When purchasing an ice vending machine it is important to remember that this is a long term investment. You should expect your vending machine to last at least 20 years with routine maintenance. This will allow you to get maximum return over the 20 years or if you choose you can sell your investment and the new owner can expect many more years of return.
How can you be sure that your machine will operate for the entire time? Look at what the unit is constructed of. First, are quality parts used in the critical areas. Is the ice maker of top quality? There are a number of choices of ice makers. Among the cube type ice makers Hoshizaki, which is used by Bag of Ice, is considered the best. They outperform those built in china as well as Scotsman and Manatoic. They also provide excellent solutions for high heat situations such as are seen during the summertime throughout the country. The same goes for the coin and bill acceptors. MEI and CoinCo are two of the top brands used by US manufacturers.
Possibly the most critical part of the construction is the bin and its delivery system. Look for machines built with food grade stainless steel. This type of construction will far outlast those made of plastic. By using food grade stainless steel, such as used by Bag of Ice, you know you will have a long lasting construction. Those built of plastic, might last a long time, but there is no way of knowing the quality of plastic used by the manufacturer. You should also look for a simple delivery system. An auger drive system such as used by Bag of Ice requires fewer moving parts and moves the ice in a simple direct manner directly into the bag or ice chest. Those machines with rakes and scrapers require complex motions to deliver the ice. This can lead to jams and other costly malfunctions. Remember, your customer expects ice to be delivered every time.
In many states there are wind ratings that must be met. A machine constructed from plastic side without a strong internal construction will have a hard time meeting these requirements. A machine utilizing non-corroding construction grade aluminum as seen with a Bag of Ice machine can easily meet these requirements allowing you to place your machine wherever you want to .