Vending trailers, or concession trailers as they're sometimes called, are quite a large staple of the American economy. From the lunch trucks that roam the streets of major cities, to the suburban ice cream truck, to the hot dog stand, and even the large vending trailer selling hamburgers at the state fair, there are many different forms.
If you're in the business of vending trailers, then it is helpful to understand some key terms associated with their use and operation. Here are some commonly used terms and links that provide more information regarding the vending trailer industry.
Single axle concession trailer
A single axle concession trailer refers to a trailer that only has one axle with wheels toward the back. The trailer is affixed to a vehicle capable of towing the trailer using a hitch system. The trailer is also outfitted for some form of vending food service ranging from cotton candy to barbecue.
Air hitch, air ride hitches
An air hitch, or an air ride hitch is a form of hitch that attaches concession trailers to light duty trucks and towing vehicles. It differs from a regular hitch because the "air" system keeps the concession trailer from bouncing or bucking to towing vehicle.
Gross trailer weight, GTW
The gross trailer weight refers to the weight of the entire trailer once it has been fully loaded. In terms of a vending trailer, that would mean the weight inclusive of all food and supplies loaded onto the trailer. Certain hitches and towing vehicles have a maximum gross trailer weight that they will pull.
Weight distribution system
A weight distribution system is a mechanism found on concession trailers and other trailers that distributes the weight evenly throughout the towing vehicle and concession trailer. This relieves pressure at the point if the towing hitch.
Barbecue concession trailer
A barbecue concession trailer is a vending trailer that specializes in barbecue. However, many concession companies place this trailer in a separate production category because the barbecue apparatus is on the outside of the vehicle so not to smoke out the chefs trying to work. There are both propane and wood chip barbecue concession trailers.
Gooseneck concession trailer
A gooseneck concession trailer refers to a trailer that has a large overhang toward the front of the trailer. This large overhang is not attached on a hitch, but placed on the back of a small flat bed. Gooseneck vending trailers are usually quite large and commonly found at state fairs and events of equivalent size.