How to Pick The Best Generator For Your Food Truck
If you’re looking to start a food truck business, chances are you’ve done a bit of research into generators. Choosing the right generator can be challenging, though. There are a lot of options and it can be hard to identify the best power source for your truck’s needs.
Here at FLIP, we work with a lot of food trucks, so we have a pretty good idea of what to look for when buying a generator for your food truck. That’s why, to save you some time (and hopefully some stress), we’ve put together a list of our top recommended food truck generators.
How Much Power Does My Food Truck Generator Need?
Before you can determine the right generator for your food truck, you need to know how much power your food truck will need. No two trucks are the same, after all, and the power needs of your truck will vary depending on the equipment you choose to install.
So, how do you find out how much power your food truck generator needs? It’s actually pretty easy. Just add up the wattage requirements of all your appliances. This number will be the minimum amount of watts your generator needs to produce to successfully run your truck.
It’s important to note some appliances don’t list their wattage requirements. Instead, they use measurements called volts and amps. To calculate the wattage for those appliances, simply multiply the number for volts by the number for amps. The result will be the appliance’s wattage requirement.
Of course, when it comes to power output, it’s always a good idea to get a generator that creates more watts than your truck requires. Doing so will help avoid overloading your generator, which can prevent accidents that cause equipment damage and bodily injury. Plus, it creates some extra wiggle room to add or switch appliances later on should the need arise.
What Makes A Good Food Truck Generator?
While power output is very important, it’s not the only thing you should look at when purchasing a food truck generator. Truthfully there are many factors you need to consider according to your truck’s needs. Some of these factors are as simple as how much space it takes up, while others are more specific—like how much fuel it requires or how long it can run with the amount of appliances you have hooked up to it.
For our generator recommendations, we have highlighted a few of the most important factors you should consider, but you should really do some more in depth homework on each generator to make sure it is truly a good fit for your business. In our review, we will cover:
- Run time
- Fuel capacity
- Noise level
It’s also important to note that every food truck generator is a little different in one way or another, so they won’t all be the same. One generator may be very quiet but have a low power output. By evaluating the needs of your food truck you’ll be able to find a generator with a good balance of attributes for your business.
How Do I Take Care of My Food Truck Generator?
If you think about it, a generator is kind of like the heart of your food truck—pumping precious energy into the organs that are its appliances. As such, it’s important to take good care of it. After all, a food truck without power means you can’t prepare and serve your delicious food.
When it comes to taking care of your food truck generator there are a few things you should do. First, make sure you read the manual. It may be boring, but the manual contains important maintenance information you will need to follow to keep your generator in good working order. Next, make sure you aren’t running your generator into the ground. That means don’t overload it, don’t let it run on little or no fuel, and don’t expose it to inclement weather. If you take care of your generator, you can get many good years of use from it and hopefully face little to no repair costs.
Lastly, and this is really important, make sure your generator is protected with a good warranty. Some generators even have extended warranties, which may be worth looking into. While it may seem like a pain to pay extra money for a warranty, it will actually save you money in the long run if something ever happens to it.
In a similar vein, you can get extra protection for your generator through your food truck insurance plan. Make sure your plan includes a policy that covers damages to your equipment. Equipment insurance can reduce and sometimes remove the cost of replacing damaged or stolen equipment, like a generator. It’s a great option to include in your coverage if you want a financial safety net for your generator.
Recommended Food Truck Generators
Here's our list of best food truck generators for your business:
- Honda EU7000iS
- Powerhorse 7500 Watt Inverter Generator
- Predator 9,500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
- DuroMax XP12000HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- Westinghouse iGen4500
- Power Output: ★★★✩✩ 7,000 Surge / 5,500 Running
- Run Time: ★★★★✩ 16 hours (at 25% load)
- Fuel Capacity: ★★★✩✩ 5.1 gallons
- Dimensions: ★★✩✩✩ 47.2 L x 27.6 W x 28.4 H
- Weight: ★★★✩✩ 263.2 lbs.
- Noise Level: ★★★★✩ 52–58 dB
- Warranty: ★★★★★ 3 years
If you’ve spent any time looking for food truck generators online, you’ve probably already seen this generator. In fact, the Honda EU7000iS is one of the most popular generators used by food trucks, and for good reason. While it is one of the priciest generators on the market, it is well worth it for the reliability and strength it provides—often lasting years without problems for many food truck owners. Plus, with a three year warranty, you can rest assured knowing that you can be taken care of should something happen to it while you are working.
Powerhorse 7500 Watt Inverter Generator
- Power Output: ★★★✩✩ 7,500 surge / 6,500 running
- Run Time: ★★★★✩ 16 hours (at 25% load)
- Fuel Capacity: ★★★★✩ 6.6 gallons
- Dimensions: ★★★✩✩ 37.4 L x 30.1 W x 30.4 H
- Weight: ★★✩✩✩ 287 lbs.
- Noise Level: ★★★★✩ 55 dB
- Warranty: ★★✩✩✩ 2 years consumer / 90 day commercial
If a $5,000 food truck generator isn’t quite within your budget but you still need a moderate amount of power to keep your business running, Powerhorse’s 7,500 watt inverter generator may be the solution for you. It provides greater power output with a similar run time as the Honda EU7000iS but for $1,500 less. While it does only have a 90 day commercial warranty, it is still a great option to power your food truck.
Predator 9,500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
- Power Output: ★★★★✩ 9,500 surge / 7,600 running
- Run Time: ★★★★★ 18.5 hours (at 25% load)
- Fuel Capacity: ★★★★✩ 6.8 gallons
- Dimensions: ★★★✩✩ 31 L x 23.75 W x 28.87 H W
- eight: ★★★✩✩ 257 lbs.
- Noise Level: ★★★✩✩ 67 dB
- Warranty: ★★★★✩ 90 day – 2 year
If the Honda EU7000iS is the seasoned veteran of the food truck generator arena, then the Predator 9,500 watt super quiet inverter generator is the up and coming rookie. Predator generators have become more popular in recent years, and it’s no wonder why. With a power output of 7,600 running watts and a run time of up to 18.5 hours, this generator is well worth its price. Funnily enough, for a “super quiet” generator, it’s actually a little louder than some less powerful generators, but that’s not to say it’s not a phenomenal option for your food truck.
DuroMax XP12000HX Dual Fuel Portable Generator
- Power Output: ★★★★★ 12,000 surge / 9,500 running
- Run Time: ★★★✩✩ 8 hours (at 50% load)
- Fuel Capacity: ★★★★★ 8.3 gallons (gasoline) / 40 lbs. (propane)
- Dimensions: ★★★✩✩ 29" L x 30" W x 26" H
- Weight: ★★★✩✩ 230 lbs.
- Noise Level: ★★✩✩✩ 74 dB
- Warranty: ★★★★★ 3 years
If power is what you want, look no further than the DuroMax XP12000HX dual fuel portable generator. At a cost of just $1,599 and a power output of 9,500 running watts, this generator is easily the biggest bang for your buck as far as raw power is concerned. It does have a higher noise level and a shorter run time than other less powerful food truck generators, but who said power didn’t come with a price? With a three year warranty and the option to fuel it with either gasoline or propane, this generator is a fantastic option for food trucks that require a bit more power to keep their operation running.
- Power Output: ★★✩✩✩4,500 surge / 3,700 running
- Run Time: ★★★★★ 18 hours (at 25% load)
- Fuel Capacity: ★★✩✩✩ 3.4 gallons
- Dimensions: ★★★★★ 24.5 L x 17.5 W x 20 H
- Weight: ★★★★★ 104.7 lbs.
- Noise Level: ★★★★★ 52 dB
- Warranty: ★★★✩✩ 1 year (commercial) 3 years (residential)
On the other side of things, if your food truck does not require a lot of power, or if you're tight on space, you may want to consider the Westinghouse iGen4500. Coming in at a whopping 104.7 lbs. and taking up less area than a 2 foot cube, this generator packs a punch without taking up much space in your truck. It’s actually not uncommon for food trucks to take two of these popular generators as together they still take up less space than some more powerful generators.
Choose the Best Food Truck Generator For Your Business
We hope this article has helped you in your search for the best food truck generator for your business. Remember, it’s not always about which generator creates the most power, but which generator best fulfills the needs of your truck. As you continue researching the best power solution, we hope you find a solution that meets all your business needs.
Speaking of business needs, if you have not considered purchasing food truck insurance, we encourage you to take a look at FLIP’s food truck insurance plan. At just $299 a year—with general liability insurance, equipment insurance, and more—FLIP provides high-quality insurance specifically designed to protect food truck businesses from the cost of claims. Plus, it only takes a few minutes via our no-quote, online process.