Finding The Best Generator For Your Food Truck

Choosing the best generator for your food truck can be a challenge.

With dozens of brands, sizes, run times, fuel requirements, noise levels, watts, voltages, and weights to consider, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

The first thing to consider is “how much power will I need?”. Not all food trucks are created equal. The electrical requirements on your truck may differ from a Brick Oven Pizza Truck or Not-So-Traditional BBQ Trailer.


Your Specific Electrical Requirements states, “many food trucks are running between a 5,000-7,000 watt portable generator to safely power all of their appliances.”

However, to be a little more accurate, one way to determine your electrical requirement would be to calculate the total amount of power per appliance and add them up.

Generators are labeled by the total watts it can produce. For instance, the Westinghouse WGEN7500 can produce up to running 7,500 watts. Running Watts are watts needed to keep an appliance running while starting watts are watts required to start an appliance in the first two to three seconds.

To calculate your appliance needs, multiply the voltage and current (requirements can be found on a label near the serial number).

For example, a 2 door top refrigerated prep table requires 120 volts and 10 amps (current) for a total of 1,200 watts.

If we are using the Westinghouse WGEN7500, we would have 6,300 additional running watts to run other appliances.


Storing and Transporting Your Generator

Once you decide the necessary power needed to safely run your food truck, you should consider storage and the types of events you will be doing.

Generators can be bulky. Making it difficult to store and transport your generator to and from events. Bulkier generators tend to be fashioned with wheels, making it easier to set up.

Be sure to measure your storage area before purchasing a generator.


How Long Will You Run For?

Much like Forrest Gump, your generator cant run forever.

Considering the length of time you will need to run your generator at events and lunch settings. Stopping every few hours to refill your generator could hamper your processes. Especially during in a lunch rush.

Longer running generators my require more gas and could add to the overall weight of transporting the generator.


Best Generators Based On Size, Run Time and Output

Based on the 3 criteria mentioned above, power requirements, overall size, and run time, we have found the 3 grea candidates for your food truck.


Champion Power Equipment – 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter - $1,178.38

Power Output – 8,750 Starting Watts / 7,000 Running Watts

Run Time – 10.5 Hours

Size – 148 pounds / 24in Tall, 26in Wide, 27in Long

The champion brand has a decent run time with a high electrical output for running an assortment of appliances. This generator comes with wheels built in as it tends to be on the heavier side. This specific model is also quieter than others with a dba rating of 72.


Pulsar – 5,250 W Dual Fuel Portable Generator - $514.99

Power Output – 5,250 Starting Watts / 4,750 Running Watts

Run Time – 18 Hours

Size – 115 pounds / 18in Tall, 17 in Wide, 24 in Long

Utilizing patented technology, the Pulsar can be powered with gas or liquid propane making for a versatile option. A much longer run time than the Champion, the Pulsar is also compacter in size and weight. Two never flat tires make for easy set up and break down.


Honda – 7,000 Watt Super Quiet Portable Inverter - $514.99

Power Output – 7,000 Starting Watts / 5,500 Running Watts

Run Time – 24 Hour

Size – 261 pounds / 29in Tall, 28in Wide, 34in Long

What you sacrifice for weight, you gain in power and run time. This Honda Generator is powerful yet quiet all in one. Over 250 pounds, this generator will help you power through a 2 day event in a jiff.


Finding the right generator for your food truck can be a process but once you find it, you’ll be set for your event in no time.


  • Jerod Hines

    I had a mobile juice bar built out trailer 8×12

    What size generator I need?

  • Ron

    I bought a predator 9500 inverter generator will it run my food truck

  • Marquita

    I need, longer hrs & higher wattage, voltages, and quieter.

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