Best Portable Generator For Your Food Truck Business (Inverters) – Buyer’s Guide

Unlike restaurants, you don’t always have access to power in a food truck.

For times where you do not have electricity access, you are going to need a generator to operate.

This is especially important for potential blackouts or faulty event plugs where a generator could save your whole weekend.

In this post, I will compare 10 of the top generators that are both reliable and fuel efficient to give you the best generator for your food truck.

Picture Generator Running Watts Starting Watts Total Weight Estimated Full Tank Runtime @ 1000W load
Westinghouse WGEN7500 7500W 9500W 192 lbs 30 Hours
Honda EU7000is 5500W 7000w 261 lbs 9 Hours
Briggs & Stratton 30675A Q6500 5000W 6500W 138 lbs 17 Hours 30 Minutes
Pulsar PG5250B 4750W 5250W 115 lbs 18 Hours
Champion 3800W Dual Fuel 3800W 4750W 122 lbs 8 Hours 30 Minutes
Sportsmans GEN4000DF 3500W 4000W 90 lbs 17 Hours 30 Minutes
Champion 3400W Dual-Fuel 3100W 3400W 95.7 lbs 6 Hours 45 Minutes
Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 2600W 3000W 85 lbs 6 Hours 30 Minutes
Yamaha EF2000iSv2 1600W 2000W 44 lbs 4 Hours
Wen 56200i 1600W 2000W 48 lbs 4 Hours 45 Minutes

Wattage requirement will differ, however many food trucks are running between a 5000-7000 watt portable generator to safely power all of their appliances.

Why so much? Big appliances like fridges, fryers, air conditioning units, and ovens require a large wattage demand and depending on the size of your food truck, you may need a larger generator than you think.

For those with smaller setups needing to run one or two appliances, a smaller generator inverter would be the best bet.

In this post we will compare 10 generators for your food truck based on different variables that you should take into consideration when making your purchase.

We will look at running watts, starting watts, weights, runtime, and operating volume.

Depending on your setup, you will want to choose those one that best fits your needs.

Below are the best food truck generators ranked and compared:

Westinghouse WGEN7500 - My #1 Choice, Most Comprehensive & Best Performing Food Truck Generator

If you are wanting an all in one generator solution for your food truck, you are going to want something relatively light, quiet, and powerful enough to power all of your appliances.

The Westinghouse WGEN7500 is my #1 pick when it comes down to a comprehensive solution for all of these factors.

Producing 7500 running watts and 9500 starting watts, this generator is powerful enough to run most food trucks.

7500 df portable generator in a garage

At 192 lbs, it isn’t the lightest, but for the amount of features it has, it is lightweight compared to its competitors.

The Westinghouse generator is not the quietest generator available, however, with it’s power capabilities, it is relatively quiet when compared to the competition.

It has a run time of 16 hours at 25% load so you have no worries about a generator lasting all day at your next event or festival.

WGen7500 Generator Features:

  • 306cc Briggs & Stratton Engine
  • Running Watts: 7500 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 9500 Watts
  • Weight: 192 lbs
  • 6.6 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 16 Hour Runtime @ 25% Load
  • (4) 120V-20A GFCI Outlets
  • (1) 120V/240V, 30A Locking Outlet
  • Westinghouse Smart Switch Ready
  • Sound Level: 73 Decibels From 23 Feet Away
  • Recoil Style Start
  • Remote Electric Start

Westinghouse offers a 3 year warranty and lifetime technical support to give you the peace of mind that their team is here for you when you need them.

 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Decent run-time
  • Various Outlets
  • Large Wattage Capacity

Cons

  • Few Customer Complaints Of Broken Parts/Underperforming Features

Honda 7000W Super-Quiet, Lightweight Inverter - When Noise Levels Really Matter

If a quiet generator is your #1 priority, the Honda EU7000is is going to be the generator for you. Operating at only 58 dba at 23 feet, this inverter is the quietest inverter on this list.

Just because it is the quietest, does not mean it puts out the least amount of power.

It is actually the second highest wattage capable generator on our list. 

Honda generator

Putting out 5500 running watts with a 7000 starting watt rating, this generator is a perfect candidate for a food truck that wants to keep their noise levels down.

These great features also come with a few drawbacks. This generator is the heaviest on this list, tipping the scales at a staggering 261lbs.

It also only has a 6.5 hour run-time at ¼ load. This could be a problem for those operating for extended periods of time. If time and weight are not a factor, then this is the way to go!

Honda EU7000is Generator Features:

  • 389cc Honda GX390 EFI
  • Running Watts: 5500 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 7000 Watts
  • Weight: 261 lbs
  • 5.1 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 6.5 Hour Runtime @ 50% Load
  • 1 – 120v 30A L14-30R
  • 1 – 120v/250v 30A L14-30R
  • 2 – 120v 20A Receptacles (Household Style Outlets)
  • Sound Level: 58 Decibels From 23 Feet Away
  • Recoil Style Start

Backed by a 3 year warranty, you get the reassurance that your generator is built to last and that Honda is here for you if problems do arise.

Pros

  • Quiet Operation
  • Powerful Wattage Output
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Recoil/Electric Start

Cons

  • Very Heavy
  • Lower Run Time

Briggs & Stratton 30675A Q6500 - A Close Contender

Falling in the number 3 spot in my list is the Briggs & Stratton 30675A Q6500.

This portable generator was a very close contender for the number 1 and 2 spots but fell short due to wattage and run-time.

The Q6500 puts out an impressive 5000 running watts and 6500 starting watts from it’s 306cc Briggs & Stratton motor.

This is a great option for food truck owners with a wide range of appliances, but probably not the best for larger trucks with a demanding wattage.

Marketed as a super quiet inverter, it puts out a mere 66 dba at 23 feet. While this is quiet compared to most, it falls short of the Honda 7000w in this category.

Where it outshines it’s competitors is the run-time of 14 hours.

Briggs & Stratton 3067A Q6500 Generator Features:

  • 306cc Briggs & Stratton Engine
  • Running Watts: 5000 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 6500 Watts
  • Weight: 138 lbs
  • 5 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 14 Hour Runtime @ 25% Load
  • (4) 120V-20A GFCI Outlets
  • (1) 120V/240V, 30A Locking Outlet
  • (2) USB Outlets
  • Sound Level: 66 Decibels From 23 Feet Away
  • Recoil Style Start

Briggs & Stratton offers a 2 year consumer and 1 year commercial warranty on this generator with a customer satisfaction guarantee.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 14 Hour Run Time
  • Various Outlet Style
  • Large Wattage Capacity

Cons

  • Few Customer Complaints Of Broken Parts

Pulsar Products PG5250B - Dual Fuel Capabilities

For those looking for the versatility of using gas or propane, the Pulsar PG5250B should be on your list.

This Hybrid generator allows you to use gas or propane for fuel which is great for having a backup power source when gas isn’t available.

The PG5250B puts out 4750 running watts and 5250 starting watts for a great mid-level generator capable of powering most generic food trucks with standard appliances.

Image credits: Pulsar Products

This generator is very lightweight at 115 lbs making it easy to remove and transport if necessary.

However, if you are looking to keep noise levels to a minimum, you may look elsewhere as this Pulsar generator comes in at the top of the noise level list at 78 dba at 23 feet.

Pulsar PG5250B Generator Features:

  • 224cc OHV Engine
  • Running Watts: 4750 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 5250 Watts
  • Weight: 115 lbs
  • 4 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 15 Hour Runtime @ 50% Load
  • 2-120V outlets (Household Style Outlets)
  • 1-120V/240V twist-lock outlet
  • 1 30 Amp RV Port
  • Sound Level: 74 Decibels From 23 Feet Away
  • Recoil Style Start

Pulsar has an industry leading warranty on their generators and a dedicated customer service team to answer any questions you many have.

If you are interested in Dual Fuel (propane + gasoline) portable generators, see my buying guide here: https://generatorgrid.com/dual-fuel/

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Mid-Level Power Output
  • 15 Hour Run Time

Cons

  • Loudest Generator On The List

Champion 3800 Watt Dual Fuel - Mid-Level Dual-Fuel Capable

For food truck owners looking for a higher end, mid level generator, the Champion 3800W RV Ready Generator provides everything you need all in one.

The Champion 3800 is rated at 3800 running watts with 4750 starting watts making it a great generator for a decent sized truck with multiple appliances.

Due to it’s dual fuel capabilities, you are able to run this generator at 9 hours with gas or 10.5 hours on a 20lb propane tank at 25% load.

3800 watts inverter in a truck garage

Champion 3800 Generator Features:

  • 224cc OHV Engine
  • Running Watts: 3800 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 4750 Watts
  • Weight: 122 lbs
  • 3.4 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 9 Hours Gas/10.5 Hours w/ 20lb Propane Tank At 25% Load
  • 2-120V outlets
  • 1- 240V twist-lock outlet
  • 1- 12V DC outlet
  • Sound Level: 68 dBa
  • Recoil Style Start

The Champion generators are supported with a 3 year warranty and a lifetime of expert technical support.

Pros

  • Light Weight
  • Dual Fuel Capable
  • Mid Level Power
  • 3 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Only 2 120v Outlets

Sportsmans GEN4000DF - The Little Generator That Could

Following the trend of hybrid generators leads us to the next one on our list, the Sportsmans GEN4000DF.

This dual fuel generator is much smaller than it’s competitors, but don’t let that fool you, it still puts out respectable power.

At only 90 lbs, this generator is still able to push out 4000 starting watts and an impressive 3500 running watts.

Sportsman 4000 Watts dual fuel portable generator

Producing only 69 dBa at 23 feet, the Sportsmans generator runs for 10 hours on gas or propane making it a great solution for those wanting an alternate fuel source for longer events.

Unlike the last few generators we have discussed, this generator has 4 120V outlets to help power even more smaller appliance while keeping your larger appliances running.

Sportsmans GEN4000DF Generator Features:

  • 212cc Engine
  • Running Watts: 3500 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 4000 Watts
  • Weight: 90 lbs
  • 3.6 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 10 Hour Runtime @ 50% Load
  • 4-120V outlets (Household Style Outlets)
  • 1- 240V twist-lock outlet
  • 1 -12V DC Outlet
  • Sound Level: 69 Decibels From 23 Feet Away

Warranty information is provided by Sportsmans directly.

To receive information about warranties, please contact Sportsman.

 

Pros

  • Mid Size Power
  • Dual Fuel Capable
  • Lightweight
  • 10 Hour Runtime

Cons

  • Warranty Information Unclear

Champion 3400 Watt Dual Fuel - Quiet Dual Fuel Inverter For Your Truck

For those wanting a dual fuel inverter and must have a low noise-generating machine, the Champion 3400 Watt dual fuel inverter is the answer.

This generator is great for the food truck owner who has an average amount of appliances and does not require a large amount of wattage.

The Champion 3400 put out a healthy 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts that is great for powering large appliances while still being able to support lower power needs.

This inverter runs off of gas or propane and only puts out 59 dba at 23 feet.

Due to it’s dual fuel capabilities, you are able to run this generator at 7.5 hours with gas or 14.5 hours on a 20lb propane tank at 25% load.

Champion 3400 Generator Features:

  • 192cc OHV Engine
  • Running Watts: 3100 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 3400 Watts
  • Weight: 95.7 lbs
  • 1.6 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 7.5 Hours Gas/14.5 Hours w/ 20lb Propane Tank At 25% Load
  • 2-120V outlets
  • 1- 240V twist-lock outlet
  • 1- 12V DC outlet
  • Sound Level: 59 dBa
  • Recoil Style Start

The Champion generators are supported with a 3 year warranty and a lifetime of expert technical support.

Pros

  • Light Weight
  • Dual Fuel Capable
  • Mid Level Power

Cons

  • Only 2 120v Outlets

Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 - Lightweight 3000W Inverter

If your food truck is not requiring a large amount of wattage demands, you may be able to get by with a nice 3000w inverter.

The Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 made the top of our list in the 3000w category for a number of reasons.

The Briggs & Stratton P3000 supplies 2600 running watts and 3000 starting watts to power appliances in your truck that don’t require major wattages.

At only 58 dBa, it is relatively quiet, making it a solid answer to your generator needs.

The 10 hour run-time allows you to have power that will last you for a full work day.

Briggs & Stratton P3000 Generator Features:

  • 192cc OHV Engine
  • Running Watts: 2600 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 3000 Watts
  • Weight: 85 lbs
  • 1.5 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 10 Hour Run-Time
  • 4-120V outlets
  • 1- 240V twist-lock outlet
  • 1- USB Port
  • 1 – Parallel Port
  • Sound Level: 58 dBa
  • Recoil Style Start

Briggs & Stratton offers a 2 year consumer and 1 year commercial warranty on this generator with a customer satisfaction guarantee.

Pros

  • Light Weight
  • Mid Level Power
  • Quiet Operation
  • List Item #1

Cons

  • Customer Complaints Of Poor Customer Service

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 - Reliable & Cool Design

If you are looking for a smaller, more portable inverter to power your small appliances, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 needs to be considered.

The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 pumps out 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts making it a solid inverter for your appliances that aren’t as load-demanding.

At only 44 pounds, this inverter can be transported anywhere and everywhere you may need it.

Yamaha electrical generator on a pontoon boat

The 10 hour run time and 51.5 dba level makes this small generator stand out against the competition.

Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Generator Features:

  • 79cc OHV Engine
  • Running Watts: 1600
  • Starting Watts: 2000
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • 1.1 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 10 Hour Run-Time
  • 2 -120V outlets
  • Sound Level: 51.5 dBa
  • Recoil Style Start

Yamaha offers a 3 year warranty on their inverters to give you protection for years to come!

Pros

  • Very Light Weight
  • Low-Mid Level Power
  • Quiet Operation

Cons

  • Lack Of Power Outlet Variety

Wen 56200i - A Quiet, Budget Friendly 2000w Generator

If money is a factor and you are not needing more than 2000w from your inverter, than the Wen 56200i is our top pick.

Being the cheapest generator inverter on our list, the Wen 56200i is a great stand alone or backup inverter for your food truck.

Don’t let the low price fool you, this Wen generator still has all of the features you could want out of a 2000w generator.

56200I Inverter from wen sitting on grass

With 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts, it’s still powerful enough to get a fridge or a couple of small appliances through your food event.

With a 5 hour runtime at 50% load, you may want to have some extra fuel handy.

Wen 56201i  Generator Features:

  • 79.7cc OHV Engine
  • Running Watts: 1600 Watts
  • Starting Watts: 2000 Watts
  • Weight: 48 lbs
  • 1 Gallon Capacity Fuel Tank
  • 6 Hour Run-Time At 50% Load
  • 2-120V outlets
  • 1- USB Port
  • 1 – 12v DC Port
  • Sound Level: 51 dBa
  • Recoil Style Start

Wen offers a 2 year warranty on this generator with a customer satisfaction guarantee.

Pros

  • Light Weight
  • Mid Level Power
  • Quiet Operation
  • Budget Friendly

Cons

  • Lower Run Time

Buyer's Guide / Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Power Do I Need?

Each generator in this post has a specific wattage rating for both starting watts and running watts.

To figure out which one suits your needs, you will need to figure out how many watts you will need to run your food truck.

You can easily do this by finding out how many running watts and starting watts each appliance requires and add them up .

Take this number and compare it in our chart below to figure out which generator you will need.

We suggest planning for any future upgrades that may require a wattage increase and buy accordingly.

Also, see my convenient calculator tool here: https://generatorgrid.com/calculator/

How Do I Set Up The Generator To Power My Food Truck?

Setting up a generator to power your food truck requires extensive planning and wiring.

You must check with your local codes and have a professional electrician wire your generator to your truck to ensure that all codes have been met and that your generator is safely installed. 

More info here: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Property-type-and-vehicles/Food-truck-safety

Can I Use A Portable Generator While Driving?

If you are wanting to run your generator while driving your food truck, a must have for keeping food cold while traveling to your event, then you need to plan ahead when having your generator installed.

Talk with your electrician and let them know that you will need to have the ability to power your appliances on the move.

They can recommend the correct components and wiring you will need to make it possible.

How Do I Ground My Generator?

Grounding your generator can be achieved in a few different ways.

You can have it grounded to your truck by your electrician (recommended), or you can use a ground rod when stationary.

In my opinion, this is something you will want to discuss with your electrician to ensure you and your surrounding are as safe as can be.

Conclusion - About This Guide

Woman serving ice cream out of a yellow food truck

There you have it.

I hope that this guide has given you the information you need to make an educated purchase decision on your food truck generator inverter.

There are many different options and it will ultimately come down to your wattage needs and budget.

Be sure to double check which appliances you will need to power and calculate their power needs.

Having an inverter generator is not always needed for food trucks, your set-up location may provide power.

However, to keep your food cold or cooking during the event of a power outage, your generator could pay for itself in a couple of hours.

With installation and grounding, always consult a professional electrician to have your generator wired up correctly.

Faulty wiring can cause serious bodily injury or damage to your equipment.

As always, ensure that you are properly maintaining your generators to keep them working for years to come.

Are you currently running a generator on your food truck? If so, what size, and what appliances are you running with it?

Please consider sharing this post with anyone you know who might be in the market for a food truck generator!

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