Just wanted to take a survey of the commercial cake folks to get your opinions about what the best delivery vehicle is for cakes. We have a Jeep Cherokee at the moment and trust me, it ain't the best. Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
I have a Chrysler Pacifica and its perfect for delivery cakes! Good suspension too so no falling cake!!
Bad thing about a'96 Grand Cherokee is the old style axles, front and rear...make for a very rough ride even after I put 250lb of steel plates in teh rear end. These newer vehicles have independent suspensions and split the impact.
I have an 01 dodge caravan. this is my second one seats come out really easy and has a large cargo area then. It has rear air conditioning so the back stays cool . I put down a large foam pad from a craft store. thow down a skid pad and away I go. I have delivered a five tier cake on a 1 1/2 hour drive and never had any problems.
I would say a suv with a good suspension, and that is not to low to the ground for ease getting cakes in and out. The Jeep Cherokee you have now, is it an older vehicle or have the shocks or sruts been checked lately. A little TLC for you SUV a lot of times will help. Also check the ait pressure in your tires, low air pressure can make the tires "hit a little harded". You may not need to buy a new SUV just check the one you have. alot of people over look this when their car " rides to rough" i'd just hate for you to buy a new car unless you had too.
No, it has all new shocks. That model Cherokee is just rough riding period, rated tire pressure or not. Like I said in a previous post, axle suspensions tend to translate impacts througout the vehicle whereas independent suspensions distribute it more evenly. I just want to hear from other members on what works for them.
Sorry for what?
I drive an '02 Yukon XL(Suburban) and I love it!! I used to have a Toyota Camry and delivered cakes in that and it was a nightmare trying to get cakes to sit leveled, etc.
With my Yukon; the back part is air conditioned, it's high enough for me to just slide the cakes in and it actually rides better than my Camry!! HTH
I have an '09 Expedition that is working out well so far- it's a very smooth ride and the seats fold flat. I rode in the back when I bought it just to make sure I think a mini-van would probably be ideal (smooth, car-like ride with ample space and auto lift gate and doors) but I just couldnt bring myself to buy a mini
You all may not believe this but I have an '07 Ford F-150 with an ARE insulated cap on the bed (which has a man door) and a "Bed Rug" brand liner for the bed itself. The bed rug is about 1/2" thick foam so it cushions the cakes too. It has never had anything in it but cakes. It is not air conditioned either. It has worked fine for 2 years now and has plenty of room and is the perfect height for me to reach in for the cakes.
I'm putting down one of those foam treadmill mats in the cargo area, hopefully that will help some.
I have a 2009 Kia Sorento and I LOVE IT! It rides great and it is just at the right height to load and unload cakes! I bought that vehicle with 'Caking on the brain!'
We have an Audi Allroad (essentially an A6 wagon with gizmo suspension). With the back seats folded down, it holds a lot of cake and "stuff".
When I starting caking my 2004 Mustang Cobra just wasn't cutting it for delivering cakes; I had to borrow friend's vehicles including a Toyota Camry for smaller cakes and a Nissan Xterra and Ford Expedition for my larger cakes and wedding cakes. I finally decided to get my own vehicle and the most important feature to me was how the back would open; I'm a short person so it raising up would be a problem for me. I decided on the 2006 H3 Hummer; it's perfect! The back is spacious and flat and the back opens up like a regular door to the side so I don't have to reach on my tippy toes to try to close it.
Anything with an independent rear suspension and posi-traction would work well (do they still sell vehicles like that?). Must have lots of cabin or trunk space and a high ceiling. Tinted windows and air conditioning front and back.
I have an 08 Dodge Caravan and its perfect. I can fold the seats into the floor and I fols just one or all. It is has rear AC at the floor and the roof. If I'm bringing a large stand with the cake I leave the back seat up and their is still room behind it, so the stand wont damage the cake. The best thing is the AC gets super cold.
I know you asked for commercial bakers to answer; but I see you drive a "regular" consumer vehicle. Although I am a hobby baker, I must tell you that based my vehicle purchase on its ability to transport a cake. I did. I'm serious. When I went for test drives, the first thing I checked was if I could fit a cake in the back, and would it be okay during transportation. (I'm a minimum 2 hr drive from anyone in my family.) Anyway, a couple years ago I purchased a new 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! I was sooooooo impressed at the stability as well as its ability to get through any kind of weather (snow, rain...). I love my FJ and will be driving 3+ hours this weekend with my SIL's 2-tier baby shower cake.
That Hummer doesn't ride to rough? Wow that's a surprise.
I have a Lexus 350 SUV. It rides SO SMOOTH !!! The best part is it has an electric rear door that opens & shuts with a click of the remote. If I have 3-4 wedding cakes in the back, I take one out and don't have to put it down for the vehicle to shut it's own door. If it's raining out the rear door opens up so it's over your head shielding you and the cake from bad weather and then shuts so any other cakes in the back won't get wet.
Right now I have a Mitsubishi Montero, great on the room capacity and the carpeted backend is wonderful, but the ride is a bit rough. I am investing in a few months in a new Nissan Cube. The backend door opens like a refrigerator door so there is more clearance, and the door never gets in the way. My honey is making a special floor just for my deliveries as with the back seats down in the back there is a deep well like trunk area which is great for some cakes but not for most so to make a level area from the backs of the seats & covering the well area. With that in place it will be perfect! The ride is amazing too. We went over railroad tracks just to see how the car handled over them...could barely feel them...in my montero I would have had to roll over them at 1 mile per hour and the vehicle still would have rocked back & forth...LOL! Plus the Cube is really cute and an eye catcher. I am having it carwrapped so it will be rolling advertsing for me as well.
I just bought a 2007 Chrysler Town & Country this spring (it had 4900 miles on it). It has the Stow-N-Go seats which I wanted and it also has the automatic doors (both sides and rear). I didn't really know that I wanted the automatic doors, but am really glad they came on the vehicle! No more trying to balance a cake and open the door or leaving the door open while I ran back for the cake. The air has seperate controls for front and back so that if you want the air full blast in the back you don't have to freeze in the front. This is the second mini van I have had and I do love them for cake transport. I have had it about 5 months and have already put 10,000 miles on it.
I decided on the 2006 H3 Hummer; it's perfect! The back is spacious and flat and the back opens up like a regular door to the side so I don't have to reach on my tippy toes to try to close it.
This is just what I wanted to hear. I love the H3 and have been trying to convince hubby to buy me one for a while now. He'll be hearing about this for sure!
I have a 2002 Pt Cruiser.. it is perfect for us to deliver cakes and cute too... The seats come out and flip and do anything you want.. it even has a shelf in the back that I can use some of that waisted space above the floor.
The windows are tinted and I have a great yellow red and black magnetic sign on the back that says.. caution: wedding cake on board! Helps the traffic understand why I go 1mph over pot holes and tracks and around corners.
Also for those of you with cars, I had a cabinet maker make a SHELF for my back seat. It fit accross the car... with the shelf being the same witdth of the seats.. and having a lip around to make sure the cakes didn't slip.. (put rubber mat on the shelf so nothing moves).. and the front of the shelf has Legs.. that go tot he floor of the car and secure it.. as for the back of the shelf.. you just roll up beach towels and place under the back of the shelf.. to keep it level and soft to adsob bumps. This shelf works great in just about any car and is great for so many things.. like grocery shopping or anything that you don't want to get on your car seats...
We also have wooden cake boxes that were made with slide out tray to place cakes in.. Shut the box door, and the boxes are able to be stacked and use that extra wasted space and are totaly safe abd secure.
We purchased an '06 Chrysler Town & Country last year for transporting both kids and cakes (kids are 9 & 7). It's got Sto 'n Go seating, which I find essential to transporting and delivering cakes. If necessary I can have the kids in the middle row, fold down the backseat for a cake and away we go.
It's got rear a/c, tinted windows, and it's very easy to get cakes in and out of the van.
The Chevy HHR Panel is made for deliveries. I have a silver one. It's a commercial non-passenger vehicle with completely flat rubberized back. They even sell a catering van divider for it.