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Old 05-02-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
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newbie - ICE CREAM truck

new to this but have a short bus coming and greatly appreciates everyones advice

going to try and have a ice cream truck business with my kids

going to try and convert a short bus - photos below

1. need to get painted white - any advice, is maaco any good? don't have time to paint myself - any advice before i drop it off, expected cost, etc

2. need a way to power a couple deep freezes - ? inverter, generator, - any wisdom (only needs to run bout4-6 hrs per day

3. has some surface rust along the curbside black skirt and doors - advice on how to take care of

4. would like to get the visors over the flashing lights - any source - mine didn't come with and I like the look

5. need a couple hinges for the wheelchair door to modify it for a serving window - source?

many thanks and I'll post pics as progress is made
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:38 AM   #2
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

i think you will have to remove the stop sign, and identification that lists it as a school bus...
even though i do my own automotive painting for repairs, i have used maaco for a few cars. they do a good job as far as paint coverage, but charge a lot for prep work if you dont do it yourself.. i imagine around here that instead of a 350.00 cheapie paint job, a bus like that for the cheap paint would cost at least 1000. you need to take care of the rust issue before you would take it to maaco.
if you are going to run a gen set every day, get a good one.. not some 300. one from harbor freight..
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

definitely go with a genset for the freezers. get a cheap quiet one and you should be fine. less $ then the engine idle.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

greatly appreciate any wisdom

as far as rust just plan to sand it down - would you acid itch (if so with what) or use a rust converter on area before take to painter

as far as stop sign will paint yellow and put children caution wording on it (one town actually requires it)

as far as gen set - Model? and where to place it ?

need a couple of hinges to modify handicap door to serving window - source?

many thanks
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

I would think that cobbling up some light visors would be pretty easy. Find some heavy steel or light aluminum stock (maybe an old street sign) and bend into shape.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
I would think that cobbling up some light visors would be pretty easy. Find some heavy steel or light aluminum stock (maybe an old street sign) and bend into shape.
You've never tried to bend a sign into a skid plate I take it
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

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Originally Posted by docbdj
...
going to try and have a ice cream truck business with my kids. ..
In what state?

First off, you need to get your state regulations. Ice Cream is considered a "hazardous food". Many states now require you to have a commissary. SC seems to want you to have a restaurant and use the mobile unit as an extension of the restaurant . They want both business to be in the same persons name. GA loathes street vendors and does not want them in the state. Other states want you to have a commissary and that can cost you from $100 to $300+ per month. Some states (like NM) is pretty lax about their food regulations.

You need a big enough generator to power your freezers OR use a cold plate. Size your generator at 50% of the freezers surge for best fuel consumption.

You will probably need a triple bowl sink PLUS a hand wash sink with hot/cold water under pressure.

You may need to have a certified food manager (minimum is $100 or so but good for a few years). We don't need one for NM but we did for TX.

You may have to have everyone who handles food to have a food handlers permit. Again, not for NM but did for TX.

You will need to get a business permit from the city you vend in (varies by city, we currently pay $35 per month, Denny's etc pays $35 per year).

You will need a state permit from the health dept. Ours is yearly and good all over NM. Cost us $250/yr.

Food Regulations by State You can find most state regulations here. Some are dead links. That will take a bit more digging on your part.

BTW, SC is currently rewriting their regs and will be out in 2013.


I know all this because we are food vendors (NC, GA, TX, NM). Currently looking into ice cream (hand dipped in waffle cones). Easy in NM but a pita (or next to impossible) in GA & SC. Still looking for the next state to move to. Might end up back in TX. At least they don't have a burning desire to keep folks in a rut (except for a few cities).
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

removed light visors... in scrap pile....
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

Yup, I think I'll go propane with my genny. I looked over the specs on the HD genny and noticed they don't mention the db rating for the unit. That puts me off as I'd guess the thing sounds like a 747 taking off and they aren't proud of it! If you dont mind noise and won't be where you will get thrown out because of it the genny looks like a good buy. I wonder if it is possible to run two of these things in series thereby creating enough power for the start up of your frig/freezer?
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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Re: newbie - ICE CREAM truck

any way to mount / vent the generator safely so not visible

? under vehicle or inside and vent to outside - safely?
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