This is where it all began

So here I sit with this old food truck in my back yard.
There is a lot of work to be done to it.

As I began working on it, I spent a lot time researching, and reading, and watching videos.
And I realized how much I appreciate all the effort that others have put into providing all of the information that I make use of.
Therefore I have decided to document all of the things that I am going through as well, and hope that just maybe someone else gets a little something out this.
( other than just a snicker or two at my many f – ups )

PoCo Inspired


The first thing that had to go were those wheels and tires.
It wasn’t just the color, I’m sure that they must have pretty close to original equipment.
2 piece wheels ( split rims ) and bias ply tires.

I have never had split rims before, but I was warned that they can pretty scary.

Check this videos of what can happen.


The guy I bought it from cautioned me about taking it out on the highway because the king pins were starting to get worn.  He said it can get a little bit wishy washy.
Turns out it was just the tires.

I picked up a set of regular steel rims and a set of 10 ply radial tires and put them on.

I found grease nipples on all the ball joints and even on the u-joints. Heck even the hanger bearing looked like it had been done recently.  Anyhoo, I proceeded to give everything a good greasing while I was under there.

I took it out, and Lo and Behold….   What a difference.
This thing handled great !!
Especially considering it was a BIG PIG, 70’s delivery truck loaded down with thousands of pounds of equipment.  ( and NON power steering )

Even took it out on the highway, and NO PROBLEM !  Other than the fact that it’s only a 3 speed transmission.  ( can’t go TOO fast )

But it handled just fine thank you.[…]

PoCo Inspired

The Roof

The next thing I got to was the roof.

Without the fan installed, there were some holes that needed some silicone, but I also decided to seal the entire roof with RV sealant. It’s an elastomeric paint that also has reflective qualities to help reflect eh heat.  In the end, it’s thick white gooeey rubbery paint…. I hope it helps.[…]

PoCo Inspired

And then the fuel tank……

So I figured if I’m gonna be driving this big ass truck around most days next season….
I’m gonna be pretty busy with enough other stuff, that I don’t want to be guessing how much gas is left.  I want the gas gauge to work.

After playing around with the gauges and getting nowhere, the only thing I could do was drop the tank and and check the sending unit.

And that’s where the fun begins.


PoCo Inspired

Little Miss Independant


One of my biggest ….mmm….  ( faults? defects? disorders? issues? )

I am just one of those people who hates asking for help.  For the most part, I can pretty much figure out or learn how to do just about anything I set my little noggin to.
Except trig or algebra.

Much of this stems from never having enough money to pay a professional to do it right.
A HUGE part of it is the fact that about 90% of the time I have had to pay someone who is a so called pro to do something, they usually F-it up far worse than I could do.
Or they take FOREVER to do something that should take very little time.
Or they start something and do a little here a little there…. and it takes forever to finish.

Seriously…..have you ever hired a drywaller or a painter???


I do know recognize that there are sometimes where you simply have no choice.

Such is the case with the gas and electrical portion of this beast.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Enter the Gas Man

One of the most frustrating things is that there is no real rule book or guideline to doing this.
One department doesn’t talk to the other.
Everyone has their own set of rules.
So in the end I often end up working totally bass ackwards.

For example, 20 or 30 phone calls, and I finally ended up talking to the right department to find out that yes indeed I WILL have to install ( have installed ) a fire suppression system.
OK fine.  More research to find out who does them. Who the other trucks are using. Who is not going to rape my wallet to get it done.  Of course everyone has someone different to deal with.  At least that wasn’t too hard to figure out which one to go with.

These guys were great, but tell me I have to get the REST of the truck in order first.
THEY are actually the last people that I need to deal with after everything else is done.

OK fine.  So now I need to figure out that path.  Luckily they know a guy.  Many of the other trucks use this guy.  The metal fabricators use this guy for work on food trucks.  All Good.

Enter the Gas Man  ( actual name with held )
Well just trying to get this guy on the phone is like pulling teeth from rabbit.
He never picks up, he never returns calls or texts.  Oh yeah, all good.
But after checking around some more,   ….. this is the guy. ……   great

It probably took a month to track this guy down and make arrangements to meet.
Then he never showed.  Never answered my calls.  Never returned my calls.
I don’t have time for this shit.  I need to get started so I know where to go.

I hate when people are like this.

Head back to the Fire suppression place.
WTF???   Why do I need to deal with this guy??
Do you have another guy??   no[…]

PoCo Inspired


So at this point I have had the truck almost 2 full months.
It’s probably been 6 weeks of trying to get the Gas Man to come and LOOK at the truck and tell me what I need.

OMFG  he actually kept an appointment.  ( I feel so special  ….. ed )
He spent an hour and half going over stuff with me.

Turns out he wants to replace pretty much all the gas, ALL the electrical.   great
Not that I wasn’t expecting it, but still….  great.

But at least we have a staring point now.
We have a direction.
We are not JUST circling the drain.


PoCo Inspired

Happy Thanksgiving

And of course in order to do this, EVERYTHING must be removed from the truck.
ALL of the equipment, ALL the shelves and sinks   EVERYTHING.
Because all of the grills and things that need the new gas lines are at the rear of the truck, and they were of course the first things to go into the truck, with everything else being installed after that.

So out to my brothers place to borrow and engine crane.
Cause that flat top griddle weighs 300 – 400 pounds.

Its 24 inches wide.  The doorway it has to come through, after I drag it to the front of the truck, is about 28 inches wide.  TONS of room.

Kinda wish I had taken pictures of the disassembley, but I was a little busy working.

It all actually went pretty smoothly.  Just be patient.  Don’t lose anything.
And have fun with the engine crane.

How did you spend YOUR thanks giving weekend?[…]

PoCo Inspired

Thanksgiving Monday

We had HORRIBLE weather.
Rain most of the day.  Winds gusting over 100 kph.

Inside of the truck is SOAKED.  I think it’s leaking through an air vent on the roof.
It’s the only place left that could be leaking since I rubber coated the roof.

It’s getting in between the outer roof and the ceiling panels.  Where there is a whole bunch of insulation the stop it and allow it to slowly drip on the floor.

It should not let water in, but it does. At least that’s where I think its coming from.
Maybe its installed wrong.

I’m gonna hafta take that vent out.  For now its sealed up with tuck tape.  Hopefully that will at least keep out the water.
Fire up the dehumidifier, and let er run.

Hopefully we can suck out all this water.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Can O Worms

So I have mentioned already that I am not one of those 22 year old trust fund babies that can just walk into your local food truck builders shop and hand over a hundred grand and say – build me a truck.

I have very little budget to work with, and I bought an old truck.

I kinda expect things to be harder, thing to blow up etc.

But today the frustration really set in.

It has taken many weeks to get to this point where I figure I can finally get started.
And today I FINALLY got a hold of the fire marshals office.

THEY are one of the departments that must inspect the truck for the propane, and the exhaust fan, and a few other things.

So they tell me that if we are doing repairs, that means alterations.  And that means that we have to submit plans for approval, and I get treated as if we are doing a truck from the ground up.  great

It doesn’t matter that the truck has been approved BEFORE.

I even have to provide all the manuals for the stoves and grills.
I never got those.
They are 20 years old.  WTF?

What if I don’t have them or can’t get them??

The guy tells me – I guess you’re going to be buying new appliances then.   great

Then he starts telling me about all these rules and compliance this and non combustible that, and semi combustible, and on and on.

Then he tells me to just read and follow all the rules in the NFPA96 guideline.   great

Pages and pages and pages of technical documentation for national fire safety rules.  Much of it referring to OTHER technical documents.

I have such a fricken headache.

Every time I get a little ahead, something else happens, and it’s right back to square one.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Well this is new…


This kind of recaps of all the crap I went through this past week.
I have spent what seems like the majority of the week on the phone with the Office of the Fire Commissioner, and the people who work there.
Because these are the guys that do the first inspection on the truck

In a nutshell I learned that one of the very FIRST things you need to do … ( in our city )
Is to hire an engineer.  Who has to approve all of your trucks layouts and gas fittings etc.
Then they have to do up technical drawings for you to submit to the city along with your applications.  I’m sure THAT won’t cost a fortune.

Nobody – and I mean NOBODY that I have dealt with so far has every heard of having to do this before.  NOT even the engineer that I contacted.
Seems this is new.
And you can’t even FILE the application without it being approved by the engineer.

PLUS you have to have all of your manuals for all of your cooking equipment, both for submission to the city AND copies on your truck for the inspection.

No problem, I’m sure manuals for 20 year old griddles are easy to find.

So I have to pay an engineer to certify that its all good.
Then pay the flooring guy to put in the new floor.
Then put all the equipment back in.
Pay the gas guy to do all the hook ups and gas connections.
Pay the electrician to do the wiring.
THEN I can pay the city to do and inspection,
and decide whether or not its good enough to pass.

In the grand scheme of things….  it’s not the extra money
( guess that will depend HOW much extra it ends up being )
But it’s the time and frustration.  If I would have known this 6 or 8 weeks earlier, I could have at least planned better, maybe included it in my budget.

Yup, sure wish there was a guide that would have told me this before I started this mess.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Check Please !!


Well that’s it.  I started the checklist. Albeit a long winded one.
Somebody had to do it.

I am doing it as I go, and trying to include some explanations as I go.

I added it to the menu at the top, so if you happen to end up there frst, you might not quite get where some of it is coming from.
But I needed to add it and still stick with the timeline here.
When it’s complete, I will add a simple short form checklist without the explanations.

So you can go to the top menu where it says – Where do I start.

Please note this is my own personal experience, and is not guaranteed to be 100% complete, but I am trying to be as comprehensive as I can.
This is not endorsed or approved by any governing bodies, dealers, or suppliers.
Be aware that rules can change, and different rules apply based on where you live and where you plan to operate.
This list is for setting up a used food truck in the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba.



PoCo Inspired


Well its October 21 2015.  The engineer was just here.  Well, honestly I can’t tell you now if HE is the actual engineer, or he is the guy that works with the engineer.
I’m pretty sure he is the design guy.  I dunno, he is the guy that my gas guy sent me to.
It’s not like the fricken city DEFINES what KIND of engineer they want.

They must be a registered professional engineer.

I asked the people from the Office of the Fire Commissioner….
What KIND of engineer do you want me to use??  Civil Engineer? Power Engineer? Railroad Engineer?? WHAT???

Their response was that it was listed on the form that must accompany the application.

On the bottom of the form that the CITY sent me it it clearly states:
Note: Registered Professional means registered as a professional engineer in the Province of Manitoba by APEGM, or another Canadian province and equivalent association. Engineers from other countries may be considered at the sole discretion of the authority having jurisdiction.

So I go to the website and the directory and search the listing of  Registered Professional Engineers and the list reveals EXACTLY what I thought…..
Civil Engineer
Electricrochemical Engineer
Structural Engineer
Shoreline Engineer
Geological Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Project Engineer
And on and on and on

Really clear…. thanks.

Or maybe, I can just look online and find some engineer from some other province up north that is willing to put his stamp on it for some beer money.  People exist like that everywhere.

As it turns out ( at least I am being to by the guy I had in ) I need a MECHANICAL engineer.
And of course this guy who designs and installs commercial kitchens for the last 30 years.

I don’t know this to be 100% fact yet, but better than trying to hire a shoreline engineer.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Trash it

So the GUY takes one look around and says, trash this trash that trash those.   great.

Well, not so bad.  I knew the floor had to go.  But now the hood has to go.  SORT of thought it might.  But I was hoping not. But he says NO WAY, won’t pass.

OK I get it, not up to current code.  But you would think the OTHER people I have been dealing with …..  gas guy,  who BTW says he does these trucks all the time….  it’s his main job.  Or maybe the sheet metal guy who has the big ass fan he wants to sell me….  HE has been working on these trucks for years and years.  I mean COME ON.  The fricken guy worked on THIS EXACT truck many times over the years.  Keeps telling me he knows this truck inside and out.
And I had him look it over way back when this started a couple months ago to tell me where I stood.  He didn’t say a bloody thing about it.
Just that he had an exhaust fan he would give me a good deal on.

WHICH BTW it turns out I can’t even use !!
I tried to get a manual for it from him, because the city, the engineer, and everyone in between want the manual.  Of course he doesn’t have one.
OOOOO We NEVER have those …..   you don’t need that??  …..    right…..

So I grab a picture, search online when I get home.
Turns out it’s a fricken SIDE MOUNT fan.
hhhmmm   you might know that if you had the manual.
Call the company….
NO sir  we do NOT recommend using it on a roof. Totally different internal design.
Check with the engineer guy  …  Oh no you can’t use that, different design.  great

No point in checking with the city, because I already know ( thanks to the engineer guy ) that THEY actually read the manual cover to cover-that you must provide
( and why not, they are billing you $90 an hour to do the inspection )
and follow it to THE LETTER.
So no  …. they would not pass it.

You would think the guy that makes a living fabricating the walls and hoods and providing the fans, would for one, know all the rules and regulations, and two have a vested interest in fabbing up the NEW equipment.  More work for him right?

I totally appreciate him trying to save me some money, but  PHOK MAN, come on!![…]

PoCo Inspired

Is that a piece of wood in your pocket? Or ….

Oh yeah….  seeing as the hood has to come out,
AND the fricken roof vent is leaking like a sieve…
( because some some JEEN EE US put in a RESIDENTIAL house vent )
I am peeling back panels, and what do I see… WOOD
Wood beams, wood sheeting on the walls, wood in the ceiling under the hood.
It’s like the WHOLE fricken thing is lined with wood.  PHOK ME!!!

So I try and ask the city.
They won’t give me any advice other than
TALK to the people you hired, and refer to the NFPA96.     SERIOUSLY ?

Engineer guy …  I will have to look into that.

Gas guy  .  ….   you just need some cement board.

Sheet metal guy . ..  Oh you just have to skin it with 1/4 inch cement board.
Don’t waste your time taking out all that wood, that’s just stupid …..   really???

I have to take out the whole hood. which is the entire rear 3 feet of the truck anyway.
And even IF all I have to do is SKIN the wood with cement board, I have to take off the existing stainless steel anyway.
So why not just pull off the few remaining panels.

Why not just strip the fricken panels, strip out all the wood and trash it.
I’m taking down all the crap anyway….

THEN I can put in proper fire rated insulation, AND cement board behind the cooking equipment.  Why not TRY to do it the right way while I’m in there anyway.
Why half ass it, when I can just full ass it???

I mean come on people.  I am the LAST person to spend extra $$ when there is no need.
But get real, get on the same page….maybe get a clue.

Here is the WORST part.
The CITY – the authority – who has to approve all of this – REFUSES to give any direction or advice or just simply say – no, do it this way, or yes this is OK.
It’s always… refer to the NFPA96, or talk to your engineer, or talk to your electrician.

Have you ever talked to any of these guys???
Put 5 electricians in a room and ask them how to change a light bulb…
You will get 12 different answers, and ALL of them will be the RIGHT way, and the other guy is wrong.  And only ONE of them will agree with the inspector.

THIS is why it is so frustrating.
The fricken city is so vague about it’s black and white rules.

I read lots of stuff online about other cities going through the same kind of hassle.
But also notice that other cities have guidelines for trucks.
For example Toronto has a code book for gas equipment for mobile food service vehicles.

I have read other stuff online from BC, but I lost the page so no link, sorry.


I really don’t mind having to strip it all back and change stuff.
I don’t mind the time, and expense of putting in the new stuff.

But I HATE the wasted time.
I HATE that NOBODY can give me a straight answer.
I HATE that I am 3 months into this NO further ahead.

But I have certainly learned alot.


PoCo Inspired

Waiting waiting waiting

All of the equipment has been stripped out.
Thanks to my buddy Dave for his help.
And thanks to my brother for letting me borrow his engine crane.
Cause that’s what I needed to get the griddle and fryer out.

It’s set up in the garage so I can play with the layout and so the engineer guy can see things as they are set up currently.





PoCo Inspired

Fabulous darling just fabulous

You can just barely see the drain pipes at the bottom of the sink.

Notice the direction they curve???  Yup that’s how they were set up.
They drain towards the back of the truck ( just under the hand wash sink )
Yet they curve towards the front.   again I say  JEEN  EE US



PoCo Inspired

Coke?? No thanks, I’m trying to cut back.

It came with this coke cooler.
I really like it for the LOOK.
But this sucker pulls 800 watts all day long.

I let it run for a few hours, the compressor never seemed to shut down.

Super cold, but ….



PoCo Inspired

Kijiji Rocks !!

Thanks to Kijiji
I was able to pick up this nice 19 cubic foot fridge for $70.
WAY more capacity.  And the bonus of the freezer.
PLUS it only pulls 200 watts while the compressor is going.
And 3 watts in between compressor fire up.  NICE

If you missed my posting on how to automate your Kijiji searches click here.


PoCo Inspired

So empty

It looks so empty in here now.
Gonna start pulling down panels to see how bad it is.

Insulation from the roof was SOAKED.




PoCo Inspired

Round hole in a square peg

So it’s Nov 2nd and it’s decently warm out!!  YA!!!

It must be 7 degrees C out there.
That’s about 44 F if you are in the USA.
Or if you are in California, thats just west of ” ARE YOU NUCKIN FUTS???

Trust me, here, for November 2, it’s NICE.
People are still wearing shorts and flip flops.
Although they are also wearing mits and parkas at the same time.

Time to figure out this leaking roof deal.

This pic is the inside ceiling panel.

It has a round hole and a round collar that fed up through the ceiling.

It was siliconed to another round collar that protruded through the ceiling.

It got destroyed before I remembered to take a picture.[…]

PoCo Inspired

And theeeenn

Attached to THAT, was ANOTHER round collar.

So the round collar system protruded through the roof.
Only the collars were siliconed together.
Nice job on the collars though,all rolled edges and stuff.

THEN they were covered by this square vent.
Which ( if you have been following along ) you will know is a residential ( HOUSE ) roof vent.

This amazing piece of technology was riveted to the trucks roof.

No gasket, no silicone, no nothing between the vent flange and the roof, just some rivets.
Cant’t imagine why it may have leaked.

There was a generous amount of silicone slathered around the outside of the flange.

When I wire wheeled all that away I also found 2 HUGE
– Like 4 inches long slices in the ROOF !!!
Seems That while Mr. JEEN EE US was cutting the square hole with the jigsaw, he slipped…..and then just kept goin…..   and then did it again ……

Stunning craftsmanship.



PoCo Inspired

Kinda like this

This is a good way to illustrate it.
If this were from the roof view….
The box is the vent and the tube goes up into it.
But the tube below the roof is attached to the ceiling panel.

The tube does not connect to the box in any way, just sort of hovers there inside it.

The vent – doing what vents do – they vent, is full of holes.
Water just pours in these vent holes and down in between the roof and the ceiling panel.
Where the insulation is.

Again  JEEN EE US[…]

PoCo Inspired

At least its square

Other that the extra 2 slices ( which I don’t think you can see ) the hole is square and lines are straight.

I actually never even saw the extra cuts at first until I was inside the truck and looking up.
Which means that they were not sealed from the inside.[…]

PoCo Inspired

View from above

Good shot of the roof.
Complete with the upside bucket where the upblast fan is supposed to be.[…]
PoCo Inspired

From below

From below you can see on the lower right side of the square you can see the huge slice that just sort of veers off.

Maybe Mr JEEN  EE  US was standing while he was cutting the hole, and fell over ??[…]

PoCo Inspired


Like most things I do, I have no clue what I am doing until its done.

Before this, I have never seen a vent up close let alone installed one.
But why should that stop me??

I got lucky and picked one up off Kijiji.  ( actually got it for $5 )

It was a little mucked up.
Had to do some cleaning, but it fine.
The flange was not perfectly straight, but neither was the roof.  I did the best I could.


PoCo Inspired


Silicone the flange, silicone the roof, squeeze it all down, then put in the screws.
Then smoosh it all around inside and out. Seal the screws- inside and out.
And really get those slices inside and out.

Let it dry and cross yer fingers.

Yeah it might look messy, but I wanted to make sure there was no leaks -EVER


PoCo Inspired

Its DRY !!

It rained pretty good overnight and there was no water in the truck !!

So I may not know what I am doing, but it seems that I’m no JEEN  EE  US.

Now I am motivated to see what else is in there.
So I started peeling back the stainless and aluminum skins.


PoCo Inspired

WOod WOod MOre WOod

I knew there was a lot of wood, but wowzers!!

There was a layer of stainless, or aluminum, then wood panel.
Well on one side of the truck.
On the other side was a layer of melamine ( think ) like a counter top.

Then studs, then insulation, and vapor barrier, then ANOTHER layer of wood panel.
Then MORE studs behind that.  So far I think I have gained 6 inches of width.
Which is HUGE in a tiny truck.

Much of the wood is rotted from the roof leakage.  So even IF I wanted to keep wood in the truck ( which I don’t ) it would all have to be replaced anyway.




PoCo Inspired

Oh yeah and this too

Both sides of the truck had these electrical wires UNDER the wood panels.
Sure they were capped. But I’m glad I found them.

And yeah, they were live when I had the power on.  great

What’s the worst that can happen??

So I’m just gonna keep strippin walls…


PoCo Inspired

From the back seat

This is a stiched together shot from the back.

I decided to take out the front walls as well.
I had to, just to get at some of the studs.

This will also allow me to move the front wall forward a bit.
It looks like I can gain about 4 inches.

I know it doesn’t sound like much,
but it might mean I can squeeze in another small drink fridge.

So far I am gaining 4 inches in length, 6 inches in width and about 1.5 inches in headroom.

116 long
74 wide
72 high
618048 cubic inches
357.666667 cubic feet

120 long
80 wide
74 high
710400 cubic inches
411.111111 cubic feet

This is a gain of 54 cubic feet.

And that make it sound like alot.

All in all though,that extra 6 inches of width will help tons.


PoCo Inspired

Just FAB

Got to have some fun and even pulled out the welder.

There are some rust holes I found in the pockets that house the sliding doors.
I made up a template with some softer aluminum to make sure it fits, then I re-purposed some of the metal that I was ripping off the walls and came up with these.

I cut and bent and did a little welding.  I like welding.



PoCo Inspired

Back to the back

Getting back to ripping out of the interior.

The hood came down pretty easy.  Mostly held on with rivets.  I hate rivets.
Some of them were aluminum and easily drilled out.
Some were good quality and a pain in the but to drill out.
Some were put in from the front and some from the back … why ?? who knows??


PoCo Inspired

Back to the bones

The back was probably worse than the front.

More wood rot.  The roof was leaking there as well.

Even some mold.  Yeah, it doesn’t get much better.

Click on the main shot to view more WONDERFUL pictures.


PoCo Inspired

Finally reached the back door

Under the wood  ….. what else  … wood.

Seriously???  How much wood can you put in one small truck??
This shot was just the rear doors.
I had already pulled off all of the framing that was on either side.
—  it all kinda fell off  …  the stuff on the doors was a little stubborn.

But c’mon…. really??   I know this thing was built years ago…..  but was there NEVER any concern about fire safety???
Maybe I have just been reading the NFPA96 too many times.
BTW here is a link to it if you want to read it.

But c’mon….. wood studs screwed to the STEEL studs, then covered with wood, then covered with STEEL???   really??

Drywall screws from the OUTSIDE of the truck to hold the wood studs ….

And of course NOTHING is sealed.

Not like it matters, but the back door at least opens.[…]

PoCo Inspired

A full load

The pick up is starting to overflow wit all the wood and garbage that I am pulling out.

It didn’t seem so bad until I started putting it in the pick up.

I am keeping all the metal aside so see what I might re use.

I am guessing 500 – 600 pounds so far.  INSANE.


PoCo Inspired

And the propane tanks

Don’t forget the twin 100 pound propane tanks.
They were about 100 years old.  And STILL mostly full !!
They were probably close to 200 pounds !!!   ok   maybe 150…..

I would guess that with the 2 tanks, the nice 2 stage regulator, the lines, the cage, the checker plate sheet covering the doors……  all in all, probably 500 pounds.

Add that to all the wood in the back of the pickup truck….

I’m guessing that I shed near 1000 pounds already.

Not including the metal I ripped out.


PoCo Inspired

Severe weight loss program

The weight of the grill, deep fryer, and 2 burner HAVE to be at least 500 pounds together.

Hell, I can barely even lift the side of the grill.
I had to use the engine crane to get it out.

So all in all I bet I have taken out at least 1500 pounds of stuff.

That’s the entire weight of the mini truck I used to own.
That thing was a blast to drive.[…]

PoCo Inspired

The floor sucks too

The floor was more of the same.

1st layer was vinyl ( which was destroyed )
2nd Layer was 3/4 inch plywood ( attached with galvanized roofing nails )
3rd layer is some kind of metal…. rotting ….rusting
4th layer is the ACTUAL truck floor. Some kind of wood. ( at least it seems in tact )

The wheel wells are JUST metal, but had the 1st layer of plywood with the roofing nails.
That makes some really nice holes for water to seep in, and just sit between the plywood and metal wheel well.

Its not TOOOO bad, just a few small holes.


PoCo Inspired

In like a lion

It’s been amazing.  Warm temps in the middle of November.  Thank you El Ninio.

But it finally came to an end the other day with a blast of snow and cold and 80 KMH winds.

I don’t HATE winter. But I don’t like it all that much either.
I believe that I have always been a sun worshiper.
But I have accepted my fate.

I have “issues” with winter and my “mood” reflects that.
Couple that with things taking WAY longer with this truck than I wanted.
And now the knowledge that my work will grind to a halt.

Add to that, the fact that I STILL have no answers from anyone for anything…..

Yeah… ok…. I can say it  ….it’s depressing.  I am now Mr. Pissy Pants…
I am trying to fight it, but it’s hard.
I don’t want to DO anything except sit and sulk.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Waiting to exhale

I feel like I’m just holding my breath.
Standing still.

It’s now been a full month since the engineer guy came over.
Have not heard a word.

Found out that a friend of a friend is an engineer.  He has said he can try to help.
Had a quick meeting.  Let’s see where THAT goes.

I cannot make any moves until I get some serious questions answered.

I hate waiting.[…]

PoCo Inspired

My CURRENT dilema ….

Here’s my problem   ( today’s problem anyway )

Do I go propane or electric.

I have stripped my truck clean.
I get to start with a blank slate.

I’m sure there are benefits to each.
But the REAL deciding factor for ME  ….  RIGHT NOW  is the hood.

If I go propane, then there is no question that I need a commercial hood and fan and fire suppression.  This will probably run me around $7000.00
It will also allow me a few more options for food, since I would keep the deep fryer.

If I stick with electric only, it will limit my options for food, but that might not matter.
I don’t want to have dozens of things on the menu.
And I SHOULD be able to get away with a residential hood and fan.

I asked the health department.
They are OK with it, providing I am not producing grease laden vapors.
Hell, they said  don’t even NEED a fan, but I want one anyway.
BUT they said to check with the Fire Commissioner just to be safe.

BTW NONE of these departments talk to each other here.

So I checked with them.
Their view is that if I don’t use propane…. they are NOT involved at all.
So I said…   What about the electrical end of it??
They said, I will still get the electrical inspection, but they only inspect to make sure that the electrical is done correctly.  They don’t care about anything else.
He also suggested I check with my engineer.
Well, you know how THAT is going.

One guy I DID talk to said ….  dude  … I’m an engineer,  … talk to the health department.

This is why I am talking to another engineer.
And again, I am waiting.

If I get an OK from the engineer, I am going electric just for the cost savings alone.
But If I need the commercial hood and fan anyway, then what?[…]

PoCo Inspired


I finally got mostly over my depression  …  mostly.

At least enough that I’m not going to snap at the drop of a hat….

So I decided that 2 or 3 weeks of waiting for people the OFC to get back to me was enough.
I just went down to their office and asked to talk to someone.

At this point I don’t care if they like me buggin them or not.

I got pretty much the response I expected….

“OH no we can’t answer that because that would constitute US giving YOU advice….we are not allowed to do that.”

And yeah, I’m getting used to this.
But COME ON !!

You expect things done a certain way ( to code )
But when I need to know if I can or can’t do something  ….
you can’t tell me yes or no…   You can’t tell me who to talk to …
You can’t tell me who makes the decisions
But I should put in my application NOW, cause there is such a waiting list, and continue my building of my truck, even though it may be done wrong, so that the inspector can come along and say NOPE you can’t do that…. and I have to start again…..

And she says ” yeah that’s pretty much the way it works ”

And you wonder why people go POSTAL on you people!!??[…]

PoCo Inspired

WHOA Nelly !!!!

Ok it wasn’t a total bust.
Actually I think it may have been a real win for me.

during the conversation, I was told

” Oh no, if you go all electric and have no propane… ”
You DON’T need the gas inspection ( I knew that part, but thanks )
You don’t need an engineer to submit drawings – no drawings needed at all
You don’t need an engineer to stamp  / approve anything
You only need the electrician to do the necessary work…

Wait – WHAT ??

“Oh Didn’t I mention this BEFORE ??”

NO !!!  WTF ???

So now I don’t need:
— Engineer ($1000)
— Engineer drawing and stamp ($1000)
— Gas fitter & supplies ($1500)
— Gas Inspection ($400)
— Propane Tanks ($250)
Roughly $4000

— Commercial Hood and fan ($5000-$7000)
— Fire suppression ($2000 – $4000)
Roughly $7000 – $11000

So this ONE little tidbit of information could potentially save me $15 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
And you FORGOT to mention it???  THANKS

So with this in mind…. Plus my pros and cons list
I think my mind is now made up.

I even stopped in to see the engineer I am NOW talking to.
And luckily for me he has not done anything or spoken to anyone yet, so no money has been wasted there.
And even HE was shocked to hear this.

So the only left is to find out if I can use the residential appliances or not.

They are all CSA approved.
But it seems that ALL residential appliances now come listed as
And inspectors have been known to be total assholes about certain things.

The engineer says that is mostly for warranty purposes.
AND because they are not meant to be used in a restaurant that is running 18 hours a day.

So AGAIN I fall into this GREY area.

I will only be running the equipment for a few hours a day 4 to 5 months a year.
So usage wise, I won’t be exceeding household type use.
And I am not concerned about warranty on a $50 grill.  If it breaks, toss it and get another.
As opposed to a $2000 or $3000 commercial grill  …

So as soon as we can figure this part out, I think we can move forward….  yeah right.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Made some progress on the floor

Got down to the bare shit….

Of the floor.

It’s a treated plywood base, with galvanized sheet over top.
A smart person would yank it all and put down fresh stuff.
But even more now with the ABSOLUTE confirmation that this thing holds absolutely NO value as a food truck if I ever sell it, then I must do this thing on the cheap as much as possible.

So the plywood is still in good shape, no rot.
The metal  …. well not the greatest.
I spent some time with the wire wheel and cleaned it up.
Sealed all the seams and corners with silicone.
filled all along the base walls with spray foam.
Went over the whole floor with some spray on undercoating.  ( had a bunch layin around )

It seals well and stays pretty flexible.
While the metal is not perfect, at least it holds its structure.

I’m going to sheet over the floor with plywood, and use screws and construction adhesive…
Plus go up the walls 2 feet with cement board. ( will finish the rest of the walls later)

I plan to do a 3 x 3 inch corner bead out of 22 gauge aluminum ( I have )
It will be a 90 degree bend between the floor and the wall. ( with silicone )

I think without it, the floor and wall will move independently too much.

and then do a coating of this stuff

I have used it before, and it takes one hell of a beating.
This stuff is durable, flexible, and is patchable.
Also I can build up the corners and “cove” it up a min 4 inches – as per our health department regs.

Then give it a light sanding  and top it with some type of epoxy.

So far I have played with this stuff….  and not too impressed.

Next I am going to try this and see.

Our health department wants, smooth easily cleanable, durable floors, coved up min 4 inches with sealed/welded seams.

They actually don’t like the diamond plate stuff, although they will pass it.
Besides….  in our city,the diamond plate floor would run me about 4 – 5 grand.
Or about $3000 if I do it myself.

I did some experimenting and found epoxy coatings adhere well to concrete type surfaces but not so great to the bare wood, so, so far, my plan looks good.

I have done a bunch of mock ups, and hope to get approval from my health department before I finish it.

Worst case scenario, they say no, and I have to put a sheet of vinyl over it all.  But I want to try this.
I saw my buddies truck after 1 season of light use and all his seams need to be repaired already.
And it was professionally done at a pretty high cost.


PoCo Inspired

Well Merry F-in hohoho

Can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas already.

Needless to say I am STILL waiting to hear anything from the engineer.

Now we just got hit with a pretty big snowfall, so I’m gonna start feelin pissy again.

Anyway, was able to get some more experimenting done on the floor.
And I think I have finally got the right combination of things.

The main pic shows my mock up of the floor.
A couple pieces of 2×4 and 2×6 screwed together.

I am going to take my 22 gauge aluminum, and cut it into 6 or 8 inch strips and whatever length is needed.

(with the new toy I picked up on a half price sale)

Nice electric shears.
They even leave a smooth edge.
Figured I will need them when carving out the sheet metal for all kinds of stuff on the truck.

Then instead of putting in a sharp 90 degree bend, I just give it a nice smooth ROLL.
And viola, a perfect cove.

I also think that I will do the wall in 2 sections.
Lower section, about 1 ft high (even with the wheel wells)
Sheet it with plywood but only secure it to the side beams with silicone instead of screws.
I already know that things move. Houses shift, panels move, concrete moves, everything.
So my goal here is to make sure that the FLOOR and the lower wall panel are joined together by this aluminum sheet and screwed to each section.
This SHOULD allow the floor and the lower wall section to act more like one piece when they move a bit.
Hopefully this will mean less chance of the flooring coating coming off.

The top part of the wall section can be screwed to the structural side beams of the truck.
I think it will only be the aluminum panel anyway, so it can just overlap the bottom part a few inches and kinda float on top of it. Maybe some silicone to keep it in place.

I gave it a light sanding first.

Then a couple of 1 inch drywall screws secure the side piece and floor piece together.

And coat with ….



No need to try to build up the corner for the cove.
The screws get hidden perfectly.
A few coats, and I am ready for epoxy.

This stuff feels like concrete when its cured.
But has some give / flexibility, so it should be good in a moving vehicle.

Then top coat with this stuff

Picked up a can of this stuff and really like it.
No mixing, just paint on.
Pretty much self leveling.



It takes a couple of coats, but it fills all the rough stuff.

It leaves the surface smooth, almost feels like a vinyl floor.
But I will be able to patch it in minutes if it cracks at all.

AND at most it might cost me $150 all in.

I almost choked when my buddy told me how much he paid to have his ( now split and cracking ) floor done.  $1900 !!
But it was done by a  professional.
Granted it gets all done in an afternoon.
And yeah, it was ( supposedly ) commercial vinyl.
But come on. $1900 ???

At MOST his floor INCLUDING the cove up 4 inches is 5 ft by 12 ft.  So 60 sq ft.
So even if you say MAYBE $400 for the vinyl.  Which makes it over $6 a sq ft.
And MAYBE $100 for other materials.
That leave what…. $900 for MAYBE 4 hours labour????
So OVER $200 an hour to lay vinyl floor ???
AND it has to be repaired after ONE season???

Thanks, I’ll try my way …


Oh yeah, and another buddy of mine has some left over 5/8 tongue n groove sub floor from his house reno.
He has enough to do the truck, and I have 14 cases of ceramic tile left over from when I did my bathroom.
Straight trade.  So the sub floor is costing me zero…..   I have had the tile for years.  SCORE[…]

PoCo Inspired


So I went and talked to one of the concession truck builders recently.
Since no one will bother to give me an answer on a hood and fan….
I figure I better price one out just in case.

When I tell him my situation… he says … well if you are going all electric, and no propane anything, and no grease laden vapors, then you shouldn’t need a hood and fan.

I told him I wanted a price anyway, just in case SOME government inspector figures I MUST have one.

$5000 for the hood, $1500 for the fan, and another $1300 for the install.  ouch

So the next day I send him an email, asking why EXACTLY he thinks I should not need the hood.
NOW he doesn’t want to talk.

He says to read my NFPA96…. it’s all there.

He says having a conversation is one thing, but this is totally different.

This would be ADVISING, and he could only do that as a consult, and he would need my plans.

OK, I send him my layout pics, and my plans and what equipment I am using.
And ask say, OK here it is. How much is my “consultation” going to cost.
That was a week ago.
No reply.

I guess I can just add him to the list of a – holes who don’t reply or give me answers.[…]

PoCo Inspired

So far…

So I managed to get a hold of the “proposed” “draft” copy of “guideline” that is being developed for food trucks in my city.

While these are not yet enforceable rules, at least it gives me an idea on a few things that I have been questioning.

Mainly, the appliances and their use.

Although the health department says I can pretty much use anything I want.
And we are not “required” to use commercial appliances according to current rules.
I must first get inspected by the Office of the Fire Commissioner.
And THAT is who made up this “guideline”.

The one thing I noticed in this “guideline”,is that it says that all appliances and equipment must be “certified” for their intended use.
So while yes everything is “certified” to be used ins Canada ( CSA or ULC )
I was wanting to use some residential grills.
And I noticed that ALL appliances that are not “commercial” have it stamped on them…
“for household use only” or “intended for household use”

OK yeah sure, I’m on a tight budget, AND yeah, I’m a cheap ass.

But really, where I live, this truck will be used a few hours a day, maybe a little more on weekends, IF I get an event, and only about 5 months out of the year.

We don’t run things like you guys down in the USA in the warmer climates.
Some of you guys even do breakfasts.
But if not, many of you at least do lunch and supper, and weekends.

Many of you do good sized fairs where your equipment is going for 10 or 14 hours a day.

So yes, if you run that many hours, most or all year long, then yes, you want equipment that is built to last.

But for me, that will not be using the equipment even a quarter of that time, why the heck should I have to spend $3000 or $4000 on a grill??

Luckily I have the Coke fridge to use.
And then I found these griddles.

They are just what I need / want.

They are ULC listed. Light duty commercial. Not stamped as “for household use”
Cheap to buy, and easy to replace.

Yeah if it dies in a year, then its a buck and half to replace.
Not a few thousand.

So I think this is the way to go.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Smooth as a baby’s …..

Well not quite, but pretty darn smooth.

The main shot is my perfectly coved mock up floor.
Now with 3 or 4 coats of epoxy paint.
Not smooth like glass, but it doesn’t have to be.

Up close it’s still pretty smooth.


The only thing I didn’t like was the WAY the aluminum FEELS underneath.
It has a kind of hollow feeling to it.

I think because I ONLY screwed it to the boards.

When it goes in the truck, I think I will silicone it first, then screw it down.

That should give it a lot of strength AND a good solid feel.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Happy Dance !!

I stopped in to see my engineer guy today….

Well actually, he called me because he needs help with something and I have some equipment that he needs to borrow, along with my help.

He finally talked to HIS guy (guess it was too much to ask that he let me know WHEN he talked to his guy)….  anyway….

His guy is the one that deals with kitchens and ventilation.  The actual mechanical engineer.

As far as he is concerned, with what I am doing, he says that I will not be producing grease laden vapors. So I should NOT need a commercial hood and fan.
And he us willing to stand behind that decision and sign off on it if it is questioned by any inspector.  WOOHOO!!

I get get to save THOUSANDS of $$  !!


PoCo Inspired

OH Loddy Loddy I can’t take it !!

Can you believe 2 – count em TWO  —  dare I say — positive – things happened in a row.

Maybe we will just them non – set backs. Positive is just to strong a word.

But yeah, first I get the green light from my engineer.
Hell just getting an answer was a – woo hoo, but a green light  !!  MAN o MAN

So I know I don’t need to spend – what was that number…. about $8000 for a hood and fan set up …  plus another $2000 – $4000 for fire suppression.

But I still want a hood / fan.
A decent CFM one.
I still want to suck out smoke, fumes, smells.
And I have this concern about things listed ” for household use only ” being not allowed.

So my usual 3 am searching around for stuff.
I find a hood that I like. It has 700 CFM. It’s CSA approved. ( it’s sold here so it has to be )
And I found the manuals at Home Depot and it says NOTHING in them about house hold use.
I had to read them over and over.
Even downloaded them and ran a search inside the document for all of those words, and NOTHING !!  WOO HOO!!

If it “happens” to say it on the box, I can toss it, I only have to have the manual.
If it “happens” to say it ON the unit, it SHOULD be printed somewhere on the motor or other hidden spot, so it won’t be seen.


I THINK I can now officially start to move in a FORWARD direction.

Of course we just got hit with a foot and half of snow, and -20 cold.

But I got a heater in the truck, and I don’t give a fu….   :)[…]

PoCo Inspired

So this is Christmas ….

Well somebody must have been on the nice list for a change.

Cause I just got the green light from the health department.

Yuppers boys and girls, my choice of flooring has been approved.
I took in my mock up/sample, and got the a – ok.
He even thought it might be too smooth.

Now if my buddy would just bring me the subfloor we made the deal on, I can start actually putting things IN the truck.  I think that would be a first.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Must be my burfday !!

…   oh yeah, it is.  duh

My buddy came through with the plywood for my floor base.
So I can getting cutting and priming very soon.

AND ….
I had posted the old appliances online for sale.
The griddle, the deep fryer, and the 2 burner stovetop.
Figured someone could make use of them.

A guy showed up yesterday, and said he wanted them.  Didn’t even squawk about the price.
So we are shooting the poop a bit.
He is braggin about how he recently got a call to pull out some restaurant equipment.
Seems a place was getting a reno in a mall, and the new owners had all thier own equipment and wanted the old stuff gone.
He got everything for free, he just had to get rid of it himself and take it all.
He got everything, hoods, fridges, mixers, fire suppression….and a sandwich prep table.  free

So I says. …..hey  …. I want a prep table, you got it for free, and you want my stuff….so lets trade.
He’s good with that.
No money outa his pocket.

Sposta be a 5 foot unit, all refrigerated below.
Can’t see it till next week.  Can’t wait !!  Woo Hoo ![…]

PoCo Inspired

Yuppers boys n girlz it’s PLYWOOD !!

Yeah woo hoo !  Right?

Sure to you it’s just a piece of plywood.
Actually it’s just a little more than half a piece of plywood.
58 inches to be exact.

But you need to read between the grains, to understand that although it’s just a simple piece of plywood….  It is so much more.
It’s the 2nd half.

The first half is laying on the floor of the food truck.  This was the the piece that I cut to butt up to the first piece that makes up the main walkway in the food truck.
This is the section that will get all of the walking back an forth on.
This section will take the brunt of the abuse.

Yeah? So?  It’s still just TWO pieces of wood…

But to ME, this is the first THING that has been done in the RIGHT direction.
This is the first thing to back IN the truck, instead of being ripped OUT of the truck

EVERYTHING up to this point has been getting junk out of the truck, and waiting and waiting, and looking for answers and waiting for this that and everything else.
Heck I even had to wait a couple of weeks for the plywood, because I made a deal with a buddy on it.

Then I had it in the garage for a few days, but it was Christmas, then my B-day, then New Years, and busy busy busy.

Even once I was ready to start working, I had to wait.

My dad picked up a new table saw, ( that I wanted to use it for cutting the plywood ) for me because he has somehow managed to destroy, not one but TWO of my saws over the last couple of years.

We trade tools back and forth all the time, but he seems to destroy things fairly regularly.
Sanders, Jigsaws, etc.  don’t know how, but he does it.

Anyway, now we are on table saw number THREE.

He got a xmas sale on a nice little Ridgid model.
And it seems like a nice saw.

But what we didn’t realize when he bought it, was that it has NO stand.
He thought it had one of those nifty fold down stands.
It has wheels, and a pull out handle, but that’s it. No stand.

We only realized this once we pulled it out of the box yesterday.
A quick website check revealed that the one with the nifty fold down stand was $150 more.
AND that they don’t even make a stand for this unit.

Well, we have TWO stands from the previous table saws. ( dad never throws out anything )
So I figured I could just morph the two units together.     that was fun….  not

I managed to make it work. ( didn’t even have to pull out the welder )  but it took half the day to make it happen.
It has 4 little cleats on the bottom of the unit for setting on a bench.
Even holes to drive some screws in there and hold it.
I was able to remove those cleats and spin them around backwards so the mounting holes were on the inside.  With that done, they actually sat really nice on the stand.
Just took some trial and error.
Drilled a couple of holes in the stand. Nut n bolts n lock washers, and bob’s yer uncle.

It wasn’t until after spending half the day getting this all done, I realized I am not going to cut a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood on the table saw….. I need it for cutting the smaller stuff.
Which I can’t even do until I find out if I do actually get the sandwich prep table and figure out how big it is and where and how I am putting it in the truck.

So now I’m waiting for THAT.

But at least I pulled out my skill saw and cut my plywood. Forward momentum from here on in……after I wait on the prep table…..   :)[…]

PoCo Inspired

I’m floored !

Well it may not look like much to you….   But me … I’m pretty impressed.
My sub floor is in.

I spent the last few days cutting the plywood to size, and getting it ready to go in.

I wanted to use some fireproofing paint on it. But I can only get it in the USA.

Then last week I am in my local Habitat Re-Store and what do I come across…
This stuff  ….  just what the doctor ordered.
Same kind of stuff I was after.
2 packs per gallon gives it a class A fire rating.

So I put in my primer / sealer and gave the wood a few coats.  Voila …Fire Proof.

Best of all, I got it for $1 per pack.[…]

PoCo Inspired

It’s 40 below, got a heater in the truck and I don’t give a fu_ _

It has been -30 lately. Bitterly cold.
And NOW is when I get to work on the truck.

Insulated tarp on top, and my 5000 watt construction heater, and it’s actually fairly toasty in there.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Windows to my soul??

The windows were interesting.

On normal construction, like a house…. You would build your frames the match your window size and then slide your windows INTO the frames and screw them in.

In the truck, I had already ripped out the old frames, and the windows were still there.
They were held in with some screws, some pop rivets, even some brad nails.

I wanted to avoid wood and was going to use metal studs.
But I couldn’t find any that the proper size.
They needed to be ACTUAL 2 inches. A FULL 2 inches.
But all the metal studs are built just like the 2×4’s.
They may be called 2×4’s, but they are actually PHYSICALLY 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.
And so are the metal studs.

So I had a bunch of pressure treated lumber lying around.
I ripped it down to the proper size and gave it a couple of coats of my fireproof paint.
Plus it’s going to be sheeted over with cement board, then aluminum panels.



Under service window PoCo Inspired


I even got some of the electrical started.

Stupid me, I put up the cement boards, THEN realized I need to have the outlets right THERE.

So pull it all off then mount outlets… duh



Service window PoCo Inspired

NOW some walls go up

Now that I some outlets in, and some wire strung I finally got the lower portion of the walls and insulation up.

The thing I am wondering now is …. should I have a vapor barrier up?

I read a bunch, but can’t find a real answer.

I want to make sure that no water comes in through the seams of the back door.
So I tried to fill all the gaps with sealing foam, then that super sticky red tape.
Then I put vapor barrier over the entire back wall.

There were a lot of holes in that back wall.

Those strips you see are cement board.  The center section (doorway) needed to be built up a half inch, otherwise the back wall would have been bowed in the center.
And I did not want to use wood.



PoCo Inspired


Had the old propane equipment supposedly sold weeks ago.
Been waiting and waiting and waiting for the guy to come and pick it up.

This happened, that happened, something broke, someone died, got snowed in.
But its done, the stuff if gone…. finally.

It’s not like I got a ton of money for the stuff, but more that I got a whole ton of room in shed now !  WOO HOO!



PoCo Inspired

I’m a big fan

So after all this time, trying to avoid the whole commercial fan and hood thing…
There I am browsing Kijiji for a totally different reason than anything food truck related…

And what do I come across, but a Captive Aire hood and  3000 CFM COOK upblast fan.
And at a good price.

I HAD to email the guy.  …. A little back and forth, and I went for a drive.

Got him down from $1000 to $600 AND he threw in what appears to be MOST of a fire suppression system.

How could I say no?

It’s only a couple hundred more than I would have spent on a basic old residential fan.

And now I’m fully covered on the off chance that some inspector has an issue with the way I was gonna do it.

And its WAAAYYY better than the 5 grand I would have to spend on a new hood and fan.
Not to mention the few grand more for the fire suppression stuff.

So the cash I got for selling the equipment the other day…. plus I got my cash back cheque from my Costco card, and I got my hood and fan and still a couple hundred bucks ahead.

All in all, a good day.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Ya stupid Ansul

So this is just too funny.
Not more than 2 days before, when I sold off my propane equipment that I wasn’t going to need….  I let go with it as part of the deal, The Ansul box that I had.
Why not, I wasn’t going to need the fire suppression anyway.  And it was just the empty box. Nothing inside but the switch.
I would have to still buy the other stuff to in it, if I were to use it.

So now I pick up this fan and hood, and the guy throws in the same darn Ansul box I just got rid of.
When I pop the box open,  this one has the canister AND the Co2 cartridge in it.
I even have the plumbing in the hood to go with it.

Heck, way back when I was talking to the guy about the fire suppression stuff months ago…. It was going to cost me in the $300 – $500 range just for these containers, PLUS I would still have to have them charged up with the Ansul liquid and Co2.

So definitely a good deal overall.
I will hang on to them for now.
Who knows, maybe I can sell them for a few bucks.
I will have to check with the fire suppression guy to see I he knows if anyone is in the market.


PoCo Inspired


The fan seem to function.
Seemed a little out of balance..
But the belt was completely shot.

Replacement was easy.


Can see the nuts at the bottom of the picture, Just about dead center??
That’s as tight as they were !

Those are the nuts that mount the motor.
There was a screwdriver jammed in between the motor and the mounting bracket to give it some tension.

There are also no washers or lock washers on those bolts.
Am I the only one who thinks that an industrial size fan that moves at nearly 2000 rpm and probably runs 12 to 18 hours a day should have some lock washers on it??

I’m going to dig some up and add them just to be safe.

I am going to have to do some serious mods to that roof curb as well.  I think its about 18 inches high.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Whats under da hood

Got the hood into the garage.

WOWzers it’s huge.
48 wide, 23 high, and 40 deep.
And it’s not the kind that’s meant for a truck. It’s just a big square box.

But I didn’t pay much for it. And I think I can modify it.
Here is a shot of what it is, what I plan to do, and kinda what I am hoping it will turn out like.


Cutting it will be easy.
I have those nice new metal shears, or my die grinder with cut off wheels.

It might be a little tricky, because it looks like the sidewalls are double layers.

I figure that I can just trim the edges with something like this..

That way I don’t have to weld them.

The fun part is going to be doing the front lip.
I want it to only be about 2 inches.
And It will have to be at least tack welded pretty good.

I have been do some reading, and found out it can use my mig welder, and stainless wire.
And I should probably get the proper gas.
So far my experiments on scrap have been fairly successful, even just using the gas I have.
I’m going to practice a lot more before I actually do it.

Lucky for me, I don’t NEED this fan and hood.
Because I’m going electric, and no deep frying or grease vapors, I don’t have to have it.

Here, it’s not the health department that requires the hood and fan, it’s the fire commissioner.
And it is split up between the electrical inspector to inspect the electrical,
and the gas inspector, who takes care of the gas and ventilation.

And I won’t be getting a gas inspection.

At least that is the way I understand the system so far.
HOPEFULLY nobody looks at the hood too close.[…]

PoCo Inspired


I got the massive roof curb trimmed down.  Might still have to do more yet.
I don’t have a tig welder, so I am practicing with my mig and some stainless wire.
It’s coming out pretty good so far.
Some more tests and I think it will work out.

But got sidetracked a bit.
I have an old Chevy 3/4 ton with a lift gate that I use for …. well a lot of stuff.

But I got it for moving vending machines.
Been using it no problem all winter….but now that I NEED to move some machines around….the dang hydraulic pump implodes on me.

And of course I know absolutely NOTHING about hydraulics.

Luckily I was able to get a hold of a really nice set up at my local Princess Auto.
(That’s the Canadian version of Northern Tools, or Harbor Freight.)

For some strange reason they had this thing already built, and configured and in the enclosure.
They said it was a one off that was a custom order for a customer but he never picked it up.
I added up all the parts that you have to buy separately, and it came to around $1400.00
But the price tag was only $299.  DING DING DING   Winner winner chicken dinner !!

It was a multi use unit.
Meaning that it was configured for a unit like a back hoe that can go up, down, left and right.

My lift gate is what is called a single action unit.
It really just goes up.  The down button releases the pressure, and gate comes down.

The guy at the store was able to reconfigure it to work for me.
I need to buy this guy lunch for his help.

What a great little unit!

Heck the box alone in the store was $199, and the controller was $99.
So great deal.[…]

PoCo Inspired

A little bit…..

Well I got nothing done on the truck STILL ….   or again…  another week.

Now that my lift gate truck is functioning, I started moving vending machines around.

One of my clients wanted me to take out the ones that were there and put in ones that were not so big…
They did some renovations, and wanted the machines in a particular spot, but did not think ahead enough for the space requirements of the machines.
Whatever… gotta make happy.

Located some “smaller” ( slightly ) machines and started the transition.

The stupid (smaller) drink machine was being a PITA.
It was intermittently cutting in and out.
After 4 or 5 days of tinkering on and off.
– In between trying to work my regular vending work…
– And trying to put all the pieces in place to find and rent a new space for my wife’s store
– And fix the broken toilet at the current store…
– Then the kitchen taps at the store had to be replaced….

Oh yeah,,  I figured it out.  Buggered wiring harness.
So quick transplant from an old parts machine, and boom, bob’s yer uncle.

On one of trips to my favorite store Princess Auto, I saw these great tail lights on sale.

Currently, the food truck has old trailer lights on it. They work.  But they are so ugly!!

Should I really care what my tail lights look like??  Probably not.
But they were almost half price!!  And they are gonna look COOL!

They are like 20 inches tall!
Nice chrome bezel….  LED
And now instead of some old trashy trailer lights hanging way down around my bumper
( and in different positions )  I can mounts them at reasonably close to eye level …
So it’s a …… thing …. yeah    ….     safety, that’s it…..

And they even had the nice penny lights on sale too.
So I can rid of the “other” kind of trailer lights that are currently on there.
The marker lights around the roofline.
They are not even LED’s
And they are SOOOO  UGLY.  And they don’t even match.
Most of them look like this.

The new ones are nice and  small and sleek.
I HAD to have them.

They are only 3/4 inch, and are set into the truck body by the rubber grommet, instead of those 4 x 2 inch monsters that stick out 3/4 of an inch.

Don’t worry, I can re- use the ugly ones on one of my trailers.
So there, I DID do some food truck related stuff after all.

Now I just have to move 3 more vending machines.  Oh my does the fun never end….

There’s nothing quite like trying to take a 6 foot tall, 400 pound steel box, that is 33 inches wide ( on the narrowest side ), and trying to squeeze it through a doorway that is 34 inches wide ( no joke ).  And doing it by yourself.[…]

PoCo Inspired

HOLY Crapoli Bat dude

Been so busy, have not even had time to LOOK at what I have posted lately.

I can’t believe that it’s been since the end of Feb since my last update.
You would THINK that I had been so busy….out there sellin food…..  ya know ….. since it is now JUNE.
Sadly no.

It all came to a screeching halt when I FINALLY found a new location for my wife’s store.
Spent March doing the majority of the renovations and moving in, to be open for April 1.
Then April and May was all about setting up, more renos and the grand opening sale.

While I wish I had been working on the truck, I have not really been missing out on much.
The weather here has SUCKED BALLS!

Wow, what a crap start to the season. One of the worst.
Guys started trying to get out around mid April ( when the snow was gone ).
We have seriously had maybe ONE or two day each week where the weather was decent.
It’s been rain, storm, rain. Warm days have had really high winds.

Even this week. It has been rain all week.  Yesterday was perfect, then rain and storms again today. Unreal.

On the upside, the lawn and gardens are doing fantastic.

NEXT week is finally predicted to be nice all week.
But I am gone on a road trip for a couple of weeks to a trade show with the wife.

Sure it would be a great time to work on the truck.
But I need a break from all these renos anyway, not more.

Besides, I ordered a bunch of stuff off ebay that I need to pick up for the truck.

So when will the truck get done? Dunno…
I feel guilty for not having it finished.

But it is WAY more important to finish the store.
And it’s doing really well in the new location.

So, a couple of weeks for the road trip, a couple more weeks of work at the store, THEN I can get back to work on the truck.

At least a month or so of work to do on the truck, maybe more.
So, at this rate, not before Aug. That just sucks. …. C’est la vie.[…]

PoCo Inspired

In da Hood

Again… seems like forever since I updated here.
FINALLY got back to the hood.
Or more correctly, got started on it.

I took the original hood that was a big 3 x 4 box unit


And split it in half to fit the truck.

Cut out a trim piece for the front.



And tacked it to the front of the hood.


So far so good.

The thing was double wall heavy SS.
A real bear to cut through.

I bent up some thinner gauge SS to make trim pieces for the sides, and welded those in.

They cleaned up pretty good with the flap wheel.
They look as good as the originals.

I,m just not sure if I am supposed to weld the ENTIRE length of the trip piece.
The originals were just folded over.
The ones I see online are just folded over.

Still need to figure out mounting tabs, and few details, then a light polish.


Here is a shot of the side trim strips that I added.
I especially liked how nice the welds smoothed out.
You can see how nice it blended on the top right corner.


PoCo Inspired

On a Bender??

It’s been so hard to get anything done on the truck.
I keep trying, but I am lucky to get a couple hours a week on it.
I WAS going to try do do some more work on the hood.

But I as I was cleaning up a bit, I just got started looking at the metal I picked up for making my bending brake.

Ahhh what the hell.

Not sure if this was the best design or not….
But I have looked at tons of different designs online.
I wanted to make it simple.
I got 3 pieces of 2×2 inch angle iron.

I figured that instead of creating my own hinges like I see everyone online doing, I would use a set of very heavy hinges.

Cut a notch in each end.

Welded on the hinges.

I could have done a nicer job on the notches and make them more even.

It achieves exactly what I needed.
The 2 pieces are lined up perfectly.
And the pivot point is dead center.

Notched the 3rd piece that will be used to clamp down the metal.

I tacked on another piece to try to stiffen the bending bar and tacked on a handle.

Gave it a quick test.

Seems to work fairly well on a sheet of stainless.
Should work great on the aluminum sheet.

Still need a couple of tweaks, but I think it will work well.
It’s just for bending the 22 gauge aluminum sheet for the inside of the truck.

Its attached to an 80 pound solid wood door that is sitting on top a pretty solid workbench.

Soooo,,,,  it’s kind of working on the truck…..


PoCo Inspired

Snap Crackle POP

So today …

Guess it ended up the usual cluster ……

Been working at the store all dang week.
Then had to spend ALL day Friday helping the wife set up for a trade show….  On the opposite end of town of course.

Seems that I work for my wife WAY to much.  :)

Anyway, I finally got back to doing some work on the the truck today.

Went out to my brother’s place to see if the truck would fit in his garage.
Lo and behold. It fits!!
Had to mostly flatten the tires, but I got it to fit.
He says I can use it to paint the truck.
Sooo…  woohoo!!

Got home later and got to do some welding.
It was even going pretty well…
Finally seem to have figured out some stuff.

Then suddenly  ….  

Not really the kind of sound you want to hear from a welder….

Then a poof of smoke from inside it.

Good thing it’s under warranty.

But I have not finished welding yet.


PoCo Inspired

Body Modification

Well it has been a productive week.

I got my welder replace ( thanks warranty )
The new one seems SO much more powerful….  Like,,,, scared me when I first tested it.
Maybe there was something wrong with it for a long time, and it just finally toasted.
Dunno, but it’s way better.

I finally got my hood finished, at least the trim parts.
Still have to do a few things, but no rush.

The weather has been pretty warm this past week.  So I figured it was a good chance to get some of the body panels done that I wanted.

I attached aluminum sheeting to the lower half of the truck.

It covers up a lot of the holes and dents and scrapes etc.
It also lets me round out the wheel wells.
I was trying to get rid of the “old” look.
Try to make it “appear” like a current truck, not something outa the 70’s.
Was it really necessary??  hhhmmm
Probably not.
Probably didn’t make that much of a difference.
But it was fun.

Here are the before and after shots.

A few tubes of adhesive, and a few hundred rivets later…
I like the results.

Kinda looks like I lowered it.

Can’t wait to get a coat of black paint on it.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Plastidip !!

We got some great weather for the last week or so…
I felt this was my last chance before the winter hits, so I started to paint the beast.

It JUST fits in my brothers garage.
For better or for worse, I chose to try plastidip.
It hides a lot of the flaws on this old truck.
Plus I don’t want to spend 10 grand on a wrap.

I started out trying to do some of the trim and edges using this hvlp sprayer that I have had for a long time, but never used.
What a POS it was.
I ended up having to go buy a decent gun.

Trying to keep it within a reasonable budget, I went with the Wagner Flexio 590.

What a WORLD of difference.
I LOVE this thing.

It can spray everything from stain to paint with built in primer to Tremclad.

I got base coat of flat black plastidip on the truck.
It’s very cool.

But it turns out that 4 gallons is NOT enough….
Just in case anyone out is thinking of trying this.
And its a small truck.

And of course I can’t buy a gallon or two locally.
So I get on Amazon and order a bunch more.

It just sucks that I have to wait, and probably loose the grate weather.
Oh well, par for the course.[…]

PoCo Inspired

What a MAROON!!

How fricken stupid can things get ??

Well if nothing else, this thing is living up to the WTF moniker.

I have no idea why, but last night at 3 am or so…the thought creeps into my head….

What about the tank??     What tank??   The tank under the truck dummy!!
Oh yeah… it’s fine.   Have you looked ??   hhmmm  not for a while…
Do you want to be crawling around under there in the SNOW… which is coming right away??
Or do you want to do it NOW while its in the garage??

So yeah…. the grey water tank….  I have not really looked at it.
And now that I have  ….MY GAWD !!!
What fricken moroon put this thing together???

I CANNOT believe this thing was actually a functioning food truck at some point.

I did up an image of what it is set up like below…
Can you see what’s wrong??

I mean COME ON !!
Every connection on the sink was bass akwards to begin with, and then the waste tank is set up like THIS???

I was so hoping that I could leave in installed and just fix the connections….
But not with fuster cluck.

At least it came out without a fight.


PoCo Inspired

Paint it Black

So it’s been a couple of weeks.
Finally had time to bring the beast home today.

Still not sure what I think of the plastidip.
Only time will tell.

Here is a before and after shot.
Plus a few others.



PoCo Inspired

Stop the INSANITY!!

Well…. I don’t even know where to start…
I have spent the last….ooooo just over a year now… working on this old beast.

If you have been reading along from the beginning, then you know how frustrating this journey has been.

I feel like I have put so much work into the truck, and still feel like I am only at the beginning.

I guess, for the first little while, I was mostly learning what I needed to do to get this thing running as a food truck.

Then once I stripped everything out of it and started with a bare shell, it was more about getting the TRUCK itself where it needed to be.

So just before winter hit ( and it hit hard ) I figured I needed to get it painted, so that I was not scrambling in the spring to get THAT finished.

After all, I had the paint just sitting there. Who knew I would have to buy double that amount??

So now I sit with a “functioning” truck.
But there is still so much to do.

The truck is bare on the inside still.

Gas tank is good, but the gauge still only works half the time, and I don’t even know if its right.
I still have to put in the power steering.
The brakes still seem poor.
And a bunch of other odds and ends.
I’m not really sure if this thing is reliable enough for a good highway run.

So many times I have thought…. do I really want to go forward with this thing??
I never really said it out loud, because I am someone who believes ya dance with the one that brung ya. And all of this was MY choice.

I often thought that seeing as I am starting with a bare truck anyway….maybe I should find something newer to start from.
Maybe I should just shut up and finish what I started….
Maybe I should try and buy a truck that is already done….

Yeah, that and more.

I have actually been working on trying to buy a truck that I had found last fall.
Two problems are preventing me from doing that.
One obvious problem is the lack of funding to buy a ready made truck.
I might be able to overcome that part.
But the owner is off in Japan on a contract. I can’t get a hold of him. Don’t know if he sold it before he left or not anyway. And he won’t be back till around June.

So I just keep on going forward with my regular plans.

I figure, I just finish the truck, work it for a the first year or two and see what happen.
Maybe I can just transplant the body onto an updated chassis??
People do that all the time with cars and trucks…right….?

Maybe at some point I will find a newer truck that I can afford, and just transplant all the stuff.???
Or maybe, I will just build a second one??? who knows??

Then the other day as I am browsing Kijiji …
Doing my usual weekly browse for step vans and food trucks…

And I am not even browsing locally here because that is usually such a waste of time.
Same ol 2 or 3 trucks up there that have been up there for the last year.
8 or 9 grand. And still bare bones.

Sure I see them once in a while for a decent price, 2 provinces away.

So I see one that looks interesting and click on it.
Check it out. Looks like what I want.
Newer, lots of mechanical work recently done, all aluminum, old fed ex van, decent price.
Keep browsing.
Wha? wait? huh?
What was that??

As I am browsing past it again….

Go back go back
where was that??

It IS in MY town.
It was just posted a couple of hours ago…

Send the guy a message.
And wait. And wait…. and wait.

Yup he’s pretty slow at responding.

He’s out of town for a few more days. gotta wait more

Finally we meet up and FOOAAA!!! Just what I wanted.
Even safetied, AND not a dually! ( so don’t have to safety every year )

And I am the first to see it!
He says his phone is blowin up with 30 or 40 messages for people wanting to see it.

He was a pretty straight up guy. No BS. Not a salesman.
Had a good talk.
It was -30°c that day.
He tossed in a battery and it just fired up like nothin.

He just did all the shocks, brakes ( drums, pads, cylenders, lines ) power steering, exhaust a few months ago for the safety.

Showed me all the bills. Even the bill of sale when he bought it off his buddy.

OK I’m in.[…]

PoCo Inspired

So here it is

I am still felling guilty about spending more money that I don’t really have and trying to justify to myself that this is the right decision.

But just driving it home was like night and day compared to the old one.
It feels just like driving a regular ol van.
Let’s just say the old one is NOT a pleasure to drive.
Duh? Really? Like… what did you expect?? Right?

I have a tendency to over analyze stuff WAY to much.

So here’s the facts

1998 Ford e 350 with 140 000 km underneath.
lotsa work done ( all in the last post )
Safetied, single rear wheel, all aluminum.
PS, PB, Tilt. Skylight ceiling in back.
Work area 12 ft long, 7 high, 7 wide ( SO much room )
All this new high tech stuff that works!!… like the fuel gauge, signals, HEAT!!

NOW I feel like I have a great starting platform.[…]