The food truck business is an extremely mobile kind of business, and it requires a mobile power solution. Using the trucks’ own power supplied by its battery is not nearly enough or efficient for the business to work.
The best generator for the food truck business is the one that can power all the appliances inside and the fittings outside while maintaining the lowest possible noise levels packed with a big tank. These generators usually run on gasoline, diesel, or propane, and they should have a tank large enough to support all the appliances throughout the working hours.
Bear in mind that not only appliances will need power, the signboards outside, lighting inside and decorative lights outside of the truck all need electricity. If you just started planning a food truck business, have in mind all the appliances you will use based on the type of food you will serve.
You might need an oven, refrigerator, freezer, toasters, fryer, dishwasher, etc. Make a list of all the appliances you might need so you can pick the best generator that will suit your needs.
Best Food Truck Generators On The Market
Now when we’ve learned all we need to know about power generators that are best for food trucks, let’s see what the market has to offer. I’ve browsed it for a while and found several interesting options, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to compare the 5 currently popular models.
Let’s put these babies to the test, and compare them against one another, and see which one comes at the top:
1. Westinghouse WGEN7500 – Best of The Best!
I picked this power generator to be on the top of the list because it’s an all-in-one kind of solution. It’s not heavy, it’s not loud, and it provides plenty of power. It produces 9500 starting watts and 7500 while running. That is plenty of power for most food trucks. It’s not the lightest of the bunch, but it’s not too heavy as well. It weighs 192 lbs.
It’s not the loudest one, but it’s not completely quiet as well. It’s relatively quiet when you compare it to the other ones. It can run constantly for up to 16 hours at 25% load, so you won’t have to worry are you going to run out of power in the middle of a big day.
- 9500 starting watts
- 7500 running watts
- 192 lbs
- 306cc engine
- 16h run time at 25% load
- 6-gallon fuel tank
- 4x 120V-20A outlets
- 1x 120V/240V, 30A outlet
- Sound level: 73dB from 23f
- Remote electric start
- Recoil style start
- Proprietary Smart Switch
All of this comes with a 3-year warranty and tech support for life, which is extremely convenient if you have a problem in the middle of a working day. They have a team ready to solve the problem for you.
2. Honda 7000W – Lightweight and Very Quiet!
If you need an extra quiet generator, I think this one is the best pick for that feature. It operates at 58dB @ 23ft, and it’s the quietest of the bunch. You would think that a generator this quiet is not going to have enough power output – well, in this case, that’s not true.
It has 7000W of starting power and 5500W of running power, making it ideal for food trucks that want to be as quiet as possible. Following the natural law of imperfection, this generator is not perfect, and it has a drawback. It is the heaviest of them all – it weighs 261 lbs!
Along with that, it has only a 6.5h run time at 25% load. This might be a problem if you need much more operating time. But, if the weight and the time are not the issues for you, then this one is definitely the way to go!
- Starting power: 7000W
- Running power: 5500W
- Weight: 216 lbs
- 389cc Honda engine
- 5.1-gallon fuel tank
- 6.5h runtime @ 25%
- 1x 120v, 30A outlet
- 1x 120v, 250v, 30A outlet
- 2x 120v, 20A outlets
- Very low noise level: 58dB from 23ft
- Recoil style start
It comes with a 3-year warranty, and Honda is reassuring you that the generator will last longer and it will fix any problems you might have with it.
3. Briggs & Stratton 30675A Q6500 – Compact Solution
This model is very close in performance to the previous two, but it is slightly below them. It has a power output of 6500 starting watts and 5000 running watts. While it’s not the best choice for the demanding larger food trucks, it is an excellent solution for smaller ones.
While Honda 7000w is still the quietest one, the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 is very quiet as well. Its noise levels are 66dB at 23ft. It stands out in its runtime of 14 hours. It’s a compact generator for compact food trucks that will have long working days.
- Starting power: 6500W
- Running power: 5000W
- Weight: 138 lbs
- 306cc engine
- 5-gallon fuel tank
- 14h run time @ 25%
- 4x 120v-20A outlets
- 1x 120v/240V, 30A outlet
- 2x USB outlets
- Noise level 66dB from 23ft
- Recoil style start
All this and a 2-year warranty for consumers and a 1-year commercial warranty is what you get.
4. Pulsar Products PG5250B – Versatile Generator
This one here is a bit different food truck generator, and it can proudly be called the versatile champ! It can run both on gas or propane, making it ideal for emergency situations when you run out of fuel. Having backup fuel when running a mobile business is very handy.
As for the power output, it can generate 5250 starting watts and 4750 running watts. While not the most powerful one out there, it can provide plenty of power for most standard food trucks with a couple of appliances.
It’s very lightweight, and its 115 lbs make it easy to transport it anywhere. But, the noise levels are when it comes short. It’s one of the loudest ones, generating 78dB of noise at 23ft.
- Starting watts: 5250
- Running watts: 4750
- 224cc engine
- Weight: 115 lbs
- 4-gallon fuel tank
- 15h runtime
- 2x 120v/240v outlets
- 1x 120v/240v outlet
- 1x 30A RV port
- Noise level: 78dB from 23ft
- Recoil style start
It comes with a 2-year warranty and decent customer service.
5. Champion 3400W – Silence and Versatility
If you have a smaller truck and you don’t need a large amount of power, but want to keep the noise levels as low as possible, this little food truck generator might be the one for you! It produces 3400 watts of starting power and 3100 running watts.
It can use both gas and propane as fuel. With noise levels of 59dB at 23ft, it’s at the top of the list of quiet generators. You will be able to run it for 7.5h with gas or an amazing 14.5h on propane at 25% load.
- Starting watts: 3400
- Running watts: 3100
- 192cc engine
- Weight: 95.7 lbs
- 1.6-gallon fuel tank
- 7.5h or 14.5h runtime at 25% load
- 2x 120V outlets
- 1x 240V outlet
- 1x 12V outlet
- Sound level: 59dB at 23ft
- Recoil style start
This little champ comes with a 3-year warranty and lifetime tech support.
How to pick the best generator for a food truck?
There are few main things you should have in mind when you’re picking the best generator for a food truck.
Pay attention to these points:
- Generator type
- Starting and working power
- Generator’s size
- Watts/ Amperes
- Noise levels
- Run time
All portable generators are very much alike. You can differentiate them based on the type of fuel they use.
Based on the type of fuel, generators are split into three groups:
- Gas generators
- Propane generators
- Dual fuel generators
It’s pretty clear what makes them apart, the unique ones are generators with dual-fuel systems, which can use both propane and gas.
Portable generators come in all shapes and sizes. What’s important is that the bigger generator doesn’t mean more power. You can find some pretty compact generators that offer plenty of power, choose them based on the space you have available. But, smaller generators usually mean smaller fuel tanks.
Once you’re done with a list of appliances you will need, it’s time to calculate how much power they will need to run simultaneously. Have in mind that some of them need to run all the time, refrigerator and freezer for example.
Depending on the type of appliance, there are two types of load/power usage:
Appliances with reactive load need more power to start but consume less when they are running. Appliances with motors are usually the ones with a reactive load.
Appliances with resistive load don’t need a lot of power to start, but they consume a lot more when they are running. These are usually appliances with heating elements like ovens, microwaves, toasters, etc.
Since you will probably be using both of these types in your truck, consider them both when choosing the right amount of power the generator can output.
Watts / Amperes
All appliances should have their power consumption listed on their bottom or in the manual. What may confuse you is that usually the appliances have their power requirements listed in amperes, but the generator’s power output is in watts.
To calculate how much power an appliance needs in watts check the manual of the appliance and see how many volts and amperes it has. Multiply volts by amperes and the result is how much power it needs in watts.
But, how can you calculate the total power needed for all appliances when the consumption may vary from time to time? It’s simple – just calculate the total surge power of all appliances. If the generator matches this sum, you will be safe.
It is recommended, however, that the sum you got is the minimum power output of the generator. Getting the one that has a higher power output is recommended for the long run because some appliances need more power as they age.
Check the generator’s specs to see how much starting and running power they have.
When you take a look at generators specs, you will see a number with the label run time. This number represents the number of hours the generator can run without stopping. Take this into consideration based on the working hours of your food truck. If you’re working long hours it’s better to pick a generator with less power, but with better run time.
Noise levels depend on the engineering of the engine of the generator. There are no rules here, each has a different noise production, and the only thing you can do is to check its specs to see how loud it will be. For a reference, consider anything below 60 dB pretty quiet.
Pay attention to the emissions of the generator. Use a standard generator that uses gas fuel from its own tank, or get an EVAP generator. You can find the emission details in the manual or in the detailed description of the generator.
Generators that have low emissions are better for the environment and for their close surroundings, especially for the people working nearby. Check your area’s emission standards. If an EVAP generator is required in your area and you use a standard one, you may face a pretty large fine, up to $40000.
The food truck generator must be installed properly. It needs a larger space if you’re going to install it inside, or you can fit it into a trailer or a trunk. Large space is required so it has plenty of air around it to keep itself cool and to have good airflow.
I would recommend that you put it in a separate space, the trunk is a good way to go if it’s spacy. Check the voltage while you’re installing it. Usually, it’s 120 or 240. Also, make sure it’s grounded properly, if you’re not sure how to do it, it would be best that you hire a professional who will do it for you.
Ventilation and airflow
Make sure the airflow is good all around the food truck generator. Take this very seriously, good airflow will give improve the cooling of the generator, and it will prevent poisoning from the exhaust fumes of the people inside.
I would recommend that you hire a professional to install it, just to be safe everything will run properly and everyone around it will be safe.
Professionals will inspect the place where you want it installed, so it doesn’t cause CO poisoning, protect it from going on fire and make sure everything is heat resistant and that is grounded properly. Be sure to have a small fire extinguisher near the generator, just to be safe and to deal with accidents as quickly as you can.
That concludes my list of the best generators for food trucks you can get right now. I hope you found the generator you like! Be sure to double-check your power requirements and choose the generator you want based on that information!
If you’re not sure about setting everything up, I highly recommend that you hire a professional and be sure that everything will be working as it should, and the people working in the truck will stay safe.
Grounding is also very important! Make sure it is grounded properly! After everything is set up, the only thing left to be done is to maintain the generator properly, and your food truck will always be ready to serve tasty meals!
Take a look at these generators also available on Amazon:
- 3700 Rated Watts and 4500 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD – Telescoping Handle – Gas Powered – Remote Start With Included Key Fob, Electric and Recoil Start
- Features a 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet, an RV-Ready Tt-30R 30 Amp Outlet and Two USB Outlets – Great Choice for Travel Trailers or Home Use – Strong Enough to Run All Your Essentials
- Led Data Center: Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level, Power Output, Remaining Run Time, Voltage Output, and Lifetime Hours
- Extremely Quiet, Extremely Fuel Efficient: as Low as 52 dBA Noise Output and Up to 18 Hour Run Time on a 3. 4 Gallon Gas Tank – Features “Economy Mode” for Maximum Fuel Efficiency
- WIDE APPLICATION: PowerSmart portable generator is great for campgrounds, construction sites, mobile devices and power outages. This outdoor generator is a workhorse that provides continuous power to handle multiple jobs, such as powering high voltage appliances and heavy duty power tools in different job sites.
- ADVANCED DESIGN: The gas generator contains with 63cc, 2HP, 2-stroke gas powered engine, which provides 1000 surge watts and 900 rated watts. The weight of this gas generator is only 39 lbs that is lighter than a traditional generator in same output. Easy to assemble, pull start and use, hassle free to your daily use.
- CLEAN ENERGY: The 120V household outlets and 12V DC output are installed in thie generator, which provides clean power to sensitive devices, such as phones, laptops and other outdoor electronics. The completed safety design prevents damage to these devices. Uses oil/gas mix fuel so there's no need for oil changes.
- QUIET TECHNOLOGY AND HIGH FUEL EFFICIENCY: Noise-free environment is one of our goal for this generator. The portable generator performs low decibel during operation, provides quiet environment to user. The generator contains with a full fuel tank of 1.1 gallon, the generator can run for 5 hours when it is at half load.
- CUSTOMER SATISFICATION: PowerSmart is always aiming on providing great consumers value with the absolute best price and quality entire line of products. All of our products qualify for a 2 years warranty, Our service team will provide premium service to help solve any problem.
- POWERFUL DUROSTAR ENGINE: The DS10000E is Powered by a 18HP 440cc OHV Durostar Engine.
- Powerful Engine – The DuroStar 439cc OHV engine is a workhorse that provides plenty of power to handle multiple jobs, from powering high voltage appliances to heavy duty power tools
- Idle Control – Lowers the RPMs of the generator when not in use, saving fuel and reducing noise. Ideal on the job site where power is used intermittently
- MX2 Technology - Get the maximum power from each of the 120-volt receptacles. Choose between operating the generator at both 120V and 240V simultaneously, or at 120V only with full power. Ideal for usage with RVs
- Fully Featured Power Panel – The power panel includes a wide selection of outlets for maximum compatibility in your applications including: (2) 120V household GFCI outlets, (1) 120V 30A twist lock outlet, (1) 240V 30A outlet, and (1) 240V 50A outlet. The panel also includes a voltmeter and 12V DC charging posts for charging external batteries
- Digital readout helps manage oil changes and maintenance schedule
- Features electric start, low-oil shutdown, an automatic voltage regulator and overload protection to maximize safety
- CARB and EPA III meet requirements for sale in all 50 states
- Includes wheel kit and foldable handles for easy transport
- 223cc engine provides 4,750 surge watt and 3,750 rated watt
- BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: The Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station has been featured as the "Best Portable Power Station for use in the outdoors" by Digital Trends. A classic choice for your pick.
- EASY TO CARRY: This entry-level portable power station is equipped with a 240Wh lithium-ion battery pack, weighing only at 6.6 pounds. The solid handle makes it easy to carry around for outdoor adventures such as Tent Camping, Road Trip, Backyard Camping, etc.
- VERSATILE POWER SOURCE: 1* Pure Sine Wave AC outlet (110V 200W 400W Peak), 2* USB-A ports (5V, 2.4A), and 1* 12V DC car port to charge your road trip essentials such as smartphones, laptops, cameras, fans, lights and so on. Pass-through charging is supported.
- GREEN POWER SUPPLY: The power station can be recharged by the Jackery SolarSaga 60 solar panel. Its built-in MPPT controller enables the solar panel to operate at its max power point for the power station to be recharged at its highest efficiency. TWO alternative ways to recharge: through the wall outlet or the car outlet.
- WHAT YOU GET: 1* Jackery Explorer 240 portable power station, 1*AC adapter, 1* car charger cable, 1* user guide.
- 12, 000 peak watts/ 9, 500 Rated watts (gasoline) & 10, 800 peak watts/ 8, 550 Rated watts (LPG)
- Dual fuel capability allows you to choose between gasoline & LPG fuel sources; great for emergency situations or natural disaster as LPG may be more readily available and easy to store
- The 457cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke, air cooled, OHV engine with electric start is protected by a durable powder coated frame
- A 8 gallon fuel tank gives you up to 12 hours of continuous operation at half load when running on gasoline
- (4) 120V 20A AC outlets, (1) 120V/240V 30A twist-lock outlet, (1) 120V/240V 50A outlet, (1) 12V DC output provide ample space for powering appliances, tools, and other devices
- Multi-Featured Control Panel with RV Outlet - Includes two GFCI 120V household outlets and one 120V RV outlet to power essentials in your home, or items in your RV when you’re away from home.
- Long 10 Hour Run Time (at 50% Load) - A metal 4 gallon fuel tank for more durability and less refueling.
- Briggs & Stratton PowerBuilt OHV Engine (208cc) - This durable, easy starting engine features Overhead Valve (OHV) technology to run cooler and last longer: it’s ideal for portable generators.
- Easy Mobility - Featuring 7" Never Go Flat wheels and a fold-up handle.
- Surge Wattage - The Power Surge Alternator produces a short surge of power needed to start large motor-driven appliances and tools simultaneously.
- ⚡【𝙎𝙐𝙋𝙋𝙇𝙔 𝟭𝟬 𝘿𝙀𝙑𝙄𝘾𝙀𝙎 𝘼𝙏 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙎𝘼𝙈𝙀 𝙏𝙄𝙈𝙀】: Baldr 500W upgrade outdoor power is 461Wh larger capacity with Independent ports: 2 * AC outlets, 3 * USB ports, 1 * Type-C, 2 * DC ports, 1 * Cigarette lighter, 1 * 10W wireless charging, has a wider range of use: can charge phones, laptops, holiday light, mini-fridge, air mattress, TV, projector, travel mug...
- ⚡【𝙋𝙐𝙍𝙀 𝙎𝙄𝙉𝙀 𝙒𝘼𝙑𝙀, 𝙑𝙊𝙇𝙏𝘼𝙂𝙀 𝙎𝙏𝘼𝘽𝙄𝙇𝙄𝙕𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉】: It is your best choice: perfect CPAP power supply (DC to DC) ❶ The pure sine wave inverter generates a smooth current, which can 𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙣𝙤𝙞𝙨𝙚 𝙙𝙪𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙪𝙨𝙚. ❷ Has 𝘿𝘾 𝟭𝟮𝙑 𝙧𝙚𝙜𝙪𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙥𝙪𝙩, which keeps the output voltage constant, ensures stable charging all day. Let you have a beautiful sleeping night.
- ⚡【𝙄𝙉𝙉𝙊𝙑𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙑𝙀 𝙏𝙄𝙈𝙀 𝙍𝙀𝙈𝙄𝙉𝘿𝙀𝙍 𝙇𝘾𝘿 𝘿𝙄𝙎𝙋𝙇𝘼𝙔】: ✡ Added the remaining charging time, remaining usage time monitoring, and warning of low voltage. let you grasp the battery state at a glance. In addition, ✡ Let you know the temperature/Input/output state, battery level, Also has a low battery alarm. Let you know all battery information anytime.
- ⚡【𝟯-𝘾𝙃𝘼𝙍𝙂𝙄𝙉𝙂 𝙈𝙊𝘿𝙀𝙎, 𝙐𝙎𝙀 𝙒𝙃𝙄𝙇𝙀 𝘾𝙃𝘼𝙍𝙂𝙄𝙉𝙂】: ✡ It can be connected to Baldr 120W solar panels (NOT INCLUDED) to form a solar power generator system (6-8Hrs), especially by connecting two 120W solar panels in parallel, it can greatly shorten your charging time. ✡ By wall outlets: can be charged fully in 4-5Hrs. ✡ By carport: can be charged fully in 7-8Hrs.
- ⚡【𝙈𝙐𝙇𝙏𝙄-𝙄𝙉𝙏𝙀𝙇𝙇𝙄𝙂𝙀𝙉𝙏 𝙋𝙍𝙊𝙏𝙀𝘾𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉】: ✡ BMS to perform overcharging, low/high voltage control, over current, short circuit, overload protection, and low battery alarm. ✡Temperature control: Built-in cooling fan, when the temperature is high, it will be turned on automatically.✡ 2 lighting modes: flashlight & SOS, escorting your adventure all the way.
- Dimensions: 23.2" L x 18" W x 20.1" H | Weight: 99.2 lb
- EPA III and CARB Compliant
- 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces 3800 surge watts and 3400 rated watts with a half-load runtime of up to 8.5 hours
- Fuel shutoff maximizes the generator’s lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down
- Produces clean power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as smart phones, tablets and laptops
- DESIGNED FOR SAFETY: Includes a low oil shut-off sensor and holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30)
- RELIABLE AND POWERFUL: At 4375 starting watts and 3500 running watts, enjoy up to 12 hours of run time on a full tank of gasoline with a noise level of 68 dBA from 23 feet
- COVERED OUTLETS: 120V 30A locking, 120V 30A RV and two 120V 20A outlets - Volt Guard built-in surge protector prevents overloads and keeps your appliances and equipment safe
- INTELLIGAUGE: Monitor voltage, frequency and operating hours with ease
- CHAMPION SUPPORT: Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts