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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Brain Storn -Vintage Ladder Truck into Mobile Grill/ Food Truck

    Been a Firefighter/ Paramedic now for 12 years and had a brain storm..Here it is:

    I have this opportunity to purchase a vintage ladder truck that I thought would be great to turn into a mobile grill/ Food truck. This ladder truck is not old enough to be a collectors item (1976) but still the cool iconic age of fire apparatus that made every kid's heart beat when it rolled by. Turning this ladder truck into a mobile grill/ food truck by No means going to be a hack job. I want everything built right into the truck without all the junk hanging off and still looking completely stock/ functioning. Lucky my brother in law is a fabricator/ welder/ does it all kind of guy. Needless to say my kids are reaching the age of wanting lots of money and my wife is bored sitting at home. I have about $30,000.00 to start off and was thinking of other ways of getting the extra dough to get this thing going. (SBA Loan, Kickstarter)

    Basically I want to go around in my area (state or even the country) grilling great food, good drinks and showing off the ladder truck with a huge American flag hangin off it's ladder. Just a friendly atmosphere people can really enjoy without spending a fortune.
    While doing a birthday party or two here and there in town. Nothing better than a 100ft ladder truck, huge ladder truck bouncer, fire truck cake, water games, fire hydrant ring toss.
    Now don't get me wrong I know it sounds corny, but I am really looking for some thoughts. I have this all lined out in a professional business plan and looks like about $48,000.00 a year net. It might not sound too good but like I said I am not charging a lot for the food drinks and birthday parties etc. The other thing is 5% of all sales go to the Fallen FireFighters Fund and whatever other charitable/ fundraising event I can help out at.

    A few things I have already checked off the list:
    Commercial drivers license---> check
    ServSafe Certified---->check
    Large Metropolitan area---->check

    Insurance is cheap as long as no one climbs the ladder and no one bungee jumps from the ladder.

    What more to bring smiles to kids old and young than with a vintage 100ft ladder truck with a 20X30ft American flag hanging from it cooking great food. You gotta love it.. Send me by PM or Post your thoughts if you would like. I appreciate them all.

    Take care
    Last edited by Ladder11; 07-25-2011 at 12:40 PM. Reason: More information

  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Connecticut, USA


    Different twist on a theme...


    Go for it.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    I love it but I would prefer a little less cheese. No pun intended. Great way to use an old truck. I would rather see the old steel used for something rather than scrap. I would like the ladder to be amazingly clean and show condition.

    Thanks for the reply. I looked around and thought I was the only one but found a guy in Arizona which has a Tiller which has been turned into a mobile mecca.


  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Rural Iowa


    Not to rain on your parade, but the myth of SBA loans endures. Hype, smoke and mirrors. Not going to happen for a startup (before Obama).

    Food/restaurant is about the hardest business to finance you'll find as has failure rate that nearly guaranteeing won't last 2 years. Plan on using your $ and that of those who love you. And that it's going the same want as the $ at a slot machine.

    If you have years in the kitchen, dining room, and in management then go see a bank.

    Since the Obama meltdown commerical (bank) lending environement has gotten even worse.

    Don't even think about buying anything new. Buy used at 20cents on the $. You look around you can find auctions every day of the week.

  5. #5
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003


    Are you a firefighter? Are you aware of aerial certification and testing? Hanging that 20x30' flag off the main will cause a lot of stress. I would not want to do it regularly and would also make sure the aerial is tested yearly which is not cheap.

    Have you thought of:

    -storage of raw product requiring refrigeration? Ice chests? On-Board refrigeration units (self-powered by diesel? Existing engine powered by PTO or driven compressor? Is there enough horsepower?)

    -You will need fresh water and a gray water tank. Where will you put them? How will you plumb them?

    -Auxiliary electric.....gen set? PTO gen set?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  6. #6
    Forum Member firecat1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Betwixt here and there.


    Just make sure you have all your food issues covered. I'm sure you're already doing so, but picking the brains of other roach-coach owners would give you vital info on the in's and out's of the biz.

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