are buying new equipment we suggest using our equipment. We buy a lot of equipment and have negotiated very good prices from our distributor and using our distributor allows us to help with any warranty issues that may arise. We do not add any markup on the equipment so we pass our wholesale pricing straight to you!
Should I choose a concession trailer or truck?
Very good question, let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
1) Easier to drive and move.
2) Takes less space to park.
3) May be a requirement in a few(very few) areas of the country.
4) Can use the truck fuel to run the generator allowing you to refill the propane tanks less often.
1) More expensive to build.
2) Insurance cost will probably be more.
3) Any mechanical break downs and you are out of business until it is fixed.
4) Kitchen space will be smaller in most cases.
5) Limitations on kitchen design.
6) If you need to make a supply run during working hours you will have to move your truck from your location.
7) Limited on what type of generator you can use.
1) Less expensive to build. You get more for your money.
2) You can design the trailer to fit your kitchen.
3) Insurance should be less.
4) If you need to make a supply run during working hours you can leave the trailer where is sits.
5) If your pulling vehicle breaks down you can borrow are rent a vehicle and you are still in business.
6) Allows for more options of generators.
1) More difficult to maneuver.
2) Takes more space to park.
3) May not be accepted in a few(very few) areas of the country.
4) Must provide a fuel source for the generator.
5) Must have a vehicle strong enough to pull the trailer.
Do you provide a truck and how much do they cost?
No. We are not in the used truck business but we can assist you in finding a truck. We have relationships with a number of dealers and can help you. The price varies widely depending on age and condition. Occasionally you can purchase a good truck for around $8000 but you will typically spend $12000 to $18000 for a truck in really good shape. When it comes to your business trucks are truly a “you get what you pay for” item. Your business can make or break with your truck. If your truck spends more time in the shop, than out making you money, is it really worth saving a few thousand dollars?
How much more does it cost to convert a truck compared to a trailer?
If you were to outfit an 18′ trailer and an 18′ truck with exactly the same design it will cost about $2000 less to modify the truck. In this example the cost of the truck is not included but the cost of the trailer is included. So you would still need to purchase the truck. The reason for the increased price of modifying the truck is that you are working with an after market item. The trailer can be designed and built with the framing, insulation, walls, electrical etc. incorporated in the creation of the trailer. The truck will need to have the framing, walls, insulation, electrical etc. added to an existing vehicle which was originally designed for a different use. Also, the generator can be installed on the tongue of the trailer where as a generator compartment will have to be built in the truck taking up valuable space.
How do you power my concession trailer or truck?
Powering your concession is a balancing act for sure. It is important to use as much LP equipment and avoid electrical equipment when possible. All our concessions have an external “shore” power plug that can be used to power your concession when an external source is available. When it is not, you will need to use a generator. The size of the generator you need will depend on the electrical devices you have. We calculate all your power needs when we design your concession and will recommend the generator for you. It is very important to understand that just any generator will not work. Noise is an issue that must be controlled and a cheaper generator is simply too loud. You and your customers will be very unhappy with a loud generator connected to your concession. I’m sure you have been at events and become annoyed at a loud generator making it impossible to enjoy the day! There are no short cuts when it comes to power but there are ways to use the most affordable means available. Once we have designed your kitchen we will be able to determine the best way to power your concession.This is a very important issue and where a couple thousand dollars will be the difference between you and your customers being satisfied at the end of the day versus going home with ringing in your ears and a migrane. One thing to consider when choosing which generator to use is the fuel efficiency.
Below is the typical fuel consumption for different generators in gallons per hr.:
Half Load Full Load
Onan Diesel 6.0kw – 0.40 0.70
Onan Diesel 7.5kw – 0.56 0.96
Onan Diesel 8.5kw – 0.61 1.02
Onan Diesel 10kw – 0.43 1.01
Onan Diesel 12kw – 0.43 1.01
Onan Gasoline 5.5kw – 0.60 0.95
Onan Gasoline 7.0kw – 0.73 1.22
Onan Propane 5.5kw – 0.80 1.10
Onan Propane 6.5kw – 0.90 1.50
Honda Propane GX 630 10kw – 0.81 1.26
Honda Gasoline EU6500SI 6.5kw – 0.32(1/4 load) 0.956
Are you able to customize for special needs?
Yes. We are a full fabrication shop. For over 15 years M&R has built a reputation for quality. We strive to provide top of the line fast, friendly service at competitive prices. We specialize in quality custom utility trailers, Concession Trailers/Trucks and BBQ smokers, guaranteeing safety and long life for every unit we make. We have over 50 yrs. combined experience in the specialty trailer/truck, BBQ Smokers and fabrication business. We are proud of our ability to give you exactly what you want!
How much does my trailer weigh and what will I need to pull it?
This will vary widely depending on trailer size and equipment. We automatically upgrade your trailer, to the next size axle, if the total apprx. weight is within 1500lbs of the gross trailer weight compacity. Most finished concession trailers will fall in between 5500lbs to 6500lbs. We recommend pulling these with a ¾ ton truck. You could use a ½ ton truck but may need an enhanced towing package(ie: air bags or additional springs) to offset the tongue weight. We do try to minimize the tongue weight by moving the axles forward slightly to distribute some of the weight towards the back, but tongue weight can still be an issue.BBQ trailers with a smoker on the back could add up to about 1000lbs to 1500lbs to the trailer. In that case a ½ ton truck is definitely not recommended.
Approximate tongue weights, without equipment, are listed below but may be higher depending on the generator and gas bottles:
14′ long – 735lbs
16′ long – 840lbs
18′ long – 945lbs
20′ long – 1,050lbs
22′ long – 1,155lbs
24′ long – 1,260lbs
Is weight distribution important?
YES. Weight distribution is a very important aspect of designing your concession. Trailers and trucks have different concerns regarding this. With trailers the biggest concern is tongue weight. Trying to keep the heaviest equipment towards the back is a goal. You already have the generator and propane tanks on the tongue so any added weight is something you don’t need. As mentioned earlier we can move the axles to offset that but you will still have heavy weight on the toungue. Withtrucks the side to side weight distribution is the biggest concern. In many cases the springs of the trucks are oldand well used and just can’t hold the weight they were designed to hold. About half of the trucks we convert will need a few new springs added for support. We have a company we work with that can easily add springs for around $800-$1100and will fix the problem.
Can you wrap my concession?
We do not do that ourselves but we have two companies we work with that can help you design your wrap as well asinstall it. They will come to our shop to install it and you can pick up your concession completely finished and ready to go to work.
Do you deliver?
Yes. We use professional licensed and insured drivers. Costs will vary but will run around $1.95 per mile.
Do you have financing available?
We work multiple lenders help you get the best lending available. Once we get your quote together we can get you in touch with them.
What finances do you need to get started?
After we have your design finished we need a 1/3rd non-refundable deposit to get started. Then we will need another 1/3rd payment at the halfway point. The final 1/3rd payment is due, in form of cashiers check or wire transfer, before the concession is picked up or delivered. We also accept credit cards but you will not be able to take advantage of the discounted pricing.
How long will it take to build my concession trailer or truck?
Typically it will take 10 weeks to complete but ask about our “Fast Track” program which we guarantee a 6 week turn around. Some differences will be whether it is a trailer or truck and what our workload is at the time. Some custom jobs will take longer than a standard design.
Do you sell used concession trailers or trucks?
On occasion we will have a customer bring us a concession they want to sell but it is very rare. When we do get one we will do a full inspection and make any repairs necessary. But as a rule we will not have any used concessions available.