9 Best Generators for Food Trucks – Power It All

Food trucks are all the rage at the moment and make an amazing business opportunity. It is not easy and takes effort and passion but it can be extremely rewarding and profitable. There are a few essential elements to the food truck business but first and foremost, you need reliable and sufficient power. Most of the time you will have to supply this yourself by means of a generator. Selecting the wrong generator will mean downtime and loss of profits. It is critical that you find the best option for your requirements.

We will take you through outstanding 9 options. They all have pros and cons which we will discuss in detail. Make an informed decision and choose the one that works best for your environment.
9 Best Generators for Food Trucks – Power it all

Overview table

In order to simplify the many variables involved and make comparison easier, we have created a table of some underlining the most important elements to consider. We have done extensive research to bring you the very best generators for food trucks. The table contains start-from information.

 

Editor choice 1 DuroMax XP12000EH
9.9
DuroMax XP12000EH
(Best generator for power)

This is a reliable and super powerful generator that will be an asset in any food truck.

9.9
2 Honda Eu7000iat1
9.7
Honda Eu7000iat1
(Best generator for reliability)

If you need a reliable and dependable generator that won’t let you down you can’t go wrong with the Honda.

9.7
3 All Power America 10000W
9.7
All Power America 10000W
(Best dual fuel generator for food truck)

All Power America make a quality generator that offers dual fuel convenience and is good value for money.

9.7
Best seller 4 Westinghouse iGen4500DF
9.6
Westinghouse iGen4500DF
(Best generator for quiet operation)

If quiet operation is important then this low noise compact model is a good choice.

9.6
5 Champion 7500-Watt
9.6
Champion 7500-Watt
(Best generator for an easy start)

The Champion generator is easy to start, easy to use and reliable.

9.6
Best value 6 Briggs & Stratton 30675
9.5
Briggs & Stratton 30675
(Best generator for overall performance)

Briggs and Stratton are known for reliability and performance. This generator will work effectively and efficiently.

9.5
7 Pulsar PG4000iSR
9.3
Pulsar PG4000iSR
(Best generator for run time)

This is a fuel efficient and relatively low noise option that is good for low power requirements.

9.3
8 Generac 5976
9.2
Generac 5976
(Best generator for durability)

This is a tough durable generator with decent power and good reliability.

9.2
Best price 9 WEN DF475
9
WEN DF475
(Best budget generator for food truck)

WEN is a trusted brand and this is a competent value for money generator for smaller food trucks.

9

1 Editor choice

DuroMax XP12000EH – Best generator for power

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 227
  • Fuel: Duel Fuel
  • Watts (Max): 12,000
  • Warranty: 3-Year
  • Noise level: 72 dB
  • Run Time: 8.8 Hours @ ½ load
  • Run Time (Gas): 7.2 Hours @ ½ load

The XP12000EH by DuroMax packs a serious punch. With dual fuel options, you have flexibility and convenience. The OHV Engine has a 457cc capacity and produces 18HP and up to 12,000 watts.

Fuel

Dual Fuel Technology is one of the outstanding features of this powerful generator and one of the aspects that makes it ideal for a food truck. It can operate on gasoline or propane. This increases your options and gives you more convenience. Both options have pros and cons but the versatility gives you the freedom to select the most cost-effective and suitable fuel source.

Power

If it is power that you want, this generator has plenty. It has a powerful 18HP engine with low oil shutdown and voltage surge protection. It delivers a peak power of 12,000 watts and running power of 9,500 watts.

Runtime

Runtime on gasoline is not great at 8.83 hours at ½ load. Fortunately, propane is better and more economical at 7.2 hours at ½ load.

Noise level

Unfortunately the DuroMax does not score points here. For a food truck, it is a loud option and operates at around 74 dB. This is hardly surprising given the power but it can get a bit noisy in this environment so make sure you take this into consideration.

Other features

Apart from the convenience of the dual fuel system you also have an easy electric start. The generator is quite mobile with rubber wheels and retractable handles. The electric start is another benefit and takes a lot of the effort out of getting the generator going.

Positives
  • Sufficient power for even the most demanding food trucks
  • Electric start
  • The Dual Fuel Technology gives flexibility and versatility
  • Built-in analog voltmeter and voltage surge protection
  • Low oil shutdown
  • EPA and CARB approved (all 50 states)
Negatives
  • At 74 dB it is loud for a food truck
  • The unit is heavy
  • It does not have the longest runtime and goes through gasoline rather fast
  • It is a fairly expensive option
2

Honda Eu7000iat1 – Best generator for reliability

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 261
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Watts (Max): 7,000
  • Warranty: 3-Year
  • Noise level: 6-dB
  • Run Time: 12 Hours @ ½ load

The Honda name is synonymous with reliability. This powerful generator is powerful and versatile while still being one of the more silent option available. It is a good choice for a food truck and can handle most environments without noise or fuss. This is not the lightest generator on the market but delivers decent power and is a solid dependable option. If you want a generator that goes on for many years then this is a good option.

Fuel

The Honda 7000W runs on gasoline. Honda engines are known for performance and this is no exception. It has a 5.1-gallon fuel tank.

Power

The energy produced is clean and perfectly safe for sensitive electronics. You can run your food truck computers and POS systems safely on this generator. This is mostly thanks to the inverter technology.

The Honda generator will deliver 7,000 watts peak performance and an average of 5,500 watts. This should be more than enough for all but the most demanding food trucks.

Runtime

This generator is extremely fuel efficient. It has a 5.1-gallon fuel tank and can run for an incredible 12 hours at ½ load. This is an important factor in a food truck and a great feature. The Eco-Throttle technology makes it even more fuel efficient.

Noise level

One of the big advantages of the Honda 7,000 watt generator is that it is one of the less noisy options available. This is one of the reasons it is a popular choice for use in food trucks. You can expect a volume of between 52 and 60 dB depending on the load and other circumstances.

Other features

The inverter makes this a stable and safe generator. You can use it with all electronics and it works efficiently with less noise. The electric start is a great convenience. This generator also has fuel injection which makes it more efficient and effective.

The i-Monitor LCD is an exceptional feature that gives you important data on the engine speed, operating hours and wattage. It will give you all the maintenance and diagnostic information you might need.

Positives
  • Quiet operation
  • Electric start
  • Recoil starter for backup
  • Reliable and dependable
  • Fuel efficient
  • Great run time
  • Good warranty (3 years even for commercial use)
  • Electronic circuit breakers
  • Important data from the i-Monitor
Negatives
  • Heavy
  • Somewhat costly
  • No USB or 12V charging facility
  • No parallel connection
3

All Power America 10000W – Best dual fuel generator for food truck

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 229
  • Fuel: Duel Fuel
  • Watts (Max): 10,000
  • Warranty: 1-Year
  • Noise level: 76 dB
  • Run Time: 11 Hours @ ½ load
  • Run Time (Gas): 11 Hours @ ½ load

Fuel

This is a great dual fuel option. This makes the generator a versatile option as you have two choices to power it up. Both options have pros and cons and it is great to have an alternative.

Power

The generator is powered by an air-cooled Ducar 420cc OHV Engine. This produces a running power of 7,500 watts on gasoline and 8,000 watts on propane. Peak power is 10,000 watts. That is pretty good power and should be enough for most food trucks.

Runtime

Runtime is also impressive at 11 hours when running at half load. That is not bad for a portable generator and an important factor in a food truck environment.

Noise level

This is an important factor to consider with a food truck. Unfortunately, noise is one of the drawbacks of this option. Given the powerful engine and the fact that it is not enclosed, this is one of the noisier portable generators you will get. The noise is rated at a substantial 76 dB. Sound readings are taken at a distance of 23 feet. Make sure you consider this when comparing options for your business.

Other features

There is a range of outlets including 4 120V AC plugs, a 120/240V plug, and a 120V twist lock plug. The electric start is handy but as a backup, there is also a recoil starter.  The hour meter will help you track when to service the generator.

Positives
  • Dual fuel for versatility and convenience
  • Value for money
  • Low oil shutdown
  • Electric start plus backup recoil start
  • Hour meter
Negatives
  • Loud
  • There were a few complaints about customer service
  • Not CARB compliant
4 Best seller

Westinghouse iGen4500DF – Best generator for quiet operation

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 98
  • Fuel: Duel Fuel
  • Watts (Max): 4,500
  • Warranty: 1-Year
  • Noise level: 52 dB
  • Run Time: 9 Hours @ ½ load
  • Run Time (Gas): 9 Hours @ ½ load

This fully enclosed generator has dual fuel and an inverter. It is one of the quietest generators you can get for a food truck. It is also light and compact so a good idea if you need to move it around from time to time. It does not have the greatest power so is not ideal for large food trucks with lots of appliances to run but good for smaller options.

Fuel

This generator also has the flexibility and convenience of operating off both propane and gasoline. This is always a useful feature to have. Changing from one fuel source to the other is easy and can even be done on the fly.

Power

The 224cc Westinghouse OVH engine delivers 3,700 watts of running power and a peak output of 4,500 watts. If you have a lot to run this might not be sufficient so calculate your power needs carefully. If your power requirements are not that high then this is a good option to consider.

It produces clean power so it is fine to use with laptops, mobile phones, and other electronics.

Runtime

The generator has a 3.4 Gallon fuel tank and a runtime of 9 hours operating at 50-percent load. The eco mode makes it even more efficient.

Noise level

One of the main advantages of this option is the low noise output of only 52 dB. This is the lowest in this review. It has an inverter and is fully enclosed so is well insulated.

Other features

There are many outlets to choose from including 5 120V outlets. A Tt-30 30 Amp outlet and 2 USB ports. The generator is CARB and EPA compliant. The remote electric start is also very handy.

Positives
  • Fuel efficient
  • Very low noise
  • EPA and CARB Compliant
  • Light and compact
  • Remote electric start
  • LED display
  • USB ports
Negatives
  • Relatively low power
  • Only a 1-year warranty for commercial use
5

Champion 7500-Watt – Best generator for an easy start

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 202
  • Fuel: Duel Fuel
  • Watts (Max): 7,500
  • Warranty: 3-Year
  • Noise level: 59 dB
  • Run Time: 8 Hours @ ½ load
  • Run Time: (Gas) 5 Hours @ ½ load

This is a pretty good all-rounder. It is reliable and durable and gives a decent amount of power. It has a convenient dual fuel option and a powerful engine that delivers efficient power.

Fuel

This is a dual fuel generator so you have the option of either propane or gasoline. It switches between the two easily with a simple toggle switch. The electric start makes getting the generator running a breeze.

Power

The Champion 7500-Watt has a 439cc engine. If using gasoline it will produce 7,500 running watts and 9,375 starting or peak was and on propane, you will get 6,750 running watts and a maximum of 8,400 watts. This is pretty decent power and should be enough for most food trucks.

Runtime

Gasoline will give you a runtime of 8 hours at half load while propane will give you 5.5 hours.

Noise level

At 59 dB it is not silent but is one of the less noisy options available.

Other features

The Champion generator has an Intelligauge. This will give you information on run-time (to schedule maintenance), voltage and hertz. It also has a tough durable steel frame for strength and protection.

Positives
  • Low noise
  • Dual fuel
  • Electric start
  • Reliable
Negatives
  • On the heavy side
  • Not CARB compliant
6 Best value

Briggs & Stratton 30675 – Best generator for overall performance

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 138
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Watts (Max): 6,500
  • Warranty: 1-Year
  • Noise level: 66 dB
  • Run Time: 7 Hours @ ½ load
  • Run Time (Gas): N/A

Briggs & Stratton is a trusted name in generators and has a reputation for power and reliability. Despite the impressive power, this is a light compact generator that does not make a lot of noise. It is suitable for most food trucks unless you need a really large amount of power. Best of all is that it’s great value for money.

Fuel

The 4-stroke engine OHV engine is a 306cc and runs on gasoline.

Power

For a sophisticated and advanced inverter generator, this model delivers great power. It has a sizeable alternator for stable and efficient operation and delivers a peak output of 6.500 watts and an operating power of 5,000 watts. This should be sufficient for most food trucks unless you have a lot of fridges and an air conditioner.

Another benefit of the hybrid design is that the Harmonic Distortion (HD) is low so you get pure sine wave power. This clean power is what you need if you want to run electronics such as a computer or point of sale system in your food truck. It can handle sensitive electronics without damaging them.

Run time

Run time is a bit on the low side at 7 hours at half load. Make sure you make arrangements for this if you will be operating for extended periods.

Noise level

The Q6500 is well insulated and has QuietPower inverter technology to minimize the noise. The result is a powerful generator at only 66 dB. That is typically the volume you would expect from a much smaller generator.

Other features

Other features include the QPT (Quiet Power Technology) switch. This will improve noise reduction and fuel efficiency by reducing the RPM as the load decreases. This adds to the insulation that also helps to minimize noise. Beneath the plastic exterior is a strong durable steel frame that makes this a robust unit.

You can connect a range of items to the generator as it has 4 120V/20A outlets, 1 120/220V locking outlet, and 2 USB outlets.

The generator is average weight and has wheels if you need to move it from place to place.

Positives
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Fuel efficient
  • Fairly light
  • Low noise
  • QPT (Quiet Power Technology) reduces RPM according to load requirements
  • Easy to move
  • Value for money
  • Multiple outlet options
Negatives
  • No electric start
  • Not the most durable plastic cover
  • Not CARB compliant (this could be an issue in some areas)
7

Pulsar PG4000iSR – Best generator for run time

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 6
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Watts (Max): 4,000
  • Warranty: 1-Year
  • Noise level: 63 dB
  • Run Time: 15 Hours @ ½ load
  • Run Time: (Gas) N/A

If you want a decent run time and a quiet generator without spending a fortune then this is a great option. It is a popular choice that is well-liked by most that use it. At 4,000 watts it might not be strong enough for bigger food trucks but if you do not need to power too many things it will do a good job.

Fuel

The Pulsar 4,000 watt generator runs on gasoline and has a 3.4-gallon fuel tank.  It is known to be fuel efficient.

Power

The pulsar sports a one cylinder 4-stroke OHV engine that delivers 3,500 running watts and 4,000 peak watts. It is also parallel ready so you can connect more than one generator to the mix for additional power.  It has an electric as well as a recoil start.

Power is clean and safe to use with electronics.

Runtime

Now, this is impressive. The Pulsar 4,000W will give you an impressive 15 hours of runtime at half load. Granted, it is not the most powerful option but if your power needs are not that demanding this is an excellent choice.

Noise level

The generator runs at a decent 63 dB which is great for a food truck. You will be able to run the truck without a major noise in the background.

Other features

This generator is light, compact and portable. It is CARB approves in all states and also has EPA and CSA approval. The recoil start is a great backup to the convenient electric start. It is also a lightweight generator and the handle and wheels make it easy to move.

Positives
  • Light and portable
  • Low noise
  • Good value for money
  • Impressive run time and low fuel consumption
  • Remote start
  • Parallel capability
  • Multiple outlet options
  • CARB approved in all states
Negatives
  • Low power
8

Generac 5976 – Best generator for durability

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 175
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Watts (Max): 8,000
  • Warranty: 1-Year
  • Noise level: Not available
  • Run Time: 10 Hours @ ½ load
  • Run Time: (Gas) N/A

Generac is a well-established brand of generators that have been going strong since 1959. The GP6500 is a compact, ultra-durable and portable generator that produces good power. It has a robust cradle made of hardened steel to make it tough enough for any environment.

Fuel

This model runs on gasoline. It has a steel tank with a 7.2-gallon capacity. For convenience and to ensure smooth operation, the tank has a built-in fuel gauge.

Power

The GP6500 has a 389-cc OHV engine that is every bit as durable and tough as the rest of the generator. It will deliver a running watt power of 6,500 with a peak power of 8,125 watts.

Runtime

Runtime is not too shabby and it will give you a good 10 hours working at ½ load.

Noise level

There is no insulation on this generator and it does have a lot of power so it is not the quietest option. Unfortunately, there is no actual specification available on the loudness but it will be noisier than the average generator.

Other features

The generator is CARB Compliant. It also has wheels and a foldable handle that locks into place if you need to move it. The outlets have individual covers to improve protection and durability.

Positives
  • Durable cradle made from hardened steel
  • Low oil shutdown
  • Schedule maintenance with the hour meter
  • CARB Compliant
Negatives
  • No insulation so loud relative to size/power
  • No electric start
9 Best price

WEN DF475 – Best budget generator for food truck

Features

  • Weight (pounds): 8
  • Fuel: Duel Fuel
  • Watts (Max): 4750
  • Warranty: 2-Year
  • Noise level: Not available
  • Run Time: 11 Hours @1/2 load
  • Run Time (Gas): 7 Hours ½ Load

The DF stands for dual fuel and that is a great advantage on this value for money generator. It makes the generator more versatile and gives you more options. Simply switch the dial from one fuel source to the other and you can change instantly.

Fuel

As we said above, this model is dual fuel meaning it can work on either gasoline or LPG. This is really handy in many situations. There is a simple dial that you turn to change from one fuel source to the other.

Power

The 4-stroke OHV engine is a 224cc and will deliver 3,500 running watts and a maximum 4350 watts on propane and 3800 running watts with a maximum of 4750 on gasoline. The engine has a handy electric start.

Runtime

The 4-gallon tank provides up to 11 hours of half load run time.

Noise level

It has a relatively quiet operation but will be louder than an inverter hybrid option or an enclosed generator. Unfortunately, WEN does not provide the actual dB rating for this model.

Other features

The electric start is a great convenience. The generator supports both 120 and 220 volts. It comes with 2 120V outlets, a 12 V DC cigarette-lighter charger and a 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet. It also comes with a 47-inch LPG hose.

Positives
  • Versatile dual fuel option
  • Electric start
  • Value for money
  • Durable design
  • Reliable
Negatives
  • Not the greatest power

Buyer’s Guide

What features make a generator for a food truck ideal?

Look through our accurate buying guide to prevent an unnecessary risk, making such a useful item for you truck.

Purchasing a generator can be a bit overwhelming at the best of times. Finding the best one for your food truck is even more daunting. There are a number of things you need to take into consideration when selecting the best option for your food truck business. We will take you through the important aspects and then you will be in an informed position and able to make the right choice.

When choosing a generator for a food truck, your needs are different to someone buying for home backup, camping or other uses. There are a number of unique factors that need to be considered.

Let’s explore these so that you can find the very best option for your requirements.

Power

The required power will depend on the type and number of appliances in your food truck. Power is measured in watts and expressed as the running watts as well as the start or peak watts.

Each appliance in your food truck should have a power rating so with a bit of effort you can work out your exact needs. Electric stovetops, fridges, air conditioners, and microwaves need a fair amount of power. The bigger they are and the more you have, the more power is needed. Don’t make the mistake of investing in a generator that is not up to the power needs of your food truck.

The DuroMax Portable Generator, XP12000EH is a good example of a powerful generator for a food truck with a maximum power of 12,000 watts.

Fuel source

While most generators run on gasoline many use propane as well. This is a great convenience and can save you if you are in a jam. Both options have positives and negatives but the bottom line is that it is good to have the choice and convenience of a dual fuel generator.

Gasoline is convenient and easy to fond. It generally produces a higher power output (wattage). Propane, on the other hand, is easier to store, cleaner to use and often more economical.

With a dual fuel option, you can have a handy backup that can be switched to immediately if necessary. This will prevent the loss of income you would have if there was downtime.

Runtime

A good runtime is important to let you work and serve customers without having to fill the generator up all the time. The runtime can vary dramatically from one model to the next so look into this when making your selection.

9 Best Generators for Food Trucks – Power it all

Runtime is normally expressed as the average at a half load. Obviously, the more power you draw the less the runtime will be. Fuel tank capacity is a factor here when using gasoline.

Fuel efficiency

Some generators are more fuel efficient than others. This means that they will cost less to run for the same amount of power as other options. When running a business, every cent counts and you want to keep costs as low as possible.

Sound level

You cannot run a business if you are not able to hear your customers. As food trucks have a limited space you are often forced to keep the generator close so you cannot afford to have one that is too noisy. You have to weigh the volume up against power and performance. The bigger generators are generally louder than the smaller models. Give this factor serious consideration before making your decision. Each food truck is different so think about your circumstances and the environment.

Sound level is measured in dB and will be easy to compare on our table above. The Westinghouse iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Inverter Generator, as well as the Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator, are both relatively quiet.

Emissions and approval

Depending on the area in which you operate, emission levels and approval or certification might be necessary. Ensure that the generator you select complies with local regulations. Authorities will be strict on businesses and failure to comply could result in fines or being shut down.

CARB, EPA, and CSA are important certifications.

It is also important to ensure you have a good exhaust and ventilation system when you install the generator in the food truck.

Warranty

It is important to look at the warranty available. Be aware that the commercial warranty is often less than the residential use warranty so double check first.

The Honda generator has a good 3-year commercial warranty which is rather unique.

9 Best Generators for Food Trucks – Power it all

Parts and service are also important. Ensure these are easily available for the generator you select.

Size and weight

Size is often limited in a food truck so it is essential that your generator can fit in where it needs to. Not all generators are built the same and some are significantly larger than others. They also need a bit of space to breath so cannot be enclosed. It is essential that you measure carefully if space is an issue and ensure that your option will fit where it is needed.

If you need it to be portable then it is essential that the generator has a solid handle and decent wheels. Obviously, you don’t want it to be too heavy if you are to move it frequently.

If you need to move the generator then you need one with a handle and wheels that are not too heavy. Some are more portable than others. The Westinghouse iGen4500DF Dual Fuel Inverter Generator is a compact lightweight option.

Outlets available

It is important to look at the type and number of outlets available as this will make it more convenient and useful. USB ports are also handy if you need to charge mobile devices.

9 Best Generators for Food Trucks – Power it all

Special features

If you intend to run electronics such as computers, laptops, cellphones, and POS systems then you want to ensure the generator has clean power that will not harm sensitive electronics. These normally involve an alternator.

Budget

Another important consideration is your budget. When setting up your food truck you will have a number of investments and expenses. It will be a trade-off between various costs. You do not want to spend too much but you also do not want to try and save a few dollars and buy a generator that is not up to the job. Do your homework and work out the best option for your business needs.

Conclusion

Starting or equipping your food truck requires a number of decisions. The generator is one of the most important and it is critical that you get the best option for your needs while staying in the budget. We have carefully selected some of the best options available and there is something for all food truck environment. It is important that you do your homework, decide on the power and features that you need and select the best option according to your needs. Provided it matches your requirements you can’t go wrong with any of the above options. And even if after all the research you’re still at a loss, we recommend DuroMax Portable Generator, XP12000EH, since it’s so powerful that can serve all your needs in any case.

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