Equipment Needed to Operate a Food Truck

When you begin the process of building a food truck, it’s important to understand the Equipment Needed to Operate a Food Truck. This will ensure you optimize your productivity, efficiency, and ultimately increase ROI.

But let’s get back to the basics and consider the core equipment that is necessary for a successful food truck build. A majority of food trucks need the same equipment, although it truly depends on several factors, including:

  • Frequency of events and radius of travel
  • Cuisine
  • Event types (weddings, catering, events, etc.)

There are several core equipment items that are needed for a successful food truck to even operate, including:

  • Gray water tank
  • Fresh water tank
  • Generator that meets the needs of your food truck equipment
  • Refrigerator/Freezer
  • Sink
  • Fire suppression system
  • Appropriate lighting
  • Adequate Ventilation

It is important to plan where you want the standard equipment located in your food truck before adding any other specialty equipment. Not all builders house a design and engineering team to lay out your vision. APEX Specialty Vehicles has an in-house design and engineering team that designs each layout in 3D software so the customer can visualize the layout, make appropriate changes, and solidify configurations before the build actually begins. Let’s explore each of the major areas of equipment requirements. 

  1. Water System

Any mobile restaurant needs to have a water system. The most common setup is to have two tanks: one that has fresh, clean water, with a filtration system. The other is a tank for gray water or dirty water. The gray water tank holds the water that is used for anything that is not food, such as dishes and other cleaning projects within the food truck. Each of these water systems should have an outside conduit to add more water or to clean out the gray water tank.

  1. Generator

Another element of Equipment Needed to Operate a Food Truck
is the generator. The size of the generator depends on the amount of equipment that it needs to operate. The typical equipment that needs to be powered by the generator includes a refrigerator, a freezer, a stove top, and a oven. Sometimes a fryer is also apart of the equipment, depending on the type of food being made in the food truck. All of these pieces need to be powered somehow, and the easiest and most convenient way to power is with a generator. One of the biggest mistakes food truck owners and operates can do is cut corners on the generator. It’s essentially the heartbeat of the business. If your generator cannot properly power your equipment, you will not be operating the business. Once you find a builder you trust, ask questions and make sure you understand the generator needs. 

  1. Fire Suppression System and Ventilation

A fire suppression system is needed when there are fryers, ovens, and stoves on the food truck. A fire suppression system includes a sprinkler-type system placed above the fryer, oven, and stove. The fire suppression system also includes a fire extinguisher. This system is imperative to protect your investment. Just as a brick and mortar has a fire suppression system in place, a mobile food truck should as well. The system typically doesn’t take a lot of space in a food truck because it can fit the length above a stove, oven, and fryer.

  1. Lighting 

Lighting of the food truck is important because it can determine the hours of operation. The more lighting, then the more likely you can serve those late-night customers. Very little lighting will limit the hours of operation to daylight hours. Again, this system should not take a lot of space, which will leave the limited floor space for that equipment you need to operate your business. 

These four areas are requirements for Equipment Needed to Operate a Food Truck. Even though there can be a variation to the size and extent of the equipment, the basic system requirements listed here are the same for every truck. 

Want to check out some pictures of high quality food trucks? Visit APEX’s project portfolio: