The winter months are high season for mobile coffee vans and trailers in Australia. Even people who might normally do their best to avoid it can’t deny themselves the warmth of a freshly brewed cuppa in their hands. This is the time for a coffee van owner to make hay while the sun shines. However, at the same time during these colder months, your vehicle may not be doing so hot.
Every vehicle needs extra care during chilly weather, but food trucks and coffee trailers need special attention. Here are a few tips that can help you maintain and keep your coffee van or coffee trailer in prime condition in winter.
- Oil Checks: A number of engine oils freeze well before water does. Depending on how cold it gets in your area, you may consider winter oil or even antifreeze. Even if you do not need such additives, always check the oil levels and change it if required. The oil filters also need to be checked and then cleaned or replaced.
- Cleaning: Aside from the regular dusting and waxing, you need to look out for signs of mould. Winter’s chill promotes the growth of fungal mould and mildew along pipes and joints. This can lead to odour and affect your business. Check all joints, particularly rubberised joints, pipes and hoses for any sign of unwanted growth. When opening up the trailer in the mornings, let the fresh air flow in before you take it out. Aside from the vehicle, it is also important to clean your coffee making and serving utensils and tools more frequently in winter.
- Cover Up: You should always keep your coffee trailer well covered at night. In winter, this becomes even more crucial. If you park your trailer outside, dew can seep into various parts and lead to rust, or even engine damage. It is best to leave the windows slightly open before covering the trailer to assist in air flow. If possible, park the trailer on a slight incline to assist any dew in falling off.
- Battery Maintenance: Battery life decreases significantly in the cold. Follow your battery’s instruction manual for any special needs. Batteries tend to discharge quickly in winter, so ensure that you charge them properly. At the same time, it is important to ensure you do not overcharge them. It is also a good idea to keep a set of jump start cables around should you need them.