How Should I Choose An Ice Cream Truck?

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We all know that familiar sound of the ice cream truck. Those tunes and those sweet tastes began to frequent neighborhoods around the country in the ’20s. This was when Harry Burt began selling his Good Humor bars from his truck.

Since then, men and women all over have decided to start their own ice cream truck businesses, to the delight of children. The first thing you must do after developing your business plan is to find what is certainly your most important piece of equipment – the truck itself. You can find a commercial truck and modify it to work as an ice cream truck. You can also search for ice cream trucks already ready to go. These can be found on Used Vending, eBay, and other classified sites. You may also be able to find a vintage model that will set the perfect nostalgic setting for your business.

Here we will outline what you need to know and what to do to purchase your ice cream truck, prepare it to serve communities, and maintain it.

Ice Cream Truck parties
Ice Cream Truck 4

Buying the Truck

A truck for your ice cream business can start at $10,000 or up to $20,000. Your vehicle insurance can cost up to $1500 for the year. Remember that you must outfit your truck to transport dairy products safely. If not already equipped with a cold plate freezer, you will have to get this installed. These are bolted to the truck and should be installed and maintained by refrigeration professionals.

Ice cream truck music can be played from music boxes or modern digital music devices. An amplification system can ensure your music is heard as you approach.

Safety considerations include the signs and flashing lights to keep kids safe as they approach your ice cream truck. A monitor, camera, and backup alarm can also be helpful to keep everyone safe and protect your business.

Serving ice cream from ice cream truck
ice cream party 1

Truck Condition

When choosing a truck, make sure that you thoroughly inspect it. It is worth your time to have each vehicle checkout out by a mechanic before making your final choice. If you purchase and spend too much on repairs, you’re just eating into your profits.

It’s worth it to spend more on a dependable truck than it is to spend money on all the wraps, tires, and rims. If it looks great but doesn’t run, it’s worthless to you.

When you’re looking over trucks, check that the:

  • You test drive it and check under the hood
  • Look for body rust and damage
  • Inspect for dangerous corners
  • Consider requesting maintenance records and check for accident history or recalls.
  • Check the oil
  • Check the tread on the tires
  • Ask about any warranties available

Once you choose your truck, you need to determine what vehicle registration is required. Secure a comprehensive insurance policy that covers your vehicle and your equipment.

Diesel vs. Gas Trucks

When considering whether to choose a gas or diesel vehicle, consider that diesel engines offer better fuel economy and towing capability. But they are more expensive, and fuel is generally more expensive. Repairs on a diesel vehicle are also more expensive.

Keeping your Ice Cream Truck in Good Condition

When you’ve chosen your ice cream truck it’s important to keep it in good condition. To do this that you should:

Operate It Properly – You won’t want to put any extra strain on your truck.

Get Regular Maintenance – Take care to notice any issues early before they become larger problems. Make sure that you keep up with a regular maintenance schedule to keep your truck running for longer.

Ice cream trucks can offer a great return on investment if you are careful when choosing one for your business. Southern Ice Cream is a pioneer of mobile ice cream vending in south Texas and is here to help you grow your ice cream business. When you partner with Southern Ice Cream, you get the support and guidance you need to start on the right foot.