Last updated on January 27th, 2021 at 06:16 pm
Not all construction sites have the luxury of utility power. A generator comes in handy at such times. Just imagine rejecting a work proposal because you don’t have a portable source of electricity with you. There are hundreds of contracts in remote areas, ranches, farms, and estates with no electricity. A generator will help you win such contracts and increase your profit and build your portfolio.
Apart from the work-related benefits, you can also use generators at your home during a power outage or emergency. A generator will keep your essentials running at home and construction site.
When you find a generator for a construction site, you need a high power output, durability, reliability, low operational cost, and less frequent maintenance. With hundreds of options available, it becomes a bit difficult to find the right machine. We help you buy the best generator according to your needs. We have researched hundreds of generators, checked the user reviews, and then included the best ones in our list. Along with the nine best generators for a construction site, this review will also take you through a buyer’s guide and a FAQ section.
So, let’s check out the top generators for construction sites.
Generators for Construction Sites Reviewed
Westinghouse WPro8500 Industrial Portable Generator
DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator
A-iPower SUA12000E Gasoline Powered Generator
Pulsar PG10000B16 Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Generac 5735 GP17500E Gas Powered Portable Generator
Champion 100110 Portable Generator
Green Power America GPG10000EW Pro Series Generator
Durostar DS10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator
CAT RP12000E Gas Powered Portable Generator
1. Westinghouse WPro8500 Industrial Portable Generator – Overall Best
Fuel Option: This Westinghouse WPro8500 is a gas-powered generator.
Weight and Warranty: It comes with a 1-year commercial warranty and weighs 192 pounds.
Certifications: It is not only a CARB (California Air Resources Board) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) certified but also OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) approved.
Engine and Power Output: Westinghouse WPro8500 can generate 11,500 peak watts and 8500 rated watts with a 457cc Westinghouse 4-stroke OHV engine.
Its less than 5% THD rating makes it ideal to power delicate electronics like smartphones and tablets. THD stands for Total Harmonic Distortion, where the lesser the rating, the better it will be for sensitive electronics.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: A built-in fuel gauge is there on a 6.6-gallon gas tank that can provide 17.5 hours runtime at 25% load and 12 hours runtime at 50% load.
The automatic idle control feature is responsible for reducing the engine speed when there are no electrical loads applied, and the engine gets back to its rated speed when the loads are applied again.
Control Panel: All the power outlets available in the control panel are GFCI protected that breaks down the circuit when it senses inequality between the outgoing current and incoming current.
It has four 120V AC 20A household outlets, two 5V USB ports, one 120V AC 30A outlet, and one 120/240V 50A outlet.
Also, we have an engine switch, battery charging port, and a VFT meter that displays Volts, Frequency, and Runtime.
Start System: Electric and remote start systems with a recoil backup. From up to 109 yards away, you can turn your generator on and off with a remote.
Safety Features: It includes overload protection and a low-oil shutoff feature for safety.
Where overload protection protects your generator and equipment from overload damages, and the low-oil shutoff turns off the engine when it senses the downfall of oil.
Portability: There is a lifting hook to lift the unit with ease. Also, two never flat tires and a comfortable fold-down handle make it easy to move the machine.
2. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Dual Fuel Generator for Construction Site
Fuel Option: DuroMax XP12000EH is a dual fuel generator that can run on both gasoline and liquid propane.
Engine and Power Output: It is powered by a 457cc, 18HP DuroMax OHV engine that can produce 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts on gasoline and 11,400 starting and 9025 running watts on propane.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: An 8.3-gallon gas tank can give up to 8.8-hour runtime at 50% load and 7.2 hours of runtime at 50% load on a 40-pound propane tank.
Weight and Warranty: The weight of this power generator is 236 pounds.
Certifications: It is CARB certified, and EPA approved.
Control Panel: DuroMax XP12000EH has a total of five power outlets that include two 120V 20A GFCI-protected outlets, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet.
Other things in the control panel include a voltmeter, engine switch, idle control switch, voltage selector switch, and oil alert lamp and recharge indicators.
The voltage selector switch is powered with DuroMax MX2 technology that allows you to either select full 120V or 120V and 240V together.
Start System: You can either start the generator with an electric or recoil start mechanism.
Noise Level: The operational sound of this DuroMax XP12000EH is 74 dB (A).
Safety Features: There is a built-in spark arrestor that prevents sparks from coming out of the muffler. Also, XP12000EH features low-oil shutdown t with overload protection.
Portability: Durable wheels and a drop-down handle make transportation easier.
3. A-iPower SUA12000E Gasoline Powered Generator – Under $1000
Fuel Option: A-iPower SUA12000E only runs on gasoline.
Engine and Power Output: It produces 12,000 starting watts and 9,000 running watts with a 459cc powerful engine.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: You will be able to power your tools and other items up to 9 hours at 50% load on a 7-gallon gas tank.
Start System: You can use both the electric and recoil start systems to turn the generator on.
Noise Level: A-iPower operates at 78 dB (A).
Weight and Warranty: It weighs 206 pounds that makes it a lighter unit than the DuroMax XP12000EH.
Certifications: Because this generator is not CARB compliant so you cannot ship this unit to California.
Control Panel: Its control panel includes four 120V AC 20A GFCI outlets, one 120/240V AC 30A outlet, a 120/240V 50A outlet, and one 12V DC outlet. Other than power outlets, there is an engine switch, low-oil indicator, and a data center.
Portability: A small fold-down handle with never-flat tires make the unit easy to move.
4. Pulsar PG10000B16 Dual Fuel Portable Generator
Fuel Option: Another dual fuel generator in our list is the Pulsar PG10000B16.
Weight and Warranty: The weight of this Pulsar generator is 209 pounds. It is lighter in weight than the DuroMax XP12000EH dual fuel generator.
Engine and Power Output: It comes with a 420cc 4-stroke OHV engine that generates 10,000 watts of peak power and 8,000 watts of rated power on gas and 9,000 starting and 7,000 running watts on liquid propane.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: Pulsar PG10000B16 has a 6.6-gallon gas tank that can offer a runtime up to 12 hours at half load. Its fuel tank capacity is lower than DuroMax XP12000EH, but it gives a better runtime.
Control Panel: The control panel of this unit features a fuel selector switch, engine switch, hour meter, and charging ports.
This fuel selector switch is powered with Switch and Go Technology that allows the seamless transition between gasoline and liquid propane.
Start System: Both the electric and recoil start mechanisms
Noise Level: Its sound rating is not specified.
Portability: Fold down handles, and big, durable tires make this generator highly portable.
5. Generac 5735 GP17500E Gas Powered Portable Generator – Heavyweight
Fuel Option: Generac GP175000E requires gas to power your tools at the construction site.
Noise Level: There is an idle control feature that keeps the noise levels on the lower side when no load is applied.
Weight and Warranty: It features a 1-year commercial warranty and weighs 390 pounds.
Engine and Power Output: The 992cc OHVI engine is capable of producing 26250 watts of starting power and 17500 watts of running power.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: A big fuel tank of 16 gallons can offer up to 10 hours of runtime.
Control Panel: Its control panel has many power outlets that include two GFCI-protected 120V 20A outlets and two simple 120V 20A outlets. Also, we have one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, two 120V 30A twist-lock outlets, one 120/240V 50A outlet, and one 12V DC outlet.
Start System: Use either a manual start or electric start system to run the generator.
Safety Features: Automatic voltage regulation feature, low-oil shut down, and fuel shutoff valve. The fuel shutoff valve disconnects the on-going fuel supply and allows the engine to run with no fuel to prevent issues attached with stale gas.
Portability: A comfortable carrying handle and big wheels make the unit easy to move around.
6. Champion 100110 Portable Generator – Under $1500
Fuel Option: This Champion 100110 portable generator only runs on gas.
Engine and Power Output: The 459cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine generates 11,500 starting watts and 9200 running watts.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: You will get up to 10 hours of runtime at 50% load on a full 7.7-gallon gas tank.
Start System: It is powered by both electric and recoil start systems.
Noise Level:74 dB (A) is its noise rating.
Weight and Warranty: This unit weighs 270 pounds.
Certifications: Champion 100110 generator is both CARB and EPA certified.
Control Panel: The power panel of this unit includes one 120/240V 50A outlet, one 120/240V 30A locking outlet, and four 120V 20A outlets.
Also, it features an intelligauge with a power bar and an engine switch. This intelligauge is the same as the data center and an hour meter.
Safety Features: Volt guard and low-oil shutoff sensor.
Volt guard is responsible for preventing overloads and protecting your equipment from irregular spikes in voltage.
Portability: The same durable tires and fold-down handle help the machine to move easily.
7. Green Power America GPG10000EW Pro Series Generator – Lightweight Generator for Construction Site
Fuel Option: It also needs gas to power your construction sites.
Safety Features: Low-oil shutoff system and a fuel shutoff feature with an internal fuel filter.
Engine and Power Output: This Green Power America GPG10000EW features a 420cc, 15HP 4-cycle OHV engine that has the capacity of producing 10,000 starting and 7500 running watts.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: On a full 6.6-gallon gas fuel tank, you will get up to 9 hours of runtime at 50% load.
Start System: This generator either starts using an electric system or a manual start system.
Noise Level: At 100% load, it operates at 76 dB (A).
Control Panel: It features seven power outlets altogether along with an engine switch and a digital meter.
Its power outlets include one 12V DC outlet, one 120/240V twist-lock outlet, one 120V twist-lock outlet, and four 120V AC outlets.
Weight and Warranty: It is lighter in weight than all the units mentioned above with 180 pounds weight.
Certifications: Green Power America GPG10000EW is both CARB and EPA approved.
Portability: To move the unit, you can take the help of big, durable wheels and two fold-down handles.
8. Durostar DS10000E Gas Powered Portable Generator
Fuel Option: Durostar DS10000E only runs on gas.
Weight and Warranty: It weighs 260 pounds.
Certifications: It is an EPA approved unit.
Engine and Power Output: A dependable 457cc engine produces 10,000 surge watts and 8,000 rated watts.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: An 8.3-gallon gas tank can offer up to 10 hours of runtime at half load.
Control Panel: If we consider its control panel, then we got two 120V 20A outlets, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, one 120/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A heavy-duty outlet.
Other things on the control panel include engine switch, idle control switch, voltmeter, voltage selector switch like DuroMax, and oil alert and recharge indicator lights.
Start System: Durostar DS10000E either starts manually or electrically.
Noise Level: The idle control switch reduces noise levels, and that is why it operates at 72 dB (A).
Safety Features: The low-oil shutoff sensor system protects the engine from damages.
Portability: You can use never-flat wheels and drop-down handles to transport the unit.
9. CAT RP12000E Gas Powered Portable Generator – Expensive Option
Fuel Option: The last but not the least unit in our list is the CAT RP12000E that runs on gasoline.
Weight and Warranty: It is a heavyweight unit that weighs around 350 pounds. And its warranty period is of 2 years.
Certifications: EPA compliant unit
Engine and Power Output: Its 670cc V-Twin OHV engine can generate 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts.
It produces clean power with less than a 5% THD rating.
Fuel Tank Size and Runtime: CAT RP12000E has a large-capacity gas tank of 13.2 gallons, but still, it is not bigger than Generac GP17500E. This gas tank can offer up to 11.7 hours of runtime at 50% load.
Control Panel: The control panel of this CAT generator has a total of 9 power outlets. These include four GFCI-protected 120V 20A receptacles, two 120V 30A receptacles, one 120/240V 30A receptacle, one 120/240V 50A receptacle, and one 12V DC receptacle.
Start System: Electric start system is available to turn the generator on.
Safety Features: Automatic voltage regulation, automatic low-oil shutdown protection, and a spark arrestor
Portability: A comfortable handle with durable wheels make the unit easy to move.
Generator Output and Power Needs
The most important things to consider before buying a generator for a work site are the power output and your requirements. To find out the total required power, make a list of all the tools you may need to power on your generator and list the starting and running wattage. Consider the example given below.
|Appliances||Starting Wattage||Running Wattage|
|Hand Drill (1-inch)||1200||1200|
|Circular Saw (7-1/4)||2300||1400|
|Battery Charger (15 amp)||700||500|
In the example above, 7700 watts are needed to start all the appliances at one time, and 6000 watts are needed to keep them running. If you were buying a generator for your home, we would suggest that a smaller generator can also work well because you don’t need to run all the appliances at once. For example, you won’t be running your microwave oven with a stove. However, when buying a generator for a construction site, you must never ignore your power needs. It is possible that you may need to run all the appliances together or may need more power according to your work. A generator with a minimum rated power of 8000 watts will run the necessary construction site tools. If you handle more significant projects, you will need more power. The best way to sort out your power requirements is to make a list of all the appliances/tools you need to run. Find out the total and leave a cushion of 800-1000 watts. It will be your total power requirement. The extra cushion will help you adjust additional loads on your generator.
Single Fuel vs. Dual Fuel Generator
The next big thing to consider is the type of fuel. If you work in developed areas with easy access to gasoline, a single fuel generator will suffice. For people working in remote areas, where it isn’t easy to find gas, a dual fuel generator is needed. It is possible that you will not be able to find gasoline somewhere but can use stored propane for emergency use. We agree that gasoline can also be stored, but it has a short shelf life (8-10 months) and is hazardous to travel within large quantities. If you are buying a dual fuel generator, please keep in mind that gas has a higher energy rating and provides more power than propane. Propane, on the other hand, is cheaper but does not burn as efficiently as gasoline. Overall, gasoline is the best fuel option for big portable generators.
Fuel Tank and Run Time
For a construction site generator, it is better to have a big fuel tank. A large fuel tank will also give you more runtime. It is advised to keep the running load equal to half of the generator’s rated power to increase the run time. All the generators on the list above come with big fuel tanks and will last 4-6 hours, depending on the load.
When you use a generator on a construction site, you will need to run it at different spots. You will also need to move your generator from one floor to another. Therefore, look for a unit that comes with all the portability features. A highly portable generator will have high-quality wheels, ergonomic carry handles, and lifting hooks. Generators for construction sites are heavy units; therefore, they must have all the portability features.
Look for a generator that allows full options on the control panel. A fully advanced control panel will give you features like meter readings, on/off buttons, wattage drawn, total hours run, and power outlets.
Since you will be operating heavy machines on your generator, you will need outlets to connect the machines directly to the generator. It is better to check the power outlets before buying the generator and ensure that they meet your needs. If you are using power extensions with the generator, make sure they are of high quality and handle big loads.
Buying a generator with an electric start has its perks. It will save time during work as you will not have to pull the starting cord every time you need to run your generator. Generators with dual starting options are a bit costly but are worth it.
A generator used for work purposes will need more safety features. It is more likely to get overheated, overloaded than a residential generator. Therefore, your generator must have all the features like overload and overheat protection, surge protection, low oil, and fuel shutdown. Another aspect of generator safety is covered outlets. These outlets will keep your generator safe from dust and water while running outdoors.
Automatic Idle Control
Construction tools don’t run continuously. You will be using manual tools or check the work done. You may need to arrange the materials before you start working, and it may take 10-20 minutes. Hence a generator with idle control, eco throttle, or smart throttle features will help you keep the running cost down. It will also give some rest to your generator.
Construction sites are already too noisy. Hence, it would help if you looked for a generator that comes with the lowest running sound. Generators for construction sites are big units and will produce more sound than a small generator. You must also check local laws about sound pollutions. Some states limit the level of noise you can create at a work site. So, it is better to buy the quietest generator.
Warranty and Certifications
Generators at a construction site are vigorously used and are more prone to malfunctioning. It is better to buy a unit with a warranty. A warranty cover will come in handy at such times. We don’t want you to spend on maintenance within 1-2 years of buying a generator. Generators with certifications from the EPA and other regulatory bodies give you peace of mind as they are certified for not releasing pollutants into the environment. They keep the air quality breathable.
Buying a generator for professional use is like investing in your business. It will help you increase your business and enhance the operating speed of your crew. We suggest that you don’t limit your budget while buying the generator instead of looking for the most advanced and durable unit. However, it would help if you kept in mind the operational cost of the unit.