Know How to Choose the Best Generator for Food Truck
For those planning to go for a mobile food business, buying the right portable generator is vital in powering all appliances inside your food truck. There are plenty of factors you need to consider in choosing the right one. Some of these factors include noise level, power output, fuel efficiency, size, portability features, durability, and price.
To ease up your burden, we have a quick guide here to help you out in the sorting and choosing process. We also included our comparison chart and an in-depth product review for our top 8 best generators for food truck 2020. Stay tuned to find out more about this topic.
Best Generator For Food Truck (January 2020) – Top 8 Picks & Reviews
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR The Best Generator For Food Truck
Choosing which generator set will best fit for your food truck business needs careful analysis and evaluation on its specifications and performance. Here are the necessary things you need to consider before buying your generator.
1. Engine Power Rating
To know if the generator's engine creates more power, you need to look at its cc rating. "cc" stands for a cubic centimeter or the volume of air-fuel mixture one cylinder can accommodate for burning to generate power.
Likewise, cc rating also refers to the displacement of the piston as it goes up and down in one complete cycle. Generally, the higher the cc rating, the more powerful your engine or generator is. It also entails higher fuel consumption because you have a larger engine in your unit. You also need to expect higher noise level operation for larger engines than those smaller ones.
2. Fuel Input
Various models of generators have specific fuel type that you need to use, and the common options are gasoline, propane, and diesel for some. Among the three, gasoline has the highest cost, while the other two have a lower cost.
Gasoline provides a higher heating power compared to the other two options. However, there are a few gripes and benefits that you need to further know among the three types of generator based on fuel type. Gasoline generator produces more heat but requires more maintenance and wears easily than those fed by propane and diesel.
3. Fuel Tank Volume
Knowing the volume of the generator's fuel tank is the best way to gauge how long it can keep generating power to sustain your food truck operation. Larger tank capacity is suitable if you want to have long hours of operation. Likewise, less hassle for refueling when you have a larger fuel tank.
4. Noise Level Operation
Generators are known to produce audible sound level during operation which is expressed in dB or decibels. The maximum tolerable noise level for a food truck generator is 76 dB. If your chosen unit produces a louder sound, then expect your customers to be irritated.
There are several modern units out there which has silencer accessories or functions added to effectively reduce the noise level during operation.
This feature is linked to the generator's power output. The suitable wattage for most generators used for food trucks is between 5000 to 7000 watts. Quite high? This is not too much as you would use appliances with high wattage requirements inside your food truck.
Some of these appliances include an oven, fridge, ac unit, fryers, and more depending on your requirement. If the appliance's wattage is not specified, you can calculate that by multiplying its voltage and amperage.
6. Portability and Size
Before buying any generator model, make sure you have taken into consideration the space allocated for it inside the truck. Typically, the greater its power output, the larger its size and the heavier its weight. You need to consider the portability of the machine when placing it inside and out of the truck.
7. Generator outlets
Rule of thumb, the more outlets, the better for the business. If the generator has multiple outlets where you can plug in your appliance or an extension power cord, then you can use more appliances for multitasking.
You also need to check on the type of outlet available in the unit. Likewise, the more appliances you use at the same time, the faster is the consumption of power generated.
Top 8 Best Generator for Food Truck reviews 2020
1. Westinghouse WGen7500DF
• Reasonable cost
• Heavy to move
• Durable parts and machining
• 16 hours run time with peak wattage at 8550W to 9500W
Best for Overall - Amazon's Choice
After searching through the market, this portable generator from Westinghouse is our top pick for a food truck business. If you are operating for 16 hours, it can completely cater to your need. Its overall power and performance are amazing and reliable.
If gasoline is costly, you can fuel this up with propane and still give you running watts of 6750W and peak at 8550W. You are ensured that its wattage and 420 cc engine can accommodate your freezer, fryer, lights, and small ac unit with ease.
In terms of outlets, it has two GFCI outlet (120V 20A), one outlet 120/240V 30A, and two outlets 5V USB ports. Likewise, you can remotely turn it on by a key fob. Maintenance level is not that difficult for this unit. For more safety, they placed an automatic shut-off function for low oil levels.
2. DuroStar DS4000S
• Budget-friendly choice
• No gripes so far
• Housing construction is good
• Excellent power output rating and run time
Best for Budget - Amazon's Choice
If you are on a tight budget, this portable generator from DuroStar is your best solution for getting a good power source for your food truck business. It can fairly run for 8 hours at a running wattage of 3,300W.
This unit has a 208cc engine which sufficiently burns and generates a peak power of 4,000W. For the price against how long it can supply power, it is worth every money you invest. It also has an auto shut-off low oil level function which protects the engine from wear.
Aside from that, it takes up little footprint inside your trailer or truck, so you have more space where you can place other utensils for your food truck business. The switch and its outlets seem well-built and reliable. Based on these features, we'd say it is a cost-effective unit for the price.
3. Champion Dual Fuel Generator
• 439 cc engine rating
• Lack of the main breaker
• Good fuel efficiency
• Black and yellow panel made from plastic
• Excellent power output
This generator unit has a comparable performance with some known brands such as Honda, Homelite, Generac, Kolar and more. This produces enough power that can effectively sustain 11 hours of using a 180A 240V Harbor Freight MIG welder using propane fuel.
Using gasoline and running on 50 percent load, this unit can run for straight 8 hours without tripping. So far, its 439 cc engine can effectively sustain enough power that a food truck requires. Majority of its parts and construction are durable and well-machined to last long.
It lacks the main breaker so you need to unplug your load if you are not using it.
4. Firman P03601 Portable Generator
• Low noise level operation
• No wheels for increased mobility
• Effective motor power
• Space-saving compact design
Best for Quiet Operation - Amazon's Choice
When you are doing a food truck business, the generator you will be using must be of a low noise level so it won't irritate your customers. This gen-set is best for its whisper muffler to maintain a low noise level.
The ergonomic design of this unit can save you much space within your truck. It is portable but you can buy some wheels to increase its portability. We love its built-in multimeter which works as expected as well. It also has an auto shut-off feature for low oil levels.
Good power and a strong motor.
Overall, works as expected, no gripes.
5. Green-Power America GPG3500iE
• Long run time with its fuel tank capacity
• Always check overall wattage requirement of your truck and see if this one can accommodate it
• 5.5 HP motor
• Low noise level
Best for 5.5 HP Generator
Among other 5.5 HP generator units, this one got our attention for having an excellent feature and performance. Looking at its price, it is a great trade-off for your food truck business. Its 192 cc engine and 4 gal fuel tank can effectively sustain power for 13 straight hours.
Aside from that, it’s sound level during operation is 60dBA which is not harmful to your customers. Its power generation is enough to sustain a fridge, ac unit, 800W microwave and a small TV unit. If you use 9 gallons, it can effectively run for 49.5 hours on an RV with your AC unit on.
Inside the truck, its temperature is around 90 degrees, not that bad to warm the inside temperature of the truck. So far, there’s no problem with metal residues on its fuel tank. Good generator for the price.
You need to check the wattage of your ac unit if you plan to have one inside your truck. Compute your overall wattage and check if it can be sustained by this generator.
6. WEN DF475 Generator
• Dual fuel consumption?Dual fuel consumption
• Decent run time and running watts
• Control buttons that work as expected
For the price below $600, this dual fuel generator offers good features. Getting a full tank with gasoline, you can have a run time of 11 hrs, while for propane it runs for 7 hrs.
The wheels of this unit are solid and a great help for mobility considering this has a heavyweight. It has a 47-inch hose so you can connect it to an LPG tank. Other features to admire include its circuit breakers, fuel switch (gasoline to propane and vice versa), and its electric start. You also have a voltage selector for this unit - 120V to 240V.
Overall, this is a good generator for an investment in your food truck.
7. Powerhorse Generator
• Good control panel
• None so far
• Stable power generation
The first things we admire from this unit are its 10 outlets and one 12V DC outlet. This is great for you can plug in many devices to be used for your food truck.
This one also has an auto shut-off low oil level to protect the unit from exhausting itself. The wheel kits included for this generator is useful for insured mobility. You also have a throttle switch to adjust the speed of your engine when you need more or less power.
Likewise, operating this unit is straightforward. Maintenance is not that hard as well. The auto voltage regulator works as expected in getting stable power production.
Nothing so far, all is good.
8. Ryobi Portable Generator
• Strong 420 cc engine
• Auto CO shut-off function
• Compact and ergonomic construction
We admire the 420 cc engine of this generator for it can accommodate the 6000W requirement of a regular food truck. You will be amazed on its CO sensor which automatically activates upon reaching the pre-set limit for protection.
Despite its heavyweight, its 10-inch wheels make portability easier and convenient for your daily usage. Its noise level production of 72.3 dBA is tolerable for your customers, but you can install an improvise muffler to reduce it further.
Overall, you get an excellent generator with its parts made from quality steel and hard polyester compound.
Nothing to complain about it so far.