Before you know it, the unpredictability of Spring weather will give way to the relentless heat and humidity of Summer. And, inside a food truck or trailer the temps can rise dangerously high. For newcomers and seasoned food truckers alike, it's easy to become distracted by the everyday demands of a food truck operation. Yet, it's vital to make a priority of protecting yourself, your crew and your equipment during periods of extreme heat. Find out ten ways below.
Ever heard of a food truck with a four-legged clientele? Let us introduce you to Willie! He has a truck, delivers food along with love and, for the last 24 years, he's been a guardian angel to the cats in his town. Read about this 77-year-old GoFundMe hero in this month's Giving Tree profile.
FN Newsletter Editor
10 Ways Food Truck or Trailer Owners Can Beat The Summer Heat
Timing is key. Whether you're negotiating a new stop or planning a special event, always try to limit activities during the hottest part of the day. Since lunch is typically the busiest time for food trucks, you may not be able to avoid the summer heat. Make slight adjustments to your start time and the length of your shift. This can make a big difference when temperatures begin to soar.
Park strategically. Be sure to discuss the parking location with property owners and event planners beforehand. If you are given the opportunity, select a location where you will not be parking in direct sunlight, and make sure that there are shaded areas nearby where you and your customers can eat and rest.
Dress appropriately. It may be tempting to break out the tanks, shorts, and flip-flops. But, if your equipment has pilot lights or open flames or if you're working near hot liquids, choose clothing which protects your body from heat, splatters, and spills. Ideally, it should be light-colored and made from breathable, lightweight fabrics, such as cotton and other natural fibers, to keep cool. Loose-fitting attire is not recommended when working near open flames, nor are items made from synthetic fabrics, as they can stifle air circulation and have a tendency to be more flammable. Closed-toe shoes with skid-resistant soles are suggested to protect again these and other hazards, such as slips, trips, and falls. Don't forget the sunblock!
Stay hydrated. In order to avoid heat stress, it is important to take preventive measures to hydrate your body during the hours leading up to your shift and replenish lost fluids by drinking approximately 1 cup of water every 15 minutes. Since the heat may cause changes in your metabolism, be sure to consult with your doctor before consuming sports drinks or energy drinks which may contain sugars, caffeine, and other stimulants. Some of these may actually cause a rise in body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, or changes in blood sugar that may pose risks to your health.
Take a break. Whenever possible, take intermittent breaks to cool off in the shade or find shelter nearby. When sweating and replenishing with cold fluids isn't enough to cool you down, you may begin to experience weakness, headaches, dizziness, confusion, fainting, or you may even begin to vomit. All of these are signs of heat exhaustion, which may lead to heat stroke or death if you do not take immediate action to remove yourself from the situation. If you suspect that your or a member of your crew may be suffering from heat-related illness, call 911 immediately.
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Whether or not you have your own website, be sure to fill out your FN profile for your business. You can share your FN profile (basically an electronic press kit) and quickly link promoters to all your info, pics, calendar, and even a blog if you want! The more complete your profile, the more a Food Director can conveniently learn all about you from one easy link.
Go to your Modify Profile page to fill out your profile and opt into the Member's Fest Biz Directory.
The FestivalNet Giving Tree
Every day 77-year-old Willie Ortiz scours his town for scrap metal, loads up his truck, and sells it - for cat food, shelter materials and spay/neuter fees. 24 years ago, an abused, feral cat touched Willie's heart and he's been on a mission ever since.
Our Database Manager, Sara, chose Willie's GoFundMe Campaign to receive a portion of our gross profits for May. She says of Willie: "There really are angels among us!"
We feel Sara is another one. At last count, she, her husband and son are up to 21 animals on their small North Carolina farm because their hearts won't let them say no to an animal who needs love.
To read more about Willie's story, please go here. Check out all our recipients on our Giving Tree page!