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best generator for food truck

7 Best Portable Generators For Food Trucks 2020

Any business owner operating a food truck will tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than watching a long queue forming just waiting for your food. The food truck business has great returns. It’s also a chance to nurture a loyal customer base.

Yet, even on your best day, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. You might be churning out awesome meals one minute, and the next minute you’re in panic mode because your food truck has no electricity.

A food truck is a highly mobile utility and it has huge electricity needs. That’s why you need a generator. A generator can keep you running for up to 9 hours. It ensures all your essential appliances are running efficiently and keeps your clients’ bellies full and your pockets filled.

We pit 7 portable generators that will keep your food truck lit up and your food moving.

In a hurry? Skip this article by clicking here to be re-directed to Amazon to see our favorite one ↗️

Here are some comparisons

Best Value
ROCKPALS 300W Portable Power Station, 280Wh CPAP...
Editors Choice
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh...
Top Spec
Goal Zero Yeti (Yeti 1400)
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh...
KYNG Power Solar Generator Portable Power Station...
Make & Model
ROCKPALS 300W Portable Generator
Jackery Power Station Explorer 240
Goal Zero Yeti 1400
Goal Zero Yeti 400
Kyng Power Solar Generator
Prime
-
-
-
-
Capacity & Displacement
75000mAh, 3.7V/280Wh
240Wh (16.8Ah, 14.4V)
132,000mAh/10.8V, 396,000mAH/3.7V
Peak Capacity: 396Wh (12V, 33Ah)
1000W Peak Power 288Wh
Watts
300 Watts
240 Watts
1428 Watts
400 Watts
500Watts
Surge Watts
600 Watts
400 Watts
3000 Watts Surge
Continuous 300W, 600W surge
1000watts
Run Time
4-5 Hours
3.5 Hours
Up to 26 Hours for a small fridge
5 Hours on full load
5-6 Hours
DC 12V Ports
4x12V, 1X24V
1X (Pure Sine Wave)
1 DC - 2 AC
1 DC & 1 AC
4 DC 12V ports
USB 2.0 Ports
2 USB Ports
2 x USB A Ports
3 USB Ports
2 USB Ports
4 USB ports
Weight
7.3lb
6.6 lbs
43.7 lbs
29lbs
11 x 4.5 x 5.3 inches
Size
6.5 x 3.15 x 6.89 in
5.19 x 9.05 x 7.67 in
18 x 13 x 13 inches
8 x 10.25 x 8 inches
7 pounds
Charging Time
6 Hours
7 Hours
24 Hours from mains
5 Hours
7 Hours
Our Own Star Rating
9.4 out of 10
9.6 out of 10
9.5 out of 10
9.3 out of 10
9.2 out of 10
Warranty
18 Months
12 Months
12 Months
6 Months
18 Months
Best Value
ROCKPALS 300W Portable Power Station, 280Wh CPAP...
Make & Model
ROCKPALS 300W Portable Generator
Prime
-
Capacity & Displacement
75000mAh, 3.7V/280Wh
Watts
300 Watts
Surge Watts
600 Watts
Run Time
4-5 Hours
DC 12V Ports
4x12V, 1X24V
USB 2.0 Ports
2 USB Ports
Weight
7.3lb
Size
6.5 x 3.15 x 6.89 in
Charging Time
6 Hours
Our Own Star Rating
9.4 out of 10
Warranty
18 Months
Editors Choice
Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh...
Make & Model
Jackery Power Station Explorer 240
Prime
Capacity & Displacement
240Wh (16.8Ah, 14.4V)
Watts
240 Watts
Surge Watts
400 Watts
Run Time
3.5 Hours
DC 12V Ports
1X (Pure Sine Wave)
USB 2.0 Ports
2 x USB A Ports
Weight
6.6 lbs
Size
5.19 x 9.05 x 7.67 in
Charging Time
7 Hours
Our Own Star Rating
9.6 out of 10
Warranty
12 Months
Top Spec
Goal Zero Yeti (Yeti 1400)
Make & Model
Goal Zero Yeti 1400
Prime
-
Capacity & Displacement
132,000mAh/10.8V, 396,000mAH/3.7V
Watts
1428 Watts
Surge Watts
3000 Watts Surge
Run Time
Up to 26 Hours for a small fridge
DC 12V Ports
1 DC - 2 AC
USB 2.0 Ports
3 USB Ports
Weight
43.7 lbs
Size
18 x 13 x 13 inches
Charging Time
24 Hours from mains
Our Own Star Rating
9.5 out of 10
Warranty
12 Months
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station, 400Wh...
Make & Model
Goal Zero Yeti 400
Prime
-
Capacity & Displacement
Peak Capacity: 396Wh (12V, 33Ah)
Watts
400 Watts
Surge Watts
Continuous 300W, 600W surge
Run Time
5 Hours on full load
DC 12V Ports
1 DC & 1 AC
USB 2.0 Ports
2 USB Ports
Weight
29lbs
Size
8 x 10.25 x 8 inches
Charging Time
5 Hours
Our Own Star Rating
9.3 out of 10
Warranty
6 Months
KYNG Power Solar Generator Portable Power Station...
Make & Model
Kyng Power Solar Generator
Prime
-
Capacity & Displacement
1000W Peak Power 288Wh
Watts
500Watts
Surge Watts
1000watts
Run Time
5-6 Hours
DC 12V Ports
4 DC 12V ports
USB 2.0 Ports
4 USB ports
Weight
11 x 4.5 x 5.3 inches
Size
7 pounds
Charging Time
7 Hours
Our Own Star Rating
9.2 out of 10
Warranty
18 Months

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why do they need this generator?

Food is too sensitive a commodity to be mishandled. You cannot leave its safety to the uncertainty of an unstable power supply. Your food needs to stay fresh from opening time through rush hour to closing.

Otherwise, you’ll be getting served with food safety violation warning faster than you can flip a patty.

And even when you have power, you might have extra appliances. The extra load will likely put a strain on your power resources.

And we don’t think you want a whole load of people looking at you funny in the middle of peak hours wondering why you can’t run your food truck like a professional.

The food truck business is highly mobile. Some areas get high foot traffic on a whim. As a business owner, that is your cue to gather up your gear and make the most out of that situation.

With a portable generator, the only thing you have to worry about is whether you have enough fuel to last you through that rush.

A food truck is energy-intensive. Backup systems are an underrated investment on your part. Portable food truck generators pack a punch when it comes to output.

Some generators will put out as much as 12000 watts. And with electrical equipment such as grills, freezers, and high power blenders, a high-powered portable generator is just the ticket you need to keep running.

Fast food works on thin margins. It is in your best interest to keep production costs low. A portable generator will put you one step ahead of the game since it’s made to consume less fuel.

From having consumption monitors to automatic shut off systems, a portable food truck generator is meant to make it easier for you to operate anywhere.

How Do I Pick A Portable Food Truck Generator

When choosing a portable power generator for a food truck there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

Let us take a closer look at some of the options to consider.

Check the output

The first thing you want to know about your generator is how much power it can push. Of course, this depends on the size of your operation. If you are running a food truck in a high traffic area, your power needs will likely require a powerful machine to keep up.

However, you can always tone it down if you only have a few appliances or a small food truck operation.

That opens up the issue of starting wattage and running wattage

The starting wattage is usually more than the running wattage. However, you have to focus keenly on the running wattage as it influences runtime and what kind of appliances you can run in your portable food truck.

Heat producing appliances might consume more energy since they require equal power to start up and run.

However, motorized appliances will take up a larger chunk of the electric load to start. Once they’re running, they reduce the load on your generator.

Noise level

You are likely to be running your food truck in a residential or commercial hub. Sure, the area might be noisy but a quiet generator can be a huge plus on your part. You can create an area that has minimal noise disruption.

Quiet generators are common now. You can find generators with noise levels as low as 60dB. And all the while they don’t have to compromise on power.

That opens up your operation to a lot more areas especially ones with strict noise level rules and regulations.

too loud image

Check the type

Is your ideal food truck generator an inverter generator or a conventional generator? The type of generator you buy influences the amount of power you use and how long you can run your food truck.

Conventional generators are older models compared to their inverter counterparts. They operate with a constant RPM. Besides the lower price, these generators also have longer run time and put out more power.

However, what you gain in power and run time, you lose out on bulk and convenience. They are heavier and you cannot run a parallel operation on them

Inverter generators are a newer kid on the block. These are built for portability, fuel efficiency and power management. Although the run time is dictated by their capacity, it is shorter than in conventional generators.

They are lightweight and quieter. One of their best features is the ability to reduce their engine speed to the power draw of current running appliances.

Its fuel needs

It’s good to have a generator that runs on gas. It’s even better to have a generator that can run on an alternative gas such as propane.

If you have your eye on making the most of your fuel needs, propane might be better for you since it is more affordable. It is also system-friendly in generator models that use carburetors.


Best Portable Generator For Food Trucks

7. Yamaha EF6300iSDE

Latest Price on Amazon ↗️

This Yamaha generator is meant to keep your small-scale food truck operation going for up to 18 hours with low energy usage. If you are running a small food truck you will appreciate the Smart Throttle technology that reduces power draw to match your immediate power needs.

The generator comes with an optional remote control that gives you the power to control it from up to 66 meters away. It runs on both 120 and 240V so you can set up anywhere.

It is a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at 100lbs. However, with the handles on each end, 2 people can easily lift it into and off the food truck.

Use the quick on and off the start and make the most out of its 6300 starting watts and 5500 running watts.

Key Features

✅ Smart Throttle technology that varies power consumption.

✅ Power meter for power monitoring

✅ Low oil auto shut off

✅ Dual Voltage 120/240V

✅Noise block for quiet running

✅ What we liked

  • Optional remote start
  • Twin bars that make it easy to carry into and out of the food truck
  • Low emission with CARB and EPA certification
  • Hour meter lets you know when to refuel

❌ What we didn’t like

  • Low output if you wish to scale up operations
  • The wheels don’t turn, making it difficult to maneuver

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


6.Pulsar PG2300iS

Latest Prices on Amazon ↗️

Compared to the other models here, this is the one with the least output. Yet, its design and compactness make it a great generator for a low-energy food truck. The suitcase design houses a 4-stroke engine that pushes 2000W at its peak and 1600 watts running.

At only 59db, it is a great option for nighttime service. It’ll give you about 8 hours on half load on a 1.8-gallon tank of gas. It has 2 120AV outlets, a 12V DC outlet and a 5V USB outlet. And if one isn’t enough, you can use 2 at the same time thanks to its parallel operation capability.

Key Features

✅ Recoil start

✅ Parallel connection

✅ 80CC OVH engine

✅ Low oil sensor

✅ What we liked

  • Quiet operation
  • Additional spark plug wrench and oil
  • Oil warning display
  • 59dB quiet operation

❌ What we didn’t like

  • Low output
  • Substantial noise increase at higher load

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


5. Honda EU7000iAT1

Latest Prices on Amazon ↗️

Honda has a reputation for high power machinery. This generator is just a rubber stamp on the company’s rapport. Even with a 7000-watt motor, this generator only produces 58dB of sound. A full tank of gas will keep you running from between 6 to 18 hours, enough hours to run your business through peak mealtime.

Worried about stale oil accumulation and eventual engine damage? The generator is designed to ensure all the fuel is used before going off. It runs at 5500 watts and uses fuel injection technology to minimize fuel consumption.

The Eco-Throttle is a fuel saver especially when your power needs go down. Coupled with the key fob used to start, this machine is a true on-the-go generator.

Key Features

✅ Eco-Throttle fuel efficiency system

✅ Fuel injection capability

✅ 120/240V output

✅ One-turn engine start

✅ What we liked

  • Quiet operation
  • Up to 5 hours of continuous operation with 75% load
  • Overload alarm
  • Output indicator screen

❌ What we didn’t like

  • Performs poorly in hot climates
  • The recoil starter is difficult to use

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


4. Westinghouse WGen7500DF

Latest prices on Amazon ↗️

This 420CC generator is just the ticket for operating a mid-level food truck. The 6.6-gallon tank will give you an uptime of about 16 hours. Even at its full capacity, noise levels do not exceed 64dB. It is engineered for efficiency with its push-to-start button and a remote key fob that can start the machine from more than 100 yards away.

This generator uses both gas and propane. It pushes 9500watts output at its peak and 7500 continuous. The foam grip handle makes it easy to move around as you look for the right spot. Its 2 120/240V outlets have a protective cover to promote durability.

Key Features

✅ Fuel selector switch

✅Digital indicator meter

✅ 2 GFCI 5-20R 120V household Duplex outlets 

✅ One L14-30R 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet

✅ Electric push-button start

✅ What we liked

  • Remote key start fob with a 109-yard range
  • Automatic low oil shutdown
  • Protective cover on the output outlets
  • No-flat wheels

❌ What we didn’t like

  • It is heavy
  • The polyurethane wheels are not ideal for a machine of this weight

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


3. All Power America APGG10000GL

Latest prices on Amazon ↗️

If you are looking to step up to the big ranks, this 10000-watt generator is what you need. The 15 horsepower 420 cc engine delivers 11 hours of service at 50% load. This is taking into consideration its 8-gallon propane gas tank.

It can also run on gasoline. Although it’s one of the louder machines on the list at 76dB, it is a sturdy outdoor machine. Its solid construction is capped off by a powdered anti-corrosive finish for more durability.

Key Features

✅ 4 AC Duplex 120V outlets, one 120v twist-lock outlet, one 120/240V twist-lock outlet and one 12V DC

✅ 8 Gallon gas tank

✅ No maintenance flat-free wheels

✅ Electric push start and recoil start

✅ What we liked

  • Hour meter
  • Wheel kit
  • Battery included
  • Foldable handle

❌ What we didn’t like

  • Bulky and heavy
  • Unreliable customer service from parent company

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


2. DuroMax XP10000E

Latest Prices on Amazon ↗️

This Duromax generator is up to the task even with appliances as big as refrigerators and air-conditioning. It runs on an 18HP 440CC engine that can run up to 20 hours at 50% output. The 20 hours runtime can be achieved if you are using propane.

However, for its massive output and impressive runtime, you have to make do with the 72db noise level. The 8.3-gallon tank of gas gives you 10 hours run time on normal gas. Rev it up with the electric key or go strong-arm with the recoil start.   

Key Features

✅ Tough steel build

✅ 8000 running watts and 10000 starting watts

✅ 6 Outlets

✅ 8.3 gallon tank

✅ What we liked

  • Low oil shut off
  • All-steel construction with foldable arms
  • Included toolset, spark plug wrench and wheel kit

❌ What we didn’t like

  • It is big and bulky

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


1.  Champion Dual Fuel

Latest prices on Amazon ↗️

When you are ready to take over the street corner, this is the generator that will help you meet your power needs. The 439CC generator comes ready to use right out of the box. It pushes 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on gasoline for 8 hours. However, on propane, you get 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts for 5.5 hours. It comes with a 6-gallon gas tank.

It has both recoil and electric start for quick startups. Run this in a fairly busy area on account of its 74dB noise level.

Key Features

✅ Fuel selector switch

✅ 120V 30A locking outlet (L5-30R), 120/240V 30A locking outlet (L14-30R) and 4 120V 20A GFCI protected household outlets (5-20R)

✅ Low oil shut off sensor

✅ Electric start with battery included

✅ What we liked

  • Cold start technology for cold weather quick start
  • Low oil sensor and shut off
  • Propane hose and regulator
  • Volt guard built-in overload protection

❌ What we didn’t like

  • A little loud

Read more customer reviews on Amazon ↗️


F.A.Q

Q. How do you know the power requirements of your food truck?

A. You need to assess the collective power needs of all your appliances. Countercheck the total against the starting and running wattage of your generator. To keep power demands down, switch off any appliance when it is not in use.

Q. How much oil does my food truck generator need?

A. Each food truck has different oil needs. You have to check with the manufacturer to know the specifics for your generator. However, you should always know the level of oil in your generator at all times

Q. Where is the best location for a food truck generator

A. A food truck generator should be kept outside the food truck in an open area. This is to eliminate the possibility of carbon complications.


Editors choice

A food truck is a heavy power consumer. You need a generator that can match the food truck’s power demands without having to worry about fuel economy.

After hours of checking out a wide selection of generators, the DuroMax XP10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator meets all the standards for a reputable food truck generator. From its sturdy construction to its impressive output, this machine has the ability to keep you running for the better part of the day.

With its 10000 starting watts, it is equipped to run your high draw machines such as refrigerators and food truck air conditioning. Its 2 twist arm locks rated at 30amp are adequate for most locations. And that’s not even counting its 120/240V 50A outlet or its 120V twist arm lock outlet.

Sale
DuroMax XP10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator,...
  • POWERFUL DUROMAX ENGINE: The XP10000E is Powered by a DuroMax 18HP, 440cc DuroMax OHV Engine
  • PLENTY OF POWER: With 10,000 starting watts and 8,000 running watts, this unit can handle heavy loads from...
  • MX2 TECHNOLOGY: With DuroMax MX2 technology, get the maximum power from each of the 120 Volt receptacles;...
  • LOW OIL SHUT-OFF: Protects your investment by automatically shutting the generator off when it senses that the...
  • IDLE CONTROL: Generator lowers RPMs when not in use, saving fuel and reducing noise. Ideal in situations like...

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The safety features including the idle control for power consumption reduction and low oil shut off are meant to keep both your appliances and generator safe. You can quickly access these features on the easy display control panel before resuming your food truck duties.

The machine has an impressive runtime on its 8.3-gallon gas tank. And you can get more juice out of it if you’re using propane gas. It’s not a compact unit at its 26″ height and 218lb weight. And the 72dB noise level is not comfortable either. Those are compromises you have to make to reap the benefits of this big blue machine.

Final Thoughts

Keep up with your food truck’s power demands with a food truck generator. Whether you are operating an entry-level food truck or a fully equipped kitchen-on-wheels, the noise level, the starting and running output and run time should be some of the most important pointers when evaluating your new or next food truck generator.

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All the article on Oofgrid offer help and practical advice for using and purchasing a portable generator. However, We are enthusiasts and not qualified electricians. Always seek professional advice when working with electrical or Petrol appliances.