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Frequently Asked Questions

This page includes some of the common questions that we receive through phone and email.  Please review the following list before asking your question via email.

 

Q: Do you have any used catering trucks, vending carts, mobile kitchen trailers, ice cream trucks, or walk-in trucks?
A: Although Silver Star Metal Fabricating is a manufacturer of new premium quality products we do occasionally repair & recondition used catering trucks and vending carts. All reconditioned units are tested, propane & safety inspected, and found to be in good working order by our qualified technicians. At this time Silver Star Metal Fabricating does not recondition mobile kitchen trailers/trucks, ice cream trucks, or walk-in trucks.

 

Q: Do you lease or provide financing of catering trucks, vending carts, mobile kitchen trailers, ice cream trucks, or walk-in trucks?
A: No, Silver Star Metal Fabricating does not directly lease or finance any of the above products however you may check with your local dealership and/or bank for leasing and financing options.

 

Q: Can I rent a catering truck, vending cart, mobile kitchen trailer, ice cream truck, or walk-in truck?
A: No, at this time Silver Star Metal Fabricating is not renting any of the above products.

 

Q: Do you have any catering trucks, vending carts, mobile kitchen trailers, ice cream trucks, or walk-in trucks in stock?
A: Many of the above products are designed and built to customer specifications therefore keeping stock is not practical.  However, products such as vending carts that require little or no customization may be in stock and available for purchase.  The pictures of the catering trucks, mobile kitchens, and vending carts on this website are examples of what we can manufacture for you.  These products have already been sold.

 

Q: I like your mobile food vending equipment but where is the pricing?  Why is pricing not available on your website?
A: With most of our mobile food equipment products there are numerous options and changes in design that can greatly affect the final price.  For example, Silver Star Metal Fabricating normally installs premium commercial quality kitchen equipment in our mobile kitchen trailers.  The customer may want to purchase their own kitchen equipment which we can custom fit and install. Due to market fluctuations in vehicles, trailers, kitchen equipment, and raw materials providing a fixed price may also prevent us from providing the best price to our customer.  Silver Star Metal Fabricating will work with you to get to the price your budget requires.

 

Q: How long does it take to manufacture a mobile vending product?

A: Below are average lead-times for our mobile vending products. These times may vary depending on season, customization required, and equipment availability.

  • Catering Truck:- 4-6 Weeks
  • Mobile Kitchen:- 8-10 Weeks
  • Food Truck:- 8-10 Weeks
  • Ice Cream Truck:- 8-10 Weeks
  • Vending Cart:- 4-6 Weeks

 

Q: What is the difference between Silver Star Metal Fabricating mobile food vending products and our competition?
A: In one word, Quality. With over 25 years experience in the mobile food industry we understand what our customers want. All of our mobile vending products from the design phase are built with extra attention to safety, durability, ergonomics, and aesthetics. All of our products are fully detailed in CAD and then fabricated using state-of-the-art CNC machinery. This allows us to make clean straight lines which make the final product a work of art.

We take pride in making our products long lasting and visually pleasing. Our etched logo on our mobile food vending products signifies our long standing commitment to quality and higher standards. You know you are buying a high-end product when you see our Silver Star Metal Fabricating Inc. logo.

Below are many of the standard design elements in our mobile vending products.
  • Strong Tubular Rubberized Undercoated Full Steel Frames.
  • All Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Construction (Excluding Undercoated Steel Frame, Hitch, and Axle).
  • Insulated Double Wall Sturdy Stainless Steel Construction.
  • Diamond Pattern Quilted Stainless Steel Interiors.
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Tread Plate Floors Mounted On Commercial Plywood With Undercoated Steel Crossbeams.
  • Rubberized Undercoating On All Steel Materials.
  • Electrical Systems With Heavy Duty BX (Metallic Sheathed) Cabling Complete With Fuse Panels.
  • Commercial Grade Vapour Proof Fluorescent Lighting.
  • Custom Fitted Premium Stainless Steel Hoods Complete With Commercial Grade Exhaust Fans.
  • Professionally Installed Fire Suppression Systems That Meets Or Exceeds Safety Standards.
  • Custom Fitted Stainless Steel Hot/Cold/Waste Water Tanks With Level Indicators.
  • Premium Quality Commercial Equipment (i.e. Deep Fryers, Griddles, Ovens, Char Broilers, Fridges, Freezers, etc).

 

Q: I'm interested in your mobile kitchen trailers/trucks, do you have any layouts, drawings, or specifications you can provide?
A: As we are a Custom Metal Fabricator all of the mobile kitchen trailers manufactured have been designed from scratch either by our customer or our in house designers.  Every mobile kitchen would have a different layout.  As our customer you have complete control over the layout, equipment, countertops, sinks, and shelves. With over 25 years of experience in the mobile food industry we will offer guidance or suggestions as required.

 

Q: I have recently purchased a used mobile food service equipment (Cart, Trailer, Truck, etc.) unit that needs TSSA Field Approval. Can you please help with this?
A: At this time Silver Star Metal Fabricating is only providing this service for our own products. For more information please contact the Technical Standards & Safety Authority.

 

Q: I need to get my mobile food service equipment (Cart, Trailer, Truck, etc.) unit inspected. Do you provide a propane inspection (MFSE Annual Inspection Certificate)?
A: At this time Silver Star Metal Fabricating is only providing this service for our own products. Newly built MFSE are entitled to this service free-of-charge for a period of two (2) years.

 

Q: Do you supply a USED vehicle for Custom Food Trucks?
A: No, we do not supply used vehicles. We prefer that our customer take the responsibility and choose the appropriate used vehicle for their business. The vehicle is an extremely important component of a food truck and the remaining life is variable from one used truck to the next. As with any used vehicle purchase it would be wise to have it inspected by a trustworthy mechanic before taking ownership. Don't settle for just any "master" mechanic that will sign a safety certificate. There are many mechanics that will safety certify anything for the right price. It is not possible to determine the years of service remaining and there are no food truck builders that will offer any type of warranty on the used vehicle.

Used step vans are available for purchase through dealers, auctions, and private sale. Many of these used vehicles are off-lease and have high mileage. Most of them will require minor repairs before they can be safety certified for the road. Below are some tips in finding the right used vehicle:
  • There are many companies that use these vehicles on a daily basis. Approach these companies and ask if they have any used trucks for sale. You can get ahead of the middle-man and purchase directly at very competitive prices.
  • Attend used truck auctions. These auctions take place every few months and there are many good vehicles available.
  • Search for a used truck online through Kijiji, Craigslist, Autotrader, and Google Search.
  • Don't limit your search to only local dealers, auctions, and private sales. You can find good condition used vehicles with lower mileage in neighbouring cities, provinces, and in the United States. Importing a good condition used vehicle from the United States requires some additional work but is worthwhile in the long term. The vehicles in the southern United States often have much less underbody rust.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic that you trust prior to purchase.

Some used vehicles have already been modified, converted, and/or prepared for some other purpose. Although some of the modifications can be utilized, typically we require an empty bare truck. Some modifications include:

  • Shelving - Typical with UPS, FedEx, Purolator trucks.
  • Clothes Hangers/Rods - Typical with Uniform service trucks.
  • Lift-Gates
  • Wall & Ceiling Panels
  • Storage Compartments
  • Cabinets
  • Generators

These trucks come in many different configurations and sizes. When selecting the right vehicle it is important to look at many factors. All bodies are built on a custom chassis that is usually made by Workhorse, Freightliner, or Ford. The vehicle bodies are built by many manufacturers, the most common are Utilimaster, Morgan Olson, Grumman Olson, Supreme, and Union City. The body manufacturers Grumman Olson and Union City no longer exist but many of their trucks are still in excellent condition. Grumman Olson became Morgan Olson in 2003. Union City was purchased by Utilimaster in 2005.

 

The most common step vans available at this time are Workhorse chassis with a Utilimaster body. Although these are the most common we find the best manufactured bodies are made by Grumman Olson / Morgan Olson.

 

Most truck dealers only refer to the length of the cargo area. These lengths are typically 14, 16, and 18. It is equally important to find a truck with a wide and tall cargo area. A narrow cargo area makes it difficult to place equipment and still have a proper sized aisle. This is important for efficient work flow. The height of the food truck is important as well since you need head room to operate freely. The roof would be ideally constructed of aluminum just like the walls and floors. Some trucks use fibreglass for the roof which can crack and leak. This also requires reinforcement around the hood stack which can be more costly.

 

The important part of a used truck will be the underbody. This is usually overlooked by most buyers. A good truck will have a clean underbody that is relatively free of rust. Remember that the chassis and underbody beams cannot be easily repaired. This is a costly repair.

 

If you require assistance in finding the right new or used vehicle please let us know.

 

Q: Do you supply a NEW vehicle for Custom Food Trucks?
A: Yes, we are pleased to offer new vehicles for custom food trucks. New vehicles are typically sourced through local dealers. There are two options that are available:
  • Cab & Chassis with Cargo Box Body
  • Workhorse, Freightliner or Ford Chassis with Step Van Body (Utilimaster, Morgan Olson, etc.)
The first option will typically have a detached drivers cabin. It will resemble a typical cargo truck before we begin our conversion to a food truck. The second option is a typical step van truck body. These truck bodies are used with all parcel delivery and uniform service companies. The second option is the most common for use with food trucks. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. As for cost, they are very similar. The major difference between these two options is the lead time. Below find a comparision of lead times between these two options:
 
Cab & Chassi with Cargo Box Body Chassis with Typical Step Van Body
Order & Deliver Cab & Chassis: 2 Weeks Order & Deliver Chassis: 1 Month
Build & Install Cargo Box Body: 2 Months Build & Install Step Van Body on Chassis: 5 Months
Average Total Lead Time: 2 Months, 2 Weeks Average Total Lead Time: 6 Months

Q: What is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)? Why is it so important?
A: The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) refers to the maximum weight a vehicle is designed to carry including the net weight of the vehicle with accessories, plus the weight of passengers, fuel, and cargo. The GVWR is a safety standard used to prevent overloading. This weight limit has been carefully calculated by the chassis and body manufacturer to include the axle, suspension, tires, brakes, transmission, body, and engine. Driving a vehicle that is loaded beyond the GVWR will cause stress on these components. The manufacturer determines the maximum weight that can be sustained continuously on these components without failure. These components are more likely to crack, tear, rupture, or snap when overloaded. Exceeding the GVWR creates a safety hazard on the road and can definitely give your insurance an excuse to not cover you in the case of an accident.

If you exceed your GVWR you can be subject to a notice and order by the Ministry of Transportation enforcement officer. This means that you will have to bring your vehicle into compliance within a specified time frame. You can also receive a violation ticket. As a light or medium duty truck owner you are also registered as a Commercial Vehicle Operator (CVOR). This registration requires you to stop at weigh stations along all major highways.

16-Foot Vehicle (Tare / Curb Weight) Only (excluding passengers, fuel, and cargo): 8000lb - 8500lbs
18-Foot Vehicle (Tare / Curb Weight) Only (excluding passengers, fuel, and cargo): 8800lb - 9600lbs

Below are the weights of the major food truck components:
 
Component Weight (lbs)
Two (2) Empty 100lb Propane Cylinders 150
Propane Line, Regulator, Valves, Propane Gas 275
Exhaust Hood, Fire Suppression, Exhaust Fan, Hood Baffles 450
7kW Generator 175
Generator Fuel Tank (including fuel) 250
Pop-Up Canopy, Windows, Shelves, Counters, Stands 450
24" Charbroiler 175
24" Open Burner Range / Hot Plate 150
24" Griddle / Flat Top 250
Full Size Oven (no stand) 250
36" Restaurant Range (24" Griddle, 2 Open Burners, and Oven) 495
Fryer (without oil) 140
19 cu.ft. Refrigerator / Freezer 230
6.5 cu.ft. Preparation Fridge 175
6.5 cu.ft. Undercounter Freezer 150
Fresh Water, Waste Water (including tanks) 500
Two Compartment Sink, Hand Wash Sink, Hot Water Tank, Plumbing 350

From the above estimates we can determine that a typical food truck requires approximately 4000lbs - 5000lbs of passenger, fuel, and cargo weight. All vehicles have a identification badge located near the drivers seat. This ID badge contains all the vehicle information which includes the GVWR. All newer vehicles contain a Tire & Loading Information sticker which details exactly how much weight is available for passengers and cargo.

 

Q: Do you supply used food equipment?
A: No, we do not supply used food equipment. In our experience used food equipment needs to be fully inspected before its purchased. It is difficult to determine the life left on a piece of used equipment. Although we do not supply used food equipment, we leave the choice and responsibility with our customer if they choose used equipment. We are able to install used equipment supplied by our customer as long as it carries a safety standards certification such as CSA, CGA, ULC, UL, or ETL. All used equipment must have a clearly legible rating plate.

 

Q: I would like to supply the food equipment. Will you help me find the right food equipment?
A: Yes, it is preferred that we discuss the food equipment you would like to buy to determine how it will fit in the vehicle.

 

Q: What is the difference between Commercial and Residential food equipment?
A: Residential appliances are designed for less demanding usage. They are designed to be used for only a few hours each day. The components that make up the residential appliance are designed to be cheaper and less durable. Using a residential appliance under heavy usage will eventually cause a break down of these components. For example a residential refrigerator is designed to operate as follows:
  • A residential refrigerator MUST be plugged in (undisturbed) for 24 hours before it reaches optimal operating temperature.
  • A residential refrigerator MUST operate in an ambient temperature of 16°C - 42°C. The refrigerator will not operate properly outside of this range or damage may occur.
  • A residential refrigerator MUST have its door closed in order to maintain operating temperature.
  • A residential refrigerator MUST have a supply of high quality power.

On the other hand a commercial appliance is designed for heavy-duty usage. It will not overheat or break down due to over usage. Commercial refrigerators are designed to work extra hard to keep up with the constant opening and closing of the doors. The components inside a commercial appliance are built to be extra durable. Because these components are all heavy-duty, commercial appliances cost almost double the price of a residential appliance.

 

In addition to the durability of the appliance, the owner also receives piece of mind that if the appliance ever breaks down, service and parts are readily available. Most residential appliances can have an extremely slow turn-around time for parts and service. Residential appliances are intended to be replaced rather than repaired.

 

Q: I would like to supply the generator. Will you help me choose the right generator?
A: Yes, we will help determine the power requirements and advise you on the right generator for the vehicle.

 

Q: What is the difference between "Standby" and "Primary" power generators?
A: A "standby" power generator is designed for intermittent emergency use. These generators are installed outside your home and will provide "backup" power when your primary power source is unavailable. Because these generators are designed to run in power outage situations only, their components are cheaper and less durable. A "standby" power generator is simply not designed to run for extended periods. In fact most "standby" power generators are rated at only 200 hours per year! The cooling system in a "standby" power generator is poor in comparison to a "primary" power generator. As with all electrical components, heat is often the enemy and the root cause of early failure. Stay away from power generators that use wording such as "standby power", "backup power", "emergency power", "supplementary power", "camping power", "construction site power" and so on. These titles are referring to a generator that is only designed for intermittent usage. Most of these intermittent use generators have a Mean Time Before Failures (MTBF) of 2000 hours. After 2000 hours of service these "standby" generators are often replaced rather than repaired.

"Primary" power generators will have extra durable components that are designed to work harder and longer. These generators remain cool while offering clean power for long periods of time. As the name suggests it is the primary power source for the unit; not a backup power source. For this reason "primary" power generators are used in vehicles such as Police Mobile Command Trucks, Fire / Rescue Trucks, Telecom / Utility Trucks, Media Trucks, and more. The Mean Time Before Failures (MTBF) of these "primary" power generators can be up 8000 hours with regulator maintenance. Regular maintaince involves the engine oil, oil filter, air filter, and spark plug. Replacing these components is easy and requires little to no tools.

 

Q: Do you manufacture the base trailer for the Mobile Kitchen Trailer units?
A: No, the base trailers are either purchased or supplied by the customer.

 

Q: I need a quotation for a stainless steel counter, cabinet, sink, backsplash, or indoor/outdoor kitchen. I would like to schedule a site visit to discuss my requirements.
A: In order to obtain a quotation we ask that you supply a sketch with some basic information such a length, width, and height (if applicable) and we will supply a firm quotation via email or fax. If you require a site visit and/or installation we can provide pricing for this in our quotation. A site visit is typically scheduled after an order has been confirmed.

 

Q: I need some stainless steel work (ie. trims, panels, etc.) at my home or business and I need someone to come out to discuss and provide an estimate.
A: We are a custom metal fabricator that accomodates both residential and commercial orders. Typically we schedule an on-site visit only once an order has been confirmed. We do not have traveling estimators as we are not setup as a contractor but rather as a metal fabricator. If you would like to obtain a quotation we ask that you supply some photos and/or a sketch along with dimensions. If you require a site visit we can include this in our quotation.

 

Q: I've sent an email over 5 days ago and still have not received a reply or phone call.

A: Silver Star Metal Fabricating Inc. receives numerous emails daily regarding pricing and general information. In order to better serve our customers we only respond to emails that clearly show interest and intent to purchase a product.

 

For example, "I like your products, please send me pricing... DK" will not get any response.

 

Below are some tips to get the quickest response from us by email:

  • Provide as much information as possible about your question. For example, if you need information about our mobile kitchens please provide details on your location (city, province/state), business name, a contact number, and any other relevant information such as your vending experience or business plans.

  • Include information such as sketches, drawings, and/or images to assist in understanding your question or concern.

  • If you require pricing, please narrow down you pricing requests to a specific product. For example, "I am very interested and would like to get pricing on a G500 hot dog cart as shown on your website.  John Smith (555) 555-5555  Toronto, Ontario".

  • DO NOT request that we contact you to discuss pricing or general information without a detailed email showing your business plans or some research on the product you are inquiring about. For example, "I'm interested in a 14ft mobile kitchen for my business in Alberta, please contact me to discuss.  John Smith (555) 555-5555" will NOT receive a response.

If you require an immediate answer please contact us directly at (905) 671-1143. You may also resend your email with "Second Request" added to the subject line.

 

Q: I have sent an email but received a response that my email could not be delivered or it has been rejected.

A: Silver Star Metal Fabricating Inc. uses sophisticated spam filters to reduce the amount of junk email. In some cases legitimate email may be blocked. In order to correct these issues please have your service provider or information technology personnel look into your email server configuration.

 

Q: Why are some pictures of your sample products covered in white plastic?
A: The white PVC plastic is a standard coating on finished stainless steel that prevents damage during the manufacturing process. Many of our pictures are taken with all or some of the plastic still on the stainless steel to protect the product during shipping, delivery, and installation.

 

Q: Do you stock any red and white vinyl umbrellas for hot dog vending carts?
A: No, Silver Star Metal Fabricating does not stock the vinyl umbrellas for use on hot dog vending carts. We have designed a new aluminum roof which slides down for transport.  We believe this new aluminum roof is superior in quality and durability. If you prefer the old style red and white vinyl umbrella please contact us and we can have them ordered.

 

Q: Do you take international orders?
A: Yes, Silver Star Metal Fabricating is taking orders and has shipped products all across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

 

Q: Why do all the pictures on your website have a Silver Star Metal Fabricating logo stamped on the center?
A: This is a security measure called 'watermarking' that prevents theft of our material.  It is our goal to ensure that pictures on this website are not copied, modified, or used in any marketing without displaying the rightful owner.

 

Q: It is difficult to see the product in the pictures due to the logo watermark, can you provide a clear picture?
A: Yes, Silver Star Metal Fabricating will provide a clear picture in cases where it may be difficult to see the product.  We try to make the logo watermark as inconspicuous as possible.  Please contact us for any requests.

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1840 Gage Court, Mississauga, Ontario, L5S 1S2, Canada - Tel: (905) 671-1143 Fax: (905) 671-1730

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