How long has Kooler Ice been manufacturing ice vending machines?
As with any industry, there will be ice vending machine manufacturers in business today that will not be in business a year from now.
When evaluating ice vending machine and manufacturing companies, it is important to ask questions about the company and find out how long they have been in business. Kooler Ice has been in the business of ice machine manufacturing since July 2007 – and since that time – Kooler Ice has manufactured over 900 machines.
Market population and brand awareness are critical to resale value should you choose to sell your machine at some point in the future. Kooler Ice’s goal is for its machines to have the best resale value in the ice vending machines industry, so we invest in marketing and advertising the Kooler Ice brand. We are committed to the ice machine manufacturing industry, to our owners, and to their success and profitability.
Does the machine bag the ice and why is this important?
There are two types of ice vending machines on the market today, machines that bag the ice automatically and machines that require the customer to bag their own ice. To offer a machine that automatically bags the ice, the ice machine manufacturing company has to invest in the technology and the research to do so. Why is this important? The whole goal of ice vending is to provide customers with a safe, quick, and convenient way to purchase fresh ice. If your machine does not automatically bag the ice, you have compromised on these goals. When the consumer bags the ice, the safety and sterility of the ice can easily be compromised by them (and others before them) coming in contact with the machine bagging area, the bags, and the ice itself as they work to catch it in the bag. It requires additional steps, additional instructions, and additional time, so the quick and convenient aspect is reduced. And, bagging your own ice reduces the fun and novelty of pushing the button and watching a full bag of ice fall out of the chute!
Additionally, when you require your customer to bag the ice, you are also potentially limiting your sales to the machines ability to be stocked with or mechanically dispense bags for bagging purposes. You may also have an issue with patrons bagging their own ice and taking more than one bag. This financial loss occurs, not only in bag loss from being stolen, but also in sales volume loss – since you may not be aware of the theft of the bags, and there may not be bags available for a paying customer when they come to the machine to purchase ice.
The Kooler Ice Vending machine automatically makes, stores, bags, and dispenses fresh ice on demand. The ice is delivered in the quantity requested, already bagged, when they push the button. There is no risk of contamination because no one and nothing can come in contact with the ice other than the purchaser.
Do your machines come with a refrigeration unit?
Initially, Kooler Ice built its machines with a refrigeration unit and stainless steel ice storage bins. After a year or two of testing in the field and listening to our owners, it was determined that it was cheaper to make ice than it was to try to preserve it.
So, we eliminated the refrigeration unit and the stainless steel bin and designed and purchased a mould to build a food grade plastic, foam injected ice bin. By doing this, we were able to substantially reduce our owners’ utility cost and upfront machine purchase cost, while providing them more profit dollars at the end of each month. And, by eliminating the stainless steel bin, we were able to provide a surface that was much easier to clean and maintain for owners, which would seal more tightly (like a cooler), and which would not rust. This provided a more consistent ice machine manufacturing process, improving quality control and customer satisfaction.
Are Kooler Ice machines built to last?
Whether you are buying a new pickup truck, new tractor or a new ice vending machine, the frame is the life-blood of the unit and will determine the longevity and the resale value of the product for years to come.
Kooler Ice has well over 100 years combined experience in fabrication alone. Our frames are all designed and manufactured with heavy-duty aluminum frames with stainless steel plate throughout. Our machines are designed and built for extensive years of service life. We also have the ability to provide our owners machines with a second full life down the road should they choose to update the machine and do a certified rebuild of the machine bringing it to new production standards.
- The IM500 utilizes 1.5″ Aluminum Tubing
- The IM1000 and KI810 utilizes 2.0″ Aluminum Tubing
- The IM2500 utilizes 4.0″ Aluminum Tubing
What are the utility and installation requirements?
To place a Kooler Ice Vending machine you will need a 3/4” water line and 220V Single Phase Power for the machines. Installing our machines is a relatively simple process.
A standard 5000lb forklift will be used to remove the machine from the trailer and to set in place. The installation is done by one of our trained service technicians and can normally be completed in a few hours. While he is installing the machine, our service tech will explain the machine functions and maintenance and review basic trouble shooting tips with you (and anyone else you would like to be trained to work with the machines).
For machines placed in a parking lot or away from the building, a concrete pad is advised with bollards to protect the machine. In some areas it may be advisable to use tie downs. But, in working with your sales representative, he will help you determine the best way to install your machine for your specific location. Drawings are available from Kooler Ice for all installation sets for use by your electrician, plumber or pad layer, and they may also contact us should they have questions.
What certifications have you done to protect owners and distributors and our customers?
As you evaluate your purchase decision, is important to ask the ice machine manufacturer what testing they have done to ensure the safety of their product.
Kooler participates in the NAMA machine evaluation program that evaluates ice and water vending machines against federal guidelines for sanitation and consumer safety. This voluntary program ensures that our products are independently evaluated to ensure that we comply with all Federal Guidelines for sanitation and consumer safety. Each year Kooler Ice is visited by a representative of NAMA to certify our machines and any new products or updates that we have introduced.
Kooler Ice has also invested in having their machines ETL certified to UL 541 Standards. This rigorous evaluation ensures that owners are protected and can be confident that Kooler Ice is following all national electrical codes and standards.
Many, if not most, municipalities and health departments are requiring this certification, so regardless of which vending machine you purchase, make sure the manufacturer certifies its machines under the NAMA machine evaluation program and has its machines UL or ETL certified to protect you, your customers, and your investment!
Will I receive after sale support?
Kooler Ice provides all owners with our 1-800 Service Support Hotline that is available 7 days a week from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. This hotline is your hotline. Our machines were designed to be easy to operate and maintain, but whether you have a quick, simple question on the machine or a more technical question , the Kooler Ice Hotline is there to assist you and will be answered by one of our trained service representatives! Our service hotline is one of the reasons our customer satisfaction ratings rank so high. In addition to our service hotline, we recently developed and opened our new online parts store so you can search our parts, maintenance and promotional items online – when it is convenient for you!
What makes Kooler Ice different?
Our values, integrity and commitment to our owners. We see our owners as long term partners and are committed to helping them choose the right equipment for their locations, teaching them how to manage and operate their machines, providing extensive support before and after the sale, and listening to their suggestions on ways we can improve our designs, technology and service. We offer our owners support in every area, including marketing, to ensure your success and to allow you to grow your business. If you need us, now or in the future, we will be there!