How to Soundproof Your Food Truck

How to Soundproof Your Food Truck
September 24, 2021

Are you a proud new owner of a food truck? Congratulations! Food trucks offer a fun and unique way to start a restaurant business. However, before you begin serving, there’s one piece of maintenance you need to do — soundproof your food truck generator.

Why Do You Need to Soundproof Your Food Truck?

Your food truck generator powers everything you need to operate. It is essential to your business, but it can cause some drawbacks. There are many reasons to soundproof your food truck generator, from health reasons to improving your customer’s experience.

Your Food Truck Generator Can Damage Hearing

Listening to a noisy generator all day is more than a nuisance — it can also damage you and your employee’s hearing. Soundproofing can diminish the damage caused by prolonged sound exposure.

It Can Be Difficult to Hear What Your Customers Are Ordering

With a loud generator in your food truck, it can be hard to hear what customers are saying, especially those who like to whisper. No one wants to shout to order, and a loud environment can deter a customer from returning. Do yourself a favor and soundproof that generator!

You May Be Unable to Hear What Your Coworkers Are Saying

“What?” That’s what you’ll be saying all day if you choose to skip out on soundproofing your food truck. The loud generator can lead to miscommunications and wrong orders, potentially increasing your food waste. Give your employees a break and invest in soundproof materials.

loud generator in food trucks can lead to miscommunications

How to Soundproof a Food Truck Generator

Before you embark on soundproofing your generator, you need to understand that you cannot completely soundproof a generator. You can, however, significantly reduce the noise of one. Here’s how you can quiet the generator for your food truck.

1. Plan out How You Will Enclose Your Food Truck Generator

Research the right materials to use for your generator and create a plan. Make sure you remember to leave an area for ventilation. Generators need to intake air to run and need to release the exhaust. Enclosing the generator without ventilation will cause it to overheat — if you have a newer model, it will shut down automatically. Air and heat can leak through any gap in the structure, while sound waves travel in a straight line. So, it is possible to create ventilation holes that will still block sound.

2. Gather the Right Equipment

These are all the materials you need to build your food truck generator:

  • Medium density fiberboard (MDF)
  • Mass loaded vinyl (MLV)
  • Acoustic caulk
  • Ventilation duct
  • Vent
  • Screw
  • 2×2 boards or 2×4 boards
  • Small fan
  • A measuring tape
  • Marker or pencil
  • Right angle ruler
  • Circular saw
  • Power drill or screwdriver

3. Build the Soundproof Box

Now that you have created the plans to build the soundproofing enclosure and gathered the materials, you can now put the pieces together with these steps:

  1. Measure everything: The size of the soundproofing box depends on the size of your food truck’s generator. When measuring the generator, make sure you leave enough room for air to flow and space for the soundproofing materials. You should have a minimum of three inches between the generator and the wall.
  2. Cut the soundproofing materials and framing: Use a right-angle ruler and writing utensil to mark up the fiberboard and double-check your measurements. Cut each piece with a circular or a table saw.
  3. Create the ventilation holes: One of the essential parts of the soundproofing structure is the ventilation holes. Using the ventilation duct, measure the diameter and draw circles on the fiberboard that correspond. Make sure you put a hole on the top, near the side of the fiberboard, not in the center. Place another hole on the wall. If you want better airflow, you can add another hole with a small fan, cutting the hole the size of the fan.
  4. Assemble the soundproof generator box: Now that you have all the materials, it’s time to assemble. Start by screwing the frame together. Next, glue and clamp the fiberboard pieces together. Or you can screw and glue the fiberboard pieces together. Next, screw all the pieces together. The box should now be taking shape.
  5. Install the soundproofing pieces into the generator box: Cut and glue the soundproofing material in place. Ensure that everywhere except for the vents are sealed properly. You can seal with acoustic caulk.
  6. Install the venting duct: Without a duct, your generator may overheat. If you do not use a fan, install a thermometer to monitor the temperature in the box.

Now your soundproof box is complete, and you’re ready to operate in a quieter food truck!

Products to Soundproof Your Food Truck Generator

To soundproof your food truck, you’ll need the right products. The good news is that there are plenty of products for you to choose from to soundproof your generator or other parts of your vehicle. Here are a few options that could help you have a better auditory experience in your food truck:

  • Quiet Barrier™ HD Soundproofing Composite: This industrial-grade material can prevent unwanted sounds from leaving or entering a space. Underneath the Quiet Barrier™ membrane lies a thick layer of acoustical foam, helping provide excellent noise reduction. Put some on the interior walls of your food truck, and you’re sure to have a much quieter experience.
  • Temporary barriers: Temporary soundproofing barriers are like quilts you can hang or drop anywhere you need extra acoustical treatment. Use it to divide a space into two sections, or hang it up on the wall of your generator compartment to absorb sound and create a much more comfortable environment while you serve up your customer’s favorite food truck dishes. These barriers are highly customizable, so you can rearrange them if you ever need to adjust your workflow.
  • Silent Running Soundproof Coating: Hard, untreated surfaces can reflect sound, contributing to quite a ruckus in your food truck. Use Silent Running Soundproof Coating to absorb some of these sounds and tame these reflective surfaces. It’s easy to use and applies just like paint, making it a great option for your food truck surfaces that need a coat of paint anyway.

Where Can You Purchase Soundproofing Materials?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! Soundproof Cow has all the soundproofing experience to help you. We have solutions to reduce noise levels in any setting, so get in touch for more tips or receive a free acoustic analysis.

Ready to start your project? Browse our products by application or contact us if you need help deciding what’s best for your soundproofing needs!

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About Kellen Beaver

Soundproof Cow Representative Kellen

Kellen has been a member of the sales team for over a decade. Prior to delving into the soundproofing realm, he was a jack of all trades in the service industry, working both front and back of the house jobs to various degrees. This diversity in experience makes it easy to relate to the needs of a large customer base. He understands noisy environments as well as the importance of aesthetics in a space. Adding something that doesn’t fit the look can be intrusive, so knowing that acoustical needs must fit the interior design is something he’s become very well-versed in. Most of this planning comes from working with both the owner/operators as well as their design team and architects. He has been able to adapt his knowledge in the restaurant industry into projects involving schools, office buildings and large medical facilities when the situation calls for it.

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