Cargo trailers are trailers that are utilized to transport goods, livestock, and other items from one location to another. A cargo trailer is usually not equipped with a means of locomotion in and of itself. Instead, the trailer is attached to some means of conveyance in order to manage the transport from one location to another.

In the United States, one of the simplest examples of a cargo trailer is the flatbed. Often attached to a truck by means of a ball joint mechanism, a trailer of this type can be used to haul a number of items such as boats, vehicles, or any type of freight that can be secured with ropes, straps, or similar methods. For the most part, a flatbed is ideal when the goods only need to be transported a short distance.

Another accessible type of cargo trailer is the long haul trailer used to move goods for long distances. Note that traditional trailers of this type will be no more than fifty – three feet or 16.15 meters long. Supported with multiple tires along the middle and rear of the trailer, the front section usually has the equipment to allow the trailer to couple with a transfer truck.

Converting a cargo trailer, often called a box trailer, into a concession trailer involves converting it into a mobile kitchen. All these are regulated by local health departments. The design elements of the trailer – covering the food handling, storage, and sanitation concerns – usually have to meet code and possibly pass an inspection.

Therefore, before you start to construct or convert your box trailer into a concession trailer, contact the local health department in the community you plan on doing business with to understand what regulations apply to your operation. This will definitely help in developing your construction plans to meet health codes before you put everything together.

In the United States, health departments most especially require walls and counters to be made with non-porous materials that can be easily maintained and cleaned. Popular materials such as Formica and stainless steel generally are acceptable to use. Floors are also meant to be non-slippery and washable. Ceramic tiles are popular choices for floors in many foodservice establishments.

If cooking or grilling will occur, a hood and duct system will surely be needful to ventilate the trailer. Sanitation cleaning stations are usually required. Electrical boxes and gas connections will also be expected to be installed to power the equipment and provide fuel to the cooking areas. An opening alongside the trailer will be necessary to serve customers.

Have it in mind that all necessary equipment will have to be installed and hooked up properly to avoid problems. Plumbing and electrical codes will have to be met and utilizing the services of a professional plumber or electrician might be pertinent.

Equipment should be placed so each piece can be easily accessed and used. You will have to place your fire extinguishing equipment near the cooking area in case of fire. Immediately all the equipment you need to make your menu is put in place, the trailer has passed its health inspection, and the trailer is ready to go.

Step by Step Guide on How to Convert a Cargo Trailer into a Concession Trailer

The most common things concession trailers require are electrical wiring, as well as plumbing installation for a sink. However, an empty cargo trailer can also be altered to include at least one window. Panels can be established to form an awning over a condiment section of the trailer. Concession trailers typically feature a griddle or portable gas propane stoves.

Here is how to go about converting your cargo trailer into a concession trailer.

  1. First, measure the cargo trailer to ensure that it will suit your needs for a concession trailer. You will want a working sink with hot and cold running water as well as a preparation table with a cutting board. Most food preparations will require the trailer to be fitted with adequate refrigeration compartments to store fresh foods.
  2. Carefully draw out a blueprint of the trailer layout using computer software or graph paper and pencil. You will need to have accurate measurements for equipment placement, wiring, and plumbing.
  3. Note that your plan needs to outline the parameters of your concession trailer measured against the parameters of the cargo trailer that you hope to convert.
  4. Acquire a grill for cooking and a beverage maker. You will also want to purchase a small sink. Howbeit, note that the sink will require the installation of plumbing for spigots and a drain. The sink’s drain can be connected to a large waste container at the end of the drain pipe.
  5. You will also need to install at least one large, screened service window for food service. A ventilation system should be installed just above the window. Typical windows are made of sliding glass or wooden shutters.
  6. At this point, test your concession trailer to make sure it won’t tilt or become unstable when machinery is placed on the floor or you are walking from one end to the other. The equipment installed should remain stable when the trailer is moved.


While professionals normally can covert a cargo trailer into a concession truck, it is also possible for individuals to do it on their own. Many homemade converted trailers are created using a solid steel frame coupled with thick wooden planks for flooring. The bed of the trailer is mounted onto an axle and equipped with four to eight tires, depending on the size of the trailer. From there, the body may be enhanced to suit the various needs of the Concession Truck.