Food Truck Repair & Maintenance

By Shaggy | Cecpas.org

Accompanying this increase is the rising costs per crash. The USDOT funded a study through the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) to determine the average costs of medium and heavy truck crashes.

The study found that: An average truck accident cost $91,112 in 2005.

* Crashes involving truck-tractors with two or three trailers accounted for the most costly crashes averaging $289,549 per crash.

* Truck crashes involving trucks with no trailers and straight trucks cost an average of $56,296 per crash.

* Truck crashes that involved a fatality cost nearly $3,604,518 per crash.

* Whereas, truck crashes involving injury-only crashes averaged at $195,258 per crash.

While the costs of fatal and non-fatal accidents have been considered shockingly high by some, the study noted that these cost estimates excluded additional factors such as:

* mental health costs

* roadside furniture repair costs

* cargo delays

* earnings lost by family and friends involved in or caring for truck accident victims

* the value of schoolwork lost was also not factored

Because of these exclusions, the estimated truck accident costs may even be considerable higher than estimated by the USDOT.

Seeking Assistance after a Truck Accident

It is often difficult for an individual to gauge the devastation that has just occurred after a truck collision. It is important that an individual who has suffered from a truck accident seeks medical attention immediately.

While an individual may feel no pain after an accident, their injuries may be internal and an examination by a medical professional immediately following an accident can ensure that the appropriate safety precautions are taken.

Additionally, it may be necessary for a truck accident victim to consult an experienced truck accident attorney for legal purposes, which may include a legal consultation for a potential truck accident lawsuit.

Developing a truck accident lawsuit may seem to be a drastic measure by some, but when considering the costs associated with a truck accident, whether fatal or non-fatal, it can be deemed a necessary step, one that may provide monetary compensation in return for damages following a truck collision.

Refrigerated Truck Repair

Obtaining insurance for your truck is very essential not only to those trucking professionals, however also to other individuals who own trucks for personal uses. Using trucks would even let you spend money for its operating costs and maintenance. Your trucks might also encounter surprising accidents and could require you to repair or maybe replace some of its components or maybe the whole truck itself. This is one among the main reasons why you must get insurance for your trucks. These insurances can cover the prices when these circumstances come your way.

How much ever we are cautious in driving, we cannot really be assured that no accidents will happen to us at all. Unavoidable accidents could actually come our way while we’re driving on the road. When these accidents happen, it might certainly be a headache for a few truck owners as they’re also spending cash for the truck’s operational costs.

This can be where truck insurance companies come into picture. If you buy insurance from these companies, they would be able to take care of the maintenance cost of your trucks.

There are several truck insurance companies that may provide their services to you. As a business skilled, you must be ready to choose the right insurance company that wouldn’t cost you much cash for his or her services.

You must even take into account the quality of service which they offer. You must remember that not all commercial plans are the same. Each insurance company has its own terms and range of covering your damages.

Tow truck insurances, roadside help, and refrigeration breakdown endorsements should even be thought of since these typically come with comprehensive plans.

It’s certainly really vital for truck professionals to choose the perfect truck insurance company to cover its truck maintenance expenses. This is often a huge issue for the success of the trucking business. For these reasons, you should have top insurance brokers to help you with your search. These brokers provide truck insurance quotes for you to find out how much the insurance will cost.

.What exactly is a catering truck? Although there are many not so complementary names or descriptions, they can best and simply be described as a restaurant kitchen on wheels, or in a more legal definition, a Mobile Food Preparation Facility.

A catering truck can cook, handle open food and perform other types of food preparation normally only a restaurant could legally do. They are different from ice cream and candy trucks, produce trucks, and ice cream carts and other carts that mostly sell only prepackaged foods and limited types of unpackaged foods.

Although a catering truck is not technically the same as a restaurant in the health and safety code, the requirements are almost the same as a permanent restaurant

I will probably get hate mail for this, but I would not recommend purchasing/eating any prepared or potentially hazardous foods from a catering truck or a street vendor, even an apparently licensed and safe one. The most I have purchased off a catering truck is prepackaged snacks or drinks.

And here are my reasons why:

–They are inherently more dangerous than a permanent restaurant simply because of the limitations of space and power -gas or electricity- to keep the refrigerators and warming equipment up and running properly. There is a greater chance that food will be left too long in the food temperature danger zone -between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit- thereby allowing bacteria to grow to dangerous levels.

–There are greater possibilities in a catering truck of cross contamination of your ready-to-eat food with raw meats, chicken etc., again due to limited space and overstocking.

–A catering truck has to maintain a storage tank of potable (drinkable) water available throughout the day while they are away from their commissary (where they store and re-supply their truck). This supply is limited versus a permanent restaurant’s water supply. This allows a greater probability that the catering truck will run out of water, or just as bad, the owner or operator limiting their use of it so it can last longer throughout the day. Both cases are not uncommon and this translates to not washing utensils, equipment, hands, etc., thoroughly or often enough.

–The inspector rarely spends the same amount of quality time inspecting a catering truck than a permanent restaurant. This is mainly due to time factors. Many catering trucks do not spend very long in any one place. An inspector has to get in, observe, test and take notes, get out, write up the report and then review it with the owner/operator and have them sign it before the catering truck leaves for the next stop. There are more pressures on everyone in this situation. It’s unfortunate, but this is the reality of this type of business.

–Lastly, the number of permit suspensions also do not reflect a pretty picture for catering trucks and street vendors. Permit suspension, for all types of food facilities, means an automatic closure and is almost always due to the presence of a high risk violation, such as severe temperature abuse, vermin etc., or operating without a valid public health permit.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, Los Angeles County Environmental Health Vehicle Inspection Program conducted 9,615 routine inspections of catering trucks and street vendors. The number of permit suspensions for this time period was 2,636 (the majority of which were catering trucks). The closure rate is 27%, meaning for every four inspections, one will result in a closure. This does not include illegal or unpermitted trucks and carts, which are almost ubiquitous in Los Angeles County and are closed immediately when found.

To compare with restaurants: Los Angeles County Environmental Health Food Inspection Program conducted 46,978 routine inspections of restaurants for the same period. The number of suspended permits was 1,072. A closure rate of 2.3%.

The conclusion one has to make is that catering trucks, and other vehicles, carts etc., are more likely to be operating with a severe or high risk health code violation (resulting in the suspension and closure) than a restaurant. This translates into a greater risk of food poisoning or food-borne illness. Since most people do not report their food borne illness (this seems to especially apply to those that patronize trucks and carts), it is difficult to get a percentage of food borne illnesses directly related or attributed to trucks and carts. But based on what we know are the main causes and sources of food poisoning or food borne illness, one has to conclude that the risk of contracting such an illness is much higher from eating prepared foods off a catering truck than a restaurant.

If you still dare to tempt fate, here are some basic requirements of a catering truck and things to look out for as a customer. If you see any of these I strongly recommend that you think again about ordering something from this truck or cart.

–The business name or name of the operator, city, state, zip code must be legible, clearly visible to patrons, and permanently affixed to the customer side, and in most cases to both sides of the truck. If this basic information is missing, the vehicle is most likely operating illegally i.e., without a public health permit.

–A valid public health permit must be posted in a conspicuous place for you to see. Look for an expiration date and that the business name on the permit matches the name on the side of the truck. There may also be other identifying information on the permit such as the license plate. The posting of a valid permit from the local Environmental Health program in a conspicuous place actually applies to all retail food facilities including restaurants and markets in California and probably many, if not most states. It is more important to look out for with a catering truck or street vendor because there is a much greater likelihood of these types of mobile businesses operating illegally, or without a permit, than a permanent restaurant or market.

–No liquid wastes or water can be leaking or draining onto any street, sidewalk or premises.

–All food condiments or any food offered for customer self-service must be protected from all types of contamination, such as people sneezing, coughing, as well as bugs, dust or any possible overhead contamination.

–No food or drinks made or prepared at home or any other unapproved, unlicensed sources, can be sold to the public from any vehicle. (This also applies to all restaurants, catering trucks, and food markets.)

–If the catering truck is conducting business for more than one hour in the same location, there must be an approved and readily available toilet and handwashing facility for the catering truck staff. It can not be a home or house, but a publicly accessible and/or department approved facility.

–All food operators must also follow the same requirements regarding good health and hygiene, just as if they were working in a restaurant kitchen.

–The vehicle must, of course, be free of all vermin, including flies and live animals at all times.

–All windows and doors must be in good repair and be provided with screens or flaps to prevent the entrance of flies. Pass through windows should be covered when not in use and self-closing screens are required on the exterior of pass though openings.

The vehicle should be in good working and structural condition. It should not be broken down, such as a flat tire, where it is now no longer mobile and cannot readily make it back to its commissary. A broken down condition by itself may not be a violation or risk, but the problem lies in that fact that that the vehicle has limited power and/or gas and can not maintain potentially hazardous food indefinitely at the proper temperatures.

Commercial truck insurance is intended to cover the needs of drivers and trucking companies in case the unforeseeable happens.  Accidents can lead to huge repair bills for yours and others’ equipment.  It can also cause bodily injury that also must be paid for.

While all drivers and motor carriers in the truck industry realize the need for truck insurance coverage, they also recognize how specialized these policies need to be.  Different facets of the industry require different levels of coverage.  A company that hauls refrigerated produce, for instance, will have different coverage needs than one that ships hazardous chemicals.

Likewise, trucks that are used to tow other vehicles have special truck insurance needs.  Since tow trucks have much different operating capacities than traditional semi-trucks, it’s important to create policies that are relevant to tow trucks non-cargo applications.

Tow Truck Insurance

As the name suggests, tow truck insurance is specifically tailored to meet the needs of tow truck owners and operators.  It covers the cost of damage to another vehicle while being towed.  Damage can occur very easily, even if the driver is exceptionally careful.

Independent tow truck drivers and those who run towing companies need this insurance to cover the cost of damages to their trucks as well as to the vehicles they pull.

How Much Coverage Is Necessary?

The biggest factor in considering the level of tow truck insurance coverage you need is the amount you intend to use the tow truck.  If your business is primarily built around towing other vehicles, you should consider a high degree of coverage.

Conversely, if you only use it in a limited capacity to tow vehicles from your lot to your garage, you can purchase a smaller amount at a lower price.  In the end, it’s up to you to decide how much coverage you need to keep your towing business running smoothly.

Truck Refrigeration Repair

Start up equipment and truck business loans, capital, financing, leasing with credit problems are still available in these economic times.

This article is going to discuss what is equipment and truck loans, leasing/financing, what are its benefits, leasing plans and how it relates to the start up business.

Additionally, we will show you lending requirements below for start up loans

Leasing is a form of renting but with a buyout clause at the end of the lease to take title to whatever we are leasing. The requirements to get into the lease may be as low as first and last payment and as much as 25%. Each situation is different and this offers the start up and seasoned business a way to invest very little monies into the business. Additionally, all other monies can be used for operating expenses such as marketing and other key areas. Leasing is not a new form of financing but could be a lending solution to the start up business.

The small sample of type of start up industries that leasing, business loans and financing can be used for are the following:

Dump, garbage, tow, flatbed, water trucks, over the road trucks and day cabs, heavy and construction equipment such as bulldozers, tractors, excavators, skid steer loaders, backhoes, flatbed, drop deck, refrigerated, dry van trailers, and industries which include limousines, limousine and shuttle buses, and machinery and production equipment.

The benefits of leasing may result in off-balance sheet financing reporting, tax incentives and conserving cash flow and preserving lines of credit for working capital purposes. Many leasing requirements may only require the initial outlay of first and last rental payment. Most leases finance 100% of the cost of the equipment such as soft costs which include shipping, software, training and installation. Additionally, leasing lets you regularly upgrade your equipment, eliminating your utilization of old, outdated equipment and reducing repair options.

Some of the leasing plans available to the lessee are $1.00, 10% or 20% purchase options as well as Trac Leases and FMV lease buyouts. Additionally, some lenders offer seasonal payments, deferred payments for ninety days, declining payments and half payments for a specified time period. It is important that the lessee understands all these different lease plans available as well as the buyout clauses. The lessee has many options to consider in negotiating his lease. He must understand each lender’s requirements and see if it fits within the realm of the lessee’s requirements.

Some lenders will accept the start up business whereas others will not want to lend to this group. They consider that their risk capital can be invested in other types of portfolios that can be better served. Many lenders require full documentation which includes a couple of years of personal income tax returns, a personal financial statement, and other underwriters requirements. However, in the past couple of years, there is a select group of lenders out there require an application only program. These lenders have their own computer scoring model and eliminate the necessary additional paperwork of other lenders.

These application only programs are usually restricted to the seasoned business, however there are a few out in the industry which will work with the start up business as well. The amounts of the application only program run as high as $150,000 for the seasoned business and $10,000 for the start up. Additionally, the lender will lease the qualified asset probably from 36-60 months and many won’t finance any equipment and commercial vehicles over ten years old.

It is important to understand the lease terms, the rate factor the lender is charging and the buyout clauses in the lease to take title. If you anticipate paying off the lease early, you should consult your lender to ascertain there is no prepayments for a early payoff. The last thing to understand that the lessee is going to guarantee the lease.