Hotdog Cart Routine Maintenance Manual

A mobile hotdog cart must be maintained in top roadworthy condition at all times. If not, the owner/operator risks being unable to do business and thereby losing money.

Inspect the cart daily in the same manner as a pilot conducts a preflight or “walk-around” inspection of his aircraft.

Check the tires for wear and correct air pressure. Have the wheel bearings inspected by a mechanic every 6 months. Replace the tires when the treads are worn.

Check that the trailer lights (running, braking and turning) are all working. Always keep a set of spare light bulbs on hand.

Inspect the electrical wires that connect from the tow vehicle’s lights through to the trailer lights. Some sections of these wires are especially prone to wear. These areas include where the wires exit the trunk of a car and where the wires rub when passing through channeling. Use electrical tape or flexible plastic wire conduit to cover and protect the wire insulation.

Check electrical connectors for corrosion. Because a hotdog cart is regularly washed, electrical connectors are especially prone to corrosion.

Wear or corrosion in the electrical system will cause serious failure. A short circuit can blow the fuse in the tow vehicle or burn out the trailer electrical adaptor. As a result, none of the trailer or tow vehicle lights will work. An open circuit due to parted wired or connectors will likewise result in lights not working. This is a real serious road safety issue.

Make sure that the propane tanks and propane gas equipment and appliances are in good safe working order. This is both an operational and a safety issue.

Inspect the propane tanks and hoses. Propane leaks can be detected using soapy water. Any leaks will be shown by expanding bubbles. Check and replace any worn hoses. Do not attempt to repair hoses by yourself such as by using electrical or duct tape to cover over the leaks in the hose! Replace or repair any defective gas equipment when a problem is detected. Do not delay! Check that gas hose connections are secure and will not come loose.

Ensure that the propane tanks are firmly secured in place and will not shake loose during transport. Likewise, make sure that all doors close and lock firmly so they won’t spring open during transit. A factory supplied tight fitting cover is an excellent way to protect the trailer from rain and contamination during transit.

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