Catering Trucks For Sale – Should I Buy Or Customize One?

Food trucks are the new sexy in the mobile food industry. And if you’re thinking about starting a mobile food business, you have two options: you can customize a van and turn it to a food truck, or you can buy a catering truck for sale.

Which route to go? Read on!

“Can I Customize A Truck Instead?”
Absolutely! And if you do go down this route, I have to tip my hat off to you. It’s expensive, it’s time consuming, and it’s not surprising why a lot of food truck owners don’t have the guts to customize a truck. Get it right, however, and you’ll have a food truck that makes a statement…one that carries your personality!

A quick search on the internet should show you different types of trucks for sale. HOWEVER, to help you save time and money, I highly recommend getting a second-hand Chevy or Grumman-Olson step van. Usually, these vans are formerly used by large commercial and postal companies like DHL and FedEx, and they are large enough to store ALL of the necessary cooking and maintenance equipment.

As much as possible, go for a non-diesel van with dimensions of about 14 feet long and 9 feet wide. Now, you don’t want to buy a truck that’s going to take a lot of financial power to maintain so go for a van that has less than 100,000 miles in mileage.

The number of places where you can shop for a good, second-hand truck is virtually endless – there’s eBay (dubbed as the graveyard of food trucks), Craigslist, second-hand truck dealers, auctions, and MORE. It’s tedious to check all of them out, BUT to make sure you get the best bang for every buck you spend, you MUST!

Before buying a used truck or van, keeping tabs of other customization expenses is also a MUST. The last thing you want to do is spend a HUGE portion of your capital on a van…only to discover that you don’t have enough left to turn that vehicle to a true-blue food truck. Here’s a quick estimate and breakdown of the most important customization expenses:

•    On-board kitchen equipment ($15k to $20k)
•    Non-kitchen equipment like electrical wiring, steel bars, etc. ($10k)
•    Installation and customization labor ($15k to $20k)
•    Hotel pans, pots, grease mats, plates, etc. ($3k)
•    Point-Of-Sale system ($2.5 to $5k)

“OK, I’ll Just Buy A Second-Hand Catering Truck For Sale!”
Alright, I can’t blame you if you decide to buy a used catering truck instead. Heck! Customizing a van can be TOO expensive, and unless you are about to inherit a hefty amount of money, it’s just not practical.

Moving forward, when you’re looking for a catering truck for sale, it’s BEST to look for one within your state or city. You see, local companies and individuals who sell catering trucks are well-versed in the local health regulations and licensing process. And usually, they include permit and license processing in the package, which goes a long way in saving you time and money!

“So should I go for used or a brand new truck?” – Ultimately, you and your finances hold the answer to that question. But just so you know, brand new food trucks don’t come cheap. In today’s economic climate, you can easily spend $100,000 on a brand new food truck…and that’s a modest estimate! Assuming that this is your first venture into the mobile food industry, I HIGHLY recommend buying a second-hand catering truck for sale.

Once you’ve found the catering truck that fits your budget, it’s time to shell out top-dollar and rock the city streets with your unique menu, right?

WRONG! Used catering trucks may have hidden damages and could require repairs…and you can easily miss them. So instead of being rash, bring a car mechanic before you buy the truck. It could mean an additional expense worth a few hundred to a thousand dollars depending on the mechanic’s fee. BUT the peace of mind you get…knowing that the food truck won’t break down any minute is worth every penny!

Even better, take it for a test drive. After all, although it can be fun, selling food on the go can be tedious, and you don’t want to put up with the added burden of uncomfortably steering and maneuvering a truck day in and day out!

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