Best Generators for Food Truck: Don’t let your food business die

A reliable food truck generator is necessary because you can’t always find an electricity source to power your food truck. Many times you may need to go to other locations, so it is hard to get access to electricity every time. And that is why companies are making reliable and durable food truck generators for food truck business owners.

The food truck business is old. Charles Goodnight, in 1866 created Chuck Wagon that was the first food truck. Also, in honor of Charles Goodnight, March 5th is celebrated as the National Mobile Food Vendor Day.

The food truck industry is booming now. The industry’s total revenue has grown up to 300% in the last few years. People aged between 18 and 34 purchase meals from food trucks, whereas 54% of the total population aged between 35 and 44 are diners.

So, if you are running a food truck business and need the best generator for it, then go through the list mentioned below to select one to meet your power needs.

Food Truck Generator Reviewed

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Product

Features

Ratings

Check Price

DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator

  • Electric/recoil start system

  • Dual fuel portable generator

  • 8.8 hours runtime at 50% load

Champion Power Equipment 100165 Dual Fuel Portable Generator

  • 5.5 hours runtime at 25% load

  • Recoil/electric start system

  • Overload/low-oil indicators

Pulsar PG4000iSR Inverter Generator
  • 15 hours at 50% load

  • Electric/remote start system

  • Eco-mode

WEN DF1100T Dual Fuel Portable Generator

  • Electric start system

  • 2 years warranty

  • 8.5 hours runtime at 50% load

Honda EU7000iS Inverter Generator

  • 18 hours runtime at 50% load

  • Recoil/electric start system

  • Automatic speed adjustment

All Power America APGG10000GL Dual Fuel Portable Generator

  • 11 hours runtime at 50% load

  • Manual/electric start system

  • 2 years warranty

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF

  • 6.6-gallon fuel tank

  • 457cc OHV engine

  • Light indicators for low oil/overload

1. DuroMax XP12000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best Power Generator for Food Truck

DuroMax XP12000EH generator

Dual Fuel Option: The DuroMax XP12000EH is a dual fuel portable generator that is perfect for large food trucks. The all-metal construction and all copper windings make it a durable and reliable generator. You can either run it on gasoline or propane to power your essentials inside the food truck.

Engine and Power Output: It is powered by a 457cc, DuroMax OHV engine that is quite powerful. On gasoline, it produces 12,000 watts of peak power (starting watts) and 9500 watts of rated power (running watts). But on propane, the unit generates 11,400 peak watts and 9025 rated watts.

Weight and Warranty: The weight of this generator is 236 pounds, and it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Starting System: It features both the keyed electric start and recoil start systems.

Fuel Tank and Runtime: An 8.3-gallon fuel tank gives 8.8 hours of runtime at 50% load. But with propane, you will get 7.2 hours at 50% load.

Safety Features: Spark arrestor, overload protection, and low-oil shutoff are included in its safety features. Spark arrestor limits sparks from getting out of the muffler. Overload protection protects the engine from overload damages. And the low-oil shutoff turns off the engine automatically when it senses lower oil levels.

Mobility: You have fold-down handles and never-flat tires to easily move it from one area to another.

Power Panel: Its power panel has two 120V 20A household outlets, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, a 120V/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, and one 120/240V 50A outlet. Also, we have an engine switch, circuit breakers, idle control switch, a voltmeter, and oil alert and recharge indicators. The idle control switch reduces the speed of the engine when less or no load is applied and allows the engine to automatically gain speed when the loads are applied.

Moreover, we have a DuroMax MX2 switch that allows you to choose between 120V and 120/240V.

Volume Level: There is an oversized muffler that contributes to keeping the noise levels low.

Certifications: It is an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified product.

My Opinion:

Pros: It is an extremely powerful generator that can power your whole food truck. It has a powerful engine, its fuel tank size is bigger, and it is easy to maintain. But the best feature of this generator is its MX2 technology that allows you to switch between 120V and 120/240V.

Cons: It is a large and heavy unit.

2. Champion Power Equipment 100165 Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Propane Generator for Food Truck

Champion 100165 food truck generator

Dual Fuel Option: Another dual fuel generator is in our list that is from Champion Power Equipment. You can run it either on gasoline or propane. Its fuel selector switch allows you to switch between gasoline and LPG easily.

Engine and Power Output: It also has a powerful 439cc 4-stroke air-cooled Champion engine that produces 8400 starting and 6750 running watts on propane and 9375 starting and 7500 running watts on gasoline.

Starting System: You can start the generator either using a recoil or electric start system.

Fuel Tank and Runtime: Its fuel tank size is 6.1-gallon that gives a runtime up to 8 hours at a 50% load. But with a propane tank, you will get 5.5 hours of runtime at 50% load.

Weight and Warranty: Its 202 pounds weight makes it lighter than the DuroMax XP12000EH. Also, its warranty period is of 3 years.

Safety Features: Low-oil shutoff sensor and Volt Guard for overload protection

Volume Level: It operates at 74 dB (A).

Power Panel: There are four 120V GFCI-protected outlets, one 120V 30A locking outlet, and a 120/240V 30A locking outlet. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter that is a circuit breaker. It breaks the circuit when it detects a difference between incoming and outgoing currents. More we have an engine switch, battery switch, and an intelligauge that displays runtime in hours, volts, and frequency in hertz.

Mobility: Durable tires and a fold-down handle make transportation and storage easy. 

Certifications: It is not only an EPA certified unit but also CARB compliant.

My Opinion:

Pros: Overall, the performance of this generator is quite satisfactory. It features a durable steel frame and a decent size fuel tank that gives decent a runtime. Also, there is a Volt Guard surge protector that is the valuable inclusion.

Cons: It is a noisy machine.

3. Pulsar PG4000iSR Inverter Generator – Inverter Generator

Pulsar PG4000iSR food truck generator

Engine and Power Output: If you are looking for a small and less powerful generator for your food truck, then go for Pulsar PG4000iSR. It is an inverter generator that has a 224cc OHV engine. It generates 4000 peak watts and 3500 running watts. The energy is so clean and stable that you can freely power your sensitive electronics.

Starting System: It is featured with both the electric push start and remote start systems. With the help of remote, you can turn the generator on and off from up to 80 feet away. Also, there is a recoil start option for emergencies.

Eco-Mode: Eco-mode saves your fuel and money. The speed of the engine changes automatically according to the load applied that saves fuel and increases the engine’s life.

Fuel Tank and Runtime: Pulsar PG4000iSR can run up to 15 hours on a 3.4-gallon fuel tank at 50% load.

Volume Level: It is a quiet generator with 63 dB (A) decibel rating.

Power Panel: If we focus on power outlets, then we have two 120V AC 20A household outlets, one 120V 30A outlet, a 12V DC outlet, and a 5V DC USB port. Also, there is a battery switch, electric start button, eco-mode switch, parallel operation outlets, and three-light indicators (overload, low-oil, and output).

Parallel Capability: You can increase the power output by connecting another PG4000iSR in parallel with the help of a parallel connection kit.

Mobility: There are two carrying handles, one telescoping handle, and two durable tires that make the unit highly portable.

Certifications: It is a CARB compliant unit along with CSA (Canadian Standards Association) and EPA approved.

Weight and Warranty: It is backed by a 1-year warranty and weighs 92.6 pounds.

My Opinion:

Pros: It is an inexpensive but quality inverter generator that offers a tremendous runtime. It is best suited for small or medium-size food trucks. It has a beautiful design and operates quietly. 

Cons: Its warranty period is quite short.

4. WEN DF1100T Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Gas Generator

WEN DF1100T food truck generator

Dual Fuel Option: WEN DF1100T is another dual fuel generator that you can buy to run your food truck. There is a big fuel selector knob that allows easy switching between gas and propane.

Engine and Power Output: Its 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine gives 11,000 peak watts and 8300 running watts on gasoline and 9500 peak watts and 7500 running watts on propane.

Starting System: DF1100T comes with an electric start system.

Fuel Tank and Runtime: Its fuel tank capacity is 6.6-gallons that allows the generator to run up to 8.5 hours at a 50% load. But it will run for 3 hours on propane at 50% load.

Safety Features: Low-oil shutoff, automatic voltage regulator, and overload protection are there for safety. The automatic voltage regulator keeps the voltage level constant.

Power Panel: The control panel of this generator features four 120V GFCI protected outlets, one 120/240V 50A outlet, one 120V 30A twist-lock outlet, and a 12V DC outlet.  Moreover, we have an hour meter, circuit breakers, fuel switch, and an engine switch.

Mobility: It is also quite easy to transport, thanks to its fold-down handles and never-flat tires.

Certifications: WEN DF1100T is CARB, and EPA III certified.

Weight and Warranty: Its warranty period is of 2 years, and it weighs 214 pounds. 

My Opinion:

Pros: It produces higher power output, thanks to its powerful engine. A big fuel selector knob allows easy switching between gasoline and propane during operation. It is also easy to maintain and transport. 

Cons: Sometimes, its electric start system takes time to turn the engine on.

5. Honda EU7000iS Inverter Generator – Quiet Generator

Honda EU7000iS food truck generator

Engine and Power Output: This Honda EU7000iS inverter generator comes with a 389cc Honda GX390 EFI engine. It produces 7000 watts of peak power and 5500 watts of rated power. 

Weight and Warranty: Its weight is 51.3 pounds and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Volume Level: It operates at 58 dB (A) at rated load and 52 dB (A) at a 25% load. 

Starting System: Honda EU7000iS supports both the recoil and electric start systems.

Eco-Throttle: The Eco-throttle system keeps the engine speed limited. The engine automatically changes its speed according to the load applied for maximum fuel efficiency.

Fuel Tank and Runtime: It can run up to 18 hours at 25% load on a 5.1-gallon fuel tank. Its fuel tank is bigger as compared to Pulsar PG4000iSR.

Parallel Capability: To generate more power than 5500 watts, link another Honda EU7000iS with this generator.

Mobility: Two big, durable tires and convenient handles help you to move the generator with ease.

Power Panel: There is a voltage selector switch that allows you to select between full 120V and 120/240V. If we focus on power outlets, then we have two 120V AC outlets, one 30A outlet, and one 120/240V outlet. Other than power outlets, there is an imonitor, main switch, electric start button, eco-throttle switch, and three-light indicators.

Certifications: The unit is USDA qualified, and EPA approved.

My Opinion:

Pros: It is quite powerful for the size, features a compact design, offers a good runtime, and ensures quiet free operation.

Cons: It is quite expensive, and it fails to run properly under hot climates.

6. All Power America APGG10000GL Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best Food Truck Generator under $800

All Power America food truck generator

Dual Fuel Option: Another dual fuel generator is All Power America APGG10000GL, which is also a reliable generator.

Certifications: It is an EPA certified generator but cannot be shipped to California because it is not CARB compliant.

Engine and Power Output: It is powered by a 420cc, 15 HP OHV air-cooled engine that produces 10,000 peaks and 8000 rated watts on gasoline and 8500 peak and 7000 rated watts on propane.

Fuel Tank and Runtime: The APGG10000GL can run up to 11 hours at 50% load on a full 8-gallon fuel tank. Its fuel tank is bigger than WEN DF1100T, and that’s why its runtime is also longer.

Starting System: You can either start the generator manually or by using an electric start button system. 

Volume Level: Its operating noise level is 76 dB (A).

Power Panel: The power panel of this generator is full of power outlets and other important things. There are four 120V AC outlets, a 12V DC outlet, one 120V twist-lock outlet, and a 120/240V twist-lock outlet. More we have an hour meter, engine switch, and power and oil lamp indicators.

Weight and Warranty: Its weight is 236 pounds and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Safety Features: Overload protection and low-oil shutoff sensor 

Mobility: The same fold-down handles and never-flat tires come with this generator.

My Opinion:

Pros: It is affordable and perfectly built. It offers long runtime, easy to assemble, and has various power outlets.

Cons: It is a heavier unit. Also, it is not a CARB-compliant product. 

7. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator – Best Dual Fuel Generator for Food Trucks

Westinghouse dual fuel power station

Fuel Type and Power Output: It is a dual fuel machine and can be run on gasoline and propane. A dual fuel option allows you to run the machine with freedom. If your food truck is parked in an area where gas shortage can happen, a dual fuel machine comes in handy. The Wgen9500DF provides 12500 starting and 9500 running watts on gasoline. Propane produces 11200 peak and 8500 rated watts. The power output is enough to run a majority of stuff in your food truck.

Tank Capacity and Runtime: The dual-fuel machine has a 6.6-gallon fuel tank. One full tank can run for 12 hours at 50% load. It is quite impressive in this power range. The runtime on propane varies according to the size of the cylinder connected, and the load applied.

Engine Specifications: It is built around a powerful and heavy-duty 457cc OHV Westinghouse engine. The engine is made of cast iron double-sleeve, which adds to the machine’s durability and reliability. You can start the engine with a recoil starter, electric starting mechanism, and a remote.

Outlets: When you are selecting a generator for a food truck, you need to ensure that it has enough outlets to power all of your appliances or run heavy machines without any worries. Wgen9500DF provides 50Amp outlets, which helps run heavy-duty cooking machines. Apart from this outlet, you get two 120V 20A 5-20R GFCI AC outlets, one 120/240V 30A outlet, and an ST switch. These outlets are protected with covers and keep the plugs and sockets safe from dust and water.

Safety Features: This machine is loaded with safety features like low oil shutdown, surge voltage protection, and overload protection.

Control Panel: Apart from the outlets, the control panel offers a fuel selector knob, fuel gauge, and a data center to display running hours, total operation hours, frequency and volts.

Dimensions, Weight, and Warranty: When you are buying a food truck generator, you need to make sure that it will fit in the allocated space in your truck. This machine measures 27.2 x 26.1 x 26.5 inches and weighs 220 pounds. It comes with wheels and an ergonomic drag handle to help move the unit around.

Noise Level: This machine produces around 70 dBA noise while running. If you are keeping the generator in an enclosure, the noise will not bother you much.

Warranty and Certification: Westinghouse offers a 3-year warranty on all its generators. It is EPA and CARB-certified machine and can be run in all 50 states.

Included Accessories: You will find oil for first-time use, oil funnel, tool kit, user manual, quick start guide, and a spark plug wrench in the box.

My Opinion:

Pros: It is an economical option in this power range. You get a remote start, GFCI outlets, and oil for first-time use. The runtime is also excellent.

Cons: The only problem with this machine is that it is a noisy unit.

Buyer’s Guide

Output and Power Needs

The most important things to consider while buying a portable generator are the power output and your needs. The exact wattage needed to power a food truck depends on your truck’s size and what appliances you will be running on the generator. Many food trucks use a 5000-7000 watts generator for powering their appliances. However, the exact needs vary from one truck to another. To help you calculate the required wattage, we have given an example below.

Appliances Starting Wattage Running Wattage
Refrigerator 1200 400
Fridge 600 200
Coffee Maker 600 600
Microwave Oven 1000 1000
Cooking Range 1700 1700
Blender 800 400
Lights 500 500
TV 300 300
Toaster 300 300
Computer/Billing System 400 400
Total 7400 5800

In the table above, 7400 watts are needed to start all the appliances at one time. However, to keep them running together, you need 5800 watts. Your requirement can vary from the example above. The purpose of giving the example is to make you understand that you need a generator according to the running wattage and not the starting wattage. The peak wattages can be managed by adding the loads one by one on the generator. For the appliances listed in the table above, a generator with 6000 running watts will be perfect.

Conventional vs. Inverter Generator

Both conventional and inverter generators are best suited for food trucks, but it depends on you to select any type. If you need a small or medium-sized unit with low operational sound and decent power output, go for an inverter machine. But if you own a big food truck where you have many appliances and items to power, then go for a big size generator.

Conventional generators don’t take care of your sensitive electronics, whereas inverters do as they provide clean and stable power. Also, inverter generators are more fuel-efficient.

Single vs. Dual Fuel Generators

The debate of single vs. dual fuel generators depends on your usage pattern and area of your business. A dual fuel generator is always better than a single fuel generator because it doesn’t limit you to one fuel type. When you don’t have gas with you, you can use propane to power a dual fuel generator. Propane also comes in handy during times of emergencies as it has a long shelf life compared to gasoline (8-10 months). Propane burns cleaner and will keep the area around your food truck free from harmful pollutants. Gas has a better energy density and provides more power in the same generator. Propane is safer to use than gasoline. If you work in a remote area, a dual fuel generator is better.

Control Panel

A user-friendly generator will offer maximum options on the control panel. It will have power outlets, an odometer, on/off buttons, and a choke. A generator with a fully advanced control panel is easier to manage, maintain and operate.

Power Outlets

When you are buying a generator for a food truck, you must make sure that it has enough power outlets to connect your appliances directly as well. Generally, a generator is wired into the truck’s electrical system, and power outlets are not frequently used. However, it is always better to have specific power outlets according to your appliances.

Runtime

You must need to buy a generator that can run for a longer period. Buy a conventional generator with a big fuel tank to get extended runtime. But if you don’t need higher output power and want good runtime with quiet operation, go for an inverter generator. To get longer runtime, your generator must be fuel-efficient.

Gas Tank Size

Runtime is also dependent on the size of the gas tank. Large generators have big tanks and provide a runtime of 6-8 hours, depending on the load applied to the generator. If you run your generator for less time, then the gas tank won’t matter much. However, if your usage is more and you depend on the generator for longer periods, then look for a generator with a larger tank.

Paralleling Capabilities              

Paralleling helps you enhance the power output and increase the number of power outlets available to directly connect the appliances. Inverters with paralleling abilities give you versatility as you can use two generators for different purposes.

Safety Features

Your generator must have a spark arrestor, low-oil shutdown sensor, and overload protection.

Portability

Always select a highly portable generator for your food truck. Make sure the unit you are buying has big never-flat tires and comfortable handles for easy pulling. Also, if your inverter generator has no wheels, then make sure it has comfortable carrying handles so that two persons can easily move it from one place to another.

Size and Weight

Some trucks come with generators storing and running space. For others, you need to place the generator in the open to run it. Hence, you must look for a generator that can fit in the designated space or your allocated storage space inside the truck. To avoid any space problem, measure the available space’s size and then check out the dimensions of the unit you want to purchase. The generator must also be lightweight so that two people can lift it and place it at the running spot.

Warranty and Certifications

Look for a generator with a warranty. The warranty comes in handy when your generator starts troubling you within 1-2 years of purchase. With a warranty cover, you don’t need to spend on repairs. A generator with certifications from EPA ensures that you don’t disturb the environment and your food truck surroundings. If you are working in the state of California, don’t buy a generator without CARB certification.

Price

The last thing to ponder is the price range. Buying a generator for your food truck is making an investment to increase your work process. We suggest that you look for the most advanced and technically sound generator. Even if you have to spend a couple of extra hundred dollars, it will give you lots of returns in the long run.

FAQs

Do I need a generator for my food truck?

No matter what the size of your food truck is, you will need a generator to power different appliances like a refrigerator, blender, juicer, oven, air conditioner, and so on. You cannot power all these appliances with the truck’s engine. So, it is essential to buy a generator if you are planning to do a food truck business.

How to connect the generator to my food truck?

You will need to wire all the appliances together and then connect with the generator. It is a professional’s work, and we suggest that you don’t try this yourself. All the information required for food truck operation safety is available here.

How quiet should the generator be for my food truck?

You must look for the quietest generator for your food truck. Your customers will love to eat in peace around your food truck; the running sound of your generator will drive them away. No matter how much tasty and delicious your food is, if the generator is making a loud noise, customers will stay away and prefer other options. You also need to check the local laws about a sound generation from the generator.

How far should I place my generator from my food truck?

The EPA suggests that you must place your generator 15 feet away from your sitting/working/living area. The best spot to place your generator is behind the food truck and 15 feet away from the sitting area.

Can I use a generator while traveling?

If you want to use your generator while traveling, you must inform the electrician beforehand. Special care for exhaust and operational safety must be taken into account before running your generator in a moving truck.

What safety protocols should be taken while running the generator?

Always run the generator under a generator tent. You must never refuel a running generator or when it is hot. Try to avoid running your generator in rain/sunshine or on a sloped surface. Make sure you let it cool before moving your generator or refilling it. To keep your generator safe from being stolen, use chain and cable locks or metal brackets for inverters. Never overload your generator and turn off all appliances before starting/shutting down the generator. Always keep a ready-to-use fire extinguisher in your food truck.

Do I need to ground the generator for the food truck?

Yes. You must ground your generator for a food truck. Discuss the grounding option with the electrician, or you can use the conventional method of grounding rod.

Which is the best option? One powerful generator or two less powerful inverters for the food truck business.

It depends on your needs. If you need more flexibility with power outlets, then find a parallel capable inverter generator so that you can link another same unit to drive more power as well as get more power outlets. But if you own a big food truck with different appliances to run, then you must need high surge power, and a single large conventional generator can only help you with this.

Is it safe to add gasoline while the generator is running?

It is not safe to add gas when the generator is on. Even you must allow your generator to cool down before refueling.

What are the maintenance needs of the food truck generator?

There are no specific or additional maintenance needs of a food truck generator. However, you must be very careful about your generator as you cannot afford downtime when it comes to your business. Therefore, you must adopt a weekly maintenance schedule. Check engine oil condition and level, inspect spark plugs and battery charging and replace oil/air filters on a timely basis.

What are the limitations of a food truck generator?

A food truck generator will provide you with limited power. Some areas provide shore power for food trucks, it’s like utility power, and you can run any appliance you want without any issues. With a generator, some appliances may fluctuate and may not work up to their full efficiency.

Conclusion

That’s all from our side. We hope that all the concerns regarding generators for food trucks have now been answered. You can select one from the best 7 generators reviewed above and increase your profit.

2 thoughts on “Best Generators for Food Truck: Don’t let your food business die”

    • It is an excellent idea to go with a dual fuel generator for a food truck as it will provide you the freedom to run your generator without any issues. There are a couple of options you can go for. DuroMax XP12000EH Generator (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0N8256?tag=voltagehero-20) will provide you with 1200 starting and 9500 running watts. It is CARB and EPA compliant and will go a long way with you without any issues. You get an electric start option along with an approximately 9 hours run time at 50% load. The generator comes with a 30 days replacement warranty and a 1-year full warranty on parts.
      The second option is Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q1DLKBG?tag=voltagehero-20). It comes with 12500 peak watts and 9500 running watts on gasoline. On propane, you get 11200 peak watts and 8500 running watts. The generator offers a remote starting mechanism, which will help you save some time while starting the unit. You get up to 12 hours of run time with a 50% load on a 6.6-gallon gas tank. You get a 3-year warranty on this unit and excellent customer service.
      Both the generators are highly valued and have excellent user ratings and reviews. They are best for food trucks. If you want to read a detailed review of both these units and other 50 amp models, head to our Best Portable Generators with 50 Amp Plug (https://voltagehero.com/best-portable-generators-with-50-amp-plug/) page.

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