The Hitch-Hiker Process

Step One  -  Introduction/Interview

At Hitch-Hiker Mfg., we’ll work with you to develop every aspect of your custom concession trailer to make it meet your specific and individual needs.  From the design style of artwork, to the flow of equipment layout and selection, we will work with you to design the concession trailer of your dreams.  We’ll design a trailer made for attraction,  production, and years of durability.  Are you going to the largest state fairs, or just have a forty mile route of local festivals?  Introduce a new food idea, or stick to a family recipe that is generations old?  We need to know.  In addition, we’ll need to know about your goals.  Starting a new venture, updating a unit for your current route, or looking to reach out and grab new and bigger events for the future?

We’ll cover all of these questions, and more, in order to design a custom food concession trailer that fits your aesthetics, style and needs.  We’ll also talk about budgets so we can deliver a realistic project. 

We'll then prepare a hand drawn pencil sketch of the floor plan, showing equipment placement and work flow.  We sketch this at first to speed up the initial process. Most all equipment is noted with manufacture and model numbers.  This sketch and the above discussions then allow us to produce a very accurate and itemized price quote.  Typically, these are faxed or emailed to you for review and discussions.  It is not uncommon for some customers to send us sketches or photos to help relay their ideas to us.

At this point, we do not offer any type of specific graphic design proposals.  We will have discussions about the size and style of the signage you are interested in by viewing completed trailer photos here on our website.  We are able to accurately calculate signage pricing based on previous designs.

Timeframe:  1-7 days


Step Two  -  Sketch and Quote Review / Booking Deposit

Upon your receipt of the sketch and quote, further discussions will, of course, need to be had and tweaks made to both the sketch and quote, reflecting changes.  These discussions are most often done with a few phone calls, emails and/or faxes. Many times, at this stage, customers will choose to visit our facility, meet with us first hand and get a plant tour.  The tour includes seeing several trailers in various stages of production.

From here on, in order to fulfill this comprehensive process,  we’ll also require a modest, non-refundable, booking deposit that is applied to the total price of your custom concession trailer. This covers cad drawings, conceptual designs and assigns a starting production date and estimated completion date to your project. 


Step Three  -  Conceptual Design

Once we have covered all aspects of your project, we'll produce a scale, detailed, cad floor plan based from the previous sketched drawings.  This will show how much room you have to work with inside the unit.  We’ll also continue discussing colors, graphics, and get our artist introduced into this project to produce a pencil sketch rendering for the outside look of your trailer.  We’ll also call out specific design elements that make this trailer distinctively yours. 

Modifications and adjustments can be made at this time; this is where you can visualize the completed trailer and make design changes before production actually begins.  We pride ourselves in the ability to work with our customers.  Even after production is started, if a change is needed or wanted, and if it is possible for us to implement the change, we are here to accommodate.

Timeframe:  1 - 2 weeks


Step Four  -  Sales Contract / Production Deposit

Once you have approved the conceptual designs involving equipment, layout and pricing,  we'll prepare a sales contract that outlines our payment policies, unit warranty and equipment package warranty.  A signed contract and a thirty percent deposit is required before we start fabrication of any part of your project.

Deposit and payment standard policies.

  • Five Thousdand US dollars - Booking Deposit - Assigns production date and conceptial designs.
  • 30% of the total unit price - Production Deposit - Due 30 days prior to the start of unit production.
  • Balance of total unit price - Final Payment - Due at unit completion and prior to unit pick up or shipment.

Now it’s time for us to get to work!  We’ll make our initial order of materials and supplies,  components will be ordered, fabrication will begin and we'll begin construction of your Hitch-Hiker trailer. 

Timeframe:  1 - 3 weeks before scheduled production start date




Step Five -  Unit Production

When building a new unit with Hitch-Hiker Mfg., we do our best to make it a fun and exciting experience!  Once we start laying out materials, cutting, bending, welding and fabricating, we'll keep you included in the process, and we're not talking about emailing a few photos here and there!  In addition to building you a trailer, we'll build you a private web page within our website and keep your progress updated with every major production step we go through.  With web access, you will be able to view your chassis as it comes off the frame table, see the walls go on, roof stages, rough wiring stages, cabinetry, paint, awnings, artwork and more!

Whether your home is across the state or across the country, as production questions arise, we are able to have phone discussions, upload some specific photos onto your webpage, and discuss these areas almost as if we were both standing here in person.

Timeframe:  3-5 days start of personal website
Timeframe:  14-16 weeks total typical build time of trailer


Step Six - Artwork Development / Stage One

After having several conversations, we will have developed a feel for your likes and dislikes. We will have developed a concept pencil sketch to show basic ideas or concepts. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your desires for paint colors, image styles or preferences like photo images or illustrations, theme ideas, even custom logo design. Most often, we will progress from the pencil concept sketch directly into the development of computer produced graphics. In some cases a hand drawn color mock up may be produced.

Timeframe: 1-2 weeks


Step Seven - Artwork Development / Stage Two

Just as we keep you updated with the trailer's building progress, we'll keep you updated on the stages of artwork development. We want your feedback along the way, because, if you see something you don't like, a design change at an early stage is much less costly than deciding on a new look after many days of work have been put into it. We typically develop the roof marquee first, as it is the primary focal point and theme that the rest of the unit will follow. Once you approve the marquee graphics, we begin building and printing the marquee while our graphic artist goes directly to the creation of the trailers' lower body graphics. Of course, you get a chance to see every stage before we go to print and have input for upcoming stages.

Timeframe: 1-2 weeks


Step Eight - Artwork Development / Stage Three

Just as the trailer comes together one piece at a time, we'll compose your artwork using the same principles, making sure that every component is fitted and works well with the others.  Small adjustments can be discussed and made on the fly, giving you a final product result that is second to none!

All artwork development is priced, created and licensed as single usage for the purpose of your trailer, unless otherwise discussed.  If you supply photo images of your own food, you retain exclusive rights to the usage of those photos.  If we develop a logo as part of the package that you would like to adopt and use elsewhere, that can be easily arranged.

Timeframe:  1-2 weeks


Step Nine - Unit Finalization

As with the entire assembly phase, the final touches will also be covered extensively with photos and posted to your private website.  We prefer the owners to come, in person, to take final delivery, however, in the case you are not personally making the trip, this is a good method to review all the details of your new trailer. 

Timeframe:  2-3 weeks


Step Ten - Customer Delivery

Completion!  But it’s not over just yet.  We’ll go over specifics using a check list of your new custom concession trailer (such as set up procedures, roof sign setup, leveling, power and water connections, equipment usage, tear down procedures and transportation readiness).  We’ll provide you with a full delivery binder that contains all relevant documentation on installed equipment, component manufacturers’ warranties, MSO’s and service and maintenance manuals.  Need to know torque settings for lug nuts?  Need a phone number for an equipment manufacturer?  It’s all here in a nice convenient binder.  Of course, we’ll also be here for advice and service in times of need. 

Then, just tell us how you would like to take delivery of your custom concession trailer.  You can pick it up in person at our facility,  send your own driver, or we can arrange a transportation service to deliver it to your doorstep.  (Some additional delivery fees may be required).  Let us know what works best for you. 

Final payment is also due at this time.

Timeframe:  1-2 days


Service Beyond Delivery...

After you have taken delivery of your new Hitch-Hiker Concession Trailer, we feel this is still just beginning of our relationship because we want to be here for any and all of your future needs as they arise.  See, we proudly build more than quality concession trailers, we build long lasting partnerships with our customers within our small industry. 

We recently invested in a new 6,000 square foot building in addition to our normal production facility that we use for unit finalization, and repair work.




Hitch-Hiker Mfg. 330-542-3052

© 2017 Hitch-Hiker Manufacturing Inc. - 10065 Rapp Road, New Middletown, Ohio 44442 - 330.542.3052