Vendor Cart Safety Guidelines

Thunder Storms and Lightning:

Our hot dog carts are generally designed to be operated year round in all kinds of weather. There are some exceptions though and lightning is certainly one of them. Because the vendor cart is made with a large amount of steel, the possibility that it will attract a lightning strike is very real.

If a lightning storm is seen approaching, the operator should close down the cart immediately and seek appropriate shelter. Cart operations should only be resumed when the storm has passed and the threat of a lightning strike is not possible.


Fires in a well maintained hotdog cart are certainly rare but can happen.  It is suggested that a fire extinguisher be kept on hand for such an event.

A common source of fire is a grease fire on the BBQ.

Small flare ups can be contained by turning down the gas setting and spraying the fire with water. A full spray bottle of clean water should be kept on hand for such occurrences. Be careful of scalding by steam when spraying with water.

In the case of a larger grease fire flare up, turn off the propane control valve to the BBQ burner and let it burn out or douse it with water. Be very careful of scalding by steam when dousing the burner with water. Keep your hands and face clear of the super-heated steam cloud that will rise up. Also the source of the grease supplying the fire, usually fatty meat, should be removed from the BBQ grill using a pair of long handled tongs. The burner can then be re-lit and any grease remaining will burn off in a more controlled manner. If a serious fire persists and continues to grow, turn off the propane valve at the tank, and use the fire extinguisher.

The other potential source of fire is a propane leak.  This occurs most often under the BBQ itself where the gas supply tubes connect to the control knobs and the burners. In such a case, you need to switch off the propane gas supply at the tank. This will stop the supply of gas to the fire and it should stop immediately. Allow the area to cool down. Then reconnect the loose gas fitting or tube and secure them so they can not become loose again. Once this has been done, open the gas supply valve again and carefully re-light the burners. Check the area under the BBQ for flame before resuming cooking operations.

The final area of concern is that of clothing catching fire. This may occur if an operator gets too close to hot burners with polyester clothing. This can cause the clothing material to melt or ignite and possibly burn the person. For this reason a proper approved butcher’s apron of fire resistant material should always be worn when operating a hot dog cart.

First Aid:

Always keep a small first aid kit in the cart to treat the inevitable small burns, nicks, cuts and abrasions that will occur. It should include some disinfectant and an assortment of various sized “Band-Aids”. Check the first aid kit regularly and restock it with needed items.

Sun Safety:

Prolonged sun exposure and sun burn are constant health hazards to hotdog cart operators because they are usually located out of doors at peek sun periods during the day.

Wear a hat. The cart umbrella may not always be positioned so as to shade you from the direct sun. The best hats will completely cover your head and the tops of your ears.

Use a high SPF sun block on any exposed skin. Be sure to cover areas that are exposed to a lot of sun and those difficult to reach spots. These include your nose, top lip, ears, neck, chest and especially the  back of your neck. In the case of sun safety, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.

Wear quality sun glasses to prevent eye strain.

Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and sun stroke. Drinks with high sugar content such as sodas are okay but you will likely need to drink a lot of them which is not very healthy. Drink lots of water. If your urine is dark or you did not urinate all day, then you did not drink enough water and are dehydrated which is very unhealthy.

Towing the Trailer:

Always check that the cart’s trailer hitch is pushed all the way down and fully locked on the Make sure that the ball is the correct size for the hitch as a hitch will connect to an undersized ball but it may disconnect in transit. Always connect the safety chains between the trailer and the tow vehicle. If you have the detachable tongue option on the trailer, double check that it is properly re-installed before towing.

Connect the electrical wires and check that signal and brake lights are functioning properly.

Remove the wheel chocks and corner jack before driving away. Make sure all items on the cart are fully secured and ready for transport before towing.

Check the tires for proper inflation pressure as a partially deflated tire can fail at highway speeds causing you to lose control.

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